LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Fifty Years’ Recollections, Literary and Personal

Vol. I Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
Vol. II Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Vol. III Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
‣ Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
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I had scarcely arrived in town before I was invited to assist Mr. Fonblanque in the “Examiner.” His articles had long attracted great attention. He was, without exception, the neatest political writer of the day. There was always condensation, sound sense, and humour, with the love of the truthful, in his articles. It has been contended that he could not keep up a sustained flight, in other words, dilate on a given subject in the approved mode of the modern school. This is probable. A style so good and deservedly popular could gain nothing by being drawn into wire. The remark was probably made by critics who were expected not to be silent, and had nothing else to say. Few merited more the rare commendation of having known how far to go in order to attract, and then to impress himself upon the memory with effect. A tried writer of liberal principles, and high qualifications, thinking and acting as a gentleman, is a praise that cannot be denied him by any, much less by myself, ready as I am at all times to confess obligations, and never to evade them as
many men, particularly fashionable men, are sure to do, however deep in debt.

The death of Lord Holland happened about this time. I had but one communication from him after 1829, dated from Ampthill. I first saw him at Falmouth, when I was a boy, as he was about to embark for Spain. I then regarded him because he was the nephew of Fox, at that time so noted a name. His appearance made me fancy a resemblance between him and Fox, in the caricatures of the day, for I had then no personal knowledge of him beyond that. I have mentioned my communication with his lordship nine years after this, in relation to my letters on the Libel law. A gentleman in manner, an excellent hearted man, remarkable for an absence of all worldliness. He had more moral courage than any other peer. He never skulked behind paltry reservations, basing his arguments upon policy in place of justice. I am sorry so little judgment was shown in editing his papers. Where would many excellent men be if private thoughts and memoranda, created at idle moments, and not reconsidered, were given crudely to the world! Of how many natives and foreigners, now no more, was Holland House not the rendezvous! Of foreigners in my own little circle were Foscolo, Blanco White, Telesforo Trueba, Arguelles, and Cayetano Valdez. Lord Holland used to tell a story with some humour of his father, or grandfather—I forget which. His relative had brought a bill into the House, which was sadly mutilated with red ink in the way of alteration and amendment. One of the opposing peers called it “the noble Lord’s bill.” His lordship rose, asserted that, so mutilated, the bill was not his. Then, pointing
at the scarlet mutilations, he exclaimed, turning also to the peers who had made them:—
Look, in this place ran Cassius’ dagger through—
See what a rent the envious Casca made!
Through this the well-beloved Brutus stabbed!
The effect was so droll as to convulse the House with laughter. I feel deep respect for the memory of the first commender of my youthful efforts, and encourager of hopes too delusive. Who that knew his lordship can forget his amenity—his humour—his considerateness—his converse—his friendliness—and adherence to principle! None who knew Holland House can fail to recall how men of all creeds and opinions met in peace there. It always puzzled me how such opposite natures as those of Lord and
Lady Holland united. There were few who felt attached to Lady Holland. Foscolo’s energetic speech about that lady I have recorded. Polite, cold, haughty, to those she met in social intercourse; she was offensive towards those to whom she took a dislike. She would construe into a personal affront any remark of the slightest nature which did not chime in with her views. Campbell fell into disgrace with her, because he ventured to dispute about the pronunciation of a word, or rather, against her use of it. It happened during the six or seven years I was absent from town. After I returned, I went rarely into company, so that I heard comparatively little of the chit-chat of the day. I remember asking Campbell whether he had been recently at Holland House; he replied in the negative, that “he did not care about dressing to go so far.” I thought that likely enough, from the state in which I
found him in his latter years; but that was not all. I heard the anecdote, which might have been an additional reason, from another quarter. Lady Holland talked about having ‘taken a drive.’ Campbell questioned her about the phraseology, ‘taking a drive;’ and, though but in jest, she took it in earnest, and treated the poet with an hauteur, to which he would not expose himself. On another occasion, she desired a servant at the dinner-table to fetch one of her pocket-handkerchiefs, and bade him take Mr. ——’s, and give him hers, for she could not bear the smell of lavender so near her. One of
Rogers’s criticisms, not long before her death, just after her son had written the injudicious letter in his mother’s defence, was severe enough. It rests on the authority of a very distinguished man, who called upon Rogers one morning, and Rogers, who had a great regard for Lord Holland, had as much for Lady Holland as most other people, and said her ladyship could not but feel awkward at the ill-timed epistle, though filial affection both dictated and excused it.

“What does Lady Holland think of it?”

“Think, my dear Sir?” said Rogers, “why, that she could just then as soon have buried the colonel as the kid.”

A gentleman whom I knew, Mr. Pryce Gordon, remembered her ladyship when a girl of sixteen. Her father was a character, and then resided at Bristol. He was principally noted for the tricks he used to play off upon his neighbours.

How the death-list of remarkable persons increases as our days career onwards!—how very fast men seem to pass away! Are we no better than an odour, to be
exhaled and perish? Yet why am I sensitive on the subject?—why have I the consciousness of my inevitable doom, if that consciousness be idle? Why was I designed as I am? and why was not the matter of which I consist formed into an animal, or a plant?—why was I endowed with ideas, and filled with hopes, hopeless of fruition?—why do I live dissatisfied, while the meanest and most insignificant creatures, of cribbed and circumscribed action, pass their lives in content, without the “thought of ills to come,” to mingle their ashes indiscriminately with mine in the earth? What a mystery is all this, where even the little good we achieve individually often turns to the detriment of the performer, and memory so continually changes the past to pain! Our histories are those of a series of catastrophes, or little better, until the staff of the skeleton magician, like that of Aaron, swallows up our staffs, and ourselves with them. Our pride gives us higher destinies than we merit, which proves nothing. The most sacred rules in morals and creeds do not change our career of conceit, presumption, and inanity. The lower mass still glories in superstition, or grovels in ignorance—the higher, in self-conceit and frivolity. Wisdom cries vainly in our streets, and the end of man’s existence daily becomes a greater puzzle. The voice of the preacher is unheard; the laws of reason and conscience conduct us not more rapidly to virtue than of old; so that, if virtue be to lead us to a better state, its indignant treatment by the world is one of the best excuses for the world’s vices. Let us pray that the terms have not been reversed, and that we do not, through mistake, use the one for the other. Such are
the bosom questionings put when the soul expatiates beyond the diurnal routine of thought.

To the calamity of ignorance we must look for most of the evils which afflict us, but the larger part of mankind must ever be in comparative darkness, the capacity for the acquirement of knowledge being wanting to them. The difference of social and bodily condition is reflected in the human mind. It is no more possible to make a great number of persons comprehend and act uniformly upon plans conducive to their own welfare, than it is to teach them to comprehend Euclid. A proportion, greater than we dream, cannot be taught more than is sufficient to regulate, in some degree, the labour by which they contrive to exist. I have tried again and again to instruct a countryman in a few plain truths for his own advantage, but in vain. A momentary impression was made and no more. He relapsed into his old habits, he returned to his custom as the dog returns to his vomit, and exhibited himself little superior to that animal in sagacity. Tens of thousands must be ignorant because by their obtuseness nature intended they should be—instruction being vain in their behalf. The notion of an equality of the mental calibre is as Utopian as an equality of conditions. It never did nor can exist, and therefore the happiness of the individual in life is not made dependent upon his ability for acquiring knowledge. At the present moment the practice of a few common place precautions, the spirit of adventure for gain, and a wider scope of action for the inventions of a few gifted and studious persons, are considered the fruits of the general intellect, in place of the results of traffic wholly unconscious of the benefit
it accidentally confers. Men aspire without power to rise from being too feeble to regulate their evil passions, and then seek for artificial means to do that which destroys self-restraining virtue. This, too, regardless of the higher claims they have to freedom of action, who are able to command themselves. The desire to exercise, or influence the government of the state is exhibited in this way, where the least capacity for the duty and the more fallible judgment co-exist. I am much mistaken if ignorance more than at present pervaded high places we should not find the greater incompetence a source of infinite misery. It is not hard to govern a people, for the rulers are seldom of the wisest, but it is far more easy to lay a weight upon the rulers as they are, and keep them within certain beneficial limits, than it is to turn them out, and taking the helm, quarrel over it, while the vessel is left to the gale. Men lose improvement under the idea of realizing perfection.

It is pleasant at fitting seasons, even under disappointment, to converse with oneself unreservedly, and to be honest in self-accusation. We thus administer correction to our errors. We find, too, a source of great enjoyment in the supposition of better things attaching to a more advanced state of social existence than a dull reality proffers us, changing our existing domicile for that of fairy land. It may be similar to the change between sanity and madness that distinguishes the dream-weaver from the plodding man of every day life. The difference may only consist of a thin partition at best, but it is an essential difference for all that. Why may we not now and then become unconscious of the reality of what is about us, to enjoy something better,
which, though it he evanescent, displays ‘colours dipped in heaven,’ and causes only regret when we awake out of our dream, that it was not prolonged. The Frenchman who died at seventy “without ever having lived,” must have been destitute of the faculty of castle-building. His nurse’s milk was s,our, he could not learn his alphabet, and was kept on bread and water; he was sent to be an attorney’s clerk, and then to sea, where he got two dozen lashes a day. He married a woman with some property, and afterwards discovered she had a wooden leg; her property was consumed by a fire, and she died after he had spent six years in repenting his marriage. Laying aside one third of his life spent in sleep, a year or two in searching for things carelessly lost at different times; a year or two of tooth-aches and colds; a couple of years in asking, “What is it a clock?” “How d’ye do?” “Cold weather.” “How hot it is.” “How dirty the streets are.” “How is your good lady?” “What a sad cough I have got.” A year in using the brush over his hat, and another in taking snuff. One or two in the theatres and at sermons, and another in finding fault with dinners, bad soups, hard boiled eggs, and so on, he had reached seventy without ever having “lived,” and he was, therefore, ready to give up the life not worth keeping. This unlucky Frenchman, it is clear, could not build châteaux en Espagne, as I used to do when a youth, under the infliction of an oration filled with dull repetitions, or the tenth lecture in the week on a truism, self-evident to a spaniel dog, while at the same time I was supposed to be all attention to what was poured into my ears. This is nursing a young
hypocrisy. I remember soon after I came to London, that in an opulent Quaker family which I knew, the young ladies in dove coloured bonnets, would have the carriage drive to a supposed tea-drinking party. No male was suffered to enter the vehicle—he must mount the box.

“Where are you going?”

“It is a secret, but we can trust thee—make the coachman drive to Covent Garden. We are going to change our outer dresses in the carriage on the way—help us up with the blinds.”

Such is the mode in which life begins its hypocrisies, when things of the heart, in which the heart has no share, are forced into external observance. In this way, it is that incipient hypocrisies are nurtured into those full grown, and society becomes inoculated with the vice. The joy of hypocrisy may be only momentary, as Job tells us, but the character is one of social expansion, and never-ending endurance.

A contest was expected to take place for the city of Lichfield—parliament being dissolved. I was invited to go down and aid in supporting my old friends. There was a stern determination to turn out Lord Alfred Paget. The Tory opposition well knew that General Sir George Anson could not be shaken, and, curious enough, it had no objection to vote for a Whig and a Tory member, in order to secure a few votes in return, a precious display of principle, common in the Bull family. I was informed it was to be “war to the knife.” I refused an important professional engagement offered me, unluckily, at that exact moment, and started from town with Lord A. Paget.


The opposing candidate was Captain Dyott, the son of General Dyott, whose ancestor I have already mentioned as a lucky marksman. The general might, while sticking to his colours as a Tory, have rendered his opposition courteous, which he did not. We reached the city, and began the canvass on the same day. This might seem a light affair, had not the city and county of Lichfield extended in a radius of seven’ miles from the Guildhall, and, as it was found afterwards, included Drayton Manor, Sir Robert Peel’s estate, Sir Robert not having yet become a free-trader. The ground was subsequently measured, and the baronet’s right established.

With opportunities in my youth of observing the old system of borough management at scenes, mis-named elections, when many members were returned by a pro forma farce, it would be untrue to state that this constitutional act is not now greatly improved. Yet no one can watch the proceedings in some places at present, a little behind the curtain, and not confess that theory and practice at elections are still too often greatly at variance. The fault is in the people, and their determination in practice to consider their private interests before their public duty. They call for reform: why do they not reform themselves? Is it not from the same mental delinquency that makes them demand laws restraining the worthier classes in society from certain indulgences, that of fermented liquors, for example, because they cannot themselves refrain from the most grovelling vices, owing to their incapacity for obeying the manly resolution which belongs to rational beings. They must be drunkards and gluttons, unless restrained
by force. They know nothing of reason, of morality, or of religion, in the matter. Yet these same frail-minded persons call out for political reform, and talk of their rights, and would fain persuade their countrymen, that, though unable to resist sensual indulgences of the grossest kind, they are able to combat the temptation of the electoral bribe; and that, though liquor is their master, they are proof against the means of purchasing it by the gallon only for want of money!

I have seen much of elections, yet as an actor I have had little to do with them. Too great a number have a twist the wrong way, and the details are often nauseous; in the more corrupt instances, detestable. The canvass is a feast of double dealing, full of revulsion to every high mind. The celebrated Alderman Beckford, so great a favourite in the metropolis, would never canvas at all. He contended that it was an indirect attempt to bias electors, exceedingly unbecoming. Even before the Reform Act, election contests had become less headstrong than before.

A town of eight thousand inhabitants, the representation of which was vested in twenty-one persons, “who were in the interest” of two peers, I resided in for some years. One of these, wishing to return both members, the number of votes being divided equally, called the casting vote aside, saying he had ten thousand pounds in his pocket, and the whole sum should be that voter’s in exchange for his vote. “No, my lord,” he replied, “the whole earth for a bribe should not make me break my word. I have given it to Lord F——.” This voter was a man of a small income. The peer in whose interest he voted did not forget
his conduct, but in return, pushed up his children in the public service, one of whom still survives. I fear such disinterested examples would be rarer now.

To return to Lichfield. The Close and its wide ecclesiastical æsophagus, recalling that of Gargantua, when eating for its own interests, swallowed Whig and Tory according to its prospective objects. It was still as craving, but over an empty dish. The absence of corruption was now remarkable. It had once been strikingly displayed, to the injury of the real electors. A patron of some mark was wanting, the great supporter of the new opposition being only a local attorney.

The Close people registered their votes with due dignity, but here their power was stayed for the first time, and they were represented by the individual above-mentioned. The weather was warm, and the bustle considerable. On the Saturday night, well-fagged, we sought the lofty shades of Beaudesert. Dust, heat, speechifying, complimenting, exhausts the spirits even under party excitement, not to speak of tobacco fumes and beer ever under the nose. The contest was kept up with vigour to the last, and the result, a majority of nine or ten, only showed the exertions which had been made on both sides. The state of the poll at the close was announced just in time to save the post. The successful candidate, hemmed in on all sides, begged me to announce his success to his father, a task I achieved with difficulty within post time. The Marquis wrote by return, stating that, “Independently of his feelings for his son, he rejoiced most sincerely in the event on public grounds.” This was, indeed, a much greater triumph than that at a common election. It
broke down a monopoly of popular right by ecclesiastical wrong, that had lasted for ages.

Death has since deprived his country of this distinguished nobleman, full of years and honours, one of those who in a great nation, stands among the foremost for many of those high qualities which belonged to the best of the old school, rather than the new, of the heroic era rather than that of traffic, better estimated in lofty historical records than in the staple of common panegyric; in other words, more calculated for the admiration of the discriminating few, than the applause of those who judge by the vulgar standard of every day opinion. The Marquis of Anglesey was singularly disinterested, high-minded, candid, chivalrous, without a particle of guile, in honour sensitive, in kindness foremost, in dealing gentlemanly, plain, and somewhat blunt of address, affable, never suffering his social superiority to be felt, he was the last with whom an ill-bred person could take a liberty, or a well-bred one feel constraint. His manners were natural, and not the offspring of study or affectation; his carriage elegant, but perfectly simple. He was one of nature’s gentlemen, and from always thinking in accordance with the character, it governed his personal bearing. A mean action on his part was an impossibility. With high spirit, his sterling courage tempting him, in some instances, to hazard his squadrons farther than was politic, leading them personally, with a daring impetuosity that looked more tc> the impulse of overflowing valour than to the rules of military conduct, as at Sahagan, where, with four hundred men, he defeated eight hundred, sword in
hand, and at Mayoga, Benevente, Corunna and Waterloo. To have shown more of the strategist, he would have exhibited less of his bold and generous character as a soldier; in all, exhibiting the more distinguished qualities with which he had been gifted by nature. All around him prevailed the spirit of order, his establishments exactly arranged, and everything in its place. No stranger saw him, but was struck with the grace of his manners, and the manly elegance of his bearing. He showed the old hardihood in his living. He never indulged in luxurious appliances, for which he might well have been excused, particularly after the loss of his leg. He suffered, at one time, severe attacks of the tic-dolouroux, which he sustained with extraordinary firmness. He was an early riser. I remember calling at Uxbridge House one day about half-past ten, and the Marquis said he had breakfasted nearly three hours before.

There was a singular contrast remarked, in regard to the two lord-lieutenants, Anglesey and Wellesley, who followed one another in filling that post in Ireland:—Lord Anglesey unaffected, simple, manly, with his tall graceful figure, asking no extrinsic aid from pomp and circumstance, and full of self-reliance. Lord Wellesley, insignificant in figure, scrupulous in the display of snow-white linen, and dangling jewellery, a singular mixture of talent and frivolity, fond of show, and destitute of that manly simplicity which was a distinguishing trait in the character of his brother, the Duke of Wellington.

The Marquis of Anglesey was a great favourite in Ireland with all, except the Orangemen. Both these
distinguished viceroys now live only in memory. A new race has taken their places, in a parallel with which they cannot suffer. If the bygone had failings, they had great qualities to balance them. They were, at least, lofty of mind, contrasted with the meanness and trickery now rife in all ranks and degrees of officials. Lord Anglesey exhibited in death the same intrepidity he had displayed in life. His family stood round his bed at the moment of his dissolution. He was perfectly calm and collected. Addressing one of his sons, “Good-bye, my boy,” he expired without a sigh. It was a true Euthanasia. But to continue.

I returned to town with the newly elected members, the veteran cavalry commander, Sir George Anson, now no more, having resumed his seat; a most amiable, soldier, a disposition remarkable in the whole Anson family. When we reached Tamworth, we found Sir Robert Peel addressing the people. His audience was not numerous. I have already remarked the want of power in Sir Robert, of adapting his style of oratory to his hearers. His address then was far above the grasp of the class of persons composing the larger part of his audience.

A petition, frivolous and even ridiculous, was presented against Lord Alfred Paget’s return, and came to nothing. A local history of the above proceedings was afterwards published, in which the writer thought fit to compliment me, in terms which to repeat would be egotistical, considering how little in behalf of his object, although he thought so much of it, I was able to contribute.

In the meanwhile, I matured for others a scheme
for growing silk in the south of Europe, gathered from what I had noticed at the time I collected statistics for my “
History of Wine,” many years before. I communicated my ideas to Mr. Morrison, whose want of time, from the pressure of his business, prevented his full consideration of the scheme.

Hitherto I had been ruled in all I had done by a stern desire of independent action. I had set out in life with supporting liberal principles. I had laboured a hundred times, and toiled hard for years, in order to uphold the principles of the Fox party. What little cost I might have incurred, I bore myself. I was never paid my expences but once, at the last election of which I have spoken, and then only for loss of time, because I never demanded them. I imagined that if not too great a self-sacrifice, every freeman ought to avoid, above all things, suffering money considerations to interfere with public duties. This was romantic, perhaps, in one who lived by his labours, but it is not the less a fact. Wherever money becomes the stimulant to exertion in pursuits above those which are mercantile, such pursuits lose their true spirit, from marks of failure in the motive.

I do not deny that a slight anxiety did sometimes arise about the future, in case of a protracted existence, with physical or mental disability to labour. But it passed like a cloud across hope’s deceptive vision. Others pressed the consideration upon me much oftener than I myself recurred to it.

A publication was started of a cheap character, and I undertook the editorship. Horace Smith, Miss Mitford, Mrs. Watts, Douglas Jerrold, Mr. St. John,
and other well-known writers, aided me by their contributions. The work proceeded with good success until a dispute of the proprietary, within itself, caused the relinquishment of the publication. The editor, as usual, became the creature of circumstances, over which he had no control.

A biographical dictionary was proposed to me just then, to be of an extensive character. Murray, the publisher, was one of the prime movers of the project, and was to hold a large share, but he got into a dispute with some of the other parties concerned, and the affair fell to the ground.

I then went into the West of England to collect materials for a descriptive account of our more picturesque counties. My design was to confine the descriptions to the peculiar scenery of each district, and to keep to the statistics in those things which were of general interest, and matters of reference only. I was limited in regard to space. I completed my task, and returned to town, when I had the mortification of finding, during my absence, that an individual of whom I knew but little, and esteemed less, had gone in my absence, and persuaded the publishers that they should proceed faster, and that the county of Lancaster would be more certain to answer. Setting off with an account of the manufactories which he could write, it would, he hinted to the proprietors, make a sensation, the reverse was likely and proved to be the fact. The people of Lancashire did not want to be told how to make cotton. I had neglected to bind the bookseller, by agreement, before I set out. I edited the volume, and gave the description of Furness. Dr. Beard, of Manchester, wrote
an account of the antiquities and seats, halls, and similar subjects in the midland part of the county. The design, I originally planned, was thus rendered abortive. The Cornwall sells now at two-thirds of the price at which it was published, although the number printed was considerable. The complaint against it in the county was, that it was only half as much in extent of matter as it should have been, but in this I was limited.

The visit I had paid to a district so long afterwards, in which the early part of existence had been passed, naturally produced many melancholy associations. Nature was the same; man only had changed; the friends of early life were no more to be seen—they had passed away. The tavern signs no longer bore the names of yore; and the retail shops had strange ones affixed to them. New streets had sprung up, and cast the older ones into the shade as to extent, neatness, and even elegance of construction.

I everywhere saw improvement in unorganized things. I had left youth and beauty, too, behind me, when I quitted, and now I found among the few whom the King of Terrors had spared, spectacle-seeing women no longer captivating, but ordinary of person. The charms that had answered the end of attracting to perpetuate the race, that end being met, a purposeless age had removed. Where were now the fresh and glowing pictures of youth—those anticipations of gaudy hope and the early incredulity that—well for themselves—saw in the truths of more advanced years only sour saws and officious crabbedness? In vain I went from one well-remembered
spot to another, the dumb image had its old aspect only from a familiarity with objects of greater extent, looking somewhat as a landscape looks through an instrument, optically diminishing the details. It was in the stillness of a summer evening—the sky nearly covered with light clouds—the west tinged with red and gold, casting long shadows over the fields—that I took my way towards a church-yard, deeply engraved in memory. Along the lane which led to it, trees met, over-arching the umbered shadows beneath. It was like a cathedral aisle. Not a leaf stirred, and the vesper song of the birds alone broke a silence, on which the foot echo of no passenger, but myself, intruded. There, in the last century, a boy, on a Saturday half-holiday, I was rambling without a companion, a man overtook me and told me that a sister had just expired. I was thunder-stricken, and turned towards home. Death had never before entered our dwelling. Could it be? I asked myself again and again, as I pressed homewards, “and what is death?” I remember it all as if it occurred but yesterday. I was now going to where her dust had by this time mingled indistinguishably with its parent earth. Hard by, too, lay he who had given me being. It was a pilgrimage to no shrine for cozening human credulity. Here were the ashes of those whom I had seen and loved—a spot embalmed by memory—one of those selfish remembrances which the interested and solitary heart can alone appreciate. I walked in a reverie, during one of those moods which come upon us at such times, until I reached the church-yard. There stood the tower, indeed, but the body of the church had disappeared, re-
placed by one of a different aspect. As if to greet me, a bird poured forth its mournful song as I entered the church-yard. What bird it was, I know not; but its notes brought back old times upon my heart. Numerous additional records of death, since I was last here, accounted for the loss of the old names on the signs, and old faces in the streets, where I had that day walked as an utter stranger. At the tomb of my relatives, I had heavy thoughts. I lingered, loth to leave, until the moon rose, while the glow of the warm sun was still faintly lingering in the west. It was a silent, tranquil moment, melancholy indeed, and touching to the spirit. By some hidden influence, the mind seemed to connect itself with sensations of a novel character, by the banishment of all that was of the existing earth. “As that late summer was passing away, so,” thought I, “pass the generations of my kind. Soon adieu to sunshine, bright hopes, and rich prospects, too, with me. I shall soon see no more the rich green of the leaf, the glory of the declining sun, the beautiful hues of earth’s countless flowers, and the ears of golden corn that are waving in the precious ocean of nature’s beneficence around me.” As I moved away from the church-yard, saddened with retrospections, which will come in spite of ourselves, and casting a last glance at the numerous memorials, upon which the yellow moon looked down as it had looked for ages before, when bright eyes, closed in death, and entombed there, had seen it shine as sweetly as I now beheld it, while walking up its path in heaven—that reflection and corresponding scene made me conscious of immortality. There must be something beyond the
natural vanity of mankind, something imprinted inexplicably in the heart, that, when for the moment we thus repress mean feelings, spontaneously whispers the verity of this delightful anticipation.

Nearly forty years had elapsed since I left in the bloom of youthful attraction a young lady, whose image I carried afar, pictured inerasably in my mind. Of a figure rather under the middle size of her sex in general, not foremost in beauty, but well-looking, and with that witchery of expression which speaks so eloquently, and so irresistibly, to the heart of the other sex. We had parted to meet no more. She died in the springtide of life, not many months after I had taken leave of her. I felt an irresistible desire to visit her tomb. I had never been in the church-yard where she lay; but I saw the spire about six miles distant. I rose in the sunlight of a lovely day; the waves of the restless ocean broke gently on the sandy shore of one of the most beautiful bays in the island. I met no one, for it was the morning hour of five. Numberless recollections of the past came uppermost in my mind. Perhaps the years that had perished since I met her whose dust now mingled with its parent earth, did in some degree deepen the hues imagination presented of departed things, in place of rendering them, as in general, more faint. Vivid were those glimpses, touched with melancholy, it is true, but priceless in estimation. The murmuring surf seemed to speak mysteriously of the inexorable character of time, and of destiny. The blue heaven reflected in that calm sea, looked not smoother than I had dreamed my future path would be through life,
with one whom I imagined in the heyday of youth, might share in the pleasant journey—but, enough. I reached the spot, where over her dust the storms of thirty-five winters had careered unheard, and as many smiling summers bloomed in the peculiar loveliness of that beautiful locality. I could find no memorial with her name. I read every stone, from that of infancy to old age—from the storm-worn letters of the oldest record, to the fresh-cut memorial of the latest erected, but in vain. The wife of the sexton, as I found afterwards, stood at her cottage door. As she appeared in advanced life, I thought she must remember the family the name of which I sought. She did so at once, pointing to a tomb, surrounded by iron palisades.

“She lies there, Sir, but has no stone; that tomb is to the memory of a sister’s daughter, not born at the period to which you allude. She, too, died quite young; a sweet girl she was.”

I thanked my informant, and lingered away an hour on the spot. The revival of a hundred things, insignificant enough in themselves, followed, that no act of volition could have recalled, proving that there is a storehouse, where, though not obedient to our call, the precious things of memory are retained to turn the past to pain. My feeling I cannot describe; I tardily turned my back on a spot with so many melancholy associations; and, after a walk of a couple of miles to the breaking waves, I sat down on a rock, the surf nearly bathing my feet, and again recalling the pleasure that I had received from the society of the dead, I felt a kind of indignation that her grave should be nameless.
This induced an expression of my feelings in verse, begun as I walked back to the hotel.*

* I cannot omit this oblation written on visiting a nameless grave.

What! not a stone to tell the name
Of her who sleeps forgotten here?
Bounded indeed, sweet maid, the fame,
Whose only record is a tear!
Thou early badst life’s feast farewell,
Its guests unworthy love and thee;
Thou didst but earlier go to swell
The hosts of immortality!
Though of a stone and name bereft,
What boots it for an inch of time,
Memorials frail, too often left
To darken good, and brighten crime?
Aye, time has fled indeed since thou
Wert my own spirit’s counterpart.
That faithful to its earlier vow
Cannot of severence allow—
Thou phantom treasure of my heart!
A pilgrim to thy dust below
I come when life thus far is spent—
So far Judea’s pilgrims go
To mourn where fane and monument
Time’s ruthless hand has stricken low,
Yet hallowed in their hearts the spot
By all beside on earth forgot—
The feeling words may not declare,
Macpelah’s sacred earth is there!
Tempest and current far have driven
My bark wild on the waves of time,
Since thou didst earth forsake for heaven,
And I was in my being’s prime.
Memory still paints thy movements free,
Thy form in beauty’s symmetry,
As at the hour which saw us part

I proceeded as far as the Land’s End, intending to embark for Scilly, but a stubborn west wind blew home.
Thou violet of the South’s sweet shade,
As earthly amaranths born to fade.
Fancy beholds thy deathless grace,
Lit by a brighter sun than ours,
In scenes of everlasting peace,
Where happiness leads on the hours—
While I scarce know if best for me,
The joy or grief of memory!
I grieve while thou canst grieve no more,
I came, I go, my visit done,
Where the tall spire beyond the shore
Tells to the mariner his course is run,
But does not him, like me apprize,
It shades at the meridian hour
The spot where now a withered flower,
Gathered in beauty Emma lies—-
Where memory paints that flower’s rich hue
Too long, long faded to the sense
While it exhales the odour true—
That never dying influence,
And dew from off the fresh turf’s bloom
That glistens o’er decay and tomb!
Now none on earth, fair girl, save me,
Think of the hour God gave to thee!
Thou as yon rock above the main,
Rising with castellated brow,*
Wert steadfast from religion’s gain,
Tempering the hue of things below.
God’s chosen ones die young, they say,
And there is good by sorrow brought,
And though long years have pass’d away,
I must not, dare not, raise the thought
If thou still shared’st humanity,
It perhaps had better been for me;
Though I might then have loved thee less;
For what is love but selfishness!

* Mount St. Michael’s; Milton’s “Guarded Mount.”

I returned, visiting places I had never before examined, and at last wishing to enter the church-yard of the parish where I was born, St. Gluvias, I repaired there, but was refused access. I remonstrated; my determined manner with the servant, drew out the master,
Archdeacon Sheepshanks. It appeared he had excluded the public in consequence of dilapidations being committed by trespassers. We had some rough words at first; I told him I had seen much of England, but never before met with such an incident. We both cooled down, and presently the archdeacon proposed to walk over his tabood domain. We did so, became friends for the moment, and, on leaving the place, a sweet retirement, he requested me to rest in the garden-seat, placed himself along side me, and entering into conversation. He brought up the name of Parr, and let me know he was a Cambridge man. I soon found he did not esteem the great Grecian as I thought he would do, speaking
Alas! it was a short-lived gleam
That lit our steps from thee,
And made earth bright and lovely seem—
A sun-burst on the sea;
A longer shine had charmed us less,
If we could tire of happiness.
Jewels too long admired give light
Less brilliant on repeated sight,
And thus thy image seems more dear,
Mellowed by each revolving year.
Farewell! no never, never here,
My footsteps will again appear—
But still remembrance hoard with care
The dust so precious and so rare—
Unmark’d amid this lonely spot,
By all, save by myself, forgot!
slightingly of him. There seems to me great narrowness of mind in some of our clergy, whom Latin and Greek are supposed to qualify for the duties of Christian ministers. The misfortune is, that many know little besides, whereas a clergyman stands in need of much general knowledge, to fulfil the duties of his station with good effect, and those who know something of the world are certain to be the most effective. I was told that the archdeacon was a kind and charitable man. He died a few years subsequent to my visit.

I returned to town to complete my task, when I found it necessary to repair to Lancaster, and crossed the sands, into the romantic district of Furness. I visited the Abbey, then one of the most remarkable of our monastic ruins, since desecrated by a railway, which destroys the solitary character of one of the most interesting places in the kingdom. It was then well worth a journey from London to see, not being a show place like Fountains Abbey. In the church-yard of Dalton, I found the tomb of Romney, the painter, a native of that place, an early patron of Lady Hamilton.

About this time, died Lady Cork. I had met her at dinner a few days before her decease, nearly a century old. She appeared in perfect health, and her usual spirits, well able to ascend the drawing-room stairs, leaning on the arm of another of her sex. She was of the lesser stature of women, and in Johnson’s day, as Miss Monson, might have been handsome and vivacious; at such an advanced age, little judgment can be formed of the bearing or disposition of an individual in early life. Lady Cork had acquired a certain celebrity, from meeting literary men in her youth, who complimented
her, while she, in return, made it her practice to attach that kind of society to her circle of visitors in after life, when other individuals, in similar circumstances to hers, torment themselves and their friends with ennui. She was thus certain to give herself not only an enviable notoriety, but the reputation of a superior understanding. In this there was, perhaps, a taint of innocent selfishness. Johnson liked her social qualities, patrician breeding, and lively manners.

She invited to her house men of all creeds and parties, because their opinions had nothing to do in sharing her hospitalities. The peculiar circumstances attending her marriage were well known, at least, in cotemporary life. It would be unfair to judge her by the last score or two of years that she lived. My impression is that she had at no time superior mental attainments to other ladies in the circles of fashion, when youth and vivacity never fail to be attractive. She had some eccentricities, and I am inclined to think she was not of an amiable disposition, because she did not disguise her distaste of children, and this is a good criterion for judging of female character. To more advanced youth she was a torment in employing it for her various purposes. There were two sweet girls in their “teens,” whose visits to town were few and far between, and had, therefore, little time for sight-seeing. She would drive to them in their lodgings of a forenoon, with a list of names, and occupy them with writing her notes of invitation until dinner time, knowing perfectly well how they were situated. I advised that they should not be “at home,” for the exaction was unjustifiable. Sidney Smith admirably developed her character under another head, when he
made a species of allegory of her conduct, illustrative of that of the bishops towards the deans and chapters. His friend,
Lady Cork, told him she was so deeply moved at his charity sermon, that she “borrowed” a sovereign of some one going out of church and put it into the plate. All the world knew her propensity for carrying off any thing upon which she chanced to lay her hands. “Don’t leave those things about so, my dear, or I shall steal them,” was, perhaps, said for her. She called one morning on Rogers the poet, and found him gone out, when she carried off most of the best flowers upon which he was choice. The poet of the epigrammatic month, could not forgive her for a good while, and the distance lasted nearly a whole year, when she wrote to him, that they were both very old, that he ought to forget and forgive, and closed her note with an invitation to dinner the next day. Rogers wrote her that he “would, come dine, sup, and breakfast with her,” and thus their quarrel, which at their age, Lady Cork called ridiculous, was made up.

There is always something touching in the presence of a person who has survived several perished generations, a feeling of melancholy, perhaps the unconscious acknowledgment of a common destiny. I once felt it very strongly, on being alone with a centenarian.

When Earl Grey died, one of those names familiar to Englishmen for more than forty years, it seemed to be a relic gone of my earliest remembrances. His lordship had a property in the domain of mind which some, who came later on the stage, destitute of his experience, may not choose to acknowledge, but who will not soon be forgotten by the survivors of a departed generation.
Though a marked man, he did not impress a stranger in a moment with the pertinacity of his character. I was but a few times in his company, but here he did not shine. He was as unbending as in his political career. He had that rare prescience in public life which with an unqualified conviction of the results he anticipated from the fulfilment of his political views, always strengthened his faith in their efficiency. He relied upon the future for a corroboration of the justice of his opinions. No dread of superior power, no craven apprehension of ministerial vengeance, no sense of duty to the crown, separated from the people, ever weakened his determination, or abated in age a particle of his zeal in support of his early and far-seeing principles. The lapse of time did but strengthen the justice of his views, until the lagging age overtook him. Courageous in his youth, he was then only exceeded by
Fox in the boldness of the truths he promulgated and supported. Reason was his leading star, and not an exaggerated and erroneous policy. Under defeat, he found sure consolation in prospective success, not losing one jot of his assurance in succeeding ultimately. It was no common courage that thus persevered in altering, in the teeth of its enemies, the former corrupt and irrational system of parliamentary representation. He was no every day man, whom neither lucre nor ambition could induce to deviate into compromise. No vulgar self-interest make swerve from a trust, no temporary applause change the determination. He had an indomitable regard for the public weal. He lived to see the calumniated measure he had so long supported, become the law of the land, though for more than half
a century vituperated. His victory was then achieved; an honest glory illumined his brow, not the least consolatory of reflections in his dying hour. Content to do right, he left the harlot fame, and the unstable breath of popular applause to take their course, and his mission ended, gathered up his garments to take leave of the world with appropriate dignity. I even now see his tall spare form, his patrician carriage, and his reflective countenance, and hear his bold truthful utterance, with patriotism still undauntedly reflected in his countenance. A friend of his ‘order,’ as he somewhat aristocratically styled it, he was equally a friend to popular freedom—who does not venerate the history of such a statesman?

A short and unexpected correspondence once took place between Lord Althorp and myself, upon the application of tests of the value of the soil through chemical experiments. This correspondence originated in something his lordship said about agriculture, which induced me to think he was fully open to the fact which, since the corn law repeal, has been proved, that high cultivation must be attended with results greatly remunerative. His lordship said this would hold good to a certain extent, but that the farmers had not capital. I replied, “then let them lessen their holdings,” their profits would be the same, and as the manufacturer was constantly improving his machinery, every seven or ten years witnessing something new and more economical, so it would be with the land. That there was, no doubt, a termination to the extent to which cultivation might be carried, but I did not think the land gave half the produce it might be made to do.


“You would carry it up to the perfection of a garden—that would never do.”

“Why not, my lord?”

“Because neither materials for manuring nor other requisites can be obtained for the whole superfices.”

“High cultivation and feed will make manure. I am persuaded half the land now in cultivation might be made to return the same quantity of produce.”

“That is all theoretical.”

“Theory before practice is the natural order of things. There may be impracticable theories but they must be proved so: doubt is the father of truth. I am certain that fifty thousand acres might soon be made to return more than seventy-five thousand do now.”

“That may be true to a certain extent.”

“It requires a larger capital, and the removal of the prejudices so inherent in the mind of the farmer.”

“The farmers know what they are about—they are a shrewd race.”

“And a prejudiced one, Lord Althorp. I have known two estates, the same in the quality of the land, in everything, and both let on lease. One tenant, on the expiration of his lease, wanted it renewed, with ten per cent taken off. The other only wanted a fourteen in place of a seven years’ lease. The latter on being told that his neighbour could scarcely make both ends meet, and wanted ten per cent taken off the rent, replied, ‘He does not know how to manage his land, he does what his father did before him, and won’t admit any new fangle practices, as he calls them. I am content to pay the same rent, only I should like a fourteen years’ lease.’ He got it.”


“That is true, I dare say, but how are landlords to convert their tenants to the right way of thinking?”

“By shewing them their interest.”

“I believe some landlords require to be sent to school as well as the farmers.”

“I do not say the farmers are all similarly impracticable, but a large majority.”

His lordship, on my speaking of making experiments in order to prove some points I had advanced, and stating that what little I had observed of the farmers was in Wilts, while in the counties under his lordship’s eyes they were a more improved race. I bore rather hard on some particular farmers whom I had met in Wiltshire, for their obstinate refusal to admit improvements, and thought that in such cases the landlord’s should see to it. His lordship’s last letter was dated from Hagley, April 1843, it wound up as follows:

“I think much good may be done by chemical experiments in farming, but in order that the results so procured may be properly tested, it is quite essential that they should be tried as farming, and not as gardening experiments. I believe that experiments on a small scale are the first steps to a more satisfactory trial.

“You very much underrate the intelligence and abilities of the practical farmers. They are much more likely to teach the landowners, than the landowners to teach them.”

His lordship did not convince me. No doubt there are many farmers well able to instruct landowners, but farmers in general were not then able to do so from their heavy prejudices. I have narrowly observed the farmer in several counties, and found him in one county
bordering upon another, a man of a totally different class, both in mind and management of his business. My remarks to
Lord Althorp were made with the reservation that I was not practical but theoretical, beyond what I had derived from desultory observation, and being country born. I often marvelled how this good natured, hearty, comfortable nobleman was ever manufactured into a Chancellor of the Exchequer. His appearance spoke a better and more honest vocation, a gentleman farming his own estate.

Standing on the verge of the last rocks looking at the Long Ship’s light-house, and the vast expanse of ocean, a man in a sailor’s jacket addressed me. He offered to take me to the Scilly isles in an open boat for a couple of guineas, but he could not answer how long we might be beating up with such a wind as I have before stated. I found my companion was a smuggler, and as I had not forgot the days of boyhood, when I knew many of those daring characters, before coast-guards were known, I put some leading questions to him, and won his confidence.

“Been at work lately, ‘squag’d’ away anything—how goes running now?”

“I haven’t been tother side for a good while—I got six months a little while ago.”

“How was that?”

“It was not my fault—a cargo was cleared, and the ship hauled off, but the skipper in place of washing out the hold got drunk. A revenue cutter boarded him—found nothing to seize, but smelled the liquor, and knew that a cargo was run. The cutter’s boat landed, for they could not touch the ship. They searched the
cliffs, and found six ankers we had stowed away in a hole in the rocks, for we were too tired to carry them after the rest, so we left them till the next night. They kept a watch, and when we were going off seized them and us, and I got six months in jail.”

Such a place as “the cliff,” where they got up the cargo was fearful. The slightest false step would have been inevitable death, and yet they brought up all but six ankers where it would be thought impossible the foot could rest. Once up, the ankers were borne off by the miners, and soon placed in security beyond the reach of a coast guard or the smugglers themselves, in the intricate ramifications of the mines, from whence none but miners could dislodge them. These ramifications extend for miles under ground. Some of those in the consolidated mines in Gwennap, are said to extend fifty-five miles, from two hundred to a thousand feet from the surface or “grass” as the miners call it.

This smuggler told me he had not tasted bread for six months. He, as well as his neighbours, had a little land around their cottage where they planted potatoes and a few vegetables. They had a small boat, their joint property, in which they went out fishing by turns, for most of the people there understand gardening and fishing as well as mining. They divided the fish taken, salting some and drying others. In the mines they worked only eight hours in the twenty-four. Full time enough to pass in the close atmosphere below.

I deeply regretted to find that tithes, in some parishes, were exacted from these poor people’s labour in fishing. They were generally levied in the shape of a sum on the boat, to be paid annually, in lieu of
the fish the owner took. It is a most indefensible tax, especially when, in stormy weather, these poor people can make no use at all of their boat. It is a vicious, unchristian, wicked tax upon the labour of the poor. It is still more obnoxious, when we reflect that before the Reformation, the fisherman, in gratitude for his preservation while pursuing his perilous employment, made a free will present of some fish to his priest, in the supposition of his prayers for him while out at sea. This, the Protestant priest has since declared to be tithe. We have no objection to profit by the superstitions we denounce. In some parishes the courts of law rid the people of this cruel burthen, in others it has been maintained on the same ground that profane swearing may be justified—custom.

In the parish of St. Buryan was a rectory, carrying with it the livings of St. Levan and of Sennen. The three contained three thousand souls, of which it may be presumed nearly one-half were Wesleyan Methodists. Since 1819, the three livings had been under the incumbency of one individual, who resided in London.

Of the two or three persons who remembered me, I inquired after particular individuals, some were known to them, and some death had taken. One in years had died a long time ago, tranquilly, with these remarkable words: “I shall soon be at home—I feel like a youth going from school for the holidays to his father’s house.” Some of my old companions had been victims in war, others had perished in burning climes. One sweet girl had died in misery in a London attic, abandoned by her husband to the want she was too proud to proclaim. The fate of some in hope and fortune very flattering, had been
unhappy, while others in school days contemned as bad, had turned out well in after life. The meanest-minded, and greatest liar in his school days, became a good naval officer, while another, gentlemanly and high-minded, with considerable mental endowments, killed himself with the bottle. Nothing can be more deceptive than the opinions we form in anticipation, regarding our youthful companions contrasted with subsequent realities.

Sir Charles Morgan died soon after my return to town. Until he came to London to reside, we had corresponded for several years. In allusion to one of the most truthful men I ever knew, I cannot avoid mentioning also Lady Morgan, although I do not profess to make mention of living cotemporaries. I do Lady Morgan feeble justice in recording her warmheartedness, her eminent talents, her love of country, and sense of independence. I have nothing to retract, after thirty-four years’ acquaintance, except my own apparent neglect in her regard, justified by absence and causes which I need not state. The fidelity of Lady Morgan to nature’s truth, in her pictures of existing life, the advocacy she has ever displayed for what is just and generous, and the sympathy every honourable mind must feel in respect to the splenetic attacks made upon her by unmanly writers, are obvious things. Lady Morgan could well afford to pay the usual penalty of talent. She drew with a correct pencil the wrongs of her country, and laboured to inculcate on its enemies correct principles for its government. The attacks upon her in the “Quarterly Review,” were generally attributed to Croker. This was a mistake. Croker,
bitter enough in his diatribes, knew what was due to woman—to the sex in the common run of decent society, lash those he censured as he might. I contended that he was not the author of the article to which I allude, and that it was
Gifford, with whom vulgarity was inherent. The fact was as I have stated, on authority I cannot doubt. Lady Morgan described high society in low colours, oftener than low in high. Keen, satirical, full of fancy, if not genius, humorous, clever, how could she live and write truthfully, without enemies? I speak irrespective of her politics, and add my tribute of respect to her talents. She had a sister, too, Lady Clarke, who possessed considerable talents, much humour, and great acuteness. Alas! she now only recals the line:
How swift the shuttle flies that weaves the shroud!

Having read some of the verses of Clare with great delight, I visited him at Dr. Allen’s asylum for the insane in Epping Forest. The patients there were not confined, but were allowed to ramble about the grounds, and amuse themselves as they felt agreeable. I found Clare in a field cutting up thistles, a little, mild man of insignificant person, who, on my approach, stood still, leaning upon the instrument with which he had been working. His manner was perfectly unembarrassed, his language correct and fluent. He appeared to possess great candour and openness of mind, and much of the temperament of genius. There was about his manner no tincture of rusticity—what a mystery is genius! that it should thus change and humanise natural character. He conversed on various topics, and never
but once did he show any eccentricity of mind. It was in the midst of some remarks on
Childe Harold, when an observation upon boxing interrupted the course of the conversation for a minute, and then there was a recurrence to the original topic again, just as if one thought had intruded upon and overlaid another, and then withdrawn itself. Dr. Allen told me that the mind of Clare was so little affected, he might as well have been away. He said that he wanted books and the society of women, where he then was, and wished to be at home, to which I believe he soon afterwards returned. In his descriptions of rural objects, in their minuter details, he is the first of our poets. Every leaf and fibre of vegetation seem to have been regarded with a poet’s eye, and elevated above their common place. His simple pictures are irresistably pleasing. Bloomfield does not approach him in accuracy of description. That he should not be relished in great cities is natural, his simple verse has no congeniality with brick-work streets, but in the country, with those who love nature, he deserves to be a favourite.

I published a pamphlet, entitled “Plain sense Reasons for the Treaty of July, 1840, for Maintaining the Integrity of Turkey,” supporting Lord Palmerston’s policy. On glancing at this pamphlet, which appeared without the writer’s name, nearly seventeen years ago, at the time the Treaty of Hunkiar Skellesi was nullified, there appeared something like the spirit of divination when the late war with Russia is taken into account.


“It must be remembered that the treaty of Adrianople, which concluded a war of Russian aggression, gained her another important step in her favourite object. She adroitly made herself the protector of the Porte as the wolf might make himself the protector of the lamb. The safe mode of judging the true object of Russia’s policy, is to take the opposite of her avowals as the course which she is following. Let her statements be compared on past occasions, from the time when aggressions were falsely charged upon Turkey, and tens of thousands cruelly butchered for no other reason than that Potemkin might get the order of St. George, down to this hour. Every negotiation between Turkey and Russia has been a most impudent piece of double dealing on the Russian side; Russia was always the aggressor, charging the Turks with what was false as an excuse for plundering them of their territory. At one time Russian commerce in the Black Sea was said to be endangered by the Dardanelles being in Turkish power—Russian commerce by the Dardanelles!”


“Even as it is, Russia will not remain long idle under the treaty. She takes credit for her signature to it, but she will intrigue to sow dissension between the other European powers, or make dupes of them for her own interest. She will omit no opportunity of recovering her lost ground by perseverance unflagging and unrevealed, except by its effects. She will trust to time for success, nor dream of resigning her project. Her junction with the other powers can only be regarded as a result of that policy which knows how to conceal disappointed hope under a graceful address.”


“When secretly chagrined, no false pride governs Russia; she will never run her head against a wall, as parties in other countries do without looking to consequences. The other great powers of Europe, bound to resist any attack upon Turkey, she felt that on the ground so far gained towards the fulfilment of her darling object she must be content to encamp—the “pear was not yet ripe,” she must “bide her time”—dissimulation, not aggression, must be the order of the day. Russia knew that half-a-dozen British line of battle ships, and double that number of steamers and frigates in the Black Sea, and 40,000 Austrians sent down the Danube to Rutchuk or Silistria in aid of the Turks, and either the Danube frontier of Bulgaria must be maintained, or the Balkan line from Varna to the Turnova road, and that route itself be rendered impregnable. Russia knew that her hopes upon the Caucasians must be defeated, her disinterested subjects round the Black Sea stimulated to rebellion, and her establishments destroyed. She considered that her Baltic ports blockaded and her vast territories subjected to alarm from the arming of the other powers against her, the thing was not to be prudently dared; to which must be added the consideration, that the first step to ensure success upon Turkey must always be the exclusion of a foreign power from the Dardanelles. If England has an interest in the integrity of Turkey, Austria has a greater. Her enormous frontier from the north-eastern Carpathian mountains to the Danube, and from the Danube to the Save at Semlin, and from Semlin to the Unna, and from the Unna to Badna, close on the southern Adriatic, would become exposed to a very different enemy from the Turk. Even the delay of such an occupation for a few years
would be an advantage to Austria. The stolid and absolute Francis no more, science has moved upon the waters of the Danube, and the efforts of
Count Szechenzi to multiply steam-boats on that river will enable the present more enlightened emperor to send thirty or forty thousand men down in a week to any point of the Turkish frontier which the Czar may menace. Austria, besides the dread of Russian aggrandizement, has an interest in the treaty of July, upon the all-absorbing ground of self-preservation. France as well as England must double her Mediterranean armaments in peace and war in case of a Russian occupation of Turkey. Her frontiers become exposed to a new aggression, or the possibility of it, and a new intermeddler takes a part in all proceedings upon the Mediterranean shores.”

That Russia should have miscalculated a little in regard to the cordial co-operation of France with England was not matter of wonder. She judged from past experience. The firm rule of the Emperor Napoleon was not foreseen by Russia. She thought of M. Thiers, and based her calculations upon the Jesuitism of the old diplomacy.

I could not avoid this episode, which may be set down to the satisfaction or vanity everybody feels at the development of their own peculiar views after the lapse of years, if it be at all a sort of self-compliment.