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Full text of "Life of Frances Power Cobbe as Told by Herself: As Told by Herself"

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THE OIFT OF 



C6 535-0 



LIFE OF FRANCES POWER COBBE 



y 



1 



« ► 



COHIJ,' 



I • • 






LIFE OF 



Frances Power Cobbe 



AS TOLD BY HERSELF 



WITH 

ADDITIONS BY THE AUTHOR 

AND 

INTRODUCTION BY BLANCHE ATKINSON 



WITH SIX ILLUSTRATIONS 



POSTHUMOUS EDITION 



LONDON 

SWAN SONNENSCHEIN & CO., LIM. 

PATERNOSTER SQUARE 

1904 



INTEODUOTION. 






The story of the beautiful life which came to an end on 

the 5th of April, 1904, is told by Miss Cobbe herself in 

^ the following pages up to the close of 1898. Nothing is 

(3 left for another pen but to sketch in the events of the few 

remaining years. 

But first a word or two as to the origin of the book. 
One spring day in 1891 or '92, when Miss Cobbe was walk- 
ing with me through the Ilengwrt grounds on my way to 
the station, after some hours spent m listening to her 
brilliant stories of men and things, I asked her if she 
would not some day write her autobiography. She stood 
still, laughing, and shook her head. Nothing in her life, 
she said, was of sufficient importance to record, or for 
other people to read. Naturally I urged that what had 
interested me so greatly would interest others, and that 
her life told by herself could not fail to make a delightful 
book. She still laughed at the idea ; and the next time I 
saw her and repeated my suggestion, told me that she had 
not time for such an undertaking, and also that she did not 
think her friend. Miss Lloyd, would like it. At last, how- 
ever, to my great satisfaction, I heard that the friends had 
talked the matter over, and were busily engaged in 
*^ looking at old letters and records of past days^ and both 
^. becoming interested in the retrospection. So the book 

^ grew slowly into an accomplished fact, and Miss Cobbe 
^ often referred to it laughingly as "your" book, to which I 
replied that then I had not lived in vain ! It is possible 



139578 



% 



vi INTRODUCTION 

that the idea had occurred to her before ; but she always 
gave me to understand that my persuasion had induced her 
to write the book. She came to enjoy writing it. Once 
when I said : — " I want you to tell us everything ; all your 
love-stories — and everything /" she took me up to her 
study and read me the passage she had written in the 
I St Chapter concerning such matters. The great success of 
the book was a real pleasure to both Miss Cobbe and her 
friend. She told me that it brought her more profit 
than any of her books. Most of them had merely a succ& 
d^estitne. Better still, it brought her a number of kindly 
letters from old and new friends, and from strangers in 
far-off lands; and these proofs of the place she held in 
many hearts was a true solace to a woman of tender affec- 
tions, who had to bear more than the usual share of the 
abuse and misrepresentation which always fall to those who 
engage in public work and enter into public controversies. 

The sorrow of Miss Lloyd's death changed the whole 
aspect of existence for Miss Cobbe. The joy of life had 
gone. It had been such a friendship as is rarely seen — 
perfect in love, sympathy, and mutual understanding. No 
other friend — though Miss Cobbe was rich in friends — 
could fill the vacant place, and henceforward her loneliness 
was great even when surrounded by those she loved and 
valued. To the very last she could never mention the 
name of " my dear Mary," or of her own mother, without 
a break in her voice. I remember once being alone with 
her in her study when she had been showing me boxes 
filled with Miss Lloyd's letters. Suddenly she turned from 
me towards her bookshelves as though to look for some- 
thing, and throwing up her arms cried, with a little sob, 
" My God ! how lonely I am ! " 

It was always her custom, while health lasted, to rise 
early, and she often went to Miss Lloyd's grave in the fresh 



INTRODUCTION vii 

OQorning hours, especially when she was in any trouble or 
perplexity. Up to within a few days of her death she had 
visited this — to her — most dear and sacred spot. Doubtless 
she seemed to find a closer communion possible with one 
who had been her counsellor in all difficulties, her helper 
in all troubles, at the graveside than elsewhere. She 
planted her choicest roses there, and watched over them 
with tender care. Now she rests beside her friend. 

Yet this anguish of heart was bravely borne. There was 
nothing morbid in her grief. She took the same keen 
interest as before in the daily affairs of life — ^in politics and 
literature and social matters. There never was a nature 
more made for the enjoyment of social intercourse. She 
loved to have visitors, to take them for drives about 
her beautiful home, and to invite her neighbours to pleasant 
little luncheons and dinners to meet them. Especially she 
enjoyed the summer glories of her sweet old garden, and 
liked to give an occasional garden party, and still oftener 
to take tea with her friends under the shade of the big 
cherry tree on the lawn. How charming a hostess she 
was no one who has ever enjoyed her hospitality can 
forget. "A good talk" never lost its zest for her; until 
quite the end she would throw off langour and fatigue 
under the spell of congenial companionship, and her talk 
would sparkle with its old brilliance — her laugh ring with 
its old gaiety. 

Her courtesy to guests was perfect. When they hap- 
pened not to be in accord with her in their views upon 
Vivisection (which was always in these years the chief 
object of her work and thought), she never obtruded the 
question, and it was her rule not to allow it to be discussed 
at table. It was too painful and serious a subject to be an 
accompaniment of what she thought should be one of the 
minor pleasures of life. For though intensely religious, 



viu INTRODUOTION 

there was no touch of the ascetic in Miss Cobbe's nature. 
She enjoyed everything; and guests might come and go 
and never dream that the genial, charming hostess, who 
deferred to their opinions on art or music or books, who 
conversed so brilliantly on every subject which came up, 
was all the time engaged in a hand-to-hand struggle against 
an evil which she believed to be sapping the courage and 
consciences of English men and women. 

It is pleasant to look back upon sunny hours spent 
among the roses she loved, or under the fine old trees she 
never ceased to admire ; upon the gay company gathered 
round the tea- table in the dark-panelled hall of Hengwrt ; 
best of all, on quiet twilight talks by the fireside or in 
the great window of her drawing-room watching the last 
gleams of sunset fade from hill and valley, and the stars 
come out above the trees. But it is sadly true that the last 
few years of Miss Cobbc's life were not as peacefully happy 
as one would have loved to paint them to complete the 
pleasant picture she had drawn in 1894. Even her cheery 
optimism would hardly have led her to write that she would 
'* gladly have lived over again " this last decade. 

The pain of separating herself from the old Victoria 
Street Society was all the harder to bear because it came 
upon her when the loss of Miss Lloyd was still almost fresh. 
Only those who saw much of her during that anxious spring 
of 1898 can understand how bitter was this pain. Miss 
Cobbe has sometimes been blamed for — ^as it is said — 
causing the division. But in truth, no other course was 
possible to one of her character. When the alternative was 
to give up a principle which she believed vital to the cause 
of Anti- Vivisection, or to withdraw from her old Society, no 
one who knew Miss Cobbe could doubt for an instant which 
course she would take. It was deeply pathetic to see the brave 
old veteran of this crusade brace up her failing strength to 



INTRODUOTION « 

meet the trial, resolved that she would never lower the flag 
she had upi^eld for five-and-twenty years. It was a lesson 
to those who grow discouraged after a few disappointments, 
and faint-hearted at the first failure. This, it seems to me, 
was the strongest proof Miss Cobbe's whole life affords of 
her wonderful mental energy. Few men, well past 70, 
when the work they have begun and brought to maturity is 
turned into what they feel to be a wrong direction, have 
courage to begin again and lay the foundations of a new 
enterprise. Miss Cobbe has herself told the story of how 
she founded the '' British Union;" and I dwell upon it here 
only because it shows the intensity of her conviction that 
Vivisection was an evil thing which she must oppose to the 
death, and with which no compromise was possible. She 
did not flinch from the pain and labour and ceaseless 
anxiety which she plainly foresaw. She never said — as 
most of us would have held her justified in saying — "/ 
have done all I could. I have spent myself — time, money, 
and strength — in this fight. Now I shall rest." She took 
no rest until death brought it to her. Probably few realise 
the immense sacrifices Miss Cobbe made when she devoted 
herself to the unpopular cause which absorbed the last 30 
years of her life. It was not only money and strength 
which were given. She lost many friends, and much social 
influence and esteeiti. This was no light matter to a woman 
who valued the regard of her fellows, and had heartily 
enjoyed the position she had won for herself in the world 
of letters. She often spoke sadly of this loss, though I am 
sure that she never for an instant regretted that she had 
come forward as the helper of the helpless. 

From 1898 until the last day of her life the interests of 
the new Society occupied her brain and pen. It was at 
this time that I became more closely intimate with her than 
before. Her help and encouragement of those who worked 



X INTRODUOTION 

under her were unfailing. No detail was too trifling to 
bring to her consideration. Her immense knowledge of 
the whole subject, her great experience and ready judgment 
were always at one's service. She soon had the care of all 
the branches of the Union on her shoulders ; she kept all 
the threads in her hand, and the particulars of each small 
organisation clear in her mind. For myself, I can bear this 
testimony. Never once did Miss Cobbe urge upon me any 
step or course of action which I seriously disliked. When, on 
one or two occasions, I ventured to object to her view of what 
was best, she instantly withdrew her suggestion, and left me 
a free hand. If there were times when one felt that she 
expected more than was possible, or when she showed a 
slight impatience of one's mistakes or failures, these were as 
nothing compared with her generous praise for the little one 
achieved, her warm congratulation for any small success. 
It was indeed easy to be loyal to such a chief ! 

Much of Miss Cobbe's leisure time during the years after 
Miss Lloyd's death was spent in reading over the records of 
their old life. I find the following passage in a letter of 
December, 1900 : — 

^' I have this last week broken open the lock of an 
old notebook of my dear Mary's, kept about 1882-85. 
Among many things of deep interest to me are letters 
to and from various people and myself on matters of 
theology, which I used to show her, and she took the 
trouble to copy into this book, along with memoranda of 
our daily life. It is unspeakably touching to me, you 
may well believe, to find our old life thus revived, and 
such tokens of her interest in my mental problems. I 
think several of the letters would be rather interesting to 
others, and perhaps useful." 

There remain in my possession an immense number of 
letters, carefully arranged in packets and docketed, to and 



INTRODUOTION xi 

from Miss Lloyd, Lord Shaftesbury, Theodore Parker, 
Fanny Kemble, and others. These have all been read 
through lately by Miss Cobbe, and endorsed to that effect 
Up to the very end Miss Cobbe's large correspondence was 
kept up punctually. She always found time to answer a 
letter, even on quite trivial matters ; and among the mass 
which fell into my hands on her death were recent letters 
from America, India, Australia, South Africa, and all parts 
of England, asking for advice on many subjects, thanking 
for various kindnesses, and expressing warm affection and 
admiration for the pioneer worker in so many good causes. 
With all these interests, her life was very full. Nothing 
that took place in the world of politics, history, or literature, 
was indifferent to her. She never lost her pleasure in 
reading, though her eyes gave her some trouble of late 
years. At night, two books — generally Biography, Egypt- 
ology, Biblical Criticism, or Poetry — were placed by her 
bedside for study in the wakeful hours of the early morning. 
In spite of all these resources within herself, she sorely 
missed the companionship of kindred spirits. She was, as 
I have said, eminently fitted for the enjoyment of social 
life, and had missed it after she left London for North 
Wales. Up to the last, even when visitors tired her, she 
was mentally cheered and refreshed by contact with those 
who cared for the things she cared for. 

In the winter of 190 1-2 she was occupied in bringing 
out a new edition of her first book, "The Theory of 
Intuitive Morals." She wrote thus of it to me at the 
time : — 

" I have resolved not to leave the magnum opus of my 
small literary life out of print, so I am arranging to 
reprint ' Intuitive Morals,' with my essay on ' Darwinism 
in Morals ' at the end of it, and a new Preface, so that 
when I go out of the world, this, my Credo for moral 



xii INTRODUCTION 

science and religion, will remain after me. Nobody but 
myself could correct it or preface it. ... As I look back 
on it now^ I feel glad to be able to re-circulate it, though 
very few will read anything so dry ! It was written just 
50 years ago, and I am able to say with truth that I have 
not seen reason to abandon the position I then took, 
although the ' cocksureness ' of 30 can never be 
maintained to 80 ! " 

During the same winter, Miss Cobbe joined the Women's 
Liberal Federation, moved to take this decided step not 
only by her strong disapproval of the war in South Africa, 
but by her belief that the then existing government was in 
opposition to all the movements which she longed to see 
carried forward. Her accession to their ranks met witli a 
warm welcome from the President and Committee of the 
Women's Liberal Federation, many of whom were already 
her personal friends. To the end she kept in close touch 
with all that concerned women ; and only a few days before 
her death, was asked to allow her name to be given to the 
Council as an Honorary Vice-President of the National 
Union of Women Workers of Great Britain and Ireland. 

In the summer of 1902 an incident occurred — small in 
itself, but causing such intense mortification to Miss Cobbe 
that it cannot be passed ow<t in any true account of the 
closing years of her life. In fact, those who saw most of 
her at the time, and knew her best, believe that she never 
recovered from the effects of it. A charge was brought 
against her of cruelly overdriving an old horse — a horse 
which had been a special pet. The absurdity of such a 
charge was the first thing that struck those who heard of it ; 
but to Miss Cobbe it came as a personal insult of the 
cruellest kind. The charge was pressed on with what 
looked like malicious vindictiveness, and though it failed, 
the intention to give her pain did not fail. She wrote to 



INTBODUOTION xiii 

me at the time that she was "wounded to the quick." The 
insult to her character, the attempt to throw discredit upon 
her life's work for the protection of animals from suffering, 
the unchivalrousness of such an attack upon an old and 
lonely woman — all this embittered the very springs of 
her life, and for a time she felt as if she could not stay 
any longer in a neighbourhood where such a thing had been 
possible. The results were very grievous for all who loved 
her, as well as for herself. It had been one of her 
pleasantest recreations to drive by the lovely road — which 
was full of associations to her — between Hengwrt and 
Barmouth, to spend two or three hours enjoying the sea 
air and sunshine, and the society of the old friends who 
were delighted to meet her there. To Barmouth also she 
had a few years previously bequeathed her library, and had 
taken great interest and pleasure in the room prepared for 
the reception of her "dear books." Yet it was in Barmouth 
that the blow was struck, and she never visited the little 
town again. It was pitiful ! She had but a few more 
months to live, and. this was what a little group of her 
enemies did to darken and embitter those few months ! 
On September 6th, she wrote to me : — 

" This week I have had to keep quite to myself. I am, 
of course, enduring now the results of the strain of the 
previous weeks, and they are bad enough. The recuper- 
ative powers of 80 are — ni// My old friends, Percy 
Bunting and his wife, offered themselves for a few days 
last week, and I could not bear to refuse their offer. As 
it proved, his fine talk on all things to me most interest- 
ing — modem theological changes, Higher Criticism, etc. — 
*and her splendid philanthropy on the lines I once humbly 
followed (she is the leading woman on the M.A.B.Y.S., 
which I had practically founded in Bristol forty years 
ago), made me go back years of life, and seem as if I 



i INTRODUOTION 

were once more living in the blessed Seventies. . . . 
Altogether, their visit, though it left me quite exhausted, 
did my brains and my heart good. O ! what friends I 
once had ! How rich I was 1 How poor I am now ! " 

In October of that year she decided to leave Hengvnt 
for the winter. It was a great effort. She had not left het 
home for eight years, and dreaded the uprooting. But it 
was a wise move. One is glad now to remember how 
happy Miss Cobbe was during that winter in Clifton. 
She lived over again the old days of her work in Bristol 
with Mary Carpenter ; visited the old scenes, and noted the 
changes that had taken place. Some old friends were left, 
and greatly she enjoyed their company. At Clifton she had 
many more opportunities of seeing people engaged in the 
pursuits which interested her than in her remote Welsh 
home. Her letters at that time were full of renewed 
cheeriness. I quote a few sentences : 

"November 13th. 
'' . . . I hope you have had as beautiful bright weather 
as we have had here, and been able to get some walks on 
the mountain. Now I can no longer 'take a walk,' I 
know how much such exercise helped me of old, mentally 
and morally, quite as much as physically. I see a good 
many old friends here, and a few new ones, and my niece 
comes to tea with me every afternoon. They are all very 
kind, and make more of me than I am worth ; but it is a 
City of the Dead to me, so many are gone who were my 
friends long ago ; and what is harder to bear is that when 
I was here last, eight or ten years ago, I was always think- 
ing of returning home^ and writing daily all that happened 
to dear Mary — ^and now, it is all a blank." 

"November i6th. 
"... It is so nice to think I am missed and wanted ! 
If I do get back to Hengwrt, we must manage to see more 



INTRODUCTION xv 

of each other. ... I have come to the conclusion that 
for such little time as may remain for me, I will not shut 
myself up again, and if I am at all able for it, I will return 
home very early in the spring. I see a good many nice, 
kind people here, old friends and new, and I have nice 
rooms ; but I sadly miss my own home and, still more, 
garden. And the eternal noise of a town, the screaming 
children and detestable hurdy-gurdies, torment my ears 
after their long enjoyment of peace — and thrushes. . . . 
I am shocked to find that people here read nothing but 
novels ; but they flock to any abstruse lectures, cg.^ those 
of Estlin Carpenter on Biblical Criticism. I have just 
had an amusing experience — a journalist sent up to gather 
my views as to changes in Bristol in the last forty years. 
Goodness knows what a hash he will make of them ! " 

During this autumn, the thought occurred to me that as 
Miss Cobbe's 8oth birthday was at hand, a congratulatory 
address from the men and women who appreciated 
the work she had done for humanity and the lofty, 
spiritual influence of her writings, might cheer her, 
and help to remove some of the soreness of heart which 
the recent trouble at Barmouth had left behind. Through 
the kind help of Mr. and Mrs. Bunting and Mr. Verschoyle 
in England, and of Miss Schuyler and Mrs. Wister in 
America, an address was drawn up, and a notable list of 
signatures quickly and most cordially affixed to it. The 
address was as follows : — 

'*To FRANCES POWER COBBE 

''December 4th, 1902. 
"On this your eightieth birthday, we, who recognize 
the strenuous philanthropic activity and the high moral 
purpose of your long life, wish to offer you this con- 
gratulatory address as an expression of sincere regard. 



XVI INTRODUCTION 

" You were among the first publicly to urge the right 
of women to university degrees, and your powerful pen 
has done much to advance that movement towards 
equality of treatment for them, in educational and other 
matters, which is one of the distinguishing marks of our 
time. 

*' In social amelioration, such as Ragged Schools and 
Workhouse reform, you did the work of a pioneer. By 
your lucid and thoughtful works on religion and ethics, 
you have contributed in no small degree to that broader 
and more humane view, which has so greatly influenced 
modern theology in all creeds and all schools of thought. 

" But it is your chief distinction that you were practi- 
cally the first to explore the dark continent of our 
relations to our dumb fellow-creatures, to let in light 
on their wrongs, and to base on the firm foundation 
of the moral law their rights and our duty towards them. 
They cannot thank you, but we can. 

"We hope that this expression of our regard and 
appreciation may bring some contribution of warmth 
and light to the evening of a well spent life, and may 
strengthen your sense of a fellowship that looks beyond 
the grave" 

The Address happily gave Miss Cobbe all the gratifica- 
tion we had hoped. I quote from her letters the following 
[)assages : — 

" Clifton, December 5th. 
''I learn that it is to you I owe what has certainly 
been the greatest honour I have ever received in my 
long life — the address from English and American friends 
on my 8oth birthday. I can hardly say how touched I 
am by this token of your great friendship, and the cheer 
which such an address could not fail to give me. The 
handsome album containing it and all the English sig- 
natures (the American ones — ^autographs — are on their 



t 

4 



INTRODUCTION xvii 

way, but I have the names in type-writing) was brought 
to me yesterday by Mrs. Bunting and Mr. Verschoyle. 
I had three reporters dodging in and out all day to get 
news of it, and have posted to you the Bristol Mercury 
with the best of their reports. It is really a very splendid 
set of signatures, and a most flattering expression of 
sympathy and approval from so many eminent men and 
women. It is encouraging to think that they would 
endorse the words about my care for animals." 

" December 8th. 
** You may not know that a very fair account of the 
address appeared in the Times of Saturday, and also in 
at least twenty other papers, so my fame ! has gone 
evidently through the land. I also had addressea^rom 
the Women's Suffrage people, with Lady Frances Balfour 
at their head, and from the A.V. (German) Society at 
Dresden, Ragged School, etc ... I am greatly enjoying 
the visits of many literary men and women, old friends 
and new — people interested in theology and ethics and 
Eg3^t, and all things which interest me. . . ." 

" December 24th. 
" Only think that I am booked to make an address on 
Women Suffrage to a ladies' club, five doors off, on the 
2nd. . . . The trouble you must have taken (about the 
address) really overwhelms me! You certainly succeeded 
in doing me a really great honour, and in cheering me. I 
confess I was very downhearted when I came here, but I 
am better now. I feel like the man who 'woke one 
morning and found himself famous.' " 

** January 4th. 

" I like to hear of your fine walk on the mountain. 

How good such walks are for soul and body ! I miss 

them dreadfully — for my temper as well as my health and 

strength. Walking in the streets is most disagreeable to 

b 



xviii INTRODUCTION 

me, especially now that I go slower than other people, so 
that I feel myself an obstacle, and everybody brushes past 
me. I sigh for my own private walks, small as they are, 
where nobody has a right to come but myself, and my 
thoughts can go their ways uninterrupted. But oh, for 
the old precipice walk and Moel Ispry solitudes ! You 
will be amused to hear that I actually gave an hour's 
address to about loo ladies at a new club, five doors 
from me in this crescent, on Friday. ... I was not 
sorry to say a word more on that subject, and, of course, 
to bring in how I trusted the votes of women to be 
against all sorts of cruelty, including Vivisection. I 
found I had my voice and words still at command. . . . 
They were nice, ladylike women in the club. One said 
she would have seven votes if she were a man. I do 
believe that it would be an immense gain for women 
themselves to have the larger interest which politics 
would bring into their cramped lives^ and to cease to 
be de-considered as children." 

Miss Cobbe was too human, too full of sympathy with her 
fellow-creatures, to know anything of the self-esteem which 
makes one indifferent to the affection and admiration of 
others. She was simply and openly pleased by this address, 
as the words I have quoted show ; and more than a year 
later, only a few days before her death, she wrote to an old 
friend on h^r 8oth birthday : — 

^' My own experience of an 8oth birthday was so much 
brightened by that address . . . that it stands out as a 
happy, albeit solemn, day in my memory." 

While in Clifton, Miss Cobbe presided at the committee 
meetings of the Bristol Branch of the British Union ; and 
she even considered the possibility of taking up the work 
once more in London. But a brief visit, when she 
occupied rooms in Thurloe Gardens, proved too much for 



INTRODUCTION xix 

her strength. The noise at night prevented her from 
sleeping, and she was reluctantly — for she enjoyed this 
opportunity of seeing old friends — obliged to return to 
North Wales. One Sunday morning when in London, she 
told me that she walked to Hereford Square to see the 
little house in which she and Miss Lloyd had spent the 
happiest years of their lives. But the changed aspect of 
the rooms in which they had received most of the 
distinguished men and women of that time distressed 
her, and she regretted her visit. On February 21st, she 
wrote to me from Hengwrt: — 

'' Dearest Blanche, 

"As you see I have got home all right, and this morn- 
ing meant to write to announce my arrival. ... I have 
heaps of things to tell you, but to-day am dazed by 
fatigue and change of air. It was quite warm in London, 
and the cold here is great But oh, how glad I am to be 
in the peace of Hengwrt again — how thankful that I have 
such a refuge in my old age ! You will be glad, I know, 
that I can tell you I am in a great deal better health than 
when I left." 

The first time I went to see her after her return, I found 
her standing in front of an immense chart which was spread 
out on a table, studying the successions of Egyptian 
dynasties. The address she had given in Clifton at the 
ladies' club was about to be printed in the Contemporary 
Review^ and she wanted to verify a statement she had made 
in it about an Egyptian queen. She told me that this elabo- 
rate chronological and genealogical chart had been made 
by her^ when a girl of 18, on her own plan. " How happy 
I was doing it,'' she said, "with my mother on her sofa 
watching me, and taking such interest in it!" It was 
very delightful to find the old woman of 80 consulting the 
work of the girl of 18. 



XX INTRODUCTION 

Alas ! the improvement in her health did not continue 
long. From that time till the end, I hardly received a 
letter from Miss Cobbe without some reference to the 
cheerless, gloomy weather. She was very sensitive to the 
influences of the weather ; and as one of her greatest 
pleasures had always been to pass much time out of doors, 
it became a serious deprivation to her when rain and cold 
made it impossible to take her daily drive, or to walk and 
sit in her beloved garden. She thought that some real 
and permanent change had come over oiu: climate, and the 
want of sunshine, during the last winter especially, terribly 
depressed her spirits and health. I spent two or three 
happy days with her in the spring, and one drive on an 
exquisite morning at the end of May will long live in my 
memory. No one ever loved trees and flowers, mountain 
and river, more than she, or took more delight in the 
pleasure they gave to others. 

Gradually, as the year went on, serious symptoms showed 
themselves — and she knew them to be serious. Attacks of 
faintness and complete exhaustion often prevented her from 
enjoying the society of even her dearest friends, though in 
spite of increasing weakness she struggled on with all the 
weight of private correspondence and the business of her 
new society ; and sometimes, when strangers went to see 
her, they would And her so bright and animated that they 
came away thinking our fears for her unfounded. 

A visit from two American friends in the summer gave 
her much pleasure; but all last year her anxieties and 
disappointments were great, and wore down her strength. 
The Bayliss v. Coleridge case tried her grievously, and the 
adverse verdict was a severe blow. The evident animus of 
the public made her almost despair of ever obtaining that 
justice for animals which had been the object of her eflbrts 
for so many years. Hope deferred, and the growing oppo- 



INTRODUCTION xxi 

sition of principalities and powers, made even her brave 
heart quail at times. One result of the trial, however, gave 
her real satisfaction. The Daily News opened its columns 
to a correspondence on the subject of Vivisection, and the 
wide-spread sympathy expressed with those who oppose it 
was, Miss Cobbe said, "the greatest cheer she had known in 
this sad cause for years." The two young Swedish ladies who 
had been the principal witnesses at the trial, visited her at 
Hengwrt in November, and I met them there one afternoon 
at, I think, the last of her pleasant receptions. I have never 
seen her more interested, more graciously hospitable, than 
on that day. She listened to the account of the trial, 
sometimes with a smile of approval, sometimes with tears 
in her eyes ; and when we went into the hall for tea, where 
the blazing wood fire lighted up the dark panelling, and 
gleamed upon pictures, flowers, and curtains, and she 
moved about talking to one and another with her sweet 
smile and kindly, earnest words, some one present said 
to me, "How young she looks!" I think it was the 
simplicity, the perfect naturalness of her manner and speech 
that gave an aspect of almost childlikeness to the dear old 
face at times. Every thought found expression in her 
countenance and voice. The eyes, laughing or tearful, the 
gestures of her beautifully shaped hands, were, to the last, 
full of animation. 

There was indeed a perennial flow of vitality which 
seemed to overcome all physical weakness in Miss Cobbe. 
But if others were deceived as to her health, she was not. 
As the dark, dreary winter went on, she grew more and 
more depressed. Four days before the end came, I 
received the following sad letter. Illness and other causes 
had made it impossible for me to go to Hengwrt for some 
weeks. The day after her death I was to have gone. 



xxii INTRODUCTION 

" It is very sad how the weeks go by, and we, living 
almost within sight of each other, fail to meet. It is 
most horribly cold to-day, and I would not have had you 
come for anything. ... I think our best plan by far will 
be to settle that whenever you make your proposed start 
abroad, you come to me for three or four days on your 
way. This will let us have a little peaceful confab. I 
really want very much to do what I have been thinking 
of so long, but have never done yet, and give you advice 
about your future editorship of my poor books. To tell 
you my own conviction, even if I should be living when 
you return, I do not think I shall be up to this sort of 
business. I am getting into a wretched state of inability 
to give attention to things^ and now the chances are all 
for a speedy collapse. This winter has been too great a 
trial for my old worn brains, and now the cold returning 
is killing." 

Happily for her, she was spared the pain of any protracted 
period of mental or bodily weakness. On Monday, April 
4th, she drove out as usual, wrote her letters (one to me, 
received after she was dead), and in the afternoon enjoyed 
the visit of a neighbour, who took tea with her. It was a 
better day with her than many had been of late, and she 
went to bed cheerful and well. In the morning, having 
opened her shutters to let in the blessed daylight, and to 
look her last upon the familiar scene of mountain, valley, 
river, and wood, with the grey headstone visible in the 
churchyard where her friend rested, she passed swiftly away, 
and was found dead, with a smile of peace upon her face. 
A short time before, she had written to me : — 

" I am touched by your affectionate words, dear 
Blanche, but nobody must be sorry when that time 
comes, least of all those who love me." 

We can obey her request not to sorrow for her ; but for all 



those — and they are more than she ever realised — ^who 
loved her, the loss is beyond words to tell. 

Miss Cobbe's personality breathes through all her writings. 
Yet there was a charm about her which not even her 
autobiography is able to convey. It was the charm of an 
intensely sympathetic nature, quickly moved to laughter or 
to tears, passionately indignant at cruelty and cowardice, 
tender to suffering, touched to a generous delight at any 
story of heroism. As an instance of this, I may recall that 
in the spring of 1899 Miss Cobbe started a memorial to 
Mrs. Rogers, stewardess of the .S/e/Zo, by the gift of £2^. 
The dosing words of the inscription she wrote for the 
beautiful drinking fountain which was erected to that brave 
woman's memory are worth recording here : 

"ACTIONS SUCH AS THESE — 

SHOWING 

STEADFAST PERFORMANCE OF DUTY IN THE FACE OF DEATH, 

READY SBLF-SACRIFICB FOR SAKE OF OTHERS, 

RELIANCE ON GOD — 

CONSTITUTE THE GLORIOUS HERriAGB OF OUR ENGLISH RACE. 

THEY DESERVE PERPETUAL COMMEMORATION : 

BECAUSE 
AMONG THE TRIVIAL PLBASURES AND SORDID STRIFE OF THE WORLD 

THEY REVEAL TO US FOR EVER 
THE NOBILITY AND LOVE-WORTHINESS OF HUMAN NATURE." 

In Miss Cobbe's nature a gift of humour was joined to strong 
practical sense. No one who ever lived less deserved the 
term "Faddist" or "Sentimentalist" Miss Cobbe was im- 
patient of £ads. She liked " normal " people best — those who 
ate and drank, and dressed and lived according to ordinary 
conventions. Though, for convenience sake, she had adopted 
a style of dress for herself to which she kept, letting " Fashions " 
come and go unheeded, she was not indiiSerent to dress in 
other women, and admired colours and materials, or noted 
eccentricities as quickly as anyone. She once referred 
laughingly to her own dress as "obvious." For many years 



xxiv INTRODUQTION 

dressmaker's dresses would have been impossible to her ; 
but she had no sympathy with the effort some women make 
to look peculiar at all costs. She could thoroughly enjoy a 
good story, or even a bit of amusing gossip. With her own 
strong religious convictions, she had the utmost respect for 
other people's opinions. Her chosen friends held widely 
different creeds, and I do not think that she ever dreamt of 
proselytising. 

No literary person, surely, ever had less self-conceit. 
What she had written was not flourished in one's face; 
other people's smallest doings were not ignored. One felt 
always on leaving her that every one else was lacking in 
something indefinable — was dull, uninteresting and com- 
monplace. One felt, too, that the whole conception of 
womanhood was raised. This was what a woman might be. 
Whatever her faults, they were the faults of a great-hearted, 
noble nature — faults which all generous persons would be 
quick to forget. Nothing small or mean could be tolerated 
by her. 

Her character, as I read it, was drawn on large and 
simple lines, and was of a type that is out of fashion to-day. 
She had many points of resemblance to Samuel Johnson. 
With a strong and logical brain, she scorned all sophistries 
evasions, compromises, and half-measures, and was im- 
patient of the wire-drawn subtleties in which modern 
moralists revel. With intensely warm affections, she was, 
like the great doctor, "a good hater." He would un- 
doubtedly have classified her as " a clubbable woman " ; 
and his famous saying, " Clear your mind of cant," would 
have come as appropriately from her lips as from his. If a 
sin was hateful to her, she could not feel amiably towards 
the sinner ; and for the spiritual sins of selfishness, hypocrisy, 
avarice, cruelty, and callousness, she had no mercy, ranking 
them as far more fatal to character than the sins of the flesh. 



tNTRODUOTION xxv 

Like Johnson, too, she valued good birth, good breeding, 
and good manners, and was instinctively conservative, 
though liberal in her religious and political opinions. 

She intensely disliked the license of modern life, both in 
manners and morals, and had no toleration for the laxity so 
often pardoned in persons of social or intellectual eminence. 
Her mind and her tastes were strictly pure, orderly, and 
regular. It is characteristic of this type of mind that she 
most admired the classical in architecture, the grand style 
in art, the polished and finished verse of Pope and Tennyson 
in poetry. These were the two whose words she most 
frequently quoted, though she tells us that Shelley was her 
favourite poet. 

Her gift of order was exemplified in the smallest details 
and the kindred power of organisation was equally well 
marked. It was the combination of impulsiveness and 
enthusiasm with practical judgment and a due sense of 
proportion that made her so splendid a leader in any cause 
she championed. 

Miss Cobbe was what is often called "generous to a 
fault." It was a lesson in liberality to go with her into the 
garden when she cut flowers to send away. She did not 
look for the defective blooms, or for those which would not 
be missed. It was always the best and the finest which she 
gave. How often I have held the basket while she cut 
rose after rose> or great sprays of rhododendron or azselea 
with the knife she wielded so vigorously. " Take as much 
as you like," she would say, if she sent you to help yourself. 
She gave not only material things, but affection, interest 
sympathy, bountifully. 

She hated a lie of any kind ; her first instinct was always 
to stamp it out when she came across one. Perhaps, in 
her stronger days, she "drank delight of battle with her 
peers," and did not crave over much for peace. But she 



XX vi INTRODUCTION 

was not quarrelsome, and could differ without wrangling, 
and dispute without bitterness. 

A woman without husband or child is fortunate if, in her 
old age, she has one or two friends who really love her. 
Miss Cobbe was devotedly loved by a large number of men 
and women. Indeed, I do not think that anyone could 
come close to her and not love her. She was so richly 
gifted, and gave so freely of herself. 

To many younger women she had become the inspiration 
of and guide to a life of high endeavour, and the letters 
of gratitude and devotion which were addressed to her 
from all parts of the world bear witness, as nothing else 
can, to the extent of her splendid influence upon the 
characters of others. Only a day or two before her 
death she received letters from strangers who had lately 
read her autobiography and felt impelled to write and 
thank her for this story of a brave life. It is in the hope 
that through it her influence may go on growing, and that 
her spirit of self-sacrifice, of service to humanity, and faith- 
fulness to the Divine law may spread until the causes she 
fought for so valiantly are victorious, that this new edition 
of the " Life of Frances Power Cobbe " is sent out. 

Blanche Atkinson. 



AUTHOE'S PREFACE. 



My life has been an interesting one to live and I 
hope that this record of it may not prove too dull to 
read. The days are past when biographers thought 
it necessary to apologize for the paucity of the 
adventures which they could recall and the obscurity 
of the achievements which their heroes might 
accomplish. We have gone far in the opposite 
direction, and are wont to relate in extenso details 
decidedly trivial, and to reproduce in imposing type 
correspondence which was scarcely worth the 
postage of the original manuscript. Our sense of 
the intrinsic interest of Humanity, as depicted either 
in biography or fiction,— that is, of the character of 
the personages of the drama going on upon our little 
stage, — has continually risen, while that of the 
action of the piece, — the "incidents" which our 
fathers chiefly regarded, — ^has fallen into the second 
plane. I fear I have been guUty in this book of 
recording many trifling memories and of repro- 
ducing some letters of little importance ; but only 
through small touches could a happy childhood and 
youth be possibly depicted : and all the Letters have, 
I think, a certain value as relics and tokens of friend- 
ship, if not as expressions (as many of them are) of 
opinions carrying the weiio^ht of honoured names. 



XX vu 



xxviii PREFACE, 

As regards these Letters (exclusively, of course, 
those of friends and correspondents now dead), I 
earnestly beg the heirs of the writers to pardon me 
if I have not asked their permission for the publica- 
tion of them. To have ascertained, in the first 
place, who such representatives are and where they 
might be addressed, would, in many cases, have 
been a task presenting prohibitive difficulties ; and 
as the contents of the Letters are wholly honourable 
to the heads and hearts of their authors, I may 
fairly hope that surviving relatives will be pleased 
that they should see the light, and will not grudge 
the testimony they bear to kindly sentiments 
entertained towards myself.* 

There is in this book of mine a good deal of 
'* Old WoTaaTCs Oossip^^^ (I hope of a harmless sort), 
concerning many interesting men and women with 
whom it was my high privilege to associate freely 
twenty, thirty and forty years ago. But if it 
correspond at all to my design, it is not only, or 
chiefly, a collection of social sketches and friendly 
correspondence. I have tried to make it the true 
and complete history of a woman's existence as seen 
from within ; a real Lifb, which he who reads may 
take as representing fairly the joys, sorrows and 
interests, the powers and limitations, of one of my 
sex and class in the era which is now drawing 

* With respect to the Letters and Extracts from Letters to myself 
and to Miss Elliot, from the late Master of Balliol, — (to be found 
VoL L, pp. 316, 317, 349, 350, 351, 352, 353, and 354},— I beg to 
record that I have received the very kind permission of Mr. Jowett's 
Executors for their publication. 



PREFACE. xxix 

• 

to a close. The world when I entered it was a 
very diflferent place from the world I must shortly 
quity most markedly so as regards the position in it 
of women and of persons like myself holding 
heterodox opinions, and my experience practically 
bridges the gulf which divides the English aTvden 
riffiTne from the new. 

Whether my readers will think at the end of 
these volumes that such a life as mine was worth 
recording I cannot foretell ; but that it has been a 
" Life Worth Livi/ng " I distinctly affirm ; so well 
worth it, that,— though I entirely beUeve in a higher 
existence hereafter, both for myself and for those 
whose less happy lives on earth entitle them 
far more to expect it from eternal love and 
justice, — I would gladly accept the permission to run 
my earthly race once more from beginning to end, 
taking sunshine and shade just as they have flickered 
over the long vista of my seventy years. Even the 
retrospect of my life in these volumes has been a 
pleasure; a chewing of the cud of memories, — mostly 
sweet, none very bitter, — while I lie still a little 
while in the sunshine, ere the soon-closing night. 

F. P. C. 



CONTENTS. 



<^ 



CHAP. ,^. 

INTRODUCTION V 

PREFACB "--•--.. xxvii 

I. FAMILY AND HOME .... . i 

II. CHILDHOOD 29 

IIL SCHOOL AND AFTER 55 

IV. REUGION 79 

V. MY FIRST BOOK I07 

VL IRELAND IN THE FORTIES. THE PEASANTRY - 1 35 

VU. IRELAND IN THE FORTIES. THE GENTRY - - 163 

VIII. UPROOTED 201 

IX. LONG JOURNEY 21/ 

X. BRISTOL. REFORMATORIES AND RAGGED SCHOOLS 273 
XL BRISTOL. THE SICK IN THE WORKHOUSE - - 301 

XIL BRISTOL. WORKHOUSE GIRLS - - 325 

XIIL BRISTOL FRIENDS - . - - . 341 

XIV. ITALY. 1857-1879 365 

XV. MY LITERARY LIFE IN LONDON .... 399 

xxxi 



xxii CONTENTS, 

CHAP. PACK 

XVI. MY JOURNALIST LIFE IN LONDON - - 429 

XVII. MY SOCIAL LIFE IN LONDON IN THE SIXTIES 

AND SEVENTIES 443 

XVIII. MY SOCIAL LIFE IN LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES 

AND EIGHTIES 519 

XIX. THE CLAIMS OF WOMEN 583 

XX. THE CLAIMS OF BRUTES 615 

XXI. MY HOME IN WALES 695 

INDEX ... - - - 713 



ERRATA 

For Berwick read Bewick, p. 179, last line. 

For Goldsmiths read Goldschmidts, p. 237, 8 lines from bottom* 

For Goodwin read Godwin, p. 257, line 12. 

For Macpelah read Machpelah, p. 237, line 12. 



QHAPTEB 
L 



FAMILY AND HOMB. 



VOL. 1. ^ 



CHAPTER I. 

FaMILT AMD HOICE. 

I HAYB enjoyed through life the advdntage of being, in the 
trne sense of the words, ''well bom." My parents were 
good and wise; hononrable and honoured; sound in body 
and in mind. From them I have inherited a physical frame 
which, however defective even to the verge of grotesqueness 
from the aesthetic point of view, has been, as regards health 
and energy, a source of endless enjoyment to me. From 
childhood till now in my old age — except during a few years 
interval of lameness from an accident, — ^mere natural existence 
has always been to me a positive pleasure. Exercise and 
rest, food and warmth, work, play and sleep, each in its 
turn has been delightful ; and my spirits, though of course 
now no longer as gay as in youth, have kept a- level of 
cheerfulness subject to no alternatives of depression save 
under the stress of actual sorrow. How much of the 
optimism which I am aware has coloured my philosophy 
onght to be laid to the account of this bodily hien itre, it 
would be superfluous to enquire too nicely. At least I may 
fJEurly maintain that, as Health is the normal condition of 
existence, the views which a particularly healthy person takes 
of things are presumably more sound than those adopted by 
one habitually in the abnormal condition of an invalid. 

As regards the inheritance of mental faculties, of which 
so much has been talked of late years, I cannot trace it in 
my own experience in any way. My fether was a very able, 
energetic man; but his abilities all lay in the direction of 
administration, while those of my dear mother were of the 
order which made the charming hostess and cultivated 



4 OHAPTBE T. 

member of sodefy with the now fargotten grace of the 
eighteenth centniy. Neither paternal nor maternal gifts or 
graoea have descended to me; and snoh fisuniltiee as have 
jbUen to my lot have been of a different kind ; a kind which, 
I fear, my good father and his forbears would have regarded 
as incongmons and unseemly for a daughter of their house to 
exhibit. Sometimes I have pictured to myself the shook 
which ''The old Master'* would have felt could he have 
seen mo— for examplo— trudging three times a week for 
seven years to an office in the purlieus of the Strand to 
write articles for a halfpenny newspaper. Not one of my 
ancestors, so &r aa I have heard, ever dabbled in printer's ink. 
My brothers were all older than I ; the eldest eleven, the 
youngest five years older ; and my mother, when I was bom, 
was in her forty-seventh year; a circumstance which 
perhaps makes it remarkable that the physical energy and 
high animal spirits of which I have just made mention came 
to me in so large a share. My old friend Harriet St. Leger, 
Fanny Eemble's " dear H. S.," who knew us all well, said 
to me one day laughing: '' You know you are your Father's 
Son I " Had I been a man, and had possessed my brother's 
&cilities for entering Parliament or any profession,* I have 

* It is always amusing to me to read the complacent arguments 
of despisers of women when they think to prove the inevitable 
mental inferiority of my sex by specifying the smaller droom- 
ference of onr heads. On this line of logio an elephant should be 
twice as wise as a man. But in my case, as it happens, their 
argument leans the wrong way, for my head is larger than those 
of most of my conntrymen, — Doctors included. As measured 
carefully with proper instruments by a skilled phrenologist (the 
late Major Noel) the dimensions are as follows :— Ciroumferenoe, 
twenty-three and a quarter inches ; greatest height from external 
orifice of ear to summit of crown, 6| inches. On the other hand 
dear Mrs. Somerville's little head, which held three times as much 
as mine has ever done, wae below the average of that of women. 
So much for that aiganMnll 



FAMILY AND HOME. ^ 

sometimetf dreamed I eonld have made my mark and done 
some maseoUae service to my fellow-ereatoreB. Bat the 
woman's destiny which God allotted to me has heen, I do 
not question, the hest and happiest for me; nor have I 
ever seriously wished it had heen otherwise, alheit I have 
gone through life without that interest which has heen 
styled " woman's whole existence." Perhaps if this hook he 
found to have any value it will partly consist in the evidence 
it must afford of how pleasant and interesting, and withal, I 
hope, not altogether useless a life is open to a woman, though 
no man has ever desired to share it, nor has she seen 
the man she would have wished to ask her to do so. 
The days which many maidens my contemporaries and 
acquaintances, — 

** Lost in wooing 
In watching and pursuing," — 

(or in being pursued, which comes to the same thing) ; were 
spent by me, free from all such distractions, in study and in 
the performance of happy and healthful filial and housewifely 
duties. Destiny, too, was kind to me, likewise, by relieving 
me from care respecting the other great object of human 
anxiety, — ^to wit, Money. The prophet's prayer, '' Give me 
neither poverty nor riches" was granted to me, and I 
have probably needed to spend altogether fewer thoughts on 
& s. d. than could happen to anyone who has either to 
solve the problems '' How to keep the Wolf from the door " 
and "How to make both ends meet?" or ''How, justly 
and conscientiously, to expend a large income ? " Wealth 
has only come to me in my old age, and now it is easy to 
know how to spend it. Thus it has happened that in early 
womanhood and middle life I enjoyed a degree of real leisure 
of mind possessed by few ; and to it, I think, must be chiefly 
attributed anything which in my doings may have worn the 



6 CHAPTER L 

semblanoe of exoeptional ability. I had good, sound working 

brains to start with, and much fewer hindrances than the 

nuyority of women in improving and employing them. 

VoUa touL 

I began by saying that I was well-born in the tme sense 

of the words, being the child of parents morally good and 

physically sonnd. I reckon it also to have been an 

advantage, — ^thongh immeasurably a minor one, — ^to have 

been well-bom, likewise, in the conventional sense. My 

ancestors, it is tme, were rather like those of Sir Leicester 

Dedlock, " chiefly remarkable for never having done anything 

remarkable for so many generations."* Bat they were 

honourable specimens of coonty squires ; and never, during 

the four centuries through which I have traced them, do they 

' 1 ■ 

* The aphorism so often applied to little girls, that " it is better 
to be good than pretty," may, with greater hope of snooess, be 
applied to family names ; bat I fear mine is neither imposing nor 
sonorooB. I may say of it (as I remarked to the oharming Teresa 
Dona when she ridiculed the Swiss for their meaqtdn names, all 
ending in "tn"), ** Everybody cannot have the luck to be able to 
sign themselves Doria nata Dorazzo ! " Nevertheless *' Gobbe " is 
a very old name (Iieurioaa Cobbe held lands in Suffolk, vide 
Domesday), and it is curiously widespread as a word in most 
Aryan languages, signifying either the head (literal or meta- 
phorical), or a head-shaped object. I am no philologist, and I 
dare say my examples offend against some " law," and therefore 
cannot be admitted ; but it is at least odd that we should find 
Latin, ** Caput;" Italian, Capo; Spanish, Cabo; Saxon, Cop; 
Qerman, Kopf, Then we have, as derivates from the physical 
head, Cape, Capstan^ Cap, Cope, Copse or Coppice, Coping Stone, 
Copped^ Cup, Cupola, Cub, Cubicle, Kobhold, Oobho; and from 
the metaphorical Head or Chief, Captain, Capital, Capitation 
Capitulate, <fto. And again, we have a multitude of names for 
objects obviously signifying head-shaped, e.g,. Cob-hone, Cob-nut, 
Coh-guU, Cob-herring, Cob-ewan, Cob-coal, Cob-iron, Cob-waU; a 
Cock (of hay), according to Johnson, properly a *' Cop " of hay ; the 
Cobb (or Headland) at Lyme Begis, &o., &o. ; the Eobb6 fiord in 
Norwav, Ao^ 



FAMILY AND HOME. 7 

seem to hayo been guilty of any action of which I need to be 
ashamed. 

My mother's father was Captain Thomas Conway, of 
Morden Park, representative of a branch of that family. Her 
only brother was A^ntant-General Conway, whose name 
Lord Roberts has kindly informed me is still, after fifty years, 
an " honoured word in Madras." My father's progenitors 
were, from the fifteenth century, for many generations 
owners of Swarraton, now Lord Ashburton's beautiful 
" Ghiinge " in Hampshire ; the scene of poor Mrs. Carlyle's 
mortifications. While at Swarraton the heads of the family 
married, in their later generations, the daughters ot 
Welbome of Allington ; of Sir John Owen ; of Sir Bichard 
Norton of Botherfield (whose wife was the daughter of Bishop 
Bilson, one of the translators of the Bible) ; and of James 
Chaloner, Governor of the Isle of Man, one of the Judges oi 
Charles I. The wife of this last remarkable man was Ursula 
Fair&z, niece of Lord Fairfax.* 

On one occasion only do the Cobbes of Swarraton seem 
to have transcended the ''Dedlock" programme. Bichard 
Cobbe was En^ht of the Shire for Hants in Cromwell's 
short Parliament of 1666, with Bichard Cromwell for a 
colleague. What he did therein History saith not! The 
grandson of this Bichard Cobbe, a younger son named 
Charles, went to Ireland in 1717 as Chaplain to the Duke ot 
Bolton with whom he was connected through the Norton's ; 
and a few years later he was appointed Archbishop of Dublin, 
— a post which he held with great honour until his death in 
1765. On every occasion when penal laws against Catholics 
were proposed in the Irish House of Lords Archbishop Cobbe 

* As Buch things as mythical pedigrees are not altogether unknown 
in the world, I beg to say that I have myself noted the above 
from Harleian MS. in British Mnseom 1473 and 1139. Also in 
the College of Arms, 0. 16, p. 74, and C. 19, p. 104. 



8 OHAPTEB I. 

contended vigorondy against them, dividing the Hoase again 
and again on the Bills ; and his nmnerons letters and papers 
in the Irish State-Paper office (as Mr. Eroade has assured 
me after inspection) hear high testimony to his liherality and 
integrity in that age of corruption. Two traditions con- 
cerning him have a certain degree of general interest. One, 
that John Wesley called npon him at his country honse, — ^my 
old home, Newhridge ; — and that the interview was perfectly 
friendly ; Wesley approving himself and his work to the 
Archhishop's mind. The other is ; that when Handel came 
to Dnhlin, bringing with him the MS. of the Messiahf of 
which he conld not succeed in obtaining the production in 
London, Archbishop Cobbe, then Bishop of Eildare, took 
lively interest in the work, and under his patronage, as well 
as that of several Irishmen of rank, the great Oratorio was 
produced in Dublin. 

Good Archbishop Cobbe had not neglected the afiairs of 
his own household. He bought considerable estates in 
Louth, Carlow, and Co. Dublin, and on the latter, about 
twelve miles north of Dublin and two miles from the pretty 
rocky coast of Portrane, he built his country-house of 
Newbridge, which has ever since been the home of our 
&mily. As half my life is connected with this dear old 
place, I hope the reader will look at the pictures of it which 
must be inserted in this book and think of it as it was in my 
youth, bright and smiling and yet dignified ; bosomed among 
its old trees and with the green, wide-spreading park opened 
out before the noble granite perron of the hall door. There 
is another country-house on the a^oining estate, Turvey, the 
property of Lord Trimleston, and I have often amused myself 
by comparing the two. Turvey is really a wicked-looking 
house, with half-moon windows which suggest leering eyes^ 
and partition walls so thick that secret passages run through 
them; and bedrooms with tapestry and ruelles and hidden 



FAMILY AHm BOMB. 9 

doors in the wainscot. There were there, abo, when I was 
young, eertain very objectionahle pictures, beside several 
portraits of the ** beauties " of Charles n.'s court, (to the last 
degree decoUetSes) who had been, no doubt, friends of the 
first master of the house, their contemporary. In the 
garden was a grotto with a deep cold bath in it, which, in 
the climate of Ireland, suggested suicide rather than ablution. 
Altogether the place had the same suggestiveness of " deeds 
of darkness " which I remember feeling profoundly when I 
went over Holyrood with Dr. John Brown ; and it was quite 
natural to attach to Turvey one of the worst of the 
traditional Irish curses. This curse was pronounced by the 
Abbess of the neighbouring convent (long in ruins) of 
Grace-Dieu when Lord Eingsland, then lord of Turvey, had 
by some nefarious means induced the English Government of 
the day to make over the lands of the convent to himself. 
On announcing this intelligence in his own hall to the 
assembled nuns, the poor ladies took refuge very naturally in 
malediction, went down simultaneously on their knees, and 
repeated after their Abbess a denunciation of Heaven's 
vengeance on the traitor. '< There should never want an 
idiot or a law-suit in the &mily ; and the rightful heir should 
never see the smoke of the chimney." Needless to add, 
law-suits and idiots have been plentiful ever since, and, after 
several generations of absentees, Turvey stands in a treeless 
desert, and has descended in the world from lordly to humble 
owners. 

How different was Newbridge I Built not by a dissolute 
courtier of Charles H., but by the sensible Whig, and 
eminently Protestant Archbishop, it has as open and honest a 
countenance as its neighbour has the reverse. The solid 
walls, about three feet and a-half thick in most parts, keep 
out the cold, but neither darken the large, lofty rooms, nor 
afford space for devious and secret passages. The ho^ap 



10 CHAPTER I. 

stands broadly-built and strong, not higb or fro\ming; its 
Portland-stone colonr warm against the green of Irish woods 
and grass. Within doors every room is airy and lightsome, 
and more than one is beautifal. There is a fine staircase ont 
of the second hall, the walls of which are covered with old 
£unily pictures which the Archbishop had obtained from his 
elder brother, CoL Bichard Chaloner Cobbe, who had some- 
how lost Swarraton, and whose line ended in an heiress, wife 
of the 11th Earl of Huntingdon. A long corridor downstairs 
was, I have heard, formerly hung from end to end with arms 
intended for defence in case of attack. When the BebeUion 
of 1798 took place the weapons were hidden in a hole into 
which I have peered, under the floor of a room off the great 
drawing-room, but what became of them afterwards I do 
not know. My ffti^er possessed only a few pairs of handsome 
pistols, two or three blunderbusses, sundry guns of various 
kinds, and his own regimental sword which he had used at 
Assaye. All these hung in his study. The drawing-room 
with its noble proportions and its fifby-three pictures by 
Vandyke, Buysdael, Guercino, Yanderveldt and other old 
masters, was the glory of the house. In it the happiest 
hours of my life were passed. 

Of this house and of the various estates bought and leased 
by the Archbishop his only surviving son, Thomas Cobbe, my 
great-grandfather, came into possession in the year 1766. 
Irreverently known to his posterity as '' Old Tommy " this 
gentleman after the fashion of his contemporaries muddled 
away in keeping open house a good deal of the property, and 
eventually sold one estate and (what was worse) his father's 
fine library. Per contra he made the remarkable collection of 
pictures of which I have spoken as adorning the walls of 
Newbridge. Pilkington, the author of the Dictionary of 
PainterSf was incumbent of the little Vicarage of Donabate, 
and naturally somewhat in the relation of chaplain to the 



WAMTLY AND HOME. 11 

squire of Newbridge, who had the good sense to send him to 
Holland and Italy to bnj the above-mentioned pictures, many 
of which are described in the Dictionary. Some time 
previously, when Pilkington had come out as an Art-critic, 
the Archbishop had remonstrated with him on his unclerical 
pursuit; but the poor man disarmed episcopal censure by 
replying, '' Your Qrace, I have preached for a dozen years to 
an old woman who can't hear, and to a young woman who 
wonH hear ; and now I think I may attend to other things ! *' 
Thomas Cobbe's wife's name has been often before the 
public in connection with the story, told by Crabbe, Walter 
Scott and many others, of the lady who wore a black 
ribbon on her wrist to conceal the marks of a ghost's 
fingers. The real ghost-seer in question. Lady Beresford, 
was confounded by many with her granddaughter Lady Eliza 
Beresford, or, as she was commonly called after her marriage, 
Lady Betty Cobbe. How the confusion came about I do not 
know, but Lady Betty, who was a spirited woman much 
renowned in the palmy days of Bath, was very indignant 
when asked any questions on the subject. Once she received 
a letter from one of Queen Charlotte's Ladies-in- Waiting 
begging her to tell the Queen the true story. Lady Betty in 
reply " presented her compliments but was sure the Queen of 
England would not pry into the private affiurs of her subjects, 
and had no intention of gratifying the impertinent curiosity of a 
Lady 4?^ Waiting I ' ' Considerable labour was expended some 
years ago by the late Primate (Marcus Beresford) of Ireland, 
another descendant of the ghost-seer in identifying the real 
personages and dates of this curious tradition. The story 
which came to me directly through my great-aunt, Hon. 
Mrs. Henry Pelham, Lady Betty's fietvourite daughter, was, 
that the ghost was John Le Poer, Second Earl of Tyrone ; 
and the ghost-seer was his cousin, Nichola Hamilton, daughter 
of liord Glerawl^, wife of Sir Tristram Beresford. The 



IS OSAPTBE i. 

eoturins had promised each other to appear, — ^whichever of 
them first departed this life, — ^to the survivor. Lady 
Beresford, who did not know that Lord Tyrone was dead, 
awoke one night and found him sitting hy her hedside. He 
gave her (so goes the story) a short, hat, nnder the circom- 
stances, no donht impressive lesson, in the elements of 
orthodox theology ; and then to satisfy her of the reality of 
his presence, which she persisted in donhting, he twisted 
the curtains of her hed through a ring in the ceiling, placed 
his hand on a wardrohe and left on it the ominous mark of 
five huming fingers (the late Hon. and Kev. Edward Taylor 
of Ardgillan Castle told me he had seen this wardrohe I ) and 
finally touched her wrist, which shrunk incontinently and 
never recovered its natural hue. Before he vanished the 
Ghost told Lady Beresford that her son should marry his 
brother's daughter and heiress ; and that she herself should 
die at the birth of a child after a second marriage, in her 
forty-second year. All these prophecies, of course, came to 
pass. From the marriage of Sir Marcus Beresford with the 
ghost's niece, Catharine, Baroness Le Poer of Curraghmore, 
has descended the whole dan of Irish Beresfords. He 
was created Earl of Tyrone; his eldest son was the first 
Marquis of Waterford ; another son was Archbishop of Tuam, 
created Lord Decies ; and his fifth daughter was the Lady 
Betty Cobbe, my great-grandmother, concerning whom I have 
told this old story. In these days of Psychological Research 
I could not take on myself to omit it, though my own private 
impression is, that Lady Beresford accidentally gave her 
wrist a severe blow against her bedstead whUe she was 
asleep ; and that, by a law of dreaming which I have en- 
deavoured to trace in my essay on the subject, her mind 
instantly created the myth of Lord Tyrone's apparition. 
Allowing for a fiur amount of subsequent agglomeration of 
incidents and wonders in the tradition, this hypothesis, I thi|ik 



fAMILT AND HOME. 18 

qniie meets the exigencies of the ease ; and in obedienoe to 
the law of Pttrsimony, we need not ran to a pretematnral 
explanation of the Black Ribbon on the Wrist, no donbt the 
aetoal nnolens of the tale. 

I do not ({tsbelieye in ghosts ; bat nnfortonately I have 
never been able comfortably to believe in any particolar 
ghost-story. The overwhelming argament against the 
veracity of the minority of such narrations is, that they con- 
tradict the great trath beaatifally set forth by Soathey— 

** They sin who tell vs Ijove can die! — 
With life all other passions fly 
All others are hut vanity — 
In Heaven, Amhition cannot dwell, 
Nor Avarice in the vanlts d helL 
Earthly these passions as of earth, 
They perlah where they had their births— 
But Love is indestructible. ..." 

The ghost of popalar belief almost invariably exhibits the 
survival of Avarice, Revenge, or some other thoroughly 
earthly passion, while for the sake of the purest, noblest, 
tendereet Love scarcely ever has a single Spirit of the 
departed been even supposed to return to comfort the heart 
which death has left desolate. The fiemious story of Miss Lee 
18 one exception to this rule, and so is another tale which I 
found recorded in an MS. Memorandum in the writing of my 
uncle the Rev. Henry Cobbe, Rector of Templeton {died 1828). 
'' Lady Moira'*' was at one time extremely uneasy about her 
sister. Lady Selina Hastings, from whom she had not heard 
for a considerable time. One night she dreamed that her 
sister came to her, sat down by her bedside, and said to her, 
* 'Mj dear sister, I am dying of £Bver. They will not tell you 
of it because of your situation ' (she was then with child), 

* Wile of Thomas Oobbe's haU-brother. 



14 CHAPTER I. 

* bat I shall die, and the acconnt will be bronght to yonr 
husband by letter directed like a foreign one in a foreign 
hand.* She told her dream to her attendant, Mrs. Moth, as 
soon as she awoke, was extremely unhappy for letters, till 
at length, Hie day after, there arrived one, directed as she 
had been told, which contained an account of her sister's 
death. It had been written by her brother. Lord Huntingdon, 
and in a feigned hand, lest she should ask to know the 
contents. 

'^ She had many other extraordinary dreams, and it is 
very remarkable that after i&e death of her attendant, Moth, 
who had educated her and her children, and was the niece of 
the £Eunous Bishop Hough, that she (Moth) generally took a 
part in them, particularly if they related to any loss in her 
fiEunily. Indeed, I believe she never dreamed of her except 
when she was to undergo a loss. Lady Granard told me an 
instance of this : Her second son Colonel Bawdon died very 
suddenly. He had not been on good terms with Lady 
Moira for some time. One night she dreamed that Moth 
came into the room, and upon her asking her what she 
wanted she said, ' My lady, I am come to bring the Colonel 
to you.' Then he entered, came near her, and coming 
within the curtains, sat on the bed and said, ' My dearest 
mother, I am going a very long journey, and I cannot bear 
to go without the assurance of your forgiveness.' Then she 
threw her arms about his neck and said, ' Dear Son, can 
you doubt my forgiving you ? But where are you going ? ' 
He replied, ' A long journey, but I am happy now that I 
have seen you.' The next day she received an account of 
his death. 

^' About a fortnight before her death, when Lady Granard 
and Lady Charlotte Bawdon, her daughters, were sitting up 
in her room, she awoke suddenly, very ill and very much 
agitated, sajdng that she had dreamed that Mrs. Moth came 



FAMILY AND HOME. 15 

into her room. When she saw her she was so full of the idea 
that evils always attended her appearance that she said, ' Ah, 
Moth, I fear you are come for my Selina' (Lady G.). 
Moth replied, ' No, my Lady, hut I am come for Mr. John.' 
They gave her composing drops and soothed her ; she soon 
fell asleep, and from that time never mentioned her son's 
name nor made any inquiry about him ; but he died on the 
very day of her dream, though she never knew it." 

Old Thomas Cobbe and after him his only son, Charles 
Cobbe, represented the (exceedingly-rotten) Borough of Swords 
for a great many years in the Lish Parliamenti which was 
then in its glory, resonant with the eloquence of Flood (who 
had married Lady Betty's sister. Lady Jane) and of Henry 
Qrattan. On searching the archives of Dublin, however, in 
the hope of discovering that our great-grandfather had done 
some public good in his time, my brother and I had the 
mortification to find that on the only occasion when reference 
was made to his name, it was in connection with charges of 
bribery and corruption I On the other hand, it is recorded to 
his honour that he was almost the only one among the Members 
of the L*ish Parliament who voted for the Union, and yet 
refused either a peerage or money compensation for his seat. 
Instead of these he obtained for Swords some educational 
endowments by which I believe the little town still profits. 
In the record of corruption sent by Lord Bandolph Churchill 
to the Timss (May 29th, 1898), in which appears a charge of 
interested motives against nearly every Member of the Irish 
Parliament of 1784, "Mr. Cobbe " stands honourably alone 
as without any " object " whatever. 

Thomas Cobbe's two daughters, my great-aunts and 
immediate predecessors as the Misses Cobbe, of Newbridgei 
(my grandfather having only sons) differed considerably in all 
respects from their unworthy niece. They occupied, so 
said tradition, the large cheerful room which afterwards 



16 CHAPTER L 

beeame my irarBery. A beam across the ceiling still bore, 
in my time, a large iron staple firmly fixed in the centre from 
whence had dangled a hand-swing. On this swing my great- 
aunts were wont to hang by their armsi to enable their maids 
to lace their stays to greater advantage. One of them, after- 
wards the Hon. Mrs. Henry Pelham, Lady-in- Waiting to 
Queen Caroline, likewise wore the high-heeled shoes of the 
period; and when she was an aged woman she showed 
her horribly deformed feet to one of my brothers, and 
remarked to him: ^'See, Tom, what comes of high- 
heeled shoes ! " I am afraid many of the girls now wearing 
similarly monstrous foot-gear will learn the same lesson too 
late. Mrs. Pelham, I have heard, was the person who prac- 
tically brought the house about the ears of the unfortunate 
Queen Caroline ; being the first to throw up her appointment 
at Court when she became aware of the Queen's private 
on-goings. Her own character stood high ; and the fact that 
she would no longer serve the Queen naturally called attention 
to all the circumstances. Bad as Queen Caroline was, 
George the Fourth was assuredly worse than she. In his 
old age he was personally very disgusting. My mother told 
me that when she received his kiss on presentation at his 
Drawing Boom, the contact with his face was sickening, like 
that with a corpse. I still possess the dress she wore on 
that occasion. 

Mrs. Pelham's sister married Sir Henry Tuite, of Sonnagh, 
and for many years of her widowhood lived in the Circus, 
Bath, and perhaps may still be remembered there by a few 
as driving about her own team of four horses in her curricle, 
in days when such doings by ladies were more rare than they 
are now. 

The only brother of these two Miss Cobbes of the past, 
Charles Cobbe, of Newbridge, M.P., married Anne Power 
Trenchi of Oarballyi sister of the first Earl of Clancarty. 



FAMILY AND HOME. 17 

The mnltitndinoaB clans of Trenches and Moncks, in addition 
to Lady Betty's Beresford relations, of coarse thenceforth 
adopted the habit of paying visitations at Newbridge. 
Arriving by coachloads, with trains of servants, they remained 
for months at a time. A pack of hounds was kept, and the 
whole troMi de vie was liberal in the extreme. Natnrally, 
after a certain number of years of this kind of thing, embar- 
rassments beset the fiunily finances ; bnt fortunately at the 
crisis Lady Betty came under the influence of her husband's 
cousin, the Methodist Countess of Huntingdon, and ere long 
renounced the vanities and pleasures of the world, and per- 
suaded her husband to retire with her and live quietly at 
Bath, where they died and were buried in Weston church- 
yard. Fifty years afterwards I found in the library at 
Newbridge the little batch of books which had belonged to my 
great-grandmother in this phase of her hie, and were marked 
by her pencil : Jacob Boehmen and the Life of Madame Ghuyon 
being tiiose which I now recall. The peculiar, ecstatic 
pietism which these books breathe, differing toto ccdo from 
the ''other worldliness " of the divines of about 1810, with 
whose works the ''Good-book Bows" of our library were 
replenished, impressed me very vividly.'*' 

I have often tried to construct in my mind some sort of 
picture of the society which existed in Ireland a hundred 
years ago, and moved in those old rooms wherein the first 
half of my life was spent, but I have found it a very baffling 

* Iiady Huntingdon was doubly connected with Thomas Cobbe. 
She was his first ooasm, daughter of his maternal aunt Selina 
Cknintefls of Ferrers, and mother of his sister-in-law, Elizabeth 
Coxintess of Moira. The pictures of Dorothy Levinge, and of her 
father ; of Lady Ferrers ; and of Lord Moira and his wife, all of 
which hang in the halls at Newbridge, made me as a child, think 
of them as familiar people. Unfortunately the portrait of chief 
interest, that of Lady Huntingdon, is missing in the series. 

VOL. I. B 



18 CHAPTER L 

undertaking. Apparency it combined a considerable amount 
of {esthetic taste with traits of genuine barbarism ; and high 
religious pretension with a disregard of everyday duties and 
a pencJiant for gambling and drinking which would now 
place the most avowedly worldly persons under a cloud of 
opprobrium. Card-playing was carried on incessantly. 
Tradition says that the tables were laid for it on rainy days 
at 10 o'clock in the morning in Newbridge drawing-room ; 
and on every day in the interminable evenings which 
followed the then fashionable four o'clock dinner. My 
grandmother was so excellent a whist-player that to extreme 
old age in Bath she habitually made a small, but appreciable, 
addition to her income out of her " card purse " ; an orna- 
mental appendage of the toilet then, and even in my time, in 
universal use. I was given one as a birthday present in my 
tenth year. She was greatly respected by all, and beloved 
by her five sons ; every one of whom, however, she had sent 
f out to be nursed at a cottage in the park till they were three 

years old. Her motherly duties were supposed to be 
amply fulfilled by occasionally stopping her carriage to see 
how the children were getting on. 

As to the drinking among the men, (the women seem 
not to have shared the vice) it must have prevailed to a 
disgusting extent upstairs and downstairs. A fuddled 
condition after dinner was accepted aa the normal one of a 
gentleman, and entailed no sort of disgrace. On the 
contrary, my father has told me that in his youth his own 
extreme sobriety gave constant offence to his grandfather, and 
to his comrades in the army ; and only by showing the latter 
that he would sooner fight than be bullied to drink to excess 
could he obtain peace. Unhappily, poor man I whfle his 
grandfather, who seldom went to bed quite sober for forty 
years, lived to the fine old age of 82, ei^'oying good health 
to the last, his temperate grandson inherited the gout and in 



FAMILY AND HOMS. U 

his latter years was a martyr thereto. Among the exceed- 
ingly beantiM old Indian and old Worcester china which 
belonged to Thomas Oobbe and showed his good taste and also 
the splendid scale of his entertainments (one dessert-service 
for 86 persons was magnificent) there stands a large goblet 
calculated to hold ikree botUes of wine. This glass (tradition 
avers) nsed to be filled with claret, seven guineas were placed 
at the bottom, and he who drank it pocketed the coin. 

The behaviour of these Anglo-Irish gentry of the lost 
century to their tenants and dependants seems to have pro- 
ceeded on the truly Irish principle of being generous before 
you are just. The poor people lived in miserable hovels 
which nobody dreamed of [repairing ; but then they were 
welcome to come and eat and drink at the great house on 
every excuse or without any excuse at all. This state of 
things was so perfectly in harmony with Celtic ideas that 
the dskjB when it prevailed ore still sighed after as the ** good 
old times." Of course there was a great deal of Lady 
Bountiful business, and also of medical charity- work going 
forward. Archbishop Oobbe was fully impressed with the 
merits of the Tar- water so marvellously set forth by his 
suf&ugon. Bishop Berkeley, and I have seen in his hand- 
writing in a book of his wife's cookery receipts, a receipt 
£ar making it, beginning with the formidable item : '^ Take 
six gallons of the best French brandy." Lady Betty was 
a famous compounder of simples, and of things that were 
not simple, and a *' Ohilblain Plaister " which bore her name, 
was not many years ago still to be procured in the chemists' 
shops in Bath. I fear her prescriptions were not always of 
so unambitious a kind as this. One day she stopped a man 
on the road and asked his name — ** Ah, then, my lady," was 
the reply, '' don't you remember me ? Why, I am the 
husband of the woman your ladyship gave the medicine to 
and she died the next day, Lang Ufe to your Ladyship I " 



20 OHAPTBB I. 

As I have said, the open-housekeeping at Newfaridge at last 
eame to an end, and the family migrated to No. 9 and No. 22, 
Marlborongh Buildings, Bath, where two generations spent 
their latter years, died, and were huried in Weston ohnrch' 
yard, where I have lately restored their tomb-stones. 

My grandfather died long before his &ther, and my &tfaeri 
another Charles Cobbe, found himself at eighteen pretty well 
his own master, the eldest of five brothers. He had been 
edacated at Winchester, where his ancestors for eleven 
generations went to school in the old days of Swarraton ; 
and to the end of his life he was wont to recite lines of 
Anacreon learned therein. But his tastes were active rather 
than studious, and disliking the idea of hanging about his 
mother's house till his grand&ther's death should put him in 
possession of Newbridge, he listened with an enchanted ear 
to a glowing account which somebody gave him of India, 
where the Mahratta wars were just beginning. 

Without much reflection or delay, he obtained a comet's 
commission in the 19th light Dragoons and sailed for 
Madras. Very shortly he was engaged in active service 
under Wellesley, who always treated him with special kind- 
ness as another Anglo-Irish gentleman. He fought at many 
minor battles and sieges, and also at Assaye and Argaum ; 
receiving his medal for these two, just fifty years afterwards. 
I shall write of this again a little further on in this book. 

At last he fell ill of the fever of the country, which in those 
days was called ''ague," and was left in a remote place 
absolutely helpless. He was lying in bed one day in his tent 
when a Hindoo came in and addressed him very courteously, 
asking aflier his health. My father incautiously replied that 
he was quite prostrated by the fever. ** What ! Not able to 
move at all, not to walk a step ? " said his visitor. '' No t I 
cannot stir," said my father. '' Oh, in that case, then," said 
the man, — and without more ado he seized my father's desk, 



FAMILY AND HOMB. 81 

in whioh were all his money and valoaUeB, and straightway 
made off with it before my father oonld sxmmion his servants. 
His condition, thus left alone in an enemy's conntry wiihoat 
money, was bad enough, bnt he managed to send a tmsty 
messenger to Sir Arthur Wellesley, who promptly lent him 
all he required. 

Finding that there was no chance of his health being 
sufficiently restored in India to permit of farther active 
service, and the Mahratta wars being practically condaded, 
my father sold his commission of lientenant and returned to 
England, quietly letting himself into his mother's house in 
Bath on his return by the latch-key, which he had carried 
with him through all his joumejrs. All his life long the 
impress made both on his outward bearing and character 
by those five years of war were very visible. He 
was a fine soldier-like figure, six feet high, and had 
ridden eighteen stone in his full equipment. His &ee 
was, I suppose, ugly, but it was very intelligent, very 
strong willed, and very unmistakeably that of a gentle- 
man. He was under-jawed, very pale, with a large nose, 
and small, grey, very lively eyes ; but he had a beautiful 
white forehead firom which his hair, even in old age, grew 

handsomely, and his head was very well set on his broad 
shoulders. The photograph in the next volume represents 
him at 76. He rode admirably, and a better figure on 
horseback could not be seen. At all times there was an 
aspect of strength axid command about him, which his 
vigmrous will and (truth c(»npels me to add) his not seldom 
fiery temper, fully sustained. On the many occasions when 
we had dinner parties at Newbridge, he was a charming, 
gay and courteous host ; and I remember being struck, when 
he onoe wore a court dress axid took me with him to pay 
his respects to a T«ry Lord Lieutenant, by the contrast 
whieh his figure and bearing presented to that of nearly all 



22 CHAPTER I. 

the other men in similar attire. They looked as if they were 
masqaerading, and he as if the lace-mffles and plum coat and 
sword were his habitual dress. He had beautifol hands, of 
extraordinary strength. 

One day he was walking with one of his lady cousins on 
his arm in the street. A certain fEunons prize-fighting bnllyy 
the Sayers or Heenan of the period, came up hustling and 
elbowing every passenger off the pavement. When my 
father saw him approach he made his cousin take his left 
arm, and as the prize-fighter prepared to shoulder him, he 
delivered with his right fist, without raising it, a blow which 
sent the ruffian fainting into the arms of his companions. 
Having deposited his cousin in a shop, my father went back 
for the sequel of the adventure, and was told that the 
<< Chicken " (or whatever he was called) had had his ribs 
broken. 

After his return from India, my fietther soon sought a wife. 
He flirted sadly, I fear, with his beautiful cousin, Louisa 
Beresford, the daughter of his great-unde, the Archbishop oi 
Tuam ; and one of the ways in which he endeavoured to 
ingratiate himself was to carry about at all times a 
provision of bon-bons and barley-sugar with which to 
ply the venerable and sweet-toothed prelate; who was 
generally known as ''The Beauty of Holiness." How 
the wooing would have prospered cannot be told, but 
before it had reached a crisis a far richer lover appeared on 
the scene — ^Mr. Hope. *' Anastasius Hope," as he was called 
from the work of which he. was the author, was immensely 
wealthy, and a man of great taste in art, but he had the 
misfortune to be so excessively ugly that a painter whom he 
offended by not buying his picture, depicted him and Miss 
Beresford as ''Beauty and the Beast," and exhibited his 
painting at the Bath Pump-room, where her brother, John 
Beresford (afterwards the second Lord Decies) cut it deliberately 



FAMILY AND HOME. 28 

to pieced. An engagement between Mr. Hope and Miss 
Beresford was annonnced not long after the arrival of 
Mr. Hope in Bath ; and my mother, then Miss Conway, 
going to pay a visit of congratulation to Miss Beresford, 
found her reclining on a bine silk sofiEk appropriately 
perusing The Pleamres of Hope^ After the death of 
Mr. Hope (by whom she was the mother of Mr. Beresford 
Hope, Mr. Adrian and Mr. Henry Hope), Mrs. Hope 
married the illegitimate son of her ande, the Marqnis of 
Waterford — Field Marshal Lord Beresford — a fine old 
veteran, with whom she long lived happily in the comer 
house in Cavendish Square, where my father and brothers 
always found a warm welcome. 

At length, afber some delays, my &ther had the great 
good fortune to induce my dear mother to become his wife, 
and they were married at Bath, March 18th, 1809. Frances. 
Conway was, as I have said, daughter of Capt. Thomas 
Conway, of Morden Park. Her father and mother both 
died whilst she was young and she was sent to the fcunous 
Bchool of Mrs. Devis, in Queen Square, Bloomsbury, of 
which I shall have something presently to say, and afterwards 
lived with her grandmother, who at her death bequeathed 
to her a handsome legacy, at Southampton. When her 
grandmother died, she being then sixteen years of age, 
received an invitation from Colonel and Mrs. Champion to 
live with them and become their adopted daughter. The 
history of this invitation is rather touching. Mrs. 
Champion's parents had, many years before, suffered great 
reverses, and my mother's grandfather had done much to 
help them, and, in particular, had furnished means for 
Bilrs. Champion to go out to India. She returned after 
twenty years as the childless wife of the rich and 
kindly old Colonel, the friend of Warren Hastings, 
who having been commander-in-chief of the Forces of 



24 CHAPTER 1. 

the East India Company had had a good " shake of the 
Pagoda tree." She repaid to the grajidchild the kindness 
done by the grandfeither ; and was henceforth really a 
mother to my mother, who dearly loved both her and 
Col. Champion. In their beautiful house, No. 29, Boyal 
Crescent, she saw all the society of Bath in its palmiest 
days, Mrs. Champion's Wednesday evening parties being 
among the most important in the place. My mother's part 
as daughter of the house was an agreeable one, and her 
social talents and accomplishments fitted her perfectly for 
the part. The gentle gaiety, the sweet dignity and ease of 
her manners and conversation remain to me as the memory of 
something exquisite, fax different even from the best manner 
and talk of my own or the present generation ; and I know 
that the same impression was always made on her visitors in 
her old age. I can compare it to nothing but the delicate 
odour of the dried rose leaves with which her china vases 
were filled and her wardrobes perfumed. 

I hardly know whether my mother were really beautiful, 
though many of the friends who remembered her in early 
womanhood spoke of her as being so. To me her face was 
always the loveliest in the world; indeed it was the one 
through which my first dawning perception of beauty 
was awakened. I can remember looking at her as I lay 
beside her on the sofa, where many of her suffering hours 
were spent, and suddenly saying, ''Mamma you are so 
pretty 1 " She laughed and kissed me, saying, '' I am glad 
you think so my child ; " but that moment really brought 
the revelation to me of that wonderful thing in God's 
creation, the Beatitiful ! She had fine features, a particu- 
larly delicate, rather thin-lipped mouth ; magnificent chestnut 
hair, which remained scarcely changed in colour or quantity 
till her death at seventy years of age ; and the dear, pale 
complexion and hazel eyes which belong to such hair. She 



FAMILY AND HOME. 2ft 

always dressed very well and carefally. I never re- 
member seeing her downstairs except in some rich dark 
silk, and with a good deal of fine lace about her cap and 
old-£uhioned fichu. Her voice and low laoghter were 
singularly sweet, and she possessed both in speaking and 
writing a fuU and varied diction which in later years she 
carefully endeavoured to make me share, instead of satisfying 
myself, in school-girl fashion, with making one word serve a 
dozen purposes. She was an almost omnivorous reader; 
and, according to the standard of female education in her 
generation, highly cultivated in every way; a good musician 
with a very sweet touch of the piano, and speaking French 
perfectly well. 

Immediately afber their marriage my parents took possession 
of Newbridge, and my father began earnestly the fulfilment 
of all the duties of a country gentleman, landlord and 
magistrate. My mother, indeed, used laughingly to aver 
that he '' went to jail on their wedding day," for he stopped 
at Bristol on the road and visited a new prison with a view 
to introducing improvements into Irish jails. It was due 
principally to his exertions that the county jail, the now 
celebrated KilmaiTiham, was afterwards erected. 

Newbridge having been deserted for nearly thirty years, the 
woods had been sorely injured and the house and out-buildings 
dilapidated, but with my father's energy and my mother's 
money things were put straight ; and from that time till his 
death in 1857 my father lived and worked among his people. 

Though often hard pressed to carry out with a very 
moderate income all his projects of improvements, he was 
never in debt. One by one he rebuilt or re-roofed almost 
every cottage on his estate, making what had been Uttle 
better than pig-styes, fit for human habitation ; and when he 
found that his annual rents could never suffice to do all that 
was required in this way for his tenants in his mountain 



86 CHAPTER I. 

property, he indaced my eldest brother, then just of age, to 
join with him in selling two of the pictures which were the 
heirlooms of the family and the pride of the house, a Gaspar 
Poussin and a Hobbema, which last now adorns the walls 
of Dorchester House. I remember as a child seeing the 
tears in his eyes as this beautiful painting was taken out oi 
the room in which it had been like a perpetual ray of 
sunshine. But the sacrifice was completed, and 80 good 
stone and slate ** Hobbema Cottages," as we called them, 
soon rose all over Glenasmoil. Be it noted by those who 
deny every merit in an Anglo-Irish landlord, that not a 
&rthing was added to the rent of the tenants who profited by 
this real act of self-denial. 

All this however refers to later years. I have now 
reached to the period when I may introduce myself on the 
scene. Before doing so, however, I am tempted to print 
here a letter which my much valued friend. Miss Felicia 
Skene, of Oxford, has written to me on learning that I am 
preparing this autobiography. She is one of the very few 
now living who can remember my mother, and I gratefully 
quote what she has written of her as, corroborating my own 
memories, else, perhaps, discounted by the reader as coloured 
by a daughter's partiality. 

April 4th, 1894. 
My dearest Frances, — 

I know well that in recalling the days of your bright 
youth in your grand old home, the most prominent figure . 
amongst those who surroxmded you then, must be that of 
your justly idolised mother, and I cannot help wishing to 
add my testimony, as of one unbiassed by family ties, 
to aU that you possessed in her while she remained with 
you ; and all that you so sadly lost when she was taken from 
you. To remember the cKdtdaine of Newbridge is to recall 
one of the fairest and sweetest memories of my early life. 
When I first saw that lovely, gracious lady with her almost 



FAMILY AND HOME. 27 

angelic conntenanoe and her perfect dignity of manner, I 
had jnst come from a gay Eastern capital, — ^my home from 
childhood, where no snch vision of a typical English gentle- 
woman had ever appeared before me ; and the impression 
she made upon me was therefore almost a revelation of 
what a refined, high-bred lady conld be in all that was pure 
and lovely and of good report, and yet I think I only shared 
in the fascination which she exercised on all who came 
within the sphere of her influence. To me, almost a 
stranger, whom she welcomed as your friend under her roof, 
her exquisite courtesy would alone have been most 
charming, but for your sake she showed me all the tender- 
ness of her sweet sympathetic nature, and it was no marvel 
to me that she was the idol of her children and the object 
of deepest respect and admiration to all who knew her. 

Beautiful Newbridge with its splendid hospitality is like 
a dream to me now, of what a gentleman's estate and 
country home could be in those days when ancient race and 
noble family traditions were still of some account. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

F. M. F. Skbxs. 

13, New Inn Hall Street, Oxford. 



OHAFTKR 

n. 



CHILLH001> 



CHAPTER It. 
Childhood. 

I WAS born on the morning of ihe 4th December, 1822 ; 
at sunrise. There had been a memorable storm during the 
night, and Dublin, where my father had taken a house that 
my mother might be near her doctor, was strewn with the 
wrecks of trees and chimney pots. My parents had already 
four sons, and after the interval of five years since the birtli 
of ihe youngest, a girl was by no means welcome. I have 
never had reason, however, to complain of being less cared 
for or less well treated in every way than my brothers. If I 
have become in mature years a ** Woman's Bights' Woman '* 
it has not been because in my own person I have been made 
to feel a Woman's Wrongs. On the contrary, my brothers' 
kindness and tenderness to me have been unfailing from my 
in£uicy. I was their '' little F&'," their pet and plaything 
when they came home for their holidays ; and rough words 
not to speak of knocks, — ^never reached me from any of 
them or from my many masculine cousins, some of whom, 
as my fietther's wards, I hardly distinguished in childhood 
from brothers. 

A few months after my birth my parents moved to a house 
named Bower Hill Lodge in Melksham, which my father 
hired, I believe, to be near his boys at school, and I have 
8ome dim recoUeetions of the verandah of the house, and also 
of certain raisins which I appropriated, and of suffering 
direful punishment at my fietther's hands for the crime 1 
Before I was four years old we returned to Newbridge, and 
I was duly installed with my good old Irish nurse, Mary 



82 CHAPTER IL 

Malone, in the large nursery at the end of the north oorrldor 
— ^the most charming room for a child's abode I have ever seen. 
It was so distant from the regions inhabited by my parents 
that I was at foil liberty to make any amount of noise I 
pleased ; and from the three windows I possessed a commanding 
view of the stable yard, wherein there was always visible an 
enchanting spectacle of dogs, cats, horses, grooms, gardeners, 
and milkmaids. A grand old courtyard it is ; a quadrangle 
about a rood in size surrounded by stables, coach-houses, 
kennels, a laundry, a beautiful dairy, a labourer's room, a paint 
shop, a carpenter's shop, a range of granaries and fruit- 
lofts with a great clock in the pediment in the centre ; 
and a well in the midst of all. Behind the stables and the 
kennels appear the tops of walnut and chestnut trees and over 
the coach-houses on the other side can be seen the beautiful old 
kitchon garden of six acres with its lichen-covered red brick 
walls, backed again by trees ; and its formal straight terraces 
and broad grass walks. 

In this healthful, delightful nursery, and in walks with my 
nurse about the lawns and shrubberies, the first years of my 
happy childhood went by ; fed in body with the freshest milk 
and eggs and fruit, everything best for a child ; and in mind 
supplied only with the simple, sweet lessons of my gentle 
mother. No unwholesome food, physical or moral, was ever 
allowed to come in my way till body and soul had almost 
grown to their full stature. When I compare such a lot as 
this (the common lot, of course, of English girls of the 
richer classes, blessed with good fiEithers and mothers) with 
the case of the hapless young creatures who are fed from 
infancy with insufficient and unwholesome food, perhaps dosed 
with gin and opium from the cradle, and who, even as they 
acquire language, learn foul words, curses and blasphemies, — 
when I compare, I say, my happy lot with the miserable one of 
tens of thousands of my brother men and sister women, I 



CHILDHOOD, as 

feel ai^MJled to reflect, by how different a standard must they 
and I be judged by eternal Justice ! 

In such an infancy the events were few, but I can 
remember with amusement the great exercise of my little 
mind concerning a certain mythical being known as *' Peter." 
The story affords a droll example of the way in which fetishes 
are created among child-minded savages. One day, (as my 
mother long afterwards explained to me), I had been 
hungrily eating a piece of bread and butter out of doors, 
when one of the greyhounds, of which my father kept 
several couples, bounded past me and snatched the bread and 
butter from my little hands. The outcry which I was 
preparing to raise on my loss was suddenly stopped by the 
bystanders judiciously awakening my sympathy in Peter's 
enjoyment, and I was led up to stroke the big dog and make 
friends with him. Seeing how successful was this diversion, 
my nurse thenceforward adopted the practice of seizing 
everything in the way of food, knives, ^., which it was 
undesirable I should handle, and also of shutting objection- 
ably open doors and windows, exclaiming '' O ! Peter ! Peter 
has got it 1 Peter has shut it ! " — as the case might be. 
Accustomed to succumb to this unseen Fate under the name 
of Peter, and soon forgetting the dog, I came to think there 
was an all-powerful, invisible Being constantly behind the 
scenes, and had so far pictured him as distinct from the real 
original Peter that on one occasion when I was taken to vidt 
at some house where there was an odd looking end of a beam 
jutting out under the ceiling, I asked in awe-struck tones : 
<< Mama 1 is that Peter's head % " 

My childhood, though a singularly happy, was an 
unnsuaUy lonely one. My dear mother very soon after I 
was bom became lame from a trifling accident to her ankle 
(ill-treated, unhappily, by the doctors) and she was never 
onoe able in all her life to take a walk with me. Of course 

VOL. X. 



34 CHAPTER 11. 

I was brought to her continually ; first to be nursed, — ^f or she 
fulfilled that sacred duty of motherhood to all her children, 
believing that she could never be so sure of the healthf ulness 
of any other woman's constitution as of her own. Later, I 
seem to my own memory to have been often cuddled up close 
to her on her sofa, or learning my little lessons, mounted on 
my high chair beside her, or repeating the Lord's Prayer at 
her knee. All these memories are infinitely sweet to me. 
Her low, gentle voice, her smile, her soft breast and arms, 
the atmosphere of dignity which always surrounded her, — 
the very odour of her clothes and lace, redolent of dried 
roses, oome back to me after three score years with nothing 
to mar their sweetness. She never once spoke angrily or 
harshly to me in all her life, much less struck or punished 
me ; and I — it is a comfort to think it — never, so far as I can 
recall, disobeyed or seriously vexed her. She had regretted 
my birth, thinking that she could not live to see me grow to 
womanhood, and shrinking from a renewal of the cares of 
motherhood with the additional anxiety of a daughter's 
education. But I believe she soon reconciled herself to my 
existence, and made me, first her pet, and then her companion 
and even her counsellor. She told me, laughingly, how, 
when I was four years old, my father happening to be away 
from home she made me dine with her, and as I sat in great 
state beside her on my little chair I solemnly remarked : 
*' Mama, is it not a very eomflin thing to have a little girl ? " 
an observation which she justly thought went to prove that 
she had betrayed sufficiently to my infantine perspicacity that 
she enjoyed my company at least as much as hers was 
enjoyed by me. 

My nurse who had attended all my brothers, was already 
an elderly woman when recalled to Newbridge to take 
charge of me; and though a dear, kind old soul and an 
excellent nurse, she was naturally not much of a playfellow 



CHILDHOOD, 36 

for a little child, and it was very rarely indeed that I had 
any young visitor in my nursery or was taken to see any of 
•my small neighbours. Thus I was from infancy much 
thrown on my own resources for play and amusement ; and 
from that time to this I have been rather a solitary mortal, 
enjoying above all things lonely walks and studies; and 
always finding my spirits rise in hours and days of isolation. 
I think I may say I have never felt depressed when living 
alone. As a child I have been told I was a very merry little 
chick, with around, fair face and abundance of golden hair ; 
a typical sort of Saxon child. I was subject then and for 
many years after, to furious fits of anger, and on such 
occasions I misbehaved myself exceedingly. '* Nanno '' was 
then wont peremptorily to push me out into the long 
corridor and bolt the nursery door in my face, saying in her 
vernacular, "Ah, then! you hould Puckhawn (audacious 
child of Fuck) ! Til get shut of you ! " I think I feel now 
the hardness of that door against my little toes, as I kicked 
at it in frenzy. Sometimes, when things were very bad 
indeed, Nanno conducted me to the end of the corridor at 
the top of a very long winding stone stair, near the bottom 
of which my father occasionally passed on his way to the 
stables. '' Tes, Sir ! Yes, Sir I She'll be good immadiently. 
Sir, you needn't come upstedrs. Sir ! ** Then, sotto voce^ to 
me, ''Don't ye hear the Masther? Be quiet now, my 
darHnt, or hell come up the stairs 1 " Of course, '' the 
Masther" seldom or never was really within earshot on 
these occasions. Had he been so Nanno would have been 
the last person seriously to invoke his dreaded interference 
in my discipline. But the alarm usually sufficed to reduce 
me to submission. I had plenty of toddling about out of 
doors and sitting in the sweet grass making daisy and dande- 
lion chains, and at home playing with the remnants of my 
brother's Noah's Ark, and a magnificent old baby-house 



36 CHAPTER IL 

which stood in one of the bedrooms, and was so large that I 
can dimly remember climbing up and getting infco the doll's 
drawing-room. 

My fifth birthday was the first milestone on Life's road 
which I can recall. I recollect being brought in the morning 
into my mother's darkened bedroom (she was already then a 
confirmed invalid), and how she kissed and blessed me, and 
gave me childish presents, and also a beautiful emerald ring 
which I still possess, and pearl bracelets which she fastened 
on my little arms. No doubt she wished to make sure that 
whenever she might die these trinkets should be known to be 
mine. She and my father also gave me a Bible and Pmyer 
Book, which I could read quite well, and proudly took next 
Sunday to church for my first attendance, when the solemn 
occasion was much disturbed by a little girl in a pew below 
howling for envy of my white beaver bonnet, displayed in 
the fore-front of the gallery which formed our family seat. 
"Why did little Miss Bobinson cry?" I was deeply 
inquisitive on the subject, having then and always during my 
childhood regarded '* best clothes " with abhorrence. 

Two years later my grandmother, having bestowed on me, 
at Bath, a sky-blue silk pelisse, I managed nefariously to 
tumble down on purpose into a gutter full of melted snow 
the first day it was put on, so as to be permitted to resume 
my little cloth coat. 

Now, aged five, I was emancipated from the nursery and 
allowed to dine thenceforward at my parents^ late dinner, 
while my good nurse was settled for the rest of her days in a 
pretty ivy-covered cottage with large garden, at the end of 
the shrubbery. She lived there for several years with an old 
woman for servant, who I can well remember, but who must 
have been of great age, for she had been under-dairymaid to 
my great great-grandfather, the Archbishop, and used to tell 
us stories of '< old times." This ''old Ally's" great grand- 



CHILDHOOD, ar 

children were still living, recently, in the family service in the 
same cottage which poor " Nanno '' occupied. AUj was the 
last wear^ of the real old Irish scarlet doak in our part of 
the country ; and I can rememher admiring it greatly when 
I used to run by her side and help her to carry her bundle of 
sticks. Since those days, even the long blue frieze cloak 
which succeeded universally to the scarlet — a most comfort- 
able, decent, and withal graceful peasant garment, very like 
the blue cotton one of the Arab fellah-women — ^has itself 
nearly or totally disappeared in Fingal. 

On the retirement of my nurse, the charge of my little 
person was committed to my mother's maid and housekeeper, 
Martha Jones. She came to my mother a blooming girl of 
eighteen, and she died of old age and sorrow when I left 
Newbridge at my father^s death half-a-century afterwards. 
She was a fine, fair, broad-shouldered woman, with a certain 
refinement above her class. Her father had been an 
officer in the army, and she was educated (not very 
extensively) at some little school in Dublin where her 
particular friend was Moore's (the poet's) sister. She used 
to teil us how Moore as a lad was always contriving to get 
into the school and romping with the girls. The legend has 
sufficient verisimilitude to need no confirmation ! 

'' Joney " was indulgence itself, and under her mild sway, 
and with my mother for instructress in my little lessons of 
spelling and geography, Mrs. Barbauld, Dr. Watts and Jane 
Taylor, I was as happy a little animal as well might be. 
One day being allowed as usual to play on the grass before 
the drawing-room windows I took it into my head that I 
should dearly like to go and pay a visit to my nurse at her 
cottage at the end of the shrubbery. '^ Joney" had taken 
me there more than once, but still the mile-long shrubbery, 
some of it very dark with fir trees and great laurels, com- 
plicated with crossing walks, and containing two or three 



as CHAPTER II. 

alarming shelter-huts and Umndlea (which I long after 
regarded with awe), was a tremendous pilgrimage to 
encounter alone. After some hesitation I set off ; ran as 
long as I could, and then with panting chest and beating 
heart, went on, daring not to look to right or left, till 
(after ages as it seemed to me) I reached the little window 
of my nurse's house in the ivy wall ; and set up — loud 
enough no doubt — a call for '' Nanno ! " The good soul 
could not believe her eyes when she found me alone but, 
hugging me in her arms, brought me back as fast as she 
could to my distracted mother who had, of course, discovered 
my evasion. Two years later, when I was seven years old, 
I was naughty enough to run away again, this time in the 
streets of Bath, in company with a hoop, and the Town 
Crier was engaged to ''cry" me, but I found my way 
home at last alone. How curiously vividly silly little 
incidents like these stand out in the misty memory of child- 
hood, like objects suddenly perceived close to us in a fog ! I 
seem now, after sixty years, to see my nurse's little brown 
figure and white kerchief, as she rushed out and caught her 
stray *' darlint ^ in her arms ; and also I see a dignified, 
gouty gentleman leaning on his stick, parading the broad 
pavement of Bath Crescent, up whose whole person my 
misguided and muddy hoop went bounding in my second 
escapade. I ought to apologise perhaps to the reader for 
narrating such trivial incidents, but they have left a charm 
in my memory. 

At seven I was provided with a nursery governess, and my 
dear mother's lessons came to an end. So gentle and sweet 
had they been that I have loved ever since everything she 
taught me, and have a vivid recollection of the old map book 
from whence she had herself learned Geography, and of Mrs. 
Trimmer's Histories, ^^ Sacred** and ^^Frofcme** ; not for- 
getting the almost incredibly bad accompanying voli^mes of 



CHILDHOOD. 39 

woodcuts with poor Eli a complete smudge and Sesostris 
driving the nine kings (with their crowns, of course) 
harnessed to his chariot. Who would have dreamed we 
should now possess photos of the mummy of the real 
Sesostris (Bameses 11.), who seemed then quite as mythical 
a personage as Polyphemus? To remember the hideous 
aberrations of Art which then illustrated books for children, 
and compare them to the exquisite pictures in '* Lit&e FolkSf" 
is to realise one of the many changes the world has seen 
since my childhood. Mrs. Trimmer's books cost, I remember 
being told, ten shiUinga a-piecel My governess Miss 
Kinnear's lessons, though not very severe (our old doctor, 
bless him for it ! solemnly advised that I should never be 
called on to study after twelve o'clock), were far from being 
as attractive as those of my mother, and as soon as I learned 
to write, I drew on the gravel walk this, as I conceived, 
deeply touching and impressive sentence : '' Lessons t Thou 
iyramt of ike mind / " I could not at all understand my 
mother's hilarity over this inscription, which proved so 
convincingly my need, at all events of those particular 
lessons of which Lindley Murray was the author. I envied 
the peacock who could sit all day in the sun, and who ate 
bowls-full of the griddlebread of which I was so fond ; and 
never was expected to learn anything ? Poor bird, he came 
to a sad end. A dog terrified him one day and he took a 
great flight and was observed to go into one of the tall limes 
near the house but was never seen alive again. When the 
leaves fell in the autumn the rain-washed feathers and 
skeleton of poor Pe-ho were found wedged in a fork of the 
tree. He had met the fate of '^ Lost Sir Massingberd." 

Some years later, my antipathy to lessons having not at 
all diminished, I read a book which had just appeared, and 
of which all the elders of the house were talking, Keith's 
Signs of the Times. In this work, as I remember, it was set 



40 CHAPTER IL 

forth that a " Vial ** was shortly to he emptied into or near 
the Euphrates, after which the end of the world was to 
follow immediately. The writer aocordingly warned his 
readers that they would soon hear startling news from the 
Euphrates. From that time I persistently inquired of 
anyhody whom I saw reading the newspaper (a small sheet 
which in the Thirties only came three times a week) or who 
seemed well-informed about public affairs, " What news was 
there from the Euphrates 9 " The singular question at last 
called forth the inquiry, '* Why I wanted to know 1 " and I 
was obliged to confess that I was hoping for the emptying of 
the ''Vial" which would put an end to my sums and 
spelling lessons. 

My seventh year was spent with my parents at -Bath, 
where we had a house for the winter in James' Square, 
where brothers and cousins came for the holidays, and in 
London, where I well remember going with my mother to see 
the Diorama in the Colosseum in Begent's Park, of St. 
Peter's, and a Swiss Cottage, and the statues of Tam o' 
Shanter and his wife (which I had implored her to be allowed 
to see, having imagined them to be living ogres) and vainly 
entreating to be taken to see the Siamese Twins. This last 
longing, however, was gratified just thirty years afterwards. 
We travelled back to Ireland, posting all the way to 
Holyhead by the then new high road through Wales and 
over the Menai Bridge. My chief recollection of the long 
journey is humiliating. A box of Shrewsbury cakes, exactly 
like those now sold in the town, was bought for me in sitUy 
and I was told to bring it over to Ireland to give to my little 
cousin Charley. I was pleased to give the cakes to Charley, 
bat then Charley was at the moment far away, and the cakes 
were always at hand in the carriage; and the road was 
tedious and the cakes delicious; and so it came to pass 
somehow that I broke off first a little bit, and then another 



CHILDHOOD. 41 

day a larger bit, till cake after cake vanished, and with 
sorrow and shame I was obliged to present the empty box to 
Charley on my arrival. Greediness alas! has been a 
besetting sin of mine all my life. 

This Charley was a dear little boy, and about this date 
was occasionally my companion. His father, my uncla, 
was Captain William Cobbe, RN., who had fought under 
Nelson, and at the end of the war, married and took 
a house near Newbridge, where he acted as my father's 
agent. He was a fine, brave fellow, and much beloved 
by every one. One day, long after his sudden, untimely 
death, we heard from a coastguardsman who had been 
a sailor in his ship, that he had probably caught the 
disease of which he died in the performance of a gallant 
action, of which he had never told any one, even his wife. A 
man had fallen overboard from his ship one bitterly cold 
night in the northern seas near Copenhagen. My uncle, on 
hearing what had happened, jumped from his warm berth 
and plunged into the sea, where he succeeded in rescuing the 
sailor, but in doing so caught a dull which eventually 
shortened his days. He had five children, the eldest being 
Charley, some months younger than I. When my uncle 
came over to see his brother and do business, Charley, as he 
grew old enough to take the walk, was often allowed to come 
with him ; and great was my enjoyment of the unwonted 
pleasure of a young companion. Considerably greater, I 
believe, than that of my mother and governess, who justly 
dreaded the escapades which our fertile little brains rarely 
failed to devise. We climbed over everything dimbable by 
aid of the arrangement that Charley always mounted on my 
strong shoulders and then helped me up. One day my 
father said to us : '^Children, there is a savage bull come, 
you must take care not to go near him." Charley and I looked 
at each other and mutually understood, The neict moment wo 



42 CHAPTER II. 

were alone we whispered, '' We must get some hairs of his 
tail ! " and away we scampered till we found the new bull in a 
shed in the cow-yard. Valiantly we seized the tail, and as the 
bull fortunately paid no attention to his Lilliputian foes, we 
escaped in triumph with the hair& Another time, a lovely 
April evening, I remember we were told it was damp, 
and that we must not go out of the house. We had dis- 
covered, however, a door leading out upon the roof, — and we 
agreed that ^^on^* the house could not properly be considered 
'* ovi '' of the house ; and very soon we were clambering up 
the slates, and walking along the parapet at a height of 
fifty or sixty feet from the ground. My mother, passing 
through one of the halls, observed a group of servants looking 
up in evident alarm and making signs to us to come down. 
As quickly as her feebleness permitted she climbed to our door 
of exit, and called to us over the roofs. Charley and I felt 
like Adam and Eve on the fatal evening after they had eaten 
the apple ! After dreadful moments of hesitation we came 
down and received the solemn rebuke and condemnation we 
deserved. It was not a veiy severe chastisement allotted to 
us, though we considered it such. We were told that the 
game of Pope Joan, promised for the evening, should not be 
played. That was the severest, if not the only punishment, 
my mother ever inflicted on me. 

On rainy days when Charley and I were driven to amuse 
ourselves in the great empty rooms and corridors upstairs, 
we were wont to discuss profound problems of theology. I 
remember one conclusion relating thereto at which we 
unanimously arrived. Both of us bore the name of *' Power" 
as a second name, in honour of our grandmother Anne 
Trench's mother, Fanny Power of Coreen. On this circum- 
stance we founded the certainty that we should both go to 
Heaven, because we heard it said in church| " The Heavens 
and qll the Pow€T8 thereiiju 



CHILDHOOD. 43 

Alas poor '' Little Charley " as eyerybody called him, after 
growing to be a fine six-foot fellow, and a very popular oflScer, 
died sadly while still young, at the Gape. 

In those early days, let us say about my tenth year, and 
for long afterwards, it was my father's habit to fill his house 
with all the offshoots of the family at Christmas, and with a 
good many of them for the Midsummer holidays, when my 
two eldest brothers and the youngest came home from 
Charterhouse and Oxford, and the third from Sandhurst. 
These brothers of mine were kind, dear lads, always gentle 
and petting to their little sister, who was a mere baby when 
they were schoolboys, and of course never really a companion 
to them. I recollect they once tried to teach me Cricket, and 
straightway knocked me over with a ball ; and then carried 
me, all four in tears and despair, to our mother thinking 
they had broken my ribs. I was very fond of them, and 
thought a great deal about their holidays, but naturally in 
early years saw very little of them. 

Beside my brothers, and generally coming to Newbridge at 
the same holiday seasons, there was a regiment of young 
cousins, male and female. My mother's only brother. 
Adjutant General Conway, had five children, all of whom 
were practically my father's wards during the years of their 
education at Haileybury and in a ladies' boarding-school in 
London. Then, beside my father's youngest brother 
William's family of five, of whom I have already spoken, 
his next eldest brother, George, of the Horse Artillery (Lieut. 
Greneral Cobbe in his later years), had five more, and 
finally the third brother, Thomas, went out to India in his 
youth as aide-de-camp to his cousin, the Marquis of Hastings, 
held several good appointments (at Moorshedabad and 
elsewhere), married and had ten children, (all of whom 
pafised into my father's charge) and finally died, poor 
fellow! on his voyage home from India, after thirty 



44 CHAPTER 11. 

years' abeenoe. Thus there were, in fact, inchiding his own 
children, thirty young people more or less my father's wards, 
and all of them looking to Newbridge as the place where 
holidays were naturally spent, and to my father's not very 
long purse as the resource for everybody in emergencies. 
One of them, indeed, carried this view of the case rather 
unfortunately far. A gentleman visiting us, happening to 
mention that he had lately been to Malta, we naturally asked 
him if he had met a young officer of our name quartered 
there 1 " Oh dear, yes ! a delightful fellow ! All the ladies 
adore him. He gives charming picnics, and gets nosegays 
for them all from Naples." '' I am afraid he can scarcely 
afford that soH of thing," someone timidly observed. '' Oh, 
he says," replied the visitor, ''that he has an old unde 
somewhere who Ckxxl Lord! I am afraid I have 

put my foot in it," abruptly concluded our friend, noticing 
the looks exchanged round the circle. 

My father's brother Henry, my god-father, died early and 
unmarried. He was Hector of Templeton, and was very 
intimate with his neighbours there, the Edgeworths and 
Granards. The greater part of the library at Newbridge, as 
it was in my time, had been collected by him, and included 
an alarming proportion of divinity. The story of his life 
might serve for such a novel as his friend, Miss Edgeworth, 
would have written and entitled '' FrocraatiruUion" He was 
much attached for a long time to a charming Miss Lindsay, 
who was quite willing to accept his hand, had he offered it. 
My poor uncle, however, continued to flirt and dangle and to 
postpone any definite declaration, till at last the girl's mother 
— ^who, I rather believe, was a Lady Charlotte Lindsay, well 
known in her generation — ^told her that a conclusion must be 
put to this sort of thing. She would invite Mr. Oobbe to 
their house for a fortnight, and during that time every 
opportunity should be afforded him of making a proposal in 



CHILDHOOD. 46 

form, if he should be so mmded. If, however, at the end of 
this probation, he had said nothing, Miss Lindsay was to 
give him up, and he was to be allowed no more chances of 
addressing her. The visit was paid, and nothing could be 
more agreeable or devoted than my uncle ; but he did not 
propose to Miss Lindsay 1 The days passed, and as the end 
of the allotted time drew near, the lady innocently arranged 
a few walks en tHe-dt-tite, and talked in a manner which 
afforded him every opportunity of saying the words which 
seemed always on the tip of his tongue. At last the final day 
arrived. " My dear," said Lady Charlotte (if such was the 
mother^s name) to her daughter, " I shall go out with the 
rest of the party for the whole day and leave you and Mr. 
Gobbe together. When I return, it must be decided one way 
or the other." 

The hours fiew in pleasant and confidential talk — still no 
proposal ! Miss Lindsay, who knew that the final minutes 
of grace were passing for her unconscious lover, once more 
despairingly tried, being really attached to him, to make 
him say something which she could report to her mother. 
As he afterwards averred he was on the very brink of asking 
her to marry him when he caught the sound of her mother's 
carriage returning to the door, and said to himself, *^ I'll wait 
for another opportunity." 

The opportunity was never granted to him. Lady 
Oharlotte gave him his congi very peremptorily next morning. 
My undo was furious, and in despair ; but it was too late I 
like other disappointed men he went off rashly, and almost 
immediately engaged himself (with no delay this time) to 
Miss Flora Long of Bood Ashton, Wiltshire, a lady of 
considerable fortune and attractions and of excellent con- 
nections, but of such exceedingly rigid piety of the 
CaWinistic type of the period, that I believe my uncle was 
•OOQ fairly afraid of his promised brida At all events his 



46 CHAPTER II. 

procrastinations began afresh. He remained at Templeton 
on one excuse after another, till Miss Long wrote to ask ; 
'* Whether he wished to keep their engagement % " My poor 
uncle was nearly driven now to the wall, but his health was 
bad and might prove his apology for fresh delays. Before 
replying to his Flora, he went to Dublin and consulted Sir 
Philip Crampton. After detailing his ailments, he asked 
what he ought to do, hoping (I am afraid) that the great 
surgeon would say, '' O you must keep quiet ! '' Instead of 
this verdict Crampton said, **Go and get married by all 
means!" No further excuse was possible, and my poor 
uncle wrote to say he was on his way to daim his 
brida Ere he reached her, however, while stopping at 
his mother^s house in Bath, he was found dead in his 
bed on the morning on which he should have gone 
to Hood Ashton. He must have expired suddenly whOe 
reading a good little book. AU this happened somewhere 
about 1823. 

To return to our old life at Newbridge, about 1833 and 
for many years afterwards, the assembling of my father's 
brothers, and brothers' wives and children at Christmas was 
the great event of the year in my almost solitaiy childhood. 
Often a party of twenty or more sat down every day for 
three or four weeks together in the dining-room, and we 
younger ones naturally spent the short days and long 
evenings in boyish and girlish sports and play. Certain 
very noisy and romping games — Blindman's buff. Prisoner's 
Bass, Giant, and Puss in the Corner and Hunt the Hare — 
as we played them through the halls below stairs, and the 
long corridors and rooms above, still appear to me as among 
the most delightful things in a world which was then all 
delight. As we grew a little older and my dear, clever 
brother Tom came home from Oxford and Germany, 
charades and plays and masquerading and dancing came into 



J 



CHILDHOOD. 47 

fashion. In short ours was, for the time, like other large 
oountry-houses, full of happy young people, with the high 
spirits common in those old days. The rest of the year, 
except during the summer vacation, when brothers and 
cousins mustered again, the place was singularly quiet, and 
my life strangely solitary for a child. Very early I made a 
eonoordfU with each of my four successive governesses, that 
when lessons were ended, precisely at twelve, I was free to 
wander where I pleased about the park and woods, to row the 
boat on the pond or ride my pony on the sands of the sea- 
shore two miles from the house. I was not to be expected to 
have any concern with my instructress outside the doors. 
The arrangement suited them, of course, perfectly ; and my 
childhood was thus mainly a lonely one. I was so uniformly 
happy that I was (what I suppose few children are) quite 
conscious of my own happiness. I remember often thinking 
whether other children were all as happy as I, and some- 
times, especially on a spring morning of the 18th March, — ^my 
mother's birthday, when I had a holiday, and used to make 
coronets of primroses and violets for her, — ^I can recall 
walking along the grass walks of that beautiful old garden 
and feeling as if everything in the world was perfect, and 
my life complete bliss for which I could never thank God 
enough. 

When the weather was too bad to spend my leisure hours 
out of doors I plunged into the library at haphazard, often 
making " discovery " of books of which I had never been 
told, but which, thus found for myself, were doubly 
precious. Never shall I forget thus falling by chance on 
KMa Khan in its first pamphlet-shape. I also gloated over 
Southey's Cwtm of Kehamay and The Cid and Scott's earlier 
works. My mother did very wisely, I think, to allow me 
thus to rove over the shelves at my own will. By degrees a 
genuine appetite for reading awoke in me, and I became a 



48 CHAPTER IL 

studious gir], as I shall presently describe. Beside the 
library, however, I had a play-house of my own for wet days. 
There were, at that time, two garrets only in the house (the 
bed-rooms having all lofty coved ceilings), and these two 
garrets, over the lobbies, were altogether disused. I took 
possession of them, and kept the keys lest anybody should pry 
into them, and truly they must have been a remarkable sight I 
On the sloping roofs I pinned the eyes of my peacock's feathers 
in the relative positions of the stars of the chief constellations ; 
one of my hobbies being Astronomy. On another wall I 
fastened a rack full of carpenter^s tools, which I could use 
pretty deftly on the bench beneath. The principal wall was 
an armoury of old court-swords, and home-made pikes, 
decorated with green and white flags (I was an Irish patriot 
at that epoch), sundry javelins, bows and arrows, and a 
magnificently painted shield with the family arms. On the 
floor of one room was a collection of shells from the neigh- 
bouring shore, and lastly there was a table with pens, ink 
and paper ; implements wherewith I perpetrated, inter oMa, 
several poems of which I can just recall one. The motif oi 
the story was obviously borrowed from a stanza in Moore's 
Irish Melodies. Even now I do not think the verses very 
bad for 12 or 13 years old. 

THE FISHERMAN OP LOUGH NEAGH. 

The autamn wind was roarlDg high 

And the tempest laved in the midnight sky, 

When the fisherman's father sank to rest 

And left O'Nial the last and best 

Of a race of kings who once held sway 

From fiir Fingal to dark Lough Neagh.* 

The morning shone and the fisherman's bark 
Was wafted o'er those waters dark. 



• Pronounoad «• Lock Nay." 



O&ILLHOOD. 49 

And he thought as he sailed of his father's name 

Of the kings of Erin's ancient fame, 

Of days when 'neath those waters green 

The hanners of Kial were ever seen, 

And where the Knights of the Blood-Bed-Trce 

Had held of old their revelry ; 

And where O'NiaJ's race alone 

Had sat upon the regal throne. 

"While the fisherman thought of the days of old 
The son had left the western sky 
And the moon had risen a lamp of gold, 
Ere O'Nial deemed that the eve was nigh, 
He turned his hoat to the mountain side 
And it darted away o'er the rippling tide ; 
Like arrow from an Indian bow 
Shot o'er the waves the glancing prow. 

The fisherman saw not the point beneath 

"Which beckoned him on to instant death. 

It struck — ^yet he shrieked not, although his blood 

Ban chill at the thought of that fatal flood ; 

And the voice of O'Nial was silent that day 

As he sank 'neath the waters of dark Lough Neagh^ 

Like when Adam rose from the dust of earth 
And felt the joy of his glorious birth. 
And where'er he gazed, and where'er he trod, 
He felt the presence and smile of God, — 
Like the breath of morning to him who long 
Has ceased to hear the warblers' song, 
And who, in the chamber of death hath lain 
With a sickening heart and a burning brain ; 
So rushed the joy through O'Nial's mind 
When the waters dark above him joined, 
And he felt that Heaven had made him be 
A spirit of light and eternity. . 

He gazed around, but his dazzled sight 
Saw not the spot from whence he fell, 
For beside him rose a spire so bright 
No mortal tongue could its splendours tell 
Nor human eye endure its light. 

yoL. I. <* 



60 CHAPTER IL 

And he looked and saw that pillars of gold 

The crystal colnmn did proadly hold ; 

And he turned and walked in the light blao sea 

Upon a silver balcony, 

Which rolled around the spire of light 

And laid on the golden piUars bright. 

Descending from the pillars high, 
He passed throngh portals of ivory 
E'en to the hall of living gold 
The palace of the kings of old. 
The harp of Erin sounded high 
And the crotal joined the melody, 
And the voice of happy spirits round 
Prolonged and harmonized the sound* 

" All hail, 0*Nial ! "— 

and so on, and so on I I wrote a great deal of this sort of 
thing then and for a few years afterwards ; and of coarse, 
like everyone else who has ever been given to waste paper and 
ink, I tried my hand on a tragedy. I had no real power or 
originality, only a little Fancy perhaps, and a dangerous facility 
for flowing versification. After a time my early ambition 
to become a Poet died out nnder the terrible bard mental 
strain and very serious study through which I passed in 
seeking religious faith. But I have always passionately loved 
poetry of a certain kind, specially that of Shelley; and 
perhaps some of my prose writings have been the better for my 
early efforts to cultivate harmony and for my delight in good 
similes. This last propensity is even now very strong in me, 
and whenever I write con anvore^ comparisons and metaphors 
come tumbling out of my head, till my difficulty is to exclude 
juixed ones 1 

My education at this time was of a simple kind. After 
Miss Einnear left us to marry, I had another nursery 
governess, a good creature properly entitled "Miss Daly, 
hut called by my profane brothers, " the Daily Nuisance. 



fi 



/ 



OHTLDHOOD. 51 

After her came a real governess, the daughter of a bankrapt 
Liverpool merchant who made my life a bnrden with her 
strict discipline and her " I-have-seen-better-days " airs; 
and who, at last, I detected in a trick which to me appeared 
one of unparalleled tnrpitadel She had asked me to let her 
read something which I had written in a copy-book and I had 
peremptorily declined to obey her request, and had looked ap 
my papers in my beloved little writing-desk which my dear 
brother Tom had bought for me out of his school-boy's 
pocket money. The keys of this desk I kept with other 
things in one of the old-fashioned pockets which everybody 
then wore, and which formed a separate article of 
under clothing. This pocket my maid naturally placed at 
night on the chair beside my little bed, and the curtains 
of the bed being drawn. Miss W. no doubt after a time 
concluded I was asleep and cautiously approached the chair 
on tiptoe. As it happened I was wide awake, having 
at that time the habit of repeating certain hymns and 
other religious things to myself before I went to sleep ; and 
when I perceived through the white curtain the shadow of 
my governess close outside, and then heard the slight jingle 
made by my keys as she abstracted them from my pocket, I 
felt as if I were witness of a crime t Anything so base I 
had never dreamed as existing outside story books of 
wicked children. Drawing the curtain I could see that 
Miss W. had gone with her candle into the inner room 
(one of the old << powdering closets " attached to all the 
rooms in Newbridge) and was busy with the desk which 
lay on the table therein. Very shortly I heard the desk 
dose again with an angry click, — and no wonder I Poor 
Miss W., who no doubt fancied she was going to detect 
her strange pupil in some particular naughtiness, found the 
MS. in the desk, to consist of solemn religious '' Reflections,'* 
in the style of Mrs. Trimmer ; and of a poetical descripffoc 



68 CHAPTER IL 

(in round hand) of the hast Judgment! My governess 
replaced the bunch of keys in my pocket and noiselessly 
withdrew, but it was long before I could sleep for sheer 
horror ; and next day I, of course, confided to my mother the 
terrible incident. Nothing, I think, was said to Miss W. 
about it, but she was very shortly afterwards allowed to 
return to her beloved Liverpool, where, for all I know, she 
may be living stiU. 

My fourth and last governess was a remarkable woman, a 
Mdlle. Montriou, a person of considerable force of character, 
and in many respects an admirable teacher. With her I read 
a good deal of solid history, beginning with BoUin and going 
on to Plutarch and Gibbon ; also some modem historians. 
She further taught me systematically a scheme of chronology 
and royal successions, till I had an amount of knowledge of 
such things which I afterwards found was not shared by any 
of my schoolfellows. She had the excellent sense also to 
allow me to use a considerable part of my lesson hours with 
a map-book before me, asking her endless questions on all 
things connected with the various countries ; and as she was 
extremely well and widely informed, this was almost the best 
part of my instruction. I became really interested in these 
studies, and also in the great poets, French and English, to 
whom she introduced me. Of course my governess taught 
me music, including what was then called Thorough Bass, and 
now Harmony ; but very little of the practical part of perform* 
ance could I leam then or at any time. Independently of her, 
I read every book on Astronomy which I could lay hold of, 
aad I well remember the excitement wherewith I waited for 
years for the appearance of the Comet of 1885, which one of 
these books had foretold. At last a report reached me that 
the village tailor had seen the comet the previous night. Of 
course I scanned the -sky with renewed ardour, and thought I 
had discovered the desired objt^ci iu a misty-looking star of 



I 
/ 



CHILDHOOD. 58 

which my planisphere gave no notice. My father however 
pooh-poohed this bold h3rpothesis, and I was fain to wait till 
the next night. Then, as soon as it was dark, I ran up to a 
window whence I could command the constellation wherein 
the comet was bomid to show itself. A small hazy star — and a 
Umg train of light from it — greeted my enchanted eyes ! My 
limbs could hardly bear me as I tore downstairs into the 
drawing-room, nor my voice publish the triumphant intelli- 
gence, '< It is the comet 1 '* '' It Aa« a tail ! " Everybody (in 
far too leisurely a way as I considered) wont up and saw it, 
and confessed that the comet it certainly must be, with that 
appendage of the tail 1 Few events in my long life have 
caused me such delightful excitement. This was in 1835. 



CHAPTBB 



ni. 



SCHOOL AND AFTBR 



CHAPTER m. 
School and Afteb. 

Wren my father, in 1886, had decided, by my governess's 
advice, to send me to school, my dear mother, though ahready 
old and feeble, made the jonmey, long as it was in those 
days, from Ireland to Brighton to see for herself where I 
was to be placed, and to invoke the kindness of my school- 
mistresses for me. We sailed to Bristol — a 80 honrs' 
passage nsaally, but sometimes longer, — and then travelled 
by postchaises to Brighton, taking, I think, three da3rs on 
the road and visiting Stonehenge by the way, to my mother's 
great delight. My eldest brother, then at Oxford, attended 
her and acted conrier. When we came in sight of Brighton 
the lamps were lighted along the long perspective of the 
shore. Gas was still sufficiently a novelty to cause this 
sight to be immensely impressive to us all. 

Next day my mother took me to my future tyrants, and 
fondly bargained (as she was paying enormously) that I 
should have sundry indulgences, and principally a bedroom to 
myself. A room was shown to her with only one small bed 
in it, and this she was told would be mine. When I went to 
it next night, heart broken after her departure, I found that 
another bed had been put up, and a schoolfellow was already 
asleep in it. I flung myself down on my knees by my own 
and cried my heart out, and was accordingly reprimanded 
next morning before the whole school for having been seen 
to cry at my prayers.* 

* Port of the following description -of my own and my mother's 
■chool appeared some years ago in a periodioal, now, I believe, 
eoEtinot. 



58 CHAPTER 111. 

The edaoaiion of women was probably at its lowest ebb 
about half-a-oentmy ago. It was at that period more pre- 
tentions than it had ever been before, and infinitely more 
costly than it is now ; and it was likewise more shallow and 
senseless than can easily be believed. To inspire young 
women with due gratitude for their present privileges, won 
for them by my contemporaries, I can think of nothing better 
than to acquaint them with some of the features of school- 
life in England in the days of their mothers I say advisedly 
the days of their mothers, for in those of their grandmothers, 
things were by no means equally bad. There was much less 
pretence and more genuine instruction, so far as it extended. 

For a moment let us, however, go back to these earlier 
grandmothers' schools, say those of the year 1790 or there- 
abouts. From the reports of my own mother, and of a 
friend whose mother was educated in the same place, I can 
accurately describe a school which flourished at that date in 
the fashionable region of Queen Square, Bloomsbury. The 
mistress was a certain Mrs. Devis, who must have been a 
woman of ability for she published a very good little English 
Grammar for the express use of her pupils ; aJso a Geography, 
and a capital book of maps, which possessed the inestimable 
advantage of recording only those towns, cities, rivers, and 
mountsuns which were mentioned in the Geography, and not 
confusing the mind (as maps are too apt to do) with extraneous 
and superfluous towns and hiUs. I speak with personal 
gratitude of those venerable books, for out of them chiefly I 
obtained such inklings of Geography as have sufficed generally 
for my wants through life ; the only disadvantage they entailed 
being a firm impression, still rooted in my mind, that there is a 
<< Kingdom of Poland " somewhere about the middle of Europe. 

Beside Grammar and Geography and a very fEur share of 
history ('< Ancient" derived from BoUin, and "Sacred*' 
from Mrs. Trimmer), the young ladies at Mrs. DeVis' school 



SOHOOL AND AFTER. 69 

learned to speak and read French with a very good aecent, 
and to play the harpsichord with taste, if not with a very 
learned appreciation of '^ severe " mnsic. The '' Battle of 
Prague" and Hook's Sonatas were, I helieve, their 
culminating achievements. But it was not considered in 
those times that packing the brains of girls with facts, or 
even teaching their fingers to run over the ke3rs of instru- 
ments, or to handle pen and pencil, was the Alpha and 
Omega of education. William of Wykeham's motto. 
« Manners makyth Manne," was understood to hold good 
emphatically concerning the making of Woman. The abrupt 
speaking, courtesy-neglecting, slouching, slangy young 
damsel who may now perhaps carry off the glories of a 
University degree, would have seemed to Mrs. Devis still 
needing to be taught the very rudiments of feminine know- 
ledge. '^ Decorum" (delightful word! the very sound of 
which brings back the smell of Mar^hale powder) was the 
imperative law of a lady's inner life as well as of her 
outward habits ; and in Queen Square nothing that was not 
decorous was for a moment admitted. Every movement of 
the body in entering and quitting a room, in taking a seat 
and rising from it, was duly criticised. There was kept, in 
the back premises, a carriage taken off the wheels, and 
propped up en permanence^ for the purpose of enabling the 
young ladies to practise ascending and descending with calm- 
ness and grace, and without any unnecessary display of their 
ankles. Every girl was dressed in the full fashion of the 
day. My mother, like all her companions, wore hair-powder 
and rouge on her cheeks when she entered the school a 
blooming girl of fifteen ; that excellent rouge at five guineas 
a pot, which (as she explained to me in later years) did not 
spoil the complexion like ordinary compounds, and which I 
ean witness really left a beautiful, clear skin when disused 
thirty years afterwards. 



60 OB AFTER III. 

Beyond these matters of fashion, however, — so droll now 
to remember, — ^there must have been at Mrs. Devis' 
seminary a great deal of careful training in what may be 
called the great Art of Society ; the art of properly paying 
and receiving visits, of saluting acquaintances in the street 
and drawing-room; and of writing letters of compliment. 
When I recall the type of perfect womanly gentleness and 
high breeding which then and there was formed, it seems to 
me as if, in comparison, modem manners are all rough and 
brusque. We have graceful women in abundance still, but 
the peculiar old-fashioned suavity, the tact which made 
everybody in a company happy and at ease, — ^most of all the 
humblest individual present, — and which at the same time 
effectually prevented the most audacious from transgressing 
Us biemiances by a hair ; of that suavity and tact we seem 
to have lost the tradition. 

The great Bloomsbury school, however, passed away at 
length, good Mrs. Devis having departed to the land where I 
trust the Rivers of Paradise formed part of her new study of 
Geography. Nearly half-a-century later, when it came to 
my turn to receive education, it was not in London but in 
Brighton that the ladies' schools most in estimation were to be 
found. There were even then (about 1886) not less than a 
hundred such establishments in the town, but that at 
No. 82, Brunswick Terrace, of which Miss Bunciman and 
Miss Roberts were mistresses, and which had been founded 
some time before by a celebrated Miss Poggi, was supposed 
to be nee plurUms impar. It was, at all events, the most 
outrageously expensive, the nominal tariff of £120 or £180 
per annum representing scarcely a fourth of the charges for 
*' extras " which actually appeared in the bills of many of 
the pupils. My own, I know, amounted to £1,000 for two 
years' schooling. 

I shall write of this school quite frankly, since the two 



SOitUOL AND AFTER. 61 

poor ladieSy well-meaning bnt very nnwise, to whom it 
belonged have been dead for nearly thirty years, and it can 
hurt nobody to record my conviction that a better system 
than theirs could scarcely have been devised had it been 
designed to attain the maximum of cost and labour and the 
minimnm of solid results. It was the typical Higher Educa- 
tion of the period, carried out to the extreme of expenditure 
and high pressure. 

Profane persons were apt to describe our school as a 
Convent, and to refer to the back door of our garden, whence 
we issued on our dismal diurnal walks, as the *' postern." 
If we in any degree resembled nuns, however, it was 
assuredly not those of either a Contemplative or Silent 
Order. The din of our large double schoolrooms was some- 
thing frightful. Sitting in either of them, four pianos might 
be heard going at once in rooms above and around us, while 
at numerous tables scattered about the rooms there were 
girls reading aloud to the governesses and reciting lessons in 
English, French, German, and Italian. This hideous 
clatter continued the entire day tiU we went to bed at 
night, there being no time whatever allowed for recreation, 
unless the dreary hour of walking with our teachers 
(when we recited our verbs), could so be described 
by a fantastic imagination. In the midst of the uproar 
we were obliged to write our exercises, to compose 
our themes, and to commit to memory whole pages 
of prose. On Saturday afternoons, instead of play, there 
was a terrible ordeal generally known as the *^ Judgment 
Day." The two school-mistresses sat side by side, solemn 
and stem, at the head of the long table. Behind them sat 
all the governesses as Assessors. On the table were the 
books wherein our evil deeds of the week were recorded ; 
and round the room against the wall, seated on stools of 
penitential discomfort, we sat, five-and-twenty '* damosels," 



62 CHAPTER III. 

aii3rthmg bat '' Blessed," expecting our sentences according 
to onr ill-deserts. It must be explained that the fiendish 
ingennity of some teacher had invented for onr torment a 
system of imaginary " cards/' which we were supposed to 
" lose " (though we never gained any) whenever we had not 
finished all our various lessons and practisings every night 
before bed-time, or whenever we had been given the mark 
for ''stooping/' or had been impertinent, or had been 
*' turned " in our lessons, or had been marked " P " by 
the music master, or had been convicted of " disorder " 
(«.^., having our long shoe-strings untied), or, lastly, had 
told lies I Any one crime in this heterogeneous list entailed 
the same penalty*, namely, the sentence, " You have lost your 
card. Miss So-and-so, for such and such a thing ; " and when 
Saturday came round, if three cards had been lost in the 
week, the law wreaked its justice on the unhappy sinner's 
head t Her confession having been wrung from her at the 
awful judgment-seat above described, and the books having 
been consulted, she was solemnly scolded and told to sit in 
the comer for the rest of the evening ! An3rthing more 
ridiculous than the scene which followed can hardly be 
conceived. I have seen (after a week in which a sort of 
feminine barring-out had taken place) no less than nine young 
ladies obliged to sit for hours in the angles of the three 
rooms, like naughty babies, with their faces to the wall; 
half of them being quite of marriageable age, and all dressed, 
as was ds rigueur with us every day, in fidl evening attire 
of silk or muslin, with gloves and kid slippers. Naturally, 
Saturday evenings, instead of affording some relief to the 
incessant overstrain of the week, were looked upon with 
terror as the worst time of all. Those who escaped the fell 
destiny of the comer were allowed, if they chose to write to 
their parents, but our letters were perforce committed at 
night to the schoolmistress to seal, and were not as may be 



80H00L AND AFTER. 68 

imagined, exaetJy the natnral outponring of our sentimenta 
as regarded those ladies and their school. 

Our household was a large one. It consisted of the two 
schoolmistresses and joint proprietors, of the sister of one of 
them and another English governess; of a French, an 
Italian, and a German lady teacher ; of a considerable staff of 
respectable servants ; and finally of twenty-five or twenty-six 
pupils, varying in age from nine to nineteen. All the pupils 
were daughters of men of some standing, mostly country 
gentlemen, members of Parliament, and offshoots of the 
peerage. There were several heiresses amongst us, and one 
girl whom we all liked and recognised as the beauty of the 
school, the daughter of Horace Smith, author of Ejected 
Addresses. On the whole, looking back after the long interval, 
it seems to me that the young creatures there assembled were 
fall of capabilities for widely extended usefulness and 
influence. Many were decidedly clever and nearly all were 
well disposed. There was very little malice or any other 
vicious ideas or feelings, and no worldliness at all amongst us. 
I make this last remark because the novel of Base, Blanche 
and Violet, by the late Mr. G. H. Lewes, is evidently 
intended in sundry details to describe this particnlaor 
school, and yet most falsely represents the girls as 
ihinking a great deal of each other's wealth or comparative 
poverty. Nothing was farther from the fact. One of 
Dur heiresses, I well remember, and another damsel of high 
degree, the granddaughter of a dake, were our constant butts 
for their ignorance and stupidity, rather than the objects of 
any preferential flattery. Of vulgarity of feeling of the kind 
imagined by Mr. Lewes, I cannot recall a trace. 

But aU this fine human material was deplorably wasted. 
Nobody dreamed that any one of us could in later life be 
more or less than an *' Ornament of Society." That a pupil 
%that school should ever boeome an artist, or authoress, would 



64 CHAPTER III. 

have been looked upon by both Miss Ennciman and Miss 
BoVerts as a deplorable dereliction. Not that yrhich was 
good in itself or useM to the commnnity, or even that which 
would be delightful to ourselves, but that which would make 
us admired in society, was the raison d^itre of each acquire- 
ment. Everything was taught us in the inverse ratio 
of its true importance. At the bottom of the scale were 
Morals and Religion, and at the top were Music and Dancing ; 
miserably poor music, too, of the Italian school then in vogue, 
and generally performed in a showy and tasteless manner on 
harp or piano. I can recall an amusing instance in which 
the order of precedence above described was naively betrayed 
by one of our schoolmistresses when she was admonishing one 
of the girls who had been detected in a lie. <' Don't you 
know, you naughty girl," said Miss B. impressively, before 
the whole school : '< don't you know we had almost rather 

find you have a P " (the mark of Pretty Well) " in your 

music, than tell such falsehoods ? " 

It mattered nothing whether we had any ** music in our 
souls " or any voices in our throats, equally we were driven 
through the dreary course of practising daily for a couple of 
hours under a German teacher, and then receiving lessons 
twice or three times a week from a music master (Griesbach 
by name) and a singing master. Many of us, myself in 
particular, in addition to these had a harp master, a Frenchman 
named Labarre, who gave us lessons at a guinea apiece, while 
we could only play with one hand at a time. Lastly there 
were a few young ladies who took instructions in the new 
instruments, the concertina and the accordion t 

The waste of money involved in all this, the piles of useless 
music, and songs never to be sung, for which our parents had 
to pay, and the loss of priceless time for ourselves, were 
truly deplorable ; and the result of course in many cases (as 
in my own) complete failure. One day I said to the good 



SCHOOL AND AFTER. 65 

liiUe (German teacher, who nourished a hopeless attaehment 
for Schiller's Marquis Posa, aad was altogether a sympaihetid 
person, ** My dear Franlein, I mean to practise this piece ol 
Beethoven's till I conquer it." ** My dear," responded the 
honest Fraulein, '^ you do practice that piece for seex hours a 
day, and you do live till you are seexty, at the end you will 
not play it t " Yet so hopeless a pupil was compelled to learn 
for years, not only the piano, but the harp and singing I 

Next to music in importance in our curriculum came 
dancing. The famous old Madame Michaud and her husband 
both attended us constantly, and we danced to their direction 
n our large play-room {lucus a non lucendo), till we had 
yarned not only all the dances in use in England in that 
ante-polka epoch, but almost every national dance in Europe, 
file Minuet, the Qavotte, the Cachucha, the Bolero, the 
Mazurka, and the Tarantella. To see the stout old lady in her 
heavy green velvet dress, with furbelow a foot deep of sable, 
going through the latter cheerM performance for our ensample, 
was a sight not to be forgotten. Beside the dancing we had 
« calisthenic " lessons every week from a ** Capitaine " Some- 
body, who put us through manifold exercises with poles and 
dumbbeUs. How much better a few good country scrambles 
would have been than all these calisthenics it is needless to say, 
but our dismal walks were confined to parading the esplanade 
and neighbouring terraces. Our parties never exceeded six, a 
governess being one of the number, and we looked down 
from an immeasurable height of superiority on the processions 
of twenty and thirty girls belonging to other schools. The 
governess who accompanied us had enough to do with heif 
small party, for it was her duty to utilise these brief hours of 
bodily exercise by hearing us repeat our French, Italian or 
German verbs, according to her own nationality. 

Next to Music and Dancing and Deportment, came Drawii^, 
Vut that was not a sufficiently voyant accomplishment, and no 

VOEi* tm fi 



66 CHAPTER III. 

great attention was paid to it ; the instruction also being of a 
second-rate kind, except that it indnded lessons in perspective 
which have been nsefnl to me ever since. Then followed 
Modem Languages. No Greek or Latin were heard of at 
the school, bat French, Italian and German were chattered 
all day long, our tongues being only set at liberty at six 
o'clock to speak English. Such French, such Italian, and 
such German as we actually spoke may be more easily 
imagined than described. We had bad '^ Marks " for speaking 
wrong languages, e,g,y French when we bound to speak 
Italian or German, and a dreadful mark for bad French, 
which was transferred from one to another all day long, and 
was a fertile source of tears and quarrels, involving as it did 
a heavy lesson out of Noel et Chapsal's Grammar on the 
last holder at night. We also read in each language every 
day to the French, Italian and German ladies, recited lessons 
to them, and wrote exercises for the respective masters who 
attended every week. One of these foreign masters, by the 
way, was the patriot Berchet ; a sad, grim-looking man of 
whom I am afraid we rather made fun ; and on one occasion, 
when he had gone back to Italy, a compatriot, whom we 
were told was a very great personage indeed, took his classes 
to prevent them from being transferred to any other of the 
Brighton teachers of Italian. If my memory have not played 
me a trick, this illustrious substitute for Berchet was Manzoni, 
the author of the Prometsi SpoH; a distinguished-looking 
middle-aged man, who won aU our hearts by pronouncing 
everything we did admirable, even, I think, on the occasion 
when one young lady freely translated Tasso,-— 

'* Fama e terre acquistasse," 
into French as foUows :— 

'< U acquit la femme et la terre " I 



SCHOOL AND AFTER. &! 

Naturally after (a very long way aft)er) foreign languages 
eame the study of English. We had a writing and arithmetic 
master (whom we nnanimonsly abhorred and despised, though 
one and all of us grievously needed his instructions) and an 
** English master/' who taught us to write '' themes/' and to 
whom I, for one, feel that I owe, perhaps, more than to any 
other teacher in that school, few as were the hours which we 
were permitted to waste on so inrngnificant an art as com- 
position in our native tongue I 

Beyond all this, our English studies embraced one long, 
awful lesson each week to be repeated to the schoolmistress 
herself by a dass, in history one week, in geography the week 
following. Our first class, I remember, had once to commit 
to memory — ^Heaven alone knows how — ^no less than thirteen 
pages of Woodhouselee's Universal History! 

Lastly, as I have said, in point of importance, came our 
religious instruction. Our well-meaning schoolmistresses 
thought it was obligatory on them to teach us something of 
the kind, but, being very obviously altogether worldly women 
themselves, they were puzzled how to carry out their inten- 
tions. They marched us to church every Sunday when it did 
not rain, and they made us on Sunday mornings repeat the 
Collect and Catechism ; but beyond these exercises of body 
and mind, it was hard for them to see what to do for our 
spiritual welfare. One Ash Wednesday, I remember, they 
provided us with a dish of salt-fish, and when this was 
removed to make room for the roast mutton, they addressed 
us in a short discourse, setting forth the merits of fasting, 
and ending by the remark that they left us free to take meat 
or not as we pleased, but that they hoped we should £ast ; 
'* it would be good for our souls and oub nauBss t " 

Each morning we were bound publicly to repeat a text out 
of certain litUe books, called Daily Breads left in our bed- 
rocmis, and alwaj^i scanned in frantic haste while ** doiag-up " 



68 OHAPTER III. 

onr hair at the glass, or gabbled aloud by one damsel so 
oooapied while her room-fellow (there were never more than 
two in eaeh bed-chamber) was splashing about behind the 
screen in her bath. Down, when the prayer-bell rang, both 
were obliged to hurry and breathlessly to await the chance of 
being called on first to repeat the text of the day, the penalty 
for oblivion Seing the loss of a '* card." Then came a 
chapter of the Bible, read verse by verse amongst us, and then 
onr books were shut and a solemn question was asked. On 
one occasion I remember it was : '^ What have you just 

been reading. Miss S ?" Miss 8 (now a lady of 

high rank and fitshion, whose small wits had been wool- 
gathering) peeped surreptitiously into her Bible again, and 
then responded with just confidence, " The First Epistle, 
Ma'am, of General Peter.** 

It is almost needless to add, in concluding these reminiscences, 
that the heterogeneous studies pursued in this helter-skelter 
&8hion were of the smallest possible utility in later life ; 
each acquirement being of the shallowest and most imperfect 
kind, and all real education worthy of the name having to be 
begun on our return home, after we had been pronounced 
" finished." Meanwhile the strain on our mental powers of 
getting through daily, for six months at a time, this mass of 
ill-arranged and miscellaneous lessons, was extremely great 
and trying. 

One droll reminiscence must not be forgotten. The pupik 
at Miss Bunciman's and Miss Boberts' were all supposed to 
have obtained the fullest instruction in Science by attending 
a course of Nine Lectures delivered by a gentleman named 
Walker in a public room in Brighton. The course comprised 
one Lecture on Electricity, another on Ckdvanism, another 
on Optics, others I think, on Hydrostatics, Mechanics, and 
Pneumatics, and finally three, which gave me infinite 
•atis&etion, on Astronomy. 



SCHOOL AND AFTER, 69 

If ixae edneation be the instillmg into the mind, not so 
mnch Knowledge, as the desire for Knowledge, mine at 
school certainly proved a notable fiEulnre. I was brought 
home (no girl could trayel in those days alone) from 
Brighton by a coach called the Bed Bover^ which performed, 
as a species of miracle, in one day the jonmey to Bristol, 
from whence I embarked for Ireland. My convoy-brother 
natmrally mouited the box, and left me to enjoy the interior 
all day by myself; and the reflections of those solitary honrs 
of first emancipation remain with me as lively as if they had 
taken place yesterday. ''What a delightful thing it is," 
so ran my thoughts " to have done with study I Now I may 
really e^joy myself I I know as much as any girl in our 
school, and since it is the best school in England, I must 
know all that it can ever be necessary for a lady to know. 
I wiU not trouble my head ever again with learning anything ; 
but read novels and amuse myself for the rest of my life." 

This noble resolve lasted I fancy a few months, and 
then, depth below depth of my ignorance revealed itself 
very unpleasantly ! I tried to supply first one deficiency and 
then another, till after a year or two, I began to educate 
myself in earnest. The reader need not be troubled with a 
long story. I spent four years in the study of History — 
constructing while I did so some Tables of Boyal Successions 
on a plan of my own which enabled me to see at a glance 
the descent, succession and date of each reigning sovereign 
of every country, ancient and modern, possessing any History 
of which I could find a trace. These Tables I still have by 
me, and they certainly testify to considerable industry^ 
Then the parson of our parish, who had been a tutor m 
Dublin College, came up three times a week for several 
years, and taught me a little Ghreek (enough to read the 
Gospels and to stumble through Plato's Krito)f and rather 
more geometry, to which science I took an immense 



VO CHAPTER III. 

faaef, and in which he carried me over Euclid and 
Oonio Sections, and through two most delightful hooks 
of Archimedes' spherics. I tried Algehra, but had as 
much disinclination for that form of mental labour as I had 
enjoyment in the reasoning required by Geometry. My tutor 
told me he was able to teach me in one lesson as many 
propositions as he habitually taught the undergraduates of 
Dublin College in two. I have ever since strongly recom- 
mended this study to women as specially fitted to counteract 
our habits of hasty judgment and slovenly statement, and to 
impress upon us the nature of real demonstration. 

I also read at this time, by myself, as many of the great 
books of the world as I could reach ; making it a rule always 
(whether bored or not) to go on to the end of each, and also 
following generally Gibbon's advice, viz., to rehearse in one's 
mind in a walk before beginning a great book all that one 
knows of the sulirject, and then, having finished it, to take 
another walk, and register how much has been added to our 
store of ideas. In these ways I read all the Faery Queen, 
all Milton's poetry, and the Divina Commedia and Geruedlemme 
lAberata in the originals. Also (in translations) I read 
through the Iliad, Odyssey, ^fineid, Pharsalia, and all 
or nearly all, ^schylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Ovid, 
Tacitus, Xenophon, Herodotus, Thucydides, &c. There was 
a fairly good library at Newbridge, and I could also go when 
I pleased, and read in Archbishop Marsh's old library in 
Dublin, where there were splendid old books, though none I 
think more recent than a hundred and fifty years before my 
time. My mother possessed a small collection of classics — 
Dryden, Pope, Milton, Horace, &c., which she gave me, 
and I bought for myself such other books as I needed out of 
my liberal pin-money. Happily, I had at that time a really 
good memory for literature, being able to carry away almost 
the words of passages which much interested me in prose or 



SOffOOL AND AFTER. 71 

verse, and to bring them into use when required, though 1 
had, oddly enongh, at the same period so imperfect a recol- 
lection of persons and daily events that, being very anxious 
to do justice to our servants, I was obliged to keep a book of 
memoranda of the characters and circumstances of all who lefb 
us, that I might give accurate and truthful recommendations. 

By degrees these discursive studies — ^I took up various 
hobbies from time to time — Astronomy, Architecture, 
Heraldry, and many others— centred more and more on the 
answers which have heen made through the ages by 
philosophers and prophets to the great questions of the 
human soul. I read such translations as were accessible in 
those pre-Miiller days, of Eastern Sacred books ; Anquetil du 
Perron's Zend Avesta (twice) ; and Sir William Jones's 
Institutes of Menu ; and all I could leam about the Greek and 
Alexandrian philosophers from Diogenes Laertius and the old 
translators (Taylor, of Norwich, and others) and a large 
Biographical Dictionary which we had in our library. Having 
always a passion for Sjniopses, I constructed, somewhere 
about 1840, a Table, big enough to cover a sheet of double- 
elephant paper, wherein the principal Ghreek philosophers 
were ranged, — ^their lives, ethics, cosmogonies and special 
doctrines, — ^in separate columns. After this I made a similar 
Table of the early (hiostics and other heresiarohs, with the 
aid of Mosheim, Sozomen, and Eusebius. 

Does the reader smile to find these studies recorded as the 
principal concern of the life of a young lady from 16 to 20, 
and in fact to 86 years of age? It was even sol They 
were (beside BeUgion, of which I shall speak elsewhere) my 
supreme interest. As I have said in the beginning, I had 
neither cares of love, or cares of money to occupy my mind 
or my heart. My parents wished me to go a little into 
society when I was about 18, and I was, for the moment, 
pleased and mterested in the few balls and drawing-rooms (io 



72 CHAPTER UL 

Dablin) to which my father and afterwards my nnde, Genersi 
George Cobbe, conducted me. Bnt I was rather bored 
than amused by my dancing partners, and my dear mother, 
ahready in declining years and completely an invalid, could 
never accompany me, and I pined for her motherly presence 
and guidance, the loss of which was only half compen- 
sated for by her comments on the long reports of all I had 
seen and said and done, as I sat on her bed, on my return 
home. By degrees also, my thoughts came to be so gravely 
employed by efforts to find my way to religious truth, that 
the whole glamour of social pleasures disappeared and became 
a weariness ; and by the time I was 19 I begged to be 
allowed to stay at home and only to receive our own guests, 
and attend the occasional dinners in our neighbourhood. 
With some regret my parents yielded the point, and except 
for a visit every two or three years to London for a few 
weeks of sightseeing, and one or two trips in Ireland to 
houses of our relations, my life, for a long time, was 
perfectly secluded. I have found some verses in which I 
described it. 

'* I live ! I live ! and never to man 
More joy hi life was given, 
Or power to make, as I can make, 
Of this bright world a heaven. 

•« My mind is free ; my limbs are clad 
With strength whioh few may know, 
And every eye smiles lovingly ; 
On earth I have no foe. 

** With pnre and peaoefnl pleasures blessed 
Speed my calm and studious days, 
While the noblest works of mightiest minds 
Lie open to my gaze." 

In one of our summer excursions I remember my father 
and one of my brothers and I lionized Winchester, and came 



SCHOOL Am> AFTER. 78 

upon an ezquiaite chapel, which was at that timei and perhaps 
still is, a sort of sanctuary of books, in the midst of a lovely, 
silent cloister. To describe the longing I felt then, and long 
after, to spend all my life studying there in peace and 
ondistorbed, '^hiving learning with each studious year,"— - 
would be impossible ! 

I think there is a great, and it must be said lamentable, 
difference between the genuine passion for study such as 
many men and women in my time and before it experienced, 
and the hurried anxious gobbling up of knowledge which has 
been introduced by competitive examinations, and the eternal 
necessity for getUng 807nething else beside knowledge ; something 
to be represented by M.A. or B.Sch., or, perhaps, by £ s. d. I 
When I was young there were no honours, no rewards of 
any kind for a woman's learning ; and as there were no 
examinations, there was no hurry or anxiety. There was 
only healthy thirst for knowledge of one kind or another, and 
of one kind after another. When I came across a reference 
to a matter which I did not understand, it was not then 
necessary, as it seems to be to young students now, to hasten 
over it, leaving the unknown name, or event, or doctrine, 
like an enemy's fortress on the road of an advancing army. 
I stopped and sat down before it, perhaps for days and 
weeks, but I conquered it at last, and then went on my way 
strengthened by the victory. Recently, I have actually 
heard of students at a college for ladies being advised 
by their '' coach " to eldp a number of propositions in 
Evdidy as it was certain they would not be examined 
in them I One might as well help a climber by taking 
rungs out of his ladder 1 I can make no sort of pretensions 
to have acquired, even in my best days, an3rthing like 
the instruction which the young students of Girton and 
Newnham and Lady Margaret Hall are so fortunate as to 
possess ; and much I envy their opportunities for obtaining 



74 ORAPtER III. 

acenrate scholarship. Bat I know not Aether the method 
they follow can, on the whole, convey as mnch of the pnre 
delight in learning as did my solitary early studies. When 
the smnmer morning snn rose over the trees and shone as it 
often did into my hedroom finding me still over my books 
from the evening before, and when I then samitered out to 
take a sleep on one of the garden seats in the shrubbery, the 
sense of having learned something, or cleared up some hitherto 
doubted point, or added a store of fresh ideas to my mental 
riches, was one of purest satisfaction. 

As to writing as well as reading, I had very early a great love 
of the art and frequently wrote small essays and stories, 
working my way towards something of good style. Our 
English master at school on seeing my first exercise (on 
Roman History, I think it was), had asked Miss Bunciman 
whether she were sure I had written it unaided, and 
observed that the turn of the sentences was not girl-like, 
and that he *' thought I should grow up to be a fine 
writer." My schoolmistress laughed, of course, at the 
suggestion, and I fiaiicy she thought less of poor Mr. 
Tumbull for his absurd judgment. But as men and women 
who are to be good musicians love their pianos and 
violins as children, so I early began to love that noble 
instrument, the English Language, and in my small way to 
study how to play upon it. At one time when quite young 
I wrote several imitations of the style of Gibbon and other 
authors, just as an exercise. Eventually without of course 
copying anybody in particular, I fell into what I must suppose 
to be a style of my own, since those familiar with it easily 
detect passages of my writing wherever they come across 
them. I was at a later time much interested in seeing many 
of my articles translated into French (chiefly in the French 
Protestant periodicals) and to note how little it is possible to 
render the real feeling of such words as those with which 



SCHOOL ANP AFTER. 76 

^ur ioDgae supplies as by those of that language. At 
a stOl later date, when I edited the ZoopMUf I was per- 
petually disappointed by the fieultires of the best translators I 
conld engage, to render my meaning. Among the things for 
which to be thankfdl in life, I think we, English, ought to 
assign no small place to our inheritance of that grand legacy 
of onr fore&thers, the English Language. 

While these studies were going on, from the time I left 
school in 1888 till I left Newbridge in 1867, it may be noted 
that I had the not inconsiderable charge of keeping house for 
my father. My mother at once put the whole responsibility 
of the matter in my hands, refusing even to be told before* 
hand what I had ordered for the rather formal dinner parties 
of those days, and I accepted the task with pleasure, both 
because I could thus reHeve her, and also because then and 
ever since I have really liked housekeeping. I love a well- 
ordered house and table, rooms pleasantly arranged and 
lighted, and decorated with flowers, hospitable attentions to 
guests, and all the other pleasant cares of the mistress of a 
family. In the midst of my studies I always went every 
morning regularly to my housekeeper's room and wrote out 
a careful menu for the upstairs and downstairs meals. I 
visited the larders and the fine old kitchen frequently, and 
paid the servants' wages on every quarter day ; and once a 
year went over my lists of everything in the charge of either 
the men or women servants. In particular I took very 
special care of the china, which happened to be magnificent ; 
and hereby hangs the memory of a droll incident with which 
I may close this chapter. 

A certain dignified old lady, the Hon. Mrs. X., had paid a 
visit to Newbridge with her daughters, and in return she 
invited one of my brothers and myself to spend some days at 

her '' show " place in • While stopping there I talked 

with the enthusiasm of my age to her very charming young 



76 GBAPTER HI. 

daoghieni of the pleasures of study, urging them Btrenaonsly 
to learn Greek and Mathematics. Mrs. X., overhearing me, 
intervened in the conversation^ and said somewhat tartly, 
" I do not at all agree with yon, Miss Cobbe 1 I think the 
dnty of a lady is to attend to her hoase, and to her husband 
and children. I beg yon will not incite my girls to take np 
your studies." 

Of course I bowed to the decree, and soon after began 
admiring some of the china about the room. " There is,** 
said Mrs. X., '' some very fine old china belonging to this 
house. There is one dessert-service which is said to have 
cost £800 forty or fifty years ago. Would you like to see 
it?" 

Having gratefully acc^ted the invitation, I followed my 
hostess to the basement of the house, and there, for the first 
time in my Ufe, I recognised that condition of disorder and 
slattemjjpess which I had heard described as characteristic 
of Irish houses. At last we reached an under-ground china 
closet, and after some delay and reluctance on the part of the 
servant, a key was found and the door opened. There, on 
the shelves and the floor, lay piled, higgledy-piggledy, dishes 
and plates of exquisite china mixed up with the commonest 
earthenware jugs, basins, cups, and willow-pattern kitchen 
dishes ; and the great dessert-service among the rest — 
wUh the dessert of the previous summer rotting on the plates ! 
Yes 1 there was no mistake. Some of the superb plates 
handed to me by the servant for examination by the light 
of the window, had on them peach and plum-stones 
and grape-stalks, obviously left as they had been 
taken from the table in the dining-room many months 
before I Poor Mrs. X. muttered some expressions of 
dismay and reproach to her servants, which of course 
I did not seem to hear, but I had not the strength of mind 
to resist saying : '' Indeed this is a splendid service ; Style ds 



80M00L AND AFTER. 77 

r Empire I should call it. We have nothing like it, bat when 
next yon do ns the pleasure to come to Newbridge I shall like 
to show you our Indian and Woroester services. Do you 
know I always take up all the plates and dishes myself when 
&ey have been washed the day after a party, and put them 
on their proper shelves with my own handS| — though I dc 
kncfw a Utih Qruk and geometry ^ Mrs. X. 1 " 



CHAPTER 
lY. 



RELIGION. 



CHAPTER IV. 

Bbliqion. 

I DO not think that any one not being a fanatic, ean regret 
having been brought up as an Evangelical Christian. I do 
not include Calvinistic Christianity in this remark; for it 
must surely cloud all the years of mortal life to have received 
the first impressions of Time and Eternity through that 
dreadful, discoloured glass whereby the " Sun is turned into 
darkness and the moon into blood." I speak of the mild, 
devout, philanthropic Arminianism of the Clapham School, 
which prevailed amongst pious people in England and Ireland 
from the beginning of the century tiU the rise of the Oxford 
movement, and of which William WHberforce and Lord 
Shaftesbury were successively representatives. To this 
school my parents belonged. The conversion of my father's 
grandmother by Lady Huntingdon, of which I have spoken, 
had, no doubt, directed his attention in early life to religion, 
but he was himself no Methodist, or Quietist, but a typical 
Churchman as Churchmen were in the first half of the 
century. All our relatives far and near, so far as I have ever 
heard, were the stune. We had five archbishops and a bishop 
among our near kindred, — Cobbe, Beresfords, and Trenchs, 
great-grandfather, uncle, and cousins, — ^and (as I have 
narrated) my father's ablest brother, my god - father, 
was a clergyman. I was the first heretic ever known 
amongst us. 

My earliest recollections mclude the lessons of both my 
father and mother in religion. I can almost feel myself now 
kneeling at my dear mother's knees repeating the Lord's 
Prayer after her clear sweet voice. Then came learning the 

VOL. I. F 



82 CHAPTER IV. 

magnificent CoUecis, to be repeated to my fiGkther on Snndaj 
mornings In his study ; and later the chnrch catechism and 
a great many hymns. Sunday was kept exceedingly strictly 
at Newbridge in those days; and no books were allowed 
except religions ones, nor any amusement, save a walk after 
church. Thus there was abundant time for reading the 
Bible and looking over the pictures in various large editionSi 
and in Calmet's great folio Dictionary, beside listening to the 
sermon in church, and to another sermon which my &ther 
read in the evening to the assembled household. Of course, 
every day of the week there were Morning Prayers in the 
library, — ^and a "Short Discourse" from good, prosy old 
Jay, of Bath's "Exercises." In this way, altogether I 
received a good deal of direct religious instruction, beside 
very frequent reference to Grod and Duty and Heaven, in the 
ordinary talk of my parents with their children. 

What was the result of this training ? I can only suppose 
that my nature was a favourable soil for such seed, for it 
took root early and grew apace. I cannot recall any time 
when I could not have been described by any one who knew 
my little heart (I was very shy about it, and few, if any, did 
know it) — as a very religious child. Beligious ideas were 
from the first intensely interesting and exciting to me. In 
great measure I fancy it was the element of the sublime in 
them which moved me first, just as I was moved by the 
thundeTi and the storm and was wont to go out alone 
into the woods or into the long, solitary corridors to enjoy 
them more fully. I recollect being stirred to rapture by a 
little poem which I can repeat to this day, beginning : 

Where is Thy dwelling place ? 

Is it in the realms of space, 

By angels and just spirits only trod? 

Or is it in the bright 

And ever-burning light 

Of the san*8 flaming disk that Thou art throned, God f 



BBLIGION. §3 

One of the stanzas suggested that the Divine seat might be 
in some region of the starry nniTerse : 

•< Far in the unmeasiired, onimagined Heaven, 
80 distant that its light 
Gonld never reaoh omr sight 
Though with the speed of thought for endless ages driven." 

Ideas like these nsed to make my cheek torn pale and lift me 
as if on wings ; and naturally Religion was the great store- 
honse of them. Bat I think, even in childhoodi there was 
in me a good deal beside of the mordL^ if not yet the gpirihud 
element of real Beligion. Of coarse the great beaaty and 
glory of Evangelical Christianity, its thoroagh amalgamation 
of the ideas of Daty and Devotion (elsewhere often so 
lamentably distinct), was very prominent in my parents' 
lessons. God was always to me the All-seeing Jadge. His 
eye looking into my heart and beholding all its naaghtiness 
and little duplicities (which of coarse I was taught to consider 
serious sins) was so familiar a conception that I might be 
said to live and move in the sense of U. Thus my life in 
diildhood morally, was much the same as it is physically to 
live in a room full of sunlight. Later on, the evils which 
belong to this Evangelical training, the excessive self-intro- 
spection and self-consciousness, made themselves painfully 
felt, but in early years there was nothing that was not 
perfectly wholesome in the religion which I had so readily 
assimilated. 

Further, I was, as I have said, a very happy child, even 
conscious of my own happiness ; and gratitude to God or 
man has always come to me as a sentiment enhancing my 
enjoyment of the good for which I have been thankful. 
Thus I was, — ^not conventionally merely, — but genuinely and 
spontaneously grateful to the Giver of all the pleasures which 
were poured on my head. I think I may say, that I hxved 
God^ when I was quite a young child. I can even remember 



84 CHAPTER IV. 

beiiig dimly conscioiiB that my good father and mother 
performed their religioas exercises more c» a duty^ — ^whereas 
to me such things, so &r as I could understand them, were 
real pleagures ; like heing taken to see somebody I loved. I 
have since recognised that both my parents were, in 
Evangelical parlance, *' under the law ; " while in my childish 
heart the germ of the mysterious New life was already 
planted. I think my mother was aware of something of the 
kind and looked with a little wonder, blended with her 
tenderness at my violent outbursts of penitence, and at my 
strange fsmcy for reading the most serious books in my 
playhours. My brothers had not exhibited any such 
symptoms, but then they were healthy schoolboys, always 
engaged eagerly m their natural sports and pursuits ; while 
I was a lonely, dreaming girl. 

When I was seven years old, my &ther undertook to read 
the FUgrwCs Progress to my brothers, then aged from 12 to 
18, and I was allowed to sit in the room and provided with a 
slate and sums. The sums, it appeared, were never worked, 
while my eyes were fixed in absorbed interest on the reader, 
evening after evening. Once or twice when the delightful 
old copy of Bun3ran was left about after the lesson, my slate 
was covered with drawings of ApoUyon and Great Heart 
which were pronounced '' wonderful for the child.'* By the 
time Christian had come to the Dark River, all pretence of 
arithmetic was abandoned and I was permitted, proud and 
enchanted, to join the group of boys and listen with my 
whole soul to the marvellous tale. When the reading was 
over my father gave the volume (which had belonged to 
his grandmother) to me, for my ''very own"; and I 
read it over and over continually for years, till the 
idea it is meant to convey, — ^Life a progress to Heaven — 
was engraved indelibly on my mind. It seems to me that 
few of those who have praised Bunyan most loudly have 



RELIGION. 85 

recognized that he was not only a great religions genins, bnt 
a bom poet, a Pimtan-Timker-SheUey ; possessed of what is 
almost the highest gift of poetry, the sense of the analogy 
between outward nature and the hmnan soul. He used 
all^ory instead of metaphor, a clumsier vehicle by far, but 
it carried the same exquisite thoughts. I have the dear old 
book still, and it is one of my treasures with its ineffiEibly 
quaint old woodcuts and its delicious marginal notes ; as, for 
example, when '' Giant Despair " is said to be unable one 
day to maul the pilgrims in his dungeon, because he had fits. 
"For sometimes," says Bunyan, ''in sunshiny weather 
Giant Despair has fits." Could any one believe that this gem 
of poetical thought and deep experience is noted by the words 
in the margin, '' His Fits! " / My fiGkther wrote on the fly- 
leaf of the blessed old book these still legible words : — 

1880. 

"This book, which belonged to my grandmother, was 

given as a present to my dear daughter Fanny upon 

witnessing her delight in reading it. May she keep the 

Celestial City steadfastly in view ; may she surmount the 

dangers and trials she must meet with on the road ; and, 

finally, be re-united with those she loved on earth in singing 

praises for ever and ever to Him who loved them and gave 

himself for them, is the fervent prayer of her affectionate 

father, 

" Chablbs Cobbe.'* 

The notion of " getting to Heaven " by means of a faithful 
pilgrimage through this " Yale of Tears " was the prominent 
feature I think, always, in my father's religion, and naturally 
took great hold on me. When the day came whereon I 
began to doubt whether there were any Heaven to be reached, 
that moral earthquake, as was inevitable, shook not only my 
religion bnt my morality to their foundations; and my 
experience of the perils of those years, has made me ever since 



80 CHAPTER IV. 

anzions to base religion in every yoong mind, on ground 
liable to no such eatafltrophes. The danger came to me on 
this wise. 

Up to my eleventh year, my little life inward and outward 
had flown in a bright and even corrent. Looking back at it 
and comparing my childhood with that of others I seem to 
have been — ^probably from the effects of solitude — devouJt 
beyond what was normal at my age. I used to spend a great 
deal of time secretly reading the Bible and that dullest of dull 
books Ths Whole Duty of Man (the latter a curious foretaste 
of my subsequent life-long interest in the study of ethics) — 
not exactly enjoying them but happy in the feeling that I was 
somehow approaching God. I used to keep awake at night 
to repeat various prayers and (wonderful to remember !) the 
Creed and Commandments 1 I made all sorts of severe rules 
for myself, and if I broke them, manfully mulcted myself 
of any little pleasures or endured some small self-imposed 
penance. Of none of these things had any one, even my 
dear mother, the remotest idea, except once when I felt 
driven like a veritable Cain, by my agonised conscience to go 
and confess to her that I had said in a recent rage (to myself) 
'' Curse them aU! " referring to my family in general and to 
^7 governess in particular I The tempest of my tears and 
sobs on this occasion evidently astonished her, and I remember 
lying exhausted on the floor in a recess in her bedroom, for a 
long time before I was able to move. 

But the hour of doubt and difficulty was approaching. The 
first question which ever arose in my mind was concerning 
the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. I can recall the 
scene vividly. It was a winter's night, my father was 
reading the Sunday evening Sermon in the dining-room. 
The servants, whose attendance was de rigueWj were 
seated in a row down the room. My fiEtther faced them, 
and my mother and I and my governess sat rotmd the 



RELIGION. 87 

£bre near him. I was opposite the beautiful classic black 
marble mantelpiece, surmounted with an antique bead of 
Jupiter Serapis (all photographed on my brain even now), 
and listening with all my might, as in duty bound, to the 
sermon which described the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. 
" How did it happen exactly ? " I began cheerfully to think, 
quite imagining I was doing the right thing to try to under* 
stand it all. ''Well! first there were the fishes and the 
loaves. But what was done to them ? Did the fish grow 
and grow as they were eaten and broken ? And the bread 
the same ? No I that is nonsense. And then the twelve 
basketsful taken up at the end, when there was not 
nearly so much at the beginning. It is not possible I " 
" O I Heavens I (was the next thought) I am doubtmg the 
Bible ! God forgive me ! I must never think of it again." 

But the little rifl had begun, and as time went on other 
difficulties arose. Nothing very seriously, however, dis- 
tracted my faith or altered the intensity of my religious 
feelings for the next two years, till in October, 1886, 1 was 
sent to school as I have narrated in the last chapter, at 
Brighton and a new description of life opened. At school I 
came under influence of two kinds. One was the preaching 
of the Evangelical Mr. Yaughan, in whose church (Christ 
Church) were our seats; and I recall vividly the emotion 
with which one winter's night I listened to his sermon on 
the great theme, " Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall 
be white as wool." The sense of '' the exceeding sinfulness 
of sin," the rapturous joy of purification therefirom, came 
home to me, and as I walked back to school with the waves 
thundering up the Brighton beach beside us and the wind 
tossing the clouds in the evening sky overhead, the whole 
tremendous realities of the moral life seemed borne in on my 
heart. On the other hand, the perpetual overstrain of school- 
work, and uiguat blame and penalty for fEulure to do what it 



88 CHAPTER IV. 

was impossible to accomplish in the given time, drove me to 
all sorts of &nlts for which I hated and despised myself. 
When I knelt by my bed at night, after the schoolfellow who 
shared my room was, as I fiancied, asleep, she wonld get up 
and pound my head with a bolster, laughing and crying out, 
" Get up, yon horrid hypocrite ; get up 1 I'll go on beating 
yon till you do 1 *' It was not strange if, under such 
circumstances, my beautiful childish religion feU into 
abeyance and my conscience into disquietude. But, as 
I have narrated, I came home at sixteen, and then, 
once more able to e^joy the solitude of the woods and 
of my own bedroom and its inner study where no one 
intruded, the old feelings, tinged with deep remorse for the 
failures of my school-life and for many present &ults (amongst 
others a very bitter and unforgiving temper) come back with 
fresh vigour. I have always considered that in that summer 
in my seventeenth year I went through what Evangelical 
Christians call " conversion." Beligion became the supreme 
interest of life; and the sense that I was pardoned itft 
greatest joy. I was, of course, a Christian of the usual 
Froteetant type, finding infinite pleasure in the simple old 
" Communion " of those pre-ritualistic days, and in endless 
Bible readings to myself. Sometimes I rose in the early 
summer dawn and read a whole Gospel before I dressed. I 
think I never ran up into my room in the daytime for any 
change of attire without glancing into the book and carrying 
away some echo of what I believed to be " God's Word." 
Nobody knew anything about all this, of course; but as time 
went on there were great and terrible perturbations in my 
inner life, and these perhaps I did not always succeed in 
concealing firom the watchful eyes of my dear mother. 

So fSsur as I can recall, the ideas of Christ and of (rod the 
Father, were for all practical religious purposes identified in 
my young mind. It was as God upon earth, — th« Redeemer 



RELIGION. 89 

God, that I worshipped Jesus. To be pardoned through hia 
''atonement" and at death to enter Heaven, were the 
religioas objects of life. Bnt a new and most disturbing 
element here entered my thoughts. How did anybody know 
all that story of Gkdilee to be true ? How eould we believe 
the miracles ? I had read very carefully Gibbon's XY. and 
Xvi. chapters, and other books enough to teach me that 
everything in historical Christianity had been questioned; 
and my own awakening critical, and reasoning, and above 
all, ethical, — faculties supplied fresh crops of doubts of the 
truth of the story and of the morality of much of the Old 
Testament history, and of the scheme of Atonement itself. 

Then ensued four years on which I look back as pitiful in 
the extreme. In complete mental solitude and great 
ignorance, I found myself fistcing all the dread problems of 
human existence. For a long time my intense desire to 
remain a Christian predominated, and brought me back 
from each return to scepticism in a passion of repentance 
and prayer to Christ to take my Ufe or my reason 
sooner than allow me to stray from his fold. In 
those days no such thing was heard of as '' Broad " inter- 
pretations of Scripture doctrines. We were fifty years before 
Lux Mundi and thirty before even Essays and Betnews. To 
be a " Christian," then, was to believe implicitly in the 
verbal inspiration of every word of the Bible, and to adore 
Christ as "very God of very God." With such implicit 
belief it was permitted to hope we might, by a good life and 
through Christ's Atonement, attain after death to Heaven. 
Without the fiedth or the good life, it was certain we should 
go to heU. It was taught us all that to be good only from 
fear of Hell was not the highest motive ; the highest motive 
was the hope of Heaven 1 Had anything like modem 
rationalising theories of the Atonement, or modem expositions 
of the Bible stories, or finally modem loftier doctrines of 



90 CHAPTER IV. 

diflinteresied morality and religion, been kno\ni to me at this 
crisis of my life, it is possible that the whole course of my 
spiritnal history would have been different. Bnt of all snch 
** raising np the astral spirits of dead creeds," as Oarlyle 
called it, or as Broad chnrchmen say, '' Liberating the kernel 
of Christianity from the husk," I knew, and could know 
nothing* Evangelical Christianity in 1840 presented itself 
as a thing to be taken whole, or rejected wholly ; and for 
years the alternations went on in my poor young heart and 
brain, one week or month of rational and moral disbelief, and 
the next oi vehement, remorseful return to the fiaith which I 
supposed could alone give me the joy of religion. As time 
went on, and my reading supplied me with a little more 
knowledge and my doubts deepened and accumulated, the 
returns to Christian &ith grew fewer and shorter, and, as I 
had no idea of the possibility of reaching any other vital 
religion, I saw all that had made to me the supreme joy and 
glory of life fade out of it, while that motive which had been 
presented to me as the mainspring of duty and curb of 
passion, namely, the Hope of Heaven, vanished as a dream. 
I always had, as I have described, somewhat of that 
mal'd/iii'Cid which Lamartine talks of, that longing, as from 
the very depths of our being for an Eden of Divine eternal 
love. I could scarcely in those days read even such poor 
stuff as the song of the Peri in Moore's LaUa EooJch (not to 
speak of Bunyan's vision of the Celestial City) without tears 
rushing to my eyes. But this, I saw, must all go with the 
rest. If, as Clough was saying, all unknown to me, about 
that same timCi — 

*' Christ is not risen, no 1 
He lies and moulders low." 

If all the Christian revelation were a mass of mistakes and 
errors, no firmer ground on which to build than the promises 



RELIGION, 91 

of Mahomet, or of Baddha, or of the Old Man of the 
Monntaiiiy— of course there was (so far as I saw) no reason 
left for helievmg in any Heaven at all, or any life after 
death. Neither had the Moral Law, which had come to me 
through that supposed revelation on Sinai and the Monnt of 
Gtalilee, any claim to my ohedienoe other than might he made 
oat hy identifying it with principles common to heathen and 
Christian alike ; an identity of which, at that epoch, I had as 
yet only the vaguest ideas. In short my poor young soul 
was in a fearful dilemma. On the one hand I had the choice 
to accept a whole mass of dogmas against which my reason 
and conscience rebelled; on the other, to abandon those 
dogmas and strive no more to beUeve the incredible, or to 
revere what I instinctively condemned ; and then, as a 
necessary sequel, to cast aside the laws of Duty which I had 
hitherto cherished ; to cease to pray or take the sacrament; 
and to relinquish the hope of a life beyond the grave. 

It was not very wonderful if , as I tliink I can recall, my 
disposition underwent a considerable change for the worse 
while all these tremendous questions were being debated in 
my solitary walks in the woods and by the seashore, and in 
my room at night over my Gibbon or my Bible. I know I 
was often bitter and morose and selfish ; and then came the 
alternate spell of paroxysms of self-reproach and fanciful 
self-tormentings. 

The life of a young woman in such a home as mine is so 
guarded round on every side and the instincts of a girl are 
so healthy, that the dangers incurred even in such a spiritual 
lan^shp as I have described are very limited compared to 
what they must inevitably be in the case of young men or of 
women less happily circumstanced. It has been my 
profound sense of the awful perils of such a downfall of fidth 
as I experienced, the peril of moral shipwreck without 
compass or anchorage amid the tempests of youth, which 



92 CHAPTER IV. 

has spurred me ever since to strive to forestall for others the 
honr of danger. 

At last my efforts to believe in orthodox Christianity 
ceased altogether. In the summer after my twentieth 
birthday I had reached the end of the long struggle. The 
complete downfall of Evangelioalismy — ^which seems to have 
been e£fected in George Eliot's strong brain in a single 
fortnight of intercourse with Mr. and Mrs. Bray, — ^had taken 
in my case four long years of miserable mental conflict and 
unspeakable pain. It left me with something as nearly like 
a Tabula rasa of fiedth as can well be imagined. I definitely 
disbelieved in human immortality and in a supernatural 
revelation. The existence of God I neither denied nor 
affirmed. I felt I had no means of coming to any knowledge 
of Him. I was, in &ct (long before the word was invented), 
precisely — an Agnostic. 

One day, while thus literally creedless, I wandered out 
alone as was my wont into a part of our park a little more 
wild than the rest, where deer were formerly kept and sat 
down among the rocks and the gorse which was then in 
its summer glory of odorous blossoms, evet since rich to 
me with memories of that hour. It was a sunny day in May, 
and after reading a little of my favourite Shelley, I fell, as 
often happened, into mournful thought I was profoundly 
miserable; profoundly conscious of the deterioration and 
sliding down of all my feelings and conduct from the high 
ambitions of righteousness and holiness which had been mine 
in the days of my Christian £uth and prayer ; and at the 
same time I knew that the whole sca£fblding of that higher 
life had fallen to pieces and could never be built up again. 
While I was thus musing despairingly, something stirred 
within me, and I asked myself, '* Can I not rise once more, 
conquer my Hetults, and live up to my own idea of what is 
right and good ? Even though there be no life after death, I 



RELIGION. 98 

may yet deaerve my own respect here and now, and, if there 
be a Gody He most approve me;" 

The resolution was made very seriously. I came home to 
begin a new course and to cultivate a different spirit. Was 
it strange that in a few da3r8 I began instinctively^ and almost 
without reflection, to pray again? No longer did I make 
any kind of effort to believe this thing or the other about 
God. I simply addressed Him as the Lord of conscience, 
whom I implored to strengthen my good resolutions, to 
forgive my &nlt8, *' to Hit me out of the mire and clay and 
set my feet upon a rock and order my goings." Of course, 
there was Christian sentiment and the results of Christian 
training in all I felt and did. I could no more have cast 
them off than I could have leaped oft my shadow. But of 
dogmatical Christianity there was never any more. I have 
never from that time, now more than fifty years ago, 
attached, or wished I could attach, credence to any part of 
what Dr. Martineau has called the Apocalyptic side of 
Christianity, nor (I may add with thankfulness) have I ever 
lost faith in God. 

The storms of my youth were over. Henceforth through 
many years there was a progressive advance to Theism as I 
have attempted to describe it in my books ; and there were 
many, many hard moral fights with various ApoUyons all 
along the road ; but no more spiritual revolutions. 

About thirty years after that day, to me so memorable, I 
read in Mr. Stopford Brooke's Ltfe of Bobertson, these words 
which seem truly to tell my own story and which I believe 
recorded Robertson's own experience, a little while later : 

'' It is an awful moment when the soul begins to find that 
the props on which it blindly rested are many of them rotten 
. • . . I know but one way in which a man can come 
forth from this agony scatheless : it is by holding fast to 
those things which are certain still. In the darkest houi 



94 CHAPTER IV. 

through which a homan soul can pass, whatever else is 
doabtfdl, this at least is certain. If there be no God and no 
future state, even then it is better to he generous than sdfish^ 
better to be true than fcUte^ better to be brave than a coward. 
Blessed beyond all earthly blessedness is the man who in the 
tempestuous darkness of the soul has dared to hold fast to 
these landmarks. I appeal to the recollection of any man 
who has passed through that agony and stood upon the rock 
at last, with a faith and hope and trust no longer traditional 
but his own." 

It may be asked, " What was my creed for those first years 
of what I may call indigmom religion ? Naturally, with no 
better guide than the induotiye philosophy of Locke and 
Bacon, I could have no outlook beyond the Deism of the last 
century. Miracles and miraculous inspiration being formally 
given up, there remained only (as I supposed) as testimony 
to the existence and character of God such inductions as were 
drawn in Foley's Theology and the Bridgwater Treatises ; with 
all of which I was very familiar. Voltaire's *' Bieu Tout- 
puissantf Bemtmerateur Vengeur,*' the Gk>d whose garb (as 
Goethe says,) is woven in *' Nature's roaring loom " ; the 
Beneficent Creator, fi:om whom came all the blessings which 
filled my cup; these were the outlines of Deity for me 
for the time. The theoretical connection between such a God 
and my own duty I had yet to work out through much hard 
study, but fortunately moral instinct was practically sufficient 
to identify them; nay, it was, as I have just narrated, 
through such moral instincts that I was led back straight to 
religion, and began to pray to my Maker as my Moral Lord, 
so soon as ever I strove in earnest to obey my conscience. 

There was nothing in such simple Deism to warrant a 
belief in a future life, and I deliberately trained myself to 
abandon a hope which was always very dear to me. As 
regards Christ, there was inevitably, at first, some reaction 



RELIGION. 96 

in my mind from the worship of my ChriBtian days. I almoBo 
felt I had been led into idolatry, and I bitterly resented then 
(and ever since) the paramomit promineneo^ the genuflexions 
at the creed, and the especially reverential voice and language 
applied constantly by Christians to the Son, rather than to the 
Father. Bnt after I had read F. W. Kewman'sbook of the iSW, 
I recognised, with relief, how many of the phenomena of 
the spiritual life which Christians are wont to treat as exclu- 
sively bound up with their creed are, in truth, phases of the 
natural history of all devout spirits ; and my longing has ever 
since been rather to find grounds of sympathy with believers 
in Christ and for union with them on the broadest bases of 
common gratitude, penitence, restoration and adoration, 
rather than to accentuate our di£ferences. The view which 
I eventually reached of Christ as an historical human 
character, is set forth at large in my Broken Lights. He 
was, I think, the man whose life was to the life of Humanity 
what Regeneration is to the individual soul. 

I may here conclude the story of my religious life extending 
through the years after the above described momentous 
change. After a time, occupied in part with study and with 
efforts to be useful to our poor neighbours and to myparentSi 
my Deism was lifted to a higher plane by one of those 
inflowings of truth which seem the simplest things in the 
world, but are as rain on the dry groimd in summer to the 
mind which receives them. One day while praying quietly, 
the thought came to me with extraordinary lucidity : " God's 
Goodness is what I mean by Goodness 1 It is not a mere title, 
lOce the 'Migesty' of a King. He has really that 
character which we call ' Good.' He is Just, as I under- 
stand Justice, only more perfectly just. He is Good as I 
understand Goodness, only more perfectly good. He is not 
good in time and tremendous in eternity ; not good to some 
of His creatures and cruel to others, but wholly, eieraaUy, 



95 OHAPTER IV. 

universally good. If I oonld know «nd understand all His 
acts from eternity, there would not be one which would not 
deepen my reverence and call forth my adoring praise." 

To some readers this discovery may seem a mere platitude 
And truism : the assertion of a thing which they have never 
fiuled to understand. To me it was a real revelation which 
transformed my religion from one of reverence only into one 
of vivid love for that Infinite Goodness which I then beheld 
unclouded. The deep shadow left for years on my soul by 
the doctrine of eternal HeU had rolled away at last. Another 
truth came home to me many years later, and not till after I 
had written my first book. It was one night, after sitting up 
late in my room reading (for once) no grave work, but a pretty 
little story by Mrs. GaskeU. Up to that time I had found the 
pleasures of knowledge the keenest of all, and gloried in the old 
philosopher's dictum^ ** Man was created to know and to con- 
template." I looked on the pleasures of the affections as 
secondary and inferior to those of the intellect, and I strove to 
perform my duties to those around me, rather in a spirit of 
moral rectitude and obedience to law than in one of loving- 
kindness. Suddenly again it came to me to see that Love is 
greater than Knowledge ; that it is more beautiful to serve our 
brothers freely and tenderly, than to '' hive up leamiug with 
each studious year," to compassionate the failures of others and 
ignore them when possible, rather than undertake the hard 
process (I always found it so t) of forgiveness of injuries ; 
to say, " What may I be allowed to do to help and bless this 
one — or that ? " rather than " What am I bound by duty to 
do for him, or her ; and how little will suffice ? " As these 
thoughts swelled iu my heart, I threw myself down in a 
passion of happy tears, and passed most of the night thinking 
how I should work out what I had learned. I had scarcely 
fallen asleep towards morning when I was wakened by the 
intelligence that one of the servants, a young laundress, was 



RELIGION, 97 

dying. I hurried to the poor woman's room which was at a 
great distance from mine, and found all the men and women 
servants collected round her. 8he wished for some one to 
pray for her, and there was no one to do it but myself, and 
so, while the innocent girl's soul passed away, I led, for the 
first and only time, the prayers of my father's household. 

I had read a good number of books by Deists during the 
preceding years. Gibbon's Miscellaneous Works (which I 
greatly admired), Hume, Tindal, Collins, Voltaire, beside as 
many of the old heathen moralists and philosophers as I 
could reach ; Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus, Plutarch's 
MoraUa^ Xenophon's Memorabilia^ and a little of Plato. But 
of any modem book touching on the particular questions 
which had tortured me I knew nothing till, by the merest 
good fortune, I fell in with Bkmoo WhMs Life, How much 
comfort and help I found in his Meditations the reader may 
guess. Curiously enough, long years afterwards. Bishop 
Colenso told me that the same book, falling into his hands in 
Natal by the singular chance of a colonist possessing the 
volumes, had determined him to come over to England and 
bring out his Pentatetich. Thus poor Blanco White, after all 
prophesied rightly when he said that he was ^* one of those 
who, falling in the ditch, help other men to pass over " 1 

Another book some years later was very helpful to me — 
F. W. Newman's Soul. Dean Stanley told me that he 
thought in the far future that single book would be held to 
outweigh in value all that the author's brother. Cardinal 
Newman, had ever written. I entered not long after into 
correspondence with Professor Newman, and have had the 
pleasure of calling him my friend ever since. We have 
interchanged letters, or at least friendly greetings, at short 
intervals now for nearly fifty years. 

But the epoch-making book for me was Theodore Parker's 
Discourse of Religion. Reading a notice of it in the A thenceum, 

VOL. I. G 



98 CHAPTER IV. 

soon after its publication (somewhere about the year 1845), 
I sent for it, and words fail to tell the satisfaction and 
encouragement it gave me. One must have been isolated and 
care-laden as I to estimate the value of such a book. I had 
come, as I have narrated above, to the main conclusions of 
Ftoker, — ^namely, the absolute goodneas of God and the 
non-veradty of popular Ohristianity, — ^three years before; so 
that it has been a mistake into which some of my friends 
have fallen when they have described me as converted from 
orthodoxy by Parker. But his book threw a flood of light on 
my difficult way. It was, in the first place, infinitely satis- 
factory to find the ideas which I had hammered out painfully 
and often imperfectly, at last welded together, set forth in ludd 
order, supported by apparently adequate erudition and heart- 
warmedbyferventpiety. But,inthe8econdplace,tbe2>uo9ttrM 
helped me most importantly by teaching me to regard Divine 
Inspiration nolonger as a miraculous and therefore incredible 
thing ; but as normal, and in accordance with the natural 
relations of the infinite and finite spirit; a Divine inflowing 
of mniUd light precisely analogous to that fnor<d influence 
which divines call Grace. As every devout and obedient 
soul may expect to share in Divine Grace, so the devout and 
obedient souls of all the ages have shared (as Parker taught) 
in Divine Inspiration. And, as the reception of Grace, even 
in large measure, does not render us tmjMcoo^, so neither 
does the reception of Inspiration make us InfaUible, It is 
at this point that Deism stops and Theism begins ; namely, 
when our faith transcends all that can be gleaned from the 
testimony of the bodily senses and accepts as supremely 
trustworthy the direct Divine teaching, the " original revela- 
tion " of God's holiness and love in the depths of the soul. 
Theodore Parker adopted the alternative synonym to mark 
the vital difference in the philosophy which underlies the 
two creeds ; a theoretic diflferenoe leading to most important 



RELIGION. M 

practacal eonfieqaenoeB in the whole temper and apirit of 
Thaiflm ae distinct from Deism. I saw all this clearly ere 
longy and ranged myself thenceforth as a Thkst : a name 
now familiar to everyhody, but which, when my family came 
to know I took it, led them to tell me with some contempt 
that it was ^ a word in a Dictionary, not a Religion." 

A few months after I had absorbed Parker^s Diaoowne^ the 
great sorrow of my life befell me. My mother, whose health 
had been feeble ever since I could remember her, and who 
was now seventy years of age, passed away from a world 
which has surely held few spirits so pure and sweet. She 
died with her weeping husband and sons beside her bed and 
with her head resting on my breast. Almost her last words 
were to tell me I had been ^ the pride and joy" of her life. 
The agony I suffered when I realised that she was gone 1 
shall not try to tell. She was the one being in the world 
whom I truly loved through all the passionate years of youtli 
and early womanhood ; the only one who really loved me. 
Never one word of anger or bitterness had passed from her 
lips to me, nor (thank God !) from mine to her in the twenty- 
four years in which she blessed my life ; and for the latter 
part of that time her physical weakness had drawn a thousand 
tender cares of mine around her. No relationship in all 
the world, I think , can ever be so perfect as that of mother 
and daughter under such droumstances, when the strength of 
youtii becomes the support of age, and the sweet dependanoe 
of childhood is reversed. 

But it was all over — ^I was alone ; no more motherly love 
and tenderness were ever again to reach my thirsting heart. 
But this was not as I recall it, the worst pang in that dreadful 
agony. I had (as I said above) ceased to believe in a future 
life, and therefore I had no choioe but to think that that most 
beautiful soul which was worth all the kingdoms of earth had 
actually eeatudia be. She was a '' Memory ; " nothing mors 



100 CHAPTER IV. 

I was not then or at any time one of those fortunate 
people who can suddenly cast aside the conclusions which 
they have reached by careful intellectual processes, and leap 
to opposite opinions at the call of sentiment. I played no 
tricks with my convictions, but strove as best I could to 
endure the awful strain, and to recognise the Divine Justice 
and Gkxxlness through the darkness of death. I need not 
and cannot say more on the subject. 

Happily for me, there were many duties waiting for me, 
and I could recognise even then that^ though pbaswre seemed 
gone for ever, yet is was a relief to feel I had still duMea, 
<< Something to do for others " was an assuagement of misery. 
My father claimed first and much attention, and the position 
I now held of the female head of the family and household 
gave me a good deal of employment. To this I added 
teaching in my village school a mUe from our house two or 
three times a week, and looking after all the sick and hungry 
in the two villages of Donabate and Balisk. Those were the 
years of Famine and Fever in Ireland, and there was 
abundant call for all our energies to combat them. I shall 
write of these matters in the next chapter. 

I had, though with pain, kept my heresies secret during 
my mother^s declining years and till my father had somewhat 
recovered from his sorrow. I had continued to attend family 
prayers and church services, with the exception of the 
Communion, and had only vaguely allowed it to be under- 
stood that I was not in harmony with them all. When my 
poor father learned the f uU extent of my '' infidelity,'' it was 
a terrible blow to him, for which I have, in later years, 
sincerely pitied him. He could not trust himself to speak to 
me, but though I was in his house, he wrote to tell me I 
had better go away. My second brother, a barrister, had 
a year before given up his house in Queen Anne Street 
under a terrible a£9iction, and had gone, broken-hearted, 



RELIGION. 101 

to live on a farm which he hired in the wilds of Donegal. 
There I went as my father desired and remained for 
nearly a year; not knowing whether I should ever he 
permitted to return home and rather expecting to be 
disinherited. He wrote to me two or three times and said 
that if my doubts only extended in certain directions he could 
bear with them, " but if I rejected Christ and disbelieved the 
Bible, a man was called upon to keep the plague of such 
opinions from his own house." Then he required me to 
answer him on those points categorically. Of course I did 
so plainly, and told him I did rwt believe that Christ was 
Qod ; and I did net (in his sense) believe in the inspiration 
or authority of the Bible. After this ensued a very long 
silence, in which I remained entirely ignorant of my destiny 
and braced myself to think of earning my future livelihood. 
I was absolutely lonely ; my brother, though always very 
kind to me, had not the least sympathy with my heresies, 
and thought my father's conduct (as I do) quite natural ; 
and I had not a friend or relative from whom I could look for 
any sort of comfort. A young cousin to whom I had spoken 
of them freely, and who had, in a way, adopted my ideas, 
wrote to me to say she had been shown the error of them, 
and was shocked to think she had been so misguided. This 
was the last straw. After I received this letter I wandered 
out in the dusk as usual down to a favourite nook — a natural 
seat under the bank in a bend of the river which ran through 
Bonny Glen, — and buried my face in the grass. As I did 
so my lips touched a primrose which had blossomed in that 
precise spot since I had last been there, and the soft, sweet 
flower which I had in childhood chosen for my mother's 
birthday garland seemed actually to kiss my face. No 
one who has not experienced uUer loneliness can perhaps 
quite imagine how much comfort such an incident can 
brinff. 



102 CHAPTER IV. 

As I had no duties in Donegal, and seldom saw our tew 
neighbours, I oocupied myself, often for seven or eight or 
even nine hours a day, in writing an Eaaay on True Edigian, 
I possess this MS. still, and have been lately examining it. 
Of course, as a first literary effort, it has many faults, andmy 
limited opportunities for reference render parts of it very 
incomplete ; but it is not a bad piece of work. The first part 
is employed in setting forth my reasons for belief in God. 
The second, those for not believing in (the apocalyptic part of) 
Ohristianity. The chapter on Miracha and Prophecy (written 
from the literal and matter-of-fact standpoint of that epoch) 
are not ill-done, while the moral failure of the Bible and of 
the orthodox theology, the histories of Jacob, Jael, David, dec., 
and the dogmas of Original Sin, the Atonement, a Devil and 
eternal Hell, are criticised pretty successfully. A consider- 
able part of the book consists in a comparison in parallel 
columns of moral precepts from the Old and New Testaments 
on one side, and from non-Christian writers, Euripides, 
Socrates (Xenophon), Plutarch, Sextius, Marcus Aurelius, 
Epictetus, Seneca, the Zend Avesta (AnquetU du Perron's), 
The Institutes of Menu (Sir W. Jones'), the Damma Padan, 
the Talmud, dec., on the other. For 3rears I had seized every 
opportunity of collecting the most striking ethical dietay and 
I thus marshalled them to what appeared to me good 
purpose, namely, the disproof of the originality or exceptional 
loftiness of Ohristian Morals. I did not apprehend till later 
years, how the supreme achievement of Christianity was not 
the inculcation of a Tiew, still less of a sf/stenuUic Morality ; 
bat the introduction of a new spirit into Morality ; as Christ 
himself said, a leaven into the lump. 

Beading Parker's Discouraej as I did very naturally in my 
solitude once again, it occurred to me to write to him and ask 
him to tell me on what ground he based the faith which I 
perceived he held, in a life after death ? It had seemed to nie 



RELIGION, 103 

that the guarantee of Revelation having proved worthless, 
there remained no suificient reason for hope to counter-weigh 
the obvious difficulty of conceiving of a survival of the soul. 
Parker answered me in a most kind letter, accompanied by 
his Sermcn of the Immortal Ltfe. Of cousse I studied this 
with utmost care and sympathy, and by slow, very slow 
degrees, as I came more to take in the full scope of the 
Theistic, as distinguished from the Deistio view, I saw my 
way to a renewal of the Hope of the Human Ro/^e which, 
twenty years later, I set forth as best as I could in the little 
book of that name. I learned to trust the intuition of 
Immortality which is '* written in the heart of man by a 
Hand which writes no falsehoods.'' I deemed also that I 
could see (as Parker sa3r3) the evidence of *'a summer yet to 
be in the buds which lie folded through our northern winter;'^ 
the presence in human nature of many efflorescences — and 
they the fairest of all — quite unacoountableand unmeaning on 
the hypothesis that the end of the man is in the grave. In 
later years I think, as the gloom of the evil and cruelty of 
the world has shrouded more the almost cloudless skies of 
my youth, I have almost fervently held by the doctrine of 
Immortality because it is, to me the indiapeneoNe corollary of 
that of the Goodneee of God, I am not afraid to repeat the 
words, which so deeply shocked, when they were first 
published, my old friend, F. W. Newman. ^' If Mwa be not 
immortal, God is not JusL** 

Recovering this faith, as I may say, rationally and not by 
any gust of emotion, I had the inexpressible happiness of 
thinking henceforth of my mother as still existing in God's 
universe, and (as well as I knew) loving me wherever she 
might be, and under whatever loftier condition of being. To 
meet her again '* spirit to spirit, ghost to ghost," has been 
to me for forty years, the sweetest thought connected with 
death. Ere long, now, it must be realised. 



104 CHAPTER 17. 

After nine or ten months of this, by no means harsh, 
exile, my father sammoned me to retom home. I resumed 
my place as his daughter in doing all I oould for his 
comfort, and as the head of his house ; merely thenceforth 
abstaining from attendance either at Church or at family 
prayer. I had several favourite nooks and huts near and 
far in the woods, which I made into little Oratories for 
myself, and to one or other of them I resorted almost every 
evening at dusk ; making it a habit — not broken for many 
years afterwards, to repeat a certain versified Litany of 
Thanksgiving which I had written and read to my mother. 
On Sundays, when the rest of the family went to the village 
church, I had the old garden for a beautiful cathedral. 
Having let myself in with my own key, and locked the doors, 
I knew I had the lovely six acres within the high walls, 
free for hours from all observation or intrusion. How much 
difference it makes in life to have at command such peace 
and solitude it is hard to estimate. I look back to some 
of the summer forenoons spent alone in that garden as to 
the flowering time of my seventy years. Qod grant that the 
afterglow of such hours may remain with me to the last, 
and that '* at eventide it may be light ! " 

I knew that there were Unitarian chapels in Dublin at 
this time, and much wished to attend them now and 
then ; but I would not cause annoyance to my father by 
the notice which my journey to the town on a Sunday 
would have attracted. Only on New Tear's Day I 
thought I might go unobserved and interpolate attendance 
at the service among my usual engagements. I went 
accordingly to Dublin one 1st of January and drove to the 
chapel of which I had heard in Eustace Street. It was a 
big, dreary place with scarcely a quarter of the seats occupied, 
and a middle-class congregation apparently very oool and 
indifferent. The service was a miserable, hybrid affair, 



RELIGION. lOo 

neither Christian as I understood Ghristianitj, nor yet 
Theistic ; but it was a pleasure to me merely to stand and 
kneel with other people at the hymns and prayers. At last, 
the sermon, for which I might almost say, I was hungry, 
arrived. The old Minister in his black-gown ascended the 
pulpit, having taken with him — what ? — could I believe my 
eyes ? It was an M printed book, bound in the blue and 
drab old fuzzy paper of the year 1810 or thereabouts, and 
out of this he proceeded to read an erudite discourse by some 
father of English Sodnianism, on the precise value of the 
Greek article when used before the word tfcosl My 
disappointment not to say disgust were such that, — as it was 
easy from my seat to leave the place without disturbing any 
one, — I escaped into the street, never (it may be believed) 
to repeat my experiment. 

It was an anomalous position that which I held at 
Newbridge from the time of my return from Donegal, till my 
father's death eight years later. I took my place as head of 
the household at the family table and in welcoming our 
guests, but I was all the time in a sort of moral Coventry, 
under a vague atmosphere of disapprobation wherein 
all I said was listened to cautiously as likely to conceal 
some poisonous heresy. Everything of this kind, however, 
wears down and becomes easier and softer as time goes 
on, and most so when people are, au /ondy just-minded 
and good-hearted ; and the years during which I remained 
at home till my father's death, though mentally very lonely, 
were far from unhappy. In particular, the perfect clearness 
and straightforwardness of my position was, and has ever 
since been, a source of strength and satisfaction to me, for 
which I have thanked God a thousand times. My inner life 
was made happy by my simple faith in God's infinite and 
perfect love ; and I never had any doubt whether I had erred 
in abandoning the creed of my youth. On the contrary, as 



106 CHAPTER IV. 

the whole tendency of modem science and critidam showed 
itself stronger and stronger against the old orthodoxy, my 
hopes were undoly raised of a not distant New Beformation 
which I might even live to see. These sanguine hopes have 
faded. As Dean Stanley seems to have felt, there was, some- 
where between the years '74 and 78, a turn in the tide of 
men's thoughts (due, I think, to the paramount influence and 
insolence which physical science then assumed), which has 
postponed any decisive *^ broad " movement for years beyond 
my possible span of life. But though nothing appears quite 
so bright to my old eyes as all things did to me 
in youth, though familiarity with human wickedness and 
misery, and still more with the horrors of scientific cruelty 
to animals, have strained my faith in God's justice sometimes 
even to agony, — ^I know that no form of religious creed could 
have helped me any more than my own or as much as it 
has done to bear the brunt of such trial ; and I remain to 
the present unshaken both in respect to the denials and the 
affirmations of Theism. There are great difficulties, soul- 
torturing difficulties besetting it; but the same or worse, 
beset every other form of faith in God ; and infinitely more, 
and to my mind insurmountable ones, beset Atheism. 

For fifty years Theism has been my staff of life. I must 
soon try how it will support me down the last few steps of 
my earthly way. I believe it will do so well. 



CHAPTER 
V. 

MY FIRST BOOK. 



CHAPTER V. 

Mt First Book. 

When I was thirty years of age I had an attack of 
bronchitis from which I nearly died. When very ill and 
not expecting to recover, I reflected that while my own life 
had been made happy and strong by the faith which had been 
given to me, I had done nothing to help any other human 
sonl to find that solution of the dread problem which had 
brought such peace to ma I felt, as Mrs. Browning says, 
that a Truth was " like bread at Sacrament " to be passed 
on. When, unexpectedly to myself, I slowly recovered after 
a sojourn in Devonshire, I resolved to set about writing 
something which should convey as much as possible of my 
own convictions to whosoever should read it. For a time I 
thought of enlarging and completing my MS. Esmxy on True 
Rdigicn^ written for my own instruction ; but the more I 
reflected the less I cared to labour to pull down hastily the 
crumbling walls which yet sheltered millions of souls, and 
the more I longed to build up anew on solid base a strong- 
hold of refuge for those driven like myself from the old 
ground of faith in God and Duty. Especially I felt that as the 
worst dangers of such transitions lay in the sudden snapping 
of the supposed bond of Morality, and collapse of the 
hopes of heaven and terrors of hell which had been used as 
motives of virtue and deterrents from vice; so the most 
urgent need lay in the direction of a system of ethics which 
should base Duty on ground absolutely apart from that of the 
supposed supernatural revelation and supply sanctions and 
motives unconnected therewith. As it happened at this very 
time, my good (orthodox) friend, Miss Felicia Skene, had 



110 CHAPTER V. 

reoommended me to read Ejuit's Mekvphytio of Ethiea^ and I 
had procured Semple's translation and found it almost 
dazzlingly enlightening to my mind. It would be pre- 
sumptuous for me to say that then, or at any time, I have 
thoroughly mastered either this book or the iS^mun Vemunft 
of this greatest of thinkers ; but, so far as I have been able 
to do so, I can say for my own individual mind (as his 
Qerman disciples were wont to do for themselves), 
"Gk)d said. Let there be light t and there was — 
the Kantian Philosophy." It has been, and no doubt 
will be still further, modified by succeeding metaphysicians 
and sometimes it may appear to have been superseded, but 
I cannot think otherwise than that Kant was and will 
finally be recognised to have been the Newton of the laws of 
Mind. 

I shall now endeavour to explain the purpose of my first 
book (which is also my magnum opus) by quoting the 
Preface at some length ; and, as the third edition has long 
been out of print and is unattainable in Bngland o;r America, 
I shall permit myself to embody in this chapter a general 
account of the. drift of it, with extracts sufficient to 
serve as samples of the whole. Looking over it now, after 
the lapse of just forty years, I can see that my reading at 
that time had lain so much among old books that the style 
is almost that of a didactic Treatise of the seventeenth 
century ; and the ideas, likewise, are necessarily exclusively 
those of the pre-Darwinian Era. Conceptions so familiar to us 
now as that of an ''hereditary set of the brain,'' and of the 
''Capitalised experience of the tribe,'' were then utterly 
unthought of. I have been well aware that it would, conse- 
quently, have been necessary, — ^had the book been republished 
any time during the last twenty years, — ^to rewrite much of 
it and define the standpoint of an Intuitionist as regards 
the theory of Evolution in its bearing on the foundation of 



MY FIRST BOOK. Ill 

ethics. For this task, however, I have always lacked 
leisure: and my article on ** Darwinism in Morcda" 
(reprinted in the hook of that name) has been the best 
effort I have made in such direction. I may here, perhaps, 
nevertheless be allowed to say as a last word in favour of 
this Essay, namely, that such as it is, it has served me, 
personally, as a scaffolding for all my life-work, a key to 
open most of the locks which might have barred my way. 
If now I feel (as men and women are wont to do at three- 
score years and ten), that I hold all philosophic opinions 
with less tenacious grasp, less " cocksureness " than in 
earlier days, and know that the great realities to which they 
led, will remain realities for me still should those opinions 
prove here and there unstable^ — it is not that I am disposed 
in any way to abandon them, still less that I have found any 
other systems of ethics or theology more, or equally, sound 
and self-consistent. 

I wrote the ** Eaaay on the Theory of In^Uive Morals " 
between my thirtieth and thirty-third years. I had a great 
deal else to do— to amuse and help my father (then growing 
old) ; to direct our household, entertain our guests, carry 
on the feminine correspondence of the family, teach in my 
village school twice a week or so, and to attend every 
case of illness or other tribulation in Donabate and Balisk. 
My leisure for writing and for the preliminary reading 
for writing, was principally at night or in the early 
morning ; and at last it was accomplished. No one but my 
dear old friend, Harriet St. Leger, had seen any part of the 
MS., and, as I have said, nobody belonging to my famOy had 
ever (so far as I know) employed a printer or publisher 
before. I took the MS. with me to London, where my 
father and I were fortunately going for a holiday, and called 
with it in Paternoster Bow, on Mr. William Longman, to 
whom I had a letter of business introduction from my Dublin 



112 CHAPTER V. 

bookseller. When I opened my affair to Mr. Longman, it 
was truly a case of Byron's address to Murray-^ 

^ To thee with hope and tenor damb, 
The unfledged MS. aathoocs oome ; 
Thou printest all, and Bellest some, 

My Murray I * 

Mr. Longman politely veiled a smile, and adopted the voice 
of friendly dissuasion from my enterprise, looking no doubt 
on a young lady (as I still was) ,as a very unpromising 
author for a treatise on Kantian ethics t My spirit, however, 
rose with the challenge. I poured out for some minutes much 
that I had been thinking over for years, and as I paused at 
last, Mr. Longman said briefly, but decidedly, " FU piMiah 
yowr hook.** 

After this fateful interview, I remember going into 
St. Paul's and sitting there a long while alone. 

The sheets of the book passed rapidly through the press, 
and I usually took them to the British Museum to ' verify 
quotations and work quietly over difficulties, for in the house 
which we occupied in Connaught Square I had no study to 
myself. The foot-notes to the book (collected some in the 
Museum, some from my own books and some from old 
works in Archbishop Marsh's Library) were themselves a 
heavy part of the work. Glancing over the pages as I write, 
I see extracts, for example, from the following : — Gudworth 
(I had got at some inedited MSS. of his in the British 
Museum), Montesquieu, Philo, Hooker, Proclus, Thomas 
Aquinas, Aristotle, Descartes, Miiller, Whewell, Mozley, 
Leibnitz, St. Augustine, PhiUipsohn, Strabo, St. Ghrysostom, 
Morell, Lewes, Dugald Stewart, Mill, Oersted, the Ad^e- 
Grunt'h (sacred book of the Sikhs), Herbert Spencer, Hume, 
Mazimus Tyriensis, Institutes of Menu, Victor Gousin, 
Sir William Hamilton, Lucian, Seneca, Gory's Fragments, 



MY FIRST BOOK. 113 

St. Gregory the Great, Justin Martyr, Jeremy Taylor, 
the Yajur Veda, Shaftesbury, Plato, Marcus Aurelius, 
Diogenes Laertius, Cioero, Confucius, and many more. 
There are also in the Notes sketches of the history of the 
doctrines of Predestination, and of Original Sin, which 
involved very considerable research. 

At last the proofs were corrected, the Notes verified, and 
the time had come when the Preface must be written ! How 
was I to find a quiet hour to compose it % like most women 
I was bound hand and foot by a fine web of little duties and 
attentions, which men never feel or brush aside remorse- 
lessly, (it was only Hooker, who rocked a cradle with his 
foot while he wrote the Ecclesiastical Polity !) ; and it was a 
serious question for me when I could find leisure i^nd solitude. 
Luckily, just on the critical day, my father was seized with 
a fancy to go to the play, and, equally luckily, I had so bad 
a cold that it was out of question that I should, as usual, 
accompany him. Accordingly I had an evening all alone, 
and wrote fast and hard the pages which I shall presently 
quote, finishing the last sentence of my Prefaos as I heard 
my father's knock at the haU-door. 

I had all along told my father (though, alas; to his 
displeasure), that I was going to publish a book ; of course, 
anonymously, to save him annoyance. When the printing 
was completed, the torn and defaced sheets of the MS. lay 
together in a heap for removal by the housemaid. Pointing 
to this, my poor father said solemnly to me : " Don't leave 
those about ; you donH know into whose harnds they mayfaUJ* 
It was needless to observe to him, that I was on the point of 
pMisMng the '* perilous stuff " ! 

The book was brought out by Longmans that year (1855) 
and afterwards by Crosby and Nichols in Boston, and again 
by Triibner in London. It was reviewed rather largely 
and, on the whole, very kindly, considering it was by an 

VOL. I. n 



114 CHAPTER r. 

unknown and altogether unfriended author ; but sometimes 
also in a manner which it is pleasant to know has gone out 
of fashion in these latter days. It was amusing to see that 
not one of my critics had a suspicion they were dealing with 
a woman's work. They all said, ^^ He reasons clearly." 
^^ His spirit and manner are particularly well suited to 
ethical discussion.'' ^* HU treatment of morals*' (said the 
Gucurdiam) ''is often both true and beautiful." ''It is a 
most noble performance/' (said the Caledonum Mermary\ 
"the work of a masculine and lofty mind." "It is 
impossible," (said the Scaiaman\ "to deny the ability of 
the writer, or not to admire his high moral tone, 
his earnestness and the fulness of his knowledge." But 
the heresy of the book brought down heavy denunciation 
from the "religious" papers on the audacious writer who, 
" instead of walking softly and humbly on the firm ground 
and taking the Word of God as a lamp," dec., had indulged 
in "insect reasonings." A rumour at last went out that 
a woman was the author of this " able and attractive but 
deceptive and dangerous work," and then the critidsms were 
•barbed with sharper teeth. " The writer " (says the Christian 
Observer), " we are told, is a lady, but there is nothing feeble 
or even feminine in the tone of the work. .... Our 
dislike is increased when we are told it is a female (!) who 
has propounded so unfeminine and stoical a theory .... 
and has contradicted openly the true sayings of the living 
Godt " The Guardian (November 21st, 1855) finally had 
this delightful paragraph : "Theauthorprofessesgreatadmira- 
tion for Theodore Parker and Frauds Newman, but his own 
pages are not disfigured by the arrogance of the one or the 
shallow levity of the other" (think of the shalUotv levity of 
Newman's book of the Soul J). "He writes gravely, not 
defiantly, as befits a man giving utterance to thoughts which 
he knows will he generaUy regarded as impious" 



MT FIRST BOOK. 115 

I shall now offer the reader a few extracts ; and first from 
the Preface : — 

''It cannot surely be qaestioned bat that we want a 
System of Morals better than any of those which are onrrent 
amongst ns. We want a system which shall neither be too 
shallow for the requirements of thinking men, nor too 
abstruse for popular acceptation ; but which shall be based 
upon the ultimate grounds of philosophy, and be developed 
with such distinctness as to be understood by every one 
capable of studying the subject. We want a System of 
Morals which shall not entangle itself with sectarian creeds, 
nor imperil its authority with that of tottering Churches, 
but which shall be indissolubly blended with a Theology 
fulfilling all the demands of the Beligious Sentiment — a 
Theology forming a part, and the one living part, of all the 
theologies which ever have been or shall be. We want a 
system which shall not degrade the Law of the Eternal 
Sight by snnouncing it as a mere contrivance for the 
production of human happiness, or by tracing our knowledge 
of it to the 'experience of the senses, or by cajoling us into 
obeying it as a matter of expediency ; but a q^tem which 
^ shall ascribe to that Law its own sublime office in 
the universe, which shall recognise in man the faculties by 
which he obtains a supersensible knowledge of it, and 
which shall inculcate obedience to it on motives so pure 
and holy, that the mere statement of them shall awaken in 
every breast that higher and better self which can never 
be aroused by the call of interest or expediency. 

^ It would be in itself a presumption for me to Hiwf^Uim 
the ability necessary for supplying such a want as this. In 
writing this book, I have aimed chiefly at two objects. 
First. I have sought to unite into one homogeneous and self - 
consistent whole the purest and most enlarged theories 
hitherto propounded on ethical science. Especially I have 
endeavoured to popularise those of Kant, by giving the 
simplest possible presentation to his doctrines regarding 
the Freedom of the Will and the suoersensible source of 



116 CHAPTER V. 

our knowledge of all Neoessary Truths, including those of 
Morals. I do not claim however, even so &r as regards 
these doctrines, to be an exact exponent of Kant's 
opinions .... Secondly. I have sought (and this 
has been my chief aim) to place for the first time, at the 
foundation of ethics, the great but neglected truth that 
the End of Creation is not the Happiness, but the Virtue, 
of Bational Souls. I believe that this truth wiU be found 
to throw most valuable light, not only upon the Theory, but 
upon all the details of Practical Morals. Nay, more, I 
believe that we must look to it for such a solution of the 
* Riddle of the World' as shall satisfy the demands of the 
Intellect while presenting to the Religious Sentiment that 
same €k>d of perfect Justice and Gh)odne8s whose ideal it 
intuitively conceives and spontaneously adores. Only with 
this view of the Designs of €k>d can we understand how 
His Moral Attributes are consistent with the creation of a 
race which is indeed * groaning in sin' and ^travailing in 
sorrow ' ; but by whose freedom to sin and trial of sorrow 
shall be worked out at last the most blessed End which 
Infinite Love could devise. With this clew, we shall also 
see how (as the Virtue of each individual must be produced 
by himself, and is the share committed to him in the grand 
end of creation) all Duties must necessarily range them- 
selves accordingly — the Personal before the Social — ^in a 
sequence entirely different from that which is comformable 
with the hypothesis that Happiness is ' our being's end and 
aim ' ; but which is, nevertheless, precisely the sequence 
in which Intuition has always peremptorily demanded that 
they should be arranged. We shall see how (as the 
bestowal of Happiness on man must always be postponed 
by God to the stiU more blessed aim of conducing to his 
Virtue) the greatest outward woes and trials, so far from 
inspiring us with doubts of His Goodness, must be taken 
as evidences of the glory of that End of Virtue to which 
they lead, even as the depths of the foundations of a 
cathedral may show how high the towers and spires will 
one day ascend." — Pref.^ pp. V. — X. 



MY FIRST BOOK, 117 

In the first chapter, entitled What is the Moral Law ? I 
take for motto Antigone's great speech : — 

*^ aypcmra ic^a-^aX^ 0€Siv 
p6fuiia .... 

ov yap ri vvv ye k^x!^€Sj oXX' ace irorc 
(j ravTOy KovSctr olbev c{ orov ^<^i€an), 

So<^. 'AvTiy. 454." 

I begin by defining Moral actions and sentiments as those 
of national Free Agents, to which alone may be applied the 
terms of Right or Wrong, Good or Evil, Virtuous or 
Vicious. I then proceed to say : — 

'^This moral character of good or evil is a real, nniversal 
and eternal distlaction, existing through all worlds and for 
ever, wherever there are rational creatures and free agents. 
As one kind of line is a straight line, and another a crooked 
line, and as no line can be both straight and crooked, so 
one kind of action or sentiment is right, and another is 
wrong, and no action or sentiment can be both right or 
wrong. And as the same line which is straight on this 
planet would be straight in Sirius or Alcyone, and what 
constitutes straightness in the nineteenth century will 
constitute straightness in the nineteenth millennium, so 
that sentiment or action which is right in our world, is 
right in all worlds ; and that which constitutes righteous- 
ness now will constitute righteousness through all eternity. 
And as the character of straightness belongs to the line, by 
whatsoever hand it may have been traced, so the character 
of righteousness belongs to the sentiment or action, by what 
rational free agent soever it may have been felt or 
performed." 

"And of this distinction language affords a reliable 
exponent. When we have designated one kind of figure by 
the word Cirple, and another by the word Triangle, those 
terms, having become the names of the respective figures, 
cannot be transposed without transgression of the laws of 
language. Thus it would be absurd to argue that the 



118 CHAPTER V. 

figare we call a oirde, may not be a circle ; that a ' plane 
figure, contaming a point from which all right lines drawn 
to the droomferenoe shall be equal,' may not 4)e a circle, 
but a triangle. In like manner, when we have designated 
one kind of sentiment or action as Bight, and another as 
Wrong, it becomes an absurdity to say that the kind of 
sentiments or actions we call Bight may, perhaps, be 
Wrong. If a figure be not a circle, according to our sense 
of the word, it is not a circle at all, but an Ellipse, a 
Triangle, Trape2dum, or something else. If a sentiment or 
action be not Bight, according to our woae at the word^ it 
is not Bight at all, but, according to the laws of language, 
must be caUed Wrong. 

''It is not maintained that we can commit no error in 
affixing the name of Circle to a particular figure, or of 
Bight to a particular sentiment or action. We may at 
a hasty glance pronounce an ellipse to be a circle ; 
but when we have proved the radii to be unequal, 
needs must we arrive at a better judgment. Our 
error was caused by our first haste and misjudgment, 
not by our inability to decide whether an object presented 
to us bears or does not bear a character to which we have 
agreed to affix a certain name. In like manner, from haste 
or prejudice, we may pronounce a faulty sentiment or action 
to be Bight ; but when we have examined it in all its 
bearings, we ourselves are the first to call it Wrong." — 

Pp. 4-7. 

After much more on the positive nature of €k)od, and the 
negative nature of Evil, and on the relation of the Moral 
Law to God as imperaonated in His Will, and not the result 
(as Ockham taught) of his arbitrary decree, — I sum up the 
argument of this first chapter. To the question, What is the 
Moral Law ? I answer : — 

"The Moral Law is the embodiment of the eternal 
Necessary obligation of all Bational Free Agents to do and feel 
those actions and sentiments which are Bight. The identi- 



MY FIRST BOOK, 119 

flcation of this law with His will ooxustitntes the Holiness of 
the infinite Qod, Voluntary and disinterested obedience to 
this law constitates the Virtue of all finite creatures. Virtue 
is capable of infinite growth, of endless approach to the 
Divine nature, and to perfect conformity with the law. 
Gk)d has made all rational free agents for yirtue, and 
(doubtless) all worlds for rational free agents. The Moral 
Law, therefore, not only reigns throughout His creation (its 
behests being finally enforced therein by His power), but is 
itself the reason why that creation exists. The material 
universe, with all its laws, and all the events which result 
therefrom, has one great purpose, and tends to one great 
end. It is that end which infinite Love has designed, and 
which infinite Power shall surely accomplish, — ^the ever- 
lasting approximation of all created souls to Goodness and 
to God."— (Pp. 62, 63.) 

The second chapter undertakes to answer the question, 
Where ie Ae Moral Law Fou/ndf and begins by a brief 
analysis of the two great classes of human knowledge as a 
preliminary to asoertaining to which of these our knowledge 
of ethics belongs. 

"All sciences are either Exact or Physical (or are 
applications of Exact to Ph3rBical science). 

"Exact sciences are deduced from axiomatic Necessary 
truths and results in universal propositions, each of which 
is a Necessary Truth. 

" Physical sciences are induced from Experimental Con- 
tingent truths, and result in General Propositions, each of 
which is a contingent truth. 

''We obtain our knowledge of the Experimental 
Contingent Truths from which Physical science is induced, 
by the united action of our bodily senses and of our minds 
themselves, which must both in each case contribute their 
proper quota to make knowledge possible. Every perception 
necessitates this double element of sensation and intuition, 
— ^the objective and subjective factor in combination. 



120 CHAPTER V. 

''We obtain our knowledge of the aziomatio NeceBsary 
Trutha from which Exact science is deduced, by the 
d priori operation of the mind alone, and {quoad the exact 
science in question) without the aid of sensation (Not, 
indeed, by d priori operation of a mind which has never 
worked with sensation, for such a mind would be altogether 
barren; but of one which has reached normal development 
under normal conditions ; which conditions involve the 
continual united action productive of perceptions of 
contingent truths). 

''In this distinction between the sources of our know- 
ledge lies the most important discovery of philosophy. 
Into whatsoever knowledge the element of Sensation 
necessarily enters as a constituent part, therein there can 
be no absolute certainty of truth ; the fallibility of 
Sensation being recognised on all hands, and neutralising 
the certainty of the pure mental element. But when we 
discover an order of sciences which, without aid from 
sensation, are deduced by the mind's own operation from 
those Necessary truths which we hold on a tenure marking 
indelibly their distinction from all contingent truths what- 
soever, then we obtain footing in a new realm 

''In the ensuing pages I shaU endeavour to demonstrate 
that the science of Morals belongs to the class of Exact 
sciences, and that it has consequently a right to that 
credence wherewith we hold the truths of arithmetic and 
geometry. . . . ." 

The test which divides the two classes is as follows :— 

" What truth soever is Necessary and of universal extent 
is derived by the mind from its own operation, and does 
not rest on observation or experience ; as, conversely, 
what truth or perception soever is present to the mind 
with a consciousness, not of its Necessity, but of its 
Contingency, is ascribable not to the original agency of 
the mind itself but derives its origin from observation and 
experience.*' 



MY FIRST BOOK. 121 

After lengthened discussion on this head and on the 
e^upposed mistakes of moral intuition, I go on to say : 

" The consciousness of the Contingency, or the 
consciousness of the Necessity (i.«., the consoiousness 
that the truth cannot be contingent, but must hold good iu 
all worlds for ever), these consciousnesses are to be 
relied on, for they have their origin in, and are 
the marks of, the different elements from which they 
have been derived.* We may apply them to the funda- 
mental truths of any science, and by obaerring whether the 
reception of such truths into our minds be accompanied by 
the conisciousness of Necessity or of Gontiogency, we may 
decide whether the science be rightfully Exact or Physical, 
deductive or inductive. 

<*For example, we take the axioms of arithmetic and 
geometry, and we find that we have distinct consciousness 
that they are Necessary truths. We cannot conceive them 
altered any where or at any time. The sciences which are 
deduced from these and from similar axioms are then. 
Exact sciences. 

^ Again : we take the ultimate facts of geology and 
anatomy, and we find that we have distinct consciousness 
that they are Contingent truths. We can readily suppose 
them other than we find them. The sciences, then, which 
are induced from these and similar facts are not Exact 
sciences. 

" If, then, morals can be shown to bear this test equally 
with mathematics, — ^if there be any fundamental truths of 
morals holding in our minds the status of those axioms of 
geometry and arithmetic of whose Necessity we are oon- 

* **It is a fact of ConsciousnesB to which all experience bears 
witness and which it is the duty of the philosopher to admit and 
acoonnt for, instead of disguising or mutilating it to suit the 
demands of a system, that there are certain truths which when 
once acquired, no matter how, it is impossible by any effort of 
thought to conceive as reversed or reversible.** — ManseVs Msta- 
physics, p. 248. 



122 CHAPTER V. 

scioufl, then Uieie fundamental trntha of morals are entitled 
to be .made the basis of an Exact sdenoe the sabseqnent 
theorems of which mnst all be deduced from them. — 
(P. 7a) . . . 

*<Men like Hume traverse the history of our race, to 
ooUeot all the piteous instances of aberrations which have 
resulted from neglect or imperfect study of the moral 
consciousness ; and then they cry, ' Behold what it teaches ! ' 
Yet I suppose that it will be admitted that Man is an animal 
capable of knowing geometry ; though, if we were to go up 
and down the world, asking rich and poor. Englishman and 
Esquimaux, what are the ratios of solidity and superficies of 
a sphere, a right cylinder and an equilateral cone circum- 
scribed about it, there are sundry chances that we should 
hear of other ratios besides the sesquialterate. 

"He who should argue ihat> because people ignorant of 
geometry did not know the sesquialterate ratio of the 
sphere, cylinder and cone, therefore no man could know 
it| or that because they disputed it, that therefore it was 
uncertain, would argue no more absurdly than he who 
urges the divergencies of half civilised and barbarian 
nations as a reason why no man could know, or know with 
certainty, the higher propositions of morals.'* 

After analysing the Utilitarian and other theories which 
derive Morality from Contingent truths, I conclude that *'the 
truths of Morals are Necessary Truths. The origin of our 
knowledge of them is Intuitive, and their proper treatment 
is Deductive." 

The third Chapter treats of the proposition, " That the 
Moral Law can be obeyed," and discusses the doctrine of 
Kant, that the true self of Man, the Homo NoiMMfium^ \& 
free, self legislative of Law fit for Law Universal ; while as 
the Homo Phenomenon^ an inhabitant of the world of sense, 
he is a mere link in the chain of causes and effects, and his 
actions are locked up in mechanic laws which, had he no 
other rank, would ensue exactly according to the physical 



MY FIRST BOOK, 123 

impukes given by the instincts and solicitations in the 
sensory. But as an inhabitant (also) of the supersensitiye 
world his position is among the causalities which taking their 
rise therein, are the intimate ground of phenomena. The 
discussion in this chapter on the above proposition cannot be 
condensed into any space admissible here. 

The fourth Chapter seeks to determine Why the Moral 
Law ahoM be Obeyed, It begins thus : — 

"In the last Chapter (Chapter HE.) I endeavoured to 
demonstrate that the pure Will, the true self of man, is by 
nature righteous ; self-legialative of the only Universal 
Law, viz., the Moral ; and that by this spontaneous autonomy 
would aU his actions be squared, were it not for his lower 
nature, which is by its constitution unmoral, neither 
righteous nor unrighteous, but capable only of determiniug 
its choice by its instinctive propensities and the gratifica- 
tions offered to them. Thus these two are contrary one to 
another, *and the spirit lusteth against the flesh, and the 
flesh against the spirit.' In the valour of the higher 
nature acquired by its victory over the lower, in the virtue 
of the tried and conquering soul, we look for the glorious 
end of creation, the sublime result contemplated by 
Infinite Benevolence in calling man into existence and 
fitting him with the complicated nature capable of 
developing that Virtue which alone can be the crown of 
finite intelligences. The great practical problem of human 
life is this : * How is the Moral Will to gain the victory 
over the unmoral instincts, the Homo Noumemm over the 
RoTM Phenomenon, Michael over the Evil One, Mithras over 
Hyle ? ' " 

In pursuing this enquiry of how the Moral Will is to be 
rendered victorious, I am led back to the question: Is 
Happiness **our end and aim?'* What relation does it 
bear to Morality as a motive I 

^I have already argued, in Chapter I., that Happiness, 
properly speaking, is the gratification of all the desires of 



124 CHAPTER V, 

our compound nature, and that moral, intellectual, affiec- 
tional, and eensual pleasures are all to be considered as 
integers, whose sum, when complete, would constitute 
perfect Happiness. From this multiform nature of Happi- 
ness it has arisen, that those systems of ethics which set 
it forth as the proper motive of Virtue have differed 
immensely from one another, according as the Happiness 
they respectively contemplated was thought of as corndsting 
in the pleasures of our Moral, or of our Intellectual, Affec- 
tional, and Sensual natures ; whether the pleasures were 
to be sought by the virtuous man for his own enjoyment| or 
for the general happiness of the community. 

''The pursuit of Virtue for the sake of its intrinsic, i.«., 
Moral pleasure^ is designated Euthumism. 

'*The pursuit of Virtue for the sake of the extrinsic 
AfFectional, Intellectual, and Sensual pleasure resulting 
from it, is designated Eudaimonism. 

** Euthumism is of one kind only, for the individual can 
only seek the intrinsic pleasure of Virtue for his own enjoy- 
ment thereol 

''Eudaimonism, on the contrary, is of two most distinct 
kinds. That which I have called Public Eudaimonism sets 
forth the intellectual, affeotional, and sensual pleasures of 
aU mankind as the proper object of the Virtue of each 
individual. Private Eudaimonism sets forth the same 
pleasures of the individual hivMelf as the proper object of 
his Virtue. 

** These two latter systems are commonly confounded 
under the name of ' Utilitabian Ethics.' Their principles, 
as I have stated them, will be seen to be wide asunder ; 
yet there are few of the advocates of either who have not 
endeavoured to stand on the grounds of both, and even to 
borrow elevation from those of the Enthumist Thus, by 
appealing alternately to philanthropy* and to a gross and 
a refined Selfishness, they suit the purpose of the moment, 
and prevent their scheme from deviating too far from the 

* We should now say AUrtAim. 



MY FIRST BOOK. 126 

intuitive consoienoe of mankind. It may be remarked, 
also, that the Private Endaimonists insist more partionlarly 
on the pleasure of a Future Life ; and in the exposition of 
them necessarily approach nearer to the Enthumists." 

I here proceeded to disctuss the three systems whioh have 
arisen from the above-defined different views of Happiness ; 
each contemplating it as the proper motive of Virtue : 
namely, 1st, Euthumism; 2nd, Public Eudaimonism; and 
3rd, Private Eudaimonism. 

" Ist. Euthumism. This system, as I have said, sets forth 
the Moral Flecuwre, the peace and cheerfulness of mind, and 
applause of consdenoe enjoyed in Virtue, as the proper 
motive for its practice. Conversely, it sets forth as the 
diasuadent from Vice, the pain of remorse, the inward 
uneasiness and self -contempt which belong to it. 

« Democritus appears to have been the first who gave dear 
utterance to this doctrine, maintaining that EvBvfjJa was 
the proper End of human actions, and sharply distinguiBhing 
it from the 'Uboyij' proposed as such by Aristippus. The 
claims of a ' mens eonscia recti ' to be the ' Summnm 
Bonum,' occupied, as is well known, a large portion of 
the subsequent disputes of the Epicureans, Cynics, 
Stoics and Academics, and were eagerly argued by 
Cicero, and even down to the time of Boethius. Many of 
these sects, however, and in particular the Stoics, though 
maintaining that Virtue alone is sufiident for Happiness 
(that is, that the inward joy of Virtue is enough to 
constitute Happiness in the midst of torments), yet by no 
means set forth that Happiness as the sole motwe of Virtue. 
They held, on the contrary, the noblest ideas of 'living 
according to Nature,' that is, as Chrysippus explained it, 
according to the * Nature of the universe, the common 
Law of all, which is the right reason spread everywhere, 
the same by which Jupiter governs the world ' ; and that 
both Virtue and Happiness consisted in so regulating our 
actions that they should produce harmony between the 



128 CHAPTER V. 

Spirit in each of us, and the Will of Him who rales the 
univene. There is little or no trace of Enthumism in the 
Jewish or Christian Scriptures, or (to my knowledge) in 
the sacred books of the Brahmins, Buddhists, or Parsees. 
The ethical problems argued by the mediseval Schoolmen do 
not, so far as I am aware, embrace the subject in question. 
The doctrine was revived, however, in the seventeenth 
century, and besides blending with more or less distinctness 
wiih the views of a vast number of lesser moralists, 
it reckons among its professed adherents no less names than 
Henry More and Bishop Cumberland. Euthumism, philo- 
sophically considered, will be found to affix itself most 
properly on the doctrine of the ' Moral Sense * laid down 
by Shaftesbury as the origin of our knowledge of moral 
distinctions, which, if it were, it would naturally follow that 
it must afford also the right motive of Virtue. Hutcheson, 
also, still more distinctly stated that this Moral Pleasure in 
Virtue (which both he and Shaftesbury likened to the 
sBsthetic Pleasure in Beauty) was the true ground of our 
choice. To this Balguy replied, that * to make the rectitude 
of moral actions depend upon instinct, and, in proportion 
to the warmth and strength of the Moral Sense, rise and 
fall like spirits in a thermometer, is depreciating the most 
sacred thing in the world, and almost exposing it to ridicule.' 
And Whewell has shown that the doctrine of the Moral 
Sense as the foundation of Morals must always fail, 
whether understood as meaning a sense like that of Beauty 
(which may or may not be merely a modification of the 
Agreeable), or a sense like those of Touch or Taste 
(which no one can fairly maintain that any of our 
moral perceptions really resemble). 

'' But though neither the trae source of our Knowledge of 
Moral Distinctions nor yet the right Motive why we are to 
choose the Good, this Moral Sense of Pleasure in Virtue, 
and Pain in Vice, is a psychological fact demanding the 
investigation of the Moralist. Moreover, the error of 
allowing our moral choice to be decided by a regard to the 
pure joy of Virtue or awful pangs of self-condemnation, is 



MY FIRST BOOK. 127 

an error bo venial in comparison of other moral heresies, 
and so easily to be oonfonnded with a tnier prinoiple of 
Morak, that it is particularly necessary to ivam generous 
natures against it. * It ia quite beyond the grasp of human 
thought,' says Kant, 'to explain how reason can be 
practical ; how the mere Morality of the hiw, independently 
of every object man can be interested in, can itself beget 
an interest which is purely Ethical ; how a naked thought, 
containing in it nothing of the sensory, can bring forth an 
emotion of pleasure or pain/ 

*' Unconsciously this Sense of Pleasure in a Yirtuoua Act, 
the thought of the peace of conscience which will follow it, 
or the dread of remorse for its neglect, muat mingle with 
our motivea. But we can never be permitted, consciously 
to exhibit them to ourselves as the ground of our resolution 
to obey the Law. That Law ia not valid for man because 
it interests him, but it interests him because it has validity 
for him — because it springs from his true being, his proper 
sell The interest he feels is an EfEect, not a Cause ; a 
Contingency, not a Necessity. Were he to obey the Law 
merely from this Literest, it would not be free Self -legisla- 
tion (autonomy), but (heteronomy) subservience of the Pure 
Will to a lower faculty— a Sense of Pleasure. And, practi- 
cally, we may perceive that all manner of mischiefs and 
absurdities must arise if a man set forth Moral Pleasure as 
the determinator of his Will 

'* Thus, the maxim of Euthumism, ' Be virtuovsfor ike sake 
of the Moral Pleasure of Virtue* may be pronounced false. 

" 2nd. Public Eudaimonism sets forth, both as the ground 
of our knowledge of Virtue and the motive for our practice 
of it, ^The Oreatest Happiness of the Cheatest NwmberJ' 
This Happiness, as Paley understood it, is composed of 
Pleasures to be estimated only by their Intensity and 
Duration; or, as Beniham added, by their Certainty, 
Propinquity, Fecundity, and Purity (or freedom from 
admixture of evil). 

*^ Let it be granted for argument's sake, that the calculable 
Happiness resulting from actions can determine their 



123 CHAPTER V. 

Yirtne (although all ezperienoe teaches that resulting 
Happiness is not calculable, and that the Virtue must at 
least be one of the items determining the resulting 
Happiness). On the Utilitarian's own assumption, what sort 
of motive for Virtue can be his end of ' The Crreatett 
Happitiesi of (he Greatest Number t ' 

^' No sooner had Paley laid down the grand principle of hie 
system, ^Whcttever w Expedient is Right,^ than he proceeds 
(as he thinks) to guard against its malapplication by 
arguing that nothing is expedient which produces, along 
with particular good consequences, general bad ones, and 
that this is done by the viohition of any general rule. ' Ton 
cannot/ says he, ' permit one action; and forbid another 
without showing a difference between them. Oonseqnently 
the same sort of actions must be generally permitted or 
generally forbidden. Where therefore, the general per- 
mission of them would be pernicious, it becomes necessary 
to lay down and support the rule which generally forbids 
them.' 

'*Now, let the number of experienced consequences of 
actions be ever so great, it must be admitted that the 
Inductions we draw therefrom can, at the utmost, be only 
provisional, and subject to revision should new &cts be 
brought in to bear in an opposite scale. . . . 

*< Further, the rules induced by experience must be not 
only provisional, but partial. The lax term 'general' 
misleads us. A Moral Bule must be either univeral and 
open to no exception, or, properly speaking, no nde at all. 
Each case of Morals stands alone. 

''Thus, the Experimentalist's oondusion, for example, 
that 'Lying does more harm than good,' may be quite 
remodelled by the fortunate discovery of so prudent a kind 
of falsification as shall obviate the mischief and leave the 
advantage. No doubt can remain on the mind of any 
student of Paley, that this would have been his own line of 
aigument : ' If we can only prove that a lie be expedient, 
then it becomes a duty to lie.' As he says himself of the 
rule (which if any rule may do so may surely claim to be 



MY FIRST BOOK. 129 

general) 'Do not do evil that good may come,' that it is 

* salutary, for the most part, the advantage seldom com- 
pensating for the violation of the role.' So to do evil is 
sometimes salntary^ and does now and then compensate for 
disregarding even the Endaimonist'a last resource — a 
General Bule! 

" 2nd. Private Eudaimonism. There are several formulas, 
in which this system, (the lowest, but the most logical, of 
Moral heresies) is embodied. Rutherford puts it thus: 

* Every illan's Happiness is the ultimate end which Beason 
teaches him to pursue, and the constant and uniform 
practice of Virtue towards all mankind becomes our duty, 
when Bevelation has informed us that God will make us 
finally happy in a life after this.' Paley (who properly 
belongs to this school, but endeavours frequently to seat 
himself on the comers of the stools of Euthumism and 
Public Eudaimonism), Paley, the standard Moralist of 
England,* defines Virtue thus : * Virtue is the doing good to 
mankind in obedience to the will of God, and for the sake of 
Ev^kuiing Happiness, According to which definition, the 
good of mankind ia the subject ; the will of God the rule ; 
and Everlasting Happiness the motive of Virtue.' 

<*Yet it seems to me, that if there be any one truth 
which intuition does teach us more clearly than another, 
it is precisely this one — that Virtue to be Virtue must be 
disinterested. The moment we picture any species of 
reward becoming the bait of our Morality, that moment we 
see the holy fiame of Virtue annihilated in the noxious gas. 
A man is not Virtuous at all who is honest because it is 
'good policy,' beneficent from love of approbation, pious 
for the sake of heaven. All this is prudence not virtue, 
selfishness not self-sacrifice. If he be honest for sake of 
policy, would he be dishonest, if it could be proved that it 
were more politic ? If he would not, then he is not really 
honest from policy but from some deeper principle thrust 

* I am thankful to believe that he would be no longer accorded 
such a rank in 1890 as in 1860 1 

VOL. !• I 



I 



130 CHAPTER V. 

into the background of his congciousnesB. If he vxmld^ 
then it is idlest mockery to call that honesty Virtaoas 
which only waits a bribe to become dishonest 

" But tiiere are many Eudaimonists who will be ready to 
acknowledge that a prudent postponement of our happiness 
in Mia world cannot constitute virtue. But wherefore do 
they say we are to postpone it ? Not for present pleasure 
or pain, that would be base ; but for that anticipation of 
future pleasure or pain which we call Hope and Fear. And 
this, not for the Hope and Fear of this world, which are 
still admitted to be base motives ; but for Hope and Fear 
extended one step beyond the tomb — the Hope of Heaven 
and the Fear of Hell.' 

After a general glance at the doctrine of Future Howards 
and Ponishmentfi as held by Christians and heathens, I go 
on to argue : 

^ But in truth this doctrine of the Hope of Heaven being 
the true Motive of Virtue is (at least in theory) just as 
destructive of Virtue as that which makes the rewards of 
this life — ^health, wealth, or reputation — the motive of it. 
Well says brave Kingsley : 

* Is selfishness for time a sin, 
Stretched out into eternity celcsstial prudence f 

** If to act for a small reward cannot be virtuous, to act 
for a large one can certainly merit no more. To be bribed 
by a guinea is surely no better than to be bribed by a 
penny. To be deterred from ruin by fear of transportation 
for life, is no more noble than to be deterred by fear of 
twenty-four hours in prison. There u no use multiplying 
iUustrations. He who can think that Virtue is the doing right 
for pay, may think himself very judicious to leave his pay 
in the savings-bank now and come into a fortune all at 
once by and by ; but he who thinks that Virtue is the doing 
right for Bight's own sake, cannot possibly draw a distinction 



MY FIRST BOOK. 131 

between small bribes and large ones ; a reward to be given 
to-day, and a reward to be given in eternity. 

'^ Nevertheless it cannot be denied that the belief in 
immortal progress is of incalonlable valne. Snch belief, 
and that in an ever-present God, may be called the two 
wings of human Yirtne. I look on the advantages of a &ith 
in immortality to be two-fold. First, it cuts the knot of the 
world, and gives to our apprehension a God whose providence 
need no longer perplex us, and whose immeasurable and 
never-ending goodness shines ever brighter before our 
contemplating souls. Secondly, it gives an importance to 
personal progress which we can hardly attribute to it so 
long as we deem it is to be arrested for ever by death. The 
man who does not believe in Immortality may be, and often 
actually is, more virtuous than his neighbour ; and it is 
quite certain that his Yirtue is of far purer character than 
that which bargains for Heaven as its pay. But his task is 
a very hard one, a task without a result ; and his road a 
dreary one, unenlightened even by the distant dawn of 

'That great world of light which lies 
Behind all hxmian destinies.' 

We can scarcely do him better service than by leading him 
to trust that intuition of Immortality which is written in 
the heart of the human race by that Hand which writes no 
falsehoods. 

''But if the attainment of Heaven be no true motive for 
the pursuit of Virtue, surely I may be held excused from 
denouncing that practice of holding out the fear of Hell 
wherewith many fill up the measure of moral degradation ? 
Here it is vain to suppose that the fear is that of the 
immortality of sin and banishment from God ; as we are 
sometimes told the hope of Heaven is that of an immor- 
tality of Yirtue and union with Him. The mind which 
sinks to the debasement of any Fear is already below the 
level at which sin and estrangement are terrors. It is 
his weakness of will which alone hinders the Prodigal from 
saying, 'I wiU arise and go to my Father,' and unless we 



132 CHAPTER F. 

can strengthen that Will by some diiferent motive, it is idle 
to threaten him with its own persistence. 



<*Betaming from the contemplation of the lowness of 
aim common to all the forma of Eudaimonism, how 
magnificent seems the grand and holy doctrine of true 
Intoitiye Morality? Do Bight fob the Right's own 
SAKE : Love God and Goodness because they are Good ! 
The soul seems to awake from death at sq<^ archangeFs 
caU as this, and mortal man puts on his rightful immortality. 
The prodigal grovels no longer, seeking for Happiness amid 
the husks of pleasure ; but, ' coming to himself,' he arises 
and goes to his Father, heedless if it be but as the lowest 
of His servants he may yet dwell beneath that Father's 
smile. Hope and fear for this life or the next, mercenary 
bargainings, and labour of eye-service, all are at end. He is 
a Free-man, and free shall be the oblation of his soul and 
body, the reasonable, holy, and acceptable sacrifice. 

" O Living Soul ! wilt thou follow that mighty hand, 
and obey that summons of the trumpet ? Perchance 
thou hast reached life's solenm noon, and with the 
bright hues of thy morning have faded away the 
beautiful aspirations of thy youth. Doubtless thou hast 
often struggled for the Bight; but, weary with frequent 
overthrows, thou criest, 'This also is vanity.' But think 
again, O Soul, whose sun shall never set! Have no poor 
and selfish ambitions mingled with those struggles and made 
them vanity? Have no theologic dogmas from which thy 
maturer reason revolts, been blended with thy purer 
principle? Hast thou nourished no extravagant hope of 
becoming suddenly sinless, or of heaping up with an hour's 
labour a mountain of benefits on thy race? Surely some 
mistake like these lies at the root of all moral discourage- 
ment. But mark : — 

''Pure morals forbid all base and selfish motives — all 
happiness-seeking, fame-seeking, love-«eeking — ^in this world 
or ti&e next, as motives of Virtue. Pore Morals rest not on 



MY FIRST BOOK. 133 

any traditional dogma, not on history, on philology, on 
critioiBin, but on those intuitions, dear as the axioms of 
geometry, which thine own sonl finds in its depths, and 
knows to be necessary tmths, which, short of madness, it 
cannot disbelieve. 

'* Pure Morals ofEer no panacea to core in a moment all the 
diseases of the human heart, and transform the sinner into 
the saint. They teach that the passions, which are the 
machinery of our moral life, are not to be miraculously 
annihilated, but by slow and unwearying endeaTour to be 
brought into obedience to the Holy Will ; while to faU and 
rise again many a time in the path of virtue is the inevitable 
lot of every pilgrim therein. . • . Our hearts bum 
within us when for a moment the vision rises before our 
flight of what we might make our life even here upon earth. 
Faintly can any words picture that vision ! 

" A life of Benevolence, in which every word of our lips, 
every work of our hands, had been a contribution to human 
virtue or human happiness ; a life in which, ever wider and 
warmer through its three score years and ten had grown our 
pure, unwavering, Godlike Love, till we had spread the 
same philanthropy through a thousand hearts ere we passed 
away from earth to love yet better still our brethren in 
the sky. 

" A life of Personal Virtue, in which every evil disposition 
had been trampled down, every noble sentiment called 
forth and strengthened ; a life in which, leaving day by day 
further behind us the pollutions of sin, we had also ascended 
daily to fresh heights of purity, till self<sonquest, un- 
ceasingly achieved, became continually more secure and 
more complete, and at last — 

• The lordly Will o*er its subject powers 
Like a tbronM God prevailed,* 

and we could look back upon the great task of earth, and 
say, ' It is finished ! ' 

" A life of Religion, in which the delight in God*s presence, 
the reverence for His moral attributes, the desire to obey 



134 CHAPTER F. 

His Will, and the consoiousneBs of HIb everlasting love, had 
grown continually clearer and stronger, and of which 
Prayer, deepest and intensest, had been the very heart and 
nucleus, till we had found God drawing ever nearer to as 
as we drew near to him, and vouchsafing to us a com- 
munion the bliss of which no human speech may ever tell ; 
the dawning of that day of adoration which shall grow 
brighter and brighter still while all the clusters of the suns 
fade out and die. 

''And turning from our own destiny, from the endless 
career opened to our Benevolence, our Personal Virtue, and 
our Piety, we take in a yet broader view, and behold the 
whole universe of God mapped out in one stupendous Plan 
of Love. In the abyss of the past eternity we see the 
Greater for ever designing and for ever accomplishing the 
supremest end at which infinite Justice and Goodneos oould 
aim, and absolute Wisdom and Power bring to pass. For 
this end, for the Virtue of all finite Intelligences, we behold 
Him building up millions of starry abodes and peopling 
them with immortal spirits clothed in the garbs of fleah, 
and, endowed with that moral freedom whose bestowal was 
the highest boon of Omnipotence. As ages of millenniums 
roll away, we see a double progress working through all 
the realms of space ; a progress of each race and of each 
individual. Slowly and securely, though with many an 
apparent retrogression, does each world-family become 
better, wiser, nobler, happier. Slowly and securely, though 
with many a grievous backsliding, each living soul grows 
up to Virtue. Nor pauses that awful march for a moment, 
even in the death of the being or the cataclysm of the 
world. Over all Death and Change reigns that Almighty 
changeless will which has decreed the holiness and happi- 
ness of every spirit He hath made. Through the gates of 
the grave, and on the ruins of worlds, shall those spirits 
climb, higher and yet higher through the infinite ages, 
nearer and yet nearer to Goodness and to God*^ 



CHAFTiSB 
VI. 



IRELAND IN THE F0BTIE3. 



THE PEASANTRY. 



GHAFCBB VL 
Ireland in the Thirtibs and Forties* 

The prominence which Irish grievances have taken of late 
jears in English politics has cansed me often to review with 
fresh eyes the state of the country as it existed in my 
childhood and yonth, when, of coursoi both the good and evil 
of it appeared to me to be part of the order of nature itself. 

I will first speak of the condition of the working classeSi 
then of the gentry and clergy. 

I had considerable opportunities for many years of hearing 
and seeing all that was going on in our neighbourhood, which 
was in the district known as '* Fingal" (the White Strangers' 
land), having been once the territory of the Danes. Fingal 
eictends along the sea-coast between Dublin and Drogheda, 
and our part lay exactly between Malahide and Rush. My 
father, and at a later time my eldest brother, were 
indefatigable as magistrates, Poor-law Gnardians and land- 
lords in their efforts to relieve the wants and improve the 
condition of the people ; and it fell on me naturally, as the 
only active woman of the family, to play the part of Lady 
Bountiful on a rather large scale. There was my father's 
own small village of Donabate in the first place, claiming my 
attention ; and beyond it a larger straggling collection of mud 
cabins named "Balisk"; the landlord of which. Lord 
Tnmleston, was an absentee, and the village a centre of 
fever and misery. In Donabate there was never any real 
distress. In every house there were wage-earners or 
pensioners enough to keep the wolf from the door. Only 
when sickness came was there need for extra food, wine, and 



138 CHAPTER VL 

so on. The wages of a field-labourer were^ at tliat tune, 
about 8s. a week ; of course without keep. His diet consisted 
of oatmeal porridge, wheaten griddle-bread, potatoes and 
abundance of buttermilk. The potatoes, before the Famine, 
were delicious tubers. Many of the best kinds disappeared 
at that time (notably I recall the ** Black Bangers"), and 
the Irish housewife cooked them in a manner which no 
English or French Cardan Bleu can approach. I remember 
constantly seeing little girls bringing the mid-day dinners 
to their fathers, who sat in summer under the trees, and in 
winter in a comfortable room in our stable-yard, with fire and 
tables and chairs. The cloth which carried the dinner being 
removed there appeared a plate of ^ smiling " potatoes (ie., 
with cracked and peeling skins) and in the midst a wdl of 
about a sixth of a pound of butter. Along with the plate of 
potatoes was a big jug of milk, and a hunch of griddle-bread. 
On this food the men worked in summer from six (or earlier, 
if mowing was to be done) till breakfast, and from thence 
till one o'clock. After an hour^s dinner the great bell tolled 
again, and work went on till 6. In winter there was no 
cessation of work from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m., when it ended. 
Of course these long hours of labour in the fields, without 
the modem interruptions, were immensely valuable on the 
farm. I do not think I err in saying that my father had 
thirty per cent, more profitable labour from his men for 8s. 
a week, than is now to be had from labourers at 16s. ; at all 
events where I live here, in Wales. It is fair to note that 
beside their wages my father's men, and also the old women 
whose daughters (eight in number) worked in the shrubberies 
and other light work all the year round, were allowed each 
the grazing of a cow on his pastures, and were able to get 
coal from the ships he chartered every winter from White- 
haven for 1 1& a ton, drawn to the village by his horses. At 
Ohristmas an ox was divided among them, and generally 



IRELAND IN THE THIRTIES AND FORTIES. 139 

also a good quantity of frieze for the coats of the men, and 
for the capes of the eight " Amazons.'' 

I cannot say what amount of genuine loyalty really existed 
among our people at that time. Outwardly, it appeared 
they were happy and contented, though, in talking to the old 
people, one never failed to hear lamentations for the '^ good 
old times " of the past generations. In those times, as we 
knew very well, nothing like the care we gave to the wants 
of the working classes was so much as dreamed of by our 
forefathers. But they kept open house, where all comers 
were welcome to eat and drink in the servants' hall when 
they came up on any pretext ; and this kind of hospitality 
has ever been a supreme merit in Celtic eyes. Some readers 
will remember that the famous chieftainess, Ghnma Uaile, 
invading Howth in one of her piratical expeditions in the 
"spacious times of great Elizabeth," found the gates of the 
ancient castle of the St. Lawrences, closed, though it toaa 
dinner-Hme / Indignant at this breach of decency, Grana 
Uaile kidnapped the heir of the lordly house and carried 
him to her robbers' fortress in Oonnaught, whence she only 
released him in subsequent years on the solemn engagement 
of the Lords of Howth always to dine with the doors of 
Howth Oastle wide open. I believe it is not more than 50 
years, if so much, since this practice was abolished. 

I think the only act of ''tyranny" with which I was 
charged when I kept my father's house, and which provoked 
violent recalcitration, was when I gave orders that men 
coming from our mountains to Newbridge on business with 
'< the Master " should be served with largest platef uls of meat 
and jugs of beer, but should not be left in the servants' hall 
en t^e-tt-tite with whole rounds and sirloins of beef, of which 
no account could afterwards be obtained ! 

Of course, the poor labourer in Ireland at that time after 
the failure of the potatoes, who had no allowances, and had 



140 CH AFTER VL 

many young children unable to earn anything for themselveB, 
was cruelly tightly placed. I shall copy here a calculation 
which I took down in a note-book, still in my possession, 
after sifting enquiries concerning prices at our village shops, 
in, or about, the year 1845 : — 

Wheatmeal costs 2s. 3d. per stone of 14 lbs. 
Oatmeal „ 28. 4d. „ „ 

India meal „ 1& 8d. „ „ 

14 lbs. of wheatmeal makes 18 lbs. of griddle bread« 
1 lb. of oatmeal makes 3 lbs. of stirabout. 

A man will require 4 lbs. food per day ... 28 lbs. per week. 
A woman „ 3 lbs. „ ... 21 lbs. „ 

Each child at least 2 lbs. „ ... 14 Iba ^ 

A family of 3 will therefore require 63 lbs. of food per 
week — 6,g,j 

1 stone wheat — 18 lbs. bread .•• ..• 2 3 
1 stone oatmeal — 42 lbs. stirabout 2 4 



60 lbs. food; cost 4 7 



A family of 5 will require — 
Man 

TT UV ... ••. •«• 

S children 



Say 30 lbs. bread— 23 lbs. wheatmeal 
61 lbs. stirabout — 20 lbs. oatmeal 



•9X XOob f** f^m ».• •»• ••• ' M 



28 lbs. 




21 lbs. 




42 lbs. 




91 lbs. food. 


8. 


d. 


«.• o 


10 


... 3 


4 



IRELAND IN THE THIRTIES AND FORTIES. 141 

Thus, when a man had five children to support, and no 
potatoes, his weekly wages scarcely covered bare food. 

Before the Famine and the great fever, the population of 
our part of Ireland was exceedingly dense ; more than 200 
to the square mile. There were an enonnous number of mud 
cabins consisting of one room only, run up at every comer 
of the roadside and generally allowed to sink into miserable 
squat, 8oUi8hr\o(Skmg hovels with no drainage at all j mud 
floor ; broken thatch, two or three rough boards for a door ; 
and the four panes of the sole window stuffed with rags or 
an old hat. Just 500,000 of these one-roomed cabins, the 
Eegistrar-General, Mr. WilliamDonellyjtold me, disappeared 
between the census before, and the census after the Famine ! 
Nothing was easier than to run them up. Thatch was cheap, 
and mud abundant, everywhere ; and as to the beams (they 
called them " (oTnes"), I remember a man addressing my 
father coaxingly, ^' Ah yer Honour will ye plaze spake to the 
steward to give me a '* hcmd^fvi of sprigs f" ''A handful of 
sprigs f What for ? " asked my father ; " Why for the roof of 
me new little house, yer Honour, that Fm building fomenst 
the onld wan ! " 

I never saw in an Irish cottage any of the fine old oak 
settles, dressers and armchairs and coffers to be found usually 
in Welsh ones. A good unpainted deal dresser and table, 
a wooden bedstead, a couple of wooden chairs, and two or 
three straw " bosses" (stools) made like beehives, completed 
the furniture of a well-to-do cabin, with a range of white or 
willow-pattern plates on the dresser, and two or three fright- 
fully coloured woodcuts pasted on the walls for adornment. 
Flowers in the gardens or against the walls were never to be 
seen. Enormous chimney comers, with wooden stools or 
straw ^' bosses " under the projecting walls, were the most 
noticeable feature. Nothing seems to be more absurd and 
unhistorical than the common idea that the Celt is a beauty- 



142 CHAPTER VL 

loving creature, aesthetically far above the Saxon. If he be 
so, it is surprising that his home, his furniture, his dress, his 
garden never show the smallest token of his taste I When 
the young girls from the villages, even from very respectable 
families, were introduced into our houses, it was a severe 
tax on the housekeepers' supervision to prevent them from 
resorting to the most outrageous shifts andjmisuse of utensils 
of all sorts. I can recall, for example, one beautiful young 
creature with the lovely Trish grey eyes and long lashes, 
and with features so fine that we privately called her 
"Madonna." For about two years she acted as house- 
maid to my second brother, who, as I have mentioned, 
had taken a place in Donegal, and whose excellent London 
cook, carefully trained " Madonna " into what were (out- 
wardly) ways of pleasantness for her master. At last, and 
when apparently perfectly "domesticated" — as English 
advertisers describe themselves, — Madonna married the 
cowman ; and my brother took pleasure in setting up the 
young couple in a particularly neat and rather lonely cottage 
with new deal furniture. After six months they emigrated ; 
and when my brother visited their deserted house he found it 
in a state of which it will suffice to record one item. The 
pig had slept all the time under the bedstead ; and no attempt 
had been made to remove the resulting heap of manure t 

My father had as strong a sense as any modem sanitary 
reformer of the importance of good and healthy cottages ; 
and having found his estate covered with mud and thatched 
cabins, he (and my brother after him) laboured incessantly, 
year by year, to replace them by mortared stone and slated 
cottages, among which were five schoolhouses supported 
by himself. As it was my frequent duty to draw for him the 
plans and elevations of these cottages, farmhouses and village 
shops, with calculations of the cost of each, it may be guessed 
how truly absurd it seems to me to read exclusively, as I do 



IRELAND IN THE THIRTIES AND FORTIES. 143 

so often now, of ^'tenants' improvements" in Ireland. 
It is true that my father occasionally let, on long 
leases and without fines, large farms (of the finest wheat-land 
in Ireland, within ten miles of Dublin market), at the price 
of £2 per Irish acre, with the express stipulation that the 
tenant should undertake the re-building of the house or farm- 
buildings as the case might be. But these were, of course, 
perfectly just bargains, made with well-to-do farmers, who 
made excellent profits. I have already narrated in an earlier 
chapter, how he sold the best pictures among his heirlooms — 
one by Hobbema now in Dorchester House and one by 
Gaspar Poussin, — to rebuild some eighty cottages on his 
mountains. These cottages had each a small farm attached 
to it, which was generally held at will, but often continued 
to the tenants' family for generations. The rent was, in 
some cases I think, as low as thirty or forty shillings a 
year ; and the tenants contrived to make a fair living with 
sheep and potatoes; cutting their own turf on the bog, 
and very often earning a good deal by storing ice in the 
winter from the river Dodder, and selling it in Dublin in 
summer. I remember one of them who had been allowed 
to fall into arrears of rent to the extent of ^3, which he 
loudly protested he could not pay, coming to my father to 
ask his help as a magistrate to recover forty potmds^ which 
an ill-conditioned member of his family had stolen from him 
out of the usual Irish private hiding-place *' under the 
thatch." 

But outside my father's property, when we passed into the 
next villages on either side. Swords or Bush or Balisk, the 
state of things was bad enough. I will give a detailed 
description of the latter village, some of which was written 
when the memory of the scene and people was less remote, 
than now. It is the most complete picture of Irish poverty, 
fifty years ago, which I can offer. 



144 CHAPTER VL 

Balisk was certainly noi the ** loveliest village of the plaio." 
Situated partly on the edge of an old common, partly on 
the skirts of the domain of a nobleman who had not visited 
his estate for thirty yearSi it enjoyed all the advantages of 
freedom from restraint upon the architectual genius of its 
builders. The result was a long crooked, straggling street, 
with mud cabins turned to it, and from it, in every possible 
angle of incidence : some face to face, some back to back, 
some sideways, some a little retired so as to admit of a 
larger than ordinary heap of manure between the door and 
the road. Such is the ground-plan of BaUsk. The cabins 
were aU of mud, with mud floors and thatched roofs ; some 
containing one room only, others two, and, perhaps, half-a- 
dozen, three rooms : all, very literally, on the ground ; that 
is on the bare earth. Furniture, of course, was of the 
usual Irish description: a bed (sometimes having a bed- 
stead, of tener consisting of a heap of straw on the floor), 
a table, a griddle, a kettle, a stool or two and a boss 
of straw, with occasionally a grand adjunct of a settle ; a 
window whose normal condition was being stuffed with 
an old hat ; a door, over and under and around which all 
the winds and rains of heaven found their way; a population 
consisting of six small children, a bedridden grandmother, a 
husband and wife, a cock and three hens, a pig, a dog, and a 
cat. Lastly, a decoration of coloured prints, including the 
Virgin with seven swords in her heart, St. Joseph, the story 
of Dives and Lazarus, and a caricature of a man tossed by a 
bull, and a fat woman getting over a stile. 

Of course as Balisk lies in the lowest ground in the 
neighbourhood and the drains were originally planned to run 
at '* their own sweet will," the town (as its inhabitants call 
it) is subject to the inconvenience of being about two feet 
under water whenever there are any considerable floods of 
rain. I have known a case of such a flood ent^^ring the door 



IRELAND IN THE THIRTIES AND FORTIES. 146 

and rising into the bed of a poor woman in childbirth, as in 
]klr. Macdonald's charming story of Aleo Forbes. The 
woman, whom I knew, however, did not die, but gave 
to the world that night a very fine little child, whom I 
subsequently saw scampering along the roads with true Irish 
hilarity. At other times, when there were no floods, only 
the usual rains, Balisk presented the spectacle of a filthy 
green stream slowly oozing down the central street, 
now and then druning off under the door of any par- 
ticularly lowly-placed cabin to form . a pool in the floor, 
and finally terminating in a lake of stagnant abomination 
under the viaduct of a railway. Yes, reader ! a railway ran 
through Balisk, even while the description I have given of it 
held true in every respect. The only result it seemed to 
have effected in the village was the formation of the Stygian 
pool above-mentioned, where, heretofore, the stream had 
escaped into a ditch. 

Let us now consider the people who dwelt amid aU this 
squalor. They were mostly field-labourers, working for the 
usual wages of seven or eight shillings a week. Many of 
them held their cabins as freeholds, having built or inherited 
them from those who had ** squatted " unmolested on the 
common, A few paid rent to the noble landlord before- 
mentioned. Work was seldom wanting, coals were cheap, 
excellent schools were open for the children at a penny a 
week a head. Families which had not more than three or 
four mouths to fill besides the breadwinners', were not in 
absolute want, save when disease, or a heavy snow, or a 
flood, or some similar calamity arrived. Then, down on the 
groxmd, poor souls, literally and metaphorically, they could 
fall no lower, and a week was enough to bring them to the 
verge of starvation. 

Let me try to recall some of the characters of the 
inhabitants of BaUsk in the Forties. 

VOL. I K 



146 OHAPTBE Vt. 

Here in the first cabin is a comfortable fiunily where there 
are three sons at work, and mother and three danghters at 
home. Enter at aaj hoar there is a hearty welcome and 
bright jest ready. Here is the schoolmaster's honse, a little 
behind the others, and back to back with them. It has an 
attempt at a cortain for the window, a knocker for the door. 
The man is a cnrioos deformed creature, of whom more will 
be said hereafter. The wife is what is called in Ireland a 
" Yoteen ; " a person given to religion, who spends most of 
her time in the chapel or repeating prayers, and who wears 
as much semblance of black as her poor means may allow. 
Balisk, be it said, is altogether Catholic and devout. It is 
honoured by the possession of what is called " The Holy 
Griddle." Perhaps my readers have heard of the Holy 
Grail, the original sacramental chalice so long sought 
by the chivalry of the middle ages, and may ask if the 
Holy Griddle be akm thereto? I cannot trace any 
likeness. A " griddle," as all the Irish and Scotch 
world knows, is a circular iron plate, on which the common 
unleavened cakes of wheatmeal and oatmeal are baked. 
The Holy Griddle of Balisk was one of these utensils, which 
was bequeathed to the village under the following circum« 
stances. Years ago, probably in the last century, a poor, 
" lone widow " lay on her death-bed. She had none to pray 
for her after she was gone, for she was childless and altogether 
desolate ; neither had she any money to give to the priest to 
pray for her soul. Yet the terrors of purgatory were near. 
How should she escape them ? She possessed but one object 
of any value — a griddle, whereon she was wont to bake the 
meal of the wheat she gleaned every harvest to help her 
through the winter. So the widow left her griddle as a legacy 
to the village for ever, on one condition. It was to pass 
from hand to hand as each might want it, but every one who 
used her griddle was to say a prayer for her soul. Years had 



IRELAND m THE THIRTIES AND FORTIES. 147 

passed away, bat the griddle was still in my time in constant 
use, as '' the best griddle in the town." The oakes baked on 
the Holy Qriddle were twice as good as any others. May 
the poor widow who so simply bequeathed it have foond long 
ago '^ rest for her soul " better than any prayers have asked 
for her, even the fiAvourite Irish prayer, ''May yon sit in 
heaven on a golden chair 1 " 

Here is another house, where an old man lives with his 
sister. The old woman is the Mrs. Cramp of Balisk. Patrick 
Russell has a curious story attached to him. Having 
laboured long and well on my other's estate, the latter 
finding him grow rheumatic and helpless, pensioned him with 
his wages for life, and Faddy retired to the ezgoyment of 
such privacy as Balisk might afford. Growing more and 
more helpless, he at last for some years hobbled about feebly 
on crutches, a confirmed cripple. One day, with amaze- 
ment, I saw him walking without his crutches, and tolerably 
firmly, up to Newbridge House. My fiather went to speak to 
him, and soon returned, siEbying : '' Here is a strange thing. 
Paddy Bussell says he has been to Father Mathew, and 
Father Mathew has blessed him, and he is cured ! He came 
to tell me he wished to give up his pension, since he returns 
to work at Smith's farm next week." Very naturally, and 
as might be expected, poor Faddy, three weeks later, was 
again helpless, and a suppliant for the restoration of his 
pension, which was of course immediately renewed. But 
one who had witnessed only the scene of the long-known 
cripple walking up stoutly to decline his pension (the very 
best possible proof of his sincere belief in his own recovery) 
might well be excused for narrating the story as a miracle 
wrought by a true moral reformer, the Irish " Apostle of 
Temperance." 

Next door to Paddy Bussell's cabin stood '< The Shop," a 
cabin a trifle better than the rest, where butter, flour, and 



148 CHAPTER VL 

dip candles, Ingy-male (Indian meal), and possibly a smaU 
quantity of soap, were the chief objects of commerce. 
Further on came a miserable hovel with the roof broken in, 
and a pool of filth, en permanence^ in the middle of the floor. 
Here dwelt a miserable good-for-nothing old man and equally 
good-for-nothing daughter ; hopeless recipients of anybody's 
bounty. Opposite them, in a tidy little cabin, always as 
dean as white-wash and sweeping could make its poor mud 
walls and earthen floor, lived an old woman and her daughter. 
The daughter was deformed, the mother a beautiful old 
woman, bedridden, but always perfectly clean, and provided 
by her daughter's hard labour in the fields and cockle- 
gathering on the sea-shore, with all she could need. After 
years of devotion, when Mary was no longer young, the 
mother died, and the daughter, left quite alone in the world, 
was absolutely broken-hearted. Nigb^ after night she strayed 
about the chapel-yard where her mother lay buried, hoping, 
as she told me, to see her ghost. 

« And do you think," she asked, fixing her eyes on me, 
'' do you think I shall ever see her again ? I asked Father 

M would I see her in heaven ? and all he said was, ' I 

should see her in the glory of God.' What does that mean ? 
I don't undjTstand what it means. Will I see her herself — 
my poor old mother ? " 

After long years, I found this faithful heart still yearning 
to be re-united to the '^ poor old mother," and patiently 
labouring on in solitude, waiting till God should call her 
home out of that little white cabin to one of the ** many 
mansions," where her mother is waiting for her. 

Here is a house where there are many sons and daughters 
and some sort of prosperity. Here, again, is a house with 
three rooms and several inmates, and in one room lives a 
strange, tall old man, with something of dignity in his aspect. 
He asked me once to come into his room, and showed me the 



IRELAND IN THE THIRTIES AND F0R1IE8. 149 

book over which all his spare hours seemed spent ; " Thomas k 
Eempis." 

'' Ah, yes, that is a great book ; a book fuU of beautiful 
things." 

" Do you know it ? do Protestants read it ? " 
"Yes, to be sure ; we read aU sorts of books." 
'' I'm glad of it. It's a comfort to me to think you read 
this book." 

Here again is an old woman with hair as white as snow, 
who deliberately informs me she is ninety-eight years of age, 
and next time I see her, corrects herself, and " believes it is 
eighty-nine, but it is all the same, she disremembers numbers." 
This poor old soul in some way hurt her foot, and after much 
suffering was obliged to have half of it amputated. Strange 
to say, she recovered, but when I congratulated her on the 
happy event, I shall never forget the outbreak of true feminine 
sentiment which followed. Stretching out the poor mutilated 
and blackened limb, and looking at it with woeful compassion, 
she exclaimed, '^ Ah, ma'am, but it will never be a putty foot 
again I " Age, squalor, poverty, and even mutilation, had 
not sufficed to quench that little spark of vanity which 
'' sprmgs eternal in the (female) breast." 

Here, again, are half-a-dozen cabins, each occupied by 
widows with one or more daughters ; eight of whom form 
my other's pet corps of Amazons, always kept working about 
the shrubberies and pleasure-grounds, or haymaking or any 
light fieldwork ; houses which, though poorest of all, are by 
no means the most dirty or uncared for. Of course there are 
dozens of others literally overflowing with children, children in 
the cradle, children on the floor, children on the threshold, 
children on the "midden" outside ; rosy, bright, merry children, 
who thrive with the smallest possible share of buttermilk and 
stirabout, are utterly innocent of shoes and stockings, and 
learn at school all that is taught to them at least half as fast 



150 CHAPTER ri. 

again as a tribe of litUe Saxons. Several of ihem in Balisk 
are the adopted children of the people who provide for them. 
First sent down by their parents (generally domestic servants) 
to be nursed in that salabrions spot, after a year or two it 
generally happened that the pay ceased, the parent was not 
heard of, and the foster-mother and father would no more 
have thought of sending the child to the Poor-house than of 
sending it to the moon. The Poor-house, indeed, occupied a 
very small space in the imagination of the people of Balisk. 
It was beyond Purgatory, and hardly more real. Not that 
the actual institution was conducted on other than the very 
mildest principles, but there was a fearful Ordeal by Water — 
in the shape of a warm bath — ^to be undergone on entrance ; 
there were large rooms with glaring windows, admitting a 
most uncomfortable degree of light, and never shaded by any 
broken hats or petticoats ; there were also stated hours and 
rules thoroughly disgusting to the Celtic mind, and, lastly, 
for the women, there were caps without borders ! 

Yes 1 cruelty had gone so far (masculine guardians, however 
compassionate, little recking the woe they caused), till at 
length a wail arose — a clamour — ^almost a Bebellion t 
<< Would they make them wear caps without borders ? " The 
stem heart of manhood relented, and answered '' No 1 " 

But I must return to Balisk. Does any one ask, was 
nothing done to ameliorate the condition of that wretched 
place ? Certainly ; at all events there was much attempted. 
Mrs. Evans, of Portrane, of whom I shall say more by and 
by, built and endowed capital schools for both boys and girls, 
and pensioned some of the poorest of the old people. My 
farther having a wholesome horror of pauperising, tried hard 
at more complete reforms, by giving regular employment to 
as many as possible, and aiding all efforts to improve the 
houses. Not being the landlord of Balisk, however, he could 
do nothing effectuallyi nor enforce any kind of sanitary 



IRELAND IN THE THIRTIES AND FORTIES. 161 

measores ; so that while his own villages were neat, trim 
and healthy, poor Balisk went on year after year deserving 
the epithet it bore among ns, of the Slongh of Despond. 
The fiulmres of endeavours to mend it would form a 
chapter of themselves. On one occasion my eldest 
brother undertook the tme task for a Hercules ; to draini 
not the stables of Angeas, but the town of Balisk. The 
result was that his main drain was fomid soon afterwards 
effectoally stopped np by the dam of an old beaver bomiet. 
Again, he attempted to whitewash the entire village, bnt many 
inhabitants olrjected to whitewash. Of course when any flood, 
or snow, or storm came (and what wintry month did they 
not come in Ireland ?) I went to see the state of affiurs at 
Balisk, and provide what could be provided. And of course 
when anybody was bom, or married, or ill, or dead, or goiag 
to America, in or from Balisk, embassies were sent to 
Newbridge seeking assistance ; money for burial or passage ; 
wine, meE^, coals, clothes ; and (strange to say), in cases 
of death — always jam I The comieotion between dying and 
wanting raspberry jam remained to the last a mystery, but 
whatever was its nature, it was invariable. " Mary Eeogh," 
or " Peter Beilly," as the case might bci '' isn't expected, and 
would be very thankful for some jam ; " was the regular 
message. Be it remarked that Irish delicacy has suggested 
the euphuism of " isn't expected " to signify that a person is 
likely to die. What it is that he or she " is not expected " 
to do, is never mentioned. When the supplicant was 
not supposed to be personally known at Newbridge, or 
a little extra persuasion was thought needful to cover tof 
frequent demands, it was commonly urged that the petitioner 
was a " poor orphant," commonly aged thirty or forty, or 
else a " desolate widow." The word desolate, however, being 
always pronounced << dissolute," the epithet proved less 
affeeting than it was intended to be. But absurd as their 



162 CHAPTER VI. 

words might sometimes be (and sometimeSi on the contrary, 
they were full of touching pathos and simplicity), the wants 
of the poor souls were only too real, as we very well knew, 
and it was not often that a petitioner from Balisk to 
Newbridge went empty away. 

But such help was only of temporary avail. The Famine 
came and things grew worse. In poor fiamilies, that is, 
families where there was only one man to earn and five or six 
mouths to feed, the best wages given in the coxmtry proved 
insufficient to buy the barest provision of food ; wheat- 
meal for ''griddle" bread, oatmeal for stirabout, turnips 
to make up for the lost potatoes. Strong men fainted 
at their work in the fields, having left untasted for 
their little children the food they needed so sorely. 
Beggars from the more distressed districts (for Balisk 
was in one of those which suffered least in Ireland) 
swarmed through the country, and rarely, at the poorest 
cabin, asked in vain for bread. Often and often have I seen 
the master or mistress of some wretched hovel bring out the 
** griddle cake," and give half of it to some wanderer, who 
answered simply with a blessing and passed on. Once I 
remember passing by the house of a poor widow, who had 
seven children of her own, and as if that were not enough, 
had adopted an orphan left by her sister. At her cabin door 
one day, I saw, propped up against her knees, a miserable 
" traveller," a wanderer from what a native of Balisk would 
call <' other nations ; a bowzy villiain from other nations," 
that is to say, a village eight or ten miles away. The 
traveller lay senseless, starved to the bone and utterly famine- 
stricken. The widow tried tenderly to make him swallow a 
spoonful of bread and water, but he seemed unable to make 
the exertion. A few drops of whiskey by and by restored him 
to conscioTisness. The poor '' bowzy " leaned his head on 
his hands and muttered feebly, *' Glory be to God " ! The 



IRELAND IN THE THIRTIES AND FORTIES. 163 

widow looked up, rejoioing, '' Glory be to God, he's saved 
anyhow." Of oonrse all the neighbonring gentry joined in 
extensive soap-kitchens and the like, and by one means or 
other the hard years of Cunine were passed over. 

^en came the Fever, in many ways a worse scourge than 
the &mine. Of course it feU heavily on such ill-drained 
places as Balisk. After a little time, as each patient remained 
ill for many weeks, it often happened that three or four were 
in the fever in the same cabin, or even all the feunily at once, 
hnddled in the two or three beds, and with only snch attend- 
ance as the kindly neighbours, themselves overbmrdened, 
could snpply. Soon it became universally known that 
recovery was to be effected only by improved food and wine ; 
not by drags. Those whose condition was already good, and 
who caaght the fever, invariably died ; those who were in a 
depressed state, if they coold be raised, were saved. It 
became precisely a qaestion of life and death how to sapply 
noarishment to aU the sick. As the fever lasted on and on, 
and re-appeared time after time, the work was difficult, seeing 
that no stores of any sort could ever be safely intrusted to 
Irish prudence and frugality. 

Then came Smith O'Brien's rebellion. The country was 
excited. In every village (Balisk nowise behindhand) certain 
clubs were formed, popularly called <' Cutthroat Clubs," for 
the express purpose of purchasing pikes and organising the 
expected insurrection in combination with leaders in Dublin. 
Head-Centre of the club of Balisk was the ex-schoohnaster, 
of whom we have already spoken. How he obtained that 
honour I know not ; possibly because he could write, which 
most probably was beyond the achievements of any other 
member of the institution ; possibly also because he claimed 
to be the lawM owner of the adjoining estate of Newbridge. 
How the schoolmaster's claim was proved to the satisfiMtion 
of himself and his friends is a secret which, if revealed, would 



154 CEAFTBH VI. 

probably afford a olae to much of Irish ambition. Nearly 
every parish in Ireland has thus its lord d$ /oeto, who dwells 
in a handsome hoose in the midst of a park, and another lord 
who dwells in amad-eabin in the village and is folly persuaded 
he is the lord de jure. In the endless changes of ownership and 
confisoation to which Irish land has been snljeoted, there is 
always some heir of one or other of the dispossessed fiunilies, 
who, if nothing had happened that did happen, and nobody 
had been bom of a score or two of persons who somehow, 
nnfortonately, were aotoally bom, then he or she might, 
could, would, or should have inherited the estate. In the 
present ease my ancestor had purchased the estate some 150 
years before from another English fiEunily who had held it for 
some generations. When and where the poor Celtic school- 
master's fiorefiKthars had come upon the field none pretended 
to know. Amdons, however, to calm the minds of his 
neighbours, my &ther thought fit to address them in a 
paternal manifesto, posted abont the diffiarent villages, 
entreating them to forbear from entering the "Ontthroat 
Olnbs," and pointing the moral of the recent death of the 
Archbishop of Paris at the barricades. The resnlt of this 
step was that the newspaper, then pnblished in Dublin under 
the audacious name of The Fdon^ devoted half a column to 
exposing my fiither by name to the hatred of good Clubbists, 
and pointing him out as << one of the very first for whoso 
benefit the pikes were procured." Boxes of pikes were 
accordingly actually sent by the railway before mentioned, 
and duly delivered to the Club ; and still the threat 
of rebellion rose higher, till even calm people like ourselves 
began to wonder whether it were a volcano on which we 
were treading, or the fimiiliar mud of Balisk. 

Newbridge, as described in the first chapter of this book, 
bore some testimony to the troubles of the last century when 
it was erected. There was a long corridor which had once 



IRELAND IN THE THIRTIES AND FORTIES. 165 

been all hung with weapons, and there was a certain board 
in the floor of on inner closet which conld be taken np when 
desirable, and beneath which appeared a large receptacle 
wherein the aforesaid weapons were stored in times of danger. 
Stories of '98 were flEuniliar to as from infiancy. There was 
the story of Le Hunts of Wexford, when the danghter of the 
family dreamed three times that the gnns in her father's hall 
were all broken and, on inducing Colonel Le Hunt to examine 
them, the dream was found to be true and his own butler the 
traitor. Horrible stories were there, also, of burnings and 
cardings («.«., tearing the back with the iron comb used in 
carding wool) ; and nursery threats of rebels coming up back 
stairs on recalcitrant ''puckhawns" (naughty children — 
children of Puck), insomuch that to '< play at rebellion " had 
been our natural resource as children. Bom and bred in this 
atmosphere, it seemed like a bad dream come true that there 
were actual pikes imported into well-known cabins, and that 
there were in the world men stupid and wicked enough to 
wish to apply them to those who laboured constantly for their 
benefit. Yet the papers teemed with stories of murders of 
good and just landlords ; yet threats each day more loud, 
came with every post of what Smith O'Brien and his friends 
would do if they but succeeded in raising the peasantry, alas ! 
all too ready to be raised. Looking over the miserable fiasco 
of that " cabbage garden " rebellion now, it seems all too 
ridiculous to have ever excited the least alarm. But at that 
time, while none could doubt the final triumph of England, it 
was very possible to doubt whether aid could be given by the 
English Government before every species of violence might 
be committed by the besotted peasantry at our gates. 

I have been told on good authority that Smith O'Brien 
made his escape from the police in the ''habit'* of an 
Anglican Sisterhood, of which his sister, Hon. Mrs. MonseU, 
was Superior. 



156 CHAPTER 17. 

A little incidont whieh occurred at the moment rather 
confirmed the idea that Baliak was transformed for the nonce 
into a little Hecla; not nnder snow, bnt mnd. I was 
visiting the fever patients, and was detained late of a 
summer's evening in the village. So many were ill, there 
seemed no end of sick to be supplied with food, wine and 
other things needed. In particular, three together were ill 
in a honse already mentioned, where there were several 
grown-np sons, and the people were somewhat better off 
than nsoal, thoogh by no means sufficiently so to be able to 
procure meat or similar luxuries. Here I lingered, questioning 
and prescribing, till at about nine o'clock my visit ended ; 
and I left money to procure some of the things required. 
Next morning my father addressed me : — 

'' So you were at Balisk last night ? " 

" Yes, I was kept there." 

" Tou stayed in Tyrell's house till nine o'clock ? " 

" Yes ; how do you know ? " 

<<You gave six and sixpence to the mother to get 
provisions ? " 

"Yes; how do you know ? " • 

<< Well, very simply. The police were watching the door 
and saw you through it. As soon as you were gone the 
Club assembled there. They were waiting for your 
departure ; and the money you gave was subscribed to buy 
pikes ; of course to pike me ! " 

A week later, the bubble burst in the memorable Cabbage- 
garden. The rebel chiefe were leniently dealt with by the 
Government, and their would-be rebel followers fell back into 
all the old ways as if nothing had happened. What became 
of the pikes no one knew. Possibly they exist in Balisk 
still, waiting for a Home Rule Government to be brought forth. 
At the end of a few months the poor schoolmaster, claimant 
of Newbridge, died ; and as I stood by his bedside and gave 



IRELAND IN THE 1BIRTIE8 AND FORTIES. 157 

him the little succour possible, the poor fellow lifted his eyes 
fall of meaniikg, and said, '' To think you should come to help 
me now!" It was the last reference made to the once- 
dreaded rebellion. 

Afber endless efforts my brother carried his point and 
drained the whole village — ^beaver bonnets notwithstanding. 
Whitewash became popular. "Middens *' (as the Scotch call 
them, the Irish have a simpler phrase) were placed more 
frequently behind houses than in front of them. Costume 
underwent some vicissitudes, among which the introduction 
of shoes and stockings, among even the juvenile population, 
was the most remarkable feature ; a great change truly, 
since I can remember an old woman, to whom my youngest 
brother had given a pair, complaining that she had caught 
cold in consequence of wearing, for the first time in her life, 
those superfluous garments. 

Many were drawn into the stream of the Exodus, and have 
left the country. How helpless they are in their migrations, 
poor souls ! was proved by one sad story. A steady, good 
young woman, whose sister had settled comfortably in New 
York, resolved to go out to join her, and for the purpose took 
her passage at an Emigration Agency office in Dublin. 
Coming to make her farewell respects at Newbridge, the 
following conversation ensued between her and myself: 

" So, Bessie, you are going to America ? *' 

" Yes, ma*am, to join Biddy at New York. She wrote for 
me to come, and sent the passage-money." 

'' That is very good of her. Of course you have taken 
your passage direct to New York ? " 

" Well, no, ma'am. The agent said there was no ship 
going to New York, but one to some place close by. New- 
something-else*'' 

*' New-something-else, near New York ; I can*t think where 
that eould be.' 



158 OBAPTBR VL 

**Ye8, ma^am, New — ^New — ^I disremember what it wafl, 
but he told me I could get from it to New York 
immadiently." 

'' Ohy Bessie, it wasn't New Orleans ? ** 

" Yes, ma'am, that was it 1 New Orleans^-New Orleans, 
dose to New York, he said." 

« And yon have paid your passage-money ? " 

"Yes, ma'am, I mast go there anyhow, now." 

^ Oh, Bessie, Bessie, why would yon never come to school 
and learn geography ? Yon are going to a terrible place, flEir 
away from your sister. That wick^ed agent has cheated yon 
horribly." 

The poor girl went to New Orleans, and there died of 
fever. The birds of passage and fish which pass from sea 
to sea seem more capable of knowing what they are about 
than the greater number of the emigrants driven by scarcely 
less blind an instinct. Out of the three millions who are said 
to have gone since the famine from Ireland to America, how 
many must there have been who had no more knowledge 
than poor Bessie Mahon of the land to which they went 1 

Before I conclude these reminiscences of Irish peasant life 
in the Forties, I must mention an important feature of it — 
the Priests. Most of those whom I saw in our villages were 
disagreeable-looking men with the coarse mouth and jaw of 
the Irish peasant undisguised by the beards and whiskers 
worn by their lay brethren ; and often the purple and bloated 
appearance of their cheeks suggested too abundant diet of 
bacon and whisky-punch. They worried me dreadfully by 
clearing out all the Catholic children from my school every 
now and then on the pretence of withdrawing them from 
heretical instruction, though nothing was further from the 
thoughts or wishes of any of us than proselytizing ; nor was 
a single charge ever formulated against our teachers of saying 
a word to the children against their religion. What the 



IRELAND IN THE TBTRTtMB AND FORTIBB. 150 

priests reaHy wanted was to obstraet edaeation itself anil too 
dose and fiiendly interoonrse with Protestants* For several 
winters I nsed to walk down to the school on certain evenings 
in the week and give the older lads and lassies lessons in 
Geography (with two huge maps of the world which I made 
mjTself, 11 ft. by 9 ft. I) and the first steps in Astronomy and 
history. Several times, when the class had been well got 
together and began to be interested, the priest announced 
that he would give them lessons on the same night, and 
they were to come to him instead of to me. Of conrse 
I told them to do so, and that I was very glad he would 
take the trouble. A fortnight or so later however I always 
learnt that the priest's lessons had dropped and all was to 
be recommenced. 

The poor woman I mentioned above as so devoted to her 
mother went to service with one of the priests in the 
neighbourhood in the hope that she would receive religions 
consolation from him. Meeting her some time after I 
expressed my hope that she had foundit. '' Ah, no Ua'aml" 
she answered sorrowfolly, " He never spakes to me unless 
about the bacon or the like of that. PriesU does be dark ! " 
I thought the phrase wonderfully significant. 

My fiEdlier, though a Protestant of the Protestants as the 
reader has learned, thought it right to send regularly every 
year a cheque to the priest of Donabate as an aid to his 
slender resources ; and there never was opevdy^ anything but 
civility between the successive curh and ourselves. We 
bowed most respectfully to each other on the roads, but I 
never interchanged a word with any of them save once when 
I was bui^ attending a poor woman in Balisk in the cramps 
of cholera ; the disease being at the time raging through the 
country. With the help of the good souls who in Ireland are 
always ready for any charitable deed, I was applying mustard 
poultices, when Father M entered the cabin (a revolting 



160 OHAPTER VI. 

lookmgmanhewaB, whosexuNM hadsomehow been froei-bitten), 
andtamed meoat. I implored him to defer, or atleaethaatea 
his mmktrations ; and stood ontaide the door in great 
impaiienoe for half an hour while I knew the hapless patient 
was in agony and peril of death, inside. At last the priest 
came oat, — and when I hurried back to the bedside I fomid 
he had been gumming some '' Prayers to the Holy Virgin " 
on the walL Happily we were not too late with our mustard 
and " sperrits," and the woman was saved ; whether by Father 
M and the ^gin or by me I cannot pretend to say. 

I have spoken of our village school and mxist add that the 
boys and girls who attended it were exceedingly dever and 
bright. They canght np ideas, were moved by heroic or 
pathetic stories and nnderstood jokes to a degree quite 
unmatched by English children of the same humble class, as 
I found later when I taught in Miss Carpenter's Bagged 
Schools at Bristol. The ingenuity with which, when they 
came to a difficult word in reading, they substituted another 
was very diverting. One boy read that St. John had a 
leathern griddle about his loins ; and a young man with a 
deep manly voice, once startled me by announcing, ''He castetb 
out divils through, — ^through, through, — Blazes^ Ihe chief of 
the Divils 1 " 

In I>rumcar school a child, elaborately instructed by dear, 
good Lady Elizabeth M'Glintock concerning Pharisees, and 
then examined: — ''What was the sin of the Pharisees?" 
replied promptly : " AHng camdSf my lady I " 

Alas, I have reason to fear that the erudition of my little 
scholars, if quickly obtained, was fiu: from durable. Paying 
a visit to my old home ten years later I asked my crack 
scholar, promoted to be second gardener at Newbridge, 
"Well, Andrew, how much do you remember of all my 
lessons?'* 

** Ah, Ma'am, then, never a word ! " 



IRELAND IN THE THIRTIES AND FORTIES. 161 

'' 0, Andrew, Andrew 1 And have yon forgotten all about 
the snny the moon and stars, the day and night, and the 
Seasons?'* 

" 0, no, Ma'am 1 I do remember now, and yon set them 
on the school-room table, and Mars was a red gooseberry, and 
laiehiml'* 



VOL. I* 



CHAPTER 

Yn. 



IBELAND IN THE FORTIES. 



THE QENTRT. 



CHAPTER YIL 

Irbland in thb Forties* 
ContmuecU 

I NOW inm to deseribey as my memory mfty server the life 
of the Irish gentry in the Forties. There never has been 
much of a middle class, imhappily, in the oonntry, usfid there- 
fore in speaking of the gentry I shall have in view mostly 
the landowners and their fiunilies. These, with few and 
alwi^ much noted exceptions, were Protestants, of English 
descent and almost ezclnsively of Saxon blood ; the Anglo- 
Irish fiunilies however long settled in Ireland, natnrally 
intermanTing chiefly with each other. So great was, in my 
time, the difference in oatward looks between the two races, 
that I have often remarked that I conld walk down SackviUe 
Street and point to each passenger '^ Protestant," "Catholic," 
'^ Protestant," " Catholic " ; and scarcely be liable to make 
a mistake. 

As I have said, my memory bridges over the gulf between 
a very typical ancien regime household and the present 
order of things, and I may be able to mark some changes, 
not nnworthy of registration. Bat it most be understood 
that I make no attempt to describe what would be 
precisely called Irish society^ for into this, I never really 
entered at all. I wearied of the little I had seen of it 
after a few balls and drawing-rooms in Dublin by the 
time I was eighteen and thenceforward only shared in home 
entertaixmients and dinners among neighbours in our own 
county, with a few visits to relatives at greater distance. I 
believe the origin of my great boredom in Dublin balls (for I 



laS OHAPTBR riL 

was Tary fond of danoing) was tlie extraordinary inanity of 
the men whom I met. The larger number ware officers of 
Horse Artillery ^then onder the eommand of my nnde, and I 
used to pity the poor youths, thinking that they daneed with 
me as in dufy bound, while their really marvellous silliness 
and dulness made conversation wearisome in the extreme. 
Many of these same empty-headed young coxcombs afterwards 
fought like Trojans through the Orimean War and came 
back, — transformed into heroes I I remember my dentist 
telling me, much to the same purpose, that half the officers in 
the garrison had come to him to have their teeth looked after 
before they went to the Crimea and had behaved abominably 
in his chair of torture, groaning and moaning and occasionaUy 
vituperating him and kicking his shins. But it was another 
story when some of those very men charged at Balaklava I 
We are not, I think, yet advanced £eu: enough to dispense 
altogether with the stem teaching of war, or the virtues 
which spring out of the dreadful dust of the battlefield. 

Railways were only beginning to be opened in 1840, and 
were much dreaded by landed proprietors through whose 
lands they ran. When surveyors came to plan the Dublin 
and Drogheda Railway my £Bither and our neighbour Mrs. 
Evans, were up in arms and our fiebrmers ready to throttle 
the trespassers. I suggested we should erect a Notice-board 
in Donabate with this inscription : — 

** Survey the world from China to Pern ; 
Survey not here, — ^we'll shoot you if yoa do." 

The voyage to England, which most of us undertook at least 
once or twice a year, was a wretched transit in miserable, 
ill-smelling vessels. From Dublin to Bristol (our most 
convenient route) took at least thirty hours. From Holyhead 
to London was a two days' journey by coach. On one of 
these journeys, having to stop at Bristol for two nights, I 



IRELAND IN THE FORTIES. 167 

enjoyed an opportoziity (enchanting at sixteen) of being 
Bwnng in a basket backward and forward across the Avon, 
where the Sospension Bridge now stands. Preparations for 
these joomeys of ours to England were not qnite so serious 
as those which were necessarily made for our consins when 
they went out to India and were obliged for five or six 
months wholly to dispense with the services of a laundress. 
Stilly onr hardships were considerable, and youngsters who 
were going to school or college were made up like little 
Micawbers " expecting dirty weather." Elderly ladies, I 
remember, usually travelled in mourning and sometimes 
kept their little corkscrew curls in paper under their bonnet 
caps for the whole journey ; a less distressing proceeding, 
however, than that of Lady Gahir thirty years earlier, who 
oad her hair dressed, (powdered and on a cushion) by a 
fJEtmous hairdresser in Bath, and came over to exhibit it at 
St. Patrick's ball in Dublin Castle, having passed five nights 
at sea, desperately iU, but heroically refusing to lie down and 
disarrange the magnificent structure on her aching head. 

This lady by the way — of whom it was said that " Lady 
Cahir cares for no man " — ^had had a droll adventure in 
her youth, which my mother, who knew her well and I think 
was her schoolfellow, recounted to me. Before she married 
she lived with her mother, a rather extravagant widow, who 
plunged heavily into debt. One day the long-expected bailifis 
came to arrest her and were announced as at the hall door. 
Quick as lightning Lady Gahir (then, I think, Miss Townsend) 
made her mother exchange dress and cap with her, to which she 
added the old lady's wig and spectacles and then sat in her 
armchair knitting sedulously, with the blinds drawn down 
and her back to the window. The mother having vanished, 
the bailiff was shown up, and, exhibiting his credentials, 
requested the lady to accompany him to the sponging house. 
Of course there was a long palaver ; but at last the captive 



168 CHAPTER VII. 

consented to obey and merely said, << Well I I will go if yoa 
likdy bat I warn yoa that yoa are committing a great mistake 
in apprehending me." 

''0, 01 We all know aboat that, Ma'am ! Please come 
along ! I have a hackney carriage at the door." 

The damsel, well wrapped in cloaks and farbelows and a 
great bonnet of the period, went qoietly to her destination ; 
bat when the time came for closing the door on her as a 
prisoner, she jumped ap, threw off wig, spectacles and old 
woman's cap, and disclosed the blue eyes, golden hair, and 
radiant yoong beauty for which she was long afterwards 
renowned. Meanwhile, of course, her mother had had 
abundance of time to clear out of the way of her importunate 
creditors. 

Many details of comforts and habits in those days were 
very much in arrear of ours, perhaps about equally in Ireland 
and in England. It is droll to remember, for example, as I 
do vividly, seeing in my childhood the housemaids striving 
with infinite pains and great loss of time to obtain a light 
with steel and flint and a tinder-box, when by some untoward 
accident all the fires in the house (habitually burning all 
night) had been extinguished. 

The first matchbox I saw was a long upright red one 
containing a bottle of phosphorus and a few matches which 
were lighted by insertion in the bottle. After this we had 
Lucifers which nearly choked us with gas ; but in which we 
gloried as among the greatest discoveries of all time. 
Seriously I believe few of the vaunted triumphs of science 
have contributed so much as these easy illuminators of our 
long dark Northern nights to the comfort and health of 
mankind. 

Again our grandmothers had used exquisite China basins 
with round long-necked jugs for all their ablutions and we 
had advanced to the use of large basins and footpans, slipper 



IRELAND m THS FORTIES. IW 

baths and shower baths, when, as nearly as possible m 1840, 
the first sponge bath was bron^^t to Ireland. I was paying 
a visit to my father's cousin, Lady Elizabeth McOlintoek, at 
Dnunear in Go. Louth, when she exhibited with pride to me 
and her other guests the novel piece of bedroom furniture. 
When I returned home and described it my mother ordered 
a supply for our house, and we were wont for a long time to 
enquire of each other, "how we ei^oyed our tubs?" as people 
are now supposed to ask : " Have you used Pears' soap ? '* 
I believe it was from India these excellent inventions came. 

Many other differences might be noted between the habits 
of those days and of ours. Dinen Ruua were, of course, 
not thought of. We dined at six, or six-thirty, at latest; 
and after the soup and fish, all the first course was placed at 
once on the table. For a party, for example, of 16 or 18, 
there would be eight dishes ; joints, fowls and entries. It 
was a triumph of good cookery, but really achieved, to serve 
them all hot at once. Tea, made with an urn, was a regular 
meal taken in the drawing-room about nine o'clock ; never 
before dinner. The modem five o'clock tea was altogether 
unknown in the Forties, and when I ventured sometimes to 
introduce it in the Fifties, I was so severely reprehended that 
I used to hold a secret symposium for specially favoured 
guests in my own room after our return from drives or 
walks. All old gentlemen pronounced five o'clock tea an 
atrocious and disgraceful practice. 

Another considerable difference in our Uvea was caused by 
the scarcity of newspapers and periodicals. I can remember 
when the Dublin Evening Maily — then a single sheet, 
appearing three times a week and received at Newbridge 
on the day after publication, — ^was our only source of 
news. I do not think any one of our neighbours took 
the Times or any English paper. Of magazines we had 
Blackwood and the Quarterly, but illustrated ones were 



170 CHAPTER VIL 

unknown. There was a tolerable circulating library in Dublin, 
to which I subscribed and from whence I obtained a good 
many French books ; bat the literary appetites of the Irish 
gentry generally were frngal in the extreme I 

The real differences, however, between Life in 1840 and Life 
in 1890 were much deeper than any record of these altered 
manners, or even any references to the great changes caused 
by steam and the telegraph, can convey. There were certain 
principles which in those days were almost universally 
accepted and which profoundly influenced all our works and 
ways. The first of them was Parental and Marital Authority. 
Perhaps my particular circumstances as the daughter of a 
man of immense force of will, caused me to see the matter 
especially clearly, but I am sure that in the Thirties and 
Forties (at all events in Lreland) there was very little 
declension generally from the old Boman Patria Potestas. 
Fathers believed themselves to possess almost boundless 
rights over their children in the matter of pursuits, professions, 
marriages and so on; and the children usually felt that if 
they resisted any parental command it was on their peril and 
an act of extreme audacity. My brothers and I habitually 
spoke of our father, as did the servants and tenants, as 
'* The Master; " andnever was title more thoroughly deserved. 

Another important difference was in the position of 
women. Of this I shall have more to say hereafter ; suffice 
it to note that it was the universal opinion, that no gentle- 
woman could possibly earn money without derogating 
altogether from her rank (unless, indeed, by card-playing as 
my grandmother did regularly 1) ; and that housekeeping and 
needlework (of the most inartistic kinds) were her only 
fitting pursuits. The one natural ambition of her life was 
supposed to be a " suitable " marriage ; the phrase always 
referring to tetUements, rather than sentimenU. Study of 
any serious sort was disapproved, and " accomplishments " 



IRELAND IN THE FORTIES. 171 

only were cnltivaied. My father prohibited me when very 
young from learning Latin from one of my brothers who 
kindly offered to teadi me ; bnt, as I have recounted, he paid 
largely and generously that I might be taught Music, for 
which I had no faculties at all. Other Irish girls my con- 
temporaries, ware much worse off than I, for my dear mother 
always did her utmost to help my studies and my liberal 
allowance permitted me to buy books. 

The laws which concerned women at that date ware so 
frightfrilly ui\just that the most kindly disposed men 
inevitably took their cue from them, and looked on their 
mothers, wives, and sisters as beings with wholly inferior 
rights; with no rights, indeed, which should ever stand 
against theirs. The deconsideratwn of women (as dear 
Barbara Bodichon in later years used to say) was at once 
cause and result of our legal disabilities. Let the happier 
women of these times reflect on the state of things which 
existed when a married woman's inheritance and even her 
own earnings (if she could make any), were legally robbed 
from her by her husband, and given, if he pleased, to his 
mistress 1 Let them remember that she could make no will, 
but that her husband might make one which should bequeath 
the control of her children to a man she abhorred or to a 
woman of evil life. Let them remember that a husband 
who had beaten and wronged his wife in every possible 
way could yet force her by law to live with him and 
become the mother of his children. Personally and 
most fortunately (for I know not of what crime I might 
not have been guilty if so tried I) I never had cause of 
complaint on the score of ix\justice or unkindness from any 
of the men with whom I had to do. But the knowledge, 
when it came to me, of the legalised oppressions under 
which other women groaned, lay heavy on my mind. I wa9 
not, however, in those early days, interested in politics or 



11% CHAPTER TIL 

large social refonns ; and did not eovet the political franchiM, 
finding in my manifold datiea and atadiea orer-abundant 
outlets for my energies. 

Another difference between the first and latter half of the 
century is, I think, the far greater simplicity of character of 
the older generation. No doubt there were, at the time of which 
I write, many fine and subtle minds at work among the poets, 
philosophers and statesmen of the day; but ordinary 
ladies and gentlemen, even dever and well-educated ones, 
would, I think, if they could revive now, seem to us rather 
like our boys and girls than our grandparents. Thousands 
of allusions, ideas, shades of sentiment and reflection which 
have become common-places to us, were novel and strange to 
them. What Cowper's poetry is to Tennyson's, what the 
Vicar of Wakefield is to Middlemarch^ so were their trans- 
parent minds to ours. I remember once (for a trivial 
example of what I mean) walking with my father in his later 
days in the old garden one exquisite spring day when the apple 
trees were covered with blossoms and the birds were singing 
all round us. As he leaned on my arm, having just recovered 
firom an illness which had threatened to be fatal and was in a 
mood unusually tender, I was tempted to say, '' Don't you 
feel, Father, that a day like this is almost too beautifdl and 
delicious, that it softens one's feelings to the verge of pain ? " 
In these times assuredly such a remark would have seemed 
to most people too obvious to deserve discussion, but it only 
brought from my father the reply : " God bless my soul, 
what nonsense you talk, my dear 1 I never heard the like. 
Of course a fine day makes everybody cheerful and a rainy 
day makes us duU and dismal." Everyone I knew then, was, 
more or less, similarly simple ; and in some of the ablest whom 
I met in later years of the same generation, {e,g,^ Mrs. 
Somerville) I found the same single-mindedness, the same 
absence of all experience of the subtler 6motion8> Conversa- 



IRELAND IN IHB FORTIES. 173 

tioii; as ft natural oonsequenoe, was more downright and 
maiter of fftot, and rarely if ever was eoneemed with critical 
analyses of impressions. In short, (as I have said) onr £Bithers 
were in many respects, like children compared to ourselves. 

Another and a sad change has taken place in the amount 
of animal spirits generally shared by young and old in the 
Thirties and Forties and down, I think, to the Orimean War, 
which brought a great seriousness into all our lives. It was 
not only the yomig who laughed in joyous " fits " in those 
earlier days ; the old laughed then more heartily and more 
often than I fear many young people do now ; that blessed 
laugh of hearty amusement which causes the eyes to water 
and the sides to ache — a laugh one hardly ever hears now in 
any class or at any age. An evidence of the high level of 
ordinary spirits may be found in the readiness with which 
such genuine laughter responded to the smallest provocation. 
It did not need the delightful farce of the Eeeley's acting 
(though I recall the helpless state into which Mr. Eeeley's 
pride in his red waistcoat reduced half the house), but even 
an old, well-worn, good story, or fiEunily catch-word with 
some ludicrous association, was enough to provoke jovial 
mirth. It was part of a young lady's and young gentle- 
man's home training to learn how to indulge in the freest 
ei^oyment of fan without boisterousness or shrieks or 
discordance of any kind. Young people were for ever 
devising pranks and jests among themselves, and even their 
seniors oecnpied themselves in concocting jokes, many 
of which we should now think ehildiflh ; the order of the 
** April Fool,*' being the general type. Comic verse making ; 
forging of love letters ; disguising and begging as tramps ; 
sending boxes of bogus presents ; making <' ghosts " with 
bolsters and burnt cork eyes to be placed in dark comers of 
passages; these and a score of such monkey-tricks for 
which nobody now has patience, were conmion diversions in 



174 OBAPTMM VlL 

every household, and were nearly alwayi taken good- 
humonredly. My £ftiher used to tell of one ridienlons 
deception in which the chief actreoB and inventor was that 
very grands dame Elizabeth Hastings, Gonntess of Moira, 
daughter of the Methodist Gonntess of Huntingdon. Lady 
Moira, my father and two other yoirng men, by means of 
advertising and letters, induced some wretched officer to walk 
up and down a certain part of Sackville Street fer an hour 
with a red geranium in his buttonhole, to show himself off, 
as he thought, to a young lady with a large fortune who 
proposed to marry him. The conspirators sat in a vnndow 
across the street watching their victim and exploding with 
glee at his peacock behaviour. The sequel was better than 
the joke. The poor man wrote a letter to his tormentress 
(whom he had at last detected) so pitiful that her kind heart 
melted, and she exerted her immense influence effectually on 
his behalf and provided for him comfortably for life. 

Henry, the third Marquis of Waterford, husband of the 
gifted and beautiful lady whose charming biography Mr. 
Hare has recently written, was the last example I imagine in 
Ireland of these redundant spirits. It was told of him, and 
I remember hearing of it at the time, that a somewhat grave 
and self-important gentleman had ridden up to Curraghmore 
on business and left his bay horse at the door. Lord 
Waterford, seeing the animal, caught up a pot of whitewash 
in use by some labourer and rapidly whitewashed the horse; 
after which exploit he went indoora to interview his visitor, 
and began by observing, '* That is a handsome grey horse of 
yours at the door.*' " A bay, my Lord." 

** Not at all. It is a grey horse. I saw you on it.** 
Eventually both parties w^oumed to the front of the 
house and found the whitewashed horse walking up and 
down with a groom. ** You see it is grey," said the Marquis 
triumphantly. 



IRELAND IN THE FORTIES. 176 

Certainly no one in those days dreamed of asking the 
question, " Is Life worth Living ? " We were all, young and 
old, qnite sore that life was extremely valuable ; a boon for 
which to be grateful to God. I recall the amazement with 
which I first read of the Buddhist and Brahmin Doctrine 
that Existence is per se an evil, and that the reward of the 
highest virtue will be Absorption, or Nirvana. The 
pessimism which prevails in this fin de nkU was as 
unknown in the Forties as the potato disease before the 
great blight. 

I much wish that some strong thinker would undertake the 
useful task of tracking this mental and moral aruBmia of the 
present generation to its true origin, whether that origin be 
the ebb of religious hope and faith and the reaction from the 
extreme and too hasty optimism which culminated in 1851, 
and has fallen rapidly since 1876, or whether, in truth, our 
bodily conditions, though tending to prolong life and working 
power to an amazing degree, are yet less conducive to the 
development of the sanguine and hilarious temperament 
common in my youth. I have heard as a defence for the 
revolution which has taken place in medical treatment — from 
the depletory and antiphlogistic to the nourishing and 
stimulating, and for the total abandonment of the practice of 
bleeding — that \t is not the doctors who have altered their 
minds, but the patients, whose bodies have undergone a 
profound modification. I can quite recall the time when (as 
all the novels of the period testify), if anybody had a fall or a 
fit, or ahnost any other mishap, it was the first business of 
the doctor to whip out his lancet, bare the sufferer's arm, and 
draw a large quantity of blood, when everybody and the afore- 
said novels always remarked ; '' It was providential that there 
was a doctor at hand *' to do it. I have myself seen this 
operation performed on one of my brothers in our drawing- 
room about 1886, and I heard of it every day occurring 



176 CHAPTER Vll. 

among our neighbours, rich a^ poor. My father*8 aunt, 
whom I well remember, Jane Power Trench (sister of 
the fbrst Lord Clanearty), who lived in Marlborough 
Buildings in Bath, was habitually bled every year just 
before Easter, having previously spent the entire winter 
in her bed-room of which the windows were pasted down 
and the doors doubled. A few days after the phlebotomy 
the old lady invariably bought a new bonnet and walked 
in it up to the top of Beacon Hill. She continued the 
annual ritual unbroken till she died at 79. Surely these 
people were made of stronger p&tB than we ? In corrobora- 
tion of this theory I may record how much more hardy were 
the gentlemen of the Forties in all their habits than are 
those of the Nineties. When my father and his friends went on 
grouse-shooting expeditions to our mountain-lodge, I used to 
provide for the large parties only abundance of plain food for 
dinners, and for luncheons merely sandwiches, bread and 
cheese, with a keg of ale, and a basket of apples. By degrees it 
became necessary (to please my brother's guests) to provide 
the best of fish, fowl and flesh, champagne and peaches. The 
whole odious system of hattuetf rendering sport unmanly as 
well as cruel, with all its attendant waste and cost and 
disgusting butchery, has grown up within my recollection by 
the extension of luxury, laziness and ostentation. 

To turn to another suljject. There was very little 
immorality at that time in Ireland either in high or low life, 
and what there was received no quarter. But there was, 
certainly, together with the absence of vice, a lack of some 
of the virtues which have since developed amongst us. It is 
not easy to realise that in my life-time men were hanged for 
forgery and for sheep-stealing ; and that no one agitated for 
the repeal of such Draconian legislation, but everybody 
placidly repeated the observation (now-a-days so constantly 
applied to the scientific torture of animals), that it was 



IRELAND IN THE FORTIES. 177 

*' NXOBSSABT.'* Grnelties, wrongs and oppressions of all 
kinds were rife, and there were (in Ireland at all events) none 
to raise an oatcry snch as would echo now from one end of 
England to the other. 

The Protestant pulpit was oceapied by two distinct classes 
of men. There were the yoonger sons of the gentry and 
nobles, who took the large livings and were booked for 
bishoprics ; and these were educated at Oxford and Cambridge, 
were more or less cultivated men and associated of course 
on equal terms with the best in the land. Not seldom they 
were men of noble lives, and extreme piety ; such for example, 
tB the last Protestant Archbishop of Tuam, and a certain 
Archdeacon Trench, whom I remember regarding with awe 
and curiosity since I had heard that he had once got up into 
his own pulpit, and (like Maxwell Gtray's Dean MaUland^ 
made a public confession of all his life's misdoings. The 
second class of Irish clergymen in those days were men of 
a rather lower social grade, educated in Trinity GoUege, often, 
no doubt, of excellent character and devotion but generally 
extremely narrow in their views, conducting all controversies 
by citations of isolated Bible-texts and preaching to their 
sparse country congregations with Dublin brogues which, 
not seldom, reduced the sublimity of their subjects to 
bathos. There was one, for example, who said, as the 
peroration of his sermon on the Fear of Death : — 

"Me brethren the doying Christian lepps into the 
arrums of Death and makes his hollow jaws ring with 
eternal halleligahsl " 

I have myself heard another read the concluding chapters 

of the gospels, substituting with extraordinary effect the 

words " two Meal-factors," for the '^ two maleflActors," who 

were crucified. There was a chapter in the Acts which we 

dreaded to hear, so difficult was it to help laughing when we 

told of ^^P^rthiam and Madst, and the dwdlers in 
▼OL. u M 



178 CHAPTER VII. 

Mesopotemia and the parts of Libya abont Cyraine, Btreengers 
of Bourn, Jews and Proselytes, Crates and Arabians." It 
was also hard to listen gravely to a vivid deseription of 
Jonah's catastrophe, as I have heard it, thus : " The weves 
bate against the ship, and the ship bate against the weves ;" 
(and, at last) ** The Wheel swallowed Jonah ! " 

They had a difficult place to hold, these humbler Irish 
clergymen, properly associating with no class of their 
parishioners ; but to their credit be it said, they were nearly 
all men of blameless lives, who did their duty as they under- 
stood it, fairly well. The disestablishment of the Irish 
Ghnrch which I had regarded beforehand with mnch 
prejudice, did (I have since been inclined to think), very little 
mischief, and certainly awakened in the minds of the Irish 
squirearchy who had to settle their creed afresh, an interest 
in theology which was never exhibited in my earlier days. I 
was absolutely astounded on paying a visit to my old home a 
few years after disestablishment and while the Convention 
(commonly called the Contention!) was going on, to hear sundry 
recondite mysteries discussed at my brother's table and to find 
some of my old dancing partners actually greedily listening 
to what I could tell them of the then recent discovery of Mr. 
Edmund Ffoulkes, — ^that the doctrine of the Double Procession 
of the Holy Ghost had been invented by King Beccared. 

As regards any moral obligation or duty owed by men and 
women to the lower animals, such ideas were as yet scarcely 
beginning to be recognised. It was in 1822, the year in 
which I was bom, that brave old Bichard Martin carried in 
Parliament the first Act ever passed by any legislature in the 
world on behalf of the brutes. Tom Moore had laughed at 
this early Zoophilist. 

'* Place me midst O'Rourkes, O'Tooles, 
The ragged royal blood of Tara ! 
place me where Dick Martin rules 
The hooseless wUds of Gonnemara 



iRELANb tN THJB fORTlSS. 179 

But in the history of human civilisation, *' Martin's Act " 
will hereafter assuredly hold a distinct place of honour when 
many a more pompons political piece of legislation is hnried 
in ohlivion. For a long time the new law, and the Society 
for Prevention of Cruelty which arose to work it, were 
olrjects of ohloquy and jest even from such a man as 
Sydney Smith, who did his hest in the Edinburgh Emew 
to sneer them down. But by degrees they formed, as 
Mr. Lecky says every system of legislation must do, a system 
of moral education. A sense of the Bights of Animals has 
slowly been awakened, and is becoming, by not imperceptible 
degrees, a new principle of ethics. In my youth there were 
plenty of good people who were fond of dogs, cats and horses ; 
but nothing in their behaviour, or in that of any one I knew 
at that time, testified to the existence of any latent idea that 
it was moraUy torong to maltreat animals to any extent. Pious 
sportsmen were wont to scourge their dogs with frightful 
dog-whips, for any disobedience or mistake, with a savage 
violence which I shudder to remember ; and which I do not 
think the most brutal men would now exhibit openly. Miss 
Edgeworth's then recent novel of Ennui had described her 
hero as riding five horses to death to give himself a sensation, 
without (as it would appear) forfeiting in the author's 
opinion his dlaims to the sympathies of the reader. I can 
myself recall only laughing, not crying as I should be more 
inclined to do now, at the spectacle of miserable half-starved 
horses made to gallop in Irish cars to win a bribe for the 
driver, who flogged them over ruts and stones, shouting (as 
I have heard them) " Never feae ! I'll hatther him out of 
thai I '* The picture of a '' Ronnant$f*' from Gervantes' time 
till a dozen or two years ago, instead of being one of the 
most pathetic objects in the world, — ^the living symbol of 
human cruelty, — ^was always considered a particularly 
laughable caricature. Only tender-hearted Berwick in his 



18d CBAPTER ttt 

woodont, Watting fcr D&aihj tried to move the hearts of hia 
generation to eompaaaion for the starved and worn-out servant 

i of nngratefnl man. 

The Irish peasantry do not habitoally maltreat animals, 
but the frightftd mutilations and tortures which of late years 
they have practised on cattle belonging to their obnoxious 
neighbours, is one of the worst proofs of the existence in the 

f Celtic character of that undercurrent of ferocity of which I 

j have spoken elsewhere. 

Among Irish ladies and gentlemen in the Forties there 
was a great deal of interest of course in our domestic pets, 

, and I remember a beautiful and beloved young bride coming 

f to pay us a visit, and asking in a tone of profound conviction : 

<<What would life be without dogs?" Btill there was 
' nothing then existing, I think, in the world like the sentiment 
which inspired Mathew Arnold's Oeiit or even his '^Kaiter 
Dead.^* The gulf between the canine race and ours was 
thought to be measureless. Darwin had not yet written the 
Descent of Man or made us imagine that '' God had made of 
one blood" at least all the mammals ''upon earth." No one 
dreamed of trying to realise what must be the consciousness of 
suffering animals ; nor did anyone, I think, live under the 
slightest sense of responsibility for their well-being. Even my 
dear old friend, Harriet St. Leger, though she was renowned 
through the county for her attachment to her great black 
Etetrievers, said to me one day, many years afler I had left 
Ireland, ** I don't understand your feelings about animals at 
«11. To me a dog is a dog. To you it seems to be something 
else I" 

Another difference was, that there was very little popularity- 
hunting in the Forties. The '' working man " was seen, 
but not yet heard of ; and, so far as I remember, we thought 
as little of the public opinion of our villages respecting us 
as we did of the public opinion of the stables. The wretched 



IRELAND IN THE FORTIES. 181 

religions bigotry which, as we kneWi made the Catholics 
look on us as infallibly condemned of Qod in this world and 
the next, was an insuperable banner to sympathy from them, 
and we never expected them to understand either onr acts or 
motives. But if we cared little or nothing what they thought 
of us, I mast in justice say that we did care a great deal for 
their comfort, and were genuinely unhappy in their afflictions 
and active to relieve their miseries. When the famine came 
there was scarcely one Irish lady or gentleman, I think, 
who did not spend time, money and labour like water to 
supply food to the needy. I remember the horror with which 
my father listened to a visitor, who was not an Irishwoman 
but a purse-proud nouveau riche married to a very silly 
baronet in our neighbourhood, who told him that her 
husband's Mayo property had just cost them £70. *' That 
will go some way in supplying Indian meal to your tenants/' 
said my father, supposing that to such purpose it must be 
devoted. ** dear, no ! We are not sending it for any such 
use," said Lady — . " We are spending it on evioticns ! " 
"Good God I" shouted my father; "how shocking! At 
such a time as this ! " 

It has been people like these who have ever since done the 
hard things of which so much capital has been made by those 
whose interest it has been to stir up strife in the " distressftd 
country." 

I happen to be able to recall precisely the day, almost the 
hour, when the blight fell on the potatoes and caused the 
great calamity. A party of us were driving to a seven o'clock 
dinner at the house of our neighbour, Mrs. Evans, of Portrane. 
As we passed a remarkably fine field of potatoes in blossom, 
the scent came through the open windows of the carriage and 
we remarked to each other how splendid was the crop. Three 
or four hours later, as we returned home in the dark, a 
dreadful smell came from the same field, and we exdaimedi 



182 OHAPTEU VIL 

<' Something has happened to those potatoes; they do not 
smell at all as they did when we passed them on onr way 
out." Next morning there was a wail from one end of 
Ireland to the other. Every field was hlack and every root 
rendered unfit for human food. And there were nearly 
eight millions of people depending principally upon these 
potatoes for existence ! 

The splendid generosity of the English public to us at that 
time warmed all our Anglo-Irish hearts and cheered us to 
strain every nerve to feed the people. But the agitators were 
afraid it would promote too much good feeling between the 
nations, which would not have suited their game. I myself 
heard 0*Connell in Conciliation Hall (that ill-named place 1) 
endeavour to belittle English liberality. He spoke (a strange 
figure in the red robes of his Mayoralty and with a little 
sandy wig on his head) to the following purpose : — 

** They have sent you over money in your distress. But 
do you think they do it for love of you, or because they feel 
for you, and are sorry for your trouble ? Devil a bit ! Th$y 
are afraid of you /— tiiat is it ! They are afraid of you. You 
are eight millions strong." 

It was as wicked a speech as ever man made, but it was 
never, that I know of, reported or remarked upon. He 
spoke continually to similar purpose no doubt, in that Hall, 
where my cousin — afterwards the wife of John Locke, M.P. 
for Southwark — and I had gone to hear him out of girlish 
curiosity. 

The part played by Anglo-Irish ladies when the great 
fever which followed the fJEonine came on us, was the same. 
It became perfectly well known that if any of the upper 
classes caught the fever, they almost uniformly died. The 
working people could generally be cured by a total change of 
diet and abundant meat and wine, but to the others no 
differenoe eould be made in that way, and numbers of ladies 



IRELAND IN THE FORTIES. 188 

and gentlemen lost their lives by attending their poor in the 
disease. It was very infectious, or at least it was easily 
caught in each locality by those who went into the cabins. 



There were few people whom I met in Ireland in those 
early days whose names would excite any interest in the 
reader's mind. One was poor Elliot Warburton, the author 
of the Crescent and the Cross^ who came many times to New- 
bridge as an acquaintance of my brother. He was very 
refined and, as we considered, rather effeminate ; but how 
grand, even sublime, was he in his death ! On the burning 
Amazon in mid- Atlantic he refused to take a place in the 
crowded boats, and was last seen standing alone beside the 
fiuthful Captain at the helm as the doomed vessel was 
wrapped in flames. I have never forgotten his pale, 
intellectual lace and somewhat puny frame, and pictured him 
thus — a true hero. 

His brother, who was commonly known as Hochdaga^ 
from the name of his book on Canada, was a hale and genial 
young fellow, generally popular. One rainy day he was 
prompted by a silly young lady-guest of ours to sing a series 
of comic songs in our drawing-room, the point of the jokes 
turning on the advances of women to men. My dear mother, 
then old and feeble, after listening quietly for a time, slowly 
rose from her sofa, walked painfully across the room, and 
leaning over the piano said in her gentle way a few strong 
words of remonstrance. She could not bear, she said, that 
men should ridicule women. Respect and chivalrous feeling 
for them, even when they were foolish and ill-advised, were 
the part, she always thought, of a generous man. Sha 
would beg Mr. Warburton to choose some other songs for his 
fine voice. All this was done so gently and with her 



184 OHAPTER VIL 

sweet, kind smile, that no one coold take offence. Mr. 
Warbnrton was far from doing so. He was, I could see, 
touched with tender reverence for his aged monitress, and 
rising hastily from the piano, made the frankest apologies, 
which of course were instantly accepted. I have described 
this trivial incident because I think it illustrates the kind of 
influence which was exercised by women of the old sohool of 
" dscorvm** 

Another man who sometimes came to our house, was I>r% 
Longley, then Bishop of Eipon, afterwards Archbishop of 
Canterbury. He was a very charming person, without the 
slightest episcopal morgu$ or affectation, and with the 
kindest brown eyes in the world. His wife was niece, 
and, I believe, eventually heiress, of our neighbour Mrs. 
Evans; and he and his fsunily spent some summers 
at Portrane in the Fifties when we had many pleasant 
parties and picnics. I shall not forget how the Bishop 
laughed when the young Longleys and I and a few 
guests of my own, inaugurated some charades, and our party, 
all in disguise, were announced on our arrival at Portrane, 
as "Lady Worldly," "Miss Angelina Worldly," "Sir 
Bumpkin Blunderhead," and the " Oardinal Lord Archbishop 
of Bheims." 

Our word was " Novice." I, as Lady Worldly, in my 
great-grandmother's petticoat and powdered Umpee^ gave my 
slaughter Angelina a lecture on the desirability of manying 
" Sir Bumpkin Blunderhead " who was rich, and of 
dismissing Captain Algernon who was poor. Sir Bumpkin 
then made his proposals, to which Angelina emphatically 
answered " No." In the second scene I met Sir Bumpkin 
at the gaming table, and fleeced him utterly ; the end of his 
" Vice " being suicide on the adjacent sofa. Angelina then, 
in horror took the veil, and became a "JVo-vicd," duly 
admitted to her Nuimery by the Cardinal Lord Archbishop 



IRELAND IN THE FORTIES. 185 

of Bheims (my yoangest brother in a superb scarlet drearing 
gown) who pronounced a Sermon on the pleasures of fitsting 
and going barefoot Angelina retired to her cell, but was soon 
disturbed by a voice outside the window (Henry Longley's) ; 
and exclaiming " Algernon, beloved Algernon 1 '* a speedy 
elopement over the back of the sofa concluded the fate of the 
Noviee and the charade. 

There was another charade in which we held a debate in 
Parliament on a Motion to ''abolish the sun and moon,'* 
which amused the bishop to the last degree, especially as wo 
mada fim of Joseph Hume's retrenchments ; he being a 
particular friend and frequent guest of our hostess. The 
abolition of the Sun would, we feared, affect the tax on 
parasols. 

At Eipon, as Dr. Longley told me, the Palace prepared for 
him (the first bishop of the new see) had, as ornaments of 
the front of the house, two foil-sized stone (or plaster) 
Angels. One day a visitor asked him : <' Pray, my Lord, is 
it supposed by Divines that Angels wear the order of the 
Garter ? " On inspection it proved that the Bipon Angels 
had formerly done service as statues of the Queen and Prince 
Albert, but that wings had been added to fit them for the 
episcopal residence. Sufficient care, however, had not been 
taken to efface the insignia of the Most Illustrious Order ; 
and ** H<mi salt qui nuU ypense " might be dimly deciphered 
on the leg of the male celestial visitant. 

A lady nearly related to Mrs. Longley, who had married an 
English nobleman, adopted the views of the Plymouth 
Brothers (or as all the Mrs. Malaprops of the period invariably 
styled them, the '' Yarmouth Bloaters "), which had burst 
into sudden notorieiy. When her husband died leaving her 
a very wealthy woman, she thought it her duty to carry out 
the ideas of her sect by putting down such superfluities of 
her establishment as horses and carriages, and a well appointed 



186 CHAPTER VII. 

table. She aocordingly wrote to her father and begged him 

to dispose of all her plate and equipages. Lord C made 

no remonstrance and offered no argoments ; and after a year 
or two he received a letter from his daughter couched in a 
different strain. She told him that she had now reached the 
conviction that it was '' the wiU of God that a peeress should 
live as a peeress/' and she begged him to buy for her new 

carriages and fresh plate. Lord G 's answer must 

have been a little mortifying. ** I knew, my dear, that you 
would come sooner or later to your senses. You will find 
your carriages at your coachmakers and your plate at your 
bankers." 

Mrs. Evans, nie Sophia Pamell, the aunt of both these 
ladies, and a great-aunt of Charles Stewart Pamell, was, as I 
have said, our nearest neighbour and in the later years of 
my life at Newbridge my very kind old friend. For a long 
time political differences between my fietther and her husband, 
— George Hampden Evans, M.P., who had managed to wrest 
the county from the Tories, — ^kept the fjEunilies apart, but after 
his death we were pleasantly intimate for many years. She 
often spoke to me of the Avondale branch of her family, and 
more than once said : " There is mischief brewing ! I am 
troubled at what is going on at Avondale. My nephew's wife ' ' 
(the American lady, Delia Stewart) *^ has a hatred of England, 
and is educating my nephew, like a little Hannibal, to hate it 
too ! " How true was her foresight there is no need now to 
rehearse, nor how near that '* little Hannibal" came to our 
Bome! Charles Pamell was very far from being a repre- 
sentative Irishman. He was of purely English extraction, 
and even in the female line had no drop of Lrish blood. His 
mother, as all the world knows, was an American; his 
grandmother was one of the Howards of the family of 
the Earls of Wicklow, his great-grandmother a Brooke, 
of a branch of the old Cheshire house ; and, beyond this lady 



IRELAND IN THE FORTIES. 187 

again, his grand-dames were Wards and Whitsheds. In short, 
like other supposed '* illustrions Irishmen" — ^Bnrke, Gtrattan, 
Goldsmith, and Wellington — ^Mr. Pamell was only one 
example more of the supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon intellect 
in every land of its adoption. 

Mrs. Evans had known Madame de Stael, Condoreet and 
many other interesting French people in her youth, and 
loved the Gondorcets warmly. She described to me a stiff, 
old-fashioned dinner at which she had been present when 
Madame de Stael was a guest. After dinner, the ladies, having 
retired to the drawing-room, sat apart from Madame de Stael 
m terror, and she looked them over with undisguised 
contempt. After a while she rose and, without asking the 
consent of the mistress of the house, rang the bell. When 
the footman appeared, she delivered the startling order : '' Tell 
the gentlemen to come up!" The sensation among the 
formal and scandalized ladies upstairs, and the gentlemen 
Just settling down to their usual long potations below, may 
be well imagined. 

When her husband died, Mrs. Evans built in his memory 
a fine Bound Tower on the plan and of the size of the best of 
the old Irish towers. It stands on high ground on what was 
her deer-park, and is a useful landmark to sailors all along 
that dangerous coast, where the dreadful wreck of the Tayleur 
took place. On the shore below, under the lofty black cliffs, are 
several very imposing caverns. In the largest of these, which 
is lighted from above by a shaft, Mrs. Evans, on one occasion, 
gave a great luncheon party, at which I was present. The 
company were all in high spirits and thoroughly enjoying the 
pigeon-pies and champagne, when some one observed that the 
tide might soon be rising. Mrs. Evans replied that it was 
all right, there was plenty of time, and the festival proceeded 
for another half-hour, when somebody rose and stroUed to 
the mouth of the cavern and soon uttered a cry of alarm. 



les CHAPTER VTl. 

The tide had risezii and was already boating at a fomudabk 
depth against both sidee of the rocks which shnt in the oave. 
Ckmstemation of course reigned among the party. A night 
spent in the farther recesses of that damp hole, even supposing 
the tide did not reach the end (which was very donbtfol), 
afforded anything bnt a cheerM prospect. Could anybody 
get up through the shaft to the upper cliff ? Certainly, if 
they had a long ladder. But there were no ladders lying 
about the cave; and, finally, eveiybody stood mournfully 
watching the rising waters at the mouth of their prison. 
Mrs. Evans all this time appeared singularly calm, and 
administered a little encouragement to some of the almost 
fainting ladies. When the panic was at its climax, Mrs. 
Evans' own large boat was seen quietly rounding the 
projecting rocks and was soon comfortably pushed up to the 
feet of the imprisoned party, who had nothing to do but to 
embark in two or three detachments and be safely landed in 
the bay outside, beyond the reach of the sea. The whole 
incident, it is to be suspected, had been pre-arranged by the 
hostess to infuse a little wholesome excitement among her 
country guests. 

Our small village church at Donabate was not often 
honoured by this lady's presence, but one Sunday she saw 
fit to attend service with some visitors ; and a big dog 
unluckily followed her into the pew and lay extended on the 
floor, which he proceeded to beat with his tail after the 
manner of impatient dogs under durance. This disturbance 
was too much for the poor parson, who did not love Mrs. 
Evans. As he proceeded with the service and the rappings 
were repeated again and again, his patience gave way, and 
he read out this extraordinary lesson to his astonished con- 
gregation: — "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with 
himself. Turn out that dog, if you please t It's extremely 
wrong to bring a dog into church." During the winter Mrs. 



iSSLAND IN THE FORtlSa. IdO 

Evans was wont to live maoh alone in her oountry house, 
sarroimded only by her old servants and multitudes of 
old books. When at last, in old age, she found herself 
attacked by mortal disease she went to Paris to profit by the 
skill of some Frencfh physician in whom she had confidence, 
and there, with unshaken courage she passed away. Her 
remains, enclosed in a leaden cofSn, were brought back to 
Portrane, and her Irish terrier who adored her, somehow 
recognised the dreadful chest and exhibited a frenzy of 
grief; leapmg upon it and tearing at the pall with piteous 
cries. Next morning, strange to say, the poor brute was, 
with six others about the place, in such a state of excitement 
as to be supposed to be rabid and it was thought necessary 
to shoot them all. One of them leaped the gate of the yard 
and escaping bit two of my other's cows, which became 
rabid, and were shot in my presence. Mrs. Evans was buried 
beside her beloved husband in the little roofless and ruined 
church of Portrane, close by the shore. On another grave 
in the same church belonging to the same fiunily, a dog had 
some years previously died of grief. 

A brother of this lady, who walked over often to 
Newbridge from Portrane to bring my mother some 
scented broom which she loved, was a very singnlar and 
pathetic character. He was a younger brother of that 
sofficiently astute man of the world, Sir Henry Pamell, 
afterwards Lord Congleton, but was his antipodes in 
disposition. Thomas Pamell, "Old Tom Pamell," as all 
Dublin knew him for forty years, had a huge ungainly 
figure like Dr. Johnson's, and one of the sweetest, softest 
faces ever worn by mortal man. He had, at some remote 
and long forgotten period, been seized with a fervent and 
self-denying religious enthusiasm of the ultia-Protestant 
type ; and this had somehow given birth in his brain to a 
scheme for arranging texts of the Bible in a mysterious order 



190 cHaptjbr M. 

which, when eompleied, shoald afford infiEiUible answers to 
every question of the hnman mind ! To construct the 
interminable tables required for this wonderful plan, poor 
Tom Pamell devoted his life and fortune. For years which 
must have amounted to many decades, he laboured at the 
work in a bare, gloomy, dusty room in what was called a 
''Protestant Office" in Saokville Street. Money went 
speedily to clerks and printers ; and no doubt the good man 
(who himself lived, as he used to say laughingly, on 
'' a second-hand bone,") gave money also freely in alms. 
One way or another Mr. Pamell grew poorer and more 
poor, his coat looked shabbier, and his beautifiil long white hair 
more obviously in need of a barber. Once or twice every 
summer he was prevailed on by his sister to tear himself 
from his work and pay her a few weeks' visit in the country 
at Portrane; and to her and all her visitors he preached 
incessantly his monotonous appeal: ''Repent; and cease 
to eat good dinners, and devote yourselves to compiling 
texts I " When his sister — ^who had treated him as a mother 
would treat a silly boy — died, she left him a small annuity, to 
be paid to him weekly in dribblets by trustees, lest he should 
spend it at once and starve if he received it half-yearly. 
After this epoch he worked on with fewer interruptions than 
ever at his dreary text-books in that empty, grimy office. 
Summer's sun and winter's snow were alike to the lonely old 
man. He ploughed on at his hopeless task. There was no 
probability that he should live to fill up the interminable 
columns, and no apparent reason to suppose that any human 
being would use the books if he ever did so and supposing 
them to be printed. But still he laboured on. Old friends 
— myself among them — ^who had known him in their chOd- 
hood, looked in now and then to shake hands with him, and, 
noticing how pale and worn and aged he seemed, tried to 
induce him to come to their homes. But he only exhorted 



IRELAND tN THE PORTIES. 1§1 

them (like Tolstoi, whom he rather resembled), as usaal, to 
repent and give np good dinners and help him with his texts, 
and denounced wildly all rich people who lived in handsome 
parks with mnd villages at their gates, as he said, '' like a 
velvet dress with a draggled skirt." Then, when his visitor 
had departed, Mr. Pamell returned patiently to his inter- 
minable texts. At last one day, late in the autmnn twilight, 
the porter, whose dnty it was to shut np the office, entered the 
room and fomid the old man sitting qnietly in the chair 
where he hadlabonred so long — ^fallen into the last long sleep. 



I never saw mnch of Irish society out of our own county. 
Once, when I was eighteen, my father and I went a tour of 
visits to his relations in Connaught, travelling, as was 
necessary in those days, very slowly with post-horses to our 
carriage, my maid on the box, and obliged to stop at inns on 
the way. Some of these inns were wretched places. I 
remember in one finding a packet of letters addressed to some 
attorney, under my bolster! At another, this dialogue 
took place between me and the waiter : — 

" What can we have for dinner ? " 

<< Anything you please. Ma'am. Anything yon please.*' 

« Well, but exactly what can we have ? " 

(Waiter, triumphantly) : " You can have a pair of ducks." 

'' I am sorry to say Mr. Oobbe cannot eat ducks. What 
else?" 

'' They are very fine ducks. Ma'am." 

<' I dare say. But what else ? " 

** You might have the ducks boiled, Ma*am I " 

*' No, no. Oan we have mutton ? " 

'^ Well ; not mutton, to-day, Ma'am." 

"Some beef?" 

"No, Ma'am." 



ids CHAPTER VII. 

" Some veal ? " 

'* Not any veal, Fm afraid/' 

'* Wdl, then, a fowl ? " 

" We haven't got a fowl." 

'^ What on earth have yon got, then ?** 

** Well, then, Ma'am, I'm afeared if you won't have the fine 
pair of ducks, there's nothing for it but bacon and eggs I " 

We went first to Drnmcar and next (a two days' drive) to 
Moydrum Castle which then belonged to my father's cousin, 
old Lady Gastlemaine. Another old cousin in the house 
showed me where, between two towers covered with ivy, she 
had looked one dark night out of her bedroom window on 
hearing a wailing noise below, and had seen some white 
object larger than any bird, floating slowly up and then 
sinking down into the shadow below again, and yet 
again. Of course it was the Banshee; and somebody 
had died afterwards f We also had our Banshee at New- 
bridge about that time. One stormy and rainy Sunday 
night in October my father was reading a sermon as usual 
to the assembled household, and the fiunily, gathered near 
the fire in what we were wont to call on these evenings 
" Sinner's chair " and the ** Seat of the Scornful," were 
rather somnolent, when the most piercing and unearthly 
shrieks arose apparently just outside the windows in the 
pleasure ground, and startled us all wide-awake. At the 
head of the row of servants sat our dear old housekeeper 
'' Joney " then the head-gardener's wife, who had adopted a 
child of three years old, and this evening had left him fast 
asleep in the housekeeper's room, which was under part of 
the drawing-room. Naturally she and all of us supposed 
that '' Johnny " had wakened and was screaming on finding 
himself alone ; and though the outcries were not like those 
of a child, ** Joney " rose and hastily passed down the room 
and went to look after her charge. To reach the house- 



IRELAND IN THE FORTIES. 193 

keeper's room she necessarily passed the servants' hall and 
out of it rushed the coachman — a big, usually red-faced 
Englishman, whom she declared was on that occasion as 
pale as death. The next instant one of the housemaids, who 
had likewise played truant from prayers, came tottering 
down from a bedroom (so remote that I have always 
wondered how any noise below the drawing-room could 
have reached it), and sunk fainting on a chair. The little 
boy meanwhile was sleeping like a cherub in undisturbed 
repose in a clothes basket ! What that wild noise was, — 
heard by at least two dozen people, — ^we never learned and 
somehow did not care much to investigate. 

After our visit at Moydrum my father and I went to yet 
other cousins at Garbally; his mother's old home. At 
that time — I speak of more than half a century ago, — ^the 
Olancarty family was much respected in Ireland ; and the 
household at Garbally was conducted on high religious 
principles and in a very dignified manner. It was in the 
Forties that the annual Sheep Fair of Ballinasloe was at its 
best, and something like 200,000 sheep were then commonly 
herded at night in Garbally Park. The scene of the Fair 
was described as curious, but (like a stupid young prig, 
as I must have been) I declined the place offered me in one 
of the carriages and stopped in the house on the plea of a 
cold, but really to enjoy a private hunt in the magnificent 
library of which I had caught a glimpse. When the various 
parties came back late in the day there was much talk of a 
droll mishap. The Marquis of Do wnshire of that time, who 
was stopping in the house, was a man of colossal strength, 
and rumour said he had killed two men by accidental blows 
intended as friendly. However this may be, he was on this 
occasion overthrown by sheep/ He was standing in the 
gangway between the hurdles in the great fair, when an 
immense flock of terrified animals rushed through, overset 

TOIi. L H 



194 CHAPTER VIL 

him and tarampled him ander their feet. When he came 
home, laughing good humouredly at his disaster, he presented 
a marvelloos spectacle with his rather voycmit light costume 
of the morning in a frightful pickla Another agreeable man 
in the house was the Lord Devon of that day, a very able 
and cultivated man (whom I straightway interrogated con- 
cerning Gibbon's chapter on theOourtenays !) ; and poor Lord 
Leitrim, a kindly and good Irish landlord, afterwards most 
cruelly murdered. There were also the Ernes and Lord 
EnniakiUen and many others whom I have forgotten, and a 
dear aged lady ; the Marchioness of Ormonde. Hearing I 
had a cold, she kindly proposed to treat me medically and 
said : *' I should advise you to try Brandy and Salt. For 
my own part I take Morrison's pills whenever I am ill, if I 
cannot get hydropathic baths; butlhave a very great opinion 
of Tar-water. HoUoway's ointment and pills, too, are ex- 
cellent My son, you know, joined Mr. " (I have for 

gotten the name) *' to pay ^15,000 to St. John Long for his 
famous recipe ; but it turned out no good when he had it. 
No 1 I advise you decidedly to try brandy and salt." 

From Garbally we drove to Farsonstown, where Lady 
Bosse was good enough to welcome us to indulge my intense 
longing to see the great telescope, then quite recently erected. 
Lord Eosse at that time believed that, as he had resolved 
into separate stars many of the nebuhe which were irresolv- 
able by Herschers telescope, there was a presumption that 
aU were resolvable; and consequently that the nebular 
hypothesis must be abandoned. The later discovery of 
gaseous nebuls by the spectroscope re-established the 
theory. I was very anxious on the subject, having pinned 
my faith already on the Veetigea of Creaiion (then a new 
book), in sequence to Nichol's ArehUedure of the Htavmu : 
that prose-poem of scienca Lord Bosse was infinitely 
indulgent to my girlish curiosity, and took me to see the 



IRELAND IN THE FORTIES. 196 

prooees of polisluDg the specmlnm of his second telescope ; 
a most ingenious piece of mechanism invented mainlj by 
himself. He also showed me models which he has made in 
plaster of lunar craters. I saw the great telescope by day, 
but, alas, when darkness came and it was to have been 
ready for me to look through it and I was trembling with 
anticipation^ the butler came to the drawing-room door and 
announced : '' A rainy night, my lord '' ! It was a life-long 
disappointment, for we could not stay another day though 
hospitably pressed to do so ; and I never had another chance. 

Lord Bosse had guessed already that Robert Chambers was 
the author of the Vestiges. He explained to me the reason 
for the enormous mass of masonry on which the seven-foot 
telescope rested, by the curious fact that even where it stood 
within his park, the roll of a cart more than two miles away, 
outside, was enough to make the ground tremble and to 
disturb the observation. 

There wasa romantic story then current in Ireland about 
Lord and Lady Eosse. It was said that, as a young man, he 
had gone incog, and worked as a handicraftsman in some large 
foundry in the north of England to learn the secrets of 
machine making. After a time his emplo3rer, considering 
him a peculiarly promising young artisan, invited him 
occasionally to a Sunday family dinner when young Lord 
Parsons, as he then was, speedily fell in love with his host's 
daughter. Observing what was going on, the father put a 
veto on what he thought would be a mieattianee for Miss 
Oieen, and the supposed artisan left lus employment and the 
country ; but not without receiving bom. the young lady an 
assurance that she xetumed his attachment. Shortly after- 
wards, having gone home and obtained his father, Lord 
Bosse's consent, be re-appeared and now made his proposals 
to Mr. Oreen, ph^e^ in all due form as the heir of a good 
estate and an earldom. He was not rejected this time. 



196 CHAPTER VII. 

I tell this story only as a pretty one current when I saw 
Lord and Lady Bosse; a very happy and united couple 
with little children who have since grown to be distinguished 
men. Yeiy possibly it may be only a myth ! 

I never saw Archbishop Whately except when he 
confirmed me in the church of Malahide. He was no 
doubt a sincerely pious man, but, his rough and irreverent 
manner (intended, I believe, as a protest against the 
Pecksniffian tone then commonamongevangelioal dignitaries) 
was almost repulsive and certainly startling. Outside his 
palace in Stephen's Green there was at that time a row of 
short columns connected from top to top by heavy chains 
which fell in festoons and guarded the gardens of the square. 
Nothing would serve his Grace (we were told with horror 
by the spectators) than to go of a morning after breakfast 
and sit on these chains smoking his cigar as he swung 
gently back and forth, kicking the ground to gain impetus. 

On the occasion of my confirmation he exhibited one of 
his whims most unpleasantly for me. This was, that he 
must actually touch, in his episcopal benediction, the head^ 
not merely the Aatr, of the kneeling catechumen. Unhappily, 
my maid had not foreseen this contingency, but had thought 
she could not have a finer opportunity for displaying her 
skill in plaiting my redundant locks; and had built up 
such an edifice with plaits and pins, (on the part of my head 
which necessarily came under the Archbishop's hand) that 
he had much ado to overthrow the samel He did so, 
however, effectually ; and I finally walked back, through the 
church to my pew with all my ek&odwre hanging down in 
disorder, far from '^ admired " by me or anybody. 

Of all the phases of orthodoxy I think that of Whately, — 
well called the Hard Chwrthy — was the last which I could 
have adopted at any period of my life. It was obviously his 
view that a chain of propositions might be constructed by 



IRELAND IN THE FORTIES. 197 

iron logic, beginning with the record of a mirade two 
thousand years ago and ending with unavoidable conversion 
to the love of Gk>d and Man I 

The last person of whom I shall speak as known to me first 
in Ireland, was that dear and noble woman, Fanny Kemble. 
She has not mentioned in her delightful Beeorda how our ac- 
quaintance, destined to ripen into a life-long friendship, began 
at Newbridge^ but it was in a droll and characteristic way. 

Mrs. Kemble's friend '' H.B."— Harriet tSt. Leger— Uved 
at ArdgiUan Castle, eight Irish miles from Newbridge. Her 
sister, the wife of Hon. and Bev. Edward Taylor and mother 
of the late Tory Whip, was my mother^s best-liked neighbour, 
and at an early age I was taught to look with respect on the 
somewhat singular figure of Miss St Leger. In those days 
any departure from the conventional dress of the time was 
talked of as if it were altogether the most important fact 
connected with a woman, no matter what might be the 
greatness of her character or abilities. like her contem- 
poraries and fellow countrywomen, the Ladies of Llangollen, 
(also Irish), Harriet St. Leger early adopted a costume 
consisting of a riding habit (in her case with a skirt of 
sensible length)andablack beaver hat. AU the empty-headed 
men and women in the county prated incessantly about these 
inoffensive garments, insomuch that I arrived early at the 
conviction that, rational and convenient as such dress would 
be, the game was not worth the candle: Things are altered 
so far now that, could dear Harriet reappear, I believe the 
universal comment on her dress would rather be : '' How 
sensible and befitting " ! rather than the silly, *< How odd '' ! 
Anyway I imagine she must have afforded a somewhat 
singular contrast to her ever magnificent, not to say gorgeous 
friend Fanny Kemble, when at the great Exhibition of 1851, 
they were the observed of observers, sitting for a long time 
side by side dose to the crystal fountain. 



«• 



198 CHAPTER VIL 

Ewy reader of the ohanning Reoorda of a CMkood 
and BBOoUedwnB of LaUr lAfk^ most have felt acxme 
curiofiity about the personality of the iriend to whom 
those letters of our English Sevign^ were addressed. I 
have before me as I write an excellent reproduction in 
platinotjpe from a daguerreotype of herself which dear 
Harriet gave me some twenty years ago. The pale, kind, 
sad face is, I think inezpressihly touching ; and the woman 
who wore it deserved all the affection wluch Eanny Kemble 
gave her. She was a deep and angularly critical thinker and 
reader, and had one tA the wa rm e st hearts which ever beat 
under a cold and shy exterior. The iridescent genius of 
Eanny Kemble in the prime of her splendid womanhood, and 
my poor young soul, over-burdened with thoughts too great 
and difficult for me^ were equaUy drawn to seek her 
sympathy. 

It happened once, somewhere in the early Fifties, that 
Mrs. Kemble was paying a visit to Miss St. Lager at 
ArdgiUan, and we arranged that she should bring her over 
some day to Newbridge to luncheon. I was, of course, 
prepared to receive my guest very cordially but, to my 
astonishment, when Mrs. Kemble entered she made me the 
most formal salutation conceivable and, after being seated, 
answered all my small politenesses in monosyllables and with 
obvious annoyance and disinclination to converse with me or 
with any of my friends whom I presented to her. Something 
was evidently frightfully amiss, and Harriet perceived it ; 
but what could it be ? What could be done ? Happily the 
gong sounded for luncheon, and, my father being absent, my 
eldest brother offered his arm to Mrs. Kemble and led her, 
walking with more than her usual stateliness across the two 
halls to the dining-room, where he placed her, of course, 
beside himself. I was at the other end of the table but I 
heard afterwards all that occurred. We were a party of 



IRELAND IN THE FORTIES. 199 

eighteen, and naturaUy the long table had a good many 
dishes on it in the old fashion. My brother looked over it 
and asked: "What will you take, Mrs. Kemble? Roast 
fowl ? or galantine 9 or a little Mayonnaise, or what else 1 " 
''Thank yon," replied Mrs. Kemble, ^^ If there be a 
paMoe/*' 

Of coarse there was a potatoe — nay, several ; but a terrible 
ghie hung over us all till Miss Taylor hurriedly called for 
her carriage, and the party drove off. 

The moment they left the door after our formal farewells, 
Harriet St. Leger (as -she afterwards told me) fell on her 
friend : " Well, Fanny, never, never will I bring you 
anywhere again. How could you behave so to Fanny 
Oobbel" 

'' I cannot permit any one/' said Mrs. Kemble, '' to invite 
a number of people to meet me without having asked my 
consent ; I do not choose to be made a gazing-stock to the 
county. Miss Ck>bbe had got up a regular party of all those 
people^ and you could see the room was decorated for it." 

'' Good Heavens, what are you talking of ? " said Harriet, 
** those ladies and gentlemen are all her relations, stopping 
in the house. She could not turn them out because you 
were coming, and her room is always full of flowers." 

" Is that really sof " said Mrs. Kemble, " Then you shall 
tell Fanny Gobbe that I ask her pardon for my bad behaviour, 
and if she will forgive me and come to see me in London, 
/ ioiU never behave badly to her again 9 " 

In a letter of hers to Harriet St. Leger given to me after 
her death, I was touched to read the following reference to 
this droll incident : — 

*< Bilton Hotel, 

" Wed. 9th. 
«I am intermpted by a perfect bundle of fragrance and 
fresh colour sent by Mias Oobbe with a note in which I am 



200 CHAPTER VIL 

aoTTj to say she gives me very little hope of aeeing her at 
bU while I am in Dublin. This, as you know, is a real 
disappointment to me. I had rather fallen in love with 
her, and wished very much to have had some opportunity 
of more intercourse with her. Her face when I came to 
talk to her seemed to me keen and sweet — a charming com- 
bination — and I was so grateful to her for not being repelled 
by my ungracious demeanour at her house, that I had 
quite looked forward to the pleasure of seeing her again. 

*'F. A. K," 



I did go to see her in London ; and she kept her word, and 
was my dear and affectionate friend and bore many things 
from me with perfect good humour, for forty years ; including 
(horrible to recall !) my falling fast ajsleep while she was 
reading Shakespeare to Mary Lloyd and me in our drawing- 
room here at Hengwrt I Among her many kindnesses was 
the gift of a mass of her Correspondence from the beginning 
of her theatrical career in 1821 to her last years. She also 
successively gave me the MSS. of all her Records^ but in each 
case I induced her to take them back and publish them her- 
self. I have now, as a priceless legacy, a large parcel of her 
own letters, and five thick volumes of autograph letters 
addressed to her by half the celebrated men and women of 
her time. They testify uniformly to the admiration, affection 
and respect wherewith, — her little foibles notwithstanding, — 
she was regarded by three generationa 



CHAPTEE 
VIII. 



UPROOTED, 



CHAPTER Vltt 

Upbooted. 

I DiULW now to the dofiing yean ci my life at Newbridge, 
after I had published my first book and before my father 
died. They were happy and peaceful years, though gradually 
overshadowed by the sense that thelongtenureof that beloved 
home must soon end. It is one of the many perversities of 
woman's destiny that she is, not only by hereditary instinot 
a home-making animal, but is encouraged to the uttermost 
to centre all her interests in her home; eveiy pursuit which 
would give her anchorage elsewhere, (always excepting 
marriage) being more or less under general disapproval. Tet 
when the young woman takes thoroughly to this natural 
home-making, when she has, like a plants sent her roots 
down into the cellars and her tendrils up into the garrets 
and eveiy room bears the impress of her personality, when 
she glories in every good picture on the walls or bit of choice 
china on the tables and blushes for eveiy stain on the 
carpets, when, in short, her home is, as it should be, 
her '^outer garment, her nest, her shell, fitted to her 
like that of a murex, then, almost invariably comes to 
her the order to leave it all, tear herself opt of it, — 
and go to make (if she can) some other home elsewhere. 
Supposing her to have married early, and that she is spared 
the late uprooting from her father's house at his death, she 
has usually to bear a similar transition when she survives 
her husband ; and in this case often with the failing health 
and spirits of old age. I do not know how these heart- 
breaks are to be spared to women of the daas of the daughters 
an4 wives of country gentlemen or clergymen ; but they ar^ 



204 CHAPTER VIII. 

hard to bear. Perhaps the most fortunate daughters (harsh 
as it seems to say so) are those whose fathers die while they 
are themselves still in full vigour and able to begin a new 
existence with spirit and make new friends; as was my 
case. Some of my contemporaries, whose fathers lived till 
they were fifty, or even older, had a bitterer trial in quitting 
their homes and were never able to start afresh. 

In my last few years at Newbridge my father and I were 
both cheered by the frequent presence of my dear little 
niece, Helen, on whom he doted, and towards whom flowed 
out the tenderness which had scarcely been allowed its free 
course with his own children. L*Art cTHre Grandph^ is surely 
the most beautiful of arts ! When all personal pleasures 
have pretty well died away then begins the reflected 
pleasure in the fresh, innocent delights of the child ; a moon- 
light of happiness perhaps more sweet and tender than the 
garish joys of the noontide of life. To me, who had never 
lived in a house with little children, it brought a whole world 
of revelations to have this babe and afterwards her little 
sister, in a nursery under my supervision during their 
mother's long illnesses. I understood for the first time all 
that a child may be in a woman's life, and how their little 
hands may pull our heartstrings. My nieces were dear, good, 
little babes then ; they are dear and good women now ; 
the comfort of my age, as they were the darlings of my 
middle life. 

Having received sufficient encouragement from the succis 
cPeftkne of my Theory of IntuUive Morals^ I proceeded now 
to write the first of the three books on Practical Morah^ with 
which I designed to complete the work. My volume of 
Rdigums Dviy^ then written, has proved, however, the only 
one of the series ever published. At a later time I wrote 
some chapters on Personal and on Social Duty^ but was 
dissatisfied with them, and destroyed the MSS. 



UPROOTED. 205 

As Bdigioua IhUy (3rd edition) is still to be had 
(included by Mr. Fisher XJnwin in his late re-issue of my 
principal works), I need not trouble the reader by any such 
analysis of it as I have given of the former volume. In 
writing concerning Rdigioua Duty at the time, I find in a 
letter of mine to Harriet St. Leger (returned to me when she 
grew blind), that I spoke of it thus : — 

« Newbridge, April 25th, 1857. 
" Yon see I have, after all, inserted a little preface. I 
thought it necessary to explain the object of the book, 
lest it might seem superflaous where it coincides with 
orthodox teaching, and offensively daring where it diverges 
from it. Your cousin*8 doubt about my Christiamty lasting 
till she reached the end of InimUve Morals^ made me 
resolve to forestall in this case any such danger of seemiog 
to fight without showing my colours. You see I have now 
naUed them mast-high. But though I have done this, I 
cannot say that it has been in any way to mcJce converts to 
my own creed that I have written this book. I wanted to 
show those who are already Theists, actually or approxi- 
mately, that Theism u something far more than they seem 
commonly to understand. I wanted, too, to show to those 
who have had their historical faith shaken, but who still 
cling to it from the belief that without it no real religion is 
possible, that they may find all which their hearts can 
need in a faith purely intuitive. Perhaps I ought rather to 
say that these objects have been before me in working at 
my book. I suppose in reality the impulse to such an 
undertaking comes more simply. We think we have found 
some truths^ and we long to develop and communicate them. 
We do not sit down and say ' Such and such sort of people 
want such and such a book. I wiU try and write it.' " 

The plan of this book is simple. After discussing in the 
first chapter the Canon o/Rdigiaue Duiy^ which I define to 
be '* Thou shalt love the Lord thy Ood with all thine heart 
and soul and strength," — ^I discuss^ in the next chapter, 



206 CHAPTER VIIL 

Reliffuma Ofmees against that Law, — BUfipkemy, Hypocrisy, 
Perjury, Ao. The third chapter deals with Religious FavJUa 
(failures of duty) such as Thanklessness, Irreverence, 
Worldliness, ^ The fourth, which constitutes the main 
hulk of the hook, consists of what are practically six Sermons 
on Thanksgiving, Adoration, Prayer, Repentance, Faith, 
and Self-Oonseoration. 

The book has been very much liked by some readers, 
especially the chapter on Thanksffiving^ which I reprinted 
later in a tiny voluma It is strange in these days of 
pessimism to read it again. I am glad I wrote it when my 
heart was unchilled, my sight undimmed, by the frozen fog 
which has been hanging over us for the last two decades. 
An incident connected with this chapter touched me deeply. 
My father in his last illness permitted it to be read to him. 
Having never before listened to anything I had written, and 
having, even then, no idea who wrote the book, he expressed 
pleasure and sympathy with it, especially with a passage in 
which I speak of the hope of being, in the future life, ^' young 
again in all that makes childhood beautiful and holy." It 
was a pledge to me of how near our hearts truly were, under 
apparently the world-wide differences. 

My father was now sinking slowly beneath the weight of 
years and of frequent returns of the malarial fever of 
India, — ^in those days called *' Ague," — ^which he had caught 
half a century before in the Mahratta wars. I have said 
something already of his powerful character, his upright, 
honourable, fearless nature; his strong sense of Duty. 
Of the lower sort of faults and vices he was absolutely 
incapable. No <»ie who knew him could imagine him as 
saying a false or prevaricating word; of driving a hard 
bargain; of eating or drinking beyond the stricfcest rules of 
temperanee ; least of all, of faithlessness in thought or deed 
to his wife or her memory. His mistakes and errors, such 



UPROOTED. 207 

ftBthey were, arose solely from a fiery temper and a despotio 
will, oouriflhed rather than checked by his ideas oonoeniing 
the rights of parents, and husbands, masters and employers ; 
and from his narrow religioas creed. Sach as he was, evary 
one honoured, some feared, and many loved him. 

Before I pass on to detail more of the incidents of my own 
life, I shall here naxrate all that I can recall of his 
descriptions of the most important occurrence in his career — 
the battle of Assaye. 

In Mr. Qeorge Hooper^s delightful life of Wellington 
{Enfiiah Men of Action Senss) there is a spirited account of 
that battle, whereby British supremacy in India was 
practically secured. Mr. Hooper speaks enthusiastically of 
the behaviour, in that memorable fight, of the 19th light 
Dragoons, and of its ** splendid charge," which, with the 
** irresistible sweep" of the 78th, proved the ''decisive 
stroke" of the great day. He describes this charge thus : — 

.... *'The piquets, or leading troops on the right wece 
by mistake led off towards Assays, uncovering the aeoond 
line, and falling themsdvea into a deadly converging fire. 
The Seventy-Fourth followed the piquets into the cannonade, 
and a great gap was thus made in the array. The enemy's 
hone rode up to ohaige, and so serious was the peril on the 
right that the l^eteenth Light Dragoons and a native 
cavalry regiment were obliged to charge at once. Eager 
for tiM fray, they galloped up, cheering as they went, and 
cheered by the wounded ; and| riding home, even to the 
batteries, saved the remnants of the piquets and of the 
Seventy-Fourth.** (P. 76.) 

Uy iiather, then a comet in tha regiment^ earned the 
regiaental flag of the Nineteenth through that charge^ and 
for the rest of the day ; the nop-commissioned officer whose 
duty it was to bear it having been struck dead at the first 
onseti and my father saving the flag from falling into the 
hands of the Mahrattas. 



208 CHAPTER VIIL 

« 
The Nineteenth light Dragoons of that epoch wore a grey 

uniform, and heavy steel helmets with large red plumes, which 

caused the Mahrattas to nickname them '^ The Red Headed 

Eascals." On their shoulders were simple epaulettes made 

of chains of some common white metal, one of which I 

retrieved from a heap of rubbish fifty years after Assaye, and 

still wear as a bracelet. The men could scarcely have 

deserved the name of Light if many of them weighed, as did 

my father at 18, no less than 18 stone, inclusive of his saddle 

and accoutrements ! The fashion of long hair, tied in '^ pig 

tails,'' still prevailed ; and my father often laughingly boasted 

that the mass of his fair hair,duly tied with black ribbon, had 

descended far enough to reach his saddle and to form an 

efficient protection from sabre cuts on his back and shoulders. 

Mr. Hooper estimates the total number of the British army at 

Assaye at 5,000; my father used to speak of it as about 4,500; 

while the cavairy alone, of the enemy were some 30,000. 

The infantry were seemingly innumerable, and altogether 

covered the plain. There was also a considerable force of 

artillery on Sdndias' side, and, commanding them, was a 

French officer whose name my father repeatedly mentioned, 

but which I have unfortunately forgotten.* The handful of 

* Mr. Hntton, whose exceedingly interesting and brilliant L\fif 
qf the Mdrgueu tf WeUe$ley (in the "Bulers of India** aeiiqi) 
includes an acoonnt of the whole campaign, has been so kind as 
to endeavour to Identify this Frenchman for me, and tells me 
that in a note to Wellington's De^atehes, VoL II., p. 328, it is 
given as Ihipont ; Wellington speaking of him as commanding a 
'* brigade of infantry." My father certainly spoke of him or 
some other Frenchman as commanding Sdndias' artillery. 
Mr. Hatton has also been good enough to refer me to Orant 
Dnffs Hiitory qf the Mahrattae, Vol UL, p. 2i0, with regard to 
the number of British troops engaged at Assaye, He (Mr. Orant 
Duff) says the handful of British troops did not exceed 4,500 as 
my father also estimated them. 



UPROOTED. 209 

English troops had done a full day's march under an Indian 
sun before the battle began. When the Nineteenth received 
orders to charge they had been sitting long on their 
horses in a position which left them exposed to the ricodhst 
of the shot of the enemy, and the strain on the discipline of 
the men, as one after another was picked ofF, had been 
enormous ; not to prevent them from rebreaJbing — ^they had 
no such idea, — but tostop them from charging without orders. 
At last the word of command to charge came from Wellesley, 
and the whole regiment responded with a roar ! Then came 
the fire of death and men and officers fell all around, as it 
seemed almost every second man. Among the rest, as I 
have said, the colour- sergeant was struck down, and my 
father, as was his duty, seized the flag from the poor f elloVs 
hands as he fell and carried it, waving in front of the 
regiment up to the guns of the enemy. 

In one or other of the repeated charges which the 
Nineteenth continued to make even after their commanding 
officer, Colonel Maxwell, had been killed, my father found 
himself in hand to hand conflict with the French Qeneral 
who was in command of the Mahratta artillery. He wore 
an ordinary uniform and my father, having struck him with 
his sabre at the back of his neck, expected to see terrible 
results from the blow of a hand notorious all his life 
for its extraordinary strength. But fortunately the 
General had prudently included a coat of armour under his 
uniform ; and the blow only resulted in a considerable dent 
in the blade of my father's sabre ; a dent which (in Biblical 
language) *' may be seen unto this day," where the weapon 
hangs in the study at Newbridge. 

At another period of this awful battle the young Comet 

dismounted beside a stream to drink, and to allow his horse 

to do the same. While so occupied, Colonel Wellesley came 

up to follow his example, and they conversed for a few 

VOL. I. o 



210 CHAPTER VIIL 

minutes while dipping their hands and faces in the brook (or 
river). As they did so, there slowly oozed down upon them, 
trickling through the water, a streamlet of blood. Of course 
they both turned away in horror and remounted to return 
to the battla 

At last the tremendous struggle was over. An army of 
4,500 or 5,000 tired English troops, had routed five times as 
many horsemen and perhaps twenty times as many infantry 
of the warlike Mahrattas. The field was dear and the 
English flag waved over the English Marathon. 

After this the poor, wearied soldiers were compelled to 
ride back ten miles to camp for the night ; and when they 
reached their ground and dismounted, many of them — my 
father among the rest — fell on the earth and slept whera 
they lay. Next morning they marched back to the field of 
Assaye and the scene which met their eyes was one which 
no lapse of years could efface from memory. The pomp and 
glory and joy of victory were past ; the horror of it was 
before them in mangled corpses of men and horses, over 
which hung clouds of flies and vultures. Fourteen ofllcers of 
his own regiment, whose last meal on earth he had shared in 
convivial merriment, my father saw buried together in one 
grave. Then the band of the regiment played " J^ Rase 
Tree** and the men marched away with set faces. Long 
years afterwards I happened to play that old air on the piano, 
but my father stopped me, " Do not play that tune, pray 1 
I cannot bear the memories it brings to me." 

After Assaye my father fought at Argaon (or Argaum), a 
battle which Mr. Turner describes as " even more decisive 
than the last**; and on December 14th he joined in the 
terrific storming of the great fortress of Qawiljarh, with 
which the war in the Deccan terminated. He received 
medals for Assaye and Argaum, just fifty years after those 
battles were fought ! 



UPROOTED. 211 

After bis return from India, mj father remained at his 
tnother's house in Bath till 1809, when he married mj 
dear mother, then living with her guardians close bj, at 
29, Boyal Orescent ; and brought her to Newbridge, where 
thej both lived, as I have described, with few and short 
interruptions till she died in October, 1847, and he in 
November, 1857. For all that half century he acted 
nobly the part to which he was called, of landlord, 
magistrate and head of a family. There was nothing in 
him of the ideal Irish, fox-hunting, happy-go-lucky, much 
indebted Squire. There never was a year in his life in 
which every one of his bills was not settled. His books, 
piled on his study table, showed the regular payment, week 
by week, of all his labourers for fifty years. No quarter day 
passed without every servant in the house receiving his, or 
her wages. So far was Newbridge from a Oastle Rackrent 
that though much in it of the furniture and decorations 
belonged to the previous century, everything was kept in 
perfect order and repair in the house and in the stables, coach- 
houses and beautiful old garden. Punctuality reigned under 
the old soldier's r^me ; clocks and bells and gongs sounded 
regularly for prayers and meals; and dinner was served 
sharply tothe moment. I should indeed be at a loss to say 
in what respect my father betrayed his Anglo-Irish raoOi if it 
were not his high spirit. 

At last, and very soon after the photograph which I am 
inserting in this book was taken, the long, good life drew to 
its end in peaca I have found a letter which I wrote to 
Harriet St. Leger a day or two after his u'eath, and I will her^ 
transcribe part of it, rather than narrate the event afresh. 

« Nov. 14tb, 1867. 
'' Dearest Harriet, 

**My poor father's BufEerings are over. He died on 
Wednesday evening, without the least pain or stmgglo, 



A 



212 CHAPTER VIII. 

having sank gradually into an unoonacioiu state dnoe 
Sunday morning. At all eFenta it proved a moat merciful 
olofle to hia long sufferings, for he never seemed even aware 
of the terrible state into which the poor limbs fell, but 
became weaker and weaker, and as the mortification 
advanced, died away as if in the gentlest sleep he had known 
for many a day. It is all very merciful, I can feel 
nothing elsey though it is very sad to have had no parting 
words of blessing, such as I am sure he would have given 
me. All those he loved best were near him. He had Dotie 
till the last day of his consciousness, and the little thing 
continually asked afterwards to go to his study, and 
enquired, 'Grandpa 'seep?' When he had ceased to 
speak at all comprehensibly, the morning before he died 
he pointed to her picture, and half smiled when I brought 
it to him. Poor old father! He is free now from all his 
miseries — gone home to God after his long, long life of good 
and honour ! Fifty years he has lived as master here. Who 
but God knows all the kind and generous actions he has 
done in that half century ! To the very last he completed 
everything, paying his labourers and settling his books on 
Saturday ; and we find all his arrangements made in the most 
perfect and thoughtful way for everybody. There was a 
letter left for me. It only contained a £100 note and the 
words, " The last token of ^e love and affection of a father to 
his daughter.* . . . . ' He is now looking so noble and happy, 
I might say, so handsome ; his features seem so glorified 
by death, that it does one good to go and sit beside him. I 
never saw Death look so little terriblOi Would that the 
poor form could lie there, ever! The grief will be far 
worse after to-day, when we shall see it for the last time. 
Jessie has made an outline of the face as it is now, very 
like. How wonderful and blessed is this glorifying power 
of death ; taking away the lines of age and weak distension 
of muscles, and leaving only, as it would seem, the true 
fiuse of the man as he was beneath all surface weaknesses ; 
the ' garment l^ the soul laid by ' smoothed out and folded ! 
My cousins and Jessie and I all feel very much how blessedly 



UPROOTED. 213 

this face ipeakB to ub ; how it is not him^ bat a token 
of what he ii now. I grieve that I was not more to him, 
that I did not better win his love and do more to deserve 
it; bnt even this sorrow has its comfort Perhaps he 
knows now that with all my heart I did feel the deepest 
tenderness for his sufferings and respect for his great 
virtues. At all events the wall of creed has fallen down 
from between oar seals for ever, and I believe that was the 
one great obstacle which I coald never overthrow entirely. 
Forbearing as he proved himaelfy it was never forgotten. 

Now aU that divided as is over It seems all very 

dream-like jast now, long as we have thonght of it, and I 
know the waking will be a terrible pang when all is over 
and I have left everything round which my heart roots have 
twined in five and thirty years. Bat I don*t fear— how can 
I, when my ntmost hopes could not have pointed to an end 
so happy as God has given to my poor old father? 
Everything is i^iercifal aboat it — even to the time when we 
were all together here, and when I am neither yonng 
enoagh to need protection, or old enough to feel diminished 
energies. • . . • ' 

I carried out my long formed resolutionf of course, and 
started on my pilgrimage just three weeks after my father's 
death. Leaving Newbridge was the worst wrench of my 
life. The home of my childhood and youth, of which I had 
been mistress for nineteen years, for every comer of which 
I had cared, and wherein there was not a room without its 
tender associations, — it seemed almost impossible to drag 
myself away. To strip my pretty bedroom of its pictures 
and books and ornaments, many of them my mother's gifts, 
and my mother's work ; to send off my harp to be sold ; 
and make over to my brother my private possessions of 
ponies and carriage, — (luckily my dear dog was dead,) — 
and take leave of all the dear old servants and village people, 
formed a whole series of pangs. I remember feeling a 



214 CHAPTER VIIL 

distinct i^egret and smiling at myself for doing so, when T 
locked for the last time the hig, old-fashioned tea-chest out 
of which I had made the famOy breakfast for twenty years. 
Then came the last morning and as I drove out of the gates 
of Newbridge I felt I was leaving behind me all and 
everything in the world which I had loved and cherished. 

I was going also, it most be said, not only from a family 
drcle to entire solitude, but also from comparative wealth to 
poverty. Considering the interests of my eldest brother as 
paramount, and the seriousness of his charge of keeping up 
the house and estate, my father left me but a veiy small 
patrimony; amounting, at the rate of interest then obtainable, 
to a trifle over X200 a year. For a woman who had always 
had every possible service rendered to her by a regiment of 
well-trained servants, and had had ^£1 30 a year pocket-money 
since she left school, it must be confessed that this was a 
narrow provision. My father intended me to continue to live 
at Newbridge with my brother and sister-in-law ; but such a 
plan was entirely contrary to my view of what my life should 
thenceforth become, and I accepted my poverty cheerfully 
enough, with the help of a little ready money wherewith to 
start on my travels. I cut off half my hair, being totally 
unable to grapple with the whole without a maid, and faced 
the future with the advantage of the great calm which follows 
any immediate concern with Death. While that Shadow 
hangs over our heads we perceive but dimly the thorns and 
pebbles on our road. 

A week after leaving Ireland I spent one night with 
Harriet St. Leger in lodgings which she and her friend. Miss 
Dorothy Wilson, occupied on the Marina at St. Leonard's. 

When I had gone to my room rather late that evening, I 
opened my window and looked out for the last time before 
my exile, on an English scene. There was the line of friendly 
lampe dose by, but beyond it the sea, dark as pitch on that 



UPROOTED. 216 

December night, was only revealed by the sound of the slow 
waves breaking sullenly on the beach beneath. It was like a 
Uack wall before me ; the sea and sky undistinguishable. 
I thought : '* To-morrow I shall go out into that darkness ! 
How like to death is this ! '' 



CHAPTER 



IX. 



LONG JOURNEY. 



CHAPTER IX. 
Long Joxtbnbt. 

Ths joamqr which I undertook when my home datieB 
ended at the death of my father, would be considered a very 
moderate excursion in these latter days, but in 1857 it was 
still accounted somewhat of an enterprise for a "lone woman." 
When I told my friends that I was going to Egypt and 
Jerusalem, they said : *' Ah, you will get as far as Home and 
Naples, and that will be very interesting ; but you will find 
too many difficulties in the way of going any further," 
" When I say " (I replied) " that I am going to Egypt and 
Jerusalem, I mean that to Egypt and Jerusalem I shall go." 
And so, as it proved, a wilful woman had her way ; and I 
came back after a year with the ever-delightful privilege of 
observing : " I told you so. " 

I shall not dream of dragging the reader again over the 
weU-wom ground at the slow pace of a writer of " Impresrioru 
de Voyage." The best of my reminiscenoee were given to 
the world, in Frcuer'a Magazine, and reprinted in my CiHea of 
the Paetf before there was yet a prospect of a railway to 
Jerusalem except in Martin's picture of the " End of the 
World " ; or of a '^ Service iTomnibua" over the wild solitudes of 
Lebanon, where I struggled 'mid snows and torrents which 
nearly whelmed me and my horse in destruction. I rejoice 
to think that I saw those holy and wonderful lands of 
Palestine and Egypt while Cook's tourists were yet unborn, 
and Cairo had only one small English hotel and one soUtary 
wheel carriage; and the solemn gaze of the Sphinx 
encountered no Golf-gamee on the desert sands. 



220 CHAPTER IX, 

My proceedings were very much like those of certain birds 
of the farmyard (associated particularly with Michaelmas), 
who very rarely are seen to rise on the wing but when they 
are once incited to do so, are wont to take a very wide circle 
in their flight before they come back to the bam door I 

Paris, Marseilles, Borne, Naples, Messina, Malta, Alexan- 
dria, Cairo, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Dead Sea, 
Jordan, Beyrout, Lebanon, Baalbec, Cyprus, Bhodes, Smyrna, 
Athens, Constantinople, Cape Matapan, Corfu, Trieste, 
Adelsberg, Venice, Florence, Milan, Lucerne, Geneva, 
Wiesbaden, Antwerp, London — such was my ** swoop," 
accomplished in 11 months and at a cost of only X400. To 
say that I brought home a crop of new ideas would be a 
small way of indicating the whole harvest of them wherewith 
I returned laden. There were (I think I may summarise), 
as the results of such a journey, the following great additions 
to my mental stock. 

First. A totally fresh conception of the glory and beauty 
of Nature. When crossing the Channel I fell into talk with 
^ charming old lady and told her how I was looking forward 
to seeing the great pictures and buildings of Italy. *' Ah,'' 
she said, " but there is Italian N<Uure to be seen also. Do 
not miss it, looking only at works of art. / go to Italy to 
see it much more than the galleries and churches.'' I was 
very much astonished at this remark, but I came home after 
some months spent in a viUa on Bellosguardo entirely 
converted to her view. Travellers there are who weary 
their feet and strain their eyes till they can no longer see or 
receive impressions from the miles of painted canvas, the 
regiments of statues, and the streets of palaces and churches 
wherewith Italy abounds ; yet have never spent a day riding 
over the desolate Campagna with thefar off Apennines closing 
the horizon, or enjoyed nights of paradise, sitting amid the 
cypresses and the garlanded vines, with the starsoverhead, the 



LONG JOURNEY. 1»1 

nightingales singing, andthefirefliesdartingaroundamongthe 
Eoae de Maggio, Such travellers maj come back to England 
proud of having verified every line of Murray on the spot, 
yet they have failed to '* see Italy " altogether. Never shall 
I forget the revelation of loveliness of the iBgean and Ionian 
seas, of the lower slopes of Lebanon, and of the Acropolis of 
Athens, seen, as I saw it firsts at sunrise. But when my 
heaviest journeys were done and I paused and rested in 
Villa Niocolini, with Florence below and the Yal d' Amo 
before me, I felt as if the beauty of the world, as I then and 
there saw it, were joy enough for a lifetime. The old lines 
(I know not whose they are) kept ringing in my ears . — 

** And they shall summer high in bliss 
Upon the hiUs of God." 

I shall quote here some verses which I wrote at that time, 
as they described the scene in which I lived and revelled. 

THE FE8TA OF THE WORLD. 

A Princess came to a southern strand. 

Over a snmmer sea ; 

And the sky smiled down on the laughing land. 

For that land was Italy. 

The fruit trees bent their laden boughs 
O'er the fields with harvest gold. 
And the rich vines wreathed from tree to treCi 
Like garlands in temples old. 

And over all fell the glad sunlight, 
So warm, so bright, so clear I 
The earth shone out like an emerald set 
In the diamond atmosphere. 

Then down to greet that lady sweet 
Came the Duke from his palace hall : 
** I thank thee, gentle Sire/' she cried« 
" For thy princely festival." 



222 CBAPTER IX. 

** For honoured gaests have towns ere now 
Been decked right royally ; 
But thy whole land is garlanded 
One bower of bloom for me 1 " 

Then smiled the Duke at the lady's thought) 
And the thanks he had lightly won ; 
For Nature's eternal Festa-day 
She deemed for her alone I 

A Poet stood by the Princess's side ; 
** O lady laise thine eye, 
The Qiver of this great Festival, 
He dwelleth in yon blue sky. 

« Thy kinsman Prince hath welcomed thee, 
But God hath His world arrayed 
Not more for thee than yon beggar old 
Who sleeps 'neath the ilex shade. 

*^ His sun doth shine on the peasant's fields, 
His ndn on his vineyard pour, 
His flowers bloom by the worn wayside 
And creep o'er the cottage door. 

** For each, for all is a welcome given 
And spread the world's great feast ; 
And the King of Kings is the loving Host 
And each child of man a guest** 

The beauty of Switzerland has at no time touched me as 
that of Italy has always done. There is something in the 
sharp, hard atmosphere of Switzerland (and I may add in the 
sharp, hard characters of the Swiss) which disenchants me in 
the grandest scenes. 

The second thing one learns in a journey like mine is, of 
course, the wondrous achievements of human Art, — ^Temples 

* The mistake recorded in these little verses was made by a 
daughter of Louis Philippe when visiting her unde, the Grand 
Duke of Lucca. The incident was narrated to me by the 
sculpturess, Mdlle. FeUcie Fauveau, attendant on the Duohesse de 
Beni. 



LONG JOURNEY. 223 

and Ohnrchfls, fountaiDS and obelisksy pyramids and stataes 
and piotares withont end. But on this head I need say 
nothing. Enough has heen said and to spaxe by those far 
more competent than I to write of it. 

lAstly, there \b a thing which I, at all events, learned by 
knocking about the world. It is the enormous amount of 
pure human good'tutkure which is to be found almost every- 
where. I should weary the reader to tell aU the little 
kindnesses done to me by fellow-passengers in the railways 
and steamers, and by the Captains of the vessels in which I 
sailed ; and of the trouble which strangers took to help me 
out of my small difficulties. Of course men do not meet — 
because they do not want^ — sueh services ; and women, who 
travel with men, or even two or three together, seldom invite 
them. But for viewing human nature en beau^ commend me 
to a long journey by a woman of middle age, of no beauty, 
and travelling as cheaply as possible, alona 

I believe the Fbychical Society has started a theory that 
when places where crimes have been committed are ever 
after ** haunted " the apparitions are not exactly good, old- 
fashioned real ghosts, if I may use such an expression, but 
some sort of atmospheric photographs (the term is mj own) 
left by the parties concerned, or sent telepathicallj from their 
present habUa4 (wherever that may be) to the scene of their 
earthly suffering or wickedness. The hypothesis, of course, 
relieves us from the very unpleasant surmise that the actual 
soul of the victims of assassination and robbery may have 
nothing better to do in a future life than to stand guard 
perpetually at the dark and dank comers, ceUars, and bottoms 
of stone staircases, where they were cruelly done to death 
fifty or a hundred years before ; or to loaf like detectives 
about the spots where their jewelry and cash*bozes (so useful 
and important to a disembodied spirit !) lie concealed. But 
the atmospheric photograph or magic-lantern theory, what- 



224 CHAPTER IX. 

ever truth it may hold, exactly answers to a sense which I 
should think all my readers must have experienced, as I have 
done, in certain houses and cities ; a sense as if the crimes 
which had been committed therein have left an indescribable 
miasma, a lurid, impalpable shadow, like that of the ashes of 
the Polynesian volcano which darkened the sun for a year ; 
or shall we say, like the unrecognised effluvium which 
probably caused Mrs. Sleeman, in her tent, to dream she was 
surrounded by naked murdered men, while 14 corpses were 
actually lying beneath her bed and were nextday disinterred?* 
Walking once through Holyrood with Dr. John Brown (who 
had not visited the place for many years), I was quite 
overcome by this sense of ancient crime, perpetuated as it 
seemed, almost like a physical phenomenon in those gloomy 
chambers; and on describing my sensations, Dr. Brown 
avowed that he experienced a very similar impression. It 
would almost seem as if moral facts of a certain intensity, 
begin to throw a cloudy shadow of Evil, as Bomist saints 
were said to exhale an odour of sanctity. 

If there be a dty in the world where this sense is most 
vivid, I think it is Bome. I have felt it also in Paris, but 
Bome is worst. The air (not of the Campagna with all its 
fevers, but of the dty itself) seems foul with the blood and 
corruption of a thousand years. On the finest spring day, 
in the grand open spaces of the Piazza del Popolo, Saii 
Pietro, and the Forum, it is the same as in the darkest and 
narrowest streets. No person sensitive to this impression 
can be genuinely light-hearted and gay in Bome, as we often 
are even in our own gloomy London. Perhaps this is sheer 
fancifulness on my part, but I have been many times in Bome, 
twice for an entire winter, and the same impression never 
failed to overcome ma On my last visit I nearly died there 

* Bee General Sleexnan's Indim, 



LONG JOURNEY. 225 

and it was not to be described how earnestly I longed to 
emerge, as if out of one of Dante's Giri^ "anywhere, 
anywhere out of " this Eome ! 

On the occasion of my first journey at Christmas, 1857, 1 
stopped only three weeks in the Eternal City and then went on 
by sea to Naples. I was ill from the fatigues and anxieties 
of the previous weeks, and after a few half -dazed visits to 
the Colosseum, the Vatican, and Shelley's grave, I found 
myself unable to leave my solitary fourth-floor room in the 
Eurapa. A card was brought to me one day while thus 
imprisoned, bearing names (unknown to me) of " Mr. and 
Mrs. Eobert Apthorp," and with the singular message : " Was 
I the Miss Cobbe who had corresponded with Theodore 
Parker in America ? " My first impression was one of alarm. 
" What ! more trouble about my heresies still ? " It was, 
however, quite a different matter. My visitors were a 
gentleman (a real American gentleman) and his wife, with 
two ladies who were all among Parker's intimate friends in 
America, and to whom he had showed my letters. They 
came to hold out to me the right hands of fellowship ; and 
friends indeed we became, in such thorough sort that, after 
seven-and-thirty years I am corresponding with dear 
Mrs. Apthorp still. She and her sister nursed me through 
my illness ; and thus my solitude in Rome came to an end. 

Naples struck me on my first visit, as it has done again and 
again, as presenting the proof that the Beautiful is not by 
itself, a root out of which the Good spontaneously grows. If 
we want to cultivate Purity, Honesty, Veracity, Unselfishness 
or any other virtue, it is vain to think we shall achieve our 
end by giving the masses pretty pleasure-grounds and 
" Palaces of Delight," or even sesthetic cottages with the best 
reproductions of Botticelli adorning the walls. Do what we 
may we can never hope to surround our working men with 
such beauty as that of the Bay of Naples, nor to show them 
VOL. I. P 



226 CHAPTER IX. 

Art to equal the treasures of the Museo Borbonioo. And 
what has come of all this familiar revelling in Beauty for 
centuries and millenniums to the people of Naples ? Only that 
they resemble more closely in ignorance, in squalor and in 
degradation the most wretched Irish who dwell in mud 
cabins amid the bogs, than any other people in Europe. 

I had intended remaining for some time to recuperate at 
Naples and took a cheery little room in a certain Pension 
Schiassi (now abolished) on the Chiajia. In this Pension I 
met a number of kindly and intei*esting people of various 
nationaKties ; the most pleasant and cultivated of all being 
Einns from Helsiugf ors. It was a great experience to me to 
enter into some sort of society again, far removed from all 
my antecedents ; no longer the mistress of a large house and 
dispenser of its hospitality, but a wandering tourist, known 
to nobody and dressed as plainly as might be. I find I 
wrote to my old friend, Miss St. Leger, on the subject 
under date January 21st, 1858, as follows : '' I am really 
cheerful now. Those days in the country (at Cumse and Capo 
di Monte) cheered me very much, and I am beginning 
altogether to look at the future differently. There is 
one thing I feel really happy about. I see now my actual 
X>osition towards people, divested of the social advantages I 
have hitherto held ; and I find it a very pleasant one. I 
don't think I deceive myself in imagining that people easily 
like me, and get interested in my ideas, while I find 
abundance to like and esteem in a large proportion of those 
I meet.*' (Optimism, once more 1 the reader will say !) 

It was not, however, ^' all beer and skittles " for me at 
the Schiassi pension. I had, as I have mentioned, taken a 
pretty little room looking out on the Villa Reale and the 
Bay and Vesuvius, and had put up the photographs and 
miniatures I carried with me and my little knick-knacks on 
the writing table, and fondly flattered myself I should sit 



LONG JOURNEY. S2? 

and write there peacefully. But I reckoned without my 
neighbours! It was Sunday when I arrived and settled 
myself so complacently. On Monday morning, soon after 
day-break, I was rudely awakened by a dreadful four-handed 
strumming on a piano, apparently in my very room ! On 
rousing myself, I perceived that a locked door close to 
my bed obviously opened into an adjoining chamber, and 
being (after the manner of Italian doors) at least two 
inches short of the uncarpeted floor, I was to all 
acoustic intents and purposes actually in the room 
with this atrocious jangling piano and the two thumping 
performers! The practising went on for two hours, and 
when it stopped a masculine voice arose to read the Bible 
aloud in family devotions. Then, after a brief interval for 
breakfast, burst out again the intolerable strumming. I fled, 
and remained out of doors for hours, but when I came back 
they were at it again ! I appealed to the mistress of the 

house, in vain. Sir Andrew and his daughters (I will call 

them the Misses Shocking-strum, their real name concerns 
nobody now) had been there before me and would no doubt 
stop long after me, and could not be prevented from playing 
from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week. I took a 
large card and wrote on it this pathetic appeal : — 

*^Fity the Borrows of a poor old maid, 
Whose hapless lot has made her lodge nexfc door. 
Who fain would wish those moming airs delayed ; 
O practise less ! And she will bless yon more 1 " 

I thrust this under the ill-fitting door well into the music- 
room, and waited anxiously for some measure of mercy to be 
meted to me in consequence. But no ! the hateful thumping 
and crashing went on as before. Then I girded up my 
loins and went down to the packet office and took a berth in 
the next steamer for Alexandria. 



228 CHAPTER IX. 

Aiter landing at Messina (lovely region !) and at Malta, I 
embarked in a French screw-steamer, which began to roll 
before we were well under weigh, and which, when a real 
Levanter came on three days later, played pitch and toss 
with us passengers^ insomuch that we often needed to 
lie on mattresses on the floor and hold something to 
prevent our heads from being knocked to pieces. One 
day, being fortunately a very good sailor, I scrambled 
up on deck and beheld a glorious scene. Euroclydon 
was playing with towering waves of lapis-lazulse all 
flecked and veined like a horse's neck with white foam, 
and the African sun was shining down doudless over the 
turmoil. 

There were some French Nuns on board going to a 
convent in Cairo, where they were to be charitably engaged 
taking care of girls. The monastic mind is always an 
interesting study. It brings us back to the days of Bede, 
and times when miracles (if it be not a bull to say so) 
were the rule and the ordinary course of nature the excep- 
tion. People are then constantly seen where they are 
not, and not seen where they are; and the dead are as 
'' prominent citizens " of this world (as an American would 
say) as the living. Meanwhile the actual geography and 
history of the modem world and all that is going on in 
politics, society, art and literature, is as dark to the good 
Bister or Brother as if she or he had really (as in Hans 
Andersen's story) ** walked back into the eleventh century." 
My nice French nuns were very kind and instructive to me. 
They told me of the Virgin's Tree which we should see at 
Heliopolis (though they knew nothing of the obelisk there), 
and they informed me that if anyone looked out on Trinity 
Sunday exactly at sunrise, he would see ^^UnUea les troia 
peraonnea de la sainte Trinite,'* 

I could not help asking : '* Madame les aura vues ? " 



LONG JOURNEY. 229 

''Pas pr^cifi^menty Madame. Madame sait qa'& cette 
saifion le soleil se ISve bien t6t." 

'* Mais, Madame, pour voir hutea les trois personnoB ? " 

It was no use. The good soul persisted in believing what 
she liked to believe and took care never to get up and look 
out on Trinity Sunday morning, — just as ten thousand 
Englishmen and women, who think themselves much wiser 
than the poor Nun, carefully avoid looking straight at facts 
concerning which they do not wish to be set right. St. 
Thomas' kind of faith which dares to look and see^ and, if 
it may be to iomhy is a much more real faith after all than 
that which will not venture to open its eyes. 

Landing at Alexandria (after being blown off the Egyptian 
coast nearly as far as Crete) was an epoch in my life. No 
book, no gallery of pictures, can ever be more interesting or 
instructive than the first drive through an Eastern city ; even 
such a hybrid one as Alexandria. But all the world knows 
this now, and I need not dwell on so familiar a topic. The 
only matter I care to record here is a visit I paid to a 
subterranean church which had just been opened, and of 
which I was fortunate enough to hear at the moment. I have 
never been able to learn anything further concerning it than 
appears in the following extract from one of my note-books, 
and I fear the church must long ago have been destroyed, and 
the frescoes, of course^ effaced : 

'* In certain excavations now making in one of the hills 
of the Old City — within a few hundred yards of the 
Mahmondi^ Canal — the workmen have come upon a small 
subterranean church ; for whose very high antiquity many 
arguments may be adduced. The frescoes with which it is 
adorned are still in tolerable preservation, and appear to 
belong to the same period of art as those rescued from 
Pompeii. Though altogether inferior to the better specimens 
in the Mnseo Borbonico, there is yet the same simplicity of 
attitude and drapery; the same breadth of outline pnd 



230 CHAPTER IX. 

effect produoed by few tonches. It is impossible to oonf onnd 
them for a moment with the stiff and meretrioious style of 
Byzantine painting. 

'' The fonn of the chnrch is very peonliar, and I conceive 
antiqne. If we suppose a shaft to have been oat into the 
hill, its base may be considered to form the centre of a 
cross. To the west, in Uen of nave, are two stair- 
cases ; one ascending, the other descending to various 
parts of the hillside. To the east is a small chancel, with 
depressed elliptical arch and recesses at the bade and sides, 
of the same form. The north transept is a mere apse, 
supported by rather elegant Ionic pilasters, and having a 
fan-shaped roof. Opposite this, and in the place of a 
south transept, is the largest apartment of the whole 
grotto : a chamber, presenting a singular transition between 
a modem funeral-vault and an ancient columbarium. The 
walls are pierced on all sides by deep holes, of the size and 
shape of coflSns placed endwise. There are in all thirty- 
two of these holes ; in which, however, I could find no 
evidence that they had ever been applied to the purpose 
of interment. In the comer, between this chamber and 
the chancel-arch, there is a deep stone cistern sunk in the 
ground ; I presume a font. The frescoes at the end of the 
chancel are small, and much effaced. In the eastern apse 
there is a group representing the Miracle of the Loaves and 
Fishes. In the front walls of the chancel-arch are two 
life-size figures ; one representing an angel, the other 
having the name of Christ inscribed over it in Greek 
letters. This last struck me as peculiarly interesting ; 
from the circumstance that the face bears no resemblance 
whatever to the one conventionally received among us, in 
modem times, The eyes, in the Alexandrian fresco, are 
dark and widely opened ; the eyebrows straight and 
strongly marked ; the hair nearly black and gathered in 
short, thick masses over the ears. I was the more 
attracted by these peculiarities, as my attention had 
shortly before been arrested very forcibly by the splendid 
bronze bpst tnm ^erc^|aneum, in the Musep BorHjonico, 



LONG JOURNEY. 231 

This grand and beautiful head, which Murray calls 
^Spendppas' and the custodi, 'Plato in the character of 
the Indian Bacchus,' resembles so perfectly the common 
representations of Christ, that I should be at a loss to 
define any difference, unless it be that it has, perhaps, 
more intellectual power than our paintings and sculptures 
usually convey, and a more massive neck. If this Alexan- 
drian fresco reaUy represent the tradition of the 3rd dr 
4th century, it becomes a question of some curiosity : whenc$ 
do we derive our modem idea of Christ's face ? " 
Cairo was a great delight to me. I could not afford to 
stop at Shepheard's Hotel but took up my abode with some 
kind Americans I had met in the steamer, in a sort of 
Pension kept by an Italian named Ronch ; in old Cairo, 
actually on the bank of the NUe; so literally so, that I 
might have dropped a stone from our balcony into the river, 
just opposite the Isle of Ehoda. Prom this place I made 
two excursions to the Pyramids and had a somewhat 
appalling experience in the ''King's Chamber" in the 
vault of Cheops. I had gone rather recklessly to Ghiza 
without either friend or Dragoman; and allowed the 
wretched Scheik at the door to send five Arabs into the 
pyramid with me as guides. They had only two miserable 
dip candles altogether, and the darkness, dust, heat and 
noise of the Arabs chanting " Vera goot lady ! Backsheeh ! 
Backsheeh ! Vera goot lady," and so on c2a oapo^ all in the 
narrow, steeply-slanting passages, together with the 
intolerable sense of weight as of a mountain of stone over 
me, proved tr3dng to my nerves. Then, when we had 
reached the central vault and I had glanced at the empty 
sarcophagus, which is all it contains, the five men suddenly 
stopjied their chanting, placed themselves with their backs 
to the wall in rows, with crossed arms in the attitude 
of the Osiride pilasters; and one of them in a business- 
like tone, demanded : " Backsheesh " I I instantly perceived 



232 CHAPTER IX. 

into what a trap I had fallen, and what a fool I had 
been to come there alone. The idea that they might march 
out and leave me alone in that awful place, in the darknefis, 
very nearly made me qualL But I knew it was no time to 
betray alarm, so I replied that I '' Intended to pay them 
outside, but if they wished it I would do so at once." I took 
out my purse and gave them three shillings to be divided 
between the five. They took the money and then returned 
to their posture against the wall. 

** We want Backsheesh " ! 

I took my courage d deuix mainSf and said, '* If you give 
me any more trouble the English Consul shall hear of it, and 
you will get the stick." 

" We want Backsheesh 1 " 

" I'll have no more of this," I cried in a very sharp voice, 
and, turning to the ringleader, who held a candle, I said, 
" Here, you fellow ! Take that candle on in front and let nie 
out. Go ! " He vyevU ! — and I blessed my stars, and all the 
stars, when I emerged out of that endless passage at last, 
and stood safe under the bright Egyptian sun. 

I am glad to remember Ghiza as it was in those days before 
hotels, or even tents, were visible near it ; when the solemn 
Sphinx, — so strangely and affectingly human ! stood gazing 
over the desert sands, and beside it were only the ancient 
temple, the rifled tombs, and the three great I^amids. To 
me in those days it seemed the most impressive I^eld of 
Death in the world. 

The old Arab Mosques in Cairo also delighted me greatly 
both for their beauty and as studies of the original early 
English architecture. Needless to say I was enchanted with 
the streets and bazaars, and all the dim, strange, lovely 
pictures they afforded, and the Eastern odours which per- 
vaded them in that bright, light air, wherein my chest grew 
sound and strong after having been for years oppressed with 



LONG JOURNEY. 233 

bronchial troablee. One day in my plenitude of enjoyment 
qS. health and vigour, I walked alone a long way down the 
splendid Shoubra avenue of Acacia Lebbez trees with the 
moving crowd of Arab men and women in aU their varied 
costumes, and trains of camels and asses laden with green 
trefoil, glittering in the alternate suntind shade with never a 
cart or carriage to disturb the even currents to and fro. 
At last I came in sight of the Nile, and in the extreme 
excitement of the view, hastily concluded that the yellow 
bank which sloped down beyond the grass must be sand, and 
that I could actually plunge my hands in the River of Egypt. 
I ran down the slope some little distance from the avenue, 
and took a few steps on the supposed yellow sand. It 
proved to be merely mud, like the banks of the Avon at low 
tide at Clifton, though of different colour, and in a moment 
I felt myself sinking indefinitely. Already it was nearly 
up to my kneesy and in a few minutes I should have been 
(quietly and unperceived by anybody) entombed for the 
investigation of Egyptologers of future generations. It was 
a ludicrous position, and even in the peril of it I believe I 
laughed outright. Any way I happily remembered that I 
had read years before in a bad French novel, how people 
saved themselves in quicksands in the Landes by throwing 
themselves down and so dividing their weight over a much 
larger surface than the soles of the feet. Instantly I turned 
back towards the bank, and cast myself along forward, and 
then by dint of enormous efforts withdrew my feet and 
struggled back to terra firma^ much, I should think, after 
the mode of locomotion of an Ichthyosaurus or other " dragon 
of the prime." Arrived at a place of safety I had next 
to reflect how I was to walk home into the town in the 
pickle to which I had reduced myself ! Luckily the hot sun 
of Egypt dried the mud on my homely clothes and enabled 
me to brush it off as dust in an incredibly quick time. 



234 CHAPTER IX. 

Before it had done so, however, a frog of exceptional 
ugliness mistook me for part of the bank and jumped on 
my lap. He looked such an ill-made creature that I 
constructed at once the (non-scientific) hypothesis that he 
must have been descended from some of the frogs which 
Pharaoh's magicians are said to have made in rivalry to 
Moses; forerunners of those modem pathologists who are 
just clever enough to give ua all sorts of Plagues, but always 
stop short of cvadrig them. 

I was very anxious, of course, to ascend the Nile to 
Phike, or at the very least to Thebes ; but I was too poor 
by far to hire a dahabieh for myself alone, and, in those 
days, excursion steamers were non-existent, or very rare. I 
did hear of a gentleman who wanted to make up a party 
and take a boat, but he coolly proposed that I should 
pay half of the expenses of five people, and I did not 
view that arrangement in a favourable light. Eventually I 
turned sorrowfully and disappointed back to Alexandria with a 
pleasant party of English and American ladiesand gentlemen ; 
and after a short passage to Jaffa, we rode up all together in 
two days to Jerusalem. I had given up riding many years 
before and taken to driving instead, but there was infinite 
exhilaration on finding myself again on horseback, on one of 
the active little, half Arab, Syrian steeds. That wonderful 
ride through the Jaffa orange groves and the Plain of Sharon 
with all its flowers, to Lydda and Bamleh, and then, next day, 
to Jerusalem, was beyond all words interesting. I think no 
one who has been brought up as we English are, on the 
double literature of Palestine and England, can visit the Holy 
Land with other than almost breathless curiosity mingled 
with a thousand tender associations. What England is to 
a cultivated American traveller of Washington Irving^s or 
Lowell's stamp, that is Palestine to us all. As for me, my 
reli^ous views made it, I think, rather more than less 



LONG JOURNEY. 235 

oongenial and interesting to me than to many others. I find 
I wrote of it to my friend from Jerusalem (March 6th, 1858) : 

'*I feel very happy to he here. The land seems worthy 
to he that in which from earliest history fche hnman soul 
has highest and oftenest soared np to €k)d. One wants no 
miraculons story to make snch a oonntry a * Holy Land ; ' 
nor can snoh story make it less holy to me, as it does, I 
think, to some who equally disbelieve it. It seems to me 
as if Christians must be, and in fact are, overwhelmed and 
confounded to find themselves in the scene of snch events. 
To me it is all pleasure. I believe that if Christ can see us 
now like other departed spirits, it is those who revere him 
as I do, and not those who give to him his Father's place, 
whom he can regard most complacently. If I did not feel 
this it would pain me to be here." 

When I went first into the church of the Holy Sepulchre 
it happened, on account of some function going on elsewhere, 
to be unusually free from the crowds of pilgrims. It seemed 
to me to be a real parable in stone. All the different 
churches, Greek, Latin, Armenian Maronite, opened into 
the central Temple ; as if to show that every creed has a Door 
leading to the true Holy Place. 

I loved also the little narrow marble shrine in the midst 
with its small, low door, and the mere plain altar-tomb, 
with room to kneel beside it and pray, — if we will, — ^to him 
who is believed to have rested there for the mystic three 
days after his crucifixion ; or if we will (and as I did), to 
" his Father and our Father *' ; in a spot hallowed by the 
associations of a hundred worshipping generations, and the 
memory of the holiest of men. 

Another day I was able to walk alone nearly all round 
outside the walls of Jerusalem, beginning at the Jafla gate 
and passing round through what was then a desert, but is 
Qow, I am told, a populous suburb, I came successively to 



^ i 



236 CHAPTER IX. 

Siloam and to the Valley of Hinnom, and of Jehoshaphat ; 
to the Tombs of the Prophets, and at last to C^thsemane. 
At the time of my visit, this sacred spot, containing the 
ruins of an '' oil press '* (whence its supposed identification), 
was a small walled garden kept by monks who did their best 
to spoil its associations. Above it I sat for a long time 
beside the path up to St. Stephen's Ghite, where tradition 
places the scene of the great first Christian Martyrdom. 
The ground is all strewed still, with large stones and 
boulders, making it easy to conjure up the terrific picture of 
the kneeling saint and savage crowd, and of Saul standing 
by watching the scene. 

Leaving Jerusalem after a week with the same pleasant 
English and American companions, and with a due provision 
of guards and tents and baggage mules, I rode to Bethlehem 
and Hebron, visiting on the way Abraham's oak at Mamre, 
which is a magnificent old terebinth, and the vineyard of 
Esh-kol, then in a very poor condition of culture. We 
stopped the first night close to Solomon's Pools, and I was 
profane enough to bring my sponges at earliest dawn into 
Jacob's Well at the head of the waters, and enjoy a 
delicious bath. Ere we turned in on the previous evening, 
a clergyman of our party read to us, sitting under the 
walls of the old Saracenic castle, the pages in Stanley's 
Palestine which describe, with all his vivid truthfulness 
and historic sentiment, the scene which lay before us; 
the three great ponds, '^ built by Solomon, repaired by 
Pontius Pilate," which have supplied Jerusalem with water 
for 3,000 years. 

I am much surprised that the problem offered by the 
contents of the vault beneath the Mosque of Hebron has not 
long ago excited the intensest curiosity among both Jews and 
Christians. Here, within small and definite limits, must He 
evidence of incalculable weight in favour of or against tb^ 



LONG JOURNEY. 237 

veracity of the Mosaic record. If the account in Gen. L. 
he correct, the hones of Jacoh were hrought out of Egypt 
and deposited here hy Joseph; embalmed in the finest 
and most durable manner. We are expressly told 
(G^. L., 2 and 3) that Joseph ordered the physicians to 
embalm his father, that '' forty days were fulfilled for him, 
for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed ; " 
and that Joseph went up to Canaan with " all the servants 
of Pharaoh and the elders of his house, and all the elders 
of the land of Egypt/' (a rather amazing exodus!) and 
" chariots and horsemen, a very great company." They finally 
buried Jacob (v. 13) '' in the Gave of the field of Macpelah 
which Abraham bought.** It was unquestionably, then, a 
first-class Mummy, covered with wrappers and inscriptions, 
and enclosed, of course, in a splendidly-painted Mummy- 
cofGin, which was deposited in that unique cave ; and the 
extraordinary sanctity which has attached to the spot as far 
as tradition reaches back, affords presumption amounting 
almost to guarantee that Iherey if anywhere, below the six 
cenotaphs in the upper chamber, in the vault under the 
small hole in the floor where the Prince of Wales and Dean 
Stanley wereprivil^ed to look down into the darkness, — ^lie 
the relics which would terminate more controversies, and 
throw more light on the origin of Judaism than can be done 
by all the Rabbis and Bishops of Europe and Asia together ! 
Why do not the Rothschilds and Hirschs and Montefiores and 
Goldsmiths put together a modest little subscription of a 
million or two and buy up Hebron, and so settle once for all 
whether the Jewish Ulysses were a myth or a man ; and 
whether there were really an Israel of whom they are the 
'' Children ? " I have talked to Dean Stanley on the subject, 
who (as he tells us in his delightful Jewish Churchy I., 500) 
shared all my curiosity, but when I urged the query : '^ Did 
he think that the relics of the Patriarchs would be found, if 



238 CHAPTER IX. 

we oould examine the cavef " he put up his hands in a 
deprecating attitude, which all who knew and loved him 
will remember, and said, '^Ah! that is the question, 
indeed!" 

Is it possible that the millionaire Jews of Germany, France 
and England are, after all, like my poor friends the Nuns, 
who would not get up at sunrise on Trinity Sunday to see 
*' tatUea lea Proia peraonnea da la aairUe Triniie^ — and that 
they prefer to believe that the bones of the three Patriarchs 
are where they ought to be, but would rather not put that 
confidence to the test f 

One of the sights which affected me most in the course 
of our pilgrimage through Judiea was beheld after a night 
spent by the ladies of our party in our tent pitched among 
the sands (and centipedes !) of the desert of the Mar Saba. 
(Our gentlemen-fiiends were privileged to sleep in the vast 
old monastery whence they brought us next morning the most 
excellent raJd.) As we rode out of the little valley of our 
encampment and down by the convent of Mar Saba, we 
obtained a complete view of the whole hermit burrow ; for 
sudi it may properly be considered* Mar Saba is the very 
ideal of a desert. It lies amid the wilderness of hills, not 
grand enough to be sublime but only monotonous and 
hopelessly barren. So white are these hiUs that at first 
they appear to be of chalk, but further inspection shows 
them to be of whitish rock, with hardly a trace of vegetation 
growing anywhere over it. On the hills there is sometimes 
an inch of soil over the rock; in the valleys there are 
torrents of stones over the inch of soil Between our mid- 
day halt at Derbinerbeit (the highest land in Judoea), and 
the evening rest at Mar Saba, our whole march had 
been in utter solitude; not a village, a tent, a caravan, 
a human being in sight. Not a tree or bush. Of living 
creatures hardly a bird to break the dead silence of the world, 



LONG JOURNEY. 239 

only a large and venomous snake crawling beside our track. 
Thus, far from human haunts, in the heart of the wilderness, 
lies Mar Saba. Fit approach to such a shrine ! Through the 
arid, burning rocks a profound and sharply-cut chasm 
suddenly opens and winds, forming a hideous valley, such as 
may exist in the unpeopled moon, but which probably has 
not its equal in our world for rugged and blasted desolation. 
There is no brook or stream in the depths of the ravine. If 
a torrent may ever rush down it after the thunderstorms 
with which the country is often visited, no traces of water 
remain even in early spring. Barren, burning, glaring 
rocks alone are to be seen on every side. Far up on the 
diff, like a fortress, stand the gloomy, windowless walls 
of the convent; but along the ravine in an almost inaccessible 
gorge of the hills, are caves and holes half-way down the 
precipice, — the dwellings of the hermits. Here, in a den fit 
for a fox or a hysena, one poor soul had died just before 
my visit, after five-and-forty years of self -incarceration. 
Death had released him, but many more remained ; and we 
could see some of them from the distant road as we 
passed, sitting at the mouth of their caverns, or walking 
on the little ledges of rock which they had smoothed 
for terraces. Their food (such as it is) is sent from the 
convent and let down from the cliffs at needful intervals. 
Otherwise they live absolutely alone,— alone in this hideous 
desolation of nature, with the lurid, blasted desert for their 
sole share in God's beautiful universe. We are all, I suppose, 
accustomed to think of a hermit as our poets Ulave painted 
him, dwelling serene in 

** A lodge in some vast wilderness. 
Some boundless continuity of shade," 

undisturbed by all the ugly and jarring sights and sounds of 
our grinding civilization ; sleeping calmly on his bed of fern, 



240 CHAPTER IX. 

feeding on his pulse and cresses, and drinking the water from 
the brook. 

** He kneels at mom at noon and evo, 
lie hath a cushion plump, 
It is the moss that wholly hides 
The rotted old oak stomp." 

But the hermits of Mar Saba, how different are they from 
him who assoiled the Ancient Mariner ? No holy cloisters 
of the woods, and sound of chanting brooks, and hymns of 
morning birds; only this silent, burning waste, this 
"desolation deified/' It seemed as if some frightful 
aberration of the religious sentiment could alone lead men to 
choose for home, temple, prison, tomb, the one spot of earth 
where no flower springs to tell of God's tenderness, no soft 
dew or sweet sound ever falls to preach faith and love. 

There are many such hermits still in the Greek Church. 
I have seen their eyries perched where only vultures should 
have their nests, on the cliffs of Caramania, and among the 
caverns of the Cydades. Anthony and Stylites have indeed 
left behind them a track of evil glory, along which many a 
poor wretch still " crawls to heaven along the devil's trail." 
Are not lives wasted like these to be put into the account 
when we come to estimate the Gesta Christi 9 Must we not, 
looking on these and on the ten thousand, thousand hearts 
broken in monasteries and nunneries all over Europe, admit 
that historical Christianity has not only done good work in 
the world, but bad work also : and that, diverging widely 
from the Spirit of Christ, it has been far from uniformly 
beneficent ? 

It was while riding some hours from Mar Saba through 
the low hills before coming out on the blighted flats of the 
Dead Sea, that one of those pictures passed before me which 
are ever after hung up in the mind's gallery among the 
choicest of the spoils of Eastern travel. By some chance I 



LONG JOURNEY. 241 

was alone, riding a few hundred yards in front of the caravan, 
when, turning the comer of a hill, I met a man approaching 
me, the only one I had seen for several hours since we passed 
a few black tents eight or ten miles away. He was a noble- 
looking young shepherd, dressed in the camel's-hair robe, 
and with the lithesome, powerful limbs and elastic step ot 
the children of the desert. But the interest which attached 
to him was the errand on which he had manifestly been 
engaged on those Dead Sea plains from whence he was 
returning. Bound his neck, and with its little limbs held 
gently by his hand, lay a lamb he had rescued and was 
doubtless carrying home. The little creature lay as if 
perfectly contented and happy, and the man looked pleased 
as he strode along lightly with his burden; and as I 
saluted him with the usual gesture of pointing to heart 
and head and the ''salaam alikl", (Peace be with 
you), he responded with a smile and a kindly glance 
at the lamb, to which he saw my eyes were directed. It was 
actually the beautiful parable of the gospel acted out before 
my sight. Every particidar was true to the story ; the 
shepherd had doubtless left' his '' ninety-andnoine in the 
wilderness," round the black tents we had seen so far away, 
and had sought for the lost lamb ^' till he found it,'* where it 
must quickly have perished without his help, among those 
blighted plains. Literally, too, '' when he had found it, he 
laid it on his shoulders, rejoicing." 

After this beautiful sight which I have longed ever since 
for a painter's power to place on canvas (a better subject a 
thousand-fold than the cruel '' Scape-Goat "), we reached the 
Dead Sea, and I managed to dip into it, after wading out a 
very long way in the shallow, bitter, biting water which 
stung my lips and nostrils, and tasted like a horrible mixturi 
of quinine and salt. From the shore, all strewed with the 
white skeletons of trees washed down by the river, we made 
VOL. I- ex 



242 CHAPTER IX. 

our way (mostly galloping) in four hours to the Ford of 
Jordan \ and there I had the privilege of another dip, or 
rather of seven dips, taken in commemoration of Naaman and 
to wash off the Dead Sea brine ! It is the spot supposed 
to have witnessed the transit of Joshua and the baptisms 
of St. John. The follovnbg night our tents were pitched 
among the ruins of Jericho. The wonder is, not that the 
once flourishing dty should be deserted and Herod's great 
amphitheatre there a ruinous heap, but that a town was ever 
built in such an insanitary place. Closed in by the mountains 
on every side from whence a fresh breese could blow upon 
it, and open only to the unwholesome flats of the Dead Sea, 
the situation is pestilential. 

Next day we rode back to Jerusalem through the desolate 
mountains of the Quarantania, where tradition places the 
mystic Fast and Temptation of Christ ; a dreary, lonely, 
burning desert. Here, also, is the supposed scene of the 
parable of the Good Samaritan, and the ruins of a great 
building, which may have been a Half-way House Inn beside 
the road, bear out the tradition. I have often reflected that 
orthodox divines miss half the point of that beautiful story 
when they omit to mark the fact that the Samaritans were, in 
Christ's time, boycotted by the Jews as heretics; and that it 
was precisely one of these herebica who was made by Jesus 
the type for all time of genuine philanthropy, — ^in direct 
and purposeful contrast to the representatives of Judaic 
orthodoxy, the Priest and Levite. 

The sun on my head during the latter hours of the ride 
became intolerable ; not like English heat, however excessive, 
but roasting my very brains through all the folds of linen on 
my hat and of a damp handkerchief within. It was like 
sitting before a kitchen fire with one's head in the position 
proper for a leg of mutton ? I felt it was a matter of life and 
death to escape, and galloped on by myself in advance for 



hOifG JOVRNSY. 24ft 

many milea till suddenly I came, just under Beihany at the 
base of the Mount of Olives, to a magnificent ancient fountain, 
with the cool water gushing out, amid the massive old 
masonry. In a moment I leaped from my equally eager 
horse, threw off my hat and bared my neck and put my 
head under the blessed stream. Of course it was a perilous 
proceeding, but it saved me from a sunstroke. 

That evening in Jerusalem I wished good-bye to my 
pleasant fellow-travellers, who were good enough to pass a 
vote of thanks to me for my « unvarying pluck and hilarity 
during the fiitigues and dangers of the way I " I started 
next day for the two da3rs' ride to Jaffa, accompanied only 
by a good Italian named Abengo, and a muleteer. There 
was a small war going on between some of the tribes 
on the way, and a certain chief named Aboo-Ch)osh (beneath 
whose robber's castle I had been pelted with stones on 
my way up to Jerusalem) was scouring the country. We 
passed, in the valley of i^alon, some wounded men borne home 
from a battle, but otherwise encountered nothing alarming, 
and I obtained a great deal of curious information from 
Abengo, who knew Palestine intimately, and whose wife was 
a Christian woman of Nazareth. There is no use in repeating 
now records of a state of things which has been modified, no 
doubt, essentially in thirty years. 

From Jaffa I sailed to Beyront, and there, with kind help 
and advice from the Consul, I obtained the services of an old 
Turk as a Dragoman, and he and I and a muleteer laden with 
my bed and baggage started to cross Lebanon and make our 
way to Baalbec and, as I hoped, also to Damascus. The 
snows were still thick on the higher slopes of Lebanon, and 
after the excessive heat I had just undergone in Syria, the 
cold was trjring. But the beauty and grandeur of those noble 
mountains, fringed below with fig and olive, and with their 
snowy summits rising height beyond height above, was com- 



244 CHAPTER IX. 

pensation for all hardship. By a cnrions chance, Lebanon 
was ihe first mountain range worthy of the name, which I 
had ever crossed. It was an introduction, of course, to a 
whole world of impressions and experiences. 

I had a good many escapes in the course of my ride ; there 
being nothing to be called a road over much of the way, and 
»ach path as there was being covered with snow or melting 
torrents. My strong little Syrian horse walked and scrambled 
and stumbled up beds of streams running down in cataracts 
over the rocks and boulders ; and on one occasion he had to 
bear me down a very steep descent, where we floundered 
forward, sometimes up to his girths in the snow, in dread of 
descending with irresistible impetus to the edge of a precipice 
which yawned at the bottom. We did reach the verge in 
rather a shaky condition ; but the good beast struggled hard 
to save himself, and turned at the critical moment safe along 
' the edge. 

A sad association belongs to my sojourn among the 
Maronites at Zachly ; a large village on the further side of 
Lebanon, on the slopes of the Haraun. I slept there on my 
outward way in my tent pitched in an angle of grass outside 
one of the first houses, and on my return journey I obtained 
the use of the principal room of the same house fi*om my 
kind hosts, as the cold outside was too considerable for tent 
life in comfort. Zachly was a very humble, simple place. 
The houses were all of mud, with flat roofs made of branches 
laid across and covered with more mud. A stem of a living 
tree usually stood in the middle of the house supporting the 
whole erection, which was divided into two or three 
chambers. A recess in the wall held piles of mats, and of 
the hard cushions made of raw cotton, which form both seats, 
beds, and pillows. The rough, unplaned door, with wooden 
lock, the window half stufled up, the abundant population of 
cocks and hens, cats and dogs and rosy little boys and girls. 



LONO JOURNEY, 245 

strongly reminded me of Baliskt I was welcomed most 
kindly after a brief negotiation with Hassan ; and the simple 
women and girls clustered roond me with soft words and 
presents of carrots and daffodils. One old woman having 
kissed my hands as a beginning, proceeded to pat her arms 
roond my neck and embrace me in a most motherly way. To 
amuse the party, I showed them my travelling bag, luncheon 
and writing and drawing apparatus, and made them taste my 
biscuits and smell my toilet vinegar. Screams of "Taib, 
Taib I Eatiyeh ! " (good, very good) rewarded my small 
efforts, and then I made them tell me all their names, which 
I wrote in my note-book. They were very pretty : Helena, 
Mareen, Tasmeen, Myrrhi, Maroon, Georgi, Malachee, Ynssef, 
and several others, the last being Salieh, the young village 
priest, a tall, grand-looking young man with high cylindrical 
black hat, black robe and flowing brown hair. I made him 
a respectful salutation at which he seemed pleased. On my 
second visit to Zachly I attended the vesper service in his 
little chapel as the sun went down over Lebanon. It was a 
plain quadrangle of mud walls, brown without and white- 
washed within ; a flat roof of branches and mortar ; a post 
for support in the centre ; a confessional at one side ; a little 
lectern ; an altar without crucifix and only decorated by two 
candlesticks ; a jar of fresh daffodils ; some poor prints ; a 
blue tea-cup for sacramental plate, and a little cottage-window 
into which the setting sun was shining softly; — such was the 
chapel of Zachly. A few men knelt to the left, a few women 
to the right ; in front of the altar was a group of children, 
also kneeling, and waiting to take their part in the service. 
At the lectern stood the noble figure of young Papas SaUeh, 
leaning on one of the crutches which in all Eastern churches 
are provided to relieve the fatigue of the attendants, who, 
like Abraham, '' worship, leaning on the top of a staff.'* 
Beside the Papas stood a ragged but intelligent little acolyte. 



246 CHAPTER IX. 

who chanted very well, and on the other side of the leotem 
an aged peasant, who also took his part. The prayers 
were, of course, unintelligible to me, being in Arabic; 
but I recognised in the Gospel the chapter of genealogies 
in Luke, over whose hard names the priest helped his 
friend quite unaffectedly. The reading over, Papas Salieh 
took off his black and red cap, and, kneeling before the 
altar, commenced another chanted prayer, while the 
women beside me bowed till they kissed the ground in 
Eastern prostration, beating their breasts with resounding 
blows. The group of children made the responses at 
intervals; and then the priest blessed us, and the simple 
service was over, having occupied about twenty minutes. 
While we were departing, the Papas seated himself in the 
confessional and a man went immediately into the penitents' 
place beside him. There was something very affecting to 
me in this poor little church of clay, with its humble efforts 
at cleanliness and flowers and music ; all built and adorned 
by the worshippers' own hands, and served by the young 
peasant priest, doubtless the son and brother of some of his 
own flock. 

As I have said there are sad associations connected with 
this visit of mine to Zachly. A very short time afterwards 
the Druses came down with irresistible force, — ^massacred 
the greater number of the unhappy Maronites and burned 
the village. The spot where I had been so kindly received 
was left a heap of blackened ruins, and what became of 
sweet, motherly Helena and her dear little children and 
good Papas Salieh and the rest, I have never, been able to 
learn. 

It took six hours of hard riding in a bitter wind to carry me 
from Zachly to Baalbec ; but anticipation bore me on wings, 
and to beguile the way I repeated to myself as my good 
memory permitted, the whole of Moore's poem of FaradiM 



LONG J0DRNE7. 247 

mnd the Perif cnlminaiing in the scene which the Peri heheld 
** When o'er the vale of Baalbec winging. ' ' In vain, however, I 
oross-qnestioned Hassan (we talked Italian tcmt hien que ftud) 
about Peris. He had never heard of snoh beings. But of 
I>jinnB in general he knew only too much ; and notably that 
tliey had bnilt the vast ruins of Baalbec, which no mortal hands 
eouLd have raised ; and that to the present time they hannt 
them so constantly and in such terrific shape, that it is very 
perilous for anybody to go there alone and quite impossible 
to do so after nightfall. I had reason to bless this 
belief in the Djinns of Baalbec for it left me the undisturbed 
solitary enjoyment of the mighty enclosure within the 
Saracenic walls for the best part of two days, unvexed by 
the inquisitive presence or observation of the population of 
the Arab village outside. 

To pitch my tent among the ruins, however, was more 
than I could bring Hassan to do by any cajoling, and I 
consented finally to sleep in a small cabin consisting of a 
single chamber of which I could lock the door inside. When 
I prepared for sleep on the hard cotton cushions laid over a 
stone bench, and with the two unglazed windows admitting 
volumes of cold air, I was firightened to find I had every 
symptom of approaching fever. Into what an awful position, 
— ^I reflected, — ^had I put myself, with no one but that old Turk 
Hassan, and the Arab from whom I had hired this little 
house for the night, to take care of me should I have a 
real bad fever, and be kept there between life and death 
for weeks 1 Beflecting what I could possibly do to avert 
the danger, brought on, of course, by cold and fatigue, 
I took from my bag the half-bottle of Baki (a very 
pure spirit made from rice) which my travelling friends 
had brought from the monastery at Mar Saba and had 
kindly shared with me ; and to a large dose of this I was 
able to add some hot water from a sort of coffee-pot left, by 



248 CBAPTER IX. 

good lack, in ihe yet warm brazier of charcoal in ihe middle 
of my room. I drank my Baki-ioddy to the last drop, and 
then slept the sleep of the just, — ^to awaken quite weU the 
next morning ! And if any of my teetotal friends think I did 
wrong to take it, I beg entirely to differ from them on the 
subject. 

The days which I spent in and around Baalbee were more 
than repayment for the fatigues and perils of the passage of 
" Sainted Lebanon ; " whose famous Cedars, by the way, I 
was unable to visit ; the region where they stand being at 
that season too deeply covered with snow. Here is a 
lescription I gave of Baalbee to Harriet St. Leger just after 
my visit :— 

"I had two wonderful days indeed in Baalbeo. The 
number of the vast solitary ruins ezoeeded all my anticipa- 
tions, and their grandeur impresses one as no remains less 
completely isolated can do. Imagine a space about that of 
Newbridge garden surrounded by enormous Saracenic walls 
with a sweet, bright brook running round it, and then left 
to entire solitude. A few cattle browse on the short grass, 
and now and then, I suppose, some one enters by one 
or other of the different gaps in the wall to look after tiiem ; 
but in the Temple of Jupiter, shut in by its great walls, 
to which the displacement of a single stone makes now 
the sole entrance, no one ever enters. The fear of Djinns 
renders the place even doubly alarming I Among the most 
awful things in Baalbeo are stupendous subterranean 
tunnels running in various directions under the ruined dty. 
I groped through several of them, they opened out with 
great doorways into others which, having no light, I would 
not explore, but which seemed abysses of awet The 
stones of all these works are enormous. Those 5 or 6 feet 
and 12 or 15 feet long are among the smallest. In the 
temple were some which I could not span with five exten- 
sions of my arms, ».«., something like 80 feet, but there are 
stiU larger elsewhere among the ruins.'* 



LONG JOURNEY. 249 

The shafts of the oolnnms of the two Temples, — the six 
left standing of the great Temple of the Sun which 

*< Stand Bnblime 
Casting their shadows from on high 
Like Dials which the wizard Time 
Had raised to coimt his ages by "— 

and those of the hypsdthral temple of Zens of which only a 
few have &llen, are alike miracles of size and perfection of 
moulding. The fragments of palaces reveal magnificence 
unparalleled. All these enormons edifices are wrought with 
such lavish luxuriance of imagination, such perfection of 
detail in harmony with the luscious Corinthian style which 
pervades the whole, that the idea of the Arabs that they are 
the work not of men but of Genii, seemed quite natural. I 
recalled what Yitruvius (who wrote about the time in which 
the best of these temples was erected), says of the methods 
by which, in his day, the largest stones were moved from 
quarries and lifted to their places, but I failed to comprehend 
how the colossal work was achieved here. 

Passing out of the great ruined gateway I came to vast 
square and hexagonal courts with walls forming exedrse, 
loaded with profusion of ornaments ; columns, entablatures, 
niches and seats overhung with carvings of garlands of 
flowers and the wings of fancifrd creatures. Streets, gate- 
ways and palaces, hardly distinguishable in their ruin, follow 
on beyond the courts and portico, I climbed up a shattered 
stair to the summit of the Saracenic wall and felt a sort of 
shock to behold the living world below me ; the glittering 
brook, the almond trees in blossom and Anti-Lebanon 
beyond. Here I caught sight of the well-known exquisite 
little circular temple with its colonnade of six Corinthian 
columns, of which the architraves are recurved inwards from 
column to column. If I am not mistaken a reproduction 



250 CHAPTER IX. 

of this lovely little bnilding was set np in Eew Gardens 
in the last centnry. 

Last of all I retomed to the Temple of Zens — or of Baal 
as it is sometimes called — ^to spend there in secure solitude 
(except for Djinns!) the closing hours of that long, rich 
day. The large walls are almost perfect ; the colonnades oi 
enormous pillars are mostly still standing. From the inner 
portal with its magnificent lintel half fallen from its place, 
the view is probably the finest of any fane of the ancient 
world, and was to me impressive beyond description. Even 
the spot where the statue of the god has stood can easily be 
traced. A great stone lying overturned on the pavement 
was doubtless the pedestal. I remained for hours in this 
temple; sometimes feebly trying to sketch what I saw, 
sometimes lost in ponderings on the faiths and worships of 
the past and present. A hawk, which probably had never 
before found a human visitor at even-tide in that weird 
place, came swooping over me ; then gave a wild shriek and 
flew away. A little later the moon rose over the walls. The 
calm and silence and beauty of that scene can never be 
forgotten. 

I was unable to pursue my journey to Damascus as I had 
designed. The muleteer, with all my baggage, contrived to 
miss us on the road among the hills in Anti-Lebanon ; and, 
eventually, after another visit to the ruins and to the quarries 
from whence the vast stones were taken, I rode back to 
Zachly and thence (a two days' ride) over Lebanon to 
Beyrout. 

I remained a few days at the hotel which then existed a 
mile from the town, while I waited for the steamer to take 
me to Athens, and much eigoyed the lovely scene of rich 
mulberry and almond gardens beside the shell-strewn strand, 
with snowy Lebanon behind, towering over the fir-woods 
into the deep blue sky. The Syrian peasant women are 



LONO JOURNEY. 261 

sweet, eonrteonB creatures. One day as I sat nnder a oactos- 
hedge reading Shelley, a pretty young mother came by, and 
after interchanging a ''Peace be with yon," proceeded 
unhesitatingly, and without a word of explanation, to deposit 
her baby, — ^Mustapha by name, — ^in my lap. I was very 
willing to nurse Mustapha, and we made friends at once as 
easily as his mother had done ; and my heart was the better 
for the encounter I 

After I had paid off Hassan and settled my account at the 
hotel, I found my financial condition exceedingly bad I I 
had just enough cash remaining to carry me (omitting a few 
meals) by second-class passage to Athens : which was the 
nearest place where I had opened a credit from my bankers, 
or where I had any introductions. There was nothing for it 
but to take a second-class place on board the Austrian 
Lloyd's steamer UlmpSratriee ; though it was not a pleasant 
arrangement, seeing that there was no other woman 
passenger and no stewardess on the ship at all. Neverthe- 
less this was just one of the cases in which knocking about 
the world brought me favourable experience of human nature. 
The Captain of the Imperatrice, an Italian gentleman, did his 
utmost, with extreme delicacy and good taste, to make my 
position comfortable. He ordered his own dinner to be 
served in the second cabin that he might preside at the 
table instead of one of his subordinates ; and during the day 
he came often to see that I was well placed and shaded on 
deck, and to interchange a httle pleasant talk, without 
intrusion. 

It is truly one of the silliest of the many silly things 
in the education of women that we are taught little or 
nothing about the simplest matters of banking and stock-and- 
share buying and selling. I, who had always had money in 
abundance given me straight into my hand, knew absolutely 
nothing, when my fiEither's death left me to arrange my affairs, 



262 CHAPTER IX. 

how such basineBB is done, how Bhares are bought and sold, 
how eredits are open at corresponding bankers ; how, even, 
to draw a cheque! It all seemed to me a most perilous 
matter, and I feared that I might, in those remote regions, come 
to grief any day by the refusal of some local banker to honour 
my cheques or by the neglect of my London bankers to 
bespeak credit for me. My means were so narrow, and I 
had so little experience of the expenses of living and travelling, 
that I was greatly exercised as to my small concerns. I 
brought with me (generally tied by a string round my neck 
and concealed) a very valuable diamond ring to sell in case I 
came to real disaster ; but it had been constantly worn by 
my mother ; and I felt at Beyrout that, sooner than sell it, 
I would live on short commons for much more than a week 1 
One day of our voyage I spent at Cyprus where I admired 
the ancient church of San Lazzaro, half mosque, half church, 
and said to be the final grave of Lazarus. I had visited his, 
supposed, temporary one in Bethany. Another day I landed 
at Rhodes and was able to see the ruined street which bears 
over each house the arms of the Knight to whom it belonged. 
At the upper end of the way are still visible the arch and 
shattered relics of their church. Writing to Miss St. Leger 
March 28th, I described my environment thus : 

" Dearest Harriet, 

" Behold me seated ^ la Turque close to a party of Moslem 
gentlemen who alternately smoke and say their prayers all 
day long. We are steaming up through the lovely " Isles 
of Greece," having left Rhodes this morning and Cos an 
hour ago. As we pass each wild cape and green shore I 
take up a certain opera glass with *H. S.' on the top of the 
box, and wish very much I could see through it the dear, 
kind eyes that used it once. They would be pleasanter to 
see than all these scenes, glorious as they are. The sun is 
going down into the calm blue sea and throwing, purplei 



LONG JOU&NJBt. 258 

lights already on the conutlesB islands through which the 
yessel winds its way. White sea-galls follow us and 
beantifol little quaint-sailed boats apx>ear every now and 
then round the islands. The peculiar beauty of this famous 
passage is derived, however, from the bold and varied out- 
line of the islands and adjoining coast of Asia Minor. From 
little rocks not larger than the ship itself, up to large 
provinces with extensive towns like Cos, there is an endless 
variety and boldness of form. Ireland's Eye magnified to 
twice the height, is, I should say, the commonest type. In 
some almost inaccessible cliffs one sees hermiUbges; in 
others convents. I shall post this at Smyrna.*' 

As the Impiratrice stopped two or three days in the 
magnificent harbour of Smyrna, I had good opportunity to 
land and make my way to the scene of Polycarp's Martyrdom 
amid the colossal cypresses which outdo all those of Italy 
except the quincentenarians in the Giusti garden in Verona. 
It was Easter, and a ridiculous incident occurred on the 
Saturday. I was busy writing in the cabin of the Impera- 
trice at mid-day, when, subito ! there were explosions in our 
vessel and in a hundred other vessels in the harbour, again 
and again and again, as if a battle of TraflaJgar were going 
on all round 1 I rushed on deck and found the steward 
standing calm and cheerful amid the terrific noise and 
smoke, <<For God's sake what has happened?" I cried 
breathless. <' Nothing, Signora, nothing f It is the Boyal 
Salute all the ships are firing, of 21 guns." 

" In honour of whom ? " I asked, somewhat less alarmed. 

'' Iddio, Signora I GeBii Cristo, sicuro f ^ il momento 
dolla Besurrezione, si b&." 

** 0, no 1 " I said, '< Not on Saturday. It was on 
Sunday, you know I " 

" Che, che f Dicono forse cosi i Protestanti I Sappiamo 
noi altri, che era il Sabato." 



254 ditApTER ta. 

I never got to the bottom of this mystery, bnt can testify 
that at Smyrna in 1858 there were many scores of these 
Royal Salutes (!) on Holy Saturday at noon in honour of 
the Besurrection. 

It was one of the brightest hours of my happy life, that 
on which I stood on the deck of our ship at sunrise and 
passed under '^Sunium's marble steep*' and knew that I 
was approaching Athens. As we steamed up the gulf, the 
red clouds flamed over Fames and Hymettus and lighted up 
the hills of Peloponnesus. The bright blue waves were 
dancing under our prow, and I could see over them far away 
the " rocky brow which looks o'er sea-bom Salamis," where 
Xerxes sat on his silver-footed throne on such a mom as 
this. Above, to our right, over the olive woods with the 
rising sun behind it, like a crowned hill was the Acropolis 
of Athens and the Parthenon upon it. 

Very soon I had landed at the Piraaus and had engaged a 
carriage (there was no railway then) to take me to Athens* 
The drive was enchanting, between olive groves and vine- 
yards, and with the Temple of Theseus and the buildings on 
the Acropolis coming into view as I approached Athens, till 
I was beside myself with delight and excitement. The first 
thing to do was to drive to the private house of the banker to 
whom I was recommended, to arouse the poor old gentleman 
(nothing loath apparently to do business even at seven 
o'clock) to draw fifty sovereigns, and then to go to the French 
Hotel, choose a room with a fine view of the Parthenon, and 
to say to the master : '^ Send me the very best dejeuner you 
can provide and a bottle of Samian wine, and let this letter 
be taken to Mr. Finlay." That breakfiaAt, with that view, 
was a feast of the gods after my many abstinencies, though 
I nearly *' dashed down the cup of Samian wine," not in 
patriotic despair for Ghreece, but because it was so abominably 



LONG JOURNEY. 255 

bad that no poetry could have been made out of it by Anaereon 
himself. Hardly had I finished my meal, when Mr. Finlay 
appeared at my door, having hurried with infinite kindness to 
welcome me, and do honour to the introduction of his coosin, 
my dear sister-in-law. '' I put myself," said he, '^ at your 
orders for the day. We will go wherever you please." 

It would be un£Eur to inflict on the reader a detailed account 
of all I saw at Athens under the admirable guidance of Mr. 
Finlay dtiring a week of intensest enjoyment. Mr. Finlay (it 
con scarcely yet be forgotten) went out to Chreece a few weeks 
or months before Byron and fought with him and after him, 
through the War of Independence. After this, having 
married a beautiful Armenian lady, he bought much land in 
Euboea, built himself a handsome house in Athens and 
lived there for the rest of his life, writing his great History 
(in five volumes) of Greece UTider Foreign Domination; 
making a magnificent collection of coins; and acting for 
many years as the Times correspondent at Athens. He was 
not only a highly erudite archsBologist, but an enthusiast for 
the land of his adoption and all its triumphs of art ; in short, 
the best of all possible ciceroni. I was fortunately not 
wholly unprepared to profit by his learned expositions and 
delicate observation on the architecture of the glorious ruins, 
for I had made copies of prints of all at Athens and 
elsewhere in Greece with ground-plans and restorations and 
notes of everything I could learn about them, many years 
before when I was wont to amuse myself with drawing, while 
my mother read to me. I found that I knew beforehand 
dearly exactly what remained of the Parthenon and the 
Erechtheum and the Temple of Victory, the PropylaBum on 
the Acropolis and the Theseium below; and it was of intensest 
interest to me to leam, under Mr. Finlay's guidance, precisely 
where the Elgin Marbles had stood, and to note the extra- 
ordinary fact, on which he insisted much, — that there is not 



ft56 CHAPTER IX. 

a single straight line in the whole Parthenon. Everything^ 
down to single stones in the entablatures and friezes, is 
curved, in some cases, he felt assured, after they had been 
placed in situ. The extreme entasis of the columns and the 
great pyramidal inclination of the whole building, were most 
noticeable when attention was once drawn to them. As we 
approached the mcgestic ruins of Adrian's Temple of Jupiter 
on the plains below, (that enormous temple which had double 
rows of columns surrounding it and quadruple rows in front 
and back, of ten columns each) I exclaimed " Why I there ought 
to be three columns standing at that far angle I " '' Quite true," 
said Mr. Finlay, '' one of them fell just six weeks ago." 

Since this visit of mine to Athens a vast deal has been 
done to dear away the remains of the Turkish tower and 
other barbaric buildings which obstructed and desecrated 
the summit of the Acropolis ; and the fortunate visitor may 
now see the whole Propykeum and all the spaces open and 
free, beside examining the very numerous statues and 
has reliefs some quaintly archaic, some of the best age and 
splendidly beautiful, which have been dug out in recent years 
in Greece. 

I envy every visitor to Athens now, but console myself 
by procuring photographs of all the finds from those 
excellent artists, Thomaldes, Brothers. 

Mr. Finlay spoke much of Byron in answer to my 
questions, and described him as a most singular combination 
of romance and astuteness. The Greeks imagined that a 
man capable of such enthusiasm as to go to war for their 
enfranchisement must have a rather soft head as well as 
warm heart ; but they were much mistaken when they tried in 
their simplicity to exploiter him in matters of finance. There 
were self-devoted and disinterested patriots, but there were also 
(as was inevitable), among the insurgents many others who 
bad a sharp eye to their own financial and political schemes 



LONG JOURNEY. 257 

Byron saw through these men (Mr. Finlay said), with 
astounding quickness, and never allowed them to guide or 
get the hotter of him in any negotiation. Ahout money 
matters he considered he was inclined to he ''dose- 
fisted.'' This was an opinion strongly confirmed to me 
some months later hy Walter Savage Landor, who 
repeatedly remarked that Byron's hehaviour in several 
occurrences, while in Italy, was far from liheral and 
that, luxuriously as he chose to live, he was hy no means 
ready to pay freely for his luxury. Shelley on the contrary, 
though he lived most simply and was always hard pressed 
for money by William Goodwin (who Fanny Kemhle delight- 
fully described to me apropos of Dowden's Memoir s^ as '' one 
of those greatly gifted and greatly horrouoing people ! "), was 
punctilious to the last degree in paying his debts and even 
those of his friends. There was a story of a boat purchased 
by both Byron and Shelley which I cannot trust my memory 
to recall accurately as Mr. Landor told it to me, and which I 
do not exactly recognise in the Memoirs, but which certainly 
amounted to this, — that Byron left Shelley to pay for their 
joint purchase, and that Shelley did so, though at the time he 
was in extreme straits for money. All the impressions, I 
may here remark, which I gathered at that time in Greece 
and Italy (1858), where there were yet a few alive who 
personally knew both these great poets, was in favour of 
Shelley and against Byron. Talking over them many years 
afterwards with Mazzini I was startled by the vehemence 
with which he pronounced his preference for B3rron, as the 
one who had tried to put his sympathy with a struggling 
nation into practice, and had died in the noble attempt. This 
was natural enough on the part of the Italian patriot ;«but I 
think the vanity and tendency to '' pose," which formed so 
large a part of Byron's character had probably more to do 
with this last aeted Canto of ChUde HarMs FUgriinagey 

VOL. L B 



258 CHAPTER IX. 

than Mazzini, (who had no such foibles) was likely to 
understand. The following curious glimpse of Byron at 
Venice before he went to Greece, occurs in an autograph 
letter in my possession, by Mrs. Hemans to the late Miss 
Margaret Lloyd. It seems worth quoting here. 

« Bronwyl&, 8th April, 1819. 

*' Your affection of Lord Byron will not be much increased 
by the description I am going to transcribe for you of his 
appearance and manners abroad. My Isister, who is now at 
Venice, has sent me the following sketch of the Giaour : — 
* We were presented at the Governor's, after which we went 
to a ccnversazdone at Madlle. Benzoni's, where we saw 
Lord Byron ; and now my curiosity is gratified, I have no 
wish ever to see him again. A more wretched, depraved- 
looking countenance it is impossible to imagine ! His hair 
streaming almost down to his shoulders and his whole 
appearance slovenly and even dirty. Still there is a some- 
thing which impels you to look at his face, although it 
inspires you with aversion, a something entirely different 
from any expression on any countenance I ever beheld 
before.- His character, I hear, is worse than ever ; 
dreadful it must be, since everyone says he is the 
most dissipated person in Italy, exceeding even the 
Italians themselves/" 

Shortly before my visit to Athens an article, or book, by 
Mr. Trelawney had been published in England, in which that 
writer asserted that Byron's lame leg was a most portentous 
deformity, like the fleshless leg of a Satyr. I mentioned this 
to Mr. Finlay, who laughed, and said: "That reminds me of 
what Byron said of Trelawney; 'If we could but make 
Trelawney wash his hands and speak the truth, we might 
make a gentleman of him 1 ' Of course,'' continued Mr. 
Mr. Einlay, '* I saw Byron's legs scores of times, for we bathed 



LONG JOURNEY. 269 

together daily whenever we were near the sea or a river, and 
there was nothing wrong with the leg^ only an ordinary 
and not very bad, club-/oo<." 

Among the interesting facts which Mr. Einlay gave me as 
the results of his historical researches in Greece was that a 
school of philosophy continued to be held in the Groves of 
the Academd (through which* we were walking at the 
moment), for 900 years from the time of Plato. A fine 
collection of gold and silver coins which he had made, 
afforded, under his guidance, a sort of running commentary 
on the history of the Byzantine Empire. There were series 
of three and four reigns during which the coins became 
visibly worse and worse, till at last there was no sUver in 
them at all, only base metal of some sort ; and then, things 
having come to the worst, there was a revolution, a new 
dynasty, and a brand new and pure coinage. 

The kindness of this very able man and of his charming 
wife was not limited to playing cicerone to me. Nothing 
could exceed their hospitality. The first day I dined at 
their house a party of agreeable and particularly fashionably 
dressed Greek ladies and gentlemen were assembled. As we 
waited for dinner the door opened and a magnificent figure 
appeared, whom I naturally took for, at least, an Albanian 
Chief, and prepared myself for an interesting presentation. 
He wore a short green velvet jacket covered with gold 
embroidery, a crimson sash, an enormous white muslin MU 
(I afterwards learned it contained 60 yards of muslin, and 
that the washing thereof is a function of the highest 
responsibility), and leggings of green and gold to match the 
jacket. One moment this splendid vision stood six feet high 
in the doorway; the next he bowed profoundly and pro- 
nounced the consecrated formula : — 

^' Madcnne est servie I " 
and we went to dinner, where he waited admirably. 



260 CHAPTER IX, 

Some year or two later, after I had published some 
records of my travels, and sent them to Mr. Finlay, I received 
from him the following letter :•— 

^ Athens, 26th May. 

'' My dear Miss Oobbe, 

*' Baron von Schmidthals sent me yonr letter of the 
18th April with the Citiea of ike Past yesterday ; his baggage 
having been detained at Syria. This post brought me 
Fraser with a ' Day at Aihens ' with due regularity, and now 
accept my sincere thanks for both. I am ashamed of my 
neglect in not thanking you sooner for Fraser, but I did not 
know your address. I felt grateful for it, having been very, 
very often tired of * Days at Athens ! ' It was a treat to 
meet so pleasant a ^day,' and have another pleasant day 
recalled. Others to whom I lent Fraser ^ told me the ^ Day,' 
was delightful. I had heard of your misfortune but I hoped 
you had entirely recovered, and I regret to hear that you 
use crutches stilL I, too, am weak and can walk little, but 
my complaint is old age. The Saturday Review has told me 
that you have poured some valuable thoughts into the river 
that flows through ages. 

' B6 degli altri ; saperbo, altero flame I ' 

Solomon tried to couch its cataracts in vain. If you lived 
at Athens you would hardly believe that man can grow 
wiser by being made to think. It only makes him more 
wicked here in G-reece. But the river of thought must be 
intended to fertilize the future. 

*^ I wish I could send you some news that would interest 
or amuse you, but you may recollect that I live like a 
hermit and come into contact with society chiefly in the 
matter of poHtics which I cannot expect to render inter- 
esting to you and which is anything but an amusing subject 
to me ; I being one of the G-reek landlords on whose head 
Kings and National Assemblies practise the art of shaving. 
Our revolution has done some good by clearing away old 



LONG JOURNEY. 261 

abuses, bat the podtiTe gain has been smalL England 
sent ns a boy-king, and Denmark with him a Connt 
Bponneck, whom the Greeks, not inaoonrately, call his 
*aUer nemo.' Still, though we are all very much dis- 
satisfied, I fancy sometimes that fate has served Gh'eece 
better than England, Denmark, or the National Assembly. 
The evils of this country were augumented by the devotion 
of the people to power and pelf, but devotion to nullity or 
its alter ego is a weak sentiment, and an empty treasury 
turns the devotion to pelf into useful channels. 

'' I was rather amused yesterday by learning that loyalty to 
King George has extended the commercial relations of the 
Greeks with the Turks. Greece has imported some boat- 
loads of myrtle branches to make triumphal arches at Syra 
where the King was expected yesterday. Queen Amalia 
disciplined King Otho*s subjects to welcome him in this 
way. The idea of Greeks being 'green' in anything, 
though it was only loyalty, amused her in those days. I 
suppose she knows now that they were not so ' green ' as 
their myrtles made them look ! It is odd, however, to find 
that their outrageous loyalty succeeded in exterminating 
myrtle plants in the islands of the ^gean, and that they 
must now import their emblems of loyalty from the Sultan's 
dominions. If a new Venus rise out of the Grecian sea she 
will have to swim over to the Turkish coast to hide herself 
in myrtles. There is a new fact for Lord Strangford's 
oriental Ohaos ! 

*^ Vij wife de.sire8 to be most kindly remembered to you. 
" Believe me, my dear Miss Cobbe, 

** Yours sincerely, 
** George Finlay." 

I left Athens and my kind friends with great regret and 
embarked at the Pirseus for Constantinople, but not before I 
had managed to secure a luxurious swim in one of the 
exquisite rocky coves along the coast near the Tomb pf 
Tbemjstocles, 



382 CHAPTER IX. 

Stamboul was rather a disappointinent to me. The 
weather was cold and cloudy and unfit to display the heauty 
of the Qolden Horn ; and I went about with a valei de place 
in rather a disheartened way to see the Dolma Batchi Palace 
and a few other things accessible to me. The Scutari 
Hospital across the Bosphorus where Miss Nightingale had 
worked only four years before, of course, greatly attracted 
my interest. How much do all women owe to that brave 
heart who led them on so far on the road to their public 
duties, and who has paid for her marvellous achievements by 
just forty years of invalidism ! Those pages of Kinglake's 
History in which he pays tribute to her power, and compares 
her great administrative triumph in bringing order out of 
chaos with the miserable failures of the male officials who had 
brought about the disastrous muddle, ought to be quoted 
again and again by all the friends of women, and never 
suffered to drop into oblivion. 

Of course the reader will assume that I saw St. Sophia. 
But I did not do so, and to the last, I fear I shall owe a little 
grudge to the people whose extraordinary behaviour made 
me lose my sole opportunity of enjoying that most interesting 
sight. I told my valet de place to learn what parties of 
foreigners were going to obtain the needful firmaun for 
visiting the Mosque and to arrange for me in the usual way 
to join one of them, paying my share of the expense, which 
at that time amounted to £5. Some days were lost, and 
then I learned that there was only one party, consisting of 
American ladies and gentlemen, who were then intending to 
visit the place, and that for some reason their courier would 
not consent to my joining them. I thought it was 
some stupid imbroglio of servants wanting fees, and 
having the utmost confidence in American kindness 
and good manners, I called on the family in question 
at their hotel and begged they would do me the 



LONG JOURNEY. 263 

favour to allow me to pay part of the ^5, and to 
enter the doors of St. Sophia with them accordingly ; at such 
time as might suit them. To my amazement the gentleman 
and ladies looked at each other ; and then the gentleman 
spoke, '' O ! I leave <M that to my courier ! " ** In that 
case, I said, I wish you good morning." It was a great 
bore for me, with my great love for architecture, to 
fail to see so unique a building, but I could not think 
of spending £b on a £rmaun myself, and had no choice 
but to relinquish the hope of entering, and merely walk round 
the Mosque and peep in where it was possible to do so. 
I was well cursed in doing this by the old Turks for my 
presumption ! 

Nemesis overtook these unmannerly people ere long, for 
they reached Florence a month after me and found I had 
naturally told my tale of disappointment to the Brownings, 
(whom they particularly desired to cultivate), the Somervilles, 
TroUopes and others who had become my friends; and I 
beHeve they heard a good deal of the matter. Mrs. Browning, 
I know, frankly expressed her astonishment at their be- 
haviour ; and Mrs. Somerville would have nothing to say to 
them. They sent me several messages of conciliation and 
apology, which of course I ignored. They had done a rude 
and unkind thing to an unknown and friendless woman. 
They were ready to make advances to one who had plenty 
of friends. It was the only case, in all my experience of 
Americans, in which I have found them wanting in either 
courtesy or kindness. 

I had intended to go from Constantinople viA the Black 
Sea and the Danube to Vienna and thence by the railway to 
Adelsberg and Trieste, but a cold, stormy March morning 
rendered that excursion far less tempting than a return to 
the sunny waters of Greece ; and, as I had nobody to consult, 
I simply embarked on a different steamer from the one I had 



264 CHAPTER IX. 

designed to take. At Syra (I think) I changed to the most 
luxurious and delightful vessel on which I have ever sailed — 
the Austrian Lloyd's Neptune^ Captain Braun. It was 
splendidly equipped, even to a camera oscura on deck ; and 
every arrangement for luxurious haths and good food was 
perfect, and the old Captain's attention and kindness to every- 
one extreme. I have still the picture of the NepiwM^ which 
he drew in my little sketch book for me. There were 
several very pleasant passengers on board, among others the 
Marquis of Headfort (nephew of our old neighbour at 
Newbridge, Mr. Taylor of Ardgillan) and Lady Headfort, 
who had gone through awful experiences in India, when 
married to her first husband. Sir William Macnaghten. It 
was said that when Sir William was cut to pieces, she 
offered large rewards for the poor relics and received them 
all, exo&pt his head. Months afterwards when she had 
returned to Calcutta and was expecting some ordinary 
box of clothes, or the like, she opened a parcel hastily, 
and was suddenly confronted with a frightful spectacle 
of her husband's half -preserved head ! 

Whether this story be true I cannot say, but Lady 
Headfort made herself a most agreeable fellow passenger, 
and we sat up every night till the small hours telling ghost 
stories. At Corfu I paid a visit to my father's cousin. Lady 
Emily Kozzaris (nee Trench) whom I had known at Newbridge 
and who welcomed me as a bit of Ireland, fallen on her 

** Isle andcr Ionian skies 
Beautiful as a wreck of paradise." 

I seemed to be en pays de connaissance once more. After 
two days in Trieste I went up by rail to Adehberg through 
the extraordinary district (geologically speaking) of Oamiolay 
where the whole superficial area of the ground is perfectly 
barren but honey-combed with circular holes of varying 



LONG JOURNEY. 266 

depths and size and of the shape of inverted truncated cones ; 
the hottoms of each being highly fertile and cultivated like 
gardens. 

The cavern of Adelsberg was to me one of the most 
fearsome places in the world. I cannot give any accurate 
description of it for the sense of awe which always seizes 
me in the darkness and foul air of caverns and tunnels and 
pyramids, renders me incapable of listening to details of 
heights and lengths. I wrote my recollections not long 
afterwards. 

** There were long, long galleries, and chambers^ and 
domes succeeding one another, as it seemed, for ever. 
Sometimes narrow and low, compelling the visitor to bend 
and climb ; sometimes so wide and lofty that the eye 
vainly sought to pierce the expanse. And through all the 
endless labyrinth appeared vaguely in the gloom the forms 
taken by the stalactites, now white as salt, now yellow and 
stained as if with age, — representing to the fancy all 
conceivable objects of earth and sea, piled up in this cave 
as if in some vast lumberhouse of creation. It was Chaos, 
when yet all things slept in darkness waiting the fiat of 
ozistence. It was the final Ruin when aU things shall 
return to everlasting night, and man and all his works 
grow into stone and lie buried beside the mammoth and 
the ichthyosaur. Here were temples and tombs, and 
vast dim faces, and giant forms lying prone and headless, 
and huge lions sleeping in dark dens, and white ghosts with 
phantom raiment flickering in the gloom. And through 
the caverns, amid all the forms of awe and wonder, rolled 
a river black as midnight ; a deep and rapid river which 
broke here and there over the rooks as in mockery of the 
sunny waterfalls of the woods, and gleamed for a moment, 
white and ghastiy, then plunged lower under the black 
arch into 

' OaveniB measureless to man 
Down to a sanless sea.' 



266 CHAPTER IX. 

** It is in this deadly river, which never reflects the light of 
day, that live those strange fleshy lizards without eyes, and 
seemingly without natural skin, hideous reptiles which 
have dwelt in darkness from unknown ages, till the organs 
of sight are effaced."^ 

'^Over this dismal Styx the traveller passes on further 
and further into the cavern, through seemingly endless 
corridors and vast cathedral aisles and halls without 
number. One of these large spaces is so enormous that 
it seemed as if St Peter's whole church and dome 
could He beneath it. The men who were with us 
scaled the walls threw coloured lights around and 
rockets up to the roof and dimly revealed the stupendous 
expanse ; an underground hall, where Eblis and all his 
peers might hold the councils of hell Further, on yet, 
through more corridors, more chambers and aisles and 
domes, with the couchant lions and the altar-tombs and 
the ghosts and the great white fitces all around ; and then 
into a cavern, more lately found than the rest, where the 
white and yellow marble took forms of screens and organ 
pipes and richest Gothic tracery of windows, — the region 
where the Genius of the Cavern had made his royal Oratory. 
It was all a great, dim, uneasy dream. Things were, and 
were not. As in dreams we picture places and identify 
them with those of waking life in some strange unreal 
identity, while in every particular they vary from the 
actual place ; and as also in dreams we think we have 
beheld the same objects over and over again, while we only 
dream we see them, and go on wandering further and 
further, seeking for some unknown thing, and finding, not 
that which we seek, but every other thing in existence, and 
pass through all manner of narrow doors and impenetrable 
screens, and men speak to us and we cannot hear them, and 
show us open graves holding dead corpses whose features 
we cannot discern, and all the world is dim and dark and 
full of doubt and dread — even so is the Cavern of Adelsberg." 



* The Proteiis Anguinus. 



LONG J0UENE7. 267 

Betuming to Trieste I passed on to Yenioe, the beauty of 
which I learned (rather slowly perhaps), to feel by degrees 
as I rowed in my gondola from church to church and from 
gallery to palace. The Austrians were then masters of the 
city, and it was no doubt German music which I heard for the 
first time at the church of the Scalzi, very finely performed. 
It was not seldom in the usual English style of sacred music ; 
(I dare say it was not strictly sctcred music at all, perhaps 
quite a profane opera !) but, in the mood I was in, it seemed 
to me to have a great sanctity of its own ; to be a Week-day 
Song of Heaven, This was one of the rare occasions in my 
life in which music has reached the deeper springs in me, 
and it affected me very much. I suppose as the daffodils did 
Wordsworth. 

Naturally being again in a town and at a good hotel, I 
resumed better clothes than I had worn in my rough rides, 
and they were, of course that year, deep mourning with 
much crape on them. I imagine it must have been this 
English mourning apparel which provoked among the colour- 
loving Venetians a strange display of Heteropathyy — ^that 
deep-seated animal instinct of hatred and anger against 
^rief and suffering, the exact reverse of sympathy^ 
which causes brutes and birds to gore and peck and 
slay their diseased and dying companions and brutal 
men to trample on their weeping, starving wives. I was 
walking alone rather sadly, bent down over the shells on 
the beach of the Iddo, comparing them in my mind to the old 
venuses and pectens and beautiful pholases which I used to 
collect on my father's long stretch of sandy shore in Ireland, — 
when suddenly I found myself assailed with a shower of 
stones. Looking up, I saw a little crowd of women and boys 
jeering at me and pelting me with whatever they could pick 
up. Of course they could not really hurt me, but after an 
effort or two at remonstrance, I was fain to give up my walk 



268 CHAPTER IX. 

and return to my gondola and to Yenioe. Yean afterwardB, 
speaking of this incident to Gibson, he told me he had seen 
at Yenioe a much worse scene, for the victim was a poor 
helpless dog which had somehow got into a position from 
whence it could not escape, and the miserable, hooting, laughing 
crowd deliberately stoned it to death. The dog looked from 
one to another of its persecutors as if appeaiing for mercy 
and sayiog, '* What have I done to deserve this ? " But there 
was no mercy in those hard hearts. 

Ever since I sat on the spot where St. Stephen was stoned, 
I have felt that that particular form of death must have been 
one of the most morally trying and dreadful to the sufferer, 
and the most utterly destructive of the finer instincts in those 
who inflicted it. If Jews be, as alleged, more prone to 
cruelty than other nations, the fact seems to me almost 
explained by the '' set of the brains " of a race accustomed 
to account it a duty to join in stoning an offender to death 
and watching pitilessly his agonies when mangled, blinded, 
deafened and bleeding he lies crushed on the ground. 

From Yenice I travelled very pleasantly in a returning 
vettura which I was fortunate enough to engage, by Padua 
and Ferrara over the Apennines to Florence. One day I 
walked a long way in front during my vetturino's dinner- 
hour, and made friends with some poor peasants who 
welcomed me to their house and to a share of their meal of 
Polenta and wine. The Polenta was much inferior to Irish 
oatmeal stirabout or Scotch porridge ; and the black wine 
was like the coarsest vinegar. I tried in vain, out of good 
manners to drink it. The lives of these poor ooHtctdini are 
obviously in all ways cruelly hard. 

Spending one night in a desolate " ramshackle " inn on 
the road high up on the Apennines, I sat up late writing 
a description of the place (as " creepy '' as I could make 
it !) to amuse my mother's dear old servant ** Joney," who 



LONG JOURNEY. 269 

possessed a volume of Washington Irving's stories wherein > 
that of the ^^ Irvn ai Terracina^* had served constantly 
to excite delightful awe in her breast and in my own as 
a child. I took my letter next day with me to post in 
Florence, but alas 1 found there waiting for me one from my 
brother announcing that our dear old servant was dead. She 
had never held up her head after I had left Newbridge, and 
had cease to drop into her cottage for tea. 

At Florence I remained many months (or rather on the hill 
of Bellosguardo above the city) and made some of the most 
precious friendships of my life ; Mrs. Somerville's first of all, 
I also had the privilege to know at that time both Mr. and 
Mrs. Browning, Adolphus Trollope, Walter Savage Landor, 
Isa Blagden, Miss White (now Madame Villari), and many 
other very interesting men and women. I shall, however, 
write a separate chapter combining this and my subsequent 
visits to Italy. 

Late in the summer I travelled with a party through Milan 
over St. Gothard to Lucerne, and thence to the Pays de 
Yaud, where I joined a very pleasant couple, — Rev. W. and 
Mrs. Biedermann, — ^in taking the Chdteau da Gramd CU>s^ in 
the YaUey of the Bhone; a curious miniature French 
country-house, built some years before by the man who called 
himself Louis XYII., or Due de Normandie ; and who had 
collected (as we found) a considerable library of books, all 
relating to the French Bevolution. 

From Switzerland I travelled back to England wA the 
Rhin0 with my dear American friends, the Apthorps, who had 
joined me at Montreux. The perils and fatigues of my 
eleven months of solitary wanderings were over. I was 
stronger and more active in body than I had ever been, and 
so enriched in mind and heart by the things I had seen and 
the people I had known, that I could afford to smile at the 
depression and loneliness of my departure. 



270 CHAPTER IX. 

As we approached the Black Forest I had a fancy to quit 
my kind companions for a few days ; and leaving them to 
explore Strasburg, and some other places, I went on to 
Heidelberg and thence made my way into the beautiful 
woods. The following lines were written there, September 
23rd, 1858 :— 



ALONE IN THE 6CHWABZWALD. 



Lord of the Forest Sanctnaiy I Thoa 
By the grey others of the world in these 
Thine own self -fashioned shrines dimly adored, 
"All-Father Odin," " Mover" of the spheres ; 
Zeos I Brahm 1 Ormasd 1 Lord of Light Divine I 
God, blessed God ! the Good One ! Best of names, 
By noblest Saxon race found Thee at last, — 
O Father t when the slow revolving years 
Bring forth the day when men shall see Thy f aoe 
Unveiled from superstition's web of errors old. 
Shall they not seek Thee here amid the woods. 
Bather than in the pillared aisle, or dome 
By loftiest genius reared f 

Six months have rolled 
Sinoe I stood solitary in the fane 
Of desolate Baalbec. The huge walls oloeed 
Bound me sublime as when millenniums past 
Lost nations worshipped there. I sate beside 
The altar stone o'erthrown. For hours I sate 
Until the homeward-winging hawk at even 
Shrieked when he saw me there, a human form 
Where human feet tread onoe perchance a year. 
Then the moon slowly rose above the walls 
And then I knelt. It was a glorious tajxe 
All, all my own. 



LONG JOURNEY, 27J 

But not that grand Baalbeo, 
Nor Parthenon, nor Rome's stapendons pile. 
Nor lovelier Milan, nor the Sepulchre 
So dark and solemn where the Christ was laid. 
Nor even yet that dreadfal field of death 
At Ghizeh where the eternal Pyramids 
Have, from a world of graves, pointed to Heav'n 
For fifty ages past, — not all these shrines 
Are holy to my soul as are the woods. 
Lo I how God Himself has planned this place 
So that all sweet and calm and solemn thoughts 
Should have their nests amid the shadowy trees 1 
How the rude work-day world is all closed out 
By the thick curtained foliage, and the sky 
Alone revealed, a deep zenith heaven, 
Fitly beheld through clsteped and upraised arms 
Of prayer-like trees. There is no sound more loud 
Than the low insect hum, the chirp of birds. 
The rustling murmur of embracing boughs, 
The gentle dropping of the autumn leaves. 
The wood's sweet breath is incense. From the pinep 
And larch and chestnut come rich odours pure ; 
All things are pure and sweet and holy here. 

I lie down underneath the firs. The moss 
Makes richest cushion for my weary limbs i 
Long I gaze upward while the dark green boughs 
Moveless project against the azure sky, 
Fringed with their russet cones. My satiate eyes 
Sink down at length. I turn my cheek to earth. 
What may this be, this sense of youth restored. 
My happy childhood with its sunbright hours. 
Returning once again as in a dream ? 
'Tis but the odour of the mossy ground, 
The *' field-smells known in infancy," when yet, 
Our childish sports were near to mother Earth, 
Our child-like hearts near to the GK)d in Heavoc. 



CHAPTEE 



BBISTOL. 



KEFOBMATORIES AND RAQGED SCHOOLS 



VOL. I. 



CHAPTER X. 

J^BFOBMATOBIES AND BaOGSD SoHOOLS AT BuiSTOL. 

Aftsb I had spent two or three weeks once again at my 
old home after my long journey to visit my eldest brother 
and his wife, and also had seen my two other dear brothers, 
then married and settled in England with their children; 
the time came for me to begin my independent life as I had 
long planned it. I had taken my year's pilgrimage as a sort 
of eondnsion to my self-education, and also because, at the 
beginning of it, I was inno state of health or spirits to throw 
myself into new work of any kind. Now I was well and strong, 
and full of hope of being of some little use in the world. I 
was at a very good age for making a fresh start; just 86 ; 
and I had my little independence of £200 a year which, 
though small, was enough to allow me to work how and 
where I pleased without need to earn anything. I may boast 
that I never got into debt in my life ; never borrowed money 
from anybody ; never even asked my brother for the advance 
of a week on the interest on my patrimony. 

It had been somewhat of a difficulty to me after my home 
duties ended at my father's death, to decide where, with my 
heretical opinions, I could find a field for any kind of 
usefulness to my fellow creatures, but I fortunately heard 
through Harriet St. Leger and Lady Byron, that Miss 
Carpenter, of Bristol, was seeking for some lady to help in 
her Beformatory and Bagged School work. Miss Bathurst, 
who had joined her for the purpose, had died the previous 
year. The arrangement was, that we paid Miss Carpenter a 
moderate sum (SOs.) a week for board and lodging in her 
house acyoining Bed Lodge, and she provided us all day long 



^6 OHAPTER X. 

with abnndant OGcapation. I had by mere chance read her 
*' JtwewUe Ddinqumti" and had admired the spirit of the 
book ; bnt my special attraction to Miss Carpenter was the 
belief that I should find in her at once a very religious 
woman, and one so completely outside the pale of orthodoxy 
that I should be sure to meet from her the sympathy I had 
never yet been privileged to enjoy ; and at all events be able 
to assist her labours with freedom of conscience. 

My first interview with Miss Carpenter (in November, 1858) 
was in the doorway of my bedroom after my arrival at Bed 
Lodge House; a small house in the same street as Bed Lodge. 
She had been absent from home on business, and hastened 
upstairs to welcome me. It was rather a critical moment, 
for I had been asking myself anxiously — ^* What manner of 
woman shall I behold ? " I knew I should see an able and 
an excellent person; but it is quite possible for able and 
excellent women to be far from agreeable companions for a 
tiU'd-UU of years; and nothing short of this had I in 
contemplation. The first glimpse in that doorway set my 
fears at rest! The plain and careworn face, the figure 
which. Dr. Martineau says, had been " columnar " in youth, 
but which at fifby-two was angular and stooping, were yet 
all alive with feeling and power. Her large, light blue 
eyes, with their peculiar trick of showing the white 
beneath the iriSj had an extraordinary faculty of 
taking possession of the person on whom they were 
fixed, like those of an amiable Ancient Mariner 
who only wanted to talk philanthropy, and not to tell stories 
of weird voyages and murdered albatrosses. There was 
humour, also, in every line of her face, and a readiness to 
catch the first gleam of a joke. But the prevailing 
characteristic of Mary Carpenter, as I came subeequently 
more perfectly to recognise, was a high and strong Besolution, 
which made her whole path much like that of a plough in a 



REFORM ATORTES, ETC., AT BRISTOL. 277 

weQ-drawn farrow, which goes straight on end its own 
beneficent way, and gently pushes aside into little ridges all 
intervening people and things. 

Long after this first interview, Miss Elliot showed Miss 
Carpenter's photograph to the Master of Balliol, without 
telling him whom it represented. After looking at it 
carefully, he remarked, " This is the portrait of a person 
who lives vinder high moral exeitemerU.** There could not 
be a truer summary of her habitual state. 

Our days were very much alike, and " Sunday shone no 
Sabbath-day " for us. Our little household consisted of one 
honest girl (a certain excellent Marianne, who I often see 
now in her respectable widowhood and who well deserves 
commemoration) and two little convicted - thieves firom the 
Bed Lodge. We assembled for prayers very early in the 
morning ; and breakfast, during the winter months, was got over 
before daylight; Miss Carpenter always remarking brightly as 
she sat down, <' How cheerful ! " was the gas. After this there 
were classes a^ the different schools, endless arrangements 
and organisations, the looking-up of little truants from the 
Bagged Schools, and a good deal of business in the way of 
writing reports and so on. Altogether, nearly every hour of 
the day and week was pretty well mapped out, leaving only 
space for the brief dinner and tea; and at nine or ten o'clock 
at night, when we met at last, Miss Carpenter was often so 
exhausted that I have seen her fall asleep with the spoon 
half-way between her mouth and the cup of gruel which she 
ate for supper. Her habits were all of the simplest and 
most self-denying kind. Both by temperament and on prin- 
ciple she was essentially a Stoic. She had no sympathy at all 
with Asceticism (which is a very different thing, and implies a 
vivid sense of the attractiveness of luxury), and she strongly 
condemned fiasting, and all such practices on the Zoroastrian 
principle, that they involve a culpable weakening of powers 



278 OHAPTSB X. 

which are intnisted to ob for good use. Bat she was aa 
ingrained Stoic, to whom all the minor eomforta of life are 
simply indifferent, and who can scarcely even recognise the 
fact that other people take heed of them. She once, with 
great simplicity, made to me the grave observation that at a 
country house where she had just passed two or three days, 
'' the ladies and gentlemen all came down dressed for dinner, 
and evidently thought the meal rather a pleasant part of the 
day i " For herself (as I often told her) she had no idea of 
any Feast except that of the Passover, and always ate with 
her loins girded and her umbrella at hand, ready to rush off 
to the Bed Lodge, if not to the Bed Sea. In vain I remon- 
strated on the unwholesomeness of the practice, and entreated 
on my own behalf to be allowed time to swallow my food, 
and also some food (in the shape of vegetables) to swallow, 
aa well as the perpetual, too easily ordered, salt beef and 
ham. Next day after an appeal of this kind (made serious on 
my part by threats of gout), good Miss Oarpenter greeted 
me with a complacent smile on my entry into our little 
dining-room. <' You see I have not forgotten your wish for 
a dish of vegetables I " There, surely enough, on a cheese- 
plate, stood six little round radishes I Her special chair was 
a horsehair one with wooden arms, and on the seat she had 
placed a small square cushion, as hard as a board, likewise 
covered with horsehair. I took this up one day, and taunted 
her with the Sybaritism, it betrayed ; but she replied, with 
infinite simplicity, " Yes, indeed 1 I am sorry to say that 
since my illness I have been obliged to have recourse to these 
indulgencies (I). I used to try, like St. Paul, to ' endure 
hardness.' " 

Her standard of conscientious rigour was even, it would 
appear, applicable to animals. I never saw a more ludicrous 
little scene than when she one day found my poor dog 
Hiljjin, a splendid grey Pomeranian, lying on the broad of 



BEF0RMAT0R1E8, ETC., Al BRISIOL. 279 

her vory broad back, laznriating on the mg before a good 
fire. After gravely inspeeting her for some moments^ Mis9 
Carpenter turned solemnly away, observing, in a tone ol 
deep moral disapprobation, '< Self-indulgent dog 1 " 

Much of onr work lay in a certain Bagged School in a 
filthy lane named St. James* Back, now happily swept from 
the face of the earth. The long line of Lewin's Mead beyond 
the chapel was bad enough, especially at nine or ten o'clock 
of a winter's night, when half the gas lamps were extinguished, 
and groups of drunken men and miserable women were to h% 
found shouting, screaming and fighting before the dens of drink 
and infamy of which the street consisted. Miss Carpenter 
told me that a short time previously some Bow Street 
constables had been sent down to this place to ferret out a 
crime which had been committed there, and that they reported 
there was not in all London such a nest of wickedness as they 
had explored. The ordinary Bristol policemen were never to 
be seen at night in Lewin's Mead, and it was said they were 
afraid to show themselves in the place. But St. James' Back 
was a shade, I think, lower than Lewin's Mead ; at all events 
it was further from the upper air of decent life ; and in these 
horrid slums that dauntless woman had bought some tumble- 
down old buildings and turned them into schools — day-schools 
for girls and night-schools for boys, all the very sweepings of 
those wretched streets. 

It was a wonderful spectacle to see Mary Carpenter sitting 
patiently before the large school-gallery in this place, 
teaching, singing, and praying with the wild street-boys, in 
spite of endless interruptions caused by such proceedings as 
shooting marbles into hats on the table behind her, whistling, 
stamping, fighting, shrieking out '< Amen " in the middle of 
the prayer, and sometimes rising en masse and tearing, like 
a troop of bisons in hob-nailed shoes, down from the gallery, 
round the great schoolroom and down the stairs, out into the 



280 CHAPTER X. 

street. These irrepressible outbreaks she bore with iiifinite 
good hmnonr and, what seemed to me more marvellons stDl, 
she heeded, apparently, not at all the indescribable abomination 
of the odours of a tripe-and-trotter shop next door, wherein 
operations were frequently carried on which, together with 
the bouquet du peuvle of the poor little unkempt scholars, 
rendered the school of a hot summer's evening little better 
than the ill-smelling giro of ' Dante's '< Inferno." These 
trifles, however, scarcely even attracted Mary Carpenter's 
attention, fixed as it was on the possibility of ** taking hold " 
(as she used to say) of one little urchin or another, on whom, 
for the moment her hopes were fixed. 

The droll things which daily occurred in these schools, and 
the wonderful replies received from the scholars to questions 
testing their information, amused her intensely, and the more 
unruly were the young scamps, the more, I think, in her 
secret heart, she liked them, and gloried in taming them. 
She used to say, ** Only to get them to use the school comb is 
something ! " There was the boy who defined Conscience to 
me as ^' a thing a gen'elman hasn't got, who, when a boy 
finds his purse and gives it back to him, doesn't give the boy 
sixpence." There was the boy who, sharing in my Sunday 
evening lecture on '' Thankfulness," — ^wherein I had pointed 
out the grass and blossoming trees on the Downs as subjects 
for praise, — ^was inten^gated as to which pleasure he ei\joyed 
most in the course of the year ? replied candidly, " Gock-fightin', 
ma'am. There's a pit up by the ' Black Boy ' as is worth 
anythink in Brissel I " 

The clergy troubled us little. One day an impressive 
young curate entered and sat silent, sternly critical to note 
what heresies were being instilled into the minds of his 
flock. " I am giving a lesson on Palestine," I said ; ** I 
have just been at Jerusalem." " In what sense f " said the 
awful young man, darkly discerning some mysticism (of 



REFORMATORIES, ETC., AT BRISTOL. 281 

the Swedenborgian kind, perhaps) beneath the simple 
statement. The boys who were dismissed from the school 
for obstreperons behaviour were a great difficulty to us, 
usually employing themselves in shouting and hammering 
at the door. One winter's night when it was raining 
heavily, as I was passing through Lewin's Mead, I was 
greeted by a chorus of voices, " Cob-web, Cob-web I " 
emanating from the depths of a black archway. Standing 
still under my umbrella, and looking down the cavern, I 
remarked, << Don't you think I must be a little tougher than 
a cobweb to come out such a night as this to teach such little 
scamps as you ? " 

<' Indeed you is, Mum ; that's true I And stouter too 1 " 

<< Well, don't you think you would be more comfortable 
in that nice warm schoolroom than in this dark, cold 
place?" 

" Yes, *m, we would." 

'< You'll have to promise to be tremendously good, I can 
tell you, if I bring you in again. Will you promise ? " 

Vows of everlasting order and obedience were tendered ; 
and, to Miss Carpenter's intense amusement, I came into 
St. James' Back, followed by a whole troop of little outlaws 
reduced to temporary subjection. At all events they never 
shouted " Cob- web " again. Indeed, at all times the events 
of the day's work, if they bordered on the ludicrous (as was 
often the case), provoked her laughter till the tears ran down 
her cheeks. One night she sat grieving over a piece of 
ingratitude on the part of one of her teachers, and told me she 
had given him some invitation for the purpose of conciliating 
him and '^ heaping coals of fire on his head." '' It will take 
another scuttle, my dear friend," I remarked ; and thereupon 
her tears stopped, and she burst into a hearty fit of laughter. 
Next evening she said to me dolorously, '' I tried that other 
scuttle, but it was no go I " 



282 CHAPTER X. 

Of conrso, like every mortal, Mary Carpenter had Us difautk 
de 8S8 qualitSs. Her absorption in her work always blinded 
her to the flEtct that other people might possibly be bored by 
hearing of it incessantly. 

In India, I haye been told that a Governor of Madras 
observed, after her visit, ** It is very astonishing ; I listened 
to all Miss Carpenter had to teU mo, but when I began to tell 
her what I knew of this country, she dropped asleep." 
Indeed, the poor wearied and overworked brain, when it had 
made its effort, generally collapsed, and in two or three 
minutes, after ** holding you with her eye *' through a long 
philanthropic history, Miss Carpenter might be seen to be, 
to all intents and purposes, asleep. 

On one occasion, that most loveable old man, Samuel J. May, 
of Syracuse, came to pass two or three days at Bed Lodge 
House, and Miss Carpenter was naturally delighted to take 
him about and show him her schools and explain everything 
to him. Mr. May listened with great interest for a time, but 
at last his attention flagged and two or three times he 
turned to me ; '' When can we have our talk, which Theodore 
Parker promised me 9 " <' Oh, by-and-by," Miss Carpenter 
always interposed ; till one day, after we had visited St. James' 
Back, we arrived all three at the foot of the tremendous 
stairs, almost like those of the Triniti^, which then existed 
in Bristol, and were called the Christmas Steps. *^Now^ 
Mr. May and Miss Cobbe *' (said Mary Carpenter, cheerfully), 
'' you can have your talk." And so we had — ^till we got to 
the top, when she resumed the guidance of the conversation. 
Good jokes were often made of this littie weakness, but it 
had its pathetic side. Never was there a word of real 
egotism in her eager talk, or the evidence of the slightest 
wish to magnify her own doings, or to impress her hearers 
with her immense share in the public benefits she described. 
It was her deep conviction that to turn one of these poor 



REFORMATORIES, ETO^ AT BRISTOL. 288 

sinners from the errors of its ways, to reach to the roots oi 
the misery and eormption of the '' perishing and dangerous 
classes/' was the most important work which could possihly 
be nndertaken ; and she, very natorally, in consequence made it 
the most prominent, indeed, almost the sole, subject of 
discourse. I was once in her company at Aubrey House in 
London, when there happened to be present half-a-dozen 
people, each one devoted to some special political, religious or 
moral agitation. Miss Carpenter remarked in a pause in 
the conversation; " It is a thousand pities that everybody will 
not join and give the whole of their minds to the great cause 
of the age, because, if they would, we should carry it 
undoubtedly." '' What is the great cause of the age ? *' we 
simultaneously exclaimed. ''Parliamentary Beform?" said 
our host, Mr. Peter Taylor; ''the Abolition of Slavery?" 
said Miss Bemond, a Negress, Mrs. Taylor's companion; 
"Teetotalism?" said another; "Woman's Suffirage?" said 
another ; "The conversion of the world to Theism ?" said I. 
In the midst of the clamour. Miss Carpenter looked serenely 
round, "Whyl the Industrial Schools Bill of c<narse!** 
Nobody ei^oyed the joke, when we all began to laugh, more 
than the reformer herself. 

It was, above all, in the Bed Lodge Beformatory that 
Mary Carpenter's work was at its highest. The spiritual 
interest she took in the poor little girls was, beyond words, 
admirable. When one of them whom she had hoped was 
really reformed fell back into thievish or other evil ways, her 
grief was a real vicariom repentance for the little sinner ; a 
Christ-like sentiment infinitely sacred. Nor was she at all 
blind to the children's defects, or easily deceived by the usual 
sham reformations of such institutions. In one of her letters 
to me she wrote these wise words (July 9th, 1869) : — 

" I have pointed out in one of my reports why I have more 
trouble than others (d.^., especially, Catholics). A system of 



284 CHAPTER X. 

steady repression and order would make them sooner good 
scholars ; but then I should not have the least confidenee in 
the real change of their characters. Even with my free 
sjTstem in the Lodge, remember how little we knew of HiU's 
and Hawkins' real characters, nntil they were in the house ? 
(Her own private house). I do not object to nature being 
kept under curbs of rule and order for a time, until some prin- 
ciples are sufficiently rooted to be appealed to. But then it 
must have play, or we cannot possibly teU what amount of 
reformation has taken place. The Catholics have an enormous 
artificial help in their religion and priests ; but I place no 
confidence in the slavish obedience they produce and the 
hypocrisy which I have generally found inseparable from 
Catholic influence. I would far rather have M. A. M'Intyre 
coolly say, ' I know it was wrong ' " (a barring and bolting 
out) '' and Anne Crooks in the cell for outrageous 
conduct, acknowledge the same — 'I know it was wrong, 
but I am not sorry,' than any hypocritical and heartless 
acknowledgments." 

Indeed nobody had a keener eye to detect cant of any kind, 
or a greater hatred of it. She told me one day of her visit to a 
celebrated institution, said to be supported semi-miraculously 
by answers to prayer in the specific shape of cheques. Miss 
Carpenter said that she asked the matron (or some other 
official) whether it was supported by voluntary subscriptions? 
'< Oh, dear no I madam," the woman replied ; '' Do you not 
know it is entirely supported by Prayer ? " '< Oh, indeed," 
replied Miss Carpenter. ** I dare say, however, when friends 
have once been moved to seud you money, they continue to 
do so regularly ? " " Yes, certainly they do." ** And they 
mostly send it at the beginning of the year ? " '' Yes, yes, 
very regularly." *' Ah, weU, said Miss Carpenter, " when 
people send me money for Bed Lodge under those circum- 
stances, I outer them in my Beports as AnmuU SubseribenI** 



BEFOBMATORIES, ETC., AT BRISTOL. 285 

When our poor chfldren at last left the Reformatory, Mary 
Carpenter always watched their snhseqaent career with deep 
interest, gloried in receiving intelligence that they were 
behaving honestly and steadily, or deplored their backslidings 
in the contrary event. In short, her interest was truly in the 
children themsdveSy in their very souls ; and not (as such 
philanthropy too often becomes) an interest inJierlnstUiUion. 
Those who know most of such work will best understand 
how wide is the distinction. 

But Mary Carpenter was not only the guardian and 
teacher of the poor young waifs and strays of Bristol when 
she had caught them in her charity-traps. She was also 
their unwearied advocate with one Government after another, 
and with every public man and magistrate whom she could 
reasonably or unreasonably attack on their behalf. Never 
was there such a case of the Widow and the Unjust Judge ; 
till at last most English statesmen came to recognise her 
wisdom, and to yield readily to her pressure, and she was a 
''power in the State." As she wrote to me about her 
Industrial School, so was it in everything else : — 

''The magistrates have been lapsing into their 
usual apathy ; so I have got a piece of artillery to help me 
in the shape of Mr. M. D. Hill. .... They have 
found by painful experience that I cannot be made to 
rest while justice is not done to these poor children." 
(July 6th, 1859.) 

And again, some years later, when I had told her I had 
sat at dinner beside a gentleman who had opposed many of 
her good projects : — 

" I am very sorry you did not see through Mr. , and 

annihilate him 1 Of course, I shall never rest in this world 
till the children have their birthrights in this so-called 
Christian country ; but my next mode of attack I have not 
decided on yet I *' (February 18th, 1867.) 



286 CHAPTER X. 

At last my residence under Mary Carpenter's roof came 
to a close. My health had broken down two or three times 
in succession under a riffime for which neither habit nor 
constitution had fitted me, and my kind friend, Dr. Symonds', 
peremptory orders necessitated arrangements of meals which 
Miss Carpenter thought would occasion too much irregularity 
in her little household, which (it must be remembered) was 
also a branch of the Beformatory work. I also sadly 
perceived that I could be of no real comfort or service as an 
inmate of her house, though I could stOl help her, and 
perhaps more effectually, by attending her schools while 
living alone in the neighbourhood. Her overwrought and 
nervous temperament could ill bear the strain of a perpetual 
companionship, or even the idea that any one in her house 
might expect companionship from her ; and if, while I was 
yet a stranger, she had found some fresh interest in my 
society, it doubtless ceased when I had been a twelvemonth 
under her roof, and knew everything which she could tell 
me about her work and plans. As I ofben told her (more 
in earnest than she supposed), I knew she would have been 
more interested in me had I been either more of a sinner or 
more of a saint I 

And 80, a few weeks later, the separation was made in all 

friendliness, and I went to live alone at Belgrave House, 

Durdham Down, where I took lodgings, still working pretty 

regularly at the Bed Lodge and Bagged Schools, but gradually 

engaging more in Workhouse visiting and looking after 

friendless girls, so that my intercourse with Miss Carpenter 

became less and less frequent, though always cordial and 
pleasant. 

Years afterwards when I had ceased to reside in the 

neighbourhood of Bristol, I enjoyed several times the pleasure 

of receiving visits from Miss Carpenter at my home in 

London, and hearing her accounts of her Indian travels and 



REFORMATORIES, ETO., AT BRISTOL. 287 

other interests. In 1877, I went to Clifton to attend an 
Anti- vivisection meeting, and also one for Woman Suffirage ; 
and at the latter of these I found myself with great 
pleasure on the same platform with Mary Carpenter. 
(She was also an Anti-vivisectionist and always signed our 
Memorials.) Her biographer and nephew, Professor Estlin 
Carpenter, while fully stating her recognition of the 
rightfulness of the demand for votes for women and 
also doing us the great service of printing Mr. Mill's most 
admirable letter to her on the subject {Life^ p. 498) ; seems 
unaware that she ever publicly advocated the cause of 
political rights for women. But on this occasion, as I have 
said, she took her place on the platform of the West of 
England Branch of the Association, at its meeting in the 
Victoria Booms; and, in my hearing, either proposed or 
seconded one of the resolutions demanding the franchise, 
adding a few words of cordial approval. 

Before I returned to London on this occasion I called on 
Miss Carpenter, bringing with me a young niece. I found 
her at Bed Lodge ; and she insisted on my going with her over 
all our old haunts, and noting what changes and improve- 
ments she had made. I was tenderly touched by her great 
kindness to my young companion and to m3rself ; and by the 
added softness and gentleness which years had brought to 
her. She expressed herself as very happy in every way ; and, 
in truth, she seemed to me like one who had reached the 
Land of Beulah, and for whom there would be henceforth 
only peace within and around. 

A few weeks later I was told that her servant had gone 
into her bedroom one morning and found her weeping for her 
brother, Philip Carpenter, of whose death she had just heard. 
The next monung the woman entered again at the same hour, 
but Mary Carpenter was lying quite stiU, in the posture in 
which she had lain in sleep. Her '' six days' work " wax 



288 CHAPTER X. 

done. She had ''gone home," and I doubt not '< ta'en her 
wages." Here is the last letter she wrote to me : — 

"Bed Lodge House, Bristol, 

" March 27th, 1877. 
** Dear Miss Gobbe, 

" There are some things of which the most clear and 
unanswerable reasoning could not convince me! One of 
these is, that a wise, i^ powerful and loving Father can 
create an immortal spirit for eternal misery. Perhaps you 
are wiser than I and more accessible to arguments (though I 
doubt this), and I send you the enclosed, which / do not 
want back, G6gurth*s answer to such people is the best I 
ever heard — 'If you are child of Devil — ^ood; but / am 
child of God ? * 

*' I was very glad to get a glimpse of you ; I do not trouble 
you with my doings, knowing that you have enough of your 
own. You may like to see an abstract of my experience. 

"Yours affectionately, 

" M. 0." 

And here is a Poem which she gave me in MS. the day she 
wrote it. I do not tliink it has seen the light. 

CHRISTMAS DAY PRAYER. 
Dec. 25th, 1858. 

Onward and upward, Heavenly Father, bear mo, 
Onward and upward bear me to my home ; — 

Onward and upward, be Thou ever near me, 
While my beloved Father beckons me to come. 

With Thy Holy Spirit, O do thou renew me ! 

Cleanse me from all that tometh me from Thee ! 
Guide me and guard me, lead me and subdue me 

Till I love not aught that centres not in Thee ! 

Thou hast filled my soul with brightness and with beauty 
Thou hast made me feel the sweetness of Thy love. 

Purify my heart, devote me all to duty, 
Sanctify ma whoUy for Thy realms above. 



REFORMATORIES, ETC., AT BRISTOL. 289 

Holy, heavenly Parent of this earthbom spirit, 

Onward and upward bear it to its borne, 
With Thy Firstborn Son eternal joys to inherit, 

Where my blessed Father beckons me to come. — 

December 25th, 1858. M. C. 

The teaching work in the Bed Lodge and the Ragged 
Schools, which I continued for a long time after leaving Miss 
Carpenter's house, was not, I have thought on cahn reflection 
in after years, very well done hy me. I have always lacked 
imagination enough to realize what are the mental limitations 
of children of the poorer classes ; and in my eagerness to 
interest them and convey my thoughts, I know I often spoke 
over their heads, with too rapid utterance and using too 
many words not included in their small vocabularies. I think 
my lessons amused and even sometimes delighted them ; I 
was always told they loved them ; but they enjoyed them 
ratherif ear like fireworks than instruction ! In the Bed Lodge 
there were fifty poor little girls from 10 to 15 years of age 
who constituted our jE?rw(m0r«. They were regularly committed 
to the Lodge as to jail, and when Miss Carpenter was absent I 
had to keep the great door key. They used to sit on their 
benches in rows opposite to me in the beautiful black oak- 
panelled room of the Lodge, and reftd their dreary books, 
and rejoice (I have no doubt) when I broke in with 
explanations and illustrations. Their poor faces, often scarred 
by disease, and ill-shaped heads, were then lifted up with 
cheerful looks tome, and I ploughedaway as best I could, trying 
to get any ideas into their minds ; in accordance with Mary 
Carpenter's often repeated assurance that anything wJuxtev&r 
which could pass from my thoughts to theirs would be a 
benefit, as supplyingother po^u^t^m than their past familiarity 
with all things evil. When we had got through one school 
reading book in this way I begged Miss Carpenter to find me 
another to afford a few fresh themes for observations^ but no ; 
VOL. I. T 



290 CHAPTER X. 

she preferred that I should go over the same again. Some of 
the children had singular histories. There was one little 
creature named Kitty, towards whom I confess my heart 
warmed especially, for her leonine disposition ! Whenever 
there was some mischief discovered and the question asked 
Who was in fault ? invariably Kitty's hand went up : ^' I did 
it, ma'am;" and the penalty, even of incarceration in a 
certain dreaded '^ cell," was heroically endured. Kitty had 
been duly convicted at Sessions at the mature age of ten. Of 
what high crime and misdemeanour does the reader suppose ? 
Pilfering, perhaps, a pocket handkerchief, or a penny ? Not 
at all ! Of nothing less than Horee-atealing / She and her 
brother, a mite two years younger than herself, were 
dispatched by their vagabond parents to journey by one 
road, while they themselves travelled by another, and on 
the way the children, who were, of course, directed to pick 
and steal all they could lay hands on, observed an old grey 
mare feeding in a field near the road and reflecting that a 
ride on horseback would be preferable to their pilgrimage 
on foot, they scrambled on the mare's back and by some means 
guided her down the road and went off in triumph. The 
aggrieved farmer to whom the mare belonged, brought the 
delinquents to justice, and after being tried with all the 
solemn forms of British law (their heads scarcely visible 
over the dock), the children were sent respectively to a Boy's 
Reformatory, and to Bed Lodge. We kept Kitty, of course, 
till her full term expired when she was 15, and I am afraid 
Miss Carpenter strained the law a little in detaining her still 
longer to allow her to gain more discretion before returning 
to those dreadful tramps, her parents. She herself, indeed, 
felt the danger as she grew older, and attached herself much 
to us both. A teacher whom I had imported from Ireland 
(one of my own village pupils from Donabate) told me that 
Kitty spoke of us with tears, and that she had seen her one 






"^--i \ 









met'jMMatoeies. etc^ at br:st:i^ *•: 




Ins for 
2 G ::jr%, Xht ciafsK of 
an ber olfcer fprfrrgs^ Kissj kfc «^ to rejcni 

^»e bsr: and a ■ccitk or tvo 



later tiw pior cciti «&d cf few. c&:;z^t m tbe vrvccb^ 
haimte of lier famfl j. 

In M. "wiBt wiikb I Ka^tie to Bal Ixd^ two teak a£fx 
I was afernck by tiie iciprov^ pAjseai aspect of the poor 
gills in the cLazige of cnr socxeBBOKS. Tbe depreased. alzif :«< 
flattened Iotm of bead v^icn tike aperieoeed e%9 of Sbr 
Waher CWofton kad rM.i^ (as I &^ as atetritle ^Xcce^ 
of Letufilaiy ii'— ^ «aa no kc^cr Ti^c-Le; ror waft Urn 
mkeraUe Ikar-e^vd, scrofcloas appeacaoce of the fiieeE of 
manj of m j o^ p^^p^ -o be seen anr iDoreL TLirtj Tears 
have, I bope and believe, raked even the verj k>«egt 
etratnm of tbe popalatkiD of Frglaiad 

Mis Cafpenter's work in fatn^iii^ tk« fint Eelbnnaiorj 
for girl-eiiminals vitb tbe monifcecii aid of that gesMBPOGS 
wdbmh I^df J^tod, ba» bejond qaesdon, eontriboted in 
no mean degree to tK^Ti^ng tbe lanks of female crime 
during the kat quarter of a eentory. lasoing from tbe Bed 
Lodge at tbe end of their f cnr or five jeers' term of 
confinement and in^trtictka, the girSs rarehr retaraed, 
like poor Kitty, to their parents, but passed first throc^b 
a prnhntiop as Mim Ckrpenter^s ovn aernrnts in ber 
private boofle^ under good MarianEeand ber soeeesgony and 
then into that humbler sort of domestic serriee vbicb is best 
for girls of tiieir daas ; I mean that wherein the mistreas 
works and takes ber meals with the servant. TbejHideand 
joy of these giris whan th^ settled into stead J osefiibieaB was 
often a pleasare to witnwM. Misi Carpenter need to saj. 



REFORMATORIES, ETC, AT BRISTOL, 291 

day, when given a stocking of mine whereupon to practise 
darning, furtively kissing it when she thought no one was 
observing her. She once said, ^' Grod bless Exeter jail ! I 
should never have been here but for that.'* But at last, 
like George Eliot's Gipst/y the claims of race over-mastered 
all her other feelings. Kitty left us to rejoin her mother, 
who had perpetually called to see her ; and a month or two 
later the poor child died of fever, caught in the wretched 
haunts of her family. 

In a visit which I made to Bed Lodge two years ago, 
I was struck by the improved physical aspect of the poor 
girls in the charge of our successors. The depressed, almost 
flattened form of head which the experienced eye of Sir 
Walter Crof ton had caught (as I did), as a terrible '^ Note " 
of hereditary crime, was no longer visible ; nor was the 
miserable blear-eyed, scrofulous appearance of the faces of 
many of my old pupils to be seen any more. Thirty years 
have, I hope and believe, raised even the very lowest 
stratum of the population of England. 

Miss Carpenter's work in founding the first Eeformatory 
for girl-criminals with the munificent aid of that generous 
woman Lady Byron, has beyond question, contributed in 
no mean degree to thinning the ranks of female crime 
during the last quarter of a century. Issuing from the Bed 
Lodge at the end of their four or five years' term of 
confinemetit and instruction, the girls rarely returned, 
like poor Kitty, to their parents, but passed first through 
a probation as Miss Carpenter's own servants in her 
private house, under good Marianne and her successors, and 
then into that humbler sort of domestic service which is best 
for girls of their class ; I mean that wherein the mistress 
works and takes her meals with the servant. The pride and 
joy of these girls when they settled into steady usefulness was 
often a pleasure to witness. Miss Carpenter used to say, 



292 CHAPTER X, 

" When I hear one of them talk of ' My Batchen/ I know it 
is all right ! " Of course many of them eventually married 
respectably. On the whole I do not think that more than 
five, or at the outside ten per cent, fell into either crime or 
vice after leaving Hed Lodge, and if we suppose that there 
have been something like 500 girls in the Reformatory since 
Lady Byron bought the Bed Lodge and dedicated it to that 
benevolent use, we may fairly estimate, that Mary Carpenter 
deflected towards goodness the lives of at least four himdred 
and fifty women, who, if she had not stirred in their interest, 
would almost inevitably have spent their days in crime or 
vice, and ended them either in jail or in the " Black Ward " 
of the workhouse. 

There is an epitaph on a good clergyman in one of the old 
churches of Bristol which I have always thought remarkably 
fine It runs thus as far as I remember : — 

** Marble may monlder, monuments decay. 
Time sweeps memorials from the earth away; 
But lasting records are to Brydges g^ven, 
The date Eternity, the archives Heaven ; 
There living tablets with his worth engraved 
Stand forth for ever in the seals he saved.** 

We do not, in. our day (unless we happen to belong to the 
Salvation Army) talk much about '' saving souls'' in the old 
Evangelical sense ; and I, at least, hold very strongly, and 
have even preached to the purpose, that every human soul 
is " Doomed to he ewoed^^ destined by irrevocable Divine love 
and mercy to be sooner or later, in this world or far o£P 
worlds to come, brought like the Prodigal to the Father's 
feet. But there is a very real sense in which a true 
philanthropist '' saves " his fellow men from moral evil — the 
sense in which FlutarAi uses the word, and which every 
theology must accept, and in this sense I unhestatingly 
affirm, that Mary Carpenter SAVBDfour hundred human souls. 



REFORMATORIES, EXa, AT BRISTOL. 293 

It must be borne in mind also that it was not only in her 
own special Beformatory that her work was carried on. By 
advocating in her books and by her active public pleading 
the modification . of the laws touching juvenile crime, she 
practically originated — ^in concert with Becorder Hill — the 
immense improvement which has taken place in the whole 
treatment of young criminals who, before her time, were 
simply sent to jail, and there too often stamped with the hall- 
mark of crime for life. 

As regards the other part of Miss Carpenter's work which 
she permitted me to share, — the Bagged Schools and Street- 
boys' Sunday School in St. James's Back, — I laboured, of 
course, under the same disadvantage as in the Bed Lodge of 
never clearly foreseeing how much would be understood of 
my words or ideas; and what would be most decidedly 
''caviar to the general" A ludicrous example of this 
occurred on one occasion. I always anxiously desired to 
instil into the minds of the children admiration for brave and 
noble deeds, and therefore told them stories of heroism 
whenever my subject a£Porded an opening for one. Having 
to give a lesson on France, and some boy asking a 
question about the Guillotine, I narrated, as vivaciously 
and di^matically as I knew how, the beautiful tale of the 
Nuns who chanted the Te Dewm on the scaffold, till one 
voice after another was silenced for ever, and the brave 
Abbess still continued to sing the grand old hymn of 
Ambrose, till her turn came for death. I fondly hoped 
that some of my own feelings in describing the scene 
were communicated to my audience. But such hopes were 
dashed when, a day or two later, Miss Carpenter came home 
from her lesson at the school, and said : '' My dear friend, 
what in the name of heaven can you have been teaching those 
boys? They were all excited about some lesson you had 
given them. They said you described cutting off a lot of 



294 CHAPTER X, 

heads ; and it was ' chop ! and a head fell into the basket ; 
and chop ! another head in the basket ! They said it was 
such a nice lesson ! ' But whose heads were cut off, or why, 
none of them remembered, — only chop ! and a head fell in 
the basket ! " 

I consoled myself, however, for this and many another 
defeat by the belief that if my lessons did not much instruct 
their wild pates, their hearts were benefitted in some small 
measure by being brought under my friendly influence. Miss 
Carpenter always made the schoolmaster of the Day School 
attend at our Sunday Night- School, fearing some wild 
outbreak of the 100 and odd boys and hobbledehoys who 
formed our congregation. The first Sunday, however, on 
which the school was given into my charge, I told the 
schoolmaster he might leave me and go home ; and I then 
stopped alone (we had no assistants) with the little herd. 
My lessons, I am quite sure, were all the more impressive ; 
and though Miss Carpenter was quite alarmed when she 
heard what I had done, she consented to my following my 
own system of confidence, and I never had reason to repent 
the adoption of it. 

In my humble judgment (and I know it was also that of 
one much better able to judge. Lord Shaftesbury) these elastic 
and irregular Bagged Schools were far better institutions for 
the class for whom they were designed than the cast-iron Board 
Schools of our time. They were specially designed to civilize 
the children : to Uvme them enough to induce them, for 
example, to sit reasonably still on a bench for half -an-hour at 
a time ; to wash their hands and faces ; to comb their 
hair ; to forbear from shouting, singing, '' turning wheels," 
throwing marbles, making faces, or similiarly disporting 
themselves, while in school ; after which preliminaries they 
began to acquire the art of learning lessons. It was not 
exactlv Education in the literary sense, but it was a Training, 



REFORMATORIES, ETC., AT BRISTOL, 295 

without which as a suhstructure the '* Three R's " are of little 
avail, — if we may believe in William of Wykeham's axiom 
that *' Manners makyth Manne." 

Another, and, as I think, great merit of the Ragged School 
system was, that decent and self-respecting parents who 
strove to keep their children from the contamination of the 
gutter and were wUling to pay their penny a week to send 
them to school, were not obliged, as now, to suffer their 
boys and girls to associate in the Board Schools with the very 
lowest and roughest of children fresh from the streets. 
Nothing has made me more indignant than a report I read 
some time ago in one of the newspapers of a poor widow who 
had *'seen better days," being summoned and fined for 
engaging a non-certified poor governess to teach her little 
girl, rather than allow the child to attend the Board School 
and associate with the girls she would meet there. As if all 
the learning of a Porson, if he could pour it into a chid's 
brain, would counterbalance in a young girl's mind the foul 
words and ideas familiar to the hapless children of the 
'* perishing and dangerous classes ! " 

People talk seriously of the physical infection which may 
be conveyed where many young children are gathered in 
close contiguity. They would, if they knew more, much 
more anxiously deprecate the moral contagion which may be 
introduced into a school by a single girl who has been 
initiated into the mysteries of a vicious home. On two 
separate occasions Miss Carpenter and I were startled by 
what I can only describe as a portentous wave of evil which 
passed over the entire community of 50 girls in the Bed 
Lodge. In each case it was undeniably traceable to the 
arrival of new comers who had been sent by mistake of 
magistrates to our Reformatory when they ought to have 
gone to a Penitentiary. It was impossible for us to guess 
how, with all the watchful guardianship of the teachers, these 



296 CHAPTER X 

unhappy girls had any opportunity for corrupting their 
oompanionB, but that they did so (temporarily only, as they 
were immediately disoovered and banished) I saw with my 
own eyes beyond possibility of mistake. 

It came to me as part of my work with Miss Carpenter to 
visit the homes of all the children who attended our Bagged 
Schools — either Day Schools or Night Schools ; nominally 
to see whether they belonged to the class which should 
properly benefit by gratuitous education, but also to find out 
whether I could do anything to amend their condition. 
Many were the lessons I learned respecting the ^' short '' but 
by no means '' simple " annals of the poor, when I made 
those visits all over the slums of BristoL 

The shoemakers were a very numerous and a very 
miserable class among the parents of our pupils. When any- 
thing interfered with trade they were at once thrown into 
complete idleness and destitution. Over and over again I 
tried to get the poor feUows, when they sat listless and 
lamenting, to turn to any other kind of labour in their own 
line ; to endeavour, e.g,j to make slippers for me, no matter 
how roughly, or to mend my boots ; promifdng similar orders 
from friends. Not one would, or could, do anything but sew 
upper or under leathers, as the case might be ! The men 
sat all day long when there was work, sewing in their stuffy 
rooms with their wives busy washing or attending to the 
children, and the whole place in a muddle ; but they would 
converse eagerly and intelligently with me about politics or 
about other towns and countries, whereas the poor over- 
worked women would never join in our talk. W hen I addressed 
them they at once called my attention to Jenny's torn frock 
and Tom's want of a new cap. One of these shoemakers, in 
whom I felt rather special interest, turned to me one day, 
looked me straight in the face, and said : " I want to ask 
you a question. Why does a lady like you come and sit and 



REFORMATORIES, ETC., AT BRISTOL. 297 

talk to me ? " I thonght it a true token of confidence, and 
was glad I could answer honestly that I had come first to 
see about his children, but now came because I liked him. 

Other cases which came to my knowledge in these rounds 
were dreadfully sad. In one poor room I found a woman 
who had been confined only a few days, sitting up in bed 
doing shopwork, her three or four UtUe children all endea- 
vouring to work likewise for the miserable pay. Her 
husband was out looking vainly for work. She showed me 
a sheaf of pawntickets for a large quantity of table and house 
linen and plated goods. Her husband and she had formerly 
kept a flourishing inn, but the railway had ruined it, and 
they had been obliged to give it up and come to live in 
Bristol, and get such work as they could do — ^at starvation 
wages. She was a gentle, delicate, fair woman, who had 
been lady's maid in a wealthy family known to me by name. 
I asked her did she not go out and bring the children to the 
Downs on a Sunday ? " Ah ! we tried it once or tvnce," 
she said, " but it was too terrible coming back to this room ; 
we never go now." 

Another case of extreme poverty was less tragic. 
There was a woman with three children whose husband 
was a soldier in India, to whom she longingly hoped to 
be eventually sent out by the military authorities. Mean- 
while she was in extreme poverty in Bristol, and so was 
her friend, a fine young Irish woman. Their sole resource 
was a neighbour who possessed a pair of good sheets, and 
was willing to lend them to them by day, provided they were 
restored for her own use every night ! This did not appear 
a very promising source of income, but the two friends 
contrived to make it one. They took the sheets of a morning 
to a pawnbroker who allowed them, — I think it was two 
shillings, upon them. With this they stocked a basket with 
oranges, apples, gooseberries, pins and needles, match boxes. 



298 CHAPTER X 

lace, — anything which could be had for such a price, 
according to the season. Then one or other of the friends 
arrayed herself in the solitary bonnet and shawl which they 
possessed between them, and sallied out for the day to dispose 
of her wares, while the other remained in their single room 
to take care of the children. The evening meal was bought 
and brought home by the outgoing friend with the proceeds 
of her day's sales, and then the sheets were redeemed from 
pawn at the price of a halfpenny each day and gratefully 
restored to the proprietor. This ingenious mode of filling 
five mouths went on, with a little help, when I came to know 
of it, in the way of a fresh-filled basket — for a whole winter. 
I thought it so curious that I described it to dear Harriet St. 
Leger one day when she was passing through Bristol and 
spent some hours with me. She was affected almost to tears 
and pushed into my hand, at the last moment at the Station, 
all the silver in her purse, to give to the friends. The money 
amounted to 7s. 6d., and when Harriet was gone I hastened 
to give it to the poor souls. It proved to be one of the 
numerous occasions in life in which I have experienced a sort 
of fatality, as if the chance of doing a bit of good to somebody 
were offered to us by Providence to take or leave and, if we 
postpone taking it, the chance is lost. I was tired, and the 
room inhabited by the poor women was, as it happened, at 
the other end of Bristol, and I could not indulge myself with 
a fly, but I reflected that the money now really belonged to 
them, and I was bound to take it to them without delay. 
When I reached their room I found I was in the very nick of 
time. An order had come for the soldier's wife to present 
herself at some military office next day with her children, 
and with a certain " kit " of clothes and utensils for the 
voyage, and if all were right she would be sent to join her 
husband's regiment in India by a vessel to sail immediately. 
Without the proper outfit she would not have been taken ; 



REFORMATORIES, ETC., AT BRISTOL. 2^ 

and of course the poor soul bad no kit and was in an agony 
of anxiety. Harriet's gift, with some trifling addition, 
happily supplied all that was wanted. 

I did not see so much of drunkenness in Bristol as the 
prominence given to the subject by many philanthropists led 
me to expect. Of course I came across terrible cases of it 
now and then, as for example a little boy of ten at our Bagged 
School who begged Miss Carpenter to let him go home at 
mid-day, and on enquiry, it proved that he wanted to rdectae 
his mother, whom he had locked in, dead-drunk, at nine in 
the morning. I also had a frightful experience of the case 
of the drunken wife of a poor man dying of agonizing cancer. 
The doctor who attended him told me that a little brandy was 
the only thing to help him, and I brought small quantities to 
him frequently, till, when I was leaving home for three weeks, 
I thought it best to give a whole bottle to his wife imder 
injunctions to administer it by proper degrees. Happening 
to pass by the door of the wretched couple a day later, before 
I started, I saw a small crowd, and asked what had happened? 
*' Mrs. Whale had been drinking and had fallen down stairs 
and broken her neck and was dead." Horror-struck I 
mounted the almost perpendicular stair and found it was so ; 
the poor hapless husband was still aUvc^ and my empty brandy 
bottle was on the table. 

The other great form of vice however was thrust much 
more often on my notice— the ghastly ruin of the wretched 
girls who fell into it and the nameless damnation of the hags 
and Jews who traded on their souls and bodies. The cruelty 
of the fate of some of the young women was often piteous. 
Thankful I am that the law for assaults has been made since 
those days far more stringent and is oftener put in force. 
There were stories which came to my personal knowledge 
which would draw tears from many eyes were I to tell them, 
but the vpLOTQ cruel the wrong done^ the more difficult it 



300 CHAPTER X. 

generally proved to indnoe anybody to undertake to receive 
the victims into their houses on any terms. 

A gentleman whom I met in Italy, who knew Bristol well, 
told me he had watched a poor young sailor's destruction 
under the influence of some of the eighteen hundred miserable 
women then infesting the city. He had just been paid off 
and had received X73 for a long service at sea. Mr. Empson 
first saw him in the fangs of two of the wretched creatures, 
and next, six weeks later, he found him dying in the 
Infirmary, having spent every shilling of his money in drink 
and debauchery. He told Mr. Empson that, after the first 
week, he had never taken any food at all, but lived only on 
stimulants. 



CHAPTER 



XI. 



BRISTOL. 



THE SICK IN WORKHOUSES. 



CHAPTER XT. 
Bristol. — ^The Sick in Workhouses. 

Mt new life on Durdham Down, though solitary, was a 
very happy one. I had two nice rooms in Belgrave House 
(then the last house on the road opening on the beautiful 
Downs from the Bedland side), wherein a bright, exoellent, 
pretty widow, Mrs. Stone, kept several suites of lodgings. 
It is not often, alas ! that the relations of lodger and landlady 
are altogether pleasant, but in my case they were eminently 
so, and resulted in cordial and permanent mutual regard. 
My little bedroom opened by a French window on a balcony 
leading to a small garden, and beyond it I had an immense 
view of Bristol and the surrounding country, over the smoke 
of which the rising sun often made Turneresque pictures. 
My sitting room had a front and a comer view of the 
delightful Downs as far as '* Cook's Folly" and the Nightingale 
Valley ; and often, over the " Sea Wall," the setting sun went 
down in great glory. I walked down every week-day into 
Bristol (of course I needed more than ever to economise, and 
even the omnibus fare had to be considered), and went 
about my various avocations in the schools and work-, 
house till I could do no more, when I made my way 
home as cheaply as I could contrive, to dinner. I had 
my dear dog Haj jin, a lovely mouse-coloured Pomeranian, for 
companion at all times, and on Sundays we generally treated 
ourselves to a good ramble over the Downs and beyond 
them, perhaps as far as Kings'-Weston. The whole district 
is dear to me still. 

The return to fresh air and to something like country life 
was delightful. It had been, I must avow, an immense 



304 CHAPTER XL 

strain on my resolution to live in Bristol among all the 
sordid surroundings of Miss Carpenter's house ; and when 
onoe in a way in those days I left them and caught a glimpse 
of the country, the effoH to force myself back was a hard 
one. One soft spring day, I remember, I had gone across 
the Downs and sat for half an hour under a certain horse- 
chestnut tree, which was that day in all the exquisite beauty 
of its young green leaves. I felt this was all I wanted to be 
happy — merely to live in the beauty and peace of Nature, as 
of o]d at Newbridge ; and I reflected that, of course, I oovld 
do it, at once, by breaking off with Miss Carpenter 
and giving up my work in hideous Bristol. But, per 
contra^ I had concluded that this work was wanted to 
be done and that I could do it ; and had seriously 
given myself to it, believing that so I could best do 
Qod's wilL Thus there went on in my mind for a little 
while a very stiff fight, one of those which leave us 
either stronger or weaker ever after. Now at last, without 
any effort on my part, the bond which held me to live in Bed 
Lodge House, was loosened, and I was able both to go on 
with my work in Bristol and also to breathe the fresh air in 
the morning and to see the sun rise and set, and often to 
enjoya healthful run over those beautiful Downs. By degrees, 
also, I made several friendships in the neighbourhood, some 
most dear and faithful ones which have lasted ever since; and 
many people were very kind to me and helped me in various 
ways in my work. I shall speak of these friends in another 
chapter. 

One of my superstitions has long been that if any particular 
task seems to us at the first outlook specially against the 
grain, it will continually happen that in the order of things 
it comes knocking at our door and practically saying to our 
consciences : " Are you going to get up and do what is 
wanted, or sit still and please yourself with something else ** f 



BRtSTOL.—THE SICK IN W0RKU0V8E8. 805 

In this gnise of disagreeability, workhoase visitiiig first 
presented itself to me. "Hiss Carpenter freqnently men- 
tioned the workhonse as a place which ought to be 
looked after; and which she belieyed sadly wanted 
voluntary inspection; bnt the very name conveyed to me 
such an impression of dreary hopelessness that I shrank from 
the thought. When St. Paul coupled Hope with Faith and 
Charity he might have said ''these three are one/' for 
without the Hope of achieving some good (or at least of 
stopping some evil) it is hard to gird ourselves to any 
practical exertion for our fellow creatures. To lift up the 
criminal and perishing classes of the community and cut off 
the root of crime and vice by training children in morality and 
religion, this waS a soul-inspiring idea. But to bring a small 
modicum of cheer to the aged and miserable paupers, who 
may be supposed generally to be undergoing the inevitable 
penalties of idle or drunken lives, was far from equally up- 
lifting I However, my first chance-visit to St. Peter's in 
Bristol with Miss Elliot, showed me so much to be done, so 
many claims to S3rmpathy and pity, and the sore lack of some- 
body, unconnected officially with the place, to meet them, 
that I at once felt that here I must put in my oar. 

The condition of the English workhouses generally at that 
period (1859) was very different from what it is now. I 
visited many of them in the following year or two in London 
and the provincial towns, and this is what I saw. The 
sick lay on wretched beds, fit only for able-bodied tramps, and 
were nursed mostly by old pauper women of the very lowest 
class. The infirm wards were very frequently placed in the 
worst possible positions. I remember one (in London) which 
resounded all day long with din from an iron-foundry just 
beneath, so that one could not hear oneself speak ; and 
another, of which the windows could not be opened in the 

hottest weather, because carpets were taken to be beaten in 
VOL. I ^ 



806 CHAPTER XL 

the court below. The treatment of the pauper children was 
no less deplorable. They wer% joyless, spiritless little 
creatures, without " mothering " (as blessed Mrs. Senior said 
a few years later), without toys, without the chance of learning 
anything practical for use in after life, even to the lighting of 
a fire or cooking a potato. Their poor faces were often 
scarred by disease and half blinded by ophthalmia. The girls 
wore the hideous workhouse cotton frocks, not half warm 
enough to keep them healthy in those bare, draughty 
wards, and heavy bob-nailed shoes which acted like gaUey- 
slaves' bullets on their feet when they were turned to '' play " 
b a high- walled, sunless yard, which was sometimes, as I have 
seen, six inches deep in coarse gravel. As to the infants, if 
they happened to have a good motherly matron it was so far 
well, though even she (mostly busy elsewhere) could do but 
little to make the crabbed old pauper nurses kind and patient. 
But how often, we might ask, were the workhouse matrons 
of those days really kind-hearted and motherly ? Of course 
they were selected by the gentlemen guardians (there were 
no ladies then on the Boards) for quite other merits ; and 
as Miss Carpenter once remarked to mo from the depth of 
her experience : — 

" There never yet was man so clever hut the Matron of an 
Institution could bamboozle him about every department of 
her business!" 

I have sat in the Infants' ward when an entire Board of 
about two dozen gentlemen tramped through it, for what they 
considered to be <' inspection " ; and anything more helpless 
and absurd than those masculine ** authorities " appeared as 
they glanced at the little cots (never daring to open one of 
them) while the awakened babies screamed at them in chorus, 
it has seldom been my lot to witness. 

On xme occasion I visited an enormous workhouse in a 
provincial town where there were nearly 500 sick and infirm 



BR18T0L.'---THE 8I0K IN WORKHOUSES. 807 

patients. The Matron told me she had bnt lately been 
appointed to her post. I said, "It is a tremendonsly heavy 
charge for yon, especially with only these panper nurses. No 
donbt you have gone through a course of Hospital training, 
and know how to direct ever3rthing ? " 

" 0, dear No 1 Madam 1 " replied the lady with a toss of 
her cap-strings; ''I never nursed anybody I can assure 
you, except my 'usband, before I came here. It was 
misfortune brought me to this t " 

How many other Masters and Matrons throughout the 
country received their appointments with as little fitness for 
them and simply as favours from influential or easy-going 
guardians, who may guess ? 

I had at this time become acquainted with the friend whose 
comradeship — cemented in the dreary wards of Bristol Work- 
house more than 80 years ago — ^has been ever since one of the 
great pleasures of my life. All those who know Miss Elliot, 
daughter of the late Dean of Bristol, will admit that it would 
be very superfluous, not to say impertinent, to enlarge on the 
privileges of friendship with her. Miss Elliot was at that 
time living at the old Deanery close to Bristol Cathedral, and 
taking part in every good work which was going on in the 
city and neighbourhood. Among other things she had been 
teaching regularly for years in Miss Carpenter's Beformatory, 
regardless of the prejudice against her unitariaoism ; and one 
day she called at Miss Carpenter's house to ask her what was 
to be done with Kitty, who had been very naughty. Miss 
Carpenter asked her to see the lady who had come to work 
with her ; and we met for the first time. Miss Elliot begged 
me to return her visit, and though nothing was further from 
my mind at that time than to enter into an3rthing like 
society, I was tempted by the great attractions of my brilliant 
young friend and her sister and of the witty and wide- 
minded Dean, and before long (especially after I went to 



308 OHAPTUR XL 

live alone) 1 enjoyed mnoh intercourse with the delightfu] 
honsehold. 

Miss Elliot had been in the habit of visitiog a poor old 
woman named Mrs. Buckley, who had formerly lived dose 
to the Deanery and had been removed to the workhouse; 
and one day she asked me to accompany her on her errand. 
This being over, I wandered off to the various wards where 
other poor women, and also the old and invalid men, spent 
their dreary days, and soon perceived how large a field was 
open for usefulness in the place. 

The first matter which occupied us was the condition of 
the sick and infirm paupers ; first of the women only ; later of 
both men and women. The good Master and Matron 
admitted us quite freely to the wards, and we saw and knew 
everything which was going on. St. Peter's was an 
exceptional workhouse in many respects. The house was 
evidently at one time (about a.d. 1600, like Bed Lodge) the 
mansion of some merchant prince of Bristol, erected in the 
midst of the city. The outer walls are still splendid 
specimens of old English wood and stonework ; and, within, 
the Board-room exhibits still a magnificent chimney-piece. 
The larger part of the buildiug, however, has been puUed 
about and fashioned into large wards, with oak-beamed 
rafters on the upper floor, and intricate stairs and passages 
in all directions. Able-bodied paupers and casuals were 
lodged elsewhere (at Stapleton Workhouse) and were not 
admitted here. There were only the sick, the aged, the 
infirm, the insane and epileptic patients and lying-in women. 

Here are some notes of the inmates of this place by Miss 
ElHot :— 

'* 1. An old woman of nearly 80, and as I thought beyond 
power of understanding me. Onoe however when I was 
saying * good-bye * before an absence of some months, I was 
attracted by her feeble efforts to catch my attention. She 



BBISTOL.-^THE SICK IN WORKHOUSES. 809 

took my hand and gasped ont ' Gkxl bless yon ; yon wont 
find me when yon oome back. Thank yon for ooming.* 
[ said most trnly that I had neyer been any good to her, 
and how sorry I was I had never spoken to her. ' Oh, bnt 
I see yonr face ; it is always a great pleasnxe and seems 
bright. I was praying for yon last night. I don*ii sleep 
much of a night. I thank yon for coming.* .... 2. A 
woman between fifty and sixty dying of liver disease. She 
had been early left a widow, had stmggled bravely, and 
reared her son so well that he became foreman at one of the 
first printing establishments in the city. His master gave 
as an exoellent character of him. The poor mother 
unhappily had some illness which long confined her in 
another hospital, and when she left it her son was dead ; 
dead without her care in his last honrs. The wom-ont and 
broken-down mother, too weak and hopeless to work any 
longer, came to her last place of refuge in the workhouse. 
There, day by day, we found her sitting on the side of her 
bed, reading and trying to talk cheerfully, but always 
breaking down utterly when she came to speak of her son. 
8. Opposite to her an old woman of ninety lies, too weak 
to sit up. One day, not thinking her asleep, I went to her 
bedside. I shall never forget the start of joy, the eager 
hand, * Oh, Mary, Mary, you are come 1 Is it you at last ? ' 
'Ah, poor dear,' said the women round her, *she most 
always dreams of Mary. 'Tis her daughter, ladies, in 
London ; she has written to her often, but don't get any 
answer.' The poor old woman made profpse apologies for 
her mistake, and laid her head wearily on the pillow where 
she had rested and dreamed, literally' for years, of Mary. 

" 4. Further on is a girl of sixteen, paralyzed hopelessly 
for life. She had been maid-of-all-work in a family of 
twelve, and under her fearful drudgery had broken down 
thus early. ' Oh, ma'am,' she said with bursts of agony, 
* I did work ; I was always willing to work, if God would 
let me ; I did work while I could, but I shall never get 
well ; Never 1 ' Alas, she may live as long as the poor 
oripple who died here last summer, after lying forty-six 



BIO CHAPTER XL 

years in the same bed, gazing on the same blank, white 
wall. 5. The meet oheerfol woman in the ward is one 
who can never rise from her bed; bnt she is a good 
needlewoman, and is constantly employed in making $hroudi. 
It would seem as if the dismal work gave her an interest 
in something ontside the ward, and she is quite eager 
when the demand for her manufaotore is especially great I 

" In the Surgical Ward are some eight or ten patients ; 
all in painful diseases. One is a young girl dying of con- 
sumption, complicated with the most awful wounds on her 
poor limbs. * But they don't hiirt so bad,' she says, ' as 
any one would think who looked at them ; and it will soon 
be all over. I was just thinking it was four years to-day 
since I was brought into the Penitentiary, (it was after an 
attempt to drown herself after a sad life at Aldershot); 'and 
now I have been here three years. God has been very good 
to me, and brought me safe when I didn't deserve it.' Over 
her head stands a print of the Lost Sheep, and she likes to 
have that parable read to her. Very soon that sweet, fair 
young face, as innocent as I have |ever seen in the world, 
will bear no more marks of pain. Life's whole tragedy 
will have been ended, and she is only just nineteen I *' 

[A few weeks later, on Easter Sunday morning when the 
rising sun was shining into the curtainless ward, the few 
patients who were awake saw this poor girl, who had not 
been able to raise herself or sit upright for many weeks, 
suddenly start forward, sitting straight up in bed with her 
arms lifted and an expression of ecstacy on her face, and 
something like a cry of joy on her lips. Then she fell back, 
and all was over. The incident, which was in every way 
striking and affecting, helped me to recall the conviction 
(set forth in my Peak in Darim), that the dying do, some- 
times, catch a glimpse of blessed friends waiting for them 
on the threshold.] 

" A little way off lies a woman dying in severest sufferings 
which have lasted long, and may yet last for weeks. Such 
part of her poor face as may be seen expresses almost 
angelic patience and submission, and thp little she can say 



BRI8T0L.^THE SICE IN WORKHOUSHS. 811 

is all of gratitade to God and man. On the box beside hei 
bed there stands nsoally a cap with a few flowers, or even 
leayes or weeds — something to which, in the midst of 
that sickening disease, she can look for beanty. When we 
bring her flowers her pleasure is almost too affecting to 
witness. She says she remembers when she used to climb 
the hedge rows to gather them in the *■ beantifal country.* " 

Among the few ways open to us of relieving the miserieg 
of these sick wards and of the parallel ones on the other side 
occupied by male sufferers, were the following : — The intro 
duction of a few easy chairs with cushions for those who 
could sit by the Are in winter, and whose thinly-dothed 
frames could not bear the benches. Also bed-rests, — ^long 
knitted ones, fastened to the lower posts of the bed and passed 
behind the patient's back, so as to form a kind of sitting 
hammock, — ^very great comforts where there is only one small 
bolster or pillow and the patient wants to sit up in bed. 
Occasionally we gave little packets of good tea ; workhouse 
tea at that time being almost too nauseous to drink 
We also brought pictures to hang on the walls. These we 
bought coloured and cheaply framed or varnished. Theb 
effect upon the old women, especially pictures of children, 
was startling. One poor soul who had been lying opposite 
the same blank wall for twenty years, when I laid one of tbi! 
coloured engravings on her bed preparatory to hanging it 
before her, actually kissed the face of the little child in the 
picture, and burst into tears. 

Further, we brought a canary in a cage to hang in the window. 
This seems an odd gift, but it was so successful that I believe 
the good visitors who came after us have maintained a series 
of canaries ever since our time. The common interest excited 
by the bird brought friendliness and cheerfulness among the 
poor old souls, some of whom had kept up *' a coolness " for 
years while Hving next to one another on their beds 1 The 
sleepless ones gloried in the summer-moming-song of Dicky, 



812 CHAPTER XL 

and every poor visitor, daughter or grand-danghter, was sure to 
bring a handfdl of groundsel to the general rejoicing of Dicky's 
friends. Of course, we also brought flowers whenever we 
could contrive it; or a little summer fruit or winter apples. 

Lastly, Books, magazines, and simple papers of various 
kinds ; such as Household Words, Chambers* Magazine^ &c. 
These were eagerly borrowed and exchanged, especially among 
the men. Nothing could be more dreary than the lives of 
those who were not actually su£fering from any acute 
malady but were paralysed or otherwise disabled from 
work. I remember a ship-steward who had been struck 
with hemiplegia, and had spent the savings of his life 
time — no less than £800, — in fritile efforts at cure. Another 
was a once-smart groom whom my friend exhorted to patience 
and thankfulness. *^ Yes, Ma'am," he replied promptly, ^* I 
will be very thankful, — when I get out! " 

As an example of the kind of way in which every sort of 
wretchedness drains into a workhouse and of what need 
there is for someone to watch for it there, I may record how 
we one day perceived at the far end of a very large ward a 
figure not at all of the normal workhouse stamp, — an 
unmistakeable gentleman, — sitting on the side of his bed. 
With some diffidence we offered him the most recent and 
least childish of our literature. He accepted the papers 
graciously, and we learnt from the Master that the poor man 
had been found on the Downs a few days before with his 
throat cut; happily not irreparably. He had come from 
Australia to Europe to dispute some considerable property, 
and had lost both his lawsuit and the friendship of all his 
English relatives, and was starving, and totally unable to pay 
his passage back to his wife and children at the Antipodes. 
We got up a little subscription, and the good Freemasons, 
finding him to be a Brother, did the rest, and sent him home 
across the seas, rejoicing, and with his throat mended ! 



BRISTOL.— THE SICK IN WORKHOUSES. 813 

But the cases of the iiuiurable poor weighed heavily on ns, 
and as we studied it more, we came to see how exceedingly 
piteous is their destiny. We found that it is not an 
accidental misfortune, hut a regular descent down the well- 
worn channels of Poverty, Disease and Death, for men and 
women to go to one or other of the 270 hospitals for cwrabU 
patients which then existed in England (there must he many 
more now), and after a longer or shorter sojourn, to he 
pronounced '^ incurahle,*' destined perhaps to linger for a 
year or several years, hut to die inevitahly from 
Consumption, Cancer or some other of the dreadful maladies 
which afflict human nature. What then becomes of them ? 
Their homes, if they had any before going into the hospital, 
are almost sure to be too crowded to receive them back, or 
too poor to supply them with both support and nursing for 
months of helplessness. There is no resource for them but 
the workhouse, and there they sink down, hopeless and 
miserable ; the hospital comforts of good beds and furniture 
and carefully prepared food and skilled nurses all lost, and 
only the hard workhouse bed to lie, and die upon. The 
burst of agony with which many a poor creature has told 
me : '' I am sent here because I am incurable," remains one 
of the saddest of my memories. 

Miss Elliot's keen and practical mind turned over the 
problem of how this misery could be in some degree 
alleviated. There was no use in trying to get sufficient 
Hospitals for Incurables opened to meet the want. There 
were only two at that time in England, and they received 
(as they do now) a rather different class from those with 
whom we are concerned; namely, the deformed and 
permanently diseased. At the lowest rate of £80 a year it 
would have needed £900,000 a year to house the 80,000 
patients whom we should have wished to take from the 
workhouses. The only possible plan was to improve their 



814 CHAPTER XI. 

eondiiion in the workhouses ; and this we fondly hoped might 
be done (without burdening the ratepayers) by our plan, 
which was as follows : — 

That the incurables in workhouses should be avowedly 
distinguished from other paupers, and separate wards be 
allowed to them. That into those wards private charity be 
freely admitted and permitted to introduce, with the sanction 
of the medical officer, such comforts as would alleviate the 
Bu£ferings of the inmates, e.g., good spring beds, or air beds ; 
easy-chairs, air-cushions, small refreshments such as good 
tea and lemons and oranges (often an immense boon to the 
sick) ; also snuff, cough lozenges, spectacles, flowers in the 
window, books and papers ; and, above all, kindly visitors. 

The plan was approved by a great many experienced men 
and women ; and, as it would not have added a shilling any- 
where to the rates, we were very hopeful that it might be 
generally adopted. Several pamphlets which we wrote, " The 
Workhouse as a Hospital,** DesHtiOe Incurables, and the 
"iStc/p in Workhouses,*' and " Eemarks on Incurahles,** were 
widely circulated. The newspapers were very kind, and 
leaders or letters giving us a helping hand were inserted in 
nearly all, except the Saturday Review, which refused even 
one of its own regular contributors' requests to introduce the 
subject. I wrote an article called Workhouse Sketches for 
Macmillan's Magazine, dealing with the whole subject, and 
begged that it might be inserted gratuitously. To my delight 
the editor, Mr. Masson, wrote to me the following kind letter 
which I have kept among my pleasant souvenirs :— < 

** 23, Henrietta Street, 
** Covent (harden, 

" February 18th, 1861. 
** Dear Madam, 

" As soon as possible in this part of the month, when 
there is much to do with the forthcoming number, I have 



BBISTOL.—THE 8I0K IN WORKHOUSES. 815 

read your paper. Having an almost countless nmnbor of 
MSS. in hand, I greatly feared I might, though very 
reluctantly, he compelled to return it, hut the reading of 
it has so convinced me of the great importance of arousing 
interest in the subject, and the paper itself is so touching, 
that I think I ought, with whatever difficulty, to find a place 
for it 

" In any case accept my best thanks for the opportunity 
of reading so admirable and powerful an experience ; and 
allow me to express my regret that I had not the pleasure 
of meeting you at Mrs. Beid's. 

" I am, dear Madam, 

" Tours very truly, 

•(David Masson. 

** Miss Frances Power Cobbe. 

'* Should yon object to your name appearing in connexion 
with this paper ? It is our usual practice." 

The paper appeared ajid soon after, to my equal astonish- 
ment and delight, came a cheque for £14. It was the first 
money I had ever earned and when I had cashed the cheque 
I held the sovereigns in my hand and tossed them with a 
sense of pride and satisfEu^tion which the gold of the Indies, 
if gained by inheritance, would not have given me ! Naturally 
I went down straight to St. Peter's and gave the poor old 
souls such a tea as had not been known before in the memory 
of the <' oldest inhabitant." 

We also printed, and ourselves directed and posted circulars 
to the 666 Unions which then existed in England. We 
received a great many friendly letters in reply, and promises 
of help from Guardians in carrying out our plan. A certain 
nxmiber of Unions, I think 15, actually adopted it and set it 
going. We also induced the Social Science people, then very 
active and influential, to take it up, and papers on it were 
read at the Congresses in Glasgow and Dublin ; the latter 



81rt CHAPTER XL 

by myself. The Hon. Sec. (then the yonng poetess Isa 
Craig) wrote to me as follows : 

" National Association 
** For the Promotion of Social Science, 

" 8, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, 
« 28th December, 1860. 
" Dear Miss Oobbe, 

** The case of the poor * incnrables ' is troly heartrending. 
I cried over the proof of yonr paper — a qneer proceeding on 
the part of the Snb-editor of the Social Science Transactions, 
but I hope an earnest of the sympathy your noble appeal 
shall meet with whereyer onr yolnme goes, setting in action 
the ronsed sense of humanity and jtMttM to remedy such 
bitter wrong and misery. 

" Yours sincerely, 

«* ISA Obaio.*' 

A weightier testimony was that of the late Master oi 
Balliol. The following letters from him on the subject are, 
I think, very characteristic and charming : — 

** Coll. de Ball., Oxon. 

** Hawhead, near Selkirk, 

<* Sept. 24th. 
'* Dear Miss Cobbe, 

**I am very much obliged to you for sending me the 
extract from the newspaper which contams the plan for 
Destitute Incurables. I entirely agree in the object and 
greatly like the touching and simple manner in which you 
have described it. 

** The only thing that occurs to me in passing is whether 
the system of outdoor relief to incurables should not also be 
extended ? Many would still require to be received into the 
house (I do not wish in any degree to take away from the 
poor the obligation to support their Incurables outdoors, 
and it is, perhaps, better to trust to the natural human 
pity of a cottage than to the better attendance* warmth, fto.. 



ARlSTOL-^tHB BtOK Ilf W0RKB0U8]S8. 811 

of a workhonse). Bat I daresay you are right in stiddng 
to a simple point. 

"All the world seems to he divided into Political 
Eoonomists, Poor Law Commissioners, Guardians, Police- 
men, smd Philanthropists, Enthusiasts, and Christian 
Socialists. Is there not a large intermediate ground which 
anyone who can write might occupy, and who could comhine 
a real knowledge of the prohlems to he solved with the 
enthusiasm which impels a person to devote their life to 
solving them ? 

" The way would he to hide the philanthropy altogether 
as a weakness of the flesh ; and sensible people would then 
be willing to listen. 

*' I entirely like the plan and wish it success 

" I am afraid that I am not likely to have an opportunity 
of making the scheme known. But if you have any other 
objects in which I can help you I shall think it a great 
pleasure to do so. 

"Bemember me most kindly to the Dean and his 
daughters. I thought they were not going to banish 
themselves to Cannes. Wherever they are I cannot easily 
forget them. 

*' I hope you enjoy Garibaldi's success. It is one of the 
very few public events that seem to make life happier. 

'* Believe me, with sincere respect, 

" Yours truly, 

•'B. JOWETT." 

" Coll. de Ball., Oxon. 
** Dear Miss Cobbe, 

*' I write a line to thank you for the little pamphlet you 
have sent me which I read and like very much. 

*' There is no end of good that you may do by writing in 
that simple and touching style upon social questions. 

"But don't go tor war with PoliticcJ Economy. 1st. 
Because the P. E.'s are a powerful and dangerous class. 



nin CHAPTER XL 

2iid. Becaase it is impossible for ladios and gentlemen lio 
fill np the inberstioes of legislation if they run counter to the 
oonmion motives of self-interest. 3rd. (You won't agroe to 
this) Because the P. E.'s have really done more for the 
labouring classes by their advocacy of free trade, &c., than 
all the Philanthropists put together. 

** I wish that it were possible as a matter of taste to get 
rid of all philanthropic expressions, ' missions, &c.,' which 
are distasteful to the educated. But I suppose they are 
necessary for the Collection of Money. And no doubt as a 
matter of taste there is a good deal that might be corrected 
in the Political Economists. 

'* The light of the feelings never teaches the best way of 
dealing with the world en masse and the dry light never 
finds its way to the heart either of man or beast. 

**You see I want all the humanities combined with 
Political Economy. Perhaps, it may be replied that such 
a combination is not possible in human nature. 

" Excuse my speculations and believe me in haste, 

" Yours very truly, 

B. JOWETT." 

About the same time that we began to visit the Bristol work 
house, Miss Louisa Twining bravely undertook a systematic 
reform of the whole system throughout the country. It was 
an enormous task, but she had great energy, and a fund of 
good sense; and with the support of Lord Mount-Temple 
(then Hon. William Gowper-Temple), Mrs. Tait, and several 
other excellent and influential persons, she carried out a 
grand reformation through the length and breadth of the land. 
Her Workhouse Visiting Society, and the monthly Journal 
she edited as its organ, brought by degrees good sense and 
good feeling quietly and unostentatiously to bear on the 
Boards of Guardians and their officials all over the country, 
and one abuse after another was disclosed, discussed, 
condemned, and finally, in most cases abolished. I went up 



BRISTOL.-^THE 8I0K IN WORKHOUSES. 819 

for a short visit to London at one time on purpose to learn 
all I conld from General Twining (as I used to call her), and 
^hen returned to Bristol. I have been gratified to read in 
her charming RecoUecHons published last year (1898), that 
in her well-qaalified judgment Miss Elliot's work and mine 
was really the beginning of much that has subsequently been 
done for the sick and for workhouse girls. She says : 

*'In 1861* began the consideration of 'Destitute Incura- 
bles,' which was in its results to bring forth such a complete 
reform in the care of the sick in Workhouses, or at least 
I am smrely justified in considering it one of the good seeds 
sown, which bought forth fruit in due season. One of the 
first to press the claims of these helpless ones on the 
notice of the public, who were, almost universally, utterly 
ignorant of their existence and their needs, was Frances 
Power Cobbe, who was then introduced to me ; she lived 
near Bristol, and with her friend Miss EUiot, also of that 
place, had long visited the workhouse, and become 
acquainted with the inmates, helping more especially the 
school children, and befriending the girls after they went 
to service. This may be said to be one of the first begin- 
nings of all those efforts now so largely developed by more 
than one society expressly for this object. 

" I accompanied Miss Cobbe to the St. Giles's Schools 
and to the Strand, West London, and Holbom Unions, 
and to the Hospital for Incurables at Putney, in aid of 
her plans." — Recollections, p. 170. 

While our plan for the Incurables was still in progress, I 
was obliged to spend a winter in Italy for my health, and on 
my way I went over the Hotel Dieu and the SalpStridre in Paris, 
and several hospitals in Italy, to learn how best to treat this 
class of sufferers. I did not gain much. There were no 
arrangements that I noticed as better or more humane than 



• Miss Elliot and I had began it a year sooner, as stated above. 



620 CHAPTER XL 

oar own, and in many cases they seemed to be worse. In 
particular the proximity of infections with other cases in the 
Hotel Dien was a great evil. I was examining the bed of a 
poor victim of rheumatism when, on looking a few feet across 
the floor, I beheld the most awful case of smalI«pox which 
conld be conceived. Both in Paris, Florence and the great 
San-Spirito Hospital in Rome, the nurses, who in those days 
all were Sisters of Charily, seemed to me very heartless ; proud 
of their tidy cupboards fuU of Unt and bandages, but very 
indifferent to their patients. Walking a little in advance of 
one of them in Florence, I came into a ward where a poor 
woman was lying in a bed behind the door, in the last 
'' agony." A label at the foot of her bed bore the inscrip- 
tion ^' Olio Santo f^* showing that her condition had been 
observed — yet there was no friendly breast on which 
the poor creature's head could rest, no hand to wipe 
the deathsweats from her face. I called hastily to 
the Nun for help, but she replied with great coolness, 
'^ Ci vuole del cotone " / and seemed astonished when 
I used my own handkerchief. In San-Spirito the 
doctor who conducted me, and who was personally known 
to me, told me he would rather have our English pauper 
nurses than the Sisters. This, however, may have been a 
choice grounded on other reasons beside humanity to the 
patients. At the terrible hospital " degli Incurabili," 
in the via de* Greci, Rome, I saw fearful cases of disease 
(cancer, &c.), receiving so little comfort in the way of diet 
that the wretched creatures rose all down the wards, literally 
screaming to me for money to buy food, coffee, and so on. 
I asked the Sister, " Had they no lady visitors ? *' "0 yes ; 
there was the Princess So and so, and the Countess So and so, 
saintly ladies, who came once a week or once a month." 
^'Then do they not provide the things those poor souls 
want?" "No, Signora, they don't do that." "Then, in 



BRISTOL.^THE SICK IN WORKHOUSES. 321 

Heaven's name, what do they come to do for them? " It 
was some moments before I could be made to understand, 
"Per peUinarkf Signoraf" — ^To comb their hair! The 
task was so disgusting that the great ladies came on purpose 
to perform it as a work of merit; for the good of their 
oum souls! 

The saddest sight which I ever beheld, however, I think 
was not in these Italian hospitals but in the Salp^tri^re 
in Paris. As I was going round the wards with a Sister, I 
noticed on a bed opposite us a very handsome woman lying 
with her head a little raised and her marble neck somewhat 
exposed, while her arms lay rigidly on each side out of the 
bed'clothes. '* Whatis the matter with that patient?" I asked. 
Before the Nun could tell me that, (except in her head,) she 
was completely paralyzed, there came in response to me an 
unearthly, inarticulate cry like that of an animal in agony ; 
and I understood that the hapless creature was trying to call 
me. I went and stood over her and her eyes burnt into 
mine with the hungry eagerness of a woman famishing for 
sympathy and comfort in her awful affliction. She was a 
living statue ; unable even to speak, much less to move hand 
or foot ; yet still young ; not over thirty I should think, and 
likely to live for years on that bed ! The horror of her fate 
and the piteousness of the appeal in her eyes, and her 
inarticulate moans and cries, completely broke me down. 
I poured out all I could think of to say to comfort her, of 
prayer and patience and eternal hope ; and at last was 
releasing her hand which I had been holding, and on which 
my tears had been falling fast, — when I felt a thrill run 
down her poor stiffened arm. It was the uttermost efforts 
she could make, striving with all her might to return my 
pressure. 

In recent years I have heard of " scientific experiments " 
conducted by the late Dr. Charcot and a coterie of medical 
VOL. I. z 



322 CHAPTER XL 

men, upon the patients of the Salp6tri^re. When I have 
read of these, I have thought of that paralyzed woman with 
dread lest she might he yet alive to suffer ; and with indigna- 
tion against the Science which counts cases like these 
of uttermost human affliction, ''interesting" suhjects for 
investigation t 

Some years after this time, hearing of the great ABylum 
designed hy Mr. HoUoway, I made an effort to hring 
influence from many quarters to hear on him to induce him 
to change its destination at that early stage, and make it the 
much-needed Home for Incurahles. Many ladies and 
gentlemen whose names I hoped would carry weight with 
him, were kindly willing to write to him on the suhject. 
Among them was the Hon. Mi*s. Monsell, then Lady 
Superior of Olewer. Her letter to me on the suhject was so 
wise that I have preserved it. Mr. HoUoway, however, was 
inezorahle. Would to Heaven that some other millionaire, 
instead of spending tens of thousands on Palaces of Delight 
and places of puhlic amusement, would take to heart the case 
of those most wretched of human heings, the Destitute 
Incurables, who are still sent every year by thousands to die 
in the workhouses of England and Ireland with scarcely one 
of the comforts which their miserable condition demands. 

« House of Mercy, 

" Clewer, 
*' Windsor. 
*' Madam, 

" I have read your letter with much interest, and have at 
once forwarded it to Mra Wellesley, asking her to show it 
to Princess Christian, and also to speak to Mib. Qladstone. 
''I have no doubt that a large sum of money would be 
better expended on an Incurable than on a Convalescent 
Hospital. It would be wiser not to congregate so many 
Convalescents. For Incurables^ under good management 



BRISTOL.— THE SICK IN WORKHOUSES, 323 

and liberal ChriBtian teaching, it would not signify how 
many were gathered together, provided the space were large 
enough for the work. 

*^ By ' liberal Christian teaching ' I mean, that, while I 
presume Mr. HoUoway would make it a Church of 
Ijngland Institution, Roman Catholics ought to have the 
comfort of free access from their own teachers. 

*<An Incurable Hospital without the religious element 
fairly represented, and the blessing which Religion brings to 
each individually, would be a miserable desolation. But 
there should be the most entire freedom of conscience 
allowed to each, in what, if that great sum were expended, 
must become a National Institution. 

** I earnestly hope Mr. HoUoway will take the subject of 
the needs of Incurables into consideration. In our own 
Hoepital, at St. Andrew's, and St. Raphael's, Torquay, we 
shrink from turning out our dying cases, and yet it does 
not do to let them die in the wards with convalescent 
patients. Few can estimate the misery of the incurable 
cases ; and the expense connected with the nursing is so 
great, it is not easy for private benevolence to provide 
Incurable Hospitals on a small scale. Besidei^ they need 
room for dassification. The truth is, an Incurable Hospital 
is a far more difficult machine to work than a Convalescent ; 
and so the work, if well done, would be far nobler. 

''Believe me^ Madam, 

<< Yours faithfully, 

" H. MONSELL. 

" June 23rd, 1874." 

In concluding these observations generally on the Sick in 
Workkou968 I should like to offer to humane visitors one 
definite result of my own experience. '' Do not imagine that 
what will best cheer the poor souls will be y^yuar conversation, 
however well designed to entertain or instruct them. That 
which will really brighten their dreaiy lives is, to be made to 



324 CHAPTER XI. 

talk themselveaf and to enjoy the privilege of a good listener. 
Draw them oat about their old homes in Hhe beautifnl 
country/ as they always call it; or in whatever town 
sheltered them in childhood. Ask about their fathers and 
mothers, brothers and sisters, everything connected with 
their early lives, and tell them if possible any late news 
about the place and people connected therewith by ever so 
slight a thread. But before all things make thkm talk; 
and show yourself interested in what they say.** 



CHAPTER 



XII. 



BRISTOL. 



WORKBOUSB OrRLS. 



CHAPTER XII. 
WoBKHouBB Girls, Bbistol^ 

Besidb the poor sick and aged people in the Workhouse, 
the attention of Miss Elliot and myself was much drawn to 
the girls who were sent out from thenoe to service on 
attaining (about) their sixteenth year. On all hands, and 
notably from Miss Twining and from some excellent Irish 
philanthropists, we heard the most deplorable reports of the 
incompetence of the poor children to perform the simplest 
duties of domestic life, and their consequent dismissal from 
one place after another till they ended in ruin. It was stated 
at the time (1862), on good authority, that, on tracing the 
subsequent history of 80 girls who had been brought up in 
a single London Workhouse, tnery one was found to be on the 
streets ! In short these hapless " children of the State,*' as 
my friend Miss Florence Davenport Hill most properly named 
them, seemed at that time as if they were being trained on 
purpose to fall into a life of sin ; having nothing to keep 
them out of it, — no friends, no affections, no homes, no 
training for any kind of useful labour, no habits of self- 
control or self-guidance. 

It was never realized by the men (who, in those days, 
alone managed our pauper system) that girls cannot be 
trained en Tnaaee to be general servants, nurses, cooks, 
or anything else. The strict routine, the vast half- 
furnished wards, the huge utensils and furnaces of a 
large workhouse, have too little in common with the ways 
of family life and the furniture of a common kitchen, 
to furnish any sort of practising ground for house- 
bold service. The Beport of the Boyal Commission on 



328 CHAPTER XII. 

Education, issued about that time, concluded that Workhouse 
Schools leave the pauper taint on the children, hut '* that 
District and separate schools give an education to the 
children contained in them which effectually tends to 
emancipate them from pauperism." Accordinglyi the vast 
District schools, containing each the children from many 
Unions, was then in full blast, and the girls were taught 
extremely weU to read, write and cipher ; but were neither 
taught to cook for any ordinary household, or to scour, or 
sweep, or nurse, or serve the humblest table. What was far 
more deplorable, they were not, and could not be, taught to 
love or trust any human being, since no one loved or cared for 
them ; or to exercise even so much self-control as should help 
them to forbear from stealing lumps of sugar out of the first 
bowl left in their way. "But," we may be told, "they 
received excellent religious instruction ? " Let any one try 
to realize the idea of Ood which any child can possibly reach 
v)hx> has never been loved ; and he will then perhaps rightly 
estimate the value of such "religious instruction" in a 
dreary pauper school. I have never quite seen the force of 
the argument " If a man love not his neighbour whom he 
hath seen, how shall he love Qod whom he hath not seen ? " 
But the converse is very clear. " If a man hath not been 
beloved by his neighbour or his parents, how shall he believe 
in the Love of the invisible God 9" Keligion is a plant 
which grows and flourishes in an atmosphere of a certain 
degree of warmth and softness, but not in the Frozen Zone 
of lovelessness, wherein is no sweetness, no beauty, no 
tenderness. 

How to prevent the girls who left Bristol workhouse from 
falling into the same gulf as the unhappy ones in London, 
occupied very much the thoughts of Miss Elliot and her 
sister (afterwards Mrs. Montague Blackett) and myself, in 
1851 and 1860-61. Our friend. Miss Sarah Stephen (daughter 



WORKHOUSE OIRLS, BRISTOL. 329 

of Sergeant Stephen, niece of Sir James), then residing in 
Clifton, had for some time been working suooessfuliy a 
Preventive Mission for the poorer class of girls in Bristol ; 
with a good motherly old woman as her agent to look after 
them. This naturally helped us to an idea which developed 
itself into the following plan — 

Miss Elliot and her sister, as I have said, resided at that 
time with their father at the old Bristol Deanery, close to 
the Cathedral in College Qreen. This house was known 
to every one in the city, which was a great advantage 
at starting. A Sunday afternoon Sdiool for workhouse girls 
only, was opened by the two kind and wise sisters ; and soon 
frequented by a happy Uttle dasa The first step in each 
case (which eventually fell chiefly to my share of the business) 
was to receive notice from the Workhouse of the address of 
every girl when sent out to her first service, and thereupon 
to go at once and call on her new mistress, and ask her 
permission for the little servant's attendance at the Deanery 
Class. As Miss Eliott wrote most truly, in speaking of the 
need of haste in this preliminary visit — 

''There are few times in a girrs life when kindneas is 
more valaed by her, or more necessary to her, than when 
she is taken from the shelter and routine of school life and 
plunged suddenly and alone into a new struggling world 
full of temptations and trials. That this is the turning 
point in the life of many I feel confident^ and I think delay 
in beginning friendly intercourse most dangerous ; they, like 
other human beings, Will seek friends of some kind. We 
found them very ready to take good ones if the chance 
were offered, and, as it seemed, grateful for such chance. 
But good friends ^tiling them, they will most assuredly 
find bad ones."— (TTorib^ouM Girla. NoUs by M. Ellioty p. 7.) 

As a rule the mistresses, who were all of the humbler sort 
and of course persons of good reputation, seemed to welcome 



330 CHAPTER XIL 

my rather intrusive visit and questions, which were, of 
course, made with every possible courtesy. A little by-play 
about the insufficient outfit given by the Workhouse, and an 
offer of small additional adornments for Sundays, was 
generally well received ; and the happy fact of having such 
an ostensibly and unmistakeably respectable address for the 
Sunday school, secured many assents which might otherwise 
have been denied. The mistresses were generally in a state of 
chronic vexation at their little servants' stupidity and incom- 
petence ; and on this head I could produce great effect by 
inveighing against the useless Workhouse education. There 
was often difficulty in getting leave of absence for the girls 
on Sunday afternoon, but with the patience and good humour 
of the teachers (who gave their lessons to as many or as few 
as came to them), there was always something of a class, and 
the poor girls themselves were most eager to lose no chance 
of attending. 

A little reading of Pilgrim*a Progress and other good 
books: more explanations and talk; much hymn singing 
and repeating of hymns learned during the week; and 
a penny banking account, — such were some of the 
devices of the kind teachers to reach the hearts of 
their little pupils. And very effectually they did so, as 
the 30 letters which they wrote between them to Miss Elliot 
when she, or they, left Bristol, amply testified. Here is one 
of these epistles ; surely a model of prudence and candour on 
the occasion of the approaching marriage of the writer ! The 
back-handed compliment to the looks of her betrothed is 
specially delightful. 

^'Ton pointed out one thing in your kind letter, that to 
be sure that the young man was steady. I have been with 
him now two years, and I hope I know his failings ; and I 
can say I have never known any one so steady and trast- 
worthy as he is. I might have bettered myself as regards 



WORKHOUSE GIRLS, BRISTOL. 331 

the ontside looks ; but, dear Madam, I think of the future, 
aud what my home would be theu ; and perhaps if I married 
a gay man, I should always be unhappy. But John has a 
kind heart, and all he thinks of is to make others happy ; 
and I hope I shall never have a cause to regret my choioe, 
and I will try and do my best to do my duty, so that one 
day you may see me comfortable. Dear Madam, I cannot 
thank you enough for your kindness to me.*' 

The whole experiment was marvellously successful. Nearly 
all the poor children seemed to have been improved in various 
ways as well as certainly made happier by their Sundays at 
the Deanery, and not one of them, I believe, turned out ill 
afterwards or fell into any serious trouble. Many of them 
married respectably. In short it proved to be a good plan, 
which we have had no hesitation in recommending ever since. 
Eventually it was taken up by humane ladies in London, and 
there it slowly developed into the now imposing society with 
the long name (commonly abbreviated into M.A.B.Y.S.) the 
MebropcliUm Association for Befriending Young Servants, 
Two or three years ago when I attended and spoke at the 
annual meeting of this lai*ge body, with the Lord Mayor of 
London in the chair and a Bishop to address us, it seemed 
very astonishing and delightful to Miss Elliot and me that 
our small beginnings of thirty years before should have 
swelled to such an assembly I 

My experience of the wrongs and perils of young servant 
girls, acquired during my work <u Whipper-in to the 
Deanery class, remains a painful memory, and supplies strong 
arguments in favour of extending some such protection to 
such girls generally. Some cases of oppression and 
injustice on the part of mistresses (themselves, no 
doubt^ poor and over-strained, and not unnaturally 
exasperated by their poor " little slave's incompetence) 
were very crueL I heard of ope case which had occurred 



332 CHAPTER XIL 

just before we began our work, wherein the girl had been 
left in charge of a small shop. A man came in out of the 
street, and seeing only this helpless child of fifteen behind the 
counter, laid hands on something (worth sixpence as it 
proved) and walked off with it without payment. When the 
mistress returned the girl told her what had happened, 
whereupon she and her husband stormed and scolded ; and 
eventually twmed the girl oiU of the house / This was at 
nine o'clock at night, in one of the lowest parts of Bristol, 
and the unhappy girl had not a shilling in her possession. 
A murder would scarcely have been more wicked. 

Sometimes the mistresses sent their servants away without 
paying them any wages at all, making up their accounts in 
a style like this : ** I owe you five and sixpence ; but you 
broke my teapot, which was worth three shillings ; and you 
burnt a tablecover worth two, and broke two plates and a 
saucer, and lost a spoon, and I gave you an old pair of boots, 
worth at least eighteen-pence, so you owe me half-a-crown ; 
and if you don't go away quietly I'll call the police and give 
you in charge!" The mere name of the police would 
inevitably terrify the poor little drudge into submission to 
her oppressor. That the law could ever defend and not 
punish her would be quite outside her comprehension. 

The wretched holes under stairs, or in cellars, or garrets, 
where these girls were made to sleeps were often most 
unhealthy ; and their exposure to cold, with only the thin 
workhouse cotton frock, leaving arms and neck bare, was 
cruel in winter. One day I had an example of this, not 
easily to be forgotten. I had just received notice that a girl 
of sixteen had been sent from the workhouse (Bristol or 
Clifton, I forget which) to a place in St. Philip's, at the far 
end of Bristol. It was a snowy day but I walked to the 
place with the same odd conviction over me of which I have 
spoken, that I was bound to ^o at once. When I ireache4 



WORKHOUSE GIRLS, BRISTOL, 3S3 

the house, I found it was one a little above the usual class 
for workhouse-girl servants and had an area. The snow 
was falling fast, and as I knocked I looked down into the 
area and saw a girl in her cotton dress standing out at a 
wash-tub; — head, neck and arms all bare, and the snow 
falling on them with the bitter wind eddying through 
the area. Presently the door was opened and there 
stood the girl, in such a condition of bronchitis as I 
hardly ever saw in my life. When the mistress appeared 
I told her civilly that I was very sorry, but that 
the girl was in mortal danger of inflammation of the 
lungs and mtist be put to bed immediately. ''O, that 
was entirely out of the question.'' "But it rrvast be 
done,*' I said. Eventually after much angry altercation, the 
woman consented to my fetching a fly, putting the girl into 
it, driving with her to the Infirmary (for which I had always 
tickets) and leaving her there in charge of a friendly doctor. 
Next day when I called to enquire, he told me she could 
scarcely have lived after another hour of exposure, and that 
she could recover only by the most stringent and immediate 
treatment. It was another instance of the vei'ification of 
my superstition. 

Of course we tried to draw attention generally to the need 
for some supervision of the poor Workhouse girls throughout 
the country. I wrote and read at a Social Science Congress 
a paper on '' FrimdUsa Oirla and How to Hdp them" giving 
a full account of Miss Stephen's admirable Preventive Mie- 
eion; and this I had reason to hope, aroused some interest. 
Several years later Miss Elliot wrote a charming little book 
with full details about her girls and their letters ; " Work- 
houae GirU ; Notes of am, attempt to help them^ published 
by Nisbet. Also we managed to get numerous articles 
and letters into newspapers touching on Workhouse 
abuses and needs generally. Miss Elliot having many 



334 CHAPTER XTT. 

influential friends was able to do a gi*eat deal in the 
way of getting our ideas put before the public. I used to 
write my papers after coming home in the evening and often 
late into the night. Sometimes, when I was very anxious 
that something should go off by the early morning mail, 
I got out of the side window of my sitting-room at two or 
three o'clock and walked the half-mile to the solitaiy post- 
office near the Black Boy (Pillar poets were undreamed of 
in those days), and then climbed in at the window again, 
to sleep soundly ! 

Some years afterwards I wrote in Fraaar's Magazine and 
later again republished in my Studies : Ethical and Social, a 
somewhat elaborate article on the Philoeophy of the Poor Laws 
as I had come to understand it after my experience at Bristol. 
This paper was so fortunate as to fall in the way of an 
Australian philanthropic gentleman, President of a Koyal 
Commission to enquire into the question of Pauper legislation 
in New South Wales. He, (Mr. Windeyer,) approved of 
several of my suggestions and recommended them in the 
Report of his Commission, and eventually procured their 
embodiment in the laws of the Colony. 

The following is one of several letters which I recdved 
from him on the subject. 

<< Ohambers, 
** Sydney, 

<' June 6th, 1874. 
" My Dear Madam, 

" Though personally unknown to you I take the Uberiy as 
a warm admirer of your writings, to which I owe so much 
both of intellectual entertainment and profoundest spiritual 
comfort, to send you herewith a copy of a Report upon the 
Public Charities of New South Wales, brought up by a 
Royal Commission of which I was the President. I may 
add that the document was written l^ me ; and that my 



brother CommiBsioners did me the honour of adopting it 
without any alteration. As the views to which I have 
endeavoured to give expression have been so eloquently 
advocated by you, I have ventured to hope that my attempt 
to give practical expression to them in this Colony may not 
be without interest to you, as the first effort made in this 
young country to promulgate sounder and more philosophic 
views as to the training of pauper children. 

'* In your large heart the feeling Homo mm will, I think, 
make room for some kindly sympathy with those who, far 
off, in a small provincial way, try to rouse the attention 
and direct the energies of men for the benefit of their kind, 
and if any good comes of this bit of work, I should like 
you to know how much I have been sustained amidst much 
of the opposition which all new ideas encounter, by the 
convictions which you have so materially aided in building 
up and confirming. If you care to look further into our 
inquiry I shall be sending a copy of the evidence to the 
Misses Hill, whose acquaintance I had the great pleasure 
of making on their visit to this country, and they doubt- 
less would show it to you if caring to see it, but I have not 
presumed to bore you with anything further than the 
Report, 

^' Believe me, your faithful servant, 

** Will. 0. Windbybb.*' 

I have since learned with great pleasure from an official 
Beport sent from Australia to a Congress held during the 
World's Fair of 1893 at Chicago, that the arrangement has 
been found perfectly successful, and has been permanently 
adopted in the Colony. 

While earnestly advocating some such friendly care and 
guardianship of these Workhouse Girls as I have described, I 
would nevertheless enter here my serious protest against the 
excessive lengths to which one Society in particular — devoted 
to the welfare of the humbler class of girls generally — has 



336 CHAPTER XIL 

gone of late years in the matter of incessant pleasure-parties 
for them. I do not think that encouragement to (what is to 
them) dissipation, conduces to their real welfare or happiness. 
It is always only too easy for all of us to remove the centre 
of our interest from the Btmnesa of life to its Pleasures, The 
moment this is done, whether in the case of poor persons or 
rich, Duty becomes a weariness. Success in our proper work 
is no longer an object of ambition, and the hours necessarily 
occupied by it are grudged and curtailed. Amusement usurps 
the foreground, instead of being kept in the background, of 
thought. This is the kind of moral dialoccUion which is even 
now destroying, in the higher ranks, much of the duty •loving 
character bequeathed to our Anglo-Saxon race by our Puritan 
fathers. Ladiesand gentlemen do not indeed now ''live to eat " 
like the old epicures, but they live to shoot, to hunt, to 
play tennis or golf ; to give and attend parties of one sort or 
another ; and the result, I think, is to a great degree trace- 
able in the prevailing Pessimism. But bad as excessive 
Pleasure-seeking and Duty-neglecting is for those who are 
not compelled to earn their bread, it is absolutely fatal to 
those who must needs do so. The temptations which lie in 
the way of a young servant who has acquired a distaste for 
honest work and a passion for pleasure, require no words of 
mine to set forth in their terrible colours. Even too much 
and too exciting reading, and endless letter-writing may 
render wholesome toil obnoxious. A good maid I once 
possessed simply observed to me (on hearing that a friend's 
servant had read twenty volumes in a fortnight and neglected 
meanwhile to mend her mistress's clothes), *' I never knew 
anyone who was so fond of books who did not hate her 
work / " It is surely no kindness to train people to hate the 
means by which they can honourably support themselves, 
and which might, in itself, be interesting and pleasant to 
them. But incessant tea-parties and concerts and excursions 



wr \yjLtfjj>.jj.\^ \jKj.t^ \ji Mj.t,juiKj^ 



'M.V^W/ ■*■ \^J^m «#v ■ 



ar^ much more calculated to distract and dissipate the minds 
of girls than even the most exciting story books, and the 
good folks who would be shocked to supply them with 
an unintermittent series of novels, do not see the mischief of 
encouraging the perpetual entertainments now in vogue all 
over the country. Let us make the girls, first safe ; then as 
hctppy as we can. But it is an error to imagine that over- 
indulgence in dissipation, — even in the shape of the most 
respectable tea-parties and excursions, — is the way to make 
them either safe or happy. 

The following is an account which Miss Florence D. Hill 
has kindly written for me, of the details of her own work on 
behalf of pauper children which dovetailed with ours for 
Workhouse girls : — 

« March 27th, 1894. 

"I well remember the deep interest with which I learnt 
from your own lips the simple but effective plan by which 
you and Miss Elliot and her sister befriended the elder 
girls from Bristol Workhouse, and heard you read your 
paper, ^FHevidless Girls, and How to Help Them* at the 
meeting of the British Association in Dublin in 1861. 
Gradually another benevolent scheme was coming into 
effect, which not only bestows friends but a home and 
&mily affections on the forlorn pauper child, taking it in 
hand from infancy. The reference in your ^Philosophy of 
the Poor Laws* to Mr. Greig's Beport on Boarding-out as 
pursued for many years at Edinburgh, caused my cousin, 
Miss Clark, to make the experiment in South Australia, 
which has developed into a noble system for dealing under 
natural conditions with all destitute and erring children 
in the great Ck)lonieB of the South Seas. Meanwhile, at 
home the evidence of success attained by Mrs. Archer in 
Wiltshire and her disciples elsewhere, and by other 
independent workers, in placing orphan and deserted 
children in the care of foster parents, enabled the late 

VOL. I. Y 



/ 



/ 338 CHAPTER Xtl 

Dr. Goodeve, ex-^fficio Guardian for Clifton, to obtain the 
adoption of the plan by his Board ; his wife becoming 
President of one of the very first Committees formed to 
find suitable homes and supervise the children. 



After my efforts above detailed on behalf of the little 
Giri-tbieveSy the Kagged street boys, the Incurables and 
other Sick in Workhouses, and finally for Befriending young 
Servants, there was another undertaking in which both 
Miss Elliot and I took great interest for some years after we 
had ceased to live at Bristol. This was the Housing of the 
poor in large Cities. 

Among the many excellent citizens who then and always 
have done honour to Bristol, there was a Town Councillor, 
Mr. T. Territ Taylor, a jeweller, carrying on his business in 
College Green. At a time when a bad fever seemed to have 
become endemic in the district of St. Jude's, this gentleman 
told us that in his opinion it would never be banished till 
some fresh legislation were obtained for the ixmipvlsory 
destruction of insanitary dwellings, such as abounded in 
that quarter. We wondered whether it would be possible 
to interest some influential M.P.'s among our acquaintances 
in Mr. Taylor's views, and after many delays and much 
consultation with them, I wrote an article in Fraser's 
Magazine for February, 1866, in which I was able to print 
a full sketch by Mr. Taylor of his matured project, and to 
give the reasons which appeared to us to make such 
legislation as he advocated exceedingly desirable. I said : — 

"The supply of lodgings for the indigent classes in the 
great towns has long failed to eqnal the demand. Each 
year the case becomes worse, as population increases, and 
no tendency arises for capital to be invested in meeting the 
want. . . • • 



WORKHOUSE GIRLS, BRISTOL. 339 

*^ But, it is asked, why does not capital oome in here, as 
everywhere else, and supply a want as soon as it exists? 
The reason is simple. Property in onr poor lodgings is very 
undesirable for large capitalists. It can be made to pay a 
high interest only on three conditions : — 1st, That the 
laboar of collecting the rents (which is always excessive) 
shall not be dedacted from the returns by agents; 2nd, 
That very little mercy shall be shown to tenants in 
distress ; 3rd, That small expense be incurred in attempting 
to keep in repair, paint, or otherwise refresh the houses, 
which, being inhabited by the roughest of the conununity, 
require double outlay to preserve in anything better than a 
squalid and rack-rent condition. 

** Convinced long ago of this fact, philanthropists have 
for years attempted to mitigate the evil by building, in 
London and other great towns, model lodging-houses for 
the Working Classes, and after loug remaining a doubtful 
experiment, a success has been achieved in the case of 
Mr. Peabody's, Alderman Waterlow's, and perhaps some 
others. But as regards the two great objects we are con- 
sidering, — the elevation of the Indigent, and the prevention 
of pestilence, — these schemes only point the way to an 
enterprise too large for any private funds. All the existing 
model lodging-houses not only fix their rents above the 
means of the Indigent class, but actually make it a rule 
not to admit the persons of whom the class chiefly consists 
— namely, those who get their living upon the streets. Thus, 
for the elevation of the Indigent and the purifying of 
those cesspools of wretchedness^ wherein cholera and fever 
have their source, these model lodging-houses are even 
professedly unavailing." — Beprinted in Hours of Work atid 
Play^ pp. 46, 47. 

Mr. Thomas Hare had, shortly before, set forth in the 
Times a startlingly magnificent scheme whereby a great 
Board should raise money, partly from the Bates, to build 
splendid rows of workmen's lodging-houses, of which the 



340 CHAPTER XIL 

workmen would eventually, in this ingenious plan become 
freeholders. Mr. Taylor's plan was much more modest, and 
involved in fact only one principal point, the grant of 
compulsory powers to purchase, indispensable where the 
refusal of one landlord might invalidate, for sanitary 
purposes, the purification of a district j and the greed of the 
class would inevitably render the proposed renovation 
preposterously costly. Mr. Taylor's Scheme, as drawn up 
by himself and placed in our hands, was briefly as follows: — 

''An Act of Parliament must be obtained to enable Town 
Oonncils and Local Boards of Health (or other Boards, as 
may hereafter be thought best) to purchase, under com- 
pulsory powers, the property in overcrowded and pestilential 
districts within their jurisdiction, and build thereon suitable 
dwellings for the labouring classea 

<<The usual powers must be given to borrow money o( 
the Government at a low rate of interest, on condition of 
repayment within a specifled time, say from 15 to 20 years, 
as in the ease of the County Lunatic Asylums." 

Miss EUiot and I having shown this sketch to our friends, 
a Bill was drawn up embodying it with some additions; 
^^ For the improvemerU of the Dwellings of the Working 
Clcbssea" and was presented to Parliament by Mr. McCullagh 
Torrens and my cousin John Locke, in 1867. But though 
both the Governments of Lord Derby and of Lord Russell 
the latter of whom Miss Elliot had interested personally in 
the matter) were favourable to the Bill, it was not passed 
till the following Session ; when it became law (with 
(considerable modifications); as 31, 32 Vict., Cap. cxxx., 
^ An Act to provide better dweUings for Artisans arid 
Labourers," 31st July, 1868, 



CHAPTER 



XIII. 



BRISTOL. 



FBIBNSa. 



CHAPTER Xin. 

Fbiends in Bristou 

What ia Chcmce ? How often does that question recur in 
the course of every history, small or great ? My whole course 
of life was deflected by the mishap of stepping a little awry 
out of a train at Bath, and miscalculating the height of the 
platform, which is there unusually low. I had gone to spend 
a day with a friend, and on my way back to Bristol I thus 
sprained my ankle. I was at that time forty years of age (a 
date I now alas ! regard as quite the prime of life 1), and in 
splendid health and spirits, fully intending to continue for the 
rest of my days labouring on the same lines as prospects of 
usefulness might open. I remember feeling the delight of 
walking over the springy sward of the Downs and laughing 
as I said to myself " I do believe I could walk down anybody 
and perhaps talk down anybody too 1 " The next week I 
was a poor cripple on crutches, never to take a step without 
them for four long years, during which period I grew prac- 
tically into an old woman, and (unhappily for me) into a very 
large and heavy one for want of the exercise to which I had 
been accustomed. The morning after my mishap, finding my 
ankle much swollen and being in a great hurry to go on with 
my work, I sent for one of the principal surgeons in Bristol, 
who bound the limb so tightly that the circulation (always 
rather feeble) was impeded, and every sort of distressful con- 
dition supervened. Of course the surgeon threw the blame 
on me for attempting to use the leg ; but it was very little I 
cotdd do in this way even if I had tried, without excessive 
pain ; and, after a few weeks, I went to London in the full 
confidence that I had only to bespeak ** the best advice " to 



344 CHAPTER XIIL 

be speedily cured. I did get what all the world would still 
consider the " best advice ; " but bad was that best. Guineas 
I could ill spare ran away like water while the great surgeon 
came and went, doing me no good at all ; the evil condi- 
tions growing worse daily. I returned back from London 
and spent some wretched months at Clifton. An artery, I 
believe, was stopped, and there was danger of inflammation 
of the joint. At last with infinite regret I gave up the hope 
of ever recovering such activity as would permit me to carry 
on my work either in the schools or workhouse. No one who 
has not known the miseries of lameness, the perpetual con- 
tention with ignoble difficulties which it involves, can judge 
how hard a trial it is to an active mind to become a cripple. 
Still believing in my simplicity that great surgeons might 
remedy every evil, I went again to London to consult the 
most eminent, and by the mistake of a friend, it chanced that 
I summoned two very great personages on the same day, 
though, fortunately, at different hours. The case was, of 
course, of the simplest; but the two gentlemen gave me 
precisely opposite advice. One sent me abroad to certain 
baths, which proved to be the wrong ones for my trouble, 
and gave me a letter to his friend there, a certain Baron. 
The moment the Baron-Doctor saw my foot he exclaimed 
that it ought never to have been allowed to get into the state 
of swollen Veins and arrested circulation in which he found 
it ; astringents and all sorts of measures ought to have been 
applied. In truth I was in a most miserable condition, for I 
could not drop the limb for two minutes without the blood 
running into it till it became like an ink-bottle, when, if I 
held it up, it became as white as if dead. And all this had been 
getting worse and worse while I was consulting ten doctors 
in succession, and chiefly the most eminent in England ! The 
Baron-Doctor first told me that the waters waidd bring out 
the gout, and then, when I objected, assured me they should 



FRIENDS IN BRISTOL. 346 

not bring it out ; after which I relinquished the privilege of 
his visits and he charged me for an entire course of 
treatment. 

The eecoTul great London surgeon told me not to go 
abroad, but to have a gutta-percha boot made for my leg to 
keep it stiff. I had the boot made, (with much distresBand 
expense), took it abroad in my trunk, and asked the 
suooessorof the Baron-Doctor (who could make the watersgive 
the gout or not as he pleaded), '' Whether he advised me to 
wear the wonderful machine?" The good old Frenchman, 
who was also Mayor of his town, and who did me more good 
than anybody else, replied cautiously, " If you wish, Madame, 
to be lame for life you will wear that boot. A great many 
English come to us here to be unstiffened after having had 
their joints stiffened by English surgeons' devices of this sort, 
but we can do nothing for them. A joint once thoroughly stiff 
can never be restored." It may be guessed that the expensive 
boot was quietly deposited on the nearest heap of rubbish. 

After that experience! tried the baths in Savoy and othersin 
Italy. But my lameness seemed permanent. A great Italian 
Doctor could think of nothing better than to put a few walnut- 
leaves on my ankle — a process which might perhaps have 
effected something in fifty years t Only the good and great 
N^laton, whom I consulted in Paris, told me he believed I 
should reoover some time ; but he ootdd not tell me anything 
to do to hasten the event. Returned to London I sent for 
Sir William Fergusson, and that honest man on hearing my 
story said simply : '* And if you had gone to nobody and not 
bandaged your ankle, but merely bathed it, you would have 
been well in three weeks." Thus I learned from the best 
authority, that I had paid for the folly of consulting an 
eminent surgeon for a common sprain, by four years of 
miserable helplessness and by the breaking up of my whole 
plan of life. 



I must conclude this dismal record by one lost trait of 
medical character. I had determined, after seeing Ferguaflon, 
to consult no other doctor ; indeed I could ill afford to do so. 
But a friend conveyed to me a message from a London 
BUi^eon of repute (since dead) that he vould like to be allowed 
to treat me gratuitously ; having felt much interest in my 
books. I was simple enough to fall into the trap and to feel 
grateful for his offer : and I paid him several visits, during 
which he chatted pleasantly, and once did some trifling thing 
to relieve my foot. One day I wrote and asked him kindly to 
advise me by letter about some directions he had given me ; 
whereupon he answered tartly that be " could not correspond ; 
and that I must always attend at his house." The suspicion 
dawned on me, and soon reached conviction, that what be 
wanted was not so much to cure nu, as to swell the scanty 
show of patients in his waiting-room I Of course after this, 
I speedily retreated ; offering many thanks and some smalt, 
and as I hoped, acceptable souvenir with inscription tolieon 
bis table. But when I thought this had concluded my 

relations with Mr. , I found I had reckoned without my 

— doctor I One after another he wrote to me three or four 
peremptory notes requesting me to send him introductions 
for himself or his family, to influental friends of mine rather 



FRIENDS IN BRISTOL. 347 

friends (mostly llDitarians) were very kind to me, and that 
though I did not go out to any sort of entertainment while 
I lived with her, it was not for lack of hospitable invitations. 
The family next to that of the Dean with which I became 
closely acquainted and to which I owed most, was tbat of 
Matthew Davenport Hill, the Beoorder of Birmingham, 
whose labours (summed up in his own Repression of Crime and 
in his Biography by his daughters) did more, I believe, than 
those of any other philanthropist beside Mary Carpenter, to 
improve the treatment of both adult and juvenile crime in 
England. I am not competent to offer judgment on the many 
questions of jurisprudence with which he dealt, but I can 
well testify to the exceeding goodness of his large heart, the 
massivenees of his grasp of his subjects, and (never-to-be- 
forgotten) his most delightful humour. He was a man who 
from unlucky chances never attained a position commensurate 
with his abilities and his worth, but who was beloved and 
admired in no ordinary degree by all who came near him. 
His family of sons and daughters formed a centre of usefulness 
in the neighbourhood of Bristol as they have since done in 
London, where Miss Hill is, I believe, now the senior member 
of the School Board, while her sister, Miss Florence Daven- 
port Hill, has been equally active as a Poor Law Guardian, 
and most especially as the promoter of the great and far- 
reachingreforminthe management of pauper orphans, known 
as the system of Boarding Out, of which I have spoken in the 
last chapter. I must not indulge myself by writing at too 
great length of such friends, but will insert here a few notes I 
made of Beoorder HilFs wonderfully interesting conversation 
during a Christmas visit I paid to him at Heath House. 

'*Dec. 26th. I spent yesterday and last night with my 
kind friends the Hills at Heath House. In the evening I 
drew out the Recorder to speak of questions of evidence, 
and he told me many remarkable anecdotes in his own 



348 CHAPTER XIIL 

practice at the Bar, of doubtful identity, &c. On one 
occasion a case was tried three times; and he observed 
how the certainty of the witnesses, the eleamess of 
details, and unhesitating asseveration of facts which 
at first had been doubtfully stated, grew in each trial 
He said ' the most dangerous of all witnesses are 
those who konesUy give false witness — a most namerons 
class.' 

"To-day he invited me to walk with him on his terrace 
and up and down the approach. The snow lay thick on 
the grass, but the sun shone bright, and I walked for more 
than an hour and a-half beside the dear old man. Se told 
me how he had by degrees learned to distrust aU ideas of 
Retribution, and to believe in the ' aggressive power of love 
and kindness,' (a phrase Lady Byron had liked) ; and how at 
last it struck him that all this was in the new Testament ; 
and that few, except religious Christians, ever aided the 
great causes of philanthropy. I said, it was quite true, 
Christ had revealed that religion of love; and that there 
were unhappily very few who, having inteUeotually doubted 
the Christian creed, pressed on further to any clear or 
fervent religion beyond ; but that without religion, «.«., love 
of God, I hardly believed it possible to work for man. He 
said he had known nearly all the eminent men of his time 
in every line, and had somehow got close to them, and had 
never found one of them really believe Christianity. I said, 
* No ; no strong intellect of our day could do so, altogether ; 
but that I thought it was faithless in us to doubt that if we 
pushed bravely on to whatever seemed truth we should 
there find all the more reason to love Qod and man, and 
never lose any real good of Christianity.' He agreed, but 
said, 'You are a watchmaker, I am a weaver; this is your 
work, I have a different one, — and I cannot afford to part 
with the Evangelicals, who are my best helpers. Thus 
though I wholly disagree with them about Sunday I never 
publish my difference.' I said I felt the great danger of 
pushing uneducated people beyond the bounds of an 
authoritative creed, and for my own part would think it 




FRIENDS W BRISTOL. 349 

safest that Jowett*8 views should prevail for a generation, 
preparatory to Theism. 

**Then we spoke of Immortality, and he expressed 
himself nobly on the thought that all oar differences of rich 
and poor, wise or ignorant, are lost in comparison of that 
one fact of onr common Immortality. As he said, he felt 
that waiting a moment jostled in a crowd at a railway 
station, was a larger point in comparison of his whole life 
than this life is, to the future. We joined in condemning 
Emerson and George Eliot's ideas of the 'little value' 
of ordinary souls. Hia burst of indignation at her phrase 
' QuaTio races of men ' was very fine. He said, talking of 
Reformatories, 'A century hence, — in 1960, — some people 
will walk this terrace and talk of the great improvement 
of the new asylums where hopeless criminals and vicious 
persons will be permanently consigned. They will not be 
formally condemned for life, but we shall all know that 
they will never fulfil the conditions of their release. They 
will not be made unhappy, but forced to work and kept 
under strong control ; the happiest state for them.' " 

Here is a very flattering letter from Mr. Hill written a few 
years later, on receipt of a copy of my Italics : — 

** The Hawthorns, 

<*Edgbaston, Birmingham, 

« 25th Oct., 1864. 
^My dear Miss Cobbe, 

** Although I am kept out of court to-day at the instance 
of my physician, who threatens me with bronchitis if I do 
not keep house, yet it has been a day not devoid of much 
enjoyment. Tour charming book which, alas^ I have nearly 
finished, is carrying me through it only too rapidly. What a 
harvest of observation, thought, reading, and discourse have 
you brought home from Italy I But I am too much over- 
whelmed with it to talk much about it, especially in the 
obfuscated state of my intellect to which I am just now 
reduced. But I must jnat tell you how I am amused in 



350 CHAPTER XltL 

midst of my admiration, with your hnmility as regards 
your sex ; said humility being a cloak which, opening a 
little at one page, discloses a rich garment of pride under- 
neath (wde page 438 towards the bottom). I say no more, 
only as I don^t mean to give up the follies of youth for the 
next eight years, that is until I am eighty, I don't choose 
to be called 'venerable.' One might as well consent to 
become an Archdeacon at once ! 

^Tour portraits are delightful, some of the originals I 
know, and the likeness is good, but alas, idealized I 

'* To call your book a ' trifling * work is just as absurd a« 
to call me * venerable.' It deals nobly, fearlessly, and I 
will add in many parts profoundly^ with the greatest 
questions that can employ human intellect or touch the 
human heart, and although I do not always agree with you, I 
always respect your opinions and learn from the arguments 
by which they are supported. But certainly in the vast 
majority of instances I do agree with you, and more than 
agree, which is a cold, unimpressive term. 

** Most truly yours, 

"M. D. Hill." 

**' Heath House, Stapleton, Bristol, 

"17th August, 1871. 
*' My dear Miss Oobbe, 

** That is to say falsest of woman-kind ! Ton have cruelly 
jilted me. Florry wrote to say you were coming here #8 
you ought to have done long ago. Well, as your country- 
man, Ossian, or his double, Macpherson, says, ' Age is dork 
and unlovely,' and therefore the rival of the American 
Giantess turns a broad back upon me. I must submit 
to my fall . . . 

'* Though I take in the Ecko^ I have not lately seen any 
article which I could confidently attribute to your pen. 

"I have, however, been much gratified with your article 
on The Devil, the only writing I ever read on the origin of 
evil which did not appear to me absolutely contemptible. 
Talking of these matters, Coleridge said to Thelwall (ex 



PEItJNDS W BRISTOL, 361 

relatione Thelwall), 'God has all the power that m, but there 
IB no power over a contradiction expressed or implied/ 
Your suggestion that the existence of evil is due to 
contradiction, is, I have no doubt, very just, but my stupid 
head is this morning quite unable to put on paper what is 
foggily floating in my mind, and so I leave it. 

" I spent a good part of yesterday morning in reading the 
Westminster Review of Walt Whitman^s works, which quite 
laid hold of me. 

** Most tmly yours 

"M. D. Hill.'* 

Another interesting person whom I first came to know at 
Bristol, (where he visited at the Deanery and at Dr. Symonds' 
house,) was the late Master of Balliol. I have already cited 
some kind letters from him referring to our plans for 
Incurables and Workhouse Girls. I will be vain enough to 
quote here, with the permission of the friend to whom they 
were addressed, some of his remarks about my IrUuitive 
Morula and Broken Lights; and abo his opinion of 
Theodore Parker, which will interest many readers : — 

*' From Rev. Benjamin Jowett. 

" January 22nd, 1861. 

''I heard of your friend Miss Gobbe the other day at 

Fulham Pray urge her to go on with her books 

and try to make them more interesting. (This can only be 
done by throwing more feeling into them and adapting 
them more to what other people are thinking and feeling 
about). I am not speaking of changing her ideas, but the 
mode of expressiug them. The great labour of writing is 
adapting what you say to others. She has great ability, 
and there is something really fine and striking in her views 
of things, so that it is worth while she should consider the 
form of her writings." .... 

« April 16th, 1861. 

*' Let me pass to a more interesting subject— Miss Cobbe. 
Since I wrote to you last X have read the greater part of 



in thinking fall of interest. It Bhows great power and 
knowledge of the nibjeot, jet I ahoold fear it would be 
httrdlj intelligible to uiyooe who hftd not been nonriihed 
at some time of their lives on the pbilosophj of Eant ; 
and also the Beems to me to be too exolDU*e and antagonistio 
towards other ajBtemg — t.g., tti« Utilitarian. AU Bjitems 
of Philosophj have their place and use, and lay hold on 
some minds, and therefore Uioagh they are not all eqaally 
tme, it ia no tue to rail at Bentham and the Utilitarian* 
after the manner of BlaclcwoocPa Magaxine, Perhaps, how- 
ever, Min Gobbe wonld retort on me that her attacks on 
the Utilitarians have their place and tiieii nse too ; only 
thoy were not meant for people who 'revel in Scepticiim' 
like me (the Saturday Revieie eays, ia it not very Irish of 
them to say bo ?) Fray exhort het to write (for it is really 
worth while) and not to spend her money and time wholly 
in schemes of philanthropy. For a woman of her ability, 
writing offers a great field, better in many reqiects than 
practical life." 

" October 10th, 1861. 
"A day or two ago I was at Clifton and saw Hiss 
Cobbe, who might be truly described as very ■'jolly.' 
I went to a five o'clock tea with her and met various 
people-— an aged pbyucian named Dr. Bnbant who 
about thirty yeara ago gave up bis praotiee to stndy 
Hebrew and became the friend of German Theologians ; 
Miss Blagden, whom yon probably know, an amiable lady 
who has written a novel and is the owner of a little white 
puppj wearing a scarlet ooat ; Dr. Qoodeve, an Indian 
Medical OfScer ; and various others." . . . 

" February 2nd, 1663. 
"Bemember me to Mia Oobbe. I hope she gains from 
yon sonnd notions on Political Economy. I shall always 
maintain that Philanthropy is intolerable when not based 
in soond Ideas of Political Economy." 



" The articles in the Daily Netin I did not eae. Were th^ 
Min Cobbe'B? I read her paper in Fnser in which the 
■tory of the OomiTnl was eitremelf well told." . . . 

" March 15th, 1863. 

"I mite to thook jon for Miss Cobbe'a pamphlet, which 
I h&ve read with great pleasnre. I think her writing is 
alwajB good and able. I have never seen Theodore Parker's 
works : be was, I imagine, a aort of hero and prophet ; bat 
I think I would rather have the Church of England large 
enough for US all with old memories and feelings, notwith- 
standing many difficultiea and some iniquities, than new 
systems of Theism." . . , 

" March 10th, 1864. 

"Uiss Oobbe has also kindly sent me a little book 
called Broken LighU, which appears to me to be 
extremely good. (I think the title is rather a mistake.) I 
dare say that yon hare read the book. The style is 
excellent, and the moderation and calmneaB with which the 
difFereut parties are treated is beyond praise. The only 
adverse criticism that I should Teatura to make is that the 
latter part is too mnch narrowed to Theodore Porker's 
point of view, who was a great man, bat too confident, I 
think, that the world conld be held together by spiritual 
instincta." 

And here are three cbarming letters from Mr. Jowett to 
me, one of them io reply to a letteir from me from Rome, the 
others of a later date. 
" Dear Miss Cobbe, 

*' I write to thank yon for the Fraaer which I received this 
morning and have read with great amnsement and interest 
I think tliat I should really feel happier living to see the 
end of the Pope, at least in his present mode of existence. 

" I did indeed receive a most capital letter from yon with 
a kind note from Miss Elliot And ' I do remember me of 
VOL. L « 



Plato (do yon know the intolerable burden of writmg a :fot 
book in two toIb. ?) I pat oQ answering the letten until I 
was not qnite certain whether the kind writers of them were 
still at Borne. I thought the Plato would have been out by 
this time, bnt this was only one of the nnmerons delaBions 
in which authors indulge. The notes, however, ore leally 
flniabed, and the Essays will be done in a few months. I 
snspect yon can read Greek, and shall therefore hope to send 
yon a copy. 

" I was always inclined to think well of the Bomana ' from 
their defence of Borne in 184S, and their greatness and 
strength really does seem to show that they mean to be the 
centre of a great nation. 

"Will yon give my very kind regards to the Elliots? I 
should write to them if I knew exactly where : I hear that 
the Dean is transformed into a worshipper of the Virgin 
and of otber pictures of the Saints.* 

" Believe me, dear Miss Cobbe, 

** Tonra very truly, 

"B. JOWBTT, 

" Bal. Coll., May 19th. 

*'ColI. deBal., Oxon. 
** Dear Miss Cobbe, 

"I shall certainly read yonr paper on Political Economy. 
Political Economy seems to me in this imperfect world 
to be Hnmanity on • large scale (tiiongh not the whole of 
humanity). And I am always afraid of it being partially 
sopplauted by hmnani^ on the small scale, which relieves 
one-mxth of the poor whom we see, and pauperizes the 
mind of flve-sixthi whom we don't see. 

" I won't tronble yon with any more reflections on snch an 
old snhject. Bemember me most kindly to the Dean and his 
danghters. I was going to send him a copy of the Articles 
against Dr. Williams. Bnt upon second thonghts, I don't. 

* tSi. Jowett referred to Dean Blliot's pnicbases of some flue 
oldpiotniei. 



FRIENDS IN BRISTOL. 355 

It is such an nngraciouB, nnsavoniy matter. I hope that 
he won't give np the Prolocntorship, or that, if he does, 
he will state boldly his reasons for doing so. It is tme 
that neither he nor anyone can do much good there. Bnt 
the mere fact of a great position in the Ghnrch of England 
being held by a liberal clergyman is of great importance. 

" I should have much liked to go to Rome this 
winter. Bnt I am so entangled, first, with Plato, 
and, second, with the necessity of getting rid of 
Plato and writing something on Theology, that I do not 
feel justified in leaving my work. The vote of last Tuesday 
deferring indefinitely the endowment of my Professorship 
makes me feel that life is becoming a serious business to 
me. Not that I complain ; the amount of sympathy and 
support which I have received has been enough to sustain 
anyone, if they needed it, (you should have seen an 
excellent squib written by a young undergraduate). But 
my friends are sangpiine in imagining they wiU succeed 
hereafter. Next year it is true that they probably will get 
a small majority in Congregation. This, however, is of no 
use, as the other party will always bring up the country 
clergy in Convocation. I have, therefore, requested Dr. 
Stanley to take no further steps in the Council on the 
subject ; it seems to me undignified to keep the University 
squabbling about my income. 

''Excuse this long story which is partly suggested by 
your kind letter. I hope you wiU enjoy Rome. With 
sincere regard, 

" Believe me, yours truly, 

" B. JOWETT." 

^^ Bev. Benjamin Jowett to Miss Cobbe. 

« Ooa de BaU., Oxon, 

" February 24tb, 1866. 
*' My Dear Miss Cobbe, 

*' I write to thank you for your very kind note. I am 
much more pleased at the rejoicings of my friends than at 
the result which has been so long delayed as to be almost 



356 CHAPTER XIIL 

indifferent to me. I used to be annoyed at feeling that I 
was such a bad example to young men, because they saw, 
as they were intended to see, that unless they concealed 
their opinions they would suffer. I hope they will have 
more cheerful prospects now. 

"I trust that some day I shall be able to write some- 
thing more on Theology. But the Plato has proved an 
enormous work^ having expanded into a sort of translation 
of the whole of the DiaJogues. I believe this will be 
finished and printed about Christmas, but not before. 

^I have been sorry to hear of your continued illness. 
When I come to London I shall hope to look in upon you in 
Hereford Sqnar& 

'' In haste, believe me, 

" Tours very truly, 

" B. JOWETT." 

<'I read a book of Theodore Parker's the other day — 
* Discourses on Beligion.' He was a friend of yours, I 
believe ? I admire his character — a sort of religious Titan. 
But I thought his philosophy seemed to rest too much on 
instincts." 

How much Mr. Jowett had to bear from the animosity of 
his orthodox contemporaries in the Sixties at Oxford was 
illustrated by the following incident. I was, one day about 
this time, showing his photograph to a lady, when her son, late 
from Oxford, came into the room with a dog at his heels. 
Seeing the photograph, he remarked, *' Ah, yes ! very like. 
This dog pinned him in quod one day, and was made so much 

of afterwards ! The Dean of especially invited him " (the 

dog) " to lunch. Jowett complained of me, and I had to send 
all my dogs out of Oxford ! " 

The following is a Note which I made of two of his visits 
to me on Durdham Down : 

" Two visits from Mr. Jowett, who each time drank tea 
with me. He said he felt writing to be a great labour ; but 



FRIENDS IN BRISTOL. 357 

regularly wrote one page every day. The liberal, 
benevolent way he spoke of all creeds was deUghtfnl. In 
particular he spoke of the temptation to Pantheism and 
praised Hegel, whom, he said, he had studied deeply. 
Advising me kindly to go on writing books, he maintained 
against me the vast power of books in the world." 



Mr. Jowett was, of course, at all times a most interesting 
personality, and one whose intercourse was delightful and 
highly exciting to the intellect. But his excessive shyness, 
combined with his faculty for sa3dng exceedingly sharp 
things, must have precluded, I should think, much ease of 
conversation between him and the majority of his friends. 
As usually happens in the case of shy people, he exhibited 
rather less of the characteristic with an acquaintance like 
myself who was never shy (my mother^s training saved me 
from that affliction !) and who was not at all afraid of him. 

In later years Mr. Jowett obtained for me (in 1876) the 
signatures of the Heads of every College in Oxford to a 
Petition which I had myself written, to the House of Lords 
in favour of Lord Carnarvon's original BUI for the restriction 
of Vivisection. At a later date the Master of Balliol declined 
tosupport me further in the agitation for the prohibition of the 
practice ; referring me to the assurances of a certain eminent 
Boanerges of Science as guarantee for the necessity of the 
practice and the humanity of vivisectors. It is very surprising 
to me how good and strong men, who would disdain to accept 
a religious principle or dogma from pope or Council, will take 
a moral one without hesitation from any doctor or professor 
of science who may lay down the law for them, and present 
the facts so as to make the scale turn his way. Where would 
Protestant divines be, if they squared their theologies with 
all the historical statements and legends of Romanism ? If 
wo construct our ethical judgments upon the statements and 



358 CHAPTER XIIL 

representations of persons interested in maintaining a practice, 
what chance is there that they should be sound ? 

I find, in a letter to a friend (dated May, 1868) thefoUowing 
souvenir of a sermon by Mr. Jowett, delivered in a church 
near Soho : — 

" We went to that sermon on Sunday. It was really very 
fine and very bold ; much better than the report in the 

Pall Mali Gazette made it. Mr. Albert D was there, 

but few else who looked as if they could understand him. 
He has a good voice and delivery, and the "cherubic" 
countenance and appealing eyes suit the pulpit ; but he looks 
at one as I never knew any preacher do. We sat close to 
him, and it was as if we were in a drawing-room. M. says 
that all the first part was taken from my Broken Lights ; 
that is, — ^it was a sketch of existing opinions on the same 
plan. It was good when he said : 

" The High church watchword is : The Church ; always and 
ever the same. 

" The Low church watchword is : The Bible only the Beligion 
of Protestants. 

" The party of Knowledge has for its principle : * The 
Truth ever and always^ and wherever it he found* 

"He gave each their share of praise and blame, saying: 
' the fault of the last party ' (his own, of course) was — that 
'sometimes in the pursuit of Knowledge they forgot 
Goodness.^ " 

I heard him preach more than onoe afterwards in the 
same gloomy old church. His aspect in his surplice was 
exceedingly quaint. His face, even in old age, was like that 
of an innocent, round-faced child; and his shorty slender 
figure, wrapped in the long white garment, irresistibly 
suggested to me the idea of " an elderly cherub prepared for 
bed " 1 Altogether, taking into account his entire career, the 
Master of Balliol was an unique figure in English life, whom 
J much rejoice to have known ; a modem Melchisedek, 



FRIENDS IN BRISTOL. 369 

Here is another memorandum about the same date, 
respecting another eminent man, interesting in another 
way: — 

''Sept. 25th, 1860. A pleasant evening at Canon 
Guthrie's. Introduced to old Lord Lansdowne ; a gentle, 
courteous old man with deep-set, &ded grey eyes, and heavy 
eyebrows ; a blue coat and brass buUons I In the course of 
the evening I was carrying on war in a comer of the room 

against the Dean of Bristol, Mr. and Margaret Elliot, 

about Toryism. I argued that if Justice to aU were the 
chief end of Government, the power should be lodged in 
the hands of the class who best understood Justice ; and that 
the consequence of the opposite course was manifest in 
America, where the freest government which had ever 
existed, supported also the most gigantic of all wrongs — 
Slavery. On this Countess Rothkirch who sat by, clapped 
her hands with joy ; and the Dean came down on me saying, 
*That if power should only be given to those who would 
use it justly, then the Tories should never have any power 
at all ; for they never used it justly.' Hearing the laughter 
at my discomfiture. Lord Lansdowne toddled across the 
room and sat down beside me saying : ' What is it all about ? ' 
I cried : * Oh Lord Lansdowne 1 you are the very person in 
the whole world to help me — lam defending Tory principles* ! 
He laughed heartily, and said ' I am afraid I can hardly do 
that.* 'Oh, yes,* I said, 'you may be converted at the 
eleventh hour I * ' Don't you know,' he said, ' what a 
child asked her mother : " Are Tories bom wicked, mother, 
or do they only become so ? " ' Margaret said this was really 
asked by a cousin of her own, one of the Adam family. It 
ended in much laughter and talking about ' Transformation,* 
and the ^Semi-attached Couple* — which Lord Lansdowne 
said he was just reading. 'I like novels very much,' he 
said, 'only I take a little time between each of them.' 
When I got up to go away the kind old man rose in the most 
courtly way to shake hands, and paid me a little old-world 
compliment." 



xuis was me eioqnent etawemau ana patron ot iiMrature, 
Henry, third MarquiB of Lansdowne, in whose time his house, 
(Bowood,) was the reeort of the finest intellectual aociety of 
Bngland. I have a droll letter in my poaeesssion referring 
to this Bowood society, by Sydney Smith, written to Mrs. 
Eemble, then Mrs. Butler, It has come to me with all her 
othw papers and with seveD letters from I^ord Lansdowne 
preBsing her to pay him vi^ts. Sydney Smith wiitee on his 
iavitation to her to come to Combe Fleury ; after minute 
directions about the route : — 

" The interval between breakfast and dinner brings you 
to Combe Fleuiy. We are the next stage (to Bowood). 
Lord Lansdowne's guests commonly oome here dilated atid 
dUordtTtd with high living." 

In another letter conveying a similar invitation he says, 
with his usual hittemess and injustice as regards America : 

'' Be brave my dear lady. Hoiit the American flag. 
Barbarise your manners. IHgfyntax your language. Fling 
a thick mantle over your lively spirits, and become the 
fast of American women. You will always remain a bright 
vision in my recollection. Do Dot forget me. Call me 
Butler's Hudibras. Any appellation provided I am not 
forgotten." 

Amongtheresideatsin Clifton and at Stoke Bishopover the 
Downs I had many kind friends, some of whom helped me 
essentially in my work by placing tickets for hospitals and 
motley in my hands for the poor. Oneof thesewhom I specially 
recall with gratitude was that ever xealoas moral reformer, 
Mrs. Woolcott Browne, who is still working bravely with her 
daughter for many good canses in London. I must not 
write here without permission of the many others whose 
names have not come before the public, but whose affectionate 
consideration made my life vecv pleasant, and whom I ever 



FRIENDS IN BRISTOL. 361 

remember with tender regard. Of one excellent couple I may 
venture to speak, — Dr. and Mrs. Gk)odeve of Cook's FoUy. 
Mrs. Goodeve herself told me their singular and beautiful 
story, and since she and her husband are now both dead, I 
think I may allow myself to repeat it. 

Dr. Goodeve was a young medical man who had just 
married, and was going out to seek his fortune in India, 
having no prospects in England. As part of their honeymoon 
holiday the young couple went to visit Cook's Folly; then a 
small, half -ruinous, castellated building, standing in a spot of 
extraordinary beauty over the Avon, looking down the Bristol 
Channel. As they were descending the turret-stair and 
taking, as they thought, a last look on the loveliness of 
England, the young wife perceived that her husband's head 
was bent down in deep depression. She laid her hand on 
his shoulder and whispered ''Never mind, Harry ? You shall 
make a fortune in India and we will come back and buy 
Cook's Folly." 

They went to Calcutta and were there most kindly received 
by a gentleman named Hurry, who edited a newspaper and 
whose own history had been strange and tragic. Started in 
his profession by his interest. Dr. Goodeve soon fell into 
good practice, and by degrees became a very successful 
physician, the founder (I believe) of the existing Medical 
College of Calcutta. Groing on a shooting party, his face was 
most terribly shattered by a chance shot which threatened 
to prove mortal, but Mrs. Goodeve, without help or 
appliances, alone with him in a tent in a wild district, pulled 
him back to life. At last they returned to England, wealthy 
and respected by all, and bringing a splendid collection 
of Indian furniture and cwrios. The very week they 
landed. Cook's Folly was advertised to be sold! They 
remembered it well, — went to see it, — bought it — and 
rebuilded it; making it a most charming and beautiful 



nooBO. A peeolian^ of its etrnetnre as runodelled 
by them was, that there was an entire suite of rooioB, — 
a large libnuy overlooking the river Avon, bedroom, bath- 
room and servant's room, — all capable of being shut off from 
the rest of the hoose, by double doors, so that the oc«npani 
might ba qoite nndiBtorbed. When everythmg was finished, 
and splendidly famished, tiie Goodeves wrote to Ur. Hurry : 
" It is time for you to give ap yoor paper and come home. 
Ton acted a father's part to ns 'when we went ont first to India. 
Now come to ns, and live as with your son and daughter." 

Mr. Hurry accepted the invitation and foond waiting for 
him and his Indian servant the beantifal soite of rooms built 
for him, and the tenderest welcome. I saw him often seated 
by their fire-side just as a father might have been. When 
the time came for him to die, Mrs. Ooodere nursed him 
with such devoted care, and strmned herself so much in 
liiling and helping him, that her own health was irretrievably 
injured, and she died not long aflerwards. 



I could write more of Bristol and Clifton friends, high and 
low, but mnst draw this chapter of my life to a close. I 
went to Bristol an ntter stranger, knowing no human bemg 
there. I left it after a few years all peopled, as it seemed to 
me, with kind aonla ; and without one single remembrance of 
anything else but kindness received there either from genUe 
or simple. 



CHAPTER 



XIV. 



ITALY. 1857—1879. 



CHAPTER XIV. 
Italy. 1867—1879. 

I vuuTSD Italy six times between the above dates. The 
reader need not be wearied by reminiscences of snch familiar 
joumeyings, which, in my case, were always made quickly 
through France, (a country which I intensely dislike) and 
extended pretty evenly over the most beautiful cities of 
Italy. I spent several seasons in Home and Florence, and a 
winter in Pisa ; and I visited once, twice or three times, Venice, 
Bologna, Naples, Perugia, Assist, Verona, Padua, Genoa, 
Milan and Turin. The only interest which these wanderings 
can daim belongs to the people with whom they brought me 
into contact, and these include a somewhat remarkable list : 
Mr. and Mrs. Browning, Mrs. Somerville, Theodore Parker, 
Walter Savage Landor, Massimo d* Azeglio, John Gibson, 
Charlotte Cushmaa, Count Guide Usedom, Adolphus 
TroUope and his first wife, Mr. W. W. Story, and Mrs. 
Beecher Stowe. Of many of these I gave slight sketches in 
my book. Italics ; and must refer to them very briefly here. 
That book, I may mention, was written principally at Villa 
(hiecco, a beautiful villa at Nervi on the Riviera di Levante, 
then rented by my kind friend Count Usedom, the Plrussian 
Ambassador and his English wife. Count Guido Usedom, — 
now alas I gone over to the majority, — ^was an extremely 
cultivated man, who had been at one time Secretary to 
Bunsen's Embassy in Rome. He was so good as to under- 
take what I may call my (Italian) Political Education; 
instructing me not only of the facts o recent history, but of 
the dessotu des cartes of each event as they were known to the 
initiated. He placed all his despatches for many years in 



and even taught me Uie oryptognqihB then in diplomatic nee. 
His own lett«rs to hia King, the late Emperor Wilhelm I-, 
were lively and delightful sketches of Italian affitira ; for, as 
he said, he bad discovered that to indnce the King to read 
them they must be both amusing and beanljfnlly tranBcribed. 
From him and the Prefects and other inflnential men who 
came to visit him at Villa Gnecoo, I gained some views of 
politioB not perhaps nnworthy of record. 

One day I asked him, " Whether it were exactiy tme that 
Cavoor had told a distinct falsehood in the Chambara about 
Garibaldi's isvasion of Naples ? " Coont TJsedom rephed, 
"'Ho did; and I do not believe there is a statesman in Europe 
who wonld not have done the same when a kingdom was in 
question." He obvioasly tlion^t, (scmpnlonaly couscientione 
as ho was himself) that, to diplomatists in general and their 
sovereigns, the laws of moraUty and honour were like ladiee' 
braeeletfi, highly ornamental and to be worn habitoally, bat 
to be slipped off when any serious work was to be done which 
required free hands. He said : " People (especially women) 
often asked me is such a King a good man ? Is Napoleon IH. 
a good vutnf This is nonsense. They are all good men, 
in HO far that they will not do a crnel, or treacherons, or 
unjust thing Kithoui strong reOMotu for it. That would be not 
only a crime but a blunder. But when great dynastic 
interests are concerned, Eings and Emperors and their 
ministers are neither guided by moral considerations or 
deterred from following their interests because a life, or 
many Uves, stand in the way." He addaced Napoleon III.'b 
Coup d'itat as an example. Napoleon was not a man to 
indulge in any cruel or vindictive sentiment ; but neither was 
he one to forego a step needed for his policy. 

The year following these stndies undw Count TJsedom I 
was living in London, and met Mazzini one evening by special 



irdLT. 1857—1879. 367 

invitation alone at the house of Mr. and Mrs. James Stansfeld 
(I speak of Mr. Stansfeld's first wife, sister of Madame 
Yentnri). After dinner onr hosts left ns alone, and Mazzini, 
whom I had often met before and who was always very good 
to me, asked me if I wonld listen to his version of the recent 
history of Italy, since he thonght I had been much misin- 
formed on the snlject ? Of course I conld only express my 
sense of the honour he did me by the proposal ; and then, 
somewhat to my amazement and amusement, Mazzini 
descended from his armchair, seated himself opposite me 
cross-legged on the magnificent white rug before Mrs. 
Stansfeld's blazing fire, and proceeded to pour out, — I believe 
for quite two hours, — the entire story of all that went before 
and after the siege of Bome, his Triumvirate, and the subse- 
quent risings, plots and battles. If any one could have taken 
down that wonderful story in shorthand it would possess 
immense value, and I regret profoundly that I did not at 
least attempt, when I went home, to write my recollections 
of it. But I was merely ^bewildered. Each event which 
Mazzini named, — sittmg so coolly there on the rug at my 
feet: — ''I sent an army here, I ordered a rising there," 
appeared under an aspect so entirely different from that 
which it bad bome as represented to me by my political 
friends in Italy, that I was continually mystified, and 
asked : **• But Signor Mazzini, are you talking of such and 
such an event ? " — " Ma «i, Signora " — and off he would go 
again with vivid and eloquent explanations and descriptions, 
which fairly took my breath away. At last (I believe 
it was near midnight), Mrs. Stansfeld, who had, of course, 
arranged this effort for my conversion to Italian Bepublicanism, 
returned to the drawing-room; and I fear that the truly 
noble-hearted man who had done me so high a favour, rose 
disappointed from his lowly rug I He said to me at another 
time : ''You English, who are blessed with loyal sovereigns, 



licaoe is, that we cannot trust onr Eioge and Grand Dukes 
an inch. They are each one of them a iJi TroJitort / " One 
coold quite eoneede Uiat a ocoiBtitntional goTsmment onder a 
traitor-piiooe vonld not bold out any prospect of success ; 
bnt at all events Victor Emannel and Umberto have completely 
exonerated themselves from such Baspidons. 

To retom to Italy and the men I know there. Connt 
Usedom's reference to Napoloon'a Coup d'itat reminds 
me of the clever saying which I have quoted else- 
where, of a greater diplomatist than he ; Cavaliere Massimo 
d' Azeglio. Talking with him, as I had the privilege of doing 
every day for many months at the table d'hflte in the 
hotd where we both spent a winter in Pisa, I made 
some remark aboat the mistake of foonding Religion on 
histories of Miracles. " Ah, lea miracles I " exclaimed 
D'Azeglio; "je n'en orois rient Ca tont des coups d'itat 
dlttta I " Cotdd the strongest argument against them have 
been more neatly packed in one aimile ? A coup d'itat is a 
praetioal confession that the regnlar and orderly methods of 
Government have faUed in the hands of the Governor, and 
that he is driven to have reconrse to irregular and lawless 
methods to compass bis ends and vindicate his sovereignty. 
A etmp d'itat is like the act of an impatient chess plsyer who, 
finding himself losing the game while playing fairly, sweeps 
some pieces from the board to recover his advantage. Is 
this to he believed of Divine rule of the universe ? 

D' Az^Uo was one of those men, of whom I have met 
about a dozen in life, who impressed me as having in their 
characters elements of real greatntit ; not being merely clever 
or gifted, but large-Bouled. When I knew bim he was a 
fallen Statesman, an almost forgotten Author, a General on 
the shelf, a Prime Minister leduced to living in a single 
room at an hotel, withont a secretary or even a valet ; yet he 



ITALY. 1857—1879. 309 

was the cheeriest Italian I ever knew. His spirits never 
seemed to fisJter. He was the life of onr table every day, 
and I nsed to hear him singing continually over his water- 
colour drawing in his room adjoining mine at the GhrarC 
Bretagnaf on the» dnU Lnng-Amo of Pisa. The fate of Italy, 
which still hmig in suspense, was, however, ever near his 
heart. One day it was talked over at the table d*hdte, and 
D' Azeglio looked grave, and said : " We speak of this man and 
the other ; but it is God who is making Italy ! " It was so 
unusual a sentiment for an Italian gentleman to utter, that 
it impressed the listeners almost with awe. Another day, 
talking of Thackeray and the ugliness of his school of 
novelists, he observed: "It is all right to seek to express 
Truth. But why do these people always seem to think qu*il 
n*y a rien de vrai excepti le laid?** The reason, — ^I might 
have replied, — ^is, that it is extremely difficult to depict Beauty, 
and extremely easy to create UgUness! Beauty means 
Proportion, Refinement, Elevation, Simplicity. How much 
harder it is to convey these truly, than Disproportion, 
Coarseness, Baseness, Duplicity ? Since D' Azeglio spoke 
we have gone on creating Ugliness and calling it Truth, till 
M. Zola has originated a literature in honour of Le Laid, 
and given us books like UAssommoir in which it s perfected, 
almost as Beauty was of old in a statue of Praxiteles or in 
the Dresden Madonna. 

One day that M. d' Azeglio was doing me the honour of 
guying me a visit in my room, he narrated to me the following 
singular little bit of history. It seems that when he was 
Premier of Sardinia and Lord John Bussell of England, 
the latter sent him through Lord Minto a distinct message, 
— '' that he might safely undertake a certain line of ^oHcy, 
since, if a given contingency arose, England would afford him 
armed support." The contingency did occur; but Lord 
Bussell was unable to give the armed support which he had 

2 A 



He resigned office, and,! think, then retired from public life; 
bat some years lat«r, being in England, he was Invited to 
Windsor. Therehehappenedtobeludnpwitbacold.andljord 
BnsBoll and Lord Minto.who vere alao gneats at the castle, 
paid him a visit in his apartments. "Then," said D'Azeglio, 
"I tnmed on them boUi, and challengod them to Bay whether 
Lord iSmia had not conv^ed that message to me from Lord 
BoBSell, and wheUier he had not &iled to keep his engage- 
ment? They did not attempt to deny that it was so." 
D' Az^lio (I nnderstbod him to say) had himself sent the 
Sardinian contingent to fi^t with onr troops and the French 
in the Crimea, for the express and sole purpose of making 
Europe recognise that there was a Qwition d'ltalU; (or 
possibly be spoke of t^ being the motive of the Minister 
who did so). Another remark which this charming old man 
made has remained very clearly on my memory for a reason 
to be presently ezpltuned. He observed, laughing : " People 
seem to think tbat Ministers have indefinite Ume at their 
disposal, bnt they have only 21 hours like other men, and 
they must eat and sleep and rest like the remainder of the 
human ntce. When I was Premier I calculated that dividii^ 
the sniijecta wfaich demanded attention and the time I had to 
beetow on them, tbere were just ihrtt minvia and a-haifon an 
average for ordinary sntjeots, and eight minutes for important 
ones I And if that be so in a little State like Piedmont, what 
mnst it be in the case of a Prime Minister of England? I 
cannot think how mortal man can bear the office ! " 

Many years afterwards I told this to an English Statesman, 
uid he replied — with rather startling i^Mtj dtamtr, consider- 
ing the responsibilities for Irish mnrders then resting on his 
shoulders : — " Quite tme, it is all a sonffie and a scramble 
botn morning to n^ht. If you had seen me two hours ^o 
yon would have found me listening to a very important 



ITALY. 1857— 1879, 371 

dispatch read to me by one of my secretaries while I was 
dictating another, equally important; to another. All a scuffle 
and a scramble from morning to night ! *' Count Usedom told 
me that at one time he had been Minister of War in Prussia, 
and that he knew a great battle was imminent next day, the 
Prussian army having just come up with the enemy. He 
lay awake all night reflecting on the horrors of the ensuing 
fight ; remembering that he had the power to telegraph to 
the General in command to stop it, and longing with all his 
soul to do so, but knowing that the act would be treachery to 
his country. Of this sort of anxiety I strongly suspect some 
statesmen have never felt a twinge. 

It was at Florence in 1860 that I met Theodore Parker for 
the first time. After the letters of deep sympathy and agree- 
ment on religious matters which had passed between us, it 
was a strange turn of fate which brought him to die in 
Florence, and me to stand beside his death-bed and his grave. 
The world has, as is natural, passed on over the road which 
he did much to open, and his name is scarcely known to the 
younger generation ; but looking back at his work and at his 
books again after thirty years, and when early enthusiasm 
has given place to the cahn judgment of age, I still feel that 
Theodore Parker was a very great religious teacher and 
Confessor, — ^as Albert Beville wrote of him : '' Cet Twmme 
fiU un PropMte,'* That is, he received the truths of what 
he called '' Absolute Religion " at first hand in his own faithful 
soul, and spoke them out, fearless of consequences, with 
unequalled straightforwardness. He was not subtle-minded. 
He did not at all see obliquely round comers, as men like 
Cardinal Newman always seem to have done ; nor estimate 
the limitations which his broad statements sometimes required. 
It would have been scarcely possible to have been both the 
man he was, and also a fine critic and metaphysician. But 
his was a clear, trumpet voice, to which many a freed and 



372 CHAPTER XIV. 

rejoicing spirit responded ; and if he founded no sect or school, 
he did better. He infused into the religious life of England 
and America an element« hardly present before, of natural 
confidence in the absolute goodness of God independent of 
theologies. No man did more than he to awaken the Protestant 
nations from the hideous nightmare of an Eternal Hell, which 
within my own recollection, hovered over the piety of 
England. As he was wont himself to say, laughingly, he had 
« knocked the bottom out of hell t " 

I will copy here some Notes of my oifly interviews with 
this honoured friend and teacher, to whom I owed so much : 



" 28th April. Saw Mr. Parker for the first time. He was 
lying in bed with his back to the light. Mrs. Parker 
brought me into the room. He took my hand tenderly and 
said in a low, hurried voice, holding it : * After all our 
wishes to meet, Miss Gobbe, how strange it is we should 
meet thus.* I pressed his hand and he turned his eyes, 
which were trembling painfully and evidently seeing 
nothing, towards me and said, ' You must not think you 
have seen me. This is not m^, only the wreck of the man I 
was.' Then, after a pause he added : * Those who love me 
most can only wish me a quick passage to the other world. 
Of course I am not afraid to die (he smiled as he spoke) but 
there was so much to be done I * I said : ' You have given 
your life to God and His truth as truly as any martyr 
of old.* He replied : ' I do not know ; I had great powers 
committed to me, I have but half used them.' I gave him 
a nosegay of roses and lily-of-the-vaUey. He smiled and 
touched tiie lily-of-the-vaUey, saying it was the sweetest of 
all flowers. I begged him, if his lodgings were not all he 
desired, to come to villa Brichieri '* [a villa on Bellosguardo, 
which I then shared with Miss Blagden] ,** but he said he was 
most comfortable where he was. Then his mind wandered 
a little about a bad dream which haunted him, and I left 
him." 



ITALY. 1857—1879. 373 

** April 29th. I was told on arriving that Mr. Parker had 
spoken very tenderly of my visit of the day before, but had 
said, ' I most not see her often. It makes my heart swell 
too high. Bat yon (to his wife) must see her every day. 
Bemember there is bat one Miss Cobbe in the world. 
Afterwards he told Dr. Appleton that he wanted him to get 
an inkstand for me as a last gift. [This inkstand I have 
nsed ever since.] He received me very kindly, bat almost 
at once his mind wandered, and he spoke of ' going home 
immediately.' He asked what day of the week it was ? I 
said : * This is the blessed day ; it is Snnday.* ' Ah yes 1 ' 
he said, < It is a blessed day when one has got over the 
snperstition of it. I will try to go to yon to-morrow.' (Of 
coarse this was atterly oat of the question.) Then he 
looked at the lily of Florence which I had brought, and 
told him how I had got it down from one of the old walls 
for him, and he smiled the same sweet smile as yesterday, 
and touched the beautiful blue Iris, and soon seemed to 
sleep.*' 

I called after this every day, generally twice a day, at the 
Pension Molini whore he lay ; but rarely could interchange a 
word. Parker's friend, Dr. Appleton of Boston, who was 
faithfully attending him, sent for another friend. Prof. Desor, 
and they and the three ladies of the party nursed him, of 
course, devotedly. On the 10th May I saw him lying 
breathing quietly, while life ebbed gently. I returned to 
Bellosgnardo and at eight o'clock in the evening Prof. Desor 
and Dr. Appleton cane up to tell me he had passed peacefully 
away. 

Parker had, long before his death, desired that the first 
eleven verses of the Sermon on the Mount should be read at 
his funeral. Whethe^r he intended that they should form the 
only service was not known ; but Desor and Appleton arranged 
that so it should be, and that they should be read by Bev. 
W. Cunningham, an American Unitarian clergyman who was 



374 CHAPTER XIV. 

fortunately at the time living near us on Bellosgoardo, and who 
was a man of much feeling and dignity of aspect. The fimeral 
took place on Snnday, the 18th May, at the heaatifol old 
Campo Santo Inglese, ontside the walls of Florence, which 
contains the dnst of Mrs. Browning, of Arthur Hugh 
Clough, and many others dear to English memories. It 
was the first funeral I had ever attended. The coffin 
when I arrived, was already lying in the mortuary chapel. 
My companions placed a wreath of laurels on it, and I added 
a large hunch of the lily-of-the- valley which he had loved. 
Then eight Italian paJl-hearers took up the coffin and carried 
it on a side-walk to the grave. When it had heen lowered 
with some difficulty to the last resting-place, my notes 
say: — 

" Dr. Appleton then handed a Bihle to Mr. Cunningham. 
I was standing close to him and heard his voice falter. He 
read like a man who felt all the holy words he said, and 
those sacred Blessings came with unspeakable rest to my 
heart. Then Desor, who had been pale as death, threw in 
one handful of day. . . . The burial ground is exquisitely 
lovely, a very wilderueas of flowers and perfume. Only a 
few cypresses give it grandeur, not gloom. All Florence 
was decorated with flags in honour of the anniversary of 
Piedmontese Constitution. We said to one another : * It is 
a festival for us also — the solemn feast of an Ascension,* " 

Of course I visited this grave when I returned to Florence 
several years afterwards. The cjrpresses had grown large 
and dark and somewhat shadowed it. I had the violets, &c., 
renewed upon it more than once, but I heard later that it had 
become somewhat dilapidated, and I was glad to join a sub- 
scription got up by an American gentleman to erect a new 
tombstone. I hope it has been done, as he would have desired, 
with simplicity. I shall never see that grave again. 

Two or three years later I edited all the twelve vols, of 
Parker's Works for Messrs. Triibner, and wrote a somewhat 



ITALY, 1857—1879. 

lengthy Preface for them ; afterwards reprinted ai 
pamphlet entitled the Beligiotu Demands of th$ ; 
Biographies of Parker have appeared ; the shortei 
in England hy Bev. Peter Dean, heing in my opifl 
The letters which I received from Parker in the ; 
I saw him are all printed by my permission in 
Life, and therefore will not be reproduced here. 

That venerable old man, Bev. John J. Tayler, w 
a few years later, summed np Parker's character 
justly as did Mr. Jowett in calling him a '' religion 

'* I read lately with much pleasure your Pre: 
forthcoming edition of Theodore Parker's worl 
cordially with your estimate of his character, 
were of the highest type of the hero and the mi 
faults, sudh as they were, were suoh as are 
every ardent and earnest soul fighting against ' 
and hypocrisy; faults which colder and mo 
natures easily avoid, faults which he shared wi 
the best and noblest of our race — a Milton, a Lu^ 
Paul. When freedom and justice have achii 
oonqnests yet to come, his memory will be cher 
deeper reverence and affection than it is, except 
number, now. 

" I remain, dear Miss Cobbe, very truly youi 

At the time of Parker's death I was sharing the 
of my clever and charming friend, Isa Blagde 
Brichieri on Bellosguardo. It was a delighl 
with a small podere off the road, and 
broad balcony (accommodating any number 
opening from the airy drawing-room, and cc 
a splendid view of Florence backed by F: 
the Apennines. On the balcony, and in our 




occssioDS, an tnteresting and varied company. We vere 
botb of nfl poor, but m those days poverty in Florence 
permitted ne to rent 14 well -furnished rooms in a charming 
villa, and to keep a maid and a man-servant. The latter 
bought onr meala every morning in Florence, cooked and 
served them ; being always clean and respectably dressed. 
He swept oar floors and he opened onr doors and announced 
our company and served our ices and tea with nnilbrm 
qnietnras and success. A treasure, indeed, woe good old 
Ansano 1 Also we were able to engage an open carriage with 
a pair of horses to do our shopping and pay our visits in 
Florence as often as we needed. And what does the reader 
think it cost as to live like this, fire and candles and food for 
four inclnded ? In those halcyon days under the old rigime, 
it was precisely £20 a month I We divided everything 
exactly and it never exceeded £10 a-piece. 
Among onr most frequent visitors was Hr. Browning. 



ITALY. 1867--1879. 377 

off at the end 1 When we drove oat in partiefl he would 
disooss every tree and weed, and get excited abont the differ- 
ence between eglantine and eglatere (if there be any), and 
between either of them and honeysnckle. He and Isa were 
always wrangling in an affectionate way over some book or 
music ; (he was a fine performer himself on the piano), and one 
night when I had left Villa Brichieri and was living at Villa 
Niccolini at least half-a-mile off, the air, being in some singular 
condition of sonority, carried their voices between the walls of 
the two viUas so clearly across to me that I actually heard 
some of the words of their quarrel, and closed my window 
lest I should be an eavesdropper. I believe it was about 
Spirit-rapping they were fighting, for which, and the pro- 
fessors of the art. Browning had a horror. I have seen him 
stamping on the floor in a frenzy of rage at the way some 
believers and mediums were deceiving Mrs. Browning. 

Thirty years afterwards, the last time I ever had the privi- 
lege of talking with Bobert Browning (it was in Surrey House 
in London), I referred to these old days and to our friend, 
long laid in that Campo Santo at Florence. His voice feU 
and softened, and he said : '' Ah, poor, dear Isa 1 " with 
deep feeling. 

At that time I do not think that any one, certainly no one 
of the society which surrounded him, thought of Mr. Browning 
as a great poet, or as an equal one to his wife, whose Aurora 
Leigh was then a new book. The utter unselfishness and 
generosity wherewith he gloried in his wife's fame, — ^bringing 
us up constantly good reviews of her poems and eagerly 
recounting how many editions had been called for, — perhaps 
helped to blind us, stupid that we were 1 to his own claims. 
Never, certainly did the proverb about the *\irrUabile genus " 
of Poets prove less true. All through his life, even when the 
world had found him out, and societies existed for what Mr. 
Frederic Harrison might justly have called a " culte " of 



Browning, if not a " latria, he remiuiied the same absomtely 
nndfected, tmasstuning, genial English gentleman. 

Of Mrs. Browning I never saw mnch. Bnndry TiBita wa 
paid to each other missed, and when I did find her at home 
in Casa Gnidi we did not fall on congenial themes. I waa 
babbling over with enthnsiaem for her poetry, bat had not 
the andacity to express my admiration, (which, in tmth, had 
been my special leaaon for visiting Florence ; ) and aha 
entangled me in erudite discnssiona abont Tuscan and 
Bolognese schools of punting, concerning which I knew 
Uttle and, perhaps, cared less. Bat I am glad Z looked into 
the splendid eyes which lived like coals, in her pain-worn 
face, and revealed the sonl which Bobert Browning trasted 
to meet again on the threshold of eternity.* Was there ever 
each a testimony as their perfect marriage, — living on as it did 
in the sarvivor's heart for a quarter of a century, — to the 
possibility of the eternal onion of Oenins and Love ? 

I received in later years from Ur. Browning several 
letters which I may as well insert in tliia place. 

"19, Warwick Crescent, W., 

" December 28th, 1874. 
" Dear Miss Oobbe, 

"I return the Petition, for the one good leasoo, that I 
have just signed its fellow forwarded to me by Mr. Jjeslie 
Stephen. Yon have heard ' I take an equal interest with 
yonrself in the effort to snppresa Vivisection.' I dare not 
BO honour my mere wishes and prayers as to pat them tor a 
moment beside yoor noble acts, but this I know, I would 
rather submit to the worst of deaths, so far as pain goes, 
than have a single dog or oat tortured on the pretence of 
sparing me a twinge or two. I return the paper, becanae I 



ITALY. 1857—1879. 379 

shall be probably ahat ap here for the next week or two, 
and prevented from seeing my friends, whoever wonld 
refuse to sign wonld certainly not be of the nmnber." 

••Ever trnly and gratefully yours, 

<«BOBSBT BBOWMINa." 

*' 19, Warwick Crescent, W., 

"July 8rd, 1881. 
'* Dear Miss Oobbe, 

"I wish I were not irretrievably engaged on Monday 
afternoon, twice over, as it prevents me from accepting 
your invitation. By all I hear, Mr. Bishop's performance 
must be instructive to those who need it, and amusing to 
everybody.* 

** Thank you very much, 

" Ever truly yours, 

**BOBEET BbOWNING.*' 

* This refers to an afternoon party we gave to witness poor Mr. 
Bishop's interesting thought-reading performances. He was 
wonderfully snccessful throughout, and the company, which 
consisted of about 80 clever men and women, were unanimous in 
applauding his art, of whatever nature it may have been. I may 
add that after my guests were departed, when I took out 
my cheque-book and begged to know his fee, Mr. Bishop 
positively refused to accept any remuneration whatever for the 
charming entertainment he had given us. The tragic droumstances 
of the death of this unhappy young man will be remembered. He 
either died, or fell into a deathlike trance, at a supper party in 
New York, in 1889 ; and within fmar hawr$ of his real (or apparent) 
decease, three medical men who had been supping with him, dis- 
sected lus braui. One doctor who conducted this autopsy alleged 
that Bishop had been extremely anxious that his brain should be 
examined po$t mortem^ but his mother asserted on the contrary, 
that he had a peculiar horror of dissection, and had left directions 
that no po9t mortem should be held on his remains. It was also 
stated that he had a card in his pocket warning those who might find 
him at any time in a trance, to beware of burying him before signs 
of dissolution should be visible. In a leading artide on the subject 
in the Livtrfool Daily Po§t, May 91st, 1889, it is stated that by the 



880 OHAPTER XIV. 

••19, Warwick Crescent, W., 

••October 22nd, 1889. 
'* Dear Miss Cobbe, 

•• It is about a week ago since I had to write to the new 
Editor of the * Fortnightly,* Mr. Escott — and assure him 
that I was so tied and bound by old promises • to give some- 
thing to this and that Magazine if I gave at all * — that it 
became impossible I oonld oblige anybody in even so trifling 
a matter. It comes of making rash resolations — ^bnt, once 
made, there is no escape from the consequence — though I 
rarely have felt this so much of a hardship as now when I 
am forced to leave a request of yours uncomplied with. 
For the rest, I shall indeed rejoice if that abominable and 
stupid cruelty of pigeon-shooting is put a stop to The 
other detestable practice, Vivisection, strikes deeper root, 
I fear ; but God bless whoever tugs at it I 

••Ever yours most truly, 

••Robert BBowKiKa.** 

UwB of the United States " it is distinotly enacted that no disseo- 
tion shall take place without the fiat of the coroner, or at the 
request of the relatives of the deceased ; bo that some explanation 
of the anxiety which induced so manifest a breach of both laws and 
custom is emhiently desirable. A second examination of the body 
at the instance of the coroner, has revealed the fact that all the 
organs were in a healthy state, and that it was impossible to ascribe 
death to any specific cause or to say whether Mr. Bishop were 
alive or dead at the tune of the first autopsy.'* Both wife and 
mother believed he was ** murdered ; " and ordered that word to be 
engraved on his coffin. His mother had herself experienced a 
cataleptic trance of six days' duration, during the whole of which 
she was fully conscious. The three doctors were proceeded against 
by her and the widow, and were put under bonds of £500 each ; 
but, as the experts alleged that it was impossiblis to decide the cause 
of death, the case eventually dropped. Whether it were one of 
** Human ViviseeHon " or not, can never now be known. If the 
three physicians who performed the autopsy on Mr. Bishop did 
not commit a murder of appalling barbarity on the helpless com- 
panion of their supper-table, they certainly rUked incurring thai 
guilt with unparalleled levity and callousness. 



ITALY. 1857-^1879. S81 

Another of our most frequent visitors at Villa Brichieri 
was Mr. T. Adolphns TroUope, author of the Oirlhood of 
Catherine de* Medici, ** A Decade of Italian Women'* and other 
books. Though not so successful an author as his brilliant 
brother Anthony, he was an interesting man, whom we much 
liked. One day he came up and pressed us to go back with 
him and pay a visit to a guest at his Yillino Trollope in the 
Piazza Maria Antonia, — a lovely house he had built, with a 
broad verandah behind it, opening on a garden of cypresses 
and oranges backed by the old crenelated and Iris-decked 
walls of Florence. He had, he told us, a most interesting 
person staying with him and Mrs. Trollope ; — ^Mrs. Lewes — 
who had written Adam Beds, and was then writing Eomola. 
Miss Blagden alone went with him, and was enchanted, 
like all the world, with George Eliot 

Mr. Trollope told me many curious facts concerning Italian 
society which, from his long residence, he knew more 
intimately than almost any other foreigner. He described 
the marriage settiement of a nobleman which had actually 
passed through his hands, wherein the intending husband, 
with wondrous foresight and precaution, deliberately named 
three or four gentlemen, amongst whom his future wife might 
choose her cavaliere servente ! 

We had several other Juxbitues at our villas ; Ball' Ongaro, 
a poet and ex-priest; Bomanelli, the sculptor; and Miss Linda 
White, now Madame Yillari, the charming authoress and 
hostess of a brilliant salon, wife of the eminent historian 
who was recently Minister of Education. 

Perhaps the most interesting of our visitors, after Mr. 
Browning, was Mrs. Beecher Stowe. She impressed me 
much, and the criticisms I have read of her ** Sunny Memories " 
and other books have failed to diminish my admiration for 
her. She was one of the few women, I suppose, who have 
actually felt Fame, as heroes do who receive national 



iTrampns ; ana sae eeemea m do as simpie ana impreiennotis, 
as little elated as it was poBsibla to be. She hod ereo a trick 
of looking down as if sfae had been stared oat of coontenance ; 
bat this was perhaps a part of that singnlar habit which 
most Evangelicals of her claes exhibited thirty years ago, of 
shyneas in society and inability to converse except with the 
person seated next them in company. It was the verifioatian 
after eighteen centnriea of the old heathen taont against the 
Christians, recorded in the dialogues of Minucins Felix, "7n 
publieam muta, in angvlii garrula!" I have recorded 
elsewhere Mrs. Stowe's remark when I spoke with 
grief of the end of Theodore Parker's work. "Do yoa 
think," she said, suddenly looking up at me with 
fashing eyes, " that Theodore Parker has no work to 
do for Qod now ?" I mnst not repeat agun her 
interesting conversation as we sat on onr balcony watching 
the son go down over the Val d' Amo. After mach serioos 
talk as to the nearness of the next life, Mrs. Btowe narrated a 
saying of her boy on which, (as I told her), a good heterodox 
sermon tn my lente might be preached. She taoght the child 
that Anger was sinfnl, whereupon he asked : " Then why, 
Mama, does the Bible say so often that QoA was angry?" 
She replied motherlike : " Yon will nnderstand it when you 
are older." The boy pondered serioosly for awhile and then 
burst out : " Mama, I have found it ont I Ood is angry, 
becauat Ood Unota Christian ! " 

Another of our haintuea on my first vint to Florence was 
Walter Savage Landor. At that time he was, with his dear 
Pomeranian dog, Qiallo, living alone in very ordinary lodgings 
in Florence, having qnarrelled with his family and left his villa 
in their possession. He had a grand, leonine head with long 
white heir and beard, and to bear him denotmcing his children 
was to witness a performance of Lear never matehed on any 
stage I He was very kind to me, and we often walked about 



ITALY. 1867—1879. 383 

odd nooks of Florence together, while he poured out reminis- 
cences of Byron and Shelley, some of which I have recorded 
(Chap. IX., p. 257), and of others of the older generation whom 
he had known, so that I seemed in touch with them all. He 
was then ahout 88 years of age, and perhaps his great and 
cultivated intellect was ahready failing. Much that he said in 
wrath and even fury seemed like raving, hut he was gentle as 
a child to us women, and to his dog whom he passionately 
loved. When I wrote the first Memorial against Prof. Schiff 
which started the anti- vivisection crusade, Mr. Lander's name 
was one of the first appended to it. He added some words 
to his signature so fierce and contemptuous that I never 
dared to publish them t 

We also saw much of Dr. Grisanowski, a very clever Pole, 
who afterwards became a prominent advocate of the science- 
tortured brutes. When I discussed the matter with him he 
was entirely on the side of Science. After some years he sent 
me his deeply thought-out pamphlet, with the endorsement 
" For Miss Cobbe, — ^who was right when I was wrong ; " a 
very generous retractation. We also received Mr. Frederick 
Tennyson, (Lord Tennyson's brother), Madame Yenturi, 
Madame Alberto Mario, the late Lord Justice Bowen, (then a 
brilliant young man from Oxford,) and many more. 

By far the best and dearest of my friends in Florence 
however, was one who never came up our hill, and who was 
ahready then an aged woman — ^Mrs. Somerville^ I had 
brought a letter of introduction to her, being anxious to see 
one who had been such an honour to womanhood ; but I 
expected to find her an incarnation of Science, having very 
little affinity with such a person as I. Instead of this, I 
found in her the dearest old lady in all the world, who took 
me to her heart as if I had been a newly-found daughter, and 
for whom I soon felt such tender affection that sitting beside 
her on her sofa, (as I mostly did on account of her deafiness) 



i «jmu uiuuij n.^p uijHui uum uiuvwuiu utMT. ill » iBLier 

to Harriet St. Leger I wrote of her: " She is the very ideal 
of an old lady, bd gentle, cordial and dignified, like my mother ; 
and as freab, eager and intelligent n«w, as she can ever have 
been." Her religioaa ideas proved to be exactly like my 
own ; and being no donbt somewhat a-thirst for sympathy on 
a snliject on which she felt profouidly, (her daaght«rB 
difierii^ from her), she opened her heart to me entirely. 
Here are a few notes I made after talks with her : — 

"Mrs. Somerrille thinks no one can be eloquent who has 
Dot studied the Bible. Wo discnssed the character of Christ. 
She agreed to all I said, adding she thought it clear 
the Apostlea never thought he was God, only the image of 
the perfection of God. She kissed me tenderly when I rose 
to go and bade me come back at any honr — at three in the 
morning if I liked I — May I8th. A&s. Bomerville gave me 
her photograph. She says she alwajrs feels a regret thinking 
of the next life that we shall see no more the flowers of this 
world. I said we should no donbt see others etill fairer. 
"Ahl yes," she Bud, " but our own roses and mignonett«l 
I shall miss them. The dear animals I believe we iliall meet. 
They suffer so often here, they mnst live agam." — Jnne Srd. 
Wished fiireweQ to Mrs. SomerviUe. She said kissing me 
with many tears, " We shall meet in Hoaven I I shall dium 
you there." 

I saw Mrs. Bomerville again on my other visits to Italy, 
at Genoa, Spezzia and Naples ; of eourse making it a great 
object of my plans to be for some weeks near her. In my 
last journey, in 1879, 1 saw at Niqiles the noble monument 
erected over her grave by her daughter. It repreeente her 
(heroio size) reclining on a classic chair, — in somewhat the 
attitude of the statue of Agrippina in the Vatican. 

Mrs. SomerviUe ought to have been buried in Westminster 
Abbey. When I saw her death announced on the posters of 



ITALY. 1867—1879. 385 

the newspapers in the streets in London, I burned as soon as 
I conld recover myself, to ask Dean Stanley to arrange for 
her interment in the Abbey. The Dean consented freely and 
with hearty approval to my proposition, and Mrs. Somerville's 
nephew, Sir William Fairfax, promised at once to defray all 
expenses. There was only one thing further needed, and that 
was the nsnal formal request from some public body or official 
persons to the Dean and Chapter of Westminster. Dean 
Stanley had immediately written to the Astronomer Royal U 
suggest that he and the President of the Royal Society, as 
the representatives of the sciences with which Mrs. Somer- 
ville's fame was connected, should address to him the demand 
which would authorize his proceeding with the matter. But 
that gentleman refused to do it — on the ground that he had 
never read Mrs. Somerville's books I Whether he had read 
one in which she took the opposite side from his in the sharp 
and angry Adams-Le Terrier controversy, it is not for me tc 
say. Any way, jealousy, either scientific or masculine, declined 
to admit Mary Somerville's claims to a place in the national 
YaUialla, wherein so many men neither intellectually nor 
morally her equals have been welcomed. 

From the time of our first meeting till her death in 1872, 
Mrs. SomerviUe maintained a close correspondence with me. 
I have had aU her beautifully- written letters bound together, 
and they form a considerable volume. Of course it was a 
delight to me to send her everything which might interest 
her, and among other things I sent her a volume of Theodore 
Parker's Prayers ; edited by myself. In October, 1868, 1 spent 
a long time at Spezzia to eijoy the immense pleasure of her 
society. I was then a cripple and onable to walk to her 
house, and wrote of her visits as follows to* Miss Elliot : 

*' Mrs. SomerviUe comes to me every day She is looking 
younger than three years ago and she talked to me for three 

2 B 



386 OH AFTER XIV. 

hoars yesterday, pouring out such stores of recent science 
as I never heard before. Then we talked a little heresy, 
and she thanked me with tears in her eyes for Parker's 
Prayers^ saying she had foond them the greatest comfort 
and the most perfect expression of religions feeling of any 
prayers she has known/' 

Another time I sent her my Hopes of ths Human Bacc. 
She wrote, three weeks before her death, '' God bless yon 
dearest friend for yonr irresistible argument for our 
Immortality I Not that I ever doubted of it, but as I 
shall soon enter my ninety-third year, your words are an 
inexpressible comfort." 

Mary Somerville was the living refutation of all the idle, 
fooUsh things which have been said of intellectual women. 
There never existed a more womanly woman. Her Lifef edited 
by her eldest daughter Martha Somerville (her son by her first 
marriage, Mr. Woronzow Greig, died long before her), has 
been much read and liked. I reviewed it in the Quarterly 
(January, 1874), and am tempted to enclose a letter which 
Martha Somerville (then and always my good friend) wrote 
about it : 

<* From Miss Somerville to F. P. C. 

**22nd January, Naples. 

"My dear Frances, 

" I have this morning reoeived the Quarterly Review and 
some slips from newspapers. What can I say to express 
my gratitude to you for the article, — so admirably written ; 
and giving so touching a picture of my Mother, — ^as you, 
her best friend (notwithstanding the great difference of age) 
knew her? Also I reoeived lately the Academy which 
pleased me much, too. The Memoir has been received far 
more favourably than I ventured to expect." 

A long time after this, I paid a visit to friends at St. 
Andrews and stopped from Saturday to Monday, on my way. 



ITALY. 1857—1879. 

at Biimtisland. Writing from thence to Miss Elliot 
own oountry, and ooontrymen, I said : — 

" I came here to look up the soene of Mrs. Soi ! 

childhood, and I have found everything just as she < i 

it; — ^the Links; the pretty hills and woods foil i 

flowers ; the rooky hit of shore with bonlders f ol i 

shells which excited her childish wonder when she ^ > 
ahont, a heantiful little girl, as she must have ' 
ever there were a case of — 

" * NotiriBhiiig a yoath sablima, 
With the fairy tales of soienoe and the long results of 

it was surely her's. Very naturally I was thinkin 
all day and wondering whether she is now stud i 
flora of Heaven, of which she used to speak, and i 
Astronomy among the stars ; or whether it can be : 
these things pass away for ever ! I wanted very 
make out where Sir William Fairfax' house had b i 
finally was directed to the schoolmaster who, it ^ : 
knew all about it. I found the good man in a larg< 
house where he has 600 pupils ; and as soon as he I 
my name he seized my hand and made great dei 
tions ; and straightway proceeded to constitute hin i 
guide to the localities in question. The joke howc i 
this. Hardly were we out of the house before he st i 
send yon a pamphlet of mine — not about Science, '. 
care for Science, I care for Morals ; — and I've f o i 
there is only a very little thing to he done, to 
pauperism and aU orime! You are just the person t( 
stand me I ' The idea of this poor schoolma i 
Burntisland compressing that modest progranune 
< pamphlet' seems to me deliciously characterii 
Scotland." 

A college for Ladies was opened some years ago at 
and named after Mrs. Somerville. I greatly rejoiced at t 
at this very fitting tribute to her memory ; and indai 



brotner to send tuB aaagbter, my dear nieee, J^ rancee uonvray 
Cobbe, to tlie Hall. I oeaaed to rejoice, however, when I 
found that a lad; bearing a name identified Titb '^^visecti<ni 
in England was nominated for election as a member of tbe 
Council of the College. I entered, (aa a Sabscriber,) the moat 
vigorona proteat I conld make againat the propoaed choice, 
bat, alas I in vtdn. 

One of our visitors at Tilla Brichieri was a very pious 
French lady, who came up to na one day to dinner straight 
from her devotiona in the Dnomo, where a Tridno was 
going on against Renan ; and, as it chanced, she began to praise 
somewhat excessively a lady of rank whoso reputation had 
suffered more than one serious injury. My English friend 
remarked, smiling, in mitigation of the eulogy : — 

" EUe a euo ses petits d^assemente I " 
the answer was deliciously XYm. Century — ■ 

" C'est CO qpi m'occnpe le moins. Fourvn que ccla soit 
fait aveo du Ixm godt I D'ailleors on ne parle seriensement 
que de deux on trois. Le Prince deS., par exemple. Encore 
est il mort celui-l& I " 

It was during one of my visits to Florence that I saw 
IQng Yictor Emanuel's public entry into tlie city, which had 
jnst elected him King. This is how I described the scene to 
Harriet Bt. Leger : — 

" Happily we had a fine day for the king's entry on 
Uooday last. It vras a glorious sight I The beantifid old 
city blossomed out in flowers, fi^s, garlands, hangings and 
gonfalons beyond all English imagination. In every street 
there was a triumphal arob, while bottlevard* of artificial 
trees loaded with oamelias, ran from the railway to tbe 
gate and down Hm via Oalsaioli. Even tbe mean little 
sdmociDlo de' Pitti was made into one long arbour by twenty 
green arches fmstaining hanging baakets of fiowere. The 
Pitti itself bad its ragged old face decked with wreaths. I 



ITALY. 1857—1879. 

had (he good fortune to stand on a balcony oon 
view of the whole procession. Victor Emanuel 
charger of Solf erino, looked — coarse and fat as h< 
and a soldier, and more sympathetic than Kings 
Cavour has a Lnther-like face, which wore 
natural pleasure at his reception. The people i 
mad with joy. They did not cheer as we do, bu : 
sort of deep roar of ecstacy, flinging clouds of flo ; 
the King's horse's feet, and seeming as if they ^ 
themselves also from their balconies. Our 1 
Italian lady, went directly into hysterics, and all 
men and women cried and kissed and laughed in \ 
way. At night there was a marvellous ill i 
extending as far as the eye could reach, in eve ' 
and cottage down the Val d* Amo and up the sk • 
Apennines, where bonfires blazed on all the heigl i 

In Florence my friends had been principally HI i 
and women. In Borne they were chiefly artists 
Hosmer, to whom I had letters, was the first I ki ; 
was in those days the most bewitching sprite the "^ i 
saw. Never have I laughed so helplessly as at tl i 
fun of this bright Yankee girl. Even in later year 
perforce grew a little graver, she needed only to be | 
her descriptive stories to make us all young again 
not seen her now for many years since she has re 
America, nor yet any one in the least like her ; and 
to hope to convey to any reader the contagion of 1: 
ment. 0! what a gift, — beyond rubies, are sue! 
And what fools, what cruel fools, are those who dt 
down in children possessed of them I 

Of Miss Hosmer's sculpture I hoped, and every o 
great things. Her Zenobia, her Puck, her Sleep 
were beautiful creations in a very pure style of art. 
was lured away from sculpture by some inventic 
own of a mechanical kind over which many years c 



have beea lost. Now 1 believe She h&s achieved a fine statoe 
of Isabella of Spain, which has been erected is Sim FranciBCo. 
Jealous rivals in Borne spread abroad atone time a slanderous 
etory that Harriet Hosmer did not make her own Btatnes. I 
have in lay possession an antograph by her master, Qibson, 
which he wrote at the time to rebnt this falsehood, and which 
bears all the marks of his quaint style of English composition. 

" Finding that my pnpil Miss Hosmer's progress in her 
art begins to agitate some rivals of the mole sex, as proved 
bythetollowingmalicionswoTdspriiitedin the Art journal; — 

" * Zenobia — said to be by Miss Hosmet, bat really executed 
by an Italian workman at Home ' ; — 

" I feel it is bnt justice on my part to state that Miss 
Hosmer became my pnpil on her arrival at Borne from 
America. I Boon found that she had uncommon talent 
She studied under my own eyes for seven years, modelling 
from the antique and ber own original works from the living 
modeb. 

"The first report of her Zenobia was that it was the work 
of Mr. OibsoD. Afterwards that it bby a Roman workman. 
So far it is trae that it was bnilt up by my man from her 
own original small model, according to the practice of onr 
profession ; the long study and finishing is by herself, like 
every other sculptor. 

"If Miss Hosmer's works were the productions of other 
artists and not ber own there would be in my studio two 
impostors — Miss Honmer and Myself. 

"JOBK OlBSON, B.A. 

■' Rome, Nov., 1868." 
Oibson was himself a most interesting person ; an old 
Greek soul, bom by hap-hazurd in a Welsh village. He 
had wondei-folly little (for a Welshman) of anything like 
what Mr. Matthew Arnold caUa Hebraism in his composition. 
There was a story current among ns of some one telling him 
of a bet which had been made that another member of our 



ITALY. 1867—1879. 391 

Boeiety could not repeat the Lord's Prayer ; and it was added 
that the party defied to repeat it had begun (instead of it) with 
a doggerel American prayer for children : — 

*' Before I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray the Lord my soul to keep." 

'^ Ah I you see," said Gibson, '' He did know the Lord's 
Prayer after all I" 

Once he sat by me on the Pincian and said : "You know I 
don't often read the Bible, I have my sculpture to attend to. 
But I have had to look into it for my bas-relief of the Children 
coming to Christ, and, do you know, I find that Jesus Christ 
really said a good thing ? " 

I smothered my laughter, and said : ^'0 certainly, Mr. 
Gibson, a great many excellent things." '< Yes! " he said in 
his slow way. ''Yes, he did. There were some people 
called Pharisees who came and asked him troublesome 
questions. And he said, — he said, — well, I forget exactly 
what he said, but 'Deeds not words,' was what he meant 
to say." 

The exquisite grace of Gibson's statues was all a part of 
the purity and delicacy of his mind. He was in many respects 
an unique character; a simple-hearted and single-minded 
worshipper of Beauty ; and if my good friend Lady Eastlake 
had not thought fit to prune his extraordinarily quaint and 
original Autobiography, (which I have read in the MS.) to 
ordinary book form and modernised style, I believe it would 
have been deemed one of the gems of original literature, like 
Benvenuto Cellini's, and the renown of Gibson as a great 
artist would have been kept aUve thereby. 

A merry party, of whom Mr. Gibson was usually one, used 
to meet frequently that winter at the hospitable table oi 
Charlotte Cushman, the actress. She had, then, long retired 
from the stage, and had a handsome house in the via 
Gregoriana, in which also lived her friend Miss Stebbins and 



Misg Hoatner. Onr dinserB of American oyst«r8 and wild 
boar with agro-doloe-Bance, and d^jeuitere including an awfiil 
refection menacing snddan death, called "Woffles," eaten 
with molasses (of which woffles I have seen five plates divided 
between fonr American ladies I) were extremely hilarions. 
There was a brightness, freedom and joyonsneas among these 
gifl»d Americane, which was qtute delightful to me. Miss 
Cashman in particular I greatly admired and respected. She 
had, of coarse, like all actors, the acquired habit of giving 
vivid outward expression to every emotion, just as we quiet 
English ladies are taught &om our cradles to repress such 
eigne, and to cultivate a calm demeanour under all emergencies. 
But this vivacity rendered her all the more interesting. She 
often read to us VLn. Browning's or Lowell's poetry in a very 
fine way indeed. Some years after this happyjwinter a certun 
celebrate London surgeon pronounced her to be dying of a 
terrible disease. She wished us farewell oour^eonsly, and 
went back to New England, as we all sadly thought to die 
th^e. The next thing we heard of Charlotte Cushman was, 
that she bad returned to the stage and was acting Meg 
Merrilies to immense and del^hted audiences I Next we 
heard Uiat she had thus earned £6,000, and that she was 
building a bouse with her earnings. Finally we learned that 
the bouse was finished, and that she was hving in itl She 
did so, and enjoyed it for some years before the end came 
from other caused than the one threatened by the great 
London surgeon. 

One day when I bad been lunching at her house, Miss 
Cushman asked whether I wotdd drive with her in hear 



ITALY. 1867—1879. 393 

oyer a model of her Arab horse, and, on hearing that I was 
anxious to ride, she kindly offered to mount me if I would join 
her in her rides on the Campagna. Then began an 
acquaintance, which was further improved two years later 
when Miss Lloyd came to meet and help me when I was a 
cripple, at Aix-les-Bains ; and from that time, now more than 
thirty years ago, she and I have lived together. Of a friend- 
ship like this, which has been to my later life what my 
mother's affection was to my youth, I shall not be expected 
to say more. 

On my way home through France to Bristol from one of 
my earlier journeys and before I became crippled, I had the 
pleasure of making for the first time the acquaintance of 
Mdlle. Rosa Bonheur. Miss Lloyd, who knew her very 
intimately and had worked in her studio, gave me an 
introduction to her and I reported my visit in a letter to Miss 
Lloyd in Borne. 

" Mdlle Bonheur received me most cordially when I sent 
up your note. She was working in that most picturesque 
studio (at By, near Tbom^ry). I had fancied from her 
picture that she was so much taller and larger that I hardly 
supposed that it was she who greeted me, but her face is 
charming ; such fine, clear eyes looking straight into one's 
own, and frank bearing; an Englishwoman's honesty with 
a Frenchwoman's courtesy. She spoke of you with great 
warmth of regard ; remembered everything you had said, 
and wanted to know all about your sculpture studies in 
Rome. I said it had encouraged me to intrude on her to 
hope I might persuade her to fulfil her promise of stopping 
with you next winter, and added how very much you wished 
it, and described the association she would have with you, 
sketching excursions, hovi^ and Thalaba" (Miss Lloyd's Arab 
horse). " She said over and over she would not go to Italy 
without going to see you; and that she hoped to go soon, 
possibly next winter Somehow, from talking of 



thinks has a deeper poetry than the South, and then to 
Ireland, where sbe wishes to go next Bommer ll hope stopping 
at mjr hrother's enpa**ant) and of which conntrj she said such 
beantifal, dreamy things that even I grew poetic aboat oar 
' Brumes,' — to which she qnickly applied the epithet 
' grandiose,' — and our sea, looking, I said, like an angel's eye 
with a tear in it. At this simile she was bo pleased that 
we grew quite friends, and I caa only hope she will not see 
that Bca on a grey day and think me an impostor ! Nothing 
I liked abont her, so mnch, however, as her interest in 
Hattie Hosmer, and her delight in hearing abont her 
Zenobia* {triumphant) in the Exhibition ; at which report of 
mine she exclaimed : ■ That is the thing above all others I 
shall wish to see in London I Tou know I have seen Mian 
Hosmer, bat I have never Been any of her works, and I do 
very mncb desire to do so ' . . Her one-eyed friend sat 
by painting all the time. She is not enticing to look at, 
bnt I dare say, not bad. I said I always envied friends 
whom I caught working together and that I lived alone ; to 
which she replied 'Je vout plaint alonl' in a tone of 
conviction, showing that, in her case at all events, friendship 
was a very pleasant thing. Mdlle. Bonhear showed me three 
or tonr fine pictmes she is painting, and some prints, but of 
conrse I was as stupid as nsnal in Btndios and only remarked 
(as a bofFalo might have done,) that Boman (otrt were more 
majestic and like Homeric Junes than those wiry Uttle 
Scotch Bhort-bons her seal delighteth to houooc. Bat 1 
she has done a Dog, tuek a dog I Like Bnsh in outward dog, 
bat the inner sonl of him more prof onndly, unutterably vrise 
than tongne may tell I a Dog to be set up and worshipped 
as Annbis. Certainly Mdlle. Bonheur is a finer artist than 
Landseer in this, bis own line. I wish she woald leave the 
cattle and ' go to the dogs.' " 



* A BtatneofMlBsHoBmer exhibited in London, porchased by ai 
Atuerican gentleman for £1,000. 



ITALY. 1867— 1879, 896 

My last journey bat one to Italy was taken wheu I was 
lame ; and, after my sojourn at Aiz-les-Bains, I spent the 
antmnn in Florence and the winter in Pisa ; where I met 
Cav. d' Azeglio as above recorded. Miss Lloyd rejoined mc 
at Genoa in the spring to help me to return to England, 
as I was still (after four years ! ) miserably helpless. We 
returned over Mont Cenis which had no tunnel through 
it in those days; and, on the very summit, our carriage 
broke down. We were in a sad dilemma, for I was 
quite unable to walk a hundred yards ; but a train ot 
carts happily coming up and lending us ropes enough to 
hold our trap together for my use alone, Miss Lloyd ran 
down the mountain, and at last we found ourselves safe at 
the bottom. 

After another very pleasant visit together to her firiend 
Mdlle. Bosa Bonheur, and many promises on her part to 
come to us in England (which, alas I she never fulfilled) we 
made our way to London ; and, within a few weeks. Miss 
Lloyd— one morning before breakfast, — found, and, in an 
incredibly short time, bought the dear little house in South 
Kensington which became our home with few interruptions 
for a quarter of a century ; No. 26, Hereford Square. It 
was at that time almost at the end of London. All up the 
Gloucester Road betweeii it and the Park were market-gardens ; 
and behind it and alongside of it, where Bosary Gkurdens and 
Wetherby Place now stand, there were large fields of grass 
with abundance of fine old lime trees and elms, and one 
magnificent walnut tree which ought never to have been 
cut down. Behind us we had a large piece of ground, 
which we rented temporarily and called the '' Bound- 
less PrairiSf^' (1) where we gave afternoon tea to our friends 
under the limes, when they were in bloom. On a part 
of our garden Miss Lloyd erected a sculptor's Studio. 
The House itself, though smaU, was very pretty and ury ; 



m 



CHAPTER XIV. 



every room in it lightsome and pleasant, and somehow 
capable of containing a good many people. We often 
had in it as many as 50 or 60 guests. In short, I had 
once more a home, and a most happy one ; and my lonely 
wanderings were ovar* 



CHAPTER 
XV. 

LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND 

SEVENTIES. 

LITERARY LIFE, 



CHAPTER XV. 
London in the Sixties and Seventibs. — ^Literab7 Iofb. 

For some tiine before I took up my abode in London I 
had been writing busily for the press. When my active 
work at Bristol came to an end and I became for four years 
a cripple, I naturally turned to use my pen, and, finding from 
my happy experience of Workhouse Sketches in Macmillan^e 
MagaxvM that I could make money without much difficulty, 
I soon obtained almost as many openings as I could profit 
by to add to my income. I wrote a series of articles for 
Fraser's Magaxine, then edited by Mr. Froude, who had 
been my brother's friend at Oxford, and who from that time 
I had the high privilege to count as mine also. These first 
papers were sketches of Rome, Cairo, Athens, Jerusalem, 
etc. ; and they were eventually reprinted in a rather successfrQ 
Httle volume called Cities of the Past, now long out of print. 
I also wrote many papers connected with women's affairs 
and claims, in both MaemUlan and Eraser ; and these like- 
wise were reprinted in a volume ; Pursmts of Women. 
Beside writing these longer articles, I acted as '' Own Corres- 
pondent" to the Daily News in Rome one year, and in 
Florence another, and sent a great many articles to the 
Spectator f Economist^ Reader, &e. In short I turned out (as 
a painter would say) a great many Pot-BoHers, These, 
with my small patrimony, enabled me to bear the expense 
of travelling and of keeping a maid ; a luxury which had 
become indispensable. 

I also at this time edited, as I have mentioned, for Messrs. 
Triibner, the 12 vols, of Parker's Works, with a Preface. 
The arraogement of the great mass of miscellaneous papers 



400 CHAPTER XV. 

was very laborions and perplexing, bat I think I marBhalled 
the volumes fairly well. I did not perform as folly as I 
ought to have done my editorial daty of correcting for the 
press ; indeed I did not understand that it fell to my share, 
or I must have declined to undertake the task. Mr. Triibner 
paid me £50 for this editing, which I had proposed to do 
gratuitously. 

I had much at heart, — from the time I gave up my practical 
work among the poor folk at Bristol, — ^to write again on 
religious matters, and to help so &r as might be possible for 
me to clear a way through the maze of new controversies 
which, in those days of Essays and Reviews, Golenso's 
Pentateuch and Benan's Vie de JSsus, were remarkably lively 
and wide-spread through all classes of society. With this 
hope, and while spending a summer in my crippled condition 
at Aix-les-Bains, and on the DiablerSts, I wrote to Harriet 
St. Leger: — 

" I am now striving to write a book about present con- 
troversies and the future basis of religious faith. I want to 
do justice to existing parties, High, Low and Broad, yet to 
show (as of course I believe) that none of them can really 
solve the problem ; and that the faith of the future must 
be one not bated on a special History, though corroborated 
by all history.*' 

The plan of this book — ^named Broken Lights — is as follows : 
I discriminate the dififerent sections of thinkers from the 
point of view of the answers they would respectively give to 
the supreme question, '' What are the ultimate grounds of our 
faith in God, in Duty and in LnmortaUty ? " First, I dis- 
tinguish between those who hold those grounds to rest on 
the TradUional Revelation ; and those who hold them to be 
the Original Revelation of the Divine Spirit in each £edthfnl 
soul. The former are divided again, naturally, into those 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 401 

who take their aathoritative tradition from a Living Prophet^ 
a Church, or a Book. Bat in Christian times we have only 
had a few obscure prophets (Montanns, Joseph Smith, 
Swedenborg, Brother Prince, Mr. Harris, &c.), and the choice 
practically lies between resting faith on a Church, or resting 
it on a Book. 

I classify both the parties in the English Church who rest 
respectively on a Church and on a Book, as Palaologians , 
the one, the High Church, whose ground of religious faith is : 
^^The Bible autfienticated and interpreted by the Church;*' 
and the other the Low Church, whose theory is still the 
formula of Chillingworth ; *^The Bible, and ^le Bible only, 
is the religion of Protestants.*^ 

But it has come to pass that all the distinctive doctrines 
of Christianity (over and above Theism) which the Tradi- 
tionalists maintain, are, in these days, more or less opposed to 
modem sentiment, criticism and science ; and among those 
who adhere to them, one or other attitude as regards this 
opposition must be taken up. The Palseologian party in both 
wings insists on the old doctrines more or less crudely and 
strictly, and would fain bend modem ideas to harmonize with 
them. Another party, which is generally called the Neologian, 
endeavours to modify or explain the old doctrines, so as 
to harmonize them with the ethics and criticism of our 
generation. 

After a somewhat careful study of the positions, merits and 
failures of the two Palseologian parties, I proceed to define 
among the Neologians, the First Broad Church (of Maurice 
and Eingsley), whose programme was : <' To harmonize the 
doctrines of Church and Bible with modem thought." This 
end it attempted to reach by new readings and interpre- 
tations, consonant with the highest modem sentiment ; but 
it remained of course obvious, that the supposed Divinely- 
inspired Authorities had failed to convey the sense of these 

a c 



had conveyed the reverse. The old received doctrine of an 
eternal Hell, for example, was the at>Boliite contradiction of 
the doctrines of Divine nniversal love and everlasting Mercj, 
which the new teachers professed to derive from the same 
traditional aathority. This school emphatically "pat the new 
wine into old bottles ; " and the scccesa of the experiment 
conld only be temporary, einca it roets on the assumption 
that Ood has miraonlotifily tanght men in language which they 
have, for fifty generations, uniformly misinterpreted. 

The other branch of the Neologian party I call the Second 
Broad Church (the party of Stanley and Jowett). It may 
be considered as forming the Extreme Left of the Bevela- 
tionists ; the farthest from mere Anthority ood the nearest to 
Bationaligm ; jnst as the High Church party forma the 
Extreme lUght ; the nearest to Anthority and forthcBt &om 
Bationalism. I endeavour to define the difTerence between the 
Pint and Second Broad Churek parties as follows ;— 

*' The First Broad Church, as we have seen, maintains 
dat the doctrinea of the Bible and the Chnrch can be 
perfectly harmonized with the resnlts of modern thooght, 
ty a new, but Ugitimate eseegetu of tk« Bible and interpre- 
tation of Ohurek formtilm. The Second Broad Chtirch 
aeema prepared to admit that, in many oases, they can only 
be harmonized bg the taorifiee of Bibieal ia/allibility. The 
First Broad Chnrch has recourse (to harmonize them) to 
varions logical processes, bnt prindpaUy to that of 
diverting the student, at all difficnlE points, from criticism 
to edification. The Second Broad Chnrch uses no 
ambignity, bnt frankly avows that when tlio Bible 
contradicts Science, the Bible mnst be in error. The First 
Broad Chnrch maintains that the Inspiration of the Bible 
differs in iind as well as in degree, from that of other hooks. 
The Second Broad Chnrob appears to hold tliat it differa in 
degree, bnt not in kind." 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 403 

After a considerable discussion on the varions doctrines of 
the nature and limitations of Inspiration, I ask, p. 110, 111 : — 

" Admit the Inspiration of Prophets and Apostles to have 
been substantially the same with that always granted to 
faithful souls ; — admit, therefore, the existence of a human 
element in Bevelation, can we still look to that Revelation 
as the safe foundation for our Religion ? " 

" To this question the leaders of the Second Broad Church 
answer unhesitatingly: 'Yes. It has been an egregious 
error of modem times to confound the Record of the 
Revelation with the Revelation itself, and to assxune that 
God's lessons lose their value because they have been trans- 
mitted to OS through the natural channels of human reason 
and conscience. Returning to the true view, we shall only 
get rid of uncounted difficulties and objections which prevent 
the reception of Christianity by the most honest minds 
here in England and in heathen countries.* '* 

But in conclusion I ask — 

'"What influence can the Second Broad Church 
exercise on the future religion of the world? What 
answer will it supply to the doubts of the age, and whereon 
would it rest our faith in God and Immortality ? ' The 
reply seems to be brief. The Second Broad Church would, 
like all the other parties in the Church, call on us to rest 
our faith on History; but in their case, it is History 
corroborated by consciousness, not opposed thereto. In 
the next Chapter it will be my effort to show that under 
no conditions is it probable that History can afford us out 
ultimate grounds of faith. Meanwhile, it must apx>ear that 
if any form of Historical faith may escape such a conclusion 
and approve itself to mankind in time to come, it is that 
which is proposed by the Second Broad Church, and which 
it worthily presents, — to the intellect by its learning, and 
to the religious sentiment by its profound and tender 
piety." — Broken Lights, p. 120. 

These four parties, two PalsBologian and two Noologian, 
thus examined, included between them all the members of 



the Church of Esgland, and all the Orthodox Dissentera. 
There remained the Sewe, Roman Catholice, Quakers and 
TTuitarians, and of each of these the book contains a sketch 
md criticism ; finally concluding with an exposition (so fiur 
OS I could give it) of Theoretic and of Practical T/ieism. 

The book contains further two Appendieeg. The first 
treats of Bishop Colenso's onslaught on the Feotateucb; 
then greatly distorbii^ English orthodoxy. The second 
Appendix deals with the other most notable book of that 
period; Benan's Vie de Jisia. AAer mamtaining that 
Benan has failed in delineating his principal figure, 
while he has vastly illuminated his environment, I give 
with difiidence my own view of Christ, lest Traditionalists 
should, without contradiction, assume that Renan has 
given the general Theistic idea of his character. After 
referring to the measureless importance of the palingmeaia of 
which Christ spoke to Nicodemus, I draw a comparison 
between the New Birth in the individual soul, and the 
historically- traceable results of Christ's life on the human 
race. (P. 167.) 

" Taking the whole ancient world in comparison with the 
modem, of Heathendom with Christendom, the genertiJ 
character of the two is absolntely analogoos to that which 
in individuals we call Unregenecate and Begeuerate. Of 
course there were thoasands of regenerated souls, Hebrew, 
Greek, Indian, of all nations and languages, before Christ, 
and of course there are luillionB nnregenerate now. But 
nevertheless, from this time onward we traoe through 
history a neic tpirit in the world ; a leaven working tbrongh 
the whole mass of souls.'' . . • 

The language of the old world was one ot self-iatisfactum, 
as its Art was of completeness. On the other band : 

" The language of the new world, coming to us through 
the thousand tongues of our multiform civilization, is one 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SE VENTIES. 405 

long cry of longing aapixation : * Would that I conld create 
the ineffable Beauty I Wonld that I conld discover the 
eternal and absM>late Truth I Would I O, would it were 
possible to live out the good, the noble, and the 
holyl'" . . . 

'* This great phenomenon of history surely points to 
some corresponding great event whereby the revolution 
was accomplished. There must have been a moment when 
the old order stopped and the new began. Some action 
must have taken place upon the souls of men which thence* 
forth started them in a different career, and opened the age 
of progressive life. When did this moment arrive ? What 
was the primal act of the endless progress ? By whom was 
that age opened ? *' 

" Here we have really ground to go upon. There is no need 
to establish the authenticity or veracity of special books or 
harmonize discordant narratives to obtain an answer to our 
question. The whole voice of human history unconsciously 
and without premeditation bears its unmistakeable 
testimony. The turning point between the old world and 
the new was the beginning of the Christian movement. 
The action upon human nature which started it on its new 
course was the teaching and example of Christ. Christ 
was he who opened the age of endless progress." 

" The view, therefore, which seems to be the best fitting 
one for our estimate of the character of Christ, is that 
which regards him as the great Regenerator of Humanity. 
His coming woi to the life of humanity what Regeneration is to 
the life of the individual. This is not a conclusion doubtfully 
deduced from questionable biographies ; but a broad, plain 
inference from the universal history of our race. We may 
dispute all details ; but the grand result is beyond criticism. 
The world has changed, and that change is historically 
traceable to Christ. The honour, then, which Christ 
demands of us must be in proportion of our estimate of 
the value of such Regeneration. He is not merely a Moral 
Reformer inculcating pure ethics ; not merely a Religious 
Reformer clearing away old theologio errors and teaching 



406 CHAPTER XV. 

higher ideas of Ood. These things he was ; but he might, 
for all we can tell, Lave been them both as fuUy, and yet have 
failed to be what he has actually been to our race. He 
might have tanght the world better ethics and better 
theology, and yet have failed to infuse into it that new Life 
which has ever since coursed through its arteries and 
penetrated its minutest veins." 



Broken Lights proved to be (with the exception of my 
Duties of Women) the most successful of my books. It 
went through three English editions, and I believe quite as 
many in America; but of these last all I knew was the 
occasional present of a single specimen copy. It was Ycry 
favourably reviewed, but some of my fellow Theists rather 
disapproved of the tribute I had paid to Christ (as quoted 
above) ; and my good friend, Prof. F. W. Newman, actually 
wrote a severe pamphlet against me, entitled *' Hero-Making 
Religion" It did not alter my view. I do not believe that 
our Religion (the relation of our souls to God) can ever 
properly rest upon History. Nay I cannot understand how any 
one who knows the intricacies and obscurities attendant on the 
verification of any ancient History, should for a moment be 
content to suppose that God has required of all men to rest 
their faith in Him on such grounds, or on what others report 
to them of such grounds. In the case of Christianity, where 
scholars like Benan and Martineau — profoundly learned in 
ancient and obsolete tongues, and equipped with the whole 
arsenal of criticism of modem Germany, France and England, 
— can differ about the age and authority of the principal piSee 
de conviction (the Gospel of St. John), it is truly preposterous 
to suggest that ordinary men and women should form any 
judgment at all on the matter. The Ideal Christ needs only 
a good heart to find and love him. The Historical Christ 
needs the best critic in Europe, a Lightfoot, a Eoenen, a 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEV. , 

Mariineau, to trace his footsteps on the sands < 
they differ as regards nearly every one of theml 
Bat though History cannot rightly he Beligic 
of Beligion, there is, and must he, a History oj \ 
there is a history of geometry and astronomy i 
History of the whole world's Religion the sup : 
centres in the record of 

'* The sinless years 
That breathed beneath the Syrian blue 

7et, as regards my own personal feeling, I mi : 
the halo which has gathered round Jesus Christ I 
to my eyes. I see that he is much more real to i 
friends, both Orthodox and Unitarian, than he c : 
me. There is nothing, no, not one single sentei ! 
attributed to him of which (if we open our mindf I 
we can feel sufficiently certain to base on it i 
conclusion, and this to me envelopes him i i 
Each Christian age has indeed, (as I remark in 
LighiB)^ seen a Christ of its own ; so that we c 
students in the future arguing that there mu8 
« several Christs," as old scholars held there i 
Zoroasters and several Buddhas. Just as Mich 
Christ was the production of that dark and ston 
first his awful form loomed out of the shadows oi 
in no less a degree do the portraits of Ecce He 
Vie de Jesus belong to our era of sentiment and p 
We have no sun-made photograph of his features 
wavering image of them as may have rested on 1 
Galilee, rippling in the breeze. I must not how* 
prolong these reflections on a subject discussed U 
my poor ability in my more serious books. 

After Bboken Liohts, I wrote the sequel : Dat 
just quoted above. In the first I had endeavour^ 



4U8 CHAPTER XV. 

the Conditions and Prospects of religious belief. In the second 
I speculated on the Results of the changes which were taking 
place in various articles of that belief. The chapters deal 
consecutively with Changes in the Method of Theology, — in 
the Idea of Qod ; in the Idea of Christ; in the Doctrine of Sin, 
theoretical and practical ; in the idea of the Relation of this 
life to the next ; in the idea of the Perfect Life ; in the Idea of 
Happiness ; in the Doctrine of Prayer ; in the Idea of Death ; 
and in the Doctrine of the eternity of Punishment. 

This book also was fairly successful, and went into a 
second edition. 

Somewhere about this time (I have no exact record) I 
edited a littie book called Alone to the AUme^ consisting of 
private prayers for Theists. It contains contributions from 
fifteen men and women, of Prayers, mostiy written for 
personal use, before the idea of the book had been suggested, 
under the influence of those occasional deeper insights and 
more fervent feelings which all religious persons desire to 
perpetuate. They are all anonymous. In the Preface I say 
that the result of such a compilation, 

'* * Is necessarily altogether imperfect and fragmentary, 
but in the great solitude where most of us pass our lives as 
regards our deeper emotions, it may be more helpful to 
know that other human hearts are feeling as we feel, and 
thinking as we think, rather than to read far nobler words 
which come to us only as echoes of the Past.' The book 
is * designed for the use of those who desire to cultivate the 
feelings which culminate in Prayer, but who find the rich 
and beautiful collections of the Churches of Christendom no 
longer available, either because of the doctrines whose 
acceptance they imply or of the nature of the requests to 
which they give utterance. Adequately to replace in a 
generation, or in several generations, such books, through 
which the piety of ages has been poured, is wholly beyond 
hope ; and the ambition to do so would betray ignorance of 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 409 

the way in which these precious drops are distilled slowly 
year after year, from the great Incense-tree of humanity.' *' 

The remainder of the Preface, which is somewhat lengthy, 
discusses the validity of Prayer for the attainment of 
spiritual (not physical) benefits. It concludes thus — 
p. xzxvi. 

" And, lastly, if Religion is still to be to mankind in the 
future what it has been in the past, it must still be a 
religion of Prayer. Nothing is changed in human nature 
because it has outgrown some of the errors of the past. 
The spiritual experience of the saintly souls of old was 
true and real experience, even when their intellectual 
creeds were full of mistakes. By the gate through which 
they entered the paradise of love and peace, even by that 
same narrow portal of Prayer must we pass into it. No 
present or future discoveries in science will ever transmute 
the moral dross in human nature into the pure gold of 
virtue. No spectrum analysis of the light of the nebula} 
will enable us to find God. If we are to be made holy, wo 
must ask the Holy One to sanctify us. If we are to know 
the infinite joy of Divine Love, we must seek it in Divine 



communion." 



This book was first published in 1871 ; one of the years of 
the rising tide of liberal-religious hope. A third edition was 
called for in 1881, when the ebb had set in. In a short 
Preface to this third edition I notice this fact, and say that 
those hopes were doubtless all too hasty for the slow order 
of Divine things. 

"Nay, it would seem that, far from the inmiediate 
aurora of such a morning, the world is destined first to 
endure a great ' horror of darkness,* and to pass through 
the dreary and disaster-laden experience of a night of 
materialism and agnosticism. Perhaps it will only be when 
men have seen with their eyes bow the universe appears 



41U CHAPTER XV. 

without a tbonght of God to illomino its dark places, and 
ganged for themselves where human life will sink without 
hope of immortality to elevate it, that they will reoognise 
aright the unutterable predousness of religion. Faith, 
when restored after such an eclipse, will be prized as it has 
never been prized heretofore. • . . 

'* And Faith mtut return to mankind sooner or later. So 
sure as God m, so sure must it be that he will not finally 
leave his creatures, whom he has led upward for thousands 
of years, to lose sight of him altogether, or to be drowned 
for ever in the slough of atheism and oarnalism. lie will 
doubtless reveal himself afresh to the souls of men in his 
own time and in his own way, — whether, as of old, through 
prophet-souls filled with inspiration, or by other methods 
yet unknown. God is over us, and Heaven is waiting for 
us all the same, even though all the men of science in 
Europe unite to tell us there is only Matter in the universe, 
and only corruption in the grave. Atheism may prevail for 
a night, but faith cometh in the morning. Theism is 
* bound to win * at last ; not necessarily that special type 
of Theism which our poor thoughts in this generation have 
striven to define ; but that great fundamental faith, — ^the 
needful substructure of every other possible religious faith 
— the faith in a Righteous and loving God, and in a life for 
man beyond the tomb." 

The book contains 72 Prayers ; half of which refer to 
the outer and half to the inner life. Among the former, are 
Noon and Sunset prayers; thanksgivings for the love of 
firiends, and for the beauty of the world; also a Prayer 
respecting the sufferings of animals from human cruelty. In 
the second part some of the Prayers are named, *' In the 
Wilderness"; "On the Right Way"; "God afar off"; 
"Doubt and Faith"; ''Fiat Lux**; ''Fiat Pax**; 
"Thanksgiving for ReligiouB Truth"; "For Pardon of a 
Caxeless Life " ; " For a Devoted Life " ; " Joy in God " : 
" Here and Hereafter," 



LONDON IN THS SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES, 4U 

I never expected that more than a very few friends wonld 
have cared for this hook, and in &ot printed it with the 
intention of abnost private circnlation ; hnt it has heen con- 
tinaonsly, though slowly, called for during the 28 years which 
have elapsed since it was compiled. 

I wrote the essays included in the volume '' Hopes of the 
Human Bade/' in 1878-1874. This has run through several 
editions. The long Introduction to this hook was written 
immediately after the publication of Mr. Mill's Essay on 
Religion ; a most important work of which Miss Taylor had 
kindly put the proof sheets in my hands, and to which I was 
eagerly anxious to offer such rejoinder from the side of faith 
as might be in my power. Whether I succeeded in making 
an adequate reply in the fifty pages I devoted to the subject, I 
cannot presume to say. The Pessimist side, taken by Mr. 
Mill has been gaining ground ever since, but there are 
symptoms that a reaction is taking place, beginning (of aU 
countries I) in France. I conclude this Preface thus — 
p. 58. 

*< But I quit the ungracious, and, in my case, most 
ungrateful, task of offering my feeble protest against the 
last words given to ns by a man so good and great, that 
even his mistakes and deficiencies (as I needs must deem 
them) are more instructive to us than a million platitudes 
and truisms of teachers whom his transcendent intellectual 
honesty should put to the blush, and whose souls never 
kindled with a spark of the generous ardour for the welfare 
of his race which flamed in his noble heart and animated 
his entire career." 

The book contains two long Essays on the Life after 
Death contributed originally to the Theological Review, In 
the first of these, after stating at length the reasons for 
vupposing that human existence ends at death, I ask: 
^ What have we to place against them in the scale of 



Hope ? >a<i 1 begiD bjr observing that all Uie nsau 
argnmects for immortality involve at Uie crucial point the 
assumption that we possess some guarantee that mankind 
will not be deceived, that Justice will eventually trinmph 
and that hnman affairs are the concern of a Power whose 
purposes oaimot foil. Were the faith which supplies snah 
warrant to ftul, the whole stroctore raised npon it moat fall 
to ths groond. Belief in Immortality is, pre-eminently 
a matter of Faith ; a corollary from faith in God. To 
imagine that wa can reach it by any other road is vain. 
Heaven will always be (as Dr. Klartineau has siud) " a part 
of oar Religion, not a Branch of onr Qeograpby." Bat in 
addressing men and women who believe In God's Jnstice 
and Love, I hope to show that, not by one only bat by 
many convergent lines, Faith nniformly points to a Life 
after Death ; and that if we follow her guidance in any 
one direction implicitly, we are invariably conducted to the 
same conclusion. Nay more ; we cannot stop short of this 
conelnsion and retain entire faith in any thing beyond the 
experience of the senses. Every idea of Justice, of Love 
and of Duty is tmncated if we deny to it the extension 
of eternity ; and as for onr conception of God himself, I see 
not how any one who has realised the dread darkness of " the 
riddle of the piunfnl earth," can call him " Good " unless he 
can look forward to the solution of that problem hereafter. 
The following are channels throngh which Faith inevitably 
flows towards Lnmortolity : 

1st. The human race longs for Justice. Even " if the 
Heavens fall," we feel Justice ought to be done. All litera- 
ture, from ^schyluH and Job to onr own time, has for its 
highest theme the trinmph of Justice, or the tragedy of tiie 
disappointment of human hope thereof. But where did 
we obtain this idea ? The world has never seen a Beign of 
Injustice and Cruelty prevail lar^y, even now in 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AtrD SEVEl 

the world ; and as we go back up the stream of I 
ages where Might was more completely dominant 
the case was worse and worse. Where then, did 
his idea that the Power ruling the world, — Zens, 
or Ormusd, — was Just? Not only could n 
experience have caused the " set of our brains " 1 
expectation of Justice, but experience, under maxr 
of society, pointed quite the other way. It is s 
an3rthing can be so reckoned) the Divine spii 
which causes him to love Justice, and to beliei 
Maker is just, for it is inconceivable how he « 
arrived at such fiuth otherwise. But if death 
of human existence this expectation of justice ha 
a miserable delusion. God has created us, poor * 
the dust, to love and hope for Justice, but He } 
disregarded it, on the scale of a disappointed wo 
referring to the thousands of cases where the bac 
successful and peacefully, and the good,— like Gh: 
perished in misery and agony, I say '' boldly an< 
the more reverently : Either Man is Immortal 
not JusL*^ 

2nd. The second line of thought leading us t 
Immortality is, — that if there be no future life, 
millions of human beings whose existence has ai 
purpose which we can rationaUy attribute t<i a 
merciful God. He is a baffled God, if His c: 
extinguished before reaching some end which 
possibly have designed. 

8rd. The incompleteness of the noblest part of. 
so strange a contrast to the perfection of the oth 
creation that we are drawn to conclude that the h 
is only a bud to blossom out into full flower here 
man has ever in his life reached the plentitude 
strength aTid beauty of which his nature gives pi 



414 CHAPTER XV. 

garden wherein all the bnds should perish before blooming, 
would be more hideous than a desert, and such a garden is 
God's world if man dies for ever when we see him no more 
4ih. Human love urges an appeal io Faith which has been 
to millions of hearts the most conclusive of all. 

" To think of the one whose innermost self is to us the 
world's chief treasure, the most beautiful and blessed thing 
Gk>d ever made, aud believe that at any moment that mind 
and heart may cease to be, and become only a memory, 
every noble gift and grace extinct, and all the fond love for 
ourselves forgotten for ever, — this is such agony, that having 
once known it we should never dare again to open our 
hearts to affection, unless some ray of hope should dawn for 
us beyond the grave. Love would be the curse of mortality 
were it to bring always with it such unutterable pain of 
anxiety, and the knowledge that every hour which knitted our 
heart more closely to our friend also brought us nearer to an 
eternal separation. Better never to have ascended to that 
high Vita Nuova where self-love is lost in another's weali 
better to have lived like the cattle which browse and sleep 
while they wait the butcher's knife, than to endure such 
despair. 

** But is there nothing in us which refuses to believe all 
this nightmare of the final sundering of loving hearts? 
Love itself seems to announce itself as an eternal thing. It 
has such an element of infinity in its tenderness, that it 
never fails to seek for itself an expression beyond the limits 
of time, and we talk, even when we know not what we mean, 
of " undying affection,*' " immortal love." It is the only 
passion which in the nature of things we can carry <vith us 
into another world, and it is fit to be prolonged, intensified, 
glorified for ever. It is not so much a joy we may take with 
us, as the only joy which can make any world a heaven 
when the affections of earth shall be perfected in the 
supreme love of God. It is the sentiment which we share 
with God, and by which we live in Him and He in us. All 
its beautiful tenderness, its noble self -forgetfulness, its pure 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVEN! 

and ineffable delight, are the rays of God's Sm 
reflected in our souk. 

"Is all this to end in two poor heaps of si 
decaying slowly in their coffins side by side in t 
If so, let ns have done with prating of any Faith i 
or Earth. We are mocked by a fiend.*' — (Hopes , ] 

5th. A remarkable argument is to be fonnd in Pr 
Newman's Theism (p. 75). It insists on the fact t 
men have certainly loved God and that God must L 
in retnm (else Man wore better than God) ; and 
reasonably infer that those whom God loves are deatl 
wonld the Divine Blessedness be imperfect, nay, '' a 
gulf of ever-increasing sorrow." 

6th. The extreme variability of the common hum 
that the " soul of man never dies " makes it difficult t 
its proper evidential value, stiU it seems to have the 
a genuine instinct^ It begins early, though (probabl 
the earliest stage of human development. It at 
maximum among the highest races of mankind (tl 
Aryan, early Persian and Egyptian). It projects sue 
and even contrasted ideals of the other life (e.g., Yall 
Nirvana) that it cannot well have been borrowed by < 
from another but must have sprung up in each indig 
Finally the instinct begins to falter in ages of 
sciousness and criticism. 

7th, lastly. The most perfect and direct faith in Lnn 
belongs to saintly souls who personally feel that tb 
entered into relations with the Divine Spirit wh 
never end. '' Faith in Ood and in our eternal Uni 
Him" said one such devout man to me, *^are not two 
bul one. *' " Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hades . Tl 
guide me by thy counsel and afterwards receive me to < 

" Such, for a few blessed souls, seems to be the 
evidence of things not seen.' But can their fui 



snpply onr lack ? Caa we see with theii e jes and belJera 
on theit report ? It is only possible in a very inferioi 
measare. Yet if one own spiritual lite have receivecl even 
some faint gleams of the 'ligbt which never came from 
snn or star,' then, once more, wilt oar faith point the way 
to Immortality; for we shall know in what manner sncli 
truths come to the sonl, and be able to tmat that what ia 
dawn to ns may be snnrise to those who have journeyed 
nearer to the East than we ; who have snrmonnted Duty 
more perfectly, or passed throagh rivera of afBiction into 
which onr feet have never dipped. God cannot liavo 
deluded them in their sacred hope of His eternal Love. If 
tbcir experienoe be a dream all prayer and cemmnuion may 
be dreams likewise." 

In conclusion, whUe eommendrng to the reader's 
consideration what appears to me the true method of solvmg 
the problem of a Life afW Death, I point to the fact that on 
the answer to that question mast hang the alternative, not 
only of the hope or despair of the Hnman Baoe, but of the 
^ory or Uie failure of the whole EosmoB, so far as onr utter- 
most vision can extend. 

" Lions and ei^les, oaks and roees, may he good after 
their kind ; bnt it the summit and crown of the whole work, 
the being in whose consoiontoess it is all mirrored, be 
worse than incomplete and imperfect, an nndeveloped 
embryo, an acorn mouldered in its shell, a bad blighted by 
the frost, then must the entire world be deemed a failure 
also. Now, Man can only be reckoned on any ground as a 
provuionally successful work ; successfnl, that is, provided 
we regard him as in tramitu, on his way to another and far 
more perfect etoi^e of dovolopmoot. We are content that 
the egg, the larva, the bud, the half-painted canvas, the 
rough scaffolding, nhoald only faintly indicate what will be 
the future bird and butterfly and flower and picture and 
temple. And thus to look on man (as by some deep insight 
be baa almost nniversally Fc<;arded himself) as a ' sojourner 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 417 

npon earth,' npon his way to 'another country, even a 
heavenly,* destined to complete his pilgrimage and mako 
up for all his shortcomings elsewhere, is to leave a 
margin for believing him to be even now a Divine work 
in its embryonic stage. But if we close out this view 
of the future, and assure ourselves that nothing more is 
ever to be expected of him than what we knew him to be 
during the last days of his mortal life; if we are to believe 
we have seen the best development which his intellect and 
heart, his powers of knowing, feeling, enjoying, loving, 
blessing and being blessed, will ever obtain whilo the 
heavens endure, — ^then, indeed, is the conclusion inevitable 
and final. Man is a Failure, the consummate faUure of 
creation. Everything else, — star, ocean, mountain, forest, 
bird, beast and insect — has a sort of completeness and 
perfection. It is fitting in its own place, and it gives no hint 
that it ought to be other than it is. < Every Lion,* as 
Parker has said, * is a type of all lionhood ; but there is no 
Man who is a type of all Manhood.' Even the best and 
greatest of men have only been imperfect types of a single 
phase of manhood — of the saint, the hero, the sage, the 
philanthropist, the poet, the friend, — ^never of the full- 
orbed man who should be all these together. If each perish 
at death, then, — ^as the seeds of all these varied forms of good 
are in each, — every one is cut off prematurely, blighted, 
spoiled. Nor is this criterion of success or failure 
solely applicable to our small planet ; a mere spark thrown 
off the wheel whereon a million suns are turned into space. 
It is easy to believe that much loftier beings, possessed of 
far greater mental and moral powers than our own, inhabit 
other realms of immensity. But Thought and Love are, 
after all, the grandest things which any world can show ; 
and if a whole race endowed with them should prove such 
a failure as death-extinguished Mankind would undoubtedly 
be, there remains no reason why all the spheres of the 
universe should not be similar scenes of disappointment 
and frustration, and creation itself one huge blunder and 
mishap. In vain may the President of the British Gongress 

3 D 



the mateci&l tmivcTBe unrolling iteell ' from ont of the 
pnmal nebaU's fiei; clond.' Siidb and planets swarming 
throngh tha abysses of space are bat whirling sepalchrea 
after all, if, while no grain of dost is shaken from off 
their rolling aides, the oonsciona aonla of whom they 
have been the palaces are all for ever losta Spreading 
continents and flowing sobs, soaring Alps and fertile 
plains are worse than failures, if we, evea we, poor 
feeble, nnfnl, dim-eyed oreatnres that we ore, shall evet: 
'vanish like the streak of morning clond in the infinite 
azure of the past.' " 

The second part of this esaay diecnsseB the possible 
condition* of the Iilfe after Deatli. I cannot summarize it 
here. 

The rest of the volume consists ol a sermon vhiob I 
read at Clerkenwell Unitarian Chapel, in 1878, entitled 
"Doomed to bt Saved." I desoribe the disastrouB moral 
conse^nenees to a man in old times who believed himself 
to have sold his aool to the Evil One, and to have cast 
himself off &om God's Goodness for ever ; and I contrast 
this with what we onght to feel when we recognize that 
we are Doomed to be Suc^ff— destdiied< irretrievably to be 
broDght back, in this life or in far fatnre lives, from 
all our wanderings in remorse and penitence to Uio feet 
of God. 

The book concludes with an Essay on the Evolution of the 
Soeuii SaUiment, in which I maiatain that the primary human 
feeling in tho savage which still lingers in Hie Aryan child, 
is not Sjrmpathy wiUi sofferii^, bnt quite an opposite, angry 
and even omel sen^ent, which I have named Heteropathij ; 
which inspires brutes and birds to kill their wounded or 
diseased companions. Halfway aflier tbis, comes Aversion; 
and last of all. Sympathy, — slowly extending from the 
mother's " pity for the son of her womb," to the Family, 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 419 

the Tribe, the Nation, and the Human Race ; and, at last to 
the Brates. I oondnde thus : 

" Snoh is, I believe, the great Hope of the human raoe. 
It does not lie in the progress of the intellect, or in the 
conquest of fresh powers over the realms of nature ; not 
in the improvement of laws, or the more harmonious 
Adjustment of the relations of classes and states; not in 
the glories of Art, or the triumphs of Science. All these 
things may, and doubtless will, adorn the better and 
happier ages of the future. But that which will truly 
constitute the blessedness of Man will be the gradual dying 
out of his tiger passions, his cruelty and his selfishness, and 
the growth within him of the god-hke faculty of love and 
self-sacrifice; the development of that holiest Sympathy 
wherein all souls shall blend at last, like the tints of the 
rainbow which the Seer beheld aronnd the great White 
Throne on high.*' 

Beside these theological works I published more recently 
two slight volumes on cognate subjects : A Faithless Worlds 
and Health and Holiness, I wrote "A Faithless World'* 
(first published in the Contemporary Beview) in reply to 
Sir Fit2James Stephen's remark in the Nineteenth Century, 
No. 88, that "We get on very well without religion" 
. . • • "Love, Friendship, Ambition, Science, literature, 
art, politics, commerce, and a thousand other matters will go 
equally well as far as I can see, whether there is or is not 
a God and a future state." I examine this view in detail 
and conclude that instead of life remaining (in the event of 
the fall of religion) to most people much what it is at present, 
there would, on the contrary, be actually nothing which 
would be left unchanged by such a catastrophe. 

I sent a copy of this article when first published, (as I was 
bound in courtesy to do), to Sir James, whom I had often 
met, and whose brother and sister were my kind friends. 



t«mpt«d to give his letter. 

" 82, De Tere Oardena, W. 
*■ My deM Mies Cohbe, 

" I am mnoh obliged by yont note »tid by the article in 
tbe Contemporary, which is perfectly fair in itself and full of 
kind things about myself perBonoUy. 

" The tmbjeot ia too large to vrite abont, and I am only 
too glad to take both the letter and tbe article in the spirit 
in which they were written and ask no further discuBsian. 

" It seems to me very posaible that there may be a good 
deal of truth in what yon suggest as to the nature of the 
difference between the points of view from which we look at 
these things, bat it is not unnatural that 1 should think you 
rather exaggerate the amount of snfieriog aod sorrow whicli 
is to be found in the world. I may do tlie opposite. 

" However that may be, thank you heartily for both yoOT 
letter and your article. 

" I am sore you will have been grieved to hear of poor 
Heary Dicey' s death. His life had been practically 
desi>aired of tot a considerable time. 

" I am, ever sincerely yours, 

"J. F. Stephlh." 

Several of these books of mine, dealing with religioua 
subjects, were translated into French and pubBshed by my 
French and Swiss fallow -religionists, and also in Danish by 
friends at Copenhagen. Le Monde Sana Religion ; Coup d'ceil 
«w U Monde d Vemr ; L'Hvmaniti deitinSe au Salut; La 
Matfon tur It Bivage ; Sevl aeec Dieu (Geneva Cberboliez, 
1881), En Verden vdai Tro, ftc, &a. 

But all the time during the intervals of writing these 
theological books, I employed myeeli in studying and writing 
on various other sal^ects of temporary or durable interesU 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 491 

£ eontribnted a large number of artiolee to the following 
periodicals : — 

The Quarterly Beview (then edited by Sir William Smith). 

The Contemporary Review (edited by Mr. Bunting). 

Fraser^s Mctgazine (edited by Mr. Fronde). 

ComhiU Magtvsme (edited by Mr. Leslie Stephen!. 

Th^ Fortnightly Beview (edited by Mr. Morley). 

MacmiUan*s Magweine (edited by Mr. Masson). 

The Theological Beview (Unitarian Organ, edited by 
Rev. 0. Beard). 

The Modem Beview (UmtBTiBn, edited by Bev. B. Armstrong). 

Hie New Quarterly Magazine (edited by W. Oswald 
Crawford). 

One collection of these articles was published by Triibner 
in 1665, entitled Studies New and Old on Ethical and Social 
Stibjeete ; (1 vol., crown 8vo., pp. 466). Thin volume begins 
with an elaborate study of *' Christian Ethics and the Ethics of 
Christ *' {Theological Bevieto, September, 1869), which I have 
often wished to reprint in a separate form. Also a very 
long and careful study of the Sacred Books of the Zoroastrians, 
which brought me the visits and friendships of a very 
interesting Parsee gentleman, NowrosjeeFurdooi^jee, President 
of the Bombay Parsee Society, and of another Parsee 
gentleman resident in London. Both expressed their entire 
approval of my representation of their religion. 

These Studies also contain a long paper on the Philosophy 
of the Poor Laws, which, as I have narrated in a previous 
chapter, fell into fertile soil on the mind of an Australian 
gentleman and caused the introduction of some of tho 
reforms I advocated into the Poor Law system of New South 
Wales. 

There were also in this volume articles on *' Hades**: 
on the " Morals of Literature " ; and on the " Hierarchy 
of Art** which perhaps have some value; but | have 



not ot late years eared to press the book, uid hiiv« 
not icdnded it in Mr. Fisher TJnwin'a Be-ifisoe of 1898 
on aoeoimt of the pf^ter it eontains on "Thi Sight* of 
Han and the Claitiu of Bmta." This article, whieh 
appeared first in Fraur'f Magainne, Nov., 1868, was my 
earliest efibrt (so Ear as I know, the first effort of anybody) 
to work out the very obsonre and difficolt ethical problem to 
which it refers, in answer to the demands of Viviseetors. 
I am not satisfied wiUi the position I took ap in this p^ner. 
In the Uiir^ years which have el^ised since I wrote it, my 
thoughts have been greatly exercised on the snltjeot, and I 
think I see the "Clums of Brates" more clearly, and find 
them higher than I did. But, though I behove that I ezpresaed 
the most advanced opinion of Aat time on the dnty of Han to 
the lower animals, and of the offeuee of ernelty towards them, 
I here enter my eavtat against the quotation of this artiole 
(as was lately done by a zealous Zoophilist) ae if it still 
repreeented exactly what I think on ttie enbjeet after 
pondtting upon it for thirty years, and taking part in the 
Anti-vivisection crusade for two entire decades. 

I have mentioned this matter especially, because it is of 
some importance to me, and also because I do not find that 
there is any other opinion which I have ever published 
in any book w article, on morals or religion, whieh I now 
desire to withdraw, or even of whidi I care to modify the 
expreasion. It is a great happiness to me at the end of a 
long and bnsy literary lifb, to feel that I have never written 
anything of which I repent, or which Z wish to onsay. 

A eoUeetion of minor articles, with several fresh pap^v 
of a lighter sort,— an AUtgory, The Spectral Bout, £c. — was 
also pnblisbed by Trabn«r in 1867, under the name ot Houn 
tf Work and Play. 

In 1872 Messrs. Williams A Norgate publisfaod a rather 
\argo eolleotion of my Essays, under the name of Darmnum 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 423 

in Morals and other Essays, The first' is a review of the 
theory of ethics expounded in Darwin's Descent of Man. I 
argae that the moral history of mankind (so far aa it is 
known to us) gives no support whatever to Mr. Darwin's 
hypothesis that Conscience is the result of certain contingencies 
in our development, and that it might, at an earlier stage, 
have been moulded into quite another form, causing Good to 
appear to us Evil, and Evil Good. 

** I think we have a right to say that the suggestionB 
offered hy the highest scientific intellects of our time to 
account for its existence on principles which shall leave it 
on the level of other instincts, have failed to approve 
themselves as true to the facts of the case. And I think, 
therefore, that we are called on to believe still in the validity 
of our own moral consciousness, even as we believe in the 
valdity of our other faculties; and to rest in the faith 
(well-nigh universal) of the human race, in a fixed and 
supreme Law, of which the will of Qod is the embodiment 
and Conscience the Divine transcript.*' — Darwinism in 
Mcralsy p. 82. 

In this same volume (included in the re-issue) are essays 
on Hereditary Piety (a review of Mr. Galton's Hereditary 
Ge)dus); one on The Religion of Childhood, on Robertson's Life ; 
on ''A French Theist" (M. P6caut) ; and a series of studies 
on Eastern Beligions ; including reviews of Mr. Ferguson's 
Trie and Serpent Worship (with which Mr. F. was so pleased 
thst he made me a present, of his magnificent book) ; 
limsen's God in History, Max MuUer's Chips from a Oerman 
Workshop, and Mrs. Manning's Ancient and Mediaval India, 
Each of these is a careful essay on one or other of the 
oriental faiths referring to many other books on each subject. 
B-side these there are in the same volume two articles on 
Unconscious Cerebration and Breams^ which excited some 
iLterest in their day ; and seem to me (if I be not misled by 



of late years abont Uio " subliminal " or " enbjective " 
conseiouBaeBB. 

In 1876, HOBBTS. Ward, Lock & Tylar, for whose New 
Quarterly Magaeine I bad written two long articles on 
AnimaU in FahU and Art and the Fauna of Fancy, ukod 
my consent to Te-pablisbing them in their Cotmtry Hotiu 
lAbrary. To this I gladl; agreed, adding my article in the 
Quarterly Beeieus on the Coiudtmmeat of Dogt ; and that in 
the ComhiU : " Dogi whom I have m^t." The volume was 
prettSy got np, and pablished under the name of "FaJte 
Beaatt and Trtu." 

From the close of 1874, when I ondertook the Anti- 
viTiseetioii cmsade, my hterary activity dwindled down 
rapidly to small proportions. In the conrse of eight years I 
wrote enongh magazine articles to fill one Tolnma, published 
in 1882, and containing essays on Magnaninunu Alhasm; 
Peisimwn and Om of ite Profewon, and a few other paoers, 
of which the moat important, — the Ptak tn Darien, — gives 
its name to the book. It is an argument, (with many facts 
cited in its support,) for believing that the dying, as they are 
passing the threshold, not seldom become aware of the 
presence of beloved ones waiting for them in the new state of 
existence which they are actually entering. 

After this book I wrote little for some years, but in 18^ I 
was asked to contribnte an article to the Vniversal lieview 
on the Scientific Spirit of the Age. I gladly acceded, but fte 
Editor desired to cut down my MS., so I published it a£ a 
book with a few other older papers; notably one on tde 
2Wi« Mouee and the Country Mouie; a half-humorons atuJy 
of the pros and com of Life in London, and Life in a 
Connlry-honBe. 

After this, again, 1 published two editions of a little 
compilation, the " Friend of Man and Hie Friend* the Poete ; '* 



a couecHDo ywna roimmg commeauuy; oi rotasm 
and coimtrieB reUtiog to Dogs, which were 
thought, to ud tay poor, fonr-footed friends' 
sympathy and reepoot. 

Of my temumng books, the DutUi of Women 
Modem Back I shall speak in the chapters which ri 
r wnric (or Wntnan. and the Atitj-' 



CHAPTER 



xvn. 



MY LIFE IN LONDON 
IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES 

SOCIAL. 



CHAPTER XVn. 
London in thb Sixtiss and Seventies. — Social Life. 

When we had settled down, as we did rapidly, into out 
pretty little honse in South Kensington, we began soon to 
enjoy many social pleasures of a quiet kind. Into Society 
(with a big 8!), we had no pretensions to enter, but we had 
many firiends, very genuine and delightful ones, ere long ; and 
a great many interesting acquaintances. Happily death has 
spared not a few of these until now, and, of course, of them I 
shall not write here ; but of some of those who have ** gone over 
to the majority " I shall venture to record my recollections, 
interspersed in some cases with their letters. I may premise 
that we were much given to dining out, but not to attending 
late evening parties; and that in our small way we gave 
little dinners now and then, and occasionally afternoon and 
evening parties, — the former held sometimes in summer 
under the lime trees behind our house. I attribute my 
long retention of good health to my persistence in going 
to bed before eleven o'clock, and never accepting late 
invitations. 

I hope I shall be acquitted of the presumption of pre- 
tending to offer in the scrappy souvenirs I shall now put 
together any important contribution to the memoirs of the 
future. At best, a woman's knowledge of the eminent men 
whom she only meets at dinner-parties, and perhaps in 
occasional quiet afternoon visits, is not to be compared to 
that of their associates in their clubs, in Parliament and in 
all the work of the world. Nevertheless as all of us, human 
beings, resemble diamonds in having several distinct facets 
to our characters, and as we always turn one of those to one 



444 CHAPTER XVll. 

person and another to another, there is generally some fresh 
side to be seen in a particularly brilliant gem. The relation 
too, which a good and kindly man (and such I am happy to 
say were most of my acquaintances) bears to a woman who 
is neither his mother, sister, daughter, wife or potential wife, 
but merely a reasonably intelligent listener and companion 
of restful hours, is so different from that which he holds 
to his masculine fellow workers, — ^rivals, allies or enemies 
as they may be, — that it can rarely happen but thai 
she sees him in quite a different light from theirs. 
Englishmen are not eaten up with InvidMy like 
Italians and Frenchmen, such as made D'Azeglio say to 
me that it was a positive danger to a statesman to win a 
battle, or gain a diplomatic triumph, so much envy did it 
excite among his own party. In our country, men, and still 
more emphatically, women, glory enthusiastically in the 
successes of their friends, if not of others. But the masculine 
mind, so &r as I have got to the bottom of it, (as George 
Eliot says, " it is always so superior — what there is of it I "), 
is not so quick in gathering impressions of character as 
ours of the softer (and therefore, I suppose, more wax- 
like) sex ; and when fifty men have said their say on a great 
man I should always wish to hear dleo what the women who 
knew him socially had to add to their testimony. In short, 
dear Fanny Eemble's '' Old WamamCe Gossip " seems to me 
admissible on the subject of the character and ** little ways " 
of everybody worthy of record. 

It was certainly an advantage to us in London to be, aa 
we were, without any kind of ulterior aim or object in 
meeting our friends and acquaintances, beyond the pleasure 
of the hour. We never had anything in view in the way of 
social ambition ; not even daughters to bring out f It was not 
** de VArt pour VArt" but la Societk pour la Soeiit^, and 
nothing beyond the amusement of the particular day and 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 445 

the iniereat of the aeqnaintaiieeships we had the good fortune 
to make. We had no rank or dignity of any kind to keep 
up. I think hardly any of our friends and habituf^ even 
knew who we were, from Burke's point of view ! I was 
really pleased once, after I had heen living for years in 
London, to find at a large dinner-party, where at least half 
the company were my acquaintances, that not one present 
suspected that I had any connection with Ireland at all. 
Our host (a very prominent M.P. at the time) having by 
chance elicited from me some information on Irish a£fairs, 
asked me, " What do you know about Ireland ? " " Simply 
that the first 86 years of my life were spent there," was my 
reply ; which drew forth a general expression of surprise. 
The few who had troubled themselves to think who I was, 
had taken it for granted that I belonged to a family of 
the same name, mtmcs the final letter, in Oxfordshire. In 
a country neighbourhood the one prominent fact about me, 
known and repeated to everyone, would have been that 
I was the daughter of Charles Cobbe of Newbridge. 
I was proud to be accepted and, I hope, liked, on the 
strength of my own talk and books, not on that of my 
father's acres. 

We did not (of course) live in London all the year round, 
but came every summer to Wales to enable my friend to look 
after her estate ; and I went every two or three years to 
Ireland, and more frequently to the houses of my two brothers 
in £ngland,^Mau}den Bectory, in Bedfordshire, and Easton 
Lyss, near Petersfield, — where they respectively lived, and 
where both they and their wives were always ready to welcome 
me affectionately. I also paid occasional visits at two or 
three country houses, notably Broadlands and Aston 
Clinton, where I was most kindly invited by the beloved 
owners ; and twice or three times we let our house for a 
term, and went to live on one occasion in Oheyne Walk, and 



446 CHAPTER XVII . 

another time at Byfleet. We always fell back, however, on 
our dear little house in Hereford Square, tiU we let it finally 
to our old firiend Mrs. Eemble, and left London for good in 
the spring of 1884. 

I think the first real acquaintances wo made in London 
(whether through Mrs. Somerville or otherwise I cannot 
recall) were Sir Charles and Lady Lyell, and their brother 
and sister, Col. and Mrs. Lyell. The house, No. 78, Harley 
Street — in after years noticeable by its bright blue door, (so 
painted to catch Sir Charles' fietding eyesight on his return 
firom his daily walks), became very dear to us, and I confess 
to a pang when it was taken by Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone after 
the death of our dear old Mends. Like Lord Shaftesbury's 
house in Grosvenor Square, pulled down aftier his death and 
replaced by a brand new mansion in the latest Londonesque 
architecture, there was a "bad-dreaminess" about both 
transformation scenes. The Lyells regularly attended Mr. 
Martineau's chapel in Little Portland Street, as we did ; and 
ere long it became a habit for us to adjourn after the service 
to Harley Street and spend some of the aftiemoon with our 
friends, discussing the large supply of mental food which our 
pastor never failed to lay before us. Those were never-to- 
be-forgotten Sundays. 

Sir Charles Lyell realised to my mind the Man of Science 
a£i he was of old ; devout, and yet entirely free-thinking in 
the true sense ; filled with admiring, almost adoring love for 
Nature, and also (all the more for that enthusiasm), simple 
and fresh-hearted as a child. When a good story had tickled 
him he would come and tell it to us with infinite relish. I 
recollect especially his delight in an American boy (I think 
somehow connected with our friend Mr. Herman Merivale), 
who, being directed to say his prayers night and morning, 
replied that he had no objection to do so at nighty but 
thought that '' a boy who is worth anything can take care of 



J 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 447 

himself hy day.'** Another time we had been disoiusing 
Evolution, and some of as had betrayed the impression that 
the doctrine, (which he had then recently adopted), involved 
always the snrvival of the best^ as well as of the " fittest.*' 
Sir Charles left the room and went downstairs, but suddenly 
rushed back into the drawing-room, and said to me all in a 
breath, standing on the rug : <' 1*11 explain it to you in one 
minute! Suppose you had been living in Spain three 
hundred years ago, and had had a sister who was a perfectly 
common-place person, and believed everything she was told. 
Well ! your sister would have been happily married and had 
a numerous progeny, and that would have been the survival 
of the fittest ; but you would have been burnt at an atUo- 
da-fif and there would have been an end of you. You 
would have been unsuited to your environment. There! 
that's Evolution ! Good-bye ! " On went his hat, and we 
heard the hall door close after him before we had done 
laughing. 

Sir Charles' interest in his own particular science was 
eager as that of a boy. One day I had a long conversation 
with him at his brother. Colonel Lyell's hospitable house, on 
the subject of the Glacial period. He told me that he was 
employing regular calculators at Greenwich to make out the 
results of the ice-cap and how it would affect land and sea ; 
whether it would cause double tides, &c. He said he had 
pointed out (what no one else had noticed) that the water to 
form this Ice-cap did not come firom another planet, but 
must have been deducted from the rest of the water on 



* Not quite so good a story as that of another American child 
who, having been naughty and pxmished, was sent np to her room 
by her mother and told to ask for forgiveness. On retoming 
downstairs the mother asked her whether she had done as she 
had directed ? ** Oh yes ! Mama," answered the child, " And God 
iaid to me, Pray don*t mention it. Mist Perkins t " 



448 OR AFTER XVIL 

the globe. Another day I met him at a very imposing 
private concert in Regent's Park. The following is my 
description of our conversation in a letter to my friend, 
Miss Elliot : — 

" Sir Charles sat beside me yesterday at a great mndeal 
party at the D.*s, and I asked him, ' Did he like mnsic ? * 
He said, ' Tes ! for it allowed him to goon thinking his own 
thoughts,* And so he evidently did, while they were singing 
Mendelssohn and Handel I At every interval he tnmed to 
me *Agassiz has made a discovery. I can't sleep for 
thinking of it. He finds traces of the Glaciers in tropical 
America.' (Here intervened a sacred song.) *Well, as 
I was saying, you know 280,000 years ago the eccentricity 
of the earth's orbit was at one of its maximum periods ; 
and we were 11,000,000 miles farther from the sxm in 
winter, and the cold of those winters most have been 
intense ; becaase heat varies, not according to direct ratio, 
but the squares of the distances.* ' Well,' said I, ' but 
then the sunmiers were as much hotter ? ' (Sacred song.) 
' No, the summers wem't t They could not have conquered 
the cold.' ' Then you think that the astronomical 
230,000 years corresponded with the glacial period? Is 
that time enough for all the strata since ? ' (Handel.) * I 
don't know. Perhaps we must go back to the still greater 
period of the eccentricity of the orbit three million years 
ago. Then we were 14 millions of miles out of the circular 
path. (Mendelssohn.) * Good-bye, dear Sir Charles — I 
must be off.' 

** Another day last week, he came and sat with me for 
two hours. I would not light candles, and we got very 
deep into talk. I was greatly comforted and instructed by 
all he said. I asked him how the modem attacks on tho 
argument from Design in Nature, and Darwin's views, 
touched him religiously? He replied, *Not at all.' Ho 
thought the proofs in Nature of the Divine Goodness quite 
triumphant; and that he watched with secret pleasure 
even sceptical men of science whenever they forget their 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVEN 

theories, instinctiyely using phrases, all im^lym 
wisdom.** 

I remember on another occasion Sir Charles 
with mnch glee of two eminent Agnostic friends o 
had been discussing some question for a long i 
one said to the other, '' Yon are getting very teU 
To which the friend responded, ^' I can't help it I * 

At another of his much prized visits to me (j 
1866) he spoke earnestly of the fritore life, and 
memorable remark of which I took a note : '' The 
advance in science, the less the mere physical dif 
believing in immortality disturb me. I have leam< 
nothing too amazing to be within the order of Nati 

The great inequalities in the conditions of me 
sufferings of many seemed to be his strongest r 
believing in another life. He added : '' Aristotle 
every creature has its instincts given by its Creator 
instinct leads to its good. Now the belief in imn 
an instinct tending to good." 

After the death of his beloved wife — the truest " 1 i 
ever man possessed — ^he became even more absorl i 
problem of a friture existence, and very frequently i 
talked with me on the subject. The last time I 1 1 
conversation with him was not long before his de i 
we met one sweet autumn day by chance in Bege : 
not far from the Zoological Gardens. We sat dow ; 
tree and had a long discussion of the validity ol 
faith. I think his argument culminated in this posi I 

**The presumption is enormous that all our 
though liable to err, are true in the main, and poi 
objects. The religious faculty in man is one of the 
of all. It existed in the earliest ages, and ii 
wearing out before advancing civilization, it grow! 
and stronger; and is, to-day, more developed a; 



nignen ibimb idslh ever n was oeiore. i tnmK we maj 
safely trast that it pomta to a great tmtb." 

Here is another glimpse of him from a letter : — 

** Aftei Berrice I went to Hatley Street, Sir Charles, I 
thonght, looking better than for a long time. He thinkB ths 
caves of Anrignao oan never be need aa evidence ; the 
witnesses were all tampered with from the firrt. He saw a 
skeleton foond at Mentone IS feet deep, which be thinks of 
the same ^o as the Gibraltar caves. Ibe legs were 
distinctly platyonemio, and there was also a cnrioos prooeas 
on the front of the sbonlder — like the breast of a chicken. 
The skull was hdl-eizcd and good. I asked bim bow he 
accounted tor the fact that with the best will in the world 
we could not find the Uatt differenoe between the most 
an<aent skolls and onr own ? He said the theory bad been 
snf^ested that all the first growth went to brain, so Usai 
very early men acqnired large brains, as was neoessary. 
This is not very Darwinian, is it ? " 

It is the destiny of all books of Science to be soon 
snpersoded and saperannoated, while those of Literatare may 
live for aU time. I suppose Sir Charles Lyell's PTincipUi 
of Geology has undergone, or will undergo, this fate ere 
lotut ', but the magnanimity and candour which made bim, in 
issuing the 10th edition of that book, abjure all his previons 
arguments against Evolution and candidly own himself 
Darwin's convert, was an evidence of genuine loyalty to truth 
which I trust can never be quite forgotten. He was, as 
Prof. Huxley called him, the " greatest Geologist of his day," 
— the man " who found Geology an infant science feebly 
contending for a few scattered truths, and left it a giant, 
grasping ell the ages of the past." But to my memory 
he will always bo something more than an eminent man of 
Science. Ha waa the type of what tuch men ought to be : 
with the simplicity, hnmility and gentleness which should be 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SB VI 

characteristic of the true student of Nature. ( 
like arrogance of some representatives of the mo 
spirit he had not a taint. In one of his last 
he said : 

" I am told that the same philosophy whi 
to a belief in a future state undertakes to proi 
one of our acts and thoughts are the neoes 
antecedent eyents, and conditions and that th 
such thing as Free-will in man. I am quite 
both doctrines should stand on the same fou 
as I cannot help being convinced that I have 
exerting Free-wiU, however great a mystery tl 
of this may be, so the continuance of a spirit 
be true, however inexplicable or incapable of ] 

"I am told by some that if any of our 
beliefs make us happier and lead us to estimt 
more highly, we ought to be careful not to i 
establish any scientific truths which would less 
our estimate of Man's place in Nature ; in shoi i 
do nothing to disturb any man's faith, if it b i 
which increases his happiness. 

"But I hope and believe that the die ; 
propagation of every truth, and the dispelli i 
error tends to improve and better the oondit i 
though the act of reforming old opinions caui i 
pain and misery.** 

It will give me pleasure if these few reminisce ! 
honoured friend send fresh readers to his excellent i 
biography by his sister-in-law Mrs. Lyell, Li. 
sister, who was also his brother, Colonel Lyell'ii 
mother of Sir Leonard Lyell, M.P. 

I saw a great deal of Dr. Colenso during th 
spent in England ; I think about 1864-5. He li^i 
in a small house in Sussex Place, Glo'ster Road (i 
Place, Onslow Square), where his large family o 



i92 CHAPTER XVIL 

daaghiers practised the piano below stairs and produced 
detonations with chemicals above, while visitors called 
incessantly, interrupting his arduous and anxious studies ! 
He was in all senses an iron-grey man. Iron-grey hair, 
pale, strong face, fine but somewhat rigid figure, a powerful, 
strong-willed, resolute man, if ever there were one, and an 
honest one also, if such there have been on earth. His 
friend, Sir G«orge W. Cox, who I may venture to call mine 
also, has, in his admirable biography, printed the three most 
important letters which the Bishop of Natal wrote to me, and 
I can add nothing to Sir George's just estimate of the 
character of this modem Confessor. I will give here, how- 
ever, another letter I received from him at the very beginning 
of our intercourse, when I had only met him once (at Dr. 
Carpenter's table) ; and also a record in a letter to a friend of 
a UU-a-Ute conversation with him, frurther on. I have 
always thought that he made a mistake in returning to 
Natal, and that his true place would have been at the head 
of a Christian-Theistic Church in London : — 

'* 28, Sussex Place, Eensingtou, 

" Feb. 6th, 1868. 
" My Dear Miss Cobbe, 

" I thank you sincerely for your letter, and for the volume 
which you have sent me. I have read the preface with the 
deepest interest — ^and heartily respond to every word which 
you have written in it. A friend at the Cape had lent me 
a German edition of De Wette, which I had consulted 
carefully. But, about a fortnight ago, a lady, till then a 
stranger to me, sent me a copy of Parker's Edition. I value 
it most highly for the sake both of the Author's and Editor's 
share in it. But the criticism of the present day goes, if I 
am not mistaken, considerably beyond even De Wette's, in 
clearing up the question of the Age and Authorship of the 
different parts of the Pentateuch. I shall carefully consider 
the Tables of ElohiHtic and Jehoviatio portions, as given in 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEV 

De Wette ; but, ia many important respects, 
will be fonnd to differ from his, and, as I thil 
grounds. De W. leant too much to the jadgm 

*' The above, however, ia the only one o^ 
works, which has yet come into my hands, i 
of yoor book this morning. When I repeat t 
of your Preface went to my very heart — and 
them drew the tears from my eyes and the p 
heart that GK>d would grant me grace to be ii 
follower of the noble brother whose life yon li 
and whose feet have already trodden the pai 
lies open before me — you will believe that I a 
long the rest of the volume unread. But, wh 
find there, your Preface will give comfort ai 
thousands, if only they can be brought to ref 
it not be possible to have it printed separat 
Traet / It would have the effect of recommen 
itself, and Parker's works, generally, to mu 
might otherwise not have them brought undei 
effectively? I think if largely circulated it 
materially the progress of the great work, in 
now engaged. 

**Tou will allow me, I hope, to have the 
renewing my acquaintance with you, by makin 
you before long — and may I bring wi^ me I 
who will be very glad to see you ? 

" Very truly y< 



** Please accept a copy of my ' Romans,' whi* 
will send you. The spirit of it will rem 
abiding, though much of the letter must now 

Writing of Dr. Golenso to a friend in Febru 
•aid: — 

*' I never felt for him so much as last nigh 
to talk on what we felt at standing so much a 




saia tbax, wncn tne extent oi nis aiBCorenes onret oo nun 
he felt as il he had received a paralysiDg electric shock. A 
IiOndoQ clergyman wrote to him the other day to giva 
him Boletnn warning that he had led one of hia pariKhioners 
to destraction and dmnkennesB. Colenao answered him, 
that ' it was not kt who led men to donbt of God and duty, 
bat those teachers who made them rest their faith on Ood 
and Dnty on a foundation of falsehood which every new 
wave of thought was sweeping away.' The clergyman 
seems to have been immensely dombfoonded by this 
reply." 

AnoUier most interesting man whom I met at Dr. 
Carpenter's table was Charles Eingsley. 

One day, while I was still a miserable cripple, I went to 
dine in Regent's Fark and came rather late into a drawing 
room foil of company, supported hy what my maid called 
my " beit emfajhes I " The servant did not know me, and 
imnonnced " Miss Cobble." I corrected her Iond]y enongb 
for the gnests to hear, in that moment of pause : "No I 
Miss Hobble I " There was of coarse a laogh, and from the 
little crowd mshed forward to greet me with both hands 
extended, a tall, slender, stooping figure with that well- 
known face HO full of feeling and tenderness— <7harl6S 
Etngsley. "At last. Miss Cobbe, at lost we meet," be said, 
and a moment later gave me his arm to dinner. This 
greetii^ touched me, for we had exchanged, as theological 
opponents, some tolerably sharp blows for years before, but 
his large, noble nature harbonred no spark of resoitment. 
We talked all dinner time and a good deal in the eraning, 
and tben be offered to escort me home to SonUi Kensington 
— a proposal which I greedily accepted, bnt, somehow, wtuo 
he fonnd that I bad a brougham, and was not going in 
miscellaneons vehicles (in my beet evening toggery I) from 
one end of London to the other at night, he retracted, and 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 455 

eonld not be induced to eome with me. We met, however, 
not nnfreqaently afterwards, and I always felt much attracted 
to him; as did, I may mention, my friend's little fox 
terrier, who, travelling one day with her mistress in the 
Underground, spied Kingsley entering the carriage, and 
incontinently leaving her usual safe retreat under the seat 
made straight to him, and without invitation, leaped on his 
knee and began gently kissing his face ! The dog never did the 
same or anything like it to any one else in her life before or 
afterwards. Of course, my friend apologised to Mr. Kingsley, 
but he only said in his deep voice, ** Dogs always do that to 
me," — and coaxed the little beast kindly, till they left the 
train. 

The last time I saw Canon Kingsley was one day late 
in the autumn some months before he died. Somebody 
who, I thought, he would like to meet was coming to 
dine with me at short notice, and I went to Westminster 
in the hope of catching him and persuading him to come 
without losing time by sending notes. The evening was 
closing, and it was growing very dark in the cloisters^ 
where I was seeking his door, when I saw a tall man, 
strangely bent, coming towards me, evidently seeing 
neither me nor anything else, and absorbed in some 
most painful thought. His whole attitude and countenance 
expressed grief amounting to despair. So terrible was it 
that I felt it an intrusion on a sacred privacy to have 
seen it; and would fain have hidden myself, but this was 
impossible where we were standing at the moment. When 
he saw me he woke out of his reverie with a start, pulled 
himself together, shook hands, and begged me to come into 
his house; which of course I did not do. He had an 
engagement which prevented him from meeting my guest (I 
think it must have been Keshub Chunder Sen), and I took 
myself off as quickly as possible. I have often wondered 



wum un-Hujiu uiuu^jui, wnn uvoupjimg iiw mum wiHUi i oaugni 

sight of him that day in the gloomy old cloifltws of 
WeatminBter in the aatomn twilight. 

The quotation made a few pages back of Sir Charles Lyell's 
observations on belief in Immartalify reminds me that I 
repeated them soon after he had made them, to another great 
man whom it was my privilege to know — John Stuart Mill. 
We were spending aa afternoon with him and Miss Helen 
Taylor at Blackheath ; and a quiet conversation between Mr. 
Mill and myself having reached this snhject, I told him of 
what Sir 0. Lyell had said. In a moment Hie quick blood 
suffused his cheeks and something very like tears were in his 
eyes. The question, it was plain, touched his very heart. 
This wonderful sensitivenesB of a man generally supposed to 
|>e "dry" and devoted t« the driest studies, stmok me, I 
think, more than anything about him. His special charac- 
teristic was extreme delicacy of feeling ; and this showed 
itself, singularly enough, for a man advanced in life, in 
transparency of skin, and changes of colour and expression 
as rapid as those in a mountain lake when the clouds shift 
over it. When Watts painted his fine portrait of him, be 
foiled to notice this peculiarity of his thin and delicate skin, 
and gave bim the common thick, muddy complexion of 
elderly Englishmen. The result is that the ithot of the face 
is missing— just asinthecaseof the portrait of Dr. Martinean 
he is represented with weak, sloping shoulders and narrow 
chest. The look of power which essentially belongs to him 
is not to be seen. I remarked when I saw this picture first 
exhibited : " I should never have ' sat under ' that Dr. 
Martineau I " Mill and I, of course, met in deep sympathy 
on the Woman question ; and he did me Uie honour to present 
me with a copy of bia " Subjection of Women " on its pnbli- 
eation. He tried to make me write and speak more on the 
subject of Women's Claims, and used jestingly to say that 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 457 

my laagh was worth — I forget how mnch I — to the eaase. 
I insert a letter from him showing the minate care he took 
about matters hardly worthy of his attention. 

*• Avignon, Feb. 28rd, 1869. 
" Dear Miss Cobbe, 

" I have lately received conmmnication from the 
American publisher Putnam, requesting me to write for 
their Magazine, and I understand that they would be very 
glad if you would write anything for ihem, more especially 
on the Women question, on which the Magazine (a new 
one) has shown liberal tendencies from the first. The 
communications I have received have been through Mrs. 
Hooker, sister of Mrs. Stowe and Dr. Ward Beecher, and 
herself the author of two excellent articles in the Magazine 
on the suffrage questiou, by which we had been much struck 
before we knew the authorship. I enclose Mrs. Hooker's 
last letter to me, and I send by post copies of Mrs. Hooker's 
articles and some old numbers of the Magazine, the only 
ones we have here ; and I shall be very happy if I should 
be the medium of inducing you to write on this question 
for the American public. 

"My daughter desires to be kindly remembered, 

and I am, 

** Dear Miss Cobbe, 

•* Very truly yours, 

"J. S. Mill. 

" P.S. — May I ask you to be so kind as to forward Mrs. 
Hooker's letter to Mrs. P. A. Taylor, as she will see by it 
that Mrs. Hooker has no objection to put her name to a 
reprint of her articles." 

There never was a more unassuming philosopher than Mr. 
Mill, just as there never was a more unassuming poet than 
Mr. Browning. All the world knows how Mr. Mill strove to 
give to his wife the chief credit of his works ; and, after her 
death, his attitude towards her daughter, who was indeed a 



ezemplifieation of his own tlieories of the rightful position 
of women. He was, however, equally impreteDtions as 
regarded men. Talking one day about the diffioolty of doing 
mental work when disturbed by sbeet muaio, and of poor 
Mr. Babbage's frenzy on the entgect, Mr. MiU said it did 
not much iuterfbre with him. I told him how intensely 
Mr. Spencer objected to distnrbance. " Ah yes ; of course 1 
writing Spencer's works one must want qniet 1 " As if 
nothii^ of the kind w^e needed for such trivial books 
as his own SytUm of Logic, or Political Economy! He 
really was quite nnconscions of the irony of his remark. I 
have been told that he would allow hia cat to interfere sadly 
with his literary occupation when she preferred to lie on his 
table, or sometimeB on his neck, — a trait like that of Newton 
and his "Diamond." This extreme gentleness is ever, sorely 
a note of the highest order of men. 

Here ore extracts from letters concerning Mr. Mill, which 
I wrote to Miss Elliot in Angust, 1869. I believe I had 
been to Brighton and met Mr. Mill there. 

" We talked of many grave things, and in everything his 
love of right and his immense onderlying faith impressed me 
more than I can describe. I asked him what he thought of 
coming ahongee, and he entirely agreed with me about their 
danger, bnt thought that the misohief they will entail most 
be but temporary. He thonght the loss of Beverence 
nnspeakably deplorable, bnt on inevitable feature of an age 
of such rapid transition that the son does actually outran 
the father. He added that he thonght even the moat 
sceptical of men generally had an ijmer altar to tkt Unieen 
Perftetion while waiting for the true one to be revealed to 
them. In a word the * dry old phUosopher ' showed 
himself to me as an enthuaiaat in faith and love. The way 
in which he seemed to have thought oat every great question 
and to express hia own so modestly and simply, and yet in 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 459 

such clear-cat oatlines, was most impressive. I felt (what 
one BO seldom does I) the delightfol sense of being in 
commnnication with a mind deeper than one would reach the 
end of, even after a lifetime of intorconrse. I never felt the 
same, so strongly, except towards Mr. Martineau; and 
though the forms of hi$ creed and philosophy are, I think, 
infinitely truer than those of Mill (not to Rpeak of the feelings 
one has for the man whose prayers one follows), I think it 
is more in form than in spirit that the two men are 
distinguished. The one has only an * inner,' the other has 
an outward * altar ; ' but both hmd at them." 

A month or two earlier in the same year I wrote to the 
same friend : — 

'* Last night I sat beside Mt. Mill at dinner and enjoyed 
myself exceedingly. He is looking old and worn, and the 
nervous twitchings of his face are painful to see, but he is 
so thoroughly genial and gentlemanly, and laughs so 
heartily at one*B little jokes, and keeps up an argument 
with so much play and good humour, that I never enjoyed my 
dinner-neighbourhood more. Mr. Fawcett was objurgating 
some M.P. for taking office, and said : ' When I see Tori$» 
rejoice, I know it must be an injury to the Liberal Cause.' 
' Do you never, then, feel a qualm,* I said, * all you Liberal 
gentlemen, when you see the priesti rejoice at what you 
have Just done in Ireland ? Do you reflect whether that is 
likely to be an injury to the Liberal Cause ? ' The observa- 
tion somehow fell like a bomb ; (the entire company, as I 
remember, were Radicals, our host being Mr. P. A. Taylor) . 
For two minutes there was a dead silence. Then Mrs. Taylor 
said : * Ah, Miss Cobbe is a bitter Conservative I * ' Not a 
bitter one,' said Mr. Mill. ' Miss Cobbe is a Conservative. 
I am sorry for it ; but Miss Cobbe is never bitter.' " 

It has been a constant subject of regret to me that 
Mr. Mill's intention (communicated to me by Miss Taylor) of 
spending the ensuing summer holiday in Wales, on purpose 



mach pleasnre and inBtmotion I ahoold have derived from his 
near neighbourhood there is no need to eay. 

A friend of Mr. Will for whom I had great regard waa 
Prof. Caimea. He onderwent treatment at Aiz-les-Baina at 
the same time as I ; and we naed to while away our long 
hours by interminable diecnsBions, principally oonoemiiig 
ethics, a subject on which Mr. Caimes took the Utihtariaa 
aide, and I, of oonree, that of the school of Independent 
Morality {i.e,, of MoraUty based on other groimdB than 
Utility). He was an ardent disciple of Mill, but his extreme 
candour oaosed him to admit frankly that the "m3rBtic 
extension " of the idea of Usffulnen into Right, was nnacconnt- 
able, or at least onacconnted for ; and that when we had 
proved an act to be pre-eminently nsefiil and likely to promote 
" the greatest happiness of the greatest nnmber," there yet 
remained the question for each of ns, " Why should I perform 
that useful action, if it coat tw a moment's pain?" To find 
the answer (he admitted) we must &U hack on an inward 
" Oategorio imperative," "ovght;" and having done so, (I 
argued,) we moat Itienceforth admit that the basis of Morality 
rests on something beside Utility. All these controversies 
are rather by-gone now, since we have been confronted with 
" hereditary sets of the brain." I think it was in these 
diaenssions with Prof. Caimes that I stmok out what several 
friends (among others Lord Arthur Bussell) considered an 
" unanswerable " argument against the Utilitarian philosophy ; 
it nm thus : 

" Mr. Mill baa nobly said, that, — if on Almighty Tyrant 
were to order him to worship hini and threaten to send hi™ 
to hell if he refused, then, sooner than worship that nnjnst 
Ood, ' to HtU would I go!' Mr. Mill, of course, desired 
every man to do what he himself thought right; therefore 
it is couoeivabte that, in the (tiven contingency, we might 



LONDON m THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 461 

behold the apostle of the Utilitarian philoisophy wmdueUn\ 
the whole humtm retee to eternal perdition, for the sake of ,— 
shall we say the * Oreateet Happiness of the Greatest number / ' " 

Prof. Caimes did great public service both to England 
and America at the time of the war of Secession by his 
wise and able writing on the subject. In a small way I 
tried to help the same canse by joining Mrs. P. A. Taylor's 
Committee formed to promote and express English sympathy 
with the North ; and wrote several little pamphlets, " Thi 
Bed Flag in JohnBvWs Eyes"; " BesjoindertoMrs. Stowe^" &c. 
This common interest increased, of oonrse, my regard for 
Mr. Caimes, and it was with real sorrow I saw him slowly 
sink under the terrible disease, (a sort of general ossification 
of the joints) of which he died. I have said he sanJc under 
it, but assuredly it was only his piteously stiffened body 
which did so, for I never saw a grander triumph of mind 
over matter than was shown by the courage and cheerfulness 
wherewith he bore as dreadful a &te as that of any old 
martyr. I shall never forget the impression of the nobility of 
the human Sotd rising over its tenement of clay, which ho 
made upon me, on the occasion of my last visit to him at 
Blackheath. 

Another man, much of the character and calibre of 
Prof. Caimes, whom I likewise had the privilege to know 
well, was Prof. Sheldon Amos. He also, alas ! ctied in the 
prime of life ; to the loss and grief of the friends of every 
generous movement. 

The following is a memorandum of the first occasion on 
which I met Mr. John Bright : — 

" February 28th, 1866. Dmed at Mr. S.'s, M.P. Sat 
between Bright and Mr. Buxton. Bright so exquisitely 
elean and with such a sweet voice 1 His hands alone are 
coarse. Great discussion, in which Mr. B. completely took 
the lead ; the other gentlemen preoent seeminff to hang on 



another. Talldiif; of Iceland he aaid he would, if he erer 
bad the power, force all the English Companies and great 
English landlords to sell their estates there ; the land to be 
cnt np into small farms. I asked, did he bclieTe in stnall 
farming in 1866, and in Celtic capitalists ready to purchase 
farms ? He then told ua hov he picked np mncji information 
travelling throagh Ireland on ean, from the drivers, (as if 
every Irish car-driver did not recognise him in a moment 
from Ponch's caricatures I) and how, especially, he visited 
the only small farm he had beard of where the ooenpier woa 
a freeholder ; and how it wan exceediogly prosperous. I 
asked where this was ? He said ' in a place called the 
Barany of Forth.' 0( course I explained that Forth and 
Bargy in Wexford have been for four hundred years isolated 
English, (or rather Welsh) colonies, and afFord no sort of 
sample of Iriih farming. Bright's way of speaking was 
dermatic, bnt fnll of genial fun and quiet little bits of wit. 
He spoke with great feeling of the wrongs and miseries of 
die poor, bnt seemed to enjoy in fnll the delnaiou that it 
only depeudod on rich people being ready to sacrifice 
themselves, to remove them all to-morrow. 

" I ventured to oek him why be laboured bo hard to get 
votes for working carpenters and bricklayere, and never 
stirred a finger to ask them for women, who posHessed 
already the property qualification ? He said : ' Mnc^ was 
to be said for women,* but then went on maundering about 
our proper sphere, and ' would they go into Parliament ? ' " 

Again another time I sat beside him (I know not at 
whose hospitable table), and he told me a most afieoting 
story of a poor crippled woman in a miserable cottage near 
lilaududno, where he nsuoUy spent his holidays. He bad 
got into the habit of visiting this poor creatnre, who could 
not stir from her bed, bnt lay there all day long alone, her 
husband being out at work as a labourer. Sometimes a 
neighbour would look in and give her food, bat unless one 



lONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 463 

did so, she was entirely helpless. Her only comforter was 
her dog, a fine collie, who lay beside her on the floor, ran in 
and oat, licked her poor useless hands, and showed his 
affection in a hundred ways. Bright grew fond of the dog, 
and the dog always welcomed him each year with gambols 
and joy. One summer he came to the cottage, and the 
hapless cripple lay on her pallet still, but the dog did not 
come out to him as usual, and his first question to the 
woman was : " Where is your collie ? " The answer was 
that her husband had drotcned the dog to save the expense of 
feeding it. 

Bright's voice broke when he came to the end of this story, 
and we said very little more to each other during that 
dinner. 

Another day I was speaking to Mr. Bright of the 
extraordinary canard which had appeared in the Times the 
day before announcing (quite falsely) that Lord Eussell, then 
Premier, had resigned. '^ What on earth," I asked, '' can 
have induced the Times to publish such intelligence ? " (As 
it happened, it inconvenienced Lord Bussell very much.) '' I 
wiU teU you," said Bright ; '' I am sure it is because Delane 
is angry that Lady Bussell has not asked him to dinner. 
He expected to go to the Bussells' as he did to the 
Palmerstons', and get his news at first hand ! " A day or 
two later I met Lord Bussell, and told him what Mr. Bright 
had said was the reason of the mischievous trick Mr. Delane 
had played him. Lord Bussell chuckled a great deal and 
said, rubbing his hands in his characteristic way : '^ I believe 
it is I I do believe it is ! " 

My beautiful cousin, Laura, one of my father's wards, had 
married (from Newbridge in old days) Mr. John Locke, Q.C., 
who was for a long time M.P. for Southwark. Their house, 
63, Eaton Place, was always most cordially opened to me, 
and beside Mr. Locke, who was generally brimful of political 



464 CHAPTER XVIL 

news, I met at their table many elever barristers and M.P.'s. 
Among the latter was Mr. Ayrton, against whom a virulent 
set was made by the scientific clique^ in consequence of his 
endeavours, on behalf of the public, to open Eew Gardens 
earlier in the day. He was rather saturnine, but an 
incorruptible,' unbending sort of man, for whom I felt respect 
Another habitnie was Mr. Warren, author of Ten Thomand a 
Year. He was a little ugly fellow, but full of fire and fun, 
retorting right and left against the Liberals present 
Sergeant Gazelee, a worn-looking man, with keen eyes, one 
day answered him fiurly. There was an amusing discussion 
whether the Tories could match in ability the men of the 
opposite party? Warren brought up an array of clever 
Conservatives, but then pretended to throw up the sponge, 
exclaiming in a dolorous voice, '^ but then you Liberals have 
goir-Whalley I " 

Beside my cousin Mrs. Locke and her good and able 
husband, I had the pleasure for many years of constantly 
seeing in London her two younger sisters, Sophia and Eliza 
Cobbe, who were my father's favourite wards and have 
been from their childhood, when they were always under my 
charge in their holidays, till now in our old age, almost like 
younger sisters to me. They were of course rarely absent 
from the Eaton Place festivities. 

There was a considerable difference between dinner parties 
in the Sixties and those of thirty years later. They lasted 
longer at the earlier date ; a greater number of dishes were 
served at each course, and much more wine was tak^. I 
cannot but think that there must be a certain declension in 
the general vitality of our race of late years for, I think, few 
of us, young or old, would be inclined to share equally now 
in those banquets of long ago which always lasted two hours 
and sometimes three. There were scarcely any teetotalers, 
men or women, at the time I speak of, in the circles to which 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND 8EVA 

■ 

I belonged; and the butlers, who went rott 
with half-a-dozen kinds of wine, and (after dS 
were not, as now, continually interrupted in tl 
" No wine, thank you I Have you Appolinarii 
I never saw anyone the worse for the sherry 
punch and the hock or chablis, and champa^ 
but certainly there was generally a little moi 
well-bred sort towards the end of the long meab 
kept a particularly good cook and good celL 
guests — especially some who hailed from the 
enjoyed at their table other '' feasts '' beside tho 
And so I must confess did /, in those days of ( 
after a long day's literary work ; and I sincere! 
Stanley, who had no sense of taste, and scare 
flavour of anything which he put in his mouth 
company was not quite up to his mark, the t< 
dinners which he attended must have been drei 
whereas, in my case, I could always, — ^provided t 
good, — entertain myself satisfactorily with my pi 
and fork. The same great surgeon who had 
sprained ankle so unsuccessfully, told me v 
warning when we were taking our house in Here 
that, if I lived in South Kensington and wen 
parties, I should be a regular victim to gout. As 
I lived in South Kensington for just twenty 
went out, I should think to some two thousi 
great and small, and I never had the gout at all, 
contrary, by my own guidance, got rid of t! 
before I left London. There has certainly been ; 
diminution in the animal spirits of men and v 
last thirty years, if not of their vital powers, 
there was always, among well-bred people a oei 
of spirits in society, neither boisterous nor yei 
and the better the company the softer the genera 




466 CHAPTER XVII. 

of ihe oonversation. I could have recognized blindfold certain 
drawing-rooms wherein a mixed congregation assembled, by 
the strident, high note which pervaded the crowded room. 
Bat the ripple of gentle laughter in good company has 
decidedly fallen some notes since the Sixties. 

I am led to these reflections by remembering among my 
cousin's gnests that admirable man — ^Mr. Fawcett. He 
was always, not merely fairly cheerfdl, bat more gay and 
apparently light-hearted than those aronnd him who were 
possessed of their eyesight. The last time I met him was 
at the honse of Madame Bodichon in Blandford Square, 
and we three were all the company. One would have 
thought a blind statesman alone with two elderly women, 
would not have been much exhilarated; but he seemed 
actually bursting with boyish spirits; pouring out fun^ 
and laughing with all his heart. GertaiDly his devoted 
wife (in my humble opinion the ablest woman of 
this day), succeeded in cheering his darkened lot quite 
perfectly. 

Mr. and Mrs. Fawcett were the third couple who in this 
century have afforded a study for Mr. Francis Galton of 
" Hereditary Genius." The first were Shelley and his Mary 
(who again was the daughter of Godwin and Mary WoUston- 
craft). Their son, the late Sir Percy Shelley, was a very 
kindly and pleasant gentleman, with good taste for private 
theatricals, but not a genius. The second were Robert and 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning. They also have left a son, of 
whose gifts as a painter I do not presume to judge. The 
third were Mr. Fawcett and Millicent Garrett, who, though 
not dainung the brilliant genius of the others, were each, as 
all the world knows, very highly endowed persons. Their 
daughter. Miss Philippa Garrett Fawcett, — the Senior 
Wrangler, de jure, — ^has at all events vindicated Mr. Galton's 
theories. 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVEN 

Many of ns, in those days of the Sixties^ 
interested in the efforts of women to enter the 
fession in spite of the bitter opposition which the) 
Miss Elizabeth Garrett, Mrs. Fawcett's sistei 
particnlarly prominent place in our eyes, sucoa 
did in obtaining her medical degree in Paris, and 
seat on the London School Board, which last wai 
kind of elevation for women. While still o< 
foreground of oar ambition for onr sex, 1 
resolved to make (what has proved, I believe, to 
and well assorted marriage, which put an end, nc 
her farther projects of pablic work. I sent h 
eordial good wishes, the following verses : — 

The Woman's canae wm rising iasi 
When to the Surgeons' Oollege past 
A maid who bore in fingers nioe 
A banner with the new device 

Ezoelsioi 

** Try not to pass *' I the Dons exdaim, 
^ M.D. shall grace no woman's name " — 
" Bosh 1 " cried the maid, in accents free, 
** To France I'll go for my degree." 

Exoelsiox 

The School-Board seat came next in sigbf 
*' Beware the foes of woman's right I " 
«< Beware the awful hnsting's fight 1 " 
Such was the moan of many a soul—- 
A voice replied from top of poll — 

Exoelsi(» 

« 

In patients' homes she saw the light 
Of household fires beam warm and bright 
Ijectures on Bones grew wondrous dry, 
But still she murmured with a sigh 

Excelsioi 




*68 CHAPTER XVlL 

• Oh, stay ! "—a lover cried,—" Oh. reei 
Thy mnoh-leamed head npon this hreasft ; 
Give up ambition 1 Be my bride I " 
— ^Alas 1 no olarion voice leplied 

Ezoelaior 

At end of day, when all ia done, 
And woman's battle fought and won, 
Honour will aye be paid to one 
Who erst called foremost in the van 

EzoeUdor 1 

But not for her that crown so bright. 
Which her's had been, of sorest right, 
Had she still cried, — serene and blest — 
« The Virgin throned by the West,"* 

Excelsior ! 

Some years after this I brought from Rome as a present for 
my much-valued friend and lady-Doctor, Mrs. Hoggan, M.D. 
(widow of Dr. George Hoggan), a large photograph of the 
statue in the Vatican of Minerva Medica. Under it I wrote 
these lines : — 

** Minerva Mediea I Shocking profanity t 

How oonld these heathens their doctors vex. 
Patting the core of the ills of humanity 

Into the hands of the * weaker sex ? ' 
O Pallas sublime ! Would you come back revealing 

Your glory inounortal, our doctors should see, — 
Instead of proclaiming you Goddess of Healing, 

They'd prohibit your practice, refuse your degree I *' 



The first dinner-party I ever attended in London, before I 
went to live in town, was at Mr. Bagehot's house. I sat beside 

;* Bee Spenser — The "West" District of London was the ooe 
wliich elected Miss Garrett for the School Board. 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 469 

Mr. Richard Hntion, who has been ever since my good friend, 
and opposite as there sat a gentleman who at once attracted 
my attention. He had a strong dark face, a low forehead 
and hair parted in the middle, the large loose month of an 
orator and a manner quite nniqne ; as if he were gently 
looking down on the follies of mortality from the superior 
altitudes of Olympos, or perhaps of Parnassus. ''Do you 
know who that is sitting opposite to us ? " said Mr. Button. 
I looked at him again, and replied: ''I never saw him before, 
and I have never seen his picture, but I feel in my inner 
consciousness that it can only be Mr. Matthew Arnold ; " 
and Mr. Arnold, of course, it was, — ^with an air which made 
me think him (what he was not) an intellectual coxcomb, 
He wrote, about that time or soon afterwards, some dreadfully 
derisive things of my Theism ; not on account, apparently, 
of its intrinsic demerits, but because of what he conceived to 
be its upstart character. We are all familiar with a certain 
tone of lofty superiority common to Roman Catholics and 
Anglicans in dealing with Dissenters of all classes ; the tone, 
no doubt, in which the priests of On talked of Moses when 
he led the Israelitish schism in the wilderness. It comes 
naturally to everybody who stands serenely on ''the old 
paths," and watches those who walk below, or strive to fray 
new ways through the jungle of poor human thoughts. But 
when Mr. Arnold had himself slipped off the old road so far 
as to have liquefied the Articles of the Apostles' Greed into 
a " Stream of Tendency ; " and compared the doctrine of the 
Trinity to a story of " Three Lord Shafteshvrys ; " and reduced 
the Object of Worship to the lowest possible denommation 
as "a Power not ourselves which makes for ri^fUeousness;'* 
he must, I think, have come to feel that it was scarcely 
his affair to treat other people's heresies as new-fangled, 
and lacking in the sanctities of tradition. As one 
afber another of his brilliaDt essays appeared, and it became 



470 CHAPTER XV I L 

manifest that his own creed grew continually thinner, more 
exignoasy and less and less substantial, I was reminded of an 
old sporting story which my father told of a town-bred 
gentleman, the '* Mr. Briggs " of those days, who for the first 
time shot a cock-pheasant, and after greatly admiring it 
laid it down on the grass. A keeper took up the bird and 
stroked it, pretending to wonder at its size, and presently 
shifted it aside and substituted a partridge, which he likewise 
stroked and admired, till he had an opportunity of again 
changing it for a snipe. At this crisis '^ Mr. Briggs " broke 
in furiously, bidding the keeper to stop stroking his bird : 
" Be hanged to you ! If you go on like that, you'll rub it 
down to a wren ! " The creed of many persons in these days 
seems to be undergoing the process of being patted and 
praised, while all the time it is being rubbed down to a wren t 
But whatever hard things Mr. Arnold ^aid of me, I liked 
and admired him, and he was always personally most kind to 
me. He had of all men I have ever known the truest insight, 
— the true PoeVs insight, — into the feelings and characters d 
animals, especially of dogs. His poem, Geisfs Qrave^ is to 
me the most affecting description of the death of an animal in 
the range of literature. Indeed, the subject of Death itself 
whether of beasts or of men, viewed from the same standpoint 
of hopelessness, has never, I think, been more tenderly 
touched. How deeply true to every heart is the thought 
expressed in the stanzas, which remind us that in all the 
vastness of the universe and of endless time there is not, and 
never will be, another being like the one who is dead I That 
being (some of us believe) may revive and live for ever, but 
another who wiT " restore its little self" will never be. 

**.... Not the course 

Of all the centuries to come« 
And not the infinite resource 
Of Nature, with her coontleBS sum 



LONDOIi IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVB. 

^ Of figures, with her fidness vast 
Of new creation eyermore, 
Can ever quite repeat the past. 
Or jnst thy little self restore. 

*' Stem law of every mortal lot ! 

Whioh man, proud man, finds hard ti 
And builds himself, I know not what 
Of second life, I know not where." 

We knew dear Geist, I am glad to say. Wl 
and I came to live at Byfleet Mr. Arnold 
charming wife, — then living three miles ofif 
kindly permitted ns to see a good deal of then 
deeply interested in poor Geist's last illness. I 
dachshund, not a handsome dog, bat possessei 
which in certain dogs and (those dogs only) » 
canine analogue of a hmnan sonl. As to Mr. . 
on his other dog, Kaiser^ who is there that enj< 
hnmour and dog-love can fail to be enchante 
perfect pictnre of a dog, — ^not a dog of the seni 
but one — 

<« Teeming with plans, alert and glad 
In work or play, 
Like sunshine went and came, and I 
Live out the day 1 " 

Does not every one feel how true is the likeni 
loving dog to sunshine in a house ? 

I met Mr. Arnold one day in William and N( 
shop, and he inquired after my dog, and when ! 
poor beast had '' gone where the good dogs 
with real feeling, ** And you have not replace 
of course you could not." I asked his leave 1 
of ''Geist's Grave" for a collection of poen: 
made for the purpose of humane propaganda, t 
vQTj cordially. I was, however, deeply disaj 



472 CHAPTER XVIL 

he returned the following reply to my application for hia 
signatore to our first Memorial inviting the B.S.P.C.A. to 
midertake legislation for the restriction of vivisection. I do 
not clearly understand what he meant hy disliking " the 
EngUsh way of employing for public ends private Societies 
and Memorials to them." The B.S.P.CA. is scarcely a 
'^ private society;" and, if it were so, I see no harm in 
« employing it for public ends," instead of leaving every- 
thing to Qovemment to do ; or to leave undone, 

•« Cobham, Surrey, 

** January 8th, 1875. 
*« Dear Miss Cobbe, 

" Your letter was directed to Oxford, a place with which 

I have now no connection, and it reaches me too late for 

signuig your Memorial, but I should in any case have 

declined signing it, strongly as your cause speaks to my 

feelings ; because, first, I greatly dislike the English way of 

employing, for public ends, private societies and Memorials 

to them ; secondly, the signatures you will profit by, in this 

case, are not those of literary people, who will at once be 

disposed of as a set of unpractical sentimentalists. To 

yourself this objection does not apply, because you are 

distinguished not in letters only, but also as a lover and 

student of animals. I hope if you read my paper in the 

Contemporary f you observe how I apologise for calling them 

the lower animals, and how thoroughly I admit that they 

think and love, 

" Sincerely yours, 

" Matthew Arnold.'* 

In my first journey to Italy on my way to Palestine I 
made acquaintance with B. W. Mackay, the author of that 
enormously learned, but, perhaps, not very well digested 
book, the Progress of the InteUect, I afterwards renewed 
acquaintance with him and his nice wife in their house in 
Hamilton Terrace. Mr. Mackay was somewhat of an invaUd 
and a nervous man, much absorbed in his studies. I have 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 473 

heard it said that he was the original of George Elliot's 
Mr. Casat/bon, At all events Mrs. Lewes had met him, and 
taken a strong prejudice against him. That prejudice I 
think was oiy'ast. He was a very honest and real student, 
and a modest one, not a pretender like Mr. Oasauhon. His 
books contain an amazing mass of knowledge, (presented, 
perhaps, in rather a crude state) respecting all the great 
r&ligious doctrines of the world. I had once felt that both 
liis books and talk were hard and steel-cold, and that his 
religion, though dogmatically the same as mine, was aU 
lodged in his intellect. One day, however, when he called 
on me and we took a drive and walk in the Park together, 
I learned to my surprise that he entirely felt with me that 
the one direct way of reaching truth about religion was Prayer, 
and all the rest mere corroboration of what may so be learned. 
To have came round to this seemed to me a great evidence of 
intellectual sincerity. 

I forget now what particular point we had been discussing 
when he wrote me the following curious bit of erudition : — 

*' Dear Miss Cobbe, 

'* Dixit Rabbi Simeon Ben Lakis, — Nomina angelorum et 
mensium ascendemnt in domum Israelis ex Babylone." 

** This occurs in the treatise Bosh Htuchanah^ which is 
part of the Mischna. 

** The Misohna (the earliest part of the Tcdmud) is said 
to have been completed in the 8rd century, under the 
auspices of Rabbi Judah the Holy, and his disciples. 

** I send the above as promised, The professed aversion 
of the Jews for foreign customs seems strangely at variance 
with their practice, as seeu, €.g.^ in their names for the 
divisions of the heavenly hosts; the words 'Legion and 
Sistra (oastra) are evidently taken from the Roman army. 
Four Chief Spirits or Archangels are occasionally 
mentionedf as in Pirhe Eliezer and Henoch, cf . 48, 1. Others 
make their number seven, as Tobit 12, 5; Revel. 2, 4 — 
8, 1—4, 5. The angelic doings are partly copied from the 



osagBH Di tue juwiiui xempie, utiDce uie iiaraBaiem XArgoin 
renders Exod. 14, 24, ' It happened in the mDming watch, 
the hoDT when the heavenly host Bing praises before Ood ' 
^■oomp.: Liiko2, 18, — and the SEime reason is applied by the 
Targninist for the sudden exit of the aogel in Oenes. 82, 
26. One may perhaps, however, be iadaced to ask whether 
(as in the case of Enthyphran in the Platonic di&logne) a 
better canse for departore might not be foond in the 
inconvenience of remaining I 

"Thongb I have Hang's Tersitm of the Oatbas, I am 
tar from able to decipher the gronnds of differenoe 
between him and Spinel. Non noitmm M UutUu oomponer* 
UUi, a volnme entitled Er&n by Dr. Spiegel oontains, 
among other Essayst one entitled Avetta and Veda, or the 
relation of Iran and India, and another Avetta and QentiU, 
or the relation of Iran to the Semites. Weber's MoriKhe 
SkUxen also contains interesting matter on similar snbicctB. 
We were speaking abont the magical significance of names. 
See as to this Origen against Oelsne, 1-24 ; Diod. Sicnl, 1-22,' 
lamblicns de Myst, 2, 4, 6. 

" Socrates himself appears snpeifrtitionsly apprehentdve 
abont the use of divine names in the Fhilebns 1, 2 and the 
Gratylns 400b. The suppression of it among the Jews, 
(for instance in the Septnagint, where KifH^siBsubBtitnted 
for Jehovah, and Sirach, Gh. 28, 9) express the same feeling. 

" We were talking of the original religion of Feraia. 
Yon, of conrse, recollect the passage on this Bobject in the 
first book of Herodotos, Ch. 181, and Strabo 1£, see 18, 
p. 782 Casaob. The practice ol ptohibitiug selfish prayer 
mentioned in the next following chapter in Herodotns, is 
remarkable. 

" I hope that in the above rigmarole a griun of aseful 
matter may be found. Mrs. Mackay is, I am glad to uy, 
liettez to-day. 

" I remain, sincerely yonra, 

" R. W. Macs*». 

"20th February, 1865. 
" 41, Hamilton Terrace, N.W." 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 475 

Another early acqaaintance of mine in London was Lady 
B3rron, the widow of the poet. I called on her one day, 
having received from her a kind note hegging me to do so as 
she was unable to leave her house to come to me. She had 
been exceedingly kind in procuring for me valuable letters of 
introduction from Sir Moses Montefiore and others, which 
had been very aseful to me in my long wanderings. 

Lady Byron was short in stature and, when I saw her, 
deadly pale ; but with a dignity which some of our friends 
called "royal," albeit without the smallest affectation or 
assumption. She talked to me eagerly about all manner of 
good works wherein she was interested ; notably concerning 
Miss Carpenter's Beformatory, to which she had practically 
subscribed £1,000 by buying Bed Lodge and making it over 
for such use. During the larger part of the time of my 
visit she stood on the rug with her back to the fire and the 
power and will revealed in her attitude and conversation were 
very impressive. I bore in mind all the odious things Byron 
had said of her : 

" There was Miss Mill-pond, smooth as sninmer sea 
That usnal paragon, an only daughter, 
Who seemed the cream of equanimity 
Till skimmed, and then there was some milk and water." 

Also the sneers at her (very genuine) humour : 

" Her wit, for she had wit, was Attic all 
Her favourite science was the mathematical '* d'c, &o, 

I thought that for a man to hold up such a woman as 
thisy and that woman his wife, on the prongs of ridicule for 
public laughter was enough to make him detestable. 

A lady whom I met long afterwards told me, (I made a note 
of it Nov. 18th, 1869) that she had been stopping, at the time 
of Lady Byron's separation, at a very small seaside place in 
Norfolk. Lady B3rron came there on a visit to Mrs. Frarxis 



Mallory. She hEid then baea separated &boDt six weeks or 
two months. She waa (Mrs. B. said) singolarl; pleasing and 
healthM looking, rather than pretfy. She was grave and 
reticent raUier thau depressed in spirite ; and gave her friends 
to nndarstand that tliere was something she could notexplun 
to them about her separation. Sirs. B. hMrd her my that 
Lord Byron always slept with pistols under his pillow, and 
on one occasion had threatened to shoot her in the middle of 
the night. There was mnch singing of dnets going on in the 
two famiUes, hat Lady Byron refused to take any part in it. 
Miss Carpenter, who was entirely captivated by her, received 
from her some charge amounting to literary exccatorship ; 
bnt after one or two furtive delvings into the trunks fall of 
papers (since, I believe, stored in Hoare's bank), she gave np 
in despur. She told me that the papers were in the most 
extraordinary confusion ; letters both of the most trivial and 
ofthe most serioos and compromising kind, household Bcconnts, 
poems, and tradesmen's bills, were all mixed tt^ethOT in 
hopeless disorder and dust. As is well known, Byron's 
famons verses : 

" Face thee well 1 and if for ever I " 
were written on the back of a butcher's bill — vnpaid like most 
of the rest. Miss Carpenter vouched for this fact. 

Lady Byr<m was at one time greatly attracted by Fanny 
Eemble. Among Mrs. Eemble's papers in my possession are 
seven tetters from Xddy Byron to her. Here is one of them 
worth presenting : 
"Dear Hrs. Eemble, 

" The note you vrote to me before yon left Brighton 
made me revert to a train of thought which had been for 
some time in my mind. I alloded once to " yonr Fntmw." 
I BDbmit to be conaidercd a Visionary, yet some of my 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. All 

decided visionB have oome io pass in the course of years 
let me tell yoa my Vision about you — That yon are to be 
something to the People ; that yonr strong sympathy with 
them (thoQgh yon will not let them touch the hem of your 
garment) will bring your talents to bear upon their welfare; 
that the way is open to you, after your personal objects are 
fulfilled. My mind is so full of this, that though the time 
has not arrived for putting it in practice, I cannot help 
telling you of it. I am neither Democratic nor Aristocratic 
I do not see those distinctions in looking at Humanity, but 
I feel most strongly that for every advantage we have 
received we are bound to offer something to those who do 
not possess it. Happy they who have gifts to place at the 
feet of their less favoured fellow-Christians I 

«( I cannot believe that a relation so truthful as yours an^ 
mine will be merely casual. Time will show. I might not 
have an opportunity of saying this in a visit. 

** Tours most truly, 

'' March 19th. A. Noel Btbon." 

It is an unsolved mystery to me why such a woman did 
not definitely adopt one of either of two courses. The first 
(and far the best) would^ of course, have been to bury her 
husband's misdeeds in absolute silence and oblivion, carefully 
destroying all papers relating to the tragedy of their joint 
lives. Or, if she had not strength for this, to write exactly 
what she thought ought to be known by posterity concerning 
him, and put her account in safe hands with all the needful 
piScee jusHficativee before she died. That she did not adopt 
either one course or the other must be a source of permanent 
regret to all who recognized her great merits and honoured 
them as they deserved. 



Among our neighbours in South Kensington, whom we 
were privileged to know were many delightful people, who 



are atm, i am nappy w say, uvmg and uEmg aciive part in 
the world. Among them were Mr. Fronde, Iilr. and Mis. 
W. E. H. Led?, Mr. LesUs Btophen, Mrs. Brookfield, 
Mrs. Simpson, and Mrs. Richmond Ritehie. But of aeveral 
others, alas 1 " the place that knew them knows them no 
more." Of these last were Mi. and Mra. Herman Merivale, 
Sir H^iry Maine, Nia. Dicey, Lady Mont^agle (who bad 
written aome of WoTdaworth'a poems to his dictation as hts 
amanaensiB), and my dear old friend Mrs. de Morgan. 

Sir Henry Maine's interest in the claims of women and 
his strong atatemente on the anl^ect, made me regard him 
with much gratitude. I asked him once & question abont 
St. Panl'a citizenship, to which he was good enough to write 
sofdlaod interesting a reply that I qnot« it herein ««ten«o: — 

•• Athensmn Club. PaU Mall, 8.W., 
•■ April 6th, 1874. 
" My deuJf Miss Cobbe, 

" There is no qnestion that for a considerable tame before 
the concession of the Roman citizenship to the whole 
empire, quite at all events, B.C. 89 or 90, — it could be 
obtained in varions ways by individuals who possessed a 
lower fr&nohise in virtue of their place of birth or who were 
even foreignera. The legal writer, Ulpian, mentions several 
of these modes of acquiring it ; and Pliny, more than once 
HoIioitB the citizenship for prot^g^s of bis own. There is 
no authority for anpposing Utat it could be directly pnr- 
dbased (at least tegaUy), but it could be obtained by various 
processes which came to the same thing as paying directly, 
«.^., bnildingashipof a certain burden to carry com to Rome. 

" I soBpeot that St. Paul's ancestor obtained the citizen- 
ebip by serving io some petty ma)^Btracy. The coins of 
Tarsns are said to show that its citizens in the reign of 
AugnstuB, enjoyed one or oUier <A the lower Roman 
franchises ; and this wonld facilitate the acquisition by 
individoals of the full Roman citiseuship. 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 479 

''The Roman oitizenship was necessarily hereditary. 
The children of the person who became a Boman citizen 
came at once under his Patria Potestas, and each of them 
acquired the capacity for becoming some day a Boman 
PaterfanUliaa. 

*' St. Paul, as a Boman citizen, lived under the Boman 
Law of Pertom, bnt he remained under the local Law of 
Property. His allusions to the Patria PotestM and to the 
Boman Law of Wills and guardianship (which was like 
the Patria Potestcu)^ are quite umnistakeable, and more 
numerous than is commonly supposed. In the obscure 
passage, for example, about women having power over the 
head, " Power " and " Head " are technical terms from the 
Boman Law* 

"Believe me, very sincerely yours, 

" H. S. Maine.*' 

George Borrow who, if he were not a gipsy by blood aught 
to have been one, was, for some years, our near neighbour in 
Hereford Square. My friend was amused by his quaint 
stories and his (real or sham) enthusiasm for Wales, and 
cultivated his acquaintance. I never liked him, thinking him 
more or less of a hypocrite. EEis missions, recorded in the 
** Bible in Spain" and his translations of the scriptures into 
the out-of-the-way tongues, for which he had a gift, were by no 
means consonant with his real opinions concerning the veracity 
of the said Bible. Dr. Martineau once told me that he and 
Borrow had been schoolfellows at Norwich some sixty years 
before. Borrow had persuaded several of his other com- 
panions to rob their fathers' tills, and then the party set forth 
to join some smugglers on the coast. By degrees the truants 
all fell out of line and were picked up, tired and hungry along 
the road, and brought back to Norwich school where condign 
chastisement awaited them. George Borrow it seems received 
his large share horsed on James Martineau's back I The early 
connection between the two old men as I knew them, was 



480 CHAPTER IVIl. 

irresistibly comic to my mind. Somehow when I asked Mr* 
Borrow once to come and meet some friends at onr honse he 
accepted onr invitation as osnal, bat, on finding that Dr. 
Martinean was to be of the party, hastily withdrew his 
acceptance on a transparent excuse ; nor did he ever after 
attend onr little assemblies without first ascertaining that 
Dr. Martinean would not be present ! 

I take the following from some old letters to my friend 
referring to him : 

*' Mr. Borrow says his wife is very ill and anxious to keep 
the peace with C. (a litigious neighbour). Poor old B. was 
very sad at first, but I cheered him and sent him oft quite 
brisk last night. He talked all about the Fathers again, 
arguing that their quotations went to prove that it was not 
our gospels they had in their hands. I knew most of it 
before, but it was admirably done. I talked a little theology 
to him in a serious way (finding him talk of his * horrors*) 
and he abounded in my sense of the non-existence of Hell, 
and of the presence and action on the soul of a Spirit, 
rewarding and punishing. He would not say * God ; ' but 
repeated over and over that he spoke not from books 
but from his own personal experience." 

Some time later — after his wife's death : 

" Poor old Borrow is in a sad state. I hope he is starting in 
a day or two for Scotland. I sent C. with a note begging him 
to come and eat the Welsh mutton you sent me to-day, and he 
sent back word, ' Yes.* Then, an hour afterwards, he arrived, 
and in a most agitated manner said he had come to say ' he 
would rather not. He would not trouble anyone with his 
sorrows.* I made him sit down, and talked as gently to him 
as possible, saying : * It won*t be a trouble Mr. Borrow, it 
will be a pleasure to me*. But it was all of no use. He was 
so cross, so rudet I had the greatest difficulty in talking to 
him. I asked about his servant, and he said I could not help 
him. I asked him about Bowring, and he said : * Don't speak 
of it.' [It was some dispute with Sir John Bowring, who 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 481 

was an acqnaintance of mine, and with whom I offered to 
mediate.] ' I aaked him would he look at the photos of the 
Siamese,' and he said : * Don*t show them to me I ' So, in 
despair, as he sat silent, I told him I had heen at a pleasant 

dinner-party the night before, and had met Mr. L , who 

told me of certain cnrioos books of medisBval history. * Did 

he know them ' ? * No, and he dare said Mr. L did 

not, either I Who was Mr. L ? ' I described that 

obicuTe individual, [one of the foremost writers of 
the day], and added that he was immensely Uked by 
everybody. Whereupon Borrow repeated at least 12 times, 
* Inmiensely liked I As if a man could be immensely liked I ' 
quite insultingly. To make a diversion (I was very patient 
with him as he was in trouble) * I said I had just come home 
from the Lyell*s and had heard — .' . . . But there 
was no time to say what I had heard I Mr. Borrow asked : 
' Is that old Lyle I met here once, the man who stands at 
the door (of some den or other) and bets f ' I explained who 
Sir Charles was, (of course he knew very well), but he went 
on and on, till I said gravely : ' I don't think you will meet 
those sort of people here, Mr. Borrow. We don't associate 
with blacklegs, exactly.*' 

Here is an extract from another letter : 

''Borrow also came, and I said something about the 
imperfect education of women, and he said it was right they 
should be ignorant, and that no man could endure a clever 
wife. I laughed at him openly, and told him some men 
knew better. What did he think of the Brownings ? ' Oh, 
he had heard the name ; he did not know anything of 
them. Since Scott, he read no modem writer ; Scott toat 
greater than Homer ! What he liked were curious, old, erudite 
books about medissval and northern things.* I said I knew 
little of such literature, and preferred the writers of our own 
age, but indeed I was no great student at all. Thereupon he 
evidently wanted to astonish me ; and, talking of Ireland, 
said, *Ah, yes; a most curious, mixed race. First there 

2 H 



. . . ' Don't yoa think, Mt. Borrow,' I asked, ' it was 
the Tnatha-de-Danaan nho did that 7 Keatinge expressly 
says that they conqnered the Firbolgs by that means.' 
(Mi. B., Bomewbat out of coonteoaace), 'Ohl Aye 1 
Keatinge is ths aathotity; a most extraordinary writer.' 
'Well, I shonld call him the Geoffrey of Momnonth of 
Ireland.' (Mr. B., chauging the venae), 'I delight in 
Norse-fltories ; they are far grander than the Greek. There 
is the story of Olaf &te Saint of Norway. Can anything be 
grander? What a noble character [' 'Bat,' I said, 
'what do yoa think of his putting all those poor Dmids on 
the Skerry of Shrieks and leaving them to be drowned by 
the tide? ' (Therenpon Mr. B. looked at me askant ont of 
his gipsy eyes, as if he thought me an example of the evils 
of female edncationl) 'Weill well I I forgot abont t)ia 
Skerry of Shrieks. Then there b the story of Beownlt the 
Saxon going ont to sea in bis bnrning ship to die.' ' Oh, 
Mr. Borrow I that isn't a Saxon story at all. It is in the 
Heimskringla I It is told of Hakon of Norway.' Tben,Iasked 
him ahont the gipsies and their langnage, and if they were 
certainly Aryans 7 He didn't know (or pretended not to know) 
what Aryans were ; and altogether displayed a miraonloas 
mixtore of odd knowledge and more odd ignorance. 
Whether the latter were real or assnmed, I know not I " 

With the leading men of Science in the Sixties we had the 
honoor of a good deal of interconrse. Through Dr. W. B. 
Carpenter (who, as Miss Carpenter's brother, I had met oRen) 
and the two ever hospitable families of Lyell, we came to 
know many of them. Sir William Grove was also a 
partictilar friend of my friend Mrs. Grey. He and Lady 
Grove and their danghter, Mrs. Hall, (Imogen), were all 
charming people, and we had many pleasant dinners with 
them. Professor Tyndall was, of course, one of the principal 
members of that scientific coterie, and in those dayi 
wa saw a good deal of him. He was very friendly 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVEl 

as were also Mr. and Mrs. Francis Galton. 
speonlations seemed always to me exceed! 
and interesting, and I delighted in reviewinf 
beginning of the Anti-yivisection controversyi 
an end to all these relations, so that since 
seen few of the circle. It is cnrions to recall 
we joined hands on some theological question 
gnlf of a great ethical difTerence opened befoi 
readers may recall a cnrions controversy rail 
Tyndall on the subject of the efficacy of prayei 
benefits. Having read what he wrote on it, I sent 
little book, Dawning Lights, which vindicates tl 
prayer, for spiritual benefits only. The follow 
reply, to which I will append another kindly n 
to a request I had proffered on behalf of Mrs. 8i 

•• Professor Tyndall to F. P. C. 

"Boyal Institution of Great Bi 

"7th J 
" My dear Miss Cobbe, 

" Our minds — ^that is yours and mine — souii 
note as regards the economy of nature. Wit 
and precision you have stated the question. Ii 
known that you had written upon the subject I 
copied your words and put my name to them. 

'*I intend to keep your book, but I have 
publisher to send you a book of mine in excha 
fair, is it not? 

" Tour book so far as I have read it is full 

Of course I could not have written it all. 1 

are too concrete and your personification of the 

mysteries too intense for me. But as long 

tolerant of others — which you are — ^the shape 

you mould the power of your soul must be del 

yourself alone. 

•• Beheve me, yours most tru] 

••John [ 




484 CHAPTER XVII. 

** Royal lustitnidon of Great Britain, 

*'2l8t June. 
*« My dear Miss Gobbe, 

** I would do anything I could for your sake and irre- 
spectively of the interest of your subject. 

'* Had I Faraday's own letter, I could decipher at once 
what he meant, for I was intimately acquainted with his 
course of thought during the later years of his life. It would 
however be running a great risk to attempt to supply th& 
hiatus without seeing his letter. 

«I should think it refers to the influence of Hms on 
magnetic action. About the date referred to he was specu- 
lating and trying to prove experimentally whether magnetism 
required time to pa.ss through space. 

" Always yours faithfully, 

" John Tyndall." 

In a letter of mine to a friend written after meeting Prof. 
Tyndall at dinner at Edgbaston during the Congress of the 
British Association in Birmingham, after mentioning M. 
Vamb^ry and some others, I said ; '' The one I liked best was 
Prof. Tyndall, with whom I had quite an ' awful ' talk alone 
about the bearing of Science on Religion. He said in words 
like a fine poem, that Knowledge seemed to him ' Like an 
instrument on which we went up, note after note, and octave 
after octave ; but at last there came a note which our ears 
could not hear, and which was silent for us. And at the 
other end of the scale there was another silent note. ' " 

Many years after this, there appeared an article in the 
Pall Mall Gazette which I felt sure was by Prof. Tyndall, in 
which it was calmly stated that the scientiflc intelleot had 
settled the controversy between Pantheism and Theism, and 
that the said Scientific Intellect '' permitted us to believe in 
an order of Development,*' and would ** allow the religious 
instincts and the language of Religion to gather round that 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVEK i 

idea ; " bat that the notion of a '^ Great Dir( < 
no means be snfTered by the same Scientific Int i 

I wrote a reply, begging to be informed wJien i 
controversy between Pantheism and Theism hac i 
as the statement, dropped so coolly in a sing! 
was, to say the least, startling ; and I conclud 
" We may be driven into the howling wilderness i 
world by the fiery swords of these new Cherul i 
ledge; bnt at least we will not shrink away : 
their innuendoes 1 " 

I have also lost in quitting this circle, the priv i 
meeting Mr. Herbert Spencer ; though he has 
honour be it remembered I) pronounced a word : 
painfid experiments on animals. 

With the great naturalist who has revolution ! 
science I had rather frequent intercourse till t < 
barrier of a great difference of moral opinion ai : 
us. Mr. Charles Darwin's brother-in-law, M . 
Wedgwood, was, for a time tenant here at Hengwi ; 
wards took a house named Oaer-Deon in this nei ; 
where Mr. and Mrs. Charles Darwin and their bo*^ i 
part of the summer. As it chanced, we also took a i 
summer close by Caer-deon and naturally saw oui 
daily. I had known Mr. Darwin previously, in ] 
had also met his most amiable brother, Mr. Erasr 
at the house of my kind old fiiend Mrs. Beid, the 
Bedford Square College. The first thing we hearc 
the illustrious arrivals was the report, that one 
had had "a faU off a Philosopher;** a word sul 
the ingenious Welsh mind for "velocipede" (as hi 
then called) under on easily understood confusi 
the rider and the machine he rode t 

Next, — ^the Welsh parson of the little ch 
by, having fondly calculated that Mr. Dar 



him a Bermon which shonld Blay this soieatifie Goliath 
and Spread diamaf through the lanka of the sceptical 
host. He told bis congregation that there were in theee 
days perBous, poffed up by soienoe, falsely-BO-called, and 
deluded by the pride of reaaon, who had aotaally been so 
audacious aa to questioii the story of the six days Oreation 
as detuled in Sacred Scriptore. But let them note how 
idle wem tiiese sceptical qaoatiomngs t Did they not see 
that the events recorded happened before there was any man 
existii^ to record them, and that, therefore, Moaes matt have 
learned them from Qod himself, since there was no one else 
to tellbim?" 

Alas I Qie philosopher, I fear, never veait to be converted 
(b8 he sorely most have been) by thia ingenious Welsh 
parson, and we weT« for a long time merry over bis It^io. 
Ur. Darwin was never In good health, I believe, after his 
Beagle experienoe of eea sickness, and he was glad to nee a 
pcacefol and beautiftil old pony of my friend's, yclept 
Geraint, which she placed at his disposal. His gentleness 
to this beaat and incessant efibrta to keep off the flies from 
his head, and his fondness for his dog Polly (oonoeming 
whose cleverness and breeding he indulged in ddosions 
which Matthew Arnold's better dog-lore would have swiftly 
dissipated), were very pleasing truts in his character. 

In writing at this time to a friend I said : — 

"I am glad yon like Mill's book. Mr. Charles Darwin, 
with whom I am enchanted, is greatly excited abont it, bnt 
says that Mill oonld leam some thinga from physical 
science ; and that it is in the struggls tor existence and 
(especially) for the possession of women that men acquire 
their vigour and courage. Also he intensely agrees with 
what I say in my review of Mill about mhtrited qualities 
being more important than tdueatum, on which alone MfU 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVEl 

insists. All this the philosopher told i 
standing on a path 60 feet above me and c 
animated dialogue from onr respective standi 

Mr. Darwin was walking on the footpatl 
Oaer-Deon among the purple heather whidt 
mountains so royally; and impenetrable bramU 
him above and me on the road below ; so we ( 
remarks at the top of our voices, being too ea^ 
the absurdity of the situation, till my friend con 
road heard with amazement words flying in 1 
assuredly those '^valleys and rocks never h< 
or since! When we drive past that spot, as 
now, we sigh as we look at the ^' Philosopher 
wish (0, how one wishes !) that he could com^ 1 
us what he has learned since ! 

At this time Mr. Darwin was writing his D« 
and he told me that he was going to introdui 
view of the nature of the Moral Sense. I said 
you have studied Kant's GrundUgtung der Sii 
he had not read Eant, and did not care to do so. 
to urge him to study him, and observed thi 
hardly see one's way in ethical speculation 'v 
understanding of his philosophy. My own knc 
was too imperfect to talk of it to him, but I co 
a very good translation. He declined my 
nevertheless packed it up with the next parcel I 

On returning the volume he wrote to me : — 

'* It was very good of you to send me noleru 
together with the other book. I have been ea 
to look through the former. It has interested 
see how differently two men may look at the 
Though I fully feel how presumptuous it s< 
myself even for a moment in the same bracke 
— the one man a great philosopher looking exi 



the ontnde through apea and UTagea at ibe moral eonse of 

manMnd." 

There was irony, and perhaps not a little pride in bis 
reference to himself aa a " degraded wretdi looking throngh 
apes and savages at the moral sense of mankind " I Between 
the two groat Schools of thinkers, — tliose who stad3r from the 
Inside (of homan consciousness), and those who study from 
the Outside, — there has always existed mntoal acimosily and 
contempt. For my own part, while fully admitting that the 
former needed to have their conclnsions enlarged and tested 
by outside experience, I must always hold that th^ were on 
a truer line than the (exclusively) physico- scientific philo- 
sophers. Man's consciousness is not only a &ct in the 
world but the greatest of facts ; and to overlook it and take 
our lessons from beasts and insects is to repeat the old jest 
of Hamlet with Hamlet omitted. A philosophy founded 
solely on the conscionsness of man, may: and, very likely, 
will, be imperfect ; and certainly it will be incomplete. But 
a philosophy which begins with inorganic matter and the 
lower animals, and only includes the outward &ct6 of 
anthropology, regardless of htunon consciouBnras, — miut be 
worse than imperfect and incomplete. It resembles a troatue 
on the Solar System which should omit to notice the Son. 

I mentioned to him in a letter, that we had found some 
seeds of Tropeeolum, very carefully gathered from brilliant 
and multicoloured varieties, all revert in a single year to 
plain scarlet. He replied : — " Yon and Miss Lloyd need not 
have your faith in inheritance shaken with respect to 
Tropfeolum until you have prevented for six or seven genera- 
tions any crossing between the varieties in the same garden. 
I have lately found the very shade of colour is transmitted of 
a most fluctuating garden variety if the flowers ate carefnUy 
self-fertilized during six or seven generations." 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVEH 

The DesceTU of Man of which Mr. Darwin wai 
to give me a copy before publication, inspired 
deadliest alarm. His new theory therein set fox 
the natnre and origin of conscience, seemed to 
still seems to me, of absolutely fatal import, 
strongest answer to it in my power at once, s 
in the Theological Review, April, 1871 (repx 
Darwinism in Morals , 1872). Of conrse I sen 
to Down House. Here is a generous mese 
received in reply : — 

" Mr. Darwin is reading the Review with the grc 
and attention and feels so much the kind way 
him and the praise yon give him, that it will mi 
your severity, when he reaches that part of th« 

Referring to an article of mine in the Qua\ 
(Oct., 1872) on the Consciousness of Dogs, Mr. D 
to me, Nov. 28th, 1872 :— 

"I have been greatly interested by your f 
Quarterly, It seems to me the best analysis of 
an animal which I have ever read, and I agree 
most points. I have been particularly glad t 
you say about the reasoning power of dogs, an< 
rather vague matter, their self-consciousness, 
however that you would prefer criticisim to adi 

" I regret that you quote J. so often : I ma< 
about one case (which quite broke down) from 
certainly ought to know Mr. J. well ; and I wi 
that he had not written in a scientific spirit. ] 
that you quote old writers. It may be very illibe] 
statements go for nothing with me and I suspec 
others. It passes my powers of belief that dogs 
suicide. Assuming the statements to be true, I 
it more probable that they were distraught, and < 
what they were doing ; nor am I able to credit al 



to me to be about the moral sense. Since pnbliBbiiig tbe 
Detoent of Max I have got to believe rather mote than I 
did in dogs baving irtiat ma; be called a conacieace. When 
anhononraUe dog has oommitted an nndiacovered offence 
he certainly seems aihanud (ajid this is the term natuially 
and often QBed) rather than afraid to meet his master. 
My doKi ttte beloved and beantifol Polly, is at Hnch 
times extremely affectionate towards me ; and thin leads 
me to mention a little anecdote. When I was a very 
little boy, I bad oommitted some offence, so that my 
conscience troubled me, and when I met my father, I 
lavished so mach affection od him, that be at once asked 
me what I had done, and told me to confess. I was so 
utterly oonfonnded at his snspecting anything, that I 
remember the scene clearly to the present day, and it 
seems to me that Polly's frame of mind on snch occasions is 
mnoh the same as was mine, for I was not then at all 
afraid of my father." 

In a letter to a iriend (Nov., 1869) I say:— 
" We lunched with Mr. Obarles Darwin at Mr. Erasmus 

D 's house on Sunday. He told ns that a German man 

of scienoe, (I think Carl Vogtl.theotber day gave a lecture. 
Id which be treated the Mass as the last relic of that 
Cannibdliini which gradually took to eating only the heart, 
or eyes of a man to acquire his courage. Whereupon tfie 
whole audience rose and cheered the lecturer euthuuas- 
ticatly I Mr. Darwin remarked how much more dfteney 
there was in speaking on such subjeotein England.'' 

This pleasant intercourse with an illnstrioas man was, 
like many other pleasant things, brought to a close for me in 
1875 by the beginning of the Anti-vivisection crusade. Mr. 
Darwin eventually became the centre of an adormg diqve of 
vivisectors who (as his Biography shows) plied hi™ 
incessantly with encouragement to uphold their practice, till 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND 8EVE. 

the deplorable spectacle was exhibited of a m 
not allow a fly to bite a pony's neck, standin 
all Europe (in his celebrated letter to Prof. 
Sweden) as the advocate of Vivisection. 



We had many interesting foreign visitori 
Square. I have mentioned the two Parsee ^ 
came to thank me for having made (as they coi 
estimate of their religion in my article *' The 
of the Zoroastrians.** The elder of them, ]& 
Furdoonjee, was President of the Parsee Societ 
but resided much in England, and had an asto 
ledge of English and American theological ai 
literature. He asked me one day to recommeni 
modem books on ethics. My small library coi 
many, but he not only knew every one I ] 
ahnost all others which I named as worthy of 
We talked very freely on religious matters and 
deal of sympathy. I pressed him one day with 
" Do you really believe in Ahriman ? " " Of c 
" What ! In a real personal Evil Being, who 
person as Ormusd ? " '' no ! I did not n 
believe in EvO existing in the world ; " — ^and 
nothing more f 

My chief Eastern visitors, however (and i 
numerous that my artist-minded friend was woi 
my " Bronzes "), were the Brahmos of Bengal, a 
of the same faith from Bombay. There were ve 
young men at that date, members of the " Chui 
Qod ; " nearly all of them having risen fr< 
idolatry in which they had been educated 
Theistic faith, not without encountering c6nsi( 
mi social persecution. Their leader^ Kesbub 



with anch prophets aa Nonok (the founder of the SiUi 
religion) and Gaatama ; or with the medieval Sunte like St. 
AogoBtine and St. Patrick, who converted nations. He was, 
I think, the most devout man with whose mind I ever came 
in contact. When he left my drawing-room after long con- 
versations on the highest themes, — sometimes held alone 
together, sometimes with the company of my dear Mend 
William Henry Channing — the impression left on me was 
one never to be forgotten. I wrote of one snch interview at 
the time to my friend as follows (April 28, 1670): 

" Koshnb came and sat viith luo the other evening, and 
I wiLR profoundly impteased, not by his intellect bat by 
hia goodnesB. He seems re&lly to Hvt in God, and the 
KiDgle-mindednesB of the man seemed to me ntterly on- 
English; much more like Christ I He said some very 
profonnd things, and seemed to feel that tlie joy of prayer 
was qnite the greatest thing in lite. He said, 'I don't 
know anything abont the future, bni I only know that 
when I pray I feel that my union with God is eternal. In 
onr faith the belief in Qod and in Immortality are not two 
doctrines but one. He also said that we mast believe in 
intercessory prayer, else th« more tut lived in Prjyer the more 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND 8EVE 

Mozoomdar and several others of his party 
quite perfectly ; making long addresses i 
extempore sermons in our language without 
kind, or a single betrayal of foreign accen 
particular, was decidedly eloquent in Englis 
many influential men to meet him and they ' 
by him as much as I was. 

The career of this very remarkable man w 
few years after his return from England by a 
I believe he had taken to ascetic practice: 
watching ; against which I had most urgent]; 
seeing his tendency towards them. I had arg 
that, not only were they totally foreign to 
simple Theism, but dangerous to a man who, li 
in the highest realms of human emotion, needc 
for that reason that the physical basis of his 
absolutely sound and strong, and not subject 
bihties and possible hallucinations attendant on a 
friendly counsels were of no avail. Keshub bee 
somewhat too near a " Yogi " (if I rightly m 
word) and was almost worshipped by his c< 
Brahmos. The marriage of his daughter — ^^ 
visited England — to the Maharajah of Coosh B 
very painful discussions about the legal age of 
the ceremonies of a Hindoo marriage, which w< 
by the bridegroom's mother ; and the last ji 
E^shub's Ufe were, I fear, darkened by the s< 
his church which followed an event otherwise g 

Oddly enough this Indian Saint was the o: 
has ever been my chance to meet who could 
thoroughly, like one of ourselves. He cai 
Hereford Square one day bursting with 
laughter at his own adventures. ' Lord La\ 
Governor-General of India, had been particula 



arrivs in England. Eeshnb'a friends had foimd a lodging ibr 
him in Begent's Park, and having resolved to go and puy hia 
respects to Lord Lawrence at once, he sent for a four- wheeled 
c^, and simpl}' told the cabman to drive to that nobleman's 
house ; fondly imagining that all London mnat know 
it, as Calcntta knew Gk>v^mment Honse. The cabman set 
off withont the remotest idea whore to go ; and after driving 
hither and thither aboat town for tJiree boors, set his fare 
down again at the door of his lodgings ; told him he could not 
find Lord Lawrence ; and charged him fourteen Bbillings I 
Poor Eeshnb piud the scandalous charge, and then referred 
to an old letter to find Lord Lawrence's address, " Qwen's 
Gate." Oh, that was quit« right I No doubt the late 
Governor-General naturally lived close to the Queen I 
"Drive to Qoeen's Gate." The new cabman drove straight 
enoDgh to " Qaeen's Gate " ; but about 186 houses appeared 
in a row, and there was nothing to indicate which of them 
belonged to Lord Lawrence; not even a solitary sentinel 
walking before the door ! After knocking at many doors in 
vain, the cabman bad an inspiration I " We will try if the 
nearest butcher knows which house it is ; " and so they turned 
into Gloucester Boad, and the excellent butcher there did 
know which number in Queen's Gate belonged to Lord 
Lawrence, and Keshnb was received and warmly welcomed. 
Bvt that he should have to seek out a huteh^'a ihop (in his 
Eastern eyes the most degraded of shops) to learn where he 
could find a man whom he had last seen as Viceroy of Lidia, 
was, to his thinking, exquisitely ridiculous. 

Ez-Govemors- General and their wives must certainly 
find some difficulty in descending all at once so many steps 
from the altitude of the viceregal thrones of our great 
dependencies to the level of private citizens, scarcely to be 
noticed more than others in society, and dwelling in ordinary 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVh 

London houses unmarked by the ''guard \ 
even a single policeman f 



At a later date I had other Oriental visiton 
man who had made a translation of the Bhi 
who brought his wife and children lo Englaa 
tea-table. The wife wore a lovely, delicate lilai 
about her in the most graceful folds, but the ei 
what marred by the vulgar English side-sprin 
short in the leg), which the poor soul had fov 
use in London f The children sat opposite me a( 
silently devouring my cakes and bon-bons; 
with their large black eyes, veritable wdls of 
hatred, such as only Eastern eyes can speak 
men and women very well, but when the littli 
question, I must confess that a child is scare 
me unless it be a little Saxon, with golden hi 
innocent blue eyes which make one think of f( 
in a brook. Where is the heart which can 
soft at sight of one of these little creatures to< 
spring grass picking daisies and cowsHps, or 1 
sheer ecstasy in the joy of existence ? A dark 
ten times as handsome, but it has no pretei 
mind, to pull one's heart-strings in the same we 
babykins. 

A Hindoo lady, Ramabai, for whom I have 
came to me before I left London and impres 
favourably. She, and a few other Hindoo wc 
striving to secure education and freedom for 
will be honoured hereafter more than John H( 
strove only to mitigate the too severe punishmec 
and delinquents; ikey are labouring to relie- 
equally dreadful lot of millions of vwnocent 




me that tboasancU of these nnfaappy beings ntver put their 
feet to the earth or go a step from the house of their husbands 
(to which Uiey are carried from their iatLer'a Zonana at 
9 or 10 years old) toll they were borne away as corpses ! 
All life for them has been one long imprisoiunetit ; its side 
interest and concern the passions of the baser sort of love 
and jealousy I While writing these pages I have come 
across the following frightful testimony by the great 
traveller Mrs. Bishop (n^ Isabella Bird) to the tratb of the 
above observation concerning the dreadftd condition of the 
women of India : — 

" I have lived in Zenanaa and harems, and have seen the 
daily life at the aeoladed women, and I can speak from 
bitter experience of what their lives are; the intellect 
dwarfed, so that the woman of twenty or thirty years of 
age is more like a child of eight intelloctnally, while all tte 
worst passions of human nature are stimolated and 
developed in a fearful degree ; jcalooEy, envy, murderous 
bate, intrigue, running to each an extent that in some 
oonntriea I have hardly ever been in a woman's house or 
near a woman's tent witbont being asked for drags with 
which to disfigure the favourite wife, to take away her life, 
or to take away the life of the favourite wife's infant son. 
This request has been made of me nearly two hnndred 

{Qvated by Lady Henry Somerset in the Woman't Signal, 
April 12th, 1894). 

I had the pleasure also of visits from several French and 
Belgiui gentlemen who were good enough to call on me. 
Several were Protestant pastors of the Ecole Modeme; 
M. Fontan6s, M. Th. Boat, and M. Leblois being among 
them. I had long kept up a correspondence with M. Felix 
BScant, author of a beautiful book " Lt Christ et la Con- 
leience," of whom Dean Stanley told me that he (who knew 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 497 

him well) believed him to be '' the most pious of living men.*' 
I never had the happiness to meet him, bat seeing, some 
twenty years later, in a Beport by Mr. Matthew Arnold on 
Frdnch Training Schools, enthusiastic praise of M. P6caat's 
school for female teachers, at Fontenaye*aiix-Boses, near 
Paris, I sent it to my old Mend, and we exchanged a mental 
handshake across time and space. 

An illnstrions neighboor of ours, in Sonth Kensington 
sometimes came to see me. Here is a lively complimentary 
letter from him : — 

" From M. le S^natenr Victor Schoelcher to Miss Cobbe. 

"Paris, 12, 1883. 
" Dear, honoured Miss Power Cobbe, 

'* Je ne vons ai pas oubli^e, on ne vons onblie pas qnand 
on a en Phonnenr et le plaisir de vous connaltre. Moi je suis 
accabl^ d'onvrage et je ne fais pas la moiti^ de ce que je 
vondraisfaire. Je ne manqne pas tontefois de lire votre 
Zoophile Fran9ais qm aidera puissamment notre Ligne k 
combattre lea abas de la Vivisection. Tons ceox qui out 
qnelqne sentiment d'humanit^ ^contoront votre voix en 
faveor des panvres animaax et vons aidoront de tontes leur 
forces k les prot^ger contre un genre d'^tade veritablement 
barbare. Qaand k moi, Tactiviti^, la perseverance et le 
talent que vous montrez dans votre oeuvre de charity 
m'inspirent le plus vif ot le plus respectueux int^rSt. 

" Ne croyez pas ceux qui tentent de vous d^courager en 
pr^tendant que votre journal est une substance trop aride 
pour attacher le lecteur Fran^ais. Je le sais ; il est convenu 
en Angleterre que les Fran^ais sont un peuple l^ger. Main 
c'est \k un vieux pr^jug^ que ne gardeut pas les Anglais 
instruits. Soyez bien assur6 que vos efforts ne seront pas 
plus peine perdue dans mon noble pays que dans le votre. 
Notre Society Protectrice des Animaux a quarante ans 
d*exisience. 

**A mon prochain voyage k Londres je m'empresserai 

d*aller vous faire visite pour retrouver le plaisir que j'ai 

2 1 



gmitS (Uns votre oonveiBation et poni Tona repdtet, Deu 
Hiss Power Cobbe, that I am yoni's most leBpectfally and 
(aithfolly, 

" V. SCHCBLCHBR. 

" Permettez moi de voos prier do me rappeler ad sooTenir 
de Madame la Doctoreese, et de M. le Dr. Hoggan." 

It was M. Schoelcher who effected in 1846 the aboUtioii of 
Negro Slavery in the fVcnch Colooies. He was a charming 
companion and a most excellent man. I interceded wice 
witb him to make interest with the proper anttiorilies in 
fVanee for the relaxation of the extremely severe penalties 
which Louise Michel had incorred by one of her extravagances. 
To my surprise, I learned from him that I bad gone to head- 
{[iiarters, since the matter woold mainly rest in his bands. Ha 
was Yice-Preaident, — practically President— of the Department 
of Prisons in France. He repeated witb indulgence, "Mais, 
Sfadame, elle est foUel elle est partaifement folle, ette^a dan- 
gerense." I quite agreed, bat still thongbt she was well 
meaning, and that her sentence was excessive. He promised that 
whentbefirstyear of her imprisonment was over (with which, he 
laid, they made it a mle never to interfere ho as not to insnlt the 
jidges,) be wonld see what could be done to let her off by 
ilegrees. He observed, with more eameBtneBa than I should 
have expected from one of bis political school, how wrong, 
dangerous and meked it woe to go about with a black flag at 
the head of a mob. Still he agreed with my view that the 
length of Lonise Michel's sentence was u^ostly great. 
Eventually the penalty was actually commuted ; I conclude 
through the intervention of M. Schoelcher. 

M, Scbcelober was the most attractive Frenchman I ever 
met. At the time I knew him, he was old and feeble and bad 
a miserable cough; buthewasmostemphatieallyagentleman, 
a tender, even soft-hearted man ; and a brilliantly agreeable 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 4^ 

talker. He had made a magnifioent collection of 9,000 
engravings, and told me he was going to present it to the 
Beaux Arts in Paris. While sitting talking in my drawing- 
room his eye constantly tnrned to a particularly fine cast 
which I possess of the Psyche of Praxiteles, made expressly 
for Harriet Hosmer and given by her to me in Rome. When 
he rose to leave me, he stood under the lovely creature and 
worshipped her as she deserves 1 

We had also many delightful American visitors, whose 
visits gave me so much pleasure and profit that I easily 
forgave one or two others who provoked Fanny Eemble's 
remark that '' if the engineers would lay on Miss P. or Mr. H. 
the Alps would be bored through without any trouble I " 
Most of my American firiendly visitors are, I rejoice to say, 
still living, so I will only name them with an expression of 
my great esteem for all and affection for several of them. 
Among them were Col. Higginson, Mr. George Curtis, Mrs. 
Howe, Mrs. Livermore, Mr. and Mrs. Loring-Brace, Bev. J. 
Freeman Clarke, Rev. W. Alger, Dr. 0. W. Holmes, Mr. 
Peabody, Miss Harriet Hosmer, Mr. Hazard, Mrs. Lockwood, 
and my dearly beloved friends, W. H. Channing, Mrs. Apthorp, 
Mrs. Wister, Miss Schuyler and Miss Georgina Schuyler. Some- 
times American ladies would come to me as perfect strangers 
with a letter from some mutual friend, and would take me by 
storm and afker a couple of hours' conversation we parted as 
if we had known and loved each other for years. There is 
something to my mind unique in the attractiveness of 
American women, when they are, as usual, attractive ; but 
they are like the famous little girl with the "curl in the 
middle of her forehead," — 

** When she was good, she was very, very good ; 
When she was bad, she was horrid " ! 

The wholesome horror felt by us, Londoners, of outstaying 
our wdcome when visiting acquaintances, and of trespassing 



Euo luitg at any ooor, seems iio da an uumown senumeni m 
some AmerioBSB, and alao to some AnetraliaD ladies ; and for 
my ovn part I fear that being bored is a kind of martyrdom 
which I can never endure in a Ghristdan spirit, or withoat 
beginning to regard the man or woman who bores me with 
most oncharitable sentiments. My yonng Hindoo visitors 
drove me distracted till 1 discovered that they imagined a 
visit to me to be an audience, and that it was for me to 
dismiia them t 

I met Longfellow daring his last visit to England at the 
house of Mr. Wynne-Finch. His large, leonine head, 
enrmoimt^d at that date by a nmtbvi of white hair, was very 
striking bdeed. I saw him standing a few moments alone, 
and ventured to mtrodoce myself as a Mend of his friends, 
the Apthorpa, of Boston, and when I gave my name he took 
both my hands and pressed them with deligbtfnl cordiality. 
We t^ed for a good whOe, bnt I cannot recall any particular 
remark he may have made. 

Mr. Wynne-Finch waa stepfather of Alice L'Eetrange, 
who, before her mairi^e with Laurence Oliphant waa for a 
long tome onr most assiduous and affectionate visitor, having 
tt^en a yonng girl's engowment for us two elderly women. 
Never was there a more bewitching yonng creature, so 
sweetly affectionate, so clever and brilliant in every way. It 
was quite dazzling to see such youth and br^htness flitting 
abont us. An old letter of hera to my friend which I chance 
to have fallen on Ja alive still with her playfulness and tender- 
ness. It begins thus : — 

"4, Upper Brook Street, 
" London, Oct. Srd, 1871. 
*' yes I I know I It isn't so very long since I heard last, 
and I am ill London, which I am enjoying, and am bnsy in 
a thousand little messy things which amuae me, and I waa 
with Miss Cobbe on Tueaday which was bliss absolute, and 
above all I heurd abont you from hei (beside all the talk on 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIEb AnV SEi 

that forbidden subject, — ^it is io disagreeab 
I felt that ingratitude for mercies receivi 
terises our race so strong in me that I 
your writing, as that is all I can get just d 

Alice was of an extremely sceptical turn 
made her subsequent fanaticism the more i) 
for months before she fell in with Mr. Oil] 
had been labouring with all my strength to 
to believe in Ood. She did not see her way 
all, though she was docile enough to read 
I gave her, and to come with us and her stt 
Dr. Martineau's sermons. She incessantly disc 
questions, but always from the point of vie 
creation, and, as she used to say patheti 
insufferableness of the suffering of others, 
that the misery of the world was so great tha 
He could not reheve it, ought to hurl it to c 
vain I argued that there is a higher end c 
Happiness, to be wrought out through trial : 
would never admit the loftier conception of 
as they appeared to me, and was to all inten 
an Atheist when she said good-bye to me, bei 
to Paris. She came back in a month or 
merely a believer in the ordinary orthodox en 
with the zeal of an energmnene for the doctri 
over and above orthodoxy, of Mr. Harris] 
caressing, modest young friend was entire] 
She stood upright and walked up and do\ 
talking with vehemence about Mr. Harris* 
the necessity for adopting his views, obeyin 
and going immediately to live on the si 
Erie I The transfiguration was, I suppose 
of the many miracles of the little god wit 
arrows and Mr. Oliphant was certainly n< 




502 CHAPTER XVII. 

therein. ButstiU there was no adequate explanation of this 
change, or of the boasting (difficnlt to hear with patience from 
a clever and sceptical woman) of the famous " method " of 
obtaining fresh suppUes of Di^'ine spirit, by the process of 
holding one's breath for some minutes— according to Mr. 
Harris' pneumatology 1 The whole thing was mfimtdy 
distressing, even revolting to us; and we sympathised much 
with her step-father (my friend's old friend) who had loved 
her like a father, and was driven wUd by the insolent preten- 
tions of Mr. Harris to stop the marriage, of which all London 
had heard, unless his monstrous demands were previously 
obeyed 1 At last Alice walked by herself one morning to her 
Bank, and ordered her whole fortune to be transferred to 
Mr. Harris ; and this without the simplest settlement or 
security for her futui-.^ support I After this heroic proceeding, 
the Prophet of Lake Eri*. graciously consented, (m a way,) to 
her marriage ; and England ^aw her and Mr. OUphant no more 
for many years. What that v&rj helpless and self-mdulgent 
young creature must have gone through in her solitary 
cottage on Lake Erie, and subseqtf^tly in her poor UtUe 
school in California, can scarcely hi. guessed. When she 
returned to England she wrote to Vs from Hunstanton 
Hall, (her brother's house), oflfering to>me and see us, 
but we felt that it would cause us more ^pam than pleasure 
to meet her again, and, in a kindly way^we declined the 
proposal. Since her sad death, and that 4 ^' OUphant, 
an American friend of mine, Dr. LeffingweU. txavellmg m 
Syria, \»'rote me a letter from her house at HaJ&- ^e found 
her books still on the shelves where she had k-^ *l^em ; and 
the first he took down was Parker's Biscout^ef Bdigum^ 
inscribed " From Frances Power CJobbe to Alice L'Estrange." 

A less tragic tmmmir of poor Alice occurs' to me as 
write. It is so good an illustration of the difference between 
English and French politeness that I must reco ™ '*• 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. fi03 

Alice was going over to Paris alone, and as I happened to 
know that a distinguished and very agreeable old French 
gentleman of my acquaintance was crossing by the sama 
train, I wrote and begged him to look after her on the way. 
He replied in the kindest and most graceful manner as 
follows : — 

** Ch^re Mademoiselle, 

"Vraiment vous me comblez de toutes les manidreSp 
Aprds I'aimable accaeil que vous avez bien voulu me faire, 
vous Bongez encore k mes ennuis de voyage seul, et voug 
voulez bien me procurer la soci^t^ la plus agr^able. Agr^ea 
en tons mes remerctments, quoique je ne poisse m'empechey 
de Bonger que s'il avaitmoinsneig^snrlamontagne (comme 
disent les Orientaux) vous seriez moins confiante. Je serai 
trop heureux de me mettre au service de votre amie. 

" Agreez, ch^re Mademoiselle, les hommages respeotueux 
de votre, 

•• D^vou^ serviteur, 

•• 1 D^c, 1871. Baron db T." 

They met at Charing Cross, and no man could be more 
charming than M. le Baron de T. made himself in the train 
and on the boat. But on arrival at Boulogne it appeared that 
Alice's luggage had either gone astray or been stopped by the 
custom-house people ; and she was in a difficulty, the train 
for Paris being ready to start, and the French officials 
paying no attention to her entreaty that her trunks should 
be delivered and put into the van to take with her. Of 
course the appearance by her side of a French gentleman with 
the Legion d'Honneur in his buttonhole would have probably 
decided the case in her favour at once. But M. de T. had 
not the least idea of losing his train and getting into an 
imbroglio for sake of a damsel in distress, — so, with many 
assurances that he was quite desoU to lose the enchanting 
pleasure of her society up to Paris, ho got into his 



504 CHAPTER XVIL 

carriage and was quickly carried out of sight. Meanwhile 
a rather ordinary-looking Englishman who had noted 
Miss L'Estrange's awkward situation, went up to her 
and asked in a gruif fashion; what was the matter? 
When he was informed, he let his train go off and ran hither 
and thither ahout the station, till at last the luggage was 
found and restored to its owner. Then, when Alice strove 
naturally, to thank him, he simply raised his hat, — said, it 
was of '* no consequence," and disappeared to trouble her 
no more. 

" Which, therefore, was neighbour to him that fell among 
thieves?" 



POSTSCRIPT, 1898. 

:o: 



So many recollections of Mr. Gladstone have been 
published since his death that it seems hardly worth while 
to record mine. I saw him only at intervals and never had 
the honour of any intimate acquaintance with him ; but one 
or two glimpses of him may perhaps amuse my readers as 
exhibiting his astonishing versatility. 

I first met him, some time in the Sixties, in North Wales 
wjien he came from Hawarden to visit at a house where I 
was spending a few days, and joined me in walking to the 
summit of Penmaen-bach. He talked, I need not say, 
delightfully all the way as we sauntered up, but I remember 
only his sympathetic rejoinder to my dislike of mules for 
such mountain expeditions, — that he had felt quite remorseful 
on concluding some tour (I think in the Pyrenees), for hating 
so much a beast to which he had often owed his life I 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVl 

Some years after this pleasant climb, I was i i 
of course, much flattered to receive from him i 
note. I know not who was the friend who 
pamphlet. It had not occurred to me to do sc 

•* 4, Carlton Ga ■ 
"Mar 
*^ Dear Miss Cobbe, 

'*I do not know whom I have to than 
me your" (word illegible) "article on Vivise* 
obligation is great, for I seldom read a pa i 
with such a spirit of nobleness from first to 1 

^ It is long since we met on the slopes of I i 
Do you ever go out to breakfast, and could we • 
to be so kind as to come to us on Thursd i 
at ten? 

" Believe me, faithfully t 
«W. E. G ' 

The breakfast in Carlton Gkirdens was a ver 

• 

one. Before it began Mr. Gladstone took : i 
Hbraiy, and we talked for a considerable time oi 
of Vivisection. At the close of our conversation 
apparently agreeing very cordially with me, I i 
would not join the Victoria Street Society whicl 
recently founded ? He replied that he would ri 
80 ; but that if ever he returned to ofiice, he wc 
to the best of his power. This promise, I may 1: 
given very seriously after making the observation 
no longer (at that time) in the position of influ< 
occupied in previous years ; but he obviously ani 
return to power, — which actually followed not long 
He repeated this promise of help to me four thai 
sation and once on one of his famous post-cards , 
in writing to Lord Shaftesbury in reply to a Mem 
the latter presented to him, signed by 100 of tj 
names, as regarded intellect and character, ii 



606 CHAPTER XVII. 

Always Mr. Gladstone repeated the same assurance : " All 
his sympathies were " with us. Here is the letter on the 
card, dated April Ist^ 1877, in reply to my request that he 
would write a few words to he read hy Lord Shafteshury 
at one of our Meetings. It ran as follows : — 

" Dear Miss Cobbe, 

"You are already aware that my sympathies and 
prepORsessions are greatly with you, nor do I wish this to be 
a secret, but I am overwhelmed with occupations, and I 
cannot overtake my arrears, and my letters have been so 
constantly put before the world (often, of course, without 
warrant) that I cannot, I am afraid, appear in the form of 
an epistle ad hoCy more than I can in person. 

" Faithfully yours, 

"W. E. Gladstone. 
"April 1,1877." 

(Half the words in his apology for not writing would 
of course have more than sufficed for the letter desired.) 

Naturally, after all this, I looked to Mr. Gladstone as a 
most powerful friend of the Anti-vivisection cause; and though 
I had no sympathy with his religious views, and thought 
his policy very dangerous, I counted on him as a man who, 
since his suffrage had been obtained in a great moral question, 
was sure to give it his support in fitting time and place. The 
sequel showed how delusive was my trust. 

To return to the breakfast in Carlton Gardens. There sat 
down vTith us, to my amusement, a gentleman with whom I had 
already made acquaintance, an ex-priest of some distinction, 
Kev. Rudolph Suffield, who had recently quitted the Church 
of Home but retained enough of priestly looks and manners 
to be rather antipathetic to me. Mr. Gladstone ingeniously 
picked Mr. Suffield's brains for half-an-hour, eliciting all 
manner of information on Bomish doctrines and practice, till 
the conversation drifted to Pascal's Provindales. I expressed 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 607 

my admiration for the book, and recalled Gibbon's droll 
confession that he, whom Byron styled " The Lord of irony, 
that master spell," had learned the sanglcmt sarcasm of his 
XV. and XVI. chapters from the pious author of the Fensees. 
Mr. Gladstone eagerly interposed with some fine criticisms, 
and ended with the amazing remark : "I have read all the 
Jesuit answei^s to Pascal ( I ) to ascertain whether he had 
misquoted Suarez and Escobar and the rest, and I found 
that he had not done so. You may take my word for it." 

From this theological discussion there was a diversion 
when a gentleman on the other side of the breakfast table 
handed across to Mr. Gladstone certain drawings of the legs of 
horses. They proved to be sketches of several pairs in the 
Panathenaic frieze and were produced to settle the highly 
interesting question (to Mr. Gladstone) whether Greek horses 
ever trotted, or only walked, cantered, and ambled. I forget 
how the drawings were supposed finally to settle the con- 
troversy, but I made him laugh by telling him that a party 
of the servants of one of my Irish friends having paid a 
visit to the Elgin Gallery, the lady's maid told her mistress 
next morning that they had been puzzled to understand why 
all those men without legs or arms had been stuck up on the 
wall? At last the butler had suggested that they were 
"intended to commemorate the railway accidents." 

From that time I met Mr. Gladstone occasionally at the 
houses of friends, and was, of course, like all the world, 
charmed with his winning manners and brilliant talk, though 
never, that I can recall, struck by any thought expressed by 
him which could be called a " great " one, or which lifted up 
one's spirit. It seemed more as if half a dozen splendidly 
cultivated and brilliant intellects — but all of medium height 
— had been incarnated in one vivacious body, than a single 
Mind of colossal altitude. The religious element in him was in 
almost feverish activity, but it always appeared to me that it 



508 CHAPTER XVII. 

was not on the greatest things of Religion that his attention 
fastened. It was on its fringe, rather than on its robe. 

That Mr. Gladstone was a sincerely pious man I do not 
question. But his piety was of the Sacerdotal rather 
than of the Puritan type. The " single eye" was never his. 
If it had been, he would not have employed the tortuous and 
ambiguous oratory which so often left his friends and foes to 
interpret his utterances in opposite senses. Neither did he 
appear — at all events to his more distant observers — to feel 
adequately the tremendous responsibility to God and man 
which rested on the well-nigh omnipotent Prime Minister of 
England, during the years when it was rare to open a news- 
paper without reading of some military disaster like the 
death of Gordon, or of some Agrarian murder like the 
assassination of Lord Frederick Cavendish and of a score of 
hapless Irish landlords — calamities which his policy had 
failed to prevent if it had not directly occasioned. The gaiety 
of spirits and the animation of interest respecting a hundred 
trivial topics which Mr. Gladstone exhibited unfailingly 
through that fearfully anxious period, approached perhaps 
sometimes too nearly to levity to accord with our older ideal 
of a devout mind loaded with the weight " almost not to be 
borne " of world-wide cares. 

The differences between Church and dissent occupied Mr. 
Gladstone, I fancy, very much at all times. One day he 
remarked to me — as if it were a valuable new light on the 
. subject — that an eminent Nonconformist had just told him 
that the Dissenters generally " did not object either to the 
Docbwe or the Discipline of the Church of England, but that 
they found no warrant in Scripture for the existence of a 
State Church.'' Mr. Gladstone looked as if he were seeking 
an answer to this objection to conformity. I replied that I 
wondered they did not see that the whole Old Testament 
might be taken as the history of a Divinely appointed State 



LONDON IN THE Si:iTIES AND SEVE 

Church. Mr. Gladstone lifted his marvellous, e 
with a quick glance which might be held to si^ 
an idea ! " When the little incident was told 
Dean Stanley he rubbed his hands and lau| 
" This may put off disestablishment yet awhile 

As a member cf society Mr. Gladstone, as ever 
was inexhaustibly interesting. I once heard 
small dinner party criticise and describe witli 
vividness and minuteness the sei*mons of at 
popular preachers. At last I ventured to io 
some impatience and say : " But, Mr. Glf 
have not mentioned the greatest of them all 
Dr. Martinean 9 " He paused, and then said, 
words, carefully : " Dr. Martineau is unques 
greatest of living thinkers." 

Speaking of the Jews, he once afforded the o 
dinner table a lively and interesting sketch of th> 
the race all over the globe, except in ScotUmd. 
he said, knew as well as they the value of bawb 
was a general laugh, and some one remarked : ' 
are there so few in Ireland ? " Mr. Gladstone ai 
he supposed the Iiish were too poor to affor 
pasture. I said : " Perhaps se, now, but whc 
Gladstone, have given the Irish farmers fixity c 
that they can give security for loans, we shall & 
flocking over to Ireland." This observation m 
1879 ; and in the intervening twenty years I a i 
that the Jews have settled down in Ireland like 
the land after a storm. The old '^ Gombeen ma 
ousted all over the country, and a whole J< 
(near the Circular Boad) and a new synagogue 
have verified my prophecy. 

At last the day came when the sympathy 
Mr. Gladstone had so often assured Lord Shaft 



510 CHAPTER XVII 

myselfy was to be put to the simplest test. Mr. Keid (now 
Sir Eobert Reid) was to introduce our Bill for the Prohibition 
of Vivisection into Parliament (April 4 th, 1883). I wrote 
to Mr. Gladstone a short note imploring him to lift his 
hand to help us ; and if it were impossible for him to speak 
in the House in our favour, at least to let his friends know 
that he wished well to our £iU. I do not remember the 
words of that note. I know that it was a cry from my very 
heart to the man who held it in his power to save the poor 
brutes from their tortures for ever; to do what I was 
spending my life's last years in vainly trying to accomplish. 
He received the note ; I had a formal acknowledgment of 
it But Mr. Qladstone did noMng. He left us to the 
tender mercies of Sir William Harcourt, whose audacious (and 
mendacious) contradiction of Mr. C^rge Russell, our 
seconder, I have detailed elsewhere.* From that day I 
never met, nor ever desired to meet, Mr. Gladstone again. 



A friend whom I greatly admired and valued, and whose 
intercourse I enjoyed during all my residence in London, 
from first to last, was Mr. Froude. He died just after the 

* Sir W. Harcoort interrupted Mr. Russell when speaking of 
Vivisections before students, by the assertion — 

"Under the Act demonstrations were forbidden." — Timex^ 
April 5th, 1883.) 

In the Act in question — 39 & 40 Vict., c. 77, Clause 3, Sect. 1 — 
arc these words, ** Kzperiments may he performed .... by 
a person giving illustrations of lectures,** &c., &c. By the Returns 
issued from Sir W. Harcourt's own (Home) Office in the previous 
year, sixteen persons had been registered as holding certificates 
permitting experiments in illustration of lectures. It seems to me 
a shocking feature of modem politics that an outrageous falsehood 
— or must we call it mistake 1— of this kind is allowed to serve its 
purpose at the moment but the author never apologizes for It 
afterwards. 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 611 

first edition of this book (of which I had of course sent him 
a copy) was published ; and I was told it supplied welcome 
amusement to him in his last days. 

The world, I think, has never done quite justice to Mr. 
Froude ; albeit, when he was gone the newspapers spoke of 
him as ** the last of the giants." He always seemed to me 
to belong to the loftier race, of whom there were then not a 
few living ; and though his unhappy Nemesis of Faith (for 
which I make no defence whatever) and his Ca/dyle drew on 
him endless blame, and his splendid History equally endless 
cavil and criticism, his greatness was to my apprehension 
something apart from his books. His Essays, — especially the 
magnificent one on Job — ^give, I think, a better idea of the 
man than was derivable from any other source, except 
personal intimacy. '^ He touched nothing which he did not '^ 
enlarge, if not "adorn.'' Subjects expanded when talked 
of easily, and even lightly, with him. There was a 
background of space always above and behind him. 
Though he had no little cause for it, he was not bitter. I 
never saw him angiy or heard him express resentment, 
except once when his benevolent efforts had failed to obtain 
from Mr. Gladstone's Government a pension for a poverty- 
stricken, meritorious woman of letters, while far less deserving 
persons received the bounty. But when he let the Marah 
waters of Mr. Carlyle's private reflexions loose on the world 
their bitterness seemed to communicate itself to all the 
readers of the book. Even the silver pen of Mrs. Oliphant 
for once was dipped in gall ; and it was she, if I mistake 
not) who in her wrath devised the ferocious adjective 
^^ Frcvdacious** to convey her rage and soom. As for 
myself, when that book appeared I frankly told Mr. Froude 
that I rejoiced, because I had always deprecated Mr. 
Carlyle's influence, and I thought this revelation of him 
would do much to destroy it. Mr. Froude laughed good- 



Slit CHAPTER XVIL 

humouredly, but naturally showed a little oonsternation. 
His sentiment about the Saturday Reviewers, who at 
that time buzzed round his writings and stung him 
every week, was much that of a St . Bernard or a Newfoundland 
towards a pack of snarling terriers. One day a clergyman 
very well known in London, wrote to me after one of our 
little parties to beg that I would do him the favour, when next 
Mr. Froude was coming to me, to invite him also, and permit 
him to bring his particular friend Mr. X, who greatly desired 
to meet his brother historian. I was very willing to oblige 
the clergyman in questien, and before long we had a 
gathering at our house of forty or fifty people, among whom 
were Mr. Froude and Mr. X. I knew that the moment for 
the introduction had arrived, but of course I was not going 
to take the liberty of presenting any stranger to Mr. Froude 
without asking his consent. That consent was not so 
readily granted as I had anticipated. " Who ? Mr. X ? 
Let me look at him first." '' There he is,'' I said, pointing 
to a small figure half hidden in a group of ladies and 
gentlemen. " That is he, is it ? " said Mr. Froude. " Oh, 
No ! No ! Don't introduce him to me. He has the Saturday 
Review written all over his face ! " There was nothing to do 
but to laugh, and presently, when my clerical friend came up 
and urged me to fulfil my promise and make the introduction, 
to hurry down on some excuse into the tea room and never 
re-appear till the disappointed Mr. X had departed. 

I have kept 34 letters received from Mr. Froude during 
the years in which I had the good fortune to contribute 
to Frase^s Magazine when he was the Editor, and later, 
when, as friends and neighbours in South Kensington, we had 
the usual little interchange of message and invitations. 
Among these, to me precious, letters there are some passages 
which I shall venture to copy, assured that his representatives 
cannot possibly object to my doing so. I may first as an 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES. 513 

introduction of myself, quote one in a letter to my eldest 
brother, who had invited him to stay at Newbridge during 
one of his visits to Ireland. Mr. Eroude wrote to him : — 

"I knew your brother Henry intimately 30 years ago, 
and your sister is one of the most valued friends of my later 
life." 

His affection for Carlyle spoke in this eager refutation of 
some idle story in the newspapers : 

"February 16th. 
" There is hardly a single word in it which is not untrue. 
Buskin is as much attached to Mr. Carlyle as ever. There 
is not one of his friends to whom he is not growing dearer 
as he approaches the end of his time, nor has the 
wonderful beauty and noble tenderness of his character 
been ever more conspicuous. The only difference visible in 
him from what he was in past years is that his wife's 
death has broken his heart. He is gentler and more 
forbearing to human weakness. He feels that his own 
work is finished, and he is waiting hopefully till it please 
God to take him away." 

Here is evidence of his deep enjoyment of Nature. He 
writes, October 31st, from Dereen, Kenmare : — 

''I return to London most reluctantly at the end of the 
week. The summer refuses to leave us, and while yon are 
shivering in the North wind we retain here the still blue 
dondlessness of August. This morning b the loveliest I ever 
saw here. The woods swarm with blackbirds and thrushes, 
the * autumn note not all unlike to that of spring.* I am so 
bewitched with the place that (having finished my History) I 
mean to spend the winter here and try to throw the story of 
the last Desmond into a novel." 

In reply to a request that he would attend an Anti-vivi- 
section meeting at Lord Shaftesbury's house, he wrote : — 

"Vivisection ia a hateful illustration of the consequences 
of the BUent superseasion of Morality by Utilitarianism. 

2K 



514 CHAPTER XVII. 

Until men can be brought back to the old lines, neither this 
nor any other evil tendency can be really stemmed. Till 
the world learns again to hate what is in itself evily in spite of 
alleged advantages to he derived from ity it will never consent 
to violent legal restrictions." 

His last letter from Oxford is pleasant to recaU : — 

''I am strangely placed here. The Dons were shy of 
me when I first came, but aU is well now, and the under- 
graduates seem really interested in what I have to tell 
them. I am quite free, and tell them precisely what I 
think." 

I do not think that Mr. Eroude was otherwise than a happy 
man. He was particularly so as regarded his feminine 
surroundings, and a most genial and indulgent husband and 
father. He had also intense enjoyment both of Nature 
and of the great field of Literature into which he delved so 
zealously. He once told me that he had visited every spot, 
exc^t the Tower of London ( / ) where the great scenes of 
his History took place, and had ransacked every library in 
Europe likely to contain materials for his work ; not 
omitting the record chambers of the Inquisition at Simancas, 
where he spent many shuddering days which he vividly 
described to me. He also greatly enjoyed his long voyages 
and visits to the West Indies and to New Zealand ; and 
especially the one he made to America. He admired almost 
everything, I think, in America ; and more than once 
remarked to me (in reference particularly to the subject of 
mixed education in which I was interested) : " The young 
men are so nice ! What might be difficult here, is easy 
there. You have no idea what nice fellows they are." There 
was, however, certainly something in Mr. Troude's handsome 
and noble physiognomy which conveyed the idea of moum- 
fulness. His eyes were wells of darkness on which, by 
some singulacity, the light never seemed to fall either in life 



LONDON IN THE SIXTIES AND SEVE 

or when represented in a photograph ; and his 
was not infrequent, was mirthless. I never b 
which it was so hard to echo, so little contagioi 
The last time I ever saw Mr. Froude was at 
our common friend, Miss Elliot, where he was : 
found at his best. Her other visitors had dep 
three old friends sat on in the late and quiet Sund 
talking of serious things, and at last of our hope 
respecting a future life. Mr. Froude startled us 
saying he did not wish to live again. He felt ths 
been enough, and would be well content not to 
it was over. " But,'' said he, in conclusion, 
vigour, *' I believe there w another life, you ki 
quite sure there is." The clearness and emp] 
conviction were parallel to those he had used be 
talking of the probable extension of Atheisn 
years. "But, as there 18 a God," said 1 
'' Beligion can never die." 



OHAPTEB 

xvm. 

MY LIFE IN LONDON 
IN THE SEVENTIES AND EIC 



SOCIAL 



CHAPTEE XYEL 
Social Lifb m London in the Seventies a» 

I MUST not write here any personal sketch h( 
of my revered friend Dr. Martinean, since he i 
be thanked for it ! — living, and writing as pr 
vigorously as ever, in his venerable age of 8 
weekly sermons which I had the privilege of '. 
his Hps for many years, dovm to 1872, beside se 
of his Lectures on the Gospels and on Ethical Phil< 
I attended, formed so very important, I might 
part of my " Life" in London, that I cannot omit i 
of them in my story. 

Little Portland Street Ohapel is a building of v 
dimensions, with no pretensions whatever to 
finery ; whether of architecture, or upholstery, < 
kind^ But it was, I always thought, a fitting, sis 
serious people to meet to think in ; not to gaze i 
in curiosity or admiration, or to be intoxicated ^^ ' 
lights, incense and music ; as would seem to be I 
of the administrators of a neighbouring fane I ( 
I suppose, would have been pronounced cold, b( : 
by an haHntfiU of a Bitualistic or Romanist chui 
my own part I should prefer even to be '' cold," (wl i 
not) rather than allow my religious feelings tc 
through the gratification of my aesthetic sense. 

On this matter, however, each one must speak 
for himself. For me I was perfectly satisfied w 
in the gallery in that simple chapel, where I coul 
the noblest sermons and see the preacher of 
always seemed a part ; his " Word " in the old 



620 CHAPTER XV III. 

(like many other men's sermons) things qnite apart from it. 
speaker, as we know him in his home and in the street. 01 
all the men with whom I have ever been acquainted the one 
who most impressed me ^ith the sense, — shall I call it of 
congniity? or homogeneity? — of being, in short, the same ail 
through^ was he to whom I listened on those happy Sundays. 

They were very varied Sermons which Dr. Martinean 
preached. The general effect, I nsed to think, was 
not that of receiving Lessons from a Teacher, but of being 
invited to accompany a Guide on a momitain-walk. 
From the npper regions of thought where he led us, 
we were able, — ^nay, compelled, — ^to look down on our daily 
cares and duties from a loftier point of view; and 
thence to return to them with fresh feelings and resolutions. 
Sometimes these ascents were very steep and difficult ; and 
I have ventured to tell him that the richness of his metaphors 
and similes, beautifol and original as they always were, made 
it harder to climb after him, and that we sometimes wanted 
him to hold out to us a shepherd's crook, rather than a 
jewelled crosder ! But the exercise, if laborious, was to the 
last degree mentally healthful, and morally strengthening. 
There was a great variety also, in these wonderfcd sermons. 
To hear one of them only, a listener would come away 
deeming the preacher par hninenee a profound and most 
discriminating Critic. To hear another, he would consider 
him a Philosopher, occupied entirely with the vastest problems 
of Science and Theology. Again another wocdd leave the 
impression of a Poet, as great in his prose as the author of 
In Memoriam in verse. And lastly and above all, there was 
always the man filled with devout feeling, who, by his very 
presence and voice communicated reverence and the sense of 
the nearness of an all-seeing God. 

I could write many pages concerning these Sunday 
experiences ; but I shall do better, I think, if I give my 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES. 521 

readers, who have never heard them, some small samples of 
what I carried away from time to time ^of them, as noted 
down in letters to my friend. Here are a few of them : 

" Mr. Martineau preached of aiming at perfection. At 
the end he drew a picture of a soul which has made such 
struggles hut has failed. Then he supposed what must he 
the feeling of such a soul entering on the future life, its 
regrets; and then inquired what influence heing lifted 
above the things of sense, the nearness to God and holiness 
would have on it? Would it then arise? Teit and the 
Father would ay, ' This my son was dead and is alive again ; 
he was lost and is found for evermore.' I cannot tell you 
how beautiful it was, how true in the sense of those deepest 
intuitions which I hold to be certainly true heeame they 
bear with them the sense of being absolutely higheit^ the 
echo of a higher harmony than belongs to our poor minds. 
He seemed, for a moment, to be talking in the old conven- 
tional way about repentance when too laU; and then burst 
out in faith and hope, so far transcending all such ideas 
that one felt it came from another source." 

'* Mr. Martineau gave us a magnificent sermon on Sunday. 
I was in great luck not to miss it. One point was this. 
Our moral judgments are always founded on what we 
suppose to be the inward motive of the actor, not on the 
mere external act itself, which may be mischievous or 
beneficent in the highest degree, without, properly-speaking, 
affecting our purely cthioal judgment — tf.^., an unintentional 
homicide. Now, if, (as our opponents affirm) our Moral 
Sense came to us a5 extra^ merely as the current opinion 
which society has attached to injurious or beneficial 
actions, then we should not thus decide our judgment by 
the internal^ but by the external and visible part of the act, 
by which alone society is hurt or benefitted. The fact 
that our moral judgment regards internal things exclusively, 
is evidence that it springs from an internal source ; and that 
we judge another, because we are compelled to judge our- 
«Alves in the same way." 



622 CHAPTER XV 111. 

Here is a Note I took after hearing another Sermon : — 

** Sunday, Jane 23rd. 



•I 



*If we confess oor sins, He is faithful and just to 
forgive as oor sins and to cleanse as from all an- 
righteoasness.' 

*' There are two ways of looking at Sin common in oar 
time. One is to proclaim it so infinitely hlack that €k>d 
cannot forgive it except hy a method of Atonement itseU 
the height of injustice. The other is to treat it as so venial 
that God may he counted on as certain to pass it over at 
the first moment of regret; and all the threats of conscience 
may he looked on as those of a nurse to a refractory child , 
threats which are never to he executed. The first of these 
views seems to honour €k>d most, hut really dishonoors 
Him, hy representing Him as governing the world on a 
principle abhorrent to reason and justice. The second can 
never commend itself save to the most shallow minds who 
make religion a thing of words, and treat sin and repentance 
ais trivial things, instead of the most awful. How shall we 
solye the mystery ? It is equally unjust for God to treat 
the guilty as if they were innocent, and the penitent as if 
they were impenitent. Each fact has to be taken into 
account, and the most important practical consequences 
follow from the view we take of the matter. First we must 
never lose hold of the truth, that, as Cause and Effect are 
never severed in the natural world, and the whole order 
of nature would fall to ruin were God ever to interfere with 
them, so likewise Guilt and Pain are, in His Providence, 
indissolubly linked; and the order of the moral world 
would be destroyed were they to be divided. But beside 
the realm of Law, in which the Divine penalties are 
unalterable, there is the free world of Spirit wherein our 
repentance avails. When we can say to God, * Put me to 
grief — ^I have deserved it. Only restore me Thy love,' the 
great woe is gone. We shall be the weaker evermore for 
our fall, but we shall be restored." 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES. 523 

The following remarks were in a letter to Miss EUiot : — 

** January, 1867. 

** I wish I conld write a rSstmU of a Sermon whioh Mr. 
Martineaa preached last Sunday. Just think how many 
sermons some people would make of this one sentence of 
his text (speaking of the longing for Rest) : — * If Duty 
become laborious, do it more fervently. If Love become a 
source of care and pajn, love more nobly and more tenderly 
If Doubts disturb and torture, face them with more earnest 
thought and deeper study I ' 

" This was not a peroration, but just one phrase of a 
discourse full of other such things. 

"It seems to me that the spontaneous response of our 
inner souls to such ideas is just the same proof of their 
truth as the shock we feel in our nerves when a lecturer has 
delivered a current of electricity proves his lesson to be true." 

"January, 1867. 

" While you were enjoying your Cathedral, I was enjoying 
Little Portland Street Chapel, having bravely tramped 
through miles of snow on tiie way, and been rewarded. 
Mr. Martineau said we were always taunted with only 
having a negative creed, and were often foolish enough to 
deny it. But all Reformation is a negation of error and 
return to the three pure articles of faith — (3k)d, Duty, 
Immortality. . . . The distinction was admirably drawn 
between extent qf creed and intenei^ of faith,** 

On February 5th, 1871| Mr. Martineau preached : — 

" Philosophers might and do say that all Religion is only 
a projection of Man himself on Nature, lending to Nature 
his own feelings, brightened by a supreme Love or 
shadowed by infinite displeasure. Does this disprove 
Religion? Is there no reUanoe to be placed on the 
faculties which connect na with the Infinite? We have 
two sets of faculties: our Senses, which reveal the outer 
world; and a deeper series, giving us Poetry, Love, 
Religion. Should we say that these last are more false 
than the others ? They are true aU round. In fact, these 



624 CHAPTER XVITL 

are tmest. Tmaginatioii is trae. Affection is true. Do 
men say that Affection is blind ? No I It is the only thing 
which truly sees. Love alone really perceives. The 03rnio 
draws over the world a roof of dark and narrow thonghts 
and suspicions, and then complains of the close, unhealthy 
air. Memory again is more than mere Recollection. It 
has the true artist-power of seizing the points which 
determine the character and reconstructing the image 
without details. Suppose there be a Ood. By what 
faculties could we know Him save by those which now tell 
us of Him. And why should they deceive us ? *' 

Alas ! the exercise of preacnmg every Sunday became too 
great for Dr. Martineau to encounter after 1872, and, by his 
physician's orders, those noble sermons came to an end. 

Beside Dr. Martineau, I had the privilege of friendship 
with three eminent Unitarian Ministers, now alas I all 
departed — Bev. Charles Beard, of Liverpool, for a long time 
editor of the Theological Beview ; the venerable and beloved 
John James Tayler ; and Bev. William Henry Ghanning, to 
whom I was gratefully attached, both on account of religious 
sympathies, and of his ardent adoption of our Anti-vivisection 
cause, which he told me he had at first regarded as somewhat 
of a ''fiEd" of mine, but came to recognise as amoral crusade 
of deep significance. Among living friends of the same body, 
I am happy to number Bev. Philip Wicksteed, the successor 
of Dr. Martineau in Portland Street and the exceedingly able 
President of University Hall, Gordon Square, — ^an institution, 
in the foundation of which I gladly took part on the invitation 
of Mrs. Humphry Ward. 

A man in whose books I had felt great interest in my old 
studies at Newbridge, and whose intercourse was a real 
pleasure to me in London, was Mr. W. B. Greg. I intensely 
respected the courage which moved him, in those early days 
of the Fifties, to publish such a book as the Creed cf 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND E 

Christendom. He was then a young man, en 
with the natural ambitions which his great i 
and the avowal of such exorbitant heresies (i 
pore Theism) as the book contained, was 
date to spoil any man's career. He was a h 
man of the world, " Que Biable aUaU U fi 
theology at all?** That book remains to 
valuable manual of argnments and evidei 
Creed of Christendom; set forth in a gra^ 
spirit and in a dear and manly style. His . 
had, I believe, a larger literary snccess. 
moved mnch nearer to his standpoint; an 
concern the most interesting subjects, y^ 
friendly controversy over one passage in the e 
Mr. Greg had laid it down that, hereafter, Lo 
from the discovery of the sinfrdness of the be) 
both saint and sinner will accept as inevitt 
separation {Enigmas^ 1st Edit., p. 268). To 
strenuously in my Hopes of the Human Baci 
said, ^' The poor self-condemned soul whom ISd 
as turning away in an agony of shame and ho 
the virtuous friend he loved on earth, and 1 
immeasurable distance, — such a soul is not oi 
of love, divine or human. Nay, is he not,— 
his guilt to be black as night,— only in a simi 
the purest of created souls, which that purei 
the All-holy One above ? If God can love m 
acme of moral presumption to think of a hu: 
too pure to love any sinner, so long as in him 
any vestige of affection ? The whole problen 
impossible. In the first place, there is a p 
equality between all souls capable of eqi 
the one can never reach a height whence it may 
the other. And, in the second place, the high< 



526 CHAPTER XFIIL 

soul may have risen in the spiritnal world, the mate it must 
have acqnired the god-like Insight which beholds the good 
under the evil, and not less the god-Uke Love which embraces 
the repentant Prodigal. 

In the next edition of his Enignuu (the 7th), after the 
issue of my book, Mr. Qreg wrote a most generous recanta- 
tion of his former view. He said : — 

** The force of these objections to my delineation cannot 
be gainsaid, and ought not to have been overlooked. No 
doubt a soul that can so love and so feel ite separation 
from the objects of its love, cannot be wholly lost. It must 
still retain elements of recovery and redemption, and 
qualities to win and to merit answering affection. The 
lovingness of a nature — ^its capacity for strong and deep 
attachment — ^must constitute, there as here, the most 
hopeful characteristic out of which to elicit and foster all 
other good. No doubt, again, if the sinful continue to love 
in spite of their sinfulness, the blessed will not cease to 
love in consequence of their blessedness." 

Later on he asks : — 

"How can the blessed enjoy anything to be called 
Happiness if the bad are writhing in hopeless anguish ? " 
" Obviously only in one way. ' By cecuing to love, that is, by 
renouncing the best and purest part of their nature. . . . 
Or, to put it in still bolder language, ' Haw, — ^ven a heU, of 
torment and despair for miUions of hi$ friends and fellotc men — 
can the good enjoy Heaven except by becoming bad, and without 
being miraculously changed for the worse ? * " 

The following flattering letters are unluckily all which I 
have kept of Mr. Greg's writing : — 

** Park Lodge, Wimbledon Common, S.W., 

" February 19th. 
" My Dear Miss Cobbe, 

** I have been solacing myself this morning, after a month 

of harrowing toil, with your paper in the last Theological^ 

and I want to tell you how much it baa gratified me. 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES. 527 

"I don't mean your appreoiative oozdiality towards 
myself, nor your criticisms on a portion of my speculations, 
which, howeyer (though I fancy yon have rather misread 
me), I will refer to again and try to proj&t by.* I daresay 
you are mainly right, the more so as I see Mr. Thom in the 
same number remonstrates in an identical tone. 

"That your paper is, I think, not only beautiful in 
thought and much of it original, but singularly full of rich 
suggestions, and one of the most real contributions to a 
further conception of a possible future that I have met with 
for long. It is real thought — not like most of mine, mere 
sentiment and imagination. 

" I don't know if you are still in town, or have began the 
villegiatnra you spoke of when I last saw you, but I daresay 
this note will be forwarded. 

** When did No. I appear ? 

" I particularly like your remark about wM-reprohationt 
p. 456, and from 463 onward. By the way, do you know 
Isaac Taylor's * Phynoal Theory of Another Life f ' It is 
very curious and interesting. 

•« Yours faithfully, 

" W. R. Gbbq. 

" I have just finished an Introduction (about 100 pp.) to a 
new edition of *' The Greed of Christendom," which will be 
published in the autumn, and it contains some thoughts 
very analogous to yours." 

" Park Lodge, Wimbledon ComTnou, S.W., 

"August 6th. 
'* My dear Miss Oobbe, 

" I have read your Town and Country Mouse with much 
pleasure. I should have enjoyed your Paper still more if 
I had not felt that it was suggested by your intention to cut 
London, and the desire to put as good a face upon that 
regrettable design as you could. However you have stated 
the case with remarkable fairness, I, who am a passionate 
lover of nature, who have never lived in Town, and should 



628 CHAPTER XVllL 

pine away if I attempted it, still feel in the decline of years 
the increasing necessity of creeping towardi i the world 
rather than retiring from it. I feel, as one grows old, the 
want of external stimalns to stave off stagnation. The 
yividness of yonthfnl thought is needed, I think, to snppoii 
solitude. 

'* I retired to Westmoreland for 15 years in the middle of 
life when I was much worn, and it did me good : bnt I was 
glad to come back to active life, and I think my present 
location — ^Wimbledon Conmion for a cottage, within 5 miles 
of London, and coming in five days a week — ^is perfection. 

" I daresay yon may be right; bnt all your friends will 
miss you much — I not the least. 

** Yours faithfully, 

"W. R. Greg.'* 

Mr. Greg's allusion to my Town and Country Mouse 
reminds me of a letter which was sent me by some unknown 
reader on the publication of that article. It repeats a famous 
story worth recording as told thus by an ear-witness who, 
though anonymous is obviously worthy of credit. 

** Athenaeum Club, 

" Pall Mall, S.W. 

** Will Miss Cobbe kindly pardon the liberty taken by a 
reader of her delightful ' Town and Country Mouse ' in 
venturing to substitute the true version of Sir George 
Lewis' too famous dictmn ? 

** In the hearing of the writer he was asked (by one of his 
subordinates in the Government) as they were getting 
into the train, returning to town, 

<* * Well ! How do you like life in Herefordshire ? ' 

** * Ah t It would be very tolerable, if it were not for ths 
Amusements ' — ^was his reply. 

" Miss Cobbe has high Authority for the mis-quotation : 
for the Times invariably commits it ; and the present writer 
has again and again intended to correct it, and failed to 
execute the intention. 



LONDON IN THE 8E VENT1E8 AND El 

''If ihey are pleasares, they axe pleai 
paradox is absurd, instead of amusing ; but 
stupidity of many of the ' Amusements * (to 
* Influence of Autiiority,' &c. !) may well call 
the sort of amiable cynicism, which was i 
own charsbcter. 

'* On arriving late and unexpectedly at h 
night's Eestf he found his own study occupie 
ladies (sisters) as a Bedroom — ^it being the 
Theresa's Ball ! With his exquisite good na 
set about finding some other roost ; and all 
he ever made was that , which has become ] 
famous t " 



At the time of the Franco-Prussian wa 
remembered by everyone living at the time i 
cleavage between the sympathisers with the t i 
countries was almost as sharp as it had pi i 
during the American War between the partizac 
and of the South. Dean Stanley was one < I 
who took warmly the side of the Germaus, ai : 
sent him a letter I had received from a Frer ; 
we both respected, remonstrating rather bittei 
attitude of England. The Dean, in returning [ 
wrote as follows* : — 

" Deanery, March 
*' Dear Miss Cobbe, 

** Although you kindly excuse me from doin ; 
but express, and almost, wish that you coc I 
M. P. the melancholy interest with which we I 

* Most of the following letters were lent by me t« 
when he was preparing the biography of Dean 6 
retaraiDg them he said that he had kept copies 
meant to indade them in his book. The presei 
having used them, I feel myself at liberty to print tl 



whether to yon — it is deeply sad to aee a man like M. P. so 
thoroughly blind to the tme rataation of his conntry. Not 
a word of repentance for the aggressive and nnjaat warl 
not a word of acknowledgment that, had the French, m they 
wished, invadod Oennany, they wonld haye entered Berlin 
and seized the Khenish provinces without remome or com- 
pouction I — not a spark of appreciation of the moral supe- 
riority by which the Oermana achieved their sncoessee I I 
do not donbt that excesses may have been committed by 
tlie German troops ; bnt I feel snre that they have boon 
exceeded by those of the French, and would have been yet 
more had the French entered Germany. 

" And bow very snperflnons to attadc as for having done 
jnst the same as in 1846 1 Oar sad crime was not to have 
prevented the war by remonstrating with the French 
Emperor and people in July, 1670, and of that poor P. takes 
no aooonnt I Alas I tor France 1 

" Yours sincerely, 

" A. P. SlAKLET." 

The following is a rather important nolo as recordlitg the 
Dean's sentiments as regarded Cardinal Newman. I cannot 
Tecall what was the paper which I had sent hiu to which ho 
allndes. I think I had spoken to him of my friendship 
with Francis Newman, and of the Information given me by 
the latter that he could never remember bis brother patting 
his hand to a single cause of benevolence or moral reform. 
I had asked him to solicit his support with that of Cardinal 
Uanning (already obtained) to the cause for which I was 
then be^mung to work, — on behalf of animals. 

"Jan. 15th, 1876. 
" Uy dear Miss Cobbe, 

"I return this with many thanks. I think yon muHt 
have sent it to me, partly as a rebuke for having so nearly 



LONDON IN THE SE VENTIE8 AND EIGHTIES. 531 

sailed in the same boat of ignorance and inhnmanity with 
Dr. Newman. 

** I have just finished, with a mixtnre of weariness and 
nansea, his letter to the Dnke of Norfolk. Even the fierce 
innuendoes and deadly thrusts at Manning cannot reconcile 
me to such a mass of cobwebs and evasionBc When the 
sun of the theological teaching of the two brothers is 
weighed, will not ' the Soul ' of Francis be found to counter- 
balance, as a contribution to true, solid, catholic (even in 
any sense of the word) Christianity, all the writings of 
John Henry ? 

*' I haye sent my paper on Vestments to the Contemporary, 

" Tours sincerely, 

**A. P. Stanley. 

" Bead it in the light of his old letter to B. Ullathome, 
published in (illegible)." 

The papers on ''Vestments," to which Dean Stanley 
alludes, had interested and amused me much when he read it 
at Sion College, and I had urged him to send it to one of the 
Beviews. Here is a report of that evening's proceedings 
which I sent next day to my firiend Miss Elliot. 

" January 14th, 1875. 
" I do so much wish you had been with us last night at 
Sion College. Dean Stanley was more delightful than ever. 
He read a splendid paper, full of learning, wit, and sense on 
Ecdenaiiical Vettments. In the course of it, he said, referring 
to the position of the altar, ftc, that on this subject he had 
nothing to add to the remarks of his friend, the Dean of 
Bristol, 'whose authority on all matters connected with 
English ecclesiastical history was universally admitted to 
be the best.* After the reading of his paper, which lasted 

an hour and a quarter, that odious Dr. L got up, and in 

his mincing brogue attacked Dean Stanley very rudely. 
Then they called on Martineau, and he made a charming 
speech, beginning by saying hs had nothing to do with 
vestments, having received no ordination, and might for his 



on to Wf that if Hie Ghnich were ever to regain the Non- 

oonfonniets, it would oertaiiily not be by proceeding in the 

wcei^otal diieotion. He was maoh cbeered. Rev. H. 

White m&de, I thonght, one of the beet ^eeohea of the 

arening. Altogether, it ma exoeedingly amntdng." 

On the ooeasion of the interment of Sir Charles Lyell in 

WeBtminster Abbey, I sent the Dean, by his request, Bome 

hinte respeoting Sir Charles' views and character, md 

received the following reply : 

" Fabroary 25th, 1675. 
" My deal Hiss Cobbe, 

" Yoiii letter is invaloable to me. Long aa was my 
acquaintanoe with Sir Oharlea Lyell, and kind as he was 
to me, I never knew him intimately, and therefore most 
of what yon tall me was new. The last time he spoke to 
me waa tn urging me with the greatest eamefltneas to ask 
Colenso to preach. Can yon tell me one small point? 
Had he a turn for music 7 I must refer back to the last 
funeral (when I oonld not preach) of Sir Stemdale Bennett, 
and it would be a convenience for me to know this, Y«i 
at No. 

"You will oome (if you come to the sermon) and any 
friends,— (Aro' the Deantrji at 2.4G on Smtday. 
" Yours sincerely, 

" A. P. STiMLET." 

Some time after this I sent him one of my theological 
arUoUfl OD the Life after Death. He acknowledged it tttos 
kindly: — 

" Deanery, November 2&d. 
" Dear Mias Cobbe, 

" Many thanks. Your writing on this subject is to me 
more nearly to the tmth — at least more nearly to my hopes 
and desires — than almost any others which are now floating 
around no, 

*' Yonrs sincerely, 

" A. P. Stajoit." 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND E 

This next letter again referred to one of 

to Cardinal Newman : — 

" Octo 
" M J dear Miss Oobbe, 

" Many thanks for your book. Ton will 
last night that I had already made good pi 
borrowed from the Library. I shall mnch 

Do not tronble yonrself abont Newnuu 
mnch more anxions that the pnblio shonld i 
I shonld. I am amazed at the impressioi 
by the " Oharacteristios " of Newman. M 
tions I had read before ; bnt the net resnlt 
of fanciful, disingennons nonenties ; all exc 
reminiscences* 

" Yonrs t 

"A. 

One day I had been calling on him at th< 
said to him, after describing my office in Vict 
our frequent Committee meetings there : '^ ^ 
do you think it right and as it ought to be, tt 
at that table as Hon. Sec. with Lord Shafi 
right, and Cardinal Manning on my left, — and 1 1 
not sit opposite to complete the '^ BeunUm of i 
He laughed heartily, agreed he certainly ou£ : 
and promised to come. But time failed, i 
honoured name graced our lists. 

The following is the last letter I have pres ! 
Stanley's writing. It is needless to say how i 
it gave me : — 

••Octobej 
" Dear Miss Cobbe, 

"I have just finished re-reading with rei 
and consolation your " Hopes of the Human Bac\ 
these questions : 1. Is it in, or coming into, a s<! 
If the latter, is it too much to suggest thii 



534 CHAPTER XV III. 

p. 8 could, if not omitted, be modified ? I appreciate the 
motive for its insertion, but it makes the lending and 
recommending of the book difflcnlt. 2. Who is ' one of the 
greatest men of Science * — ^p. 20 ? 8. Where is there an 
authentic appearance of the Pope's reply to Odo Russell — 
p. 107? 

M Youis sincerely, 

" A. P. Stanley." 

I afterwards learned from Dean Stanleyy one day when I 
was visiting him at the Deanery after his wife's death, that 
he had read these Essays to Lady Augusta in the last weeks of 
her life, finding them, as he told me, the most satisfiictory 
treatment of the subject he had met ; and that after her death 
he read them over again. He gave me with much feeling 
a sad photograph of her as a dying woman, after telling 
me this. Mr. Motley the historian of the Netherlands, 
having also lost his wife not long afterwards, spoke to Dean 
Stanley of his desire for some book on the subject which 
would meet his doubts, and Dean Stanley gave him this 
one of mine. 

Dean Stanley, it is needless to say, was the most welcome 
of guests in every house which he entered. There was some- 
thing in his Mgh^mmdediwMf I can use no other term, his sense 
of the glory of England, his love of his church (on extremely 
Erastian principles I ) as the National BeUgion, his unfailing 
courtesy, his unaffected enjoyment of drollery and gossip, and 
his almost youthful excitement about each important sulject 
which cropped up, which made him delightful to everyone 
in turn. There was no man in London I think whom 
it gave me such pleasure to meet '' in the sixties and 
seventies " as the " Great Dean " ; and he was uniformly 
most kind to me. The last occasion, I think, on which I saw 
him in full spirits was at a house where the pleasantest 
people wore constantly to be found, — that of Mr* and Mrs. 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES. 635 

Simpson, in Cornwall Gkrdens. Benan and his wife were 
there, and I was so favoured as to be seated next to Benan; 
Dean Stanley being on the other side of onr tactful hostess. 
The Dean had been showing Benan over the Abbey in thi 
morning, and they were both in the gayest mood, but 1 
remember Dean Stanley speaking to Benan with indescrib- 
able and concentrated indignation of the avowal Mr. Gladstone 
had recently made that the Clerkenwell explosion had caused 
him to determine on the disestablishment of the Irish Church. 
I have found an old letter to my friend describing this 
dinner: — 

*' I had a most amusing evening yesterday. Kind Mrs. 
Simpson made me sit beside Benan ; and Dean Stanley was 
across the comer, so we made, with nice Mrs. W. B. G. and 
Mr. M., a very jolly little party at onr end of the table 
The Dean began with grace, rather Mtto voce, with a blink 
at Benan, who kept on never minding. His (Benan's) looks 
are even worse than his picture leads one to expect. Hii 
face is exactly like a hogt so stupendously broad across tha 
ears and jowl 1 But he is very gentlemanly in manner, very 
winning and full of fun BJid Jine$se, We had to talk French 
with him, but the Dean's French was so much worse than 
mine that I felt quite at ease, and rattled away about the 
Triduot at Florence (to appease the wrath 6f Heaven on 
account of his Vie de Jisus), and had some private jokes 
with him about his malice in colling the Publicans of the 
Gospels ' douanlers,' and the ass a ' baudet ! ' He said 
he did it on purpose ; and that when he was last in Italy 
numbers of poor people came to him, and asked him for the 
lucky number for the lotteries, because they thought he was 
to near the Devil he must know 1 I gave him your message 
about the Hengwrt MSS., and he apologised for having 
written about the ' mesquines ' considerations which had 
caused them to be locked up, [to wit, that several leaves of the 
Red Book of Hergest hod boon stolen by too enthusiastic 
Welsh scholars I] and solemnly vowed to alter the passage 



abtaining leave for him to see them. 

"t also talked to M. Seuan of his Essay on the Poitie dt 
la Baet Odtiqat, and made him laagh at his own assertion 
that Irishmen bad such a longing for ' the Infinite' that 
when they oonld not attain to it otherwise thev songbt it 
through a strong liquor ' qui t'appMe U JPTiuke}/.' " 

Sir Monntstoart Orant-Dnff's delightful Tolome on Benan 
bas opened to u; mind many fresh ressoiiB for admiring the 
great French sobolar, whose works I hod &lsely imagined I 
had known pretty well before reading it. Bnt when 
all is said, the impression he baa left on ma (and I should 
think on most other people) is one of disappointment and 
short- falling. 

M. Beuan has written of himself the well-known and often 
laughed-at boast : " 8itd dans mon tiicUj'aipueomprmdrt 
Jittu Chriat «t St. Frangoii d'Aetue ! " I do not know abont 
bis comprehension of St. Francis, though I shonld think it a 
very great tour de force for the brilliant French academician 
and critic to throw himself into that typical medieval mind I 
But as regarded the former Person I should say that of all 
the tens p{ thonsands who have studied and written about 
him during these last nineteen centuries, Renon was in some 
respects the least able to " comprehend " him. The man 
who eonld describe the story of the Prodigal as a " tUlKmae 
parabole," is as far ont of Christ's latitude as the pole 
from the equator. One abhors raethetics when things 
too sacred to be measured by their standard are commended 
in their name. Benan seems to me to have been for 
practical purposes a Pantheist without a glimmer of that 
sense of moral and personal relation to Qod which was tho 
supreme characteristic of Christ. When he translates 
Christ's pity for the Miftgdalenes as jealousy "pour la gloire 
de eon Pirt dan* ca bellet criatui-n;" and in tro daces the 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES. 537 

term ^^femmes d*vne vie Sqtdvoque^* as a rendering for 
« sinners," he strikes a note so false that no praise lavished 
afterwards can restore harmony. 

The late Lord Honghton was one of the men of note who 
I met occasionally at the houses of friends. I had known him 
in Italy and he was always kind to me and invited me to his 
Christmas parties at Frystone, which were said to he delightful, 
hut to which I did not go. For a poet he had an extraordi- 
narily rough exterior and hlunt manner. One day we had a 
regular set-to argument lasting a long time. He attacked the 
order of things with the usual pessimist ohservations on aU 
the evil in the world, and implied that I had no reasonahle 
right to my faith. I answered as hest I could, with some 
earnestness, and he finally concluded the discussion hy 
remarking with concentrated contempt : ' ' You might almost as 
well he a Christian 1" Next day I went to Westminster 
Abhey and was sitting in the Dean's pew, when, to my 
amusement Lord Houghton came in just below, with a party 
of ladies and took a seat exactly opposite me. He behaved 
of course with edifying propriety, but I could not help 
reflecting with a smile on our argument of the night 
before, and wondering how many members of that and similar 
congregations who were naturally counted by outsiders as 
faithful supporters of the orthodox creed, were as little so, 
au fond, as either Lord Houghton or I. 

With Carlyle, though I saw him very frequently, I never 
interchanged more than a few bamil words of civility. When 
his biography appeared, I was, (as I frankly told the illustrious 
biographer) exceedingly glad that I had never given him the 
chance of attaching one of his pungent epigrams to my poor 
person. I had been introduced to him by a lady at whose 
house he happened to call one afternoon when I was sitting 
with her, and where he showed himself (as it seems to me 
the roughest men invariably do in the society of amiable 



him oat walking vnih one or other of his great historian 
friends, who were also mine, bat I avoided trespaBsing on their 
good nature ; or addressing him when he walked up and down 
alone dailj before our door is Choyne Walk, — till one day 
when he had been very ill, I ventured fa) espress my eatisfac- 
tion in soeiog him out of doora again. He then answered 
me kindly. I never shared the admiration felt for him by sa 
many able mea who knew him personally, and therefore bad 
means which I didnotpoBsees, of estimating him ar^bt. To 
me his books and himself represented an anomalous sort o 
hnman Fmit. The original stock was a bard and tbtony 
Beotch peasant-character, with a splendid intollect superadded. 
The graft was not wholly successfnl. A flavour of the old 
acrid sloe was always perceptible in the plum. 

The following letter was received by Dr. Hoggan in reply 
to a letter to Mr. Corlyle oonceming Vivisection: 

" Ecston Lodge, Beckenham, 

" 2eth August, 18TG. 
"DewrSir, 

" Mr. Carlyte has received yonr letter, and has read it 
catefnlly. He bids me say, that ever sinoe be was a boy 
when he read the acoount of Uajendie's atrocities, he has 
never thonght of the practice of vivisecting animals but 
witb horror. I may mention that I have heard him speak 
of it in the strongest terms ot disgust long before there was 
any speech abont public agitation on the sabjoct. He 
believes that the reports about the good cesnlta said to ba 
obtained from the practice of vivisection to be iimnensely 
exaggerated ; with the exception of certain experiments 
by Harvey and certain others by Sir Charles Bell, he is not 
aware of any conspicnons good that has resulted from it. 
But even supposing the good results to be mnch greater 
than Mr. Carlyle believes they are, and apart too from the 
shocking pain inflicted on the helpless unimnln operated 
upon, he would still think the praotioe so bratalising to the 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES. 539 

operators that he would earnestly wish the law on the 
sabject to be altered, so as to make Yivisection even in 
Institutions likb that with which yon are oonnected a most 
rare occurrence, and when practised by private individuals 
an indictable offence. 

" You are not sure that the operators on living animals 
' can be counted on your fingers.' Mr. Oarlyle with an equal 
share of certainty believes Vivisection and other kindred 
experiments on living animals to be much more largely 
practised, and that they are by no means uncommonly 
undertaken by doctors' apprentices and ' other miserable 
persons.' 

" You are mistaken if yon look u^ nn the Times as a nurror 
of virtue ; on this very subject when it at first began to be 
publicly discussed last winter, it printed a letter from 
. . . . which your letter itself would prove to be alto- 
gether composed of falsehoods. 

" With Mr. Carlyle's compliments and good wishea, 
*' I remain, dear Sir, 
•• Yours truly, 

*'Mabt Carltlb Aitken.*' 

Mr. Carlyle supported our Anti-vivisection Society from 
the outset, for which I was very grateful to him ; but having 
promised to join our first important deputation to the Home 
Office, to urge the Government to bring in a Bill in accordance 
with the recommendations of the Boyal Commission, he 
failed at the last moment to put in an appearance, having 
learned that Cardinal Manning was to be also present. I was 
told that he said he would not appear in public with the 
Cardinal, who was, he thought, 'Hhe chief emissary of 
Beelzebub in England ! " When this was repeated to me, my 
remark was : — '' Infidels is riz! Time was, when Cardinals 
would not appear in public with infidels I " 

Nothing has surprised me more in reading the memoirs 
and letters of Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle than the small interest 



640 CHAPTER XVIIL 

either of them seeniB to have felt in the great Bnbjeots which 
formed the lifework of their many iUustrions visitors. While 
humbler folk who touched the same circles were vehemently 
attracted, or else repelled, by the political, philosophical and 
theological theories and labours of such men as Mazzini, 
Mill, Colenso, Jowett, Martineau and Darwin, and every 
conversation and almost every letter contained new fiicts, or 
animated discussions regarding them, the Garlyles received visits 
from these great men continually, with (it would seem) Uttle 
or no interest in their aims or views one way or the other, 
in approval or disapproval ; and wrote and talked much more 
seriously about the delinquencies of their own maidservants, 
and the great and never -to-be-sufficiently-appealed-against 
cock and hen nuisance. 

I had known Cardinal Manning in Rome about 1861 or 
1868 when he was ''Monsignor Manning," and went a little 
into English society, resplendent in a beautiful violet robe. 
He was very busy in those days making converts among 
English young ladies, and one with whom we were acquainted, 
the daughter of a celebrated authoress, fell into his net. He 
had, at all times, a gentle way of ridiculing English doings 
and prejudices which was no doubt telling. One of the 
stories he told me was of an Italian sacristan asking him 
<' what was the Bed Prayer Book which all the English tourists 
carried about and read so devoutly in the churches?" (of 
course Murray's Hand-hooks),* 

* We had many good stories floating about in Borne at that 
time and he was always ready to enjoy them, bat one, I think, told 
me by the painter Penry Williams, would not have tickled him as 
it did us heretics. The Pope, it seems, offered one of his Cardinals 
(whose reputation was far from immaculate) a pinch of snuff. 
The Cardinal replied more facetiously than respectfully " If on ho 
qiUito vizio, Santo Padre,** Pius IX. observed qnietly, snapping hia 
snnffbox, ** 8e visiofotu^ VnvrttU " (If it had been a vice yon would 
have had it) I 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES. 641 

A few years afterwards when he had retnmed to England 
as Archbishop of Westminster, I met him pretty frequently 
at Miss Stanley's hoase in Grosvenor Orescent. He there 
attacked me cheerfully one eyening: ''Miss Cobbe'J haye 
found out something against you. I haye disooyered that 
Voltaire was part-owner of a Slaye-ship 1 '* 

"I beg you to belieye," said I, '' that I haye no responsibility 
whateyer respecting Voltaire 1 But I would ask your Grace, 
whether it be not true that Las Casas, the saintly Dominican, 
fovmded Negro Slayery in America ? " A Church of England 
friend coming up and laughing, I discharged a second barrel : 
"And was not the Protestant Saint, Newton of Olney, — 
much worse than all, — the Captain of a Slaye-ship ? "* 

One eyening at this pleasant house I was standing on the 
rug in one of the rooms talking to Mr. Matthew Arnold and 
two or three other acquaintances of the same set. The 
Archbishop, on entering shook hands with each of us, and 
we were all talking in the usual easy, sub-humorous, London 
way when a tall military-looking man, a Major G., came in, 
and seeing Maiming, walked straight up to him, went down 
on one knee and kissed his ring ! A bomb falling amongst us 
would scarcely haye been more startling; and Manning, 
Englishman as he was to the backbone under his fine Roman 
feathers, was obyiously disconcerted, though dignified as eyer. 

In a letter to a friend dated Feb. 19th, 1867, 1 find I said : 

** I had an amusing conyersation with Archbishop Manning 
the other night at Miss Stanley's. He was most good- 
humoured, coming up to me as I was talking to Sir 0. 
Treyelyan, about Borne, and saying * I am glad you think of 
going to Bome next winter, Miss Oobbe. It proyes you expect 
the Pope to be firmly established there still.' We had rather a 

* OorionBly enough I have had ocoaBion to repeat this remark 
this Spring (1894) in a oontroyersy in the coIoiddb of the 
CaiMUc Timet. 



642 CHAPTER XVII L 

long talk about Passaglia who he says has recanted, — [a fact I 
heard strongly contradicted later.] Mr. J. (now Sir H. J.) 
came behind him in the midst of our talk and almost pitched 
the Archbishop on me, with snch a posh as I never saw 
given in a drawing-room I The Dean and Lady Augasta 
came in later, and she asked eagerly : * Where was Manning ?' 
having never seen him. He had gone away, so I told her 
of the enthusiastic meeting which had afforded a spectacle 
to ns all an hour before, between him and Archdeacon 
Denison. It was quite a scene of ecclesiastical reconcilia- 
tion ; a *Be-union of Christendom t ' (They had been told 
each that the other was in the adjoining room, and Arch- 
deacon Denison literally rushed with both hands outspread 
to meet the Cardinal, whom he had not seen since his 
conversion.) '* 

In later years, I received at least half-a-dozen notes from 
time to time from his Eminence asking for details of our 
Anti- vivisection work, and exhibiting his anxiety to master 
the. facts on which he proposed to speak at our Meetings. 
Here are some of these notes : — 

*' Archbishop's House, Westminster, S.W., 

•<June 12th, 1882. 
" Dear Miss Cobbe, 

"I should be much obliged if you would send me some 
recent facts or utterances of the Mantegazza kind, for 
the meeting at Lord Shaftesbury's. I have for a long time 
lost all reckoning from overwork, and need to be posted up. 

«( Believe me, always faithfully yours, 

" Henbt E., Card. Archbp."* 

** Cardinal Manning to Miss F. P. C. 

*' Eastern Bead, Brighton. 
'* Dear Miss Cobbe, 

" I can assure you that my slowness in answering youz 
letter has not arisen from any diminution of care on Yivi- 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES. 543 

section. I was never better able to nnderstand it, for I 
have been for nearly three weeks in pain day and night 
from nenralgia in the right arm, which makes writing 
difficult. 

" I have not seen Mr. Holt's Bill, and I do not know what 
it aims at. 

'* Before I can say anything, I wish to be fully informed. 
The Bill of last year does not content me. 

'* But we must take care not to weaken what we have 
gained. I hope to stay here over Sunday, and should be 
much obliged if you could desire someone to send me a 
copy of Mr. Holt's Bill. 

"Has sufficient organised effort been made to enforce 
Mr. Cross's Act ? 

" Believe me, always yours very truly, 

«* Henbt E., Card. Arohbp." 

** Archbishop's House, Westminster, S.W., 

'* June 22nd, 1884. 
<* Dear Miss Gobbe, 

" I will attend the meeting of the 26th unless hindered 
by some unforeseen necessity, but I must ask you to send 
me a brief. I am so driven by work that for some time I 
have fallen bcliind your proceedings. Send me one or two 
points marked and I will read them up. 

" My mind is more than ever fixed on this subject. 

'* Believe me, yours faithfully, 

" Henby E., Card. Archbp," 

" Archbishop's House, Westminster, S.W., 

" January 27th, 1887. 
** My dear Miss Cobbe, 

" For the last three weeks I have been kept to the house 
by one of my yearly colds ; but if possible I will be present 
at the Meeting of the Society. If I should be unable to be 
there I will write a letter. 



544 OHAPTBR XVI II. 

"1 clearly see that the proposed Fhymological and 
Pathologioal Institate would be centre and sanction of ever 
adyancmg YiYuection. 

" I hope yon are reooyering health and strength by yonx 
rest in the country ? 

" Believe me, always faitbfolly yonrs, 

'* Henst E., Card. Archbp.' 

•< Archbishop's Honse« Westminster, S.W., 

•• Jnly 81st, 1889. 
** My dear Miss Oobbe, 

'* My last days have been so full that I have not been able 
to write. I thank yon for yonr letter, and for the contents 
of it. The highest counsel is always the safest and best, 
oost us what it may. We may take the cost as the test of 
its rectitude. 

" I hope you will go on writing against this inflation of 
vain glory calling itself Science. 

** Believe me, always, very truly yours, 

«< Henbt E., Card. Archbishop." 

At no less than seven of our annual Meetings (at one of 
which he presided) did Cardinal Manning make speeches. 
All these I have myself reprinted in an ornamental pamphlet 
to be obtained at 20, Victoria Street. The reasons for his 
adoption of our Anti-vivisection cause, were, I am sure, 
mainly moral and humane ; but I think an incident which 
occurred in Rome not long before our campaign began may 
have impressed on his mind a regret that the Catholic Church 
had hitherto done nothing on behalf of the lower animals, 
and a desire to take part himself in a humane crusade and so 
rectify its position before the Protestant world. 

Pope Pio IX. had been addressed by the English in Rome 
through Lord Ampthill, (then Mr. Odo Bussell, our representa- 
tive there) — with a request for permission to found a Society 
for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Rome; where, (as all 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES. ^^ 

the world knows) it was almost as deplorably needed 
as at Naples. After a considerable delay, the formal reply 
through the proper Office, was sent to Mr. Bnssell refusing the 
(indispensable) permission. The document conveying this 
refusal expressly stated that '' a Society for such a purpose 
could not be sanctioned in Rome. Man owed duties to hia 
fellow men ; but he owed no duties to the lower animalB 
therefore, though such societies might exist in Pt'otestani 
countries they could not be allowed to be established 
in Borne.*' 

The late Lord Arthur Kussell, coming back from Italy 
to England just after this event, told me of it with great 
detail, and assured me that he had seen the Papal document 
in his brother's possession ; and that if I chose to publish 
the matter in England, he would guarantee the truth of the 
story at any time. I did, y&tr^ much choose to publish it, 
thinViTig it was a thing which ought to be proclaimed on tha 
housetops ; and I repeated it in seven or eight different 
publications, ranging from the Quarterly Review to the 
Echo, Soon after this, if I remember rightly, began the 
Anti-vivisection movement, and almost immediately when 
the Society for Protection of Animals from Vivisection 
(afterwards called the Victoria Street Society) was founded, 
by Dr. Hoggan and myself. Cardinal Manning gave us his 
name and active support. He took part in our first 
Deputation to the Home Office, and spoke at our first 
meeting, which was held on the 10th June, 1876, at the 
Westminster Palace Hotel. On that occasion, when it came 
to the Cardinal's turn to speak, he began at once to say that 
''Much misapprehension existed as to the attitude of his 
Church on the subject of duty to animals." [As he said 
this, with his usual clear, calm, deliberate enunciation, he 
looked me straight in the face and I looked at him !] He 
proceeded to say: ''It was true that man owed no duty 

2 M 



W« CHAPTER XVIIL 

directly to the brutes, bnt he owed it to God, whose ereatures 
they are, to treat them mercifnlly." 

This was, I oonsidered a very good way of reconciling 
adhesion to the Pope's doctrine, with humane principles; 
and I greatly rejoiced that such a mezzo-termine could be put 
forward on authority. Of course in my private opinion the 
Cardinal's ethics were theoretically untenable, seeing that if 
it were possible to conceive of such a thing as a creature made 
by a man, (as people in the thirteenth century believed that 
Arnaldus deVilla-Nova had made a living man), or even such 
A thing as a creature made by the Devil, — that most wretched 
being would still have a right to be spared pain if he were 
sensitive to pain ; and would assuredly be a proper object of 
measureleBS compassion. That a dog or horse is a creature 
of God; that its love and service to us come of God's 
gracious provisions for us ; that the animal is unoffending to 
its Creator, while we are suppliants for forgiveness for our 
offences ; all these are true and tender reasons for additional 
kindness and care for tliese our dumb fellow-creatures. 
But they are not (as the Cardinal's argument would 
seem to imply) the ordy reasons for showing mercy towards 
them. 

Nevertheless it was a great step, — ^I may say an historical 
event, — that a principle practically including universal 
humanity to the lower animals, should have been enunciated 
publicly and formally by a "Prince of the Church " of Rome. 
That Cardinal Manning was not only the first great Roman 
prelate to lay down any such principle, but that he far 
outran many of his contemporaries and co-religionists in so 
doing, has become painfuUy manifest this year (1894) from 
the numerous letters from priests which have appeared in 
the Tablet and Catholic times, bearing a very different 
complexion. Cardinal Manning repeated almost verbatim the 
same explanation of his own standpoint in his speech on 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES. 547 

March 9ih, 1887, when he occupied the chair at our Annna] 
Meeting. He said : 

"It is perfectly trae that obligations and duties are 
between moral persons, and therefore the lower animals are 
not susceptible of those moral obligations which we owe to 
one another; but we owe a seven -fold obligation to the 
Creator of those animals. Our obligation and moral duty 
is to Him who made them, and, if we wish to know the limit 
and the broad outline of our obligation, I say at onoe it is 
His Nature and His perfections ; and, among those perfec- 
tions, one is most profoundly that of eternal mercy. (Hear, 
hear.) And, therefore, although a poor mule or a poor 
horse is not indeed a moral person, yet the Lord and Maker 
of that mule and that horse is the highest law-giver, and 
His Nature is a law to Himself. And, in giving a dominion 
over His creatures to man. He gave them subject to the 
condition that they should be used in conformity to His own 
perfections, which is His own law, and, therefore, our law.*' 

On the first occasion a generous Boman Catholic nobleman 
present gave me £20 to have the Cardinal's speech translated 
into Italian and widely circulated in Italy. 

I have good reason to believe that when Cardinal Manning 
went to Borne after the election of Leo XTTT. he spoke 
earnestly to his Holiness on the subject of cruelty to animals 
generally in Italy, and especially concerning Vivisection, and 
that he understood the Pope to agree with him and sanction 
his attitude. I learned this from a private source, but his 
Eminence referred to it quite unmistakably in his speech at 
Lord Shaftesbury's house on the 2lBt June, 1882, as 
follows : — 

** I am somewhat conoemed to say it, but I know that an 
impression has been made that those whom I represent 
look, if not with approbation, at least with great indulgence, 
at the practice of Vivisection. I grieve to say that abroad 
there are a great many (whom I beg to say I do not 



548 CHAPTER XVIII. 

represent) who do favour the practice ; bnt this I do protest, 

that there is not a religions instinct in nature, nor a religion 

of nature, nor is there a word in revelation, either in the 

Old Testament or the New Testament, nor is there to be 

found in the great theology which I do represent, no, nor 

in any Act of the Church of which I am a member ; no* 

nor in the lives and utterances of any one of those great 

servants of that Church who stand as examples, nor is there 

an authoritative utterance anywhere to be found in favour 

of Vivisection. There may be the chatter, the prating, and 

the talk of those who know nothing about it. And I know 

what I have stated to be the fact, for some years ago I took 

a step known to our excellent secretary, and brought the 

subject under the notice and authority where alone I could ' 

bring it. And those before whom it was laid soon proved 

to have been profoundly ignorant of the outlines of the 

alphabet even of Vivisection. They believed entirely that 

the practice of surgery and the science of anatomy owed 

everything to the discoveries of vivisectors. They were I 

filled to the full with every false impression, but when the 

facts were made known to them, they experienced a i 

revulsion of feeling." ! 

Cardinal Manning also, (as I happen likewise to know) 
made a great effort about 1878 or 1879, to induce the then 
General of the Franciscans, to support the Anti-vivisection 
movement for love of St. Francis^ and his tenderness to 
animals. In this attempt, however, Cardinal Manning most 
have been entirely unsuccessful, as no modem Franciscan 
that ever I have heard of, has stirred a finger on behalf of 
animals anywhere, or given his name to any Society for 
protecting them, either from vulgar or from scientific cruelty. 
Knowing this, I confess to fetsling some impatience when the 
name of St. Francis and his amiable fondness for birds and 
beasts is perpetually flaunted whenever the lack of common 
humanity to animals visible in Catholic countries happens to 
be mentioned. It is a vary small matter that a Saint, six 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIEa AND EIGHTIES. 649 

hundred years ago, sang with nightingales and fed wolves, 
if the monks of his own Order and the priests of the Church 
which has canonised him, never warn their flocks that to 
torment God's creatures is even a venial sin, and when 
forced to notice barbarous cruelties to a brute, invariably 
reply, **Non ^ Cristiaiio" as if all claims to compassion 
were dismissed by that consideration I 

The answer of the General of the Franciscans to Cardinal 
Manning's touching appeal was, — '' that he had consulted his 
doctor and that his doctor assured him that no such thing 
as Vivisection was ever practised in Italy ! " 

I was kindly permitted to call at Archbishop's House and 
see Cardinal Manning several times ; and I find the following 
little record of one of my first visits in a letter to my friend, 
written the same, or next day : — 

" I had a very interesting interview with the Cardinal. I 
was shown into a vast, dreary dining-room quite monastio 
in its whitey-brown walls, poverty-stricken furniture, 
crucifix, and pictures of half-a-dozen Bishops who did 
not exhibit the ' Beauty of Holiness.' The Cardinal 
received me most kindly, and said he was so glad to 
see me, and that he was much better in health after a 
long illness. Ho is not much changed. It was droll to ait 
talking tete-h-tete with a man with a pink octagon on his 
venerable head, and various little scraps of scarlet 
showing here and there to remind one that ' Orattez ' the 
English gentleman and you will find the Roman Cardinal I 
He told me, really with effusion, that his heart was 
in our work; and he promised to go to the Meeting 

to-morrow I told him we all wished him to take 

the chair. He said it would be much better for a layman 
like Lord Coleridge to do so. I said, * I don't think yon 
know the place you hold in English, (I paused and 
added aveo intention^) Protestant estimation * ! He laughed 
very good humouredly and said: *I think I do, very 
weU/ " 



SOe CHAPTER XVIII. 

At the Meeting on the following day when he did take the 
chair, I had opportxmities as Hon. Sec., of which I did 
not fail to avail myself, of a little quiet conversation with 
his Eminence before the proceedings. 

I spoke of the moral results of Darwinism on the 
character and remarked how paralyzing was the idea that 
Conscience was merely an hereditary instinct fixed in tho 
brain by the interests of the tribe, and in no sense 
the voice of God in the heart or His law graven 
on the ** fleshly tablets." He abounded in my sense, 
and augured immeasurable evils from the general adoption 
of such a philosophy. I asked him what was the Catholic 
doctrine of the origin of Souls? He answered, promptly^ 
and emphatically : '^ 0, that each one is a distinct creation 
of God." 

The last day on which His Eminence attended a Com- 
mittee Meeting in Victoria Street I had a little conversation 
with him as usual, after business was over ; and reminded 
Viim that on every occasion when he had previously attended, 
we had had our beloved President, Lord Shaftesbury present. 
" ShaUI tell your Eminence," I asked, " what Mrs. P." (now 
Lady B.) '^ told me Lord Shaftesbury said to her shortly 
before he died, about our Committees here 9 He said that 
* if our Society had done nothing else but bring you and him 
together, and make you sit and work at the same table for 
the same object, it would have been well worth while to have 
founded it I "* ''Did Lord Shaftesbury say that ? " said tho 
Cardinal, with a moisture in his eyes, '' Did he say that ? 
I loved Lord Shaftesbury I *' 

And these, I reflected, were the men whom narrow bigots 
of both creeds, looked on as the very chiefs of opposing 
camps and bitter enemies I The one rejoiced at an excuse for 
meeting the other in friendly co-operation 1 The other said 
as I4s last word : ** I loved bim I *' 



LONDON IN THE 8E VENT1E8 AND 

1 was greatly touched by this little 
straight from it to the house of the friend 
of Lord Shaftesbury's remark, I naturally 
and to Mr. Lowell, who was taking tea wii 
Lady B. said, — ** I remember it well, and 1 
the very tree in the park where we were a 
Shaftesbury made that remark. But " (si 
did you not tell the Cardinal that he inclu 
Lord Shaftesbury said was, that 'the Qot 
the Cardinal and you and himself to work 
Lowell was interested in all this, and the e^ 
of the width of mind of the great philanthrop 
posed to be '^ a narrow Evangelical.*' 

Alas I he also has " gone over to the m 
him often and liked him (as every one 
Though in so many ways different, he h 
Gladstone's peculiar power of making evt 
wherein he took part interesting ; of turning 
into pleasant paths. He had not in the smi 
tiresome habit of giving information inste 
imp-essionsy which makes some worthy peoph 
fatiguing as companions. I had once the pr 
between him and Lord Tennyson when the 
animated conversation, and I could see how 
Poet was delighted with the lesser one ; i 
large-hearted Statesman; a silver link bel 
nations. 

I shall account it one of the chief hon 
fallen to my lot that Tennyson asked leave, t 
to pay me a visit. Needless to say I at 
with gratitude and, fortunately, I was at b 
house in Cheyne Walk, when he called on 
a long time over my fire, and talked of poet 
melodious words ought to have in it ; of tl 




652 CHAPTER XVIII. 

scientific cmelty, against which be was going to wi*lto again ; 
and of the new and dangerous phases of thought then 
apparent. Much that he said on the latter subject was, I 
think, crystallised in his Lockdey Hall Sixty Years Later. 
After he had risen to go and I had followed him to the stairs, 
I returned to my room and said from my heart, '< Thank God! " 
The great poem which had been so much to me for half a 
lifetime, was not spoiled ; the Man and the Poet were one. 
Nothing that I had now seen and heard of him in the flesh 
jarred with what I had known of him in the spirit. 

After this first visit I had the pleasure of meeting Lord 
Tennyson several times and of making Lady Tennyson's 
charming acquaintance ; the present Lord Tennyson being 
exceedingly kind and friendly to me in welcoming 
me to their house. On one occasion when I met Lord 
Tennyson at the house of a mutual friend, he told 
me, (with an innocent surprise which I could not but 
find diverting,) that a certain great Professor had been 
positively angry and rude to him about his lines in the 
Children's Hospital concerning those who '^ carve the living 
hound" I I tried to explain to him the fury of the whole 
clique at the discovery that the consciences of the rest of 
mankind has considerably outstepped theirs in the matter of 
humanity and that while they fancied themselves, (in his 
words,) ^' the heirs of all the ages, in the foremost files of 
Time," it was really in the Dark Ages, as regarded humane 
sentiment, — or at least one or two centuries past, — in which 
they lingered ; practising the Art of Torture on beasts, as 
men did on men in the sixteenth century. I also tried to 
explain to him that his ideal of a Yivisector with red face and 
coarse hands was quite wrong, and as false as the 
representation of Lady Macbeth as a tall and masculine 
woman. Lady Macbeth must have been smaU, thin and concen- 
trated, not a big, bony, conscientious Scotch woman ; and 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND . 

Vivisectors (some of them at all events) 
handsome gentlemen, with peculiarly del 
drawing oat nerves, &c., as Cyon describes] 

Lord Tennyson from the very first b 
Anti-vivisection movement, in 1874, to the 1 
never once failed to append his name to 
Memorial and Petition, — and they were man; 
my successors, sent to him ; and he accept 
Hon. Membership and afterwards the Yice-I 
Society from first to last. 

The last time I saw Lord Tennyson was o] 
afber I had taken luncheon at his house, 
leave the table, and ho shook hands with n 
we were parting, as we supposed, for that 
to me : " Good-Bye, Miss Cobbe — ^Fight t 
€ro on ! Fight the good Fight." I saw him 
shall do his bidding, please God, to the end. 

I shall insert here two letters which I rece 
Tennyson which, though trifling in themsel 
testimonies of his sympathy and goodwill. I 
able to add to them two papers of some res 
contemporary estimate of Tennyson's first 
friends, the Kembles ; and the announcement 
Arthur Hallam by his friend John Mitchell K 
Kemble. They have come into my possessi 
mass of family and other papers given me 1 
several years ago, and belong to a series ( 
vellously long and closely written, by John 
and after his romantic expedition to Spain 
future Archbishop Ihrench and the other yc 
of 1880. The way in which John Mitchell 
of his friend Alfred Tennyson's Poems is i 
much more so is the beautiful testimony h 
character of Hallam. It is touching, and i 




to the satgect of " In Mmwriam," by his yotmg companion. 

" Fariiogrord, Fiealiwater, 

" Isle of Wight, 

"JmiB 4th, 1680. 
" Dear Misa Cobbe, 

" I have aabscribed my namo, and I hope thftt it may be 
of some UFie to yonr canae. 
" Uy wife ia gratefn) to yon for remembianoe ot her, and 

" A. Tennyson." 

" Aldwortb, Haslemoie, 

" Snney, Jannaiy Oth, 1882. 
*' My deat Uisa Cobbe, 

" I thank yoa for your eseay, which I fonnd Tery 
inteieBting, ttioogh perhaps somewhat too Tehemeat to 
setve yont pnrpose. Have yon seen that terrible book by 
a Swiss (reyiewed in the Speetator) Ayez Pitiif Pray 
pardon my not answerinf; yoa before. I am eo harried 
with letters and posma ftom all parts of the world, that 
my friend'' often have to wait for an onewor. 

"A. Tehmvbon." 

** FarriDgford, Freshwater, 

'■ Isle of Wight, June 12th, 1882. 
" Dear Bfln Cobbe, 

" I am sorry to say that I aball not be in London 
the 21at, BO that I cannot be present at yonr meeting. 
Many thanks for asking me. My father has been soCering 
from a bed attack of goat, and does not feci inclined to 
write more abont Vivisection. Yon have, as yoa know, 
his warmest good wishes in all yonr great struggle. When 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND El 

are wo to see you again ? Can yon not p 
Haslemere this smnmer ? 

** With onr kindest regards, 

*' Yours very sinoea 

** Hatj.am 

Extract from letter from John M. Kemhle to ] 
No date. In packet of 1880-1888 :— 

** I am very glad that you like Tennyson's 
had any poetry in you, you could not he 
general system of criticism, and the notion tl 
be appreciated by everybody, if he be a pc 
fallacies. It was only the High Priest who 
to enter the Holy of Holies ; and so it is w 
Holy of Holies, no less sacred and replete v 
great poet's mind : therein no vulgar foot m 
meet this objection, it is often said that all m 
&c., Ac., Shakespeare and Milton, &c. To th 
a direct denial. Not one man in a hundred i 
three straws for Milton ; and though from be 
Poet Shakespeare must be better understoo 
may say that not one in a hundred thousand f 
to be felt in him. There is no man who has < 
as Tennyson to express poetical feeling by 
has done as much with colours. Indeed, I Ix 
to have lived since Milton, so perfect in his 
Gothe. In this matter, Shelley and Keats an 
Wordsworth, have been found wanting. Coler 
the greatest admiration for Oharles Tennyi 
we have sent him Alfred's pOAms, which, I 
delight him." 

Extract from letter from John Mitchell Eei 
Eemble : — 

'*' It is with feelings of inexproBsible pain tb 
(ip you the death of poor Arthur Hallam, 



ISth of last mouth. Though this was alwaja feaied by ns 
as likelj to occur, the shock has been a bittei one to bear : 
and most of all so to the Tennysons, whose sister Emilj be 
was to have majried. I have not yet had the courage to 
write to Alfred. This is a loss which will most aseoredly 
be felt by this age, for if ever man was bom for great 
things ho was. Never was a more powerful intellect, joined 
to a purer and holier heart; and the whole illominated 
with the richest imagination, the most sparkling yet the 
kindest wit. One cannot lament for him that he is gone to 
a far better life, bat we weep over his coffin and wonder 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND E. 

published need be blotted oat by any record 
widely different as they were, their high di 
same. The one tells ns that ''good" wil 
goal of ill " ; the other that — 

'< God's in His Heaven ! 
All's right with the world ! " 

I have had also the good fortone to fini 

poets ready to sympathise with me on the 8 

section. Sir Henry Taylor wrote many letten 

and called my attention to his own lines wl 

into the philosophy of the question, and whioi 

quoted so often ; 

*' Fain in Man 
Bears the high mission of the flail and i 
In brutes 'tis purely piteous." 

Hero is one of his notes to me : — 

*' The Boost, Bournen 

" Novembe 
'* Dear Miss Cobbe, 

" I return your papers that they may not 
wish you all the success you deserve, which 
desire. But I can do nothing. My hands an 
my pockets are empty. 

" Two months ago I succeeded in forming 
for the Prevention of Cruelty in this place. 

'* We have ordered prosecutions every w< 
have obtamed convictions in every case. A 
operations are all that I can undertake or asi 

'* Believe me, yours sine 

"Hbn 

He was also actively interested in an effort \ 
method of slaughtering cattle by using a mas 
hole in the centre, through which a long nail 




658 CHAPTER XVltL 

driven, fltraight through the exact sntnre of the sknll to the 
hrain, caasmg instant death. Sir Henry specially approved 
the masks for this purpose, made, I helieve, under his 
own direction at Bournemouth, hy Mr. Mendon, a saddler 
at Lansdowne. 

Mr. Lewis Morris has also written some heautiful and 
striking poems touching on the suhject of scientific cruelty, 
and I have reason to hope that a younger man, who many 
of us look upon aa the poet of the future in England, 
Mr. William Watson, is entirely on the same side. In short, 
if the Priests of Science are against us, the PropJiets of 
Humanity, the Poets, are with us in this controversy, almost 
to a man. 

It will he seen that we had Politicians, Historians, and 
thinkers of various parties among our friends in London; 
but there were no Novelists except that very agreeable 
woman Miss Jewsbury and the two Misses Betham 
Edwards. Mr. Anthony Trollope I knew but slightly. I had 
also some acquaintance with a very popular noveUst, then a 
young man, who was introduced in the full flush of his 
success to Mr. Carlyle, whereon the "Sage of Chelsea" 

greeted him with the encouraging question, "Well, Mr. 

when do you intend to begin to do something sairious ? " 

With Mr. Wilkie Collins I exchanged several friendly 
letters concerning some information he wanted for one of 
his books. The following letter from him exhibits the 
" Sairius " spirit, at all events (as Mr. Carlyle might admit), 
in which he set about spinning the elaborate web of his 
exciting tales. 

*' 90, Gloucester Plaoe, Portman Square, W., 

" 23rd June, 1882. 
'* Dear Madam, 

" I most sincerely thank you for your kind letter and fox 
the pamphlets whioh preceded it. The ' Address ' seeau 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES. 650 

to me to possess the very rare merit of forcible statement 
combined with a moderation of judgment which sets a 
valuable example, not only to our enemies, but to some of 
our friends. As to the * Portrait,* I feel such a strong 
universal interest in it that I must not venture on criticism. 
You have given me exactly what I most wanted for the 
purpose that I have in view — and you have spared me time 
and trouble in the best and kindest of ways. If I require 
further help, you shall see that I am gratefully sensible of 
the help that has been already given. 

'* I am writing to a very large public both at home and 
abroad ; and it is quite needless (when I am writing to you) 
to dweU on the importance of producing the right impression 
by means which keep clear of terrifying and revolting the 
ordinary reader. I shall leave the detestable cruelties of 
the laboratory to be merely inferred, and, in tracing the 
moral influence of those cruelties on the nature of the man 
who practices them, and the result as to his social relations 
with the persons about him, I shall be careful to present 
him to the reader as a man not infinitely wicked and cruel, 
and to show the efforts made by his better instincts to resist 
the inevitable hardening of the hecurt, the fatal stupefying 
of all the finer sensibilities, produced by the deliberately 
merciless occupations of his life. If I can succeed in making 
him, in some degree, an object of compassion as well as of 
horror, my experience of readers of fiction tells me that the 
right effect will bo produced by the right means. 

" Believe me, very truly yoiurs, 

•• WiLKiE Collins." 

Of another order of acquaintances was that excellent man 
Mr. James Spedding ; also Mr. Babbage, (in whose horror 
of street music I devoutly sympathised); and Mr. James 
FerguBSon the architect, in whose books and ideas generally I 
found great interest. He avowed to me his opinion that the 
ancient Jews were never builders of stone edifices, and that 
all the relics of stone buildings in Palestine were the work 



660 CHAPTER XVI IT. 

either of TyriBns or of the Idmnean Herod, or of other non- 
Jewish mlerg. His conversation was always most 
instmctive to me, and I rejoiced when I had the opportonity 
of writing a long review (for Fraser I think) of his Tree and 
Serpent Worship ; with which he was so well pleased that h« 
made me a present of the magnificent volnme, of which 1 
believe only a hundred copies were printed. Mr. Fergnsson 
tanght me to see that the whole civilization of a comitry has 
depended historically on the stones with which it happens 
natnrally to be furnished. If these stones be large and hard 
and durable like those of Eg3rpt, we find grand, everlasting 
monuments and statues made of them. If they be delicate 
and beautiful like Pentelic marble, we have the Parthenon. 
If they be plain limestone or freestone as in our northern 
climes, richness of form and detail take the place of greater 
simplicity, and we have the great cathedrals of England, 
France and Germany. Where there is no good stone, onl^ 
brick, we may have fine mansions, but not great temples, 
and where there is neither clay for bricks, nor good stone 
for building, the natives can erect no durable edifices, and 
consequently have no places to be adorned with statues and 
paintings and all the arts which go with them. I do not 
know whether I do justice to Mr. Fergusson in giving this 
restmiS of his lesson, but it is my recollection of it, and to 
my thinking worth recording. 

One of the friends of whom we saw most in London was 
Sir William Bozall, whose exquisite artistic taste was 
specially congenial to my friend, and his varied conversation 
and love of his poor, dear, old dog "Garry," to me. 
After Lord Coleridge's charming obituary of him nothing 
need be added in the way of tribute to his character and 
gifts, or to the refined feeling which inspired him always. 1 
may add, however (what the Lord Chief Justice naturally 
would not say on his own account), namely, that Boxall, in 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES. 561 

his latter years of weakness and aknost constant confinement 
to the house, frequently told us when we went to visit him 
how Lord Coleridge had found time from all his lahours to 
come frequently to sit with him and cheer him ; and after a 
whole day spent in the hot Law Courts would dine on his 
old friend's chops, and spend the evening in his dingy rooms 
in Welbeck Street. Here is a letter from Sir William which 
I happen to have preserved. It refers to an article I had 
written in the Echo on the death of Landseer : — 

** My dear Miss Cobhe, 

"Toox sympathetic notice of my old friend Landseer 
and his friends has delighted me — a grain of such feeling 
is worth a newspaper load of worn-out criticism. I thank 
yon very sincerely for it. 

*' I should have called upon you, but I have been shut up 
with the cold which threatened me when I last saw yon. 

•• Yours very sincerely, 

«♦ October 6th, 1879. " W. Boxall. 

** There is no hope of my getting to Dolgelly. It will be 
a great escape for Miss Lloyd, for I am utterly worn out.*' 

I find that the most common opinion about Lord 
Shaftesbury is, that he was an excellent and most dis- 
interested man, who did a vast amount of good in his time 
among the poor, and in the- factories and on behalf of the 
climbing-boy sweeps, but that he was somewhat narrow- 
minded ; and dry, if not stem in character. Perhaps some 
would add that his extreme Evangelicalism had in it a tinge 
of Calvinistic bigotry. I shared very much such ideas about 
him till one day in 1875, when I had gone to Stanhope 
Street to consult Lord and Lady Mount-Temple, my unfaih'ng 
helpers and advisers, about some matter connected with Lord 
Henniker's Bill then before Parliament, — ^for the restriction 

2 N 



562 CHAPTER XV HI. 

of Yivisection. After explaining my difficulty, Lady Mount- 
Temple said, ''We must consult Lord Shaftesbury about 
this matter. Gome with me now to his house." I 
yielded to my kind friend, but not without hesitation, 
fearing that Lord Shaftesbury would, in the first place, 
be too much absorbed in his great philanthropic under- 
takings to spare attention to the wrongs of the brutes ; 
and, in the second, that his religious views were too 
strict to allow him to co-operate with such a heretic 
as I, even if (as I was assured) he would tolerate my 
intrusion. How widely astray from the truth I was as 
regarded his sentiments in both ways, the sequel proved. 
He had already, it appeared, taken great interest in the Anti- 
vivisection controversy then beginning, and entered into it 
with all the warmth of his heart ; not as something taking him 
off from service to mankind, but as apart of his phUantkropy. 
He always emphatically endorsed my view ; that, if we could 
save Yivisectors from persisting in the sin of Cruelty, we 
should be doing them a moral service greater than to save 
them from becoming pickpockets or drunkards. He also felt 
what I may call passionate pity for the tortured brutes. He 
loved dogs, and always had a large beautiful Collie lying under 
his writing-table ; and was full of tenderness to his daughters* 
Siamese cat, and spoke of all animals with intimate knowledge 
and sympathy. As to my heresies, though he knew of them 
from the first, they never interfered with his kindness and 
consideration for me, which vrere such as I can never 
remember without emotion. 

I shall speak in its place in another chapter of the share he 
took as leader and champion of our party in all the subse- 
quent events connected with the Anti-vivisection agitation. I 
wish here only to give, (if it may be possible for me), some 
small idea to the reader of what that good man really was, 
and to remove some of the absurd misconceptions current 



LOJSDON i^V Tim SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES, 663 

concerning him. For example. He was no bigot as to 
Sabbatarian observances. I told him once that I belonged to 
the Society for opening Musenms on Sundays. He said : '' I 
think yon are mistaken — ^the working men do not wish it. 
See I I have here the result of a large enquiry among their 
Trades Unions and dubs. Nearly all of them deprecate the 
change. But I am on this point not at aU of the same 
opinion as most of my friends. I have told them (and they 
have often been a little shocked at it), that I think if a lawyer has 
a brief for a case on Monday and has had no time to study it 
on Saturday, he is quite justified in reading it up on Sunday 
after church." 

Neither did he share the very common bigotry of teetotalism. 
He said to me, ''The teetotallers have added an Eleventh 
Commandment, and think more of it than of all the rest." 
Again, when (as is well known) Lord Palmerston left 
the choice of Bishops for many years practically in hie 
hands (I believe that seven owed their sees to him), 
and he, of course, selected Evangelical clergymen whc 
would uphold what he considered to be vital religious 
truth, he was yet able to concur heartily in the appointment 
of Arthur Stanley to the Deanery of Westminster. He told 
me that Lord Palmerston had written to him before inviting 
Dr. Stanley, and said that he would not do it if he, (Lord 
Shaftesbury) disapproved ; and that he had answered that he 
was well aware that Dr. Stanley's theological views differed 
widely from his own, but that he was an admirable man and 
a gentleman, with special suitability for this post and a claim 
to some such high office ; and that he cordially approved Lord 
Palmerston's choice. I do not suppose that Dean Stanley 
9ver knew of this possible veto in Lord- Shaftesbury's hands, 
but he entertained the profoundest respect for him, and 
3zpressed it in the little poem which he wrote about him (of 
which Lord Shaftesbury gave me an MS. copy), which 



564 OH AFTER XV 111. 

appears in Dean Stanley's biography. He compares tho 
aged philanthropist to " a great rock's shadow in a weary 
land." 

It was a charge agamst Howard and some other great 
philanthropists that, while exhibiting the enthusiasm of 
humanity on the largest scale they failed to show it on a 
small one, aad were scantily kind to those immediately 
around them. Nothing oonld be less true of Lord 
Shaftesbury. While the direction of a score of great 
charitable undertakings rested on him, and his study 
was flooded with reports, Bills before Parliament and 
letters by the hundred, — he would remember to perform all 
sorts of little kindnesses to individuals having no special claim 
on him ; and never by any chance did he omit an act of 
courtesy. No more perfectly high-bred gentleman ever 
graced the old school ; and no young man, I may add, ever 
had a fresher or warmer heart. Indeed, I know not where 
I should look among old or young for such ready and full 
response of feeling to each call for pity, for sympathy, for 
indignation, and, I may add, for the ei\jo3rment of humour, 
the least gleam of which caught his eye a moment. He was 
always particularly tickled with the absurdities involved in 
the doctrine of Apostolic Succession, and whenever a clergy- 
man or a bishop did anything he much disapproved, he was 
sure to stigmatize it from that point of view. One day he 
was giving me a rather long account of some Deputation 
which had waited on him and endeavoured to bully him. As 
he described the scene : " There they stood in a crowd in the 
room, and I said to them ; Gentlemen 1 I'U see you." 
. . . • (Good Heavens I I thought : Where did he 
say he would see them?) — ''I'll see you at the bottom 
of the Bed Sea before I'll do it 1 " The revulsion was 
BO ludicrous and the allusion to the '' Bed Sea " 
instead of ''another place," so characteristic, that I broke 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND 1 

into a peal of laughter which, when 
him also langh heartily. Another day I re: 
amusement at a story not reported, I heliei 
but told me by an M.P. who was present in 
Sir P. 0. had outdone Sir Boyle Boche. H( 
ingratitude of the Irish to Mr. Gladstone wh. 
the bridges which divided them from England 

A lady whose reputation was less unblem 
have been wished, and of whom I fought ve 
quence, went to call on him about some bui 
saw him next he told me of her visit, and s 
left my study, I said to myself; ' there goes a das 
One needed to go back a century to reca 
phrase. More than once he repeated, chuckl 
ment, the speech of an old beggar woman t 
refiised alms, and who called after him, 
specimen of bygone philanthropy I " On a 
when he was in the Chair at a small mee 
speakers persisted in expressing over and 
conviction that the venerable Chairman could 
to live long. Lord Shaftesbury turned aside 
sotto voce^ *' I declare he's telling me I'm goi 
diately t " ' ' There he is saying it again I Was 
a man ? " Nobody was more awake than he t 
of interested people trying to make capital oui 
party. A most ridiculous instance of this 1 
me with great glee. At the time of the excite 
forgotten) about the Madiai fEuuily, Bamum 
upon him (Lord Shaftesbury) and entreated 1 
the Madiai being taken over to be exhibited 
'* It would be such an affecting sight," said Bi 
real Cluristian Martyrs I " 

As an instance of his thoughtfalness, I ma 
having one day just received a ticket for the ] 



606 CHAPTER XVIIL 

the Academy, he ofifered it to me and I accepted it gladly, 
observing that smce the recent death of Boxall I feared we 
should not have one given to us, and that my friend would 
be pleased to use it. <' 0, I am so glad I " said Lord 
Shaftesbury ; and from that day every year till he died he 
never once failed to send her, addressed by himself, his 
tickets for each of the two annual exhibitions. When one 
thinks of how men who do not do in a year as much as he 
did in a week, would have scoffed at the idea of taking such 
trouble, one may estimate the good-nature which prompted 
this over-worked man to remember such a trifle, unfailingly. 

The most touching interview I ever had with him, was 
one of the last, in his study in Grosvenor Square, not long 
before his death. Our conversation had fallen on the woes 
and wrongs of seduced girls, and ruined women ; and he told 
me many facts which he had learned by personal investigation 
and visits to dreadfrd haunts in London. He described all 
he saw and heard with a compassion for the victims and 
yet a horror of vice and impurity, which somehow made me 
think of Christ and the Woman taken in adultery. After 
a few moments' silence, during which we were both rather 
overcome, he said, <* When I feel age creeping on me, and 
know I must soon die, I hope it is not wrong to say it, but 
I cannot hear to leave the world with all the misery in it." 
No words can describe how this simple expression revealed 
to me the man, in his inmost spirit. He had long passed the 
stage of moral effort which does good as a duty, and had 
ascended to that wherein even the enjoyment of Heaven 
itself, (which of course, his creed taught him to expect 
immediately after death) had less attractions for him than 
the labour of mitigating the sorrows of earth. 

I possess 280 letters and notes from Lord Shaftesbury 
written to me during the ten years which elapsed from 1875, 
when I first saw him, till his last iUness in 1885. Many of 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND L 

them are merely brief notes, giving me infoi 
about my work as Hon. Sec. of the Victor; 
of which he was President. Bat man i 
interesting letters. The editor of his exc i 
probably did not know I possessed these ! 
know he was preparing Lord Shaftesbury's i 
have placed them at his disposal. I can o , 
few as characteristic, or otherwise specially i] 

•* Castle Wemyss, Wemyss Bay, 

" Septen i 
** Dear Miss Cobbe, 

" Your letter is very cheering. We wer i 
the experiment. We were right to test tl 
law: Cross, and his administration of 
failed us, and we are bound in duty, I thii : 
all limitations, and go in for the total abolit 
and cruel form of Idolatry ; for idolatry it i 
idolatry, brutal, degrading, and deceptive. 

**May God prosi>er us I These ill-used 
animals are as much His Creatures as we t 
the truth, I had, in some instances, rather : 
tortured than the man who tortured it. I 
myself to have higher hopes, and a happier i 

" Yours ti 

"Si 

••Jul^ 
** Dear Miss Cobbe, 

" I have sent your letter to Judas of X— 
fault in it, but that of too much courtesy to < 
every consideration of feeliog and truth, 

" Did you know him, as I know him, you 
difficult to restrain your pen and your tongue. 

♦ 3|e « ^ 

•« Some good will come out of the diaoussioi 



588 OH AFTER XVIIL 

'* X have nnmistakable evidenco that many were deeply 
impresBed, but adheBion to political leaders va a higher 
law with most Politicians than obedience to the law of 
trath. 

** What do yon think now of the Doctrine of ' Apostolic 
Saccession ' ? 

*' Would St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. John have made snch 
a speech as that of my Lord of P ? 

" Yonrs truly, 

" Shaftesbubt." 

" Castle Wemyss, Wemyss Bay, N.B., 

" September 16th, 1879. 

*' Dear Miss Cobbe, 

'* You do that Bishop too much honour. Ho is not worth 
notice. 

*' It is frightful to see that the open champions of Vivi- 
section are not Bradlaugh and Mrs. B. but Bishops, 
* Fathers in Ood,* and ' Pastors ' of the People! 

« We shall soon have Bradlaugh and his company 
claiming the Apostolical Succession ; and if that succession 
be founded on truth, mercy, and love, with as good a right 
as Dr. G., Dr. M. or D.D. anything else. 

"Your letter has crushed (if such a hard substance 
can be crushed) his Lordship of G 

"Yours truly, 

" Shaftesbury." 

The next letter is in acknowledgment of the following verses 
which I had sent to him on his Eightieth Birthday. They 
were repeated by the late Chamberlain of the City of London, 
Bir Beigamin Scott, in his oration on the presentation of 
the Freedom of the City to Lord Shaftesbury. I print the 
letter, (though ail too kind in its expression about my poor 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND S. 

verses,) on account of the deeply intorestii 
own life which it contains : — 

A BIRTHDAY ADDRESS 
To AiTTHONT Ashley Goopeb, 7th Eabl of Shai 

Apbil 28th, 1881. 

For eighty years I Many will coont them 
But none save He who knoweth all may 

What those long years have held of high ei 
Of world-wide hlessing and of hlessednee 

For eighty yesurs the champion of the right 
Of hapless child neglected and forlorn ; 

Of maniac dungeon'd in his doable night ; 
Of woman overtasked and labonr-wom ; 

Of homeless boy in streets with peril rife ; 

Of workman sickening in his airless den 
Of Indian parching for the streams of life, 

Of Negro slave in bonds of cruel men ; 

O ! Friend of all the friendless 'neath the si 
Whose hand hath wiped away a thousanc 

Whose fervent lips and clear strong brain h 
God's holy service, lo 1 these eighty years 

How meet it seems thy grand and vigorous 
Should find beyond man's race fresh pan| 

And for the wrong'd and tortured brutes en 
In yet fresh labours and ungrudging care 

O tarry long amongst us 1 Live, we pray, 
Hasten not yet to hear thy Lord's " Well 

Let this world still seem better while it ma; 
CJontain one soul like thine amid its throi 

Whilst thou art here our inmost hearts conj 
Truth spake the kingly Seer of old who a 

■< Found in the way of God and righteousne 
A crown of glory is the hoary head." 



" 24, Qroavenor Srjnare, W., 

" April 80tb,ieS^. 
" Deu MiBs Gobbe, 

"Had I not known jonr haudwriting, I should nsTer 
have gaeesod, either that yoa were the writer of the rersea, 
or that I was the eabject of them. 

" Had I judged them simply by their ability and force, 
I might hare ascribed them to the true Author; bat it 
TOqaired the envelope, and the ominous word 'eighty,' to 
justify me in applying them to myself. 

" They both toncbed and gratified me. but I will tell yon 
the origin of my public career, which yon have been so kind 
as to oommend. It arose while I was a boy at Harrow 
School, abont, I should think, fourteen years of age — an 
event occurred (the details of which I may give yoa aomo 
other day], whioh brought painfully before me the acorn 
and neglect manifested towards the Poor and helpless. I 
-was deeply affected ; but, for many years afterwards, I 
acted only on feeling and sentiment. As I advanced in life, 
all thia grew np to a sense of duty; and I was convinced 
that God bad called me to devote whatever advantages He 
might have bestowed npon me, to the cause of the weak, 
the helpless, both man and beast, and those who had none 
to help them. 

"I entered Parliament in 1826, and I commenoed 
operations in 1828, with an effort to ameUorate the 
conditions of Innatice, and then I passed on in a snccession 
of attempts to grapple with other evils, and snch has been 
my trade for more than half a centnry. 

>' Do not think for a moment that I claim any merit. If 
there be any doctrine that I dislike and fear more than 
another, it is the ' Doctrine of Works.' Whatever I have 
done has been given to me; what I have done I was 
enabled to do; and all happy resnlts (if any there be) 
mnst foe credited, not to the servant, but to the great 
Master, who led and sustained him. 



LONDON IN THE 8E VENTIE8 AND E 

" My conrse, however, has raised up for m 

and very few friends, hut among those ixii 

yon may he nnmbered. 

" Yours truly, 

«S 

I sent him another little iouvenir two yeari 

TO LORD SHAFTESBURY ON HIS 82HD 

With a China Tablet, 

The Lord of Bome, historians say, 
Lamented he had " lost a day," 
When no good deed was done. 
Scarce one sndh day, methinks, appe 
Li the long record of the years 
Of England's worthier son. 

If on this tablet's surface light 

His hourly toils should Shaftesbury ' 

All may be soon effaced : 

But in our grateful memories graven 

And in the registers of Heaven 

They will not be erased. 

London, A} ; 

The next letter refers to my Lectures on 
Women which I had just delivered. 

**24, Grosvenor Squan 

"Maj 
** Dear Miss Oobbe, 

'*• . . I admire your Lectures. Butd<: 
make, * the sex ' a little too pugnacious ? An 
give ' truth ' to the men, and deny it to the 

" If yon mean by ' truth ' abstinence from fil 
the females are as good as the males. Bci 
steadiness of friendship, adherence to pii 



572 CHAPTER XVI1L 

scientioosly not Buperfiicially entertained, and sincerity in a 
good cause, why, the women are far superior. 

•* Tours truly, 

" Shaftesbubt." 

" 24, Grosvenor Square, W., 

" May 2lBt, 1880. 
•• Dear Miss Cobbe, 

" . . . . Your lecture on Yivisection was admirable — 
we must be * mealy mouthed * no longer. 

" Shall you and I have a conversation on your lecfcures 
and the ' Duties of Women ' ? We shall not, I believe, have 
much difference of opinion ; perhaps none. I approve them 
heartily, but there are one or two expressions which, 
though intelligible to myself, would be greatly misconstrued 
by a certain portion of Englishmen. 

'*I could give you instances by the hundred of the 
wonderful success that, by a merciful Providence, has 
followed with our Bagged children, male and female.* In 
fact, though after long intervals we have lost sight of a 
good many, we have very few cases, indeed, of the failure 
of our hopes and efforts. 

"In thirty years we took off the streets of London, and 
sent to service, or provided with means of honest livelihood 
more than two hundred and twenty thousand ' waifs and 
strays.' " Yours truly, 

" Shaftbsburt.*' 

" July 28rd, 1880. 
** Dear Miss Cobbe, 

<* I have had a very friendly letter from Gladstone ; but 
on reference to him for permission to publish it, he seems 
unwilling to assent. 

** Our testimony, thank God, is 'cumulative for good. Wc 
may hope, and we must pray, for better things. 

* I had talked to him of onr Ragged Sohool at Bristol. 



LONDON TN THE 3EVENTIE3 AND B. 

" I send yon Gladstone's letter. Fra; 
and take care that it does not appear ia pii 

" I am glad that yon liked the ' Diuner.' 
a BuccBEti in ehowing oi¥iIity to foreign friei 
" Yoara truly, 



Lord Shaflesbury made the folloving rem 
Futnre State of Animals, in a very sympadi 
letter I had written to him in which I mentia 
my dog hod died : — 

"Septemh 
" I have ever believed in a happy fatote 
cannot say or oonjectnre how or where; btri 
the love, so manifested, by dogs especially, i 
from the Divine essenoe, and, as such, it oe 
uM never be extinguished, "t 

"24, Orosvenor Sqnart 
•'Ma 
" My dear Miss Cobbe, 

" You must not snppose that because I 
your letter, at the moment, T am indifferent 
correspondence. 



oonfiued to the hotise, t bftre mach to write, and to get 
thioDgh mj work, I must frequently be relieved by » 
reonmbent poatnie. 

" NevertbelesB, by God's mercy, I am certainly better; 
and I think that were we bleesed with some warm, genial, 
weather, I Bhoold recover more rapidly. 

" Bryan* is a good man, he is able, diligent, zealoas 
aad has an excellent jndgment. I have not been able to 
attend his Committee, but his reports to me show 
attention and good sense. 

"I have left, as perhaps yon have seen, tho Lunacy 
Commission. It was at the close of SO years of service 
that I did so. I dare say that yon have hod time to read 
my letter of reaignation in the Tinitt of the Bth. 

" I am very glad that Miss Lloyd is determined to print those 
lines. They are very beautiful ; and yon mnst be snie to send 
a copy to Miss Marsh. She admires them as much as I do. 
' ' The thonght of Calvary f is the strength that has gaverued 
all the sentiments and actions of my manhood and later life ; 
and yon can well believe that I greatly rejoice to find that 
one, whom I prize so highly, has kindred sympathies. . . . 
" May God prosper yon. 

"Yours truly, Shaftbsbust." 

• The General Secretary, (hen, and, I am happy to say, stUI, — 
of the Victoria Street Society. 

t The lines to which Ijord Shaftesbury refers — "Beet in the 
Lord " (since inclndsd in many ooUeotlons) begin with the words : 
" Qod draws a dond over each gleaming moru. 
Wonldat thoia ask. why ? 
It is becanse all noblest things are bom 
In agony. 

Only upon some Cross of pain or woe 

God's Sou may lie. 

Bach soul redeemed from self and sin must know 

Its Calvary." 
Lord Shattesbnryentirelynnderstood the point of viewfrom whioh 
I regarded that sacred apot. 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND EL 

The most remarkable woman I have 
excepting Mrs. Somerville (described in my ch. 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Mrs. Beecha 
beyond any doubt or question, my dear friend, 
I have told of the droll circumstances of our 
Newbridge in the early Fifties. From thai 
death in 1892, her brilliant, iridescent geniu 
spirit, her tenderness, the immense '^ go " and 
her whole nature, were sources of endless pi 
When I was lame, I used to feel that for da^ 
with her I could almost dispense with my cm 
did she, literally, lift me up 1 

Mrs. Eemble paid us several visits here in "V 
perhaps even more delightful in our quiet co 
than in London. She would sit out for ma 
time in our beautiful old garden, which she s 
'' «n idyll ; " and talk of all things in heav 
touching in turn every note in the gamut of i 
sorrowful to joyous. One summer she cam< 
and thus sat daily under a great cherry tree " in t] 
garden," which was at the time a mass of 
snowy blossoms. Alas I the blossoms have ret i 
blooming as I write ; — ^but the friend sleeps un< i 
Eensal Green. 

Mr. Henry James' obituary article and 1 1 
generous-hearted letter concerning her in the Tin i 
of the mean and grudging notice of her which tl i 
published, — seem to mo to have been by i\ 
truthful sketches which appeared of the ' 
lioness ; " as Thackeray called her. Ever 
admire, and most people a little feared her ; bui. 
come very close to her and brush past her form] 
of irony and sarcasm, to know and love her, 
truly deserved to be loved. 



^« CHAPTER XVI 11. 

There is always something startling and perhaps the reverse 
of attractive to those of us who have heen brought np in the 
usual English way to repress onr emotions, in women who have 
been trained reversely by histrionic life, to give aU possible 
oatwardness and vividness of expression to those same emotions. 
It is only when we get below both the extreme demonstra- 
tiveness on one hand, and the conventional reserve and self- 
restraint on the other, and meet on common gromid of deep 
S3rmpathies, that real friendship is established ; a friendship 
which in my case was at once an honour and a delight. 

Mrs. Eemble in her generous affection made a present to 
me of the MSB. of her Memoirs, which subsequently I 
induced her to take back, and publish herself, as her ^* (Htl 
Woman* s Gossip ,** her Records of a Girlhood and Records of 
Later lAfe. Beside these, which, as I have said, I returned 
to hor one after another, she gave me, and I still possess, an 
immense packet of her own old letters to her beloved H. S. 
(Harriet St. Leger) and others ; and the materials of fiva 
large and thick volumes of autograph letters addressed to her, 
extending over more than 50 years. They include whole 
correspondences with W. Donne, Edward Fitzgerald, Henry 
Greville, Mrs. Jameson, John Mitchell Eemble, George 
Combe, and several others ; and besides these there are either 
one or half-a-dozen letters from almost every man and 
woman of eminence in England in her time. Mr. Benfley 
has very liberally purchased from me for publication about 
100 letters from Edward Fitzgerald to Mrs. Eemble. The 
rest of the Mrs. Kemble's correspondence I have, as I have 
mentioned, bound together in five volumes, and I do not 
intend to publish them. Had any of Mrs. Eemble's ' ' Records '* 
remained inedited at the time of her death I should have 
undertaken, (as she no doubt intended me to do) the task of 
writing her biography. The work was, however, so fully 
done by herself in her long series of volumes that there was 



LONDON IN THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES. 677 

neither need nor room for more. I am happy to add, in 
conclosion, that in the arrangements I have made regarding 
my dear old friend's literary remains, I have the consent 
and approval of her daughters. 

I knew Mrs. GaskeU a little, hat not enongh to harmonize 
in my mind the woman I saw in the flesh with the books I 
liked so weU as Mary Barton and LiJbhie Marsh's Three Eras, 
Of Mrs. Stowe's delightful conversation on the terrace of onr 
villa on Bellosgaardo, I have written my recollections, and 
recorded the glimpses I had of Mrs. Browning. I have also 
described Harriet Hosmer and Bosa Bonheor ; our sculptor 
and painter friends, from the latter of whom I have just 
(1898) received the kindest letters and her impressive photo- 
graph ; and Mary Carpenter, my leader and fellow- worker at 
Bristol. I must not speak here of the aJQfection and admiration 
I entertain for my dear, living friend Anna Swanwick, the 
translator of ^schylus and Faust; and for Louisa Lee 
Schuyler, one of the leaders in the organization of relief in 
the great Civil War of America and who founded and carried 
to its present marvellous extent of power and usefulness the 
State Charities Aid Association of New York. Again, I have 
known in England Mdme. Bodichon (who furnished Girton 
^vith its first thousand pounds) ; Mrs. Josephine Butler ; 
Mrs. Webster the classic poetess ; and Mrs. Emily Pfeiffer, 
another poetess and very beautiful woman at whose house I 
once witnessed an interesting scene, — a large party of ladies 
and gentlemen dressed in the attire of Athenians of the Peri- 
clean age. Miss Swanwick and I, who were alone permitted 
to attend in English costume, were immensely impressed by 
the ennobling effect of the classic dress, not only on young 
and graceful people, but on those who were quite the reverse. 

I never saw Harriet Martinean ; but was so desirous of 
doing it that I intended to make a journey to Ambleside for 

20 



th« late iSiB. Hensleigh Wedgwood, to ask leave to introdnoe 
me to her. It was an tmfortimate moment, and I only 
leceived the following kind message : — 

" I need not a&7 bow happy I shonld have been to became 
acquainted with Miss Cobbe ; but the time is post and I am 
only fit for old friends who can excuse my shortcomings. 
I baTe lost gtonnd so much of late thai the case is cleu. I 
tooBt give np all hopes of so great a pleasure. Will yon say 
this to ber and ask ber to receive my kind and thankful 
legards, I ventoie to send on the grounds of oui common 
friendships ? " 

Of my hving, beloved and honoured friends, Mrs. William 
Arey, Lady Mount-Temple, Miss Shirreff, Mrs. Fawcett, 
Miss Caroline Stephen, Miss Julia Wedgwood, Lady Battersea, 
and Miss Florence Davenport Hill, I mnst not here speak. 
I have had the pleasure also of meetmg that very fine 
woman-worker Miss Ootavia Hill. 

George £Uiot I did not know, nor, as I have just said, did 
[ ever meet Harriet Martjnean. But with those two great 
exceptions I think I may boast of having come into contact 
with nearly all the more gifted Englishwomen of the Victorian 
era; and thus when I speak, as I shall do in the next 
chapter, of my efforts to put the 'claims of my sex fairly 
before the world, I may boast of writing with practical 
personal knowledge of what women are and can be, both 
as to character and ability. 

The decade which began in 1660 brought me many sorrows. 
The first was the death of my second brother, Thomas Cobbe, 
of Easton Lyss. I loved bim much for his own sweet and 
affectionate nature ; and much, too, for the love of onr mother 
which he shared especially with me. I was also warmly 
attached to his beautiful and good Scotch wife, who sorvived 



LONDON IN T