Skip to main content

Full text of "The Edinburgh Review"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 

t'x.^ - 

-?77 '•'/'■ 






JULY, 1859. . . . OCTOBER, 1859. 




VOL. ex. 





Abt. I. — 1. The Senses and the Intellect. By Alexander 
Bain, A.M. London: 1855. 
2. The Emotions and the Will. By Alexander Bain, 
A. M., Examiner in Logic and Moral Philosophy in 
the University of London. London: 1859, . 287 

IL — Diary of a Visit to England in 1775 by an Irishman 
(the Rev. Dr. Thomas Campbell), and other Papers 
by the same hand. Edited with notes by Samuel 
Raymond, M. A., Prot&onotary of the Supreme Court 
of New South Wale?. ' Sydney^ 1654, . . 322 

III. — Ceylon: An Account of the Island^ Physical, His- 
torical, and Topographical: with Notices of its 
Natural History, Antiquities and Productions. Il- 
lustrated by Maps, Plans, and Drawings. By Sir 
J. Emerson Tennent. 2 vols. 8vo. London: 1859, 343 

IV. — 1. History of Friedrich II. of Prussia — called Frederic 
the Great. By Thomas Carlyle. Vols. L and IL 
London, 1858. 
2. CEuvres de Frederic le Grand. 24 vols. 4to. Im- 
primerie Royale de Berlin. 1846 — 1856, • .376 

V. — 1. Monumenta Epigraphica Pompeiana, adFidem Ar- 
chetyporum ezpressa. Pars prima, Inscriptionum 
Oscarum apographa. Curante Josepho Fiorellio, 
Ordinis Academicorum Herculanensium Adlecto. 
Atlas Fol. Neapoli: 1854. 

2. Le Case ed i Monumenti di Pompei, designati e 
descritti. Imp. Fol. Fasc l — xn. Napoli : 1854-7. 

3. Graffiti de Pompei. Inscriptions et Gravures 
trac^es au stylet. Recueillies et interpr^t^es par 
Raphael Garrucci, S. J. 4to. Paris: 1856. 

4. Un Graffito blasfemo nel Palazzo del Cesari. [Ci- 
vilta Cattolica. Serie 3. vol. iv.] 8vo. Roma : 

5. Intomo ad una Inscrizione Osca recentemente sca- 
vata in Pompei. Brevi Osservazioni del P. Raffaelle 
Garrucci. 4to. Napoli: 1851, . • .411 


VI. — The Virginians. A Tale of the last Century. By 

W. M. Thackeray. 2 vols. 8vo. 1859, . . 438 

Vn. — 1. Der italienische Krieg, 1859, politisch militarisch 
beschrieben, von W. Biistow» Erste Abth. Zurich : 
2. L'ltalie Conf<Sddr6e. Histoire politique, militaire 
et pittoresque de la Campagne de 1859. Par A. de 
C&ena. 1 Liv». 8vo. Paris : 1859, . . 454 

Vni. — Correspondance in^dite de Madame du Deffand, pr^- 
ced^ d'une notice par M. le Marquis de Saint- 
Aulaire. 2 tomes. Paris : 1859, . . . 495 

IX. ^- A Journal kept in Turkey and Greece in the Antunm 
of 1857 and the beginning of 1858. By Nassau 
W. Senior, Esq. London: 1859, • . . 512 

X.— -1. Beport of Her Majesty's Commissioners on the 

State of the Handloom Weavers. Presented to 

Parliament, 1841. 
2. Beport of the Case of the Queen versiu Geo. Duffield, 

Thos. Woodnorth, and John Gaunt, tried at the 

Stafford Summer Assizes, July, 1851, before Mr. 

Justice Erie and a Special Jury. 
8. Buies of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, 

Machinists, Millwrights, Smiths, and Pattern-makers. 

Established January 1. 1851 ; Bules revised June 1. 

4. Bules of the London Society of Compositors, &c*, 

as amended June, 1857, .... 525 


Art. I. — 1. Our Naval Position and Policy. B7 a Naval Peer. 

London : 1859. 

2. State of the Navy. A Speech delivered in the 
Hoose of Commons hy the Right Honourahle Sir 
John Pakington, Bart.^ M.P., First Lord of the Ad- 
miralty, Febraary 25th2 1859. London : 1859. 

3. Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire 
into the best Means of Manning the Navy, together 
with Minutes of Evidence and Appendix. Pre- 
sented to Parliament by command of Her Majesty, 
February, 1859. 

4. The History of the Baltic Campaign of 1854. From 
documents and other materials furnished by Yice- 
Admiral Sir Charles Napier, K.C.B. Edited by 

G. Butler Eorp. London : 1857, . . .1 

II. — 1. L'Acropole d'Ath^nes. Par E. Benle, Ancien 
Membre de I'Ecole d'Ath^nes. 2 vols. Paris : 1853. 

2. Etudes sur le Peloponn^se. Par E. Beule. Paris : 

3. Ath^nes aux XV®, XVP, et XVII« Si^cles. Par 
le Comte de Laborde. 2 vols. Paris: 1854. 

4. La Minerve de Phidias restitute par M. Si mart 
d'apr^s les textes et les monuments figur^ Par 

. Alphonse de Calonne. Paris : 1855, • . 35 

IIL — Memoirs of the Court of George IV., 1820—1830. 
From original family documents. By the Duke of 
Buckingham and Chandos, K.G. 2 vols. 8vo. Lon- 
don : 1859, . . . . • .60 

IV. — The Life and Remains of Douglas Jerrold. By his 

Son, Blanchard Jerrold. London : 1859, . . 99 

V. — 1. Ichnology of Annandale, or Illustrations of Foot- 
prints impressed on the New Red-Sandstone of 
Corncockle Muir. By Sir William Jardine, Bart. 
Edinburgh: 1853. 

2. Geology and Mineralogy considered with reference 
to Natural History. By the late Dr. Buckland, 
Dean of Westminster, &c A new edition with ad- 
ditions by Professor Owen, Professor Phillips, and 
Mr. Robert Brown. Edited by Francis I. Buckland, 
M.A. London : 1858. 


3. The Geology of Pennsylvania; a GoTerninent 
Survey, with a General View of the Geology of the 
United States. By Henry Darwin Rogers, State 
Geologist. 2 vols. 4to. Edinburgh and Philadel- 
phia: 1858, . • . . .109 

VI. — Vie de Marie Antoinette. Par Edouard et Jules de 
Goncourt. Deuxi^me Edition. Kevue et aug- 
mentde de Documents in^dits et de Pieces tiroes des 
- Archives de TEmpire. Paris: 1859, • .132 

VII.— Remains of a very Ancient Recension of the Four 
Gospels in Syriac, hitherto unknown in Europe. 
Discovered, edited, and translated by William Core- 
ton, D.D., F.R.S., &c. &c. London : J 858, . 168 

VIII.— 1. History of the Life of Arthur Duke of Wellington. 
From the French of M. Brialmoiit, Captain on the 
Staff of the Belgian Army. With emendations and 
additions. By Rev. G. R. Gleig, Chaplain General 
to the Forces. Vols. I. and II. London: 1858. 

2. Histoire de la Campagne de 1815. Par Lieutenant- 
Colonel Charras. 2 vols. Bruxelles : 1858. 

3. Supplementary Despatches and Memoranda of 
Fieldmarshal the Duke of Wellington, K.G. India, 
1797—1805. Edited by his Son, the Duke of Wel- 
lington. 4 vols. 8vo. London : 1858. 

4. Recollections. By Samuel Rogers. London : 1859, 191 
IX. — 1. Adam Bede. By George Eliot. 3 vols. 1859. 

2. Scenes of Clerical Life. By George Eliot. 2 vols, 
looo, • ••••». ^«o 

X.— F^r Idylls of the King. By Alfred Tennyson, D.C.L., 

^Poet Laureate. London : 1859, . . . 247 

XI. — 1. Speech of the Right Hon. Benjamin Disraeli, de- 
livered in the House of Commons 1st April, 1859. 

2. Correspondence relating to the AfTairs of Italy. 
Presented to Parliament by Command, June, 1859, . 264 



JULY, 1859. 


Abt. I. — 1. Our Naval Position and Policy. By a Naval 
Peer. Liondon : 1859. 

2. State of the Navy. A Speech delivered in the House of 
Commons by the Right Honourable Sir John Pakingtok, 
Bart, M.P., First Lord of the Admiralty, February 25th, 
1859. London: 1859. 

3. Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the best 
Means of Manning the Navy^ together with Minutes of Evi- 
dence and' Appendix. Presented to Parliament by command 
of Her Majesty, February, 1859. 

4. The History of the Baltic Campaign of 1854. From do- 
cuments and other materials furnished by Vice- Admiral Sir 
Charles Napier, K.C.B. Edited by G. Butler Earp. 
London: 1857. 

^^N the Ist December, 1858, a Treasury Minute was drawn 
^"^ up by Lord Derby, appointing a confidential Committee, 
composed of four senior officers of the Civil Service, to inquire 
and report to the Cabinet on * the very serious increase which 

* has taken place of late years in the Navy Estimates, though, 

* at the same time, it is represented that the naval force of the 
' couiitry is far inferior to what it ought to be with reference 

* to that of other Powers, and especially of France.' The 
Committee were further directed to investigate, as far as pos- 
sible, the recent expenditure of the French Empire, as compared 
with our own, on dockyard works, including the construction 
and armament of ships of war, and to report the result at which 
they arrived. This Report, which was at first confidential, was 


2 State of the Navy. JuJy> 

presented to Parliament, by command^ on the 12th of April; 
and although it contains much that cannot be read by English- 
men without regret for the past and anxiety for the future, we 
think the Government have acted rightly in laying the whole 
truth before the couutry. It is with the same object, and 
no other, that we propose to comment on these facts. They 
are unwelcome truths, but they are truths on which the 
very safety and existence of this country depend. Hitherto 
the relative inefficiency of the British Navy, as compared with 
the navies of our great maritime rivals, has been a theme re- 
served for the grumbling of a few discontented naval officers, 
or a few opposition speeches in Committee on the Navy Esti- 
mates. The paper now before us places the matter on a 
totally different ground. It contains the positive and irre- 
fragable evidence of four dispassionate and competent public 
servants ; its conclusions are certain. And, as we shall pre- 
sently see^ the only inference to be drawn from them is that^ if 
this state of things be not speedily corrected^ the country is 
hastening onwards to a catastrophe, infinitely more grievous, 
humiliating, and indeed fatal, than the failure of our military 
administration in the Crimea, or the mutiny of the Sepoy army; 
for from the moment that the maritime superiority of Great 
Britain is disputed, or even disputable, everything we possess — 
honour, independence, freedom, property, and public safety 
— are in danger. 

Yet the Naval administration of the governments, both of 
Lord Palmerston and of Lord Derby, cannot be accused of 
standing still.* In 1852 the navy estimates were 5,707,988/. ; 
in 1853-4, war being already in contemplation, they rose 
to 6,132,543/. ; in 1855-6, years of the Russian war, they 
rose to 11,857,506/., and we found ourselves, after some 
delay, in possession of two considerable fleets, with nearly 
70,000 men borne on the ships' books. In 1857-8 the estimates 
were reduced nearly four millions, and were voted at 8,010,526/. 
Last year they rose again to 8,440,871/., and for the present 
year they amount to 9,813,181/., exclusive of the supple- 
mentary estimate for the recent addition to the fleet, which 
will probably raise the whole naval expenditure of the current 

* In 1835-36 the Naval Estimates (effective branch) were cut 
down to 2,726,523/., and we rather think this was the year which 
Mr. Cobden selected a short time back as the proper standard of the 
military and naval establishments of the Empire. Tlie number of 
men voted for the whole service in that year was only 26,500 

1859. * State of the Navi/. 3 

year to more than tioelve millions. The progress of the outlay 
in this department has therefore heen extremely large and 
rapid. This increase of cost may be traced in almost every 
branch of expenditure. In addition to the actual increase in 
the number of men employed, the average of the pay of all 
ranks in the Navy was, per man, in 1852, 392. 14«. Sd.; 
in 1858 it had risen to 43L 3«., being an increase of 3/. 9s. 4cf. 
per man. The transformation of the fleet from a sailing fleet 
to a fleet propelled by steam power, has caused an enormous 
angmentation in every portion of the estimates. In the con- 
struction of ships, the whole cost of the machinery must be 
added, amounting in a ship of the first class, like the * Duke 
* of Wellington,* to 46,000i, with a charge of nine or ten per 
cent, per annum for keeping the mechanism in perfect order. 
A whole establishment of engineers and stokers, skilled work- 
men, must be maintained in every ship, in addition to the 
ordinary complement of men for working the ship and her 
guns: this addition amounts to about ten per cent, on the 
number of the ship's company, and twenty per cent, on the 
seamen's wages. . An immense sum is of course spent in 
fuel. So again the immense increase in the size of ships has 
led to a vast extension in the dockyards. Between 1852 and 
1858 this vote alone has increased 120 per cent There exist 
in Her Majesty's yards forty-two building slips, but only nine 
of them are large enough for modem first- rates; there are 
thirty-three docks, but only four which will hold the largest 
ships, and to these five others are now being added at a great 
but inevitable outlay. 

Hence it arises that all comparisons between the naval 
strength of the country in former times, when for example we 
are told that England had 145 line-of-battle ships in commis- 
sion, and the present strength of the navy, are extremely falla- 
cious. The number of ships of the line is doubtless far less, but 
the tonnage is greater, the armament heavier, the crews more 
numerous, the propelling power independent of the winds, and 
the whole structure at once more perfect and more costly. 
A modem second class frigate, with her present armament and. 
gunnery, would have no difficulty in disabling a three-decker 
such as Lord St. Vincent and Lord Nelson commanded. 
For example, the ^ Ariadne,' a third class frigate or corvette, 
launched at Deptford on the 4th of June, is rated at 2869 tons, 
new admeasurement, or 3201 tons old admeasurement, being 
300 tons larger than Lord Nelson's ship ^ Victory.* This vessel 
mounts only 26 guns, but they are all 68 or 94-poun4er8 ; and 
though she is classed in the third or fourth rank of the fleet, 

4 State of the Navy. July, 

she is a more powerful ship of war than the three-deckers of 
the last century. * Everything in the fleet has grown biocger 
and more expensive. Hence the sums spent upon the Navy 
are larger than ever were spent before, though the result is a 
fleet numerically weaker ; and the margin remaining for the 
construction of new ships and the improvement of the dockyards 
will be even less than it was when we had a much larger fleet 
in our harbours, consisting of less powerful and costly vessels. 

But the augmentation does not stop within the limits of the 
estimates laid before Parliament in February last. Since then 
a bounty has been issued by royal proclamation for the purpose 
of adding 10,000 seamen to the fleet, and an increase in the 
number of seamen involves a corresponding increase in the 
number of ships and oflficers on full pay, and in the expense of 
almost every branch of the service. 

' Every additional ship brought into commission in consequence of 
the vote which in<;reases the number of seamen in the Navy, may be 
taken as entailing an annual charge varying from eight and a quarter 
to nine and three quarters per cent, on its original cost, which is ex* 
pended in the purchase of stores and wages of artificers for main- 
taining it, thereby rendering necessary both an increase in the 
quantity of stores and number of artificers. 

* It is stated by the Surveyor of the Navy that, at the end of fifteen 
years, on an average, the hull of each ship requires a complete and 
expensive repair ; that the duration of a ship cannot be estimated at 
more than thirty years ; that during the last ten years thirty-five 
ships of the line and forty-six frigates have been removed from the 
effective list of the Navy ; and that on an average three line-of-battle 

* Thus it appears, from the Abstract of the Navy for 1792, that 
Great Britain had then but one ship of 120 guns (chiefiy 24-pounders) 
and of 2774 tons. The tonnage of the ' Emerald,' a modern 50 gun 
frigate, is 2915 tons ; that of the < Mersey,' 40 guns, is 3733. The 
old seventy-fours, of which by far the greater part of the British 
line-of-battle consisted at the end of the last century, were not much 
superior in size and weight of metal to modern ships of twenty-one 
guns, and they were inferior to such a frigate as the ' Diadem ' of 
32 guns. The year 1809 is quoted as that in which the British 
Navy put forth its greatest strength. The number of men borne on 
the books was 140,000, and the Navy List contained 984 cruisers and 
77 troop and harbour vessels. Yet the tonnage of the fleet in 1858 
is greater by 50,000 tons than that of the fleet in 1809. Again, the 
number of guns of ships afloat in 1809 was (nominally) double what 
it is now. But the average weight of each shot was 16^ lb. then, it 
is 38 lb. now. See Mr. Peregal's statement, ' Manning Navy Evi- 
* dence,' p. 347. 

1859. State of Hie Navy. 5 

ships ought to be produced everj jear merely to maintain the Navy 
on a proper footing as respects line-of-battle ships. 

' The Surveyor of the Navy states that the present force in the 
dockyards *, which comprises 4000 shipwrights and apprentices, is 
not more than sufficient to build three line-of-battle ships, three 
frigates, and six sloops per annum, besides executing the necessary 
repairs to all the ships in the Navy. 

*If, therefore, the naval supremacy of Great Britain is to be 
maintained, it is impossible to deny that a large force of artificers, 
and a large quantity of stores, materials, &c., must be kept up in our 
dockyards. It will be seen that this body consists, during the present 
year, of no less than 16,334 persons, including 1,279 convicts ; and 
that the number of persons employed in the steam factories has in- 
creased from 1046 in 1852, to 2361 in the present year.' {Report,]^, 10.) 

By the same rule the expenditure for marine engines, which 
did not exceed 100,000/. in 1851, has amounted to 3,423,0217. 
in the last six years, or 570,503/. a year. Twenty-four millions 
sterling have been spent between 1852 and 1858 in labour, 
stores, and materials of building, altering, and Repairing ships. 

What then is the result? A result not inconsiderable in 
itself, if the improved character of the vessels be taken into 
account, and amply sufficient to supply the wants of the Em* 
pire in time of peace, or as long as no formidable maritime 
rival exists upon the seas; but a result far below what the 
safety of the country demands from the moment the peace of 
Europe is disturbed and we find ourselves in presence of at 
least two maritime Powers of the first order. Before we pro- 
ceed to examine this, the political part of the question, let U6 
complete the survey of our actual strength. 

* In the year 1852, the Navy possessed horse-power to the extent 
of 44,482 ; in the last six years it has been more than doubled, 
amounting now to 99,512 ; the number of st^am-ships and vessels 
has increased from 177 in 1852 to 464 in 1858 ; the tonnage from 
182,562 to 457,881 ; the guns from 3045 to 8246.' {Report, p. 12.) 

In 1858 England possessed, according to the Report of the 
Surveyor of the Navy, 29 line-of-battle ships (screw steamers) 
completed, 11 more in course of preparation, and 10 more 
building, block ships 9 f^ and frigates 34 ; with the addition of 

• The force has since been augmented by nearly 1400 men. 

f On these block-ships considerable reliance was at one time 

placed, and one or two of them were even employed in the Baltic ; 

but Sir John Pakington declared in his speech last February, that 

they are good for nothing as sea-going men of war ; useful perhaps 

as floating batteries, but several of them rotten, and all nearly worn 

* out.' 

6 State of the Navy, July, 

corvettes, gun-boats (162), troop-ships, &a, the whole Navy- 
comprised 464 steam ships and vessels, carrying 8,246 guns, 
with a nominal horse-power of 105,962, and a tonnage of 
457,881. To this it may be added that, according to the same 
Report, England possessed, in 1858, 35 sailing line-of-battle 
ships, 70 frigates, and about 190 sailing vessels of smaller 
dimensions. Of these line-of-battle ships, 6 are forthwith to 
be converted into screw vessels, and some others to be cut down 
to frigates ; but it is probable that not more than one third of 
them are really sea-going ships. 

The mere enumeration of these material resources of the 
Navy is, however, fallacious rather than instructive, unless it be 
considered, first, in relation to the demands of the public ser- 
vice, both in peace and in war; secondly, in relation to the 
naval forces of other maritime Powers ; and thirdly, to our own 
administrative means of sending fleets to sea with despatch 
and efficiency. To these three points we shall successively 
direct our attention. 

L The vast extent of the colonial empire of this country, 
the multiplicity of our commercial interests, which embrace 
every portion of the globe, and the necessity of maintaining an 
adequate naval force on different stations, where we may find 
ourselves in presence of distinct maritime Powers, make at all 
times very large demands on our peace establishment. The 
East India station includes the Chinese Seas and the Eastern 
Archipelago, where an imposing British force will long be re- 
quired to cause our treaties with China and Japan to be 
respected, and to afford protection from piracy to British com- 
merce in the furthest East and to the consignments of gold 
from Australia. The Russian naval establishments at the 
mouth of the Amour, in Mongolia, have now assumed con- 
siderable importance. In August, 1858, the Russian squadron 
in the Eastern seas was reinforced by ten newly constructed 
vessels, and in the event of hostilities with that Power, the 
Russian cruisers would have the advantage of a fortified arsenal 
as their base of operations against the whole trade of this 
country in the Chinese Seas and the South Pacific The 
ability shown by the Bussian commanders in the last war proves 
that they are infinitely better acquainted with these waters than 
the officers of the British Navy ; yet our commercial interests 
there are enormous. Th^ late war with China had, of course, 
augmented this branch of the service, and in 1858 no less than 
sixty-eight British vessels of war, manned by upwards of 
10,000 men, were employed in the East. This squadron has 
since been reduced by about one half. The squadron on the 

1859. State of the Navy. 7 

west coast of Africa, though chiefly composed of small vessels, 
demands nearly 2000 seamen. On the North American and 
West Indian stations we are face to face with a maritime 
people of the same race and temper as ourselves. Questions of 
considerable difficulty frequently arise between the British and 
American Governments, and experience has shown that it is 
unwise to reduce the British naval forces in the West below an 
average of twenty ships, manned by about 3500 men. In the 
Pacific similar wants are felt, and our fleet consisted in 1858 of 
twelve vessels, manned by nearly 3000 men, part of which 
were rendered necessary by the discovery of gold on the 
Frazer River. The Cape of Good Hope, including the East 
coast of Africa, requires a moderate squadron, and so do 
the Brazils ; and in the Mediterranean, although the British 
fleet was reduced last year to only four ships of the line^ 
it is impossible that we should allow it to remain on a footing 
of permanent inferiority to that of France. The Mediterranean 
fleet has been raised since April to 12 ships of the line, and in 
all to about 32 vessels. 

These stations in 1858, and at a time of profound peace, 
absorbed no less than 139 of our ships in commission, and 
21,948 of our seamen and marines, or very nearly half the 
available force of the Navy. It may at once be inferred 
how small the proportion of vessels and of men is, in com- 
parisoDj who remain at the disposal of the Channel squadron 
and for home service. Previous to the outbreak of hosti- 
lities in Italy, the whole Channel squadron consisted of 
only eight line-of-battle ships (four of which were in the 
Mediterranean) and two frigates — a squadron, as the First 
Lord remarked, too weak to be of any real service to the 
country. K war were unhappily to break out between this 
country and any great maritime Power, this source of em- 
barrassment from the foreign stations would be augmented. 
The Admiralty would be expected to afford protection to British 
commerce in all parts of the globe. Convoys must be escorted; 
a strict watch must be kept for privateers; treasure must be 
sent home in armed vessels; blockades must be established; 
and should the Mediterranean become the scene of hostilities, 
or our communications with the East be threatened, we must 
be prepared to meet any force that could be sent against us 
in liiat sea, for the utility and even the defence of our Medi- 
terranean fortresses depend mainly on the assumption that we 
are at all times masters of the communication between them 
and the mother country. Measures have long been taken by 
the French Government, under various pretences, to prepare 

8 State of the Navy. July* 

Egypt for the chance of a coup-de-main, and the only eflTectual 
check on that design is the force we may have in Malta 

Such are the duties which the British Navy is or may be 
called upon to perform, quite irrespective of that which is the 
most essential of all its functions, namely, the defence of the 
United Kingdom, and the maintenance of our supremacy in the 
narrow seas ; and it will be observed that the charges thus im- 
posed upon us are, in a manner, peculiar to ourselves. No 
other State has large naval stations to maintain at a vast dis- 
tance from its own coasts and arsenals. France has two fleets, 
but both of them are within reach of her Atlantic or of her 
Mediterranean ports ; and at the commencement of hostilities 
this concentration would be of extreme advantage to her. The 
normal condition of the British naval forces is, on the contrary, 
one of extraordinary dispersion, with no reference to any com- 
bined strategical object; and, in order to provide for these 
distant squadrons, the home station is frequently, we might 
almost say habitually, left in a defenceless and exposed con- 
dition, totally inconsistent with common prudence. 

II. We now proceed to show what are the maritime forces of 
other States, for the most part within reach of our own coasts, 
which might in certain events be directed against us. We are 
pursuing this inquiry without the slightest appeal to the imagi- 
nation of our readers, and without reference to the present state 
of politics abroad ; and we shall content ourselves with relating 
the facts in the dry but accurate language of the official Com- 
mittee : — 

* At the outbreak of the French revolutionary war, England pos- 
sessed 145 sail of the line, France 77. These comparative numbers 
were reduced in 1850 to 86 England, and 45 France. 

' At this latter period, the effective strength of the two navies in 
line-of-battle ships exclusively, and almost exclusively in frigates, 
consisted of sailing-vessels ; but the French, having subsequently 
decided on, and nearly Qirried out, the conversion of all their sailing- 
ships that were fit for it into steam -ships, as sailing-ships could not 
be opposed to steam-ships with any chance of success, the latter 
must now be considered as the only ships really effective for pur- 
poses of war, and the following is at present the relative strength of 
the two navies in steam line-of-battle ships and frigates, including 
ships building and converting * : 

• Since the date of this Report the number of British line-of-battle 
ships complete has been raised to 37, but the number of French line- 
of-battle ships has increased also. 


State of the Navy, 


Ck>inpletey Hall, and 

BeceiviDg Engines 


Bailding - - - 

Total - 

















English Frigates. 

(.Paddle 9 J 


- 2 


- 34, 

French Frigates. 

/Screw 15 1 
t Paddle 19 J 



s r 

- 46 

'It will be seen from the foregoing statement, that England and 
Prance have at present precisely the same number of steam line-of 
battle sHips complete ; that France has eight more steam frigates 
complete ; that, on the completion of the ships now in progress, 
England will have ten steam line-of-battle ships moi*e than France, 
and France twelve steam-frigates more than England. It is, how- 
ever, to be observed, that of the ten English ships building, three 
are three-deckers, of which class the French are not building any. 
France will also have four iron-sided ships, with engines of 800 or 
900 horse-power. 

' It is stated that these iron-sided ships, of which two are more 
than half completed, will be substituted for line-of-batile ships ; their 
timbers are of the scantling of a three-decker; they are to have 
thirty-six heavy guns, most of them rifled 50-pounders, which will 
throw an 80 lb. hollow percussion shot ; they will be cased with 
iron ; and so convinced do naval men seem to be in France of the 
irresistible qualities of these ships, that they are of opinion that no 
more ships of the line will be laid down, and that in ten years that 
class of vessels will have become obsolete. 

' In addition to the fifty steam line-of-battle ships (English) above 
enumerated as "built," "building," and "converting," there are six 
sailing line-of-battle ships proposed to be converted into steam-ships. 
These six would raise the number of English screw-ships of the line 
to fifty-six ; and if the estimates for artificers, and the purchase of 
ship-building materials, as proposed by the Surveyor of the Navy, 
be assented to, the whole could be completed by the year 1861. At 
the present rate and mode of expenditure in the dockyards, it is 
estimated that forty- three only would be ready by 1861, and, accord- 
ing to the present scheme of work, the French would then possess 
forty screw line-of-battle ships, and four iron-sided ships. With the 
existing establishment of shipwrights and scheme of work, the number 
of our screw line-of-battle ships could not be raised to fifty-six before 
the year 1863, and it may be inferred that, in the interval between 
1861 and 1863, still further additions will have been made to the 
French steam navy. 

* It was calculated last year, by the commission of naval officers 
appointed by the Emperor to revise the organisation of the navy, 
that the French would have, by the year I860, a steam fleet which, 

1 Siaie of the Navy. Jvdy, 

with a proportion of large transports, would enable them to carry an 
army of 60,000 men, with all its horses, proyisions, and materials for 
one month ; and that thej may have ready by 1860, forty steam line*' 
of-battle ships, six iron-plated frigates, thirty screw frigates, nineteen 
paddle-wheel frigates, and twenty-six steam transports.' {Report, 
p. 9.) 

The Beport then proceeds to compare in a tabular form the 
relative strength of the British and French navies in 1852 and 
in 1853; and this statement is condensed in the following para- 
graphs : — 

' France, since 1 852, has increased her steam line-of-battle ships 
from 2 to 40, of which there are 5 building and 4 converting, and 
this has been ejected by the conversion of 26 sailing-ships, and the 
building of 14 screw-ships.* 

< England, in the same time, has increased her line-of-battle screw- 
steamers from 17 to 50, of which there are 10 building and 7 con- 
verting. This has been effected by the conversion of 27 sailing-ships, 
and the building of 23 screw-ships. 

' The addition, therefore, to the French navy in steam line-of- 
battle ships, complete, building, and converting, is 38, and of Eng- 
land, 33, since 1852. 

' The steam frigates of France, screw and paddle, have been in- 
creased from 21 to 46; and England has increased her steam frigateSp 
screw and paddle, from 22 to 34, and her block-ships of 60 guns each 
from 4 to 9. 

* It is necessary that we should notice this superiority in steam 
frigates on the part of France over Great Britain, which, in the 
event of hostilities, might form a serious detriment to this country, 
especially in relation to the interruption of commerce. 

* On the other hand, the French steam corvettes and sloops, which, 
in 1852, were 31, are now only 22 ; while those of Great Britain, 
which, in 1852, were 59, are now, including 7 vessels since reduced 
from frigates to sloops, 82 ; our screw floating batteries are 8, as 
against 5 French ; our screw gun-vessels and other small vessels are 
53, whereas the French have 93 ; our screw gun-boats are 162, and 
those of France 28 ; and the whole steam navy of Great Britain now 
amounts to 464 vessels, while that of France numbers 264.' {Report, 
p. 10.) 

These figures establish beyond the possibility of doubt the 
fact of most momentous consequence to every Englishman : 

* The French Naval Almanac having ceased to publish the names 
of vessels, it is not easy to identify these ships ; but Lord Derby's 
Commission does not seem aware that several of them are old ships, 
with a small auxiliary steam power, rendering them not more 
effective than our block*8hips, which we' have ceased to count. 

1859. State of the Navy. 1 1 

that, in December last, the resources of the French nayy, 
in ships of the most important classes adapted to modern war- 
fare^ were equal to those of Englandy the disparity of numbers 
being chiefly in gun-boats. We shall presently show that in 
other respects, as to her means of manning these ships^ and as 
to the administration of the fleet, there is every reason to 
suppose that the resources of France are, if not actuaUy 
greater than our own, certainly more ayailable in an emergency : 
but the comparison of the ships is not yet complete. It appears 
that, if the whole British navy were adequately manned and 
stationed in two grand divisions, the one occupying the stra- 
tegical position of our Channel fleet between Gibraltar and 
Plymouth, the other in Malta harbour, we should then be able 
to oppose ship for ship the naval forces which the Emperor of 
the French has it in his power to concentrate at a very short notice 
at his two great naval positions of Cherbourg and Toulon — and 
no more. But we have already shown that a considerable 
deduction must be made on our side for the ships indispensably 
required on the American and Indian stations. In reality, 
therefore, our numerical position is one of absolute inferiority 
in the seas of Europe, and this inferiority is augmented by the 
fact that, whilst the French boast, and we believe with truth, 
that they have it in their power to man every vessel in their 
dockyards with seamen and marine infantry, who have already 
served an apprenticeship in vessels of war, weeks, and possibly 
months, must elapse before the complement of men could be 
obtained for our fleet ; and, even if they were obtained, the 
ships must be sent to sea, and possibly into action, with raw 
and nndiscipKned crews. 

The truth of this statement is placed beyond all doubt by 
the essay * on the Naval Position and Policy of Great Britain,' 
which we have placed at the head of these pages, and by the 
evidence taken before the Commission on Manning the Navy, 
last autumn. ^ We shall confine ourselves to a single example, 
but it is one of demonstrative anthority. Sir Charles Napier 
has, we think, rendered an eminent service to the country by 
causing the * History of the Baltic Campaign of 1854 ' to be 
published; and although we regret the personalities he has 
allowed to be mixed up with his narrative, the book is one 
which ought to be read by every man who would see the abuses 
of our naval administration reformed. Hostilities between this 
country and Russia had been impending for more than six 
months, before they broke out in the spring of 1854. The 
Admiralty liad a whole winter to prepare for the Baltic cam- 
paign, which was obviously about to open when that sea was 

1 2 State of tlie Navy. Julj^ 

clear of ice. Yet when Sir Charles Napier sailed from 
Spithead on the 11th of March, his fleet consisted of only four 
screw line-of-battle ships, four block-ships, four frigates, and 
three paddle steamers. But small as this squadron was, which 
but for the state of the ice might have had to encounter the 
whole northern fleet of Russia, it had been got together with 
the utmost diiSculty, and nothing remained but the three or four 
ordinary guard-ships for the defence of the whole coast and 
maritime arsenals of England. 

' Though few in point of numbers, never, perhaps, had finer ships 
left our shores ; yet never before had a squadron sailed so deplorably 
manned. The subsequent testimony of one of the Lords of the Ad- 
miralty on this point was, unhappily, as true as significant : *' If you 
**find 300 able seamen on hoard each ship^ I shall be agreeably sur^ 
*^ prised" Nor was the following from the same source more satis- 
factory : " The Emperor of Russia should try his strength with you 
'^ while he musters double your numbers, and your hands are so 
" miserably raw." This description of the squadron by those who 
manned it, as frankly recorded as it was true, was by Admiral 
Berkeley.' {Baltic Campaign^ p. 19.) 

Sir John Pakington stated to the House of Commons last 
February that many of the finest ships in the Navy recently 
commissioned, had remained in harbour ^ur aiid even six montfis 
before they completed their crews: thus the 'Renown' was 
detained 172 days for this purpose, and the ' Marlborough ' 129 
days, — this delay causing of course an enormous expense and 
the inefficiency of the ships. To meet this evil the Admiralty 
resorted in May last to the very questionable expedient of a 
bounty by Her Majesty's Proclamation ; but though the bounty 
was high, able seamen have come in but slowly, and the difii- 
culty is not overcome. Upon the appearance of the Queen's 
Proclamation, the French Government instantly, but silently, 
called out an additional levy of 10,000 seamen, who joined 
their ships in a fortnight. 

Six years ago we took occasion to review with considerable 
detail in the pages of this journal (Ed. Rev., vol. xcviii. p. 240.) 
the results of the commission of inquiry into the state of the 
French navy, which had been appointed ,by the National 
Assembly in 1849. We showed from that most remarkable 
volume what the condition of the French navy then was, and 
what it was intended to become. We stated that at that time 
the matiriel of the British Navy was superior in the proportion 
of 2 or 3 to 1 to that of France, for France possessed only 27 
line-of-battle-ships afloat, one-half of which had ceased to be 
available for the purposes of war; and in the whole French 

1859. State of the Navy. 13 

navy only three line-of-battle ships and one frigate had screw or 
auxiliary propellers. In almost all other respects, with the 
exception of the superior organisation of the personnel in 
France^ the comparison was equally unfavourable to that 
country. But we confess that we considerably underrated in 
1853 the energy and resolution with which the French Govern- 
ment has since applied itself to remedy these deficiences ; and 
with the evidence then before us as to the actual condition of 
the fleet, and the resources of the French dockyards, it was 
impossible to conceive that six years (two of which were years 
of war) should have sufficed for the Minister of Marine to 
realise the astonishing results which we have just laid before 
our readers on official authority. No doubt the will of an 
absolute government, and an uncontrolled expenditure, have 
lai^ely contributed to this result ; yet if any reliance can be 
placed on the financial returns annexed to the Report just laid 
before our own Parliament, the augmentation in the French 
naval estimates is less than the augmentation in our own, and 
the amount for the present year, irrespective of the extraordi- 
nary expenses which have subsequently arisen from the war, is 
about five millions sterling to our ten millions. But as England is 
obliged to maintain a larger number of ships in commission, tho 
balance applicable to the construction of new ships is smaller in 
this country than in France. Nor do the designs of the French 
Government stop at the point they have already reached : — 

' According to a report of the Minister of Marine, prefixed to the 
French Navy Estimates for 1859, it appears that it is intended to 
raise the French steam navy to 160 vessels of war of various classes, 
built after the best models, with engines of fall power, in addition to 
72 steam transports, and to complete the building, in the several 
military ports, of the dry docks and factories indispensable to meet 
the requirements of the new steam fleet. The expense of these 
works is to be spread over the period from 1859 to 1871. 

' The money to be appropriated to these works is also stated in the 
Minister's report He proposes that the annual grants for labour, 
materials, armament, new works and repairs, up to the year 1871, 
shall be raised to the sum of 2,600,000/. ; he estimates that 1,920,000/. 
of this sum will be absorbed in the *' annual consumption of the steam 
*' navy, works of maintenance, and the renewal of existing materials," 
leaving the annual Average sum of 680,000/. for the increase of the 
fleet and the extension of the naval establishments. The sum which 
France intends to devote to the latter purposes up to 1871, when the 
fleet will have reached the limit of its proposed extension; amounts 
therefore to 8,840,000/. 

'The proposed annual grant of 2,600,000/. would amount, in 
thirteen ye^rs, to 33,800,000/. Maintenance and renewal will absorb 
nearly three-fourths of this sum, leaving the above sum of 8,840,000/., 

14 State of the Navy, July> 

or rather more than one-fourth, to be devoted to the increase of her 
strength in ships and naval establishments/ {Report^ p. 13.) 

These are facts oh which it is hardly necessary for us to 
comment. They tell their own story, and it is a story of no 
light significance to England. Doubts may well be enter- 
tained whether the large sums annually voted by Parliament 
for the support of the Navy have always been judiciously 
applied ; whether our dockyard administration does not demand 
great reforms ; and whether the country has really got all it 
ought to have for its money.* These are matters of detail into 
which our limits forbid us to enter ; but we hold it to be of the 
utmost importance that the whole extent of the deficiency be 
known. To quote the words of the * Naval Peer ' : — 

' What can concern Englishmen more than to know, and that upon 
the very highest official authority, that France can at any time 
occupy the British Channel with far greater force than England can 
oppose to it ? 

' It is worth mentioning here, that about the time when an English 
Minister was making his statement of our invulnerability, a French 
naval officer was upon a mission to this country which brought hina 
into contact with an English officer peculiarly and officially conver- 
sant with our maritime population. The Frenchman, referring to 
the immense number of our merchant seamen, observed that in prac- 
tice they were not, as in France, available for manning our ships of 
war. This was admitted by the British officer, who qualified the 
admission by saying, that although we could not get men at the be- 
ginning of a war, yet we should after a time ; and that of course it 
would always be our policy to prevent any other Power obtaining 
command of the Channel. *' Obtaining command of the Channel \^ 
said the French officer ; " France could do so at any time, under her 

* It is scarcely possible to exaggerate the gross abuses and ex- 
travagance which have come to light from time to time in the dock- 
yards. Thus, in 1846 Lord DundonaU was allowed to build a vessel 
of peculiar construction, with peculiar engines. The vessel cost 
34,355/., and the engines and boilers (of 200 horse-power) 29,392JL 
A further sum of 5060/. was laid out upon her at Woolwich in 1854, 
but she was utterly useless, and was sold in 1856, hull, engines, and 
all, for 3300/. 

The engines of the ' Retribution ' were first class paddle engines 
by Mandslay and Field, they cost 41,170/. ; being found to be too 
large and powerful for the vessel, they were taken out of her and 
eventually brohen up, the old iron fetching about 2000/. These facts 
are published by the ' Commission on Marine Engines.' It is fair to 
add, that there is at present no appearance of such grave errors 
being repeated, and we are confident the present excellent Surveyor 
of the Navy has done all he can to prevent them. 

1 859. State of t/ie Navy. 15 

** present amngementSy or, rather, has command of the Channel at 
<< this moment." ' 

M. In eflScient ships, France nearly equals us, our force being (of 
the line) forty-two to their forty. 

' 2. In the power of manning those ships for any sudden emergency, 
France greatly surpasses us. 

*3. .Ajid for equipping her ships, France possesses, in Sir C. 
Wood's words, infinitely greater facilities, 

' But if the means be yet undiscovered (or at least unapplied) by 
which naval England can hope to meet a sudden naval emergency as 
well as France, we at all events know that they exist* There are the 
seamen, and there are the ships; to bring them together when 
wanted has not surpassed the administrative ability of France or 
Bussia, andy unquestionably, if the problem be not solved in England 
before this country is aroused by some signal disaster, it will be 
solved after the evil day.' {Naval Position^ Sfc., pp. ix. and 6.) 

When it is oonsidered that these vast naval preparations have 
been hurried on with this extraordinary activity by the remark- 
able man who wields the whole power of the French Empire, 
and directs it by the impulse of his own secret policy — when 
it is remembered that within the same period the defences and 
basins of Cherbourg have been terminated, and the naval 
arsenals of France on the Atlantic placed in easy communica* 
tion with those of the Mediterranean by a complete system of 
railroads — when it is added to this that France combines the 
resources of one of the most powerful armies in Europe, with 
a fleet equal to our own in ships, and superior in facility of 
equipping them, by means of which she threw in less than a fort- 
night this spring 90,000 men on the shores of Italy, it is not 
too much to say that the position of this coimtry, in presence of 
80 formidable a neighbour, is altogether novel, and that we 
should soon cease to exist as a nation if we rdied on his for- 
bearance rather than on our own resources. On the 31st of 
December last who dreamed of war between France and 
Austria? On the following day the warning struck, and a 
war has begun for which history and posterity will seek in vain 
for any cause beyond the will of him who was the author of 
it. The same Power might with equal facility have directed 
the blow against this country. When this is the attitude and 
the character of our nearest neighbour, it would be madness to 
delay putting forth our powers of defence. It may well be 
doubted whether this country can ever enjoy that peace and 
security which our social and commercial interests require as 
long as there are, or may be, superior naval forces in sight of 
our coasts. The maritime ascendancy of England does not 
mean that this country claims to exercise any supremacy over 

16 State of the Navy, July, 

the seas, or any rights which are not fully shared by every 
other flag in the world. It means simply that the waters which 
encircle our islands shall be inviolably secure^ and that the 
commerce of England shall bear with it the protection of her 
flag wherever it may go. If these two conditions were lost, 
or even interrupted^ by the fortune of war, little else would 
be left to us to contend for. Other States may possess a 
navy for the purposes of foreign influence or ambition, but 
here the Navy is the mainstay of our national existence. When, 
therefore, we see such a fleet arrayed in the ports of France, 
without any intelligible cause, as the British Admiralty can 
barely meet on equal terms, we descry a peril to which this 
nation has long been unaccustomed. The great actions of Ho we» 
Jervis, Duncan, and Nelson, from 1794 to 1805, did, in fact, 
sweep the maritime rivals of England from the ocean. The 
French navy was powerless ; the Spanish navy, its confederate, 
was annihilated. Nor did the governments of France, from 1815 
to 1848, think it expedient to rouse the maritime jealousy of this 
country. The condition and the exploits of the French navy, 
under Charles X. and Louis Philippe, were highly honourable 
to their flag; but they were not formidable to any other 
country. It is within the last ten years that the aspect of 
naval affairs in France has changed, and, whether it be to his 
own advantage or not, the Emperor has raised up the most 
powerful fleet which France has possessed since the Ame- 
rican war, or rather the most powerful fleet she ever possessed 
at all. It is obvious that the sole object such an armament 
can have in view is the possibility of assailing or overawing the 
only other maritime Power which is in a condition to oppose it. 

But the matter does not rest here, and the naval armaments 
of France, though larger than at any former period, are not the 
only forces to be taken into the account. 

If we look to the great pi'inclple which has, for the last two 
centuries, mainly governed the policy of England, towards the 
Continental States, and which has justly compelled us to engage 
in many sanguinary and costly wars, we think it may be reduced 
to this proposition — England cannot, consistently with her own 
safety and independence, endure the existence of a maritime co- 
alition against her *^ or, in other words, the combination of the 
naval forces of two or more great maritime Powers constitute 
a danger to this country, which all English statesmen worthy of 
the name have sought to combat and prevent. In the seven- 
teenth century, the Dutch were a great maritime Power, and our 
policy was directed to resist the combination of their fleet with 
that of France — an object which was attained by the Bevolu- 

1859. State of the Navy, 17 

tion of I6885 and the formation of the Great Alliance. In the 
eighteenth century^ Spain was a great maritime Power, the 
third in Europe^ and the principal interest of this country, both 
in the War of Succession, and in the resistance of Lord Chatham 
to the Family Compact of 1761, was to prevent the union of her 
fleets to those of France. The naval power of Holland was ex- 
tinguished off Camperdown, where Admiral Duncan defeated 
the Dutch fleet on its way to join the French at Brest ; and the 
same year (1797) witnessed the defeat of the Spanish fleet off 
Cape St. Vincent, which was followed by its total destrnction, 
in 1805, at Trafalgar. The stem necessity which justified these 
actions — as it was afterwards held by the Government to justify 
the attack on Copenhagen after the Treaty of Tilsit — arose 
certainly out of no hostility between this country and the Dutch, 
the Spaniards or the Danes, as independent States and neigh- 
bours. It arose out of the certainty that their naval power was 
to be used against us in conjunction with that of France, and in 
subserviency to her hostile policy ; for England was not more 
active in promoting coalitions against France by land than 
France was in promoting coalitions against England by sea ; 
and to destroy these combinations as they arose was indispen- 
sable to the safety of these shores, unless we had been able and 
prepared to keep afloat a naval force equal to that of all the 
other maritime States, which is obviously impossible. 

The times are changed. Holland and Spain have ceased to 
be our maritime rivals, and their jiaval power is barely sufficient 
for the protection of their own colonial and commercial interests. 
But the same considerations which formerly applied to the mari- 
time relations of France with those States, now apply to the 
position she has assumed in Italy, and to her understanding 
with Russia. Should the Emperor of the French succeed in re-^ 
establishing that ascendancy of France over Italy which be- 
longed to the first Empire, it is evident that he will obtain for 
France a very great increase of maritime power in the Medi- 
terranean, and this, whether the Italian States are actually 
incorporated with France, or whether, as is more probable, they 
become united to her by close ties of dependency. For ex- 
ample, the regular seafaring population of the dominions of the 
King of Sardinia alone amounts to 32,000 men, who, under the 
French system, would be all liable to naval service ; and as the 
coasts of Italy and the Italian islands bear a very large propor- 
tion to the internal area of the peninsula, the maritime classes 
are in proportion more numerous than the military classes. The 
Italians are in fact a maritime people, which the French are not 
The most glorious days of Genoa, Pisa, and Venice were days 


18 Siate of the Navy, Julji 

of maritime entdrprise and naval warfare. The western coast 
of Italy possesses the finest harbours in the Mediterranean, espe- 
cially those of Spezia and Naples ; and it is ioipossible to doubt 
that the establishment, of French ascendancy o^er the Italian 
States^ and the development of their naval resources under her 
guidance and protection, would alnu>st double the strength of 
France as a Mediterranean naval Power; that is to say, would 
enable her to equip and maxi a fleet of twenty sail of the line in 
that sea as easily as she now equips and mans ten sidl of the 
line at Toulon. The effect on this country would he that, 
unless we resign ourselves to a position of inferiority (in which 
case we had better have no fleet in the Mediterranean at all)) 
we should have to maintain there a force very much larger than 
we have hitherto done, whilst France would have the means of 
detaching a larger squadron to her Atlantic and Channel ports. 

The force of this observation is increased by the fact that 
Bussia, having lost her fleet in the Black Sea, has at once re- 
appeared a& a Mediterranean naval Power by the acquisition of 
the harbour of Villa Franca from Sardinia^ and. by her under- 
standing with the present belligerents^ who are ready, of course^ 
to place their harbours at her disposal The lesson C^ 18^ was 
a severe one, but it has not been lost upon Russia. Her navy, 
then almost entirely consisting of sailing ships^ has undergone 
the same jMrooess of complete renewal in which England and 
Fnmce have respectively been engaged* We are not in pos- 
session of complete official evidence on the subject ; but whereas^ 
in 1857, Bussia had but seven slups-of-the-line, three frigates 
and twelve corvettes with screw propellers, it is stated that her 
ateam-line-of-battle ships now amount to three times that 
number, and that she, like France, ia preparing to keep forty 
of these vessels afloat. 

A maritime coalition of these two Powers might, therefovc^ 
array against Great Britain by far the most powerful and for- 
midable armament she ha;3 ever had to encounter — the nsoat 
powerful in itself, and the most powerful in relation to our 
means of resistance. For it must be observed that these steam- 
fleets would not only form an armada equal to nearly twice our 
own, but that the introduction of steam has given considerable 
advantages to military Powers. Armies can now be mwed far 
more swiftly and easily by sea fhan by land. It was one of 
Napoleon's aphorisms that England overawed Europe by means 
of 30,000 trained seamen, and his difficulty was to get that 
number of French sailors to cope successfully with the vieissi* 
t»defi of wind, tidet, and weather, that affect a sailmg-fleet. 

1 859i !Sta1». of the Navy. 1 9 

' But the change is great, from ships whose life and hreath wa?. 
the sailor, to yon great floating batteries moved by stokers, and 
which might be — naj, in Rtissia will often be — manned and foug|it 
by cavalry soldiers. For remember, that except for the work of the 
engine-room, it is for the* girns the crews* are required; and though . 
we all know that sailors are preferable for all the varied incidents of 
the sea, they no longer supply the motive power, and their value in 
action with an enemy is now reduced to very small proportions*. 
Now this opens up an entirely new view of naval affairSv and. one 
which it would-be most perilous to neglect; for although it. is uot to. 
be supposed that any country will despatch a fleet to a. distance 
without good crews of seamen, yet it is clear that.the British Channel 
might be crossed, and a very good action fought by a fleet manned, 
with artillerymen only, — ay, and not one sailor on board I 

' Ask the most competent of our gunnery officers which they would 
prefer commanding in action — '^ a ship manned by the best seamen' 
^ not. trained to the guns, or a ship manned by good artillerymen^ 
*^such as our. marine artillery, for instance?'' Their answer will 
unquestionably be in favour of the artillerymen, supposing- thena 
either to have smooth water, or the bidef practice necessary to .subdue 
sea-sickness, and acquire a. balance at sea* 

* It is an old remark, tliat events move in cycles : and here we 
have again a glimpse of days when, as of yore, soldiers will fight at 
sea as on land, and the sailors' post of those days will be taken by 
the.slok<ere of the present.' {NUval Position, p. 47.) 

It is not Qur intention in this place to enter upon the political 
coDsiderations which these facts may naturally suggest^ es«- 
pecially in the face of the events now passing in Europe ; but 
we do not hesitate to add that> if under the shelter of any 
secret arrangement or for any undefined object, an attempt 
were made to overawe this country by a combination of naval 
forces superior to our own, the British Government wauld be 
compelled, not only by our traditional policy, but by our mani* 
fest danger, to employ the whole strength of the Empire to 
destroy a conjunction so menacing to the independence of 
England and the freedom of the world. Nor can it be denied 
that armaments of this nature, costing as they do the revenue 
of a kingdpm, and imposing great burdens on the people of this 
and other countries, are an intolerable evil, and are wholly in- 
consistent with that system of peace under which it is our wish 
tolive. They are essentially offensive armaments, and it is im- 
possible to disguise the fact that they are maintained in a spirit 
of rivalry to this country, and that a mere accident, or the 
irritation of a single despotic ruler, might direct their whole 
power against us. To put the question on the lowest ground, 
the policy and conduct of the Emperor Napoleon in raiding the 
Navy of France to its pr^^ept enormous e8tablishn^;)t« i^ to 

20 State of the Navy. July, 

impose on the people of Grreat Britain additional expenditure 
and additional taxation, to the amount of four or five millions 
a year. There can be no economy without peace, no peace 
without security, no security without mutual confidence ; but 
what confidence can exist when an Armada might within a 
month attempt to sweep the seas and menace the coasts of 

III. What then are the naval resources of this Empire ? If 
we speak of the navy in commission, or preparing for com* 
mission, it is officially admitted that the forces of our maritime 
rivals may be considered equal or superior to our own. If we 
investigate the means they possess for equipping and manning 
their fleets at a short notice, their means are more perfect than 
our own ; because these Powers have sought to turn every man 
they possess to the utmost advantage, whilst we, relying on the 
supposed immensity of our resources, have neglected to render 
them available. If we examine the administrative structure of 
the Admiralty, it must be acknowledged that no department in 
the State stands so much in need of administrative reform. 
These are evils, abuses, and drawbacks which it is useful to 
expose and necessary to correct. Nevertheless ^some writers, 
and especially naval writers and naval members of Parliament, 
have exaggerated the tone of their complaints, because whilst 
they have very properly pointed out the difficulty and the 
danger adverted to in the preceding parts of this sa*ticle, thej 
have omitted to take prominently into account that which is 
the true basis of our naval power — the superior maritime 
resources of the nation. It is true that half a century of 
peace and entire maritime security have diverted a very large 
proportion of these resources to commercial rather than belli- 
gerent objects. It is true that to meet an emergency we must 
look to the actual force of the navy in commission ; and that 
the safety of the dockyards depends on our power of protecting 
them at the outbreak o^ hostilities. But we do not entertain 
a doubt that if the hour of danger were come, the country 
would put forth an amount of strength incomparably beyond 
what it ever before exhibited, whether in wealth, in me- 
chanical power, or in maritime force. Some figures appended 
to the official Report, from which we have already largely 
quoted, furnish the basis of this opinion. In the merchant 
service of England there are at this time, 24,406 registered 
sailing vessels, and 1813 merchant steamers; in France, 
14,845 sailing vessels and 330 steamers; but of those in 
England 763 sailing ships and 119 steamers are above 800 
tons burden ; in France, only 30 ships (whether sailing or 


1 85 9. State of the Navy. 21 

steam), exist above that size. In England, about one-third of 
the whole amount (8641), are below 100 tons; in France^ 
four-fifths of the whole amount (12,038), are below that size, 
so that the registered tonnage of England is more than four 
times that of France. The number of men employed in the 
French merchant service is considerably greater in proportion 
to the tonnage than it is in our ships (E. 1 man to 19} tons ; 
F. I man to llf tons) ; but while France has 90,217 registered 
seamen, England has 227,411; and we suspect the difference 
is even greater, because a numerous class not called seamen in 
England are included in France under that denomination.* 

Bearing in mind these facts, we say with Captain Denman^ 
in the admirable evidence he gave before the Uommission for 
Manning the Navy, * The only adequate reserve in times of real 
* peril is the whole population^ It is, however, certain that under 
ordinary circumstances the Kavy derives very little advantage 
from the merchant service. In the first year of the Kussian. 
war only 400 merchant seamen joined the Queen's ships ; and 
in the second year 300. Nor when you have got these men 
are they of much benefit. The principal duty of a man-of-war's 
man is to work the great guns and fight the ship, and in war a 
vessel would be in greater danger from a want of competent 
gunners than from a want of competent navigators. The un- 
restricted competition of the merchant service (thougb in many 
respects we have no doubt that the Queen's service is far pre- 
ferable to it) has the effect of drawing off this large body of 
men in time of peace ; but in time of war the case would be 
altered ; trade would be circumscribed ; a large portion of it 
would pass under the neutral flags ; an embargo might be put 
on vessels ; and on the other hand^ prize money and adventure 
are strong additional attractions to enter the Navy. 

It is, however, quite impossible to rely upon precarious and 
uncertain resources, and accordingly one of the first acts of Sir 
John Pakington, when he came to the Admiralty, was to name 
a Commission, on which several men of great ability consented 
to serve, for the purpose of investigating this vital subject. 

* These figures are taken from the Minute prepared for the 
Cabinet ; but there are wide differences in other ofGlcial statements 
before us. Thus, the return of the registrar-general of seamen to 
the Manning Commission gives the number of seamen employed in 
our ships in 1857, at 176,357. About 30,000 seafearing men are 
^laployed in our own coasting trade, and 63,000 in the Baltic and 
^^iterranean trades, within a month's voyage of England. The 
number of seamen and boys registered for the whole British Empire 
ia 1857, was 254,135, and, including the Navy, 322,835. 

22 State of the Navy. July, 

The Report of this Commission, and the evidence taken by 
^em, is now before us, and it contie^ins suggestions and recom- 
mendations df the highest value ; those which related to the 
• amelioration df the condition of the seamen, and which were 
within the power of the Admiralty, have at once been adopted, 
and we tvust that provision will be made by Parliament at die 
Tery earliest motoerft for the whole scheme. 

The prmcipal 'recommendations of the Commission are as 
follows. They advise that, in the first place, the number of 
boys for the Ndvy should be tdken at 2000 annually, and that 
all of 'them be entered in training ships like the * Britannia.' 
These bo/s make beyond question the ablest men "we have in 
the 'fleet, and when entered at the proper age they may be 
iuken with equal advantage from any pai^t of the kingdom. 
The training df boys is in fact the most economical and efficient 
mode of raising the naval service to the highest perfection, and 
•we should gladly see the number raised to 4000 annually. At 
^present only 500 are so entered. 

To avoid the inconvenience, expense, and reproach of keeping 
newly commissioned ships waiting, sometimes for weeks and 
months, for the complement of their crews, it is essential that a 
'reserve df seamen should always be maintained at the home 
ports; and it 18 proposed thdt* this reserve should not be less 
than 4060 men. We see no reason that these seamen should 
not be employed on garrison duty in the marine fortresses, 
*which Would relieve the array and diminish the expense; they 
should also be instructed in artillery practice. 

On the same principle it is proposed to augment the marines 
by 5000 men. ifo branch df the service by land or by sea is 
^o popular or so useful, and we are not surprised that Mr. 
Lindsay, in his separate observations, should have advocated a 
much larger increase. They are, infact, excellent light infantry 
soldiers, "while they are fit for almost every duty afloat except 
going aloft, and they are now well trained in gunnery. The 
changes introduced by steam navigation in maritime warfare evi- 
dently tend to increase the utility of this admirable body of troops. 
We have seen, in a pass^ige quoted jast now from the * Naval 
Peer,' that the huge floating batteries of modern navies might 
eventually comie to be fought by * cavalry soldiers;' but wliatover 
advantage may be derived from this circumstance by our adver- 
saries, it is not without profit to ourselves. British marines are 
precisely the fittest troops in the world to serve at sea when (he 
vessel is propelled by machinery, and the more difficult operations 
of handling the rigging of a large ship aloft may be avoided, 
and will perhaps ere long fall into disuse. 

1859. State of the Navy. 23 

A force, cansistlng of 4000 reserved seamen, 11,000 marioes 
on shore, 12,000 coastguardmen, and some volunteers, would pro- 
vide a body of ^0,000 additional men to meet the outbreak oi a 
sudden contest. But the Commissioa goes fiirdier. Having 
ascertained that there are nearly 100,000 merchant seamen, who 
are never absent for any length of time from the ports of this 
counrtry, they propose that 20,000 of these men should be se- 
lected to form a body of Naval Volunteers, lialde to be •ealled 
upeti to serve in the fleet. The inducements held out to them 
to join, would be a payment at dioi^t periods ; a pension at 50 
or 55 ; payment for time spent in practice ; admiasion to the 
Goas^uard, and Greenwich Hospital. On their part they 
would engage to undergo a certain amount of training, and to 
join the Navy when required. A scheme has been contrived to 
give effect to this proposal by the establishment of school ships* 
and other means, and it now only awaits the approval of Par- 
liament. The cost of the whole of these measures is estimated 
at «boat 600,000/., a sum not very considerable, when it is 
considered tlmt without constant means of manning and tt- 
cruiting the Navy, all other expenditure on the fleet is useless. 

One general observation suggests itself in connexion with 
these changes, to which we think our readers will give a ready 
assent. The tendency of the reforms and improvements loudly 
called for, and .gradually obtained, in the administration of the 
military and naval departiaents is to break down those exclusive 
profeseional harriers which have so long been the bane of the 
service. The true strength of the army and navy of England 
is that they <are identified by the closest ties with the national 
feelings, the enterprise, the industry, and the ingenuity of the 
country. When the gallant forces in the Crimea were at their 
dreariest hour, crushed by a foe more powerful than the Rus- 
sians, sanitary science, civil administration, female devotedness, 
and national determination snatched them back from the verge 
of destruction. Civil engineering, which nowhere achieves 
greater triumphs than in this kingdom, has gradually enabled 
Mr. FergusBon to conquer the prejudices arrayed against his 
eystem of fortification, and Sir WilKam Armstrong to mount 
his guns upon our batteries. Whatever may be the resources 
of the royal dockyards, they are equalled if not surpassed by 
the inamense private establishments which form part of the 
ship-«building power of the United Kingdom ; and, in the fabri- 
cation of machinery, the workshops of the Clyde and the 
Thames are constantly lending their forges to the Govern- 
ment. There is too great a tendency in purely naval critics to 
argue the question as if our whole maritime strength were com- 

24 State of the Navy, July, 

prised in the Navj List and the dockyards.* The reverse is the 
case ; and the true problem we have to solve is to render these 
vast resources promptly available for the defence of the country, 
which at present they a^e not. 

This fact is as well known to the French as tp ourselves — 
perhaps better known, and hence in all their discussions of this 
subject their fixed design is such a system and disposal of the 
French forces as should ensure the power of striking a decisive 
blow at the breaking out of hostilities. Thus Captain de Mon- 
taignac, an intelligent ofEcelr, stated before the Conunission 
d'EnquSte in 1851 :— 

' The merchant navy of England, according to the opinion of their 
officers, is but a small resource for their military navy, even in time 
of war. This surprises us, to hear that a navy which disposes of 
above 200,000 auxiliaries, should find such small resources ; it is 
nevertheless true, and all English officers who have occupied them- 
selves with this question agree in saying that the system of recruiting 
(seamen) in England is very insufficient, and that a good organisation 
in France might render us superior to them in personneh That is 
due solely to the inscription maritime. In England they have no 
recrutement maritime^ and they cannot . establish it in the state of 
liberty there enjoyed. As to pressing, which the English did last 
war, you know that in 1793-5 the dangerous mutinies which broke 
out were the results of it. English officers are convinced that in the 
present day such means could not be used, they would procure very- 
bad crews ; so that if the English wished to make war by sea, they 
would be nearly in the state of the Americans, it would be necessary 
to make separate bargains with each seaman. Though such agree- 
ments are not very important nor very moral in the mieans of making 
them, they are not the less a serious impediment ; and this makes 
me think that if France had ships enough, at the first moment of 
war, to put to sea a strong fieet of twenty-seven ot thirty sail of the 
line, for instance, she would have, with her good organisation of the 
personnel, a considerable advantage over England ; because I do not 
believe, and it is the opinion of her own officers, that she could have, 

for the outbreak of war, thirty sail of the line In England, at 

the beginning of a ship's commission, the very heterogeneous elements 
of a ship's company do not form a very excellent crew ; and from 
documents which I have had in my hands it seems that very few 
picked seamen are found, and of those the merchant seamen form a 
very insignificant portion.' {Naval PositioUy p. 328.) 

* For example, the fleet of the Peninsular and Oriental Company 
alone now consists of 66 steam-ships, rated at 84,326 tons, and pro* 
pelled by 18,381 h. p. Vessels of this class, partially armed, might 
be made available for numerous purposes of war, and thus diminish 
the pressure on the regular navv. 

1859. State of the Navy. 25 

To such accusations as these the Commission for Manning 
the Navy, after submitting its proposal to Her Majesty, thus 
replies: — 

* Your IVlajesty possesses in the merchant service elements of naval 
power, sach as no otheT government in the world enjoys. It is true, 
that hitherto no sufficient organisation has existed for securing to 
your Majesty the immediate command of these resources. During a 
long peace, reliance has been placed, either on the improbability that 
danger would arise, or on the efficacy of impressment to furnish the 
means by which danger could be confronted and overcome. Changes 
in public sentiment, and in the circumstances of the case, have shaken 
that reliance. We rejoice to believe, that by improvements in the 
administration of your Majesty's Navy, and in the regulation of the 
merchant service, other resources have in the meantime been placed 
within the reach of your Majesty's government, and that it is now in 
their power to substitute for untrained compulsory service, a system 
of defence^ voluntary, effective, and calculated to draw closer to your 
Majesty at the moment of danger, the loyal enthusiasm of those on 
whom your Majesty will rely. We therefore humbly and confidently 
sabmit to your Majesty the adoption of measures which, while their 
primary object is the protection of this country from the hazards of 
war, must at the same time improve the position and elevate the 
character of the British seamen in ^ the two services, and unite them 
t<^ether in the firm bonds of reciprocal good feeling and of common 

Several other suggestions of importance were made by the 
witnesses examined before this Commission. Our limits forbid 
us to refer to them at length, but the whole volume, and the 
Report which precedes it, are full of invaluable information on 
this subject. On one point only we must allow ourselves a short 
remark. Sir Charles Napier pointed out with great force and 
truth the absurd consequences of the costly and mischievous 
system of paying oS vessels just when they have attained the 
highest proficiency — turning the crews adrift when they are 
drilled to act together — and stripping the ship of rigging, great 
part of which is in excellent condition.* 

* The enormous waste of this system is not its worst feature, though 
it implies an absolute loss of one-third of each ship's efficient services, 
an arrangement which no private ship-owner would tolerate. It is 

* Thus, after the Baltic campaign several ships were paid off. 
They have since been recommissioned, costing the country, to put 
them into the same state they were in before, the following sums : 
*Duke of Wellington,* 17,650^; 'Arrogant,' 19,913/.; 'Cressy,' 
7,313/1; *Nile,' 13,772/.; 'Euryalus,' 10,828/.; 'Exmouth,' 11,912/. 
These sums are from parliamentary papers. 

26 State of the Nacy. ' July, 

the injury done to the morale of the Navy, or rather the •fetal ob- 
stacle to creating a morale, or giving an efficient oi^anisation to our 
seamen, while we make them mere birds of passage. What would 
our regiments be if disbanded every three years ; the whole of the 
non- commissioned officers, on whom the discipline of the Army so 
much depends, losing their rank, and taking their chance of being 
sergeant, corporal, or private in another regiment requiring recruits? 
Yet, such is the system in the Navy, and the result as to the non- 
commissioned (petty) officers is just what might be expected. Con- 
sidering their rank as only temporary and uncertain, they dare not 
report a seaman, and in fact contribute nothing to discipline ; while 
the non-commissioned officers of Marines are eminently trustworthy. 
This supposed case of a regiment disbanded every three years does 
not sufficiently explain the mischief of our " paying off" system, for 
the personal machinery of a ship is most complicated. With the 
same military training, there are several kinds of skilled labour also ; 
and though it is easy to break all this machinery to pieces, we trust 
to chance for putting it together again.' (Naval Position, p. 236.) 

Id Captain Denman's interesting evidence he states it as his 
opinion that all seamen and boys should be entered for five 
years^ subject in case of war to be retained for a second period 
of five years with increased pay, and fae adds : — 

* With a view of introducing a system of discipline of a permanent 
and consistent character, I think the large ships of the peace esta- 
blishment should never be paid off. The attachment of soldiers to 
regiments represented by such a title as the '* 7th Fusiliers," bears 
no comparison to the esprit de corps which might be evoked by 
giving seamen a connexion with their ship of the same permanent 
character, and passing it down in a continuous manner. Conceive a 
"Vanguard" whose crews were linked by a perpetual succession 
with the recollections of the battle of the Nile ; or the crew of a 
" Victory " who could have by the same means a conneadon witfe the 
glories of Trafalgar. Yet this most powerful hold upon men's minds 
has been always entirely thrown away in the Navy.' {Captain 
DenmatCs Evidenee, p. 157.) 

We have seen that the enomons angmentation of the Navy 
Estimates in the last few years^ accompanied, as it has been, not 
by an increase, but by a positive reduction in the number of 
our effective Ixne-of-battle ships and frigates, is attributable to 
the prodigious transformation of the British fleets from sailing 
vessels to steam power. Hence the forty surviving sailing 
ships and frigates of the old school, many of which were among 
the finest of their class, count for nothing at the present day^ 
except to be out down to steam ships of inferior rank, and it is 
thus that ships which were once the pride of our yards, 'Queen,' 
* Trafalgar,' * London,' and * Rodney,' are now qualified to re- 
appear with a diminished armament but an increased power of 

1859. State of the Namj. 27 

locomotion. In fact it is this possibility of transforming sailing 
vessels into screw ships which will enable the Admiralty to 
add no less than seventeen effective line-of-^battle ships to the 
fleet in the .present financial year ; and Sir John Pakiagtcm 
stated to the House of Commons in February last^ that before 
the end of next year we shall have forty-eight line-of-battle 
ships, and that in the financial year 1860-1 we shall have 
fifty-six, besides a suitable addition of frigates. 

It may therefore be assumed that an impulse has been given 
to the construction of effective ships which will ere long relieve 
the country from the discreditable and dangerous position into 
which it bad fallen, having regard to the enormous naval pro- 
gress of other Powers. But when we have got the ships, and 
when we have provided the means of manning the ships we 
have got, which are the two first points urgently requiring the 
strenuous exertions of the Admiralty and the whole support 
of Parliament, a multitude of other considerations present them- 
selves, which deserve far more attention than they have yet 
received from the naval profession. We shall advert to some 
of these problems, not with the hope of solving them, but 
of showing how little they are as yet understood. 

Let us suppose a steam fleet to be well buUt, well found with 
machinery, well armed with guns of huge calibre, and well 
manned: who is to command such a squadron? Of 100 
admirals, 39 are between the (^ges of 70 and 87, and only 14 
are employed. Of 358 captains on the active list, 31 are above 
the age of 60, 90 are employed, and 180 have never served 
afloat in their present rank. The upper ranks of the service 
are overcrowded with officers, many of whom are past their 
work ; in the lower ranks officers can hardly be obtained for 
the ships in commission — and no wonder if these are the hopes 
of promotion held out to them. It is absolutely necessary this 
state of things should cease, for it is perfectly certain that but 
a small proportion of the senior officers can have the adequate 
knowledge, experience, and ability to enter upon the command 
of a fleet differing in every respect from that in which they were 
trained. Every officer of sixty years of age, and every officer 
who has not served afloat in the Idst ten years, should at once 
he placed on the retired list. Naval warfare cannot be con- 
ducted with success by old men; steam warfare cannot be 
conducted by men bred under a totally different system. Sir 
John Pakington, who furnished the details we have quoted to 
the House of Commons, added : — 

'Naval officers, like all other human beings, must yield to the 
force of time ; a regular flow of promotion should exist ; and it is 

28 State of the Navy. July, 

essential to the well-being of the Navy that we should have the ser- 
vices of active and vigorous officers, capable of performing their 
duties. I believe, therefore, that the best system for the service will 
be to adopt the principle of retirement at a given age, and thus 
secure the advancement of younger men to posts which their age and 
physical strength qualify them to filL' ( Sir J. PakingtorCi Speech, 
p. 27.) 

These are excellent sentiments, but we hope the Admiralty 
will give effect to them. The present state of the Navy List 
is as dangerous to the country as it is discouraging to the ser- 
vice, which is full of men eager and able to perform the duties 
that fall from the grasp of their seniors. The first act of the 
Minister ought to be to superannuate at least fifty of the senior 
admirals, and to give the command of the Channel and Medi- 
terranean fleets to men in the prime of life. Necessary as it is 
at all times to have active and vigorous men in high command, 
that necessity is greatly increased by the novel character and 
peculiar position of the fleet itself. Our admirals are fine old 
veterans^ but for the defence of the country you might as well 
collect in the Downs the fleet that fought the battle of the 

It is nearly fifty-four years since a general naval action has 
been fought between two fleets at sea. The cannon of Trafalgar 
and the apotheosis of Nelson closed that era of seafights which 
raised the British flag to the pinnacle of glory. Of the men 
who saw and did those great deeds few survive ; or they survive 
as veterans on the esplanade of Brighton or beneath the bene- 
ficent shelter of the halls of Greenwich. But if the most 
experienced admiral who ever led the English fleet to battle 
were now in command at Spithead, he would have to learn a 
new lesson. On the one hand, the peculiar objects which the 
manoeuvres of a sailing fleet were destined to accomplish have 
lost much of their importance ; on the other hand, other com- 
binations will hereafter be discovered which will produce 
entirely new effects in ocean warfare. For example, the 
manoeuvres of a sailing fleet were mainly designed to get the 
weather-gage of the eneniy ; the line of battle was always 
formed by ranging the ships in line ahead, at six points from 
the wind, and the fleet of the enemy also received or met the 
attack in line ahead, close-hauled. But a vessel propelled by 
steam-power must be regarded in naval tactics, as she is in 
maritime law, as a vessel having the wind always free — she is 
absolutely free to move in all directions. Hence the operations of 
raking a hostile ship from stem to stem, or of placing such a ship 
between the cross-fire of two vessels, which used to be the result 

]859. State of the Navy. 29 

of great art and skilful manipulation of the sails, may now be ef- 
fected with much greater facility by any screw-vessel. In faet, 
as the advance of a fleet no longer depends on the action of the 
wind^ blowing in one direction, and rendering the movements of 
all ships more or less uncertain, but on the self-propelling force of 
each ship, naval tactics may hereafter be assimilated to military 
tactics much more than they have hitherto been, every portion 
of the fleet engaged having the utmost freedom of motion in all 
directions. Indeed, this freedom of motion and exposure to 
attack will be far greater on the open sea than in the case of 
an action fought by troops on land ; for there the accidents of 
the ground are always used to cover or support a position, but 
in the open sea the movements of ships are as uncontrolled as those 
of balls on a billiard-table of unlimited extent ; or to borrow an 
illustration from another game, whereas the course of a ship 
close-hauled under sail resembles the moves of a bishop on the 
chess-board, a screw-steamer has all the moves of a queen. The 
effect of this change on the science of naval tactics, and the art 
of forming the line of battle, is precisely analogous to the novel 
combinations which would result from giving all the moves to 
every piece upon the chess-board. 

Sir Howard Douglas, in his treatise on * Naval Warfare with 
^ Steam,' to which we cursorily adverted in our last Number, has 
pointed out the nature and eiFects of these changes with great 
sagacity and ingenuity, and his book ought to be in the hands 
of every one who may be called upon to influence or direct the 
evolutions of a squadron at sea. Above all, his suggestions, 
which are necessarily of an experimental character, ought to be 
tried; and we hope the summer will not be allowed to pass 
without a careful and practical study by the officers command- 
ing ships in the Channel of the great manceuvres of a steam 
fleet We cannot attempt to give our readers an idea of the 
technical details of these operations, though even to civilians 
they possess the interest of a game of profound skill, but the 
following passages may give a correct impression of the general 
principles of Sir Howard*s most valuable and interesting pro- 

' Steam propulsion entirely annuls all the limitations and dis- 
abilities imposed by the wind on the evolutions of fleets, and opens 
the whole surface of the ocean as a battle-field for the contests of 

Bteam fleets In a tract published by Admiral Bowles in 

1846, that gallant officer observed that we had then arrived at a new 
era, in which steam would enable naval commanders to conduct their 
operations and manoeuvres on military and scientific principles } that 
fleets moving by a force beyond the influence of wind and weather, 

30 State oj the Navy* July* 

would have it in their power to attack or repulse an enei^aj in a 
manner hitherto unknown in naval actions ; that an admiral, by 
keeping his ships together in a collected and manageable order, and 
skilfully manoeuvred, could prevent the recurrence of the n^any in- 
decisive and unsuccessful naval engagements of times past. The 
rude practice of forming a fleet for battle in one long line^ has 
hitherto prevailed in naval warfare^ on account chiefly of the diffi- 
culties and uncertainties imposed by the wind in executing compound 
evolutions with sailing ships. These difficulties will not exist for 
fleets consisting; wholly of steam ships. Armies in the field move in 
as many columns as there may be practicable roads or opened routes 
leading to the point at which the intended deployment in order of 
battle is to take place; but at sea a steam fleet may always be moved 
in as many columns as there are divisions in its formation, and each 
ship of a fleet may be considered as corresponding to a battalion in a 
land army.* ( Sir H, Douglas^ pp» 89, 90.) 

Hence by abandoning the old inartificial practice of formlDg 
a fleet for battle in one line of great extent, ships may now be 
formed in echelon so as to afford reciprocal support and defence 
by their lines of fire — maintaining their position with ease and 
certainty by the coDE^pass — and occasionally bringing the broad- 
side fires of all the ships to cross upon the enemy. But the 
whole of this science, which obviously gives rise to endless com- 
binations, has yet to be created, at least in practice ; and it is 
no reflection on any officer in the Queen's service to say that 
he cannot have learned all the resources of the novel and 
powerful weapon now for the first time placed in the hands of a 
naval commander. We venture to say on high naval authority, 
that there is not now a senior officer in the Navy qualified, both 
theoretically and practically, to conduct the evolutions of a large 
steam fleet in action. No time should be lost in causing the 
subject to be studied by a mixed commission of naval and 
military men, and in giving to every oflEicer in the Navy some 
practical knowledge of those operations be may at any moment 
be called on to perform. 

The present opinion of the best naval authorities is that 
steam-propelled ships should go into action with all their sails 
furled, top-gallant masts struck, and everything made as snug 
as possible ; for it is evident that, from the moment that the 
rigging of a ship ceases to give it the power of motion, the lofty 
q>ars, the complicated ropes, the ponderous blocks, the vast 
spread of canvas become a huge incumbrance. The first effect 
of the fire of the upper deck pivot-guns of the enemy, carrying 
enormous hollow shot, would probably be, even from a consider- 
able distance, to carry away the masts ; the masts being shot 
through or overboard^ the ship is caught in its owu. webj es^ 

1859. Siate of the Navy* 31 

peeiallj^ as would often be the caee^ if tba screw propeller fouled 
with the floating cordage or wreck. In fact, to cause tite screw 
of one of these vessels to fouU would be to wound her in the most, 
vital part, and condemn her to inactivity — a position in which 
she might speedily be sunk ; and a suggestion of Sir Howard 
Douglas w:ell deserve? coasideration, by which he would aria 
the screw with blades to act like the cutter of a turning-lathe 
on any rope or other object entangling the screw. Contrivances 
might also be applied for the purpose of fouling, the screw of an 
enemy's ship. 

We have so recently discussed the subject of modern artillery 
in thede pagee (Edin. Review, ApriU 1B59), that we shall not 
revert to this part of the question ; hut it is scarcely secondary 
in importance to the propelling power of ships. It is extremely 
doubtful whether a naval action can he fought with the heavy 
^ns now U9ed in the English and French fleets, without caus* 
ing the absolute destruction of the vessels, engaged ; in other 
words, the offensive power of these guns, and still more of the 
Armstrong gun* if applied to naval warfare, is such, that 
nothing of wood that floats can resist a sustained fire of such 
weapons for many miniUes. Hence the idea has arisen that ves- 
sels are required to be cased in piatQ armour-^huge floating bat-^ 
teries, propelled by steam, probably without rigging, but capable^ 
of supporting the fire of a whole fleet, and of crushing down 
everything before theoH Tlie French Government preceded, us 
in the design of such vessels, and it is- understood that four of 
them have been laid down on the lines of the ^ Napoleon.' In 
England, two are projected, and one at least i^ in progress of 
construction in a private yard for the account of the Govern-' 
ment. Such, however, is the immense power oi this Titanic 
ship, and the weight oi her scantlings, that it has been found 
necessary to give her a size of 6000 tons, which ia one half as 
much again as the ' Marlborough,' 131 guns; her length will be 
380 feet, she will carry 32 pieces of ordnance of the largest 
calibre * ; and her engines, nominally of 1250 horse-power, will, 
it is said, work up to four times that amount, and propel this 

armed Leviathan at the rate of 1.4 knots an hour. 

- - ■ - ■■■—■■■» — . . - — ■ ■ ■•• 

• Hitherto a ship of war has commonly been rated according to 
the number of guns she carries, but this system is deceptive, and it 
18 probable we shall soon see our largest vessels carrying a much 
•mailer number of guns, each gun being of far greater calibrt^ The 
American navy has already adopted this principle by arming vessels 
like the ' Merrimac ' with a small number of Dahlgren guns -,. and, SA 
sUted above» the new iron ship^ which will be the most powerful 
VQsad in ouc navyi will carry oidy tlvirty-two guns* 

32 State of the Navy, July, 

It may readily be conceived that sucb vessels may be of great 
utility for the navigation of the Channel and the defence of our 
coasts, inasmuch as they would easily annihilate everything 
they meet. But as long as marine engines require their present 
bulky and massive supply of fuel, we have great difficulty in 
believing that mixed vessels (that is, vessels which can both sail 
and steam) will be superseded. Scarcely any ship of war has yet 
been built which, in addition to her stores and armament complete, 
can carry more than eight days' coal for constant steaming, few, 
indeed, more than six days' provision. The ' Napoleon ' carries 
ten days' coal consumption, steaming twelve knots and a half per 
hour. Hence a vessel dependent on coal only would be entirely 
disqualified for cruising off a hostile coast, maintaining blockades 
which may last for months, or even years, or for long, rapid, and 
unforeseen voyages like Nelson's cruise to the West Indies. In 
fact, such a vessel loses that which is the first condition of an 
effective ship of war, namely, the power of going at all times 
wherever there is water to float her. It is, therefore, of extreme 
importance to husband the coal bunkers, which may be done as 
long as our screw-steamers retain all their sailing qualities. 
Exhaustion of fuel, on the eve of a battle, or during a pro- 
tracted action, is a contingency which must at all events be 
effectually guarded against. Hence the movements of steam 
fleets must be subject to strategical combinations for the pur- 
pose of enabling them to coal, just as the movements of armies 
are regulated by their facilities of obtaining supplies. 

On the other hand, vessels without masts or top-rigging 
would be relieved from the enormous weight they now carry 
aloft, and likewise from the necessity of stowing the very large 
extra stores, duplicate spars, &c., which now necessarily take 
up a vast amount of space in every sailing ship. The space and 
tonnage available for machinery and coal would, therefore, be 
considerably increased. On these and other grounds we are in- 
clined to think that, although all our distant cruisers must be 
mixed ships, yet for warfare in the Channel, or within 100 
leagues of the coasts of Europe, iron steam batteries without 
sails will supersede ships of the line. It is also probable, that 
no decisive naval action will ever be fought except in the nar- 
row seas or the Mediterranean. We are returning, in many 
respects, to the naval tactics of the ancients. 

Thus, the introduction of machinery consuming an enormous 
weight and bulk of this peculiar fuel, gives rise to a novel state 
of things both to foreign countries and to ourselves. Great 
Britain has, for practical marine purposes, a monopoly of the 
best coal in Europe; that of Belgium and Southern France 

1859. State of the Navy. 33 

is not to be compared to it; the northern coasts of France, 
Spain, Italy, and Russia have none. Indeed, it may be said 
that British coal, of which we export 6,500,000 tons per 
annum, gives heat, light, and motion to a great part of the ma- 
nufacturing cities of Europe, and feeds the steam navigation of a 
great part of the world. The effect of a prohibition of the ex- 
port of coal, to which, in the event of a great naval war, the 
British Grovemment would probably be led to resort, would, 
therefore, have very extraordinary effects in pressing on the 
resources of foreign nations, whenever their own stocks of coal 
became exhausted. But the same inconvenience would not be 
unfelt by ourselves, on our foreign stations. For example, in 
the event of war, it would be an undertaking of considerable 
difficulty and expense to provide depots for the coaling of the 
British fleet in the Mediterranean ; and if coal were treated by 
foreign nations as contraband of war, it could not be carried 
under neutral flags. The same difficulty would present itself 
with regard to the conveyance of coal to stations in remote 
parts of the globe ; yet the system of modem communication 
and the prosecution of naval warfare depend to a great extent 
on an adequate supply of the indispensable combustible. 

We must here close these observations, which necessarily 
embrace but a small portion of this important subject — the most 
important subject, we venture to affirm, to which the energy of 
the country and the wisdom of our statesmen can be directed. 
What is comparable to the safety of these islands from attack ? 
What assurance can we have that these islands are safe from 
attack, in presence of the great naval forces which might be 
sent against them, if the British navy ceased for a moment to 
command the Channel ? Whatever the cost of these defensive 
armaments may be, they are far less costly than one single day 
of invasion or defeat, which might leave a dockyard or a town 
at the mercy of an enemy. These burdens must be borne, and 
they will be borne cheerfully : but if there is an Englishman 
who grudges the necessary expenditure for the defence of the 
oountry, let him complain not of those who take these measures, 
but of those whose occult and menacing policy compels us to 
take them. The late Government did not hesitate to lay 
before the country the magnitude and the urgency of the case. 
With all possible despatch in the public dockyards it will be 
two years before we have 56 screw-ships of the line ready for 
commission ; and the measures to be taken to ensure the future 
manning of the fleet must be slow in their operation, because 
they are to affect the habits of a large class of the seafaring 
population. The subject of marine armaments and the effects of 

VOL. ex. NO. COXJLtll. I> 

34 State of the Navy. Jnlj* 

the new ordnance on ships, whether of wood or cased in iron, 
require constant experimental trials, and it is probable that thie 
new element in the question will alter the principal con- 
ditions of marine architecture. The Board of Admiralty itself 
requires simplification, and we should gladly see its eumbroiu 
forms of proceeding and its divided re^N>nsibility swept away, 
in order to place the whole establishment of the naval service 
in all its branches in the hand of one Minister, assisted by com- 
petent and permanent heads of departments^ bnt charged with 
the entire responsibility of the administration. The measures 
which require to be taken, such as the scheme for manning the 
fleets the revision of the Navy List, called by courtesy ^ the actite 
' list,' flie reform of the dockyards, and the correction of a 
multitude of minor abuses which are fatally injurious to the 
naval service, require the power and resolution of a dictator. 
The country has a right to ask how it comes to pass that, while 
the expense of the Navy has largely augmented, the efficiency of 
the Navy has not increased in the same proportion ? The efforts 
whidi luive been made within the last few months will, we 
hope, succeed in restoring that pre-eminence we ought never to 
have lost ; and we trust that before she needs it, if she is to 
need it to repel aggression, Britain will again have a fleet 
worthy of herself in ships, in armament, in seamen, and in 

In a Cabinet singularly devoid of administrative ability, Sir 
John Pakington formed an honourable exception by the z^ and 
intelligence which he devoted to the Admiralty : and upon the 
whole we applaud the measures taken upon his responsibility. 
But the task of estimating the financial consequences of these 
measures, and providing the means to defray them, now devolves 
on the successors of the late Administration and on Parliament; 
and the magnitude of the sacrifices thus required of thecountrjr 
renders the state and expenditure of the Navy a subject of the 
very deepest importance to the foreign and internal relations of 
the country. 

1859. Tlie AcropoKs of Athens. 35 

Abt. II. — 1. VAcropole (TAthhies. Par E. Beul£, Ancien 
Meznbre de I'Ecole d'Ath^nes. 2 vols. Paris : 1853. 

2. Etudes sur le Peloponnise. Par E. BeuliL Paris : 1856* 

3. Athenes aux XV% XVI% et XVIP SiicUs. Par le Comte 
deLabobdjbl 2 vols. Paris: 1854. 

4. La Minerve de Phidias restituee par M, Simart d'apris les 
textes et les monuments Jigures, Par Alfhonse de Calonke. 
Paris: 1855. 

^H£ authentic history of the Athenian Acropolis reaches back 
from the present time to a period of scarcely less than two 
thousand four hundred years* No other fortress has embraced so 
much beauty and splendour within its walls ; none has witnessed 
a series of more startling and momentons changes in the fortunes 
of its possessors; Wave after wave of war and conquest has beaten 
against it. The city which lies at its feet has fallen beneaih the 
assaults of the Persian, the Spartan, the Macedonian, and the 
Roman. It has opened its gates to the barbarous hordes of Alaric, 
and the not less savage robbers of Catalonia. It has passed from 
the representatiyes of the Crusaders into the hands of the Ottoman 
Sultans; and the shrine of Athena has seen the offerings of 
heathenism giye place to the holier ritual of Greek and Latin 
Christianity, and these in their turn succeeded by the cold and 
lifeless ceremonial of Islam. Through all these and other vicis- 
situdes it has passed, changing only in the character of its occu- 
pants, unchanged in its loTcliness and splendour. With a few 
blemtBhes and losses, whether from the decaymg taste of later 
times or the occasional robberies of a foreign conqueror, unaf- 
fected in its general aspect, it presented to the eyes of the 
victorious Ottoman the same front of unparalleled beauty which 
it had displayed in the days of Pericles. The professors of new 
creeds had worshipped within its beautiful temples ; but, beneath 
the deep blue of the Athenian sky and the dazzling splendour 
of the Athenian son, the shrine of the grey-eyed Goddess and 
the hall of Erechtheus had lost but little of their earlier glory, 
long after the one had become a mosque and the other a harem. 
To him who looks upon it now, the scene is changed indeed ; 
changed not only in the loss of its treasures of decorative art 
(for of many of these it had been robbed before), but with its 
loveliest fabrics shattered, many reduced to hopeless ruin, and 
i^ot a few utterly obliterated. Less than two centuries have 

36 TTie Acropolis of Athens. July> 

sufficed to bring about all this dilapidation: less than three 
months sufficed to accomplish it. If the Venetian by his abortive 
conquest inflicted not more injury on the fair heritage of Athe- 
nian art than it had undergone from all preceding spoliations, 
he left it, not merely from the havoc of war but by wanton 
subsequent mutilation, in that state which rendered the recovery 
of its ancient grace and majesty impossible. 

Yet the Acropolis still rises above a city whose inhabitants 
cling with the pride of ancient lineage to the memories of Conon 
and Mnesicles, of Pericles and Phidias. In the darkest days 
of barbaric inroads, abandoned by the feeble Cassars of Byzan- 
tium, cut off from the knowledge and lost to the sympathy of 
Western Christendom, the people of Athens have still cherished 
the Hellenic name, still exhibited some characteristics of those 
whom they termed their forefathers. But history has threatened 
to deal harshly with this proud inheritance ; and while some 
rest their Philhellenic aspirations on. the identity of the modem 
Greeks with those who fought at Salamis or fell at Syracuse, 
there are not wanting those who look back to the inundations 
of the Sclavonic hordes as to the grave of the pure Hellenic 
race. Athens, indeed, and its people during the Sclavonic ages 
are to us almost as obscure and unknown as Athens before the 
dawn of contemporary history. But the scanty notices which 
remain prove sufficiently that the influx of Goths and Sclaves, 
of Bulgarians and Wallachians, must have diminished the num- 
bers and changed the character of the old population, even if 
we do not adopt the extreme conclusion that the Hellenic 
element was annihilated. 

There are the old places, and not a few of the old familiar 
names. There is the magic still of sun and sky ; and the scanty 
stream of Kephissus still leads us in thought to the ivy groves 
where the nightingale sang in the dells of old Kolonos. But if 
it have this power in our colder and harsher regions, the spell 
must be stronger still in the enchanted land itself; and the 
error may be pardoned which leads the Athenian of our own 
day to claim kindred with those who achieved its greatness and 
created its glories. 

It*is, however, a grave question of fact which sentiment will 
help us but little to answer, and of which it Is probably hopeless 
to expect a full solution. Athens in the Sclavonic age is to us 
almost as obscure as Athens before the dawn of contemporary 
history ; and if an examination of the scanty notices which re- 
main fail of convincing us that the modern Greeks are merely 
Byzantinised Sclavonians, it will still less lead us to consider 
them the kinsmen of Pericles and Phormion. The fifth century 

1 85 9. The Acropolis of Athens. 37 

of the Cbrifitian era finds Athens sunk in a darkness scarcely 
less deep than that from which it emei^ed five centuries before 
it ; but the many causes then at work throughout Greece to 
diminish the old population^ and in some parts to annihilate it, 
together vnih the new elements constantly poured in by Goths 
and Schives^ Bulgarians and Wallachians, are more than suffi- 
cient to set aside the claim of the modern Athenians to any- 
thing like purity of blood. 

The causes which contributed to this change of population 
account also in great measure for the astonishing ignorance of 
modem Greek history which prevailed throughout Europe till 
towards the close of the 17th century. With its population 
steadily decreasing from fiscal oppression and consequent social 
demoralisation, Greece presented to the migratory hordes of the 
7th and 8th centuries a tempting field which the Eastern Em- 
perors scarcely cared to defend. Thus isolated from the interests 
of the Empire, it became practically an unknown land until the 
Crusades brought the warriors of the West to usurp the throne of 
the Cassars. With the establishment of the Latin empire of Con- 
stantinople, Greece became a prize for some of the most powerful 
crusading chieftains, and under their rule the courts of Thessa- 
loTuca, Athens, and the Peloponnesus, attained to no small reputa- 
tion even throughout Western Europe. But their magnificence 
was entirely modem. It centred wholly round their own persons 
and interests ; and although the condition of the people was in 
no respect worse, in some respects palpably better, still they did 
but minister to the glory of the houses of Neri or Acciajuoli, of 
De la Roche or Brienne. The beautiful structures of Athens and 
its Acropolis were prized, not as heirlooms of departed greatness, 
but as the ornaments of a feudal court and the rewards of suo- 
cessfol valour. Yet the darkness was to be thicker and deeper 
still ; and with its submission to the Ottoman Turks the city of 
Athena passed under a veil which was lifted up only to reveal 
the havoc wrought by the friendly arms of Morosini. The 
depth of this general ignorance it is almost impossible to exag- 
gerate or even to realise ; but its causes were sufficiently com- 
plex. M. de Laborde expresses surprise that the so-called 
Renaissance of the 15th century did not at once direct public 
attention to Greece. But that revival, so far as concerned 
art, was simply the abandonment of the real strength and 
glory of every form of national architecture, and the substi- 
tution of an adventitious and utterly unmeaning decora- 
tion. It would have been therefore a more legitimate cause 
for wonder, had so false and hollow a movement led to a genuine 
study of the spirit and laws of Greek art, of which it borrowed, 


38 The Acropolis of Athens. Julf , 

and borrowed only to mar and corrupt, its external forms. Be* 
jond this laj other and more constraining causes. For many a 
weary century Greece had been a theatre of almost uninter- 
rupted convulsion. Beal lovers of Greek art there were none. 
Commercial enterprise and religious devotion chose naturally 
the shortest and the safest route ; and the sleepless jealousy of 
the Turks prompted them to close up to the utmost all access 
to their conquered territories. Thus, from a Christian, Athens 
became a Moslem, city, unnoticed by any state of Western 
Europe with the single exception of Venice. 

' She alone/ to adopt the words of M. de Laborde, < from a merely 
material point of view could feel the force of the blow struck at the 
interests of Europe and her own commerce by the submission of 
almost the whole of Greece. But Venice, without the aid of religious 
fanaticism, was then poweriess ; and the Christians concerned them* 
selves only with the Holy Places. While the route to Jerusalem lay 
open, and in some measure protected, that which lay beyond or beside 
it struck them but little amidst the general desolation of £astem 
Christendom/ {AtheneSy ^c, voL L p. 8.) 

Thus, for more than two centuries, was Athens almost wholly 
withdrawn from the observation of the civilised world. The 
archseologist and the architect feared, the religious pilgrim cared 
not, to approach it ; and the few who ventured to brave the 
jealousy or wrath of the Turks have left us specimens of igno- 
rance and misconception which we might be pardoned for 
putting aside with impatience, but which M. de Laborde has set 
himself to examine with commendable perseverance. He is in 
truth the first writer, gifted with a fine appreciation of Greek 
art, who has applied his erudition and his taste to elucidate the 
most obscure and ungratefril period of the history of Athens, 
and he is fully entitled to the grateful acknowledgments of all 
whom his labours may, as he hopes, relieve from ' painful re- 
' searches and great loss of time.' The ' darik: ages ' may almost 
be said to have lasted down to the commencement of the present 
century, as far as the critical exploration of the monuments of 
Greece is concerned. A hundred years ago Athens was sot 
much better known than Nineveh. 

The few travellers who in earlier times professed some ac- 
quaintance with Athenian archaeology, did but share in that lo^ 
crous inaptitude for all such criticism, which, in the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries, was almost universal. When by the same 
corruption which formed the word * Stamboul,' Athens was known 
in mariner's charts as * Settines ; ' when an anonymous Greek 
writer could limit all its buildings to theatres and sdiocds ; when, 
even to the most important of them, names were assigned arbi- 

1859. The Acropolis of Athens. 39 

tiarily and at random ; when the PropylaBa became the palace of 
die dukes of Athens, and the temple of vUri airrepos the School 
of the Musicians ; when Francesco Giamberti (San Gallo) could 
pnrdiase from an itinerant Greeks and embody in his own Italian 
reaearches, pretended copies of ancient bmldings, every one 
an impudent forgery, we can bat repay with a smile the 
cautious prudence of the artist, who, not caring to prosecute 
his studies on the spot at the risk of imprisonment or torture, 
' pleasantly ' transformed Athens into a Gothic town of Flanders. 
This design is so far honest that, even in the disposition of its 
buildings there is not the slightest approximation to Athenian 
topography. Another, by Michael Wohlgemuth, in the same 
fifteenth century, has in one comer a castle on a hill to repre- 
sent the Acropolis, and a cathedral, much like that of Mayence, 
to serve for any chance building at its base. 

The reports of travellers, or professed travellers, of the six- 
teenth century deserve more serious strictures. We may par- 
don the man who paints plans of Athens in a studio of Ghent 
or Mayence, but the same indulgence cannot be extended to 
those who speak of it as a place almost uninhabited, and a mere 
scene of desolation. Such was the account of Andc4 Thevet, in 
1550 (Laborde, L 40.), who maintains that he saw at Athens 
noting worth describing but a statue shown to him by a renegade 
Christian as having been recently dug up. This statue, after 
a minute description, he states was inscribed 'A^^iXX^ ^^rdrqf* 
He admits that there are some columns and obel^ks, but ' all in 
^ ruins, and also s(»ne vestiges of several colleges, (where, ac- 
^ oocding to the common opinion of the inhabitants, Plato read,) 
* shiq^ed like the Colosseum at Rome.' Another, in 1564, tells us 
that of Athens there was nothing left but a small castle and a 
hamlet unprotected even against the attack of wild beasts, ' en 
^ quoi,' he piously adds, ^ on peut bi^L voir le jugement de 
' Dteu, d'avoir mis ceste desolation en lieu tant illustre pour le 
^ mdpris de sa paroUe. Car si onques ville fut bien assise et 
' bien policiee, oest cy Uestoit, et ntSanmoins on n'y voit que 
^ myne et apparence de lieu d^iert.' 

Shortly after the battle of Lepanto, Martin Kraus (or Sjtu- 
sius) of Tiibingen addressed to Symeon Kabasilas at Constan- 
tinople the following question. ' Our German historians tell us 
^ that Athens is completely destroyed, and that in its place stand 
^ some fishermen's huts. Is this true ? ' The answer of Kabasilas, 
while it refutes this fable, betrays also his general ignorance. 
With his oontempocary Theodore Zygomalas the Parthenon was 
a Pantheon, wil^ Kabasilas it becomes a temple of ^the un- 
' known God.' The same dedication is given in 1621 by Louis 

40 The Acropolis of Athens. Joly> 

des Hayes^ the ambassador of Louis XIII.^ or, as M. de Laborde 
thinks, by his secretary, who describes it as of oval form both 
internally and externally. Shortly before this, in 1613, the 
work of artistic spoliation was inaugurated under the auspices 
of the Earl of Arundel, and the English public began to acquire 
an acquaintance with at least some fragments of Hellenic art 
But the merit of introducing anything like a real study of 
Athenian topography belongs unquestionably to the Capuchin 
Fathers, who succeeded the Jesuits in Athens in 1658. These 
missionaries, amongst other things, purchased and preserved the 
choragic monument of Lysicrates, and drew up a plan of Athens 
and its vicinity far exceeding in value any which had been 
hitherto designed. 

But new troubles ensued. Rhodes and Cyprus had sub- 
mitted to the Turks ; and in 1669 followed the surrender of Crete 
by Morosini. The most rigorous measures were epforced by 
Mahometan hatred and jealousy against all Christians throughout 
the Archipelago : and so closed a period of nearly five and 
twenty years, during which scarcely any traveller had ventured 
to approach Athens. The spell was broken by the Marquis de 
Nointel, the magnificent but eccentric ambassador of Louis XIY. 
to the Ottoman Porte. Of his not injudiciously pompous 
embassy, of the self-conceit which made that splendour a source 
of constant delight, of his extended travels, of his lavish expen- 
diture in collecting things valuable or curious, of his consequent 
pecuniary difficulties, of the neglect and ingratitude of the King 
which darkened his declining days, the pages of M. de Laborde 
contain a lengthy but interesting account. We must, however, 
confine ourselves to his visit to Athens, into which, in presence 
of the Turkish officers, and amidst the waving of banners and 
blowing of trumpets, he made his imposing entry in the year 1674. 
In an official position, which presented him some facilities and 
secured him from all molestation, M. de Nointel made an excel- 
lent use of his opportunities ; and the few weeks of his sojourn 
may be considered as a new era for Athenian archaeology. To 
ensure accurate drawings, he had brought with him, on the 
recommendation of the celebrated Le Brun, his pupil Jacques 
Carrey of Troyes. On the 14th of November permission was 
obtained for making drawings : on the 17th of December M. de 
Nointel and his train were in preparation for immediate depar- 
ture. During that time, under the risk of having that permis- 
sion withdrawn at any moment, without scaffolding or the help 
of any contrivance to enable him to work in an unconstrained 
attitude, obliged to stand close to the building whose precincts 
were by no means open then as now, he made designs of the 

1859. Tlie Acropolis of Athens. 41 

two pediments of the Parthenon^ of ninety-two metopes and 
of more than 300 feet of the frieze. ^ II faillit s'y crever les 
* yeux/ says Spon» who visited Athens the year after. Yet 
he has produced drawings which^ depreciated by Colonel Leake 
as rude and inaccurate, fully deserve in our judgment the praise 
bestowed on them by M. de Laborde. To the keen eye of the 
archsaologist they may not be faultless : but M. de Laborde justly 
asks that they may be contrasted with the drawings of the 
Parthenon furnished by Spon, by Wheler, by Cornelio Magni 
and d'Otti^res. So compared, they are as gold amongst the 
dross, while the remarkable vigour and ease of the outline go 
far towards guaranteeiug their general truthfulness and accu- 
racy. M. de Laborde may well pronounce them worthy of admi- 
ration, apart from the difficulties under which they were executed, 
and the service which he has rendered by them, ^ a service great 
' indeed when we remember that many of these bas-reliefs and 
^ statues have been either altogether lost, or so broken into 
^ fragments that without the help of his designs the task of 
' repiecing them would be hopeless.* The intention of de 
Kointel, that these sketches should be accompanied by a memoir 
on the Parthenon, was unfortunately prevented by his pecuniary 
embarrassments and his sudden recall. 

The account drawn up in 1672 for the Abb6 Pecoil by the 
Jesuit J. P. Babin, sufficiently attests the worthlessness of the 
written reports of those days. Amidst the many passages which 
even M. de Laborde confesses himself unable to comprehend, 
coupled with edifying narratives of courageous martyrdoms and 
prodigious births, it is difficult to know what value to assign to 
one or two expressions which would otherwise be of great mo- 
ment. The question whether the Parthenon was hypsthral might 
approach its solution, could we trust his assertion that ^ he saw 
' therein three ranges of vaults supported on very high marble 
* columns, i. e., the nave with its two aisles.' This account of 
Babin was published by Spon before he visited Greece, with a 
view of Athens, which betrays tlie weak sense still prevalent on 
the subject of topographical veracity, but which M. de Laborde 
estimates at more than its right value. The Propylsea are in 
it two miserable castle turrets, the Parthenon a contemptible 

The name of Spon is associated with more than one contro- 
veisy which has been allowed unjustly to detract from his fair 
fame. While he was occupied with the narrative of Babin, the 
Capuchin Fathers were forwarding similar documents with 
plans to Paris, all which came into the hands of M. Guillet de 
St. George. The history of this man and his work scarcely 

42 The Acropolis of Athens. Jaly* 

d«eeryeB the spaoe which M. de Laborde has devoted to it It 
may miffice to eay that, having examined these acoountSy he 
must needs publish them in the form of a nHnance. A biother 
serving with the army is taken prisoner in Hungary and con- 
veyed to Athens, and the narrative is the fruit of his captivi^. 
HiB critical acumen and sense of veracity are on a par with dus 
brilliant introduction. With the written statement of the 
Capuchins he mingled others gathered from heai8ay« and ike 
romancer of la Guilleti^re averred that his own eyes had seen 
on the pediment of the Parthenon the inscription t^ cuyv^Hmp 
9^. Spon, while he contradicted this, impugned the veracity 
oC the whole work ; and M. Guillet in reply procured or foiled 
letters from two Capuchins, affirming that they had constantly 
read this inscription on the spot, although a part o£ it was c^- 
tainly somewhat defaced. 

Throughout his short career (he died in the greatest distress 
at Geneva at the age of thirty*eight) Spon showed himself the 
very reverse of M. Guillet de St. George. After careful study 
at home, he determined to test his knowledge by a journey to 
Athens. If he falls sometimes into palpable mistakes, and 
adopts conclusions on very insufficient premises, his work is stili 
that of a man who records what he saw without fiction or 
exaggeration. Misled, like all before him, by the dmnges made 
on the introduction of the Christian ritual, Spon takes the 
Opisthodomos to be the original entrance to the Parthenon ; but, 
as a remark of his own, he assigns its sculptures to the age of 
Hadrian, from a resemblance of one of the figures to his por- 
traits, and because the whiteness of the marble was not in keep* 
ing with the tints of the architectural portions. Sudi mistakes 
are, however, redeemed by genuine confessions of uncertainty 
or ignorance and a spirit of scientific research whidi nmke his 
early death a cause for deep regret. The companion of lus 
travels, ^r George Wheler, has obtained (in M. de LabcHxle's 
judgment, very undeservedly) a happier reputation. Sp<m's 
work is undoubtedly reproduced, or rather translated in that of 
Wheler ; but the addition of some original matter has • led M. 
Beul£ and others to quote in preference from the latter, and to 
attribute to him" greater critical skill and power of thought 
Wheler's remarks are, however, confined to popular manners 
and botanical notes ; and his scholarship M. de Laborde tries by 
the fact that but for the help of Spon's third volume he could 
not have decently given two inscriptions ; in fact, * the moment 
* that Spon fails him, his inscriptions fail him ako.' 

With these names (the visit of some military engineers ex- 
cepted) closes the series of travellers who vbited Athens before 

1 859. The Acropolis of Athens. 43 

its fliege by Morosini ; and for none perhaps^ with the exception 
of Carrey as a draftsman^ and Spon as an arcbsBoIogist, is there 
any reason to regret that tiieir fitcilities for observation were 
not greater. Whatever be the valne of his letter-press, the 
plans of Spon are miserable, those of Wheler worse, and most 
of their precnrsors appear destitute of the very faculty of 
archaeological criticism. 

The time was now at hand when the magnificence of the 
Acropolis was to suffer its first irreparable catastrophe. Hitherto 
the alterations for military and other purposes had not marred 
the general effect of the buildings, altJiougfa the injuries inflicted 
at various times had been neitiier few nor slight. With the 
walls of the city, those also of the Acropolis had been more or 
less injured by Lysander and Sylla. The Csraars of Rome and 
Byzantium had raised their defensive works against Gothic and 
Sclavonic invaders. By the dukes of Athens, the Propylaea 
had been converted into a palace, and a high tower rose on the 
nuDS of the soudiem portico. T\ie work of Mnesicles was des- 
tined to be yet m<nre roughly dealt with by the Turks. A huge 
bastion was raised in front of the Propylsea, which, from a 
palace, were now turned into a powder magazine. In I6565 
this was struck by lightning, and the Turkish aga and all his 
family destroyed ; but the splendid construction of the bnild- 
iDg left it in great part uninjured. Finally, the year before 
the attack of the Venetians, the beautiful temple of vUeri 
Smrspos was demolished to make room ibr a battery of six 
guns. Some injuries also the Acropolis had sustained both 
from friends and foes, inflicted directly on its works of art. 
'B» Mcrilegiotts hands of Macedonian and Roman robbers had 
plundered it of its treasures : the Hippodrome of Constanti- 
nople eould boast of some of the works of Pheidias. The rising 
sun greeted no more the image of Athena, for the requirements 
of the Christian ritual had reversed the internal arrangements 
of the Parthenon, and six statues of the Eastern pediment had 
been knodced down to make room for a window. The victori- 
ous Turk, scarody perhaps consistent with his creed, was more 
merciful iiian the Christian. That glorious temple was not 
wididrawn from the Christian worship until the infatuation of 
Ihe deposed Aociajuoli drew down the wrath of Mahomet II. 
A veil of whitewash was then thrown over the seductive pic- 
tures of the Christians, while the muezran's minaret rose up at 
the south-west angle of the building. No attempt, however, 
was made to deface the sculptures, and even the high altar 
remained in its place in the days of Carrey and de NointeL 
The second volume of M. de Laborde's work is mainly occupied 

44 The Acropolis of Athens. July? 

with a very animated and interesting narrative of the campaign 
of Morosini. But the fortunes of * the Peloponnesian' concern 
us here only in so far as they affected those of the Athenian 
Acropolis. To this rock-shrine of Athens his exploits in war 
and his depredations in peace were more fatal than any injuries 
from Gotha or Sclavonians, from the early converts to Chris- 
tianity or the wild Latin crusaders. The victory of Sobieski, 
which turned the culminating fortunes of the Ottoman, inspired 
Venice, in 1684, with an unwonted bravery, and the insults of 
the Turk were repaid and anticipated by a voluntary declaration 
of war. While her trembling representative was summoning 
courage to make the announcement at Constantinople^ the 
proud republic was gathering a motley army of mercena- 
riesj amongst whom the Italian element was very sparsely 
mingled. A magnificent fleet under Morosini transported the 
troops commanded by Otto of Konigsmark, and the victory of 
Patras, in 1687, laid the Peloponnesus in the power of Venice. 
At Corinth, a council of war was held to determine the course 
for the campaign of the ensuing year, and justice to Morosini 
requires the statement that he was earnest in deprecating the 
attack on Athens, and eloquent in pointing out the difficulties 
in which its success would involve them. His warnings were 
overborne ; his design to winter at Tripolitza abandoned. An 
immediate departure for Athens was determined on, and towards 
the close of September the Venetian fleet rode at anchor within 
the harbour of Piraeus. 

The land forces marched by the Long Walls to invest the 
Acropolis, whither the Turkish garrison had retired. A battery 
from the Musasum opened its fire on the Propylssa, a second 
from the Pnyx on the batteries raised midway by the Turks, 
and four mortars, each of 500 lbs., hurled their fatal burdens on 
the doomed Acropolis, Other batteries were raised, as these 
were found defective, and an attempt at undermining was car- 
ried on for some time in vain. A well-directed shell accom* 
plished more than all their laborious efforts. The Turkish gar- 
rison had habitually used the most splendid buildings for tiheir 
powder stores, and in an evil hour for the ann^ of art a 
deserter announced that the cella of the Parthenon was full of 
gunpowder. The skill of a Luneburg engineer soon hurled a 
shell into the midst of it, and the work of Ictinus and Callicrates 
was shattered by the explosion. 

'The walls of the sanctuary, including that which separated it 
from the Opisthodomos, were overthrown, and with them three- 
fourths of the frieze of Phidias, together with all the columns of 
the Pronaos except one, and eight columns of the Peristyle on the 

1859. The Acropolis of Athens. 45 

north and six on the south. But when we speak of a wall of 
350 feet in length and more than 40 in height, formed of marble 
blocks 3 feet in thickness and 6 in length, of 21 columns more than 
30 feet high, we give but a faint idea of this terrific catastrophe. 
We must also figure to ourselves the wonderful and enormous archi- 
trave which surmounted these columns, those marble blocks sculp- 
tured in compartments, those slabs which covered, the one the peri- 
style, the other the interior of the temple, and which, as by a 
thunderstroke, were hurled upon the ground and lay there a mass of 
ruins. The explosion was so violent that it hurled the debris from 
the temple into the camp of the besiegers, i. c. as far as the foot of 
the fortress where the miners were assailing the Acropolis. As the 
Parthenon fell enveloped in flames, there rose from the camp of the 
besiegers a cry of joy and victory, a savage hurrah, in which the 
Venetian historians heard the words ^' Viva la nostra republica;" but 
which the surrounding echoes returned in German phrase, '' Siege, 
^lebe hoch Graf Eonigsmark.'' It matters little in what language 
a European army expressed such feelings of triumph and exultation 
at sight of this wretched spectacle ; we only remark that the Turks 
were not cast down by their disaster. They awaited their deliver- 
ance from without, and they adhered to their resolution of maintain- 
ing their position until the Seraskier came to drive out the infidel. 
Early on the 28 th, on the news of his approach, they doubled the 
strength of their fire, hoping thus to engage the exclusive attention 
of the besiegers ; but Konigsmark was not a general to be surprised. 
Warned on his side by his advanced posts, he set forth to encounter 
the coming troops. The Seraskier declined the combat thus boldly 
ofiered to him, and retired without engaging his forces. The Turks 
of the Acropolis were encouraged in their resistance by the hope of 
his aid ; in a few moments, and in their very sight, this hope melted 
away. Awakened to their real case, they saw themselves surrounded 
by the flames caused by the explosion of the Parthenon, which were 
gaining on all the houses ; they felt the impossibility of holding out 
long, from their want of ammunition and their loss in men, amongst 
whom were their chiefs, the pacha and his son. Some white flags 
announced the wish of the garrison to surrender ; and at the same 
instant that they were hung out from the battlements, five hostages 
came down to propose the terms of capitulation and guarantee their 
execution. . . . The arrangements were concluded on the morn- 
ing of the 28th. The advanced posts were immediately occupied by 
the besiegers, and the banner of St. Mark floated on the Propylsa. 

' The captain-general announced his new conquest to the Venetian 
senate, and ofifered this trophy, this new title to glory, with the proud 
modesty which marked all his dispatches. " I do not seek," he wrote, 
" any amplifications to give value to my weak services. Whatever 
" they are, it is enough that the world should know and my country 
" accept them. Athens is in your hands. Athens, so illustrious and 
"renowned, with its famous city of vast circumference, and its naag- 
" nificent monuments, to which are attached memorable associations 
" of history and science." ' (Vol. ii. p. 152.) 

46 The Acropolis of Athens. Jolj^ 

A scene of havoc opened to the view of the captaiii-genenl 
as he ascended the Acropolis. The effect was sad and sober- 

* The very soldiers, black with powder and heated bj the contest, 
were softened and calmed by the sight of bcaaties so sublime. Te 
their praise it must be said that they were shocked at the desolatioa 
which they had caused amongst these wonderful works of art. • . . 
The remorse which filled the hearts of the victors betrays itself as 
much in their enthusiastic expressions of admiration as in the many 
shifts and evasions in the accounts given of the event. Morosini 
was the first to evade the responsibility, by recurring to the connsd 
which he had vainly pressed at Corinth. Kontgsnuurk had been 
most anxious to spare the temple, but the shells would have their 
way ; while a Venetian officer insinuates that the awkwardness of a 
Turkish engineer in pointing one of his own cannon, must have been 
the cause of the catastrophe.' (Vol. ii. p. 174.) 

The arms of the Kepublic had triumphed ; but the hour of 
its victory was the prelude to disaster and ruin. The keen eye 
of Morosini saw the imperious necessity of instant action ; and 
the old man of fourscore years who had so earnestly deprecated 
the attack on Athens now urged on with the vehemence of 
youth an immediate attack upon Euboea. Konigsmark resisted 
and finally refused to obey orders ; and the golden opporttmity 
was lost. It had been resolved to winter at Athens ; but the 
approach of the plague from the Peloponnesus rendered this 
impossible ; and the question to abandon the town or destroy it, 
was debated anxiously in the council. All their energy and 
valour had been crowned with a success which few would envy. 
It had won for them the power of deliberalingwhether they 
should demolish all that their arms had been unable to mutilate, 
and banish from their ancient homes a population which they 
had found moderately happy if not politically free. The com- 
punction with which they had looked on the havoc of the 
Parthenon, could not deter them from a more cold-blooded 
devastation. The prayers of the inhabitants, their offers to 
maintain the Venetian garrison, to do anything, to sacrifice 
anything, could not avert the boon of deportation which their 
fatal friends were forcing on them. The strange drama drew' 
to a close. Athens wiis to be abandoned, not destroyed ; her 
inhabitants to be removed to a safer dwelling-place. It only 
remained to secure some token to attest their brief and un- 
profitable success. The Basilica of St. Mark should acquire 
from the city of Pericles a relic not less costly and precious 
than the golden horses of Byzantium; the halls of Morosini 
should not lack some trophy of the most conspicuous, if not the 

1859. The Acropolis of Athens. 47 

hiq){»e6t of his exploits. His choice fell on the western pedi- 
ment of the Parthenon, and his dispatch to the Venetian senate 
dated March 19. 1688, coolly relates the resnlt: — 

* Before abandoning Athens I conceived the project of taking away 
some of the most beantiful ornaments to add to the glory of the Re- 
public. With this intention I ordered that efforts should be made to 
detach from the facade of the temple of Minerva, which has the best 
sculptmres, the statue of a Jupiter and the relievos of two magnificent 
horses. But scarcely had they begun to remove the upper part of 
the great cornice, than the whole came crashing down from this ex- 
traordinary height, and it is wonderful that no harm should have 
befallen any of the workmen.' 

Still MoroBini could not depart without taking something; 
and his decision reveals the taste and knowledge possessed by 
the old warrior, — 

* I decided nevertheless to carry away a lioness, beautifully formed, 
although it had lost its head. But it can be replaced perfectly well 
with a piece of marble of the same kind, which shall be forwarded 
along with it.' 

Since the time of Morosini's ill-starred conquest, the history 
of the Acropolis tells of little but the dilapidations of time and 
the more active spoliations of man. Later inroads and sieges 
bave contributed to the general decay; travellers, who, as 
Colonel Leake admits, * often destroy more than they carry 

* away, have^ perhaps, contributed more.' It would be unjust, 
however, in those who condemn such proceedings as those 
of Lord Klgin, to forget that no little harm has been done 
by the gross apathy or wanton violence of the Greeks them- 
selves. M. de Laborde claims for the Athenians of the days 
of Morosini^ ' if not the same intelligence, at all events, a re- 
^ verence for all that had excited the enthusiasm of their 

* ancestors in the days of Pericles.' Biit while the fact is in- 
disputable, it 19 not easy to estimate the amount of mischief 
caused by the habitual use of old materials, whether carved or 
pl^, for new buildings. Colonel Leake affirms that there is 
scarcely a village which does not attest the practice. The more 
costly marbles furnished plaster and cement; and where too 
large, statues or relievos were broken into pieces for facilities of 
use or transport. A better spirit has now we hope arisen, and 
the Greeks have once more become jealous of the inheritance of 
their race. It is probable, however, that the removal of the 
Elgin Marbles at the time it was accomplished saved the greater 
portion of those immortal works from total destruction, in the 
war of Greek independence. Morosini was neither the best nor 

48 The Acropolis of Athens. Julj, 

the worst of the commanders who ravaged Attica and assailed 
the Acropolis. 

But the Acropolis in its humiliation must carry our thoughts 
to the Acropolis in the days of its glory. The mind must 
strive to realise^ however faintly, the splendours of that gor- 
geous assemblage of structures, — to restore in idea, however 
feebly, these most beautiful creations of human genius. We 
cannot but form some picture of those superb portals, and that 
majestic flight of steps by which the Panathenaicpomp ascended 
to the shrine of the virgin goddess ; of the glorious sculptures 
which almost lived and breathed on pediment and frieze and 
metope ; of the long lines of sculptured forms which graced every 
avenue, while far above all the brazen statue of Athena kept 
watch over her beloved city. Something also we must realise of 
the accessories of this marvellous scene, — the brilliancy of sky 
and sun, the lustrous purity of the marble, the tints of gold and 
crimson and azure which imparted depth of light and shade to 
the mouldings and sculptures of its magnificent temples. And 
with the pictures of these exquisite structures must be asso- 
ciated the men who planned and reared themj and an array of 
questions comes crowding upon us, some of which we may 
perhaps seek in vain to answer. What is it which invests the 
works of these men with their mysterious and touching beauty? 
Whence came the grace and loveliness which they imparted to 
all on which they laid their hands ? Were the forms and the 
spirit of their art their own, or had both come to them from 
some other land ? What were the laws which influenced their 
works even to their pettiest details, and infused boundless vigour 
and freedom into the arts, the literature, and the social life of 
Greece ? 

These are questions which no superficial or hasty thought 
can ever solve; they are the promptiiigs of no artificial curiosity, 
no mere antiquarian or archaeological problems. The answer to 
them will not merely lay open a most important phase in the 
history of the human mind, but involves results directly practical 
The city which Pericles proclaimed as the school of Greece 
has become also the school of the world, and its influence is 
still seen in every form of our art and architecture. To trace 
this influence and assign its cause, to analyse the principles of 
that art which attained to a degree of beauty never perhaps 
equalled, certainly never surpassed, are questions of no slight 
moment and difficulty, and the more so because indubitably the 
aim of that art was pre-eminently simple and definite. Emo- 
tions of grandeur and sublimity, still more of solemnity and 
awe, may be awakened in a higher degree by the works of 

1859. The Acropolis of Athens. 49 

other times and countries. The Athenian cared not to oppress 
the spectator with the cumbrous grandeur of Thebes or Babylon; 
he sought not to delight and awe him with the soaring height 
and intricate magnificence of the Gothic minster, or im- 
press him with the sense of indomitable strength and power 
manifest in the genuine works of ancient Homer and yet, 
with a scale just sufficing to save it from meanness, Attic 
art revealed to the world an exquisite grace and dignified 
beauty as little marred by defect or blemish as can be any works 
of merely human hands. Unrivalled in elegance and purity of 
form, it disdained no aids of metals or of colours, which some 
might look upon as adventitious and unworthy. It raised 
its statues in stone or marble, in gold and ivory, or in bronze. 
It decked its superb pediments and architraves in sombre or in 
brilliant hues ; and the colours which modem use would reserve 
for internal decoration, gleamed on the eye of the spectator 
beneath the lustrous atmosphere of Attica, 

We have spoken throughout, almost unconsciously, of Athens 
and Athenian art. But were the countrymen of JEschylus and 
Phidias alone the gifted possessors of this wonderful creative 
genius ? or were they but the representatives of the aggregate 
Hellenic races ? Has the funeral oration of Pericles unjustly 
depreciated the art of Lacedaemon? or had Corinth, Sicyon, 
and Sparta the same title to our homage and admiration ? 

These questions occupy necessarily a large space in the 
volumes of M. Beul^ on the Athenian Acropolis. On some of 
them we confess ourselves entirely at variance with his conclu- 
sions. But even where we differ from him most, we admit tho 
ingenuity and skill which he has brought to bear on his re- 
searches : and the happy light which he has thrown on several 
obscure topics calls for no slight praise and gratitude. Without 
the imagination and rhetoric of M. de Laborde, he possesses the 
patient and minute research which is the first quality of the 
arch^ogian. He is disposed, however, to be too dogmatic in 
his statements ; a habit which has provoked strong animadver- 
sions from M. de Calonne, who impugns his theory respecting 
the chryselephantine statues of Phidias. And if we ourselves 
oflfer some remarks on points whereon we conceive him to be 
seriously mistaken, it is that we may with the more freedom 
commend those portions of his work in which he has done no- 
slight service to the cause of art.* 

• It is to be regretted that the usefulness of M. Beule*s plana and 
drawings should be diminished by one or two omissions. In vol. i. 
VOL. ex. NO. GCXXIII. £ 

50 The Acropolis of Athens, July, 

To discuss here the canons of historical credibility, or pro- 
pound a theory of myths^ would be impertinent, and happily is 
superfluous. But it is no unfairness to demand of any writer 
that if he relates a myth, half-suspecting it to be such, he should 
record that belief or suspicion, and that the same assertions 
should not be treated as partly or wholly mythical in one page^ 
and employed insidiously as an historical argument in another. 
We think that M. Beull's own words will on this point convict 
him of a very grave inconsistency. The question of the ori- 
ginality of Greek art, or of its aflBliation on Egypt, is obviously 
one which can only be answered, if it be ever answered at all, 
on the strictest historical or archsdological grounds. Fancy or 
prejudice, rhetoric and sentimentality, cannot be permitted to 
affect the decision. M. Benin's method is very different. To 
the statement in hb first chapter that Cecrops, by the attraction 
of a new civilisation, drew round himself the vagrant and 
miserable population of Attica, he appends a note which we 
will give in his own words : — 

' Dans tout ce chapitre je ne fais que recneiUir les l^gendes qui se 
rattachent a I'Acropole sans en diseoter Tori^ne ni la valeur. Quel 
est le peuple dont le berceau n'est pas entonr^ de fables d'autant 
plus charmantes souvent qu'elles sent plus absurdes? ' {IJAcropoUi 
^c.y voL i. p. 16.) 

It would, perhaps, be hard on M. Beul6 to confine his re- 
marks to this chapter alone, for very many similar narratiTes 
are interspersed throughout his work on the Acropolii^ 
and his ' Studies on the Peloponnesus ' absolutely bristle with 
theuL In spite of his declaration, we more than suspect tbtt 
M. Benin's faith discovers a large amount of historical trath 
which may be culled from these ancient tales* He may, how* 
ever, claim illustrious companions amongst his countrymen and 
our own. Under the countenance of Mr. Fynes Clinton snd 
Dr. Thirlwall, Colonel Leake sees 'some reason to believe that 
' Cecrops was contemporary with Moses, and that he introduced 
' the worship of Neith among the.Pelasgian&' M. Beule draws 
aj^parently a similar conclusion ; but, regarding solely his own 

-r- I I — * 

p. 134., a reference is made to plate III. E ; but on looking at the 
plate no such letter is to be found, nor is it set down in the index to 
the plates. A more serious defect is the want of scales to the plans 
of the second volume. In addition to an excellent plan of the Acro- 
polis, there are restored plans of the Parthenon and Erechtheiumy 
drawn on very different scales ; but these scales are not given, and 
their absence mighty to a superficial observer^ occasion many errors. 

1859. The AcropdtU of Athens. 51 

admissioD, we cannot conceive why he should have been at the 
pains to introduce such narratives at all. With great expendi- 
ture of time and trouble he has raked up a mass of stories which 
occupy no small portion of his work on the Acropolis, and 
which are the staple commodity of his Peloponnesian studies. 
If we are not to examine their origin and their value, what 
nseful purpose can they serve? At best they are but unneces- 
sary excrescences. We cannot, however, do more than cite a 
few examples and then leave it to impartial readers to decide 
whether his method of employing these myths is or is not at 
variance with bis own admission. 

After giving the dimensions of the Acropolis, he commences 
by saying that 'Cecrops was the first to choose it for his 
'residence; he there planted himself with the Egyptian 

* colony which followed him. He gave to the rising town 

* not only his own name, but that of aarv^ a word adopted 
' by the Attic Ghreeks alone, and which seemed to consecrate 
' their relation to E^rpt. Cecrops came originally from Sais^ 
' the capital of the Delta, and from thence brought with him 

* the worship of. Neith or Athena.' This last statement is 
repeated at page 185., where he is speaking of the account given 
by Herodotus of the Propylaea, which Amasis had built at that 
place. ' The coincidence/ be remarks, * is curious ; nor is it 
' less singular that Herodotus admires in the Saitic Propylna 

* precisely that which Pausanias admired in the Athenian ' (i. e.^ 
tiie size and beauty of the stone-blocks). Of the Evechtheium, 
M. Beul^ says that 'Erecfatheus bad given his name to it, either 

* because he had raised the first altar or the first temple, 

* or because it had been hie residence or his tomb.' Again, 
' Cecrope had been buried in the precinct consecrated to Minerva; 
^ his tomb occupied a distinct and consideraUe space,' &c. Ce- 
crops also * had presented the statue of Minerva to the adoration 
' of the Pela^ans, and raised to her a simple altar. Erechthenft 

* had surrounded the statue with a covered building attached to 

* his residence.' His assertions throughout the v(Jume of ' Stn- 
' dice on the Petoponnesus ' are stilt more remarkable, because 
they are introduced with no such qualifications, and because lie 
constantly makes them the ground of distinct historical conciu- 
sions. We do M. BeuM no injustice in saying that Lycurgus 
is with Um a personage quite as historical as Brasidas. ^ From 

* Crete,* he tells us, * Lycurgus sailed to Asia. He there 

* found the poems of Homer preserved by the descendants of 

* Kreophylus. Struck by the beauties of Epic poetry ..... 
* ' • * • he hastened to write down the poem, in order to present 

52 The Acropolis of Athens, July, 

^ it to his conntrymen.' Amongst the many temples at Sparta, 
' Lyenrgus himself consecrated one to Laughter, as though to 
' declare that his laws did not banish from his city all that could 
^ soften and humanise life/ In the Isthmian games it was the 
object of Theseus ' to establish a political connexion between 
*^e Attic lonians with the lonians and ^olians of the 
' Peloponnesus.' To the Arcadian games on Mount Lycieus 
he traces the origin of the Koman Lupercalia^ and adds, * Livy 
' in fact affirms that this custom had been introduced by Evan- 

* der ; ' and when speaking of the fondness of the Arcadians for 
human sacrifices^ he notices that ^ the Komans, their descendants, 
' inherited this ferocity.' The Arcadian traditions are, in bis 
judgment, < so singular, and their simplicity gives them, at the 

* same time, such an air of probability, that one knows not 
' what kind of doubt or criticism to apply to them. As at bottom 

* they possess but little importance, the best way is to belieye 
' them blindly.' We should be glad to know what sort of 
belief this is; but assuredly, when used for M. Benin's pur- 
poses, these legendary statements are anything but unimportant 
On the contrary, they do better service than a whole mass of 
historical authorities which may be arrayed against them. 
Their uses are indeed multiform ; they are sometimes fables, 
sometimes facts, sometimes the subjects of a little fanciful 
criticism. The dedication by Telemus of three altars to Hera, 
as child, wife, and widow, suggests the reflection that in the 
marriage we may discern an attempt to introduce the Argive 
divinity into Arcadia, and in the widowhood the ill success of 
this attempt (ib. p. 192.). 

But, whether regarded as fact or fable, these statements 
furnish important arguments for his conclusions respecting 
Spartan and Athenian art. The latter is affiliated on Egypt* 
mainly on the strength of the Cecropian myth; and the 
legends of Lycurgus and his legislatures are cited to 'prove that 
Pericles was mistaken in his view of the character and ten- 
dencies of the Spartan constitution. The unfair and illogical 
nature of the inference, on M. Benin's own admission, is obvi- 
ous. The utter worthlessness for historical purposes of the 
tales of Cecrops, Erechtheus, and other mythical heroes, has 
been abundantly proved by other writers as well as by Mr. 
Grote, and seems faintly to suggest itself to M. Beul^. On 
this question we need not enter, and our reasons for declining 
to trace Greek art to an Egyptian source have been given in a 
previous Number of this Review.* But M. Beul£ fairly 

• Ed. Review, No. ccxiii., p. 12(5., Art. * Fer^usson's Architecture.' 

1859* The Acropolis of Athens. 53 

adBumes the point at issue, when he concludes, from the oc- 
currence of a single word in Herodotus, that the idea of the 
Athenian Propylssa was borrowed from those of Amasis, and 
still more when he comes to discuss Mr. Penrose's masterly trea- 
tise on the Principles of Athenian Architecture. The entasis or 
swell of the Doric column was a fact well known previously ; 
hut Mr. Penrose, by the most careful admeasurements, dis- 
covered that, in addition to this, every vertical line of the Par- 
thenon converged to a fixed point (necessarily at an immense 
height) above the building, and not only this, but that all the 
horizontal lines, whether above or below the columns, and in- 
cluding the steps of the platform^ possess a curvature corre- 
sponding to that of the columns. Whether Mr. Penrose was 
right in the reasons assigned by him for this curvature is a 
question fairly open to doubt. But M. Beul6 arms himself 
with the Cecropian legend^ and proceeds ^to distinguish be- 

* tween the vertical and horizontal curves — the first being of a 
' foreign origin, on a principle common to the ancient temples ; 
' the other, the creation of Greek art in the course of its deve- 

* lopment. The entasis of the columns and the aiming at a 
' pyramidal form are the secret oif all deviations from the per- 

* pendicular, and it is from Egypt that these traditions arrived 
' with the Doric order, just as Greece received from Asia the 
' elements of the Ionic order and its elegant richness.' But the 
legends of Egyptian influence * are either false or inadmissible as 
arguments. No such influence can be proved, while we have 
a reason which adequately explains any resemblance which 
may be traced between them. The architecture of Greece and 
Egypt, as of India and Assyria, sprang from an original type in 
wood. A priori, therefqre^ we might, in all of them, expect to 
find sloping walls, and it seems impossible to trace any further 
connexion. M. Beul£ himself remarks that« 'in approaching 

* towards its perfection, the Doric architecture gradually dimi- 

* nished the enta!^is of its columns — a proof that^ far from having^ 
' invented it, the age of Pericles reduced it to its happiest 

* M. Beul6 lays a stress on the name aarv as connected with the 
tale of Egyptian migration. The word however is not peculiar to 
Greek and Egyptian ; and it is strange that he should not see how 
inconclusive it is as a philological argument. We would refer him 
to some very forcible remarks on the growth of this idea of Egyptian 
iafluence in the first volume of Colonel Mure's ' Critical History of 
' the Language and Literature of Ancient Greece.' They appear to 
418 to set the question finally at rest. 

54 The AcrapoUs nf Athens, July, 

^ measure,' — a proof, as it seems to us, still more of a fact 
which might equidly have been looked for, that lapse of time 
brought about a corresponding departure from tl^ primitive 

But if the old legends farnish M. Beul4 with materials for 
settling the origin of Athenian architecture, tbey do feu* greater 
service for that of the Peloponaesas and of Laconia in parti- 
eolar. Of old Sparta no building has come down to us, scarcely 
indeed the traces of any ; and amongst the writers of ancient 
times she has none to plead on her behalf against the anticnpa- 
lions of Thncydides and the cont^nptuous comments of Pericles. 
The formercfaaracterises her structures as generally insignifioant; 
the latter more than insinuates the poverty if not the vulgarity 
of her art. It is true that Sparta might have fought her own 
battles ; and if M. Beuld's supporitions are correct, her eilenoe 
is still more wonderful. But, in default of aU testimony fiom 
her own children, there was something inviting in the attempt 
to prove that poetry, music, architecture, and sculpture were 
there appreciated and honoured — that the people, whose vcdmi- 
tary ignorance even of reading and writing is moie than a 
suspicion, were ^ given to intellectual pleasures ' — and that the 
much maligned character of her citizens was a oomponnd of all 
manly and amiable virtues. To this end the l^ends of Lycurgns 
are diligently ransadced, and the names of Timletas, of Aikaaan, 
Terpander, and many others, are bron^t to swell the tale. 
It is, indeed, true that her poets, her sculptors, and her 
painters were all, with one or two insignificant exceptions, 
foreigners, and that at best die could only admire what she was 
utterly unable to produce. It is true, as M. Beul6 remarks, 
that the lion has not painted his own portrait ; but he has a 
strong witness on die lion's behalf, the geographer Pansanias. 
M. Beui^ has scrutinised his tedious and wearisome pages with 
praiseworthy diligence and zeal, and from him he learns that 
Sparta was singularly rich in the number of her terapke and 
public buildings, thiU; t^ city was full of grand woHls of art, 
and that the general effect was majestic. This is pressing his 
testimony somewhat too far. Pausanias may be a very good 
authority for the number of buildings, their position, size, or 
date, but he is a very bad authority for epithets. His catalogues 
are faultless, but his criticism is cont^nptible. Happily he does 
not often indulge us with any. He has, in the opinion of M. 
Beule himself, related nakedly and meagrely all that he sair, 
and taken down wit^ an indiscriminate credulity the merciless 
harangues of the i^vrai^ the worthy representatives of guides 

1859. 77itf Acropolis of Athens. 55 

in all ages. But the niAn who had no other epithet for 
the loveUest asationfl of human genius than that thej are 
'worth looking at/ and who seems to have eyes for nothing 
but number and magnitude, is not one by whose aid we may 
hope to reconstruct an obliterated city. His description of 
Athens is valuable, simply because Athens has not thus 
perished. But if sui^ had been har fiKte, it is no injustice to 
say that his description would have conveyed no idea of her 
magnificence or her beauty. So long as any local evidence re- 
mains, hie topography is of the utmost service ; but at Sparta 
all evidence is wanting, and M. Beul£ can but indulge in sup- 
positions, and frame pictures on the dry catalogues of Pausanias. 
From these we can assure oorselves of iiie number of public 
buildLogs, their names and situation; but when M. Beul6 
Bays that the tombs of the house of Agis presented an eflfect 
full at once of majesty and variety, he says what may be true, 
but is mot warranted by any authority. The whole volume 
is, indeed, an elaborate piece of constructive reasoning on 
grounds which axe either fallacious or inconclusive. With the 
exoeption of a rqined temple at Corinth, and a few fragments 
in Ajx»dia, he describes no biiildings from his own personal 
knowledge ; and a probable restoration of extinguished splen- 
dours by the help of myths smd topographies can scarcely arro- 
gate to itself any high amount of credibility. 

We have spoken candidly on these points, because we believe 
that M. Benin's method is both illogical and unjust, and may 
be productive of serious misflhief. We turn readily to others, 
in which we gladly acknowledge our obligations for his critical 
sagacity as well as his laborious researches. 

In the popular notion of the Paoathenaic procession, along 
with the train of sacrifidal victims, priests, virgins, magistrates, 
&C., figures a long array of chariots and horsemen winding 
through the PropylsBa and careering round the Parthenon. M. 
Bettl6 has ably shown that the approach to the Propyhea, being 
at an angle of at least twenty degrees, was such as to pre- 
dode the ascent, much more the descent, of any vehicles; 
snd, moreover, the miun entrance through the Propyhea was 
flo narrow that the slightest accident or deviation from the 
path must have inflicted irreparable injury on costly works 
of art which were closely ranged on either side. Yet more, 
he remarks that the notion is unsupported by any written 
authorities, not is there any sign q( a trade such as must 
have been caused by the passage of v^icles. These with 
the horsemen, he affirms, follow^ the ship which bore the 

66 The Acropolis of Athens. July> 

sacred peplvLs, and which, we are distinctly told, was not carried 
up the Acropolis. How, again, could it have been possible to 
convej through the Propylaea the materials (marble blocks, 
many fifteen feet long) for such buildings as the Erechtheium ? 
M. Beul^'s hypothesis is that they were craned up, a quicker and 
much less costly process ; and he holds it superfluous to ask 
whether the men who raised the architraves and pediments of 
the Parthenon possessed means, simple enough after all, for 
liftimi^ the heaviest masses. 

With equal ability and, we think, success he has combated 
the idea (entertained by Colonel Leake and others, and sys- 
tematically worked out by M. Bournouf ) that the Propylsea 
were erected for purposes of defence. His arguments clearly 
prove their inefficiency for this, had they ever been tested ; nor 
is it easy to meet his objection that, if such were their object, 
their character was singularly inappropriate. Porticos, columns 
rising in tiers, friezes and pediments exquisitely sculptured, 
equestrian statues, a temple and a chamber for paintings placed 
in front of the fortifications, seem strange barriers against a 
hostile force. The Greeks derided the Persians for going into 
battle with the flowing robes of women. M. BeulS asks whether 
it would have been less strange that the Athenians should raise 
a fortress on the model of a PcecilS and a Parthenon. 

That a system of decoration by polychrome was adopted in 
Greek buildings, both externally and internally, is now an 
unquestioned fact : but the exact character and limits of that 
system it is much less easy to defllle. In this, as in many cases, 
the incredulity with which, not very long since, the idea of such 
decoration was received, has been followed by a tendency to 
conclude that no single portion of a Greek temple was left 
uncoloured. M. Beul^ considers the evidence at present forth- 
coming as insufficient to warrant any positive assertions ; but 
there is enough to show that the Greek was entirely free from 
modern prejudices, whether for or against decoration by colour. 
The mingling of stone or marble, or of marbles of different 
colours, the introduction of metallic ornaments on statuary or 
works in relief, all subserved this purpose, not less than the 
employment of polychrome; and even without the use of a 
single pigment, the sculptor was enabled to produce works not 
less gorgeous than the painter. Formed of materials altogether 
more facile and malleable, the chryso-elephantine statue gave 
(what modern sculpture has not so much as aimed at), the 
living hues of the human form, and the varying tints of em- 
broidered garments. With the most sumptuous of these statues 

1859. The Acropolis of Athens. 57 

b associated the immortal name of Phidias; but the works 
themselves have perished. The colossal statue of Athena was 
plundered of its golden raiment by Lachares, and finally 'trans- 
ported by order of Justinian to adorn the Hippodrome of Byzan- 
tium, whither that of the Olympian Zeus had been conveyed 
before. The restoration^ therefore, of these statues must depend 
on the statements of writers like Pausanias, together with any 
designs on stone or metal which may chance to throw light 
upon it M. Benin's attempt to restore it by confining himself 
altogether to the description of Pausanias has called forth the 
vehement animadversion of M. Alphonse de Calonne« At the 
great Parisian Exposition of 1855 was exhibited a restoration 
of the Athena of Phidias (on a smaller scale) by M. Simart^ 
who had chiefly followed the Vienna stone with the name of 
Aspasius subscribed. This remarkable work was executed at 
the cost of the Due de Luynes, whose liberal patronage and ex- 
quisite taste suggested this revival of one of the most famous 
works of antiquity. It now adorns the Ch&teau de Dampierre, 
the Duke's residence. In spite, however, of the vast expenditure 
lavished on this chryso-elephantine statue, the effect it produces 
is scarcely equal to the idea we conceive of the Athenian 
Goddess; and a controversy has arisen as to the accuracy 
of the representation which has been followed. On this 
point we think that too rigid an adherence to the expres- 
sions of Pausanias has led M. Beul£ into some mistakes. 
From those expressions he infers a complete absence of all 
ornamentation, except on those parts of the statue which were 
nearest to the spectator, and thus confirms his own theory of 
the uniform simplicity and extreme severity of the art of 
Phidias. The contrary ideal furnished by the sculptured stone 
of Aspasius he rejects on the ground that the lunated sigma, 
which occurs in the inscription, was not employed in Greece 
till the second century of the Christian era, and that this work 
was therefore not produced in the golden age of Greek art. 
On this point M. Benin's case seems to us altogether weaker 
than that of M. de Calonne, who, first asserting that the name 
may possibly be the forgery of a later age, brings several 
inscriptions to prove that the lunated sigma occurs as early as 
a century and a half before the Christian era, and that it was 
not, as M. Beul6 supposes, a Koman introduction. If then this 
stone represents the Athena of the Parthenon, it must, M. de 
Calonne forcibly urges, belong to the best epoch of art, because 
it must have been executed before the statue of Phidias waa 
robbed of its ornaments; and if it be of that epoch, can it posei- 

58 The AcrcpoKs ofAthau^ ^jAjy 

bly represent any other type than that which PhidiaB evoked, 
and which was everywhere regarded as a miracle of beauty ? 
Bat the ideal set forth in this stone is that of extreme richness 
oyer the whole figure ; and, afi^r all, the expreenons of Pau- 
aanias scarcely justify M. Beul^ in using them as negative argu- 
ments. Pausanias says nothing of the crest of her helmet, of 
a collar or earrings. He denies therefore that they were found 
on the statue of Phidias. ' This system,' says M. de Cakmne, 
' will carry us a long way : and by the help of Pausanias we 
' shall soon succeed in robbing the chaste Minerva of her dearest 
' attribute, for Pausanias says nothing of her girdle ; let us 
' therefore remove the cincture from the virgin of the Hecatom- 
* pedon ; but M. Beul£ does not go quite so far, and in spite of 
' his silence he allows her a girdle.' Nor has M. Beul£ less 
exposed his weakness in maintaining that the Medusa of the 
riiield was represented as a monster only in the decay of art, 
while that of Phidias was * une admirable jeune fiUe, avec ses 
^ yeux mourants, ses l^vres immobiles, sa chevelure, dont les 
' boucles voltigent librement et rayonnent autour de. sa tete, 
^ oomme la chevelure d'ApoUon.* If this be so, Attic art in 
file days of Pericles grievously violated all the traditions of 
earlier ages. The glaring eyes of a maiden lovely even in 
death can never be the sight which could appal the warrior amid 
the din of battle, or freeze a living man into stone. The 70/77W 
fiXotrvpSnrof Sewov SepKOfiiinj of the Iliad, the snake-hiured 
beldames of -Slschylus, hs Syrjros oifSeU sltrvboav s^i wyodf, no 
more resembled the Medusa of M. Beule than Athena is iden- 
tical with Aphrodite. But on the main point, the extreme 
beauty^ namely, of this form of art, and the many advantages of 
working with these materials, M. Beul^ and his opponent are 
in agreement. The whole subject may well suggest the possi- 
bility that our theories of sculpture may yet require very grave 

Many points of deep interest still remain ; but our limits pre- 
clude us from bestowing upon them even a passing notice. 
We would gladly have followed M. Beul6 in his researches into 
the earlier fortifications of the Acropolis, and the various changes 
which the ascent of the Propylsea has undergone, — ^through the 
several temples of the Wingless Victory, of Artemis Brauronia, 
of Athena ErganS, and Athena Poiias, — through the Pinaootheca 
and the Erechtheium. W^ could have wished to devote more 
space to the Parthenon itself, on the question of its internal 
arrangement, its furniture, and its roofing, and to do some jus- 
tice to the great critical skill with which M. Beule has analysed 

1859. The Acropolis ofAtkent. 59 

its sculptures^ for the purpose of determining what portion of 
the work each sculptor contributed. 

We linger round the glorious works of the Athenian Acro- 
polis, and the illustrious names which are assodated with them. i 
Of most of them our knowledge is scanty indeed. Mnesides, 
Ictinue, Callierates^ and Alcamenes are but a few. with whom 
time hiiB dealt mcHre gently than with others once not less illus- 
trious ; yet even these are to us but little more than a name. 
PhidltB dhme stands forth, solitary alike in his greatness and 
his nusfortoBea ; and in his history, so glorious in its course, so 
disastvoos in its close, we see the full working of that mysterious 
spell wluch lured the countrymen of Pericles to reject and dis- 
honour the most eminent of their race in philosophy and art as 
in civil goyemment The woikman was gone ; but his work 
remainea to win for Athens an undisputed supremacy. The 
choice of tbe Sage Goddess was fully justified : the statesman 
and the souiptor had both made her city a pride and a wonder 
for all ages. They left to their children a glorious heritage ; 
but a scanty snrfiice on a craggy rock, scarcely more than nine 
hundred feet in length or four hundred in breadth, sufficed to 
contain it. On what other spot of equal size has so much 
of faaltleas beauty and grace and majesty been ever brought 

Air:. ITL — ^f^-J^k cf v^. C<^*H of Gt&r^ IV^ l*Si) — 1630. 
if^xu Ofv/,f,xL i'*::J,*r 'iy.*uj^iku^ Bt use I>,:ke at BcCK- 

^Itr/,^^ tf^ ar.|^6arar^<«; cf our article on die fiist pcsiod of Laid 

tf^t^ f^^.fi y^'r^WiMf-A frtAn the familj paperi in the poiiw "i^imi of 
U$^ huk^ f4 i^uckirigham, which oumpriae the tea jcan of the 
f ^n '/T George I V* In continuii^ our reriev of eteiits firom 
tli« iksUh of Cc^d Caeiiereagh in lb22, to the aeoenon of tk 
lUform MiniAtrY in 1830^ we shall avail ooraelTes of the nnte- 
riaU <^^taine<l sn these Tolomea. At the same time we mnst 
^ffiofH (fUr 4jp\nUm that the editor has shown a colpaUe disn- 
ff^rA *X the ftseVinffB of living persons in publishing at lei^di the 

i private and confidential letters addressed to the late Duke of 
[}iickin^lmuj, by his near relations and intimate fiiends ; many of 
tboM? letters contain passages rehiting to events in private life, 
iff a c^;utfiftratively recent date, which it was improper and vat- 
bcc^mting to give to the public, and which are utterly YslueleflS 
for any quention of political and historical interest. 

AdoiHing an American metaphor, we may say that the admi- 
nistration of Lord Liverpool, after the second and final downfal 
of NttjMileoni began the peace with a large balance of popularity 
at their banker's in their favour, formed out of their accumula- 
tions during «the last years of the war; while the account of the 
Opponition had been overdrawn, and exhibited a balance against 
them. Owing to their policy respecting the war with Napoleooi 
the latter T)arty liad an arrcar of unpopularity to cancel, before 
they eoiilu sot themselves straight with the country ; but this 
object was gradually effected, and before long they converted 
their defieieney into a surplus. The Whigs were not only more 
liberal and tolerant than the Tories ; less desirous of maintain- 
ing a monopoly of power and of permanently excluding the 
unprivilogod nnd the heterodox ; but their opinions on financial^ 
ooonon)ioal, and commercial subjects, on questions of law 
roform, and on colonial and international policy, were more 
cnlightonod and philosophical. As the succession of debates 
uuil nuHiims in Parliament, and the changes in public afTairs, 
dt)volo|iod this antithedis» and disclosed the true character of 
caoh politiml partv, the Ministry lost its hold upon the country, 
whilo the Op|>osition steadily advanoed in public estimation. 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 61 

It should be observed that the progress of legislative reform 
had been unnaturally retarded in this country during the 
interval between 1792 and 1815 by the circumstances of the 
time, and that a vigorous and somewhat enterprising spirit was 
required of a ministry at the commencement of the peace, in 
order to bring our legislation into harmony with the growing 
wants of the country, and the advanced state of intelligence. 
This state of things had been owing partly to the war, which 
engrossed the attention of the Government and the public, and 
diverted men's thoughts from internal improvement; but 
principally to the French Revolution, which had engendered a 
morbid horror of all innovation, and had produced a vindictive 
mistrustful feeling in the upper classes towards their inferiors 
in social rank. * If any person * (said Sir Sara. Romilly, writing 
in 1808) ^ be desirous of having an adequate idea of the mis- 

* chievous effects which have been produced in this country by 
'the French Revolution and all its attendant horrors, he should 
' attempt some legislative reform on humane and liberal prin- 
' ciples. He will then find, not only what a stupid dread of 

* innovation, but what a savage spirit it has infused into the 
'mindsr of many of his countrymen.'* The storm which, on 
the Continent, had swept away all ancient institutions, even 
those which were beneficial, had in England riveted even our 
ancient abuses to the soil. While Jacobinism had, in France, 
borne down its opponents, and had therefore been eminently 
destructive, it had in England only served to rouse a spirit of 
reactionary alarm, and had therefore been eminently conservative. 

The almost unbroken tenure of power which the Tories had 
enjoyed for so long a period likewise produced its usual corrupt- 
ing influence, in creating a sense of irresponsibility, and in 
separating their interests and sympathies from those of the 
people at large. This state of things is disclosed in the letters 
contained in the Duke of Buckingham's new publication. In 
admitting us behind the scenes of the Liverpool Cabinet, they 
show how much its movements were determined by petty per- 

* Mem. of Rom. vol. ii. p. 247. Prof. Smytb, in addressing his 
class in 1826, made the following remark: — * You, who have not 
^ exactly lived during the times of the French Revolution, cannot at 

* all imagine how long and how deeply it affected the thoughts, the 

* feelings, and the interests of every human being, without any excep. 
*tion, that then existed in the civilised world.' (Lectures on the 
French Revolution^ vol. i. p. 144.) The publication of the Anti- 
Jacobin, and its success^ is a striking proof how the public attention 
of England was engrossed with French politics, and what were then 
called French principles. 

62 Memoirs of the Cmai of George IV. July^ 

aofoal motives; how many ammgoncntB were in piogrMB in which 
the public interest was a seoondaiy eonfflderation: how much 
certain familiea and aectiona and interests had learned to ooh* 
rider the GoYemment as a machine to be worked for their 
benefit, or at least under their direction. Although the feeHiigs 
and opinions expressed in familiar letters, written without the 
idea of publicity, cannot always be taken as the deliberate views 
of the writer, yet it must be admitted by the most preyadiced 
Tory that the picture of the administration of public afikirs, 
during the first years of the reign of Gre(»ge lY., presented by 
these letters^ is anything but creditable or respectable. 

Berides the stationary and unprogresrive character whidi the 
Liverpool Mimstry maintained at a moment when the inaction 
of twenty-five years demanded of a goyemment a spirit of 
active improvement ; and which therefore tended to lower the 
esteem in which it had been held ; there was another drcnm* 
stance which operated against the Ministry at this iim^ as 
compared with the previous rdgn. George UL always exer« 
cised a considerable influence, independent of his Ministers. 
His shrewdness and insight into men's motives, his mocal and 
respectable life, his sympathies with the prejudices of the 
country, and his genuine wish to be a good king, according to 
the measure of his undarstanding, gave him this position. If 
he wished to undermine or weaken his Mimsters, he used this 
influence agsdnst them ; if he wished to support and strengthen 
them> he used it in their favour. But it was a substantive 
influence, which made itself felt throughout the greater part of 
his reign. Mr. Fox and Lord Grenville, in their private 
letters, equally bear testimcmy to its reality. George IV., oa 
the other hand, was always unpopular ; even before he became 
Begent, his debts, his profligacy, his quarrdl with his wife, and 
his general character, had alienated the people from hinu During 
his regency and reign, the eloquence of statesmen, the wit of 
poets, and the scumlity of newspapers and pamphlets, were 
equally employed in rendering him contemptible and odious. 
Lord Byron and Moore vied with one another in lampooning him 
in verses which the present generation learn by heart. When 
at length he secluded himself from the public view, the popular 
imagination regarded him almost as a Tiberius, who had found 
a CapresB in the Cottage in Windsor Park. It may therefore 
be said that, from the beginning of his Begency in 1811 to the 
close of his reign in 1830, the regal influence was limited to 
the strict exercise of the prerogative: George IV. had no 

Krsonal influence; instead of his popularity supporting tb6 
inistry, the difficulty was for the Ministzy to support Us 

1859. Memairs of the Court of George IV. 63 

unpc^ularify^ and to uphold the respect for the Crown when it 
encircled the head of such a sovereigD. 

The only popular trium{^ which George lY. achieved^ were 
his state visits to Ireland and Scotland ; which were the more 
remarkable as they followed close upon the Queen's TriaL 
The following remarks of Lord Dudley upon the former visit, 
in a letter of Nov. 1821^ are» however, worthy of notice: — 

' I canoot help suspecting that His Majesty^s late jovmeys to see 
his kingdoms of Ireland and Hanover will not on the whole redound 
much to his honour or advantage. His manners no doubt are, when 
he pleases, very graceful and captivating. No man knows better 
how to add to an obligation by the way of couferriag it. But, on the 
whole, he wants dignity, not only in the seclusion and familiarity of 
his more private life, but on public occasions. The secret of popu- 
larity in very high stations seems to consist in a somewhat reserved 
and lofty, but courteous and uniform, behaviour. Drinking toasts, 
shaking people by the hand, and callmg them Jack and Tom, gets 
more applause at the moment, but fails entirely in the long run. He 
seems to have behaved not like a sovereign coming in pomp and state 
to visit a part of his dommions, hot hke a popular candidate come 
down upon an electioneering trip. If the day before he left Ireland 
he had stood for Dublin, he would, I dare say, have turned out Sliaw 
or Grattan. Henry lY. is a dangerous example for sovereigns that 
are not, like him, splendid chevaliers and consummate captains. Louis 
XrV., who was never seen but in a full-bottomed wig, even by his 
vaUt-de-chambre^ is a much safer model.' {Lord Dudley's Letters^ 
p. 295.) 

The letters recently published by the Duke of Buckingham 
state that the King diverted himself and his companions during 
his passage to Ireland with revelry and singing, and that he 
arrived at the Phoenix Park in a dtate of intoxication. They 
likewise contain many details respecting his private life at 
Wmdsor^ which show that the popular feeling against him was 
anything but unfounded. 

While the Liverpool Administration from 1815 to 1822, and 
ia a less degree from 1822 to 1827^ maintained on the whole a 
Btationary coursOj and at seasons of disturbance resorted to 
measures of repression and coercion, the Whig Opposition 
steadily enforced measures of a liberal characten Though the 
tactical success of the Oj^sition was not great, they prepared 
the mind of the public for political changes by discussion and 
debate ; and by defending popular rights and popuhur interests, 
^y acquired a popularity which speedily deserted theu: Conser- 
vative antagonists. On the questions of retrenchment of the 
V^hUft expenditure, of Criminal Law Eeform, of West Induui 
Slavery, of Popular Education, and of Parliamentary Reform, 

64 Memoir t of the Ccmri of George IV. July, 

tbe Miowten were ranged on the unpopular, the Oppoeition on 
the popular side. The conunercial policy of the Liverpool 
Ministry was its brightest point ; on the Catholic Qaestion the 
CaUnet was divided. 

Tbe administration of Lord Liverpool consists of two well 
marked periods; the first of which may be designated as the 
nebulous, the second as the semilnminous, period. The first, 
which extesds over the ten years from 1812 to 1822, is dis-- 
tinguisbed by the leadership of Lord Castlereagh in the House 
of Commons. The second, lasting for the five years from 1822 
to 1827, is distinguished by the leadership of Mr. Canning in 
the same assembly. 

The post of ministerial leader of the House of Commons, to 
which Mr. Canning was promoted in September 1822, at tbe 
age of fifty-two, was one to which he had, some years before, 
aspired. When the Portland Administration was approaching 
its end, Mr. Canning had two rivals in the Cabinet, Lord 
Castlereagh and Mr. Perceval. To Lord Castlereagh he ob- 
jected as unfit for the War department, and the unfortunate 
issue of the Walcheren expedition rendered his competition in- 
nocuous. But Mr. Perceval was a more formidable rival; and 
when he was preferred by the Eang for the situation of Prime 
Minister, to which Mr. Canning advanced his claims, the latter 
retired from the Cabinet. If Mr. Canning had, at the Dake of 
Portland's resignation in 1809, retained the seals of Foreign 
Secretary, he would doubtless have become the political heir of 
Mr. Perceval, after his assassination in the spring of 1812. As 
it was, the office of Foreign Secretary, with the lead of the 
House of Commons, passed to Lord Castlereagh at the forma- 
tion of the Liverpool Ministry : and although Lord Liverpool 
shortly afterwards proposed to Mr. Canning an arrangement by 
which he should resume the Foreign department, he refused the 
offer, because it was intended that Lord Castlereagh should re- 
tain the lead of the House of Commons. Those who now pre- 
ferred Lord Castlereagh to his rival Mr. Canning as leader were 
influenced partly by the recollection of their quarrel in 1809, ns 
to which the general sympathy was with Lord Castlereagh. Mr. 
Canning had been Foreign Secretary when the Spanish insur- 
rection broke out ; it was he who initiated the Peninsular war, 
and sent Sir Arthur Wellesley to Portugal; and if he had 
been Foreign Secretary at the time of Napoleon*s fisJl, his 
political position in 1814 would have been one of great emi- 
nence and splendour, although he might not have been giin- 
isterial leader of the House of Commons. The Peninsular war, 
which originated in his policy, would, under his official guidance. 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of Ge&rge IV. 65 

have been bronght to a successfal issoe, and he might have con- 
claded the peace. As it was. Lord Castlereagh obtained the 
credit which accrued to the Ministry from the great events of 
1814 and 1815; and ho was raised to a pinnacle of fame and 
inflnence from which he looked down npon the comparatively 
obscure and powerless condition of his unsuccessful rival. Hav- 
iDgy through a fortunate combination of circumstances, reached 
this elevation, his intrepidity, his directness, his firmness of 
purpose, his immovaUe calmness, the dignity of his personal 
demeanour, and his other moral qualifications for the post of 
leader, enabled him to retain in the House of Commons an as- 
cendancy which his abilities, knowledge, and eloquence would 
never have given him.* Lord Dudley considers the career of 
Lord Castlereagh, compared with that of Mr. Canning, to afford 
an illustration of Voltaire's saying, * that a man's success in life 
^ depends less on his talents than on the force of his character.' 
Voltaire's examples are Mazarin and De Betz ; to which Lord 
Dudley adds Bolingbroke and Walpole. Lord Castlereagh 
did not indeed possess those advantages which aristocratic birth 
and education have conferred on many of our statesmen. His 
knowledge, whether constitutional, historical, or classical, was 
of the most limited sort ; he belonged to tiie illiterate school of 
polidcians, and would doubtless have sympathised heartily with 
the modem dictum that more instruction is to be derived from 
one number of the ' Times' than from the history of Thueydides. 
His political life had however begun at an early age ; he had been 
the Irish ministerial leader at the time of the Rebellion and the 
Union ; his parliamentary and official experience had been ex- 
tensive; and his mode of transacting the business of the English 
House of Commons was such as to satisfy that somewhat fasti- 
dious assembly, even at a time when its intellectual standard was 
high. He navigated the ship of the State through the syrtes of 
the distress and disaffection of 1817 and 1819 ; he withstood the 
shock of the Queen's trial, and when the short attack of insanity 
supervened which brought his life to a premature dose at the 
age of fifty-three, he seemed to have taken a new lease of power. 

• A favourable, but not unjust estimate of Lord Castlereagh's qua- 
lifications for the post of ministerial leader is given by Mr. Twiss, in 
his < Life of Eldon,' vol. ii. p. 462. See also Lord Brougham's sketch, 
'Sutesmen,' vol. ii. pp. 109-117, which be concludes with tbis re- 
mark:— « Lord Castlereagh is certainly the most striking example of 

* the effects produced by our parliamentary system of government, in 
^ mosrunjustly lowering the reputation of public men who happen 

* not to succeed in debate.' 

VOL. ex. NO. CCXXIII. ^ 


MemoiniftktC^vt^Gtmfeir. Jnlr, 

Ttt IjxA Csitkre^'s deadi, bovem frm Iv tenre of 
f^rw flunr lure feetoed to be vhen it ooemed, aost be 
ecAadere^ to bare contr^^oted matemUj to tbe iluiiii i w of the 
Lrr«rp(K4 Adfoiommk^n. Like Mr. Camm^ be w a sop- 
porter of the Cady>ljc cbimB ; and both bdaofped to die ediod 
of Pitt, mtlier tban of PercevaL But Lend OHtkrn^ bjd, 
from bu espericnee of the Iiisfa rebellioii, oontnetad a foodnese 
Un % ttroDg eoerciTe Gorenunent, at a period of Atmbance ; 
and bis viewt of domeatie pcJic^, tboagb oifficienlhr definite, 
were founded upon this narrow baaa. His Tiews of fixe^ 
politics, on the other hand, were not dear or independenu 
Paring the etrentfiil period from 1812 to 1815, be bad 
adonnistered the Foreign Office, principally as a War IGmster. 
When peace returned, and the lettleneat of Europe was to be 
made, bis judgment was chieflj guided by a -view of the 
evils from which the country had just eacqied; bis main objeet, 
therefore, was to obliterate the traoea of the Frendi iofloeooe 
orer Europe, and to build updykea against the perils of another 
French inundation* Hence he adopted too implicitly die riews 
of Mettemich, and the odier ministeia of the great despotic 
courts, with which he had recently acted, in the final stn^gie 
Mftiost Napoleon ; and he saw no dagger to Europe, proved 
toe alliance of Bussia, Austria, and Prussia maintained the 
combined action and military resources of those Govemments. 
One of the most prominent feelings of the English statesmen 
who lived during the war with Napoleon, was a convicdon of 
the advantages of peace, and a desire to preserve it unbroken. 
In this laudable feeling, Lord Cosdereagh strongly partidpated ; 
but, in seeking to midtiply the securities for peace, he over- 
looked the incidental evils which diese securities engendered. 
The Congress of the three despotic Powers, which had been 
instituted for the purpose of keeping France within bounds, 
and of maintaining the peace of Europe, began to be used for 
the purpose of suppressing popular movements in other States, 
on the plea that revolutionary excesses might tend to war, and 
that Jacobinism might light up a conflagradon in Earope. 
Hence the Holy Alliance (the principles of which Lord Castle- 
roagh had tacitly favoured) became a military league, not so 
much for tlie prcscrvntioii of European peace, as for the sup- 

Sresflion of European freedom, and the confirmation of European 
ospotism. In this armed conspiraoy of despots against the 
liberties of Europe, Lord Castlereagh was believed to be s^ 
aooomplioe ; and it is certain, that if he did not actively promote 
its operations, he did not actively remonstrate against its policy^ 
or Uirow the influence of England openly into the opposite scale. 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of Creorge IV. 67 

It may be added, that at the Congress of Vienna, he disregarded 
the assurances which had been given by the German Govern- 
ments, in appealing to the spirit of national independence against 
Napoleon. When the despotic Governments were weak, a^d 
wished to ronse the popular feeling against the common enemy, 
they encouraged hopes of the establishment of free institutions 
at the restoration of peace r but when peace was restored, these 
promises were forgotten. Lord Castlereagh, though the repre- 
sentative of the principal free Government in Europe, did nothing 
to recall the memory of these promises. He even allowed the 
pledges of English officers in Italy to be violated by the annexa- 
tion of G^noa to Piedmont. Justice to the weaker States was 
overlooked, in deference to his avowed paramount object, the re- 
establishment and re-organisatioh of the two great monarchies of 
Austria and Prussia, which (as he truly said) had been nearly 
destroyed by the war. The military position of these two States 
was the canon which determined the re-adjustment of boundaries, 
under his auspices, in .1815. Owing to this policy and these 
opinions. Lord Castlereagh became in the last years of his life a 
highly unpopular Minister : he continued, however, to enjoy the 
fevour of George the Fourth, and to receive the support of the 
large and still unbroken Tory party, as well as of the unreformed 
House of Commons, in which the direct popular element was 

Mr. Canning had been from his first introduction into Par- 
liament, a follower of Pitt, and had no political connexion with 
the Whigs. He was a determined opponent of Parliamentary 
Beform, and had defended Ae existing constitution of the House 
of Commons, in some of his most elaborate and effective 
speeches. But he was a man of far more knowledge and 
capadty than Lord Castlereagh; of a more elastic undei^ 
standing, and of a more independent judgment. He could 
appreciate more quickly and truly the changes in the circum- 
stances of the time, and adapt himself to them with greater 
i^iness. His views of foreign politics were more national, 
and less identified with those of the great despotic <50urt&— witu 
that system which, in the phraseology of tbe day, was called tne 
Holy Alliance. His political connexions, moreover, lay among 
persons of more liberal views in commercial and financial attwrs. 
At the beginning of 1823, soon after his assumption 5*J**J^^®^» 
Mr. Vansittart was created Lord Bexley, and succeed^ Mr^. 
Bathum as Chancellor of the Duchy of L^^^S^'wi-^t w^ 
of Finance Minister devolved on IMr. /^^,^- ^^ ^^°* ^^ 
'^signed the Presidency of the Board of ^ litnmn of 

HuBkisBon. The latter entered tHe Cabinet in the autumn of 

68 Memoirs of the Court of George IV. July, 

the same year. In 1814, the Liverpool Cabinet tad been 
repreBented in the House of Commona by Lord Castlere^h, 
Mr. Vansittart, Mr. Brapge Bathurat, andMr. Wellesley Pole; 
in 1823, it was represented there by Mr. Canning, Mr, Peel, 
Mr. Fred. Bobinaon, Mr. Huskigson, and Mr. Charles Wynn. 
This alteration in the cast of parts betokened a great advance 
towards a more liberal composition of the Ministry. Mr. F. 
Bobingon and Mr. Huskisson held sound economical opinions, 
and were disposed to move as far and as fast in the direction of 
free-trade as the protected interests would permit. Air. C. 
Wynn had been a member of the Grenville party; he hsd 
once acted with the Whigs, and was a friend of Catholic 
Emancipation. Mr. Feel, though the leader of the anti- 
Catholics in the House of Commons, and addicted to a narronr 
creed on alt religious questions, was enlightened and liberal in 
his economical views. When out of odice, he had been Chair- 
man of the Bank Committee, and bad introduced and carried, 
in 1819, the Bill by which the convertibility of the bank-note 
was re-established, although he had entered on the inquiry with 
opposite opinions to those he was led by the evidence to adopt 
On questions of criminal jurisprudence, likewise, his opinions 
were far in advance, not only of Lord Eldon and the Crown 
lawyers, but also of Lord Liverpool and Lord Castlereagh ; and, 
as Home Secretary, he gave practical effect to the doctrines 
which Sir Samuel KomilTy and Sir James Mnckiotosh bad in 
Tain attempted to enforce." 

The policy pursued by Mr. Canning as Foreign Maiater 

likewise served to give a more liberal character to Ube Ministry, 

and to bring it more into accordance with the general feeling of 

the country. The first principle which Mr. Canning hud down 

on receiving the seals of the Foreign Department, and upon 

which he consUteatly acted, was to destroy the power of the 

Holv Alliancw. to separate England from the union of coati- 

)d to make the maintenance of British 

lideration of his policy. The remonstrances 

egarded at the congresses of Lnyhacb and 

open exercise of the influence of Eng- 

icceeded in dissolving the alliance of the 

;he House of Commons, May 1S27, in his ei- 
Is for refusing to join Mr. Canning's MimBiry: 
gratifying to me to reflect, that no law stands 
n connexion witli ray name, which has not for 
•n of lite severity of the Criminal Law, and the 
se in the administration of justice.' 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 69 

great despotic courts. Though he was not able to avert the 
French invasion of Spain^ for the sake of suppressing the 
Spanish constitution, he succeeded in making it an exclusively 
French operation, and in preventing it from being a joint act 
of £uropean police. The Portuguese expedition prevented the 
invasion of that kingdom. He resisted the attempts of France 
and Russia to assist Spain in recovering her American pos- 
sessions; and he recognised the independence of the Spanish 
colonies on the mainland of America, as well as of Brazil, The 
latter was the principal positive result of his administration of 
the Foreign Office ; he carried it against the general opposition 
of Europe, without causing a war ; and Mr. Stapleton informs 
us that he met with so much resistance either from the King, 
or in the Cabinet, that he was twice on the point of resigning 
the seals of his office before the final decision to recognise the 
independence of the new states was taken. The Treaty of 
London, which secured the final liberation of Greece, and united 
this country to France and Russia for the emandpation of the 
Hellenic people, was also the work of his bold and farsighted 
diplomacy ; and no English statesman of modem times has left 
on the continent of Europe a name so identified with a great 
and generous policy. 

The Tory Government, having successfully encountered 
the discontents and disturbances engendered by the distress 
in the first years of the Peace, and having outlived the terrible 
earthquake of the Queen's trial, had at uiis time arrived at a 
period of prosperity, and (with the exception of Ireland) of 
internal tranquillity. It rested on the united strength of its 
party, now consolidated by a nearly continuous tenure of office 
for forty-three years. It was moreover represented in the 
House of Commons by leaders of undoubted ability, whose 
opinions were as enlightened as their party connexions pei^ 
mitted. In this state of things. Lord Liverpool was on the 
17th of February 1827, soon after the opening of the session, 
seized with an attack of paralysis, from which he never reco- 
vered, and which terminated his political life.* Although Lord 
Liverpool was not an important man, he filled an important 
position, and his death was immediately attended by important 
consequences. Without being the capital of the column, he 
was the keystone of the arch. Lord Castlereagh, and after him 
Mr. Canning, may, each in his turn, have been the leading man 
in the Ministry ; but Lord Liverpool's death showed that he 

* He died on the 4th of Dec. 1828, aged fifty-eight years. 

Memoirs of the Court of George 1 V. July, 

/ for recoDciling the pereonal rivalries and political 
renceB of a Cabinet which •was divided on the principal 
tion of the day — Catholic EmancipatioD ; and that he per- 
ed the moet important function of a Prime Minister, that of 
ing hie cabinet together.* 

. order to explain the state of parties at this crisis, it is 
nary that we should trace the recent history of the Catholic 
ition, upon which the miniBterial negotiations mainly turned. 
ie partial successes in favour of the Catholic claims which 
t>een obtained under the pressure of the war in 1612 and 
I, had not been followed up in the two anxious and agitated 
1 of 1814 and 1815 ; but in 1816 resolutions in favour of 
!!!atholic8 were negatived in both Houses. The return of 
i had given fresh conGdence to the anti-Catholic party, by 
nishing the dangers of internal discord, and removing the fear 
1 invasion. ' As the fear of Bonaparte subsided ' (says Mr. 
leton),' thedreadofthe Pope arose; and when Mr. Canning 
!pted office in 1816, the opinions of the great mass of the 
ulation of England had become; more than they had been, 
ite to emancipation.' It was not, however, so much an 
ased fe»r of the Pope, as a diminished fear of the oon- 
snces of Irish misgovemment, which produced this changs 
pinion in Great Britain. Mr. Canning, conscious of 
trength of the anti-Catholic feeling in England, declared 
the Catholic Question must ' win, not force, its way.' 
ickily, however, it was destined not to win its way by 
n, but to force its way by threats. The prospects of the 
ure somewhat improved in the following years ; as in 1821 
1 for the relief of the Catholics passed the Commons, and 
sent up to the Lords. In 1825, afler both Houses had 
id to a Bill for suppressing the Catholic Association, which 
lommenced its agitation in 1823, three Bills were introduced 
the House of Commons ; the first, removing the disabihties 
le Catholics ; the second, including a provision for the 
olio clei^ of Ireland ; the third, disfranchising the Irish 
freebolders. The first of these Bills passed the House of 
nous-, but was rejected in the Lords. The other twomeft- 
had made prt^ress in the Commons, but were abandoned in 
quence of the loss of the main Bill in the Lords- Sanguine 

lee the character of Lord Li?erpool in Twiss's Life of Lord 
, vol. ii. p. 587. There are likewise eslimales of him in Ann. 
1827, p. W. ; and in Eush'a First Residence at the Court of 
■n, p. 46., the latter of whom remarks of Lord Liverpool'* 
et, that ' if he was not Uio ablest man of the body, he was «3- 
ally its head.' 

1859, Memoirs of the Court of George IK 71. 

hopee bad been entertained in this year, that the increaeed 
knowledge of the state of Ireland^ and the prc^eas of reason^ 
wonld have; led to the p^kceable adjustment of the entire quea* 
tion. Mr. Peel, the anti-Catholio leader in the House of Com*, 
mens, tendered to Lord Liverpool the resignation of his office in 
oonsequenoe of the decbion to which that House had come, in 
order to facilitate f he settlement of the question.* The assent 
of Parliament to the measure for suppressing the Catholic 
Association, and the refusal of the House of Lords to pass the 
Bill for the relief of Catholic disabilities, indicated a determined 
spirit of intolerance, injustice, and coercion, which could not fail 
to extinguish all hopes of conciliation, and to exasperate the 
Irish leaders. The animosity, the virulence, the menaces of 
the Catholic agitators were redoubled by this decision of the 
Honse of Lords. But though statesmen might see that> 
this exacerbation of symptoms was only an additional reason 
for a gentle and soothing treatment, the spirit of the English 
people rose against threats ; and when the Catholic Question 
was brought forward in March, 1827, by Sir Francis Burdet^ 
his motion, contrary to Mr. Canning's expectation, was lost; it 
was negatived by a majority of 276 to 272. This retrognide 
movement was doubtless the effect of the reaction of English 
opinion against the increased violence of the Lrish agitators; 
At this moment, therefore, the breach between Great Britain 
and Ireland was wider than it had been at any time since the 
Union ; and the prospect of a tranquil settlement seemed more 
remote than ever. Lreland was becoming more stubborn, in-* 
suiting, and disaffected ; Great Britain, more intolerant, angry, 
and oppressive. 

It was in this state of things that the. negotiations for the re<* 
construction of the Cabinet were to be commenced. Partly from 
a temporary uncertainty as to the effects of Lord Liverpool's 
seizure, }uid partly from the indecision of the King and the po- 

* This fact was stated by Mr. Peel in the House of Commons^ 
Mareb 5. 1829, and was, the subject of further explanation, on June 
19. 1846, in consequence of the charges made by Lord G. Bentinek 
and Mr. Disraeli. Sir Kobert Peel then showed that, in consequence 
of hid political position after the third reading of the Catholie Belief 
Bill hy the House of Commons, he signified to Lord Liverpool hid 
wish to resign, soon after May 10. 1825 ; and that he was induoed to 
abandon this resolution, in consequemce of the rejection of the Bill 
by the House of Lords. Lord GrenVille, in letters of April and May 
1825, expresses a confident opinion that the. settlement of the Catho- 
lic question is at hand, and cannot be long delayed (Mem* of Court 
of George IV„ vol. ii. p. 245-68.) 


72 Memoirs of the Court of George IVi July, 

latical difficulties of the moment, there ensued a long ministeriat 
uiterregnumy during which the business of Parliament was to a 
great extent suspended. The main obstacles to an arrangement 
arose from the threatening state of Ireland, the repugnance of 
the King to the removsJ of the Catholic disabilities, and the 
division of opinion on that question among the leading members 
of the Tory party. As soon as Lord Liverpool's state was as- 
certuned, negotiations were commenced between the chief mem- 
bers of his Cabinet respecting the choice of a person to supplj 
his place. Mr. Canning aspired to the post of Prime Minister ; 
and his political standing, his unrivalled eloquence, his ability 
in counsel, and his political experience, pointed him out as tbe 
natural successor of Lord Liverpool. But his opinions on the 
Catholic Question were distasteful to the King, and to the bulk 
of the party by which the late Cabinet had been supported. It 
may be added that, except in Ireland, they were unpopular ; 
they were not shared by any large class either in England or 
Scotland ; and they were adverse to the religious sentiments of 
the people. The two most important persons in the anti-CathoHc 
party were Mr. Peel and the Duke of Wellington : the foimer 
as being their ablest speaker and their leader in the House of 
Commons ; the latter on account of his high rank, his splendid 
military reputation, his force of character, and his honesty of 
purpose. Since the death of Lord Londonderry, the Duke of 
Wellington had been the leader of the high Tory section of tbe 
Cabinet, which was hostile to Mr. Canning, and wUch re^esented 
the traditions of the foreign policy of his predecessor. The per- 
eonal relations of Mr. Fed with Mr« Canning were more 
friendly; but the inconsistency of their positions as leaders of 
the pro-Catholio and anti-Catholic parties in the House of 
Commons, respectively, produced an active feeling of political 
rivalry and jealousy between them.* 

• c — 

* Mr. Fremantle, in a letter to the Duke of Buckingham, of Sept 
29. 1828, says : *I conceive that nothing can be more unfriendl/ 

* than the footing on which the Duke of Wellington and CaoDing 

* stand ; for, independent of the measure of Lord Maryboroog^ 

* the whole foreign diplomacy and policy is carried on without tbe 

* Duke's intervention, whereas in Lord Londonderry's time not a step 

* even of the smallest import, was taken without his participation and 

* concurrence.' {Mem. of Court of CreorgelK^ vol. ii. p. 7.) In another 
letter of June 19. 1824, he says : * The language of the Tory party, 

* both of the old and present Court, is universal and undisguised abuse 
^of Canning.' (lb. p. 91.) Mr. Flumer Ward, in a letter of Sept 2a 
1824, sajTS, in speaking of the superiority of the Duke of Wellington's 
party in the Cabinet : * Neither he (Mr. Canning), nor Lord Xiverpool 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of George IK 73 

In an interview with the King on the 27th of March, Mr. 
Canning, bdng asked for his advice, had counselled His Majesty 
to form a government composed exclusively of persons hostile to 
the Catholics, and signified his own willingness to resign in order 
to facilitate such an arrangement. This offer the King rejected, 
declaring his wish to retain Mr. Canning in the service of the 
Crown; but he proposed that a peer of anti-Catholic opinions 
should be made Prime Minister. Mr. Canning then declared 
that he could not consent to be excluded from that post on ac- 
count of his opinions, and that he could only retun office on con- 
dition of having the substantive power of First Minister. He 
objected to what he styled 'the superinduction of an anti- 
* Catholic First Minister over his head.' With this mutual expla- 
nation, they parted ; and nothing was then decided. It appears 
that some days afterwards a plan was discussed between Mr. 
Canning and the Duke of Wellington of raising Mr. Fred. 
Bobinson to the Feerase, and of placing him at the head of the 
Treasury. Mr. Cannug's object in making this suggestion 
seems to have been to keep the office of Foreign Secretary, 
which he preferred to any other ; his intention, however, as he 
subsequently explained it, was, that he, and not the First Lord 
of the Treasury, should be the < First Minister.' As Mr. 
Bobinson'a opinions respecting the Catholic Question agreed 
with Mr. Canning's, the end which the Eang and the Duke 
of Wellington had in view would not have been attained by 
this arrangement Mr. Peel did not put himself forward as 
a candidate for the office of Prime Minister, and apparently did 
not wish to become Lord Liverpool's successor; he deferred to 
the prior claims which seniority at least gave to Mr. Canning ; 
but he informed Mr. Canning of his intention to resign, if a 
person favourable to the CathoUcs ^should be placed at the head 
of the Government. One reason which he alleged for this de- 
cision was the necesoty . of an agreement between the opinions 
of the Home Secretary, who was responsible for the govern- 
ment of Ireland*, and the Prime Minister, on the Catholic Ques- 

* conceal their feeling as to the preponderance ; a feeling that breaks 

* out into downright complaints of personal impropriety and unfairness. 
•From this, however, Canning always excepts Peel, who, be sajrs, 
'thoogh he has opposed him, has always done it in a fair, open, manly 
•numner. On the other hand, the Duke says, he (Canning) is not to 
'be trusted, and the great corpus delicH is not only his disposition to 
•run counter to Lord Londonderry's policy and sy stem, but ^}^^^ 

* JDg personal run at his individual acts, schemea, and friends, yjaem. 
•/ Court rf George IV., vol. ii. p. 126.) ^ . r.«^,«^«. ;n 
^ * The itBrnn was stated by Mr. Peel in the Honse of Commons, m 

bw speech of May 1. 1827. 

74 Memoirs of the Court of George IV. July, 

tion ; but Mr. Canning obviated this difficulty by an offer of tiie 
Foreign Department. On the 9th of April Mr. Peel, having 
had an interview with the King, came to Mr. Canning, and bj 
His Majesty's command proposed the selection of the Duke <^ 
Wellington for the post of Prime Minister as a solution of all 
difficulties. To this proposal Mr. Canning refused to aooede; 
so that the negotiations of nearly two months had only brooght 
matters between the two persons, who were the real party 
leaders, to this point : namely, that Mr. Peel would not serve 
under Mr. Canning as Prime Minister, and that Mr. Canning 
would not agree to the Prime Minister proposed by Mr. PeeL* 
' The time was now come when the knot which could not be 
untied must be cut; and the King solved the problem by giving 
to Mr. Canning, on the 10th of April, a oonunission to propoee 
a plan for the reconstruction of the Ministry. Upon receiving 
this commission, Mr. Canning lost no time in communicating to 
each of his late colleagues the commands which he had received 
from the King : at the same tjme, he announced to them his 
wish of adhering to the principles on which Lord Liverpool's 
Government had so long acted together. In a short time, Mr. 
Canning received from the Duke of Wellington, Lord Eldon, 
Lord Westmoreland, Lord Bathurst, Lord Melville, and Mr* 
Peel, refusals to join a Ministry of which he should be the head. 
The Duke of Wellington likewise resigned the office of Com- 
mander-in-Chief, which he had held in connexion with the 
Master-Generalship of the Ordnance. The only members of 
the late Cabinet who consented to form part of a Canning Ad- 
ministration were Lord Harrowby, Lord Bexley, Mr. Fred. 

♦ Sir Walter Scott, in a letter dated Abbotsford, May 10. 1827, 
says : — < I understand Peel had from the King carte blanche for an 

* anti-Catholic Administration, and that he conld not accept it be" 
' cause there was not strength enough to form such.' {Lochharft 
Life of Scott.) Sir Walter Scott had good political information from 
his Tory connexions in London ; but ^ere is no reason to suppose 
that the King gaye to Mr. Peel any such authority, or that His Ma- 
jesty ever seriously entertained the idea of a Ministry formed on this 
principle. In Kaikes' Journal, July 7. 1836, the following statement 
occurs : — * In the year 1827 Lord Grey had nearly joined the Tory 
' ranks ; he used to meet the Duke of Wellington frequently at Lord 

* Lauderdale's, and, after the death of Lord Liverpool, was absolutely 

* proposed to the King as Premier, the Duke remaining Secretary for 
' Foreign Afikirs ; but Greorge lY. would not forget his personal an- 
^ tipathy to him, and sent for Canning.' It is certain that there was 
no question of Lord Grey as Minister after Lord LiTcrpool's seizare> 
and that no overture of any kind was then made to hinu 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of George IK 7^ 

Bobinson, Mr. Huskwson, and Mr. C. Wynn. In oonse- 
quenoe of the refusal of junction from nearly all the anti* 
Catholic members of the late Government, Mr. Canning 
opened a n^otiation with I^rd Lansdowne and the Whicrs, 
which, however, for the present led to no result. His Cabinet 
was then formed in the following manner: Mr. Canning himself 
(rfter the example of Pitt, Addington, and Perceval), held the 
offices of First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, in conjunction. Sir John Copley, created Lord Lynd- 
hurs^became Lord Chancellor ; Lord Harrowby, Lord Bexley, 
Mr. Huskisson and Mr. Wynn retained the oflSces which they 
^d held under Lord Liverpool. The Duke of Portland became 
rnyy Seal. Mr. Sturges Bourne received the Seals of the Home^ 
Mid Lord Dudley those of the Foreign Department. Mr, Fred. 
Kobinson, created Lord Goderich, became Colonial Secretary; and 
Lord Palmerston, as Secretary-at-War, which office he had held 
in Lord Liverpool's Government, obtained, for the first time, a 
Beat in the Cabinet The office of Lord High Admiral was not 
put in commission, but was conferred on the Duke of Clarence, 
without a seat in the Cabinet. As a proof of the resistonce 
which Mr. Canning experienced from the Tory party, we may 
mention that a paper signed by eight dukes was presented to 
Ae King by the Duke of Butland, remonstrating against Mr. 
Canning'e appointment as Prime Minister and notitying their 
organised opposition to any government of which he should be 
the head. 

Upon the resumption of budnees after the recess, the expla- 
nations of the outgoing and incoming Ministers were pven ; the 
most important part of which related to an unfriendly correspon- 
dence between the Duke of Wellington and Mr. Canning, on- 
^ting, as we feel satisfied fiom an attentive consideration ot 
the circumstances, in a sincere miaunderstanding on both sides, 
wore the end of the session, Lord Lansdowne became a member 
of the Cabinet ; Lord Carlisle and Mr. Tiemey likewise were ap- 
pointed First Commissioner of Woods, and Master of the Mmt» 
and entered the Cabinet. After the session. Lord La^f ^^^^^ 
became Home Secretary; Lord Carlisle succeeded *e Dufe oK 
Portljuid, as Privy Seal/the latter retaining a seat in the Cabinet ^ 
"^ Mr. Sturges Bourne succeeded to the office o f Woods. Xxi . 

• The Duke of Wellington, in his I>rivate Explanatory Letteir 

Mr Cannbg (published by Mr Stapleton, Life of Canning ^1 ^ 

?W»-^' «»7s:--a am not in the habit of deciding upon B^ch ma^^ 

.J«»%orin anger; and the proof of this is, that I never ^^^ 


76 Memoirs of tlie Court of George IV. July* 

this manner, a junction was effected between Mr. Canning and a 
section of the Whig party: the Home Office, which was confided 
to Lord Lansdowne, had a peculiar importance at this moment, 
on account of its connexion with the Government of Ireland. The 
principal events of the fragment of the session which succeeded 
the formation of Mr. Canning's Ministry were the personal alie- 
nation of Mr. Peel from the Government, who, as Mr. Canning 
declared, ^ openly raised the standard of opposition ;' and the 
insertion of a hostile amendment in the Corn-law Bill, upon the 
motion of the Duke of Wellington, which led to the abandon- 
ment of the Bill by the Government. Lord Grey, likewise, to 
whom the King had conceived a personal objection, and with 
whom there had been no communication on the negotiation 
which had taken place with the Whigs, made a speech con- 
taining a severe censure of Mr. Canning's foreign and domestic 
policy. Parliament was prorogued on the 2nd of July, at which 
time Mr. Canning, though his constitution was impaired, enjoyed 
his usual health ; but on the 3rd of August he was seized with a 
severe inflammatorv attack, and on the 8th he died. We shall 
have occasion, in following the course pf events till the end of 
1830, to estimate the effects produced by Mr, Canning's sudden 
and premature death, at the moment when his ministerial ar- 
rangements had been completed, and lus Cabinet had assumed a 
definitive form. We will only remark, that as an orator, he has 
never, in our opinion, been surpassed, if he has ever been 
equalled, among the statesmen of this country. Burke's diction 
may have been more copious and vehement ; but we know that 
his speeches were marred in the delivery.* Mr. Canning's 
voice was clear, flexible, and harmonious, though not powerful; 
his manner was animated and impressive in the highest d^ree. 
The contest for the post of Prime Minister which took phice 
upon Lord Liverpool's resignation was substantially a straggle 
for personal ascendancy.* Mr. Canning advised uie King to 
form an exclusively anti-Catholic administration, believing such 
a government to be impossible, and also convinced that if pes- 
dible it would be ruinous to the state. When he received 
from the King the answer which he expected, and was told that 
there was no wish to dispense with his services, he made condi- 
tions which were inconsistent with any other person being 
appointed Prime Minister. Mr.. Canning would not consent to 

. • Sir Walter Scott was told bj Lord MelviUe, in Julj 1827, tlwt 
Mr. Canning had said that 'the office of Premier was his by in- 

* heritance ; he could not, from constitution, hold it above two years^ 

* and then it would descend to PeeL' (Lockhari's Life of Scott) 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of George IV, 77 

an anti-Catholic Prime Minister because it was a proscription of 
his opinions in his person ; Mr. Peel would not consent to a 
pro-Catholic Prime Minister, because it was inconsistent with 
the part which he had taken in the Catholic Question and with 
his position as Home Secretary. Neither of these two argu- 
ments conid properly be reconciled with the doctrine of making 
the Catholic Question an open question, to which nevertheless 
each of the leaders adhered, though Mr. Canning could urge, 
with truth, that if the Cabinet were to be strictly neutral on the 
Catholic Question, it was a violation of the principle of neutrality 
to insist upon an anti-Catholic Prime Minister. It appears to 
us that if Mr. Peel believed in his own arguments on the 
Catholic Question ; if he really thought that the removal of the 
Catholic disabilities would be productive of the evils which he 
described ; and that the existing system of exclusion ought to be 
permanently maintained as an integral part of the British Con- 
stitution; then he ought to have urged upon the King the 
formation of an administration upon the principle of resistance to 
the Catholic claims, and to have himself offered to take a leading 
part in it. If, however, he had a lurking consciousness that his 
arguments were unsound, and his policy mischievous ; and that 
a case of necessity for conceding the Catholic claims might 
speedily arise, then he ought, notwithstanding the eminence 
T^hich he had achieved as anti-Catholic leader, to have openly 
renounced his advocacy of a cause which he felt to be untenable. 
If Mr. Peel and the anti- Catholic members of Lord Liverpool's 
Cabinet were sincerely persuaded of the goodness of their cause, 
they ought to have set Mr. Canning at defiance, and to have formed 
an anti-Catholic government ; if they had not that sincere con- 
riction, they ought not to have refused to join his Ministry.* In 

* Sir Walter Scott, in his letter of May 1827, already cited, thus 
comments on the members of the Liverpool Cabinet who refused to 
join Mr. Canning : — ' They ought either to have made a stand without 

* Canning, or a stand with him; for to abdicate as they have done was 
' the way to subject the country to all the future experiments which 
' this Catholic Emancipation may lead those that now carry it to at- 

* tempt, and which may prove worse, far worse, than anything con- 
' nected with the question itself. Thus says the old Scotch Tory. 
'But I for one do not believe that it was the Question of £mancipa- 

* tioD, or any public question, which carried them out I believe the 

* predominant motive in the bosom of every one of them was personal 

* hostility to Canning, and that with more prudence, less arbitrary 
'manners, and more attention to the feelings of his colleagues, he* 
' would have stepped nem. con. into the situation of Prime Minister, 
'^to which his eloquence and talent naturally point him out.' See Sir 

78 Memoirs of the Court of George IV, July, 

a conversation which Lord Eldon had with the King in March 
1829, while the Catholic Relief Bill was before Parliament, His 
Majesty stated that when Mr. Canning was made Minister, he 
engaged that the Catholic Question should never be brought 
forward, and he blamed the Ministers who retired upon 5Ir. 
Canning^s appointment for having thrown the power into his 
hands.* Sir Robert Peel, however, in the memoir left by him 
for posthumous publication, states that the Eang must clc^lj 
have been mistaken in supposing Mr. Canning to have given 
any such engagement ; and it may be added that, if the King 
wished to exclude Mr. Canning from power, he ought to have 
attempted the formation of an anti-Catholic government. 

Upon Mr. Canning's death. Lord Goderich, who had been 
the ministerial leader of the House of Lords in the late admi- 
nistration, was promoted by the King to the post of Prime 
Minister. The following additional changes were now made; 
the Duke of Portland was appointed President of the Council 
instead of Lord Harrowby, who retired on account of ill health; 
Mr. Huskisson succeeded Lord Goderich as Colonial Secretary, 
and was intended to be leader of the House of Commons; Mr. 
C. Grant was his successor at the Board of Trade ; Mr. Berries 
became Chancellor of the Exchequer ; and Lord Anglesey en- 
tered the Cabinet as Master-General of the Ordnance.! During 
the recess, a difference of opinion arose between Mr. Huskissoii 
and Mr. Herries respecting the selection of a chairman of the 
Finance Committee, which was to be moved for in the foUowiog 
session ; neither would yield h^s opinion, and Lord Goderich, 
declining to become the arbiter of this dispute between his two 
colleagues, tendered his resignation, which was accepted. The 
King, apparenUy reluctant to fell back at once upon the ultra- 
Tory leaders, attempted to induce Lord Harrowby to form an 
administration, who declined on account of the state of bis 
health X : it seems likewise that His Majesty would have been 

Walter Scott's further remarks on Mr. Canning's alliance with the 
Whigs, and its probable effects in promoting an Anti-Tory policy, in 
his letter to M. Monitt, June 10. 1827. (Lockhart's Life of Scott) 

* Twiss, Life of Eldon, vol. iii. p. 82. 

j" Lord Lansdowne's reasons for retaining office in the Grovern- 
ment of Lord Groderich, after Mr. Canning's death, are stated in Mem. 
of Moore, voL v. p. 198, He tendered his resignation to the King in 
September, but consented to remain, on condition that he might have 
the royal authority for stating that it was solely in submission to the 
express desire of His Majesty that he did so. 

X Lord Harrowby was now sixty-six years old. The interview of 
Lord Harrowby with the King took place at Windsor Lodge, on the 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 79 

willing to entrust tlie same commission to Mr. Huskisson^ if he 
could have ventured to accept it; hoivever. Lord Goderich 
having tendered his final resignation on the 8lii of January, the 
Sing, on the following day, sent for the Duke of Wellington, 
and authorised him to form an administration. The account of 
his interview with the King which the Duke wrote to Mr. Peel 
on the same day was as follows : ' He (the King) sud that he 
^ thought the government must be composed of persons of both 

* opinions with respect to the Koman Catholic Question ; that 
^ he approved of all his late and former servants ; and that he 

* had no objection to anybody excepting to Lord Grey. He 
' afterwards expressed a wish to retain the Duke of Devonshire* 

* and Lord Carlisle in his service, and he spoke highly of Lord 

* Lansdowne and Lord Dudley ; but upon the whole he left me 
' carte blanclie, with the single exception above mentioned; and 

* he repeatedly desired that I would form for him a strong go- 
^ vemment ...... The King said that it was understood 

' the Roman Catholic Question was not to be made a cabinet 

* question ; that there was to be a Protestant Lord Chancellor, 

* a Protestant Lord Lieutenant, and a Protestant Chancellor of 

* LrelanA't 

18th 6f December, 1827. The King tried to tempt Lord Harrowby 
by an offer of the Garter : a circumstance alluded to in one of the 
squibs of the day, which, describing the endeavours vainly made to 
find a coachman for the state coach, mentioned * an experienced rider ' 
as one of the persona applied to, but added that he declined to * handle 
' the ribbons.' 

♦ The Duke of Devonshire had held the office of Lord Chamber- 
lain since May 1827. 

t Letter to Mr. Peel, of Jan. 9- 1828 ; Mem. of Peel, vol. i.p. H. 
The objection made by George IV. to Lord Grey, like that made 
by his father to Mr. Fox, is likewise mentioned in Biogr. Mem. of 
Huskisson, p. 156. Mr. Raikes, in his Journal for Sept. 24. 1843, 
reports the following passage from the conversation of the Duke of 
Wellington at Walmer Castle:—' When he sent for me to form a 
*new Administration, in 1828, he was then seriously lU, though he 
' would never allow it. I found him in bed, dressed m a dirty silfc 
'jacket and a turban nightcap, one as greasy as the other ; tor, not- 
'withstanding his coquetry about dress in pubhc. he was extremely 
' dirty and slovenly in private. The first words he said ^"^^^^t^^ 
* « Arthur, the Cabinet is defunct ; " and then he ^f ^;^^^^ .^^^^^^^ 
'the manner in which the h.te Ministers had ta^^^^^^^^^ 

80 Memoirs of the Court of George IV. July, 

The effect of Mr. Canning^s premature death began now to 
show itself in a reactionary tendency^ at a moment when a pro- 
gressive movement in the Liberal direction was peculiarly desir- 
able. The Coalition Administration^ which he had formed^ and 
which had not time to acquire cohesion and firmness durino: hb 
life, naturally fell to pieces soon after his death ; and the King, 
resolved before all things to avoid a Whig Government, had re- 
course to the Duke of Wellington, whose main reliance must 
necessarily be upon Mr. Peel. His Majesty, however, announced 
from the beginning that there was to be no attempt at unani- 
mity in opposition to the Catholic Question* The new Cabinet 
was thus formed. The Duke of Wellington became First Lord 
of the Treasury. The Whig members of the two late administra- 
tions, viz. Lord Lansdowne, Lord Carlisle, and Mr* Tiemey, 
withdrew. Thej were accompanied by Mr. Wynn« lUGr. 
Peel returned to the Home Office, and his friend Mr. Goulbum 
was made Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Herries being trans- 
ferred to the Mastership of the Mint. Lord Bathurst replaced 
the Duke of Portland as President of the Council. Lord £1- 
lenborough was appointed Privy Seal, Lord Melville, President 
of the Board of Control, and Lord ^Aberdeen, Chancellor of the 
Duchy of Lancaster ; the latter in the room of Lord Bezley* 
The Lord Chancellor and the four Canningites remained. 

Parliament was opened on the 29th of January, and explana- 
tions were afforded respecting the dissolution of the Ministry of 
Lord Goderich, and the formation of that of the l!)uke of Wel- 
lington. The only important measure of the session was the 
rei^al of the Test and Corporation Acts, which cast a stigma 
upon Dissenters, though without practically excluding them from 
offices, aa their omission to take the sacramental test was healed 
by an annual Indemnity Act. The question was brought for- 
ward by Lord John Russell ; his motion was opposed by the 
Government, but was carried by a majority of 44. The Bill 
was read a second time without a division ; a declaration was 
inserted by Mr. Peel in the Bill in Committee — and in this 
shape it passed the House of Commons without any further 
opposition. The House of Lords agreed to it with some unim- 
portant verbal amendments, and the measure became law. 
Later in the session (May 8th), Sir Francis Burdett moved a 
I'csolution for considering the laws relative to the Koman Ca- 
tliolics ; which motion was carried by a majority of six^ the num- 

the Duke*s recollection, for the outgoing Ministers conld not have had 
their audiences of leave before the Duke of Wellington's first interview 
with the lung. 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 81 

bers being 272 to 266. This resolution was communicated to the 
House of Lords, and the question was fully debated in that as- 
sembly. The Duke of Wellington, as Prime Minister, expressed 
himself as decidedly hostile to the removal of the Catholic disabili- 
ties, though his tone was conciliatory ; and the motion was nega- 
tived by 181 to 137. The votes of this session therefore showed 
that the House of Commons was favourable to the principle of 
religious liberty ; and that though nearly divided on the Catholic 
Question, there was a bare majority in its favour ; whereas a 
kurge majority of the House of Lords still held firmly to the 
anti-Catholic code. It is dear that at this moment the House of 
Lords, and not the House of Commons, was the main obstacle 
to the settlement of the Catholic Question. The Corn-law Bill, 
establishing a sliding scale of high protective duties, was revived 
by the Government, and passed in a form substantially identical 
with the dropped Bill of the previous session, though less favour- 
able to the consumer. 

While a Bill for extending the franchise of East Retford to 
the hundreds, proposed in this session by Mr. Peel, was in Com- 
mittee, Mr. Huskisson voted for a clause transferring the fran- 
chise to Birmingham. This vote was given on May the 19tlu 
On his return home, at a late hour, after the debate, Mr. Hus- 
kisson, before going to bed, wrote a letter to the Duke of Wel- 
lington, stating what he had done, and tendering his resignation. 
The Duke, upon receiving this letter at ten o'clock on the fol- 
lowing morning, wrote back an answer, expressing his surprise 
and concern at the contents of it, and stating that he had laid it 
before the King. Mr. Huskisson, not prepared for so sudden and 
absolute an acceptance of his offer, sent Lord Dudley, and after- 
wards Lord Palmerston, to explain to the Duke that he had 
mistaken the meaning of the letter. The Duke, however, re- 
plied, that ' It is no mistake, it can be no mistake, and shall be 
' no mistake ;' and refused to make any overture towards an* 
amicable settlement of the question. A correspondence ensued 
between Mr. Huskisson and the Duke, but it led to no result. 
Mr. Huskisson would not request permission to withdraw the 
letter ; the Duke would not ask him to withdraw it ; and the 
resignation consequently remained unrevoked. Judged upon 
moral grounds, the conduct of the Duke of Wellington on this 
occasion is unobjectionable; Mr. Huskisson's letter certainly 
conveyed the meaning which he attributed to it, and he wa9 
justified in acting upon a letter which Mr. Huskisson expressed 
no wish to recall. But as a politician, he showed (as we think) 
a remarkable narrowness of mind and want of foresight, in per- 
mitting so trifling a ground of difference, and one which could 


82 Memoirs of the Court of George IV. J^Iy, 

have been removed without any real loss of dignity or honour, 
to be the means of expelling the more liberal section of his 
Cabinet, in the existing state of affairs. With Mr. Huskisson, 
the other Canningites of the Cabinet, namely. Lord Dudley, 
Lord Palmerston, and Mr. C. Grant, likewise resigned. Mr. 
W. Lamb (afterwards Lord Melbourne) alao resigned his office 
of Irish Secretary on the same ground. In consequence of 
these resignations, Lord Aberdeen was advanced to the Foreign 
Department ; Sir George Murray became Colonial Secretary, 
and Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, President of the Board of Trade. 
The o£Sces of Secretary-at-War and Chancellor of the Duchy 
of Lancaster were filled by Sir Henry Hardinge and Mr. 
Arbuthnot, but without seats in the Cabinet. 

Tbe\ resignation of Mr, Huskisson and the Cannin^te section 
of the Cabinet, was important not only in its necessary and con- 
templated result, of giving to the Ministry a deeper and more un- 
mixed Tory hue, but also in an accidental and unforeseen effect, 
which illustrated the saying of Aristotle, that revolutions, though 
they are made for great objects, often spring out of trifling cir- 
cumstances. Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, by accepting the office of 
President of the Board of Trade, upon the resignation of Mr. C. 
Grant, vacated his seat in the House of Commons, as member 
for the county of Clare. When he presented himself for re- 
election, he was opposed by Mr. O'Connell, who, though as s 
Roman Catholic unable to take the oaths at the table of the 
House of Commons, was not disqualified by law for election aa 
a member. The poll took place at the beginning of July ; the 
excitement and violence of language were great ; the small free- 
holders, almost universally Catholics, were led to the hustings 
by their priests, in order to vote for Mr. O'Connell ; and Mr. 
Fitzgerald, though backed by all the gentry of the country, was 
defeated by a large, majority. Mr. Fitzgerald had always been 
a friend to Emancipation ; hut this availed him nothing. ^ The 

* time is come (said Mr. 0*Connell, to the Clare electors) when 

* the system which has been pursued towards this country must 
< be put a stop to. It will not do for the future to say, ^^ Sweet 

. • ** friend, I wi»h you well ;" but it must be shown by acts that 
^ they do wish us well. It is time that this system should be 

* put an end to ; and I am come here to put an end to it' 
After the long parliamentary agitation of the Catholic Question, 
and after the obstinate resistance of the dominant party in Eng- 
land to the claims of the Catholics, Mr. O'Connell had nov 
arrived at the oonviction tliat nothing was to be hoped from the 
justice of England, and that the relief which he sought could 
only bo extorted from her fears. He, therefore, resorted to a 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 83 

method of remonBtrance, which, witho&t a resort to violence, or 
a breach of the law, was practically a defiance to England. He 
approached the portals of the Constitution with a demand, not a 
petition, for admittance. We think that he was right: the 
patience of the Irish Catholics had been long tried, and had 
borne much ; but the intolerant spirit of Great Britain seemed 
equally proof against time and reason. 

' Quam neque longa dies, pietas i^ec mitigat uUa.' 

Something more ' effective than annual motions in the two 
Houses of Parliament was required, in order to remove the 
civil disabilities of six millions of British subjects. As the 
Catholics, though they could not sit and vote in Parliament, 
could exercise ^e elective franchise, the experiment which Mr. 
O'Connell had tried in Clare, could manifestly be repeated with 
success in a large number of the other counties in Ireland. 

Parliament was prorogued on the 28th of July. The lesson 
taught by the Clare election was so decisive, that before the 
Duke of Wellington and Mr. Peel parted at the end of the 
session, they agreed that the Duke should send Mr. Peel a full 
statement of his views on the state of Ireland and the Catholic 
Question. On the 9th of August, the Duke of Wellington 
communicated to Mr. Peel (who was at Brighton), a 
memorandum on the state of Ireland, which he had sent to the 
King, with an accompanying letter ; the King's answer ; a 
memorandum on the Catholic Question, containing a plan for 
its settlement, which he had since drawn, and a letter to the 
Lord Chancellor. Mr. Peel returned these papers on the llth. 
with a letter and memorandum, containing a full and unreserved 
exposition of his views. The conclusion at which he arrives, 
after a statement of his reasons, is that there would be less evil 
in making a decided effort to settle the Catholic Question, than 
in leaving it an open question ; but that its satisfactory adjust- 
ment would not be promoted by conmutting the charge of it in 
the House of Commons to his hands. He promises to resign 
at whatever time may be found most convenient, and to 
co-operate cordially with the Duke's Government in supporting 
the measure to be introduced into Parliament. In his 
memorandum he discusses the nature of the legislative measure 
to be proposed. The Duke conununicated Mr. Peel's papers to 
Lord Lyndhurst, but not to the King ; and the matter rested 
here for the present.* 

* Mem. of Peel, vol. i. pp. 177-202. His views on the impos- 
Ability of the Catholic Question remaining; an open questior — * 
repeated in his memorandum of Jan. 12. 1829. (Ibid. p. 29K 

oira of the Court of Gtorge IV. Julji 

hich tie Cabinet were now called upon to 

stated by Mr. Peel in the papers wliicb lie 
ime. It was properly a national nnd not a 
; not merely the removal of disabilities from 
ists, but the pacification of Ireland was at 
ilic Association had brought matters to a pass 
; necessary for England to choose between 

the Catholic claims and the reconquest of 
net neutral upon the Catholic Question was 
bility. * Such is the extraordinary power of 

(said Lord Anglesey, the Lord Lieutenant, 
ly 2nd, 1828), 'or rather of the agitators, 
ire many of high ability, of ardent mind, of 
hat I am quite certain they could lead on 
len rebellion at a moment's notice ; and their 
ich that in the hands of desperate and intelli- 
y would be extremely formidable.' * I have 
i Lord Francis Leveson, the Chief Secretarj', 
Peel, of Dec. 2ad, 1828), ' that the peasantry 
present look forward to the period of O'Con- 
from the House of Commons as the time of 
zcurrence in the interval which should appesr 
} the interests of the Koman Catholic body 
! this result' 

ere not, however, confined to the Irish Catho- 
'roteatants, a high-spirited body, accustomed to 
orant of fear, had been roused by the violence 
i ; they had converted their Orange Lodges 
llubs, and were ready, at a moment's notice,lo 
inat their Catholic countrymen. ' The Orange- 
esey writes to Mr. Peel, in September), 'or, 
ow to call them the Brunawickers, are rivalling 
]oth in violence and rent. Two Associations 
re rather formidable.' 'It is clear' (said Mr. 
delivered at this time to the Catholic Associa- 
livision between Catholic and Protestant i» 
f wei;p before parted, but they are now rent 
lile tho Catholic Association rises up from the 
ns of one great body of the community, the 

is springing out of the irritated pride and tlie 
• of the Protestants of Ireland.' The Protestnnt 
<t likely to be long confined to Ireland. The 
igland soon b^an to express their sympathies 
rethreu, and a great county meeting for Kent 
nden Hcatb, in October, for the purpose of 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 85 

fiupporting the Irish Brunswickers. In this state of things^ 
Lord Anglesey (who had hitherto been an opponent of the 
Catholic claims), pressed upon the Cabinet the necessity of 
immediate legislation. He predicted a quiet winter, and told 
Mr. Peel that the English Government would have time to 
legislate before the Irish Government began to fight; but he 
declared that he could not answer for the tranquillity of Ireland 
beyond the meeting of Parliament ; and that things could not 
remain as they were.* 

The Duke of Wellington and his colleagues — assuming that 
they continued in office, and faced the difficulty of the moment, 
had three alternatives presented to their choice : namely, the 
Eeconquest of Ireland, Repeal of the Union, and Catholic 

It appears from Sir R. Peel's memorandum of January 12th, 
1829, that out of the 93 members for Ireland 61 in the session 
of 1828 voted in favour of the Catholic Question, and that out 
of 61 county members 45 voted on the same side; and he 
shows that an attempt to govern Ireland by an English ma- 
jority, while the Irish Catholics were so strongly represented in 
Parliament, would render the transaction of business in the 
House of Commons impossible.! In order to govern Ireland in 
defiance of the opinions of the Irish Catholics, a reconquest of 
the country and its permanent treatment after the fashion of 
Poland and Hungary, would have been necessary. We are not 
prepared to say that the majority of the people of England, if 
their pride, their passions, and their religious feelings had been 

* In a letter of Sept 9. 1828, to the Duke of Buckingham, 
Ur. Grenville expresses himself thus: *The measure of Catholic 

* Emancipation is fast approaching, and that irresistibly. I know 
'from the most unquestionable authority, that very many of 

* the Orange Protestants in Ireland are now so entirely alarmed at 
'their own position that they express in the most unqualified terms 
'their earnest desire for any settlement of the question at issue on any 

* terms ; and Dawson's recantation, which the papers will have shown 
'you, has been the signal for a more undisguised display of the same 
' opinions. It must take place, as I believe, beforis many months shall 
'pass.' {Mem, of Court of George JK, vol. ii. p. 380.) 

t Mem. of Peel, vol. i. pp. 289-91. The more intelligent of the 
Irish Protestants seem to have been aware at this time that the state 
of afiairs was perilous, and that some concession was necessanr. Mr. 
Leslie Foster, a steady opponent of the Catholic claims, in a letter to 
Mr. Vesey Fitzgerald, of Nov. 14. 1828, says, 'I have not a doubt 
' that a migority even of the Brunswickers are friendly to a settle- 
' meat upon proper terms.' {Ibid, p. 266,) 

^emoirt of the Court of GeorffC IV. July, 

ikilfully iDflamed, might not have BOnctioaed thu 
t least as the preliminary steps were concerned. 
! Duke of Wellington nor Mr. Peel were politi- 
mp of Strafford or the Duke of Alva. They were 
' humane men. The Duke of Wellington, in the 
B passage which he ever delivered to a deliberative 
red the House of Lords that he knew too well 
evils of civil war ever to inflict them voluntarily 
try. Mr. Feel, though he had played too long 
ilic Question, and used it as the instrument and 
mbltion, had the views of a statesman, and saw 
I inevitable results of a further denial of equal 
], to be able to advise the reduction and the 
I'emment of that country by a Froteatant army 
inglishmen, Scotchmen, and Irish Orangemen, 
int either c^ perspicacity or of public virtue was 
lite in order to foresee and to avoid this extre- 
al of the Union, and a permanent separation of 
Treat Britain, was a course which no EngliBh 
entertain ; consequently there remained only the 
]!)atholic Emancipation, and that without loss of 

had not been brought before the Cabinet at the 
nd early in January 1829, the Duke of Welling- 
ted with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and two 
I with a view of obtaining their consent to an 
he Catholic Question ; but he received from them 
ahf There was a fear at this time that the King 
public declaration of his intention to mtuntain the 
religious grounds, and thus assume a positioD 
formerly occupied by his father. In order to 

ng anecdote is related in ' Raikes' Journal,' Dec. 35. 
Aie Duke had made up bis mind that he could do 
Catholic Emancipation, nithout endangering the loss 
told the late King, who mas decidedly averse to the 
only one of three alternatives remained to him, — 
iquer Ireland, to make the concession, or to redgn. 

the army then was, the first was impossible ; the 
sn fall on one of the other two. The King demanded 
«r. In the meantime the Duke applied to Peel for 
a in carrying the measure.' The anecdote rests on 

Sir Alexander Grant, who had heard it from Sir &■ 
:>ion to the constitution of the army refers to the 
Catholics which it contained, 
lel. voU i. p. 876. 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 87 

guard against this danger^ Mr. Peel, on the 12th of January, 
addressed a letter to the Duke of Wellington, offering, if he de- 
sired it, to remain^ in office, in order to assist in carrying the 
contemplated measure ; and at the same time sent him a memo- 
randum, setting forth the reasons why the Cabinet should be 
authorised by the King to take the whole state of Ireland into 
consideration, with a view to the settlement of the Catholic 
Question. The memorandum was submitted by the Duke of 
Wellington to the Kidg, who gave the authority which it ad- 
vised ; and the Duke accepted Mr. Peel's oiFer of retaining his 
office, which indeed was a necessary condition for the success of 
the measure in the hands of the existing Government. The 
Cabinet agreed unanimously and without delay to the principle 
of the settlement proposed by their two chiefs ; and on the 
17th of January Mr. Peel communicated to his colleagues a 
memorandum containing his plan of a measure, which was little 
more than a simple repeal of the existing disabilities.* A pass- 
age was inserted in the speech from the throne, recommending 
a consideration of the whole condition of Ireland, and a review 
of the laws imposing civil disabilities on Roman Catholics, to 
which the King gave a reluctant consent ; on the 5th of February 
Parliament was opened by commission, and the King's speech 
was read by the Chancellor. 

The uncertainty in which the Cabinet had remained up to 
the meeting of Parliament, in consequence of the recency of 

* Sir R. Peel, in a speech in the House of Commons on the Reform 
Bill, Dec. 17. 1831, gave a narrative of the circumstances which led 
to his undertaking to carry the Catholic Relief Bill in Parliament ; 
and described an imaginary conversation between himself and the 
King, in which the King pointed out to him the inconsistency of 
calling on him to sacrifice scruples which he would not sacrifice him- 
self. It is clear from Sir R Peel's published Memoir that no such 
eonversation could have actually taken place ; and that he only meant 
to put in a dramatic form the respective positions of the two parties. 
All his communications with the King at this time were made through 
the Duke of Wellington ; his only interview with His Majesty be- 
tween the two sessions of Parliament, was that together with the 
Doke and Lord Lyndhurst, the character of which was of a wholly 
different nature. In fact, the King objected to the concession ; he 
had no wish to assist the Duke of Wellington, and would have been 
glad if Mr. Peel had resigned. Sir Alexander Grant, who related 
the anecdote, in an incorrect form, to Mr. Raikes, understood that 
this retort had been actually made by the King. (Raikes* Journal, 
I>ec 25. 1832.) 

Memoirs of the Court of George IV. Julj") 

1 conversion, and of the resistance made by the King, 
it necesenry for them to observe a strict secrecy as to 
entions ; tliey even went further and created by their 
lief that they adhered to their declared opinions on the 
The Lancashire progress of Mr. Peel in the autumn, 
:e of Wellington's letter to Dr. Curtis in December, 
lubsequent recall of Lord Anglesey (who had been &p- 
Lonl Lieutenant of Ireland, at the beginning of the 
)n the resignation of Lord Wellesley) tended to pro- 
impression that the leaders of the Cabinet were still 
to the Protestant cause. Their declarations in the 
}f 1828 likewise negatived the idea that their con- 
on this subject had undergone any change. This 
ulled the Anti-Catholic party into a false security; it 
the battery until the guns were in position, and ready 
tpon them. It therefore promoted the success of the 
; but their conviction that they bad been defeated by 
rem created a strong vindictive feeling, which was de- 
produce important political results, 
roceedings of Parliament were commenced by a motira 
Peel for a Bill to suppress the Catholic Alssocialion; 
as allowed to pass unopposed, as being a prelude to the 
' the Catholic disabilities. This association bad in fact 
18 object ; the Government had yielded to its menaces, 
refore its advocates might reasonably consent to iu 
ion. We may here remark that the three great qnes- 
the last thirty years, — the Catholic Question, Parliamen- 
brm, and the Kepeal of the Com Laws, — have been all 
by political associations^ whose object was rather to 
te than to convince the Legislature. The existence of 
lolic Association, the Political Unions, and the Anti- 
iw League may prove the freedom of our constitutional 
and the safety of its working even when its machinery 
gcd by external infiuences ; but it speaks little for the 
of the leading statesmen who made so long and bo 
1 a fieht in defence of the established institntions ; and 
1 each of these three great settlements a capitulation to 
ions enemy rather than a grant of an acknowledged 
In each case the Legislature had the appearance of 
a wholesome measure upon compulsion, not because it 
>lesome, but because it could no longer be withheld, 
stence of the Catholic Association produced moreover 
rior mischief, that it engendered a spirit, and gave rise 
I, which called forth the Kepeal AssociatJon; and tbua 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 89 

Ireland was for several years kept in a state which threatened 
its forcible disruption from Great Britain.* 

The Bill for the Suppression of the Catholic Association 
passed the House of Commons on the 17th of February. On 
the 20th Mr. Peel accepted the Chiltem Hundreds^ and vacated 
his seat for the University of Oxford. His re-election was suc- 
cessfully opposed by Sir Robert Inglis, and on the 3rd of March 
he took his seat as member for Westbury. On that day he gave 
notice that on the 5th he would call the attention of the House 
to that part of the speech from the throne which related to the 
state of Ireland and Catholic disabilities ; but in the meantime an 
event happened which nearly frustrated this intention. On the 
evening of the 3rd, the Duke of Wellington, the Lord Chan- 
cellor, and Mr. Peel were summoned to attend the King at 
Windsor on the morrow. When the three Ministers were ad- 
mitted to an interview, the King appeared to be in a state of 
uneasiness ; he stated the pain with which he had assented to 
their advice on the Catholic Question, and announced his wish 
to receive a more complete explanation of the manner in which 
they proposed to carry their object into effect. This explana- 
tion was given by Mr. Peel ; but it fdled to satisfy the King 
who, in a rapid and earnest tone of voice, objected to the pro- 
posed omission from the Oath of Supremacy, of the words 
relating to the spiritual and ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the 
Pope. To this objection, notwithstanding the further explana- 
tions of his Ministers, the King adhered f ; expressed his regret 
that he had misunderstood their intentions, and retracted the 
consent which he had given to the measure. He then asked 
Mr. Peel what course he intended to take on the following day, 
for which his notice stood. Mr. Peel's immediate answer 
was, that after the announcement in the King's speech, his 
vacating of his seat for Oxford, and the passing of the Bill for 
the suppression of the CathoUc Association, the only course 
open to him was to resign his office, and to withdraw his notice. 
The Duke of Wellington and Lord Lyndhurst concurred in 

* Mr. O'Connell declared for Bepeal of the Union at the first 
Clare election (Ann. Beg. 1828, p. 127.), and again in the following 
year (Ibid. 1829, p. 127.). He formed an Anti-Union Association 
in 1830. (Ibid. 1830, p. 148.) . 

t It may be remarked, that the attaching of importance to decla- 
ratory oaths, as a political security, is an indication of minds of a 
certain stamp, and of a certain amount of intelligence, which is 
nearly infaUible. 

Memoirs of the Court of George IV, July, 

uTBe, and Bigniiied their intention to resign their offices 
Ir. Peel. The King Baid that he could not be Burprised 
r decision, and parted with them in a kind, and almoet 
tnate manner, after an interview which had lasted five 
On their return to London, the three Ministers joined 
lolleagues, who were aeaembled at a Cabinet dinner, and 
ed them, much to their surprise, that they were no longer 
e. The King, however, roou discovered, upon reflection, 
lultatioD, that he had gone too far to be able to recede : 
ingly, at a late hour in the evening, he addressed a letter 

Duke of Wellington, authorising his three Ministers to 
aw their resignations, and to proceed with the announced 
■e. Mr, Peel suggested a further reference to the King, 

view of obtaining n distinct written authority from him, 
le measures were proposed with his entire consent and 
n ; which was given without further hesitation.* The 
t of George IV., on this occasion exhibits a remarkable 
It to his father's character. George III. was obstinate in 
ig a measure which he disliked, and artful in turning out 
ers whom he wished to remove, hut he took care to 
at a moment when the country would support him ; he 
rhen be was beaten, and never exhibited himself in the un- 
>d attitude of attempting redstance when it was too late. 

it of this singular transaction given in 'Mem. of Peel' 
pp. 343-50.J, has been followed. An inaccurate repre- 
in of what passed on this occasion was made -by the King to 
)ldon a few weeks afterwards, when the Bill was before the 
of Lords. (See Twias' 'Life of Eldon,' vol. iii. pp. 82-7.) 
^Idon's description of his interview on March 28. 1829, in 
the King repeatedly expressed his strong repugnance to the 
3, ends thus ; ' Little more passed except occasional bursts of 
tsion, — " What can I do ? What can I now fall back upon? 
it can I fnll back upon ? I am miserable, wretched, my sitn* 
I is dreadful ; nobody about roe to advise with. If I do give 
»)nsent, I'll go to the baths abroad, and from thence to H»n- 
; I'll return no more to England. I'll make no Koroan Catholic 
s. I will not do what this Bill will enable me to do. Pll re- 
no more! Let them get a Catholic king in Clttrcnce." I 
he also mentioned Sussex. " The people will see that I did 
wish this." There were the strongest appearances certainly 
lery. He more than once stopped my leaving him. When 
ne came that I was to go, he threw his arms round my neck 
Epressed great misery.' (Ibid. p. 86.) The King was mis- 
n thinking tliat, before the Catholic Relief Bill passed, he 
lot create Catholic peers. He could create them ; bat.wben 
;re created they could not sit and vote in the House of Lords. 

1859, Memoirs of the Court of George IV, 91 

On the 5th of March, Mr. Peel moved the first step of a BUI 
for the relief of the Roman Catholics ; his motion was carried 
by 348 to 160, the Bill was read a second time by a majority 
of 353 to 183, and a third time by a majority of 320 to 142. 
In the House of Lords, there were 217 to 112 votes for the 
second reading, and 213 to 109 for the third reading. On the 
13th of April the Bill received the Koyal Assent. Subse- 
quently the Government proposed and carried a Bill for raising 
the freehold franchise in the Irish counties from 405. to 10/. a 
year. The Catholic Relief Bill, therefore, after so many legis- 
lative miscarriages, passed both Houses by majorities of about 
two to one. This result of so important a parliamentary con- 
flict, amidst so many shoals and breakers, was mainly owing to 
the patriotic conduct of the Opposition. To their support Sir 
Robert Peel bears witness in words not less honourable to him- 
self than to the independent members of both Houses. 'I 
cannot advert to that conflict (says Sir Robert Peel in his 
Memoir), even after the interval of twenty years, without 
placing on record my grateful acknowledgment of the cordial 
support which we received in both Houses of Parliament, not 
only from all those with whom our oflicial connexion had been 
then recently interrupted, but from those also who had never 
had any political connexion with us, and might be considered, 
80 far as the interests and ties of party were concerned, our 
decided opponents. It was not merely that they supported our 
measures, but they cautiously abstained from everything 
which might have thrown obstructions in our way, and in 
many instances forbore from pressing objections* strongly felt 
to portions of the plan, in order that their general support of 
that plan as a whole might be cordial and effective.' 
From the singular conduct of the King in attempting to recede 
from his promise after the measure had been announced to Par- 
liament, it may be inferred that he gave the royal assent with 
reluctance, and that he viewed with dislike the Ministers who 
had compelled him to make the concession. Mr. Grenville thus 
describes the King's feelings in a letter of April 14. 1829 : — 

* The royal assent was yesterday given by commission, I believe, 
^th a very reluctant mind ; and many rumours are abroad of the 
King being persuaded by the Duke of Cumberland to look about for 
the means of forming a new Administration ; but this practically will 
be found so full of difficulties that I hesitate to give faith to it, and 
attribute the report only to the harsh language in which the King is 
«aid to indulge himself, whenever he speaks of the Duke of Welling- 
ton. The King, however, is fonder of abusing his Ministers than of 
clianging them ; for a few hard words cost him nothing ; but a great 

Memoirs /if the Court of George IV, July, 

:ical 'chsnge could not be made, if at oU, witlioat macli more 
ble, fatigue, and worry 'to the King than lie wilt like to expose 
(elf to.' (Vol. ii. p. 395.) 

'he following characteristic letter of the Duke of Welling- 
in explanntioD of the motives of his duel with Lord Win- 
iea, and of the success with which that duel had been 
nded, ia printed in the recent Memoirs of the Court of 
Tge IV. It is dated 21st of April, 1829, and is addressed 
he Duke of Buckingham, who was then in Italy. The duel 
taken place on the Slst of Match. 

I am very much obliged to you for yonr lett«i of the 6Ui, which 

ceived this morning. 

The truth is that the duel with Lord Wincbilsea was as mocli 

of the Boman Catholic Question, and it was as necessary to ati- 
ake it, and carry it out to the extremity to which I did carry it, 
; was to do everything else which I did do to attain the object 
;h I had in view. 

[ was living here for some time in an atmosphere of calumny. I 
d do nothing tliat was not misrepresented, as having some btd 
jose in view. If my physician called npon me, it was for Ires- 
Lble purposes. If I said a word, whether in Parliament or eke- 
re, it was misrepresented for the purpose of fixing upon tot 
e gross delusion or falsehood. Even my conversations with the 
g were repeated, misrepresented, and commented upon ; and tU 
the purpose of shaking the credit which the Parliament ^as ia- 
Bd to give to what I said. 

The courts of justice were shnt, and not to open till May. 1 
V that the Bill must pass or he lost before the 15th of April, 
[n this etate of things Lord Wincbilsea published his furious 
!r. I immediately perceived the advantage it gave me ; and I 
rmined to act upon it in such a tone as would certainly put me 
tie right. Not only was I successful in the execution of my p«>- 
, but the project itself produced the effect which I looked for 

intended that it should produce. The atmosphere of calumny 
vhich I liad been for some time living, cleared away. The 
em of calumny was discontinued. Men were ashamed of repeat- 

what had been told to them ; and I have reason to believe, 
eover, thnt intentions not short of criminal were given up m 
lequence of remonstrances from some of the most prudent of the 
y, who came forward in consequence of the duel. I am afrua 
. the event itself shocked many good men ; but I am certain tbit 
public interests at the moment required tliat I should do what X 

Everything is now quiet, and in Ireland we have full reasoo to 
latiflfied. We must, however, lose no time in doing everytbia^ 
that is possible to promote the prosperity of that country* 
I ii. p. 397.) 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 93 

This description of the position in which the Duke of Wel- 
lington was placed affords a remarkable exemplification of the 
evils which attend upon sudden changes of political opinion, and 
the obstacles which beset the path of a statesman who under- 
takes to carry a measure which he has previously opposed. 

Sir Archibald Alison has a peculiar theory upon the means 
by which Catholic Emancipation was carried, which we will 
give in his own words. * It was (he says) a victory gained by 

* a large portion of the aristocratic, and the greater part of the 

* highly educated classes, over the sincere conviction and honest 

* reabtance of the vast majority of the people. .... It was 
' carried by the liberal opinions of the holders of a majority of 
' the close boroughs, vohich brought the Government into such 
^ straits as compelled it to force through the measure^ Catholic 

* Emancipation was the greatest, as it was the last, triumph of 

* the nomination system.* * It must, we think, be evident to every 
one who has read the preceding review of events, that Catholic 
Emancipation was carried because the Catholic Association and 
the Clare election had convinced Sir Robert Peel and the 
Duke of Wellington that Ireland had become ungovernable, 
and that the choice lay between concession and civil war. If 
the members for close boroughs had as strong a sympathy with 
the Catholic cause as Sir Archibald Alison attributes to them, 
it is not likely that the patrons of these boroughs in the House 
of Lords would have been so adverse to the repeal of the dis* 
abliog laws. The House of Lords had constantly shown itself 
lees favourable to the Catholic claims than the House of Com- 
mons : in 1825 it was the House of Lords which alone prevented 
a peaceable settlement of the question, and frustrated the hopes 
of the Catholics, which were then worked up to a high pitch. 
It might indeed have been expected that the House of Lords 
would have redeemed its adherence to the interests of its order 
by its exemption from popular errors and popular fanaticism^ 
Unhappily this has not been the case ; on the contrary, it seems 
to have sought to atone for its maintenance of the interests of 
the aristocracy by embracing the prejudices of the democracy. 
Thus it has too often happened that when the people have been 
right, the House of Lords has been oligarchical, and that when 
the people have been wrong, the House of Lords has been de- 

The justification which Sir B. Peel makes for his change of 
0{Hnion and that of his colleagues in 1829, is, in our opinion, 
triumphant. No sane statesman, who had any regard for the 

» History of Europe from 1815 to 1852, vol. iv. p. 185. 

Jtftmoirt of (he Court of George IV. July, 

irestfl of the country, could baVe advised a further renstance 
he measure of Catholic Emaocipation at that criua. The 
:ctioa against which Sir R. Peel was really called to justify 
self, at the bar of posterity, and not in a meeting of angry 
disappointed partisnns, is of a wholly different kind. ' If (be 
arks near the conclusion of his Memoir) ' it had been alleged 
ainat me that the sudden adoption of a different policy had 
oved (he want of early sagacity and foresight on my part; 
the charge had been that I had adhered with too much per- 
laoity to a hopeless cause ; that I had permitted for too long 
period the engagements of party or undue deference to the 
shes of constituents to outweigh the accumulating evidence 
an approaching necessity ; if this had been the accusation 
unat me, I might find it more diflScult to give it a complete 
d decisive refutation." Our accusation against Sir R. Peel 
tot that he changed his opinion in 1S29, but that he did not 
ige it sooner. There was nothing unexpected or unforeseen 
he dangers of this crisis. They had all been predicted yeurs 
ire ; nothing occurred in 1 828 which is not prefigured in 
er Plymley ; the impossibility of permanently governing 
and on a system of Ctitholic proscription had been well 
erstood not only by the Whigs, hut by Mr. Pitt and all the 
cipal statesmen of his party ; by Lord Grenville, Lord 
ville, Lord Wellesley, Lord Harrowby, Mr. Canning, and 
d Castlereagh. The arguments by which Sir R. Peel jui- 
s the concession of Catholic Emancipation in 1829 are very 
id ; but they are likewise very obvious ; and had been 
ious to all the more intelligent statei^men of both parties for 
previous thirty years. If Sir R. Peel hud been an essentially 
ow-minded man, like Mr. Perceval, Lord Sidmouth, and 
d Eldon, we could forgive his obstinate persistence in error: 
looking at his subsequent history, we cannot but think that 
le says himself), he allowed ' the engagements of party and 
undue deference to the wishes of constituents ' to determiae 
tourse long after the scales had fallen from his eyes. This 
irk. applies particularly to the manner in which be insisted 
his question, as of paramount importance, at tlie time when 
efused to serve under Mr. Canning.t 

he alliance between the Welliogtonite Tories and the 
iral Opposition for the purpose of carrying the Catholic 
Btion, though sincere for the time, was limited to its 

Uem. of Fee), vol. i. p. 364. 

Compare the remarks on Mr. Feel's converaian, in this JoomaL 

tlxin. p. 222. 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 95 

temporary object. The Whigs had never formed any political 
alliance with the Duke of Wellington ; the Canningites had 
left his Government; while his sudden conversion on the 
Catholic Question, and the manner in which he had surprised and 
defeated his party, had inspired the ultra-Tories with feelings of 
bitterness and resentment against him. The session of 1829 
was closed without difficulty ; but in the session of 1830, which 
was opened in February, the isolated position of the Govern^ 
ment began to be made manifest. Mr. Huskisson and the 
Whigs showed their hostility ; and a section of the Tories were 
angry and discontented. The pressure upon the Government 
for reforms of various sorts, parliamentary^ fiscal, and economical, 
began to be more urgent ; but they gave no symptoms of any 
intention of following up the course of liberal policy in which 
they had reluctantly made one great step. While the session 
was advancing to its close, an event occurred which exercised an 
important influence upon the fate of the Ministry. On the 
26th of June, George IV. died,at the age of sixty*eight, after an 
illness which had lasted some weeks ; he was succeeded by the 
Duke of Clarence, who had held the office of Lord High 
Admiral from May, 1827, to August, 1828 ; at which time he 
was removed by the Duke of Wellington.* Parliament was 
prorogued on the 23rd of July, and at the same time dissolved^ 
in consequence of the demise of the Crown. Soon after the 
prorogation, the revolution at Paris, by which the elder branch 
of the Bourbons was deposed, and Louis Philippe placed on the 
throne of France, took place. The elections were held under 
the sympathetic excit^.ment caused by the ' three glorious days 
*of July' ; and produced a House of Commons unfavourably dis* 
posed to the Wellington Ministry, and prepared for ulterior 
measures of reform. It was reckoned that out of 256 English 
members who then sat for counties, and for boroughs more 
or less open, only 79 were ministerial votes ; 141 were in avowed 
opposition, and 16 were neutral. 

The melancholy death of Mr. Huskisson at the opening of 
the Liverpool and Manchester Kail way, occurred in September, 
1^30 1, and removed the chief personal objection which the 

* See Mem. of Peel, vol. i. p. 269, The office of Lord High Ad- 
Diiral was again put in commission, in August, 1828, with Lord 
Melville as First Lord of the Admiralty. Lord Ellenborough, who 
held the Privy Seal, succeeded Lord Melville at the Board of Con- 
^1; and he retained the Privy Seal till June, 1829, when it was 
^sferred to Lord Rosslyn, a Whig. 

t Mr. Huskisson was born in 1770, and therefore he died at the 
age of sixty. He and Mr. Canning were born in the same year. 

Memoirs of the Court of George IV. Ju'ji 

x& of Wellington entertained to a junctioD with the Can- 
rite party. Accordingly, eoon after that event the Duke 
reased himself to Lord Falmereton, aa the leading member 
hat party, and requested him to join the Cabinei^ ofTeriug 
be same time to admit into it two of his political friends, 
d Dudley, Mr. Charles Grant, and Mr. William Lamb, 
B the perBons named by Lord Palmeraton as those with 
m he then conddered himself as mainly acting ; but he de- 
ed to join the Cabinet unless Lord Grey and Lord Laiu- 
ne were incladed in the arrangement. This condition pat 
:nd to the n^o^Uon, as it involved a complete remodemng 
le Cabinet, which the Duke did not contemplate.* 
'arliament assembled for the first Bession under the new 
n on the 26th of October, 1830. The Government appear 
ave been prepared to meet their fate with resignation, and 
' speedily laid their head upon the block. Sir K, Feel waa 
lis moment the real head of the Ministry ; the most perfect 
erstanding existed between him and the Duke of Welling- 
f, aud in his knowledge of dvil politics he waa so superior 
be Duke that he could not fwl to be his guide in all domestic 
lUons of importance. It was by his advice, authority, and 
agement, that the Catholic Question had been carried; 
he was, doubtless, unwilling to repeat in 1830, for Farlia- 
tary Reform, the process through which he had passed in 
3 for the Catholic Question. The Government therefore 
ded to yield nothing to the rising spirit of reform ; and the 
:e of Wellington made, on the first night of the ses^on, a 
aration of ultra-Conservatism on the subject, which seemed 
)st intended to provoke opposition and to court defeat. *I 
not only not prepared' — he said, in alluaion to Iiord 
j^'e remarks on a measure for reform of the representation — 
bring forward any measure of this nature, but I will at 
:e declare that, as far as I am concerned, as long as I hold 
T station in the government of the country, I shall always 
I it my- duty to resist such measures when proposed by 

The fact of this negotiation (the details of which are bere giveo 
authentic iDformation) was known at the time. See 'IViH 
of Eldon, vol. iii. p. 118. 

Sir R. Peel says in his Memoir : ' From the moment of bis ap- 
itment to the chief place in the Government, not a day had 
led without the most unreserved communication personally or io 
ling ; not a point had arisen on which (as my correspondence 
1 the Duke will amply testify) there had not been the mo^t 
plete and cordial concurrence of opinion.' (Mem. of Peel, voLi. 

1859. Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 97 

* others/ On the same night Mr. Brougham, who had been 
elected for Yorkshire, gave notice of a motion on Parliamentary 
Beform, for the 16 th of November. Another event at this 
time likewise served to precipitate the fall of the Wellington 
Ministry. The King had accepted an invitation from the Lord 
Mayor of London to dine at Guildhall on the 9th of November, 
but the fears of a popular tumult in consequence of the attitude 
assumed by Ministers *, induced them to advise His Majesty to 
postpone his visit to another occasion. 

On the 15th of November, a motion to refer the Civil List 
estimates of Ministers to a select committee was made by Sir 
H. PameU, and carried against the Government by a majority 
of 29, the votes for the motion being 233 to 204. Sir Edward 
Knatchbull and a section of the discontented Tories voted for the 
motion. On the following day the Duke of Wellington and Sir 
B. Peel, in their respective Houses of Parliament, announced that 
the resignations of Ministers had been tendered and accepted. 
The vote was not of such a nature as necessarily to entail the 
resignation of Ministers ; but they doubtless took it as an in- 
dication of a spirit which would soon find an opportunity for a 
declaration of a more decisive character. They likewise stated 
subsequently that they were influenced in their decision by the 
prospect of the vote upon Mr. Brougham's motion on Par- 
liamentary Reform. 

Such was the result of Mr. Canning's premature death, and 
of the attempt of George IV. to establish a reactionary admi- 
nistration under the primacy of the Duke of Wellington.! If 

* The desire of creating a disturbance was materiallj strengthened 
by the dislike of the thieves and disorderly classes of the metropolis, 
to the new metropolitan police, which was introduced at this time 
under Sir R. Peel's Act, passed in the session of 1830 ; a measure for 
which he deserves the gratitude of the country. 

t Sir Walter Scott foresaw clearly the probable failure of such an 
attempt The following reflections occur in his diary of Aug. 11. 
1827, the day after he heard the news of Mr. Canning's death : * A 
' high Tory administration would be a great evil at this time. There 
* are repairs in the structure of our Constitution which ought to be 
'made at this season, and without which the people will not long 
' be silent. A pure Whig administration would probably play the 
'devil by attempting a thorough repair.' {Lockharis Life of 
Scott.) If Mr. Fox, Mr. Pitt, Mr. Perceval, Lord Castlereagh, and 
Mr. Canning, had been alive in 1830, their respective ages would 
have been as follows : Mr. Fox, 81 ; Mr. Pitt, 71 ; Mr. Perceval, 68 ; 
Lord Castlereagh, 61 ; and Mr. Canning, 60. Lord Sidmouth, who 
was born two years before Mr. Pitt, died in 1844. 


8 Memoirt of the Court of George I V. July, 

At. Canning bad lived, the coalition vbich be hsd effected 
rilh the TVhigs would probably have been confolidsted tuA 
laTe acquired strength, inetead of falling to pieces Eoon after 
lis dealK and making rocm for a Minieliy wLicb, after tbc 
narrel -with Mr. BmkiEeon and the resignation of the Can- 
ingitee, became wore Tory in its cbaracter than even Lwd 
jiverpool's GoTernment had been since 1822. The year 1630 
'as the nadir of the Tory party, aa the years 1814 and 1815 
ad been its zenith. It required fifteen years of peace to ex- 
aust the popularity which the Tories had reaped (roin their 
riumphsnt conclusion of the war ; but the work wan efiectuali; 
ccompliehEd. The Duke of Wellington ebowed as touch fkili 
a leading a political party to defeat, as he had ehown in leadiog 
n army to \ictory. His very succees in carrying the Catholic 
JueEtion helped to undermine bis power. He had taken t 
tep in the Liberal direction, which he refused to follow ap I7 
By eubsequent movement of the same character. The conee- 
uence was, that he gave mortal offence to a section of hit owe 
arty, without etrenglbening himself by an alliance with an; 
etachment of the oppoeite camp. The night of the division w 
he Civil List, a few days alter the day when the Duke of 
Vellington was unable to appear at Guildhall for fear of cieal- 
ng a tumult, and wag forced to interdict a new and popu'v 
overeign from attending on the same occasion, by reason of the 
npopularity of his Mmisters, was the lowest of the Toij 
epreEsion. Even the Beform Bill, though it abolished many 
Cory boroughs, neverthelcsB gave strength to the party by 
nabling it to clo^e its ranks, and by healing the disunion 
fhich weakened it in 1830.* 

• These sheets were already in the press when we received J&- 
hugustus SUpleton's last publication, entitled ' George Canning mJ 
his TimeB,' — a volume of very high interest from the eorreapondeBCS 
f Mr. Canning which it containa, and especially from the light '* 
irows on the foreign policy of his administration. 

1859. The Life and Remains of Douglas Jerrold. 99 

Abt. IY. — The Life and Remains of Douglas Jerrold. B7 
his Sod, Blanchabd Jebbolp. London : 1859. 

'T^HE work before 110 ia a Life, by a very affectionate son, of 
a father who well deserved bia affection. It is written, 
as might be expected, in terms of warm panegyric* , From that 
panegyric we shall scarcely find a single occasion to dissent, and 
yet, strange to say, we are deliberately of opinion that the cha- 
racter of Douglas Jerrold, as a moral and political writer, de- 
serves, in some respects, the severest censure. So simply or so 
obstinately does Mr. Blanchard Jerrold ignore the imputations 
B^nst his father's writings, that we must suppose him to be 
either ignorant of their existence, or unable to perceive their 
iveigbt. His book reads like a Life of Napoleon or Frederic, 
written by a man who never happened to hear that unnecessary 
bloodshed is a crime. 

We have no reason to doubt, — indeed we have considerable 
reason to believe, — that much of the high praise bestowed by Mr. 
Blanchard Jerrold upon his father's character was deserved. 
Douglas Jerrold appears to have been a roan of strict integrity 
and blameless life, a devoted husband and father, a faithful and 
affectionate friend, a generous and placable opponent. As a 
public writer, he was superior, not merely to Vulgar cowardice 
and corruption, but to all petty and personal motives — as fear- 
less of unpopularity as of persecution, as impervious to flattery 
as to bribery. He never praised but what he sincerely admired ; 
be never attacked but what he honestly hated ; and both his 
admiration and his hatred always sprang from humane and ge- 
nerous motives. 

In saying this, we have admitted much. We have admitted 
all, or very, nearly all, which Mr. Blanchard Jerrold thinks it 
necessary to claim on behalf of his hero. But we have not ad- 
initted enough to satisfy any one who knows what the responsi- 
l^ity of a public writer really is. 

The accusation which we bring against Douglas Jerrold may 
be summed up in a single word. He was a sentimentalist He 
wrote to gratify his sympathies and antipathies, and not to bring 
out the truth* When anything struck him as painful, he wailed 
and whined over it, without caring whether it was just and neces- 
sary or not. When anything struck him as ludicrous, he mocked 
and scoffed at it, without caring whether it was useful or not. 
A morbid sennbility and a grotesque imagination were his dis- 
<inalifications as a guide of public opinion. 

The Life and Remaint of Douglas Jerrold. Julj, 

>t no man pretend to think this a trifling accusation. It a 
>f the most Eerious that can be brought forwan]. It im- 
r to the nccused a complete deficiencjr in that high moral 
liple without which no man deserves to be considered truly 
or honest. It amounts infacttothia — that he persevered, 
after year, in writing elaborate essajs upon various sub- 
of the highest importance, respecting which he knew in 
jnscience that he had not done liis best to form a clear and 
rtini judgment. How does such a writer differ from the 
:hed sycophants who are even now polluting the Parisian 
P Only as a duellist differs from a hired assassin. The 
•utrages morality to earn his pay ; the other, to gratify his 

r. Btanchard Jerrold, whose hereditary inability to ai^ue 
iderstand ari^ument ia painfully conspicuous throughout hii 
, actually believes that he can vindicate bis father's memory 
writer by bearing testimony to his amiability as a man. 
ives numerous instances of the acute sensibility and femi- 
tendemess of heart which distinguished Douglas Jerrold in 
itercourse with his family and niends, and says that he, 
saw his father ' daily en robe de ckambre,' has a right 
peak somewhat authoritatively to ail who have slandered 
by calling him cynic' Whether a cynic may not possibly 
tender father, it is unnecessary to inquire. But it is ob- 
that the faults of which we accuse Douglas Jerrold ore 
9eiy those which are most commonly found in men of 
feelings and warm affections. 

sreover, were the facts reversed, the argument would still 
>TthlesB. There is no connexion whatever between a man's 
cter as an individual and his conduct as leader or member 
inmerous party. Old Trojan basking before the parioor 
I quite a different animal from old Trojan heading the pacl: 
a sinking fox in view. The cbildren, of course, are coaG- 
that their gentle playmate cannot possibly be the bnstliat;, 
ing monster who pounces open-mouthed on poor Reynard. 
he huntsman knows better. Ju^t such is the difference 
?en Douglas Jerrold in the bosom of his family, and Dou- 
Terrold writing for 'Punch.' In settling a dispute between 
lildren or servants, he may be the mildest and most impar- 
f men. But it does not follow that he is equally so when 
lee ia Poacher versus Squire, or Dissenter verfu^ Bishop. 
e know how easy it will be to find personal friends who 
speak somewhat authoritatively ' in contradiction to our 
jn. * What I ' will be the cry, ' Douglas Jerrold prejudicei! 
bigoted I Douglaa Jerrold careless of truth and justice! 

1859. The Life and Remains of Douglas Jerrold, 101 

* Why, if there was anything for which Douglas Jerrold was 

* remarkable '—and then follows the usual string of anecdote 
and assertion, wound up by the usual formula, — * To us, who 
' knew him well, such accusations appear ludicrous.' So it has 
ever been. No man ever robbed a henroost yet, but some one, 
' who knew him well,' was ready to swear that robbing a hen- 
roost was just the act of which he was incapable. Those who 
knew Francis of Austria well thought it ludicrous to accuse 
him of cruelty. Those who knew Nicholas of Bussia well 
thought it ludicrous to accuse him of tyranny and ambition. 
But those who know human nature well know how utterly 
worthless such evidence must always be. 

However, this reasoning is on the present occasion superfluous. 
Not only does Mr. Blanchard Jerrold acknowledge the unprin- 
cipled levity with which his father wrote, but he seems to 
admire it as a pleasant and humorous peculiarity. He quotes, 
with apparent acquiescence, the following almost incredible 
passage from some critic as sensible as himself: — 

* He (Douglas Jerrold) was impulsive, epigrammatic, sentimental. 
He dashed gaily at an abuse, like a picador at a bull. He never sat 
down, like the regular workers of his party, to calculate the expenses 
of monarchy or the extravagance of the civil list. He had no notion 
of any sort of *' economy." I don't know fiiat he had ever taken up 
political science seriously, or that he had any preference for one form 
of government over another. I repeat, bis radicalism was that of a 
humourist. He despised big-wigs and pomp of all sorts, and, above 
all, humbug and formalism. But his radicalism was important as a 
sign that our institutions are ceasing to be picturesque, of which^ if 
joa consider his nature, you will see that his radicalism was a sign.' 

Imagine one reasonable being writing thus of another, and 
thinking all the while he is paying a compliment ! To what 
does it all amount? Even to this^ — that Douglas Jerrold cared 
for nothing but his own capricious tastes, that he never took the 
trouble to ascertain whether he was fighting on the right side or 
the wrong, that he was wholly ignorant of the subjects on which 
he set himself up to instruct his fellow citizens, and that his life- 
long hostility to an institution only proved its unpicturesque- 
ness I To say of such a man, that he dashed at an abuse like a 
picador at a bull, is gross injustice to the picador. The picador 
dashes at the bull, no doubt, but never without being quite 
sure that it is a bull. He does not ^ dash gaily ' at an innocent 
milch cow, and then plead, or rather boast, his ignorance of 
natural history. He has sense enough to be aware that a man 
whose trade it is to harpoon bulls, must learn to know a bull 
when he sees him. Douglas Jerrold, it is admitted, was not so 

, I 


102 The Life and Remains of Douglas JerroldL Julji 

conscientious. He * dashed gftilj/ not at an abuse, but at 
whatever he chose to think looked like an abuse ; and society \as 
reason to rejoice that, though his friends may call him a picador, 
he was in fact nothing more formidable than a bold and nimble 
banderillero, » 

After such an admission as that which we have quoted, tbe 
admiration of Mr. Bianchard Jerrold for his father^s energy and 
sincerity cannot be thought worth much. All he can say 
amounts to this, that Douglas Jerrold would have been a 
powerful champion for truth if he had but sincerely cared to 
know what the truth really was. ^ The hammer,' he tells us, 
' descended with a heavy thump, because the smith was tho- 
' roughly in earnest.' Of course he was. Smiths who work 
for their own selfish pleasure usually aire. M. Louis Yeuillot 
is thoroughly in earnest when venting his spite against England. 
M. Laguerronidre is thoroughly in earnest when earning his 
salary from the Tuileries. And why should not Douglas Jer- 
rold be thoroughly in earnest when pampering his sentimental 
caprices and showing off his affected witticisms ? 

The most characteristic specimens of Douglas Jerrold's po- 
litical writing are to be found in the * Q. Papers,' a series of 
comments upon public events, which regularly appeared in 
^ Punch' for some yes's after its commencement. Most re- 
markable papers they certainly are. Be their literary merit 
what it may, there can be no doubt of the elaborate care and 
nicety with which they were polished and put together. It is 
regular jeweller's work. One is a little knot of quaint sarcastic 
conceits, another a fine-spun web of allegorical metaphor, an- 
other a wild poetical dream of grotesque and fantastic impossi- 
bilities. But not one of them contains a trace of common sense 
or rational reflection. For any connexion which they have 
with the right and wrong of their subjects, they might just 
as easily have been written in defence of the Inquisition. 
We are sorry that Mr. Bianchard Jerrold has not been more 
copious in his extracts from the * Q. Papers.' Perhaps even he 
was appalled by the shameless absurdity of some of the eloquence 
which we remember to have wondened at some ten or fifteea 
years ago. But he has given us quite enough for our purpose. 
We pledge ourselves, without travelling out of the work before 
us, fully to justify all we have said of Douglas Jerrold as a 
political writer. 

We will take first one of his favourite abominations, cor- 
poral punishment in the navy. We are told that when a boy 
he passed six months as midshipman on board a sloop of war, 
and there witnessed the infliction of six lashes upon a sailor for 


1859. The Life and Remains of Doufflas Jerrold. 1 03 

theft The lecoUectioa of this most lenient punishment ^ ap- 

* peared to convulse him/ whenever it occurred to him during 
the rest of his life ; and certainly his article on the subject, 
thirty years afterwards, might well have been written by a man 
in conv|ilsions. It is a rhapsody of alternate sobbing and gibing. 
First, a minute description of the bodily suffering inflicted by 
the lash, then a scoffing compliment to the humanity of those 
who maintained its necessity, and, finally, an ironical suggestion 
that the cat-of-nine-tails 'ought to be blessed by the ship's 
^ chaplain in the like way that bishops sanctify military colours.' 
And that is all he can find to say. 

We need scarcely remark that upon this painful subject we 
^ree with Jerrold to a f!;reat extent, and would gladly agree 
with him altogether. We think, as he thought, that bodily 
torture is a hateful and shameful thing, and wish to see it 
abolished if possible. But is it not necessary, in the emergen- 
cies of actual service, to hold the sharp fear of instant physical 
pain over the heads of such men as would otherwise flinch from 
theur duty ? We do not say it is. We listen, gladly and defe- 
rentially, to the opinion of a distinguished philanthropist, who 
is likewise an old man-of-war's man. But our indignation rises 
when we find he can only say that corporal punishment must 
be abolished because it really is such a painful sight What 
drivelling is l^is I Suppose it is painful. Did the mcia never 
hear of such a thing as a p^nftil necessity ? Or does he think 
it reasonable to alter the discipline of the navy because a mid^ 
shipman went into hysterics at seeing a thief flogged ? 

Another subject upon which Jerrold was never weary of 
declaiming, was the atrocity of war. The vessel to which he 
belonged was employed to bring across the Channel a number 
of sddiers wounded at Waterloo ; and their ^ raw stumps and 

* festering wounds went far to give my father that lively sense 
^ of the horror of war which abided with him throughout his 
' life.' Well, raw stumps and festering wounds are shocking 
things, but shocking things may be now and then unavoidable. 
There must have been raw stumps and festering wounds after 
Thermopylas and Morgarten. A man maimed for life is not so 
ugly a sight as a man sold for a slave. But no such considerar ^ 
tioQs occurred to * Q.' He was unwearied in denouncing the 
army. He declared that every recruit was * Cain taking the 

* shilling.' And, speaking of a bishop who had consecrated the 
colours of a regiment, he scoffingly iaferrefl that henceforward 
'honucide becomes an agreeable kind of Whole Duty of Man, 
*and pillage a sacred and most direct way of enriching oneself.' 

Now Jerrold was not one of those consistent lunatics who 

77ie JAft and Remains of Douglas JerraM. July, 

that eelf-defence is & crime. Nor, hod be mainUinecl 
it have been safe to take him at his word. In no 
the fichtiDg instinct more wholesomely developed, and 
e lived to give signal and honourable proof. He lived 
bat he acknowledged to be a righteous war, and to do 
vice by supporting it, in spite of dieaster and disap- 
it, with all his heart and eouL But he who thus acted 
glas Jerrold the atonthearted and warmhearted English 
Douglas Jerrold the sentimental philanthropist was a 
erent person. The sight of a rude mechanic jostling a 
of a powerful Emperor invading a weak neighbour, set 
Y spirit in a £ame at once. But the abstract idea of war 
m shudder, and the suggeation, that it may possibly 
four duty to do what makes you shudder, was quite 
lim. Denounce what you dislike — therefore denounce 
3, especially when in doing so you can throw in a sneer 
hop. Perish the national spirit and down with the 
fl^, but let ' Q.' enjoy his little snarl and his little 

ive alluded to Jerrold's prejudice against bishops. Fev 
« are capable of being more pbusibly or more effectively 

But not Mr. Croker reviewing Lord Macaulay — not 
luel Warren satirising the Whigs in * Ten Thousand a 
ever vented a prejudice in more dismal platitudes than 
laing the hierarchy. Here is a specimen of what Mr. 
'd Jerrold is pleased to think 'scorching earcasm.' 
lically euggests that the bench of bishops should 
at Ijambetb, and, discoveriog that locusts and wild honey— 
Ist's diet — may be purchased for something less than ten 
a year, and, arter a minute inveatigation of the Testamenl, 

discover the name of St. Peter's coKchman, or of St. Paul's 
bis valet, or his cook, take counsel one with another, and 
< forego at least oine-tenths of their yearly incomings.' 

some it is to transcribe such a sentence as this 1 What 
, weary, empty ring it makes I How obvious that the 
) wrote it ■ never in his life gave five minutes' serious 
to the great question of national Church endowment!. 
it he shuts his eyes to the simple truth, that if you 
able and trustworthy man, whether for a bishopric or 
' else, you must pay for him. How disingenuously b^ 
, by plun^ng headlong into that familiar old fallacy — 
leion of because with notwithstanding. John the Baptist 
evoted missionary, although he had to wear an un- 
ble dress, and live on indigestible food. Therefore 
ur bishops in camel skin, and feed them on locusts 

1859. The Life and Remains of Douglas Jerrold. 105 

and wild honey, and they ysiYL resemble John the Baptist. 
Why not carry the same principle a little further ? Ridley 
and Latimer were brave and honest confessors, although they 
had to die by fire for their pains. Therefore roast your bishops 
over slow fires so many years after consecration, and they will 
during the interval resemble Ridley and Latimer. But to ridi- 
cule such silliness is like mimicking the gabble of an idiot. 
Try as we will, we cannot make the parody so absurd as the 

If there was any conceivable subject upon which Jerrold 
might have been expected to say something worth hearing, that 
subject was the condition of the English poor. The late Duke 
of Wellington, greatly to * Q.'8 ' indignation, asserted in the 
House of Lords that in England ' the poor man, if only sober 
' and industrious, was quite certain of acquiring a competency.' 
The Duke, we all know, sometimes said exi^gerated things 
when speaking in publia Here was a very bold assertion, and 
possibly enough, in the year 1842, a very absurd one. Let 
us see how ' Q. ' deals with it We find plenty of bluster- 
ing contradiction, plenty of grandiloquent stuff about nailing 
the Duke ^ as we would nail a weasel to a barn door,' but only 
one sentence which bears the faintest resemblance to a reason. 
Here it is — 

* If rags and starvation put up their prayer to the present ministry, 
what must be the answer delivered by the Duke of Wellington ? 
Ye are drunken and lazy.' 

That is all ; but surely that is enough. The Duke, you per- 
ceive, must clearly be wrong. To tell ragged and starving men 
that they are drunken and lazy, would be most painful to * Q.'s ' 
feelings. Therefore it cannot possibly be true. And for as- 
serting the contrary, ' the Duke of Wellington either lacks prin- 
* ciple or brains.' Quod erat demonstrandum I 

In this manner * Wellington was scourged ' by ^ Q.' Such is 
the respectful phrase of Mr. Blanchard Jerrold. It strikes us, 
we own, as an unhappy one. We are certainly none of the 
Duke's political disciples. There was probably not a single 
point in dispute between him and the Jerrolds, as to which we 
do not think him more or less in the wrong. Still it is difficult, 
in such a crisis as the present, to recal that honoured name 
without a pause of involuntary emotion. How much England 
has already missed him 1 How much she may yet have to do 
and to suffer, in which the aid of her old captain and counsellor 
^ill be vainly regretted I Such feelings may appear absurd 
enough to Mr. Blanchard Jerrold; but still we think be wiU 

106 The Life and- Remains of Douglas Jerrold. July, 

act wisely by Bhamming a little decency when next he has to 
speak of the Duke.' We doabt whether he has any notion ai 
his own moral attitude when tripping up to cast his little mite 
of impertinence upon the tomb of the dead hero. One neyer 
knows how small a small man can look^ until one has seen him 
trying to look down upon a great one. 

. We heartily wish that Mr. Blanchard Jerrold had presented 
Qs with some of ^ Q.'s ' numerous effusions on two other sub- 
jects — Game Laws and Capital Punishments. On both ques- 
tions, his opinions were capable of being supported by strong 
and plausible reasoning. But we well remember that his uwul 
aiguments on the one led directly to the impunity of all crime, 
and on the other to the abolition of all property. However, we 
shall adhere to our resolution of confining our remarks to the 
quotations found in the book before us. 

Mr. Blanchard Jerrold supplies us with an easy explanation 
of his father's reckless and thoughtless violence, though without 
seeming to perceive how fatal that explanation is to his charac- 
ter for sense and candour. He tells us, in very pompous lan- 
guage, that Douglas Jerrold grew up to manhood in the thick 
of those desperate conflicts between Toryism and Radicalism 
which commenced at the peace of 1615. ^ It was natural,' he 
adds, ^ that a young printer, who had already seen something of 
^ life, whose temperament was combative, and whose sympathies 
' were for the weak and the oppressed, should throw himself 

* fiercely into the strife.' Perfectly natural, not to say perfectly 
right. But whether it was quite so natural that the experi- 
enced publicist of forty should continue to think and write like 
the combative printer's boy of fourteen, is altogether a different 

' The most famous school of Badioalism,' says Mr. Blanchard 
Jerrold, * is utilitarian and systematic Douglas was empha- 
' tically neither.' In other words, a Badi<»l of the present day 
is obliged to understand his business. His opponents have 
learnt the importance of popularity, and the arts which con- 
ciliate it What will happen to him if he makes a slip we have 
lately seen, in the signal disgrace which has be&llen the ablest 
popular agitator now alive. Very different was the position of 
the demagogues at whose feet Douglas Jerrold was brought up. 
Those were the evil days of Sidmouth and Castlereagh — days 
when a popular cry was only noticed in high places by a sneer 
or a threat ^ The great unwashed,' ^ the vul^u: impatience of 

* the mob,' ^ the people must be brought to their senses ' — this 
was the sort of talk which a. Radical orator had to answer forty 
years ago. It was sometimes a dangerous undertaking, bat 
always an easy one. If he did not fear magistrates and dra- 

1 859. The Life and Bemaitu of Douglas JerroUL 107 

goons, he ran little risk of exposure or ridicale. He might 
have to raise the devil and face the devil, but he was spared the 
harder task of giving the devil his due. 

It is easy to imagine what sort of men were produced by such 
training as this, — ^men quite as prejudiced and quite as unreason- 
able as the bigots to whom they were opposed. In their ignor- 
ance of the true principles of freedom and toleration, and in their 
contempt of economical science, they were fully as obtuse as the 
Tories. Their anti-national malignity was even more detestable 
than the anti-popular insolence of their antagonists. And their 
language was usually &r more offensive, because their tempers 
were exasperated by defeat and unchecked by responsibility. 
Mr. Blanchard Jerrold, indeed, chooses to think that the ex- 
cesses of the Court ^justified the most democratic tirades,' 
which is as much as to say that the efforts of one helmsman to 
run the ship upon Scylla justified those of another to run her 
upon Charybdis. But to us it appears that their only real use 
consisted in balancing, by their senseless violence, the senseless 
obstinacy of the governing faction. 

As members of the modem Liberal party, we utterly re- 
pudiate the delusion that the Radicals of ^e Georgian age 
were in any intelligible sense our political predecessors or pro- 
genitors. We respect an honest Radical as we respect an honest 
Tory, and not one iota more. We dislike a selfish or spiteful 
Badical as we dislike a selfish or spiteful Tory, and not one iota 
leas. Southey preaching penal legislation in the Quarterly 
and O'Connor bawling for guillotines in the North Star, Hook 
eaves-dropping for scandal about Whig ladies and Reynolds 
inventing lies about the bloated aristocracy, Ellenborough bul- 
lying juries at Guildhall and Thistlewood plotting murder in 
Cato Street, are to us equally odious and equally contemptible. 
We think the bigotry of Cobbett quite as offensive as that of 
Perceval. We <£ not consider Eldon weeping on the woolsack 
a more thorough incarnation of Cant than Hunt trumpeting on 
the hustings. And not even George the Fourth in all his glory, 
be-wigged and be-rouged and be-Lawrenoed to the utmost, 
ftrikes us as a more intolerable coxcomb than Burdett, await- 
ing his arrest by the sergeant-at-arms in the act of construing 
ilagna Charta to his children. 

Considering as we do the Radicalism of the last generation 
merely as one of the many blunders which the past holds up as 
a warning to the present, we can of course profess little rc«i>eot 
for those who continued to uphold it after its origiiml pallia- 
tioQs had ceased to exist. Among these political anaohronisms 
Douglas Jerrold was conspicuous. ParliamenUry rutbitn, mu- 
mcipal reform, law reform, financial reform, ocoloniujilioiU rcfo' 

The Life and Remaint of Douglas Jerrold, July, 

! and left him atill repeating the cuckoo-cry — ' What- 
ie wrong.* The honesty of such a man — and Jeirold'e 
ivne unimpeachable — can only be defended by abandoD- 
iidgment to utter contempt. 

Douglas Jerrold was a most dexteroux artist in \ai 
Lilinr style of wit, cannot, we think, be disputed. Heiru 
ly hand at turning off a sarcasm or an epigram. Kolhing 
11 be neater or quainter than his famous compliment to 
1 — 'tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a 
,' or than his comparison of a miser to Judas lacariot, 
that he had no bowels to gush out,' The great defect 
it was, in our opinion, that it proved nothing. It was 
tiering play of the fancy. We cannot believe that it 
iienced the mind or changed the opinions of any human 
For aught we can see, such conceits might just as easily 
cted on one side of any conceivable question as on the 
Mr. Blanchard Jerrold talks of his father's neat intellec- 
iterie as if it were the architecture of a Cyclops. He telU 
he took broad patent facts, great indisputable wronge, 
iTC sharp epigrams into the heart of them, or entangl«4l 
t the mazes of some bright fancies, or heightened Uieir 
ness to the dull public eye by dexterous and picturesque 
ts.' ThiB we mMnlain was exactly what he did not do. 
ST went straight to his point He cut capers and 
B with wonderful agility, instead of rushing at his 
y's throat. His wit, compared with that of Sydney 
toE like a firework compared with a rifle. The fla^ 
brilliant, but the telling bullet-stroke did not follov. 
der was certainly of the finest, but his gun was seldom 

innot take leave of Mr. Blanchard Jerrold's work, with- 
irking the intolerable affectation of its style. Perpetual 
; after wit or eloquence is wearisome enough, but per- 
raining after picturesque vivacity is perhaps even worse. 
i a school of writers now iu existence who appear 
incapable of descending to common-place language, and 
T above common-place thoughts. They describe the 
world ' of an age, or the* ' hearth life ' of a class. They 
imething fierce to say ' to whoever displeases them. The 
ets its ghastly teeth ' at their heroes, and their beroe« 
' scowl nt the century,' ' clench their fists savagely,' and 
it their life-battle ' with other similar contortions. Wc 
f recommend these gentlemen to consider what they 
ia,y, and say it plainly. They may rely upon it, that a 
oka none the taller for standing on hie head. 

1859. Fossil Footprints. 109 

Art. V. — 1. Ichnology of Annandaky or Illustrations of Foot- 
prints impressed on the Neio Bed' Sandstone of Corncockle 
Muir. By Sir William Jardine, Bart. Edinburgh: 1853. 

2. Geology and Mineralogy considered with reference to Natural 
History. By the late Dr. Buckland, Dean of Westminster, 
&c. A new edition with additions by Professor Owen, Pro- 
fessor Phillips, and Mr. Robert Brown. Edited by Francis 
I. Buckland, M. A. London: 1858. 

3. The Geology of Pennsylvania ; a Government Survey, with a 
General View of the Geology of the United States. By 
Henry Darwin Rogers, State Geologist. 2 vols. 4to. 
Edinburgh and Philadelphia: 1858. 

MoTHiNG is more strongly indicative of the progress of the 
physical sciences, than the necessity which is constantly 
occurring for creating new terms to designate peculiar portions 
and special branches of science, and in no department of 
science is this more apparent than in Geology. Since the found* 
ations of this branch of natural science have been securely laid, 
it has not only become divided into the two distinct groups of 
Physical Geology and Palaeontology, but this latter again divides 
itself into distinct segments, among which we have Ichnology, 
or the study of Fossil Footprints. 

These imprints of the former inhabitants of our earth were 
first brought under the notice of geologists about thirty years 
ago by the late Dr. Henry Duncan, a clergyman of the 
Scottish Church, Residing at Ruthwell in Dumfriesshire. 
Hearing a report that impressions which bore considerable 
affinity to the footprints of quadrupeds of a high order pre- 
vailed on the surfaces of some of the sandstone strata at the 
quarry of Corncockle Muir, in the parish of ApplegartH, about 
lour miles north-west from Lockerby, in Dumfriesshire, this 
gentleman was induced to visit the spot, and he had the satisfac- 
tion of finding the faces of the sandstone strata impressed by 
the tracks of former existing animals, as had been described to 
him by some quarrymen, who were engaged in obtaining stone 
from this locality. Dr. Duncan published an account of these 
impressions in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edin- 
burgh, 1828. The late Dr. Buckland, 'in his Bridge water 
treatise, refers to and figures these impressions, which will bo 
found with some additional matter in the new edition of this 
admirable work recently published by Mr. Francis Buckland. 

' Fo$sil FootprinU. July, 

■feasor Owen, who examined casts taken ^m the Corncockle 
:k@, has referred the impreBsions to tortoises, giving tbem 

name of Ttstudo Duncani. One of the original slabs ool- 
ed bj the l»te Dr. Duncan is now built into the wall of the 
« Church at Mount Kedar, near Ruthwell) of whidi he 
une the minister after the disruption of the Cbimih of Scot- 

mpressions of this nature are, however, not confined to Corn- 
icle Muir quarry. They are also obt^ned from sandstooes of 
milar age and character in the same county, in the southern 
tion of the vale of the Mitb, in the district aronnd the 
n of Dumfries. 

['hese ichnolites of Dumfriesshire, more particularly those of 
ncockle Muir, have been made the subject of a valuable 
noir, beautifully illustrated by coloured litbc^raphic plates 
he natural size of the slabs containing the impressions, by 
William Jardine, Bart., on whose property Corncockle Muir 
tuated. The sandstones which afford these ichnolites were 
lerly regarded as belonging to the series of Bed Sandstones 
fhich geologists applied the name of Upper New Red Sand- 
le. There is now, however, reason to conclude that they 
ipy a somewhat different position, and that their geoit^ical 
zon appertains to that formation which has received, from 
illustnous author of the ' Silurian System' and the ' Creole^ 
Russia,' the name of the Permian formation, in consequence 
ts great development in the ancient kingdom of Perm. 
Lt Corncockle Muir, and elsewhere in Dumfriesshire where 

impressions exhibit themselves, they occur on the sur- 

s of aandstone strata which have a considerable elev»- 

from their original horizontal position, being usually 

ined at angles ranging from 34° to 37°. When we examine 

structure of the mass of stone which constitutes one 
hese strata, we find it composed of numerous distinct and 
illel layers of sandy particles of a light red and brown 
ur, and these layers are not only parallel to each other, but 
whole are commonly parallel to the under and upper faces 
ach stratum. And as this parallelism, and the character 
he particles which make up the sandstone strata, exclude 
idea that the strata were originally deposited at the high 
e of inclination at which they now present themselTW, 
ire under the necessity of referring their present inclined 
tion to the operation of that force which, acting beneath 
earth's surface, in opposit&n to the levelling power of 
;r, gives rise to these elevations and undulations of snr- 

npon which the beauty and grandeur of the face of our 

1859. Faml Footprints. 1 1 1 

earth in a great measure depend. The early conditions of these 
rocky massesy on which are now imprinted the records of the 
wanderings of animals existing during the earlier periods of our 
earth's history, are somewhat different from those which the 
new sandstones now present to us* No ordinary force of mere 
pressure could at present impress the faces of these stony 
strata ; and, from the very perfect state of many of the foot- 
printSy we are compelled to conclude that the substance which 
is now hard sandstone rock was formerly soft sand, capable of 
receiying and retaining the impress of the tread of the creatures 
which walked over the sandy shores of former geological epochs. 
These sandstones of Dumfriesshire bear about them the evi- 
dence of conditions which obtiuned in the physical geography 
of the areas where they occur. They seem originally to have 
been wide-spread expanses of sand of a littoral character, visited 
and covered by the ancient tides ; and having, here and there^ 
scattered over them muddy patches, such as now are often 
found covering small areas on our present sandy coasts. Some 
of the surfaces of these sandstones record atmospheric condi* 
tions. Their faces are sometimes pitted with hollows which 
We originated from a pelting shower ; and these pittings some- 
times have such a well-defined and distinct direction, that we 
can ascertain the direction of the wind which bore along with 
it the rain-clouds. In many localities where footprints present 
themselves on the surfaces of the sandstones we read the 
records of solar influence, but the sandstones of Dumfriesshire 
containing- footsteps do not reveal this to us. Among the sand- 
stones of Cheshire, which are of a newer geological age than 
those of Dumfriesshire, and which are marked by footprints, 
but of a different character from those of the South of Scot- 
land, records of solar influence are very abundant. Here we 
have the sun-dried surfaces of the clayey strata, associated with 
the sandstones, over which animals formerly crawled, cracked 
and shrunk by the solar beams, which absorbed the moisture 
from the mud and baked its surface, cracking it in all directions. 
Sometimes these sandstones have their surfaces marked by beau- 
tiful sandripples, the result of a gentle breeze breaking the still 
nvfieice of a shallow pool of sea-water on these sandy shores ; and 
we even find instances of the evaporation of salt-water, and the 
crystallisation of sea-salt from the natural salt-pans of the ancient 

There is a curious feature in connexion with these ichno- 
lites of Dumfriesshire, which irf, the almost constant and uni- 
form direction of the impressions. They nearly all indicate 
that the animals walked from west towards east. Sir Wil- 

Fossil Footprints, July* 

Jardine BU^ests that the progress was towards the Uad, 
hat this peculiar direction is the result of ' the so^r 
te of the sand at the ebb of a tide caosing the tracks 
ering or approaching the water to have been obliterated ; 
Ue the returning tracks, being Impreesed in partially 
id sand, have been preserved, though they grow gra- 
lUy fainter and less distinct as they reach the top of the 
1, which would have been the margin of drier sand nearer 

land.' Dr. Dnocan observes, in his paper, that the ani- 

had progressed in both directions, east or west, or, as he 
s it, from the inclination of the beds, ' up and down, but 
er across the slope in any degree. Footprints are ooca- 
lally uncovered passing from east to west, but they are 
requent and generally indistinct' Although there is a 
; uniformity in the west and east course, this is not ezclu- 
f the direction. Sometimes the tracks turn aside, and 
y they are found running north and south. So general is 
rest and east direction of the wanderings of these animals, 
a distinguished English geologist affirmed that the animals 

essentially Scotch, since, like their present countrymen, 
were pursuing their course towards England ; but, unfor- 
tely for this theory, England must have changed it« posi- 
from that which it now occupies, as an eastward coarse 
d not enable the borderers to invade their southern 

' the peculiar animals of a quadrupedal nature which have 
be impress of their footsteps on these ancient sandy coasts, 
nly records are these ichnolites; and they are, to a coo- 
ible extent, of a dubious character. However, comparisoai 

the imprints of the feet of existing forms of animaJa lead 
e conclusion that they have a greater affinity to the foot- 

of reptiles than to other classes of quadrupeds. On this 
■r Sir William Jardine remarks: — 
be animals that have passed most frequently over these ssndt, 

other words, the impresaioas most numerously found, withoQE 

belong to some forms of tortoise. This we discover by tite 
close resemblance and aoalogy tbey bear, both in the form, the 
ion of the footprints, and pace or stride, to that of recent species 
I have been ninde purposely to walk over soft substances. From 
ipressions left by other animals, we can only yet surmise tM 
lavc bad n long or a short stride, a. nnrrow or a broad body ; and 
nowiedge of the footprints of recent animals, what may I* 
d modern Ichnology, how these were placed in relation to euh 

and of the markings made by the lower classes of animals in 
passnge across soft sand or mud, is so limited from want of 
iration and experience, that we cannot, with any degree of cer- 

1859. Fossil Footprints. 113 

taintj, mark even the class of beings by which thej were made. 
From the prevalence of saurian life in the period immediately follow- 
ing that of the New Red Sandstone era, we are prejudiced in favour 
of reptilian forms ; but, however it may answer in theory, it does not 
at all follow that all the higher forms were absent anterior thereto/ 

To the most prevalent form of step, that which is of a de- 
cided Chelonian character, Sir William has given the generiQ 
name ChelichnuSy indicating that these ichnolites had their ori- 
gin in the footsteps of tortoises. The most abundant form of 
this genus is the one figured by Dr. Buckland, (vol ii. plate 31), 
and which is also exhibited the natural size in the plates of the 
' Ichnology of Annandale.' Of this form Sir WilUam Jardine 
says: — 

' We meet with this impression on almost every bed, in various 
states of preservation, according to what had been the condition of 
the then sand and clayey layer that might be superimposed. Tracks 
several feet in length are frequently exposed, which give a good idea 
of the uniformity of pace at which the- animal proceeded. At one 
time there- was a track of thirty feet in length laid bare, which pro- 
ceeded first in a straight line, and afterwards diverged in different 
directions, maintaining, however, during the progress, the same uni- 
formity of pace or stride.* 

The size of this form of Chelonian does not appear, judging 
from the magnitude of the footprints and the interval between 
the p^rs of steps, to have exceeded a foot in length ; and, in 
many instances, the proportions of the impressions would lead 
us to infer that it was frequently much smaller. Another form^ 
n^ly allied in size, but which has left smaller footprints with 
a greater space between the impressions, inducing the conclu« 
sion that the animal which originated these impressions had 
longer and more slender limbs than C Duncani, has received 
the name of C ambiguus. A larger form, called C. ffiffos, has- 
left impressions which approach near to six inches in length, by 
nearly five in breadth, and had in length of stride equal to- 
about sixteen inches. The space separating the extremities on 
each side in this species is comparatively small, being about four 
inches and three quarters, and leading to the inference that in 
this form the body was comparatively longer than in the other 
tortoises which were its companions during this epoch. A 
fourth form is known as C Titan, and the impressions pro- 
duced by this reptile * must have been made by a heavy short- 
' legged animal, progressing at a slow and deliberate pace. The 

* footprints of this form, which are nearly equal in length and 
' breadth, are from nine to ten inches across, and the interspace 

* formed by the stride is about the same length. The impres- 


Fotail FootprinU. ^^Jt 

f are deep, and all the features about thU form of ichno- 
indicate a heavy aDimal, having eioxt locomotive powers.' 
ler ichnolite of a Chelonian character is known under the 

of C. Plagiostopui. It is characterised by the obliqoe 
)n of the imprints, which indicatea that the creature fonn- 
ese footprints set down its feet in * a peculiar oblique di- 
OD. From the size and interspaces between the footprints, 
>ald appear that this species was an animal having a short 
wide form.' 

lidea Chelonians, reptiles of other orders have been the 

re of ichoolitea oa the shoree of the Permian sea, in the 

which are now occupied by the sandstones of Dumfries- 

A form to which the generic uame of Herpetichxv a 

has left its footprints umong these strata. These im- 

were formed by 'longer and more Ulhe-lilce animals' 
:he Cheloniana; and these animals ' would, in all proW 
T, present a saurian aspect.' This genus had its toes more 
it and separate than Chelichnus, One form, H. Sauro- 
t, from the size of the impressions, bad the relative pro- 
n of the fore and hind feet three and four inches. An- 
form, of smaller size, and with characters which on the 

are not satisfactory, has been named by Sir Williain 
le H. Bucklandi, A form to which the term AcHbattM has 
applied has triangular impressions, but concerning the 
: of this ichnolite not much can be made out. 
one of the localities in the lower portion of the valley 
Nith, in Dumfriesshire, many im]ves^ons have been 
ed from a quarry at Green Mill, in the parish of Caer^ 
ck. These have, for the moat part, a general resem- 
: to those which occur at CorncocKle Muir. Here, how- 

an ichnolite has been perceived possessing characters 

are more distinctly batrachian than the Corncockle iin- 

From the batrochiao-like nature of the impressions 

>ccurring, the term Batrichnit has been applied to (hii 

Of these impressions it is remarked, that 
ere is a great discrepancy between the size of the fore sad 
:eti and in this inslance it is remarkable. The pace is ei- 
y regular, deliberate, and alternate. The small fore foot is Ml 
immediately anterior to the hinder, and represents three or 
ightly divided toes, and an nndulated sole; the whole breadth 
about half an inch. The hind foot represents a smooth un- 
] aole^ with five rather short toes of Irregular length, the secc^d 
he outside being the longest, the interior shorter.' 
sse ichnolites of the Permian strata of Dumfriessbire in- 

the existeace, in littoral habitats, of tlii«e distinct ordeit 

1859. Fossa Footprints. 115 

of reptiles ; and, although the size of these was generally small, 
still they point out a widely differejat fauna from that now occur- 
ring on our shores. The conditions under which these footprints 
present themselves to us vary somewhat, according to the circum- 
stances which prevailed on the ancient shores during the period 
when these were inhabited by the creatures which had their abode 
thereon. When the animals wandered over the muddy patches 
scattered over the beach, they left exact traces of the impress 
of their footsteps, the clayey surface taking and retaining casts 
of the lower portion of the feet in the greatest perfection* 
Sometimes the animals wandered over loose saad, which in some 
instances trickled into the footprints, and left these somewhat 
obscure ; and in some cases the sand, over which the creatures 
walked, seems to have been so saturated with water as to have 
had the character of quicksands, and from this condition it rushed 
into the impressions, obliterating the whole of the sharper por- 
tions, and leaving the footprint in the form of a crescent-shaped 
patch, having something of the external form of the track of a 
horse, and giving rise to impressions which have been often 
referred to this animal. 

It usually happens that the footprints which have had their 
origin in the progression of quadrupedal animals do not retain 
the impressions of the fore and hind feet in an equal state of 
perfection. The anterior extremities are commonly merely 
organs of support in many quadrupeds; while the posterior 
extremities are not only used for this purpose, but also are the 
principal organs of progression. In connexion with these latter 
are powerful mu^les, used for propelling the body forward; 
and the exercise of these gives a greater force to the posterior 
extremities, and causes them to exert a greater influence in im- 
presdng the surfaces over which the animal travels. It is to 
this circumstance that the greater perfection of the footsteps 
produced by the posterior extremities is to be attributed. 

Many animals of a quadrupedal nature also differ in the 
relative size of their extremities; those appertaining to the 
anterior being often much smaller than the ones which belong 
to the posterior portions. Evidence of this disparity, in the 
relative size of the extrenuties, is manifested to us in many of the 
impressions which have resulted from the wandering of ancient 
forms of life on the former shores of our planet. The steps 
caused by the fore feet are frequently smaller than those 
caused by the hind feet ; and in some instances we have only 
the latter occurring, giving rise to what at first sight wcuud 
appear as the tracks of a bipedaJ animal rather tlmn of a 
quadruped. This latter form of track has resulted from the 

FotsU Footprints. July, 

!r and more powerful hind foot being placed upon the im- 
iion caused by the anterior extremity, and obliterating all 
1 thereof; an occurrence which ariaea from the moile of 
resaion of many animals. 

lie knowledge which we acquire from these ichnolites, and 
conditions under which they originated, tell us that in 
ids far remote in the history of our earth, — periods which we 
ely fail to recogniae when we attempt to reduce them to 
inomical times, — there existed physical conditions akin to 
f of those which now obtain in the several areas on the 
: of what we now call Great Britain —sandy shores visited 
ides, and exposed to the influence of the atmosphere. But 
I OUT modern sandy shores, we attempt to discover analogies 
e forms of life which were the former occupants of our earth 
ig the Permian epoch, we fiad ourselves entirely at fault 
many forms of tortoises, some of which were of considerable 
have no representatives on the margins of our sea-girt 
The lizards which appear formerly to have been wan- 
"B over the beaches, and to have enjoyed their being along 

these tortoises, have no representatives on our coasts; 
mly analogy, and that is far off, being the small Lacerta 
t, which never aeeks the wet or muddy portion of our shores, 
vhich is confined to the dry sandy heaps accumulated, from 
land of the beacb, into the state of hills forming a barrier 
een the sandy shore and the cultivated interior. The Per* 

forms of Batrachise which have impressed the surfaces 
ie sandstones, and are characterised by the unequal size 
le fore and hind feet, have no equivalents now living 
r like conditions, and all the circumstances of animal life, 
ese are exhibited to us by the ichnolites, point out a totally 
'ent state of things from what now prevails in temperate 

is a remarkable circumstance that although these im- 
ions in their several states of perfection are excesravely 
irons, we have no evidence of the existence of the crea- 

which produced them, save in the form of ichnolitea- 
a trace of any portion of the solid skeleton has yet 
obt^ned from any of the strata in any parts of Dumfries- 
which yield footprints, or in any portion of the great mass 
le Permian sandstones in these areas. Yet solid osseous 
Ework must have formed the bases upon which the other 
ons of the animals were constructed. The question naturally 
b; What has become of the bones and teeth, the most 
ble portions of these Vertebrata ? The peculiar chemical 
re of the sand in which the bones, after the death of the 

1859. Fossil Footprints. 117 

animals^ probably became embedded, seems to have exercised 
a hostile influence upon their preservation. The sandstones 
are strongly impregnated with peroxide of iron, and this sub- 
stance rapidly decomposes organic matter, whether this be 
animal or vegetable, and it is probably this power, acting 
upon the organic tissues, which has obliterated all traces 
of the more solid structure of the authors of the ichnolites. 
This absence of solid structures of animals in connexion with 
these impressions, teaches us what care should be exercised in 
drawing conclusions from purely negative evidence. For on 
what basis does our knowledge of the occurrence of abundance 
of quadrupedal life in connexion with the Permian formation 
rest ? Simply on the presence of footprints which have been 
impressed on sandy shores during this period. Evidence, at 
first sight, so fragile that we could hardly expect its occurrence, 
and yet these records of the wanderings of the ancient creatures 
on the former shores have been more enduring than the ijolid 
framework of the animals themselves. Among the Permian 
sandstones of Dumfriesshire ichnolites are the only records 
we possess of the occurrence, in this area, of organic forms 
of whatever character. No trace of a shell or crustacean, no 
track of an ancient marine worm, is to be met with in any 
of the strata which make up the mass of deposits in this 
locality. We are devoid of all knowledge concerning the 
food of these former reptiles, and yet analogy justifies us in 
concluding that they fed upon sea-weeds, and it is probably 
owing to their search after their proper support, that we owe 
those numerous impressions which mark the surfaces of the 

In Great Britain there are strata, both of an older ttnd a 
newer age, which also afford ichnolites ; and records of this 
nature are among the oldest evidence which we possess of the 
existence of quadrupedal life on the surface of our globe. These 
have been met with among strata which are known to geologists 
under the name of Devonian or Old Bed Sandstone, in the 
neighbourhood of Elgin, at Cummingstone, in deposits which 
are recognised as appertaining to the higher members of the 
Devonian series. Sandstone surfaces exhibit ichnolites upon 
them, and these ichnolites are of such a character as to induce 
geologists to regard them as resulting from the footprints of 
tortoises. The impressions in this locality are of small size and 
seem to have been produced by an animal not exceeding eight 
inches in length ; but they are of great interest, as they afford 
us perhaps the earliest evidence of the existence of reptile life on 
the surface of our planet. The evidence of the existence of 

118 Fo$ia Footprha^ July, 

reptile life does not, however, rest exdnavdy on idinoIiteB, In 
Btnita of tbe same age, and at the same locality, an ahnoet per- 
fect skeleton of one of the earliest reptilian inhabitants of our 
earth has been found, ukI this, called Tekrpeton Elgmatte by 
Mantell, possessed a cnrioas combination of characters, miitiiig 
many of the features of Batrachia with tiiose of Lizards. This 
extremely ancient batrachian-like lizard had, as its companion 
on the sandy shores of the Devonian sea, die tortoise, of the 
evidence of the existence of which ichnolites akme renuun. 

The formation which is intermediate in position between the 
Devonian below and the Permian above, and known nnder the 
name of the Carboniferoas formation, from the circnmstance 
that it affords the coal-bearing strata, has also afibrded ichDolites. 
These have been met with among the sandstones of the coal- 
measures in the east of Scotland; and an ichnolite from the 
strata known as the Millstone Grit series, and composed for the 
most part of coarse sandstone, which immediately underlie the 
coal measures proper of Lancashire and Yorkshire, has been 
discovered at Tintwhietle in Cheshire, by Mr. Binney, and de- 
scribed by him in the ' Journal of the Geological Society,* voL ix. 
This ichnolite, CheUchnns ingensy which has the characters of a 
tortoise impression, much exceeds in size any of those which 
have been previously discovered in any of the several formations 
of the British isles. Its footprints have a diameter of about 
ten inches, and they seem to have been formed by an animsl 
which had a stride of two feet ten inches and a half. 

Fossil footprints have been noticed in America, in strata which 
seem to appertain to the lower portion of the Carboniferous series. 
These have been described by Dr. Isaac Lea, and have be«i found^ 
in the coal district of Potsville, Schuykill county, Pennsylvania. 
They occur here on the under surfaces of some of the sand- 
stones, in a state of * bas-relief ;^ and their position on the 
under surfaces of the sandstones, is owing to their occurring as 
natural casts taken from the strata upon which these sandstones 
repose, and on which the ichnolites were originally formed. 
In connexion with these impressions of the sandstones of Pots- 
ville, we find, besides the imprints of the footsteps, a groove- 
like furrow intermediate to the rows of impressions. These 
farrows are not opposite to each other, but alternate, and are 
about from five to six inches long, by three quarters of an incli 
wide. They seem to have had their origin in the motion of the 
tail of the animal, which, having a vertiodly flattened character, 
came in contact with the ground at each stride of the creature* 
and cut a shallow groove in the mud over whidi the aniniAl 

1859. Fo$9il Footprints. 119 

trayeraed. This animal, from the nature of its ichcolitic evi- 
dence, seems to have bad a saurian nature, and its steps have 
been designated by Dr. Lea as those of the Sauropus, Asso- 
ciated with the tracks of the Sauropus^ and occurring on the 
faces of the same sandstones, are numerous ripple-markings ; and 
the faces of the slabs are covered by fine mammillations, the na- 
tural easts of rain-pits, formed on the muddy deposits which 
support tbese saadstoaes of the Carboniferous series of Potsville. 
The magnifieent Surrey of the Geography of Pennsylvania, 
which is one of the most valuable recent coutributions to geolo- 
gical science, and is published- in a form equally creditable to 
the liberality of that commonwealth, the energy of its author, 
and the typographical skill of this city, enables us to quote 
some interesting details as to the latest discoveries on this sub- 
ject in the United States. After describing Dr. Lea's discove- 
ries, in 1849, of the ' Sauropus ' in the Vespertine formation in 
the neighbourhood of Potsville, the author proceeds ; — 

' About 1500 feet lower in the formation, or farther south in the 
same locality, the geological survey brought to light another species 
of footprints of much smaller dimensions ; and soon afterwards two 
varieties at a spot cut far south of the West Gap in Sharp Moantain. 
The largest of the three species, identical apparently with the Sau- 
ropus of Lea, consists of footprints, each about two inches in diameter, 
alternately right and left footed and quadrupedal, with the fore and 
hind feet of nearly equal dimensions^ the length of the stride being 
about nine inches^ the straddle between the right and left footsteps 
nearly four inches, and the imprints of the hind feet but little behind 
those of the fore feet. A somewhat indistinct grooving of the sur- 
face of the stone, in two or three places centridly between the two 
rows of footsteps, suggests that the creature leaving these marks may 
have dragged a tail behind it ; and th^ whole aspect of the impressions 
is suggestive of an animal allied rather to the Saurians than to the 
Batrachian or Chelonian reptiles. All of the three species of foot- 
marks are quadrupedal, and all of them five-toed, and right and left 
footed, with an alternation also implying both fore feet and hind feet. 
*In the smallest species, the toes are nearly divergent, like the 
fingers of the human hand firmly outspread upon a table. Eadi 
footprint is about half an inch in diameter, and the length of the 
stride is from two to four inches. No traces of reptilian bones were 
discovered with these impressions, nor indeed in any part of the 
formation, I have invariably noticed that the surfaces bearing theso 
supposed reptilian impressions, which considerations of economy 
have compelled me to omit engraving, exhibit various indioAtioiiM ^of 
having been exposed to the air in a wet state at tho timo tlio Im* 
prints were formed. They are always at the incohi'rlnff partings 
between easily separating beds of sandstone ; and tlio Indrntod sur- 

Fotril FootprinU. July. 

zed with a fine aliray cUy, such as retreating turbid water 
ind it; the scaling off of this coatingof claf soon obliterates 
r footprints. These glazed aurfnc«s are furthermore im* 
th delicate water-marks and groovings, such as geologists 
o attribute to shrinkage in mud from the sun's heat. So 
f are the footprints confined to these glazed and seeminglj 
led surfaces, that it is in vain to look for them hj splitting 
ohering layers of the sandstone, for they occur onlj when 
^ntaneonsly separate. All the associated phenomena con- 
Inference drawn from the footprints themselves, tbst the 
vhlch left them were air breathers in their organitatiou.' 
^f Pentuylvania, toL ii. p. 831.) 

ne has also described icbnolites from strata which 
tne Carboniferous series in North America. These 
were discovered in a sandstone appertuning to the 
ures in Westmoreland count)r, Pennsylvania. TheK 
have been figured and described by Sir C. Lyell in 
lual s' and they have, in some respects, a resemblance 
ipressione of the Cheirotherium of the Trias. The 
ze of the fore and hind impressions, however, more 
iproximatee than in the Tnassic ichnotites, the hind 
lot exceeding that of the fore one by more than twice 
In these impressions, the footprints caused by the fore 
four toes, while those which have been produced bj 
'eet e:thibit five. The general aspect of this ichnolite 
a to support the conclusion that it resulted from s 
ving a batrachian character. 

Permian strata of England no remains of an ichnolite 
ive yet been met with. Animal life in another form 
owing that many races of molluscs lived in the Per- 
; and it is to Scotland, as yet, that ichnoHtes belong 
rmian series. In the succeeding Trias strata England 
Innce of ichnolitic remains; and it was in deposits of 
hat these were first observed in this country. Clieshire 
wickshire, where the Trias abounds, and where the 
lOnditions were such, during this epoch, as to facilitate 
rcnce and preservation of footprints, afford numerous 
the existence of reptile life during this epoch, as this 
is recorded by footprints. Stourton quarry, on the 
3 of the Mersey, and a few miles from Liverpoo'i 
fn derives some of its building stone from this quarrr, 
;he spots from whence ichnolitea are obtained. Weston 
o on the south side of the Mersey, and contiguous to 
is another quarry affording these remains ; and L^mOt 
leshiro, a few miles south of Manchester, likewise pro- 

1859, Fossil Footprints. 121 

duces the footsteps of extinct reptiles. In these several quarries 
the ichnolites occur under conditions somewhat different from 
those under which they make their appearance among the sand- 
stones of Dumfriesshire. In Cheshire we have generally the 
footprints in relief^ in the state of natural casts on the under sides 
of the sandstone strata ; and these strata affording the ichnolites 
repose upon beds of clay, which are commonly so thin and fragile 
that they break to fragments on being movecl, the natural cast 
alone remaining to testify of the former existence of reptilian 
life during this period. The shores of the Triassic sea, when 
these were impressed by the wanderings of quadrupeds, had a 
more muddy nature than the Permian littoral deposits, and 
upon these muddy shores layers of a more arenaceous nature 
were placed ; and these ancient sandy strata, when in a soft 
condition, took the natural casts which now mark the under side 
of some of the Trias sandstones. The reptiles which have left 
the impressions of their footsteps on the Trias strata of England 
exhibit a varied nature ; and, in some instances, enough of their 
solid structure has been obtained from some of the beds of 
white sandstone, to afford a considerable amount of information 
concerning their nature and affinities. The most common ich- 
nolites are those to which, from their resemblance to the human 
hand, the term Cheirotherium has been given. These im- 
pressions differ in the relative size of the prints which have 
resulted irom the fore and hind feet ; the latter being con- 
siderably larger than the former, and usually in a state of 
higher relief. At Lymn, from their size, high relief, and form, 
the quarrymen have designated them ' fossil children's-heads.' 
In both the fore and hind feet the inner toe has a curved 
aspect, and is considerably separated from the other members of 
the feet ; and it is to this circumstance that the hand-like aspect 
of the Cheirotherium footprints principally owe their character. 
Associated with ichnolites which have the Cheirotherium 
character there are found, in some of the quarries of sand- 
stone which are of a Triassic age, fragments of the solid 
structure of the animals which lived during this geological 
epoch. These consist of portions of bones of the head, ver* 
tebrsD, and fragments of the extremities ; and they have been 
examined and described by Professor OwenI* The cha- 
racter of these osseous remains is such as to induce Pro- 
fessor Owen to consider the animals to which they originally 
belonged as possessing decided batrachian natures; and, 
from the complex structure of the teeth of this genus of 

^ Geological Transactions, 2nd series, vol. vi. 

Feml Footprimtt. July* 

hiaii reptile, he has given to the form the name of 
mthodon. There are certain featorea in oonneuon 
hia genua which mark it as posseesing cfaaractera vbieh 
rom oidinaT; Batracbia. Amoog these is tha 
\uaMty of size of the front and back teetb, the former bang 
led into great laniariform tasks ; and the teeth differ from 
t all other animals in their complex labjrinthiDe stmctnret 

I the name of the farailj. 

; extinct LabTriothodons deviated from the salamaaden tnd 
latracbiain the crocoiliUan development and sculpturing of the 

II and superior bones of the cranium, and in the structure of 
vis, in which, ^so, they approximated to the crocodiles ; and 
ecies certainly, and the others probablr, receded from the 
]ia in the saioe direction, ia having dorsal osseous plates.' 

form and the batrachtan nature of the LabyriaUtodoa, 
10 the association of its bones with idmolites which were 
d to Cheirotherium, have inclined Professor Owen to 
:r this animal ae the author of the impressions which 
leen designated Cheirotherium footprints. Ichnolitea of a 
ature have been obtained from strata o£ the same ^e 
lildbui^h-hausen in Saxony, which are figured in ' Buck- 
) Greology,' voL ii. pi. 34. The nTiit»yl)i whidi pro- 
these impreesione on the faces of the Trias sandstones muat 
leen of considerable magnitude. The footprints reenlting 
the bind foot have usually a length of eight inches with 
dtb of about five inches. The smaller fore foot has pro- 

aa impression usually about four indies long by three 

and the interval formed by the stride is commonly about 
m inches. 

m the size of the bones of the Labyrinthodon, and from 
oportion of the footprints, it would a{^ar that some of 
itmals which gave rise to these ichnolites had a length 
iching to nine feet, with abreadth of about three feet, and 
ht of nearly three and a half feet. These dimenuone, 
er, foil to give a correct idea of the proportjons of the 
I, sikice its powerful hinder extremities were so developed 
hey formed a prominent object in the contour and size 
animaL Measured across the loins, to the projecting por- 
>f its legs on each side, this creature had a width of nearly 

feet. The aspect of this animal, as it wandered over 
tores of the Triassic sea, must have been somewhat UIk 
>f a great equat toad, armed with powerful conical teetli 
gquare-ehaped jaws. 

ides tlie ichnolites whioh have had their origin in the 
-inalionsof the Labyrinthodon, there ocour on strataof tbe 

1859. Fossa Footprints. 123 

Triaesic age, in some parts of England, footprints which, al- 
though of a reptilian character, have not been produced by 
batrachians. These are met with at Weston Point near Kun- 
com, and they also occur at Grimsell quarry near Shrewsbury 
in Shropshire. The fomi and nature of these footprints show 
feet with a great developement of toes ; and, in some respects, 
these impressions have in some degree a resemblance to such as 
would emanate from birds. They, however, possess five toes 
directed forwards ; and from certain remains which have been 
obtained from the quarries at Grimsell, and which seem to have 
appertained to the animals from whence the footsteps having 
somewhat of a bird-like nature oripnated, it would appear 
that the reptiles producing these singular ichnolites had a 
remarkable nature, combining saurian characters with certain 
structures which are of an ornithic nature. Besides wide-spread 
toes of a bird-like type, which were probably united together 
by a web, as in the case of swimming-birds, these lizards ap- 

?rozimated the nature of birds in the structure of their jaws. 
%ese appear to have been edentulous, and cased in a homy 
envelope^ presenting the aapect of the bill of a bird, or the 
homy mandible of the hawk's-beak turtle ; and from this feature 
in the organisation of this animal Professor Owen has termed 
the reptile Hhynckosaurus, 

It is interesting to notice that many of the faces of the 
sandstone strata, upon which the footprints of the Rhynchosaurus 
occur, are marked by coil-like masses ; and these coil-like masses 
were originally the ejectamenta of worms; resembling the 
heaps of sand which we, at the present day, find above the 
entrances into the burrows of the modern lug-worm, Arenicola 
piscatomm of our modem sandy coasts. The authors of these 
ancient sand-coils, the former representative of our modern lug- 
worm, appear to have been the food of the Rhynchosaurus ; and 
the horny-beaked mandibles of this reptile seem to have been 
well designed for picking up the forms of Arenicola, or an allied 
worm, which inhabited the sandy shores of the Triassic sea. 

Along with ichnolites, which are the former tracks of the 
Labyrinthodon and Rhynchosaums, we find on some of the 
sandstone strata of this age, as at Weston Point, impressions 
which in many respects approximate to those occurring on the 
sandstones of the Permians of Dumfriesshire. These, from their 
appearance, seem to have been produced by tortoises. They 
are of small size, not exceeding those of the C. Duncam of the 
Dumfriesshire Permians. They have, however, some features 
which show that they have originated from the wanderings of 
Other forms of cheloniane. Thus, like the shores of the Per- 

Foiiil Footprintt. July, 

sea, the Trias beaches were freqaeated by the three orders 
ipliles which have left thdr impressions on the shores of 
brmer period, viz. chelonian, sauriaD, and batrachian, 
hen we look backwards into the abj^ss of time, and com' 
the creatures of those remote ages with such aa now fre- 
it the sea beachea surroundiDg the British Isles, we see a 
ly different state of things. Instead of sandpipers run- 
along the maigin of the tide, picking up worme, and 
\ hovering about over-head, ready to devour any animal 
er that may be borne on the surface of the sea, or ctst 
n its shores, these Triaasic shores were occupied by Bhyn- 
auri of forms so strange that even the fabulous creatures 
le fairy tales of childhood look tame when compared inth 
} reptiles. The ponderous Labyrinthodon with its sculp- 
1 head, encased in bony armour, hns no anal<^on on our 
es, or even on our earth, at tiie present time. These 
tures of the Triassic age discharged the functions and ful- 
I the destauies appointed by their Creator during their 
h, and ceased to exist when changes in the physical coo- 
ns and gec^raphy of our planet rendered it no longer a suit- 
abode for those creatures which have left a record of their 
tence and their nature in the form of their footprints and 
Qrtions of their bony skeletons winch became embedded in 
sands accumulating on the Triassic shores. 
here are strata of great perpendicular thickness on the con- 
at of America, which seem to approximate to the Trias strab 
■ngtand in age. Their exact position, however, is not satie- 
>rily determined. They occur in the Connecticut valley, 
I England ; and the beds which afford ichnolites here, aai 
the nature of these ichnolites, have been well described bj 
Hitchcock. The rocks in this district consist of alter- 
ng beds of dark red sandstone and shale ; and in this their 
)logical nature they have considerable affinity to the Triasaic 
!B of England containing footprints. Some of the American 
ogists, among whom is Dr. Hitchcock, are disposed to place 
strata of the valley of the Connecticut river in a position 
re that of the Trins, and to regard these sandstones as foim- 
the lower members of the Jurassic series, the equivalents of 
Liassic strata. The area contauning the sandstones and shaies. 
cl) in Connecticut valley affords ichnolites, is a narrow band 
ujuntry, not more than from two to three miles broad, bat 
ing a length of about ninety miles. The thickness of the 
B of strata through which these ichnolites are disBeminiied 
Q one or two localities, as much as from 3000 to 4000 feet 
Krpendiculat depth. The tracks which occur throngb this 

1859. Fossil Footprints. 125 

district, and which have resulted from what Dr. Hitchcock calb 
Litkicknozoa, or stony-track animals, as these stony tracks 
are the only evidence we possess of their former existence, are 
very numerous, and very different in their natures. Of these 
tracks, according to Dr. Hitchcock, there are seven groups which 
caa be referred to Vertebrate life alone, and in the first of these 
groups he has placed five distinct species of what he terms 
Marsupialoids, inferring that there are certain forms of foot- 
prints which impress these Connecticut sandstones and shales^ 
of such a nature as to have the aspect of the footprints of the 
order Marsupialia, an order which, at the present time, is all 
but exclusively confined to Australia, Tasmania, and the adjoin- 
ing islands. The term Marsupialoids does not absolutely imply 
that the footprints were produced by pouched animals ; it merely 
indicates that the impressions have such an aspect as to give 
them the appearance of originating from animals of this order. 
The period of the appearance of Marsupials among the geolo- 
logical formations is not incompatible with the idea which 
would refer these ichnolites to this tribe of animals, even if the 
strata in which they occur be shown to be of Triassic age, since 
we meet with Marsupial remains in the form of the teeth of the 
Microlestes in the bone-bed at the top of the Trias, or at the 
base of the Lias. 

The conditions under which we meet with these Marsupialoid 
ichnolites, and the circumstances which must have prevailed 
during the deposition of the strata in which they occur, are 
somewhat hostile to the opinion that these impressions resulted 
from this order of Mammalia, since neither sandy nor muddy 
shores are the usual habitats of this tribe of Mammalia. It is 
probable that some form of reptile produced these Marsupialoid 
tracks ; for there are many anomalous tracks, some of which, at 
first sight, look far removed from any that might have been 
formed bv reptiles, which have ultimately been found to have 
been produced by creatures of this class. 

There occur, on the sandstones and shales of the valley of the 
Connecticut river, impressions of a tridactylous nature, and 
these, from their mode of arrangement, seem to have^ resulted 
from bipeds. Such is their nature, and so great is their resem- 
blance to the footprints of birds, that Dr. Hitchcock has desig- 
nated these tridactylous impressions of an apparentljr bipedal 
origin O'mithichnites, indicating that they are the ichnolites 
produced by birds. It would appear, from the observations of 
Dr. Hitchcock, that these tridactylous imprints are capable 
of being divided into two groups, the one containmg such ich- 
noUtes as are thick-toed in their nature, and the other havmg 

Fossil Footprints. 3aiy, 

ch impressions as are tdin-toed. OF the former 
rdiDg to Dr. Hitchcock, three distiQct genera, 
teen Bpeoies ; and of the latter there are foar 
g sixteen species. Some of these txidactyloua 

of gigantic ei^e. The longest of these foot- 

the name of Ornithic linites ffiganticiu has been 
ban fifteen inches long, exclusive of the portion 
na which seem to represent a claw, which ts two 

and the interval which marks the stride of this 
om four to six feet, the latter being apparently 
e stride when the animal was in rapid motion, 
stances of impressions which seem to have re- 
ner-toed birds of an equal length of foot and 
e of the impreaeions have, attached to the hinder 
1 indication of an appendage extending back- 
bt to nine inches, the character and nature of 
icult to determine. Many of these ichaolites 
cut valley are of much smaller size, and do not 
ich as are formed by some of our wading-birda. 
rbicb these ichnolitea occur, and the arrange- 
pressions, are both strongly indicative that these 

originated from the footsteps of birds. The 
some instances, show the number and arrange- 
langea of the foot, and such an arrangement has 

to that of tridactylous birds. The footprints 
8 animala from whence these impressions ema- 
: phalangeal bones in the inner toe, four in the 

in the outer toes, an arrangement which cor- 
ving forms of tridactylous birds. The impre^- 
lit from this arrangement marks well the joints 
ch exactly agree with such footprints as would 
the forma of birds already referred to. This 
le feet is exhibited in Sir Charles Lyell'a 

349). In some instances, the mud over which 
alked has been in such a condition as to tak« 
t impression of the covering which enveloped 

foot; the skin of this portion of the sniioal 
press on the shale beds in such a fine state as to 
cture and nature of this skin being recogniaeil. 
ination of these perfect ichnolites, Profea^r 

induced to conclude that the ekin resembled 
;h, and not that of a reptile. 
i strong indications of the bird-like nature of 

1 in 'Bucklaud's Geology,' plate 36. vol. ii. 

1859. FoMsU FootprixU. 127 

these idinolitesi there are certain circumatanoea to be taken 
into consideration before we arrive at an absolute conclusion 
that they are of ornithic origin. As concerns their bipedal 
aspect, this apparent form of steps is by no means a satisfactory 
evidence with regard to these ichnolites originating in birds. 
Many reptiles, as we have already stated, in their mode of 
progress, place the hind foot upon the impression of the fore 
foot ; and the former, having greater force, obliterates the im- 
pression resulting from the latter, and gives rise to impressions 
which have apparently resulted from bipeds. Another cha- 
racter, viz. the tridactylous aspect, is not such as we can al- 
together rely upon. Many reptiles have the two outer toes 
only imperfectly developed, and in such a condition as not to 
be able to impress the sand or mud over which they travel with 
any evidence of the existence of these outer toes; and there 
is an impression of an icfanolite, which makes its appearance in 
some of the higher strata, which is not only tridactylous in its 
character, but also bipedalous in its aspect, and yet of this 
there is little room to doubt its reptilian origin. 

The other bases upon which the ornithic nature of these 
impressions rest are the arrangement and relative number of the 
bones of the foot, and the bird-like nature of the skin which 
covers this. With regard to these latter, they cannot be con- 
sidered as of great absolute value ; and, until we obtaiti some 
evidence of a more satisfactory character, the conclusions as to the 
80-called Omithichnites must be looked upon only as probable, 
and not as oertain, since impressions formed by reptiles fre- 
quently possess many ornithic characters. 

Among these strata of the Connecticut valley Dr. Hitch- 
cock enumerates ichnolites which have a decided reptilian na- 
ture. Of these there are twelve species which he refers to 
Ornithoid lizards or Batrachians, seventeen to Lizards Proper, 
sixteen to Batrachians, and eight to Chelonians ; showing u<m 
abundant animal life of an elevated type was during *^^*P*"^ 
either of the Trias or Lias epoch : and yet among these red «tfrf4- 
stones and shales no traces have yet been obtained of «iry ^A 
the osseous structures of these animals; but, as is the eaiw: v.tij 
the Permian red sandstones of Dumfriesshire, the owr ^ 
dence of this abundance of life which frequented tte au -> Jy 
shores of this geological .epoch exists to us in tht imu di 

On these interesting and numerous forms rf l.i'/u^^* f»c^ 
curring in the Connecticut valley. Dr. Hitcbcuck id^ prejiir -» 
a report to the government of the state of Maa^tfUfc^u, ^|- ^ 
is now in the course of publication with pl«to« ; J» i ^m^ ^ 

Fossil Footprints. July, 

■e in poBflesaion of this report, the knowledge of thae 
ilmoIiteB will be greatly extended, and some important 
a can be drawn, not only ae concerns the impreasiona 
; in the district immediately referred to, but also con- 
he ichnoliteB of other countries. 

itea of ii very diatinct character have been obtained 
osits which are of an nge considerably more recent geo- 
Mr. Becklea baa obtained on the surfaces of some of 
itone strata belonging to the Haatings sand series, the 
lember of the Wealaen depoaitc, impreasiona, eome of 
e of giganUc size, and in many respects bearing con- 
affinity to the bipedal tridnctylous footprints of the 
cut valley. The tenth volume of the 'Journal of the 
cal Society ' contains a deacriptibn and a plate of these 
I, which are not only tridactylouH, but approach near to 
bcock's paehydactyloua birda. There are, however, uo 
<ry phalangeal impressions in connexion with them, 
of these footprints varies considerably ; some being 
hea, and others aa much aa twenty-eight long by twent;- 
•s broad, and impressions of an intermediate size occur. 
Tval between the impresaions, or the length of the 
the largest of these ichnolites, reaches forly-aix inches; 
! are to arrive at the ornithic character of the creatures 
pressed the surfaces of the sandstone during this portion 
'ealden epoch, we must conclude that birds having an 
ation 10 oetricbes lived during this period, and were 
e gigantic than those which existed duriqg the ante- 
rias. Thia conclusion ia not, however, borne oilt by 
we know concerning the Wealden Vertebrata. One of 
common of the reptiles of this aeries of the sedimentarj 
the Iguanodon, seems to have been the author of these 
lus bipedal ichnolites. Like many of the reptilee of 
r periods, this animal eeems to have planted its lund 
e impression caused by the fore feet, obliterating the 
as of the latter, and giving to ita ichnolites a bipedal 
And, concerning the structure of the bonea of the 
b reptile. Professor Owen remarks, from obaervatiom 
the hones of this animal which have been obtiuned by 
les from the Wealden strata of the Isle of Wight, that, 

1 by the analogy of the namber of phalanges in the to«a of 
sot of the Iguana, we may infer that the three toes that are 
leveloped in the hind foot of the Iguanodon are the second, 
fourth ; that the first, or innermost, is represented by a 
I metatarsal, which was concealed beneath the skin of tlie 
that the fifth, or outermost, was entirely suppressed : a mo- 

1859. Fossil Footprints. 129 

dification of tlie hind foot which is interestin<T by its analog/ to the 
tridactjle hind foot of the Rhinoceros and Tapir, and still more by 
its correspondence, in the Tarjing number of the phalanges and 
their progressive increase from the inner to the outer toe, with the 
foot of birds ; a fact which naturally suggests a caution in respect to 
the habit of referring the many larger tridactyle impressions found in 
the Wealden and other formations to the class of Birds.' 

Since the impressions occurriDg in the Wealden^ and which 
have the nature of bird-tracks^ seem to have resulted from the 
locomotive powers of the Iguanodon, it behoves us to receive 
with considerable caution the condusions which have been 
adopted by some geologists concerning the Ornithichnites of the 
Connecticut valley; and, with the evidence afforded by the 
osseous structure of the foot of the Iguanodon, it would seem 
that the tridactyle bipedal ichnolites of this area may, with 
equal, or even with greater, probability, be referred to reptiles. 

There is, probably, no circumstance in connexion with the 
evidence of the former existence of various forms of animal 
life, during periods antecedent to the present races of animals, 
which affords more interest than ichnolites. Although the in- 
formation obtained from these fails, in most instances, to furnish 
sufficient data for describing the creatures which have formerly 
impressed the ancient sandy shores with their wanderings, still 
from fossil footprints we can often obtain information relating to 
the habits and mode of life which the more solid structures of the 
animals often fail to communicate. These ichnolites may be looked 
upon as records containing a history of the circumstances under 
which the animals forming them lived, and they also reveal to 
us evidence of the physical conditions prevailing in the areas 
which, during prior epochs, these animals frequented. The 
nature of this testimony leads us back to. the shores of ancient 
tidal seas, on the margins of which reptiles congregated, and on 
the shores of which they impressed the evidence of their exist- 
ence in the state of footprints. The nature of the evidence is 
such that, at first sight, we should be almost disposed to ques- 
tion its value, and even to doubt its reality. Subjected to the 
destructive influence of atmospheric and aqueous agencies, it 
becomes almost a wonder how this fragile record of the former 
occurrence of reptiles should have been preserved to us. The 
diying influence of solar heat, and the transporting power of 
winds carrying before it the sandy particles, would have led us 
to anticipate that all evidence of this nature would have been 
obliterated by these causes alone;, and when we consider that 
the sea also exercised its agency, covering with its advancing 
waves the littoral surfaces over which reptiles walked, and re- 


^ostil Footprint*, July, 

; the particlefl of the depo^ta which received the footprints, 
mder at the occurrence of these impressiona ia increased, 
ibt these agencies have been potent operators in destroyinj 
nts, but under certdn peculiar cireumstances these agents 
iased to produce their ordinary results. It is the fine 
3 of the sandstane strata which have retained and afford 
footprints; surlaces which were originally fine plastic 
he particles of which had a more coherent nature than 
ger sandy gr^ns. " On this the transporting power of the 
lad little influence, but, when in masses of considerable 
368, the solar heat bad sufficient force to desiccate and 
ta surface by shrinltage. Even the water's erosive pover 
t force enough to smooth and level the tracks, but, de- 
g in them the sand which it bore along with it, filled up 
ipreasiona with mineral matter of a different nature to 
ver which it flowed, and formed natural caats of these 
dons, which time indurated, and which we now have in 
>n the under surfaces of the sandstone strata, 
whatever geological period we refer in connexion with 
bssil footprints, we have the same testimony of the pre- 
i of physical conditions akin to those which now obtain in 
es where like circumstances appear — rain-falls, aolar heat, 
intle breezes. The pit-like impreaaions, the desiccation 
, and the ripple-markings are the atrong evidence of these ; 
ey lead ua to the concluaion, in connexion with the other 
oena which are aaaociated with ichnolites, that matter has 
inder the influence of the same laws, and, in obedience to 
aws, has given rise to the same phenomena from the ea^ 

re ia a natural disposition in the human mind to en- 
ir to realise the complete idea of any object which ia 
ted to it; and although in aome instances, as in the case 
e, but imperfect notions c»in, at least, prevail, still ve 
ven here the disposition manifests itself. There ia no 
»n more puzzling to the geologist than the very frequent 
which he is subjected, viz. How long ia it since the 
animals lived which palteontology has revealed to ua? 
lis question is generally put wim reference to astrono- 
ime. The epochs of geology, and the periods of astro- 
have no common bases for calculation. The latter rests 
notion, the former has its data based upon life. The 
»Iculates from the revolutions of the celestial bodies, «ii 
mer draws its inferences of time from existences. Under 
rcumstances the reduction of geological to astronotniKiI 
i appears very remote. 

1859. Fossil Footprints. 131 

The operations of those physical causes which alter the rela- 
tive distribution of land and water^ which modify climate^ and 
which produce chsmges in the physical geography of the earthy 
seem to have been the potent agents which by producing a set 
of conditions unfavourable to the existence of certain organic 
beings, caused their destruction, and induced the Almighty 
Governor of the universe to call into being new forms suitable 
to the altered circumstances. The changes which result from 
these causes are at present excessively slow, and we have no 
reason to infer that in anterior periods of the earth's history they 
were more rapid. Until we can appreciate the time required 
for the degradation and decomposition of huge masses of rocks 
from atmospheric causes, for the erosion and transport of 
mineral matter by aqueous influence, and for the modifications 
which result from that force which operates beneath the earth's 
surface, combined with the effects which these agents produce 
on organised existences, we must rest satisfied with knowing 
that immeasurable periods have elapsed ; and that, during these 
immeasurable periods, the histories of the physical condition of 
the earth, and the fonps of. life which were its occupants, 
have been written in natural hieroglyphics, which tell us that 
the Divine Framer of the world has exercised a creative 
Power whenever the physical changes of the earth destroyed 
the eidsting works of his hand, calling into being new forms, 
which in their turn were destined to have their places supplied 
by other beings of a higher order. 

Queca Marie Antoinette. Ju)^, 

I. — Vie de Marie Antoinette. Par Edouaed et Jdles 
ONCODBT. Deuxi^me Edition. Kevue et augmenttie 
ocumente in^dita et de Fi^es tireea des Archives de 
)ire. Paris, 1859. 

Walter Scott's youDgcr days, as he states in one of bts 
ices, the guilt or innocence of jVLiry Queen of Scot^ 
instant subject of angry controversy, and a reflection on 
actcr in the hearing of one of her avowed partisans was 
ustify a challenge. A similar though less durable conflict 
>B has existed io France touching the reputation of Marie 
tte; and we remember the time when it would hare 
ceedingly dangerous to question her conjugal fidelity 
he precincts of the Paubourg St. Germain. Both of 
[ustrioua ladies were cradled ' in royalty : both were 
and coquettes: both were unequally mated: botb 
Bpected and calumniated; and both perished on the 
But the parallel ceases at the most important point 
■diet of history has proved decidedly unfavourable to 
tuart, whilst the name and memory of Marie Antoinette 
it brighter and brighter from the ordeal of every fresb 

il as Madame Campan may have been to her be- 
listress, there is an air of sincerity in her statemeota 
raid not fail to make way with posterity. The most ma- 
re been confirmed by the unimpeachable testimony of the 
e la Marck ' ; whilst the indications discoveruble in the 
and correspondence of her most respectable cotemporarics 
dl point in the same direction. The case for the de- 
ns been completed by MM. de fioncourt; who pro- 
bave resorted to every accessible source of inrormation. 
r boldly lay cl^m for their heroine to take rank as tlie 
gh-pruicipled, self-sacrificing, and. best conducted, u 
Qost unfortunate, of queens. The first edition of their 
s speedily exhausted ; and such is the inherent attntc- 
be subject, that we are tempted to recapitulate and ic 
the principal events of a life which has all the intere^' 
rel, although it influenced the destinies of Europe anil 
iry example) was embittered by a throne. 

cspondance entre le Comte de Mirabenu et Io Comte de U 
See a review of this work, Ed. Review, vol. zciv. p. 442- 

1859, Queen Marie Antoinette. 133 

We shall confine ourselves almost exclusively to her personal 
history, en which we hope to throw fresh light from sources 
which have escaped the search, or not fallen under the observa- 
tion, of MM. de Goncourt. But judging from the success of 
recent contributions to retrospective literature of a more familiar 
kind, we should not despair of a favourable reception were we to 
do no more than bring together the scattered and highly interest- 
ing traits which are already known to the curious in French 

Marie Antoinette, the daughter of Francis the First, Emperor 
of Germany, and the famous Maria-Theresa, was born November 
2nd 1755 ; ' the day,' says Madame Campan, ' of the earthquake 

* of Lisbon ; and this catastrophe, which seemed to mark 
' with a fatal stamp the epoch of her nativity, without being a 
'motive for superstitious fear, had nevertheless made an impres- 

* rion on the mind of the princess.* This is strange, for the 
earthquake took place the day before, namely, November 1st. 
The empress, anxious for a son, had made a bet of two ducats 
with the Due de Tarozka that she should have a daughter. 
After the announcement of the event, the loser was discovered 
in a brown study by Metastasio, who inquired the cause. * Ima- 
' gine ray embarrassment,' exclaimed the Duke ; * I have a wager 
*of two ducats with the empress that she would be brought 

* to bed of a prince, and lo, it is a princess.' * Well then,' replied 
Metastasio, * you have lost and must pay.' * Pay, but how pay 

* two ducats to an empress ? ' * Oh, if that is all, your troubles 

* will be soon over.' The poet took out his pencil, and wrote 
these lines : — 

' Ho perduto : V augusta figlia 
A pagar m' ha condamnato. 
Ma s' e ver che a vol somiglia, * 
Tutto il mondo ha guadagnatc' 

•There,' he continued, 'wrap up your two ducats in this 

* paper, and your debt will be paid without offence.'* 

This disappointment did not deprive the infant archduchess 
of her fair share of maternal affection, and her father, the 
emperor, took a peculiar interest in her. In her sixth year, 
he had already quitted the palace to start for Inspruck, when 

♦ This story is told rather differently by MM. de Goncourt on the 
Mthority of l^Iadame Campan. We have adopted Weber s version 
(*Memoires concernant Marie Antoinette, &c., par Joseph Weber, 
'Frbe de lait de cette infortunee Souveraine,' &cO, conceiving him 
to have had the best means of information touching matters which 
occurred at Vienna. 

Queen Marie Antoinette. July* 

:teQdaDt to go for her, and bring her to the 

ehe came, he held out his arms to recave her, 
rter preesing her to his heart, ' I had an irre- 

to kiss this child.' He died suddenly daring 
never saw her again, 
irtine'e * History of the Girondina * itis related 

Antoinette) began life amidst the storms of the 
rchy. She was one of the children that the 
the band when she appeared as a suppliant to 
ngarians, and these troops ezcMmed, " Moiin- 

nostro, Maria Thereaa.'" According to more 

Maria Theresa presented herself to the as- 
i with her son, afterwarde Joseph the Second, 
years be/ore the birth of Marie Antoinette, 
court state that Maria Theresa persocallv 
e education of her daughter, instead of aban- 
cr courtly governesses; and they quote the 
itimony, in the shape of an autc^raph letter, 
t we learn from other sources, especially from 
, that the direct contrary was the truth; that 

cabinet left the empress little time for the 
:hoolroom; that, although daily reports were 
of the health of her children by her phyai- 
uffered several days to elapse without »emg 
the attractive pictures of domestic tenderness, 
inguished travellers invited to a family party 
Jalace, were tableaux vivanta got up for their 
) archduchesses were drilled to listen with 
:nce to Latin harangues of which they did not 
able ; and sketches were exhibited in proof of 
in drawing which they had never so much m 
!r life ^larie Antoinette avowed and lamented 
he ckarlatanerie of her education, and its defi- 
> palpable to leave room for doubt as to her 
had a natural taste and extreme fondness for 
r arrival in France she put off receiving her 
master on one pretence or another for three 
le was practising in private with a confidentiil 
e Dauphine,' snc remarked, 'must take care 
1 of the Archduchess.' She was taught Italian 
id both spoke and wrote it with facility, and 
:en to perfect her in French, that she ended 
ive German altogether. 

reverses sustained by France during Ijonl 
idmiuistration, and the humiliating terms die- 

1859« Queen Marie AntometU. 135 

tated by England at the peace of Paris in 1763, had induced 
the French Minister, the Due de Choiseul, to reverse the policy, 
which he had inherited from a long line of predecessors, of con- 
sidering the House of Hapsburg as the most formidable enemy 
or rival of that of Bourbon. His new plan was to form what 
he termed an alliance of the South, — ^that is, of Fnmce, Spain, 
and Austria, against Great Britain, and the most obvious mode 
of consolidating it was by a marriage. The Empress Queen 
eagerly concurred During Madame Geoffirin's visit to Vienna, 
in 1766, she was speaking warmly in the court circle of the 
beauty and grace of the HtUe archduchess, and saying that she 
should like to carry her to Paris* ^EmpcrtezI emportezt^ 
exclaimed Maria Theresa. 

The choice of teachers to fit a young princess for so exalted 

a destiny was curious enough. An actor, named Aufiresne, was 

appointed to teadi her pronimciation and declamation, and 

another, named SunviUe, for what Madame Campan calls the 

*g(mt dv chant Jrangais.^ Sainville had been in the army, and 

was considered a scapegrace. The French court disapproved 

of this selection: the French ambassador was instructed to 

remonstrate ; the two actors were dismissed, and an eccleraastic, 

the Abb6 Vermond, was named in their place. This man has 

been accused of exercising a mischievous influence on the 

manners, modes of thinking, dispodtion, and conduct of Marie 

Ant(nnette at the most trying epoch of her life; and his own 

character has consequently been subjected to the most searching 

Bcratiny. Bat we have been unable to arrive at any safe ana 

definite conclusion regarding him. Madame Campan, whose 

BU8[ncions may have been sharpened by jealousy, describes him 

as a cold, insolent, indiscreet, and mocking sceptic, who, both 

^7 precept and example, inculcated a contempt for forms 

and conventional distinctions, from which it is as difficult to 

dissociate the idea of royalty as to comprehend Crambo's 

abstraction of a Lord Mayor without the gold chain and other 

ensigns of dignity. The son of a village snigeon^ the Abb£ (she 

says) was wont, in the height of his &voar, to lecave bishops sad 

niiiusten in his bath, remarking at the same time that the Ati^ 

Dubois, whose position he affected^ was a fool; becaose a mam, 

like him should make cardinals and refbse to be oob> ^^ 

mode of guning admission to the private aide of tfe 

family does credit to his tact; Sooo after his ^ 

empress, meeting him at her danghffi^f, inquizt^i ^ ^ 

formed any acqnaint^^MT at Yienna. ^ Xot cuer Isls"^"*"'' 

the reply. * The apartment of die aiclidiicLefls ^^ ^^ 

* of the French ambassador are tiie ooij places ^ ^ 

Queen Marie Antoiiiette. July, 

] with the care of the princess's educ&tion Ehovld be 
\. month later he gave the same answer to the eame 
and the day following he received a command to 
: family drde every evening. 

this description be entirely false, the Abb€ Yermond 
mely ill qualified for his post. But the Count de la 
ho Bubsequently saw a good deal of hira at the hotel 
)mte de Mercy (the Austrian ambassador at Paris), 
him ae an honest well-intentioned man of moderate 
devotedly attached to the Queen, and says that, al- 
le employed him to copy her letters, she had a low 
' hia capacity. His importance, according to this high 
was mainly derived from bis being the principal 
if unofficial communicatioQ between the Queen and 
xioDs at Vienna, and his fidelity was unquestionable. 
in 1769 the proposed union had become a coostant 
diplomatic correspondence, and a pointer, Ducreux, 
from Paris to paint the portrait of the future queen of 
)r Louie Quinze. It seems to have been deemed 
y by this practised judge of female charms, for the 
ry contract was signed on the 16th July, and the 
cations were exchanged on the 17th of January, 1770. 
>mary fStes, ceremonies, and preparations for the de- 
f the bride, occupied some months. On the 17th of 
! signed a formal renunciation of her hereditary rights, 
md maternal, in a full council of ministers, and con- 
by an oath administered at the altar. After attending 
dere fStes, which lasted nine days, she started on the 
France, carrying with her a copy of the onunous 
I addressed by Maria Theresa to her children : — 

nmend you, ray dear children, to set apart two days of 
to prepare for death, as if you were sure that those two 
the last of your life.' 

7th of May she reached an island on the Ilhine, near 
;, where she was received in a richly furnished pavi- 
Tucted for the purpose, and divided into two compart- 
le for the Aastrians and the other for the Frendi. 
litting the Austrian side she was stripped to the skin 
id from top to toe in French habiliments, ' in order,' 
I regulation, ' that she might retain nothing of a country 

as her's no longer.' She was accordingly undressed 
ed, and then ceremoniously handed over to the ladies 
emen of the new court which had been formed for ber, 
; with Madame la Comtesse de Noailles, her chief lad/ 

1859* Queen Marie Antoinette, - 137 

At this point MM. de Goncourt pause to describe the face 
and figure of their heroine, who had not yet completed her 
fifteenth year, and gave little more than the promise of her 
matured beauty. But her expressive features, her exquisite 
complexion, her clear blue eyes, the rich tresses of her light 
brown hair, the animation of her whole person, and her winning 
grace of manner, won all hearts, and ' qu^elle estjolie, noire 
' Dauphine^ was the exulting cry of the peasantry whenever 
they got a glimpse of her on the route.* 

Her first meeting with the royal family of France, including 
her intended husband, was at the bridge of Berne, some leagues 
from Compi^gne. She there alighted from her carriage ; and, 
followed by her ladies, is led by her * chevalier d'hbnneur * and 
the first equerry to the King, at whose feet she throws herself. 
He raises her, kisses her, and presents her to the Dauphin, who 
does likewise. They then proceed to the ch&teau of Compiegne, 
where she is obliged to undergo another set of presentations. 
The night before the nuptial benediction was passed at the Cha- 
teau de la Muette ; and here at supper the King was guilty of 
the inconceivable weakness and indecency of suffering Madame 
du Barry to seat herself at Marie Antoinette's tabic. Nothing 
can more forcibly illustrate the depth of sensuality and self- 
-^— — - — 

• The degree and character of her beauty have been much dis- 
puted. Lord Holland (' Foreign Reminiscences '), who saw her the 
year before her death, says that it consisted exclusively in a fair skin, 
a straight person, and a stately air. MM. de Goncourt are too 
enthusiastic to inspire confidence on this point. One of their ablest 
critics, M. F. Barrere, quotes the following as the most accurate de- 
scription of her on her arrival in France. * Her figure was low (pe- 

* ft'te) but perfectly proportioned ; her arms were well-formed and of 

* dazzling whiteness ; her hands potelees^ her fingers tapering, her nails 

* transparent and rose-coloured, her feet charming.' 'As she grew 
*and filled out,' adds M. Barrfere, *hcr feet and hands remained 
'equally irreproachable, but her figure lost somewhat of its symmetry 

* and her bust became too prominent. Her face was an oval a little 

* elongated ; her eyes were blue, soft, and animated ; her neck possibly 
*a little too long but admirably set ; the forehead too round (bombS) 

* and not sufficiently shaded by the hair. The mode of dressing the 
*hair which the French ladies adopted under the Empire, would 

* have become her to admiration, and the hair banded on the brow 

* would have made her a regular beauty.' The portraits, wkich are 
very numerous, and were taken at various and long distant periods, 
^tom the brilliant rising to the gloomy setting of her sun, naturally 
differ widely; but they leave no doubt of her having bera eniowed 
with personal charms more than sufficient to pass for beaaty <m a 

Queen Marie Antaiiiette. ^^Tt 

encG which this monarch must have reached, or tlie 
Qg thraldom in which this abandoned woman held him, 
I Btate of morals which could render such an outrage 
le even in a despotic monarchy where public opinion otill 
vent in pasquinades. When Burke enthusiastically ex- 
d, ' I thought ten thousand swords must have le^>ed 
their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her 
insult,' he forgot that the first insult h&i been perpetrated, 
e ground laid for the most galliug of the rest, without 
:ary protest amongst this * nation of gallant men.' Sut 
ge of chivalry ' was over, and that of ' sophists, economists, 
lators ' had not arrived, 

en one of her ladies in w^ting asked her what she thought 
favourite, she replied by one well-choseQ word 'char- 
' It is also related that she naively asked Madame de 
es what was Madame da Barry's peculiai- function at the 
' ' She amuses the King.' ' Xh^ I declare myself hei 

1 marriage was eolemnised in the chapel of Yersailles, on 
renoon of the 16 th of May, As soon aa it was over, the 
hurried to her own apartment, and without waiting to 
lide her robes, wrote to her mothet, ' Enfin me voUk 
thine de France.' The ceremony was hardly ended, when 
y was darkened by clouds, the rain fell in torrents, and 
owd which filled the gardens were driven home. The 
cather continuing, the fireworks were not let off, the 
nations failed, and the people, deprived of their anticipated 
legan to talk of omens and give vent to presentimenlL 
^tes at Fans concluded still more inauspiciously. Through 
ismanagement of the municipal authorities, who insisted 
perseding the regular police for the occasion, the crowd 
mmed in the Place Louis Quinze (now I^ace de la Cm- 
, and a furious conflict hod already commenced between 
who wished to come in and those who were struggHog to 
it, when the scaffolding round the statue, on wludi the 
ented lamps were hung, caught fire. The alarm spread: 
ibrts to escape grew phrenzied : the strong trampled down 
eak : the firemen dashed to the spot with their engines 
very obstacle; and when the confusion ceased, the outlets 
ucli of the open space were found heaped wiA the dying 
e dead. The number of the sufferers was reduced aa low 
Bible in the official reports, but according to the ' Gazette 
ranee,' 132 dead bodies were collected and boned in the 
ery of the Madeleine, 
long the startling incidents of the scene wluch deejd; 

1859. Queen Marie Antoinette. 139 

touched the Dauphiness, waa one recorded of a jou&g couple 
who were to be married the day following. Feeling her 
strcDgth faily and on the point of sinking to the ground^ the 
girl entreated her lover to leave her to her fate and save him- 
self: 'Never,' he exclaimed, 'and there is hope yet; get 

* upon my shoulders, and I can carry you through the press.' 
He stooped, turning his back towards her. A light form took 
the offered place, and a woman's arm was round his neck. He 
was tall, strong, and resolute. He made his way to a safe spot, 
and his fair burden glided to his feet* It was an entire stranger, 
who had overheard the suggestion, pushed his betrothed bride 
aside, and taken her place. 

The royal couple, who had been the innocent cause of these 
disasters, contributed the whole of their year's income to the 
relief fund, and Marie Antoinette was constantly recurring to 
the catastrophe and devising means to mitigate the resulting 
miseries. One of her attendants, by way of consolation, told 
her that a number of pickpockets, their pockets crammed with 
watches and snuffboxes, were found amongst the dead, and ob« 
served that they at least had met with their deserts. * Oh, no, 

* no,' was the reply ; * they have met their death by the side of 
'honest people.' 

There existed grdunds of apprehension and causes of anxiety 
of a more tangible and appreciable sort than omens. To dis- 
cover them, it was simply necessary to look a little below the 
surface of the courtly circle into which she was received with 
such a flattering exhibition of enthusiasm. As already stated, the 
Austrian alliance, of which she was the pledge, was the favourite , 
project of the Duke de Choiseul, whose power was rapidly de- 
clining ; and the bare fact of its having been brought about by 
him, made it and her distasteful to the rival party, with which 
the royal mistress and the King's four daughters were closely 
aUied. Madame du Barry had tact enough to see that, if His 
Majesty once became fond of the Dauphiness and accustomed to 
her society, the fresh, pure, and refined would speedily super- 
sede the old and coarser tie. Notwithstanding his epicurean 
habits^ he had once or twice shown symptoms of a reviving tajste 
for better things, as when he resorted for a period to Madame 
Adelaide's apartment; and his first feeling towards Marie .An- 
tomette was one of admiring affection. He insisted on donig 
the honours of Versailles in his own proper person, and 
cident which occurred as he was playing cicerono in the ^ ^ 
affords a striking proof of his inactivity and conflnncd md^eiK?c 
mentd and bodily. To his surprise he found tho waits ^c-rieri 
up or encumbered with ruins. As he assinttHl her over a 

Qiteen Marie Antoinette. Julf, 

8, he remarked : ' I beg your pardon a thousand times, 
ighter; bnt, in my time, there was a fine set of marble 
ere : I do not know ivhnt they have done with them.' 
le arts of misrepresentation were set on foot by the un- 
us mistress to undermine the growing favour of 'la 
ousse ;' and she at length succeeded by insinuatiDg tlmt 
Vntoinette had complained to her mother of the inde- 
ddition to the royal supper party at La Muctte, and by 
ng the King that bis attentions were thrown away on 
ateful or insensible object. Hia manner gradually grew 
nd colder, and at length the triumph of vice over virtue 
Dunccd by his exclaiming, in a tone of mingled bitteraesa 
;ret : * Je sais biett que Madame la Dauphine ne m'ame 

Lunts-in-law, four in number, shared amongst them most 
qualities which are popularly, if unjustly, attributed to 
is. Although they did their best to appear amiable to 
w relative at first, they were obviously repelled instead 
ited by youth, beauty, and high spirits. She made li«:bt 
leasurcs of the table, and they were famous for their 
[t was Madame Victoire who, to quiet a constuentious 
requested a bishop to decide whether a particular de- 
i of water-fowl could be properly eaten during Leni. 
vely informed her that in all such cases, the bird should 
d upon a cold dish, and that unless the gravy congealed 
) quarter of an hour, it might be eaten at all seasons 
sin. It was Madame Louise again, who growing delirious 
leath-bed, cried out: 'Au Paradis, vile, vtte, aa grand 
The ruling spirit of the four was unluckily Madaoie 
2, who had a double motive for disliking her niece, both 
al for the King's conlidentitd intimacy for which she had 
I bard fight with the mistress, and as the outward and 
ign of the abandonment of the old national anti- Austrian 
f which she was the warm partisan. "VVhen M. Carapon 
> receive her commands before starting to meet ihe 
lesson the frontier, Madame Adelaide told him haughtily 

bad no commands to give about sending to look after m 
t princess. 

Dauphin's brothers were too young as yet to play an 
it part, but they soon began to exercise a marked nnd 
uence on her destiny ; the one designedly and from ill 
the other unconsciously and from the unguarded display 
dmiration. The Corate de Provence, a^rwards Louis 
, though of a cold disposition and studious habits, bad a 

gallantry, and affected for a period to be the adorer and 

1859* Queen Marie Antoinette^ 141 

poet of his Bister-in-law.* But on his marriage with a princess 
of Sayojy originally destined for the Dauphin and for that reason 
detesting the innocent cause of her disappointment^ he adopted 
the prejudices of his wife> and some of the most mischievous 
interpretations put upon the language and conduct of the Dau- 
phiness were traced to their salon. What made him the more 
dangerous^ he had a turn for satire, was a sayer of good things, 
and wrote tolerable verses^ especially in the epigrammatic style. 
That Mesdames du Terrage and de Balbi were nominally his 
mistresses, proves nothing more than his compliance with fashion 
or his vanity. When a candid friend tried to excite the Com* 
tesse*8 jealousy, by alluding to them, she replied: 'O, mon 
^Dieu, don't let us reproach him with these ladies* They are 
'the only superfluities he allows himself.' 

The younger brother, the Comte d*Artois, afterwards Charles 
X., was the precise opposite of his senior. He was frank, gay, 
careless, full of life and vivacity, fond of pleasure, and chival- 
rously devoted to women. His gallantry, indeed, was of the most 
discursive sort, and was so far from being interrupted by his 
marriage with a daughter of Savoy (sister of the Comtesse de 
Provence), that his frequent visits to an actress. Mademoiselle 
Duth^, gave rise to the punning remark that ' ayant eu une in- 
'digestion de g&teau de Savoye a Versailles, ilStait alle prendre 
*du thd k Paris.' He found ample time, however, to be at all 
Marie Antoinette's parties of amusement, and his open adoration 
was subsequently converted into a weapon of defamation by 
her calumniators. 

The greatest of her disadvantages was the uncongenial character 
of her husband. His piety, his passive courage, his domestic vir- 
tues, and his heartfelt wish to promote the true happiness of his 
people, are now matter of history ; but it required time and mis- 
fortune to elicit them, and he confessedly had none of the qualities 
which make a French prince popular or fix the aifection of a bride 
of fifteen. At the same time, we think MM. de Goncourt are 
hardly just when they cite him as ' one of those poor hearts, those 
'sluggish temperaments, sometimes occurring towards the end of 
' royal races, in which nature seems to make a parade of her 
' lassitude.' Still less can we answer in the affirmative when 

♦ He sent her, in his own name, the following verses (borrowed, 
we believe, from Lemierre) with a fan : — 

* Au milieu des chaleurs extremes, 
Heureux d'amuser vos loisirs, 
J'aurai soin de vous amener les zephyrs, 
Les amours viendront d'eux-mcmes.' 

Queen Marie Antoinette. Sa\y, 

ffhether * this coldness, tli!s sileQce of the pasnons, 
, of aex, this contracted imagination, these tremblinge 
ngs of a Bourbon of eighteen, this husband, this man, 

in reality the work, the crime, of a governor cboeen 
ind piety of the father of Louis XYL? * It is per- 

that this governor, the Due de Vaugnyon, acted on 
liSerent principle from moat governors and tatws at 
1, and made no effort to control his pupil's humour 
iking timidly from female society. It may be also 
subsequently to the marriage, he endeavoural to keep 
: couple apart as much as possible by interfering with 
ement of their apartments at Fontainebleau, and that 
liness was at la^t provoked by his intrusiTeness into 
Monsieur le Due, Monsieur le Dauphin is old enough 
ie with a governor, and I have no need of a spy. I 
dat yon will not appear before me again.' 
ilancboly end of Louis XVI. baa thrown over his 
imething of the radiance of martyrdom ; but it is not 
le that hia manners were coarse, his voice harsh, hie 
le, and his whole demeanour alike deficient in ele- 
in consideration for others. These ununiable qualities 
ly felt by the younger branches of the royal family, 
irobably contributed to that alienation of some of the 
m the king which produced most fatal consequences 
volution. Nor were they unfelt by her who was 
last to follow him to the scaffold, 
uphin had other defects which must have helped to 
e illusions of a bride. His appetite rivalled that of 
ir, le Grand Monarque, and he indulged it without 
ippearances, whilst she was singularly sparing in her 
principal meal seldom extending beyond the wing of 
md a glass of water.* He was economical and fond 
I, which he kept with the most scrupulous exactitude, 
nte occupation was practical mechanics; he would 
If up morning after morning with a locksmith, who 
1 like an ordinary apprentice. When he rejcnned her 
ands and clothes smeared with oil and steel fiHogs, 
•nt to hiul him with ' Oh, here comes my God Vulcan,' 
d alludon which seldom failed to nuse a malidous smile 
ich of the courtiers as had a smattering of heathen 

the roynl couple were lodged at the Feuillants, just after 
. 20th of .Tune, the King indulged bis appetite in so ud- 
mauncr that the royalist deputies thought right to notice 

1859. Queen Marie Antoinette, 143 

mythology or had studied Ovid's Art of Love. His only manly 
and gentlemanlike amusement was the chase ; but this, as followed 
by the later generations of French kings, was a very diiferent 
thing from an English stag or fox hunt ; the * field ' being com- 
posed of courtiers of both sezes^ who looked on from gilded 
coaches or cantered along smooth glades on trained palfreys« 

This dissimilarity of tastes and character did not prevent the 
young couple from presenting an attractive picture of conjugal 
affection before the public, and wherever they appeared tbey 
were hailed with enthusiasm. Their first formal visit to Paris 
was delayed for three years. It took place in June, 1773, and 
it was on this occasion that the old Marshal de Brissac, request- 
ing the Dauphin not to be jealous, led her to the front of the 
gallery overlooking the gardens of the Tuileries, and pointing 
to the sea of upturned faces beneath, told her : ' Madame, you 

* have there, before your eyes, two himdred thousand lovers.' 

Towards the beginning of May, 1774, Louis XV. fell ill of 
the smallpox, of which he died on the 10th. His remains were 
in such a state of putrefaction that it was considered certain 
death to meddle with them. As soon as the breath was out of his 
body, the Due de Villequier, first gentleman of the chamber, 
desired M. Andouille, first surgeon to his defunct Majesty, to 
open and embalm it. *I am ready,' replied Andouille, * but you 

* will hold the head during the operation : it is a part of your 
'duty.' The Due walked away without another word, and the 
hody was neither opened nor embalmed. It was hastily buried 
by some poor workpeople, and spirits of wine were poured into 
the coffin to check infection. The late king's aunts were sedu- 
lous in their attendance on his sick bed, and exhibited the most 
heroic courage in confronting a danger from which the cour- 
tiers of every dass fled. More than fifty persons caught 
the malady from merely passing through the great gallery. 
The Dauphin and Dauphiness waited in her apartment; it 
being settled that they were to leave for Choisy so soon as 
all was over. That no time might be lost in giving orders, 
it was agreed between the attendants who had charge of 
the carriages and those who were in waiting near the sick 
chamber, that a lighted candle placed at a window should be 
extbguished when the dying monarch was no more. The light 
disappeared, and within a few minutes all was ready for a start. 
The first intimation of what had taken place was conveyed to 
the new King and Queen by the crowd of courtiers hurrying to 
Balute the rising sun. Their rush into the ante-chamber is de- 
scribed by Madame Campan as producing a terrible noise re- 
sembling thunder. On hearing it, the objects of this tumultuous 

Queen Marie Antoinetle. Jolji 

;e knew that their reign had commenced, and hj a spon- 
us moTcment both fdl upon their knees, ezclaiming, ' Good 
1, guide lis, protect us, we reign too eooii.' 
e cry of Le rat est mart: Vive le roi, is admirably eiuted to 
pressible and lighthearted people, whose natural tendency is 
- to live in the future than in the past. Far more gaiety 
pnefwascertainly elicited amoDgat them by this devolution 

crown, and even in the royal carriage which was conveying 
c chief mourners (the King and Queen, Monsieur and Ma- 

and Le Comte and Comtesse d'Artois) on their road to 
y, the prevalent sentiment would have justified Byron's 
mown lines on gondolas : — 

* And sometimes they contain a deal of fun, 
Libe mourning coaches wlien the funeral's done.' 

kept up a decent show of sorrow during the first half of 
limey, when a word ludicrously mispronounced by the Com- 
d'Artois raised a general laugh, and they then by common 
at wiped their eyes and left off weeping. 
e Queen used ail her infiuence'to procure the recall of the 
le Choiseul, to whomehe conceived herselfindebted for her 
e. But on thispoint Louis XVI. was inexorable. The secret 
lirsleft by his mther under the care of his governor, contained 
ran proscription of this minister, who was also vehemently 
ed by Madame AdeUide. Although the Queen failed in 
istance, however, she was obviously winning her way to 
)lace in his affections which she ultimately obtaioed and 

They were seen so often walking arm in arm in the gar- 
)f Choisy as to set the fashion ; and ' we had the grati&ca.- 
observes aneye-witness, 'of seeing several couples who bad 

separated, and not without reason, for many years, walk- 
irm in arm on the terrace for hours together, and enduricgi 

courtly complaisance, the intolerable tediousness of a pro- 
ed tSte-a teteJ' The hearts, or heads, of the mass of the peo- 
ere so full of the charms and virtues of their Queen on her 
ion, that a jeweller made a large fortune by selling mourn- 
ufihboxes in her honour. They were composed of chagriti, 
Lhe motto 'La Cojisolation dans le Chagrin.' The cootxit 
ordly so poetical as that of the artist who on her arrival in 
« painted her in the heart or centre of an opening rose, 
ogethcr, the outward aspect of things was smiling and the 
i\ prospect fair. But the anti-Austrian faction was iin- 
)le; family jealousies were as rife as ever, and a host of 
led vanities were accumulating, comparing, and exagge- 
; their wrongs, real or fancied, with a view to tetaliatioo 

1859. Qtieen Marie Antoinette^ 145 

or revenge. A trifling incident was sufficient to show the amount 
of malignity of which she was about to become the mark and the 
Tictim. She held a drawing room at La Muette to receive 
all the ladies of the courts young and old ; many of whom, 
from the stiffness of their demeanour and the antiquated fashion 
of their habiliments, looked ridiculous enough. But she kept 
her countenance irreproachably till one of her ladies in waiting, 
the Marquise de Clermont Tonnerre, feeling or feigning exhaus- 
tion^ sate down on the floor behind her, and, under shelter of 
the hoops of her neighbours, began to make faces and play off 
other childish tricks. These attracted the notice of the Queen, 
who was once or twice obliged to conceal a tendency to laughter 
behind her fan, as some elderly dowagers were curtseying to her. 
The next day, a report was spread that she had purposely cast 
ridicule on all the elderly and most respectable ladies present, 
and that no one of them would appear in the court circle a second 
time. A song was circulated with this re&sun; — 

^ Petite reine de vingt ans, 
Vous qui traitez si mal les gens, 
Vous repasserez la barri^re, 
Loire, laire, laire lanlaire, laire lanla.' 

'More than fifteen years after this event,' adds Madame 
C^unpan, ' I heard old ladies, in the depths of Auvergne, relate all 
'the detuls of this day, when, according to them, the Queen 
*had indecorously laughed in the faces of the sexagenarian 
' duchesses and princesses who had deemed it their duty to attend.* 

Very little form was observed by the imperial family at 
Vienna, except on state occasions; the House of Lorraine prided 
itself on its simplicity; and Marie Antoinette was probably more 
influenced by the traditions of her race, the example of her mother, 
the recollections of her girlhood, and her own gaiety of disposition, 
than by the shallow philosophy of the Abb6 Y ermond. Certain 
it is, however, that her disregard of etiquette was a fatal error, 
^d hud the foundation of much future misery. There is a well- 
known story of her slipping off a donkey in a fit of laughter, and 
inst^ of rising immediately, requesting some one to call Madame 
de ]^oailles, and ascertain the prescribed mode of behaviour for a 
Qneen of France who could not keep her seat upon a donkey. 
She had given Madame de Noailles the Nickname of Madame 
I'Etiquette, and divided the ladies of the court into three classes, 
calling the no-longer young, les siecles; the prudes who affected 
devotion. Us collets monies ; and the retailers of scandals, les pa- 
quets. They avenged themselves by putting disadvantageous in- 
terpretations on all her words and actions. Madame de Marsan, 



146 Queen Marie Antoinette. Juljj. 

thegovemess of the Ejng's sisters and the dear friend of Madame 
de SToiullesy was a conspicnoua member of the band. 

* In her eyes,' says MM. de Gonconrt, Uhat light and bnoyant step 
was the step of a courtesan ; that fashion of transparent lawn was a 
theatrical costume intended to stimulate desire. If the royal beaatf 
raised her eyes, her enemies saw in them the practised look of a 
coquette ; if she wore her hair a little loose and waving, ** the ludr 
'^ of a Bacchante*'' was the cry ; if she spoke with her natural vimiaij, 
it was the rage for talking without saying anything or having any- 
thing to say ; if in conversation she assumed a look of sympathy and 
iiiteUigencei it was an insupportable air of understanding every- 
thing; if she lauffhed with her girlish g^ety, it was an affected 
gaiety, bursts of forced laughter. This old woman, in short, 8iu- 
pected and perverted everything, as if youth and grace were incom- 
patible with purity.' 

When we investigate the usages of the French coort at thb 
periods we cease to wonder at the repugnance which they in- 
spired in any one who had not been bred up to consider tiiem 
as the banning and end of all things^ the roundation of social 
order, and the strength as well as ornament of the throne. A 
* Queen of France was not allowed a moment of privacy, waUdng 
or sitting, in-doors or out of doors, eating or drinking, sleeping 
or waking, dressing or undressing. Some court fimctionary or 
. another, male or female, might claim to be near her or about her 
from morning to night and from night to morning; and as many 
of these official attendants had bought or inherited their pkcee, 
she had not even the power of excluding known spies and ill* 
wishers from her privacy. 

Such being her habitual life, we can easily understand both 
why the Queen should seize every opportunity of escaping from 
it, and why her transgressions against etiquette should be de- 
nounced by its votaries as tantamount to so many breaches of 
the Decalogue. Thus, she had a &ncy to see a sunrise; and 
the King consented to her going for this purpose to the heights 
of Marly at three in the morning, but instead of sitting up 
to accompany her, went to bed. The Queen was attended by 
a numerous suite, induding her ladies in waiting. A few days 
afterwards a libellous copy of verses entitled ^ Le Liever de 
' r Aurore,' was circulated at Paris, and a belief was current that 
this night expedition was planned expressly for the indulgence 
of a passion for the famous, or infamous, Egalit^ whom, it is 
dear, she never liked, although, like two or three others rebuffed 
for presumption, he subsequently tried to injure the Queen's 

If the precautions taken in this instance to preclude calunmy 

1859. Queen Marie Antoinette* 147 

were unavailing, it was a matter of coarse that she should be 
condemned when direct evidence of her entire innocence was 
wanlang and she required to be judged charitably. She was 
foni. of going to the masked balls of the opera attended 
by a ringle lady. One evening when she had come from Ver- 
sailles for this purpose, in the company of the Duchesse de 
Luynes, their carriage broke down just within the gates of 
Paris. They were obliged to alight and remun in a shop whilst* 
a footman went for a fiacre. They were masked, and the ad- 
ventore might have been kept secret, but it was so odd a one 
for a Queen of France, and she was so unconscious of wrong, 
that she could not help exclaiming to the first acquiuntance she 
met at the ball, ^(Test mat en fiacre; tCest-ce pas bvsnplaUantf^ 

The story got wind, and was repeated in the most exaggerated 
and compromising form. It was siud that she had given a 
meeting at a private house to a nobleman, and the Due de 
Coigny was openly named as the happy man. According to 
one of the scandalous chronicles of the period, she went 
to the theatre in a grey domino, having ordered several of 
her ladies to go similarly attired, and was alone with the 
Due for some minutes in a box on the second tier. 'She 
' was seen,' it is added, ' coming out in so agitated a state as to 
^ be near fainting on the staircase.' A lady made a memorandum 
of the hour in her pocket-book : it was handed rounds and 
almost all the ladies of the court had it copied into their's, ' in- 
* scribed in letters of gold! And the most offensive inferences 
were drawn from these gossiping stories of a profligate and 
malignant court. If the * School for Scandal ' is a true picture 
of human nature in its most unamiable moods, minuteness of de- 
tail is no guarantee for accuracy; and such charges are refuted by 
their particularity and their grossness. The inscription in letters 
of gold is an impudent fiction on the face of it, and the assumed 
notoriety of the Queen's habitual profligacy is irreconcilable 
with the recorded testimony of a host of impartial and unim* 

Reachable witnesses, at the head of which stand the Prince de 
^ne, the Count de la Marck, and the Marquis de la Fayette. 
'The pretended gallantry of the Queen,' says the Prince de 
Ligne in his Melanges ^ 'was never any ^ing more than a pro- 
' found feeling of friendship for one or two persons, and a co- 
'qnetUsh wish, as woman, as queen, to please everybody.' 
The Count de la Marck contemptuously disposes of the popular 
Btories a^dnst her as ', mensonges et mechaneetis* 
Lady Morgan has preserved Lafayette's impressions : — 

* "Is it true, general," I asked, " that you once wont to a hai mmsqme 
at the opera with the Queen of France, Mario Antoinette, tbe King 

Queen Marie Antoinette. Joly, 

ring nothing of the matter till after her return ? " " I un a&iid 
said he ; " she was so indiscreet, and, I can conscientiouBlj idd, 
[inocent. However, the Comte d'Artoia was of the part;, and 
rere all young, enterprising, and pleasure-loving. But what 'a 
; absurd in the adventure, was when I pointed out Madame do 
•y to'her, whose figure and favourite domino I knew, the Queen 
eased the most anxious desire to hear her speak, and bade me 
guer her. She answered me flippantly, and I am aura if I hid 
ed her my other arm, the Queen would not have objected to it 
1 waa the espril daventure at that time in the court of Yersaillei, 
in the bead of the haughty daughter of Aastria." I said, " Ob, 
ral, yon were their Grandiaon Cromwell." " Pat encore," replied 
miling, " that »<nibnquet was given me long after by Mirabeaa.' 
Iwlieve," said J, " the Queea nas quite taken with the Americu 
e." " She thought so, but understood nothing about it," replied 
" The world said at least," I added with some hesitation, " thit 
'avoured its young champion le heros dts deux mtmdet." " Coa- 
de talon," be replied, and the subject was dropped.' ' 

hotigh evidence to character may outw^gh common mmour, 
.Dnot supersede specific proof, and three specific accuBatioaa 
! been brought agmnst Marie Antoinette upon authority dut 
t not be lightly set aside. The accusers are the Due de 
zuD, the Baron de Besenval, and Talleyrand; the first and 
Dd misled by vanity, whilat the third, who could not help 
ag the uncnoritable side in any question of the sort, bu 
1 demonstrably misquoted or mistaken, 
he Due de Lauzun one day appeared at the Princess de 
mende'swith a magnificent heron plume in his hat. On the 
en's admiring it, he took it out and requested her acceptance 
:. She wore it once, and called his attention to the cuvoin- 
ce, on the strength of which he endeavours, in his Secret 
doirs, to establish that she meant to encourage him to make 
to her. In his version, she asks for the plume, and telk 
■ with an infinity of graces,' that she was never attired so 
h to her satisfaction before. 

it would assuredly,' he continues, 'have been better for her not 
Kve spoken of it, for the Due de Coigny remarked both the 
er and the phrase. He inquired where it came from. The 
;n said, with embarrassment enough, that I had brought it from 
ravels for Madame de Guemen^e, and that shk had given it her. 
Due de Coigny spoke of it in the evening to Hadame de Gue- 
h with much ill-temper, told ber that nothing was more ridi* 
IS and more unbecoming than my manner with the Queen ; tint 

Passages from my Autobiography i by Sydney, Lady Moi^u, 

1859. Queen Marie Antoinette. 149 

it was unheard of to play the adorer thus publicly, and incredible 
that she should appear to approve it. He was received badlj enough, 
and considered how I was to be kept at a distance.' 

Madame Caxnpan relates that soon after the present of the 
feather^ he solicited an audienoe of the Queen, which was granted, 
as it would have been granted to any other courtier of the same 
rank — 

'I was in the adjoining room. A few moments after his arrival the 
Qneen opened the door, and exclaimed in a raised and angry voice, 
^ SorteZy Monsieur I" M. de Lauzun made a low bow and disappeared. 
The Queen was greatly agitated. She said to me, ** Never will I 
receive that man again." 

'On the death of the Mar^chal de Biron, the Ducde Lauzun in- 
herited his name, and applied for the colonelcy of the regiment of 
guards. The Queen caused it to be given to the Due du Chatelet. 
The Due de Biron (Lauzun) joined the party of the Due d' Orleans, 
and became one of the bitterest enemies of Marie Antoinette.' 

The Duc^s Memoirs were not published till after Madame 
Campan's^ and the passage on which she comments is suppressed* 
It is printed, as copied from his original manuscript, in the 
appendix to her first volume. 

The Baron de Besenval was guilty of a similar impertinence, 
was similarly rebuffed, and has revenged himself in much the 
same manner. His presumption was the more remarkable, since 
he was past fifty, when finding himself alone with the Queen, he 
threw himself at her feet and made a formal declaration of love. 
As she told Madame Campan, she ordered him to rise, and 
promised that the King should know nothing of an offence that 
would disgrace him for ever : he turned pale and muttered an 
excuse; she left her cabinet without adding a word, and hardly 
ever spoke to him again. His Memoirs, which sufficiently 
prove the laxity of his morals and his outrageous personal .vanity, 
axe silent as to this scene ; but he blends a malignant insinua- 
tion with his account of the interview in which she communi- 
cated with him, by the King's wish, respecting the duel between 
the Comte d'Artois and the Prince de Bourbon. 

' I went first to the King's lev^e, I was hardly in his cabinet when 
I perceived Campan, secretary of the Queen's cabinet, Who made me 
a sign. I went to him. He said, not appearing to speak to me, 
''Follow me, but at a distance, so as not to be observed." He led 
me through several doors and staircases which were entirely unknown 
to me ; and when we ran no risk of being heard or seen, he said, 
** Yon must allow that this promises well ; but it is nothing of the 
kind, for the husband is in the secret." '' My dear Campan," I re* 
plied, ** it is not when one has grey hairs and wrinkles that one 

Qtuen Marie Antomeite. StjIj, 

!tB to be fetched to a handsome qaeen of twenty, hj such ont of 
'a.y pasnges, for anything but business." ** She expects yon," 
ided, " impatiently. I hare sent twice to yonr hoaae alreadj, 
[ have looked for you wherever you were moat likely to be 
L" He had hardly ceased speaking when we found ourselves in 
ighest story, in a very dirty corridor, opposite & mean-looking 
door. He tried the lock ; bnt having pushed serertd times in 
he exclaimed, "Ah I the door is bolted inside, and I most go 
I." He returned very shortly, and told me that the Queen was 
sorry she could not see me immediately, because the hoar of 
was at hand, but that she begged me to return to the same 
at three. I came back accordingly, and Campan introduced ms 
side passage into a room where there was a billiard table, which 
ognised from having often played on it with the Queen; thai 
another which I did not know, simply but comfortably fur- 
d. I was astonished, not that the Queen had desired Euch faciU- 
l)ut that sbe had ventured to provide herself with them.' 

lat he, a known gossip and man of intrigne, was admitted 
is mysterious apartment, and with the King's knowledge, 
t have helped to avert suspicion, but Madame Canapan 
) that it was the one commonly used by the lady in wuting 
ig any temporary indisposition of the Queen. 

a note to the late I«ord Holland's ' Foreign Bemini8(:biicee,' 
ished in 1850, we find this passage : — 
[adameCampan's delicacy and discretion are not only pardonable, 
>raiseworthy ; but they are disingenuous, and her "Memoirs* 
sal truths well known to her, though such as would have been 
coming & lady to reveal. She was, in fact, the confidante of 
9 Antoinette's amonrs. These amours were not numerous, 
lalouB, or degrading, bnt they v>ere amours, Madame Campan, 
lived beyond the Restoration, was not so mysterious in conversa- 
)n these subjects as she was in her writings. She acknowledged 
irsons who have acknowledged it to me, that she was piivy to 
nt^rcourse between the Queen and the Duo de Coigny. That 
ib nobleman, &om timidity of character and coldness of consti- 
], was not sorry to withdraw himself early from so dangerous an 
^e. Madame Campan confessed a carious fact, namely, that 
in was in the Queen's boudoir or bedchamber lete-&-tete with her 
sty, on the famous night of the 6th of October. He escaped 
vation with considerable difficulty, in a disguise which sbe 
ame Campan herself) procured for him. This, M. de TaOej- 

though generally somewhat averse to retailing anecdotes dia- 
ling of the royal family of France, has twice recounted to me, 
ssured me that he had it from Madame Campan herself.' 
adame Campan lived till 1822, and although, like her royal 
ress, the subject of much calumny, was highly respected by 
friends. One who knew her well, and often heard her 
E on the topic in question, has assured us that the unifono 

1859* Queen Marie Antoinette* 151 

tenor of ber conversation was confirmatory of her book, in 
which she treats the alleged intrwie of the Queen with the 
Doc de Coign J as a calumny, behed by the Duo's character 
and peculiar position in the court. As to the night of the 6th 
of October, ^e says in her Mejnoirs : — 

* At this epoch I was not in attendance on the Queen. M. Campan 
remiuned with her till two in the morning. As he was going away, 
she deigned with infinite goodness to reassure me as to the dangers 
of the moment, and to repeat to me the vety words of H. de La 
Fayette, who had just invited the royal family to retire to rest, ren- 
dmng himself responsible for his army. • • • 

* It was particularly against the Queen that the insurrection was 
directed. I shudder still when I recall how the fishwomeo, who 
wore white aprons, cried out that these were intended to receive 
the bowels of Marie Antoinette. The Queen went to bed at two in 
the morning, and fell asleep, worn out by so trying a day. She 
had ordered her two ladies to go to bed, thinking that there was 
nothing to fear, at least for this night ; but the unfortunate princess 
owed her life to the feeling of attachment which prevented them 
from obeying. My sister, who was one of them, told me the next 
day what I am about to narrate. 

'On leaving the Queen's chamber, these ladies summoned their 
waiting maids, and all four kept together at the door of the Queen's 
bedchamber. Towards half-past four in the morning they heard 
horrible cries and some musket shots. One of them entered the 
Queen's room to wake her, and get her out of bed. My sister flew to 
the place where the tumult seemed to be. She opened the door of 
the ante-chamber adjoining the guard-room, and saw a garde-^u- 
earps holding his musket across the door, attacked by numbers, and 
his face already covered with| blood. He turned and called to her, 
''Madame, save the Queen, they are coming to assassinate her !" She 
suddenly shut the door upon this unhappy victim of his duty, bolted 
it, took the same precaution on leaving ihe next room, and on reach- 
iug the Queen's room she cried out, '' Bise, Madame ! do not stay to 
" dress, save yourself in the King's room." The Queen, starting up in 
alarm, springs from her bed, they help her to put on a petticoat 
without fastening it, and her two^ladies conduct her towards the 
aU-de-bceufJ ' "*" 

It is utterly incre^ble that, on a night like this, with every 
one on the alert, and every avenue watched or guarded the Queen 
should have had an assignation with a lover, or that he could 
have been introduced or escaped unobservedL Nor is it likely 
that the writer of the foregoing narrative, who states expressly 
that she was not present, and was known not to have been, 
should have told Talleyrand that she herself procured the dis- 
guise. What she was wont to say of the Comte de Fersen was, 
that the Queen was much attached to him, and sent him a token 

Qaeen Marie Antoinette. July, 

iBOD ehortly before her deatb, bat that the Btrictest 
ropriety were never tranagreased on either side. It 
who, amongst other proofa of devotion to the roy«l 
3 them through Paris in the disguise of a coaclmuii 
nencement of the unfortuiute expeditioa to Yir 

ife shoold not even be suspected, and ' he comes too 
comes to be denied.' If a woman in private life, 
I princess or a queen, is frequently found in ntni- 
ig opportunity and fa<nlity for crime, her fair Ume 
f Bufier, although she may remain quite guiltless ia 
B are far, therefore, from holding Marie Antoinette 
She must have beeu inexcusably coqaettisb and in- 
ut her very thoughtlessness and imprudence afford 
isumptioa of her personal purity. Although ^ 
een perfectly aware of the ioterpretations put upon 
she made no change ia it, and persevered in amuni^ 
e way most likely to provoke and give planmbility 
u&nies. Yet according to the Prince de Llgne, a 
J over all her efforts of enjoyment, as over those of 
TOr of Ethiopia, for he says : * I never saw her pasa 
happy day.' 

1774 that the King, in an unwonted fit of gallantry, 
!r with, * You are fond of flowers. Well, I have a 
offer you : it is the Little Trianon.' He could not 
ler a more acceptable nor, as it turned oat, a more 
; for the Little Trianon became the imputed cause 
Etravagance and the fancied scene of improper indnl- 
pointoffact,the extraordinary outlay was moderate, 
1 ceremony was laid aside, there is no ground foras- 
letious infringement of propriety. Madame Elizabetb, 

[yolyte Castille says, in one of his recent publicationa, thit 
the highest respectability had an opportunity of seuog 
it the chateau of Count de Fersen, a portfolio which W 
lim by Marie Antoinette at the peri<^ of their lovee. h> 
o was a secret compartment containing unmentionable 
<Mw Seiee et sa Cour, par Amedit Renie, p. 245. note.) 
Qteeting the alleged fact,' continues M. B«n&, 'I can 
that tho nephew of M. de Fersen, tbe Connt de Lowe!- 
vas long Swedish minister at Paris, bas several tiniGi 
that there existed in his family no proofs of these pre- 
ma of his uncle with Marie Antoinette, and that tbe 
jrseu never uttered a word calculated to accredit tlus 
le story of M. CastiUe'a respectable friend is incredible 

1859. Queen Marie Antoinette. 153 

the King's sister^ invariablj accompanied the Queen daring her 
residence there, and the favourite entertainment was private 
theatricals, at which the Eang regularly attended. The part she 
generally chose was that of the souhrette. The fancy cottages 
which writers like the Abb6 Soulavi6 have converted into 
places of assignation, were occupied by the labourers employed 
about the place. The game called escampativos was much in 
vogue. It consisted in the coupling of the whole party by a 
prendent, male or female, named for the purpose, who, when 
this duty was performed, exclaimed escampativos, by way of 
signal for each pair to separate firom the rest for a named 
period, during which each was to produce an allotted number 
of rhymes, solve a riddle, or execute some assigned task ; any 
psur that failed, or interrupted another pair, paid forfeit. This 
game was reported to have been introduced at the Little Trianon, 
and played imder the Queen's auspices, for the purpose of pro- 
curing a tSte^'tite; but the only place where we read of her 
Banctioning it was in the Duchess de Duras' apartment. 

Marie Antoinette made it a rule to receive no woman separated 
irom her husband, and broke with the Prince de Cond6 by re- 
fusing to depart from it in favour of his mistress, the Frincesse 
de Monaco. Lightly as the marriage tie weighed on either sex at 
this enoch, it was not unfrequently found too heavy to be even 
formally endured, and a formidable array of firadl beauties, bear- 
ing some of the noblest names in France, were alienated and 
exasperated by this decree. 

^ It was Muie Antoinette's delight to water her plants and 
tie up her flowers in the Little Trianon dressed like a country 
gjrl, with a straw hat and apron. Except on state occasions, she 
discarded silk and velvet in favour of muslin and gauze, and 
BO constantly appeared in white gowns of inexpensive materials, 
that she was accused of seeking to discourage French manufac- 
tures. The weavers of Lyons memorialised the King on the 
subject, and their complaint was backed by her sisters-in-law, 
the Gomtesses de Provence and d'Artois. She was not more for- 
tunate in escaping censure when her taste or caprice in costume 
tended to extravagance, and (in the Protectionist sense) pro- 
moted trade by increasing the demand for a particular kind of 
labour. In consequence of various new fashions of dressing the 
Iw^* patronised by her, an addition of six hundred coiffeurs de 
femme was made to the company of master hairdressers of Paris 
in one year, 1777. 

The fashion which took the lead consisted in wearing 
feathers as high as they could be raised. The Queen sat 
for her picture in this headgear, and sent it to her mother. 

Queen Marie Antomette. ■ Jul?) 

r the same courier, with an intimation that she 
! accepted the portrait of the Qoeen of France, 
ranted that the portrut of smne actress had 
ake. On a hint from the King, Catling the 
turned this &9hion into ridicule on the stage. 
1 as harlequin he wore in his hat, instead of 
tail, a peacock's feather of enormous lengtii, 
1 to entangle in the scenery and flourish in 
iscarding feathers, the hurdreeseis' skill ms 
rert the female head, by dint of lace and rib- 
blance of some chosen object of nature or art, 
w, a ship, a naval combat, a porcupine, a bet- 
abundance. The world was all before them 

and tma^nation was racked for DorreltieB. 
at its height when the Emperor Joseph paid 
as the constant subject of hu sarcasms. The 
worn by his mster was also very disagreeable 
, when she was dressed to accompany him to 
e a good deal, be ironically advised her to put 
I,' said he, pointing to one of her attendants, 
two under the ejes; on with it, en ^rie, like 

her sending to say that she had changed ha 
lectinff him at one theatre instead of another 
narked aloud to the actor CUirval : ' Toni 
rild enough in all oonacience, but, fbrtunatdy, 
b dislike it.' 

: allied proofs of her wildness, or wone, 
the Saturnaks or NoctumaUt of Versullea 
August of 1778, the Queen, then enceinte, 
am the heat, and could not sleep without 
in the open air in the evening. She wW 
Talking on the Terrace with the rest of the 
and was ordered to play for their amnsemeot, 
e promenades soon became the fashion. Everf 
' ^even till two or three in the monung, the 
s were the resort of all the gay company of 
d. The Queen and her two sisteis-in-law 
mipan asserts, never left her) were aometiniet 
able amongst the crowd, and on two occauoni 
iinently addressed. On another, they found 

on the same bench with Madame dn Ban^' 

es of Frenct History ' (vol. i. p. 591.) Miss Rffdoe 
f, told bj Madame Campan, to Napolem u^ 

1859. Queen Marie Antoinette. 155 

The scandalmongerB made the meet of these incidentB, and the 
King was adYised to stop the promenades. He consulted M. de 
Manrepasy who, it is believed, advised his royal master to let 
Her Mqesty amuse herself in her own manner, lest she should 
take it into her head to occupy herself with nffiirs of state. 

It is no easy matter to ascertain either the extent of her 
influ^ce on public affiurs, or the period when she began to 
exercise it.^ The Prince de Montbarry, who was strongly pre- 
judiced against her, states in his Memoirs that, on a lieutenant- 
colonelcy becoming vacant, she ui^ed the claims of her candidate 
with such unseendy vehemence thett he was at length driven to 
say that he must repeat all dut had passed to the King. ' You 
' are at liberty so to do. Sir,' said the Queen; < I am well aware 
< of that,' he replied, ' and I shall go to His Majesty at once.' 
He adds that he did not lose an instant, that the King listened 
with grave attention, appearing to sympathise with his minister 
from his own experience of the Queen's idvacnty, and concluded 
the conference with these words : ' No one tmderstands what 
<has taken place better than myseUl' This scene is laid in 
1777. The same authority relates that the King had an instinc- 
tive feeling of nullity in her presence, and one day said to 
Maurepas^ to excuse an unwortiiy conoesaon, ' her spirit has 
'such an ascendancy over mine, that I was unable to redst.' 
Maurepas died in 1781, and was succeeded by Calonne^ who con- 
vinced Lord Holland that Louis XY L was self-sufficient in hb 
disposition^ coarse and brutal in his manners, and especially 
vain of his superiority to female domination or court intrigue. 
To establish this theory, Calonne stated thatonhia pointii^ o>at 
the mischief that might ensue from the Queen's declared £sap- 
pioval of his project, — 

^Louis at first scouted the notion of the Queen (mne femmey as he 
called her^ forming or hazarding any opinion about it. But w! 
M. de Calonne assured him that she spc^ of the project in ten 
di^aragement and displeasure, the £og rang the bdl, sent lor 
Hajesty to the apartment and after sternly and eoandy re 
lier for meddling with matters ^^a»uqwdU» le$ femtmn liami 
^^faxre^ he^ to the dismay of Calonne, took her by the shonfc*** 
fairly turned her out of the room like a naog^ity rJil^ x ** J^ 
^perdu^ said Calonne to himself; and he was aooordingly S^ 
and his schenie abandoned in the coorae of a few days.' * 

The ooodn^on rebuts the "■^^'^wirf infoenee^ 
failure of Calonne's policy sofficieotly aooounta ^ 
Madame Campan speaks of the znde luls ( 

* Lord Holland's FoieigB 

Queen Marie Antoinette. Jaly> 

; distributed without respect to persons ; and the 
rhich he checked the Comtesse Diane de Folig- 
sm for Dr. Franklin was indefensibly coars& 
lO Queen oould obtain for the Due de Cboisenl 
ew, in which, after she had scud : * M. de Choiaenl, 
1 to see you. You have made my hE^piness : it 
lan just that you should witness it ' — the King 

M. de Choiseul, you have grown very fat — you 
ir hair — you are getting bald.' Her efforts in 

candidates for high offices were almost unifonnly 
An instance is given by Madame de Stael : — 'I 

Queen according to custom on St. Louis' day : 
le archbishop, dismissed that very day, was paying 
;11 as myself : the Queen manifested clearly by her 
iving us, that she much preferred the disfuaced 

le la Marck says : — 

it hesitation deny the pretended influence which the 
have exercised on tbe choice of the King's ministen, 

exception of the nomination of tbe Marquis de S^r. 
that the Queen, far from having the desire and the 

with tbe affairs of the kingdom, had rather a genuine 
these affairs, owing perhaps to a little lightness of 

lough amongst women.' 

tly compl^ned to Madame Campan, as of one 
icesslties of her position, when she was over-per- 
friends to support their applications, or was com- 
umstancea to fix and strengthen tbe wavering 

n for the Frincesse de liamballe, although the 
ih malignaint misrepresentarion as ' une caprice 
ne/ was honourable to both ; and the unsullied 
tlds lady is tbe beat answer to the cbaiges of 
' levelled i^inet her beloved mistress. Their 
Luned unbr^en, as is shown by the touching 
>d by Marie Antoinette at the most trying periods 
; but there were long intervals of partial estrange- 
rere filled by female intimacies less judicioiuly 
hese, tbe Queen's attachment to the Comtesse 
nac endured the longest, was worst requited, and 
ischievous in its conseqneoces. Tbe Countess wit 
her own and her husband's fortune to make; and 
t her trun a number of relatives, friends, or ad- 

uderatioDS on the French Revolution, chap. xiL 

1859. Queen Marie Antoinette, 157 

mirers who each and all expected to benefit by her interest. 
Sovereigns will always strive in vain to make themselves the 
centre of an intimate^ unembarrassed, and disinterested circle; 
for the msdn attractions to it, where the charm of equality is 
wandng, must be the gratification of vanity and the hope of 
odvancemenL The members of the envied coterie which met at 
the Little Trianon were constantly on the look-out for honours^ 
offices, or pensions; and it was at their instigation that the 
Queen too frequently interfered in the distribution of patronage. 
Her favoritism may have been less expensive and less degrading 
to the monarchy than that which had been prescriptively in- 
dulged upon the French throne, especially in the preceding 
reign ; but the people had begun to count the cost of royd 
amusements, and the gratified avidity of the Polignac set added 
greatly to her increasing unpopularity. She felt this deeply. 
' Amongst the persons admitted to her society,' says the Count 
de la M arck, ' were a great many foreigners, such as the Counts 
'Esterhazy and de Fersen, the Baron de Stedingh, &c. It 
^ was evidently their society that pleased her most. I took the 
'liberty one day to observe to her that this marked preference ' 
' for foreigners might do her harm with the French. '' You are 
"right," she replied sorrowfully, "but it is only they who 
" never ask me for anything." ' 

When her dear friend, or the friends of her dear friend, had 
got all they wanted, or were disappointed in some unreasonable 
request, they were at no pains to curb their ill-temper or con- 
ced their discontent, nor, importunate as they were in their re- 
quests, did they think it incumbent on them to consult her wishes, 
or consider her position as affected by their conduct, in their 
turn. Thus, when the King and the Queen had expressed the 
strongest disapproval of the *Mariage de Figaro,* which they had 
read m manuscript, it was M. de Vaudreuil, the principal 
adorer of the Comtesse Jules, who set the example of ais- 
obedience by having it acted at his country-house. The Countess 
herself, till spoiled by flattery and indulgence, was remarkable 
for sweetness of disposition, feminine grace, and natural gidety. 
In the first years of their intimacy, she and the Queen would 
romp together like schoolgirls, pelt each other with bonbons, and 
engage m Uttle trials of strength or agiHty. Just so. Queen 
Anne and the Duchess of Marlborough corresponded «»^^I^ 
Morley and Mrs. Freeman, and kept up an unremittmg * 
change of endearing expressions, till the light and rosy ^-^ 
become a heavy and galling chain. Although tJL.^ 
Countess never reached the same height of ingol eP43e 
English Duchess, in ingratitude they were prct^T 

Queen Marie Antoinette. Jolf, 

iame de Folignac,' says the Count de la Marck, 'neTer 
inxiety to bring together the persons it would haTc 
Qneen to meet. The Queen once went the length of 
Uadame de Folignac her dislike to many whom ehe 
■cietj ; and that lady, submissive to those who ruled 
e her habitual gentleness, was not ashamed to replj, 
ta being your M^esty's pleasure to Come to my salon, 
1 for your cltuming to exclude my friends." This wu 
I by the Queen herself, who added : " I am not angry 
de Folignac on that account. She is good at hart 
hot those about her had her completely under their 

;nce of this change in Madame de Folignac, the 
ined her ealoii for that of the Comteeee d'Osson, 
>f the robes, where little dionere of four or five 
made for her, and she could sing and dance with- 
Loud was the outcry, and deep the mortificatioD, 
1 coteriey who did not he^tate to take revenge hj 

i with malignity,' says the Count de la Marck, ' hov 
fond of dancing reels (ecotsaises) with a young Lord 
i late Marquis of Huntley), at these little dances. A 
le Folignac salon, and one from whom more than all 
eepest gratitude and the utmost respect towards the 
■A an ill-natured <»>uplet against her, and this conplet, 
nfamous falsehood, circulated through Faria.* 

de la Marck completely vindicates the Queen 
laree of using her mfluence in favour of Austria, 
Lt her brother Joseph complained bitterly of ber 
nt, saying that the conduct of Prance was far 

what he had a right to expect from an allied 
e of her letters to him in 1784, she distmctl; 
J out his wishes, and uses these remarkable words: 
ly dear brother, I am now French before b^ng 
The belief, however, was indelibly fixed in the 
that she was constantly sacrifidng her adopted (o 
utiT, and AutrichUnne continued to her dying day 

which the greatest amount of popular prejudice 
«d agfunst her. 

lown aflur of the necklace gave full scope to 
I the acquittal of the Cardinal de Rohan by s 
;y (twenty-six agiunst twenty-three) in the Fa^ 
;is (May, 1786), was hailed with acclamation as s 
mation of the Queen, of whose entire innocence 
now be the shadow of a doubt In 1787, only 
ore the Revolution, her unpopularity was such 
mt, by Madame Le Brun, was left out of the 

1859. Queen Mark Antoinette. 159 

exhibition at the Louvre, for fear of its provoking fresh insults. 
If, wearied and saddened by what she. encountered at every step 
in Paris or Versailles, she looked abroad for encouragement or 
sympathy^ she found herself equally misunderstood, misrepre- 
seated, and repelled. In England, where genius was soon to 
throw a halo of never-dying lustre round her name, the worst 
libels were printed and drculated; and, rightly or wrongly, 
conceiving the English minister to be bent on revengmg at her 
expense the policy of which her marriage was the pledge, she 
avowed that she never heard the name of Pitt without a cold 
shudder running down her back : ^ Sans que la petite mart ne me 

* passe stir le dos.^ By a strange concurrence of circumstances, 
almost all the royal houses of Europe were against her, and she 
was even made responsible for the misconduct of her raster, the 
Queen of Naples. The impression was so widespread that it 
actually reached Constantinople ; and when the coming republic 
was announced, tiie Grand Vizier exclaimed, ' Good I tins re- 
' public will not marry archduchesses.' * 

By a strange fatality, what under other circumstances would 
have been her pride and happiness, would have conciliated 
esteem and repdled calumny, was turned against her. The 
growing uxoriousness of the King excuted against her the same 
hostile feelings whidi the mistresses of former monarchs had 
provoked, and she was held responsible for the disorders of the 
finances, for the sufferings of the people, for bad crops as well 
as bad ministers ; in short, for everything that went wrong in 
any quarter. One of the parliatnentary protests addressed to 
the l^ing contained these words : ' Such measures. Sire, are not 

* in your heart ; such examples are not in the prindples of your 

* Majesty, they comd from another source * — a weak paraphrase 
of Lord Chatham's famous denunciation of * an influence behind 

* the throne greater than the throne itself.' Yet at this epoch 
she had laid aside every feminine weakness and caprice, was 
exclusively occupied in private with her husband and her 
children, whilst all her care in public vras the salvation of the 
State. The weakness and indecision of the King had become 
tndy ptiable. She was obliged to be constancy at hia ride 
when any matters of importance were discussed, or he coiud 
form no resolution at all. If he consented to adopt a pro*"^ 
measure or follow a wise counsel, it waa invariably piecei neai 
^ late. He was constantly halting between opposite^ 
He rettsted just enough to take away the grace of ' 
and conceded more than enough to make resistance 

* This mot is given to the Turk by Soulavic, but w» 
•^ of Parisian manufacture. 

. , .^ifi» 

Queen 3Iarie Antoinette, Jtiif, 

said that a Kng who could ride on bonebick 
oops, might three times over have saved monarchy 
a 1789, 1830, and 1848, its best chances were 
ted by want of spirit and yigour in its repre- 
t the first of these epochs great changes had be- 
e, but they might have been effected without the 

8 that ensued, if not without disturbing the peace 
twenty years and unsettling its sociiu orgaain- 
Qur. The essential point was to enforce order, 
or put down any open or direct resort to violence. 
I mob bad been permitted to set law at defiance, 
lalace, to outrage the sovereign and murder his 
•evolution had been consummated in its woi^t 
ie was cast on the night of the 6th of October, 
r in which the catastrophe was provoked without 
ted, strikingly shows how the ^ng's irresoln^oa 
I falL A popular movement agamst Veraailles, 
of bringing tlie royal family to Paris, had been 

9 beginning of September, when the Court had 
I ; and the obvious policy of removal to a safe 
rebemently though' vunly recommended by the 
precaution was, however, taken of ordering aa- 
t to Versailles ; and at a banquet given by tbe 

new comers, the loyalty of the assembled gnesti 
I enthusiasm by the unexpected entrance of the 

and Dauphin. That the popular eza«penttioa 
t to pbrenzy by an exaggerated report of the 
ous ; Dut if the fixed intention was to repel force 
did right to show themselves, and it may be pre- 
was in one of His Majesty's transient flashes of 
le consented to appear.* But his courage bad 
re the time for action had arrived, and the svordt 
bed in idle bravado over the festive table, were 
abbard by royal imbecility when the very guard- 
hice was filled with infuriated rebels cbunouriag 
) blood. 

as of the royalist nobility, including the priooes 
I provide for their own suety by emigration, may 
or, if not altogether justified, by ue mistaken 
rresolution of me King ; who rejected proposal 

3isg Gibbon, Lonis XVI. came upon the sentence, 
t tbat a Bourbon slombers on a throne in the witth?' 
d exclaimed \vith vivacity, 'I will show these EogM 
sleep.' t (TeAer, vol. i. p. 178.) 

1859. Queen Marie Antoinette. 161 

after proposal to rally round him, and left them no alternative 
but to fly or to stand with their arms folded whilst their throats 
were cut. 

In the transaction with Mirabeau> again, after all the risk and 
odium had been incurred, the expected fruits were lost by pro- 
crastination. This curious episode in the history of the Revo- 
lution has been fully explained and placed in its proper light 
by the * Correspondance ' between Mirabeau and the Count de la 
Marck, to which we have frequently referred. The tendency of 
this valuable publication is certainly to clear Mirabeau's memory 
from the charge of gross and indiscriminate venality. His con- 
duct was at all events not more censurable than that of Al- 
gernon Sidney and the English patriots of whom Lord Macau- 
laj says that ^ they meant to serve their country, but it is 
'impossible to deny that they were mean and indelicate enough 
' to let a foreign prince pay them for serving her.' There is no 
doubt that Mirabeau's principles were monarchical ; that the 
utmost he ever aimed at was to supersede a despotic form of 
government by a constitutional one after the English model ; 
and that he was earnestly acting upon his own convictions 
when, in return for being freed from pecuniary embarrassments, 
he agreed to co-operate with the Court. M. Thiers speaks of 
him as ^ Cet homme enfin qui fit son devoir par ndson, par 
' g^nie, et non pour quelque pen d'or jet^ i, ses passions.' Once 
in the tribune, he was unable to resist any sudden impulse or to 
withstand the temptation of an oratorical triumph, and on two or 
three occasions, as in alluding to the Versailles banquet, he had 
been hurried into a vehement diatribe against the Queen, which 
made her averse from having recourse to him till he was thought 
indispensable. They soon began to understand each other. 
When Dumont, as he relates in his * Souvenirs,' objected that any 
fresh plan must fail, like all the others, from want of firmness 
in the King, * You do not know the Queen,' exclaimed Mira- 
beau. ^ She has a prodigious strength of mind : she is a man 
'for courage.' This was before their interview, which took 
place in the garden of. St Cloud, July 3rd, 1790. She tpld 
Madame Campan that she opened the interview with these 
words, * In the case of an ordinary enemy, of a man who had 
' sworn the destruction of a monarchy without appreciating its 
' usefulness for a great people, I should be taking at this moment 
' a misplaced step ; but when one speaks to a Mirabeau, &c' 
As he never had sworn the destruction of the monarchy, this form 
of words was not very happily chosen, but the ^i??^^^^^ was 
highly favourable, and on quitting the Queen he said, JMadame, 
' the monarchy is saved.' After describing what had passed to 

VOL. ex. NO. ccxxiir. ^^ 

Hi QMam Marie AnttimMi. S^j, 

At Coimt de Ik Marok, he declRrtd dut noCliin^ Bhonld Btop 
kia, thst be wouM perish latber tfaas &il n the redemptaon of 
bis pledges. He devoted all his energies to the task, aid tev- 
leedy wvoetted the t%ht of the aoTenign to nuke wsr or 
peace. Whea twitted by Bamn in the debate with a p»>- 
phlet hawked about the streets entitled ' The lYeaaoa of Uii»- 
' beau,' and warned that the populaoe were inpiDviuBg a 
gallo'wB to hang him, be ^nu>g to the tribone and uttend Ae 
memorable {wase of defiance : ' I have not now to letm foe 
' the fint tame that there is but one step frcnn the C^tol to 
* lim Tarpetan Bock.' 

M. de Laowrtine treats Mirabean's reactioiMr7 projects as 
abeord and impntcticable. M. Thiers thinlcB that, altboogh the 
revolutionary tide weold not have sobaided or turned back at ks 
Indding, be might have guided and moderated its oomse. Bat 
whether he could oonitmct as well as destroy, and retreat u 
well as advance, must remain mattn of speoulatioa, for he died, 
April 2Dd, 1791, ' carrying with him to the tomb,' says MM. de 
Goncourt, 'more than his promises, more than the bopei of 
' Marie Antoinette ; he earned away the royalist pi^alnity of 
' the Queen.' 

The Corate d'Artois and his party never forgave her for ooa- 

deecending to parley with rebels, and in their angry remon- 

Btrancea with her tar not adopting a more spirited policy, made 

no allowauoe for the weakness of the instrument by aad throagh 

whioh she was to act. ' You know,' she writes to tlie Coiuit 

de Merey, in August, 1791, ' the person (the King) with whom 

' I have to deal : at the very moment when we believe him per- 

'euaded, an argument, a word, makes him change his aaai 

' without his being aware of it ; it is fmr this reastm, also, tint 

' a thoaeand things are not to be undertaken.' The King hid 

made a careful study of the last days and trial of Charles the 

First, and was strongly impressed with the notion diat the 

royal martyr's &te was owing to his having sanetioiied aii 

war, and shed, or caused to be shed, the blood of his sobjeots. 

From personal fear, therefore, as weU as from mildness of die- 

TVMiiinn, Louis could never be induced to resort to focce even 

foroe ; and his oonstant aim was to disarm his eaenoei 

t intentions and good faith. It may be collected frco 

een's voluminous correspondence that, finding nothing 

BiUe, she encouraged and cheered him along the only paU 

able or willing to tread with any sembluce of dignity. 

ingly she counselled him to accept and abide by the 

utioB, and writes thus to justify herself : — ' Looking it 

tttioD, it is impoisible for the Kjng to refuse ; beltove oe 

***** Queen Marie AntoinetU. 168 

^tliat thiB moat be tree, ainoe I say it. You know mr cfaa- 
Mcter enongh to belieye that it woald lead me by preference 
^toBcwneAingnoyeandfuUofoounigc* Wiien she was driven 
to extrenuty, wbem aathority was no longer u|Aield in any 
^ ^^^. «»^, a state of anaroby was af bmd, she hazarded the 
ffl^gCBbonthat an appealfiroin the sovcre^ns of Europe, backed 
by M army <m die frontier, m^t hare the eflfect of bringing 
the nation to its senses ; but the general tendency of her letteia 
jfl to dqnrecate foragn interference, and an emigrant invasion is 
her nnmiBiiig object of ahrm, as sure to aggravate the dangers 
and difficullies of her situation. 

The chief £eature in Mirabeau's plans was the removal of the 
twirt to a safe distance from Paris. This was sound advice, 
w "!^™<** <>*^er sound advice, was not acted upon till too 
«te. We suqiect, however, that the King's consent to the 
^ucky expedition which terminated at Varennes, was extorted 
by the daily insults and mortifications to which he was exposed 
•t rwis, rather than prompted by any spirited and enlightened 
00Mideiationofpo%^ These had been such as felly to acquH 
bun of Ae popular imputation of bad fiiith. The royal party, 
« 18 well known, were recognised and stoj^d at Varennes by 
we populace untQ they wei» overtaken by the deputies of the 
Assembly ; but they might easily have forced their way through 

nr^J?' "»d the Queen tihrew the chief blame of the failure 
oa JML Goguelot who, instead of charging at once with his hussars^ 
waited for orders from the Kjm, who was sure to yield without 
a blow. During the return to Paris, the deputies, Bamave and 
i^etion, occupied places in the royal carriage, and Bamave was so 
Mflcinaled by the combined d^ty and sweetness of the Queen's 
nwnner as to beccmie thenceforward one of the warmest of her 
PMtiMns. As they were passmg through a viBage the corste, 
who had approached the carriage with the intention of addressing 
toe Bang, was assailed and thrown to the ground by the by- 
fji^P ^ when Bamave exdaimed, * Tigers, have you ceased to 
^ be f raichmen ? Nation of brave men, have you become a peo- 
^e of assassms? ' This incident condliated the royal party; 
When the Queen inquired to what means he would advise 
to have recourse, he replied, ' Popularity, Madame.' ' And 

, AM tJ ^"^ ^^^' ^^® rejoined, *it has been taken from 
, ^ ' Madame, it would be much easier for you to 

than It was for me to gain it' 

.^f^ve aow took the place of Mirabean as secrr 
^ the Court, and bduced his friends, I>aport and the - 
to co-operate with him m strengthenii^ the ezeciitive. 
the chiefs of the FeuiDants, are thus described by M. 

Qaem Marie AntomeUe. July, 

iport thought, BarnaTe spoke, the Lamethe ezecutei' 
y expected great things from the acceptance of the C<hi- 
ition, pure and simple, wluch they strongly advocated; 
the Queen had &n intuitive conviction that all was over, 
exclaimed, ' These people do not wish for soverdgiu. 
ley are demolishing the monarchy stone by stone.' Daring 
filtes in celebration of the acceptance, the King and Qaeen 
t to each of the three principal theatres, the ' Fian^ais,' 
' Opera,' and the ' Itahens.' Mademoiselle Contat, the 
ular actress, was much admired in 'La Coquette Corrig^e,' 
this play had been selected for performance at tbe 
imcais,* with exclusive reference to her. The probable appli- 
aa was obnoua, and Madame Campan summoned up connge 
mention it to the Queen, who onlered 'La Gouvemsote' 
ead. A good deal of care having been taken to pack tbe 
ience, she was warmly applauded ; but at the ' ItalieES ' i 
:e contest ensued between the boxes and part of the pit 
! piece was * Les f^v^nements Impr^vus,* by Gr^try, end 
dame Dugazon, on coming to the words, ' Ah, comme fiB*t 
I maitreise,' turned towards the Queen. Immediately a ^out 
: raised from the pit of 'Pas de mattrette, plus demaUrt! 
ertdl* whilst the boxes and balcony replied with ' Vlu k 
ine I Vive le Rot I vwent h jamais U Roi tt la Seine I ' The 
being divided between the factions, a battle ensued, in whicb 
Jacobins hod tbe worst of it. The guard was called in, and 
Faubourg St. Antoine, riung in tumult, threatened to take 
t in the fray. This was the lost time the Queen ever entered 

Jamave's plans and counsels were no better followed tbin 
rabeau's ; and finding that he was compromising himself uBe- 
ly, he communicated to the Queen his detennination to quit 
na, and requested b parting interview, which was granted. 
:er dwelling on the services he bad vainly laboured to render 
, he stated that his known devotion to her interests would 
t him his life if he did not seek safety in 6ight, and as his 
i recompense he entreated to be allowed to kiss her band. 
i gave it to him with her eyes bathed in tears, and he left 
lis; but in the course of the same year, 1792, he was arrested 
jrrenoble. His dealings with tbe Court having been ciearl; 

It was on this occasion that a royalist lady, struck by an apple, 
Led it up and sent it to La Fajette, with a note, aaying, tbii U 
as the oaly/ruit of the Revolution she liod ^et seen or fell, sin 
ight biro entitled to it. 

1859. Queen Marie Antoinette. 165 

proved^ he was guiUotined on the 22nd October, 1793, his last 
worda being, * Behold then the price of all I have done for 
' liberty.' His new-bom zeal for monarchy was popularly attri- 
buted to a romantic passion conceived during the return from 
Yarennes. Nat was this the only instance of sudden conversion 
or heroic self-sacrifice for which meaner motives were thought 
insufficient to account. 'No sooner,' says Madame Campan, 
'had the most furious Jacobins occasion to be near the Queen, 
' to speak to her, to hear her voice, than they became her most 
' zealous partisans, and even in the prison of the Temple, several 
' of those who bad helped to drag her there, died for having 
' tried to liberate her.' Like the ill-fated Queen of Scots gazing 
on the dying Douglas, she might have exclaimed more than 
once, ' Look there, and tell me if she who ruins all who love 
' her, ought to fly a foot further to save her wretched life.' 

On the evening of the terrible 20th of June, when the Queen 
was calling on the deputies of the Assembly to mark the signs 
of popular outrage in the Tuileries, the sole remaining asylum 
of royalty. Merlin de Thionville was melted to tears. * You 
' weep, M. Merlin,' she continued, ' to see the King and his 
'family so cruelly treated by a people whom he has always 

* wished to make happy.' ^ It is true, Madame,' replied Merlin, 
' that I weep over the misfortunes of a woman, beautiful, tender- 
' hearted, and the mother of a family ; but do not deceive your- 
' self, not one of my tears is shed for the King or the Queen. I 
' hate kings and queens. It is the only sentiment they inspire in 

* me; it is my religion.' Possibly Sir Walter Scott haid this very 
passage in his mind when (in * The Abbot ') he described Lind- 
say as moved by a similar impulse, and saying as he knelt to 
Mary Stuart, * Lady, thou art a noble creature, even though thou 
' hast abused God's choicest gifts. I pay that devotion to thy 
' manlmess of spirit which I would not have paid to the power 
' thoQ hast long undeservedly wielded. I kneel to Mary Stuart 

* not to the queen.* 

Even with her own sex, the fascination of Marie Antoinette's 
nuumer was irresistible. On the morning of the same day, a 
part of the invading mob consisted of the lowest class of women, 
one of whom carried a gibbet to which was stispended a figure 
labelled, * Marie Antoinette, i la lanteme.^ Another, a bullock's 
heart, labelled, * CoRur de Louis Seize.' A third, the horns of 
the same animal with an obscene inscription. One of the most 
ravage of them paused to vent imprecations on the Queen, who 
^ked if she had ever done her any personal injury. * No ; but 

* it is you who cause the misery of the nation.' * You have been 

* told so,' replied the Queen ; * you have been deceived. Wife 

B Qnmt Marie AntmmtU. Jaly, 

r B }aog of Fnooe, mother of tk« DaapbiB, I riiall nerer lee 
ly nstive country mor& I can only be bappy or muerabte m 
'ranee. I was hapvy when yon loved me.' The tennagut 
ret into tears, be^ed pardon, and exchumed, *It ia aU becnte 
did aot koonr yon. I sec that you are good.' 
During the enforced and haraewig journey from YerauDes to 
ris OQ the 6th of October, the women who approached &i 
liage ta ios^t ber, ended by shouting ' Vive la Jteitte!' — 

' I rose vitli purpoae dread 
To epealc my curse upon thy head ; 
O'ermaetered yet by high behest, 
I bless thee, and thon shalt be blest.* 

rbe detaule of Marie Antomette's prieoD life are too nil 
own to require reoaphulatioo. It fills the darkest page o{ 
ench history. The maimer in wluch her feelings as a noua, 
] her delicacy as a woman, were systemati^ly ooti^ed, 
fecta indelible dispace on the people that oe«Id ttderate it is 
it moat excited ntoods; and homan nature had reached ite 
reet point of degradation wbei they aaseiabled in crowds to 
Qt and insult her on her way to the scifoLd. Tha lata Lad 
Inland states, ia his ' Fordgn BemrnisoeBces,' that she mt 
lensiblck Thie is one of the groundless statements eirculitd 
diminish our admiration of bo: heroiam and oar horror of ber 
rsecutnra. Her firmness of mind on the aoming of the &bl 
jr (Oct. 16. 1793) ie sulBd^itly attested by her Letter (dited 
A. M.) to Ma^uae I^isabetli, which, though obvionl^ 
Might to an abrupt termination, breathes the genuine spnt 
&ith, hope, and charity, in uniaon with maternal and sutalf 
r& After oonfiding it to the turnkey (who d^vered b tD 
■oquier^ she called for food, lest £untness Aould b« ■ustabn 
r &Br. After eaUng the wing of a chicken, she (Aiaagei kt 
ten, threw herself dressed upon a bed, wrapped hw feet in i 
uiket (procured with difficulty), and fell aslew. She m 
lakened by a ptriest named Giiaid, of whose ministry, from e 
Hucioa of bis quality, she declined to avul herself. 0» bi> 
king if she wished him to accompany her, she qtuetly rtfJied, 
79mnte vaiu wntdrez.' 

Sanson, the executioner, arrived at seven- ' Ton are eKlyi 
iir,' remarked the Queen; ' could you not have eotna latv?' 
So, Madame, I was ordered to come.' The Queu had dscaJf 
t hex heir, and no {H&paratwna were needed, Sha famt 
■ted (m a cup c£ choeiUate brought &om a nei^^Mwricg et^ 
id a v«ry small ndl. She was then taken to the R^itr^i 
here her haoda wen tie^ She was helped iato the «t 

1859. Q^em Marie Animmette. 167 

bj Sanson^ and the priest took his place by her side. The 

f)rogi'e88 through the streets was retarded that she might taste 
ODg of death — ^boire longtemps la morV More tbui once 
she indicated by a gesture to the priest that the cords gave 
her pain. Opposite the Palais E^dit^^ the inscription over 
the gate caught her attenti(»v Before Saint Roch tiiere 
was a halt, and a torrent of abusive epidiets burst firom 
the spectators on the steps. At the passage of the Jacobins 
ahe Iftuit towards Girard and questioned fam as to the inserip- 
tioD, ^Aieher darmes ripubUeames pmw foudroyer let tytcau! 
By way of reply, he held up a little ivory Christ At t^ same 
instant the player Gramxnont, who had kept dose to the cart 
on horsebaek, stood up in his stirrups, waved his sword, and 
toning towards the QueeOy shouted to the mob, 'Xa «ot7d, fin* 
*fame Antoinette ! JElle est , mes amis.* It was mid- 
day when the cart reached its deslinatiea. On leaving it, she 
tinned her eyes with evident emotion in the directioo ef 
the Tuikries, then momited the scaffDld, and met ker fate with 
calameas. Her head was ezhikited to the public gaze by Sanson, 
whiki under the guillotine the gendarme Mingoult was dipping 
Ubi handkerchief in her Uood. * That same evening,.' add M]£ 
de Goncoort, *a man whose day's work was done made oat 
Mhii bill of charges, which history cannot touch without a 
'flbndder:' — 

< Account of money paid and interments ezecnted by Joly, grave- 
digger of the Madeleine de la Yille I'Eveque, for the persons put to 

death by the judgment of the aforesaid tribunal : — 


The Widow Ciq9tt. — For the bier ... - & 
¥«r the grave and the grave-diggers • . - 25/ 

We can suggest no moral, emotion, or reflection that will not 
arise spontaneously in the heart and mind of every reader en- 
dowed with thought and feeling, on the bare perusal of this 

Dr. Cureton'e Syriac Gotpelt. July, 

tT. VII. — Remains of a very AntieHt Recension of tlu Fwtr 
Gospels in Syriac, hitherto anknoan in Europe. DiscoTered, 
idited, and translated by William Cubeton, D.D., F.RS., 
Stc. &C. London: 1858. 

>T the publication of this volume Dr. Cureton has rendered 

great service to sacred literature in general, and to the de- 
rtment of biblical criticism in particular ; and that, too, at a 
le when such contributions are peculiarly opportune. In 
icribing this work, and the MS. from which it haa been 
ted, we shall be able, we believe, to give full proof of both 
ise positions. 

A.t the time when the literary treasures in Syriac from the 
trian monasteries were brought in successive portions to tfaii 
intry, and, rescued from the obscurity of the desert, were 
re worthily deposited in the British Museum, it was well 
t they should have passed under the eye of a scholar such as 
. Cureton. His edition of three Ignatian epistles was the first 
it which he gathered from that field of research, out of which 
I present volume has apning. If the one was an importint 
itribution to patristic studies, leading to many points of ia- 
esting inquiry, the other is at least as valuable to scholars 
jagedin researches respecting the early history of the books 
the New Testament, the canon, and the early diffuaon of 

collected Gospels; and especially so to those who value 
tual criticbm, and who therefore wish to use all the autlio- 
es which are worthy of particular attention. 
A. Syriac version of the greater part of the New Testament 
i printed as early as 1555 ; it was very soon used to a certun 
ent as an authority in sacred criticism ; but in that day, ud 
a considerable period afterwards, textual criticism itself wu 
, little understood, and hardly any one seems to have thought 
using any authorities in such a manner as to weigh their 
simony throughout. This was long the only printed text of 

Syriac New Testament ; for although Pococke, in 1630, 
wed that be knew (out of Dionyaiua Bar Salibi) of a veruan 
Thomas of Harkel*, yet it was not till the latter part of the 

century, and the beginning of the present (1776-1803), that 

More (m we shall show) might have been learned from ibis 
nysiua ; for he mentions a version, yet extant in his day, of tbt 
>pel of St. Matthew in Syriac made from the Hebrew. 

1859. Dr. Cureton's Syriac Gospels. 169 

a version was edited by White from the MSS. of Gloucester 
Ridley, under the name of the Philoxenian, but which appears 
to be that of Philoxenus revised by Thomas. 

In comparing this Harclean recension of the Philoxenian 
Sjriac with Greek MSS. and other early authorities, it presents 
jnst the kind of phenomena which would have been expected, 
if we had only known the history of it^ origin, at the begin- 
ning of the sixth century, and . its subsequent revision (as 
noted in the margin of the copies) with Greek MSS. of another 
character at Alexandria. It is a valuable monument of the 
age in which it was executed, corroborating what we should 
otherwise have concluded to be the state of the Greek Text in 
Syria and in Egypt But when the examination for com- 
parative purposes was extended to the older printed Syriac, 
commonly called the Peshito, special difBculties presented them- 
selves; for if it is an admitted fact that in the second century 
the Syrians had a version in their own language (and the testi- 
mony which supports this opinion appears to be quite conclusive)*, 
and if this were supposed to be identical with the older Syriac 
version in common use, then the character of the text found in 
it seemed scarcely reconcilable with such a judgment. For in so 
many places it accords so thoroughly with later Greek MSS., 
and with other authorities subsequent to the early part of the 
third century, that it. seemed difficult to identify it with a 
document which had originated in or before the second ; while, 
on the other hand, many of its readings were manifestly drawn 
from sources older than what has been termed the transition 
state of the Greek Text ; that is, the state into which it passed 
when the multiplication of copies by mere transcribers for sale, 
and other causes, had led to the formation of a text replete with 
modifications, such as the endeavour to bring parallel passages 
into verbal agreement, and slight changes and amplifications 
Buch as would naturally flow from the pen of a mere copyist. 
In this state of the inquiry it is only to be expected that 
judgments respecting the Peshito of a very contradictory kind 
would be expressed by different writers. Some have especially 
valued it for the ancient readings which are interwoven with its 
text ; while others have upheld its character as a witness in 

• The testimony of Eusebius {R. E. iv. 22.) that such a version . 
was used in that age by Hegesippns, may suffice as a reference 
proving the fact. How much before the middle of the second century 
any such version existed we have no evidence ; probabilities wiD, 
however, guide us to the time when the reading of the New Testament 
books was adopted habitually in all Christian churches. 

170 I^. Coretoft's S^pnme Gaepdi. Jvify, 

iirrcNnr of tiiose whieb accord with the later Ghreek MSS.; whkk 
thns^ as thej thooght, were sustamed by a witness <»f the seeoni 
century. Others, indeed, have oondemned it^ as though iti 
TSfthie were but slight, on the same mistaken gromid which 
eansed Wetstein to disparage the Mbt Greek MSS. in geaerd, 
and which so fiir misled Bishop' Middleloo in his estimate of the 
Codex Bezae. 

The truest estimate whidi had been formed of the Peshito 
T^on was that of Griesbaeh.* He riditly saw the demeato 
of early antiquity in it; but he consisted that it had beai 
re-wrought feom time to time^ so as to bring it ii^ a partial 
accordance with the Greek Text in its transition state. TUs 
opinion was fully aoquieaced m by some who were most oom- 
petent to form a jodgment. It upheld the valoe of the Teraoi} 
and also the ontiqinty of its text in very many particabn; 
it met the difficulty which was presented in the contrary pbe- 
BOBMna* It is true that those who upheld this opinion were 
open to the chaarge of inooosisteDey in their use of the TerBon; 
bvt this charge is l»x>nghi by the iBOOmpetent and uninformed 
i^nst all who use true discEimination in the appIicatiflD of 

But if the Peshito was indeed a Terenon whidi had been thoi 
revised^ might it not be possiUe to diseover copies- which ooo- 
tained ovlfy the original form of the translation ? This led to 
the examination of various MSS. ; but although results weie 
obtained of asm* value in editing the Peshito with more aeca* 
racy, and though it was firand how habitually the Syrian oepj- 
ista modernised gniHuuatical forms, it seemed as if researa 
were vain as ta any diseevery of an eatfier ftrm ef text, or tf 
any Syriae version the readings of which would not oontndiot 

^ Griesbach speaks thus, having reference in his pbraseologj to 
his own system of reeensUmSy the facts, however, not beizYg affected 
by this: ^Nulli haram recenaionum Sjriaca versio, proat qudem 

* typis excosa est, similis, verom nee nlli prorsns dissimilis eat la 
^ mokis coBciBit earn Alexandriana reeeasione, in plaribns com Oo- 
^ cidentali, in nenniillis etiam cum CoasftantiDopQlitMia, ita tameaoft 
< qua in banc poaterioribus demum aecalis invecta sent, pleraqae re* 
' pudiet Diversis ergo temporibus ad Grascos codices plane diveisofl 
' iterum iterumque recognita esse videtur/ To this he subjoins the 
aete r * Blastrari hoc potest codieum aonnullorum Lattnonm exempt 

* qoi priBcam quiden veraienem ad Oeeidcntalem reeensionem aeooah 
' modataa, represeataal, sed passim ad junieres libroe Gneeos l^ 

* ietam. Ex bee genere est Brixianns Cotec Latlmia^ qui neo zaro 
^ a GrMS-Latinis et vctostioribas Latmas emmbiis aolaa diaeedi1»t( 
' in Gnecomaa partes transit/ {Now. Tmt FMef^. Ixxv.) 

1859. Dr. Cuietott'ft Syruw GosptU. 171 

the ii«4km of idtntit}^ wilh * Tenmi execnted before tlie nriddle 
of the aecofid eentury. 

Such was the state of this questioii, aoialogoiis m a great 
degree to that respecting the Ignatian Epistles, when the 
arrival of the MSS. from the Kitrian monasteries threw a light 
more desired than expected both on the one subject and the 

Amongst the MSS. obtained \j Arebdeaeon Tattam, in 1842, 
was a oopj of the four Groqpek made up from the portions of 
seyonl oAers. This consolidatioR is stated in a note at the 
end of the volume to have taken place in the jear of the Greeks 
1533 f A.i>. 1221), when the books belonging to the convent of 
Sta Maria Deipara were repaired. One portion of the combined 
volame in question was found to contain a text differing con- 
aderablj irom any known Syriac version^ smd on that account 
alone it would have been dutinguisbable from the leaves with 
which it had been intermixed, even if the vellum and the 
writing had not been different. This portion, oonnsting of 
dghty folios^ has now been separated from the other leaves 
with which it had been bknded, and these, with the addition 
of one leaf discovered hj Dr. Cureton in the binding of another 
voltttne, which arrived at the same time, and one and a half 
obtain^ firom M. Pacho in 1847, constitute the text of the 
present volume.* All the rest contained in the combined volume 
had been taken from MSS. of the Peshito, which had only been 
united to these learvea of so mudi greater importance by the 
repairer, in order that he might produce a complete volume. 

Of the history of this versiofr, or at least of part of it, some- 
thmg B^ht have been known besides that which may be 
gathered from its contents; but thot^h this might have been 
^ ease^ so little attention had been directed to the statement 
of Bar Salibi, who seeme to mention it, that the new discovery 
had to be examined by the finder as something previously un- 
known and unidentified, and in these circumstances the text 
of the MS. had ta speak for itselL On the first folio, the name 
of a former pestfesaor appeaars in an ancient hand, for there is 
recorded that the book belonired to the monk HabAaiy and 
Aat it was given by him to the monastery in which it had been 
depodted so long before it was transmitted to our shores. The 
pc^es of the M& are divided into two columns, and the writing 

• These ei^Hy-two leaves aad a half contain Matt, i l.r-vm. 22., 
X. a2L,r-xxay. 26., Ifcvk xvi 17—20,. John i. 1—42., iii. &,— viL 
a?., aiv. iO-49L (in part> LnU ik48.y— «- 16., «i- 33^— w. 21^ 
zvii^— 24., xziv. 44.. 

172 Dr. Cureton's Syriac Gospels. July, 

is large and bold. Dr. Cureton thus states his judgment as to 
its age^ and speaks of the manner in which its peculiarities 
attracted his attention : — 

' I have no doubt that this copj of the Grospeb is of the fifth 
century — probably transcribed about the middle of it When it first 
came into my hands, I laid it aside among the other earliest MSS. of 
the Gospels, without further examination at that time ; concluding, 
from its external marks of antiquity, that it must have been writtea 
at a period even more remote than the time of Philoxenus, and that 
it could not therefore be other than an early copy of the Feshito. 
The next time I took it up, I was struck by observing that sevenl 
erasures had been made in the fifth and seventh chapters of the 
Gospel of St. Matthew, and other words supplied. This led me to 
examine the matter more closely, when I ascertained that this had 
been done with regard to words and passages which had differed 
from the text of the Peshito ; they had been erased, and others from 
the Peshito had been supplied. A little further examination showed 
that the text before me was very different from that of the Peshito, 
and indeed belonged to a recension of the Grospels in Syriac hitherto 
altogether unknown in Europe. 

' The first cursory reading of these remnants of the Gospels, which, 
beyond all question, are of very high antiquity, convinced me of the 
great importance of this recension for the critical arrangement of the 
text of the Gospels, as being one of the earliest testimonies extant ; 
and all my subsequent study of them has tended to confirm thb 
opinion.' {Pref, p. iv.) 

Dr. Cureton then goes on to speak of the determination 
that he formed to publish the remains of this ancient text, 
together with an English translation, and such notes as should 
show the connexion of this Syriac version with the other 
authorities of very high antiquity.* He also mentions that 
other subjects of interesting inquiry arose, the full discussion 
of which, however, is deferred for the present. 

* Through Dr. Cureton's kindness scholars were enabled to use 
the printed sheets of this version some years before it was published. 
It was thus noticed nine years ago by the Rev. J. W. Blakesley in 
his Cambridge 'Pr»lectio:' — 'Hibc versio a Y. D. Cureton judice 
< harum rerum exercitatissimo> ita aestimari dicitur, ut ceteris omaibos 
'quotquot usque hodie innotuerunt, anteferendam ducat.' (P. 20.) 
Professor Tischendorf, in his recently completed edition of the Greek 
New Testament, calls this version, which Dr. Cureton's kindness en- 
abled him to use, * magnum decus edition! nostne ' (p. xix.), and be 
speaks of it elsewhere as the most important of the Syriac witnesses 
(p. ccxxxi.). Dr. Cureton also communicated the printed sheets con- 
taining the Syriac text to Dr. Tregelles, who thus used them in the 
critical apparatus of his partially issued Greek Testament. 

1859. J)r. CvaeUm'8 Sffriac Gospeh. 173 

One of the most important questions which can now be con- 
sidered in connexion with any ancient version or recension of 
a version of the New Testament Scriptures, is the bearing has on textual criticism. There was a time when each 
particular authority, whether manuscript or version, had to be 
considered as a kind of individual phenomenon ; as such, each 
was then discussed by scholars, and thus it was that their 
mutual relations were at leneth established, and their united 
value as witnesses was brougnt to light. Thus it was often 
found that a document which had formerly been specially 
noticed because of certain peculiarities, possessed a value pre- 
viously unknown. It was established, for instance, that the 
Codex Bez8B, which some in the last century, and earlier part 
of this, contemned altogether because of its interpolations, as 
though it were wholly a corrupted document, is really one of 
the very best witnesses of the text of Holy Scripture, as read 
in the early centuries of the Christian Church. Past investi- 
gations have thus paved the way for enabling us to discriminate 
as to the character of any newly found document which may 
be presented to our attention, whether it be ancient MS. or 
ancient version. 

These principles we now propose to apply to Dr. Cureton's 
edition of the Syriac Gospels, that thus it may be seen that 
the value of this recension or version is not something arbi- 
trarily assumed by the learned editor (though we know 
that his firmly expressed judgment on such a point would 
weigh much in the estimate of competent scholars), that it is 
not a mere vague opinion of any who may have made some 
slight use of the version itself, but that it is a point capable of 
actual demonstration, — one which may, on simple and correct 
principles of evidence, be made very plain to any who may be 
possessed of ordinary intelligence and attention, even though 
the mode of investigation, and its application to such a subject, 
may be wholly new. 

If we know from express early testimony that any particular 
reading was in general use in the copies of the New Testament 
then in circulation in the churches, — if we can thus be sure that 
BHch readings were not any niere local peculiarities, or confined 
to the copy which was possessed by some individual Father, — 
then we have one ascertained fact which may be applied to future 
investigation. If we have many such facts, and if we then 
&pply them to the existing copies of the New Testament iu 
Greek, and to the ancient versions which have come down to us 
in the languages of the early Churches, we are able to discrimi- 
QAte between those documents which contain an unquestionably 

174 Dr. Cureton'fl Syriae Gospelt. Jvlj, 

ancient text, and Aoae of a viore modsm oharaetor. It is not 
protended to assert that my docnunent can liave oome dofim to 
He absolately pure ; but this we do advance as certain, that by 
this process, whicii has been termed Comparative Criticism, we 
are able to point out what are the documents which contaia 
ancient readings in general, and wiuch, therefore, are worthy 
of respectful attention in those places to which such afasohte 
demonstration does not apply; 

Now in very many inataaoes the Cuietonian Syriae agrees 
with ancient witnesses in suoh important and marked readii^, 
as to demonstrate that its vektaon to the earlier text of the 
gospels is greater far than that of the Peshito. These examples 
ndoessarily invcdve criticism of a minute character, bat the fieU 
of inquiry is one worthy of dose attention.* 

* We give, in a note, a few instances :<->In Matt. xix. 19. 
the common Greek text has: Hfu Xtyccc aym$6p. Nowweknoir, 
from the express evidence of Origen (ed. Da la Rue, torn, in, |v 
664.), that in the early part of tiie third century this was moi tie 
reading of St. Matthew. He says that while Ms was the iaqaiiy 
in St. Mark and St. Luke, in St. Matthew it was i^c ^cpc &yaOov ipyoh 
This alone might make us pause before we rejected the statement; for 
we might doubt whether our copies could come into competition widi 
those of Origen. But in lookmg a little further, we find that there 
are copies which agree with his reading: rl fie tpwr^g iref>2 tov ayaOov. 
These copies, too, are amongst the oldest and best. It is also uphdd by 
almost every version which claims a high, antiquity, exoept the PeskHo; 

but here the Curetonian Syriae ()2l^^^ "V Lt] ^J^m!^ U^) 
follows the definite early evidence of Qrigea, and accords with the 
other authorities of the highest importance. It may be worthy of 
remark, that in thit passage the Peshito Syriae has actoally beet 
relied on, as though it was a witness the testimony of which cooU 
hardly be overcome The argument, however, tells reallj^ against the 
antiquity of this reading of the Peshito. 

In Matt. XX. 22., the clause ral to PawTiafia o eybi fiawriiopat j3ar- 
TiaBijvai (and the corresponding words in the following verse) of the 
common Greek text, was cleaily not recognised in the former part of 
the third century as being part of the first Gospel, or as being other 
than a peculiarity of that of St. Mark (see Qrig. iiL 717. 719.> The 
oldest and best of the authorities which we possess, whether MSS. 
or versions, strongly preponderate against the insertion : indeed the 
words are found in no version which claims an antiquity prior to the 
fifth century ; except indeed a few revised Latin copies and the 
Syriae Peshito. Here, then, the Curetonian Syriae comes to our aid, 
and furnishes us with Syriae authority which is compatible with the 
fiiets of the second or third century. 

Matt V. 4, 5. The order here <^ ^e beatitudes differs in Uie com- 
mon Gteek text from that which is supported by distinct early testi- 

1859. Dr. CnretM^s Syrime Ooipeb. 175 

Thia pnoms of eompttratiTe^sritieiflm m^;lit be juried on al- 
moBt adefimtely : and thus, iriule nothiag wlwierer h HnwiiiicMij 

monj. The canons of Eusebius, the statement of Origen^ the citations 
of Tertollian and Hilary — all agree in placing iia«:apcoi ol TreyOovyrec, 
K.r.X. (rerse 4.) tzfter fiaxaptoi ol irpaelcf x.r.X. (verse 5.) The autho- 
rities by which this order is supported are not numerous, bat they 
are of the highest character : and amcrngst them we are now able to 
place the CoretOBian Syriac : that it abcold be found amongst the 
few which support this icadingy must be considered an impoitant 
point In the ^aia of proof of its antiquity and Talue. 

The reading of Matt L 18. is one to which early attention was 
directed. Irenseus supplies us with such information as must suffice 
to show that, as far as his knowledge extended, the word ^rftrov was 
not in the sacred text. It is not often that any one gives a statement 
of the non-existence of a reading of which he had never heard ; but 
it 80 happens that Irenaeus had to discuss the question, raised by cer- 
tain of the eaiiy Grnostics, whether our Lord were the Chriit from his 
birth, or whether he became the Christ by a svbeequent union of the 
turn Christ with the man Jesus, lids leads him to notiee tibe ^Asence 
of the word Je$%u in Matt L 18. : 'Now the birth of ChriH was •oa 
* tkis wise,' gives an absolute identification of Him who was born of 
the Virgin Mary, and the Christ Now while it is true that Jesus 
has found its way into the existing eopies, this is only what might 
almost have been expected in process of repeated transcription. Now 
it seems very clear that the common reading, tov It ^Ititrov Xpiarovf 
could not haire originated prior to the time when lijcrovc Xpcorov had 
become a sort of combined proper name ; and it seems unJikely that 
this should have been the ease when St Mattiiew's Gospel was written, 
or when (before the cksse of the first century) it was translated into 
Greek. The position of the article, substantive, and a^^ective is at 
least peculiar ; for, except on the suppoeition of a combined proper 
name, the meaning intended would not be conveyed : and' such an 
anomalous use and position of the article with lij^ovc ^punoQ is not 
to be found in any genuine passage in the New Testament The 
omission, then, of Jesus in the Curetonian Syriac, in contrast to its 
insertion ia the Peshito^ puts the former into a connexion with the 
known readings of the seoond century, from which the latter is, in this 
case at least, excluded. 

Few verses in the New Testament have suffered more than Matt 
V. 44. from the amplification so common on the part of copyists, who, 
by inadvertence or design, introduced into one gospel what rightly 
belonged only to another. That the passages to which we are about 
to refer are such amplifications we know on the united evidence of 
IraasBos, Clement, Origen, Cyprian, Eusebius, Hilary — all of whom 
accord entirely or partly in their testimony and citations. The 
verse in accordance with the earliest and best authorities will 
then stand .thus (the words added by coypists being included in 
brackets^ with the referenoe to the parallel Scriptures from which they 

176 Dr. Careton*s Syriac Gospels. ' July^ 

point after point is establiBfaed by independent testimony ; and 
the character of the text of manuscripts, of ancient versions^ &nd 
of patristic citations is upheld by their accordance with facts 
attested by other witnesses, of known age and certain transmifl- 
ision. It is thus that a new claimant for a place in the list of 
critical authorities, such as was the Thebaic version in the last 
century, and such as is the Syriac version now before as, 
may make good its pretensions and establish its right to the 
foremost rank ; even though its name and dignity had been for* 
gotten, and that too before criticism was thought of as 
applicable to the sacred text. Indeed, we can hardly over-esti- 
mate the importance of witnesses coming to light that had before 
been unknown : for we are able thus to test conclusions pre- 
viously arrived at ; and even if in some cases they require 
modification, it is at least certain that in general those vkidi 
bad been formed on sound critical principles are confirmed and 
established. This has been remarkably the case with regard to 
the use of this Syriac version. 

There is one class of passages to which in this connexion we 
must make a brief allusion : — we mean those which were read 
in the early ages in some peculiar manner ; and which are still 
so found in some of the very early authorities that have come 
down to us. Now the fact that a document claiming to belong 
to the earlier ages of Christianity should contain some readings 
of this kind, is what should be ct priori expected ; and therefore 
the fact of their occurrence ought not to be used as ground of 
objection against the antiquity and general character of any 
newly discovered document. He who does this, acts as igno- 
rantly as if he were to use the marks of age visible on some 
work of art as proofs which could controvert its claims to anti- 

were introduced): cy^ ?« Xiyta vfiiv, 'Ayairorc roue ixOpovc vfiiv [f*' 
\oyuT£ Tovf: KarapufiivovQ vfidc (vide Luke vi. 28.)] koXuq Tou'iTt 
rove fjtitrovvTac v/iuc (vide Luke vi. 27.)] Koi Trpoo'cvxcffde virtp ri^ 
[LiTfiptatiotrnitv vfidc Kat (vide Luke vi. 35)] ^L^Kdyruv v;iac. Sach) 
then, has been the amplification which is introduced into almost all 
the Greek MSS., except the Codex Vaticanus, and more or less faDj 
into several of the versions, including (as might be expected by those 
who are acquainted with its true character) the Peshito. But bere 
again the Curetonian Syriac vindicates it9 antiquity, by its not con- 
taining any of the three insertions from St. Luke. If the translator 
of this Syriac version had omitted these clauses from design or from 
carelessness, how marvellous would it have been that he should thas 
have happened to accord with early testimony in three such marked 
points ! He might (on the supposition of omission) hava just as well 
have left; out any other parts of the verse which accord with St. Luke. 

1859. Dr. Cureton's Syriac Gospels. 177 

In the Curetonian Syriac It will, we believe, suffice to refer 
to a few instances of the kind* The long addition after Matt. 
ox. 28. is an example of the sort ; the clause introduced was 
once widely though not universally difiused: and it savours 
of an addition to the words of Holy Scripture : its occurrence 
in Dr. Cureton's version certainly favours its claim to anti- 

In Matt xvi. the greater part of verse 2 (from oyfrla?), and the 
whole of verse 3 is absent: this may give to some the notion of 
a mere careless omission; but on inquiry it will be found that 
the same thing is met with in the Vatican MS. and in a few 
other authorities: the Curetonian Syriac must not therefore be 
blamed as though it were peculiar in the defect. This omission 
is indeed noticed by Jerome as occurring in several MSS. in 
lus day, so that its antiquity is established. There need, how- 
ever, we believe, be but little doubt that the omission originated 
from an assimilation of the words in this passage to those of 
xiL 38. ; and thus the omission would be natural : their authority 
i3 maintained by the canons of Eusebius. 

It may thus be seen that not only do the excellences of this 
version vindicate its supposed antiquity, but the same point is 
equally proved when we look at what may be regarded as its 
marked defects. 

We can well understand that a reader of the Greek New 
Testament who has paid no attention to textual criticism, look- 
ing at the words or phrases which this version omits, or which 
it reads differently from that to which he has been accustomed, 
may feel astonishment almost amounting to indignation at what 
he must regard as daring corruption of the sacred text. We 
can suppose that he may turn over and over again the passages 
which he finds in a form somewhat new to him ; and while he 
rises into indignation at such liberties having been taken with 
the text of Holy Scripture, he may turn to his Greek New 
Testament, there to note down the convincing proofs of the 
worthlessness of this newly found Syriac version. But if some 
unfeeling critic asks him, 'But how do you know that the pass- 
'^es which you have noted in Greek are really parts of the New 
' xestament? How are you sure (in Matt. v. 44. for instance) 
^ that the version that you are conaenming does not contain the 
' true reading ? ' If any answer is vouchsafed to such an inquiry, 
it is likely to be but little more than that of taking up one of the 
neat, attractive editions of Bishop Lloyd's Oxford Greek Testa- 
ment, and showing how the words there stand, according to 
the text adopted by Mill. But that scholar and diligent 
labourer in the field of textual criticism did not himself form 


178 Dr. Ctireton^B Syriac Gospels. Jdy, 

buj Qreek text; he i^plj printed tbat whidi was canent 
m his own day; while he expressed Us Talue for i^padings psrtfy 
in his notes and more particularly in his Prolegomena. Thn 
the censor who would use what he ealls 'Mifi's text' as his 
fltandard^ employs that which Mill would have reprobated; he 
Ticts on principles entirely opposed to those approved by that 
scholar. The censor will perhaps then uphold the notion that 
the Greek text that he has is one which has been so universally 
transmitted, that there need be no question about the miitter 
amongst reasonable men ; and that this text it is, to which ^ 
Curetonian Syriac must be brought as a kind of touchstone ; 
then, without any profitless discussion, all variations irom the 
standard are self-condemned : and this Syriac version, ihongb 
perhaps a cmriosity and possibly of great antiquity, is of no piao- 
iical utility, and never can be employed as an authority: towards 
settfing the sacred text, which, to say the truth, does not in 
his opinion require to be settled. 

It is easy for any one to be misled by plausible assertions: — 
it was thus in the last century that even Wetstein, laborioiis 
collator of Greek MSS. as he was, deceived himself and decdved 
others as to the value of the best and oldest of the document of 
which he gave the readings : he condemned them as faithless 
witnesses because they did not accord with his own preoonodved 

Or, we may suppose a Syriac scholar, one who is fiunDis' 
with every word and phrase of the Pesfaito, taking up the Cwre- 
tonian version ; and after he has examined it well, he forms his 
conclusion that all the parts and readings in which it diffen 
from the Peshito are corruptions, and that it can only be 
regarded as an imperfect attempt at revising that andent version. 
This Syriac scholar, unless he has explored somewhat beyond 
the domain of his Aramaean studies, wiU be surprised at being 
told that the very points and readings in which the Peshito 
differs from this, are those which have caused the difficnlty 
always felt by competent textual critics, as to the dtum of that 
well-known version to be considered as a production of the 
second century. The knqwn readings of that age nrast be the 
standard by which any version or document must be tried for 
which such an antiquity is claimed. A Syriac scholar who as- 
sumes the language of the Peshito to be the normal type of that 
tongue, might easily object to much that he finds in this 
version ; and he might thus raise the charge of corruption: but 
let the phraseology be closely examined, and then it will the 
rather appear that in the Peshito not only is there a revision as 
to the readings and renderings so as to be in parts u new trans- 

1859. Dr. Cureton's Syriac Ga$peh. 179 

lationy but also in what they harve in common the Peshtto 
exhibits the ^larks of the hand of a polisher. It would be as 
well to assume the Latin Tersion of Jerome to be that from 
whidi the old Latin had been formed by corruption^ as to make 
the Peshito to be the bams of the Curetonian Syriac Happily, 
we have not to form our judgment of the Syriac phraseology, as 
here exhibited, as of a thing wholly unknown: we had instances 
of it before, and that in documents of extreme antiquity.* 

The old Latin may rightly be judged to be a version of the 
second century ; but if we were most familiar with the gospels 
m the Codex Brixianus, we should find it difficult to believe 
that its readings could really belong to that age. If when the 
Codex Yercellensis came to light, those who already knew the 
Brixianus might perhaps try it by that standard, while others 
might more rightly ju^e that nou) they possessed at last the 
Latin gospels in a form which might probably be a text of 
sach extreme antiquity ; and then whatever the upholders of 
the Brixianus might say, they would establish their point of 
the real antiquity of the Yercellensis, and henceforward the 
Brixianus would be rightly judged to be merely a revision. 

Thus, while we can perfectly understand how the peculiarities 
of the Curetonian Syriac might cause some who are imperfectly 
acquainted with the principles, facts, and historical develop- 
ment of textual criticism, to regard it as a defective document, 
we believe that to any who comprehend the subject, it may be 
made most clear that the very grounds on which the objectors 
would rely, are those which prove the direct contrary of that 
for which they are advanced in order to disparage the version. 
It is by the assumption of a false standard — one that carries 
us below the third century — that the attempt can be made to 
impugn this version, which may well claim a much higher 
antiquity. Let this and the common Peshito be both tried by 
a criterion of ih^ second century, (the age to which same Syriac 
version assuredly belougs,) and we have no doubt which of the 
two will stand the test, and which it is that will only occasion 
difficulty to him who tries to suppose that it is a sincere monu- 
ment of that age. 

If the conditions of a problem be well understood, and there 
be that by which those conditions are well and fully met, the 
connexion of the two things ought to be seen of necessity 
to follow. If there be a search for an unknown object, the 
existence and nature of which had been learned from a rigorous 
iaduction of circumstantial facts, and if anything be presented 

♦ See Cureton's Preface, pp. Ixxi. Ixxii. 

180 Dr. Cureton's Syriac Gospels, July, 

which IB found, point by point, to meet the terms of what had 
been learned h priori^ then we may conclude that we have 
discovered the very object itself, if indeed in the nature of 
things there can be but one, or if at least it is highly probable 
that there is but one. That there is a coincidence is at all 
events evident; and he who can best appreciate the bearing and 
extent of such coincidence, will the most fully apprehend how 
far it carries us into the region of absolute identity between 
the requirements of the problem and the supposed solution. 

Let certain perturbations of one or more of the heavenlj 
bodies be noticed ; let such perturbations be subjected to a long 
series of rigorous and minute observations, so that their reality 
and measurements may be most absolutely demonstrated; let 
mathematical science come in, applying as fully as possible the 
problem of the three bodies, so as to establish, by a series of 
approximations, the position, force, and varying motions of tk 
unknown perturbing body ; — and then let observation do her 
work afresh, and let it be shown that there is an unknown 
planet occupying the orbit and exercising the attraction such as 
ouffht to belong to the perturbing body whose existence had 
been predetermined by mathematical skill; — let observation be 
thus the handmaid of demonstration, and then no one who is 
capable of forming any judgment on the matter could doubt the 
identity of the new planet, as observed, with that which had 
been required to meet the terms of the problem. 

We have dwelt thus long on the illustration of this point, 
because we know that it is necessary. It was a fact that a 
Syriac version existed in the second century ; we were aware 
what kind of version it ought to be, and what the charactc^ 
istics of its text ; we also knew that the Peshito Syriac did not 
meet the requirements of the case ; so that, let no other Syriac 
version ever be known older in character, still another was 
wanted in order to correspond to antecedent facts ; the version 
might have been utterly lost, but still it must have existed; it 
might be the basis of the Peshito, but the Peshito, as we hare 
it, does not and cannot meet the conditions of the problem. 
This conclusion had been arrived at, and had been stated, irre- 
spective of any knowledge of the existence even of the 
Curetonian version.* Critical calculation had thus formed its 

♦ In Dr. Davidson's ' Introduction to the New Testament,' vol. L 
Bagsters, 1848, he gives in the Notes (p. 429.) the following coromo- 
ni cation from Dr. Tregelles relative to the Peshito Syriac as it h>3 
been transmitted : ' Whoever (says he) inserted in it the Euaebisn 
*• Canons, as found in most or all the MSS., may have introdoced 

1359. Dr. Cureton's Syriac Gospeh, 181 

conclusion ; and how surprisingly was this to be confirmed by 
the discovery of the object which met the terms of the inquiry. 
Not to identify the two objects would involve just as great a 
moral absurdity, as it would if we were to deny that the per- 
turbing planet, whose place had been calculated, was the same 
that was afterwards observed. 

Bat if this Syriac version be not that made in the second 
century? We must then suppose that some reviser of the 
Peshito knew in what respects that version did not accord with 
the certain readings of that age ; that he anticipated the ob- 
jections of later critics, and that he was so conversant with 
textual antiquity, and with the earliest Patristic teaching, as to 
extrude from the Peshito (if that were indeed bis basis) just 
what would clash with that earlier age. You certainly would 
thus ascribe to him a wonderful sagacity ; and you must almost 
go farther and regard him as anticipating the expressed thoughts 
and judgments of critics of the nineteenth century. To suppose 
all this is, in fact, to suppose that the Curetonian Syriac was 
made because criticism would demand that such a version must 
have existed ; you thus prove that (in whatever age it was, on 
such suppositions, actually made) it became identical with what 
ought to have belonged to the second century. 

We only add, on this part of the subject, that the character 
of any version itself is not essentially altered by the condition 
in which it has been transmitted to us ; that this must specially 
be remembered when such a document has come down in very 
few MSS., or in one only : that in such an estimate, errors 
of transcribers must be left out of question as thoroughly as. 
the errata should be in a printed book; and that due and 
proper allowance must be made for the mistakes into which 
every translator was liable to fall. Whoever pursues the unen- 
viable task of gathering together all the mistakes (real or 
supposed) of any ancient version, may seem to make out such a 
list as to damage its character for ever ; but it is only the unin- 

* alterations from the Greek MS. before him. At all events, the 
' Gospels have been made more harmonious and accordant, in the same 

* way as in the later Greek MSS. The Nitrian MSS., when col- 

* laiedy may exhibit perhaps an earlier text^ We believe that this 
was written and printed without any information that such a ver- 
sion had been found by Dr. Cureton. That it might exist, was in- 
ferred on grounds such as have been stated above ; that it might be 
found amongst the Nitrian treasures was thought not improbable, or 
at least possible, from what was even then known of their extent and 
antiquity. The coincidence of this suggestion, with the concurrent, 
bat then unknown fact, is at least worthy of remark. 

162 Dr. Cnreton'a Syriac Gospels^ July, 

formed who will be deceived by such a list. A catalogue 
miButel J detailing ererj error of fact mentioned by any his- 
torian miffht seem to prove that he was in no case worthy of 
credit, and thus it might be suggested that there are no facts on 
which we can rely ; but how different is an intelligeDt and 
comprehensive estimate I We neither look for infallibility in the 
one case or the other; we know that there are attested facts; 
we can use to good purpose the records of our religion, even 
though we know that the manner in which some would asadl 
and decry some one ancient document, might similarly be applied 
separately to discredit them all one by one. We do not think 
it needful to dwell in detail on the defects of this version ; some 
of them may be referred to the condition of the text from which 
the translation was made ; some to the manner of translatioD, 
in which it strikingly agrees with certain amplifications of the 
Peshito; some to errors of rendering, several to mistakes of 
transmission, and some (though these are probably few) to the 
transcriber of this one MS. 

We have now to speak of Dr. Cureton's edition of this veraon, 
and the English translation and notes with which it is accom- 
panied, and of one special point of inquiry suggested. It 
is very probable that Dr.' Cureton might have gained a kind 
of celebrity for the work, and he might have succeeded in 
claiming for this Syriac version a great but undefined vi^e, 
if he had contented himself with giving to the world the 
Syriac text, thus magnificently printed, unaccompanied by i 
single remark of his own. In the eyes of not a few a kind of 
sacred mystery would thus have attached to it, which, in their 
minds at least, would not have been dispelled by any more close 
acquaintance. But if Dr. Cureton had thus published this ve^ 
sion, how few comparatively are there, especially in thiscountrj^ 
to whom his volume would have been of real service.* He 
has sought to be useful to Biblical scholars, and not, therefore, 
to shroud this ancient version in any doud,suoh as would rendtf 
it a thing partially unknown, even though given to the world. 

On this principle, then, it is evident that he acted in the 

* An amusing estimate has been formed by Dr. Paul de It- 
garde of Berlin, as to the extent to which Syriac literature is culti- 
vated, and the number of readers likely to use a work published in 
that language. He says, in the concluding sentence of the Preface of 
^Didaacalia Apostolorura; Syriace' (Lipsiee, 1854), that he publishes 
' que per Europam vix homines qttinque intelligunt ;' and, indeed, bj 
limiting the impression so much (* I'ouvrage n'a €x6 tir6 qn^ cent 
* exeraplaires *) there may be some danger of its not reaching the 
hands of the select five. 

1859. Dc Coretou'a Syriac Gaspeh. 183 

Ei^lieh rendering which accompanies the Syriac text; the 
object was not to make an English New Teatament, but to give 
such an English constnung of the Syriac as might enable any 
student to use the ancient materials now for the first time 
brought before him. We are well aware that such a trans- 
lation appears to be peculiarly exposed to criticism ; those who 
are acquainted with Syriac miay see fit to object that a literal 
construing does not show the force of Syriac expresaionsy but 
only that of single words ; while the mere English reader may 
perhaps criticise the words and phrases employed, and he may 
raise objections on grounds wholly fallacious. Dr. Cureton. 
himself thus describes his English version: — 

* It Bu^ perfaafM bemceessary to adcE^ a word respeetiog the English 
traialftlton from the Sjriac. My great ol9e<il. has been to make it as 
literal as i could, in order to enable those who may aol be aequainted 
mih. the Syriac, to use the English for comparison with the Greek. 
For this purpose I have even retained the order of the Syriac words, 
so far as it seemed possible to do so without obscurity. It has been 
mj intention also to render always the same Syriac term by the same 
English word' — of which he proceeds to give some examples.* 
{Preface, p. xciv.) 

This will be enough, we believe, for candid and intelligent 
readers ; it will show them what they have to expect, and bow 
they ought to use the translation from the Syriac with which 
they have been favoured. If such are acquainted slightly with 
Syriac, they will be considerably assisted ; if ignorant of that 
ancient tongue, they will, if they know anything of philolo^> 
be able to discriminate between those things which indicate, 
a variation of reading, and those which only represent some 
feature indicated in the Syriac. They will be enabled to 
compare the Curetonian Syriac version with Greek and other 
authorities, and thus they may form for themselves an indepeo- 
dent judgment, instead of merely relying upon assertions, even 
though they may suppose them to be worthy of credit. 

On these grounds we may truly say that Dr. Cureton has suc- 
ceeded remarkably well in his endeavour to introduce his Syriac 
version in an English costume, and that for this he deservedly 
merits the thanks of all Biblical scholars.. 

Dr. Cureton's Introduction consists principally of two parts 
— general notes on the readings of the remains of these Syriac 
gospels, pointing out their coincidence, or the contrary, with 
other authorities ; — and a special dissertation on St. Matthew's 
gospel as found in this Syriac version or recension. 

The series of notes will save those who wish to use this 
version not a little time and trouble ; it wiU supply those who 

184 Dn Cureton*8 Syriac Gospels, July* 

wish to verify our remarks on the characteristics of this Syriac 
text, as connected with comparative criticism, with the means 
of so doing to almost any extent ; it will also (we are bound to 
say) enable those who wish to censure the text, and to 
cast discredit upon all who value it, to do so, if they please. 
Not a few of the notes of the editor contain suggestions which 
will probably lead to curious discussion ; others give infonna- 
tion which will be of real assistance to the student ; and in all 
we feel that, whether we fully accord with the opinion expressed 
or not, still we have to do with a writer who is so thoroughly in 
earnest, that he gives forth his opinions freely, let the use made 
of them be what it may. 

But the remarks on St. Matthew's gospel will be regarded 
by readers in general as touching on the most important inqmiy 
with which the Introduction deals. The point which Dr. Cure- 
ton seeks to establish is a connexion between this Syriac text of 
St Matthew, and the original Hebrew * of this first gospel as 
written by the apostle himself. This is a point which can 
neither be established, nor yet confuted, by mere dogmatism ; it 
requires to be temperately and honestly discussed ; and even if 
no conclusion be absolutely reached as a matter of demonstration, 
we may at least hope that some probability may be established. 

We are quite aware that there is a large class of professed 
Biblical scholars who would meet such an inquiiy in limine by 
denying that St. Matthew ever wrote a Hebrew gospel at all 
For the benefit of such as might be misled by this assertion, we 
are glad that Dr. Cureton has re-stated the evidence on this point 
(though in parts we believe that it might be amplified), and thus 
the reader is compelled to see the weakness of the cause which 
requires for its support such a procedure, as that of ignoring a 
mass of united testimony. It is the custom with some to ai^ue 
that as the chronological list of witnesses begins with Papias, a 
credulous man, all the rest must be supposed to be simply 
repeating his testimony ; and thus they seek to make all depend 
on his single evidence. A strange mode truly of silencing wit- 
nesses I As if IrensBUS, Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome were 
incapable of knowing anything about the matter. Now the 
fact remains that St Matthew^s Hebrew gospel was still extant 
in the early part of the fifth century — interpolated indeed, but 
still in existence ; and if the witnesses who attest such facts are 

unworthy of credit here, how can any one show that Sl Mat- 

» - 

• Once for all, let us say that we use Hebrew^ here and in our sub- 
sequent remarks, as signifying that form of Aramaean in which all 
ancient testimony agrees that St Matthew wrote his gospel 

1859. Dr. Cureton's Sytiac Gospels. 185 

iheipr ever wrote a gospel at all ? Unless we believe the cooi'^ 
petent witnesses who say that he wrote in that language, how 
do ^we know anything about the matter ? There are, indeed^ 
those nrho speak smoothly about ' ecclesiastical antiquity/ but 
QO little do they know of what the Fatheris teach on the sub- 
jects respecting which they dogmatise, that they could not bring 
forward a single ecclesiastical writer in proof of that which they 
seek to persuade themselves and others is upheld by ^ catholic 
consent.' Now if real ' ecclesiastical antiquitv ' makes a single 
thin^ certain respecting the gospels, it is that the first was 
written by Matthew the apostle, and that its language was 
that then called Hebrew. 

Of course, the discussion of the relation of the Gospel of 
St. Matthew in the Curetonian Syriac to that written in 
Hebrew by the apostle himself becomes impossible, if it be 
denied that such a document once existed ; but this mode of 
catting short an inquiry will not satisfy any who are not willing 
to place modem assertion in the place of ancient evidence. We 
say advisedly modem assertion, because we are not aware that 
any one doubted or denied that St. Matthew wrote in Hebrew 
prior to Erasmus. That scholar, who lived before much of the 
evidence on the subject had been properly brought to light, ad- 
vanced the opinion that the Greek of St. Matthew is the very 
original of the apostle ; he also maintained that the Latin that 
we have of Irenaeus against heresies is the original of the work 
of that Father ; this modem tradition is followed by some in the 
case of St. Matthew ; but as to Iren»us, who upholds the opinion 
of Erasmus ? And yet there is just as much reason in the one 
case as in the other. 

This point ought, we believe, to be received as a demon- 
Bttated fact ; and those who thus accept it may then proceed in 
the examination of the question. We think, however, that ut. 
Cuteton has introduced the consideration of details ^^^^\.P?J|?" 
plicate the inquiry. For the systematised theories of /^^^"^^^ 
I Marsh and others do not, we judge, present established tacts 
^ which we may rest as if it were proved that the ®^*^85^!®^^ced 
certam common documents, and that one of them ^^^f^^ ^isA 
^ certain points from an enkrged document, while i^^^l^^ ^y^at 
^ before him something additional of another kind. We le^ ^^^ 
J we must dismiss these considerations, because they ^^"^^ ^^^e 
] pel us to suppose that several such documents existed, . ^^ 

^ of which was known even to the earliest writer who ^^JT 
i the authorship of the gospels, and the existence ot ^^nic 
[■ ^ot Buspected*^ until modern times, when "JB^^^'J^^^^^ 
I sought to account for the correspondences of the gospe 


186 Dn CuKetoA's. Si^riac Gospels. July, 

most subtle manner; and yet after all^ the theories present moce 
points which would req^uire to be explained^ than do the pheno- 
mena, fbr the solution of which they were invented. By not 
introducing the supposition of such a complicated series of docu- 
ments, we greatly simplify the present inquiry ; and thus we 
also need not touch on the fact of scripture inspiration, or the 
theories which haye been adyanced as statements or expressions 
of that fact. The whole subject should be fully discussed widi- 
out any mere assertions being advanced ; if it cannot be brought 
farther than the domain of probable opinion, let it at. least be 
brought, if possible, thus far. 

Dr. Cureton very rightly points out, what we suppose must 
strike every Syriac reader, that in this Syriac text there .is a 
considerable difference of expression in St. Matthew's gospel 
from that found in the others. There appears to be a greater 
correctness of phraseology ; whereas, if they were altogether one 
and the same version, we should expect to find the contrary ; for 
a translator generally gains that kind of experience which en- 
ables him to perform the latter portion of a work with a finn^ 
and truer hand. This impression was strongly conveyed to onr 
mind when reading this version through. Certainly this might 
he explained, if the supposition were established that the first 
gospel was taken from a cognate dialect, instead of being 
formed by translation from the Greek ; but the existence of 
this fact, on the face of the document itself, makes the supposi- 
tion far from improbable ; even if we must adnut, as Dr. Cureton 
himself does, that St Matthew, as we have it before us here, 
has been compared with the Greek, and bears the marks of such 

It must be at once admitted that we possess no sufficient data 
for instituting a thorough comparison between this Syriac St» 
Matthew and the lost Hebrew original. The early writers, wbo 
so fully mention the existence of that, document, had no occasion 
to quote from it, unless it presented something remarkable ; and 
thus the citations which they give us are such as bear in g^enl 
most evident marks of interpolation. In fact, we have no reason 
to doubt' that the original Hebrew of St. Matthew was fully and 
adequately represented by that Greek text formed from it, which 
was used by the churches in general, even back to the very age 
when they were under the authoritative guidance of inspired apo- 
stles and others who had been, disciples of our Lord when on earth. 

But is there any indication on the part of any Syriac writer 
of an acquaintance with a version of St. Matthew's gospel ia 
that tongue from the Hebrew of St. Matthew ? and can any 
information of a satisfactory kind be obtained firom such a 

1859. Dr. CoretOK'ft SyHac Godpeb. 187 

source ? There is : the well-knawn Syriac writer Bar Stlibi^ 
Bishop of Amida in the twelfth century, definitely mentions 
SQch a YMsion. In treating oi St Matthew's gospel, he says 
that ' there is found occasionally a Syriac copy made out of the 
' Hthrew.^ This, then, may possibly, or even probably, be Dr* 
Cureton's text ; but Bar Salibi then continues to say that the 
Syriac St Matthew * inserts there three kings [ Ahaadah, Joash, 
' and Amaziah, see Matt. i. 8.] in the genealogy, but tiiat it 
^afterwards speaks of fourteen, and not seventeen, genera* 
' tions, is because fourteen generations has been substituted for 
'seventeen by the Hebrews,' &a {CwrHoriz Pref, p. xi.) 
Let this testimony be clearly understood. K any one in that 
age was well informed on the subject of Syriac verrionsi, it 
was surely Bar Salibi ; and he distinctly tells us that at that 
time there were still in circulation copies of St. Matthew in 
Syriac, translated Jrom the Hebrew. The citatic»i that he gives 
is very curious ; for he says that in Matt. i. 8* ^kree Muffs are 
supplied in the genealogy, and yet that in verse 17* there is the 
rxwaAs&r fintrteenj which, with those names added, becomes incor- 
rect We turn, as did Dr. Cureton before us, to the text of tidt 
St. Matthew. We find the two passages cu Bar Salibi described 
ihem^ in all their marked inconsistency. If this cmneidenoe 
does not serve to identify the Curetonian Syriac* with that 
which was known in past centuries as the Syriac version from 
St Matthew's own Hebrew or Aramnan, we do not know what 
would suffice. For this is not a mere coincidence of a few 
cited words, but it is identity in characteristic readings, and 
that too, in points which would be hardly likely to be found 
in the same document. Many an ancient writing has been 
truthfully identified on the ground of a citation far less marked 
than this ; we may, therefore, feel moral certainty that this is 
the St. Matthew referred to by Bar Salibi, and we may listen 
respectfully to his testimony as to its origin. 

Let all points be weighed ; let the probability be considered 
that the earliest Syriac version was made when St Matthew's 
own Hebrew gospel was in circulation in that region ; let the 
peculiar title be borne in mind ; let the internal character of the 
phraseology be studied. All this may establish a strong case ; 
and then let the testimony and identifying citation of Bar Salibi 
be added ; and thus, we believe, will the considerate scholar be 
brought, step by step, to the settled judgment that this St 
Matthew is really sprung from the Hebrew original of that 

In studying it with this belief, we do not wish to overiobk 
its features which may seem to militate against this opinion. 

188 Dr. Cureton's Syriac Gospels. July, 

We quite acknowledge that in this one copy there are traces of 
the influence of the Greek gospel^ — the authoritative version 
from the Hebrew, as we believe, — that there are more modem 
elements introduced ; and that the other gospels have exercised 
a perceptible influence on the transmission and present readings 
of this. But those who know the Feshito of the Old Testament, 
are aware that the readings of the LXX have sometimes in- 
fluenced the text; yet who doubts that it was made from 
Hebrew ? The case is analogous to that of this St. Matthew ; 
in each case the solution should be the same. 

We were not hasty in forming our conclusion. It was long 
before we passed from the region of probable opinion into that 
of settled belief. In this the testimony of Bar Salibi aided us 
greatly ; and to all Biblical scholars who prefer objective facts 
to subjective visions, who regard the testimony of ancients that 
St. Matthew did write in Hebrew, more highly than the pe- 
remptory assertion of moderns that he did noty do we commend 
the consideration of the subject. We believe that most con- 
siderate readers will be satisfied that Bar Salibi's testimony 
suflSces to show that this version was the one which the Syiians 
themselves held to be that formed from the Hebrew. Their 
belief on the subject ought to be taken as a point proved, even if 
any hesitate in carrying a settled judgment any fai*ther. In 
critical use we must remember that we have this version in but 
one MS., and also w^e must bear in mind the disturbances to 
which its text has been exposed. We do not rely infallibly on 
any of the ancient versions from the Greek as they have come 
down to us ; we would use this in the same manner in which 
we employ those. We wish, however, to point out that the 
proved value of the Curetonian Syriac as an ancient Christian 
monument, shown as it has been by comparative criticism, is 
established apart from the opinions which may be formed as to 
the origin of this version of St. Matthew. If that be ad- 
mitted, then it possesses an additional value ; but even those 
who hesitate on that subject have no reason to doubt the 
positions previously and independently demonstrated. It has 
been Dr. Cureton's misfortune to be a discoverer, and thus to 
be exposed to the assaults of those who do not wish to l&im 
and investigate the objective truth of facts. But if this has 
been his misfortune, his discoveries have been at least to the 
exceeding benefit of others ; and this will remain, we doubt 
not, long after the attacks of ignorance and dogmatism are 
forgotten, or, perhaps, remembered with a smile. Many literary 
monuments have been brought to light in the present age, but 
we know of few that deserve to be placed in comparison with 

1859. Dr. Cureton's Syriac Gospeb. 189 

this; and in the special department of Biblical learning we may 
advisedly say that we know of none equal in importance and 
interest to this version of the Syriac Gospels. 

The field, however, of Biblical research seems to be by no 
means exhausted. Professor Tischendorf, who distinguished 
himself about eighteen year^ ago as the decipherer and pub- 
lisher of the very valuable palimpsest of the Greek New Tes- 
tament^ the Codex Ephrasmi at Paris, has continued his labours 
in the same department; not only has he published ancient 
Biblical texts (accomplishing far more than all his predecessors 
unitedly), but he has also been successful as the discoverer of 
precious MSS. previously unknown ; some of the libraries of 
this country have been enriched with spoils that he has thus 
brought from the East. His repeated visits to Egypt and the 
neighbouring countries have been productive of valuable and 
remarkable results. We cannot now particularise the dis- 
coveries which he formerly made ; we have, however, taken 
some pains to ascertain a few points relating to one, the mere 
rumour of which has of late peculiarly interested and surprised 
both Biblical scholars and antiquaries. 

Professor Tischendorf s visit to the library of the monastery 
of Mount Sinai, several years ago, was productive of but little 
result; and he heard somewhat incredulously the report brought 
by Major Macdonald that the special treasures of that library 
had not been shown him ; indeed there were persons in this coun- 
try who were inclined to think that the statements were too 
highly coloured which that ofiicer had made. 

A few months ago, however. Professor Tischendorf again 
went in the employ of the Emperor of Russia to the Convent 
of St. Catharine at Mount Sinai, to examine a copy of the 
Scriptures which was reported to be there, designated as the 
golden MS. (the age of which was said to be very great), and 
also to investigate the other treasures of antiquity in the same 
library. He found the golden MS. to be less ancient than he 
expected ; he was able to negotiate for its transmission to him 
to collate or copy at Cairo, and then for its transfer for suf- 
ficient consideration to the Imperial Library. But if the 
golden MS. were less important than Professor Tischendorf had 
expected, he has been able to describe another Greek MS., the 
value of which can hardly be estimated too highly, if the reality 
at all resembles the accounts in circulation. Professor Tischen- 
dorf, in writing to the Saxon Minister Von Falkenstein, says 
that this MS. is of the fourth century (contemporaneous there- 
fore with the Vatican MS.), that it contains a large portion of 
the LXX, namely the greater part of the Prophets, Job, Psalms, 
Proverbs, Ecclesiasticus, and other portions of the Apocrypha, 

190 Dr. Cureton's Syriac Gospels. July, 

Ae whtle sf the New Testamemty foUofred bj the Greek text of 
the Epistfe of Barnabas, and a portion of the Shepherd of 
Hennas. The number dP leaves is stated to be 346 of a huge 
size. It is elsewhere mentioned that the number of Vnes in the 
MS. is about 132,000; and as we are informed from yet 
another source that the MS. is written in four columns, we find 
that there must be generally forty-eight lines in each. Those 
who hare seen the ' Codex Friderico-Augustanus/ discovered 
by Professor Tischendorf several years ago, or the beautiM 
Uthographed fecsimUe published under his superintendence, wffl 
at once see that this newly announced MS. so thoroughly ooiih 
cides with that document, that they are either portions of the 
same MS., or else MSS. of precisely the same character. The 
' Codex Friderico-Augustanus ' has stood alone as divided into 
four columns. Until we have further information, we must 
suppose that Professor Tischendorf has obtained another and 
most important portion of the ' Codex Friderico- Augostenus' 
itself. Its value is probably as great in the New Testament as 
it is in that portion of the LXX which has been available fior 
some years in the lithographed facsimile. 

We believe that no statement has been published as to where 
this MS. was obtained ; it may have been one seen by former 
investigators at Mount Sinai; it may have been in some 
Egyptian monastery. Professor Tischendorf has always spokeD 
with reserve on such points, intimating that too definite state- 
ments would have the effect of frustrating his frirther re- 
searches. It is to be hoped not only that this MS. may be 
secured for some European library in which it may be freely 
examined, but also that it may be published by the discoverer ibr 
the use of all Biblical scholars. The information that we have 
on the subject is as yet indefinite and incomplete.* 

* Perhaps Biblical discoveries may yet be made, even in well* 
known libraries. Dr. Paul de Lagarde, of Berlin, drew Jh, Tre- 
gelles's attention a few months ago to a palimpsest MS. of part of St 
Luke's gospel, in the library of the British and Foreign Bible Society. 
This MS. was brought from the island of Zante by the late Genend 
Macaulay in 1820 ; but it had remained unread and unused until 
examined by Dr. Tregelles, who has deciphered the buried writing 
and prepared the text for publication. The readings of this MS. 
(designated t3i for purposes of critical reference) are of the very best 
character. A description of this Codex Zacynthius tS is given in 
' The Book of Revelation, translated from the ancient Greek Text» 
' &c., by Dr. Tregelles,' p. 77. Whatever critical designation may be 
given to Prof. Tischendorf 's new discovery for purposes of reference, 
it will be well for it to be observed that lEi had been previouslj 

1659. BriaImoiit'« Life of ike Duke (if Wellington. 191 

Art. VIII. — 1. HtMtoryofthe Life if Arthur Duke of WeUtng- 
ton. From the French of M. BBiALMONTy Cwptain on the 
Stftff of tlie Belgian Armj. With emendations and additions. 
By Bev. G. K. Gleig, Chaplain General to the Forces. 
Vols. L and 11. London : 1856. 

2. Hiitoire de la Campagne de 1815. Par Lieutenant-Colonel 
Chabrab. 2 Yob. Bruxelles: 1858. 

3. Supplementary Despatches and Memoranda of Fieldmarshal 
the Duke of Wellington, KG. India, 1797—1805. Edited 
by his son the Duke of Wellington. 4 vols. Svo. London: 

4. Recollections. By Samuel Rogers. London : 1859. 

T^^HILE the predilections and antipathies which are strength- 
ened by life and action necessarily lose in death and by 
time the sharpness of their contrast, the events of the last six 
years have, in the instance of the Duke of Wellington, served 
to wear away a habit of indiscriminate panegyric in this 
conntryj and to calm an inveterate animosity in France. 
That period has been marked by a great change in the Con- 
tmental relations which he contributed to form, by a fresh 
divergence from the domestic policy which he upheld, and by 
the idiiance of this nation wi^ the dynasty which it was the 
chief object of his military career to overthrow. It is probable, 
therefore, that, in the interval, the proportions of some monu- 
ments of his European policy may have shrunk away, that in 
this country some errors of statesmanslup may have risen more 
clearly into view, and that in France some atonement may 
have been accepted in the Second Empire for the deepest and 
most rapid humiliation of a great military power since the 
Carthaginian rule was stamped out on the field of 22ama. But 
unless we are widely misled, the tendency of this change is 
rather to ntise than to depress the general view of the Duke 
of Wellington's character in Europe. 

The works of Captain Brialmont and Colonel Charras are the 
first elaborate and dispassionate criticisms of the Duke's military 
career that have appeared in continental literature. N-either, 
bdeed, of these writers is an officer of the Empire. M. Brial- 
mont, the author of the Biography, is a captain on the staff of 
the Belgian army ; and M. Charras, who has published a work 
in three volumes on a campaign of three days, lives at Brusseb 
a French exile. The value of such writings must, of course, be 

192 Brialmont's Life of the Duke of Wellington. July, 

determined, not bj extrinsic circumstances of authorship asd 
publication, but by their own internal merits. Nevertheless, 
there is a strong tendency in Paris to depreciate Colonel Char- 
ras on the ground of a presumptive hostility to the Bonapartee. 
If the incident of exile at this day be deemed inconsistent with a 
just view of the strategy of the first Napoleon, on the other band 
it must be borne in mind that the most dispassionate conclusions 
prejudicial to his memory would not now be permitted to the 
French press. We must choose, therefore, between French 
criticisms published in similar circumstances, or no criticisms 
at all tending to discredit the traditions on which the existing 
Empire has been re-established. 

Mr. Gleig has both translated M. Brialmont's Life of the 
Dukp, and has added to the narrative from his own knowledge. 
The English edition is therefore a joint work. The French bio- 
grapher has written the military details with which a civilian can 
hardly be thoroughly acquainted, and the English biographer has 
introduced political and domestic incidents which few foreigners 
could supply. This or some other division of labour was neces- 
sary, unless such a writer as Sir William Napier once was, 
were ready to assume the double task. Mr. Gleig, accordingly, 
was justified in his adoption of a course which gives us at any 
rate one tolerable history of the Duke of Wellington, without 
compromising the views of either author, in place of two emi- 
nently defective histories which those authors would singly have 
written. Had he translated such a biography by Soult or Tal- 
leyrand, he would no doubt have rendered it intact, because the 
public, though interested in the truth, would have been more 
interested in the views of Soult or Talleyrand, in which thej 
would hardly expect to discover truth. Captain Brialmont, on 
the contrary, comes forward as an unbiassed foreign author pre- 
viously unknown, and the staple of the English edition remuns 
his own. The two first volumes of the work are at present 
before us ; the third volume will contain Mr. Gleig's narrative 
of the Duke's Life subsequent to the close of his military 
career ; and we do not hesitate to say that no publication of 
equal interest and authority has yet appeared on this truly 
national subject. 

Nevertheless, this obviously cannot form the permanent record 
of the Duke of Wellington. Such a life as his was aknost 
equally public and private. The former is not yet completely 
before the world ; the latter is still very imperfectly known. 
It is strange that of all the writings on the Peninsular War, 
not one gives us much more insight into the private life of 
Wellington during nearly six years passed as much in inaction 

1859. Brialmonfs Life oftlie Duke of Wellington. 193 

as in hostilities, than the literature of antiquity has thrown upon 
the private life of Hannibal in Italy. ' M . Brialmont, whose 
biography is a military biography, does not attempt to fill 
this void. The required information must be sought from 
the Duke's associates and from his correspondence. His prin- 
cipal associates, indeed, are already dead ; but the sensitiveness 
of survivors . and successors long postpones the publication of 
confidential correspondence. We have as yet no Life, that 
can be called a Life, of Mr. Canning, who died a quarter 
of a century before the Duke of Wellington. We have but 
just seen the papers of Mr. Fox, who died twenty years 
earlier; and even his Life is not yet complete. It is possible 
that the materials for a complete biography may never be col- 
lected. When a great general survives his campaigns by nearly 
forty years, he ought to turn autobiographer. Had the Duke 
done 80, he would have left us a record invaluable for its simple 
truth; and, indeed, that portion of his military despatches 
which was published by Colonel Gurwood does, in some degree, 
supply the deficiency : but the whole collection is of far greater 
extent, and many of the most important documents were with- 
held by the discretion of the Duke himself. But it can hardly 
be doubted that these additional despatches, (one early portion 
of which the present Duke has just given to the world,) as 
well as the Duke's private correspondence, not now accessible, 
will hereafter be forthcoming. 

M. Brialmont assiras to the Duke of Wellington the second 
place in the generalship of his age, and we should hardly per- 
haps quarrel with a conclusion drawn with exemplary candour, 
were it not arrived at after ascribing too much to the com- 
mander, and too little to the army ; for if such results were 
attained with means so insignificant, it would be hard to point 
out in any age the Duke's equal. This error (as Mr. Gleig has 
already indicated) arises from too literal an acceptation of 
despatches, in which the Duke wrote, as it was his habit to 
speak, more strongly than he calmly thought, and which some- 
times remind us of the vehemence of that Sir Charles Napier, 
''fhom, in contradistinction to other heroes of that celebrated 
^ce, it seems necessary to term Napier Asiaticus. M. Brial* 
mont's view of the high public principles of his hero are hardly 
less novel in the French language than his candid strategic 
criticism. M. Charras, equally without bias, has dissipated the 
fictions of the St Helena Memoirs. We have here a striking 
contrast to the systematic misrepresentation of those Frencn 
writers who for the last forty years, in dealing with the former 
enemies of their country, have laboured to surpass the elaborate 

194 ^nBlmont^8 Life of the Duke of fFellinfftan. July, 

falsehoods of the memoirs and histories of the Roman Be- 

It is uot difficult to detect the causes of the extreme india- 
position, which has long appeared^ to do justice to the Duke of 
Wellington's memory in France. That he defeated Napoleon 
himself in the last contest is but one of many reasons. No re- 
Tolutionary career breathed stronger military instincts, or fiercer 
national antipathies, than the French. None arose with grander 
predictions and closed in wors^ disaster. It was consecrated in 
the national mind by the principle of liberty which it at first 
embodied, and the speedy loss of that liberty is condoned in 
retrospect by a sense of the glory for which it was exchanged. 
The still vivid tradition of its triumphs extinguishes and 8ur« 
vivos the tradition of the misery which attended those triumpha 
By a strange but characteristic inaccuracy of mental vi^on, 
the Republic and the Empire are viewed as homogeneous parts 
of the Revolution, jointly representing the twin aspirations of 
the national mind, the domestic freedom of the people and the 
military glory of the nation,. It was a necessary sequence to 
such a natural though illogical train of thought to associate the 
general who restored the Bourbon monarchy with the overthrow 
of the first principles of the Revolution. 

The rancour reserved for the Duke exceeded his pro- 
portion in the victories of the restoration. Over him no 
battles had been reciprocally gained. If Schwarzenberg tri- 
umphed at Leipsic, he had just before been routed at Dres- 
den; if Blucher succeeded at Montmartre^^he had just before 
been beaten on the Marne. Wellington, too, by his pre- 
eminence, represented England in the popular view much 
more distinctly than Schwarzenberg or Blucher could repre- 
sent Germany; and independently of Waterloo, the French 
military jealousy of this country greatly exceeded that jealousy 
of Austria or Prussia. ' Austerlitz and Auerstadt might well 
fortify French pride against the reverses o£ 1814. But there 
was no single set-off against the victories of Wellington in any 
engagement with the English arms. 

The Duke, also, was equally identified with the return of this 
country to the rank of a military power. As he renewed by 
land that series of defeats which the French had already sus- 
tained by sea, he destroyed the complacent theory of the pre- 
ponderance of either Power on its own alleged element. It 
was as bitter a reverse to the French that their armies 
should be beaten at Salamanca and Yittoria^ as it would have 
been to ourselves had our fleets been defeated at the Nile and 

1859, Brialmont*s Life of the Duke of Wellmgton. 195 

This ground of antipathy may be permanent and inevitable^ 
but M. Brialmont's work is certainly calculated to dissipate the 
superficial association of the Duke with the suppression of the 
Revolution itself. We must, indeed, merge facts in sentiment 
to be oblivious of the immense change in events between the 
victories won by France in the name of the Republic, and the 
victories won by Wellington in the name of the monarchy. In 
that interval, the French champions of European liberty not 
only lost their own liberty under a despotij^m of their own ; but, 
by the instrumentality of that despotism, they had extended the 
oppression under which they laboured to the very nations they 
had professed to free. There had been added therefore to 
the undue authority of Government over people, the unnatural 
thraldom of race over race. It was not only that freedom, 
unattained by France for foreign nations, had been lost by that 
nation herself; the same despotism that had usurped at Paris 
usurped beyond the Alps, beyond the Pyrenees, and beyond 
the Rhine. The honest but mistaken zeal of the first Repub- 
licans to diffuse the freedom they thought they had secured for 
their own country, had grown into an iron centralisation 
which represented nothing but indigence, tyranny, and rapine 
from the banks of the Niemen to the straits of Gibraltar and 

It was this principle — not the principle of the Revolution — 
that Wellington was brought forth to combat. The antagonist 
of Napoleon, he was in no sense the antagonist of the prin- 
ciples represented by the victories of Dumouriez. He is de- 
scribed, indeed, by Byron with some truth, as the * repairer of 
' Legitimacy's crutch,' and he took the field in 1815 in support 
of the principles of a General Congress, which is happily likened 
by Lord John Russell to an ^ assembly of mediaeval barons con- 
' vened to agree on the disposal of their serfs.' But France 
at any rate obtained from the restoration a qualified freedom 
which had been unknown since the fall of the Directory, as well 
as a state of peace unknown since the outbreak of the Revolu- 
tion. The astute policy of the Hundred days revived, indeed, the 
tradition of Napoleon's connexion with the Republican party ; 
but there can be no doubt that if Napoleon had succeeded at 
Waterloo, the Republicans would at once have been turned 

Hence the want of originality in the political design of the 
wars which the Duke of Wellington carried out is another ex- 
trinsic ground of his disadvantageous comparison with Napoleon. 
This contrast, overdrawn perhaps in itself, is apt to lead to 
false deductions. A comparison of the capacity of different 

196 Brialmont's Life of the Dulie of Wellinyton. July, 

generals can of course only be drawn subject to a comparison 
of their opportunities. Any such emprize as that of Napoleoa 
was obviously beyond the scope of Wellington's mission. Na- 
poleon rose by his own genius and energy to a position 
without example for ten centuries, because no prescription, no 
institutions, and* no morality existed to limit the success of his 
genius and energy. Wellington, aided by his connexions not 
much further than to afford him the scope of action which 
such a Revolution would in itself have afforded, was restrained 
not more by his own disposition, than by that prescription, 
. those institutions, and that morality, which were wanting in 
France. A vast difference in achievement must therefore have 
been predicated in the abstract between the general at liberty 
to construct on the face of Europe the castles he had already 
built in the air, and the general who took the field to restore 
the status quo ante bellum. 

Though it is with Napoleon that nearly all comparisons of the 
Duke's military genius have been drawn, yet it is precisely be- 
tween the Duke and Napoleon that comparisons are most diffi- 
cult ; for (if we except the early Italian campaigns of Bona- 
parte in the last century) no two great generals ever based 
their tactics on a wider dissimilarity of means. It is impos- 
sible to criticise the strategy of a commander who, before the 
battle of Vittoria, could never bring 50,000 troops into the field, 
by the strategy of a commander who, after losing an army of 
400,000 men in a single winter, could recross the Bhine with 
another army of 400,000 men in the following summer. It is 
clear that if Wellington could have levied troops at his will, he 
would not have retreated before the legions of Massena in 1809; 
and that if he had held authority at the English War Office, he 
would not have been forced to retire from Burgos for want of a 
siege train. It will be acknowledged also that the generals to 
whom he was opposed were chiefly of a very different character 
to those over whom Napoleon triumphed, and that he could 
never have captured Badajos on the terms on which Napoleon 
captured Ulm. Napoleon, if we except his victories over Blucher 
and the Archduke Charles, certainly never defeated a single 
commander of even second-class eminence, and his most 
brilliant successes were obtained over such generals as Melas 
and Mack, the Emperor Alexander at Austerlitz, and the Duke 
of Brunswick at Jena. 

In comparing the campaigns of the Duke of Wellington with 
those of other generals, it is hardly less necessary to bear in 
mind the nature of the military organisation with which each 
has acted, and to which each has been opposed. There can be no 

1859. Bnalm€>nt*s Life of the Duke of Wellington, 197 

doubt that most of the great captains of continental history, though 
the imagination is more apt to be led captive by the wide theatre 
of their operations than by those of our own countrymen, pos- 
sessed in this respect great advantages. The chief victories of 
the Roman Empire and of the Koman Republic, if we except 
the Punic wars, were gained -by a vast superiority of military 
organisation. In modern times, Charles the Fifth possessed 
an inherited sovereignty of three empires. Charles of Sweden 
gained Tictories over a people who were to the Swedes nearly 
what the Gauls of the age of Caesar were to the Romans. 
Gustavns and Wallenstein scarcely conducted their brilliant 
campaigns under any very marked inequality of means and 
opportunities. Cond6, Turenne, and Vendome, who rarely 
met gener<ils of celebrity, fought also in the name of the most 
powerful, and the most military, state of Europe. But the 
only men we can call to mind who, with a striking inequality 
of means and opposed to a superior military organisation and a 
nation of warriors, successively struck down the greatest generals 
of their respective ages, were Hannibal and Wellington. 

Before we consider, with the aid of information imparted by 
the works before us, the Duke of Wellington's character, let us 
glance at the light which they throw on the manner in which 
that character was formed. The Duke's talents seem never to 
have developed themselves until some practical and active field 
for their display was placed immediately before him. Perhaps, 
indeed, like many other great men, so far as we can judge 
of them, he really did not in very early life possess talents; 
for men of eminence mighty be pointed out who, as boys, 
and even at twenty, were remarkable for positive stupi- 
dity. Be this as it may, he was long described by his Spartan 
mother, who thought him a dunce, as only * food for powder.' 
He gained no sort of distinction either at Eton or at the French 
Military College of Angers ; at eighteen he got his commission, 
at twenty-one he became member for Trim in the Irish parlia- 
ment ; he was at the same time aide-de-camp to Lord Camden, 
then Lord-lieutenant, and down to twenty-five all that we 
learn of his career in the Senate and at Court is, that he 
was an ordinary man of the world, who got more than ordinarily 
into debt. Such was Arthur Wellesley, at an age at which 
jnost characters are formed. Not a single political suggestion 
is recorded of his parliamentary life, at an age at which the 
younger Pitt had been prime minister ; nor a single military 
suggestion of his life in the army at an age at which Conde had 
gained half his fame. 

But at that juncture his regiment was ordered to join 

198 Brialmont's Life of the Duke of Wellington. July, 

the Duke of York's expedition to the Low Countries. He 
at once threw away all the joyous frivolity of the vice- 
regal lodge, and being thrown to the rear of a retreating 
army, hotly pursued by the French through a flat country, in 
which the frost rendered even the passage of rivers indefensible, 
he appears to have protected. the ^movements of his own army, 
amid every circumstance of misery, with extraordinary vigour 
and judgment. This striking instance of ability, evolved by 
the first necessity for its display, is thought by Colonel Gurwood 
to have influenced his subsequent appointments. 

Nearly the same contrast presents itself in the Duke's life for 
the three following years. Mr, Gleig has inserted in the bio- 
graphy an interesting letter signed ' A. Wesley,' in which the 
future Duke, on his return from Holland, requests Lord Camden 
to give him a civil office in one of the revenue departments, for 
which he proposed to exchange his prospects in the army. He 
was then as nearly retiring from his service as Nelson was on 
another occasion. His military ambition, if he ever entertained 
any, which there is nothing to show, had entirely escaped him. 
But no sooner does he reach India, two years afterwards, in a 
field of energy again, than we find him actively engaged in the 
afiairs of the army, and not less occupied during peace in pro- 
moting administrative and material reforms. The activity of 
Arthur Wellesley from the moment that he reached India, is 
strikingly shown in the ^ Supplementary Despatches,' which are 
now published. These incidents equally imply that while 
he was greatly indebted to nature, he was under very slight 
obligations to example. 

The only mental characteristic which Mr. Gleig is able to 
assign to the Duke in very early life, is that of being remark- 
ably observant and discriminating, in spite of desultory habits 
and a careless manner. 

*He was addicted,' Mr. Gleig writes, * in early life to a habit 
which adhered to him in extreme old age, that of making himself 
acquainted in all manner of odd ways with everything worth notice 
which passed around him. No exhibition of a new discovery, no 
display of ingenuity or skill, be it ever so absurdly applied, failed to 
number him among its investigators ; and he was not only quick in 
calculating and drawing inferences, but in a marked degree addicted 
to both practices. Indeed, the writer of this paragraph has more 
than once heard him say that *' he considered the power of rapid and 
*' correct calculation to be his special talent; and that if circumstances 
" had not made him a soldier, he would have probably become dis- 
*' tinguished in public life as a financier." ' 

Much has been said touching the advantages which Wellesley 

1859. Brialmont*s Life of the Duke of WeUmffton. 199 

derived irom his connexions. We come upon M. Brialmont^s 
remark^ < That Mr. Wellesley's promotion (until he became 
' colonel) went on with great rapidity ; and it is past dispute 
' that he neither earned^ nor had any opportunity of earning it, 
' by the display of conspicuous military talent in the field.' It 
appears that he rose from ensign to colonel in nine years, that 
he was Iieutenant*colonel at twenty-four and full colonel at 
twenty-seven. If we except the latter promotion, which his 
services in Holland deserved, this criticism may be just ; but 
M. Brialmont forgets the system of promotion by purchase 
under which Wellesley rose. The Duke also became major- 
general at thirty-three. This promotion, again, was no more 
than a fair reward for his services at Seringapatam. In its 
capture he had probably had an equal share with Harris, hid 
commander-in-chief, who had been made a peer. At the same 
time many persevering officers would have been neglected in 
those days but for family influence. The appointment of his 
brother to be Governor-general but a few months after he went 
to India, was one of the luckiest coincidences that ever fell to 
the fortune of an ambitious officer. Lord Momington placed 
every advantage in his way. On one occasion he gave him, 
when only a colonel, an even invidious preference over Sir David 
Baird, a general officer, by investing him with the governorship 
of Seringapatam ; and favouritism was loudly complained of in 
the camp. But one of the results of the publication of the 
Duke's Indian despatches, is that of showing that Lord Morn^- 
ington's desire to aid his brother coincided with an extraordinary 
confidence in him. No one can read the correspondence inter- 
changed between the two brothers, and resist the conviction that 
when the Governor-general entrusted Colonel Wellesley with an 
important civil or military charge, he did so in the belief 
that no one else could execute it better. Probably Lord 
Castlereagh placed Wellesley in command of the force sent 
to Portugal in 1808, because he was the brother of a Tory 
marquis as well as because he was victor of Assaye. Castle- 
reagh's selection of agents for other appointments was certainly 
i^ot tempered with judgment; and M. Brialmont's assumption 
n>ay be true, that Wellesley's connexions alone enabled him to 
weather the popular storm which broke indiacrimiaately over 
the heads of the subscribers to the convention of Cintra. But 
it is obvious that such advantages were but opportunities for the 
play of abilities, put by those very opportunities to the fiercest 

If there was favouritism in the earlier stages of his career, 
ke expiated it by the difficulties he had to encounter. Viewed 

200 Brialmont's Life of the Duke of Wellington. July, 

by the light of our national history, the fame of Wellington 
assumes larger proportions than if it be compared and judged 
of solely by the military annals of continental states. He 
came forward in an age of English oratory and an age of 
English naval victory, to represent, in his own person, an age 
of English generalship. For a whole century no considerable 
success had been attained by the British armies in Europe, and 
each of our military undertakings on that continent daring the 
French war bad deplorably failed. In India and in E^ypt only 
had any military success been gained. The Duke of York had 
been sent with an army to Holland, Lord Cathcart had been 
sent with another army to Hanover, Lord Chatham had been 
sent with a third army to Walcheren, Sir John Moore had been 
sent with a fourth army to Sweden, and finally to the Penin- 
sula; and the expedition to Copenhagen in 1807, in which 
Wellesley held a conspicuous command, was the first break 
upon habitual misfortune. Well-chosen expeditions under in- 
competent commanders, and ill-chosen expeditions under tolera- 
ble commanders, had naturally produced a common result 

On the other hand it is to be borne in mind that while Napo- 
leon's campaigns were usually conducted in a hostile country, 
those (if Wellington were chiefly conducted in a country nomi- 
nally friendly, and at any rate less hostile to him than to his 
opponents. When we read, for instance, M« Brialmont's state- 
ment that on one occasion it was found impossible to transmit 
a French military despatch between two of the Peninsular 
armies without an escort of 4000 men, we are forced to conclude 
that, in spite of the difiSculties sustained by the English troops» 
those experienced by the French largely exceeded them. In- 
deed it is only on this supposition that we can account for the 
successes of the Duke over an immense inequality of numbers 
which no genius could singly countervail. 

Much has been said by French writers, and even by M. Brial- 
mont, on the divisions prevailing between the marshals in com- 
mand of the French Peninsular armies. It is certain, however, 
that these divisions were not equal to the divisions between the 
armies of the allies. Moreover, if such divisions as those of 
Soult and Marmont in the Peninsula, which facilitated the 
triumph of Wellington at Salamanca, are introduced into a direct 
.comparison between him and Napoleon, such divisions as those 
of the Archdukes Charles and John, which produced the triumph 
of Napoleon at Wagram, must not be forgotten. 

The new light which has been thrown on the Indian cam- 
I^kigns of the Duke of Wellington tends to destroy his associa- 
tion with that cautious policy which is popularly held to form 

1859. Brialmont's Life of the Duke of Weihngton. 201 

his essential contrast with Napoleon, A comprehensive view 
of his whole military career warrants the conclusion that, instead 
of his tactics being confined within very cautious preconceptions, 
they were so elastic as to adapt themselves to whatever enemy 
he had to deal with. No campaign in history exhibits more 
caution than that in which he opposed the French army, led by 
the astute Massena into Portu^ in 1809. Yet no movements 
are bolder and more rapid than those which he carried out 
against the Mahratta princes. Fabius and Marcellus, it was 
his great merit that he knew precisely when to be Fabius and 
when to be Marcellus. What strikes us in the breadth of this 
contrast is the unerring judgment which enabled him to adapt 
his own operations with the force and capacity and resolution 
of each enemy. 

The rapidity of his marches in the East, and the odds against 
which he fought, are equally remarkable. The Duke told 
Mr. Rogers that once in India he marched his troops seventy- 
two miles in one day. Of his pursuit of Dhoondiah, a new 
Hyder Ali, who was attempting the overthrow of the British 
rule in 1800, M. Brialmont says, ' Wellesley moved all this 
^ while with .a degree of rapidity of which there bad been 
^ no previous example in India. His troops made from twenty- 
* five to thirty miles a day under a burning sun, and through 
^ a succession of arid and sandy plains. But the enemy re- 
' treated with not less celerity on his approach, and appeared 
^ determined to protract the war to the uttermost' At length 
Wellesley, when with only a part of his force, comes up with 
Dhoondiah, who has 5000 horse. Wellesley, who has ^four 
' weak cavalry regiments (the number of which is not computed) 
' charges the enemy without awaiting the rest of his own force, 
^ kills l)hoondiah in action, and disperses his army.' On another 
occasion Wellesley learns that Amrat Bao is about to evacuate 
Poonab, and to set it on fire before he quits it. Wellesley 
instantly divides his force, marches upon Foonah, sixty miles 
distant, with only 400 cavidry, compasses the sixty miles through 
a difficult country in thirty hours, comes suddenly before Foonah 
and delivers it. These are fair instances of the manner in which 
the Duke's minor expeditions were conducted, though they 
simply afford evidence of rapidity and vigour. 

Wellington's principal Indian victories were the result of the 
same precipitation. Take the battle of Argaum. At this place 
Scindia and the Rajah of Berar were posted with 40,000 men, 
on ground of their own choice. On the morning of the battle, 
Wellesley's army, 14,000 troops and 4000 irregular horse, was 
twenty-six miles from Scindia's camp. This distance, more 

202 Brialmont's Life of the Duke of WellingtoTU July, 

than a day's march in a European climate^ was made under a 
burning sun, and when Wellesley's army reached Argaum, 
^ night/ says M. Brialmont, ' was fast approaching.' It may be 
questioned whether even Charles of Sweden, after a forced 
march in the tropics, which must have exhausted his whole 
army, and especially the European troops on whom the chief 
reliance was commonly placed, would have ventured on the attack 
of an encamped army of 40,000 men. But the impetuous 
Arthur Wellesley would not brook a moment's delay. He gave 
battle on the instant, along a line extending for five miles, 
with a water-course intervening between him and his enemy. 
*At the first discharge three battalions of Sepoys,' writes 
M. Brialmont, ' were ^en by a sudden panic and fled' Wel- 
lesley contrived to restore order, as he afterwards restored order 
in similar circumstances at Talavera, and declared that, * if he 
' had not been there, he was convinced the day would have 
' gone against us.' He drove the enemy from the field, cap- 
tured all their artillery, a lai^ part of their baggage, camels, 
and elephants, pursued them, in spite both of the march and the 
battle, during several hours of moonlight^ and dismounted at 
midnight from the horse he had ridden since sunrise. 

Take next the battle of Assaye. This battle was fought as 
a necessity arising out of a species of surprise, as Argaum was 
fought in self-confident precipitation. It is agreed that the 
Mahratta army numbered 50,000, and every other writer than 
Sir A. Alison, who computes Wellesley's army at 8000, com- 
putes that army at 4500, of whom 1500 only were Europeans. 
The Mahrattas had 128 guns and the Anglo-Sepoys had seven- 
teen. Wellesley, while acting on the ofFensive, suddenly found 
himself in presence of the whole Mahratta army, drawn up in 
a strong position. He judged that reticat would be as disas- 
trous as a defeat in action, and at once gave battle, in his own 
language, as * a desperate expedient' Victory, long contended 
for on both sides, and at one time nearly lost to the English, 
turned at length in their favour ; the Mahratta army was routed, 
and most of its artillery remained in Wellesley's hands. M. 
Brialmont shows that the alleged design of a part of the 
Mahratta army to betray their chief in battle, and Wellesley's 
alleged fore-knowledge of it, are equally contrary to all the 
authoritative evidence which exists. * General Wellesley,' he 
adds, 'whose veracity cannot be questioned, and who in his 
' correspondence carries frankness so far as to reveal errors with 

* which nobody else would have thought of charging him, asserts 
' that Scindia's infantry fought well, and defended its cannon to 

* the last extremity.' 

1859. Brialmont's Life of the Duke of Wellington. 203 

If either of thefie battles had been lost to the English, Wei- 
leslej would at once have been disgraced as a rash general, 
unfit to be trusted with command. Nor would it, in that 
event, have been easy to defend him against such a chaise ; 
and the detail of both actions shows that the enemy's force 
was long nicely poised against his own skilL Albuquerque 
and Clive before Wellesley's day, and after Wellesley's 
day Napier and Havelock, have fought battles against equal 
odds. But the defeated armiies of Ormus and of Plassey were 
not possessed of the same organisation with the defeated 
armies of Assaye and Argaum ; nor do they appear to have 
yielded to troops, like those of Wellesley, overmarched in the 
one case and surprised in the other. And whatever judgment 
may be formed of later victories on the Indus and the Ganges, 
the victories of Wellesley were certainly the glorious precedents 
which mainly established the prestige of British military enter- 
prise and invincibility in the East. 

If the Duke of Wellington is justly characterised in his 
European campaigns as a general pre-eminently cautious, it is 
clear, then, that he was not cautious by predisposition. Many 
drcumstances which M. Brialmont brings to view will suggest 
to the most hasty reader, that much of that caution which has 
been set down even for timidity, was more political than |/;rategic. 
A single reverse threatened to terminate the English share in 
the Peninsular war. Cintra, in fact, in spite of Yimiera, very 
nearly did so. From first to last, Wellington^ with only an in- 
secure derivative authority from home, had no support but in 
his own genius. All the consolation that he got from Castle- 
reagh, as Minister of War, after his success at Talavera, was, 
^ We are powerless ; be prudent, and above all run no risks.' 
All the steadfastness with which he imbued Lord Liverpool, just 
^r he had again freed Portugal in 1810, was casually revealed 
to him in a despatch of that minister to one of Wellington's 
subordinates, beginning, ' As it is probable that the British 
* army will embark in September 1' The Whig party in oppo- 
sition, who, when briefly in ofiBce during 1806 and part of 1807, 
]^ done more than the Tories, in their whole career, to reor- 
g^ise the army, found it impossible at one time to discriminate 
between the thwarted commander and the incapacity of the 
administration. The English Government had neither the 
nioral courage to support the general, nor the vigour to supply 
his army. The Portuguese Regency intrigued against him, the 
Spanish Juntas mistrusted him, the Spanish generals deceived 
liim. The Archduke Charies harassed by a military council too 
distant to follow his operations, Marlborough controlled by un- 

.204 Brialmont'd Life of the Duke of Wellington. July, 

pertinent Dutch civilians on the field ignorant of the first prin- 
ciples of warfare, Kaglan anticipated and criticised with some 
show of plausibility by newspaper correspondents .whom the 
first Napoleon would have surely hung, Yarro compelled, ia 
the face of the Carthaginian army, to share the command with 
JEmilius on alternate days, scarcely experienced such difficul- 
ties as these. A battle lost, or aretreat not crowned ultimately 
with triumph, Talavera or Torres Vedras reversed, and all would 
have been over. 

It appears to us that the character of caution has been im- 
pressed upon the Duke's motives much more deeply than his 
tactics warrant. It is very certain that the tactics of his 
Peninsular opponents, all pupils in the school of NapoleoDi 
and the chief instruments with which Napoleon's most amaz- 
ing strokes were dealt out, were characterised by incomparably 
more caution than his own. Except as against the half-disci- 
plined troops of Spain, no bold measure is recorded of any 
one of the French marshals. Recollect how ruefully M. Thiers 
admits the French armies concentrated on the footsteps of the 
retreating allies under Wellington in 1812, to have mustered 
nearly double those allies, when they did not offer to invade 
Portugal. In no instance did the French armies act on the 
offensive against the Duke without a great numerical superi- 
ority, with the exception of Waterloo, and there they lost all 
in the incredibly short period of three days. In no instance 
did the Duke deeline the offensive but when his numbers were 
greatly inferior, and he is even censured by Napier for rashnesa 
in engaging Massena at Fuentes Onoro. 

Analyse for a moment the Duke's principles of defensive and 
offensive war. Torres Vedras and Waterloo will best illufitratc 
the former; the Indian campaigns and the Peninsular campaigns 
of 1809, 1812, and 1813, are the most striking instances of the 
latter. We must deal, however, separately with Waterloo, in 
lusticc to the length to which that subject has been treated by 
^M. Charras and Brialmont. Let us take first the Duke of 
Wellington's offensive strategy. 

There is quite enough of rapidity in the Duke's Peninsular 
tactics to identify their author with the conqueror of the 
Mahrattas. His first campaign in Portugal was spoilt, indeed, 
by the senseless intervention of Burrard and Dalrympk. 
But it happens that in the next, in which he was free to act 
after his own judgment, he is censured, by nearly every 
French writer on that war, for the rashness of his opera- 
tions. When he landed at Coimbra in May, 1809, he was 
threatened with hostilities in two distinct quarters. Tffo 

1859. Brialmont'a Life of the Duke of Wellington. 205 

French marshals had just annihilated two armies in Portu^ral 
and in the west of Spain, on two successive days, Victor, with 
16^000 men, had destroyed on the 28th of March Cuesta's army 
of 25,000, the greater part of whom, by his own admission, ho 
had butchered with extraordinary barbarity. Soult, with 20,000, 
had captured Oporto on the 29th from a force of 40,000 Portu- 
guese, who were mostly dispersed by the attxick. Six weeks 
after the west of the Peninsula had been thus left defenceless 
by the slaughter or dispersion of two armies, Wellington found 
himself at Coimbra with 25,000 of all nations and of all 
arms. He resolved to sti'ike at once at both enemies in succession. 
Soult, MTith 20,000 French veterans, was in quiet possession of 
Oporto, defended against Wellesley by the mouth of the Douro 
in hia front, and the strong tract of Tras-os-Montes on his flank. 
Wellesley sent one-third of his army through Tras-os-Montes, 
and marched on the Douro with 16,000, resolving to cross 
the river at once in front and flank of Soult, as Hannibal passed 
the Rhone in front and flank of the Gaulish army. Capturing 
four undefended barges, as the Carthaginian constructed rafts, 
he made the passage at two points, turned and expelled the 
astonished French army, who had looked on such a manoeuvre 
as impossible. Meanwhile Victor was concentrating on the 
Tagus an army which in July mustered 50,000, and, but for a 
division of authority, would have numbered 70,000. Wellesley 
joined Cuesta, marched to anticipate their union, and crush 
Victor's army corps by corps. This design was in part thwarted 
by the refusal of Cuesta to co-operate until after the con- 
centration of the French ; and the result was that the battle 
of Talavera was fought against 50,000 French by 20,000 
English, aided by 30,000 Spaniards, who were so ineffi- 
cient that one-third of them took instantly to flight. This 
battle, as nearly lost as Assaye and Argaum through inferiority 
of strength, was retrieved by the same presence of mind, and 
seventeen guns remained with Wellesley to indicate its issue. 

Wellington, indeed, though long restrained by necessity 
within defensive tactics, carried on ofiensive war, when he 
once assumed it, with extraordinary vigour. It was thus 
that in 1812 he stormed Ciudad Kodrigo in eleven days, 
ahnost in the face of the army of the Duke of Bagusa ; then 
jaarched into the south, in twenty days stormed Badajos, almost 
in the face of the army of the Duke of Dalmatia ; next counter- 
marched into the north, routed Marmont's army at Salamanca, 
with 40,000 men threw himself into Madrid, still encircled by 
200,000 French, finally advanced into Asturias and laid si^e to 
Burgos, It was thus that in 1813 he forced the French to a 

206 Brialmont'8 Life of the Duke of Wellington^ July, 


decisive battle at Vittoria, which transferred the dominion of 
Spain to Ferdinand from 150,000 foreign troops, within three 
weeks after the campaign began. 

One of the chief characteristics with which the de^ of 
these operations seems to invest the Duke of Wellington, is 
the celerity and secrecy of his combinations. He con- 
centrated from various directions and in mid winter, his 
whole army and materiel in front of Ciudad Bodrigo, and stormed 
the fortress before Marmont had time to concentrate his forces 
for its relief; and, in 1813, while Joseph and his marshals 
were assuming the probability of his continued inaction, 
he suddenly brought 80,000 men to converge on either bank of 
the Douro, whichinstantaneouslydestroyed the elaborate defences 
of the French. Another characteristic rests in the desperate 
expedients which he would adopt in moments of emergencj. 
In defiance of the recognised principles of war, he supplanted the 
engineering operations, while still incomplete, before Bodrigo and 
Badajos, by a murderous storming, lest the advancing French 
armies should raise the siege. A third characteristic is to be found 
ini the sudden inspirations by which he realised preconcerted 
schemes. It was thus that the battle of Salamanca was the reso- 
lution of an instant, and that, as the opportunity arose, he changed 
in a moment the preparations he was dictating for retreat in oider 
to secure provision^, into what has been termed ' the beating of 
' forty thousand men in forty minutes.' An hour after his ar- 
rangements had been in progress for retreat, he was in full 
march on Madrid. No other general was probably at once so 
elaborate in his designs and so spontaneous in his resolves. The 
Duke, too, from the greatest incident to the smallest, never lost an 
opportunity. The general who won Waterloo and Salamanca by 
an instantaneous change from defensive to offensive tactics, was 
also the general who, when he had driven the French army out 
of Oporto by a surprise, quietly sat down to eat Marshal Soulf s 

On the other hand, certain criticisms, whatever they may 
be worth, on the Duke's tactics, even in offensive war, cannot 
be disputed. His first attempt often failed, though he singu- 
laidy effaced failure by success in the same design, almost in 
every instance. He retreated from before Badajos in 1811) 
but he carried it in 1812. He retreated from before Burgos in 
1812, but it was evacuated on his approach in 1813. He failed 
to force Madrid by Talavera in 1809, but he forced it by Sala- 
manca three years afterwards. It is acknowledged that hismeans, 
in the first instances, were inadequate to success, and that success 
in the second instances was chiefly the result of his owa energy. 

1859. Brialmont's Life of the Duke of Wellington. 207 

The French condemn the Duke for remaining five weeks before 
Burgos with no other means of capture than by blockade ; but 
he had found Ciudad Kodrigo, which he had just before stormed, 
short of provisions, and the greatest of all the captains of antiquity 
lay for eight months before Saguntum. He is also criticised for 
completing the long siege of St. Sebastian before he drove Soult 
through the Pyrenees ; and his resolution not to leave a hostile 
fortress in his rear is, perhaps, the chief instance of his caution 
in conducting offensive war. He is charged, by M. Brialmont, 
with compromising the retreat of his army in 1809 ; by Napier, 
as we have said, for rashly engaging at Fuentes Onoro. But 
the results may be held to prove that he never got into diffi- 
culties without knowing how to get out of them. 

Let us now glance at the Duke's defensive strategy. 

The cardinal point of contrast between the Duke of Welling- 
ton and every ouier general of equal eminence, appears to us to 
rest in his simultaneous preconception of a plan of offensive and 
of defensive tactics. He thus passed from one to the other in 
nearly equal reliance on ultimate victory. A confusion of his 
two distinct systems of warfare has, perhaps, exaggerated his 
character for caution in offensive war. . Here is certainly his 
most conspicuous originality. This characteristic is expressed 
in the fine antithesis of Lord Brougham: 'Mighty captain, 
'who never advanced but to be victorious; mightier captain, 
' who never retreated but to eclipse the glory of his advance.' 
Torres Yedras and Waterloo, as we have said, are the chief 
instances of his defensive tactics ; and their striking merit rests 
in the manner in which the^ served the ends of the most 
vigorous strokes of active war. They were marked less by the 
object of recoiling from the danger, than by that of disabling 
the antagonist. Indeed, it is to be doubted whether the term 
'defensive war' is correctly applied to tactics which, though 
never played out but from necessity, were nevertheless con- 
certed before the necessity arose, as a less direct road to victory. 
In this respect Wellington certainly deserves much more than 
Soult the title of * vieux reynard.' 

If we take singly the instance of Torres Vedras, we are 
equally struck by the military foresight which conceived, and 
the moral ascendancy which executed, that campaign*. A 
general flushed by victory at Oporto, about to enter on the 
campaign of Talavera, aware that the Austrian war had suspended 
the increase of the French legions in the Peninsula ; and yet 
anticipating his offensive movements by the fortification of a 
chain of hills enclosing but Lisbon and a few square miles of 
territory in the angle formed by the sea and the Tagus 5 pre- 

208 Brlalmont's Life of the Duke of Wellington, July, 

pared, if necessary, to retreat within those lines, not only Tvith 
his army, but with the mass of the Portuguese population inter- 
vening between them and the frontier; prepared even to lay 
waste and desolate the friendly territory through which his 
enemy would follow him ; prepared to rest on the basis of the 
sea and depend upon maritime supplies, thus devising the starra- 
tion of the very enemy which professed to blockade him, and 
within a few months forced withal to carry out the tactics he 
had designed, must certainly gain credit for an extraordinary 
prevision of contingencies which came to pass. And few other 
commanders could have gained the acquiescence of a people in 
the voluntary sacrifice of their hearths. We readily concur 
with Mr. Gleig that no achievement of Wellington is so brilliant 
as Napoleon's passage of the Alps in 1800; but it will perhaps 
be allowed that, as that passage indicated the extreme of militiuy 
self-reliance, Torres Yedras indicated the extreme of military 

Colonel Charras has treated the Waterloo campaign, — the 
other principal instance of the Duke's defensive strategy, — with 
a care and precision which call for its discussion by ourselves 
in some detail. Captain Brialmont has dealt with it^ with 
less elaboi-ation indeed, but with equal justice, and Mr. Gleig 
has published at the end of the biography a memorandum by 
the Duke himself, written in vindication of his tactics with ex- 
traordinary perspicuity and force. These writings form a fair 
criticism on the misstatements of Napoleon, of the French me- 
moir writers, and on the history by General Clausewitz who 
claims for the Prussians the chief part of the credit which the 
French will assign to neither of the allies. Nearly every 
other controversy in regard to the campaigns of that age 
has been set at rest. But the Waterloo campaign remains 
almost as active a problem as when Napoleon was dictating to 
his f^enerals at Longwood. 

The battle of Waterloo has been commonly described as a 
battle not of strategy but of force, yet it happens that nearly 
every movement in the campaign is made a ground of strategic 
criticism. A great number of contradictory impeachments 
have been brought against the tactics of the Duke. By some 
he is criticised for making defensive war, and for awuting 
attack. By others, for not pursuing tactics yet more defensive, 
for not awaiting the co-operation of the armies beyond the 
Khine. He is, again, charged — and by M. Charras among 
the rest — with too widely extending his cantonments, with 
thus rendering the rapid concentration of his army impossible, 
and with exposing it to the danger of being beaten in detail 

1859. Brialmont's Lift of the Duke of Wellington. 209 

At Waterloo itself he is criticised for fighting with the forest 
of Soignies in his rear, and for undue reliance on the contingent 
if not illusory co-operation of the Prussians. The Austrians, 
after Austerlitz, were wisely content with being beaten, and 
offered no such unremitting strictures on their victors, in a 
campaign which Napoleon acknowledges to have involved great 
hazard to himself. But the French have failed to remember 
that, unless they can prove the issue of Waterloo to have been 
independent of the strategy of the allied commanders, every 
depreciation of those commanders involves a corresponding 
depreciation of their own chief. 

The questions in dispute lie, after all, in very narrow 
compass. Let it be once acknowledged that the Duke and 
Bliicher were compelled on the one hand to remain on the de- 
fensive, and on the other were authorised to make a stand in 
advance of Brussels in order both to maintain their communi- 
cations with England and Germany, and to defend the chief 
cities of the Low Countries from the enemy. It then follows that 
it was their duty first to guard all the great roads by which 
these cities and tiiose communications could be threatened, and, 
secondly, to concentrate the bulk of their force upon the line by 
which they actually were threatened. It is not disputed that 
the two allied armies were so cantoned, on the 15th of June> 
as to check the advance of the enemy on any one of those lines^ 
and it is matter of history that on the night of the 18th the-. 
two armies were concentrated at Waterloo to the number of per<... 
haps 140,000. 

The Duke of Wellington's Memorandum is the best exponent- 
of the necessity of the two allied armies for waging defensive- 
war. It is true that the forces nominally constituting those 
armies numbered 220,000, while the invading French army did 
not ez6eed 130,000. But while not more than three-fourths of " 
the allied armies were actually available in the field even in 
Belgium, the force with which they could have invaded France • 
(before a decisive battle had been fousht) would have been stilL 
less. The numbers, on the other hand, which the French could 
have opposed to them in their own territory, would have been« 
considerably greater than those with which they entered Bel- 
gium. Moreover the army in command of the Duke was very 
inferior in organisation to the French, which was composed of 
veterans. The Hanoverian troops were chiefly militia, the 
Belgians would rarely cross swords or bayonets with the Frencbj 
and the British, in themselves only 30,000, were principally 
either recruits or militiamen. M. Charras, indeed, describes 
our own soldiers as Peninsular veterans ; but the bulk of our 


210 Brialmont's Life of the Duke of Wellington. July, 

Peninsular armj had been sent across the Atlantic after the 
peace of 1814. 

In Mr. Rogers' Recollections of the Conversation of Eminent 
Men^ recently published in a small yolume by one of his 
nephews, we find some interesting and authentic particulars 
coUected from the Duke's own lips. Thus he said : — 

' At Waterloo, Bonaparte had the finest army he ever commanded ; 
and everything up to the onset must have turned out as he wished. 
Indeed he could not have expected to beat the Prussians, as lie did at 
Ligny, in four hours. But two such armies as those at Waterloo 
have seldom met, if I may judge from what they did on that day. 
It was a battle of giants ! a battle of giants ! Many of my troopa 
were new; but the new fight well, though they manoQuvre ill— better 
perhaps than many who have fought and bled« As to the way in 
which some of our ensigns and lieutenants braved danger — the boys 
just come from school — it exceeds all belief. They ran as at 
cricket.' {Roger^ Recollections, p. 208.) 

The Duke, then, maintains that the initiative, up to the 15th 
of June, rested with the enemy — ^first, because the allies, if 
they had taken the ofiensive, would have been inferior to the 
French in the field; secondly, because they could not have 
assumed it without the means, which in the face of the enemy 
they obviously had not, for simultaneously laying siege to 
several of the strong fortresses on the French frontier; and 
thirdly, because they were designed to cover the advance of the 
other allied armies. The war being thus defensive on their 
part, the next disputed question arises, whether battle was to 
be hazarded in advance of Brussels ? It is here alleged by the 
Duke that the alternative to such a battle was both to surrender 
the coast line, and with it the communication with England, on 
the one hand, and on the other to surrender the cities and 
resources of Belgium to the enemy, and to encounter the 
adverse moral impression which would arise from an abandon- 
ment of kingdoms created by the Congress of Vienna. Perhaps 
a yet stronger argument may be found in the fact (which the 
Duke does not notice) that his resolve to offer decisive batde at 
Waterloo was based on a reasonable expectation — whidi by 
misadventure was not realised until the close of tiie day — of 
bringing double the number into the field which Kapdeon 
could there array against him. 

Almost innumerable strictures have been offered on the man- 
ner in which these general principles were carried out. M« 
Charras himself adds to their number, while he freely criticised 
those offered by Napoleon on the same points. The St. Helena 
Memoirs must be acknowledged by candid readers to be in 

1859. ^nBimonVs Life of the Duke qf fFellinfftajL 211 

great degree their own refutation, and we shall confine our- 
selves to the arguments of M. Charras and others who have 
vrritten without apparent bias. M. Charras entirely miscon- 
ceives the scope of the Duke's defensive liabilities. He describes 
him as contemplating attack by two lines only ; and arguing on 
this basis^ he censures the extension of his army oyer twenty 
leagues in front, and twenty lei^ues in depth. He refers this 
dispersion to a difficulty of supply ; he next shows that such a 
^fficulty was at any rate surmountable — and all this proved, 
how is the Duke to escape his censure ? 

The Duke, on the contrary, shows in his Memorandum, that 
as the enemy held a position in which his fortresses con- 
cealed his movements until the last moment, so it was neces- 
sary to guard each line of attack in order to be able to concen- 
trate on the line chosen by him. Now, instead of there being 
but two such lines of attack, the Duke enumerates not less than 
five principal lines, and every map of that period will show that 
the allied positions in advance of Brussels might have been 
threatened by other lines. Each of those mentioned by the 
Duke (which Sir A. Alison, by the way, has described as * by- 
• ways ') were great roads adapted to the rapid passage of artil- 
lery, and ill defended by the field works which had hastily been 
thrown up. The censure offered by M. Charras is thus far, 
therefore, founded in error; and in blaming also dispositions 
extended twenty leagues in depth, he forgets that Antwerp was 
the Duke's necessary base, though in point of fact very few 
troops were stationed in the rear of Brussels. 

M. Charras's next position is, that at any rate the cantonments 
were too wide to admit of the acknowledged necessity of rapid 
concentration, since it took twenty-four hours to concentrate 
one half of the Duke's force, and two days to concentrate the 
bulk of it. The Duke has anticipated this criticism also. He 
shows, what, indeed, is well-known fact^ that he was in line at 
Quatrebras in sufficient time, and with sufficient force, to drive 
back the enemy in his attack of the 16th. If Blucher had 
maintained himself at Ligny on that day, Wellington would 
have done the same at Quatrebras, and the two generals would 
probably have given decisive battle on that parallel line with 
fully 150,000 men, on the 17th. The Duke considered the 
Prussian Marshal in force sufficient to have done so ; bis num- 
bers were about equal to those brought against him; and 
the Duke detected the vicious disposition of the Prussian 
army immediately before the action at Ligny. 'If I am 
^ not much mistaken,' he said when he had ridden back to 
Quatrebras, * the Prussians will get an awful thrashing to-day.' 
He then described their exposure to the French artillery. 

212 Brialmont'a Life of the Duke of Wellington. July, 

Lord Hardinge says in Mr, Rogers* BecoUections : — 

* Before the battle of Ligny, in which I lost my arm before noon, 
Bliicher, thinking that the French were gathering more and more 
against him, requested that 1 would go and solicit the Duke for some 
assistance. I set out ; but I had not proceeded far for the purpose, 
when I saw a party of horse coming towards me ; and observing they 
had short tails, I knew at once that they were English, and soon dis- 
tinguished the Duke. He was on his way to the Prussian head- 
quarters, thinking that they might want some assistance, and he in- 
stantly gave directions for a supply of cavalry. " How are they form- 
" ing ? " he inquired. " In column, not in line/' I replied. " The 
" Prussian soldier," says Bliicher, " will not stand in line." " Then 
".the artillery will play upon them, and they will be beaten damnablj.* 
So they were.* {Rogers^ Recollections^ p. 214.) 

It requires, therefore, no national predilection to acknow- 
ledge that a battle was preconcerted by the Duke on this parallel 
with a probability of success to both the allied armies, which' 
was disturbed by incidents beyond the Duke's control. That 
this expectation was disappointed, was no doubt a point guned 
by Napoleon, and he is of course entitled to the merit of forcing 
the allies to retire by defeating the Prussian army. But Napo- 
leon could neither prevent the allies from falling back on an- 
other concerted parallel, nor from making a decisive junction 
upon it. Wellington, it is said, exposed himself to the con- 
tingency of fifteen hours of battle on the 18th, before the 
Prussians arrived in force. But it appears that, had not a 
fire broken out at Wavre on that morning, the Prussians, due 
at noon, would not have been very unpunctual, notwithstanding 
the condition of the roads. Napoleon accordingly is censured 
by M. Brialmont for losing four hours, since his officers of 
artillery declared it possible to manoeuvre guns at eight, and he 
did not begin battle until noon. Those who maintain that this 
delay caused the loss of Waterloo to the Frenqh, are forced to 
acknowledge with M. Brialmont that Napoleon did not foresee 
the junction of the two armies on that field. They, therefore, 
who assert that the Duke might have been beaten by a more 
rapid attack, acknowledge that the Duke in fact outgeneralled 
Napoleon in that junction of all arms which formed the consum- 
mation of the Duke's strategy. 

The assertion that the Duke of Wellington was surprised by 
the irruption of the French, falls therefore to the ground. 
Every preparation of which time admitted was complete, and 
no movement could be made until Napoleon had indicat^ its 
direction. The Duke's correspondence previous to the 15th in- 
timates an expectation of attack. The only colour which could 

1 859, Brialmont's Life of the Duke of Wellington. 2 1 3 

be given to the hypothesis of a surprise with many commanders, 
is drawn from the coincidence of the military attendance at the 
Duchess of Bichmond's ball on the night of the 15th. But 
the Duke knew of the attack on Charleroi some hours before 
the ball began^ and those best acquainted with his character 
would here draw the very contrary conclusion. With him, 
there was never relaxation till every duty was discharged. A 
curious illustration of this habit was told us by an English 
statesman, who had it from General Alava. On the. night 
previous to one of the Duke's Peninsular victories, another 
officer came up to Alava and asked in much alarm, 'What 

* will become of us ? We shall have a great battle to-morrow, 

* and Lord Wellington is doing nothing but flirting with Ma- 
' dame de Quintana ! ' ' I am very glad to hear it,' replied 
Alava, 'if we are to have a great battle to-morrow ; for it is 
' quite certain that all his arrangements are made, if he is flirt- 
' ing with Madame de Quintana.' 

The tactics of Napoleon are at -least as freely criticised as 
those of the Duke. It is singular that a general whose aim was 
to destroy either enemy by a coup de main^ is censured for a 
want of due activity. This criticism has never been answered. 
It is acknowledged on all hands that Grouchy received no 
orders, until after noon on the 17th, to pursue the Prussians 
defeated before sunset on the 16th ; and an order from Napoleon 
to Ney, dated noon on the 17th, requiring him to stand on the 
defensive at Quatrebras until fresh troops arrived, shows that 
Wellington up to that time had concealed from him his retreat 
on Waterloo. The French pursuit is described as very languid. 
Napoleon asserts in his Memoirs that he despatched two cou- 
riers to Grouchy during the night of the 17 th, ordering him to 
march on Waterloo with part of his force in any event, and 
with the rest so soon as Blucher should appear to pursue his 
retreat. But these despatches, which still do not anticipate the 
junction of the Prussians, did not reach Grouchy ; they were 
not known of by Napoleon's staiF; their bearer is not named ; 
and their existence is disbelieved. 

It is acknowledged that the concealment of the French move- 
ments up to the moment of invasion, the punctual concentration 
of the French army before Charleroi, and the coup de main aimed 
at each enemy in succession, rank among the finest combinations 
of Bonaparte's career. And that censure on his tactics, ' for 
' risking everything on a coup de mairiy which is in almost 
every one's mouth, is certainly blind ; for his existence depended, 
not only on victory before Russia and Austria should reach the 
Bhine, but on the attack of the two allied armies in Belgium 

214 Brialmont's Life of the Duke of Wellington. July, 

before their concentration. The alternative was gradual, but 
certain, annihilation ; and his choice, which held out contingent 
victory, was beyond just criticism, though he was beaten back 
with a ruin and rapidity of which there had been no example. 
Whether by despatching a smaller division after Bliicher than 
that which in fact proved almost useless, and by beginning 
battle at Waterloo four hours earlier and in greater force, he 
might have changed the fate of the world, we do not presume 
to say. But it is obvious that this would be simply to suppose 
him a greater commander than he really showed himself, and to 
assume that he had anticipated the Duke's cardinal aim in the 
junction of the allies at Waterloo, which he did not foresee. 

The choice of Waterloo itself by the English general is 
equally criticised by the French. Napoleon censures him for 
fighting with the forest of Soignies in his rear. Victory com- 
monly extinguishes criticism. Napoleon himself (not quite 
qualified to pronounce the censure) is freely criticised for fight- 
ing, with a river in his rear, the battles he lost at Leipsic and 
Aspenu Now it happens that Soignies was no ' defile,' as 
Napoleon terms it ; and it is a singular fact that Marlborough 
has left on record the same testimony as Wellington to the 
advantages of that forest for a retreating army. The only 
difierence between Soignies in the age of Malplaquet and 
Soignies in the age of Waterloo, consists in the superiority 
of its roads, and in a consequently increased facility of retreat, 
as time advanced. It is acknowledged that the roads in 1815 
were fit for baggage and artiUery, and that the wood would have 
stopped the action of pursuing cavalry. 

The Duke is censured, again, for leaving a division at Hal, 
in groundless fear that he would be turned by his right. To 
separate the two armies was clearly Napoleon's object, and to 
have turned Wellington by Hal would have favoured their 
union. This would also have contravened Napoleon's usual 
tactics, although in beating Bliicher at Brienne he threw him 
back on Schwarzenberg at La Beuti^re. But the Duke him- 
self, who insists that if he had not left this force at Hal, Napo- 
leon might have taken Brussels in his rear and have cut off bis 
base at Antwerp, regards it as a nice question which of the two 
movements would most have profited the French. 

M. Brialmont describes the battle as more critical to the 
English than most English writers conceive it to have been. 
He tells us that the crisis was most foimidable to the British 
centre, and attempts to show how Napoleon might have forced 
it. Napoleon himself seems at the commencement of the 
action, and notwithstanding the delays which had occurred, 


1859. Brialmont's Life of the Duke of Wellington. 215 

to have considered euccess certain ; nor did his confidence waver 
until he saw the movement vainly and unsuccessfully attempted 
by Ney against the British line. Turning to one of his aide- 
de-camps (from whom we have the anecdote) the Emperor ex- 
claimed, ^ Look at Ney, turning to a risk what was a certain 
* victory ' — ^ Voila Ney^ qui met en piril une victoire certaine, — ^mais 
' il faut Tappuyer.' He then gave the necessary orders to sup- 
port the attack, though not, as is contended by Colonel Charras, 
in sufficient force. That, no doubt, was the turning point on 
the field of battle, and we know more than one British officer 
who has since achieved high renown in arms, who felt the full 
peril of that tremendous crisis. If, from the extraordinary mis- 
chance of a fire at Wavre, the Anglo-Netherlands army had 
been beaten before the Prussians arrived, Wellington would 
hardly be censurable ; for he acted on as fair a probability as 
strategic movements can generally be based on. It is said by 
M. Brialmont, also, (quoting from Jomini,) that he felt it need- 
ful ' to conquer or die ; ' whereas it is clear that the alternative 
was a retreat on Antwerp, through the sheltered avenues of 

General Clausewitz, as we have said, has also claimed nearly 
the whole credit of the result to the Prussians. Now it appears 
that Billow's advanced division, though the Duke asserts that he 
had seen their cavalry since daybreak, first threatened the 
French at half-past four. This division, held in check by the 
very inferior one of Lobau in another quarter, certainly drew 
off a portion of Napoleon's force from the attack on the Duke's 
position. But it must be remembered that the allied army, 
before Waterloo, slightly inferior to the French in numbers, 
was vastly inferior to it in organisation and in artillery. Blii- 
cher, who, with the next Prussian reinforcement, did not arrive 
until half-past seven, is described by M. Brialmont as then 
attacking La Haye, and by the Duke as merely ^touch- 
' ing the Allied line at Ohain,' when the Duke's final attack 
was made. A moral impression was no doubt produced by his 
approach. But those who regard victory as due only to the 
intervention of the Prussians, forget that the last attack of Na- 
poleon was repelled by the Duke without any other than the 
indirect support lent by the approach of Bliicher and the diver- 
sion of Billow, and that the battle was terminated by an attack, 
in the Duke's words, in which * no Prussian troops joined, be- 

* cause, in point of fact, none were in that part of the field of 

* battle.' And, as it is beyond dispute that this attack was 
made by 50,000 organised infantry and cavalry, and that the 
French line fell to pieces in the first onset, it must be presumed 
that the progress of the battle had been in the Duke's favour. 

216 Brialmont's Life of the Dnhe of Wellington, July, 

Thus far we have attempted to show what were the Duke*s 
chief strategical characteristics. But some other characterit^tics 
are wanting to a just view even of his military life. His cool- 
ness in danger, and his personal escapes, are as striking attri- 
butes of the individual man as his tactics are attributes of the 
general. During the battle of Talavera, Albuquerque sent him 
by a staff officer a letter informing him that Cuesta, the com- 
mander of the Spanish army in the action, was a traitor, and 
was actually playing into the enemy's hands. He was intently 
watching the progress of the action, as the despatch reached 
him ; he took the letter, read it, and turning to the aide-de« 
camp, coolly said, * Very well. Colonel, you may go back to 
' your brigade.' On another occasion, just before the siege of 
Kodrigo, when the proximity of the allies to Marmont's army 
placed them in considerable danger by reason of the non- 
arrival of their flank divisions, a Spanish general was astonished 
to find the English commander lying on the ground in front of 
his troops, serenely and imperturbably awaiting the issue of 
the peril. ^ Well, General,' said the Spaniard, ' you are here 
' with two weak divisions, and you seem to be quite at your 
^ ease ; it is enough to put one in a fever.' ' I have done the 

* best,' the Duke replied, * that could be done according to my 

* own judgment, and hence it is that I don't disturb myself, 
' either about the enemy in my front, or about what they may 
' say in England.' 

.On several instances he very narrowly escaped being 
taken prisoner. Once at Talavera in the midst of the action ; 
once just before the battle of Maya, being surprised by a 
party of French while looking at his maps; once at Qua- 
trebras, again during the battle. In the latter action, as 
he was carried away on the tide of a retreating body of young 
troops, the French lancers suddenly charged on its flank, and 
his only chance was in his horse's speed. ' He arrived,' Mr. 
Gleig writes, * hotly pursued, at the edge of a ditch, within 
^ which the 92nd Highlanders were lying, and the points of 
' their bayonets bristled over the edge. He called out to them 

* as he approached, *^ Lie down men I " and the order was 

* obeyed, whereupon he leaped his horse across the ditch, and 

* imniediately pulled up with a smile on his countenance.' 

Wellington, it is well known, was conspicuous among the 
generals of his age for moderation in victory, and for the mo- 
rality within which he circumscribed war. In this he differed 
as widely from the self-supporting military system of Bona- 
parte as from the gratuitous atrocities of Pappenheim and 
Tilly. Nor was his conduct in this respect any mere reflezy as 

1859. Brialmont's Life of the Duke of Wellington. 217 

it were, of English opinion and English habits. In India, 
where oppression had not been uncommon in the English name, 
he was as finn an opponent of pillage as he was afterwards in 
£urope« In three distinct relations to the countries over which 
he carried his arms — in India where he aimed to subdue, in 
Spain and Portugal where he aimed to befriend, in France 
where he umed to conciliate, — the same justice was almost 
always if not invariably dealt out It is true that one or two 
exceptional incidents have been left without explanation. The 
Duke appears to have given the order for the storming of 
Badajos without first summoning the garrison to surrender; 
and his order^ published in the Supplementary Despatches, 
for the capture of a mud fort in India (in which there is. no- 
thing to show that the garrison were disentitled to the rights of 
war) terminates, laconi^lly enough, with the direction, * Every 
' man found in the fort is to be put to death I ' The Duke, how- 
ever, had just before summoned Ciudad Rodrigo, and had re- 
ceived the discouraging answer, that the governor would rather 
blow up both fortress and garrison than surrender. And he had 
exerted himself to arrest the sack of Ciudad Bodrigo until he 
was threatened even by his English troops. The present Duke 
may perhaps find some explanation of the Indian order. Wel- 
lington was as moderate in India as in Europe, in dealing 
with the Governments he subdued. Thus, unlike Napoleon 
carrying away the car of Triumph from the Brandenburg gate, 
unlike ^liicher desiring to blow up the bridge of Jena, (and 
answering the interceding Talleyrand with a request that he 
would meanwhile take his station upon the bridge I) Welling- 
ton at Seringapatam preserved and even repaired the pictures 
commemorative of the tortures inflicted on the English detach- 
ment under Colonel Bailey, which he found in the palace of the 
fallen Sultan Dowlat And thus when the chief Dhoondiah 
had fallen in action, he charged himself with the education of 
Bhoondiah's son. 

The extraordinary honours which resulted from his moral 
characteristics as much as from his military triumphs, might be 
thought, but for his example, a climax of romance too complete to 
be realised in life. The general to whom his country ultimately 
voted pecuniary rewards without example in modern times, had 
been almost Quixotic in self-abnegation. Every allurement of for- 
tune was first submitted to the test of his fine sense of honour and 
of his stem sense of right. ' Besides that,' he writes to his brother 
while both are in India, after relating the stores of money and 
supplies he had provided for Lord Harris's army, ' I paid into 
' the general's hands a sum of money for the public service. 

2 1 8 Brialmont's Life of the Duke of WeUimgUm. Julj^ 

' which other officers had always heretofore taken to themselTes.' 
Again, after complaining when in Mysore that he had been 
sent into garrison with a large staff and no more pay than he 
bad had in Fort St. George, he writes to Lord Momington, 
' The consequence is that I am ruined. • • . • I should be 
' ashamed of doing any of the dirty things that I am told are 
' done in some of the commands in the Camatia' In the mme 
letter he expresses his satisfaction in the prospect of prize money 
that will enable him to pay a debt to his brother. 

In 1803 we find him earnestly negotiating to preyent the 
outbreak of the Mahratta war, from which he could hardly £ul 
to anticipate much of the glory that he attained in it 

No man could exhibit these fixed principles without exhibit- 
ing also great moral courage. Thus, in a storm of unpopularity 
in 1808, he undertook the defence of Dalrymple's conventioo» 
to which he was not committed; and thus, in another snch 
storm in 1832, he attempted ta assume the government, ob- 
viously in opposition to his interests, as the Tory leader. ' I 
' should have been ashamed,' he said, ^ to ^w my face in the 
' streets if I had refused to assist my sovereign in the distreesing 
' circumstances in which he was placed.' 

Moral influence, wherever he was not deliberately misrepre* 
sented, was naturally the immediate fruit of these qualities. He 
had the gratification to find that his motives and exertions were 
generally appreciated, but certainly the gratification was some- 
times onerous ; for the general whose civil government gained 
the thankfulness of the native inhabitants of the capital of My- 
sore, which he had conquered, was also the general who was 
embraced by nearly the wbole fair sex of Madrid, who came 
forward to greet his victorious advance from Salamanca. It is 
true that his motives were not always rightly construed, and 
the Junta of Madrid could not be dispossessed of the notion 
that he was ambitious of the Spanish crown. In those king- 
making days, the existence of this belief was not so surprising 
as it would be now. And this instance of distrust was very 
exceptionaL We have already adverted to the influence dis- 
played by him over the Portuguese nation in the campaign of 
Torres Vedras. From the Congress of Paris in 1814 to tic 
Congress of Verona in 1822, both sovereigns and ministers ap- 
preciated the massiveness of his character, though, from a habit 
of chicane, some continental diplomats were at first amazed by 
a simple truthfulness which his victories alone prevented them 
from ascribing to positive stolidity. It cannot be doubted that 
he largely shared with other English statesmen in raising diplo- 
matic morality. In his own country, during thirty-seven years 

1859. Briahnont's life of the Duke of Wellington. 219 

of peace> he certainly every other name under 
the Crown; but what was termed his 'dictatorship' in the 
House of Lords has, in our judgment, been overrated. He 
bad^ it was said^ sixty proxies in hia pocket, but the Tories 
twice broke away from his lead ; and the Whigs in no instance 
preferred his counsels to the far clearer political vision of the 
late Lord Grey and of Lord Lansdowne. 

The Duke's success no doubt was largely owing to his special 
mastery of details. In camp and on the march equally me* 
thodical, he relied for victory on the preparations he had made» 
From the smallest incident to the greatest he made himself 
acquunted with all 'that could affect the organisation of his 
army, and the comfort of his men individually. Even the 
cooking of mess dinners was his constant care ; in the Crimea 
he would almost have supplanted Soyer. Upon the first pub- 
lication of his ' Despatches,' one of his friends said to him on 
reading the records of his Indian campsugnsy 'It seems to 
'me, Duke, that your chief business in India was to procure 
' rice and bullocks.' * And so it was,' replied Wellington, 
'for if I had rice and bullocks I had men, and if I had men 
'I knew I could beat the enemy.' Like Napolecm, thot^h 
with a vast difference in scale, his army was the work of 
his own hands. * Its staff,' Mr. Gleig writes, * its commissariat, 
'its siege apparatus, its bridge equipment, its means of trans- 
'port, its intelligence department, its knowledge of outpost and 
'other duties, were all of his creation.' This mental activity 
of course widened the range of his achievements. Like Caesar, 
who is said to have written an essay on Latin rhetoric as he 
was crossing the Alps, Wellington passed the night previous to 
one of his littles in devising a scheme for a Portuguese bank. 

If we turn from the Duke's military to his civil administra- 
tion, and distinguish between means and ends, we shall trace a 
marked contrast between the foresight of his Indian and of his 
English policy. Throughout his parliamentary life he cannot 
he 8^d to have done more than accept facts and principles 
already forced upon him. But in India, near a quarter of a 
century before the commercial monopoly of the Company had 
expired, he clearly sets forth the advantages of an entire system 
of free trade, then one of the most startling of conceivable inno- 
vations in the East. The cause of this contrast probably is, 
that in new countries men instinctively free themselves from 
the trammels of usage, and that where there are no fixed poli- 
tical principles, which, when originally founded in the interest 
of parties, are more likely to be false than true, they are freer 
to form just as well as bold conclusions. Albuquerque certainly 

222 BnvimonVQ Life of the Duke of Wellington. July, 

^aides-de-camp had had nothing to eat for ibur^and-twenty 
' hours, they would have had to go on the instant.' 

The difficulty of general comparison between the Duke of 
Wellington and other captains results chiefly from his thiee 
salient characteristics, uncommon in their union, — ^that he was 
the greatest general, the most tried servant, and the most uoi- 
formly fortunate subject of the State. He was this and no 
more than this. His distinction from Napoleon in historic 
eminence springs, not so much from a broad difference in 
the intellectual stature of the two men, as from an immea- 
surable difference in their respective positions. The one was 
essentially the child and champion of the French Bevolution— 
the other the representative of the principles and institutions of 
England. But the contrast between the two great military 
commanders of their respective nations may be pursued in 
a still more pleasing and instructive form in those details of 
character and life, which biography collects and records. The 
love of truth, the entire patriotism, the unflinching sense of 
duty of the Duke of Wellington — his simplicity and his man- 
liness — are, after all, the qualities which will preserve liis 
memory fresh in every English home, and endear his name to 
thousands who never studied his Peninsular campaigns, and who 
will have forgotten his political mistakes. It is, after all, by 
Character that the world is governed ; and it is the character 
of the Duke of Wellington which will recommend the study of 
his life to future generations of his countrjrmen. For these 
reasons the work of Captain Brialmont has a great and pe^ 
manent interest ; and the more so as it is a candid tribute to 
the fame of this great Englishman from a foreign pen. 

1859. Adam Bede. 223 

Art. IX. — 1. Adam Bede. By George Eliot. 3 vols. 18.59. 
2. Scenes of Clerical Life. By George Eliot. 2 vols. 1868. 

nPHE&B are a certain number of people in this dull world who 
boast that they ^ very seldom read a novels' looking on such 
reading as a hybrid error, something between a positive offence 
against morality and a mere waste of time. But the majority 
of men, even of very clever men, have agreed to hold novels in 
high favour ; and though we do not quite believe rough-spoken 
Dr. Johnsoo, when he paid Miss Burney the smooth compliment 
of assuring her he had ' sat up all night to finish '^ Cecilia," ' yet 
we have no doubt that, even to the great lexicographer, a good 
novel was a very refreshing thins. A good novel: for a bad 
novel will pass neither with the learned nor the ignorant ; and 
that it is good or bad, is felt by the latter class quite as quickly 
as by the former, though they might not be able to explain why ; 
as discords in music wound the ear of those who could not cor- 
rect them by thorough bass. A novel is good in proportion to 
its truth to nature ; no matter where the scene is laid, or what the 
characters may be. Paradoxical as it may sound, that which is 
false in fictioi) never pleases ; we accept a novel as an imaginary 
biography, we require from it a certain consistency and unity, 
and we grow weary, as was wittily observed by an author of our 
own day, when characters are so ill sustained that we are left to 
puzzle over ' the tenderness of the blood-thirsty bandit, and the 
' never-dying revenge of the humble Christian.' Given a thread 
of some story, we only require the personages engaged to act as 
they would act in real life. That which is common need not be 
common-place; that which is strange need not be untrue. 
When ' Jane Eyre ' had startled the reading world out of all 
tameness, and inquiry was made respecting the book and the 
ftQthoress, it turned out that the scenes and many of the persons 
described were within the scope of her actual experience. When- 
ever great success has attended any novel, the root of that 
success will be the same ; either the so-called work of fiction 
tt the result of positive experience, or the consummate skill of 
the author so perfectly avoids * discords of character ' in his 
^agmary personages, that they appear to have true existence. 
'I am sure that character is meant for so and so,' is not so bad 
a compliment as it sounds ; for it means that the author has 
<lniwn to the life the ideal of his brain, as the great masters in 

224 Adam Bede. Jolj, 

painting might sketch groups of men without requiring actual 
models and sitters. 

If one merit predominates above the rest, where all is so 
excellent^ this merit of reality is conspicuous in ' Adam Bede.' 
There is not a single character in the book that does not stand 
out distinct in its own consistent individuality^ impreasiog 
us with the conviction that we are hearing of persons wi£ 
whom we might become acquaintedi rather than of imaginarj 
beings. The story is as nothing in comparison. A young gen- 
tleman with a good estate is tempted to a brief connexion with 
a ' simple farmer's girl, to whom a gentleman with a white hand 
^ was dazzling as an Olympian god.' This * simple farmer^a 
^ girl ' is beloved by Adam Bede tne carpenter, who is the hero 
of the book ; and she is comforted in disgrace and ruin, and the 
dreary prospect of execution for child murder, by Dinah Mortis, 
a pious Methodist maiden, who eventually marries Adam Bede 
herself. There are no incidents but such as serve to fill this scanty 
outline ; yet a book of more intense and absorbing interest }m 
not refreshed the reading world for years ; nor one in which the 
useful and holy purpose of showing what a wide-spread wreck one 
careless sin may make, is pursued without tedious homilies, and 
combined with writing of such varied kinds, graphic, hnmoroDS, 
and poetical, that it is difficult to decide what extracts to gi?e, 
for, to write out the passages worthy of note, would be almost to 
re-write the three volumes. 

We will begin, however, as the author begins, with the 
description of his hero, in * the roomy workshop of Mr. Jona- 
* than Burge, carpenter and builder in the village of Hayslope, 
'A.D. 1799.' 

' The afternoon sun was warm on the five workmen there, basj 
upon doors and window-frames and wainscoting. A scent of pine- 
wood from a tent-like pile of planks outside the open door mingled 
itself with the scent of the elder-bushes which were spreading) their 
summer snow close to the open window opposite i the slanting son- 
beams shone through the transparent shavings that fiew before the 
steady plane, and lit up the fine grain of the oak panelling which 
stood propped against the wall. On a heap of those soft shavings a 
rough grey shepherd-dog had made himself a pleasant bed, and was 
lying with his nose between his fore-paws, occasionally wrinkling his 
brows to cast a glance at the tallest of the five workmen, who was 
carving a shield in the centre of a wooden mantelpiece. ' It was to 
this workman that the strong barytone belonged which was heard 
above the sound of plane and hanuner singing — 

'< Awake, my soul, and with the sun 
Thy daily stage of duty run ; h 

Shake off duU sloth " 

1859. Adam Bede. 225 

Here some meaflurement was to be taken which required more con* 
centrated attention, and the sonorous voice subsided into a low 
whistle ; but it presently broke out again with renewed vigour — 

'' Let all thy converse be sincere, 
Thy conscience as the noonday dear.* 

Such a voice could only come from a broad chesty and the broad chest 
belonged to a large-boned muscular man nearly six feet high, with a 
kck so flat and a head so well poised that when he drew himself up 
to take a more distant survey of his work, he had the air of a soldier 
standing at ease. The sleeve rolled up above the elbow showed an 
arm that was likely to win the prize for feats of strength ; yet the 
long supple hand, with its broad finger-tips, looked ready for works 
of skill. In his tall stalwartness Adam Bede was a Saxon, and justi- 
fied his name ; but the jet-black hair, made the more noticeable by its 
contrast with the light paper cap, and the keen glance of the dark 
eyes that shone from under strongly marked, prominent, and mobile 
eyebrows, indicated a mixture of Celtic blood.' (Vol. i. pp. 1-3.) 

This is the hero of the book : and a true model he is of the 
noble, simple^ self-relying type to be found — as Wordsworth's 
lines in the epigraph to this remarkable novel expresses it — 

* Nature's unambitious underwood 
And flowers that prosper in the shade.' 

Frank, manly, patient, and resolute, his one fault is a certain 
degree of hardness in his judgment of others from the pedestal 
of his own strength and integrity; as if to prove the truth of the 
fine French maxim, — * II faut avoir les defauts de ses qualit^s.' 
How this harshness in the otherwise generous and tender mind of 
Adam is softened by the events which bring him to indulgence, 
is one of the under currents of skill which run in every direction 
through the fair fresh field of Mr. Eliot's pages. The drunken 
father, whose unpunctual hand leaves a neighbour's coffin 
unfinished, and for whom the wife and mother querulously pleads 
to her indignant son, — 

^ '^Thee mun forgie thy feyther — ^thee munna be so bitter again* him. 
He war a good feyther to thee afore he took to th' drink. He 's a 
cliTer workman, an' taught thee thy trade, remember, an 's niver gen 
me a blow nor so much as an ill word — no, not even in 's drink. 
Thee wouldstna ha 'm go to th' workhus — thy own feyther — an' 
bim as was a flne-growed man an' handy at iverythin' amost as 
thee art thysen, five an' twenty 'ear ago, when thee wast a babby at 
the breast."' (Vol. i. p. 71.) 

* " But thee 't allays so hard upo' thy feyther, Adam. Thee think'st 
nothing too much to do for Seth : thee snapp'st me up if iver I find 
faut wi' th' lad. But thee 't so angered wi' thy feyther, more nor wi" 
anybody else." ' (Vol. i. p. 72.) 


226 Adam Bede. July, 

— ^this loved and reckless father^ is drowned, and his body found 
in the stream by his sons, as thej walk out in the early morniog 
with the finished coffin which should have been his work. 

^This was what the omen meant, then! And the grey-haired 
father, of whom he had thought with a sort of hardness a few hours 
ago, as certain to Uve to be a thorn in his side, was perhaps even then 
struggling with that watery death. This was the first tiiought that 
flashed through Adam's conscience, before he had time to seiae the 
coat and drag out the tall heavy body.' (Vol. i. p. 91.) 

' The two sons lifted the sad burthen in heartstricken soleDcei 
The wide-open glazed eyes were grey, like Seth'sy and had onoe 
looked with mild pride on the boys before whom Thias had lived to 
hang his head in shame. Seth's chief feeling was awe and distress at 
this sudden snatching away of his father's soul ; but Adam's mind 
rushed back over the past in a flood of relenting and pily. When 
death, the great Reconciler, has come, it is never our tenderness thit 
we repent of, but our severity.' (Vol. i. p. 93.) 

The same stnun of reflection recurs at the old man's funeral, 
when the psalm sung in that quiet village church seemed even 
more apphcable than usuaL 

* Thou sweep'st us ofi* as with a flood. 
We vanish hence like dreams.' 

* Adam had never been unable to join in a psalm before. He had 
known plenty of trouble and vexation since he had been a lad; but 
this was the first sorrow that had hemmed in his voice, and strangelj 
enough it was sorrow because the chief source of his past trouble 
and vexation was for ever gone out of his reach. He had not been 
able to press his father^s hand before their parting, and say, *^ Father, 
you know it was all right between us ; I never foi^ot what I owed 
you when I was a lad ; you forgive me if I've been too hot and hasty 
now and then ! " Adam thought but little to*day of the hard work 
and the earnings he had spent on his father : his thoughts ran con- 
stantly on what the old man's feelings had been in moments of 
humiliation, when he had held down his head before the rebukes of 
his son. When our indignation is borne in submissive silence, we 
are apt to feel twinges of doubt afterwards as to our own generosity, 
if not justice : how much more when the object of our anger hajs goQ^ 
into everlasting silence, and we have seen his face for the last time 
in the meekness of death ? 

* <' Ah, I was always too hard," Adam said to himself. '' l^s a 
sore fault in me as I'm so hot and out o' patience with people when 
they do wrong, and my heart gets shut up against 'em, so as I can't 
bring myself to forgive 'em. I see clear enough there's more pride 
nor love in my soul, for I could sooner make a thousand strokes with 
th' hammer for my father than bring myself to say a kind word to 
him. And there went plenty o' pride and temper to the strokes, u 
the devil will be having his finger in what we call our duties as well 

1859. Adam Bede. 227 

as our sins. Majhap the best thing I ever did in my life was only 
doing what was easiest for myself. It's allays been easier for me to 
work nor to sit still, bat the real tough job for me 'ad be to master 
my own will and temper, and go right against my own pride. It 
seems to me now, if I was to find father at home to*night, I shoald 
befaaTO different ; bat there's no knowing — ^perhaps nothing 'ad be a 
lesson to US if it didn't come too late. It^s well we shoald feel as 
lifers ft reckoning we can't make twice over; there's no real making 
amends in this world, any more nor you can mend a wrong subtrac- 
tioa by doing your addition right." 

^ This was tiie key-note to which Adam's thoughts had perpetually 
returned since his father's death '-*(yoL ii. pp. 49-61.) 

and Grod knows how well it would be for us if it could be the 
key-note to all our thoiights^ while yet those we love are in life. 
Those we love, and yet whose faults provoke us, and whom our 
&alt8 provoke ; those we love, and whom yet we sometimes have 
to struggle against scorning. It is the key-note that makes music 
on earth from the unknown harmonies of heaven ; and there is 
a plaintive truth, in spite of a certain grotesqueness of diction, 
in the sentence spoken by one of the most remarkable characters 
in the book on this subject : — 

* " It's poor work allays settin' the dead above the livin'. We shall 
all on us be dead some time, I reckonp—it 'ad be better if folks 'ad 
make much on us beforehand, istid o' beginnin' when we're gone. 
It's but little good you'll do a-watering the last year's crop." ' (VoL 
ii. p. 64.) 

And after the burst of noble anger with Arthur, * the gen- 
' tleman,* — 

^ '^ No, it'll not be soon forgot, as you've come in between her and 
me, when she might ha' loved me — it'll not soon be forgot, as you've 
robbed me o' my happiness, while I thought you was my best friend, 
and a noble-minded man, as I was proud to work for. And you've 
been kissing her, and meaning nothing, have you? And I never 
kissed her i' my life, but Td ha' worked hard for years for the right 
to kiss her. And you make light of it. You think little o' doing 
what may damage other folks, so as you get your bit o' trifling, as 
means nothing. I throw back your favours, for you're not the man 
I took you for. Til never count you my friend any more. I'd rather 
jou'd act as my enemy, and fight me where I stand — ^it's all th' amends 
yoa can make me."' (Vol. ii. p. 244.) 

After this, — beautiful is the tenderness that yearns towards 
miserable little Hetty, when she is accused of child-murder : 

' ** She can't ha' done it," he said, still without moving his eyes, as 
if he were only talking to himself; '^ it was fear made her hide it . . . 
I forgive her for deceiving me • . . I forgive thee, Hetty . . • thee 

228 Adam Bede. July, 

wast deceived too . . • • it's gone hard wi' thee, my poor Hetty .... 
but they'll never make me believe it." ' (Vol. iiL p. 83.) 

*'<Mr. Massey/' he said at last, pushing the hair off his forehead, 
'* ril go bade with you. Fll go into court. It's cowardly of me to 
keep away.* I'll stand by her — ^I'll own her — for all she's been 
deceitful. They oughtn't to cast her off— her own flesh and blood. 
We hand folks over to Grod's mercy, and show none ourselves. I 
used to be hard sometimes: I'll never be hard again. I'll go, Hr. 
Massey— *ril go with you." ' 

< Nerved by an active resolution, Adam took a morsel of bread, and 
drank some wine. He was haggard and unshaven, as he had been 
yesterday, but he stood upright again, and looked more like the Adam 
Bede of former days.' 

^ '^Fm hard — it's in my nature. I was too hard with my father for 
doing wrong. Tve been a bit hard t' everybody but her. I felt uif 
nobody pitied her enough— her suffering cut into me so ; and when 
I thought the folks at the Farm were too hard with her, I said I'd 
never be hard to anybody myself again. I felt I'd been too harsh to 
my father when he was gone from me — ^I feel it now, when I think of 
him."' (Vol. iii.pp. 120, 121.) 

Of his gentleman rival there is less to say. This English 
Arthur is very like the French Arthur of Emile Souvestre's 
touching story ^Riche et Pauvre;' — very like many other 
Arthurs in many other novels, as one good-looking gentleman- 
like young man is like many others of his class in the same 
society. But the hand of the master is seen even in this less 
salient portrait. Incomparable is the description of the hour of 
hesitation, which the young man flatters himself is a struggle 
against passion; of the easy yielding when, after his first 
appointment in the wood with Hetty, — ^with a sentence like the 
immortal line spoken by Dante's Francesca^ — 

* Quel giorno piu non vi legemmo avante.' 

Arthur and Hetty part, looking at each other ' not quite as they 

* had looked before, — for in their eyes there was the memory of a 

* kiss: 

After that, the 'agreeable confidence' of Arthur 'that 
'bis faults were all of a generous kind; impetuous, warm- 

* blooded, leonine, — never crawling, crafty, reptilian,' — crumbled 
away, and he lies, as men must lie who set out in the path of 
betrayal, and faces honest Adam Bede with mean shifts of equi- 
vocating denial, till nothing but the marvellous power with 
which the author narrates his arrival in unconscious gladness 
to take possession of his hereditary estate, full of plans for the 
comfort and happiness of those who are to depend on him, and 
for the improvement of all things round him, — until suddenly 

1859. Adam Bede. 229 

met by the awful news that his one sin has * found him out ' 
in that hour of secure prosperity, and that Hetty is in prison 
to be tried for murder. — can retain for him the sympathy of 
thereader. ^ 

One of the most masterly scenes in the book is the descrip- 
tion of this return, immediately after we ourselyes haye been 
put in possession of the news which as yet Arthur knows not. 
We pity him all through his exultant hour, for we know 
the horror that awaits him, — the sudden blight that shall 
wither down the green panoply of leaves, that as yet seems t6 
shut out the arid world, and make his comer of it all spring and 
freahness— musical with the multitudinous singing of birds. 

Of sweet Dinah Morris, the preaching Methodist maiden, 
who moves among all these troubles as if she glided like a 
calm angel aboye the earth which others tread with struggling 
and uncertain feet — the author has drawn a picture loyely in 
itself, and lovelier by contrast The meek, pure, steadfast soul, 
with its belief in a holy mission of help to oUiers, and the neces- 
sity of entire denial of self, stands out in serene light by the 
purposeless, frivolous, erring existence of Hetty Sorrel, the 
worldly activity and energy of Mrs. Foyser, and the queru- 
lous dependence of Lisbeth Bede. Her description of her own 
eloquence, that 'speech came without will of her own, and 
' words were given her that came out as the tears come when 
* our hearts are full and we cannot help it,' is the secret of her 
influence over all who come within the reach of her pleading 
voice and * mild grave eyes.' We are glad to rest on her 
peaceful nature in the midst of all the turmoil of careless 
sin, baffled hope, passion and remorse, and we are more than 
glad when at last, to the inexpressible brightening of Adam 
Bede's future, the prophecy of kindly disappointed Seth, in 
answer to a doubt as to her ever loving any man ' as a husband,' 
proves true. 

' *^ She*s made out of stuff with a finer grain than most o' the 
women ; I can see that clear enough. But if she's better than they 
are in other things, I canna think she'll fall short of 'em in loving/ 
(Vol. L p. 227.) 

But if these characters and others in the book are deeply in- 
teresting, what shall we say of Mrs. Poyser ; or how express 
the extent of our esteem for that notable female ? Mrs. Poyser 
is not the heroine of the story, yet we feel her to be of naore 
importance to us than all the other characters : they retire into 
the background while we listen to the vigorous good sense of 
her conversation; their destinies are interesting to us chiefly 

230 Adam Bede. July, 

because they are Mrs. Poyser's neighbours. She is the veiy 
sunlight by which we read the story of ^ Adam Bede :' we are 
glad to have heard something about the other personages^ but 
we thirst to know Mrs. Poyser. We would willingly set out 
on a journey to Hayslope in hopes of finding her, but for the 
fear diat Donnithome, like ^ Geoi^e Eliot/ may be an iUueor; 

Those who are familiar with the pages of George Herbert's 
' Jacula prudentum/ may haye a faint idea of the charm of Mi& 
Poyser's conversation; fullof sentences, yetneversententionSyaDd 
full of the wisdom that is not preached, but seems to drop with the 
ease of a sununer shower to fertilise more barren minds. Take 
any of George Herbert's sayings at random : — ' Light burdens, 
Mong borne, grow heavie.' — 'Benefits please, like fioweni 
' while they are fresh.' — ' Love and a cough cannot be hid.'— 
' God oft hath a great share in a little house.' — 'Were there 
< no hearers, there would be no backbiters.' — ' The chicken is 
' the country's, but the city eats it.' — ' Slander is a shipwredc 
' by a dry tempest' — ' There would be no great ones if there 
' were no little ones.' — ' The comforter's head never aches.'— 
'Building is a sweet impoverishing.' — 'A great ship asb 

* deep waters.' — ' Hope is the poor man's bread.' — ' Forbear 
' not sowing because of birds.' — ' Lawyer's houses are built on 
' the heads of fools.' — ' He that will learn to pray let him go 
' to sea.' Bead these sentences, and such as these, and then 
meditate on Mrs. Peyser's superiority : for many a man wish- 
ing to back his own opinion by some wise saw, quotes one of 
these old adages, but Mrs. Poyser creates and multiplies pro- 
verbs for her own use, as the occasion demands ; nor do they 
come singly, but are hatched by the fervency of argument in 
healthy groups, like the chickens in her well stocked poultry- 
yard. Mrs. Poyser could have stood a ' competitive examin*- 

* tion * with Solomon himself. Was the general hypocrisy of a 
deceiving world ever so finely commented upon as in her sighing 
and regretful remark, ' Ah I it's fine talking. Ifs hard to tell 
' which is Old Harry, when everybodi/*s got boots onJ* Or did 
any other strong-minded woman ever conceive such an inspired 
reply to the accusation of her sex's folly, as that made by 
Mrs. Poyser to grumpy Bartle Massey, the schoolmaster:— 
' I am not denying the foolishness of women ; God Almighty 
' made 'em to match the men ^' Biting is the rough scorn with 
which she meets Adam Bede's speech that he thought Dinah 
was settled amongst her friends : — ' Thought I yes ; so would 
' anybody else ha' thought that had got their right end up'ards. 
' But I suppose you must be a Methodist to know what s 

1859. Adam Bede. 231 

* Methodiat 'lill do. I£$ ill guessing what the hats are flying 

* afterJ Most original and graphic is the description she gives 
to her fntare landlord^ young Captain Donnithorne, of the bucolic 
state of her mind, when urging the necessity of repairs^ and 
new gates to the farm : — 

i Cf 

Not 83 I wish to speak disrespectfol o' them as have got the 
power i' their hands, bat it's more than flesh and blood 'oil bear 
sometimeB, to be toiling and striving, and up early and down late, and 
hardly sleeping a wink when you lie down for thinking as the cheese 
may swell, or the cows may slip their calf, or the wheat may grow 
green again 1 the sheaf — and after all, at th' end o' th' year, it*s like 
as if you'd been cooking a feast and had got the smell of it for your 

^ Mrs. Poyser, once launched into conversation, always sailed along 
without any check from her preliminary awe of the gentry. The 
confidence she felt in her own powers of exposition was a motive 
force that overcame all resistance.' (YoL i. pp. 148, 149.) 

Her capacity to make an Amazonian struggle for such in- 
terests is manifested at a later period by a conversation with 

ihe actual landlord, part of which we cannot forbear transcrib- 

'As she was standing at the house door with her knitting, in that 
eager leisure which came to her when the afternoon cleaning was 
done, she saw the old Squire enter the yard on his black pony, fol- 
lowed by John the groom. She always cited it afterwards as a case 
of prevision, which really had something more in it than her own 
remarkable penetration, that the moment she set eyes on the Squire, 
she said to herself, " I shouldna wonder if he's come about that man 
as b a-going to take the Chase Farb:i, wanting Poyser to do some- 
thing for him without pay. But Foyser's a fool if he does." ' (Vol. 
ii. p. 326.) 

* " Good-day, Mrs. Poyser," said the old Squire, peering at her with 
his short-sighted eyes — a mode of looking at her which, as Mrs. Poyser 
observed, '' allays aggravated her : it was as if you was a insect, and 
he was going to dab his finger-nail on you." 

* However, she said, " Your servant, sir," and curtsied with an air 
of perfect deference as she advanced towards him : she was not the 
woman to misbehave towards her betters, and fly in the face of the 
catechism, without severe provocation.' (Vol. ii. pp. 326, 327.) 

But Aat ^ severe provocation ' arises in the wheedling conver- 
sation which follows^ and in which even the compliments to her 
dairy seem tinged with suspicious over-reaching to the clear 
vision of the farmer's notable wife. Her husband is there^ 
* red, rotund, and radiant,' civil and expectant^ listening to his 
landlord, who has just praised Mrs. Peyser's management at the 
expense of a certain Mrs. Satchell : — 

232 Adam Bede. July, 

* '< Indeed, sir, I can't speak to that," said Mrs. Poyser, in a hard 
voice, rolling and unrolling her knitting, and looking icilj oat of the 
window, as she continued to stand opposite the Squire. Pojser 
might sit down if he liked, she thought : she wasn't going to sit 
down, as if she'd give in to any such smooth-tongued palaver. Mr. 
Fojser^ who looked and felt the reverse of icy, did sit down in bii 
three-cornered chair. 

^ '* And now, Poyser, as Satchell is laid up, I am intending to let 
the Chase Farm to a respectable tenant. I'm tired of having a farm 
on my own hands — ^nothing is made the best of, in such cases, as you 
know. A satisfactory bailiff is hard to find; and I think you and I, 
Poyser, and your excellent wife here, can enter into a litUe arrange- 
ment in consequence, which will be to our mutual advantage." 

*' ^' Oh," said Mr. Poyser, with a good-natured blankness of imagi- 
nation as to the nature of the arrangement. 

' '^ If I'm called upon to speak, sir," said Mrs. Poyser, after glancing 
at her husband with pity at his softness, "you know better than me; 
ibut I don't see what the Chase Farm is t' us — we've cumber enoogli 
wi' our own farm. Not but what I'm glad to hear o' anybody 
respectable coming into the parish : there's some as ha' been brought 
in as hasn't been looked in i' that character." 

* " You're likely to find Mr. Thurle an excellent neighbour, I assure 
you : such a one as you will feel glad to have accommodated by the 
little plan I'm going to mention ; especially as I hope you will find 
it as much to your own advantage as his." 

* " Indeed^ sir, if it's anything t' our advantage, it'll be the first offer 
o' the sort I've beared on. It's them as take advantage that get 
advantage i' this world, / think : folks have to wait long enough afore 
it's brought to 'em." 

* " The fact is, Poyser," said the Squire, ignoring Mrs. Peyser's 
theory of worldly prosperity, '^ there is too much dairy land, and too 
little plough land> on the Chase Farm, to suit Thurle's purpose- 
indeed, he will only take the farm on condition of some change in it: 
his wife, it appears, is not a clever dairy-woman, like yours. Now, 
the plan I'm thinking of is to effect a little exchange." ' (YoL ii> pp* 
330, 331.) 

The argument continues : — 

' Mr. Poyser was leaning forward, with his elbows on his knees, 
his head on one side, and his mouth screwed up — apparently absorbed 
in making the tips of his fingers meet so as to represent with perfect 
accuracy the ribs of a ship. He was much too acute a man not to 
see through the whole business, and to foresee perfectly what would 
be his wife's view of the subject ; but he disliked giving unpleasant 
answers : unless it was on a point of farming practice, he would 
rather give up than have a quarrel, any day; and after all, it mattered 
more to his wife than to him. So after a few moments' silence, he 
looked up at her and said mildly, ** What dost say ? " 

Id59. Adam Bede. 233 

' Mn. Poyser bad had her eyes fixed on her husband with Cold 
severity during his dlence, but now she turned away her head with 
a toss, looked icily at the opposite roof of the cow-shed, and spearing 
her knitting together with the loose pin, held it firmly between her 
clasped hands. 

* " Say? Why, I say you may do as you like about giving up any 
o' your com land, afore your lease is up, which it won't be for a year 
come next Michaelmas Lady Day, but Til not consent to take more 
dairy work into my hands, either for love or money; and there's 
nayther love nor money here, as I can see, on'y other folks's love o' 
theirselves, and the money as is to go into other folks's pockets. I 
know there's them as is bom t' own the land, and them as is bom to 
sweat on 't," — here Mrs. Poyser paused to gasp a little — '' and I know 
it's christened folks's duty to submit to their betters as fur as flesh 
and blood 'ull beai- it; but I'll not make a martyr o' myself, and wear 
myself to skin and bone, and worret myself as if I was a churn wi' 
butter a-coming in't, for no landlord in England, not if he was King 
Greorge himself." 

*"No, no, my dear. Mrs. Poyser, certainly not," said the Squire, 
still confident in his own powers of persuasion, ^' you must not over- 
work yourself ; but don't you think your work will rather be lessened 
than increased in this way? There is so much milk required at the 
Abbey, that you will have little increase of cheese and butter making 
from the addition to your dairy ; and I believe seUing the milk is the 
most profitable way of disposing of dairy produce, is it not ? " 

^'^Ajf that's true," said Mr. Poyser, unable to repress an opinion 
on a question of farming profits, and forgetting that it was not in this 
case a purely abstract question. 

* " I daresay," said Mrs. Poyser bitterly, turning her head half- 
way towards her husband, and looking at the vacant arm-chair — " I 
dai^y it's true for men as sit i' th' chimney-comer and make believe 
as everything's cut wi' ins an' outs to fit int' everything else. If you 
could make a pudding wi' thinking o' the batter, it 'ud be easy get- 
ting dinner. How do I know whether the milk 'ull be wanted con- 
stant? What's to make me sure as the house won't be put o' board- 
wage afore we're many months older, and then I may have to lie 
awake o' nights wi' twenty gallons o' milk on my mind — and Dingall 
'ull take no more butter, let alone paying for it; and we must fat pigs 
till we're obliged to beg the butcher on our knees to buy 'em, and 
lose half of 'em wi' the measles. And there's the fetching and carry- 
ing, as 'ud be welly half a day's work for a man an' boss — thafs to 
be took out o' the profits, I reckon ? But there's folks 'ud hold a 
sieve under the pump and expect to carry away the water." 

* " That difficulty — about the fetching and carrying — ^you will not 
have, Mrs. Poyser," said the Squire, who thought that this entrance 
into particulars indicated a distant inclination to compromise on Mrs. 
Poyser's part — ^'BetheU will do that' regularly with the cart and 

' '* O, sir, begging your pardon, I've never been used^ t' having 
gentlefolks's servants coming about my back places, a-making love to 

234 Adam Bede. July, 

botii the gellB at onee, and keeping 'em with their lumds on their 
hips listening to all manner o* gossip when they should be down on 
their knees a-soonring. If we're to go to ruin, it shanna be wi' htY* 
ing our back kitchen turned into a pubUc." ' 

Here the Squire drops in a mild but insidious hint that tiie 
renewal of Poyser's lease maj depend on his assent to the pro- 
posal^ and that in the event of refusal * Thurle, who is a man of 
^ some capital, would be glad to take both the farma, as they 
' could be worked so well together.' 

* To be thmst out of the discussion in this way would have been 
enough to complete Mrs. Poyser's exasperation, even without the 
final threat. Her husband, really alarmed at the possibility of their 
leaving the old place where he had been bred and bom —• for he be 
lieved the old Squire had small spite enough for anjthing— wu be- 
ginning a mild remonstrance explanatory of the inconvenieooe he 
should find in having to buy and sell more stock, with — 

' '^ Well, sir, I think as its rether hard" .... when Mrs. Foyser 
bnrst in with the desperate determination to have her say out this 
once, though it were to rain notices to quit, and the onlj shelter were 
the workhouse. 

< '^ Then, sir, if I may speak — as, for all Fm a woman, and there^s 
folks as thinks a woman's fool enough to stan' by an' look on whik 
the men sign her soul away, Fve a right to speidk, for I make one 
quarter o' the rent, and save th' other quarter — ^I say, if Mr. Thiirle'« 
so ready to take farms under you, it's a pity but what he should take 
this, and see if he likes to live in a house wi' all the plagues o' Egypt 
in 't— wi' the cellar full o' water, and frogs and toads hoppin' up the 
st^s by dozens— -and the floors rotten, and the rats and mice gnaw* 
ing every bit o' cheese, and runnin' over our heads as we lie i' bed 
till we expect 'em to eat us up alive — as it's a mercy they haona eat 
the children long ago. I should like to see if there's another teoant 
besides Poyser as 'ud put up wi' never having a bit o' repain done 
till a place tumbles down — and not then, on'y wi' begging and iky- 
ing, and having to pay half— and being strung up wi' the rent as it's 
much if he gets enough out q' the land to pay, for all he's put his 
own money into the ground beforehand. See if youll get a stranger 
to lead such a life here as that : a maggot must be bom i' the rottoi 
cheese to like it, I reckon. You may run away from my ward% 
sir," continued Mrs. Poyser, following the old Squire beyond the 
door— ^for after the first moments of stunned surprise he had got iq^ 
and waving his hand towards her with a smile, had walked oat 
towards his pony. But it was impossible for him to get away im- 
mediately, for John was walking the pony up and down the yard, 
and was some distance from the causeway when his master beckoned. 
' ^ ' "You may ran away from my words, sir, and you may go spin- 
nin' underhand ways o' doing us a mischief, for you've got Old Harry 
to your friend, though nobody else is; but I tell you for once as we'i^ 
not dumb creaturs to be abused and made money on by them as ha' 

1859. Adam Bede. 235 

got the l&sh r their hands, for want o' knowing how t^ undo the 
tackle. An' if I'm th' only one as speaks my mind^ there's plenty o' 
the same way o' thinking i' this parish and the next to 't, for your 
name's no better than a brimstone match in everybody's nose— if it 
isna two-three old folks as you think o' saving your soul by giving 
'em a bit o' flannel and a drop o' porridge. An' you may be right r 
thinking itil take but little to save your soul, for it'll be the smallest 
savin' y* iver made, wi' all your scrapin'." 

' There are occasions on which two servant-girls and a waggoner 
may be a formidable audience, and as the Squire rode away on his 
blaick pony, even the gift of short-sightedness did not prevent him 
from being aware that Molly, and Nancy, and Tim were grinning 
not far from him. Perhaps he suspected that sour old John was 
grinning behind him — ^which was also the fact. Meanwhile the bull- 
dog, the black-and-tan terrier, Alick's sheep-dog, and the gander 
hissing at a safe distance from the pony's heels, carried out the idea 
of Mrs. Peyser's solo in an impressive quartett. 

'Mrs. Poyser, however, had no sooner seen the pony move off than 
she turned round, gave the two hilarioos damsels a look which drove 
them into the back kitchen, and unspearing her knitting, began to 
knit again with her usual rapidity, as she re-entered the house.' 
(VoL ii. pp. 332-0.) 

It is a comfort^ at the close of this scene^ to remember the 
description of Mrs. Poyser on her first introduction to the 
readers of Adam Bede, and to know that though she thus 
chased her landlord before her like a turkey cock| she made 
Poyser happy, and dealt Undly with all at home. 


' Do not suppose, however, that Mrs. Poyser was elderly or shrewish 
in her appearance ; she was a good-looking woman, not more than 
eight-and-thirty, of fair complexion, and sandy hair, well-sh^en, 
light«footed : the most conspicuous article in her attire was an ample 
checkered linen apron, which almost covered her skirt ; and nothing 
could be plainer or less noticeable than her cap and gown, for there 
was no weakness of which she was less tolerant than feminine vanity, 
and the preference of ornament to utility. The family likeness 
between her and her niece, Dinah Morris, with the contrast between 
ber keenness and Dinah's seraphic gentleness of expression, might 
have served a painter as an excellent suggestion for a Martha and 
Mary. Their eyes were just of the same colour, but a striking test 
of the difference in their operation was seen in the demeanour of Trip, 
the black-and-tan terrier, whenever that much-suspected dog unwarily 
exposed himself to the freezing arctic ray of Mro. Peyser's glance.* 
(VoL i. pp. 133, 134.) 

But Mrs. Poyser had kindly glances too : she did not belong 
to that race of strong-minded women of whom we think with a 
^OQse-skimied shudder : she was merely of the opinion expressed 
m another of the ' Jacula prudentum/ that < a gentle homewife 


236 Adam Bede. Jolj, 

' mars the household/ and ' a sleepy master makes his servant a 
'lout:' and if^ in her shrewd wisdom^ she understood the full 
value of the defensive proverb — * Love your neighbour, yet 
' pull not down your hedge/ — she also admitted to her heart 
that tenderest of mystic mottoes — ' To a child all weather is 
^cold;' and performed her part in the blessed charitiea of life 
with a zeal and kindliness, that many a milder-spoken female 
might copy with advantage. Great is the habitual skill with 
which Mr. Eliot softens the picture for us with continual toudies 
of love, by giving to this erect thistle of a woman the cheery little 
bud, ^ Totty,' blooming sunnily, coaxed and indulged in the at- 
mosphere of all that well-wielded authority ; and by making the 
gentle Dissenter, quiet Dinah Morris, an orphan, dependent on 
the tenderness of a disposition always strict out never stenu 

Equal, if not superior, is the skill with which the whole 
delineation of Hetty Sorrel's character moderates our pity for 
her fate. When Dickens drew his picture of the ' Child*Wi&,' 
he seems to have had an instinct that it would be necessary to 
nip that pretty blossom before it reached maturity. In the spring- 
tide of youth and beauty she was bewitching, but what sort of 
wife in after years would the child-wife have made? What 
sort of wife would any one have made who remained so childiaii 
in spite of womanhood ? To die, was the only way to retain 
the interest excited by the story. Mr. Eliot seems in like 
manner to have felt that his Hetty should not obtain too great 
a hold over the heart of the reader; — should not be too interest- 
ing. He has given us an intense and vivid perception of her 
b^uty, but all else is as a check and a drag on the power of 
that one attraction. She falls so easily, she loves so coldly, 
there is so much of blind vanity and apathy in her nature, that 
she commands sympathy neither as a bad man's victim, nor as a 
good man's love. And this was necessary to the story. Had 
Hetty been different, how could those two men ever have 
shaken hands again, noble Adam Bede the carpenter, and 
Arthur Donnithome the gentleman ? Or how could we feel so 
satisfied that ' all is for the best,' when the green hue of a new 
hope springs like grass over her grave, and a better reality con- 
soles Adam for the lost dream of her love? Let any one read 
the artist-like description of her beauty, and he will feel 
vaguely enamoured of the image conjured up, as Pygmalion of 
the work of his chiselling hands. But reading on and on, the 
impression that after all she was but a toy fit for a sensual 
fancy, overbears all others. Here is Hetty standing in Mrs. 
Poyser'a cool fresh dairy, before the days of sin and sorroir 
darken down on her young head : — 

1859. AdamBede. 237 

'It 18 of little use for me to tell joa that Hetty's cheek was like a 
rose-petalj that dimples played aboat her pouting-lips, that her large 
dark eyes hid a soft roguishness under their long lashes, and that her 
cnrly hair, though all pushed back under her round cap while she was 
at work, stole back in dark delicate rings on her forehead, and about 
her white sheQ-like ears ; it is of little use for me to say how lovely 
was the contour of her pink and white neckerchief, tucked into her 
low plum-coloared stuff bodice, or how the linen butter-making 
apron, with its bib, seemed a thing to be imitated in silk by duchesses^ 
since it fell in sudi charming lines, or how her brown stockings and 
thick-soled buckled shoes lost all that clumsiness which they must 
certainly have had when empty of her foot and ankle ;-^of little use, 
Qoless you have seen a woman who affected you as Hetty affected her 
beholders, for otherwise, though you might conjure up the image of a 
lovely woman, she would not in the least resemble that distracted 
kitten-like maiden. Hetty's was a spring-tide beauty; it was the 
beauty of young frisking things, round-Hmbed, gambolling, circum- 
Tenting you by a false air of innocence— -the innocence of a young 
star^browed cdf, for example, that, being inclined for a promenade 
oat of bounds, leads jrou a severe steeple-chase over hedge and ditch, 
and only comes to a stand in the middle of a bog.' (VoL i. pp. 
132, 158.) 

Unable to see the merit, or feel the worth, of noble Adam 
Bede ; — 

' Always when Adam stayed away for several weeks from the Hall 
Farm, and otherwise made some show of resistance to his passion as 
a foolish one, Hetty took care to entice him back into the net by little 
airs of meekness and timidity, as if she were in trouble at his neglect. 
But as to marrying Adam, that was a very different affair! There 
was nothing in the world to tempt her to do that. Her cheeks never 
grew a shade deeper when his name was mentioned ; she felt no thrill 
when she saw him passing along the causeway by the window, or 
advancing towards her unexpectedly in the footpath across the 
meadow ; she felt nothing when his eyes rested on her, but the cold 
triumph of knowing that he loved her, and would not care to look at 
Mary Bui^e : he could no more stir in her the emotions that make 
the sweet intoxication of young love, than the mere picture of a sun 
can stir the spring sap in the subtle fibres of the plant. She saw him 
^ he was — a poor man, with old parents to keep, who would not be 
^ble, for a long while to come, to give her even such luxuries as she 
shared in her uncle's house. And Hetty's dreams were all of luxu- 
ries : to sit in a carpeted parlour and always wear white stockings ; 
^ have some large beautiful ear-rings, such as were all the fashion ; 
to have Nottingham lace round the top of her gown, and something 
to make her handkerchief smell nice, like Miss Lydia Donnithorne's 
when she drew it out at church ; and not to be obliged to get up 
early or be scolded by anybody. She thought, if Adam had been 
^ich and could have given her these things, she loved him well enough 
to marry him.* (Vol. i. pp. 181, 182.) 

238 Adion JBede. ivlj. 

And here is Hetty on the road to temptation and rain ; trying 
on ear-rings with the eagerness but not with the nnsdfidi 
purity of Margaret in Goethe's Fanst. 

* No eyelashes could be more beautiful than Hetty's, and now, while 
she walks with her pigeon-like stateliness along the room and ImAm 
down on her shoulders bordered by the old black lace, the dark fringe 
shows to perfection on her pink cheek. They are but dim iU-d^ned 
pictures that her narrow bit of an imagination can make of ^e future; 
but of every picture she is the central figure, in fine dothea ; Ci^iiun 
DcHmithorne is very doee to her, putting his arm round her, peth^ 
kissing her, and everybody else is admiring and envying her— espe- 
cially Mary Burge, whose new print dress looks very contemptible 
by the side of Hetty's resplendent toilette. Does any sweet or ssd 
memory mingle with this dream of the futare — any loving thought 
of her second parents — of the children she had helped to tend*-of aaj 
youthful companion, any pet animal, any relic of her own childhood 
even ? Not one. There are some plants that have hardly any roots: 
you may tear them from their native nook of rock or wall, and just 
lay them over your ornamental flower-pot, and they blossom none the 
worse. Hetty could have cast aU her past life behind her and never 
cared to be reminded of it again. I think she had no feeling at aU 
towards the old house, and did not like the Jacob's Ladder and the 
long row of hollyhocks in the garden better than other flowers — per- 
haps not so well. It was wonderful how little she seemed to care 
about waiting on her uncle, who had been a good father to her: she 
hardly ever remembered to reach him his pipe at the right time with? 
out being told, unless a visitor happened to be there, who would have 
a better opportunity of seeing her as she walked across the hearth. 
Hetty did not understand how anybody could be very fond of middk* 
aged people. And as for those tiresome children, Marty and Tommj 
and Totty, they had been the very nuisance of her life — as bad as 
buzzing insects that will come teasing you on a hot day when jov 
want to be quiet. Hetty would have been glad to hear that she 
should never see a child again ; they were worse than the nasty litde 
lambs that the shepherd was always bringing in to be taken special 
care of in lambing time ; for the lambs were got rid of sooner or later. 
As for the young chickens and turkeys, Hetty would have hated the 
very word *' hatching," if her aunt had not bribed her to attend to 
the young poultry by promising her the proceeds of one out of OTery 
brood. The round downy chickens peeping out from under their 
mother's wing never touched Hetty with any pleasure; that was not 
the sort of prettiness she cared about, but she did care abont the 
prettiness of the new things she would buy for herself at Treddleetoo 
fair with the money they fetched. And yet she looked so dimpled, 
so charming, as she stooped down to put the soaked bread under the 
hen-coop, that you must have been a very acute personage indeed to 
suspect her of that hardness. Molly, the housemaid, with a tum*vp 
nose and a protuberant jaw, was really a tender-hearted girl, and, as 
Mrs. Foyser said, a jewel to look after the poultry, but her stolid 

1859. Adam Bede. 83» 

face showed nothing of tfab maternal delighty any more than a brown 
earthenware pitcher will show the light of the lamp within it/ 
(VoL i. pp. 286-0.) 

Andhere^yet later^goingtothefesdval on Arthur's birthday:—* 

< See ! she has got a beautifal pair of gold and pearls and garnet, 
lying snugly in a pretty little box lined with white satin. O the de- 
light of ti^Dg out that little box and looking at the ear-rings.' (YoL 
ii. p. 144.) 

' ' Ah, you think, it is for the sake of the person who has ^ven 
them to her, and her thoughts are gone back now to the moment 
when they were put into her hands.* (Vol. ii. p. 144.) 

* No, she was not thinking most of the giver when she smiled at 
the ear-rings, for now she is taking them out of the box, not to press 
them to her Hps, but to fasten them in her ears, — only for one mo- 
ment, to see how pretty they look, as she peeps at them in the glass 
aeainst the wall, with first one position of the head and then another, 
like a listening bird. It is impossible to be wise on the subject of 
ear-rings as one looks at her ; what should those delicate pearls and 
crystals be made for, if not for such ears? One cannot even find 
fault with the tiny round hole which they leave when they are taken 
out; perhaps water-nixies, and such lovely things without souls, have 
these little round holes in their ears by nature, ready to hang jewels 
in. And Hetty must be one of them : it is too painful to think that 
she is a woman, with a woman's destiny before her.' (YoL ii. pp. 
145, 146.) 

When Arthur writes to explain that he cannot marry her, 
beautifully true to nature is the account of the dreary reading, 
and the dreary rising to her first forsaken day ! 

'But when she took up the crushed letter and put it in her drawer, 
that she might lock it out of sight, hard smarting tears, having no 
relief in them as the great drops had that fell last night, forced their 
way into her eyes. She wiped them away quickly : she must not cry 
in the day-time : nobody should find out how miserable she was, no- 
body should know she was disappointed about anything ; imd the 
thought that the eyes of her aunt and uncle would be upon her, gave 
her the self-command which often accompanies a great dread. For 
Hetty looked out from her secret misery towards the possibility of 
their ever knowing what had happened, as the sick and weary pri- 
soner might think of the possible pillory. They would think her 
conduct shameful; and shame was torture. That was poor little 
Hetty's conscience. 

* So she locked up her drawer, and went away to her early work.^ 

* In the evening, when Mr. Peyser was smoking his pipe, and his 
good-nature was therefore at its superlative moment, Hetty seiced the 
opportunity of her aunt's absence to say, 

* " Uncle, I wish you'd let me go for a lady's maid." ' (Vol. ii. pp. 
314, 315.) 

240 Adam Bede. Joly, 

Mr. Poyser, however, suggests matrimony instead. 

^ And when she was in her hedroom again, the possibility of her 
marrying Adam presented itself to her in a new light. In a mind 
where no strong sympathies are at work, where there is no supreme 
sense of right to which the agitated nature can cling and steady itself 
to quiet endurance, one of the first results of sorrow is a desperate 
vague clutching after any deed that will change the actual condition. 
Poor Hetty's vision of consequences, at no time more than a narrow 
fantastic calculation of her own probable pleasures and pains, was. 
now quite shut out by reckless irritation under present suffering, and 
she was ready for one of those convulsive, motiveless actions by which 
wretched men and women leap from a temporary sorrow into a life- 
long misery. 

' Why should she not marry Adam? She did not care what she 
did, so that it made some change in her life*' (Yol. ii. pp. 320, 321.) 

But Hetty does not marry Adam ; she goes away to seek 
her former lover and avoid shame, after having allowed Adam 
to fix the day for their marriage. We will not weaken by 
extracts the effect produced by the account of that mournful 
journey, or Hetty's after wanderings, or the attempt to nerve 
herself to commit suicide. Truly Shaksperian is the power 
Mr. Eliot possesses of adapting his thoughts to every nature 
and to every situation ; and in the struggles of this weak soul 
to come to some strong resolution, in the contrast of the clinging 
love of life, and the desire somehow to end the inextricable diffi- 
culties of her position, he has shown as great a mastery as ever 
any author displayed, whether in prose or verse. Still, when 
all is over, a sense predominates of the utter inferiority of poor 
Hetty's nature, and to the last our sensations follow the lead the 
author takes in his first description of her, and it is rather as 
for some pet animal tortured and crushed, than as a conscious 
suffering woman, that our painful pity dwells on the end. 

Apart from all delineations of character, apart from all pro- 
gress in the story, stand passages of wit which charm us by 
their poetry, or make us smile by their humour In this last 
quality Mr. Eliot resembles Hawthorne, the American author, 
more than any other writer with whom we are acquainted. 
The sentence describing Mr. Craig the gardener, the ' man of 
* sober passions,' who is also one of Hetty's suitors (though not 
a very eager one), and who, after an extra glass df grog, had 
been heard to say of her, that ^ the lass was well enough,' and 
that ' a man might do worse,' hut on convivial occasions men art 
apt to express themselves strongly (voL ii. p. 56. ), has all the 
scent of the Hawthorne bough. 

1859. Adam Bede. 241 

And 80 have m&nj others, more especially In his earlier work, 
the ' Scenes of Clerical Life.' In a certain minute, yet not 
tedious, habit of description he also resembles Hawthorne ; the 
Clerical meeting at Milby Vicarage, — the description of Knebly 
Church, — the delightful narrowness of Mrs. Patten's soul, — the 
account of Miss Pratt, — of large fair mild-eyed Milly and the 
lithe dark thin-lipped Countess,-^ the wonderful account of the 
pauper audience Millv's husband endeavours to enlighten, — all 
seem written under the same vigorous yet blossomy shade, and 
to be flowers of the Hawthorne species. Mr. Eliot has been 
oompared to Thackeray ; but Thaickeray's chief power lies in 
describing the sort of world we live in, and the author of 
Adam Bede leads us into the world we do not live in. ]N'or 
are the women of his story otherwise than immeasurably 
superior to the heroines of Thackeray's stories, who (to the 
despair of the sex that were ^ made to match the men ') are 
uniformly represented by that great writer either as foolish 
and good, or intelligent and wicked. In Thackeray's bands 
Hetty would have been the only virtuous woman, by divine 
tight of her inferiority, and Mrs. Peyser's shrewdness would 
bave been turned to the worst account, instead of raising, as at 
present, 'her price above rubies' in our own private estimate 
of proverbial philosophy. 

Mr. Eliot's descriptions of scenery are perfect : witness his 
graphic picture of the succession of the seasons (* Scenes of 
'Clerical Life,' vol. i. p. 248.); and so are his descriptions of 
children. * We forbear (from dread of bachelors) to dwell on 
Totty's ways, or to give more than one Gtunsborough re* 
presentation of ' the sturdy fellow of five, in knee breeches 
'and red legs, who had a rusty milk-can round his neck by 
' way of drum.' We forbear (though with regret) the intro- 
duction to our readers of Totty's bald doll, ignominiously ' topsy 
'turvied' by her insulting brother. We forbear the account 
of the festival and village games in ' Adam Bede, ' worthy the 
pen of the Author of 'Tom Brown's Schooldays' and the 
' Scouring of the White Horse.' We forbear any notice of 
Adam Bede*s agony, except the marvellous coincidence of de- 
scription which tallies with Dickens's account of the Jew's trial, 
when the man wonders who will mend the broken rail of the 
dock where he stands ; proving what small things will occupy 
the soul in moments of supreme anguish. 

'Adam sat looking at the clock: the minute-hand was hurrjing 
along the last five minutes to ten, with a loud hard indifferent tick, 
and Adam watched the movement and listened to tiie sound as if he 
had had some reason for doing so. In our times of bitter suffering, 


242 Adam Bede. July, 

there are almost always these pauses, when our cooscioosneas is be- 
nttmbed to everything but some triTisI perception or sensatioa. It is 
as if semi-idiocy came to give us rest froin the memory and the 
dread which refuse to leave us in our sleep/ (YoL iiL p. 73.) 

But we cannot forbear tondnng lightly on Mr. Eliot's cariou 
theory of inherited looks^ as a new page in the sdenoe of 
metaphysics and the study of physiognomy, and a specimen of 
the extreme delicacy of s^ysis and observation with whidi he 
handles all the mysteries of hunuui character. 

< Family likeness has often a deep sadness in it. Nature, that greit 
tragic dramatbt, knits us together by bone and muscle, and divides 
us by the subtler web of our brains; blends yearning and repulsion; 
and ties us by our heartstrings to the beings that jar us at eveiy 
movement. We hear a voice with the* very cadence of our own 
uttering the thoughts we despise; we see eyes — ah! so like ov 
mother's — averted from us in cold alienation ; and our last dariing 
cUld startles us with the air and gMtures of the sister we parted 
from in bitterness long years ago. The Ikther to whom we owe <mr 
best heritage— the mechanical instinct, the keen sensibility to hat' 
mony, the unconscious skill of the modelling hand — galls u%SDd 
puts us to shame by his daily errors ; the long-lost niother, whose fim 
we begin to see in the glass as our own wrinkles come, once fretted 
our young souls with her anxious humours and irrational persistence.' 
(VoL i. pp. 67, 68.) 

* Nature has her language, and she is not unveracious ; bat we 
don't know aU the intricacies of her syntax just yet, and in a histj 
reading we may happen to extract the very opposite of her real 
meaniag. Long dark eyelashes, now: what can be more exquisite? 
I find it impossible not to expect some depth of soul behind a deep 
grey eye with a long dark eyelash, in spite of an experience which 
has shown me that they may go along with deceit, peculation, and 
stupidity. But if, in the reaction of disgust, I have betaken mjadf 
to a fishy eye, there has been a surprising similarity of result One 
begins to suspect at length that there is no direct correlation between 
eyelashes and morals ; or else, that the eyelashes express the diqpon- 
tion of the fair one's grandmother, which is on the whole less impo^ 
tant to us.' (Vol. i. pp. 285, 286.) 

Nor can we omit, in concluding this notice of a most 
remarkable book, some notice of the disputes as to its author* 
ship. The newspapers have been full of them. Mr. Anders, 
Hector of Kirkby^ writes early in April of this year to assure 
the world that ^ the Author of Adam Bede is Mr. Liianns of 

^ Nuneaton, Warwickshire,* and the characters whom he paints 
in ' Scenes of Clerical Life ' are ' as familiar there as the 
' twin spires of Coventry.' 

But just as we have satisfied our minds that this is the true 

1659. Adam Bede. 243 

stete of tiie CMe, and are feeling greatly obliged to Mr. Anderi, 
a wrathful letter from * George Eliot' distarba us; asking 
(not unreaeonablj) whether 'the act of puUishiiig a book 
* deprives a man of all claim to the eouitesiea tisiial amongst 
'gentlemen?' And 

' If not| the attempt to pry into what is obrionsly meant to be 
withheld-— my name— and to publish the rnmoun whidi such pr3riDg 
may give rise to, seems to me quite indefensible, still more so to state 
these rumours as ascertained truths. — I am. Sir, yours, &c., 

'Geoboe £uot.' 

Then comes a letter from the Hon. and Rev. S. O. Osborne^ 
insisting on knowing the truth ; more especially as some gen- 
tleman is 'receiving subscriptions' as the ill-used author of 
'Adam Bede.' FinaUy, the Messrs. Blackwood, turning at 
last to tlaow a stone, — uke men who have been too long barked 
at in the street, — declare tbat^ 

' Those works are not written by Mr. Liggins, or by any one with 
a name like Liggins, and if any person is receiving charitable con- 
tributions on the ground of being the author of the said works, he is 
doing 80 under false pretences.' 

Now upon all this we have only to remark, that we cordially 
agree in the dictum of Mr* George Eliot that 'the attempt 
'to pry into what is obviously meant to be withheld,-— me 
'name, — is quite indefensible/ but it is clear that in this case 
the truth is not yet before the public. The latest suggestion 
we have receiyed attributes the authotrship of ' Adam Bede ' to 
a lady, also a native of that part of Warwickshire with which 
internal evidence connects the work. However this may be, 
the publication of another work on which the aUeged author 
is said to be engaged may clear up the mystery. But how ludi- 
crous would it seem if, on seeing some handsome specimen 
of human nature — some tall graceful man walking harm- 
lessly down St James's Street, we were to run after him, 
and suddenly address him with ndld compUaoents on his appear- 
ance, and a request to know to what fsnuly he belongs, what 
has been Ins past history, and what are his future prospects ? 
Yet this is not in fact a whit more absurd than' the conduct pur- 
sued by a portion of the reading publio towards those who 
excite mingled curiosity and admiration by the production of a 
popular book« Why is tiie inner man to be so much less sacred 
than the outward man ? Why is the ' gentle public' to feel hurt 
at not being inomediately gratified with an account of the birth, 
parentage, and education of a successful author, and yet be con* 

244 Adam Bede. Jolr, 

tent to go to the grave without knowing whether a gentleman 
wears a beard because he fought in the Crimea, or because it b 
his good pleasure not to shave ? Why does the authorship of 
one man immediately confer on hundreds of his fellow-creatures 
a supposed right to address him without an introduction— to ask 
him for his autograph and a lock of his hair ? Why should a 
man who has made proof of excellent occupation of his time bj 
sending to press clever printed works, be forthwith and for e?er 
set to write manuscript sentences for any stranger who de^ 
to have 'one line from his gifted pen?' Surely this mono- 
mania of the public is as illogical as it is provoking. 

Authors have published anonymously, and the authorship of 
works has been disputed, from all time. Moore says, that 
an elaborate work was written in German ' to prove that the 
' Iliad was not written by that particular Homer the world sup- 
' poses, but by some other Homer. According to such Qui torn 

* critics, Aristotle must be referred to one Ocellus Lucanus, Yiigil 
' must make a cessio bonorum in favour of Pisander, and the Meta- 
' morphoses of Ovid must be credited to the account of Parthe- 
' nius of Nicea.' Between twenty and thirty pamphlets and let- 
ters were written disputing the authorship of ' Junius ; ' a secret 
probably all the better kept because the writer, if known, might 
have had his head broken for the work of his bnuns. Dr. Swift 
wrote Gulliver's Travels in retirement at Quilca, confiding the 
secret only to Dr. Sheridan; a letter appeared after the hook 
was published, from'some person who declared he was person- 
ally acquainted with the supposed author. Captain Gulli- 
ver, but that the said captain ' lived not at Wapping bat at 
' Botherhithe.' A book of a similar nature to Gulliver^d 
Travels was published in 1727, as an ori^al work, entirely 
plagiarised and translated from a French work, entitled ^ Histoire 
' des S^v^rambes,' which had been suppressed on account of 
its deistical principles, and which the pli^iarist therefore sup- 
posed was unknown. The authorship of ' Waverley ' in the case 
of Sir Walter Scott, was not avowed till thirteen years after 
the date of its publication. It was attributed meanwhile to 
various persons, especially to William Erskine, and to Walter 
Scott's own brother, to the last of whom the great author wrote 
advising him not to deny the imputation, but on the contrary to 

* look knowing when " Waverley " is mentioned.' Scott's * Bridal 
' of Triermain' was at first attributed to Mr. B. P. Gillies, who 
had published an imitation of Lord Byron's Bomaunt, entitled 
' Cbilde Alarique.' The Wizard of the North, so far &om in- 
siBting on his own right, humours the supposition that the poem 
is by Gillies, and in a letter to Lady Louisa Stuart, dated April 

1859. Adam Bede. 245 

28th, 1813, offers to convey to Mr. Gillies * her ladyship's very 
^ju8t strictures on the introduction to the second canto,' and 
expresses a belief that Gillies will ^ avail himself of her friendly 
' hint' Moore's ' Exile of Erin ' has been claimed more than 
once for an unknown Irish gentleman. Sheridan's * School 
' for Scandal' was gravely affirmed by one of his biographers 
to be in reality written by a young lady, * the daughter of a 
' merchant in Thames Street,' who, soon after placing her 
manuscript in the hands of the dramatist, died of a decline, at 
Bristol Hot Wells. The famous poem beginning, ' Not a drum 
' was heard nor a funeral note,' on Sir John Moore's burial, was 
attributed first to one celebrated poet then to another, and now 
remains a solitary laurel-leaf on the brow of a very mediocre 
writer, whose posthumous claim is undisputed. Henry Macken- 
zie's ' Man of Peeling' was claimed by the Rev, Mr. Eccles, 
an Irish clergyman, afterwards drowned near Bath in the at- 
tempt to save the life of a boy. In the Gentleman's Magazine 
of September 1777, are some verses on him, with an epitaph, of 
which the first line runs thus : — 

* Beneath this stone the ''Man of Feeling" lies.' 

Dr. Hugh Blair and his cousin Mr. George Ballantine, when 
students, wrote a poem called the ' Resurrection,' of which 
some manuscript copies were circulated. A Dr. Douglas 
assumed the work as his own, and printed a pompous edition in 
folio, with a dedication to the Princess of Wales. The Rev. Dr. 
Campbell of St. Andrews wrote an ' Inquiry into the Origin 
' of Moral Virtue,' and sent the MS. to his countryman Mr. 
Innes, a clergyman in England, who published it with his own 
name, and obtained considerable promotion on account of it, 
before the cheat was discovered. When Akenside's * Pleasures of 
* Imagination' first came out, one Richard Rolt went to Dublin 
and published an edition there, and lived for several months on 
the fiEune of it at the best tables. ^ His conversation did not 
'discover much of the fire of a poet, but it was remembered that 
^ both Addison and Thomson were equally dull tilf excited by 
' wine.' Akenside having been informed of the imposition, vindi- 
cated his rights by publishing the poem with his name. Croker 
says the story of Rolt has been refuted, but Croker set the 
same value on a contradiction that other men set on a fact. 
An endless list of such instances might be given, proving only 
that while an author has clearly the right to deny his au- 
thorship and conceal his name, if such be his pleasure, he 
must take his chance of intrusive conjecture and stolen laurels. 

246 Adam Bede. July, 

Under aU circomstances tbe right to remain anonymooe ib in- 
disputable. Some have exercised that right from pride, some 
from timidity ; some from a belief that it added to the impoit* 
ance of their works ; some from sheer love of mystery. And 
mystery has its charm. If we knew, or at least if we were 
presenUy oonsdous, that a pungent article in last Satordsy's 
journal were only Gruffy's angry attacks on his hateftd rival 
Huffy, instead of an impartial cnticism on the conduct of one of 
our public men, should we read it with the same attention? We 
deceive ourselves willingly as to the great 'we' of a paper, as 
children accept for a fact the inextricable concealment of the 
friend who cries ' bo-peep' ftooi a comer. We do not alwsje 
like to know that our oracle of Delphi is in reality only the 
voice of a priest speaking in a tube of metal passed through the 
body of the statue god. Some years ago an ingenious represen- 
tation of the destruction of a Swiss village by an avalandie was 
exhibited at the Diorama in the Begent's Park, the effect o( 
which was greatly increased by a clever vocal imitation of the 
dreary winter wind whistling through the mountains; but ibis 
sound ceasing whilst the exigencies of the scene still demanded 
its continuance, Theodore Hook, who was present, exclaimed, 
* Bless me, Mr. Thompson is tired^ which set the gpectators 
laughing, nor could they at all resume the awe-etruck graTity 
with which they had previously witnessed the tragic pictme. 
Not that they had doubted the means by which t£eir illiia(Hi 
was heightened, but that the mind readily lends itself to each 
illusion as an additional charm, and that there was a groteaqoe 
contradiction to that state of mind in this sudden prosaic sug- 
gestion. With respect to the excellent work which has form^ 
the subject of this notice, we sincerely trust Mr. Thompson is 
not tired ; and that whether his name be Liggins or Higgin8,or, 
as Messrs. Blackwood resolutely affirm, some name not dte leasi Hk 
Liggins ; and whether the authorship be concealed from timiditj, 
pure love of mystery, or any other motive, he will continue to 
speak these pleasant oracles; for we, as readers, have every 
reason to be grateful to the writer fbr giving us such a book; 
vid he has every reason to feel proud that the universal ques- 
tion in men's mouths in the pause between topics of war and 
politics, is — *Have you read *'Adam Bede"?' 

1659. Tennyson's IdyUs of the King. 247 

Abt. X.— jPour IdyUs of the King. Bj ALFRED Tenntsok, 
D.C.L.9 Poet Laureate. London: 1859. 

TLTb. Temntson has returned to that form of poetic composi- 
iion in which he proved himself^ long ago, to be without a 
modem rivaL The first essentiab of idyllic character are simpli- 
dtj of incident and aimplicity of manner in the narration. A 
good idyll is consequently one of the most rare, although it may 
not be the highest of poems. Dramatic vigour, lyrical passion, 
complicated and stirring incidents, are capable of making their 
effect, notwithstanding the jMresenoe of many shortcomings and 
faults in the details of execution. The idyll,^ however, is 
nothing if not perfect in expression. Its simplicity becomes 
mere baldness and vacuity, in the absence of an equable flow of 
language of unimpeachable truthfulness, beauly, and melody. 
Now, the particular power by which Mr. Tennyson surpasses 
all recent English poets is precisely that of sustained^ perfec- 
tion of style. Others have equalled or excelled him in other 
respects, but we look in vain among hia modem rivals ^"^^ ^^ 
who can compete with him in the power of saying beautifully 
the thing he has to say ; and this, not only in single sentences 
and passages, but for page after page, and poem after poem, 
without fl^ng, and apparently without eflEbrt. We must, bow- 
ever, acknowledge our inability to discover by what »^^^"^5^'^ 
analogy Mr. Tennyson has applied the tenxx ' idyU' *\*^^^^^ 
ments or episodes of the great Bcwnaunt of '^^v;'*''-rifioial 
expression, as is well known, was first applied by the *™^L«^ 
writers of the Alexandrian School to their bucolic poetry. ^ x"© 
word (aT&», f IWxxia), meant « little pictures of common me, wa« 
it was the fashion of the day to describe the r»"^. ?^^i"S!^r^ 
sentimental loves of Sicilian shepherds in the pob«hea A>oric^ 
Theocritus and Moschus. Mr. Tennyson himselt ^ ™, "" 
poem of ' the Brook,' given us a charming example ot ^^^?*f^ 
But, except in the peculiar structure of the blank ^««*^^^^ ™ 

affect J it is impossible to trace any ^^^^^JCe^tSS^ 
legendB of British chiTalry and the poemB ^"'^-.^„___ i-f- 
^a known as Idylk Far from beig pictures of ««"«°?J^ J*«* 

^belong enti^fy to that f^ry 1*-^^^^^^^^ 

248 Tetmyso'DLS Idylls of the King. July, 

would be unjust to Mr. Tennyson himself^ but by adoptbg tius 
fragmentary treatment^ he has attempted to solve the difficulty 
which has hitherto deterred our poets from dealing with one of 
the most striking of our national subjects. The disproportion 
and incoherence of the materials among themselves were fatal to 
their fitness for a single epic ; and the critical traditions which, 
ntiul lately^ connected epic character with epic magnitude, have 
prevented our poets from treating separately what are^ in fact, 
separate, although mutually related, subjects. There were aho 
other difficulties in the way of the modem rendering of the le- 
gends of the Bound Table. There is scarcely one of them which 
does not turn upon some outrageous violation of modem nuumen 
and morals, and which does not contain innumerable improba- 
bilities and impossibilities in its necessary sequence of evente. 
These impediments Mr. Tennyson has overcome in the only 
possible way, namely, by accepting them as we accept the extra- 
vagances of classical mythology. He has treated the l^ends as 
so many fairy tales, concerning the probability and propriety of 
the details of which it would be absurd to dispute, the total ab- 
sence of circumstantial verisimilitude constituting the suffi'uent 
correction, from an artistic point of view, of their otherwise ob- 
jectionable representations of humanity. We do not see how 
the poet could have done otherwise, without destroving the 
whole costume and individuality of his theme. If we have any 
objection to make on this score, it is that Mr. Tennyson 
does not always accept the situation with sufficient boldness, 
but sometimes palliates, with modem reasons, certain points m a 
course of conduct, which, in its whole character, belongs to and 
is only noade tolerable by a mjrthical antiquity, and which is not 
repulsive to our feelings only because it is inexplicable or in- 
credible to them. In these poems, moral beauty — ^without whidi 
there is no true work of art — is to be found rather in the per- 
vading tone of heroic simplicity and magnanimity, and in the 
general symbolic tendency, which Mr. Tennyson has succeeded 
in transferring from the legends to his poems, than in the actual 
events represented. The principles, passions, and actions of all 
the characters, good or bad, are alike extravagant and incon- 
ceivable ; their virtues would be as fatal to any imaginable con- 
dition of society as their vices ; but we agree to sink the con- 
sideration of their motives of action in our enjoyment of the 
primitive freshness and large-hearted simplicity which pervade 
these strange and savage tracts like the sweet and wholesome 
mountdb air. 

These Idylls being thus, as far as regards incident and cha- 
racter, as nearly as possible reproductions of the letter or spirit 

1859. Tennyson's Idylh of the King. i 249 

of the Arthurian legends, there is little to be said of them, 
except with reference to the style in which they have been 
reprodaoed. In the history of the English language these 
poems will occupy a remarkable place as examples of yigorous, 
unaffected, and lumost unmixed Saxon, written at a time in 
which all the ordinary walks of literature are becoming rapidly 
vulgarised with bastard Latinity. We think we can safely say, 
that since the definitive formation of the English language, no 
poetry has been written with so small an admixture of Latin as 
the ^ Idylls of the King ; ' and, what will sound still stranger to 
the ears of those who have been in the habit of regarding the 
Latiil element as essential to the majesty of poetry in our tongue, 
that no language has surpassed in epic dignity the English of 
these poems. 

A slight notice of each idyl, with extracts, will give our 
readers a better notion of what tiiese poems are than can be de- 
rived from any abstract description of their qualities. 

' Enid,' who gives her name to the first of the four stories, is 
a heroine of the Griselda type, suffering with absolute amia- 
bility the outrages of her husband. Prince Geraint, who falls from 
the one extreme of uxoriousness to the other of a severity only 
equalled, among modem heroes, by that of Peter Grimes, be- 
cause one morning as he was asleep, and Enid sat beside the 
conch, admiring 

' Tlie knotted column of his throat, 
The massive square of his heroic breast, 
And arms on which the standing muscle sloped 
As slopes a wild brook o*er a little stone 
Running too vehemently to break upon it,' 

she began to upbraid herself for not having had the courage to 
reprove him for his idle and effeminate devotion to herself, to 
the exclusion of all knightly enterprises, and concluded her 
lament wit)i the exclamation — 

< O me, I fear that I am no true wife ! ' 

These last words, Geraint, *by great mischanoe,' overheard, 
and, without waiting for further proof or explanation, 

* Right through his manful breast darted the pang 
That makes a man, in the sweet face of her 
Whom he loves most, lonely and miserable. 
At this he snatched his great limbs from the bed, 
And shook his drowsy squire awake, and cried, 
** My charger and her palfry," then to her : 
" I will ride forth into the wilderness ; 

250 Teanyaon's Idytt$ of ike King. J11I7, 

For thongh it seems my spois are jet to win^ 
I have not fall'n so low as some would wish. 
And jouy put on yonr worst and meanest dress, 
And ride with me ! " And Enid ask'd amaz'd, 
<' K Enid errs, let Enid learn her fault"* 
But he, *' I charge you ask not, but obey.* 
Then she bethought her of a &ded silk,' &c 

Of this silk the poet proceeds to give the history, whidi is ilao 
that of the first acquaintance of Geraint and his wife. One day, 
when the knight was watching a hunt, in the company of Qaeea 
Ghiinevere, another knight, with a dwarf, came riamg by tbe 
knoll where they stood. ThQ dwarf refused to disdoae ue 'name 
of his master to a damsel who was sent by the Queen to obtain 
it, and even struck the fair messenger with his whip, on her jm*- 
aisting in the inquiry. This affront to the Queen, through ber 
servant, Geraint swears to avenge, and he pursues the koiglit 
and dwarf until he 

' Beheld the long street of a little town 
In a long valley, on one side of which. 
White from the mason's hand, a fortress rose; 
And on one side a castle in decay.' 

The knight and dwarf enter the fortress, and Geraint finds a 
lodging in the decayed castle, which is thus finely painted— 

' Then rode Geraint into the castle court. 
His charger trampling many a prickly star 
Of sprouted thistle on the broken stones. 
He looked and saw that all was ruinous. 
Here stood a shatter'd archway plumed with fern ; 
And here had fallen a great part of a tower, 
Whole, like a crag that tumbles from the cliff. 
And like a crag was gay with wilding flowers : 
And high above a piece of turret stair, 
Worn by the feet that now were silent, wound 
Bare to the sun, and monstrous ivy stems 
Ciasp'd^the gray walb with hairy-fibred arms, 
And suck'd the joining of the stones, and look'd 
A knot, beneatl^ of snakes, aloft, a grove.' 

Geraint, while yet in the castle court, hears Enid, daugbter oi 
Earl Yniol, singing, 

* And as the sweet voice of a bird, 
Heard by the lander in a lonely isle. 
Moves him to think what kind of bird it is 
That sings so delicately clear, and make 
Conjecture of the plumage and the form ; 
So the sweet voice of Enid moved Geraint.' 

1859. Tennyson's lAfUs of tike King. i51 

The song she sang is one of seTeral which are skilfully incor- 
porated with the bmnk yerse of these poems. It is^ perhaps^ 
the best of them. 

< Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel and lower the proud ; 
Turn thy wild wheel thro' soDshiney storm, and doad ; 
Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate. 

' Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel with smile or frown ; 
With that wild wheel we go not up or down ; 
Our hoard is little^ but our hearts are great. 

' Smile and we smile, the lords of many lands ; 
Frown and we smile, the lords of our own hands ; 
For man is man and master of his fate. 

' Turn, turn thy wheel above the staring crowd ; 
Thy wheel ai^d thou are shadows in the cloud ; 
Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor bate/ 

Geraint, on being invited to enter, finds — 

* An ancient dame in dim brocade ; 
And near her, like a blossom vermeil-white, 
That lightly breaks a faded flower-sheath. 
Moved the fair Enid, all in faded silk.' 

Geraint learns from Earl Yniol that he has been despoiled in 
former times of his wealth by the knight of the white fortress, 
who annually holds a joust, at which a golden sparrow-hawk is 
to be fought for by any who will choose to bring his lady, and 
to maintain by force of arms the superiority of her beauty. 
* But you,' he says, * who have no lady, cannot fight' Here- 
upon Geraint begs to be allowed to fight for Enid : 

* Then, howsoever patient, YnioFs heart 
Danced in his bosom, seeing better days. 
And looking round he saw not Enid there, 
(Who, hearing her own name, had slipt away) 
But that old dame, to whom full tenderly 
And fondling all her hand in his, he said, — 
'* Mother, a muden is a tender thing, 
And best by her that bore her understood. 
Go thou to rest, but ere thou go to rest, 
Tell her, and prove her heart toward the Prince." 
So spake the kindly-hearted Earl, and she 
With frequent smile and nod departing, found, 
Half disarray'd as to her rest, the girl ; 
Whom first she kissed on either cheek, and then 
On either shining shoulder laid a hand. 
And kept her off, and gazed upon her facet 
And told her all their converse in the hall, 
Proving her heart : but never light and shade 

252 Tennyson's Idylls of the King. July, 

Coursed one another more on open ground 
Beneath a troubled heaven, than red and pale 
Across the face of Enid hearing her ; 
While slowly falling as a scale that falls. 
When weight is added only grain by grain, 
Sank her sweet head upon her gentie breast ; 
Nor did she lift an eye nor speak a word, 
Bapt in the fear and in the wonder of it ; 
So moving without aifewer to her rest, 
She found no rest^ and ever failed to draw 
The quiet night into her blood.' 

Accordingly Geraint and Enid appear the next morning at 
the lists. The master of the sparrow-hawk is overthrown, and 
is compelled to give up the earldom to Yniol, and to go in person 
to Arthur's court to beg the Queen's pardon. Even before he 
is married^ Geraint shows what Enid has to expect of him, bj 
submitting her to the humiliation of making her appearance at 
the court of Guinevere in her ' faded silk,' instead of an appro- 
priate dress, which her mother had provided for the occasion. 
Enid's fears at having to undergo this ordeal give occasion to 
the following picturesque passage : — 

' She let her fancy flit across the past. 
And roam the goodly places that she knew ; 
And last bethought her how she used to* watch. 
Near that old home, a pool of golden carp ; 
And one was patch'd and blurr'd and lustreless 
Among his burnish'd brethren of the pool ; 
And half asleep she made comparison 
Of that and these to her own faded self 
And the gay court, and fell asleep again ; 
And dreamt herself was such a faded form 
Among her burnish'd sisters of the pool ; 
But this was in the garden of a king ; 
And though she lay dark in the pool, she knew 
That all was bright, that all about were birds 
Of sunny plume in gilded trellis-work ; 
That all the turf was rich in plots that looked 
Each like a garnet or a turkis in it ; 
And lords and ladies of the high court went 
In silver tissue talking things of state ; 
And children of the king in cloth of gold 
Glanced at the doors or gambol'd down the walks ; 
And while she thought ** They will not see me," came 
A stately queen, whose name was Guinevere, 
And all the children in their cloth of gold 
Ran to her, crying, '* If we have fish at all 
. Let them be gold, and charge the gardeners now 

1859. Te^nyson'd IdylU of the King. 253 

To pick the faded creature from the pool. 
And cast it on the mixen that it die." 
And therewithal one came and seized on her. 
And Enid started waking, with her heart 
Ail overshadow'd by the foolish dream, 
And lo ! it was her mother grasping her 
To get her well awake ; and in her hand 
A suit of bright apparel.' 

The suit of ' faded silk ' patiently submitted to, the twain 
return to the court. The queen midkes friends with Enid, and 
the poet endeavours to shape a shadow of excuse for his hero's 
ready suspicions of his wife, on the plea that she might be sup- 
posed to haye suffered from the society of Guinevere, whose 
reputation was not perfect We are now agun at the point 
at which the poem opened. 

Geraint bids his wife not to ride at his side, but a good way 
on before him, 'and charges her, whatever happens, not to speak 
a word to him. This, the poet says, was, 

' Perhaps because he loved her passionately. 
And felt that tempest brooding round his heart. 
Which, if he spake at all, would break perforce 
Upon a head so dear in thunder/ 

We should prefer, however, to interpret Geraint's conduct 
for ourselves, and must altogether reject the above plea, when 
we find, as we do, that, by riding ' ever a good way on before,' 
Enid falls in with all the dangers of the wilderness the first. 
The knight's proceedings are, we suppose, in keeping with the 
vagaries of the primitive chivalry, but they neither require nor 
admit of the excuses and explanations which might be applicable 
to the eccentricities of modem passion. 

After riding some hours through the wilderness, Enid breaks 
her lord's command, — 

* *' My lord, I saw three bandits by the rock 
Waiting to fall on you, and heard them boast 
That they would slay you, and possess your horse. 
And armour, and your damsel should be theirs." 
He made a wrathful answer : <' Did I wish 
Your silence or your warning ? " ' 

Geraint, of course, slays the three hostile knights, and three 
afterwards, each time upbruding his wife for the warning, 
without which he and she would have been lost, and each time 
taking the three horses and making Enid drive them on before 


264 Tennyson's Idytts of the King. Jnljr, 

< The pftin she had 
To keep them in the wild ways of the wood, 
Two sets of three kden with jingling arms, 
Together, served a little to disedge 
The sharpness of that pain about her heart' 

After certain other adventures of minor note, they come by 
chance into the territory and town belonging to Limoun, an 
old suitor of Enid, who, finding her and Geraint in his power, 
and apparently not on tlie best terms with each other, pbuu an 
assault upon Gendnt, fiom which his wife agun saves him, by 
breaking Us command to observe silence. They depart bm 
the town and are pursued by Limours and an armed band, 
against whom Geraint tries his always invincible, and theiebe 
somewhat uninteresting, prowess, with the effect which ia 
described in the following exquisitely woided passage: — 

' But at the flash and motion of the man 
They vanish'd panic-stricken, like a shoal 
Of darting fish, that on a summer mom 
Adown the crystal dykes at Camelot 
Come slipping o'er their shadows on the sand, 
But if a man who stands upon the brink 
But lift a shining hand against the sun. 
There is not left the twinkle of a fin 
Betwixt the cressy islets white in fiower.' 

Geraint finds himself wounded in this conflict, and, after 
riding awhile, drops from his horse, and while Enid is tending 
him by the way side, Doorm, the ' bandit-earl,' comes by, witn 
a hundred followers, and, seeing that Enid is &ir, commissioitf 
some of his men to remove her and the seeming dead man to bis 
castle, where, after the lapse of several hours, Geraint wnw 
£rom his swoon, and finds * his own dear bride' 

' Propping his head 
And chafing his faint hands^ and calling to him ; 
And felt the warm tears falling on his face ; 
And said to his own heart, '< She weeps for me : " 
And yet lay stiU^ and feign'd himself as dead. 
That he might prove her to the uttermost, 
And say to his own heart, '' She weeps for me." ' 

He continues this somewhat ungenerous dissimulation until 
Earl Doorm enters with his riotous followers, and his and tbeir 
gentlewomen.' Doorm ofiers to marry Enid, supposing tbai 
(ranaint lies dead. 

' He spoke ; the brawny spearman let his cheek 
Bulge with the unswailoVd piece, and turning stared ; 

18&9. Tennyso&'s Idylb of the King. 255 

Wkile some, whose sonls the old serpent long had drawn 
Down, as ths worm draws in the withered leaf 
And makes it earth, hiss'd at each other's ears.' 

Doorm, not catching her reply, but taking it for ^ranted that 
it was sadafactory, bids her eat, but she refuses, aedaring she 
win ndther eat nor drink until her ^ dear lord arise.' The earl 
is further irritated by her positive refusal to put on a fine gown 
instead of her faded silk, and, to cure her obstinacy, ' however 
' lightly, smote her on the cheek.' 

^ Then Enid, in her utter helplessness, 
And since she thought, *^ he had not dared to do it, 
Except he surely knew my lord was dead,*' 
Sent forth a sudden, sharp, and bitter cry 
As of a wild thing taken in a trap, 
Which sees the trapper coming thro' the wood.' 

Geraint's manhood is sufficiently near the modern type to 
make it impos^ble that he should stand this, so he jumps up 
and strikes off Doorm's head at a Uow, and the others, under 
the fortunate delusion that he is the dead man's ghost, all run 
away, and leave him and Enid to make it up. fle apologises 
for his behaviour, and very truly says : — * Enid, I have used 
you worse than that dead man.' 

^ '' You thought me sleeping, but I heard you say, 
I heard you say that you were no true wife : 
I swear I will not ask your meaning in it : 
I do believe yourself against your»^fy 
And will henceforward rather die than doubt." 
And Enid could not say one tender ward, 
She felt so blunt and stupid at the heart. 
. • . . Then Geraint upon the horse 
Mounted, and reach 'd a hand, and on his foot 
She set her own and climbed ; he tum'd his face, 
And kiss'd her climbing, and she cast her arms 
About him, and at once they rode away. 
And never yet, since high in Paradise 
O'er the four rivers the first roses blew, 
Came purer pleasure nnto mortal kind 
Than lived through her, who in that perilous hour 
Put hand to hand beneath her husband's heart. 

The human interest and moral significance of the incidents 
of this poem, which is nearly two thousand l^^^s long' are con- 
8iderabl>bel6w the average of the legends to ^j^^^^J^^«^^^ 
dents belong, and greatlylebw the interest "^ «\P"«^^^^ »* 
the stories § the oAer ^ma in this volume. When wo oumo 
to put the narrative iito vulgar prose, we are struck with 

256 Teniiyaon's Idylls of the King. July, 

increased admiration for the power of a writer who renders such 
dull improbabilities into language of such lofty and picturesque 
vigour, that not only we can read, but we read delighted 

' Vivien ' has a much finer and more properly idyllic fomida- 
tion. The range of incident in ' Enid ' is almost epic in its 
extent, but ^ Vivien' turns upon the single event of the destruc- 
tion of Merlin by the Lady of the Lake, — perhaps the most 
famous and significant of all the Arthurian legends. 

' A storm was coming, but the winds were still, 
And in the wild woods of Broceliande, 
Before an oak so hollow, huge and old 
It look'd a tower of ruin'd masonwork, 
At Merlin's feet the wileful Vivien lay/ 

Vivien, having failed to obtain any satisfaction of her vanity 
from * the blameless Mng,' and finding the court unpleasant to 
her, for 

' She hated all the knights, and heard in thought 
Their scornful laughter when her name was named,' 

determines to try her wiles upon ' him, the most famous man 
of all those times,' 

' Merlin, who knew the range of all their arts, 
Had built the king his havens, ships, and halls, 
Was also Bard, and knew the starry heavens ; 
Men call'd him Wizard.' 

Merlin tells Vivien that he possesses a charm ' of woven paces 
< and of waving hands,' by which he, or any one knowing 
certain words, can obtain entire power ' upon the life, and use, 
* and name, and fame,' of another. 

' There lived a king in the most Eastern East, 
Less old than I, yet older, for my blood 
Hath earnest in it of the springs to be. 
A tawny pirate anchor'd in his port. 
Whose bark had plunder*d twenty nameless isles ; 
And passing one, at the high peep of dawn, 
He saw two cities in a thousand boats 
All fighting for a woman on the sea. 
And pushing his black craft among them all, 
He lightly scatter'd theirs and brought her off, 
With loss of half his people arrow-slain ; 
A maid so smooth, so white, so wonderful, 
They said a light came from her when she moved : 
And since the pirate would not yield her up, 
The king impaled him for his piracy ; 
Then made her queen : but those isle-nurtur'd ey^ 

1859. Tennyson's Idylls of the King. 257 

Made such unwilling thoQgh successful war 

On all the youth, they sicken'd ; councils thinn'd. 

And armies waned, for magnet-like she drew 

The rustiest iron of old fighters* hearts ; 

And beasts themselves would worship ; camels knelt 

Unbidden, and the brutes of mountain back 

That carry kings in castles, bow*d black knees 

Of homage, ringing with their serpent hands. 

To make her smile, her golden ancle-bells. 

What wonder, being jealous, that he sent 

To find a wisard who might teach the king 

Some charm, which being wrought upon the queen. 

Might keep her all his own.' 

At last they found * a little, glassy-headed, hairless man/ wlio- 
taught the king to charm the queen 

* In such wise that no man could see her more, 
Nor saw she save the king, who wrought the charm, 
Coming and going, and she lay as dead, 
And lost all use of life.' 

The bulk of the poem is taken up with the gradual seduc- 
tion of Merlin by Vivien, whose persistance and subtle wiles at 
last overcome the wisdom of the Wizard. He is long proof 
against her persuasions, and pays no regard to her imprecations 
of heaven's wrath against herself, should she ever use the charm 
to his damage. But, in the midst of these imprecations, 

' Out of heaven a bolt 
(For now the storm was close above them) struck. 
Farrowing a giant oak and javelining 
With darted spikes and splinters of the wood 
The dark earth round.* 

Vivien flies into Merlin's arms for protection^ and does not for- 
get her purpose in her fright. 

* Overhead 
Bellow'd the tempest, and the rotten branch 
Snapt in the rushing of the river-rain 
Above them ; and in change of glare and gloom 
Her eyes and neck glittering went and came ; 
Till now the storm, its burst of passion spent. 
Moaning and calling out of other lands, 
Had left the ravaged woodland yet once more 
To peace ; and what should not have been had been, 
For Merlin, overtalk'd and overworn, \ 

Had yielded, told her all the charm, and slept. 
Then, in one moment, she put forth the charm 
Of woven paces and of waving hands, 
And in the hollow oak he lay as dead, 
And lost to life and use, and name and fame.' 
TOL, ex. NO. CCXXIir. 8 

258 Tennyson's Idylls of the King. July, 

In the third idjU we find ourselves again somewhtt too far 
removed from the region of human interests and probabilities. 
^ Elaine,' like * Enid,' is a long story, told in language which is 
uniformly pure and dignified, and oflen magnificent, and which 
of itself amply rewards the reading. But the love of Elaine 
for Lancelot is too much mixed up with the marvelloiis and 
improbable in incident to be efiective as a human passion, — 
not to say that it takes the least attractive form of love in 
woman, namely, that in which she becomes the suitor. Not all 
the skill and delicacy of Mr. Tennyson's language, nor all the 
' extenuating circumstances ' brought to bear, are sufficient to 
render this inversion of right order altogether pleasing. We 
quote the following passage from the poem as, at once, an illusp 
tration of the freedom assumed by the poet in the treatment of 
his subjects, and of the power by which that freedom is 
justified : — 

' For Arthur when none knew from whence he came, 
Long ere the people chose him for their king, 
Boving the trackless realms of Lyonness, 
Had found a glen, gray boulder and black tarn. 
A horror lived about the tarn, and clave 
Like its own mists to all the mountain side : 
For here ti^o brothers, one a king, had met 
And fought together ; but their names were lost ; 
And each bad slain his brother at a blow, 
And down they fell, and made the glen abhorred : 
And there they lay till all their bones were bleached, 
And lichen'd into colour with the crags : 
And one of these, the king, had on a crown 
Of diamonds, one in front, and four aside. 
And Arthur came, and labouring up the pass 
All in the misty moonshine, unawares 
Had trodden that crown'd skeleton, and the skull 
Brake from the nape, and from the skull the crown 
Boird into light, and turning on its rims 
Fled like a glittering rivulet to the tarn ; 
And down the shingly scaur he plunged, and canght, 
And set it on his head, and in his heart 
Heard murmurs, *^Lo! thou likewise shalt be king.'*' 

Many of our readers will be surprised when we inform them 
that there is not the slightest foundation for the above incident 
in any of the Arthurian romances; and that the poet htfi^ 
all cases, allowed himself unbounded liberty in the invention, 
suppression, or modification of incident, limiting himself only to 
the conditions of unity of tone^ and the traditional characters oi 
the personages introduced. Those who know most of the 

1859. TennyBon's IdylU of the King. 259 

strange and conflicting chaos of Arthurian tradition, having 
studied it not only in Sir Thomas Malory's famous epitome, but 
also in its various developments in Welsh, French, and German 
literature, will be most ready to excuse the poet-laureate for 
assuming the freedom which seems to have been taken by all 
the early romancers themselves in dealing with the heroes of 
the Bound Table. 

The story of ^ Elaine,' denuded of the noble language in 
which it has been clothed by Mr. Tennyson, would scarcely 
interest our readers. We must confine ourselves to an extract 
or two. Here is a touch of sea-scenery which has never 
been surpassed. 

' They couch'd their spears and prick'd their spears, and thus, 
Their plumes driv'n backward by the wind they made 
In moving, all together down upon him 
Bare, as a wild wave in the wide North Sea, 
Green-glimmering toward the summit, bears, with all 
Its stormy crests that smoke against the skies, 
Down on a bark, and overbears the bark, 
And him that helms it/ 

Elaine tends Lancelot in his sickness, and knows not of his 
love for Guinevere. 

' Had he seen her first, 
She might have made this and that other world 
Another world for the sick man ; but now 
The shackles of an old love straightened him, 
His honour rooted in dishonour stood, 
And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true. 
Yet the great knight in his mid-sickness made 
Full many a holy vow and pure resolve. 
These, as but bom of sickness, could not live : 
For when the blood ran lustier in him again. 
Full often the sweet image of one face. 
Making a treacherous quiet in his heart. 
Dispersed his resolution like a cloud. 
Then if the maiden, while that ghostly grace 
Beam'd on his fancy, spoke, he answer'd not. 
Or short and coldly, and she knew right well 
What the rough sickness meant, but what this meint 
She knew not, and the sorrow dimm'd her sight 

• • • * * 1. * 

She murmur'd " Vain, in vain : it cannot be- ^ 

He will not love me : how then ? must I die r 
Then as a little helpless innocent bird. 
That has but one plain passage of few notes 
Will sing the simple passage o'er and o er 

260 TennjQon^s Idfflh of the Kinff, July, 

For all an April morning, till the ear 

Wearies to hear it, so the simple maid 

Went half the night repeating, " Must I die ? " ' 

The laA of the four idylls^ and certainly the finest, describes 
the disgrace and repentance of Queen Guinevere, and the de- 
struction of the fellowship of the Round Table, through her 
guilt. We are disposed to look upon this short poem — it is 
not seven hundred lines — as the highest as well as the last of the 
poet's efforts. It is perfect in form, which is more than can be 
said of the longer idylls, and the interest is, from beginning to 
end, simple, intelligible, human, and lofty. The circumstances 
of this poem are the commencing repentance of the queen ; 
the confirmation of her resolutions, by the disgrace of the first 
public proof of her guilt; her flight to a convent; and her in- 
terview with Arthur on his way to his last battle-field. Sir 
Mordred, who discovers and betrays the queen on the occasion 
of her last farewell with Lancelot, is thus shown to us, as he 

' Climb'd to the high top of the garden-wall 
To spy soipe secret scandal if he mighty 
And saw the queen who sat between her best 
Enid, and lissome Yivien, of her court 
The wiliest and the worst ; and more than this 
He saw not, for Sir Lancelot passing by 
Spied where he couch'd, and as the gardener's hand 
Picks from the colewort a green caterpillar. 
So from the high wall and the flowering grove 
Of grasses Lancelot pluck'd him by the heel, 
And cast him as a worm upon the way ; 
But when he knew the prince, tho' marred with dust, 
He, reverencing king*s blood in a bad man. 
Made such excuses as he might, and these 
Full knightly without scorn 
But, ever after, the small violence done 
Rankled in him and ruffled all his heart, 
As the sharp wind that ruffles all day long 
A little bitter pool about a stone 
On the bare coast.' 

The awakenings of remorse in Guinevere are thus beautifully 
described : 

* Henceforward, too, the Powers that tend the soul 
To help it from the death that cannot die, 
And save it even in extremes, began 
To vex and plague her. Many a time for hours, 
Beside the placid breathings of the king, 
In the dead night grim faces came and went 

1859. Tennyson's IdifUs of the King. 261 

Before her, or a vague spiritual fear — 
Like to some doubtful noise of creaking doors 
Heard by the watcher in a haunted house 
That keeps the rust of murder on the walls -^ # 
Held her awake : or, if she slept, she dream'd 
An awful dream ; for then she seem'd to stand 
On some vast plain before a setting sun, 
And from the sun tjiere swiftly made at her 
A ghastly something, and its shadow flew 
Before it, till it touched her, and she turn'd — 
When lo ! her own, that broadening from her feet, 
And blackening, swallow'd all the Land, and in it. 
Far cities burnt, and with a cry she woke.' 

She tells Lancelot they must never meet but once again to 
say farewell. It is at this farewell that Mordred surprises 
them, and brings the long increasing rumours of the queen's 
infidelity to public proof. Lancelot and she fly from the court 
in company, and it is for some time supposed that he has taken 
her to his castle, where he is besieged by the king^ until the 
latter learns that Guinevere is in the convent at Almesbury. 
Here she is compelled to listen to the abuse which is heaped 
upon her name by the nuns, who are not aware that they are 
speaking to herself. When the king comes : — 

^ Froue from off her seat she fell. 
And groveird with her face against the floor : 
There with her milk-white arms and shadowy hair 
She made her face a darkness from the king : 
And in the darkness heard his armed feet 
Pause by her.' 

He relates to her the glorious work which she has overthrown ; 
how he had founded a society to be an example to the world : — 

' ^* I made them lay their hands in mine and swear 
To reverence the king as if he were , 

Their conscience, and their conscience as their king, 
To break the heathen and uphold the Christ, 
To ride abroad redeeming human wrongs. 
To speak no slander, no, nor listen to it, 
To lead sweet lives in purest chastity. 
To love one maiden only, cleave to her, 
And worship her by years of noble deeds. 
Until they won her ; for indeed I knew 
Of no more subtle roaster under heaven 
Than is the maiden passion for a maid, 
Not only to keep down the base in man. 
But teach high thought, and amiable words 
And courtliness, and the desire of fame, 

262 Tennyson's IdylU of the King. Joly» 

And loTe of truth, and all that makes a man. 

And all this throve until I wedded thee ! 

Believing, '* lo ! my helpmate, one to feel 

My purpose and rejoicing in my joy." 

Then came thy shameful sin with Lancelot ; 

Then came the sin of Tristram and Isolt ; 

Then others, following these my mightiest knights, 

And drawing foul ensample from fair names, 

Sinn'd also. . . . • 

Lo ! I forgive thee, as eternal God 

Forgives : do thou for thine own soul the rest 

But how- to take last leave of all I loved? 

golden hair with which I used to play 
Not knowing ! . . . . 

Let no man dream but that I love thee still. 
Perchance, and so thou purify thy soul. 
And so thou lean on our fair father Christ, 
Hereafter in that world where all are pure 
We too may meet before high God, and thou 
Wilt spring to me, and claim me thine, and know 

1 am thine husband — not a smaller soul. 
Nor Lancelot, nor another." 

Then, listening till those armed steps were gone. 
Rose the pale queen, and in her anguish found 
The casement : *' Peradventure," so she thought 
" If I might see his face, and not be seen.^ 
And lo, he sat on horseback at the door ! 
And near him the sad nuns with each a light 
Stood, and he gave them charge about the queen, 
To guard and foster her for evermore. 
And while he spake to these his helm was lower'd, 
To which for crest the golden dragon clung 
Of Britain ; so she did not see his face. 
Which then was as an angel's, but she saw. 
Wet with the mists and smitten by the lights, 
The dragon of the great Pendragonship 
Blaze, making all the night a stream of fire.' 

Such poetry as this requires no comment, and the specimens 
we have been enabled to give in these pages will satisfy our 
readers that the volume from which Ihey are taken constitutes 
an accession of no small importance to the classical literature of 
England, and will be read with admiration wherever the m' 
guage of England is spoken. It has been, indeed, our object 
on the present occasion rather to set forth the first frui^^ ^| 
these poems in their freshness and their beauty, than to attempt 
a critical examination of them. On their exceUences an" ^" 

1859. Tennyson's IdyJh of the King. 263 

their defects much remains to be said. The remarkable and 
noble peculiarity of the language, of which we have already 
spoken, introduces a certain monotony and Doric bareness into 
the style; but although the beauty of the verse, considered 
as blank verse in the abstract, suffers from the monosyllabic 
character of the Saxon phraseology, it cannot be denied that 
this effect is in keeping with the quality of the subject. 
Mr. Tennyson has acquired the art of saying things, not in 
themselves either natural or dignified, in the most natural and 
dignified language. The simplicity to which he has attained, 
especially in this his latest and most careful work, is the 
quintessence of elaborate refinement. He altogether wants the 
pkyful ease of Ariosto and the luxuriant grace of Spenser, who 
have treated before him the immortal legends of chivalrous 
fiible. His poetic genius is concentrated rather than diffuse^ 
and so strongly characterised by extreme nicety of language and 
subtlety of thought, that we are sometimes amazed at the 
popularity he has attained. But his great powers, exercised 
as they always are with a true knowledge of his art, have not 
been able to give a strong personal interest to his subject, or to 
turn the knights and ladies of King Arthur's court into living 
men and women. They belong to faery land, and^ the more 
indistinct their forms remain, the more we are disposed to 
accept them as the mythology of early Britain. It would be a 
waste of time to dissect these incoherent fahliaux or tales which 
owe their charm to the visionary radiance that lingers upon 
them, rather than to their individual beauty and truth. ^^ ® 
legends themselves, Mr. Tennyson haa not given us the best 
stories first Sir Thomas Malory's coUection contains many 
finer than that of * Enid ' for example, and far more sm^^*®/^'^ 
modem poetic treatment. To these also it is probable that he 
has already directed his attention. The poet himself appears to 
have felt that it is not within the grasp of our time to achieve 
that great national epic of King Arthur, which once excitea 
the youthful ambition of MUton ; but the measured gnw5e ^^ 
his verse, reflecting here and there the emotions and sympathies 
of a later age, will recommend this poem to «^?«^«»X™ 
readers, whom the early legends of Britain might foil to charm. 

264 The late Ministry July, 

Art. XL — 1. Speech of the Right Hon. Benjamin Disraeli, 
delivered in the House of Commons, \st April, 1859. 

2. Correspondence relating to the Affairs of Italy. Presented to 
Parliament by Command^ June, 1859. 

^X'he fall of Lord Derby'd Administration can have taken no 
one by surprise, and can hardly be a matter of regret to any; 
certainly not to the country and not even, we suspect, to Lord 
Derby himself, or to the more influential members of the party 
which for the present he leads. For the second time he has tried 
the experiment of building on a quicksand — on a foundation so 
shifting and unstable as to have made the ruin of his fabric 
certain, even although the wind should never blow, or the rain 
beat upon it. The successful assault of his political antagonists, 
in a Parliament chosen by himself, as far as he had the power to 
choose, has only prevented the spontaneous dislocation and dis- 
solution which was about to bring his Government* to a still 
more ignoble and inglorious end ; and the result of fifleen 
months of Conservative rule has simply been to weaken still 
more the confidence of the country in public men, to undermine 
those foundations of political honour on which alone our free 
institutions rest, and to replace in power the former rulers of 
the country to carry on its affairs under additional difficulties, 
with smaller majorities and with new'complications. 

It were hard indeed to say for what conceivable stake, or for 
what possible benefit, the nation has been exposed to the great 
misfortune of these results. After a contest with its inevitable 
destiny, of no great length, but one protracted too long for the 
interests of the country or the dignity of Government, Lord 
Derby's Administration fell before; a direct vote of want of 
confidence passed by the House of Commons. Although the 
majority was small, the sentiment it expressed was probably 
nearly as universal in Parliament and in the country as any 
opinion on public affairs could well be. No doubt other men 
and other measures were distrusted also. There was distrust 
of Liberal leaders and distrust of Liberal followers, distrust of 
great reforms and of little reforms, distrust of those who were 
too far advanced and of those who would rather not advance at 
all. But these were only the elements which interrupted what 
would otherwise have been unanimity in the House of Com- 
mons had all fairly spoken out their real opinions. It never 

1859. and the State of Europe. 265 

occurred lo any one to place confidence in Lord Derby's 
Government. The sentiment did not even find refage on the 
Treasury Bench ; for the Ministers plainly had no confidence 
in themselves. 

In the course of the concluding debate, no ground was sug- 
gested even by the Government themselves why any one should 
confide in them. The fire of personality and invective, which 
was smartly kept up for four nights, faintly masked, under its 
noise and smoke, the consciousness of a hopeless position. They 
were without a policy, without principles, without opinions, 
without even intentions. For the hour, to catch a straggling 
vote, they were content to be accused of, or suspected of, or 
given credit for, whatever political inclinations might suit the 
turn of the debate. If a Liberal of Conservative tendencies 
suggested that Mr. Bright was democratic and dangerous, the 
Grovemment benches cheered. If Mr. Bright suggested that 
Lord Palmerston was no reformer, they cheered again. If 
an ultra-Liberal, in a state of advancement far beyond Man- 
chester, expressed his belief that Lord Derby's continuance in 
power was the certain way to bring about his cherished schemes, 
they cheered more loudly and more vociferously than ever. As 
Conservative as Mr. Bentinck, as Kadical as Mr. Koebuck, 
Protestant enough for Mr. Spooner, Ultramontanist enough 
for Mr. Bowyer, they furnished, in the erratic evolutions of that 
last engagement, the best of all reasons, had reasons been want- 
ing, why the Commons of England should put no faith in 

Never, indeed, has the high and proud position of the Minis- 
ters of this great country, which has so long been, and we trust 
will long continue to be, the fire which kindles the ambition of 
the ablest and the noblest in the land, been so recklessly or so 
indecorously disparaged. If, indeed, as they were careful on 
all occasions to insinuate, the unwelcome gift of office had been 
thrust upon them, — if, by reason of dissension and division, the 
Liberal Government had fallen to pieces, and loyalty com- 
manded them to rally round their Sovereign in order that the 
head of the Executive might not be left without counsellors, — ^the 
country would have abated something of its contempt. But 
we all know it was not so, although the pretence was quite con- 
sistent with the tenor of the Government it was used to main- 
tain. Lord Palmerston's administration was in all r^pects a 
'vigorous and powerful one. It commanded a larger majority in 
the House of Commons than we shall probably ever see again at 
the back of a Minister. For the first time for many yeara the 
Minister was master of his own measures and the country was 

266 The late Ministry July, 

daily reaping the benefit of having power in the hands of those 
who could act without compromise, and maintain their ground 
without weak compliances. In fair fight, and on any party di- 
vision, the Opposition had not a chance. The crisis which 
upset Lord PaUnerston was created by the Conservatives them- 
selves. They not only took the opportunity which ofiered, bat 
they deliberately lay in wait for it. The differences which 
arose in the Liberal ranks on the Conspiracy Bill were of a 
nature which amongst honest men must frequently arise, even 
when party ties are the strongest. It was a fair matter for 
difference of opinion, whether the Conspiracy Bill should have 
been introduced or not. It was a question on which the most 
sincere advocates of Liberal principles might fairly dififer, and 
had Lord Palmerston not believed that, in a great crias of 
pnbUc affairs, he might trust the assurances of his political anta- 
gonists, they probably never would have had the opportunity of 
undeceiving him. But the public has been too much allowed to 
forget the circumstances under which the Conspiracy Bill was 
introduced ; and we recur to that topic for a moment in order to 
illustrate the accuracy and the justice of Lord Derby, when he 
would represent his parliamentary difiiculties as the result of 
Liberal dissensions, or of the inanition of a Liberal Government 
The Conspiracy Bill was, in a sense. Lord Derby's own. If 
it was not so in a larger and more exact acceptation than the 
public were aware of, he at least in his place in Parliament 
strenuously and pressingly advised it. In the speech which he 
delivered on the state of public affairs in the opening of the 
Session, he suggested the measure, he urged it, he recommended 
it to the Government as if he somewhat mistrusted the vigour 
or the courage of those to whom he appealed. He siud on the 
4th February, 1858 :— 

' I do not presume to express any opinion as to the specific measures 
which may be introduced with the view of striking somewhat more 
of terror into the minds of the persons by whom such crimes are 
contemplated, and for the purpose of making manifest to the sensitire 
people of France the sincerity of our expression of good will in their 
regard ; but I may nevertheless give utterance to the hope that Her 
Majesty's Minister's may be able to see their way to the framing of 
some law which may prove effectual for the suppression of those 
attempts at assassination, while it does not infringe upon the viui 
principles of the Constitution. To the enactment of such a measure 
as that, Parliament would, I feel assured, be prepared to give a cheer^ 
fol assent. Now, my Lords, I thought it expedient, as a member of 
this House wholly unconnected with the Grovernment — Her Majest/s 
Ministers not having deemed it to be their duty to offer any expres- 
sion of opinion upon the subject — to seize this, the first opportonitf 

1859. afid Ae State tf Europe. 267 

which presents itself, to adTert to the late atrocioos attempt upon the 
life of the £mperor of the Freneby and to state the views with respect 
to it which I entertain. I feel a deep interest in the continuance of 
the life of that monarch, and I attach the utmost importance to the 
maintenance of a good understanding, not only between the sovereigns 
of England and France, but between the people of the two countries. 
It is, in mj opinion, of the greatest moment to France that her present 
rater should long remain at the head of her government — a govern- 
ment of which I will saj nothing more than that I believe it to be 
that which, at the present moment, is best suited to the feelings, the 
babitSy and the opinions of the French nation. These being mj gen- 
timentSy I deemed it desirable that I should do all that in me lay to 
remove any misapprehension or misconception with respect to England 
from the minds of the people of that country. I am also anxious to 
learn from Her Majesty's Government how far they concur with me 
in the general principles which I have just laid down.' 

Now these observations were made at a time when the sub- 
stance of tiie communicatioiis between France and England 
were thoroughly notorious. Lord Derby indicated no dis- 
satisfaction with the French Emperor and none with his Minis- 
ters. The celebrated addresses of the French colonels had, at 
that time, appeared in the ^ Moniteur '; yet they did not in the 
slightest degree moderate the language of respect which Lord 
Derby used towards the Emperor, or the intensity of his desire 
that the measure he suggested should be introdn<>Bd. 

This appeal was made in a crisis of great difficulty, and sur- 
rounded by great complications. The French alliance, so 
important to our interests, trembled in the balance. The em- 
barrassments of Lord Palmerston's position were obvious and 
palpable. In these circumstances, his political rival steps 
forward, with apparent patriotism and generosity, to give him 
coonsel and to tender him support. The head of a great party — 
one always obedient to orders and to discipline — he gave, by the 
course which he adopted, the most deliberate and solemn pledge, 
that in following out the suggestions which he so earnestly madey 
iKMd Palmerston should receive from him and Ids followers an 
Wourable support. 

All this sounded high-minded and disinterested. It was met 
in the spirit in which it had been supposed to hare been 
proffered, and Lord Granville, while thinking that Lofd Derby 
exaggerated the insufficiency of the law as it stood, and oiMler- 
i^ed the Constitutional difficulty, closed with the mfomU and 
UQilertook that the Bill should be introduced llor was Lord 
Derby slow in the first instance to fulfil the kifJie d pledge 
vhich he had given. On the second day's debate oo the iotro- 
<Iuction of the Bill, Lord Derby's friends left it no kn^c? 

268 Tlie late Ministry July, 

<loubtful what course they were prepared to take. It may 
iDBtmct ns well as amuse our readers^ recollecting what ths 
whirling of time so speedily brought about, to refer, in the 
pages of Hansard, to the speech of the then Irish Attorney- 
General, and shortly to be Irish ' Lord Chancellor, Napier. 
' He believed,* he said, ' the measure to be a wise and judidous 
^ Amendment of the existing law, and he believed the occasion 
'to be a suitable one for carrying that measure into effect' 
Not only did the law require amendment, but ' the amend- 
' ment now proposed was one which he himself would have 

* made in 1856, for in that year he made a note to that effect in 

* a copy of a Bill sent for his consideration. Under these cir- 
< cumstances, he should give his cordial, his unhesitating, aad 

* his hearty support to the proposal then before the House.' 

It was not to be expected that the Hibernian frankness of 
Mr. Napier should have been copied by a mind so little similar 
as that of Mr. Disraeli. He made a speech, however, which, 
although full of cautious and astute evasion of direct expressioQ 
of opinion, is clear and specific on one point, and one point 
only. And that point is the despatch of Count Walewski. 

'Sir, lam not here to defend or to palliate any of those circom- 
stances which have been so severely, but so justly, animadverted upon 
in the course of the debate. I do not think that the despatch of 
Count Walewski, though it has found a defender in an honourable 
friend of mine, is written with that tact, good temper, and good sense 
which generally characterise his lucubrations. I am bound to admit 
that I think that despatch is an unfortunate despatch. I go forther 
than that. I do not deny for a moment that the observations of the 
French colonels are extremely impertinent; and I think that the 
introduction of these observations into the pages of the authentic and 
authoritative journal of the French empire was an act of signal 
indiscretion. But, after the despatch which has been read bjthe 
right honourable gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home 
Department this evening, I am not inclined to dwell so much as I 
otherwise should have done on those errors. We all know in prirate 
life that, however excited our feelings may be when a misunder- 
standing arises, and however warm may be our language, the mo- 
ment a gentleman says that he regrets the offensive expresnons be 
has used, all is immediately forgotten ; amity is restored ; and,if the 
apology is tendered with a good grace, and not in a churlish manner, 
the feeling that succeeds is very often one of greater amiability than 
that which preceded the misunderstanding. Now I must say that I 
think that expression of regret on the part of the Emperor of the 
French is frank, and full, and satisfactory; and I do not think that it 
becomes us, after we have been aware of it, to remember with too 
much severity those incidents to which I have referred.' 

He proceeded to illustrate the moderation and good temper 

1859. and tke State oj Europe. 2fio 

which we were bound to use, under irritation and provocation 
towards our French Allies, by recalling the good sense and 
forbearance shown bj the French Emperor, when attacks were 
nmde upon him by public men in this country; and so the 
debate passed ofF, — ninety-nine Liberals voted against its in- 
troduction, and the whole Conservative opposition were to be 
found in the majority. 

Such being the course of proceedings up to this time, an 
ordinary leader, unacquainted with the tone and temper which 
of late years has prevailed in high political places^ would 
not credit what the plot of this political drama eventually 
turned out to be. He would not believe what is, although 
incredible, yet the truth, that when this Bill, so suggested, 
so introduced, and so supported, came up for a second 
reading, and a motion was made, and an amendment was moved, 
founded on the very considerations with which Mr. Disraeli so 
contemptuously dealt, — when the Conservatives had come down 
to the House in the full belief that they were honourably to 
redeem the pledge which their leader had given, — ^tempted by a 
momentary chink in the armour of their political adversary,- — 
the word suddenly went forth to join the opponents of the Bill, 
and that Mr. Walpole, the last man in the House to choose for 
such a service, should have hurled his javelin through the crevice, 
on the suggestion, as we believe, of Lord Derby himself. 

Such is the history of the Conservative advent to power. 
The magnanimity of their antagonists, and the delicate topics 
involved in that crisis, have relieved them of part of the weight 
of opinion which they justly ought to hear, but told from the 
records of the period, it forms as discreditable an mstance ot 
party manoeuvres as any our history discloses. - 

The position, then, in which the late Government was placea 
was not one into which they were forced by circumstances or 
caUed by honour. It was one for which they^^^gS^'^r^ 
nceuvred, and intrigued. They gained it by the breacn oi aa 
solemn a Parliamentary contract as one great l^^^^r ^u^ 
^ke with another; nor is it the least of the f^^^^^^^^ 
they have committed against the system of f ^^^^^^^^ 
Government, that the eligency they pleaded at every turn 
^as the result of a stratagem which. ^^1"''^The naSo^ 
rowly on the confines even of party^ l-ce^^; ,^ J^Vu i^ 
therefore, has a good right to know ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^ 

^utl t"^'^^ ^^^ Xfx. ^the^ctall b^^^^ 

270 The late Ministry July, 

rules of war, as those who throw away human life in defeaAng 
a fortress which they know is incapable of defence. 

The experiment has been as dangerous and injurious to the 
country > — as lowering to the dignity of the Executive, — ^as &td 
to the reputation of its chief promoters, as could have been antici- 
pated. It was all the worse that it was the second performance 
of a bad play which the public had years before condemned. But 
in 1852, Lord Derby had some colour and truth in the apology, 
which, on this occasion with no colour and no truth, his ad- 
herents have so constantly reiterated. The Liberal Govein- 
ment of 1852, unlike that of 1858, was weak and divided. It 
had a year before collapsed on Mr. Locke King's Bill, and 
on that occasion Lord Derby declined to take office. The 
disngreement between the Premier and Lord Palmerston had 
brought on another attack of chronic debility, which proved 
fatal, and there was some show of reason in the demand whidi 
Lord Derby made on taking office for forbearance and a fair 
trial. But unfortunately the fairness they expected was all oa 
one tide. In opposition they had been Protectionists, sap- 
porters of the Navigation Laws, opponents of Sir Bobert Pc^ 
and all his policy. From the moment they took office thdr 
sole desire seemed to be to induce the public to forget, as if they 
could be foigotten, all their former professions and prindples, 
and from that time forward there has been no Conservative 

The course adopted by Lord Derby in 1852 was the inan- 
guration of a new system of political tactics, which has been 
very fatal to the Tory party in this country, and whidi we 
hope has received its death-blow in the overthrow of the 
late Government. The Tory party is, and always must be^ 
one of great power and influence in the State. It has 
within it great ability, great wealth, great territcmal posses- 
sions. It holds its traditional opinions with . all the tenacity 
peculiar to the character of Englishmen ; and if at times its 
adherence to old ways and beaten tracks is unreas<Hitng and in- 
stinctive, no one can doubt that the weight and influence of a 
body that moves so slowly, and submits to change so cantioiisly, 
are not the least important elements in the stability and permar 
nence of our institutions. In any probable fluctuation of the fran- 
chise, — under any imaginable alteration in the mere machinery 
of political power — this great party must have a powerful voice 
in the councils of the nation. The principles of the Constitution 
which they represent — their attachment to the oligarchic and 
monarchical, and their jealousy of the democratic element, are 
not mere opinions of the day or hour, but the dogmas of a great 

1859. arid the State of Europe. 271 

political school^ of which it cannot be affirmed that they are 
either absolutely tnie or absolutely false, but which admit of 
varied application to the varying circumstances of the times. No 
one expects that the Conservatives of the present day are, for the 
sake of consistency, to maintain the precise sentiments, and pro- 
pose and support, or oppose and resist, the san^ measures, as their 
predecessors of the Tory school did in 1801, or 1821, or 1831, 
or 1841. The world has grown too old for that, as it has for a 
persecuting Whig of 1688. No power and no political party 
can repeal the Beform Bill or re-animate Protection, and the 
public are content that the opponents of the one, and the sup- 
porters of the other, should acquiesce in the verdict which ex- 
perience has pronounced against them. But as the party is still 
strong and powerful, it must have some opinions and some 
prindples. The passing of the Beform Bill in 1831 has not 
cured it of its jealousy of democracy, — the triumph of Free 
Trade has not lessened its attachment to the agricultural 
interests, — the Catholic Belief Bill has not, in point of fact, 
reconciled it to Boman Catholic influence — the general 
bent of its opinions, the general tendency of its political creed, 
remains, and must remain, the same. And on these principles 
the country must be governed if the Tory party are to govern it. 
Many people think that this is dealing out hard measure to 
our political antagonists. It will be said that there was so 
large an infusion of the democratic element introduced in 1831, 
that it is impossible at the present day to carry on the Go- 
vernment of the country in strict accordance with old Tory 
views. Whether this be a calamity or not, if it be true, is a 
matter on which people may differ. But the view is by no 
means so well founded as many persons suppose. There is a 
constant ebb and flow, a flux and reflux, of political opinion 
in this country. The more victorious and triumphant a party 
becomes, the surer is the reaction which is in store for it. The 
Whig majority of 1831 began to decay from the moment of its 
culmination. By 1835 it had become nearly invisible, in 1841 
it vanished altogether, and in that year a majority of upwards 
of ninety in the House of Commons declared that they had no 
confidence in the men who passed the Beform Bill. Thus it 
bj no means follows that a dignified and honourable adherence 
to political principles necessarily operates as a crystal bar to 
the paradise of office, in the case of the Conservatives, even if 
that result were sufficient to excuse the abandonment of their 
^cient creed. 

It is not to be denied that political consistency recdved a 
g^eat shock from Sir Bobert Peel. But it must be said for 

272 The late Ministry July, 

him, on both the great occasions on which he made his memor- 
able changes, that he changed because he was convinced. He 
altered his opinions at the same time that he altered his policj. 
He changed for great public ends, and on clear, distinct, and 
intelligible grounds, and on the last occasion, in 1845, he was 
ready to consummate his change of opinion by the abandonment 
of office. Still the example has been a most pernicious one, 
and even without the caricature of it which has been presented 
by two Derby Governments, goes far to detract from the 
otherwise well-earned reputation of that distinguished man. 

But the Derby Government of 1852 was the first adminis- 
tration in this country which reduced inconsistency to a system, 
and want of principle to a principle. When Sir Bobert Peel 
announced his change of opinion on the Catholic Disabilities, he 
expressed with eloquence and emotion not, we believe, affected, 
the wrench and effort which it cost his self-love to make the 
avowal of his conversion. But no such pangs of wounded 
self-complacency afflicted the Derby Government of 1852. 
No ' sharp convulsive pangs of agonising pride ' tortured their 
breasts. They flung Protection aside with as much indifference 
as if it had not pointed the darts, and kindled the thunderbolts, 
of debate, in the fiercest and most acrimonious political struggle 
of the century. Fortunately their tenure was short, but in 
that short time they had founded that new political school 
which has for its elementary principle, that any change of 
opinion or action is excusable or laudable, the object of which 
is to keep a Conservative Government in power. 

The Conservative party in Parliament went back to the 
Opposition benches in December 1852, having fought their hope- 
less battle with some gladiatorial skill, but having shaken moet 
rudely the foundations on which their political influence with 
the country depended. They went into opposition shorn of 
every political principle which could form a distinctive rallying 
cry to their friends. Everything which was old they had 
abandoned. They had adopted nothing which was new. Sir 
Bobert Peel changed his opinions on great emergencies and for 
tangible objects. But the Derby recantations of 1852 were 
wholesale, with no definite end and no apparent limit. Thej 
left the public to understand not only th^t they had changed 
some opinions, but that there were no opinions which they were 
not prepared to change; and thus the only fruit of their short lease 
of office was utterly to annihilate the confidence of their sup- 
porters in the country, and to inflict discredit on, and to inspire 
distrust in, the character and reputation of public men. 

Six years in opposition do not appear to have brought with 

1859. and the State of Europe. 21 Z 

them any of the salutary leesons of experience. When^ as 
we have already described^ they succeeded in upsetting the 
administration of Lord Palmerston^ it was plain that they had 
again commenced their ministerial career with the resolution to 
be bound by no professions, to adhere to no opinions, and to be 
encumbered with no scruples, which might endanger the power 
they had so equivocally attained. It is needless for us to re- 
eume the history which must be so vivid in the recollection of 
our readers — how they implored Lord John Russell to pro- 
tect them against Lord Palmerston — how they invoked and 
ilattered Mr. Bright, when they wished his protection a^inst 
Lord John — the disasters and disgraces of the India Bill — 
the humiliation of the Oaths Bill — the studious chicanery of 
the measure of Keform which they propounded, and the reck- 
less and inexcusable Dissolution which followed its rejection. 
The moral which we wish to draw from this irapid recapitula- 
tion is a very plain and obvious one, and it is this : that each 
time the Conservative party attempts to form an administration 
based on the abnegation of political principle and disbelief in 
political virtue, the result will uniformly be that which • has 
twice overtaken them, — ^inglorious and unlamented defeat. When 
we have a Conservative Minister who is bold enough to be con- 
sistent, we may then, and not till then, see a Conservative Gro- 
vemment powerful, permanent, and respected. No measures 
and no principles can atone to this country for any lowering of 
the standard of political morality among her political chiefs 
and rulers ; and the great body of the Conservatives will do 
well never agiun to become the degraded supporters of that 
political system which we hope finally expired when the late 
Ministry resigned. 

The period which has elapsed since Lord Palmerston's 
Government came to an end has not been ill-spent, we think, by 
the great body of the Liberal party. The system of party 
government within the Liberal ranks had of late years been 
somewhat disorganised, from causes which are obvious enough^ 
but which it is not necessary for us to enter upon at present. 
The differences which sprung up in the Liberal camp were 
readily seized on by their antagonists, to weaken and distract 
them. But this system was carried too far and pursued too 
long. When it was found that the late Ministers were suppliant 
only in the day of danger, and insolent after it had passed, — that 
they stigmatised as factious to-day the man whona they 
had extolled as patriotic when they stood in need of his sup- 
port yesterday, — when all sections became convinced that 
nothing solid was to be expected or hoped for from that 


274 The late Ministry Jidj» 

quarter^ they began^ hj a natural and trathful instinct, to think 
more gentlj of each other* Thej b^an to reflect that their 
differences related more to the men than to the measures — that 
they had the same sympathy for the public objects they pursued, 
and after all were not so much at yariance as to the mode in 
which they wished to pursue them. 

On looking back, however, to the course of events since the 
great political controversy on the subject of Free Trade, a lesson 
may be learned from the occurrences which have taken place in the 
interval, which the more sanguine members of the Liberal party 
would do well to ponder on. It is from that quarter generally 
that discontent has proceeded-— consisting, as that section of the 
party does, chiefly of men attached to politics as a sdence, 
who reason and who profess to act according to philosophic roles, 
these men are always less tolerant of the cold delays and hesi- 
tating steps of the more deliberate of their friends. Findii^ 
their most cherished and ardent aspirations somewhat checked, 
they become impatient and distrustful, and b^n to doubt the 
sincerity of those who seem so little disposed to keep pace with 
them. Now, reflecting upon the history of parties since 1846, 
it may not be without its use to call to mind the numerous pro- 
jects which have, each in its turn, been the standard of advanced 
Liberals, and remark what their fate has been when brought 
to the great test of public discussion. First came Financial 
Beform, then came Disarmament, then came Administrative Re* 
form, but all these things as a standard or criterion of party are 
already forgotten. For the time during which each of them 
lasted, any one who did not make one of the retinue was held to 
be a li^gard in the Liberal race, yet they have gone to dust, and 
their own promoters' have forsaken them. The reason is quite 
obvious. They embodied sound principles in an exaggerated 
form, and presented them to the public in a shape which offended 
the sober opinion of the country. We therefore hope, on the 
reconstruction of a Liberal Administration, that the main bodj 
of the Liberal party will once more recollect that there is much 
work to do, and great interests to protect ; that somethbg, at 
all events, may be accomplished by union, while the resdt of 
dissension has been an absolute blank, — that in quiet times, 
when trade flourishes and work is plenty, we may not look for 
the political excitement which bursts in thunder and clears the 
atmosphere, — that it is better to go one mile with the man who 
will go with us, than to waste a summer's eve in persuading 
him to go two, — and that mutual forbearance and rational con- 
cession are the first and most essential gifts of statesmanship, 
without which union and strength are impossible, and the 
fruits of the highest genius may be lost to the nation. 

1859. and the State of Europe. 275 

While we write these concluding lines, we hear with great 
regret that Mr. Cobden has declined to join the Administration. 
We should like to have seen the results which would have 
arisen from the application of Mr. Cobden's clear and lucid 
powers of thought, his great industry, and aptitude for debate 
in the hitherto untried capacity of a Minister. We believe he 
is thoroughly well fitted to have served the public in that 
character with distinction and success. We should greatly 
have wished that the public had had in his person and from 
his great popular influence the assurance that the Liberal party 
were entirely united in the great objects they pursue, and in 
the general policy by which they hope to obtain them. The 
reasons which have affected his determination we are not in 
a position to appreciate. But when the leaders of the Whig 
party and Ministers called to the formation of a Cabinet are 
cbaiged, as they often are, with a too exclusive regard for their 
own immediate friends and connexions, it should be borne in 
mind that the fault does not altogether rest with themselves ; 
and that nothing has been found less easy than to obtain, in 
administration and the actual responsibility of government, the 
personal co-operation of those who have risen to political dis- 
tinction by popular agitation. 

From these considerations on the general aspect of parties 
wi& reference to the national administration of the country, we 
now briefly turn to that which is of more intense and universal 
interest — the progress of hostilities abroad, and our own rela- 
tions with the belligerent and neutral Powers, which have been 
brought prominently before the public by the publication of 
Lord Malmesbury's Italian correspondence. 

Three months have barely elapsed since we had occasion in 
this place to note the premonitory signs and thick gathering in 
the heavens of that storm which has since broken upon the 
south of Europe, and brought about changes in the relations of 
the Continental Powers far more momentous than the changes 
which have occurred in the internal government of this Empire. 
When last we had occasion to direct the attention of our 
readers to these subjects, peace was still unbroken — nego- 
tiations were still on foot — the hopes and fears of Europe 
were still held in suspense by a Congress which was not to meet 
— and the only tangible ground on which the question could 
then be argued was that of the existing public law of Europe. To 
treat those solemn engagements, which were the sole bulwarks 
of peace, as if they had been already abrogated by the casuistry 
or ambition of this or that Court, was to admit that right had 

276 The late Ministry Jalj« 

already quailed before force, and that the state of Italy was a state 
of war, to be determined only by the arbitrement of the sword. 
That was not the actual condition of public affairs when we endea- 
voured to confute the audacious misrepresentations and expose 
the covert designs of the authors of the celebrated pamphlet 
which will be remembered as the precursor of the present san* 
guinary contest. Unhappily the anticipations we then enter- 
tained have been but too speedily and completely realised. No 
one who traces with candour and discernment the course of 
events, can doubt that the present hostilities had long been 
resolved upon, and that they became inevitable from the pontion 
assumed by Sardinia as soon as she felt herself assured of the 
support of France. With that incredible want of diplomatic skill 
and political foresight which has characterised Austria through- 
out these transactions, the Court of Vienna contrived to put 
itself at the last moment in the wrong — to give the war a more 
popular character in France — and to alienate much of the 
sympathy it might otherwise have retained in Northern Ger- 
many and in England. But the fact is not the less certain that 
under any circumstances Italy had been made ripe for war or 
revolution — that peace and order could not long be maintamed 
there without a display of force not to be tolerated by the rest 
of Europe — and that the impulse to war given by the power- 
ful arm of France was already irresistible. 

From the moment that the Austrian army made- its fatal and 
abortive advance to the right bank of the Ticino — from, the 
moment that French troops had crossed the Alps and 
Landed in Genoa, — the whole political structure of Italy was 
changed. Henceforth it would be mere pedantry to argue on 
the existence of rights and treaties, designed to perpetuate as 
long as possible a state of peace, but utterly incapable of oppoang 
the slightest resistance to an armed enemy. At once the vice 
and the weakness of that political and strat^cal system of 
Austria in Italy, which we denounced in April last as 'in the 
' highest degree impolitic,' became apparent. The defensive 
and offensive engagements by which the Court of Vienna had 
bound itself to afford the protection of its armies to the States of 
Central Italy against a foreign assailant, proved to be a dead letter. 
Tlie revolution, which, as has been shown by Mr. Scarlett's cor- 
respondence, had been actively prepared by the Sardinian diplo- 
matic agents and by the secret societies, broke out in Tuscany 
and Parma ; and those States passed rapidly from the hands of 
the national party to a French military occupation. Far from 
being able to afford any additional strength to the military posi- 
tion of the Austrians in Italy, these engagements would have led 

1859. and the State of Europe. 277 

totheimmedinte destruction of their scattered forces, if the Court 
of Vienna had attempted to give effect to them. Nothing of 
the kind could be done in presence of real danger. The only 
safety of Austria lay in concentration, and this undoubted truth 
was at length acknowledged by her generals, though not before 
they had wasted their strength and lost a part of their military 
prestige in a vain effort to do the reverse of all that sound 
strategical principles recommended. Hence it was clear that the 
extended system of influence and occupation, which she had 
attempted to justify on military grounds, was her bane ; the 
treaties with Central Italy had exasperated the Italian people 
and alienated the rest of Europe, without the slightest advan- 
tage to Austria herself, in the emergency in which she at last 
stood. To such a length, indeed, was this movement of retreat 
carried, that, after the battle of Magenta, which might have 
been considered an undecided action byt for its vast political 
and territorial results, even Piacenza was abandoned. The 
stores of war relinquished by the sudden evacuation of fortresses 
and positions which were supposed to be capable of a long 
defence far exceeded in value the supplies which had been levied 
and exacted in the North of Piedmont ; but, from the moment 
the Ticino was crossed by the Emperor of the French, no 
attempt was made by the Austrians to retain the line of the Po, 
or to make any stand whatever till they reached the Mincio ; 
— a fact which may be of importance in future negotiations, 
because it demonstrates with absolute certainty that the whole 
strength of the Austrian position in Italy rests on the lines 
drawn from the Lago di Garda to the Adriatic. 

Throughout this short campaign the Austrians appear sin- 
gnlarly to have overrated their own strength, and to have 
underrated the difficulties of their position. One of their 
ablest commanders. General Urban, failed even to arrest the 
daring and gallant march of Garibaldi, at the head of a band of 
Tolunteers, across the spurs of the Italian Alps ; and on every 
occasion, in the field, they have shown a marked inferiority ta 
their French and Sardinian antagonists, in every quality except 
the personal bravery of the officers and men, which has been 
worthy of a better fate. Yet it was generally believed in Eu* 
rope ibat Austria had carried to a v^ry high degree of perfec- 
tion her military system. No one denied the splendid appear- 
ance of her troops : no one doubted their gallantry in the field. 
The conclusion to which we are led by the disastrous result 
of their efforts is inevitable — the system of the army had 
not kept pace with the improvements of the age. Some Ger- 
man writers have of late commented with severity on the want 

278 The late Ministry July, 

of fortified places and great military establishments in Great 
Britain ; but however defenceless we may be supposed to be by 
continental critics^ we are upon the whole not so acces^bie to 
invasion as those provinces of Northern Italy on which all the 
resources of the military skill of Austria had been expended. 
The rapid successes of the French army afford, howeveri ample 
subject of reflection to this and all other countries. 

But the causes of the defeat which Austria has sustained lie 
deeper stilL They must be attributed mainly to the errors of 
policy of all kinds which have been committed by the yooog 
Emperor and his Ministers since the termination of the great 
convulsion of 1848. The attempt to extinguish the provincial 
independence of the several portions of the empire^ and to 
establish a centralised system hitherto unknown in Hungary, 60- 
hemia^^nd the other provinces, has produced local discontent and 
general weakness. The intolerant spirit of the clergy, inflamed 
by the absurd and impolitic concessions made by the Concordat 
to the Court of Some, has called forth a strong reaction 
at home, and the greatest illwill in other parts of Germany, 
as we anticipated when we examined at length that ill- 
judged measure in these pages.* The halting policy of 
Austria in the Crimean war exposed her to all the resent- 
ment of Sussia, without having earned the confidence or 
gratitude of the Western Powers. It is hard to explain the 
continual financial embarrassments of a State ruling over ter- 
ritories so fertile and a population so industrious, except on the 
supposition that sound principles of political economy are veiy 
imperfectly applied or understood. It matters comparatively 
little whether the Austrian Empire retains a province or two 
beyond the Alps, more or less. States flourish much less from 
the extent of their outlying dominions than by the skilful ad- 
ministration of whatever they possess. But if Austria is to 
retain her rank as one of the great military and political bodies 
of Europe, it is absolutely indispensable that her Emperor 
should call far abler ministers to his counsels, far abler generals 
to his armies, and far abler statesmen to his missions abroad. 
The reverses he has sustained afe not due to any want of 
heroism in his army, but to the want of wisdom, conduct, and 
foresight in the management of public aifairs. The Imperial 
Government has shown itself altogether deficient in those qua- 
lities which are sometimes urged in defence of absolutism; 
namely, strength, promptitude, unity of action, and plenitude 

* See ' Edinburgh Beview', vol. ciii. p. 452., for a full examination 
of the Concordat, and at p. 497. its eflect on the nation at lar^ 

1859. and the State of Europe. 279 

of resources. Populations of undoubted loyalty hove been 
driven to tbe verge of disaffection ; troops of unquestionable 
bravery Jbave been led to defeat: it is uncertain how long the 
Empire can support the drain of so great a contest without a 
total bankruptcy. Such are the results of the policy of the 
present reign. Well would it be for the future condition of 
Austria, if the present crisis should teach the Sovereign to rely 
more freely on national institutions and on popular sympathies 
throughout his dominions. 

There are those — though they are not, we think, the most nu- 
merous or iatelligent party in this country — who have witnessed 
the progress of the French armies with satisfaction, arising 
mainly from the conviction that the Austrians will be driven out 
of Italy, and that Italy is consequently free. If we could adopt 
this conclusion without reserve, we too might share this satfac- 
tion; but the present aspect of affairs presents a &r greater 
amount of uncertainty. Assuming the Austrians to be driven to 
the fortresses which cover their last line of defence south of the 
Alps, at the present moment Northern and Central Italy are in 
the hands of a powerful and victorious French army — ^the govern- 
ment of the several States is provinonally entrusted to Sardi- 
nian commissioners — nothing can be more magnanimous and 
diemterested than the proclamations of the belUgerents, but 
we are wholly incapable of determining what reliance can be 
placed upon them. Meanwhile the policy of this country on the 
Italian question is perfectly clear and unambiguous ; and if Lord 
John Bussell has the good fortune and ability to make the 
voice of a neutral and pacific Power beard above the clash of 
anns, it will be to the effect that we sincerely desire to see 
Italy liberated alike from the control of both her powerful 
neighbours, and that our satis&ction at the result will be pro- 
portioned to the amount of genuine freedom and independence 
which the Italians have the wisdom and' happiness to obtain. 
The task which devolved upon Lord John Bussell when he as- 
sumed the administration of the Foreign Department is unques- 
tionably one in which success would do honour to the most 
exalted gemus and the most consummate statesmanship. He 
aspires, without departing from that position of absolute neu- 
trality which Her Majesty's Ministers have, in common with the 
whole country, unanimously and cordially adopted, to set limits 
to the ravages of enormous armies and to bring back the swollen 
torrent of invasion within the boundaries of policy and law. 
He may seek, consistently with the principles of his whole life, to 
extend the advantages of constitutional government from Pied- 
QiOQt to the whole peninsula ; and to unite within the political or 

280 The late Ministry July, 

municipal assemblies of Italy elements which no other fonn of 
government has ever brought into permanent union. For if we 
may hazard a prognostication of these auspicious results, thoogb 
r^enerated Italy may owe her independence to France, S» 
wUl find the elements of freedom in her own soil. But we con- 
fess that the time appears to us yet remote when these results 
can be considered to be secure ; and the state of Italy is still far 
too agitated for us to hazard any predictions, or even to entertain 
any confident hopes, of the political form it may ultimately as- 
sume. Happy would it be for £im>pe, as well as for Italy, if it 
were possible to devote the energy and sagacity of our states* 
men to these noble objects, and to use the strength of die great 
military and naval Powers solely for the purpose of avertii^ 
that armed interference which has too often disposed of the 
rights of nations, and set at nought the obligations of pubUc hw. 
But at the present moment, it must be acknowledged that 
perplexities of far greater gravity intervene to postpone that 
re-settlement of Europe to which we ardently aspire. Men 
have scarcely yet begun to estimate at their true value the 
blessings of peace which have been thus wantonly thrown 
aside, or to feel the horror and misery which war, breaking 
out in the heart of Europe and amidst the luxuriant bloom 
of modem civilisation, cannot fail to inflict on myriads i£ 
men. The treaties of 1815 had no doubt great defects. 
They pressed heavily on the conquered, and they took not 
sufficient consideration for the subject races of the Conti- 
nent. But as we have had occasion to remark in another 
part of this Number, they were dictated by that imperious 
desire of peace which prevailed at the time over every other 
motive. For twenty years Europe had been deluged with 
blood. The short intervals of actual war had been spent in 
wringing fresh armies from the exhausted popuktion, until the 
very soil wanted hands to till it ; or in groaning under foreign 
oppression. All public law was at an end, for no bounds could 
be set to the bad faith and rapacity of him who was then 
master of the vast resources of France. Repeated experience 
had shown that nothing but a universal combination of all the 
nations of Europe could terminate this intolerable state of things. 
The effort was made : it succeeded. And the motive which 
preponderated over every other at the Congress of Vienna, was 
to make that peace which had been so dearly bought, a per- 
manent one. As far as anything human can be permanent, the 
end was attained. Upwards of forty years elapsed before the 
compact was seriously broken. But if we are indeed doomed 
to witness the subversion of the principles and laws which have 

1859. and the State of Europe. 281 

dario^ that period preserved mankind from numerous and 
dreadml calamities, we trust that we may also witness the 
restoration of peace on conditions equally durable and more 
favourable to the liberty of Europe. But the realisation of 
these sanguine hopes depends mainly on the moderation of the 
Prench army and the liberalism of the French Emperor. 

The barrier which the treaties of 1815 were intended to 
nuse against the military and a^ressive power of France has 
broken down, as might be expected, on the point where it- 
was weakest. Italy in 1814 had refused to join the aUies- 
against Napoleon: she was conquered by them; and though 
some of the former governments were restored with the acclama- 
tions of the people, a portion of the nation continued to cherish 
the recollection of their former connexion with Imperial France, 
and this sentiment was kept alive by the extreme impolicy 
of the Court of Vienna. Yet, as we remember to have heard 
Manin say — himself by far the ablest and noblest of modem 
Italian patriots — the very defects of the Austrians, which 
render them so odious to the people of Italy, served power* 
folly to stimulate and revive the national energy of that people : 
had Italy remained in the hands of the French, it was the opinion 
of Manin, that although their rule would have been far less irk- 
some, and in many respects more welcome to the Italians, for 
that very reason it would have tended to emasculate them, and 
to render them more than ever incapable of self-government. 
There are at the present time amongst the educated Italians in 
different parts of the Peninsula greater indications of union and 
mutual confidence than they have ever manifested. To borrow 
the expression of an acute observer, who writes from the spot, 
politick virtues appear to have been lent to them in this crisb 
which they never showed before; and we heartily trust that 
success and experience may make these virtues their own. 
These are the signs of that national enei^ on which alone the 
future existence of the country can depend : but on the other 
hand, in some places, as in Tuscany, it would seem that the 
short-lived success of the revolutionary movement would not 
have saved the State from positive anarchy, if it had not been 
for the arrival of a French carps damiee — the provisional 
gOTemment was powerless, the treasury was emptied, and the 
troops disbanded : and a little further on, in the States of the 
Pope, where reforms are most urgently needed, the forces of 
Fiince are still supporting the authority of the Pope against 
the manifestations of popular enthusiasm called forth by tho 
success of the French arms, whilst the Papal Governme^ seenas, 
by the ferocious attack of its Swiss mercenaries on Perugia, 

282 The late Mmistry • July, 

to have filled up the measure of its crimes. It Is imposflibk 
to give the French Government credit for sincerity as long 
as it upholds and protects with one hand the most odious 
form of that oppression and misgovernment which it professei 
to assail with the other. A more anomalous state of things 
can hardljr be conceived, or one less likely speedily and 
easily to subside into a temperate, united, aad peaceful 
community, enjoying independence and freedom under the 
aegis of a constitutional monarchy. At the same rime we 
do not share the apprehension which is repeatedly expreswd by 
Lord Mahnesbury in his Italian despatches, that this convul* 
aion will throw Italy into the hands of the republicans. The 
policy of M. de Cavour and the emperor Louis Napoleon has 
been to outbid the republicans at their own game ; and as long 
as success attends their efforts, it is obvious that the repuUicaa 
movement is entirely paralyzed. In Lombardy the movement 
has unquestionably been headed by the great patrician houses 
of that province, and conducted by the educated claases in the 
great towns. In Tuscany, Parma, and Modena it assumed a 
more revolutionary character, only because the reigning sove* 
reigns were identified by treaty with the House of Austria, and 
refused, with a consistency which will probably cost them their 
thrones, to turn their arms against the main stem of their race. 
Even in the Komagna, and especially at Bologna, the municipal 
spirit and the influence of the middle classes may suffice to cany 
on the government, when the pressure of sacerdotal domina- 
tion is cast off. On all these points we believe the republican 
party to be at present powerless, though it may, and probably 
will, revive, when the pressing common danger of foreign occu- 
pation has ceased. 

The future state of Italy, however interesting it may be to the 
imagination and the sympathies of the rest of Europe, is not 
one of those questions which necessarily involve a general per* 
turbation. As in the Spanish, so in the Italian, peninsula, it is 
possible to conceive the occurrence of a long series of con* 
tests, revolutions, and even foreign interventions, without em- 
broiling the rest of the world. Much is already gained by the 
proof afforded by the events of the last few weeks, that as long 
as a war is confined to the struggle between France and 
Austria for ascendancy in Italy, it is no essential part or duty 
of this country, or of Bussia, or even of Germany, to take an 
active part in it. But to the indirect results of such a war, 
and to its tdterior consequences, every neutral Power, and 
especially the neutral Powers of Germany, must constantly 
look. Germany is excited to a degree which has not been wit* 

1859. and the State of Europe. 283 

nessed idnce the great struggle of 1813-14 ; but it is absurd 
to suppose that the passions which have compelled even the 
Court of Berlin to c^ its reserves to arms are excited by 
an iasane desire to crush the freedom of Italy, or to keep 
an Austrian Archduke in the vice-regal palace of Milan. 
These are things on which the mass of the German people have 
no very strong feeling or real interest. But though the ex- 
pulsion of the Austrian forces from Lombardy is comparatively 
of small importance to them, the more remote consequences of 
these reverses are incalculable. They see, for the first time for 
forty-four years, the martial power of France arrayed against the 
Imperial armies of their chief confederate : they perceive that 
France has, almost without an effort, sent forth an army which, 
by the rapidity of its movements, the novelty and precision of 
its arms, the extreme perfection of its administrative system, 
has hitherto prevailed over all the troops opposed to it, though 
those ti^oops were considered, but a month ago, equal to any 
which Germany can send into the field. If the military power 
of Austria be seriously impaired by this campaign, a large 
deduction must be made from the collective forces of the 
Confederation, of which she is one of the principal members. 
Assuming, as it is assumed by the whole of Germany, and 
by no inconsiderable number of Frenchmen, that the ulte- 
rior aim of the Emperor Napoleon III., and the probable 
consequence of the breach already made in the settlement 
of 1815, may eventually be an attack on the left bank of 
the Rhine, and an attempt to recover the territory wrested 
from France by the Peace of Paris, it is evident that no wiser 
coarse could be pursued than that which France has now adopted. 
Peace has been broken, but the first attack has been palliated 
by a specious regard for the independence of Italy. The neu- 
trality of the other great Powers has been obtained; but the rapid 
and brilliant progress of the French armies has once more placed 
that Power at the head of the great military Empires of Europe. 
It would, however, be premature to pronounce an unqualified 
opmion on the military character of this campaign, until the real 
incidents are more accurately known than they are at present, and 
even in Paris they have called forth a considerable amount of cri- 
ticism. Never, we believe, has greater courage been shown in the 
field than by the troops on both sides : both armies have fought 
with the feeling that they had the fame of their fathers to main- 
tain and their own fame to create. But we can perceive nothing 
^t present deserving the name of a new and brilliant strategical 
combination. At Magenta the Austrians allowed what might 
have been a victory to slip out of their hands for want of con- 

284 The late Ministry Jolj, 

centration and enterprise ; and although the great battle of 
Solferino may be said to rival the battle of the Borodino ia the 
magnitude of the forces engaged and the destruction of human 
life, it maj also be compared to that celebrated action in 
its results. A decided superiority must fairly be conceded to 
the allied armies ; yet not so decided but that the forces of the 
enemy^ more skilfully handled, might have turned the fate of 
the campaign. 

Were it otherwise, and were the Austrians utterly defeated 
in their last Italian strongholds, and driven back to the territory 
of the Germanic confederation on the southern slopes of the 
Tyrolese Alps, the end would be attained of crushing one half of 
the forces of the Germanic States, before they have been able to 
procure the support of the other half. The triumphant result of 
the campaign of 1859 would then be to convince the French that 
Germany only holds her position on the left bank of the Bbine 
at their pleasure ; and that there is no single Power on the 
Continent of Europe able to resist the military superiority 
of France. These considerations have not been much adverted 
to in England, but they are in the mouth of every German. 
They say that the military balance of power, which can alone 
keep France and Bussia in check, and preserve the independence 
of collective Germany, is absolutely lost if the Germans allow 
their armies to be overthrown and consumed in successive cam- 
paigns, instead of meeting their most formidable antagonist at 
the outset of his military career. The declared neutrality of 
England, and the determination of this country to maintdn ami- 
cable relations with the belligerents on either side, has tended 
rather to strengthen than to diminish this feeling in Germany ; 
for it is evident to the German people that England can no 
longer be relied on by them as a permanent check on the 
ambition or military power of France, and that they must look 
to themselves alone to defend their position in Europe. 

At the moment at which we are writing, the question there- 
fore seems to have reached this point, — Is it practicable to bring 
the belligerents to treat on any terms consistent with their re- 
spective positions, interests, and engagements, and so to termi- 
nate this sanguinary conflict ? If peace cannot now be made by 
the influence of the neutral Powers, is it possible to avoid the 
extension of hostilities to other parts of Europe? Without hesi- 
tation, we answer, that it is the interest of Austria to treat, at the 
earliest possible moment, on the basis of the military and terri- 
torial position she still occupies ; that is, to surrender the whole 
of Lombardy and all the outlying portions of her Italian do- 
minions, provided she can retain a strong defensive line of fron- 

1859. and the State of Europe. 285 

tier from the southern extremity of the Lago di Gurda to the 
Adriatic The consequence of a prolongation of the war must 
be that she will stake everything she possesses south of the Alps 
on a contest which has, as yet, proved singularly unfavourable 
to her arms ; and that she will shortly have to encounter a 
novel mode of attack in the form of a powerful naval armament 
directed against Venice and the coast of Friuli. Should the 
Venetian territory be conquered, the Austrian forces can only 
fall back on the provinces belonging to the Germanic Con- 
federation, whilst the whole line of the Tyrolese Alj^ would 
be turned by the allied armies^ 

But will the Emperor of the French content himself with the 
success he has already obtained ? Can he stop the campaign 
before he has gathered all its fruits? No man can answer 
these questions: but it would be politic and it would be mag- 
nanimous to do so. The results obtainable for himself and for 
France by such a display of moderation would probably far 
exceed the advantages which can result to them from a more 
protracted contest. His victories have not been won without 
enormous sacrifices, especially in the ranks of his choicest troops ; 
and the conduct of a great army, in its relations with the allied 
forces, and with its own generals, is not unaccompanied with 
perils and difficulties even when the Commander in Chief is 
invested with unlimited power. Above all he has it in his 
power to give a triumphant answer to those who have questioned 
the policy of this war, and the sincerity of his promises to 
Italy, by the early termination of the war and the performance 
of those promises. That is a result in which the whole 
world would cordially acquiesce. It was well said by Lord 
John Eussell in the City, that the fate of the world depends 
to a great extent on the moderation of one of the belligerents 
and on the wisdom of the other ; and the young Emperor of 
Austria will commit another fatal mistake, if he allows pride 
and passion to overrule the considerations which the positive 
interests of his empire and the recommendations of other 
Powers clearly suggest. If the present campaign were termi- 
nated by some decisive and irresistible victory of the French 
army, the blows which have been already struck on one of the 
first Powers of Germany, the passions which have been revived, 
and the military superiority which the French have again 
asserted, must leave behind them consequences extremely mena- 
cing to'the peace of Europe. 

The foregoing paragraphs were already written, when, on the 
eve of publication, the intelligence reaches us that an armistice 
has been agreed upon between the two Emperors, and that the 
terms of this armistice are now under consideration. This is the 

286 The late Ministry and the State of Europe. Julj, 1859. 

first and the most iroportant step to the realisation of the hopes 
we had just ventured to express. It is an admission on both 
sides, that too much blood has been already shed, and that 
results favourable to the future peace of Europe, and to the 
future condition of Italy, may now be obtained by direct nego- 
tiation. It terminates the second act of this great drama — God 
grant it may be the last ! — by setting limits to the calamities of 
war, by obviating the attacks of the French maritime forces on 
the Adriatic coast, and perhaps by obtaining from Austria a renun- 
ciation Qf the provinces she has clearly been unable to defend. 
Were it otherwise, in all human probability the time is past 
when the war can be kept within its present limits. The scene 
of operations has reached a point at which the interests of other 
countries are far more deeply affected ; and in the present por- 
tion of affiiirs, we stand in the alternative of a prompt and final 
cessation of hostilities between Austria and France, or of an 
indefinite extension of the contest, should it unhappily be re* 
newed and prolonged. 

We see, however, no reason to suppose that these events, un- 
certain and menacing as they are, must necessarily or speedily 
alter the position assumed by this country. We are endeavour- 
ing to practise the lesson we have learned by long and costly expe- 
rience, that the wars of Continental States for territorial pos- 
sessions are not matters which call for the intervention of Great 
Britain, and that it is more consistent with the true dignity and 
interests of this country to abstain altogether from contests and 
discussions in which she has no direct objects whatever to gain. 
Onr past history satisfies us that we have only been repaid with the 
basest ingratitude by those we have formerly sought to liberate 
and to befiriend ; and that the wiser policy is to witness with com- 
parative indifference changes in the forms of government and 
territorial possessions of forei<^n countries, with which it is not 
our business to interfere. Far from aspiring to exercise anj 
preponderating influence on the Continental States, we diiefly 
regret that the channel which separate us from them is not 
somewhat broader than it really is, and our insular position 
tnore complete. On the sea, and wherever our maritime in- 
terests are concerned, we must be prepared to defend them with 
the utmost vigour : but elsewhere the power of England will 
not be the less considered in the world, when it is known that 
we propose to reserve it for those emergencies in which the 
public engagements or the national interests of the British 
people command it to intervene. 

No. CCXXIV. will he published early in October. 



OCTOBER, 1859. 

jr«- ccxxiv. 

Art. I. — 1. The Senses and the Intellect By Alexander 
Bain, A. M. London: 1855. 

2. The JEmotions and the Will By Alexandeb Bain, A.M., 
Examiner in Logic and Moral Philosophy in the University 
of London. London: 1859. 

'T^HE sceptre of Psychology has decidedly returned to this 
-^ island. The scientific study of mind, which for two gene- 
rations, in many other respects distinguished for intellectual 
actiyity, had, while brilliantly cultivated elsewhere, been neg* 
looted by our countrymen, is now nowhere prosecuted with so 
much vigour and success as in Great Britain, Nor are the 
achievements of our thinkers in this obstinately-^sontested portion 
of the field of thought, merely one-sided and sectarian triumphs. 
The two conflicting schools, or modes of thought, which have 
divided metaphysicians from the very beginning of speculation 
— the a posteriori and a priori schools, or, as they are popularly 
rather than accurately designated, the Aristotelian and the Pla- 
tonic — are both flourishing in this country ; and we venture to 
affirm that the best extant examples of both have been produced 
within a recent period by Englishmen, or (it should, perhaps, 
rather be said) by Scotchmen. 

Of these two varieties of psychological speculation, the hpos'- 
teriori mode, or that which resolves the whole contents of the 
mind into experience^ is the one which belongs most emphatically 
to Great Britain, as might be expected from the country which 


288 Bain's Psychology. Oct 

gave birth to Bacon. The foundation of the ct posteriori psy- 
chology was laid by Hobbes (to be followed by the masterly 
developments of Locke and Hartley), at the very time when 
Descartes, on the other side of the Channel, was creating the rival 
philosophical system ; for the French, who are so often ill- 
naturedly charged with having invented nothing, at least in- 
vented German philosophy. But after having initiated this 
mode of metaphysical investigation, they left it to the systematic 
German thinkers to be followed up, themselves descending to 
the rank of disciples and commentators, first on Locke, and more 
recently on Kant and Schelling. In England, the philosophy of 
Locke reigned supreme, until a Scotchman, Hume, while mak- 
ing some capital improvements in its theory, carried out one 
line of its apparent consequences to the extreme which always 
provokes a reaction ; and of this reaction, another Scotchman, 
Beid, was the originator, and, with his eminent pupil, Stewart, 
also a Scotchman, introduced as much of the a priori philosophy 
as could in any way be made reconcilable with Baconian prin- 
ciples. These were succeeded by Dr. Thomas Brown (still a 
Scotchman), who drew largely and not unskilfully from both 
sources, though, for want of a patience and perseverance on a 
level with his great powers, he failed to effect a synthesis, and 
only produced an eclecticism. Meanwhile, the more elaborate 
form of the h priori philosophy which the whole speculative 
energy of Germany had been employed in building up, and which 
the French had expounded with all the lucidity which it admitted 
of, was in time studied also among us ; and, according to what 
now seems to be the opinion of the most competent judges, this 
philosophy has found in a Scotchman, Sir William Hamilton, 
its best and profoundest representative. ]3ut the great Euro- 
pean philosophical reaction was to have its counter-reaction, 
wiiich has now reached a great height in Germany itself, and 
is taking place here also ; and of this, too, in our island, the 
principal organs have been Scotchmen. Mr. James MiU, in his 
' Analysis of the Human Mind,' followed up the deepest vein of 
the Lockiau philosophy, that which was opened by Hartley, to 
still greater depths : and now, in the work at the head of this 
article (we say work, not works, for the second volume, though 
bearing a different title, is in every sense a continuation of the 
first),, a new aspirant to philosophical eminence, Mr. Alexander 
Bain, has stepped beyond all his predecessors, and has produced 
an exposition of the mind, of the school of Locke and Hartley, 
equally remarkable in ^yhat it has successfully done, and in 
what it has wisely refrained from — an exposition which deserves 
to take rank as the foremost of its class, and as marking the 

1859. Bain's Psychology. 289 

most advanced point which the a posteriori psychology has 

We have no intention to profess ourselves partisans of either 
of these schools of philosophy. Both have done great things 
for mankind. No one whose studies have not extended to bom, 
can be considered in any way competent to deal with the great 
questions of philosophy in their present state. And though one 
of the two must be fundamentally the superior, there can be no 
doubt that, whichever this is, it has been greatly benefited by 
the searching criticisms which it has sustained from the other. 
But as the Lockian, or a posteriori, psychology has for some 
time been under a cloud throughout Europe, from which it is now 
decidedly emerging, and giving signs that it is likely soon again 
to have its turn of ascendency, there may be use in making 
some observations on the general pretensions of this philosophy, 
its method, and the evidence on which it relies, and in helping 
to make generally known a work which is the most careful, the 
most complete, and the most genuinely scientific analytical ex- 
position of the human mind which the ci posteriori psychology 
has up to this time produced. 

In these remarks no complete comparison between the two 
modes of philosophizing is to be looked for. Psychology, with 
which we are here concerned, is but the first stage in this great 
controversy — the arena of the initial conflict. The account 
which the two schools respectively render of the human mind 
is the foundation of their doctrines ; but the crowning pecu- 
liarity of each resides in the superstructure. That the constitu- 
tion of the mind is the key to the constitution of external 
nature — th^t the laws of the human intellect have a necessary 
correspondence with the objective laws of the universe, such 
that these may be inferred from those — is the grand doctrine 
which the one school affirms and the other denies ; and the 

difference between this doctrine and its negation, is the great 

» . 

* To these writers may be added another, of kindred merit, 
^Ir. Herbert Spencer; of whose able and various writings, his 
'Principles of Psychology' is one of the ablest. Though the 
dissertation prefixed to that work is the very essence of the 
^ priori philosophy, the work itself is wholly of the opposite 
school : but Mr. Spencer, though possessing great analytic power, is 
a less sober thinker than Mr. Bain, and, in the more original portion 
of his speculations, is likely to obtain a much less unqualified adhe- 
sion from the best minds trained in the same general mode of thought. 
We have therefore chosen Mr. Bain's work rather than Mr. Spencer's 
as the subject of this article, though the latter deserves, and would 
well repay, a complete critical examination. 

290 Bain's Psychology. Oct 

practical distinction between the two philosophies. But this 
question is beyond the compass of psychology. The a priori 
philosophers^ when they inculcate thjs doctrine, do so not as 
psychologists, but as ontologists; and some distinguished thinkers, 
who, so far as psychology is concerned, belong essentially to 
the a priori school, have not thought it necessary to enter, 
except to a very limited extent, on the ground of ontolc^. 
Among these may be counted Beid and Stewart, as well as other 
more recent names of eminence. Indeed, the grand pretension 
of the a priori school in its extreme deyelopment, that of 
arriving at a knowledge of the Absolute, has received its most 
elaborate and crushing refutation from two philosophers of that 
same school — Sir William Hamilton and Mr. Ferrier: the 
a posteriori metaphysicians having in general thought that the 
essential relativity of our knowledge could dispense with direct 
proof, and might be left to rest on the general evidence of their 
analysis of the mental phenomena. Yet the philosophers whom 
we have named ore not the less, up to a certain point, ontolo- 
gists. They all hold, that some knowledge, more or less, of 
objective existences and their laws, is attainable by man, and 
that it is obtained by way of inference from the constitution of the 
human mind. , Beid, for example, is decidedly of opinion that 
Matter — not the set of phenomena so called, but the actual Thing, 
of which these are effects and manifestations — is cognizable 
by us as a reality in the universe ; and that extension, solidity, 
and other fundamental attributes of visible and tangible Nature, 
known to us by experience, are really and unequivocally quali- 
ties inherent in this actual thing ; the evidence of which doctrine 
is^ that we have, ineradicable from our minims, conceptions or 
perceptions of these various objects of thought^ of which con- 
ceptions or perceptions the existence is inexplicable, save from 
the reality of the things which they represent. Thus far 
Beid : who is therefore in principle as much an ontologist as 
H^el, though he does not lay claim to as minute a knowledge 
of the constitution of 'Things in themselves.' On the legitim- 
acy of this mode of reasoning, the other school is at issue with 
them. ' The possibility of ontology is one of the points in 
dispute between the two. It is one into which we do not 
here enter. 

On the ground of simple psychology, the distinction between 
the two philosophies consists in the different theories they give 
of the more complex phenomena of tJbe human mind. When 
we call the one philosophy d prioriy the other d. posteriorly or of 
experience, the terms must not be misunderstood. It is not 
meant that experience belongs only to one, and is appealed to 

1859. Boin's Fsi/choloffy. 291 

as evidence by one and not by the other. Both depend on 
experience for their materials. Both require as the basis of 
their systems, that the actual facts of the human mind should 
be ascertained by observation. It is true they differ to some 
extent in their notion of facts ; the a priori philosophers cata- 
loguing some things as facts^ which the others contend are 
inferences. The fundamental difference relates, however, not 
to the facts themselves, but to their origin. Speaking briefly 
and loosely, we may say that the one theory considers the more 
complex phenomena of the mind to be products of experience, 
the other believes them to be original. In more precise lan- 
guage, the a priori thinkers hold, that in every act of thought, 
down to the most elementiiry, there is an ingredient which is 
not given to the mind, but contributed by the mind in virtue 
of its inherent powers. The simplest phenomenon of all, an 
external sensation, requires, according to them, a mental element 
to become a perception, and be thus converted from a passive 
and merely fugitive state of our own being, into the recognition 
of a durable object external to the mind. The notions of 
Extension, Solidity, Number, Magnitude, Force, though it is 
through our senses that we acquire them^ are not copies of any 
impressions on our senses, but creations of the mind's own laws 
set in action by our sensations ; and the properties of these ideal 
creations are not proved by experience, but deduced it priori 
from the ideas themselves, constituting the demonstrative sciences 
of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, statics, and dynamics. Expe- 
rience, instead of being the source and prototype of our ideas, 
is itself a product of the mind's own forces working on the 
impressions we receive from without, and has always a mental 
aa well as an external element. Experience is only rendered 
possible by those mental laws which it is vainly invoked to 
explain and account for. A fortiori do all our ideas of super- 
sensual things, and all our moral and spiritual judgments and 
perceptions, proceed from our inherent mental constitution. 
Experience is the occasion, not the prototype, of our mental 
ideas, and is neither the source nor the evidence of our know- 
ledge, but its test; for as what we call experience is the 
outward manifestation of laws which are not to be found m 
experience, but which may be known a priori^ and as the effects 
cannot be in contradiction to the cause, it is a necessary condi- 
tion of our knowledge that experience shall not conflict 
with it. 

We are now touching the real point of separation between 
the a priori and the i posteriori psychologists. These last also 
for the most part acknowledge the existence of a mental element 

292 Bain's Psychology. Oct 

in our ideasi They admit that the notions of Extension^ Solidity, 
Time, Space, Duty, Virtue, are not exact copies of any Impres- 
sions on our senses. They grant them to be ideas constructed 
by the mind itself, the materials alone being supplied to it 
But they do not think that this ideal construction takes place 
by peculiar and insorutable laws of the mind, of which no 
further account can be given. They think that a further 
account can be given. They admit the mental element as a 
fact, but not as an ultimate fact They think it may be resolved 
into simpler laws and more general facts ; that the process bv 
which the mind constructs these great ideas may be traced, and 
shown to be but a more recondite case of the operation of well- 
known and familiar principles. 

From this opinion, which ascribes an ascertainable genesis to 
that part of the more complex mental phenomena which derives 
its origin from the mind itself, instead of regarding it, with the 
& priori psychologists, as something ultimate and inscrutable, 
there arises necessarily a wide difference between the two as to 
what are called by the a priori philosophers necessary elements 
of thought. M. Cousin, one of the ablest, and (Fichte ex- 
cepted) quite the most eloquent teacher of the d, priori school, 
deems it the radical error of Locke and his followers to have 
raised the question of the origin of our ideas at the opening of 
the inquiry, without first making a complete descriptive survey 
of the ideas themselves ; which if they had done, he thinks they 
must have recognised, as involved in all our thoughts, certain 
necessary assumptions, inconsistent with thejorigin which Locke 
ascribes to them. The difference, however, between the two 
theories is not as to the fact that these assumptions are made, 
but as to their being necessary assumptions. The Lockians 
think they are able to show how and why the mind is led to 
make these assumptions. They believe that it is not obliged by 
any necessity of its nature to make them. They think that 
the cause of our making the assumptions lies in the conditions 
of our experience ; that those conditions are often accidental 
and modifiable, and might be so modified that we should no 
longer be led to make these assumptions ; and even when the as- 
sumptions depend upon conditions of our experience which 
do not, so far as our faculties can judge, admit of actual modi- 
fication, yet if by an exercise of thought we imagine them 
modified, the supposed necessity of the assumptiqns will disap- 
pear. For example : the transcendentalist examines our ideas 
of Space and Time, and finds that each of them contains inse- 
parably within itself the idea of Infinity. We can of course 
have no experimental evidence of infinity : all our experiences, 

1859. Bain's Psychology. 293 

and therefore, in his opinion, all our ideas derived from expe- 
rience, are of things finite. Yet to conceive Time or Space 
otherwise than as things infinite is impossible. The infinity of 
Space and Time he therefore sets down as a necessary assumption: 
and if his philosophy leads him (which Kant's did not) to re- 
gard Space and Time as having any existence at all external to 
the mind, he proceeds, as an ontologist, to infer from the necessity 
of the assumption, the infinity of the things themselves. The 
a posteriori psychologist, on his part, also perceives that we can- 
not think of Space or of Time otherwise than as infinite ; but he 
does not consider this as au ultimate fact, or as requiring any 
pecuhar law of mind or properties of the objects for its expla- 
nation. He sees in it on ordinary manifestation of one of the 
laws of the association of ideas, — the law, that the idea of a 
thing irresistibly suggests the idea of any other thing which has 
been often experienced in close conjunction with it, and not 
otherwise. As we have never had experience of any point of 
space without other points beyond it, nor of any point of time 
without others following it, the law of indissoluble association 
makes it impossible for us to think of any point of space or 
time, however distant, without having the idea irresistibly rea- 
lised in imagination, of other points still more remote. And thus 
the supposed original and inherent property of these two ideas 
is completely explained and accounted for by the law of asso- 
ciation ; and we are enabled to see, that if Space or Time were 
really susceptibly .of termination, we should be just as unable as 
we now are to conceive the idea. This being once seen, although 
the mental element. Infinity, still remains attached to the ideas, 
we are no longer prompted to make a * necessary assumption ' of 
a corresponding objective fact. We are enabled to acknowledge 
our ignorance, and our inability to judge whether the course of 
Things, in this respect, corresponds with our necessities of 
Thought. Space or Time may, for aught we know, be inherently 
terminable, though in our present condition we are totally in- 
capable of conceiving a termination to them. Could we arrive 
at the end of space, we should, no doubt, be apprised of it by 
8ome new and strange impression upon our senses, of which it is 
not at present in our power to form the faintest idea. But 
under all other circumstances the association is indissoluble, since 
every moment's experience is constantly renewing it. 

In this example, which is the more significant as the capc is 
generally considered one of the main strongholds of the <k priori 
school, the two leading doctrines of the most advancid ci pos- 
teriori psychology are very clearly brought to view : fir«t, thnt 
the more recondite phenomena of the mind arc formed out of 

294 Bain's Psychology. Oct. 

the more simple and elementary ; and^ secondly, that the mental 
law, by means of which this formation takes place, is the Law of 
Association. Though not the first who pointed out this kw, 
Locke was the author of its first great application to the expla- 
nation of the mental phenomena, by his doctrine of Complex 
Ideas. The idea of an orange, for example, is compounded of 
certain simple ideas of colour, of visible and tfingible shape, of 
taste, of smell, of a certain consistence, weight, internal struc- 
ture, and BO forth : yet an idea of an orange is to our feelings 
and conceptions one single idea, not a plurality of ideas; thus 
showing that when any number of sensations have been often 
experienced simultaneously or in very rapid succession, the ideas 
of those sensations not only raise up one another, but do this 
so cert$unly and instantaneously as to run together and seem 
melted into one. In this example, however, the original ele- 
ments may still, by an ordinary effort of consciousness, be dis- 
tinguished in the compound. It was reserved for Hartley to 
show that mental phenomena, joined together by association, 
may form a still more intimate, and as it were chemical union— 
may merge into a compound, in which the separate elements are 
no more distinguishable as such, than hydrogen and oxygen in 
witer, the compound having all the appearance of a phenomenon 
8ui generis^ as simple and elementary as the ingredients, and with 
properties different from any of them : a truth which, onoe 
ascertained, evidently opens a new and wider range of possibi- 
lities for the generation of mental phenomena by means of asso- 

The most complete and scientific form of the a posteriari 
psychology is that which considers the law of association as the 
governing principle, by means of which the more complex and 
recondite mental phenomena shape themselves, or are shaped, 
out of the simpler mental elements. The great problem of 
this form of psychology is to ascertain, not now far this law 
extends, for it extends to everything ; ideas of sensation, in- 
tellectual ideas, emotions, desires, volitions, any or all of these 
may become connected by association under the two laws of Con- 
tiguity and Resemblance, and when so connected, acquire the 
power of calling up one another. Not, therefore, how far the 
law extends, is the problem, but how much of the apparent 
variety of the mental phenomena it is capable of explamiog; 
what ultimate elements of the mind remain, when all are sub- 
tracted, the formation of which can be in this way accounted for; 
and how, out of those elements, and the law, or rather laws, of 
association, the remainder of the mental phenomena are built up* 
On this part of the subject there are, as might be expected, wanj 

1859. Bain'8 Psychology. 295 

diiTerences of doctrine, and the theory, like all theories of an 
uncompleted science, is in a state of progressive improvement. 

This mode of interpreting the phenomena of the mind is not 
unfrequentlj stigmatised as materialistic ; how far justly, may 
be seen when it is remembered that the Idealism of Berkeley is 
one of the developments of this theory. With materialism in 
the obnoxious sense, this view of the mind has no necessary 
connexion, though doubtless not so directly exclusive of it as 
is the rival theory. But if it be materialism to endeavour to 
ascertain the material conditions of our mental operations, all 
theories of the mind which have any pretension to compre- 
hensiveness must be materialistic. Whether organisation alone 
could produce life and thought, we probably shall never cer- 
tainly know, unless we could repeat Frankenstein's experiment; 
but that our mental operations have material conditions, can he 
denied by no one who acknowledges, what all now admit, that 
the mind employs the brain as its material oi^an. And this 
being granted, there is nothing more materialistic in endeavour- 
ing, so far as our means of physiological explanation allow, to 
trace out the detailed connexions between mental manifestations 
and cerebral or ner\'0U8 states. Unhappily the knowledge 
hitherto obtainable on this subject has been very limited in 
amount ; but when we consider, for example, the case of all our 
stronger emotions, and the disturbance of almost every part of 
our physical frame, which is occasioned in these cases by a mere 
mental idea, no rational person can doubt the closeness of the 
connexion between the functions of the nervous system and the 
phenomena of mind, nor think any exposition of the mind 
satisfactory into which that connexion does not enter as a 
prominent feature. 

It is undoubtedly true that the Association Psychology does in 
many cases represent the higher mental states as in a certain 
sense the outgrowth and offspring of the lower. But in other 
cases, philosophers have not considered as degrading, the forma- 
tion of noble products out of base materials, and have rather 
been disposed to celebrate this as one of the exemplifications of 
wisdom and contrivance in the arrangements of Nature. With- 
out undertaking to determine what portion of truth lies in this 
philosophy, and how far any of the nobler phenomena of mind 
are really constructed from the materials of our animal nature, 
it is certain that, to whatever extent this is the fact, it ought to 
be known and recognised. If these nobler parts of our nature 
are not self-sown and original, but are built or build themselves 
up, out of no matter what materials, it must be highly im- 
portant to the work of the education and improvement ot 

296 Bain's Psychology. Oct. 

human character^ to understand as much as possible of the 
process by which the materials are put together. These com- 
posite parts of our constitution (granting them to be such) are 
not for that reason factitious and unnatural. The products aie 
not less a part of human nature than their component elements. 
Water is as trulj one of the substances in external nature, is 
hydrogen or oxygen^ and to suppose it non-existent, would 
imply as great a change in all we know of the order of things 
in which we live. It is only to a very vulgar type of mind that 
a grand or beautiful object loses its charm when it loses some of 
its mysteiy, through the unveiling of a part of the process by 
which it is created in the secret recesses of Nature. 

The aim, then, which the Association Psychology proposes to 
itself, is one which both schools of mental philosophy should 
equally desire to see vigorously prosecuted. It is important, 
even from the point of view of transcendentalists, that all 
which can be done by this system for the explanation of the 
mental phenomena should be brought to light. For, in the 
first place, all admit that there is much which can be so ex- 
plained. The law of association, every one allows, is real, and 
a large number of mental facts are explicable thereby. But 
further, the sole ground upon which the transcendental mode of 
speculation in psychology can possibly stand, is the failure of 
the other. The evidence of the a priori theory must always be 
negative. There can be no positive proof that oxygen, or any 
other body, is a simple substance. The sole proof that can be 
given is, that no one has hitherto succeeded in decomposing it 
And nothing can positively prove that any particular one of 
the constituents of the mind is ultimate. We can only presume 
it to be such, from the ill-success of every attempt to resolve it 
into simpler elements. If, indeed, the phenomena alleged to be 
complex manifested themselves chronologically at an earlier 
period than those from which they are said to be compounded, 
this would be a complete disproof, at least of that origin. But 
the fact is not so : on the contrary, the higher mental phe- 
nomena are so well known to unfold themselves after the lower, 
that sensational experience, which is so violently repudiated as 
their origin and source, is, from the necessity of the <»8e, ad- 
mitted as the occasion which calls into action the mental la^ 
that develop them. The first question, therefore, in analytical 
psychology ought to be, how much of the furniture of the mind 
will experience and association account for ? The residuum^ 
which cannot be so explained, must be provisionally set down 
as ultimate, and handed over to observation to determine it^ 
conditions and laws. 

1859. Bain's Psychology. 297 

On the other hand, it is necessary to be exigeant as to the 
evidence for the validity of the analysis by which a mental 
phenomenon is resolved into association. Much has been ten- 
dered on this subject, even by powerful thinkers, as proved 
truth, to which it is impossible soberly to assign any higher 
value than that of philosophical conjecture. The rules of in- 
ductive logic must be duly applied to the case. When the 
elements can be recognised by our consciousness as distinguish- 
ably existing in the compound, there is no difficulty. When 
they are not thus distinguishable, the gradual growth and 
building up of the complex phenomenon may be a fact amenable 
to direct observation. In the case of the higher intellectual 
and moral phenomena of our being, the observation may be 
practised on ourselves. In the case of those of our acquisitions 
which are made too early to be remembered, the observation 
may be of children, of the young of other animals, or of persons 
who are, or were during a part of life, shut out from some of 
the ordinary sources of experience ; persons like Caspar Hauser, 
brought up in confinement and solitude ; persons destitute of 
sight or hearing; especially those bom blind and suddenly 
restored to sight. This last is a precious source of information 
which unfortunately has been very scantily made use of. In 
the case of children and young animals, our power is very 
limited of ascertaining what actually passes within them. But 
in so far as we are able to interpret their outward manifesta- 
tions, we have some means of ascertaining what, in their minds, 
precedes what ; we can often, by sufficiently close observation, 
perceive a mental faculty forming itself by gradual growth ; 
and in some cases we can, to a certain extent, ascertain the 
conditions of its formation, which are often such as to bring it 
within the known laws of association. Though the product 
may, to our consciousness, appear sui generis, not identical in its 
nature with any or with all of the elements, yet if the mode 
of its production be invariably found to consist in bringing 
certain sensations or ideas to pass through the mind simulta- 
neously or in immediate succession, and if the effect is produced 
^ari passu with the number of repetitions of this conjunction, 
wcmay conclude with considerable assurance that the apparently 
simple phenomenon is a compound of those ideas united by 
association. For we know that it is the effect of repetition to 
knit all conjunctions of ideas closer and closer, until they so 
coalesce as to leave no trace in our consciousness of their 
separate existence. One of the most familiar cases of this re- 
markable law, is the case of what are called the acquired percep- 
tions of sight. It is admitted by nearly all psychologists that 

^98 Bain's Psychology, Oct 

when we appear to see distance and magnitude by the eye, we 
do not really see them^ but see only certain signs^ from which, 
by a process of reasoning, rendered so rapid by practice aa to 
have become entirely unconscious, we infer the distance or 
magnitude which we fancy we see. No alleged transformation 
of mental phenomena by association can be more complete, or 
more extraordinary, than this. Yet it is one of the few results 
of psychological analysis which can be brdught to the test of a 
complete Baconian induction ; for the case admits of an ample 
range of experiments; and the result of them is, that wherever 
the signs are the same, our impressions of distance and magni- 
tude are the same ; and wherever the signs are different, our 
impressions are different, although the real distance and magni- 
tude of the object looked at remain all the while exactly as 
they were. Hardly any theory of the formation of a mental 
phenomenon by association can deserve, after this, to be rejected 
in limine^ for inherent incredibility, or inconsistency with our 
consciousness. There is hardly any mental phenomenon (except 
those which association itself presupposes) of which we can say 
that, from its own nature, it could not possibly have been pro- 
duced by association. But, from the intrinsic possibility of its 
having been so produced, to its actually being so, is a wide step; 
and unless the case admits of actual experiment, or unless there 
be something in the observed development of the individual mind 
to bear out the conjecture, it can be ranked only as an hypothesis, 
of no present value except to suggest points for further verifi- 

There is, however, a large class of cases — and these are among 
the most important of all — ^in which the explanation by way of 
association is not attended with any of these difficulties and un- 
certainties. The mental fact which is the subject of dispute 
may be, not any one mental phenomenon, but a conjunction 
between phenomena. The thing to be explained, often is no 
other than the fact that some one idea is suggested by,<aiid ap- 
parently involved in, another ; and the point to be decided is, 
whether this happens necessarily, and by an inherent law ; as 
infinity is said to be inherently involved in our ideas of time 
and space, and externality in our ideas of tangible objects. In 
such cases the evidence of origin in association may often be com- 
plete ; and it is in such that the greatest triumphs of the Associ- 
atioil psychology have been achieved. A conjunction, however 
close and apparently indissoluble, between two ideas, is not only 
•an effect which association is able to produce, but one which it 
is certain to produce, if the necessary conditions are sufficiently 
often repeated without the intervention of any fact tending to 

1859. Bain's Psychology. 299* 

prodoce a counter-association. It is» therefore, in these cases, 
sufficient if we can show, that there has really existed the inva- 
riable conjunction of sensible phenomena in experience, which i» 
necessary for the formation of an inseparable association be- 
tween the corresponding ideas. If, as in the case of Time and 
Space, already examined, this can be shown to be the fact, then 
that conjunction of sensible experiences is the real cause : for- 
mation by association is the true theory of the phenomenon, and 
it is in the highest degree unphilosophical to demand any other. 

These few observations on the nature and scope of the Asso- 
ciation Psychology generally, were necessary for fixing the posi- 
tion of Mr. Bain's treatise in mental science. Belonging essen- 
tially to the association school, he has not only, with great 
clearness and copiousness, illustrated, popularised, and enforced 
by fresh arguments all which that school had already done 
towards the explanation of the phenomena of mind, but he has 
added so largely to it, that those who have the highest appreci- 
ation and the warmest admiration of his predecessors, are likely 
to be the most struck with the great advance which this treatise 
constitutes over what those predecessors had done, and the im- 
proved position in which it places their psychological theory. 
Mr. Bain possesses, indeed, an union of qualifications peculiarly 
fitting him for what, in the language of Dr. Brown, may be 
called the physical investigation of mind. With analytic 
powers comparable to those of his most distinguished prede- 
cessors, he combines a range of appropriate knowledge still 
wider than theirs; having made a more accurate study than 
perhaps any previous psychologist of the whole round of the 
physical sciences, on which the mental depend both for their 
methods, and for the necessary material substratum of their 
theories; while those sciences, also, are themselves in a far 
^her state of advancement than in any former age. This i» 
^pedally true of the science most nearly allied, both in subject 
and method, with psychological investigations, the science of 
Physiology : which Hartley, Brown, and Mill had unquestionably 
studied, and knew perhaps as well as it was known by any 
one at the time when they studied it, but in a superficial 
^i^&nner compared with Mr. Bain; the science having in the 
meanwhile assumed almost a new aspect, from the important 
discoveries which have been made in all its branches, and espe- 
cially in the functions of the nervous system, since even the 
west of those authors wrote. 

Mr. Bain commences his work with a full and luminous expo- 
sition of what is known of the structure and functions of the 

300 Bain's Psychology. Oct. 

nervous system. What may be called the outward action of the 
nervous system is twofold, — sensation and muscular motion; 
and one of the great physiological discoveries of the present age 
is, that these two functions are performed by means of two &• 
tinct sets of nerves, in close juxtaposition, one of which, if sepa- 
rately severed or paralysed, puts an end to sensation in the part 
of the body which it supplies, but leaves the power of moti(Hi 
unimpaired ; the other destroys the power of motion, but does 
not affect sensation. That the central organ of the nervous sys- 
tem, the brain, must in some way or other co-operate in all sen- 
sation, and in all muscular motion except that which is actually 
automatic and mechanical, is also certain ; for if the nervous con- 
tinuity between any part of the body and the brain is inter- 
rupted, either by the division of the nerve, or by pressure on any 
intermediate portion, unfitting it to perform its functions, sensa- 
tion and voluntary motion in that part cease to exist. That 
the memory or thought of a sensation formerly experienced has 
also for its necessary condition a state of the brain, and of the 
same nerves which transmit the sensation itself, does not admit 
of the same direct proof by experiment; but is, at least, a highly 
probable hypothesis. When we consider that in dreams, kdla- 
cinations, and some highly excited states of the nervous system, 
the idea or remembrance of a sensation is actually mistaken for 
the sensation itself; and also that the idea, when vividly exdted, 
not unfrequently produces the same effects on the whole bodily 
frame which the sensation would produce, it is hardly possible, 
in the face of all this resemblance, to suppose any fundamentally 
different machinery for their production, or any real diflb^nce 
in their physical conditions, except one of degree. The instm- 
mentalij;y of the brain in thought is a more mysterious subject; 
the evidence is less direct, and its interpretation has given nse 
to some of the keenest controversies of our era, controversies yet 
far from being conclusively decided. But the general connexion 
is attested by many indisputable pathological facts, such as the 
effect of cerebral inflammation in producing delirium; the relation 
between idiocy and cerebral malformation or disease; and is con- 
firmed by the entire range of comparative anatomy, which shows 
the intellectual faculties of the various species of animals bearing, 
if not an exact ratio, yet a very unequivocal relation, to the de- 
velopment in proportional size, and complexity of structure, of 
the cerebral hemispheres. 

However imperfect our knowledge may still be in regard to 
this part of the functions of the nervous system, it is certain 
that all our sensations depend . upon the transmission of some 
sort of nervous influence inward^ from the senses to the braiO) 

1859. Bain's Psychology. 301 

and that our voluntary motions take place by the transmission 
of some sort of nervous influence autwardy from the brain to the 
muscular system ; these two nervous operations beings as already 
observed, the functions of two distinct systems of nerves, called 
respectively the nerves of sensation and those of motion. It is 
now necessary to notice another physiological truth, brought to 
light only within the present generation, viz., the different func- 
tions of the two kinds of matter of which the nervous system 
is compounded. The nerves consist partly of grey vesicular or 
cell-like matter, partly of white fibrous matter. Physiologists 
are now of opinion that the function of the grey matter is that 
of originating power, while the white fibrous matter is simply 
a conductor, which conveys the influence to and from the brain, 
and between one part of the brain and another. With this physio- 
logical discovery is connected the first capital improvement which 
Mr. Bain has made in the Association Psychology as left by 
his predecessors ; the nature of wliich we now proceed to indicate. 
Those who have studied the writings of the Association Psy- 
chologists, must often have been unfavourably impressed by the 
almost total absence, in their analytical expositions, of the re- 
cognition of any active element, or spontaneity, in the mind 
itself. Sensation, and the memory of sensation, are passive 
phenomena; the mind, in them, does not act, but is acted 
upon; it is a mere recipient of impressions ; and though adhesion 
by association may enable one of these passive impressions to 
recall another, yet when recalled, it is but passive still. A theory 
of association which stops here, seems adequate to account for 
our dreams, our reveries, our casual thoughts, and states of mere 
contemplation, but for no other part of our nature. The mind, 
however, is active as well as passive ; and the apparent insuffi- 
ciency of the theory to account for the mind's activity, is probably 
the circumstance which has oftenest operated to alienate from 
the Association Psychology any of those who had really studied 
^t. Coleridge, who was one of these, and in the early part of 
hifl life a decided Hartleian, has left on record, in his *Biogra- ^ 
* phia Literaria,' that such was the fact in his own case. Yet, no 
Hartleian could overlook the necessity, incumbent on any theory 
of the mind, of accounting for our voluntary powers. Activity 
^not possibly be generated from passive elements ; a primi- 
tive active element must be found somewhere ; and Hartley 
found it in the stimubtive power of sensation over the muscles. 
AU our muscular motions, according to him, were origmally 
automatic, and 'excited by the stimulus of sensations ; as, no 
^oubt, many of them were and are. After a muscular contraction 
^ \N5en sufficiently often excited by a sensation, then, in 

302 Bain's Psychology. Oct. 

Hartley's opinion^ the idea or remembrance of the sensation 
acquires a similar power of exciting that same muscular con- 
traction. Here is the first germ of volition : a muscular action 
excited by an idea. After this^ every combination of associated 
ideas into which that idea or remembrance enters, and which, 
therefore^ cannot be recalled without recalling it, obtams the 
power of recalling also the muscular motion which has come 
under its controL This is Hartley's notion of the point of junc- 
tion between our intellectual states and our muscular actions, 
which is the foundation of the theory of Volition. It involves 
two assumptions, both of which are merely hypothetical. One 
is, that all muscular action is originally excited by sensations; 
which has never been proved, and which there is much evidence 
to contradict The other is, that between the primitive auto- 
matic character of a muscular contraction, and its ultimate state 
of amenability to the will, an intermediate condition is passed 
through, of excitalnlity by the idea of the sensation by which 
the motion was at first excited: that the intervention of this idea 
is necessary in all cases of voluntary power ; and that the recall- 
ing of it is the indispensable machinery of voluntary action. 
This is a mere hypothesis, which consciousness does not vouch 
for, and which no evidence has been brought to substantiate. 

Mr. Bain has made a great advance on this theory. Those 
who are acquainted with the French metaphysical writers of 
this century, or even with the first paper of M. Cousin's * Frag- 
^ ments Fhilosophiques,' will remember the impoHant modification 
made by M. Laromiguidre in Condillac's psychological system. 
M. Laromigui^re had noted in Gondillac the same defect which 
has been pointed out in the Association philosophers ; and as 
Condillac had placed the passive phenomenon. Sensation, at the 
centre of his system, M. Laromiguidre corrected him by putting 
instead of it, the active phenomenon. Attention, as the fundamen- 
tal fact by which to explain the active half of the mental phe- 
nomena. Mr. Bain's theory (the germ of which is in a passage 
cited by him from the eminent physiologist, Miiller), stands in 
nearly the same relation to Hartley's as Laromigui4re's to that 
of Condillac. He has widened his basis by the admission of a 
s6cond primitive element. He holds that the brain does not 
act solely in obedience to impulses, but is also a self-acting in- 
strument; that the nervous influence which, being conveyed 
through the motory nerves, excites the muscles into action, b 
generated automatically in the brain itself, not, of course, law- 
lessly and without a cause, but under the organic stimulus of 
nutrition ; and manifests itself in the generiu rush of bodily 
activity, which all healthy animals exhibit after food and repose, 

1859. Bain's Psychology. 303 

and in the random motions whicb we see constantly made with- 
out apparent end or purpose by infants. This doctrine^ of whRch 
the accumulated proofs will be found in Mr. Bain's first yolume 
(pages 73 to 80), supplies him with a simple explanation of the 
origin of voluntary power. Among the numerous motions 
given forth indiscriminately by the spontaneous energy of the 
nerTous centre, some are accidentally hit on, which are found to 
be followed by a pleasure, or by the relief of a pain. In this 
case, the child is able, to a certain extent, to prolong that parti- 
cular motion, or to abate it ; and this, in our author's opinion, is 
the sole original power which we possess over our bodily motions, 
and the ultimate basis of voluntary action. The pleasure which 
the motion produces, or the pain which it relieves, determines 
the detention or relinquishment of that particular muscular 
movement. Why there is this natural tendency to detain or 
to get rid of a muscular contraction which influences our sen- 
sations, as well as why that tendency is towards pleasure and 
from pain, instead of being the reverse, cannot be explained. 
The author's reason for considering this to be our only original 
power over our bodily movements, is not that the supposition 
affords any help in clearing up the mystery, or possesses any 
superiority of antecedent probability; for it is just as likely 
a priori^ that we should be able, by a wish, to select and originate 
a bodily movement, as that we should merely be able to prolong 
one which has already been excited by the spontaneous energies 
of our organisation. Mr. Bain's reason for preferring the latter 
theory, is merely that the evidence is in its favour; that no 
other is consistent with observation of children and young 
animals. We will exhibit a part of the exposition in his own 

'Dr. Beid has no hesitation in classing the voluntary command of 
an organ, that is, the sequence of feeling and action implied in all 
acts of will, among instincts. The power of lifting a morsel of food 
to the mouth is, according to him, an instinctive or pre-established 
conjunction of the wish and the deed ; that is to say, the emotional 
state of hunger coupled with the sight of a piece of bread, is associ- 
ated through a primitive link of the mental constitution with the 
several movements of the hand, arm, and mouth concerned in the act 
of eating. This assertion of Dr. Reid's may be simply met by appeal- 
ing to the facts. It is not true that human beings possess at birth 
any voluntary command of their limbs whatsoever. A babe of two 
months old cannot use its hands in obedience to its desires. The 
infant can grasp nothing, hold nothing, can scarcely fix its eyes on 
anything. Dr. Reid might just as easily assert that the movements 
of a ballet-dancer are instinctive, or that we are born with an already 
established link of causation in our minds between the wish to paint 


304 Bain's Ptychology* Oct 

a landscape and the movements of a painter's arm. If the more per- 
fect command of our voluntarj movements implied in eveiy art bean 
acquisition, so is the less perfect command of these movements, tbat 
grows upon a child during the first years of life. 

' But the acquisition must needs repose upon some fundamentil 
property of our nature that may properly he styled an instinct It 13 
this initial germ or rudiment that I am now anxious to fasten apoa 
and make apparent There certainly does exist in the depths of oar 
constitution a property, whereby certain of our feelings, espedallj 
the painful dass, impel to tuition of some kind or other. This, whidi 
I have termed the volitional property of feeling, is not an acquired 
property. From the earliest infancy a pain has a tendency to ezdte 
the active organs, as well as the emotional expression, although as 
yet there is no channel prepared whereby the stimulus may fiow 
towards the appropriate members. The child whose foot is pricked 
by a needle in its dress is undoubtedly impelled by an active stimulus, 
but as no primitive link exists between an irritation in the foot and 
the movement of the hand towards the part affected, the stimulus is 
wasted on vain efforts, and there is nothing to be done but to dro^m 
the pain by the outburst of pure emotion. It is the property of al> 
most every feeling of pain to stimulate some action for the extinction 
or abatement of that pain ; it is likewise the property of many emo- 
tions of pleasure to stimulate an action for the continuance and in- 
crease of the pleasure ; but the primitive impulse does not in either 
case determine which action 

* If at the moment of some acute pain, there should accidentaUj oc- 
cur a spontaneous movement, and if that movement sensibly alleviates 
the pain, then it is that the volitional impulse belonging to the feeling 
will show itself. The movement accidentally begun through some 
other infiuence, will be sustained through this influence of the painful 
emotion. In the original situation of things, the acute feeling is un- 
able of itself to bring on the precise movement that would modify the 
suffering ; there is no primordial link between a state of suffering 
and a train of alleviating movements. But should the proper move- 
ment be once actually begun, and cause a felt diminution of the acute 
agony, the spur that belongs to states of pain would suffice to 8QSt;;in 
this movement .... The emotion cannot invite, or suggest, or 
waken up the appropriate action ; nevertheless, the approfu^ate 
action, once there, and sensibly telling upon the irritation, is thereupon 
kept going by the active influence, the volitional spur of the irri- 
tated consciousness. In short, if the state of pain cannot awaken a 
dormant action, a present feeling can at least maintain a present 
action. This, so far as I can make out, is the original position of 
things in the matter of volition. It may be that the start and the 
movements resulting from an acute smart, may relieve the smart, 
but that would not be a volition. In volition there are actions quite 
distinct from the manifested movements due to the emotion itself ; 
these other actions rise at first independently and spontaneously, and 
are dutched in the embrace of the feeling when the two are found to 
suit one another in the alleviation of pain or the effusion of pleasiire. 

1859. Bain's Psychology. 305 

' An example will perhaps place this speculation in a clearer light 
An infant lying in bed has the painful sensation of chillness. This 
feeling produces the usual emotional display, namely, movements, 
and perhaps cries and tears. Besides these emotional elements there 
is a latent spur of volition, but with nothing to lay hold of as yet, 
owing to the disconnected condition of the mental arrangements at 
our birth. The child's spontaneity, however, may be awake, and the 
pained condition will act so as to irritate the spontaneous centres, 
and make their central stimulus flow more copiously* In the course 
of a variety of spontaneous movements of arms, legs, and body, there 
occurs an action that brings the child in contact with the nurse lying 
beside it ; instantly warmth is felt, and this alleviation of thf painful 
feeling becomes immediately the stimulus to sustain the movement 
going on at that moment. That movement, when discovered, is kept 
up in preference to the others occurring in the course of the random 

' By a process of cohesion or acquisition, coming under the law 
of association, the movement and the feeling become so linked to- 
gether, that the feeling can at after times waken the movement out 
of dormancy ; this is the state of matters in the maturity of volition. 
The infant of twelve months, under the stimulus, of cold, can hitch 
nearar the side of the nurse, although no spontaneous movements to 
that efiect happen at the moment ; past reflection has established a 
connexion that did not exist at the beginning, whereby the feeling 
and action have become linked together as cause and ^oct.' (^T^ 
Senses and the Intellect, pp. 292-6.) 

In confirmation and illustration of these ingenious remarks^ 
we quote from another part of the same volume the following 
^ notes of observation made upon the earliest movements of two 
' Iambs seen during the first hour of their birth, and at subse- 
' quent stages of their development.' 

* One of the lambs, on being dropped, was taken hold of by the 
shepherd and laid on the ground so as to rest on its four knees. For 
a very short time, perhaps not much above a minute, it kept still in 
this attitude ; a certain force was doubtless exerted to enable it to 
retain this position ; but the first decided exertion of the creature's 
own energy was shown in standing up on its legs, which it did after 
the pause of little more than a minute. The power thus put forth I 
can only describe as a spontaneous burst of the locomotive energy, 
under this condition, namely, that as all the four limbs were actuated 
at the same instant, the innate power must have been guided into 
this quadruple channel in consequence^ of that nervous oiganisation 
that constitutes the four limbs one related group. The animal now 
stood on its legs, the feet being considerably apart, so as to widen 
the base of support The energy that raised it up continued flowing 
in order to maintain the standing posture, and the animal doubtiess 
had the consciousness of such a flow of energy, as its earliest mental 
experience. This standing posture was continued for a mmute or 
two in perfect stiUness. Next followed the beginnings of locomotive 

306 Bain's Psychology. Oct 

movement. At first a limb was raised and set down again, then came 
a second movement that widened the animal's base without altering 
its position. When a more complex movement of its limbs came 
on, the effect seemed to be to go sideways ; another complex move- 
ment led forwards ; bat at the outset there appeared to be nothing 
to decide one direction rather than another, for the earliest move- 
ments were a jumble of side, forward, and backward. Still, the al- 
ternation of limb that any consecutive advance required, seemed 
within the power of the creature during the first ten minutes of life. 
Sensation as yet could be of very little avail, and it was evident that 
action took the start in the animal's history. The eyes were wide 
open, and light must needs have entered to stimulate the brain. 
The contact with the solid earth, and the feelings of weight and 
movement, were the earliest feelings. In this state of uncertain 
wandering with little change of place, the lamb was seized hold of 
and carried up to the side of the mother. This made no difference 
till its nose wos brought into contact with the woolly akin of the 
dam, which originated a new sensation. Then came a conjunction 
manifestly of the volitional kind. There was clearly a tendency to 
sustain this contact, to keep the nose rubbing upon the side and 
belly of the ewe. Finding a certain movement to have this 
effect, that movement was sustained ; exemplifying what I consider 
the primitive or fundamental part of volition. Losing the contaet, 
there was yet no power to recover it by a direct action, for the indi- 
cations of sight at this stage had no meaning. The animal's spon- 
taneous irregular movements were continued ; for a time they were 
quite fruitless, until a chance contact came about again, and this 
contact could evidently sustain the posture or movement that was 
causing it. The whole of the first hour was spent in these varions 
movements about the mother, there being in that short time an 
evident increase of facility in the various acts of locomotion, and in 
commanding the head in such a way as to keep up the agreeable 
touch. A second hour was spent much in the same manner, and in 
the course of the third hour the animal, which had been entirely left 
to itself, came upon the teat, and got this into its mouth. The spon- 
taneous workings of the mouth now yielded a new sensation, whereby 
they were animated and sustained, and unexpectedly the creature 
found itself in the possession of a new pleasure ; the satisfaction first 
of mouthing the object — next, by-and-by, the pleasure of drawing 
milk ; the intensity of this last feeling would doubtless give an in- 
tense spur to the coexisting movements, and keep them energeti- 
cally at work. A new and grand impression was thus produced, 
remaining after the fact, and stimulating exertion and pursuit in 
order to recover it. 

* Six or seven hours after birth the animal had made notable pro- 
gress, and locomotion was easy, the forward movement being pre- 
ferred but not predominant. The sensations of sight began to have 
a meaning. In less than twenty-four hours the animal could, at the 
sight of the mother ahead, move in the forward direction at once to 
come up to her, showing that a particular visible , image had now 

1859. Bain's Psychology. 307 

been associated with a definite movement ; the absence of any such 
association being most manifest in the early moyements of life. It 
could proceed at once to the teat and suck, guided only by its desire 
and the sight of the object. It was now in the full exercise of the 
locomotive faculty ; and very soon we could see it moving with the 
nose along the ground in contact with the grass, the preliminary of 
seizing the blades in the mouth. ..... 

' The observations proved distinctly three several points, namely, 
first the existence of spontaneous action as the earliest fact in the 
creature's history ; second, the absence of any definite bent prior to 
experienced sensation ; and third, the power of a sensation actually 
experienced to keep up the coinciding movement of the time, thereby 
constituting a voluntary act in the initial form. What was also 
very remarkable, was the rate of acquisition, or the rapidity with 
which all the associations between sensations and actions became 
fixed. A power that the creature did not at all possess naturally, 
got itself matured as an acquisition in a few hours ; before the end of 
a week the lamb was capable of almost anything belonging to its 
sphere of existence ; and at the lapse of a fortnight, no difference could 
be seen between it and the aged members of the fiock.' (Pp. 404-6.) 

The larger half of Mr. Bain's first volume is occupied by the 
exposition of Association. His exemplification and illustration 
of this fundamental phenomenon of mind, in its two varieties — 
adhesive association by contiguity in time or place, and sug- 
gestion by resemblance — are quite unexampled in richness, 
clearness, and comprehensiveness. The whole of the intellectual 
phenomena, as distinguished from the emotional, he considers 
as explicable by that law. But to render this possible, the law 
must be conceived in its utmost generality. Association is not 
between ideas of sensation alone. The following is the author's 
statement of the two laws of association, the law of Contiguity, 
and that of Similarity : — 

'Actions, sensations, and states of feeling, occurring together or in 
close succession, tend to grow together or cohere in such a way that 
when any one of them is afterwards presented to the mind, the others 
are apt to be brought up in idea.' ( The Senses and the Intellect^ 
p. 348.) 

' Present actions, sensations, thoughts, or emotions, tend to revive 
their like among previous impressions.' (P. 451.) 

One of the leading features in Mr. Bain's application of 
these laws to the analysis of phenomena, is the great use he 
makes of the muscular sensations, in explaining our impressions 
of, and judgments respecting, things physically external to us. 
The distinction between these sensations and those of touch, in 
the legitimate sense of the word, and the prominent port they 
take in the composition of our ideas of resistance or solidity. 

306 Bain's Psychology, Oct 

and extension^ were first pointed out by Brown, and woe tbe 
principal addition which he made to the analytical exposition of 
the mind. Mr. Bain carries out the idea to a still greater 
length, and his developments of it are highly instructiTe, 
though he sometimes, perhaps, insists too much upon it, to the 
prejudice of other elements equally or more influentiaL Thus 
in his explanation of the acquired perception <^ distance and 
magnitude by sight, he lays almost exdusive stress on the 
sensations accompanying the muscular movements by which the 
eyes are adapted to different distances from ns, or are made to 
pass along the lengths and breadths of visible objects. That 
this is one of the sources of the acquired perceptions (^ 
sight, cannot be doubted ; but that it is the principal one, no 
one will believe, who considers that all the impression of unequal 
distances from us that a picture can give, is produced not only 
without this particular indication, but in contradictiim to it. 
The signs by which we mainly judge are the effects of pei^ 
spective, both linear and aerial ; in other words, the differences 
in the actual picture made on the retina, the imitation of which 
constitutes the illusion of the painter's art, and which we should 
have been glad to see illustrated by Mr. Bain, as he is so well 
able to do, instead of being merely acknowledged by a quota- 
tion in a note (p. 380). We regret that our limits forbid us to 
quote (p. 372-6.) his explanation of the mode whereby, in hia 
opinion, the feeling of resistance, a result of our muscular 
sensations, generates the notion, often supposed to be instinctive, 
of an external world. 

Bespecting the law of Association by Contiguity, so much had 
been done, with such eminent ability, by former writers, that 
this part of Mr. Bain's exposition is chiefly original in the pro- 
fuseness and minuteness of his illustrations. To bring up the 
theory of the law of Similarity to the same level, much more 
remained to do, that law having been rather unaccountably 
sacrificed to the other by some of the Association psychologists ; 
among whom Mr. James Mill, in his 'Analysis,' even endeavoured 
to resolve it into contiguity ; an attempt which is perhaps the 
most inconclusive part of that generally acute and penetrating 
performance, association by resemblance being, as Mr. Bain ob- 
serves, presupposed by, and indispensable to the oonception of, 
association by continuity. The two kinds of associs^n are 
indeed so different, that the predominance of each gives rise to a 
different type of intellectual character ; an eminent degree of 
the former constituting the inductive philosopher, the poet and 
artist, and the inventor and originator generally, while adhesive 
association gives memory, mechanical skill, fadlity of acquisi- 

1859. liar's Psychology. 309 

lion in Bcience or buainese, and practical talent so far as uncon- 
nected with invention. 

To the long chapters on Contiguity and Similarity, Mr. Bain 
subjoins a third on what he terms Compound Association; 

* where several threads, or a plurality of links or bonds of con- 
^ nexion, concur in reviving some previous thought or mental 

* state * (p. 544.) ; which they consequently recall more vividly : 
a part of the subject too little illustrated by former writers, and 
which includes, among many others, the important heads of ' the 
' singling out of one among many trains,' and what our author 
aptly terms ^obstructive association.' The subject is con- 
cluded by a chapter on ^ Constructive Association,' analysing the 
process by which the mind forms ^ combinations or aggregates 

* different from any that have been presented to it in the course 
^ of experience,' and showing this to depend on the same laws. 
We are unable to find room for the smallest specimen of these 
chapters, which are marked with our author's usual ability, 
and fill up what is partially a hiatus in most treatises on Assch 

Mr. Bain's exposition of the Emotions is not of so analytical a 
character as that of the intellectual phenomena. He considers it 
necessary, in this department, to allow a much greater range to the 
instinctive portion of cur nature ; and has exhibited what may 
be termed the natural history of the emotions, rather than 
Attempted to construct their philosophy. It is certain that the 
attempts of the Association psychologists to resolve the emotions 
by association, have been on the whole the least successful part 
of their efforts. One fatal imperfection is obvious at first sight: 
the only part of the phenomenon which their theory explain^ 
is the suggestion of an idea or ideas, either pleasurable or pain« 
ful — that is, the merely intellectual part of the emotion ; while 
there is evidently in all our emotions an animal part, over and 
above any which naturally attends on the ideas considered 
separately, and which these philosophers have passed without 
any attempt at explanation. It is a wholly insufficient account 
of Fear, for example, to resolve it into the calling up, by 
association, of the idea of the dreaded evil ; since, were tins all, 
the physical manifestations that would follow would be^ the 
same in kind, and mostly less in degree, than those which the 
evil would itself produce if actually experienced ; whereas, in 
truth, they are generically distinct ; the screams, groans, con- 
tortions, &C., which (for example) intense bodily suffering 
produces, being altogether different phenomena from the 
well-known physical effects and manifestations of the pasdion 
of terror. It is conceivable that a scientific theory of Fear may 

310 Bain'd Psychology, Oct 

one day be constructed, but it must evidently be the work of 
physiologists, not of metaphysicians. The proper office of the 
law of association in connexion with it, is to account for the 
transfer of the passion to objects which do not naturally excite 
it. We all know how easily any object may be rendered 
dreadful by association, as exemplified by the tremendous efiect 
of nurses' stories in generating artificial terrors. 

We must not, therefore, expect to find in the half volume 
which Mr. Bain has dedicated to this subject, any attempt at a 
general analysis of the emotions. He has not even (except m 
one important case, to which we shall presently advert,) entered, 
with the fulness which belongs to his plan, and which marks the 
execution of every other part of it, into the important inqnirj, 
how far some emotions are compounded out of others. He 
gives a general indication of his opinion on the point ; but his 
illustrations of it are scattered, and mostly incidentaL He has, 
however, written the natural history of the emotions with great 
felicity, in a manner at once scientific and popular ; insomuch 
that this part of his work presents attractions even to the un- 
scientific reader. Mr. Bain's classification of the emotions is 
different from, and more comprehensive than, any other which 
we have met with. He begins with 'the feelings connected 
' with the free vent of emotion in general, and with the opposite 
* case of restrained or obstructed outburst ;' the feelings, in 
short, of liberty or restraint in the utterance of emotion ; which 
he regards as themselves emotions, and entitled, on account of 
their superior generality, to be placed at the head of the 
catalogue. He next proceeds to one of the simplest as weD as 
most universal of our emotions — Wonder. The third on his 
list is Terror. The fourth is ' the extensive group of feeliugs 
'implied under the title of the Tender Affections.' The con- 
sideration of these feelings is by most writers blended with that 
of Sympathy ; which is carefully distinguished from them by our 
author, and treated separately, not as an emotion, but as the 
capacity of taking on the emotions, or mental states generalljf 
of others. A character may possess tenderness without being 
at all sympathetic, as is the case with many selfish sentimen- 
talists ; and the converse, though not equally common^ is equally 
in human nature. From these he passes to a group which he 
designates by the title. Emotions of Self : including Self-esteem, 
or belf-complacency, in its various forms of Conceit, Pride, 
Vanity, &c, which be regards as cases of the emotions of tender- 
ness directed towards self, and has largely illustrated this vievr 
of them. The sixth class is the emotions connected with Power. 
The seventh is the Irascible Emotions. The eighth is a group 

1859. Bom's Psychology. 311 

not hitherto brought forward Into sufficient prominence, the 
emotions connected with Action. * Besides the pleasures and 

* pains of Exercise, and the gratification of succeeding in an end, 
'with the opposite mortification of missing what is laboured 
'for, there is in the attitude of pursuit , a peculiar state of mind, 
' 80 far agreeable in itself, that factitious occupations are insti* 
'tuted to bring it into play. When I use the term plot'interest, 

* the character of the situation alluded to will be suggested with 
'tolerable distinctness.' This grouping together of the emotions 
of hunting, of games, of intrigue of all sorts, and of novel- 
reading, with those of an active career in life, seems to us 
equally original and philosophical. The ninth class consists of 
the emotions caused by the operations of the Intellect. The 
tenth is the group of feelings connected with the Beautiful. 
Eleventh and last, comes the Moral Sense. 

Of these, the four first are regarded by Mr. Bain as original 
elements of our nature, having their root in the constitution of 
the nervous system, and not explicable psychologically. The 
remaining seven he considers as generated by association from 
these four, with the aid of certain combinations of circum- 
stances. Though, as already remarked, he does not discuss this 
question in the express and systematic manner which his general 
scheme would appear to require, he has said many things which 
throw a valuable light on it, together with some which we con- 
sider questionable. But we still desiderate an analytical philo- 
sophy of the emotional, like that which he has furnished of the 
intellectual, part of our constitution. Much of the material is 
ready to his hand, and only requires co-ordination under the 
universal law of mind which he has so well expounded. For 
example, the most complicated of all his eleven^ classes, the 
esthetic group of emotions, has been analysed to within a single 
step of the ultimate principle, by thinkers who did not see, and 
would not have accepted, the one step which remained. Mn 
Raskin would probably be much astonished were he to find 
himself held up as one of the principal apostles of the Associa- 
tion Philosophy in Art. Yet, in one of the most remarkable ot 
his writings, the second volume of * Modem Painters,' he aims 
at establishing, by a large induction and a searching ^^J^^ 
that all things are beautiful (or sublime) which iwwertuuy 
recall, and none but those which recall, one or more ^^ » 9f';^J^ 
series of elevating or delightful thoughts. It ie *^® .^***V^ 
this coincidence Mr. Buskin does not recognise /5au8ation,^D^^^ 
regards it as a pre-established harmony, ordained by *°®^7^J^[ ' 
between our feehngs of the Beautiful and certain grand or loveiy 
ideas. Others,however, will be inclined to see in this phenomenon. 

312 Bain's Psychology. Oct 

not an arbitmry dispensation of Providence, vhich nught hm 
been other than it is, but a case of the mental chemistry so oi^ 
spoken of; and will think it more in accordance with sound 
methods of philosophizing to beliere, that the great ideas, so 
well recognised by Mr. KuskiD, when they have sunk suffi- 
ciently deep into our neryous sensibility, actually generate, by 
composition with one another and with other elements, the 
aesthetic feelings which so nicely correspond to them. 

The last of our author's eleven classes, that of Moral Emotkm, 
is the only one on which, in relation to the problem of its com- 
position, he puts forth his whole strength. The qaestion 
whether the moral feelings are intuitive or acquired — a pcnnt so 
often and so warmly contested between the rival achools of 
Psychology — has never before, we think, been so weD or so 
fully argued on the anti-intuitive side. This masterly cfaaptff 
would serve better than any other to give a correct idea of Mr. 
Bain's philosophical capacity and turn of mind ; but, unfor- 
tunately, either extracts or an abridgment would do it injnstioe, 
as they would impair the argument by mutilating it. Mr. 
Bain's theory is, that the moral emotions are of an extremdy 
complicated character; a compound, into whidb the social 
affections, and sympathy (which is a different thing from the 
social affections) enter largely, as well as, in many cases, the 
almost equally common fact of disinterested antipathy. But the 
peculiar feeling of obligation included in the moral sentimeat, 
Mr. Bain regards as wholly created by external authority. He 
considers this character as impressed upon the feeUng entirely 
by the idea of punishment The purely disinterested character 
which the feeUng assumes after appropriate culthra^D, be 
holds to be one of the numerous instances of a feeling, tnins- 
ferred by association to objects not containing in themsdves 
that which originally excited it. This general conception of 
the origin of the moral sentiment is nothing new ; but there i6 
considerable novelty, as well as ability, in the mode in which it 
is worked out : and without, on the present occasion, expressing 
any opinion on tiiis vexata qucestio^ we can safely recoauneod 
Mr. Bain's dissertation to the special study of those who wiA 
to know the theory entertained on this subject by the Assodation 
school, and the best which they have to say in its support 

From the Emotions, Mr. Bain proceeds to the Will ; and if, on 
the former subject, the reader who has previously gone through 
Mr. Bain's first volume finds less of psychological analysis than 
he probably expected, such a complaint will not be made on the 
topic which succeeds. By no previous psychologist has the Voli- 
tional part of our nature been gone into with audi minute detail 

1859. Bain's Psychology^ 313 

and the whole of the phenomena connected with it set forth and 
analysed with such fulness and such grasp of the subject. We 
have already stated the view taken by our author of the origin^ 
or first germ, of our voluntary powers, which he conceives to be 
grounded, first, on ' the existence of a spontaneous tendency to 
' execute movements independent of the stimulus of sensations 
' or feelings ;' and, secondly, of a power to detain and prolong, 
or to abate and discontinue, a present movement, nnder the 
stimulus of a present pleasure or pain. If this be correct, the 
original power of the will over our muscles is much the same 
in extent, as it is and always remains over our thoughts and 
feelings ; for over them, the only direct power we have is that of 
detaining them before the mind, or (it would perhaps be more 
correct to say) of producing any number of immediate mental 
repetitions of them, which is the meaning of what we call 
Attention. Through ten successive chapters Mr. Bain expands 
and applies this idea, showing how, in his belief, all the pheno* 
mena of volition are erected by Association on this original basis. 
The titles of some of the chapters and sections will show the 
comprehensiveness of the scheme: — The Spontaneity of Move- 
ment; Link of Feeling and Action; Growth of Voluntary Power; 
Control of Feelings and Thoughts; Motives or Ends; the Conflict 
of Motives ; Deliberation, Resolution, EflTort; Desire ; the Moral 
Habits ; Prudence, Duty, Moral Inability. It is only in the 
eleventh chapter, after the analysis of the phenomena is com- 
pleted, that the author encounters the question which usually, 
in the writings of metaphysicians, usurps nearly all the space 
devoted to the phenomena of Will : we need hardly say that we 
refer to the Free-Will controversy. Mr. Bain is of opinion that 
the terms Freedom and Necessity are both equally inappropriate, 
equally calculated to give a false view of the phenomena. He 
thinks the word Necessity * nothing short of an incumbrance ' 
in the sciences generally. But he adheres, in an unqualified 
manner, to the universality of the law of Cause and Effect, or the 
uniformity of sequence in natural phenomena, to which he does . 
not think that the determinations of the will are in any manner 
an exception. He holds that men's volitions and voluntary 
actions might be as certainly predicted, by any one who was 
aware of the state of the psychological agencies operating in 
the case, as any class of physical phenomena may be predicted 
from causes in operation. We quote, not as the best passage, 
but as the one which best admits of extraction, a portion of the 
controver^al part of this chapter, being that in which the 
author examines the appeal made to consciousness as an infal- 
lible criterion in all psychological difliculties : — 

314 Bain's Psychology. Oct 

' A bold appeal is made by some writers to our conscionsness, as 
testifying in a manner not to be disputed the liberty of the iviil. 
Consciousness, it is said, is our ultimate and infallible criterion of 
truth. To affirm it erring, or mendacious, would be to destroy the 
very possibility of certain knowledge, and even to impugn the 
character of the Deity. Now this infallible witness, we are told, at- 
tests that man is free, wherefore the thing must be so. The 'respec- 
tability and number of those that have made use of this argument 
compel me to examine it. I confess that I find no cogency in it. As 
usual, there is a double sense in the principal term, giving origin to a 

Eotent fallacy For the purpose now in view, the word 
consciousness] implies the knowledge that we have of the successive 
phases of our own mind. We feel, think, and act, and know that we 
do so ; we can remember a whole train of mental phenomena mixed 
up of these various elements. The order of succession of our feelings, 
thoughts, and actions is a part of our information respecting ourselves, 
and we can possess a larger or a smaller amount of such information, 
and, as is the case with other matters, we may have it in a very loose 
or in a very strict and accurate shape. The mass of people are ex- 
ceedingly careless about the study of mental coexistences and succes- 
sions ; the laws of mind are not understood by them with anything 
like accuracy. Consciousness, in this sense, resembles observation 
as regards the world. By means of the senses, we take in, and store 
up, impressions of natural objects, — stars, mountains, rivers, plants, 
animals, cities, and the works and ways of human beings, — and ac- 
cording to our opportunities, ability, and disposition, we have in oor 
memory a greater or less number of those impressions, and in greater 
or less precision. Clearly, however, there is no infaUibility in what 
we know by either of these modes, by consciousness as regards 
thoughts and feelings, or by observation as regards external nature; 
on the contrary there is a very large amount of fallibility, fallacj) 
and falsehood* in both the one and the other. Discrepancy between 
the observations of different men upon the same matter of fact, is a 
frequent circumstance, the rule rather than the exception. . . • 
If such be the case with the objects of the external senses, whit 
reason is there to suppose that the cognisance of the mental opera- 
tions should have a special and exceptional accuracy ? Is it true that 
this cognisance has the definiteness belonging to the property of 
extension in the outer world ? Very far from it ; the discrepancy 
of different, men's renderings of the human mind is so pronounced, 
that we cannot attribute it to the difference of the thing looked at, 
we must refer it to the imperfection in the manner of taking cogni- 
sance. If there were any infallible introspective faculty of consci- 
ousness, we ought at least to have had some one region of mental 
facts where all men were perfectly agreed. The region so &voored 
must of necessity be the part of mind that could not belong to meta- 
physics ; there being nothing from the beginning to controvert or to 
look at in two ways, there could be no scope for metaphysical disqoi* 
sition. The existence of metaphysics, as an embarrassing study, or 
field of inquiry, is incompatible with an unerring consciousness.' 
( The EmoHons and the Will, pp. 556, 557.) 

1859. Bain's Psychology. 315 

Mr. Bain then proceeds to show, but at too much lengtli for 
quotation, that the only fact testified to by any person's conscious- 
ness is an instantaneous fact — 'the state of his or her own feelings 
^ at any one moment :' that when the person proceeds to speak 
of a past, and merely remembered feeling, fallibility begins: that 
when he speaks of sequences, and the law of a feeling, even in 
himself, much more in mankind generally, he transcends the do- 
minion of consciousness altogether, and enters on that of obser- 
vation, which, whether introspective or external, is subject to a 
thousand errors. Now the free-will question is emphatically one 
of law^ and can be determined only by deep philosophizing, not 
by a brief appeal to the fancies of an individual concerning him- 
self. A man's consciousness can no more inform him what laws 
his volitions secretly obey, than his senses, when he beholds fall- 
ing bodies, furnish him with the corresponding information re- 
specting the law of gravitation. 

The work concludes with two chapters on special subjects, the 
one on Belief, the other on Consciousness; subjects discussed 
separately, and in the last stage of the exposition, in consequence 
of the peculiar view taken of them by Mr. Bain, which differs 
from that of all previoiis metaphysicians. 

Belief is, of all the phenomena usually classed as intellectual, 
that which the Association psychologists have hitherto been the 
least successful in analysing ; though it has given occasion to 
some able and highly instructive illustrations, by Mr. James 
Mill and Mr, Herbert Spencer, of the power of indissoluble 
association. But the opinion which these authors have ad- 
vanced, that belief is nothing but an indissoluble association 
between two ideas, seems an inadequate solution of the problem ; 
because, in the first place, if the fact were so, belief itself must 
always be indissoluble ; which, evidently, it is not ; and, in the 
second place, one does not see what, on this theory, is the dif- 
ference between believing the affirmative and the negative of a 
proposition, since in either case (if the theory be true), the idea 
expressed by the subject of the proposition must inseparably and 
irresistibly recall the idea expressed by the predicate. The 
doctrine of these philosophers would have been irrefragable, had 
they limited it to affirming that an indissoluble association (or 
let us rather say, an association for the present irresistible), 
usually commands belief; that when such an association exists 
between two ideas, the mind, especially if destitute of scientific 
^ultuire, has great difficulty in not believing that there is a con- 
stancy of connexion between the corresponding phenomena, 
•considered as facts in nature. But even in the strongest cases 
of this description, a mind exercised in abstract speculation can 

316 Bain's Pgythohgy. Oct. 

reject the belief, though unable to get over the association. A 
Berkleian, for example, does not believe in the real existence of 
matter, though the idea is excited in his mind bj his muscular 
sensations as irresistibly as in other people. 

Mr. Bain's opinion is, that the difficulty experienced by the 
Association psychologists in giving an account of Belief, and 
the insufficient analysis with which they have contented theim- 
selves, arise from their looking at Belief too exclusively as an 
intellectual phenomenon, and diBr^arding the existence in it of 
an active element. His doctrine is that Belief has no meaning, 
except in reference to our actions ; that the distinctive charac- 
teristic of Belief is that it commands our wilL 

^ An intellectual notion or conception is indispensable to the act of 
believing ; but no mere conception that does not directly or indirectly 
implicate our voluntary exertions, can ever amount to the state in 
question.' (P. 568.) ' The primordial form of belief is expectation of 
some contingent future, about to follow on an action. Wherever any 
creature is found performing an action, indifferent in itself, with & 
view to some end, and adhering to that action with the same energy 
that would be manifested under the actual fruition of the end, we say 
that the animal possesses confidence, or belief, in the sequence of two 
different things, or in a certain arrangement of nature, whereby one 
phenomenon succeeds to another. The glistening surface of a pool 
or rivulet, appearing to the eye, can give no satisfaction to the agonies 
of thirst ; but such is the firm connexion established in the mind of 
man and beast between the two properties of the same object, that . 
the appearance to the eye fires the energies of pursuit no less strongly 
than the actual contact with the alimentary surface. An alliance so • 
formed is a genuine example of the condition of belief.' (Pp. 56^,570.) 

No one will dispute that ^ the genuineness of the state of 
* belief is tested by the control of the actions.' (P. 570.) If we 
really believe a statement, we are willing to commit ourselves 
in conduct on the prospect of finding the result accord with our 
belief. And there is no doubt that it is this command over the 
actions, which gives all its importance to that particular state of 
mind, and leads to its being named and classed separately. Yet 
the question remains, what is that state of mind ? The action 
which follows is not the belief itself, but a consequence of the 
belief. Where there is an effect to be accounted for, there must 
be something in the cause to account for it. Since the willing* 
ness to commit ourselves in conduct occurs in some cases, and 
does not occur in others, there must be some difference between 
the former set of cases and the latter, as regards the antecedent 
phenomena. What is this difference ? According to Mr. Bain, 
it does not lie in the strength of the tie of association between 
the ideas of the facts conceived. 

1859. Bftin's Psyckolagy. 317 

* I can inagine the mind receiTing an impression of co-exlatence 
or seqaence, such as the coincidence of relish with an apple^ or other 
object of food ; and this impression repeated until, on the principle of 
association, the one shall, without fail, at any time suggest the other ; 
and jet nothing done in consequence, no practical effect given to 
the coincidence. I do not know any purely intellectual property 
that would give to an associated couple the character of an article 
of belief; but fliere is that in the volitional promptings which 
seises hold of any indication leading to an end, and abides by such 
instrumentality if it is found to answer. Nay more, there is the ten** 
dency to go beyond the actual experience, and not to desist until the 
occurrence of a positive failure or check. So that the mere repetition 
of an intellectual impress would not amount to a conviction without 
this active element, which, although the source of many errors, is in- 
dispensable to the mental condition of belief. The legitimate course 
is to let experience be the corrector of all the primitive impulses ; to 
take warning by every failure, and to recognise no other canon of 

validity. We find after trials, that there is such a uniformity 

in nature as enables us to presume that an event happening to-day 
will happen also to-morrow, if we can only be sure that all the cir- 
cumstances are exactly the same. It is part of the intuitive 

tendencies of the mind to generalise in this way; but these tendencies* 
being as often wrong as right, have no validity in themselves; and the 
real authority is experience. The long series of trials made since the 
beginnix>g of obeervation, has shown how far such inferences can 
safely be carried ; and we are now in possession of a body of rules, in 
hannony with the actual course of nature, for guiding us in carrying 
on these operations.' (Pp. 585, 586.) 

So that, after all, Mr. Bain regards belief as a case of * intui- 
*tive tendency ;' but not a case sui generis. He considers it as 
included under the general law of Volition. The spontaneous 
activity of the brain, combined with the original property in- 
herent in a painful or pleasurable stimulus^ makes us seize and 
detain all muscular actions which of themselves, and direcdr, 
bring pleasure or relief; those actions, in consequence, beoone, 
through the law of association, producible by means of onr H^^» 
of pleasure or pain; and it is, in the author's view, by *^^^* 
tension of the same general phenomenon, that acdiKH -rhloh 
only remotely, and after a certain delay, attain our eixi^-.-rri^ 


of Belief. An obvious objection to it is, tine ^i ^r.^.rnzy. 
beliefs respecting matters in regard to whidi vi jar-^ zy^ yi-r^- 
and which have no connexion with any of tmr ^nn*» i-tt 
this Mr. Bain answers (and his answer it '^v" . tit.t tl -■ 
cases there is always a latent ima^nstrji "Suic -y^-^" 

318 Bain's Psychology. Oct 

some object at stake on the reality of the fact we belieye, and a 
feelinc^ that if we had, we should go forward confidently in the 
pursuit of any such object. We quote the following passage 
for the practical lesson conveyed in it : — 

' A single trial, that nothing has ever happened to impugn, is able 
of itself to leave a conviction sufficient to induce reliance under 
ordinary circumstances. It is the active prompting of the mind 
itself that instigates, and in fact constitutes, the believing temper; 
unbelief is an after product, and not the primitive tendency. Indeed, 
we may say, that' the inborn energy of the brain gives faith, and 

experience scepticism We must treat it [belief] as a 

strong primitive manifestation, derived from the natural activity of 
the system, and taking its direction and ratification from experience. 
The " anticipation of nature," so strenuously repudiated by Bacon, is 
the offspring of this characteristic of the mental system. In the haste 
to act, while the indications imbibed from contact with the world are 
still scanty, we are sure to extend the application of actual trials a 
great deal too far, producing such results as have just been named. 
With the active tendency at its maximum, and the exercise of intel- 
ligence and acquired knowledge at the minimum, there can issae 
nothing but a quantity of rash enterprises. That these are believed 

in, we know from the very fact that they are undertaken 

The respectable name " generalisation,*' implying the best products 
of enlightened scientific research, has also a different meaning, ex- 
pressing one of the most erroneous impulses and crudest determina- 
tions of untutored human nature. To extend some familiar and 
narrow experience, so as to comprehend cases most distant, is t 
piece of mere reckless instinct, demanding the severest discipline for 

its correction Sound belief, instead of being a pacific 

and gentle growth, is in reality the battering of a series of strong- 
holds, the conquering of a country in hostile occupation. This is a 
fact common both to the individual and to the race. . . . The 
only thing for mental philosophy to do on such a subject, is to repre- 
sent^ as simply and clearly as possible, those original properties of oar 
constitution that are chargeable with such wide-spread phenomens^ 
It will probably be long ere the last of the delusions attributable to 
this method of believing first and proving afterwards can be eradicated 
from humanity. For although all those primitive impressions that 
find a speedy contradiction in realities from which we cannot escape, 
cease to exercise their sway after a time, there are other cases less 
open to correction, and remaining to the last as portions of oar 
creed.' (P. 582-4.) 

It is assuredly a strange anomaly, that so many authors, after 
having applied the whole force of their intellects to prove the 
existence in the human mind of intellectual or moral instincts, 
proceed^ without any argument at all, to legitimate and con- 
secrate everything which those instincts prompt, as if an 
instinct never could go astray ; a consecration not usually ex- 

^^59, Bain's Psychology. 319 

tended to our physical instincts, though even there we often 
notice a certwn tendency in the same direction, not sufficient to 
persuade when there is no predisposition to believe, but amount- 
ing to a considerable makeweight to weak arguments pn the 
fflde of an existing prepossession. This grave philosophical, 
leading to still graver practical error, is always (as in the passage 
quoted) duly rebuked by the author. As a portion, however, 
of the theory of Belief, we desiderate a more complete analysis 
of the psychological process by which ulterior experience, or a 
more correct interpretation of experience, modifies the original 
toidency so powerfully described by the author, and subdues 
belief into subordination and due proportion to evidence. 

It only remains to speak of Mr. Bain's theory of Conscious- 
ness, which is the subject of his final chapter. He regards it 
as being simply the same thing with discrimination of difference. 
Consciousness is only awakened by the shock of the transition 
from one physical or mental state to another. Hobbes had re- 
marked, that if any one mode of sensation or feeling were 
always present, we should probably be unconscious of its 

•There are notable examples to show that one unvarying action 
upon the senses fails to give any perception whatever. Take the 
motion of the earth about its axis, and through space, whereby we 
are whirled with immense velocity, but at a uniform pace, being 
^rly insensible of the circumstance. So in a ship at sea, we may 
w under the same insensibility, whereas in a carriage we never lose 
the feeling of being moved. The explanation is obvious. It is tue 
change from rest to motion that awakens our sensibility, and con- 
versely from motion to rest. A uniform condition as respects either 
state is devoid of any quickening influence on the mind. -^^^*^?][ 
^lustration is supplied by the pressure of the air on the surface ot tno 
body. Here we have an exceedingly powerful effect upon one ol tne 
special senses. The skin is under an influence exactly of that nature 
that wakens the feeling of touch, but no feeling comes. ^"?^^?^ 
any portion of the pressure, as in mounting in a balloon, and sensibui^ 
18 developed. A constant impression is thus to the mind the »M^® ~ 
a blank. Our partial unconsciousness as to our clothing is ^"^^^^^^ 
with the constancy of the object. The smallest change at any xm 
makes us sensible or awake to the contact. If there ^®^® ^"""^^ the 
sound, of unvarying tone and unremitted continuance, f^^MPf ^ ^^_ 
ear from the first moment of Hfe to the last, we should be a» 
conscious of the existence of that influence a^ we are of "^^ ^''^^^^ 
of the air. Such a sonorous agency would utterly ^^"""^"^JTJr^^ 
ledge of mankind, until, as in the other case, some accident, or ^om^ 
Jrfcoyery in experimental philosophy, had enabled them to su^^^^^^ 
J^ange the degree of tL imp^es^ion -ade by^J. E-cept un ^^^ r 
^al circumstances, we are unconscious of our own » »^ ^ ^^^ 
'act nevertheless can never be absent. It is thus tnai wgu" m 


320 Bain's Psychology. Oct 

exist without being peroeived ; remission or change being a primaiy 
condition of our sensibilitj. It might seem somewhat difficult to 
imagine us altogether insensitive to such an influence as light ud 
colour ; and yet if some one hue had been present on the retina from 
the commencement of life, we should incontestably have been utterly 
blind as far as that was concerned/ ( The Emotions and the WiU, 
pp. 615, 616.) 

We perceive (in short) or are conscious of, nothing but 
changes, or events. Consciousness partakes always of the nature 
of surprise. 

Following out this line of thought, Mr. Bain regards know* 
ledge as virtually synonymous with consciousness, and points 
out that we never have knowledge of one thing by it8el£ 
Knowing a thing, means recognising the differences or agree- 
ments between that thing and another or otheits. 

^ To know a thing, is to feel it in juxtaposition with some other 
thing differing from it or agreeing with it. To be simply impressed 
with a sight, sound, or touch, is not to know anything in the proper 
sense of the word ; knowledge begins when we recognise o^ 
things in the way of comparison with the one. My knowledge of 
redness is my comparison of this one sensation with a number of 
others differing from or agreeing with it ; and as I extend those 
comparisons, I extend that knowledge. An absolute redness per u, 
like an unvarying pressure, would escape cognition ; for suj^rasing it 
possible that we were conscious of it, we could not be said to haTC 
any knowledge. Why is it that the same sensation is so differentlj 
felt by different persons — the sensation of red or green to an artist 
and an optician — if not that knowledge relates not to the sio£^ 
sensation itself, but to the others brought into relation with it in the 
mind ? When I say I know a certain plant, I indicate notiiing, until 
I inform my hearer what things stand related to it in my mind is 
contrasting or agreeing. I may know it as a garden weed, that is, under 
difference from the flowers, fruits, and vegetables cultivated in the 
garden, and under agreement with the other plants that spring up 
unsought. I may know it botanically, that is, under difference and 
agreement with the other members of the order, genus, and spedes* 
I may know it artistically, or as compared with other plants on tbe 
point of beauty of form and colour. As an isolated object in mj 
mind, I may have a sensation or a perception, although not even that 
in strict truth, but I can have no knowledge regarding it at alL Thoi 
it is that in the multifarious scene and chaos of distinguishable im* 
pressions, not only do different minds fasten upon different individmi 
parts, but fastening on the same parts^ arrive at totally different c(%' 
nitions. Like the two electricities, which cannot exist the one 
without the other, or the 'two poles of the magnet, which rise tfd 
fall together, no mental impression can exist and be called know* 
ledge, unless in company twith some other, as a foil wherewith tP 
compare it. Left to a single unit of consciousnesa, the mental ex* 

1859. Bdisi'& Psychology. -321 

citement vanishes. In the intellect, as in the emotions^ we live by 
setting off contrasted states, and consequently no impression can be 
defined or characterised, except with reference to its accompanying 
foil. We see how difficult it is in language to make a meaning 
explicit by a brief announcement ; interpretation, as applied to laws, 
contracts, testaments, as well as to writing generidly, consists in deter- 
mining what things the writer excluded as opposites to, and looked 
at as agreements with, the thing named. It is thus everywhere in 
cognition. A simple impression is tantamount to no impression at 
all. Quality, in the last resort, implies relation ; although, in logic, 
the two are distinguished. Bed and blue together in the mind, 
actuating it differently, keep one another alive as mental excitement, 
and the one is really knowledge of the other. So with the red of to- 
day and the red of yesterday, an interval of blank sensation, or of 
other sensations, coming between. These two will sustain one another 
in the cerebral system, and will mutually be raised to the rank of 
knowledge. Increase the comparisons of difference and agreement, 
and you increase the knowledge, the character of it being settled by 
the direction wherein the foils are sought^' ( The EmoUona and the 
Wm, pp. 638-40.) 

Such is a brief account of a remarkable book ; which^ once 
known and read by those who are competent judges of it, is 
Bure to take its place in the very first rank of the order of 
philosophical speculation to which it belongs. Of the execu- 
tion, a very insufficient judgment can be formed from our ex- 
tracts. The book is, indeed, a most difficult one to extract from : 
for as scarcely any treatise which we know proceeds so much by 
the way of cumulative proof and illustration, any extract of 
moderate dimensions is much the same sort of specimen as, we 
will not say a single stone, but a single row of stones, might be 
of a completed edifice. We hope that we may have assisted in 
Erecting the attention of those who are interested in the 
subject, to the structure itself ; assuring those who belong to 
the opposite party in philosophical speculation, that so massive 
ft pile, so rich in the quantity and quality of its materials, even 
if they are not disposed to take up their abode in it, cannot be 
used even as a quarry without abundant profit. 

322 A Visit to England in 1775. Oct. 

Art. IL — Diary of a Visit to England in 1775 by an Irish- 
man (the Rev. Dr. Thomas Campbell), and other Papers 
by the same hand* Edited with Notes by oamuel Bayuoxd, 
M.A., Prothonotary of the Supreme Court of New South 
Wales. Sydney: 1854. 

^HE interest excited in us by this singular little volume 
may be compared to the pleasure and surprise caused by 
the discovery on some distant shore of a pebble fashioned by the 
hand of man into the likeness of well-known features or of a 
familiar object. Curious in itself, it becomes a thousand times 
more curious from the strange and perplexing circumstanoeB 
under which it is found and restored to us. We have not often 
had an opportunity of exercising our critical jurisdiction 
upon the literary products of the Antipodes. Australia is 
more productive of gold nuggets than of authorship ; and the 
nation, which is fast rising to greatness and to power in that 
wonderful continent, must still be content to shine for two 
or three generations with light reflected from the literary intel- 
ligence of the mother country. This literary nugget is certainly 
no exception to this remark, for its value consists in the fact 
that it is no product of Australia, but a genuine memorial 
of Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale, flung by the waves of for- 
tune on the distant coast of a region of which Dr. Johnson 
and Mrs. Thrale had scarcely heard. Yet such as it is, 
Boswell would eagerly have incorporated it in his Journal — Mr. 
Croker would have made the voyage to New South Wales to 
obtain a sight of it — and Mr. Nichols would gladly hare 
enrolled it in his literary illustrations of the eighteenth century. 
It is, in short, a perfectly authentic, but hitherto unknomi 
fragment of the Johnsonian collections, which tallies with the 
other records of that society in which we seem to have lived 
some eighty or ninety years back ; and it adds several spirited and 
humorous touches by another hand to those figures on whom 
Boswell has already conferred a biographical immortality. 

Fortunate it is that a manuscript thus thrown across the 
globe by the perversity of fate, should have fallen at last into 
the hands of a gentleman so well able to appreciate and to illus- 
trate it as Mr. Raymond, the Prothonotary of the Supreme 
Court of New South Wales. In that colony he doubtless had 
not access to all the materials of literary history which may 
enable us to add something to the history of bis discoveiy. 
But with the assistance of Boswell and Sylvanus Urban (who 

1859. A Visit to England in 1775. 323 

are evidentlj held in deserved repute by the Antipodeans) he has 
contrived to throw considerable light on this remarkable docu- 
ment — to establish the identity of the author — to explain 
many of the contemporary allusions — to expose another of 
Mr. Croker's blunders — and to produce a little volume of very 
great merit and interest. 

This manuscript lay — we know not how long — in a dusty 
hiding place^ behind an old press in one of the offices of the 
Supreme Court of New South Wales, where it was. first dis- 
covered by Mr. David Bruce Hutchinson, the chief clerk of the 
office. How it came there, and how it came to New South 
Wales at all, Mr. Raymond has not been able to ascertain ; 
but on that point the researches of one of the most eminent 
contributors to this Journal have furnished us with some addi- 
tional evidence. Of the authenticity of the manuscript, no doubt 
can be entertained, both from its external appearance, (of 
which a facsimile is given) and still more fix)m its internal 
character and exact correspondence with a variety of par- 
ticulars, recorded elsewhere, some of which were probably 
unknown to Mr. Raymond himself. It certainly is the diary 
of an Irish clergyman, written, not for publication, but as a 
private record of the incidents and occurrences which attracted 
his notice on his first visit to London in 1775, and on a subse- 
quent visit in 1781, followed by a few memoranda of a journey 
to Paris in 1787. His name nowhere appears in the manu- 
script, but from the coincidence of dates and other circum- 
stances, he may easily be identified as the gentleman called 
by BoBwell the 'Irish Dr. Campbell,' who was said to 
have come from Ireland to London principally to see Dr. 
Johnson. Johnson seemed angry when this observation was 
made to him by Davis., and said bluntly, * I should not wish to 
' be dead to disappoint Dr. Campbell, had he been so foolish as 
* you represent him ; but I should have wished to have been a 
' hundred miles offi' However, this first impression, if it was 
an unfavourable one, speedily wore off; the Irish traveller 
was received with courtesy in Johnson's society, and succeeded 
not only in seeing the great man, but in cultivating his acquaint- 

Boswell's account of their first meeting is as follows : — 

•On Wednesday, 5th April (1775), I dined with him (Johnson) at 
Messieurs Dillys, with Mr. John Scott of Cornwall, the Quaker ; Mr. 
LangtoD, Mr. Miller (now Sir John), and Dr. Thomas Campbell, an 
Irish clergyman, whom I took the liberty of inviting to Mr. Dilly's 
table, having seen him at Mr. Thrale's, and been told that he had 
come ta England chiefly with a view to see Dr. Johnson, for whom 

324 A Visit to England in 1775. Oct 

he entertained the highest yeneration. He has since published ^ A 
'^ Philosophical Survey of the South of Lreland,"— a very entertaining 
book, which has, however, one fault — that it assnines the fictitions 
character of an Englishman.'* (Craker^s Bos well, voL v. p. 280.) 

Bot the fact is that Campbell had already dined at the 
Thrales', on the 16 th March, with Johnson and Baretti» though 
Boawell did not return to London from Scotland till the 2l8t 
March, so that be was not in company with Campbell till some 
days later. But from that time to the 28th May, when he left 
London, the Irish stranger frequently shared the hospitality of 
Dr. Johnson's friends. The dmry, extending over this period 
of about ten weeks, is the most important portion of this 
volume, and our readers will at once perceive the great interest 
which attaches to it. 

Who, then, was Dr. Thomas Campbell? — ^for we are afiraid 
that the posthumous fame of his ' Philosophical Survey ' will 
not enable many of our readers to answer this question, and 
in this respect bis dinners with Dr. Johnson, and a line or two 
in Boswell, have done more for him than the clerical and 
literary labours of his life. Before, therefore, we introduce the 
diary more fully to our readers, we shall avail ourselves of the 
materials which have been collected by Mr. John Bowyer 
Nichols, in the seventh volume of his valuaUe 'Litmiy 

* Illustrations,' to make the author better known. This gentle- 
man, then, was bom in 1733, at Glack, in the county of 
Tyrone, and having entered the Church, he obtained the good 
living of Clones, near the estate of his frilend. Lord Daore, in 
the county of Monaghan. His first publication, which is that 
alluded to by Boswell, appeared in 1778. In 1789 he puUished 
^ Strictures on the Ecclesiastical and Literary History of Ir&- 
' land, from the most ancient times till the Introduction of the 
' Boman Ritual under Henry IL ;' and it deserves to be noted 
that, having visited Edmund Burke at Beaconsfield on the occa- 
sion of one of his joumies to England, that eminent man 
entered very cordially into his plan of writing * the " History of 
' *^ the Revolutions of Ireland," so as to give the spirit rather than 
' the letter of our melancholy annals. He advised me to be as 

* brief as possible upon everything antecedent to Henry IL : bat 
^ Mr. Burke did not content himself with giving me good 

* It deserves a remark that a book with a somewhat similar title, ' A 
'Political Survey of Great Britain,' had been published in the preced- 
ing year (1774), by Dr. John Campbell, a well-known Scotch writer 
of the day, of whom Johnson said that ' he died of want of attentioa 
' if he died at all of that book.' He was, however, alive in April, 
1775, and his Irish namesake met him at Mr. Combe's. 

1859. A Visit to England in 1775. 325 

' advice^ he gaye me also his Tery valuable colleotion of manu- 
^ scripts relative to Ireland, no less than four folio vobimes, of 
' which I have already considerably availed myself/* We 
heartily wish that behind any press in New South Wales, in the 
ooonty of Tyrone, or any other comer of the Britirfi £m[^, 
Burke's four (cAio volumes on the history of Ireland may yet be 
found ; but the anecdote is curious, because it shows with what 
care and labour that extraordinary man prepared his stores of 
information, as well as his ready disposition to assist Dr. Camp- 
bell in these historical labours. 

The principal portion of the correspondence of Dr. Campbell 
which has been rescued from oblivion is that which passed 
between him and Dr. Percy, Bishop of Dromore: he was 
well acquainted with that prelate and, in fact, it was Campbell 
who put together the l^e of Groldsmith prefixed to the 
edition of Groldsmith's works in four vcds. 8vo., 1801, wiiioh 
Bishop Percy says 'was compiled under his directions, with 
'a view to the interests of Gbldsmith's surviving relatives.' 
But Campbell had no personal acquaintance with Goldsmith, 
who died in 1774, the year before his own visit to London. 

Of Dr. Campbell's person little more can now be traced, but 
both Mr. Croker and Mr. Nichols have fallen into a very ludi* 
crous blunder on this subject, vfhkh the diary now before us has 
enabled Mr. Raymond to detect. 

In one of Mrs. Thrale's letters to Johnson, dated from Bath, 
May 16. 1776, she says: — 

* We have a flashy friend here already, who is much your adorer. 
I wonder how you will like him f Au Irishman he is — very hand- 
some, very hot-headed, loud and lively, and sure to be a favourite 
with you, he tells us, for he can live with a man with ever so odd a 
temper. My master laughs, but likes him, and it diverts me to think 
what you will do, when he professes that he would clean shoes for 
you — that he would shed his blood for you^ with twenty other ex- 
travagant flights : and you say 1 flatter — Upon my honour^ sir, and 
indeed now, as Dr. Campbell's phrase is, I am but a twitter to him.* 

Strangely enough Mr. Croker jumped to the conclusion that 
this lively gentleman was no other than Dr. Campbell, the 
rector of Clones in person ; though, in fact, nothing can be more 
improbable. Mrs. Thrale's ^ flashy friend' was not likely to be a 
beneficed Irish ecclesiastic He is spoken of as a person not 
known to Johnson, and Johnson himself says in his reply, 
'Who can be this new friend of mine?' though, as Bos well re- 
cords, Campbell had met the doctor the year before at the 

* Campbeirs letter to Pinkerton, in Nichols' Literary Illustrations. 
(Vol. vii. p. 778.) 

326 A Visit to England in 1775. Oct 

Thrales' table ; nor would Mrs. Thrale have been likely to qaote 
a, saying of Dr. Campbell's in speaking of Campbell himsel£ 
This diary« however^ completes the evidence on the point, for 
Campbell's visit to England took place in May, 1775, not in 
May 1776, and it was not till October, 1776, that he went 
again to London, having spent the interval in Ireland. 

We are able, therefore, with the assistance of Mr. Baymond 
and Dr. Campbell, to state with confidence who the ^flashy 
< Irishman' of Mrs. Thrale's was not, and we shall proceed to show 
by another witness who we believe him to be. 

In the diary and letters of the author of * Evelina,' we find 
the following entry written during a visit to Mrs. Thrale in 
August, 1781 : — 

' We have now a new character added to our set, and one of no 
small diversion — Mr. Musgrave, an Irish gentleman of fortune, and 
member of the Irish Parliament. He is tall, thin, and agreeable in 
his face and figure — is reckoned a good scholar, has travelled, and 
been very well educated. His manners are impetuous and abrupt ; 
his language is high-flown and hyperbolical ; his sentiments are 
romantic and tender ; his heart is warm and generous ; his head hot 
and wrong: and the whole of his conversation is a mixture the 
most uncommon of knowledge and triteness, simplicity and farj, 
literature and folly. Keep this character in your mind, and, contra- 
dictory as it seems, I will give you, from time to time, such specimens 
as shall remind you of each of these six epithets. 

' He was introduced into this house by Mr. Seward, with whom, 
and Mr. Graves of Worcester, he travelled into Italy, and some years 
ago he was extremely intimate here. Mrs. Thrale, who, though open* 
eyed enough to his absurdities, thinks well of the goodness of bis 
heart, has a real regard for him ; she quite adores him, and he quite 
adores Dr. Johnson — frequently declaring, f for what he once sajs, 
he says continually) that he would spill his Mood for him — or clwn 
his shoes — or go to the East Indies, to do him any good ! '^1 am 
never," says he, " afraid of him ; none but a rogue or a fool has any 
''need to be afraid of him. What a fine old lion (looking up at hu 
''picture) he is. Oh ! I love him — ^I honour him — 1 reverence him. 
'^ I would black his shoes for him. I wish I could give him my night's 
" sleep." These are exclamations which he is making continually. 
Mrs. Thrale has extremely well said that he is a caricature of Bosweil, 
who is a caricature, I must add, of all other of Dr. Johnson's ad- 
mirers.' {Madame dArblay's Diary^ vol. li. p. 83.) 

The likeness of the sketches of this lively personage by the 
two ladies is complete ; his shoe-black devotedness identifies him 
to the life ; and whilst we have great pleasure in restoring to 
Mr. Musgrave what belongs to him, we must be allowed to 
claim for the worthy rector of Clones a little more sense and 
decorum than fell to the lot of his amusing countryman, who 

1859. A Visit to England in 1115. 327 

has for so many years been taken for bun. It is remarkable 
that three Johnsonian critics as eminent as Mr. Croker^ Mr. 
Nichols^ and Mr. John Forster* should ail.have fallen into this 
eiror; and we are very much indebted to Mr. Raymond for 
supplying tbe materials which enable us to correct it with so 
much precision. 

In return, we shall now endeavour to extract from the ' Percy 
* and Campbell Correspondence ' a clue to the mysterious dis- 
ooyery of this literary trauvaille behind the press in the of&ce of 
the Supreme Court at Sydney, which has puzzled Mr. Baymond 
himself. Dr. Campbell died in 1795, and he died unmarried. 
His next heirs appear to have been a niece, who was living with 
him in 1791 — a nephew, the Bev. Charles Campbdl, who re- 
dded at Newry, in Ireland, in 1810, and an elder nephew, who 
in 1810 had resided for two years at the Cape of Good Hopcf 
Of this eldest nephew the following mention is made by his 
younger brother Charles, in a letter to Bishop Percy, of the 
19th of February, 1810. 

'My eldest brother, of whom you are so good as to inquire, was 
(when I last heard from him about a month ago) just embarking from 
the Cape of Grood Hope (where he has been nearly two years) for 
New South Wales in New Holland, with strong recommendation 
from Lord Caledon to Colonel Macquarrie, who is the Grovemor of 
that settlement, and who with his regiment, the 73rd, touched at the 
Cape in their passage out. ' My brother was to accompany him, 
having the promise of any civil employment which that place affords* 
{Nichols Literary lUustratkmSj voL vii. p. 796.) 

* In the appendix (A) to volume ii. of Mr. John Forster's 'Life 
'and Times of Oliver Goldsmith,' which is» generally speaking, one of 
the most accurate and instructive pieces of literary biography in the 
language, the evidence relating to the projected Life of Groldsmith, 
has been collected from the Percy Correspondence ; but Mr. Forster 
has fallen into the same error as his predecessors with reference to 
Mrs. Thrale's supposed description of Campbell, which he too quotes 
(p. 488). Mr. Forster has pointed out (p. 472.) that Johnson's Latin 
epitaph on Groldsmith was first made public in Campbell's Philosoph- 
ical Survey of the South of Ireland (p. 437-8.), Jolmson having fur- 
nished a copy. This circumstance shows the degree of regard Johnson 
had conceived for his Irish admirer. 

t I^e diary states (p. 86.) that Dr. Campbell went to London again 
in May, 1781, 'to look for some preferment for his nephew Tom 

* Campbell, and that worthy man Mr. Alexander Scott procured him a 

* cadets place in the East Lidia Company's service.' This is probably 
the same individual, who having served in India in early life, after- 
wards turns up at the Cape of Grood Hope, and goes to New South 
Wales in 1810 in search of civil employment. 

328 A Visit to England in 1775. Oct 

It 18 thus shown by a curious concurrence of eyidenoe that 
the eldest nephew and heir of Dr. Thomas Campbell was, in 
1810, on his way tct New South Wales, probably carrying \k 
uncle's diary wiw him as a family memento. We hope to as* 
certain that this gentl^nan afterwards held eome office in die 
Supreme Court — but at any rate it was in the dusty* recesses 
of that office that some forty years later this memento was dis- 
covered. We shall now proceed witJiont further delay to lay 
the most interesting portions of the diary itself before onr 
readers; but this explanation was necessary to xend^ intel- 
ligible what is otherwise extremely improbable and incompr^ 

Let us then accompany the worthy doctor on his first landing 
in this island — we say his first landing, for although he was at the 
time about forty-two years oi age, tiiere is no allusion to mbj 
former visit made by Iiim to England, and every object, down 
to the size of the Webh eggs, excites his observation, cniiositf, 
and surprise. 

* Februafy 2Zrd^ 1775. — I went aboard the Besborough paoqnet 
and weighed anchor at five in the evening, and landed at Holybeal 
at eight o'clock next morning, which was very foggy and haay. Tbe 
passage was on a very pacific sea, so that I was so littie afiected wilii 
sickness, as to lament the want of that substitute for hippa Here we 
breakfasted, and tbe eggs were so small that I had curiosity to mea- 
sure them, and the largest diameter wad an inch and three quarters. 
Here is a odd old church in the form of a cross, in tbe yard of which 
Flood and Agar fought about seven years ago ; but the feud did not 
end there, Agar at length fell by liis antagonist, a. d. 1769.* The 
folks at the inn told me that the weather had been generally haxy for 
a month past, and they expected it would be so tiU March. Thej 
had but two or three days of frost last winter. The sailors say it h 
always foggy when the wind is at south. The church is, on the ont- 
side, of an H-like figure, i. e. the old part, which is not n^jr, and 
seems the remains of something greater ; there is an addition, how- 
ever, of modern work.* 

Our tourist then proceeds through North Wales, entranced 
with the * transcendently beautiful view of Bangor^ which beg- 
^ gars the richness of words/ but experiences the barrenness of 
the land at a cost which may make mtodern travellers stare. 

* The distance from Holyhead to Bangor ferry is twenty-five miles ; 
from thence to Conway eighteen ; a post-chaise and four firom Holj- 

* Henry Flood fought two duels with Mr. Agar — the first is here 
alluded to, in which Agar was slightly wounded ; but the quarrel iras 
revived, and he was shot through the heart. Flood was tried at 
the Kilkenny Assizes^ and the jury found a verdict of manslaughter 
in his own defence. 

1859. A Visit to England in 1775. 329 

head is eight ^iaeas for tw€^ and nine for three ; from Conway to 
St. Aflaph is dghteen mike. At Bangor ferry we could get no beer^ 
yet one would think that the tempering of malt and hops into that 
consiBtence were a facile operation ; nor was there meat, except eggs 
and rashers of bee£ At Conway both meat and diink were as bad 
as we oonld meet at any Irish inn.' 

In seven days he reaches London^ haying passed through 
Oxford, and seen^ as he phrases it, a ' syllabus of all England; ' 
and as the Irish divine seems to have had as much taste for the 
stage as for the pulpit, on the 2nd of March, ' Covent Garden 
' Playhouse received 1dm' — probably to see the performance of 
' Braganza/ one of Jephson's wretched pieces which divided 
the &voar of the town with Ooldsmith's Comedies. Gold- 
smith himself died in the previous year, and we find but one 
slight mention of him in these pages. A day or two after tiie 
playhouse Dr. Campbell found an occasion for gratifying his 
professional curiosity in a more clerical manner. 

< Sunday, 5th (March).'-'! breakfasted with Mr. Pearson CFig Tree 
Coorty Middle Temple)^ and went with him to the Temple Church — 
a most beautiful Gothic structure, The service was ill read, and the 
anging not according to the rubrick ; for it was immediately after 
the second lesson. The sermon was preached by the Master of the 
society, a brother to Thurloe the Attorney- General. The discourse 
was the most meagre composition (on our Saviour's temptation) and 
the delivery worse. He stood like Gulliver stuck in the marrow 
bone, with the sermon (newspaper-like) in his hand, and without 
grace or emphasis he in slow cadence measured it forth. In the 
evening I strolled to Westminster Abbey, where I (being locked in) 
was obliged to listen to a discourse still duller, and as ill delivered.' 

Without dwelling further on the humours of the town, or the 
pitMs into which the Rector of Clones sometimes fell with an 
innocence worthy of Moses Primrose himself^ let us now accom- 
Pftny him into society. 

*lUh (March). — It rained incessantly from the hour I awoke, that 
is, eight till near twelve, that I went to bed, and how much further 
that night, I know not. This day I dined with the club at the 
British Coffee (house), introduced by my old college friend Day. 
The President was a Scotch Member of Parliament, Mayne, and the 
prevalent interest Scottish. They did nothing but praise Macpher- 
son's new history, and decry Johnson and Burke. Day humorously 
gave money to the waiter to bring him Johnson's "Tascation no 
" Tyranny.** One of them desired him to save himself the expense, for 
that he should have it from him,* and glad that he would take it away 
as it was worse than nothing. Another said it was written in John- 
son's manner, but worse than usual, for that there was nothing new 
^ it. The President swore that Burke was gone mad, and to prove 
It adduced this instance, that when the House was obliged the day or 

330 A Visit to England in 1775. Oct 

two before, to call him to order, he got up again, and foaming like a 
play actor, he said, in the words of the psalmist, ** I held my tongoe 
'< even from good words, but it was pain and grief to me ; then I said 
*'in my haste they are all liars.** My friend Day, however, told seme 
stories which turned the Scotch into ridicule (they did however laugh), 
and irritated the President more than once by laughing at his accent, 
but he had a good blow at one (who valued himself vastly on his 
classical knowledge) who, describing the device on a snuff-box, pointed 
'out a satyr blowing his concha; this raised a loud. laugh, which made 
the virtuoso look very silly.' 

From this company he shortly afterwards proceeded to the 
house of Mr. Thrale — his first visit seems, however, to have 
been to Mr. Thrale's brewery ; and we quote the passage chiefly 
for the concluding lines, which give us Dr. Campbell's first 
impression of Grarrick in the part of Lear. 

' I4th {March). — The first entire fair day since I came to LondoiL 
This day I called at Mr. Thrale's, where I was received with all re- 
spect by Mr. and Mrs. Thrale. She is a very learned lady, and joins 
to the charms of her own sex the manly understanding of ours. The 
immensity of the brewery astonished me. One large house contains, 
and cannot contain more, only four store vessels, each of which con- 
tains fifteen hundred barrels ; and in one of which, one hundred per- 
sons have dined with ease. There are besides, in other houses, 
thirty-six of the same construction, but of one-half the contents. 
The reason assigned that porter is lighter on the stomach than oth^ 
beer is, that it ferments much more, and is by that means more 
spiritualised. I was half-suffocated by letting in my nose, over the 
working floor ; for I cannot call it vessel ; its area was much greater 
than many Irish castles. Dined alone, having refused an invitation 
from Mr. Boyd, in order to see Garrick; and I saw him, which Icoald 
not have done if I had stayed half an hour longer, the pit being fall 
at the first rush. Nor was I disappointed in my expectations, though 
I cannot say he came up to what 1 had heard of him ; but all things 
appear worse for being forestalled by praises. His voice is husky, 
and his person not near so elegant as either Dodd's or King's ; hut 
then his look, his eye, is very superior. Lear, however, was not, I 
think, a character wherein he could display himself.' 

His next meeting with the Thrales brought him into the 
society of Johnson. This dinner with Johnson and Baretti oo* 
curred five days before Boswell's return to London, and conse- 
quently there is no notice of it in the ^ Life.' The allusion to 
die reception which the pamphlet ' Taxation no Tyranny' had 
met with is extremely curious. Johnson was evidently nettled 
at the indifference of his friends and the public to his opinions, 
and as he said to Boswell a few days later, * I think I have not 
'been attacked enough for it. Attack is the reaction; I never 
* think I have hit hard unless it rebounds.' 

1859. A Visit to England in 1775. 331 

' ISih {March). — ^A fair daj. Dined with Mr. Thrale^ along with 
Dr. Johnson and Baretti. Baretti is a plain sensible man, who seems 
to know the world well. He talked to me of the invitation given him 
by the College of Dublin, but said it (one hundred pounds a year and 
rooms) was not worth his acceptance ; and if it had been, he said, in 
point of profit, still he would not have accepted it, for that now he 
could not live out of London. He had returned a few years ago to 
his country, but he could not enjoy it, and he was obliged to return to 
London, to those connexions he had been making for near thirty 
years past. He told me he had several families with whom both in 
town and country he could go at any time and spend a month : he is 
&t this time on these terms at Mr. Thrale% and he knows how to 
keep his ground. Talking as we were at tea of the magnitude of the 
beer vessels, he said there was one thing in Mr. Thrale's house still 
more extraordinary, meaning his wife. She gulped the pill very 
prettily — so much for Baretti ! Johnson, you are the very man Lord 
Chesterfield describes : a Hottentot indeed, and though your abilities 
are respectable, you never^can be respected yourself.* He has the 
aspect of an idiot, without the faintest ray of sense gleaming from 
any one feature — with the most awkward garb, and unpowdered 
grey wig on one side only of his head — he is for ever dancing the 
devil's jig, and sometimes he makes the most drivelling efibrt to 
whistle some thought in his absent paroxysms. He came up to me 
and took me by the hand, then sat down on the sofa, and mumbled 
out that he had heard two papers had appeared against him in 
the course of this week, — one of which was, — that he was to go to 
Ireland next summer, in order to abuse the hospitality of that place 
also. His awkwardness at table is just what Chesterfield described, 
and his roughness of manners kept pace with that. When Mrs. 
Thrale quoted something from ** Foster's Sermons," he flew in a pas* 
sion, and said that Foster was a man of mean ability, and of no ori- 
ginal thinking. All which, though I took to be most true, yet I held it 
not meet to have it so set down. He said that he looked upon Burke 
to be the author of Junius, and that though he would not take him 
contra mundum^ yet he would take him against any man. Baretti 
was of the same mind, though he mentioned a fact which made 
against the opinion ; which was, that a paper having appeared against 

* Dr. Campbell alludes to the well-known passage in Lord Chester- 
field's letters^ in which the polished Earl describes the uncouth man- 
ners of the sage, and ends by calling him ' a respectable Hottentot.' 
(Letter ccxii. vol. ii. p. 104, Dodsley's 4to. edition.) The date of 
this letter was February, 1752. Johnson's severe letter to Lord 
Chesterfield, after the publication of the Dictionary, was written in 
1755. Lord Chesterfield, however, gives in this passage, the true 
cause of that coolness which excited Johnson's bitter resentment. 
' There is a man,* said he, ' whose moral character, deep learning, and 
'superior parts, I acknowledge, admire, and respect; but whom it ia 
' 80 impossible for me to love, that I am almost in a fever whenever I 
* am in his company.' ... 

332 A Visit to England in 1775. Oct 

Jnnias on this day, a Janins came oat in answer to that the very 
next, when everybodj knew Burke was in Yorkshire. Bat til 
the Jnniuses were evidently not written by the same hand. Borke's 
brother is a good writer, though nothing like Edmund. The doctor, 
as he drinks no wine, retired soon after dinner, and Baretti, who I 
see is a sort of literary toad-eater to Johnson, told me that be was a 
man nowise affected by praise or dispraise, and that the journey to 
the Hebrides would never have been published but for himselfl The 
doctor, however, returned again, and with all the fond anxiety of an 
author, I saw him cast out all his nets to know the sense of the town 
about his last pamphlet, TttxatUm no Tyrannyy which he said did 
not sell. Mr. Thnde told him such and such members of both Houses 
admired it ; " And why did yon not toll me this ? ** quoth Johnson. 
Thrale asked him what Sir Joshua Reynolds said of it. '* Sir Jo&hna," 
quoth the Doctor, ^ has not read it.** " I suppose," quoth Thrale, ** he 
has been very busy of lato." " No," says the Doctor, " but I never 
look at his pictures, so he won't read my writings.** Was this like 
a man insensible to glory ? Thrale then tsked him if he had got Miss 
Reynolds's opinion, for she, it seems, is a politician. "As to that,' 
quoth the Doctor, *Mt is no great mattor; for she could not tell, afler 
she had read it, on which side of the question Mr. Burke's speech 

. The following account of another of Mr. Thrale's literary 
dinners^ proves the astonishing stability of the culinary laws w 
London ; fowls and saddles of mutton have retained their sway 
for the best part of a century, though we should look in vais, 
in these degenerate days^ for * four different sorto of ices.' At 
a subsequent dinner at Lord Dacre's, the Doctor himself re- 
marks (alas ! with how great truth I) how similar all the great 
dinners he meets with are — soup, fish, saddles of mutton, turkey, 
pigeons, and so on for ever. 

' 2Sih (March), — Eddying winds in the forenoon rendered the 
streets very disagreeable with dust, which was laid in the 
evening by rain from three. Dined at Mr. Thrale's, where there 
were ten or more gentlemen, and but one lady besides Mrs. Thrale. 
The dinner was excellent ; first course, soups at head and foot, re- 
moved by fish and a saddle of mutton ; second course, a fowl they 
call Galena at head, and a capon larger than some of our Irish turicejs 
at foot ; third course, four different sorts of ices, pineapple, grapiB, 
raspberry, and a fourth ; in each remove I think there were fourteen 
dishes. The two first were served in massy plate. I sat beside 
Baretti, which was to me the richest part of the entertainment He 
and Mr. and Mrs. Thrale joined in expressing to mcj Dr. Johnson's 
concern that he could not give me the meeting that day, but desired 
that I should go and see him. Baretti was very hnmoroos about 

* Alluding to Burke's speech on American Taxation, Vhich^wss 
delivered on the 19th April, 1774. 

1859. A Visit to England in 1775. 333 

bis new pablication which he expects to put out next month. He 
there introduces a dialogue about Ossian, wherein he ridicules the 
idea of its double translation into Italian, in hopes, he said, of having 
it abused by the Scots, which would give it an imprimatur for a 
second edition, and he had stipulated for twenty-five guineas addi- 
tional if the first should sell in a given time. He repeated to me 
upon memory the substance of the letters which passed between Dr. 
Jobnson and Mr. Macpherson. The latter tells the Doctor that 
neither his age nor infirmities should protect him if he came in 
bis way. The Doctor responds that no menaces of any rascal should 
intimidate him from detecting imposture wherever he met it.' 

Dr. Campbell claims no proficiency in the fine arts, and indeed 
one of the chief merits of his diary is the simplicity with which 
he reconis his own observations, without any attempt at effect : 
but the following entry is of great interest. 

*27th {March). — Frdst in the morning and light falls of snow all 
day. Went to see Reynolds's pictures. His manner is certainly the 
true sublime ; the colours seem laid on so coarsely that guitm 
tperet idem. Gainsborough's I looked at afterwards, but his work 
seems laboured with small pencils ; I don't think he paints as well 
as Hunter in Dublin. What a pity that Reynolds's colours do not 
stand ! they want a body, they seem glazed.' 

At the next Thrale dinner Johnson was not present, though 
Boswell was ; but the absence of the * stupendous mortal,' as 
Mss Seward always called him, only made his friends more 
eager to talk of him ; and Campbell beard a chorus of second- 
hand mots, which coidd hardly nave been repeated in the pre- 
sence of the author, and some of them of so broad a character 
that they have driven the Australian editor to asterisks and 
ourselves to omissions. 

* April 1st.— A fair day. Dined at Mr. Thrale's, whom, in proof 
of the magnitude of London, I cannot help remarking, no coachman, 
and this is the third I have called, could find without inquiry. But 
of this, by the way. There was Murphy, Boswell, and Baretti : the two 
last, as I learned just before I entered, are mortal foes ; so much so 
that Murphy and Mrs. Thrale agreed that Boswell expressed a desire 
.that Baretti should be hanged upon that upfortunate affair of his 
killing, &c.* Upon this hint I went, and without any sagacity it 
was discernible ; for, upon Baretti's entering, Boswell did not rise, 
and upon Baretti's descry of Boswell he grinned a perturbed glance. 
Politeness, however, smooths the most hostile brows, and theiw were 
snioothed. Johnson was the subject both before and after dmner, 

* Baretti being rndelr aocoeted by some »«>^ c'^?*^. "* *« 
Hiymarket, rashly atroek one of them with a toife (which he con- 
•twtly wore for the purpose of carving frnit «* "weeto>«»tB> The 
Buu died the next day, Snd Baretti was tried at the Old Bailey. 

334 A Visit to England in 1775. Oct 

for it was the boast of all bat mjself, that under that roof were 
the Doctor's first friends. His bon mots were retailed in such pkntj 
that thej, like a surfeit, could not lie upon memory. Boswdl 
arguing in favour of a cheerful glass, adduced the maxim in vmo 
Veritas ; *^ Well/' says Johnson, *' and what then, unless a man bas 
'^ lived a lie?" B. then urged that it made a man forget all Iiis 
cares ; '^ that, to be sure," says Johnson, " might be of use if a man 
*' sat by such a person as you." Boswell confessed that he liked i 
glass of whiskey in the highland tour, and used to take it At 
length, says Johnson, "let me try wherein the pleasure of a Scots- 
*' man consists," and so tips off a brimmer of whiskey. But Johnson's 
abstemiousness is new to him^ for within a few years he would 
swallow two bottles of port without any apparent alteration, and 
oncOj in the company with whom I dined this day, he said, "Fraj, 
'' Mr. Thrale, give us another bottle." It is ridiculous to piy so 
nearly into the movements of such men, yet Boswell carrys it to 
a degree of superstition* The Doctor, it appears, has a custom of 
putting the peel of oranges into his pocket, and he asked the 
Doctor what use he made of them ; the Doctors reply was that 
his dearest friend should not know that. This has made poor 
Boswell unhappy, and I verily think he is as anxious to know the 
secret as a green sick girl. N.B. The book wherewith Johnsoa 
presented the highland lady was Cocker's Arithmetic' 

The mighty mystery of the dried orange peel was at last 
solved by Bos well's discovery, that Dr. Johnson was in the 
habit of making a stomachic drink with it, which, as he ob- 
served, had at least the merit of doing no harm. But BosweH'a 
infantine curiosity on the subject was extremely diverting to 
the bystanders, and did not escape Dr. Campbell's notice. 

The following entry is one of peculiar interest, because it 
describes the very same dinner at Dilly's the bookseller's wlud 
is related, though with less detail, by Boswell — indeed some of 
the most striking things said by Johnson on this occasion were 
said after Boswell was gone. It is certainly a noble retaliation 
on Johnson for his insane injustice to the northern division of 
this island, that he should owe the largest share of his post- 
humous fame to the Scotchman who was his biographer. On 
this occasion he waited till Boswell had retired before he broke 
out against the Scotch ; but in other respect the two reports 
coincide. Nothing can better illustrate the genuine character 
of these Notes, than the fact that two concurrent accounts 
should have come to light of this same casual entertainment, 
though divided from each other by half a century in the time 
of publication, and by the distance of a hemisphere. 

* April 5tfA^-— Dined with Dilly in the Poultry as guest to Mr. 
Boswell, where I met Dr. Johnson (and a Mr. Miller, who lives 
near Bath, who is a dilletanti man, keeps a weekly day for the litte- 

1859. A Visit to England in 1775. 335 

rati, and is himself so litterate that he gathereth all the flowers that 
ladies write and bindeth into a garland, bat enough of him) with 
several others, particularly a Mr. Scott, who seems to be a very 
sensible plain man. The doctor when I came in had an answer 
titled ** Taxation and Tyranny " to his last pamphlet in his hand* 
He laughed at it, and said, he would read no more of it, for that it 
paid him compliments, but gave him no information. He asked if 
there were any more of them. I told him I had seen another, and 
that the " Monthly Review " had handled it in what I believed he 
called the way of information. ** Well," says he, '* I should be glad 
''to see it.'* Then Boswell (who understands his temper well), 
asked him somewhat, for I was not attending, relative to the Pro- 
yincial Assemblies. The Doctor, in process of discourse with him, 
argued with great vehemence that the Assemblies were nothing more 
tiian our vestries. I asked him was there not this difference, that 'an 
Act of the Assemblies required the king's assent to pass into a law; 
his answer had more of wit than of argument. *' Well, Sir," says he, 
'* that only gives it more weight." I thought I had gone too far, but 
dinner was then announced, and Dilly, who paid all attention to him, 
in placing him next the fire, said, '* Doctor, perhaps you will be too 
warm." " No, Sir," says the Doctor, " I am neither hot nor cold." 
"And yet," said I, "Doctor, you are not a lukewarm man." This I 
thought pleased him, and as I sat next him, I had a fine opportunity 
of attending to his phiz, and I could clearly see he was fond of hav- 
ing his quaint things laughed at, and they (without any force) grati- 
fied my propensity to afi*use grinning. Mr. Dilly led him to give his 
opinion of men and things, of which he is very free, and Dilly will 
probably retail them all. Talking of the Scotch (after Boswell was 
goae), he said, though they were not a learned nation, yet they were 
far removed from ignorance. Learning was new amongst them, and 
he doubted not but they would in time be a learned people, for they 
were a fine bold enterprising people. He compared England and 
Scotland to two lions, the one saturated with his belly full) and the 
other prowling for prey. But the test he oflfered to prove that 
Scotland, though it had learning enough for common life, yet had not 
sufficient for the dignity of literature, was, that he defied any one to 
produce a classical book written in Scotland, since Buchanan. 
Robertson, he said, used pretty words, but he liked Hume better, and 
neither of them would he allow to be more to Clarendon than a rat 
to a cat " A Scotch surgeon," says he, " may have more learning 
than an English one, and all Scotland could not muster learning 
enough for Louth's * Prelections.* " Turning to me he said, " You 
have produced classical writers and scholars ; I don't know," says he, 
"that any man is before Usher as a scholar, unless it may be Selden, 
and you have a philosopher, Boyle, and you have Swift and Con- 
greve, but the latter," says he, " denied you," and he might have 
added the former too. He then said, ** You certainly have a turn for 
the drama, for you have Southerne and Farquhar and Congreve, and 
many living authors and players." Encouraged by this, I went back 
to assert the genius of Ireland in old times, and ventured to say that 

VOL. ex. NO. CCXXIV. ^ 

336 A Visit to England in 1775. Oct 

tlie first professors of Oxford and Paris, &c^ were Irish. ^' Sir," ssys 
he^ " I believe there is sometliing in what you saj, and I am ooatent 
with it, gince they care not Scotch," 

• 'This day I went to Gnildhall, and waited for above an hour 
before the Lord Mayor came. He, Wilkes, was rather worse tban I 
expected to find him, for he labours under baldness, increpitude, aod 
want of teeth ; from the hedge of the teeth being removed, his tongue 
is for ever trespassing upon his lips, whereof the undermost together 
with the chin projects very far. He went to the front of the hust- 
ings, where he was clapped as a player more than -once before he spoke; 
tho' I was removed from him but the breadth of the green table, I could 
not make out all he said, (which was not much, but it was) in repro- 
bating the measures of the Ministry towards the Americans. He 
then sat down, and Captain Allen, after making a speech too trivial for 
a mountebank, yet he too was applauded, read the address, petition, 
and remonstrance which will be in the prints.' 

Here, apparently. Dr. Campbell reverts to Johnson's pre- 
vious conversation. 

* Talking of Addison's timidity keeping him down, so that he 
never spoke in the House of Commons, was, he said, much more 
blameworthy than if he had attempted and failed, as a man is more 
praiseworthy who fights and is beaten, than he who runs away.' 

Three days afterwards, the principal members of the ssme 
company met again at Mr. Thrale's. Boswell, as well as Camp- 
bell, has preserved some record of this dinner — the supper 
of the previous night at Mrs. Abington's with some fashioinUe 
people, and the repartee on Murphy and Garrick — whose 
names are suppressed by Boswell, correctly supplied by Mr. 
Croker on conjecture, and preserved by the Irish visitor. The 
other particulars of this conversation are recorded by Campbell 

' April StL — ^Yery cold and some rain, but not enough to allay the 
blowing of the dust. Dined with Thrale, where Dr. Johnson was, 
and Boswell (and Baretti as usual). The Doctor was not in as good 
spirits as he was at Dilly's. He had supped the night before with 

Lady , Miss Jefirjs, one of the maids of honour. Sir Joshoa 

Reynolds, &c., at Mrs. Abington's. He said Sir C. Thompson and 
some others who were there spoke like people who had seen good 
company, and so did Mrs. Abington herself, who could not have sees 
good company. He seems fond of Boswell, and yet he is alwap 
abusing the Scots before him, by way of joke. Talking of their na- 
tionality^ he said they were not singular^ the Negroes and Jews hmg 
so too. Boswell lamented there was no good map of Scotland. 
** There never can be a good (map) of Scotland," says the Doctor 
sententiously. This excited Boswell to ask wherefore. " Why, Sir, 
to measure land a man must go over it^ and who could think of going 
over Scotland ? " When Dr. Goldsmith was mentioned, and Dr. 

1859. A Visit to England in 1775. 337 

Perc3r'8 intention of writing his life*, he expressed his approbation, 
strongly adding, that Goldsmith was the best writer he eyer knew 
upon every snl^ect he wrote upon. He said that Kendric had bor^ 
rowed all his dictionary from him. ** Why," says Boswell, ^ every 
man who writes a dictionary mast borrow." ^ No^ Sir," says John- 
son, **that is not necessary.'* " Why," says Boswell, "have not you a 
great deal in common with those who wrote before you ? " "Yes, Sir," 
says Johnson, ** I have the words, but my business was not to make 
words, but to explain them." Talking of Garrick and Barry, he said 
he always abused Garrick himself, but when anybody else did so, he 
fought for the dog like a tiger ; and as to Barry, he said he supposed he 
could not read. " And how does he get his part ?" says one ; ** Why 
somebody reads it to him, and yet I know," says he, '^that he is very 
much admired." Mrs. Thrale then took him by repeating a repartee 
of Murphy, the setting Barry up in competition with Garrick, is 
what irritates the English critics, and Murphy standing up for 
Barry. Johnson said that he was fit for nothing but to stand at an 
auction room door with his pole. Murphy said that Garrick would do 
the business as well, and pick the people's pockets at the same time. 
Johnson admitted the fact, but said Murphy spoke nonsense, for that 
people's pockets were not picked at the dooor, but in the room ; then, 
siud I, he was worse than the pickpockets, forasmuch as he was 
Pandar to them. This went off with a laugh. Vive la bagateUe, 
It was a case decided here, that there was no harm and much 
pleasure in laughing at our absent friends, and I own if the character 
is not damaged, I can see no injury done.' 

The dinner of the 10th April at General Oglethorpe's, is also 
reported by Boswell^ but Dr. Campbell's note of the conversa- 
tion is by far more full and amusing — indeed Boswell ends by 
the.remark that his hero ^was not much in the humour of talk- 
^ ing.' Yet nothing can be more droll than Johnson's turn on the 
old jest of the want of trees in Scotland, and it is evident that 
Boswell had been snubbed for his curiosity before he left the room* 

* April \Oth, — ^Rain, but not enough to soften the asperity of the 
weather. Dined with General Oglethrope, who was in lieu of Aid- 
de-Camp (for he had no such officer about him) to Prince Eugene, 
and celebrated by Mr. Pope. Dr. Johnson pressed him to write his 
life ; adding that no life in Europe was so well worth recording. 
The old man excused himself, saying, the life of a private man was< 
not worthy public notice. He however desired Boswell to bring him. 
some good almanack, that he might recollect dates, and seemed to 
excuse himself also on the article of incapacity ; but Boswell desired 

* This was the life to which Dr. Campbell afterwards contributed 
the principal materials. It is remarkable that none of the eminent 
men who had lived most in the society of Goldsmith undertook it, 
and that Bishop Percy, who did undertake it, should have done so 
little for it. 

338 A Visit to England in 1775. Oct. 

him only to furnish the skeletoo, and that Dr. Johnson would supplj 
bones and sinews. '^ He would be a good doctor," says the General, 
" who would do that." ** Well," says I, ** he is a good Doctor," at whick 
the Doctor laughed very heartily. Talking of America, it was 
observed, that his works would not be admired there. " No," says 
Boswell, "we should soon hear of his being hung in efSgy." "I 
should be glad of that," says the Doctor : <' that would be a new 
source of fame," alluding to some conversation on the fulness of bis 
fame which had gone before. And says Boswell, " I wonder be 
has not been hung in e,^gy from the Hebrides to England." '^ I shall 
suffer them to do it corporeally," says the Doctor, " if they can find 
me a tree to do it upon." 

* The poem of the Graces became the topic ; Boswell asked if he 
had never been under the hands of a dancing master. " Aye and a 
Dancing Mistress too," says the Doctor, " but I own to you I never 
took a lesson but one or two, my blind eyes showed me I could nerer 
make a proficiency." Boswell led him to give his opinion of Graj: 
he said there were but two good stanzas in all his works, viz., the 
Elegy. Boswell, desirous of eliciting his opinion upon too macr 
subjects, as he thought, he rose up and took his hat. This was cot 
noticed by anybody as it was nine o'clock, but afler we got into Mr. 
Langton's coach, who gave us a set down, he said, " Bo&well*s con- 
versation consists entirely in asking questions, and it is extremelr 
offensive." We defended it upon Boswell's eagerness to hear the 
Doctor speak. 

' Talking of suicide, Boswell took up the defence for argument's sale, 
and the Doctor said that some cases were more excusable than others, 
but if it were excusable, it should be the last resource ; ^' for instance," 
says he, " if a man is distressed in circumstances (as in the case 1 
mentioned of Denny) he ought to fly his country." " How can be 
fly," says Boswell, " if he has wife and children." ** What, Sir," 
says the Doctor, shaking his head as if to promote the fermentation 
of his wit, " doth not a man fly from his wife and children if be 
murders himself? "' 

Poor Dr. Dodd was executed in June, 1777, about two yeara 
after Campbell's visit, and in 1775, his preaching was thehei^t 
of the fashion : we do not remember to have met with a descrip- 
tion of it more graphic than the following passage. 

*\Ath {April). — Fair. Good Friday; went to hear Dr. Dodd, who 
is cried up as the first preacher in London, at his own chapel. He 
reads better than he preaches ; for in the pulpit he leans too much 
upon his notes, his eyes are seldom off them, yet he uses the acdoo 
of an extempore delivery which makes a jarring jumble. His manner 
is infinitely superior to his matter, which was a poor and unsuccessful 
attempt upon the passions. He said the merits of Christ were 
applied to us, just as a man's paying a money debt for another was 
deemed a discharge for the debt ; and he said that, as the merits of 
Christ extended from the rising up of the sun to the going down of 
the same, so they extended equally a parte ante et post since creation, 
to those who never heard the name, t. e. Jesus Christ was a vicarioas 

1859. A Visit to England in 1775. 339 

sacrifice, as well for those who lived before Him, as for those who 
have lived since ; and as well for those who never heard of Him, as 
those who have faith in His name. 

' N.B. The shops were not shut up to-daj farther than that some 
of them had a single board standing up. The paviours went on as 
all other workmen did, and the ladies went to their exercise in Hyde 
Park as usual. Dodd did not read the communion service rubricallj) 
for he kneeled at the beginning, and though it was a fast day he and 
his coadjutors wore surplices. Supped with Jack Day and a set of 

Dining on Easter Sunday with Archdeacon Congreve, Dr. 
Campbell met the Lord Primate, and on being asked whether 
he * had seen the lions/ the Kector of Clones answered by say- 
ing that he had seen Sir Joshua's paintings and heard the con- 
versation of Dr. Johnson and his friends — to which the dignitary 
replied, 'Aye! these indeed are lions worth seeing, and the 
' sight of them may be of use to you.' But the curiosity of our 
traveller was destined to be yet more fully gratified in another 

*lSth {April). — Went in one of the Brentford coaches to Kew 
Bridge, walked from thence along the Thames (N.B. a smart shower 
then) to Richmond, near which I met the King with a single gentle- 
xnaD, and two of the princes. I did not know him till I was cheek 
for jowl with him, (jowl here I apply to his majesty), and then I took 
off my hat ; sometime before I met the king I overtook a boy of 
fifteen or sixteen, dressed in fiannel or something of that sort. I 
asked him several questions, to all which he answered with English 
curtness ; he was, however, glad of a penny for carrying my coat. 
After passing the king I asked him if he knew who that was, he 
answered in the negative. I then told him, that is the king ; he 
showed no emotion, but turned round and said leisurely, '* Is that the 
king?'* An Irish boy would have dogged him at the heels as long as 
he could. It would be heresy here to deny that Richmond still 
afforded the finest prospect in the world, and it would be false to 
deny that it afforded a rich one, yet it has nothing picturesque to bo 
seen from it, for it was the second and third distances. Wales is the 
fertile mother of landscapes.' — N.B. Richmond Hill is very coarse 
ground, covered with furze and rushes.' 

His next call on Johnson was to take leave of him, for three 
days later Campbell left London. Johnson evidently liked the 
Irishman, for there runs through these interviews a vein of 
courtesy, to which his admirers were not often accustomed. 

* 2Ath {AprU). — Rainy morning. Sat an hour with Dr. Johnson 
about noon. He was at breakfast, with a Pindar* in his hand, and 

* After Johnson's death. Miss Seward and Mrs. Thrale declared 
that he owned he had not opened a Greek book for ten years, and he 
Was wont to speak of Anacreon's Dove as the thing that pleased him 
i&08t in Greek poetry : yet Dr. Campbell finds him * at breakfast with 

340 A Visit to England in 1775. Oct 

after saloting me with great cordiality, he, after whistling in his v&y 
oyer Pindar, laid the book down, and then told me he had seen mj 
Lord Primate at Sir Joshua's, and *' I belieTO," says he, ** I have not 
recommended myself much to him, for I differed widely in q>imoiis 
from him, yet I hear he is doing good things in Ireland.** I men* 
tioned Skelton to him as a man <^ strong imagination, and told him 
the story of his selling his library for the support of the poOT. He 
seemed much affected by it^ and then fell a rowHng and muttering to 
himself, and I could hear him plainly say, after scTend minutes' 
pause from conversation, *^ Skelton is a great good man." He tha 
said, ''I purpose reading his OphiomeuihiSy for I have never aeen 
anything of his but some allegoric pieces, which I thought very well 
of." He told me he had seen Delany when he was in eveiy sense 
gravis annis* ; ** but he was (an) able man," says he ; ^ his * Bevelstioo 
examined with candour,' was well received, and I have seen an intro- 
ductory preface to a second edition of one of his books^ which was 
the finest thing I ever read in the declamatory way.'* He asked me 
whether Claytonf was an English or Irishman ? " He endeavoured to 
raise a heresy among you," says he, *^ but without effect, I believe.'' 1 
told him one effect in the case of the parish clerks. His indignation 
was prodigious, '< Aye," says he, '* these are the effects of heretical 
notions upon vulgar minds." ' 

Our limits forbid us to accompany our traveller on his home- 
ward journey, though his account of Bath and Bristol is higbly 
entertaining, and especially the manner in which a Sondsj 
might be spent ' with five or six lively Irish girls ' at fisth 
some eighty years ago; but we prefer to revert to a subse- 
quent interview with Dr. Johnson on the occasion of a viat 
paid him about six years af^er that which we have hitherto 
described. In 1781, Dr. Campbell returned to London for the 
purpose (bs we have already mentioned) of obtaining a cadet- 
ship for his nephew, and he took the opportunity of renewing 
his acquaintance with Johnson. X 

* a Pindar in his hand.' It is certain, however, that he had small pre- 
tensions *to Greek scholarship. 

* Dr. Patrick Delany, the Dean of Down, was an intimate friend 
of Swift, and acknowledged to be a writer of ability and learning. 
He died in 1768, at more than eighty years of age. 

t Dr. Clayton was translated to the Bishopric of Clogher in 1745, 
but in 1751 he published an Arian treatise, not written by himself; 
the Irish Convocation determined to proceed against him, when be 
was seized with a nervous fever which terminated his life in i7o8. 
We are indebted for these particulars to Mr. Alibone's 'Dictkmuy 
' of British and American Authors,' a work of extraordinary research 
and very commendable accuracy. There is scarcely a name in the 
whole range of English literature which seems to have escaped Mr. 
Alibone's notice. 

X It i^pears from a passage in Dr. Campbell's * Strictures on the 
< History of Ireland,' that he also spent the winter of 1777 in Lodh 

1859. A Visit to England in 1775. 841 

*June llthy 1781.-^1 went to see Dr. Johnson ; found him alone. 
Saretti came soon after. Baretti (after some pause in conversa^ 
tion) asked me if the disturbances were over in Ireland. I told him 
I had not heard of any disturbances there. ''What," says he, ^'haye 
you not been up in arms ?" "Yes, and a great number of men con- 
tinue so to be.** ''And don't you call that disturbance?" returned 
Saretti. "No," said I, "the Irish volunteers have demeaned 
themselves very peaceably, and instead of disturbing the peace of 
the country have contributed much to its preservation." The Doctor^ 
who had been long silent, turned a sharp ear to what I was saying, 
and, with vehemence, said, " What, Sir, don't you csM it disturbance 
to oppose legal government with arms in your hands and compel 
it to make laws in your favour ? Sir, I call it rebellion, rebellion 
as much as the rebellions of Scotland." "Doctor," said I, "I am 
sorry to hear that fall from you. I must, however, say that the 
Irish consider themselves as the most loyal of His Majesty's sub- 
jectSy at the same time that they firmly deny any allegiance to ft 
British Parliament. They have a separate legislature, and that they 
have never shown any inclination to resist." " Sir," says the 
Doctor, " you do owe allegiance to the British Parliament as a con- 
quered nation, and had I been minister I would have made you 
submit to it. I would have done as Oliver Cromwell did, I woul4 
have burned your cities and wasted you in the fires (or fiames) of 
them." I, after allowing the Doctor to vent his indignation upon 
Ireland, coolly replied, "Doctor, the times are altered, and I don't 
find that you have succeeded so well in burning the cities and roast- 
ing the inhabitants of America." " Sir," says he gravely, and with 
a less vehement tone, " what you say is true, the times are altered, 
for power is now nowhere; we live under a government of in- 
fluence not of power ; but. Sir, had we treated the Americans as 
we ought, and as they deserved, we should have at once razed all 
their towns — and let them enjoy their forests." After this wild 
rant, argument would but have enraged him; I therefore let him 
vibrate into calmness, then, turning round to me he, with a smile, 
says, " After all. Sir, though I hold the Irish to be rebels, I don't 
think they have been so very wrong ; but you know that you com- 
pelled our Parliament by force of arms to pass an Ai^t in your 
favour. That I call rebellion." « But, Doctor," said I, " did the 
Irish claim anything that ought not to have been granted, though 
they had not made the claim?" " Sir, I won't dispute that matter 
with you, but what I insist upon is that the mode of requisition was 
rebelHous." " Well, Doctor, let me ask you but one question, and I 
shaU ask you no more on this subject : do you think that Ireland 
would have obtained what it has got by any other means ? " " Sir," 
says he, " candidly, I believe it would not. However, a wise Go- 
don, and was honoured with the familiarity and friendship of Johnson. 
In fact he stayed in London from October, 1776, to May, 1777. But 
no record of this visit has been preserved, and as Boswell was in 
Scotland during the whole of this time. Dr. Campbell's name does 
not reappear in the ' Life.' 

342 A Visit to England in 1775. Oct 

vemment should not grant even a claim of jastice if an attempt is 
made to extort it by force." I said no more.' 

This conyersation is very remarkable from the importance 
of the subject and the light it throws on Johnson's political 
opinions; and this note of it is the more interesting from the 
circumstance that Dr. Campbell himself refers to the occasion 
at greater length in one of his acknowledged publications — ^thc 
passage has already been reprinted by Mr. Nichols in the 
seventh volume of his 'Literary Illustrations^' p. 762.^ as a 
valuable and appropriate addition to the life of Johnson. He 
there informs the reader by way of introduction, that having 
repeated the conversation to his dear friend Dr. Watkinson 
within an hour or two after it passed^ ' he thought it so extra- 
' ordinary that he gave me pen, ink, and paper to set it down 
' immediately as a test of the political principles of Johnson.' It 
is extremely probable, therefore, that the rough note we have 
now laid before our readers is the identical memorandum written 
at the time : and the conversation was afterwards republished 
in a fuller and more elaborate form in the ' Strictures on Irish 

* History.' 

We have borrowed more largely than is our custom from 
these pages, because the copy of Mr. Raymond's publication 
now before us is probably the only one on this side of the 
equator, and he has had the good fortune to hit upon a vein 
of unusual interest to every one who is conversant — as who is 
not conversant? — with Dr. Johnson's life and conversation. 
The remaining portions of the diary are slight, and have not the 
same claim to our notion, though there is some amusement in 
the Doctor's trip to Paris in 1787, in his return by way of 
Brighton, where he met the Princes and Mrs. Fitzherbert at a 
ball, and afterwards saw Charles Fox (whom he calls 'this 
' profligate head of opposition,') * walking on the Steyne in very 

* indifferent company.' 

Notes of this kind, hastily but faithfully jotted down at the 
time by persons who live in good society, acquire in less than a 
century an extraordinary degree of interest and value. Dr. 
Campbell's diary has been walled up behind that ancient press 
in the Supreme Court at Sydney, until, like a pipe of Madeira 
laid in on the birth of an heir and forgotten on his majority, it 
has acquired the flavour of a curious liqueur. The world is 
extremely indebted to Mr. Raymond for having brought this 
document to light; and in any future edition of the Life of 
Johnson, Dr. Campbell's notes cannot fail to be inserted. Indeed, 
we hope that the Editor, to whom the copyright belongs, will 
shortly allow the whole volume to be republished in this country. 

1859. Sir Emerson Tennent^s Ceylon. 343 

Abt. III. — Ceylon: An Account of the Island^ Physical, Histo^ 
rical,and Topographical: with Notices of its Natural History, 
Antiquities, and Productions. Illustrated by Maps, Plans, 
and Drawings. By Sir J. Emerson Tknnent. 2 vole. 
8vo. London: 1859. 

A MIDST the labours of a life devoted to the assiduous dis- 
"^ charge of public duties^ both abroad and at home. Sir 
Emerson Tennent has found means to produce the most copious, 
interesting, and complete monograph which exists in our lan- 
guage on any of the possessions of the British Crown. The 
island of Ceylon cannot, with any strictness or propriety, be 
termed a colony. It is one of the oldest kingdoms of the 
earth, inhabited by races whose origin is lost in primitive anti- 
quity ; traces of \h^ demon worship of fattened serpents still 
linger among the superstitions of the people ; and the lofty pin- 
nacle called * Adam's Peak,' which has served for ages as a land*- 
mark to the navigators of the Eastern seas, is still said to bear the 
footprint of the first created man. The chronicles of the island 
extend, if we may place implicit reliance on the profound re- 
searches of Mr. Tumour, the translator of the Mahawanso, in 
an unbroken series through twenty-three centuries, from 543 b.c. 
to the year of Christ 1758. The arts of agriculture were 
imported into Ceylon by the Bengal conquerors, who founded 
the dynasty of Wijayo, five centuries before Christ; in the 
first centuries of the Christian era civilisation was established, 
and the population is supposed to have been ten times what it 
now is.* Irrigation by artificial lakes and enormous tanks, one 
of which wad forty miles in circumference, gave life and fertility 
to the soil ; and as the modem traveller penetrates by forgotten 
tracks into the recesses of the forest, he is everywhere struck 
by the vast and countless excavations and embankments which 
attest the industry and ingenuity of a great people. Two 
thousand years ago the Buddhist faith was introduced into 
Ceylon, and the island soon became one of the chief seats 
of that creed, which holds three hundred and fifty millions 
of human beings in its fetters ; the mystical Bo-tree, which 
still flourishes in the holy precincts of Anarajapoora, detached 
from the identical tree under which Buddha reclined when he 
received his initiation in Uruwela, has already completed its 

• The popalation of all races in Ceylon amounted in 1857 to 
1,697,975, besides soldiers and aliens estimated at about 30,000 : yet 
the iaiand is only about one-sixth smaller than Ireland. 

344 Sir Emerson Tennent's Ceylon. Oct 

second millennium. By the extinction of the ancient dynasties, 
by the decline of the population, and by the progress of Euro- 
pean enterprise, Ceylon has been succesMTely occuined and 
ruled by the Portuguese^ and by the Dutch, until it passed at 
length entirely into the possession of the British Crown. Few 
countries have a history of equal antiquity, connected by so 
many links with the great political and reli^ous revolutions of 
the world ; uniting, as in an emporium, the commerce and ^e 
industry of the East and of the West, and deriving a peculiir 
and Romantic interest from its incomparable natural beauty, and 
its varied natural productions. 

These curious and copious materials had remained scattered in 
an infinite variety of repositories, until Sir Emerson Teunest, 
moved by the interest he felt in the island, in which he^ then 
filled a high ofiScial station, applied himself to the production of 
the work now before us. We congratulate him on the success 
which has attended his persevering and conscientious labours, for 
the result is one of the most satisfactory books we have ever 
had the good fortune to examine. He has ransacked the his- 
torical and geographical records of every age and oountiy 
having reference to his subject, many of them entirely un- 
known ; thus, in addition to the notices of Ceylon, which are to 
be found in Pliny, Ptolemy, and the Arabian geographers, he 
has succeeded in obtaining, through the Chinese misfflons,a 
singular collection of documents on the relations of the Singlur 
lese with the court of Pekin ; he has consulted the little known 
works of Valentyn, De Barros, and De Couto, in Dutch and 
Portuguese; he has searched the Indian correspondence of 
Marquis Pombal f now in the British Museum) for the Por- 
tuguese reports and despatches ; and he has succeeded in com- 
pleting, from Mr. North's letters in the Wellesley papers, the 
particulars of the revolution which overthrew tiie house of 
Kandy. The chapters of this work relating to the natural 
history of the island, to which we shall devote the greater part 
of the following pages, have a still more general interest In 
no part of the tropics is the climate more brilliant, the vegetation 
more luxuriant, the resources of the soil more abundant, the 
forests more animated by a thousand varieties of life. And Sir 
Emerson Tennent displays a very vivid power of transporting 
his readers into the midst of these scenes, which are so delight- 
ful to the imagination, and sometimes so much less delightful 
to actual experience. We are extremely well satisfied to visit 
Ceylon in Sir Emerson's company, without being bitten by land 
leeches, snapped at by crocodilesi, terrified by cobras^ or pursued 
by an irritated proboscidian ; and we are aU the more giatefnl 

1859. Sir Emerson Tennent's Ceylon. 345 

to our author for the sunshine he has contrived to throw upon 
the dark autumnal days of England by the publication of these 

Nothing better illustrates the very extended connexion of 
Ceylon with the different civilisations and powers which have 
succeeded one another for the last two thousand years in the 
East, than the great variety of appellations by which this cele- 
brated island figures in the annals of different countries. In 
the mythical language of the Brahmins, it bore the name of 
^ Lanka/ ^the resplendent;' they made it the first meridian 
of their astronomical system; and extolled it as a region of 
mystery and preternatural beauty. Sir Emerson is of opinion 
that Galle, which became the mart of Portugal and of Holland, 
and is now one of the principal rendezvous of British steamers, 
was the Tarshish to which the Phoenician mariners and the fleets 
of Solomon resorted to bring back the gold of Ophir, — Ophir 
being now supposed to be Malacca, the Aurea Chersonesus of 
the later Greek geographers. 

' The ships intended for the voyage were built by Solomon at 
'< Eddon-geber on the shores of the Bed Sea," the rowers coasted 
along the shores of Arabia and the Persian Gulf, headed by an east 
wind. Tarshish, the port for which they were bound, was in an 
island, governed by kings, and carrying on an extensive foreign 
trade. The voyage occupied three years in going and returning 
from the Bed Sea, and the cargoes brought home to Ezion-geber 
consisted of gold and silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. Gold could 
have been shipped at Galle from the vessels which brought it from 
Ophir, ^silver spread into plates," which is particularised by Jeremiah 
as an export of Tarshish, is one of the substances on which the 
sacred books of the Singhalese are even now inscribed; ivory is 
found in Ceylon, and must have been both abundant and full grown 
there before the discovery of gunpowder led to the wanton destruc- 
tion of elephants ; apes are indigenous to the island, and peafowl are 
found there in numbers. It is very remarkable, too, that the terms 
by which these articles are designated in the Hebrew Scriptures, are 
identical with the Tamil names, by which some of them are called in 
Ceylon to the present day : thus tukeyiniy which is rendered '* pea- 
*^ cocks ** in our version, may be recognised in tokei, the modern name 
for these birds; ^kapV* apes, is the same in both languages, and the 
Sanskrit " ibha " ivory, is identical with the Tamil '' ibam.^* 

^ Thus by geographical position, by indigenous productions, and by 
the fact of its having been from time immemorial the resort of mer- 
chant ships from Egypt, Arabia, and Persia on the one side, and 
India, Java, and China on the other, Galle seems to present a com- 
bination of every particular essential to determine the problem so 
long undecided in biblical dialectics, and to establish its own identity 
with the Tarshish of the sacred historians, the mart so long frequented 
by the ships of Tyre and Judea.' 


346 Sir Emerson Tennent's Ceylon. Oct 

No portion oF Sir Emerson's book is more carious and 
novel than that in which he describes the Chinese writers who 
haTC preceded himself in the description of the island. There 
is no doubt that the community of religion and the desire of 
trade had established^ at an early period^ intimate rektions 
between the Singhalese and the Chinese; and no less than 
twenty-four Chinese writers are known to have dealt with the 
subject. Indeed^ the Singhalese ambassadors who arrived in 
Bome^ in the reign of the Emperor Claudius^ and from whom 
Pliny derived the materiab of his own account of the island, 
stated that their ancestors had reached China by travereing 
India and the Himalayan mountains^ and this route was in nee 
long before ships had attempted the voyage. The Chinese to- 
pographers call Ceylon * Sze-tsew-kwo,' which means *the 
* Kingdom of Lions/ a version of the Pali word ' Singhala': eo 
too they call it Paou-choo, * the Island of Gems,' for which 
Ceylon has always been celebrated. It was there they bought 
topazes of four distinct tints, described in inimitable Chinese 
imagery, as * those the colour of wine ; the delicate tint of 
^ young goslings; the deep amber like beeswax, and the pale 
' tinge resembling the opening bud of the pine ' : and it was 
there a Chinese monarch purchased for an inconceivable price 
the biggest and brightest ruby the world ever beheld ; for a 
man could not hold it in the palm of his hand, and it emitted 
light in the darkest night. 

Ceylon was not known to the Greeks and Romans before the 
campaign of Alexander, but it was partially described by 
Megasthenes, twenty years after his death; and Ovid seems to 
have had no doubt that it was an island, when he says — 

' Aut ubi Taprobanen Indica cingit aqua.' 

But it appears that it was not till the reign of the Emperor 
Claudius that a Roman seaman — the Columbus of antiquity- 
trusting to the monsoon of the Indian Ocean, dared to cross 
to the coast of Malabar. The first consequence of opening the 
direct trade with the East was a drain of silver on Some to 
pay for the Eastern commodities imported through Egypt. The 
very same phenomenon has gone on to our own day. These 
communications soon made the island of Taprobane, as it was 
called, well known to the Romans; and Pliny, as we have 
already observed, had the advantage of meeting a Singhalese 
embassy in Italy, consisting of a ' Rachia ' and three other 

{)ersons — the word Rachia probably standing for Rajah. In 
ittle more than half a century after the death of Ph'ny, the 
island of Taprobane was far more minutely and accurately de- 

1859. Sir Emerson Tennent's Ceylon. 347 

scribed than it had hitherto been^ in the great work of Ptolemj ; 
and we are furnished, in the work before us^ with an elaborate 
and ingenious comparison of the ancient and modern charts. 

There is yet a navigator, singularly endeared to us by our 
earliest recollections, to whom Ceylon was certainly familiar. 
The local name 'Sinhala-diva' was corrupted into ' Seren-diva>' 
or Serendip, by the Arabian pilots ; and who does not remem- 
ber that the embassy of the Caliph Haroun Alraschid to the 
King of Serendib was the occasion of the seventh voyage of 
Sinbad of the Sea ? The incredible variety of incident which 
gives 80 great a charm to the ' Arabian Nights/ is due not to 
fancy alone but in some measure to the tales of travellers or 
legends current in the East. Thus Sinbad's story of the 
loadstone mountain, which drew out the iron bolts of the 
ships, is alluded to by several Arab writers, and it can be traced 
much further back even to Chinese authors; down to the present 
day the Singhalese make their boats without iron nails, and the 
planks are secured by wooden bolts, precisely as Falladius says 
that vessels sailing for Ceylon should be fastened with wooden 
instead of iron bolts. Sinbad, or the author of Sinbad, must 
have visited Ceylon ; he knew the distinction between the Sin- 
ghalese race in the south of the island, where the cultivation 
of rice is carried on by the mere action of the rains, and the 
Tamil races of the north, who are as black as Abyssinians and 
cultivate their fields by artificial irrigation. The legend of the 
elephants' burying place, to which Sinbad was conveyed by 
the sagacity of those animals, is still firmly believed by the 
elephant hunters, though since the days of Sinbad the great 
majority of Singhalese elephants have ceased to wear tusks. 
Lastly, it ia a curious illustration of the story of Sinbad's 
escape by floating down a subterranean river, which brought 
him into the centre of Serendib, that a popular conviction still 
exists that there is such a subterranean river in the north of 
Ceylon, at the very place where Sinbad found the people like 
Abyssinians watering their fields by irrigation. The stream is 
called the Well of Potoor, and it presents a very extraordinary 
natural phenomenon, to which we shall presently revert. 

It is time, however, that we quit these speculations for that 
which after all constitutes the highest merit of the book and will 
prove its chief attraction ; we mean the delightful chapters which 
Sir Emerson Tennent has devoted to the natural history and to 
the varied natural productions of Ceylon. The part of the work 
embracing the physical geography of this enchanting region 
includes many valuable remarks on the geology of the island. 
The nucleus of its mountain masses consists of gneissic, granitic, 

350 Sir Emerson Tennent's Ceylon. Oct. 

so lon^ as the pure water is undisturbed, but, on causing an 
artificial tide, by gradually withdrawing and as gradually replacing 
a portion of the surrounding contents of the basin, the tinted water 
in the sponge becomes displaced and disturbed, and in the course of 
a few ebbs and flows its escape is made manifest by the quantity of 
colour which it imparts to the surrounding fluid.' (Vol. i. p. 23.) 

Amongst the valuable mineral products of Ceylon is plum- 
bago, the veins of whlcb^ in the hills near Kambrapane, are 
largely worked, and the quantity annually exported exceeds 
2000 tons. The quantity of gold hitherto discovered is too 
small to reward the search* The most famous and character- 
istic mineral products of Ceylon are its precious stones. Tbe 
promiscuous manner in which these are scattered about in 
some localities, is exemplified by the following curious cuxum- 
stance : — * The cook of a government oflScer recently brought him 

* a ruby about the size of a small pea, which he had taken from 

* the crop of a fowl.' But the size to which this beautiful predons 
stone sometimes attains may be conceived by the testimony of 
Marco Polo of a royal ruby, belonging to a king of Ceylon in 
the thirteenth century, which was ' a span in lengthy without a 
^ flaw, and brilliant beyond description.' 

The waters around the island have been duly noted by its 
present historian as well as the land itself. On both sides of 
Ceylon, during the S. W. monsoon, a broad expanse of sea 
assumes a red tinge, considerably brighter than brick-dust, and 
this is confined to a space so distinct, that a line seems to 
separate it from the green water which flows on either side. 
On examination it proved to be filled with infusoria, probablj 
similar to those which impart the peculiar colour to the so-called 
Vermilion Sea off the coast of California. 

In the chapter upon the climate of Ceylon, a most interesting 
summary of the characteristics of each month is given. The 
European physiologist cannot fail to be struck by the contrast 
of the physical agents causing or accompanying ^ torpidity' in 
many of the lower animals, and necessitating the substitution 
of another term for ^ hybernation.' In the hot nionths of March 
and April, the insects, deprived of their accustomed food, dis- 
appear underground, or hide beneath the decaying bark; the 
water-beetles bury themselves in the hardening mud of tlie 
pools, and the helices retire into the crevices of the stones, or 
the hollows amongst tbe roots of the trees, closing the apertures 
of their shells with the hybemating, or rather ssstivating, epi- 
phragm. ^ Butterflies are no longer seen hovering over the 
' flowers ; the birds appear fewer and less joyous ; and the wild 
' animals and crocodiles, driven by the draught from their accas- 

1859. Sir Emerson Tennent's Ceylon. 351 

' tomed retreats, wander through the jangle, and even venture to 

* approach the village wells in search of water.' (P. 69.) The 
preliminary phenomena to the wished-for change are philosophic 
cally described and expluned, as they gradually concentrate to 
usher in the monsoon. 

' At last the sudden lightnings flash among the hills and sheet 
through the clouds that overhang the sea, and with a crash of thunder 
the monsoon bursts over the thirsty land, not in showers or partial 
torrents, but in a wide deluge that in the course of a few hours over- 
tops the river banks and spreads in inundations over every level plain. 

' All the phenomena of this explosion are stupendous : thunder as 
we are accustomed to be awed by it in Europe, affords but the faintest 
idea of its overpowering grandeur in Ceylon, and its sublimity is in- 
finitely increased as it is faintly heard from the shore, resounding 
through night and darkness over the gloomy sea. The lightning 
when it touches the earth where it is covered with the descending 
torrent, flashes into it and disappears instantaneously ; but, when it 
strikes a drier surface, in seeking better conductors, it often opens a 
hollow like that formed by the explosion of a shell, and frequently 
leaves behind it traces of vitrification 

'For hours together, the noise of the torrent, as it beats upon the 
trees and bursts upon the roofs, flowing thence in rivulets along the 
ground, occasions an uproar that drowns the ordinary voice, and renders 
sleep impossible.' (Vol. i. p. 62.) 

The animals, which passed the parching months in senseless 
and motionless torpidity, now awake from their deep ' summer* 

* sleep.* 

' In ponds, from which but a week before the wind blew clouds of 
sandy dust, the peasantry are now to be seen catching the re-animated 
fish — the tank-shells and water-beetles revive, and wander over the 
snbmerged sedges. The electricity of the air stimulates the vegetation 
of the trees, and scarce a week will elapse till the plants are covered 
with the larvsQ of butterflies, the forest murmuring with the hum of in* 
sects, and the air harmonious with the voice of birds.' {Ibid.) 

Kever were the phenomena of a tropical country more vividly 
brought before the mind than in the descriptions with which the 
present work abounds, fresh from impressions of the intensified 
powers of Nature upon a susceptible and poetic temperament ; 
and we shall at once transport our readers into the heart of 
this enchanting scenery by transcribing the following sketch of 
the zoological phenomena that characterise each period of the 
tropical day, and succeed each other from its first beginning to 
its close : — t 

'With the first glimmering of dawn the bats and nocturnal birds 
retire to their accustomed haunts, in which to hide them from 
'* day's garish eye ; " the jackal and the leopard return from their 


352 Sir Emersoa Texmont's Ceyhnu Oct 

nightlj chase; the elephants steal back timidlj into the diade of 
the foresti from the water pools in which thej had been luxariadng 
during the darkness ; and the deep-toned bark of the elk resound 
through the glens as he retires into the security of the forest Daj 
breaks, and its efurliest blush shows the mists tumbling in tnrbnlent 
heaps through the deep valleys. The sun bursts upwards with s 
speed beyond that which marks his progress in the cloudy atmosphere 
of Europe, and the whole horizon glows with ruddy bistre; 

'' Xot, as in northern dimes, obscurely bright, 
But one unclouded blaze of living light* 

At no other moment does the verdure of the mountain woods appear 
so vivid ; each spray dripping with the copious dew, and a pendant 
brilliant twinkling at every leaf; every grassy glade is hoar with the 
condensed damps of night and the thxeads of the gossamer sparide 
like strings of opal in the sunbeams. 

' The earliest members of the animated world that move abroad 
are the tiny Hesperid/B^ which are the first butterflies that mttke their 
morning visit to the flowers. To them succeed the Th€elmf and the 
PofyommaHy the minutest of the diurnal lepidopterai and distin- 
guished by the blue metallic lustre of their wings. With unerriog 
certainty the other species make their appearanoea at sacceasiTe 
stages of the morning ; the TheeUB are followed by the Van€M$t^ and 
these by the gaudy PapUios^ till, as day advancesi the broad4eaTed 
plants and flowering shrubs are covered by a dancing cloud of butter- 
flies of every shape and hue. 

' The earliest bird upon the wing is the crow, which leaves his 
perch almost with the first peep of dawn, cawing and flopping his 
wings in the sky. The paroquets follow in vast companies, chatter- 
ing and screaming in exuberant excitement. Next the cranes and 
waders, which had flown inland to their breeding places at sunset, 
rise from the branches on which they had passed the night, waring 
their wings to disencumber them of the dew, and, stretching their 
awkward legs behind, they soar away in the direction of the riTers 
and the far sea-shore. 

' The songster that first pours forth his salutation to the morning 
is the dial-bird (Copsychus saularis), and the yellow oriole, whose 
mellow flute-like voice is heard far through the stillness of the dawn. 
The jungle cock, unseen in the dense cover, shouts his reveille; not 
with the shrill clarion of his European type, but in rich melodious 
call, that ascends from the depths of the valley. As light increases, 
the grass warbler and maynah add their notes ; and the bronze- 
winged pigeons make the woods murmur with their plaintive cry, 
which resembles the distant lowing of cattle. The bees hurry abroad 
in all directions, and the golden beetles clamber lazily over the still 
damp leaves. The swifts and swallows sally forth as soon as there is 
sufficient warmth to tempt the minor insects abroad: the balbnl 
lights on the forest trees, and the little gem-like sun birds, the 
humming-birds of the East quiver on their fulgent wings above the 
opening flowers. 

1859. Sir Emerson Tennent's Ceyhm. 353 

* At length the fervid noon approaches, the sun mountfl high» and 
all animated nature begins to manifest the oppression of his beams. 
The green enamelled dragonflies alone flash above evecj pool in pur^ 
suit of their tiny prey ; but almost every other winged insect seeks 
instmctiYely the ^ade of the foliage. The hawks and falcons now 
sweep through the sky to mark the smaller birds which may be 
abroad in numbers in search of seeds and larvas. The squirrels dart 
from bough to bough uttering their shrill, quick cry; and the cicada 
on the stem of the palm-tree raises the deafening sound whose tone 
and volubility has won for him the expressive title of the '< Knife* 
" grinder." 

' It is during the first five hours of daylight that nature seems 
literally to teem with life and motion, the air melodious with the 
voice of birds, the woods resounding with the simmering hum of 
insects, and the earth replete with every form of living nature. Bat 
as the sun ascends to the meridian the scene is singularly changed, 
and nothing is more striking than the almost painful stillness that 
succeeds the yivacity of the early morning. Every animal disappears, 
escaping under the thick cover of the woods ; the birds retire into the 
shade; the butterflies, if they flutter for a moment in the blazing sun, 
harry back into the damp shelter of the trees as though their filmy 
bodies had been scorched by the brief exposure ; and, at last» silence 
reigns so profound that the ticking of a watch is sensibly heard, and 
even the pulsations of the heart become audible. The bufialo now 
steals to the tanks and watercourses, concealing all but his gloomy 
head and shining horns in the mud and sedges ; the elephant fans 
himself languidly with leaves to drive away the files that perplex 
him ; and the deer cower in groups under the overarching jungle- 
Rustling from under the dry leaves the bright green lizard darts up 
the rough stems of the trees, and pauses between each spring to look 
inquiringly around. The woodpecker makes the forest re-^ho with 
the restless blows of his beak on the decajdng bark, and the tortoise 
drops awkwardly into the still water which reflects the bright 
plumage of the kingfisher, that keeps his lonely watch above it. So 
long as the sun is in the meridian, every living creature seems to 
fly his beams and linger in the closest shade. 

* Man himself, as if baffled in aU devices to escape the exhausting 
glare, suspends his toil ; and the traveller who has been abroad before 
sunrise reposes till the mid-day heat has passed. The cattle pant in 
their stifling sheds, and the dogs lie prone upon the ground^ with 
their legs extended in front and behind, as if to bring the utmost 
portion of their body into contact with the cool earth. 

* As day declines nature recovers from her languor and exhaustion, 
the insects again flutter across the open glades, the birds venture once 
more upon the wing, and the larger animals saunter from under 
cover, and move away in the direction of the ponds and pasture. 
The traveller recommences his suspended journey, and the husband- 
mauj impatient to employ the last hours of fading light, hastens to 
bring the labours of the morning to a close. The birds which had 
made distant excursions to their feeding grounds are now seen re^ 

354 Sir Emerson Tennent's Ceylon. Oct 

turning to their homes ; the crows assemble roand some pond to 
dabble in the water, and re-adjust their plumes before retuing for 
the night ; the paroquets settle with deafening uproar on the crowns 
of the palm-trees near their nests ; and the pelicans and sea birds, 
with weary wing, retrace their way to their breeding-place near 
some solitary watercourse or ruined tank. The sun at last 

*' Sinks, as a flamingo 
Drops into her nest at nightfall." 

Twilight succeeds, and the crepuscular birds and animals awaken 
from their mid-day torpor and prepare to enjoy their nightly revels. 
The hawk-moths now take the place of the gayer butterflies, which 
withdraw with the departure of light ; innumerable beetles mike 
short and uncertain flights in the deepening shade, and in pursuit of 
them and the other insects that frequent the dusk, the night-jar 
with expanded jaws, takes low and rapid circles above the plains and 

' Darkness at last descends, and every object fades in night and 
gloom ; but still the murmur of innumerable insects arises from the 
glowing earth. The fruit-eating bats launch themselves from the 
high branches on which they hang suspended during the day, and 
cluster round the mango-trees and tamarinds ; and across the grej 
sky the owl flits in pursuit of the night moths on a wing so soft and 
downy that the air scarcely echoes its pulsations. The palm-cat 
now descends from the crest of the coco-nut where she had larked 
during the day, and the glossy genette emerges from some hollow 
tree ; they steal along the branches to surprise the slumbering birds. 
Meanwhile, among the grass already damp with dew, the glow- 
worm lights her emerald lamp, and from the shrubs and bushes 
issue showers of fire-flies, whose pale green flashes sparkle in the 
midnight darkness till day returns and morning " pales their ineffec- 
tual fires." ' (Vol. ii. p. 253-7.) 

The botanist and lover of hothouse floriculture will derive 
instruction and pleasure from the perusal of the third chapter, 
on the Trees and Plants of Ceylon. To select from so con- 
centrated a summary of the more striking phenomena of 
vegetable life, is diflScult We come occasionally upon most 
unexpected consequences of the peculiarities of tropical fonns 
of plants, as in the instance of the aerial music, recalling 
that which Prospero commanded. The shipwrecked mariner 
cast upon the shores of Ceylon might well deem himself upon 
an enchanted island, when listening to the melodious sounds 
that in some localities fill the air: ' some soft and liquid like 
' the notes of a flute, others deep and full like the tones of 
' an organ ; sometimes low, interrupted, and even ungle, 
' and presently swelling into a grand burst of mingled melodjr.' 
Now to what natural cause, it may be asked, can this 'music 
< of the spheres' be attributed? Sir Emerson thus recounts the 

1859. Sir Emerson Tennent's Ceylon. 355 

simple solution of the melodious mystery : — ' On drawing near 
' to a dump of trees, above the branches of which waved a 
^ slender bamboo about forty feet in length, the musical tones 
' issued from it, and were caused by^the breeze passing through 
^ perforations in the stem/ 

As ah instance of the luxuriant development of the climbers, 
and other parasitic ' epiphytes ' in the- forests of the richly- 
wooded island. Sir Emerson Tennent narrates that he counted 
on a single prostrate stem no fewer than sixteen species of 
CappariSi Beaumantia, Bignoma, Ipomcsa, and other genera, 
Tvhich, with its fall, the tree had brought along with it to the 

The beauty of many of the flowers stimulates the peculiar 
descriptive powers of the author in their praise. The Anao 
iochilus setaceus has drawn the attention of even the apathetic 
Singhalese, among whom its singular beauty has won for it the 
popular name of tne Wanna Baja, or ' King of the Forest.' It 
is common in humid and shady places a few miles removed from 
the sea-coast : its flowers have no particular attraction, but its 
leaves are perhaps the most exquisitely formed in the vegetable 
kingdom, their colour being dark velvet, approaching to. black, 
and reticulated over all their surface with veins of ruddy gold. 
This gorgeous species is the sole known representative of its 
genus in Ceylon. 

The noble tribe of Palms receives its due meed of the author's 
praise. The virtues and manifold utility of the cocoaruut palm 
have been often the subject of description, but are nowhere 
more concisely and graphically told than in the present chapter. 
Of another species, the beautiful palmyra {Borassus JlabelK' - 
formii)^ which grows in profusion in the peninsula of Jaflha, 
Sir Emerson remarks that a native of that peninsula, if he be 
contented with ordinary doors and mud walls, may build an 
entire house (as he wants neither nails nor iron-work), with 
walls, roof, ana covering, from this palm. 

* From the same tree be may draw his wine, make his oil, kindle 
his fire, carry his water, store his food, cook his repast, and sweeten 
it, if he pleases ; in fact, live from day to day dependent on the Pal- 
myra alone. Multitudes do so live, and it may be safely asserted that 
this tree alone furnishes one-fourth the means of sustenance for the 
population of the northern provinces.' (Vol. i. p. 111.) 

The 'Areca Palm' {Areca catechu) supplies the astringent 
nuts which, with lime and the leaf of the betel-pepper, are so 
universally used in mastication by all classes in Ceylon. Sir 
Emerson Tennent suggests the following ingenious^ theory, to 
account for and excuse the seemingly disgusting habit : — 

356 Sir Emerson Tennent's Ceylon, Oct 

* In ffae chewing of the areca-nnt with itB aooompamme&tB of lime 
and betel, the native of Cejlon is nnconscionsly appljing a specific 
corrective to the defective qualities of his daily food. Never eating 
flesh meat by any chance, seldom or never using milk, butter, poultry, 
or eggs, and tasting fish but occasionally (more rarely in the interior 
of the island), the non-azotised elements abound in every article he 
consumes with the exception of the bread-fruity the jak, and some 
varieties of beans. In their indolent and feeble stomachis these are 
liable to degenerate into flatulent and acrid products; but, apparently 
hj instinct, the whole population have adopted a simple prophjlactic 
Every Singhalese carries in his waist-doth an ornamented box of 
silver or brass, according to his means, enclosing a amaller one to 
hold a portion of chunam (lime obtained by the calcination of shells) 
whilst the larger contains the nuts of the areca and a few fresh leayes 
of the betel-pepper. As inclination or habit impelsi he scrapes down 
the nut, which abounds in catechu, and, rolling it up with a little of 
the lime in a betel-lea^ the whole is chewed, and finally swallowed, 
after provoking an extreme salivation. No medical prescription eoold 
be more judiciously compounded to effect the desired object than this 
practical combination of the antacid, the tonic, and carminattve.' 
(VoLip. 113.) 

John Hunter made many experiments illustrative oS the power 
possessed by living plants *to produce or diminish heat,** 
whereby their parts were higher or lower in temperature than 
that of the surrounding atmosphere. Many a reddentinoor 
tropical colonies will be ready to subscribe to the emphatic 
statement of the historian of Ceylon^ that ' under the exhaus- 
' tion of a blazing sun^ no more exquinte physical enjoyment 
^ can be imagined than the chill and fragrant flesh of the pine- 
^ apple, or the abundant juice of the mango, which, when freshly 
' puUed, feels as cool as iced water.' (P. 120.) But few have pro- 
ceeded to speculate on the cause of the phenomenon. The froit 
once severed from the stem rapidly acquires the hot tempera- 
ture of the surrounding air. ' It wduld almost seem,' he re- 
marks, ' as if plants possessed a power of producbg cold 
^ analogous to that exhibited by animals in producing heat' (P* 
121.^ The numerous experiments by Hunter, recorded in the 
' Philosophical Transactions for 1775 and 1777,' demonstrated 
that both divisions of organic nature possessed a vital power of 
maintaining a temperature sometimes higher, sometimes lower, 
than the external air. Dr. Blagden, at that time secretary of 
the Royal Society^ had communicated to that learned body^ in 
1775, ms ' Experiments and Observaliona in a Heated Boom,' 
in which the power of the human frame to maintain its tempera- 
ture of 96^ Fahr., in a medium hot enough to cook a beef-eteak» 

* Animal CEconomy, Palmer's Edition, 8va, 1837» p. 15L 

1859. Sir EmenoQ Tenneat^a Ceylaiu 357 

was denuHistated. The ezplanalioa which the bold philoBopher 
gave of hifl resistance of the roasting heat of the oven in which 
he stood, was the rapid transpiration and evaporation which took 
place from the surface of the skin. Only when a drop of perspi- 
ration happened to fall, before evaporating, and scalded the part 
of the body which it touched, was any inconvenience amounting 
to pain produced during the salamandrine experiment. The 
common phenomenon of the coolness of a dog's nose illustrates 
the inflaence of evaporation in keeping the temperature of a part 
below that of the rest of the body, and, in summer time, often 
lower than that of the atmosphere. That this is due to transpi- 
ration and evaporation is shown by the effect of disease, checking 
the former healthy action, when the nose of the dog becomes dry 
and as hot as the rest of his skin. It is commonly the first 
symptom by which the dog-doctor is guided in forming his opinion 
of the heahh of his patient. 

By the same theory of evaporation our author exphuns the 
grateful coolness of the pulpy firuits of tropical trees : — 

^By referring it to the mechanical process of imbibing a continuous 
supply of fresh moisture from the soil, the active transpiration of 
which imparts coolness to every portion of the tree and its fruit. It 
requires diis combined operation to produce the desired result ; and 
the extent to which evaporation can bring down the temperature of 
the moisture received by absorption may be inferred from the fact, 
tbat Dr. Hooker, when in the valley of the Ganges, found the fresh 
nnlky juice of the mudar {eaUottopii) to be but 72% whilst the damp 
sand in the bed of the river where it grew was from 90^ to 104*/ 
(VoL L p. 121.) 

The second part of the work is devoted to the Zoology of 
Ceylon. In entering upon this, to many the most interesting, 
subject. Sir Emerson be^ns with the monkeys ; and at once cor- 
rects an erroneous application of the Singhalese word ' wanderoo,' 
or ' ouanderu^^ to a monkey {SUenus veter, Linn.), which is com- 
mon to the Malabar coast, but is no native at sJl of the island 
of Ceylon. The monkeys first made known to us as * wanderoos,' 
by Knox, are shown by our accomplbhed and accurate historian 
to be the Prabytes ursinus of that mountain zone of Ceylon in 
which^ especially around Kandy, the good observer Knox spent 
so many years of his captivity.* The smaller Preshytes cepha- 
^pterus of the low country is also called 'wanderoo,* the term 
^g used by the Singhalese in a sense equivalent to our word 
* monkey.' Two other species of the same restricted genus 

^ • * Historical Belation of Ceylon, an MaadintheEMt In^iea; foL, 

I^ndoD, 1581. 

358 Sir Emerson Tennent's Ceylon. Oct 

Presbytes, viz. the jPr. ThertUes and JfV. Prumitff, are also 
peculiar to Ceylon. A flock of the latter 

* will take possession of a palmyra palm ; and so effectuaDj can 
they cronch and conceal themselves among the leaves that, on the 
slightest alarm, the whole party becomes invisible in an instant : the 
presence of a dog, however, excites such an irrepressible carionty 
that, in order to watch his movements, they never fail to betray them- 
selves. They may be seen frequently congregated on the roof of a 
native hut ; and, some years ago, the child of a European clergyman 
stationed at Tillipally^ having been left on the ground by the none, 
was so teased and bitten by them as to cause its death.' (YoL L p. 132, 

Fatal accidents occasionally are due to attacks by the bear 
{^Prochilus labiatus) and panther (Felis pardus) of Ceylon. 
The following narrow escape, which occurred to Aiajor Skixiner, 
is narrated by Sir Emerson Tennent The major was pursuing 
his military survey of the mountain zone, and had bivouacked 
in the midst of a dense forest in the southern segment of the 
Adam's Peak range. Early in the morning, 

' ** anxious to gain a height in time to avail myself of the clear at- 
mosphere of sunrise for my observations, I started off by myself 
through the jungle, leaving orders for my men, with my sarrejing 
instruments, to follow my track by the notches which I cut in the 
bark of the trees. On leaving the plain, I availed myself of a fine 
wide game track which lay in my direction, and had gone perhaps hilf 
a mile from the camp, when I was startled by a slight rustling in the 
nilloo to my right, and in another instant, by the spring of a mag- 
nificent leopard which, in a bound full eight feet in height over the 
lower brushwood, lighted at my feet within eighteen inches of the 
spot whereon I stood, and lay in a crouching position, his fiery gleam- 
ing eyes fixed on me. 

' '* The predicament was not a pleasant one. I had no weapon of 
defence, and with one spring or blow of his paw the beast could hare 
annihilated me. To move I knew would only encourage his attack. 
It occurred to me at the moment that I had heard of the power of 
man's eye over wild animals, and accordingly I fixed my gaze as in- 
tently as the agitation of such a moment enabled me on his ejes : 
we stared at each other for some seconds, when, to my inexpressible 
joy, the beast turned and bounded down the straight open path before 
me. This scene occurred just at that period of the morning when 
the grazing animals retired from the open patena to the cool ^ade of 
the forest : doubtless, the leopard had taken my approach for that of 
a deer, or some such animaL And if his spring had been at a quad- 
ruped instead of a biped, his distance was so well measured^ tfaiat it 
must have landed him on the neck of a deer, an elk, or a buffalo; as 
it was, one pace more would have done for me. A bear would not 
have let his victim off so easily." ' (Vol. i. p. 142.) 

1859. Sir Emerson Tennent's Ceylon. 359 

The hyaena and cheetah, common in Southern India, are un- 
known in Ceylon ; and, though abundant in deer, the island 
possesses no example of the antelope or the gazelle. 

The chapter on birds is replete with vivid sketches, from 

personal observation, of living species in their natural localities 

and environments, infusing a healthy life into the dry catalogues 

of exotic species which too often constitute the staple proauce 

of our home ornithologists. After perusing the pages reflecting 

the writer^s insight into the vital phenomena to be witnessed in 

the noble forests of Ceylon, we look with a new and heightened 

pleasure at the series of tropical birds arranged and prepared in 

the galleries of our national museum. The seemingly monstrous 

beak of the hombill becomes now, for the first time, intelligible. 

We picture, for example, the Buceros pica, with its monstrous 

double casque, mistaken for a second head by tiie wandering 

friar of the fourteenth century*, as it is described by Tennent, 

perched on the lofty branches of the higher trees, watching the 

motions of the small reptiles and birds on which it preys, tossing 

them in the air when seized, and catching them in its gigantic 

mandible as they fall ; and we seem to witness the omnivorous 

glutton grasping a large fruit, to which the huge beak is adapted^ 

and, if the stem be too tough to be severed by the strength of 

the beak and neck, flinging himself off the branch so as to add 

the weight of his body to their pressure and force. Another 

function, or need, of the long and large beak, relates to the 

peculiarity of the incubation of the hombill, now demonstrated 

by the concurrent but independent testimonies of Livingstone 

in Africa, and Edgar Layard in Ceylon — viz. that when the 

female has finished her oviposition and taken her seat on the 

eggs for the task of incubation, the male closes the hole in the 

tree which she has selected for her nest, leaving only an aperture 

big enough for the passage of the bUl, by which he feeds his 


'As we emerge from the deep shade and approach the park -like 
openiDgs on the verge of the low country, quantities of pea-fowl are 
to be found either feeding amongst the seeds and nuts in the long 
grass or sunning themselves on the branches of the surrounding trees. 
Nothing to be met with in demesnes in England can give an adequate 
idea either of the size or the magnificence of this matchless bird when 
seen in his native solitudes. Here he generally selects some project- 
ing branch, from which his plumage may hang free of the foliage ; and 
if there be a dead and leafless bough, he is certain to choose it for his 
resting-place, whence he droops his wings and suspends his gorgeous 

• 'Itinerarius Fratris Odorici,' &c. in Hakluyt, vol. ii. p. 39., 
quoted by Sir E. Tennent 

360 Sir Emeraon Tennenf 6 Ceylon. Oct 

traiiiy or spreads it in tiie moniing sun to drive off the damps and 
dews of the night.* (Vol. L p. 166.) 

To the still unsolved problem of the source of the material of 
the soluble nests of the esculent swift {CoUoealia breviroitrisy 
McCleU.) Sir Emerson contributes the remark, that some of ihe 
caves frequented by them in Ceylon are so fitr in the interior as, 
notwitfastancBng the power of wing poesessed by those birds, to 
make it difficult to believe that the nest is wholly composed of 
glutinous algss. He avers that the fibre of the recent nests 
presents no trace of organisation, and that whatever may be tiie 
original material, it is so elaborated by the swift; as to present 
the appearance and confflstency of strings of ising}988. 

Among the most significant evidences of a quaai-reasoDbg 
fieunilty in liie lower animal is, the co-operation of two individaab 
to obtain, by distinct manoeuvres, a foreseen end. The dog has 
furnished more than one instance of this kind. Sir EmentBi 
Tennent narrates the. following anecdote of the small ^osbj 
crow (Carvtts splendens) o£ Ceylon. 

'One of these ingenious marauders, afler vainly attitudinising in 
front of a chained watch-dog, which was lazily gnawing a bone, and 
aflter fruitlessly endeavouring to divert his attention by dancing be* 
fore bin, with head awry and eye askance, at length flew away for a 
moment^ and returned bringing with it a companion, who perciied it- 
self on a branch a few yards in the rear. The crow's grimaces were 
now actively renewed, but with no better result, till its confed^^te^ 
poising himself on his wings, descended with the utmost vdodtji 
striking the dog upon the spine with all the force of his beak. The 
ruse was successful : the dog started with surprise and pain, but not 
quickly enough to seize his assailant, whilst the bone he had been 
gnawing disappeared the instant his head was tamed. Two weU- 
authendcated instances of the recurrence of this device came widiin 
my knowledge at Colombo, and attest the sagacity and powers <^ 
communicating and combining possessed by these astute and courage- 
ous birds.' (Vol. i. p. 171.) 

Does any Shakspeare-worsfaipper desire to learn how far and 
wide may be spread the super8titi<»i embodied in the chaiuit 
round the cauldron by the witches in * Macbeth '? Let hb 
turn to the chapter on the reptiles of Ceylon, and peruse the 
part played by the unhappy 'Kabragoyas' — the largest kind 
of Iguana lizard — in the preparation of the mysterious poison, 
the Cobra-tel, which is held in utmost horror by the Singbaleee. 
Instead of the 'sweltered venom' of the toad, the less proble- 
matical poison of the Cobra de Capello is used, by makmg an 
incision in the head of several of these deadly snakes, which 
are suspended over a ' chattie ' or native alembic to collect the 
virus. This with other ingredients of the 'gniel iUdk and 

1859. Sir EmenKm Tennent's C!eybn« 361 


slab ' is ' boiled in a haman skull^ with the aid of three Kabra- 
' goyas^ which are tied on three sides of the fire> with their 
'h^ids directed towards it and tormented by whips to make 
^ them hiss^ so that the fire may blaze. The froth from their 
' Upa is then added to the boiling mixture, and so soon as an 
« oily scum rises to the surface, the Cobrortel is complete.' 

Modem toxicology destroys much of the romance of these 
ancient concoctions. Even the poisonous secretion of the Cobra 
and other venom-snakes has been shown to be innocuous when 
swallowed, provided there be no abrasion of epithelium in the 
' prinuB viaB ' : it is only when the poison is directly introduced 
into the current of the circulation that its lethal efiects are 
manifested. To what then must be attributed the dread of the 
charmed potion, as prepared by the Singhalese witches ? Its real 
poisonous quality is due to the quantity of arsenic which it 
oontuns, and which is stated, on tiie authority of the colonial 
nu^istrate, Mr. Morris, to be the main ingredient. 

The lakes and still waters of Ceylon, especially tiiose of the 
northern district, are ren^arkable for the numbers and prodigious 
size of the crocodiles infesting them. They seem to reproduce 
a picture of the oolitic world — that 'age of reptiles' of the 
geologist. The author records the following instance of his per- 
sonal experience of one of these sauriana : — 

' On the morning after our arrival a crocodile was caught in the 
lake, within a few yards of the government agent's residence, where 
a hook had been laid the night before, baited with the entrails of a 
goat, and made fast, in the native fashion, by a bunch of fine cords, 
which the creature cannot gnaw asunder as he would a solid rope, 
since they sink into the spaces between his teeth. The one taken 
was small, being only about 10 or 11 feet long, whereas they are fre- 
quently killed £n>m 15 to 19 feet in length. As long as he was in the 
water he made a strong resistance to being hauled on shore, carrying 
the canoe up into the deep channel, and occasionally raising his head 
above the water, and clashing his jaws together menacingly. This 
action has a horrid sound, as the crocodile has no fleshy lips, and he 
brings his teeth and the bones of his mouth together with a loud 
noise, like the cknk of two pieces of hard wood. After playing him 
a little, the boatmen drew him to land, and when once fairly on the 
shore all his courage and energy seemed suddenly to desert him. He 
tried once or twice to regain the water, but at last lay motionless and 
perfectly helpless on the sand. It was no easy matter to kill him : a 
rifle ball sent diagonally through his breast had little or no efiect, and 
even when the shot had been repeated more than once, he was as 
Hvdy as ever. At last he feigned death and lay motionless, with his 
eyes closed, but, on being pricked with a spear, he suddenly recovered 
all his activity. He was at last finished by a harpoon and opened, 
maw contained several small tortoises and a quantity of broken 

362 Sir Emerson Tennent's Ceylon. OcL 

bricks and gravel, taken medicinallj, to promote digestion, which in 
these creatures is said to be so slow that the natives assert that tbe 
crocodile, from choice, never swallows his prey when fresh, but con- 
ceals it under a bank till far advanced in putrefaction. 

' During our journies we had several opportunities of obseiring 
the habits of these hideous creatures, and I am far from con^dering 
them so formidable as is usually supposed. They are evidently not 
wantonly destructive ; they act only under the influence of hnngcr, 
and even then their motions on land are awkward and uncomfortable, 
their action timid, and their whole demeanour devoid of the sagadtj 
and courage which characterises other animals of prey.' (YoLiL 
p. 467.) 

The inferences philosophically drawn from the peculiarity of 
most of the species of Ceylon Keptiles, as to the circle of phy- 
sical geography to which Uiat island belongs, merit the attention 
of all who are interested in that important branch of natonl 
science. The remarks on the chameleon, and the anecdotes of the 
little house gecko or lizard, that runs, Uke a fly, up the wall and 
along the ceiling, are full of the freshness and attraction that 
characterise, and result from, direct obi|{srvation. 

The peculiar charm of the famous stone confided in for its 
preventive effects by the snake charmers of Ceylon, is shown to 
be due to its rapidly absorbing power when applied to the re- 
cent bite of a cobra or other poisonous snake. Sir Emerson 
submitted one of these ^ snake stones* to the scrutiny of Fani- 
day, who reported it to be 

' A piece of charred bone which had been filled with blood peih&ps 
several times, and then carefully charred again. Evidence of this is 
afibrded, as well by the apertures of cells or tubes on its surface as 
by the fact that it yields and breaks under pressure, and exhibits an 
organic structure within. When heated slightly, water rises from it, 
and also a little ammonia ; and if heated still more highly in the air, 
carbon burns away, and a bulky white ash is left, retaining the shape 
and size of the "stone." This ash, as is evident from inspection, 
cannot have belonged to any vegetable substance, for it is almost en- 
tirely composed of phosphate of lime.' Mr. Faraday adds, that 'if the 
piece of matter has ever been employed as a spongy absorbent, it 
seems hardly fit for that purpose in its present state ; but who can 
say to what treatment it has been subjected since it was fit for use, 
or to what treatment the natives may submit it when expecting to 
have occasion to use it? ' (VoL L p. 199, 200.) 

Thunberg gives a similar explanation of the cause of the pro- 
perty of the snake-stone, held in high esteem by the Boers of 
the Cape. A list, drawn up by the able head of tbe zoological 
department in the British Museum, of the reptiles of Ceylon, 
doses the original and interesting chapter of the present work 
on that part of its natural history. 

1859. Sir Emerson Tennent's Ceylon. 363 

Of the Fishes of Ceylon^ the Tora-malu ( CyUum guttaturn)^ a 
Scomberold fish allied to some fossil found in our London-clay^ 
at Sheppey Island, is reckoned the finest for the table ; its flesh, 
though white, resembling that of the salmon in firmness and 
flavour. The naturalist or curious reader, who may take delight 
in fish-lore, will meet with much novel and strange matter in 
the present chapter ; to which he is referred for the marvels, 
well-scrutinised and attested, relative to, ^travelling fishes,' 
' climbing fishes,' ' burying fishes,' and 'hot- water fishes,' besides 
those which, descending from the air in showers, may truly be 
called 'fiying fishes.' 

A 'talking fish' has recently attempted to take the 'town' 
by surprise; but the same prosaic matter-of-fact zoology, which 
reduced the McQuseian sea-serpent to a seal, has raised the 
Barnumite fish of Piccadilly to an equally intelligent mammalian 
grade of organisation. The natural voice of the Phoca leptonyx 
resembles 'ba-ba' sufficiently closely to satisfy the credulous 
listener prepared to hear and comprehend articul