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Title: International Weekly Miscellany of Literature, Art and Science - Volume 1, No. 7, August 12, 1850

Author: Various

Release date: October 11, 2004 [eBook #13711]
Most recently updated: December 18, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Joshua Hutchinson, William Flis, the PG Online Distributed
Proofreading Team and Cornell University


Of Literature, Art, and Science.

Vol. I. NEW YORK, AUGUST 12, 1850. No. 7.

[pg 193]


From a sprightly letter from Paris to the Cologne Gazette, we translate for The International the following account of the position of women in the French Republic, together with the accompanying gossip concerning sundry ladies whose names have long been quite prominently before the public:

"It is curious that the idea of the emancipation of women should have originated in France, for there is no country in Europe where the sex have so little reason to complain of their position as in this, especially at Paris. Leaving out of view a certain paragraph of the Code Civile—and that is nothing but a sentence in a law-book—and looking closely into the features of women's life, we see that they are not only queens who reign, but also ministers who govern.

"In France women are engaged in a large proportion of civil employments, and may without hesitation devote themselves to art and science. It is indeed astonishing to behold the interest with which the beautiful sex here enter upon all branches of art and knowledge.

"The ateliers of the painters number quite as many female as male students, and there are apparently more women than men who copy the pictures in the Louvre. Nothing is more pleasing than to see these gentle creatures, with their easels, sitting before a colossal Rubens or a Madonna of Raphael. No difficulty alarms them, and prudery is not allowed to give a voice in their choice of subjects.

"I have never yet attended a lecture, by either of the professors here, but I have found some seats occupied by ladies. Even the lectures of Michel Chevalier and Blanqui do not keep back the eagerness of the charming Parisians in pursuit of science. That Michelet and Edgar Quinet have numerous female disciples is accordingly not difficult to believe.

"Go to a public session of the Academy, and you find the 'cercle' filled almost exclusively by ladies, and these laurel-crowned heads have the delight of seeing their immortal works applauded by the clapping of tenderest hands. In truth, the French savan is uncommonly clear in the most abstract things; but it would be an interesting question, whether the necessity of being not alone easily intelligible but agreeable to the capacity of comprehension possessed by the unschooled mind of woman, has not largely contributed to the facility and charm which is peculiar to French scientific literature. Read for example the discourse on Cabanis, pronounced by Mignet at the last session. It would be impossible to write more charmingly, more elegantly, more attractively, even upon a subject within the range of the fine arts. The works, and especially the historical works, of the French, are universally diffused. Popular histories, so-called editions for the people, are here entirely unknown; everything that is published is in a popular edition, and if as great and various care were taken for the education of the people as in Germany, France would in this respect be the first country in the world.

"With the increasing influence of monarchical ideas in certain circles, the women seem to be returning to the traditions of monarchy, and are throwing themselves into the business of making memoirs. Hardly have George Sand's Confessions been announced, and already new enterprises in the same line are set on foot. The European dancer, who is perhaps more famous for making others dance to her music, and who has enjoyed a monopoly of cultivated scandal, Lola Montes, also intends to publish her memoirs. They will of course contain an interesting fragment of German federal politics, and form a contribution to German revolutionary literature. Lola herself is still too beautiful to devote her own time to the writing. Accordingly, she has resorted to the pen of M. Balzac. If Madame Balzac has nothing to say against the necessary intimacy with the dangerous Spanish or Irish or whatever woman—for Lola Montes is a second Homer—the reading world may anticipate an interesting, chapter of life. No writer is better fitted for such a work than so profound a man of the world, and so keen a painter of character, as Balzac.

[pg 194]

"The well-known actress, Mlle. Georges, who was in her prime during the most remarkable epoch of the century, and was in relations with the most prominent persons of the Empire, is also preparing a narrative of her richly varied experiences. Perhaps these attractive examples may induce Madame Girardin also to bestow her memoirs upon us, and so the process can be repeated infinitely."

Authors and Books.

Parke Godwin has just given to the public, through Mr. Putnam, a new edition of the translation made by himself and some literary friends, of Goethe's "Autobiography, or Truth and Poetry from My Life." In his new preface Mr. Godwin exposes one of the most scandalous pieces of literary imposition that we have ever read of. This translation, with a few verbal alterations which mar its beauty and lessen its fidelity, has been reprinted in "Bohn's Standard Library," in London, as an original English version, in the making of which "the American was of occasional use," &c. Mr. Godwin is one of our best German scholars, and his discourse last winter on the character and genius of Goethe, illustrated his thorough appreciation of the Shakspeare of the Continent, and that affectionate sympathy which is so necessary to the task of turning an author from one language into another. There are very few books in modern literature more attractive or more instructive to educated men than this Autobiography of Goethe, for which we are indebted to him.

John Randolph is the best subject for a biography, that our political experience has yet furnished. Who that remembers the long and slender man of iron, with his scarcely human scorn of nearly all things beyond his "old Dominion," and his withering wit, never restrained by any pity, and his passion for destroying all fabrics of policy or reputation of which he was not himself the architect, but will read with anticipations of keen interest the announcement of a life of the eccentric yet great Virginian! Such a work, by the Hon. Hugh A. Garland, is in the press of the Appletons. We know little of Mr. Garland's capacities in this way, but if his book prove not the most attractive in the historical literature of the year, the fault will not be in its subject.

The Scottish Booksellers have instituted a society for professional objects under the title of the "Edinburgh Booksellers' Union." In addition to business purposes, they propose to collect and preserve books and pamphlets written by or relating to booksellers, printers, engravers, or members of collateral professions,—rare editions of other works—and generally articles connected with parties belonging to the above professions, whether literary, professional, or personal.

D'Israeli abandons himself now-a-days entirely to politics. "The forehead high, and gleaming eye, and lip awry, of Benjamin D'Israeli," sung once by Fraser are no longer seen before the title-pages of "Wondrous Tales," but only before the Speaker. It is much referred to, that in the recent parliamentary commemoration of Sir Robert Peel, the Hebrew commoner kept silence; his long war of bitter sarcasm and reproach on the defunct statesman was too freshly remembered. Peel rarely exerted himself to more advantage than in his replies, to D'Israeli, all noticeable for subdued disdain, conscious patriotism, and argumentative completeness. For injustice experienced through life, the meritorious dead are in a measure revenged by the feelings of their accusers or detractors, when the latter retain the sensibility which the grave usually excites, and especially amid such a chorus of applause from all parties, and a whole people, as we have now in England for Sir Robert Peel—the only man in the Empire, except Wellington, who had a strictly personal authority.

Dr. Dickson, recently of the Medical Department of the New York University, and whose ill-health induced the resignation of the chair he held there, has returned to Charleston, and we observe that his professional and other friends in that city greeted him with a public dinner, on the 9th ult. Dr. Dickson we believe is one of the most classically elegant writers upon medical science in the United States. He ranks with Chapman and Oliver Wendell Holmes in the grace of his periods as well as in the thoroughness of his learning and the exactness and acuteness of his logic. Like Holmes, too, he is a poet, and, generally, a very accomplished litterateur. We regret the loss that New York sustains in his removal, but congratulate Charleston upon the recovery of one of the best known and most loved attractions of her society.

Mr. John R. Bartlett's boundary commission will soon be upon the field of its activity. We were pleased to see that Mr. Davis, of Massachusetts, a few days ago presented in the Senate petitions from Edward Everett, Jared Sparks, and others, and from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, at Boston, to the effect that it would be of great public utility to attach to the boundary commission to run the line between the United States and Mexico, a small corps of persons well qualified to make researches in the various departments of science.

William C. Richards, the very clever and accomplished editor of the Southern Literary Gazette was the author of "Two Country Sonnets," contributed to a recent number of The International, which we inadvertently credited to his brother, T. Addison Richards the well-known and much esteemed landscape painter.

[pg 195]

MAJOR POUSSIN, so well-known for his long residence in this country as an officer of engineers, and, more recently, as Minister of the French republic,—which, intelligent men have no need to be assured, he represented with uniform wisdom and manliness,—is now engaged at Paris upon a new edition of his important book, The Power and Prospects of the United States. We perceive that he has lately published in the Republican journal Le Credit, a translation of the American instructions to Mr. Mann, respecting Hungary. In his preface to this document, Major Poussin pays the warmest compliments to the feelings, measures and policy of our administration, with which he contrasts, at the same time, those of the French Government. He hopes a great deal for the Democratic cause in Europe from the moral influences of the United States.

DR. JOHN W. FRANCIS, one of the most excellent men, as well as one of the best physicians of New York, has received from Trinity College, Hartford, the degree of Doctor of Laws. We praise the authorities of Trinity for this judicious bestowal of its honors. Francis's career of professional usefulness and variously successful intellectual activity, are deserving such academical recognition. His genial love of learning, large intelligence, ready appreciation of individual merit, and that genuine love of country which has led him to the carefullest and most comprehensive study of our general and particular annals, and to the frequentest displays of the sources of its enduring grandeur, constitute in him a character eminently entitled to our affectionate admiration.

THE POEMS OF GRAY, in an edition of singular typographical and pictorial beauty, are to be issued as one of the autumn gift-books by Henry C. Baird, of Philadelphia. They are to be edited by the tasteful and judicious critic, Professor Henry Reed, of the University of Pennsylvania, to whom we were indebted for the best edition of Wordsworth that appeared during the life of that poet. We have looked over Professor Reed's life of Gray, and have seen proofs of the admirable engravings with which the work will be embellished. It will be dedicated to our American Moxon, JAMES T. FIELDS, as a souvenir. we presume, of a visit to the grave of the bard, which the two young booksellers made together during a recent tour in Europe. Mr. Baird and Mr. Fields are of the small company of publishers, who, if it please them, can write their own books. They have both given pleasant evidence of abilities in this way.

BURNS.—It appears from the Scotch papers that the house in Burns-street, Dumfries, in which the bard of "Tam o'Shanter" and his wife "bonnie Jean," lived and died, is about to come into the market by way of public auction.

"EUROPE, PAST AND PRESENT:" A comprehensive manual of European Geography and History, derived from official and authentic sources, and comprising not only an accurate geographical and statistical description, but also a faithful and interesting history of all European States; to which is appended a copious and carefully arranged index, by Francis H. Ungewitter, LL.D.,—is a volume of some six hundred pages, just published by Mr. Putnam. It has been prepared with much well-directed labor, and will be found a valuable and comprehensive manual of reference upon all questions relating to the history, geographical position, and general statistics of the several States of Europe.

M. LIBRI, of whose conviction at Paris (par contumace, that is, in default of appearance), of stealing books from public libraries, we have given some account in The International, is warmly and it appears to us successfully defended in the Athenæum, in which it is alleged that there was not a particle of legal evidence against him. M. Libri is, and was at the time of the appearance of the accusation against him, a political exile in England.

MAJOR RAWLINSON, F.R.S., has published a "Commentary on the Cuneiform Inscriptions of Babylon and Assyria," including readings of the inscriptions on the Nimroud Obelisk, discovered by Mr. Layard, and a brief notice of the ancient kings of Nineveh and Babylon. It was read before the Royal Asiatic Society.

REV. DR. WISEMAN, author of the admirable work on the Connection between Science and Religion, is to proceed to Rome toward the close of the present month to receive the hat of a cardinal. It is many years since any English Roman Catholic, resident in England, attained this honor.

THE OHIO HISTORICAL SOCIETY has published several interesting volumes, of which the most important are those of Judge Burnett. An address, by William D. Gallagher, its President, on the History and Resources of the West and Northwest, has just been issued: and it has nearly ready for publication a volume of Mr. Hildreth.

THE IMPERIAL LIBRARY AT VIENNA has been enriched by a very old Greek manuscript on the Advent of Christ, composed by a bishop of the second century, named Clement. This manuscript was discovered a short time since by M. Waldeck, the philologist, at Constantinople.

MR. KEIGHTLEY's "History of Greece" has been translated into modern Greek and published at Athens.

GUIZOT's book on Democracy, has been prohibited in Austria, through General Haynau's influence.

[pg 196]

WORDSWORTH'S POSTHUMOUS POEM, "The Prelude," is in the press of the Appletons, by whose courtesy we are enabled to present the readers of The International with the fourth canto of it, before its publication in England. The poem is a sort of autobiography in blank verse, marked by all the characteristics of the poet—his original vein of thought; his majestic, but sometimes diffuse, style of speculation; his large sympathies with humanity, from its proudest to its humblest forms. It will be read with great avidity by his admirers—and there are few at this day who do not belong to that class—as affording them a deeper insight into the mind of Wordsworth than any of his other works. It is divided into several books, named from the different situations or stages of the author's life, or the subjects which at any period particularly engaged his attention. We believe it will be more generally read than any poem of equal length that has issued from the press in this age.

Miss COOPER's "RURAL HOURS"1 is everywhere commended as one of the most charming pictures that have ever appeared of country life. The books of the Howitts, delineating the same class of subjects in England and Germany, are not to be compared to Miss Cooper's for delicate painting or grace and correctness of diction. The Evening Post observes:

"This is one of the most delightful books we have lately taken up. It is a journal of daily observations made by an intelligent and highly educated lady, residing in a most beautiful part of the country, commencing with the spring of 1848, and closing with the end of the winter of 1849. They almost wholly concern the occupations and objects of country life, and it is almost enough to make one in love with such a life to read its history so charmingly narrated. Every day has its little record in this volume,—the record of some rural employment, some note on the climate, some observation in natural history, or occasionally some trait of rural manners. The arrival and departure of the birds of passage is chronicled, the different stages of vegetation are noted, atmospheric changes and phenomena are described, and the various living inhabitants of the field and forest are made to furnish matter of entertainment for the reader. All this is done with great variety and exactness of knowledge, and without any parade of science. Descriptions of rural holidays and rural amusements are thrown in occasionally, to give a living interest to a picture which would otherwise become monotonous from its uniform quiet. The work is written in easy and flexible English, with occasional felicities of expression. It is ascribed, as we believe we have informed our readers, to a daughter of J. Fenimore Cooper. Our country is full of most interesting materials for a work of this sort; but we confess we hardly expected, at the present time, to see them collected and arranged by so skillful a hand."

THE REV. SYDNEY SMITH's "Sketches of Modern Philosophy," remarks the Tribune, "consist of a course of popular lectures on the subject, delivered in the Royal Institution of London in the years 1804-5-6. As a contribution to the science of which they profess to treat, their claims to respect are very moderate. Indeed, no one would ridicule any pretensions of that kind with more zeal than the author himself. The manuscripts were left in an imperfect state, Sydney Smith probably supposing that no call would ever be made for their publication. They were written merely for popular effect, to be spoken before a miscellaneous audience, in which any abstract topics of moral philosophy would be the last to awaken an interest. The title of the book is accordingly a misnomer. It would lead no one to suspect the rich and diversified character of its contents. They present no ambitious attempts at metaphysical disquisition. They are free from dry technicalities of ethical speculation. They have no specimens of logical hair-splitting, no pedantic array of barren definitions, no subtle distinctions proceeding from an ingenious fancy, and without any foundation in nature. On the contrary, we find in this volume a series of lively, off-hand, dashing comments on men and manners, often running into broad humor, and always marked with the pungent common sense that never forsook the facetious divine. His remarks on the conduct of the understanding, on literary habits, on the use and value of books, and other themes of a similar character, are for the most part instructive and practical as well as piquant, and on the whole, the admirers of Sydney Smith will have no reason to regret the publication of the volume."

[From the London Times.]


In the following brief narrative of the principal facts in the life of the great statesman who has just been snatched from among us, we must disclaim all intention of dealing with his biography in any searching or ambitious spirit. The national loss is so great, the bereavement is so sudden, that we cannot sit down calmly either to eulogize or arraign the memory of the deceased. We cannot forget that it was not a week ago we were occupied in recording and commenting upon his last eloquent address to that assembly which had so often listened with breathless attention to his statesmanlike expositions of policy. We could do little else when the mournful intelligence reached us that Sir Robert Peel was no more, than pen a few expressions of sorrow and respect. Even now the following imperfect record of facts must be accepted as a poor substitute for the biography [pg 197] of that great Englishman whose loss will be felt almost as a private bereavement by every family throughout the British Empire:—

Sir Robert Peel was in the 63d year of his age, having been born near Bury, in Lancashire, on the 5th of February, 1788. His father was a manufacturer on a grand scale, and a man of much natural ability, and of almost unequaled opulence. Full of a desire to render his son and probable successor worthy of the influence and the vast wealth which he had to bestow, the first Sir Robert Peel took the utmost pains personally with the early training of the future prime minister. He retained his son under his own immediate superintendence until he arrived at a sufficient age to be sent to Harrow. Lord Byron, his contemporary at Harrow, was a better declaimer and a more amusing actor, but in sound learning and laborious application to school duties young Peel had no equal. He had scarcely completed his 16th year when he left Harrow and became a gentleman commoner of Christ Church, Oxford, where he took the degree of A.B., in 1808, with unprecedented distinction.

The year 1809 saw him attain his majority, and take his seat in the House of Commons as a member for Cashel, in Tipperary.

The first Sir Robert Peel had long been a member of the House of Commons, and the early efforts of his son in that assembly were regarded with considerable interest, not only on account of his University reputation, but also because he was the son of such a father. He did not, however, begin public life by staking his fame on the results of one elaborate oration; on the contrary, he rose now and then on comparatively unimportant occasions; made a few brief modest remarks, stated a fact or two, explained a difficulty when he happened to understand the matter in hand better than others, and then sat down without taxing too severely the patience or good nature of an auditory accustomed to great performances. Still in the second year of his parliamentary course he ventured to make a set speech, when, at the commencement of the session of 1810, he seconded the address in reply to the King's speech. Thenceforward for nineteen years a more highflying Tory than Mr. Peel was not to be found within the walls of parliament. Lord Eldon applauded him as a young and valiant champion of those abuses in the state which were then fondly called "the institutions of the country." Lord Sidmouth regarded him as the rightful political heir, and even the Duke of Cumberland patronized Mr. Peel. He further became the favorite eleve of Mr. Perceval, the first lord of the treasury, and entered office as under-secretary for the home department. He continued in the home department for two years, not often speaking in parliament, but rather qualifying himself for those prodigious labors in debate, in council, and in office, which it has since been his lot to encounter and perform.

In May, 1812, Mr. Perceval fell by the hand of an assassin, and the composition of the ministry necessarily underwent a great change. The result, so far as Mr. Peel was concerned, was, that he was appointed Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. Mr. Peel had only reached his 26th year when, in the month of September, 1812, the duties of that anxious and laborious position were entrusted to his hands. The legislative union was then but lately consummated, and the demand for Catholic emancipation had given rise to an agitation of only very recent date. But, in proportion to its novelty, so was its vigor. Mr. Peel was, therefore, as the representative of the old tory Protestant school, called upon to encounter a storm of unpopularity, such as not even an Irish secretary has ever been exposed to. The late Mr. O'Connell in various forms poured upon Mr. Peel a torrent of invective which went beyond even his extraordinary performances in the science of scolding. At length he received from Mr. Peel a hostile message. Negotiations went on for three or four days, when Mr. O'Connell was taken into custody and bound over to keep the peace toward all his fellow-subjects in Ireland. Mr. Peel and his friend immediately went to England, and subsequently proceeded to the continent. Mr. O'Connell followed them to London, but the police were active enough to bring him before the chief justice, when he entered into recognizances to keep the peace toward all his majesty's subjects; and so ended one of the few personal squabbles in which Mr. Peel had ever been engaged. For six years he held the office of chief secretary to the lord-lieutenant, at a time when the government was conducted upon what might be called "anti-conciliation principles." The opposite course was commenced by Mr. Peel's immediate successor, Mr. Charles Grant, now Lord Glenelg.

That a chief secretary so circumstanced, struggling to sustain extreme Orangeism in its dying agonies, should have been called upon to encounter great toil and anxiety is a truth too obvious to need illustration. That in these straits Mr. Peel acquitted himself with infinite address was as readily acknowledged at that time as it has ever been even in the zenith of his fame. He held office in that country under three successive viceroys, the Duke of Richmond, Earl Whitworth, and Earl Talbot, all of whom have long since passed away from this life, their names and their deeds long forgotten. But the history of their chief secretary happens not to have been composed of such perishable materials, and we now approach one of the most memorable passages of his eventful career. He was chairman of the great bullion committee; but before he engaged in that stupendous task he had resigned the chief secretaryship of Ireland. As a consequence of the report of that committee, he took charge of and introduced the bill for authorizing a return to [pg 198] cash payments which bears his name, and which measure received the sanction of parliament in the year 1819. That measure brought upon Mr. Peel no slight or temporary odium. The first Sir Robert Peel was then alive, and altogether differed from his son as to the tendency of his measure. It was roundly asserted at the time, and very faintly denied, that it rendered that gentleman a more wealthy man, by something like half a million sterling, than he had previously been. The deceased statesman, however, must, in common justice, be acquitted of any sinister purpose.

This narrative now reaches the year 1820, when we have to relate the only domestic event in the history of Sir Robert Peel which requires notice. On the 8th of June, being then in the 33d year of his age, he married Julia, daughter of General Sir John Floyd, who had then attained the age of 25.

Two years afterward there was a lull in public affairs, which gave somewhat the appearance of tranquillity. Lord Sidmouth was growing old, he thought that his system was successful, and that at length he might find repose. He considered it then consistent with his public duty to consign to younger and stronger hands the seals of the home department. He accepted a seat in the cabinet without office, and continued to give his support to Lord Liverpool, his ancient political chief. In permitting his mantle to fall upon Mr. Peel, he thought he was assisting to invest with authority one whose views and policy were as narrow as his own, and whose practise in carrying them out would be not less rigid and uncompromising. But, like many others, he lived long enough to be grievously disappointed by the subsequent career of him whom the liberal party have since called "the great minister of progress," and whom their opponents have not scrupled to designate by appellations not to be repeated in these hours of sorrow and bereavement. On the 17th of January, 1822, Mr. Peel was installed at the head of the home department, where he remained undisturbed till the political demise of Lord Liverpool in the spring of 1827. The most distinguished man that has filled the chair of the House of Commons in the present century was Charles Abbott, afterward Lord Colchester. In the summer of 1817 he had completed sixteen years of hard service in that eminent office, and he had represented the University for eleven years. His valuable labors having been rewarded with a pension and a peerage, he took his seat, full of years and honors, among the hereditary legislators of the land, and left a vacancy in the representation of his alma mater, which Mr. Peel above all living men was deemed the most fitting person to occupy. At that time he was an intense tory—or as the Irish called him, an Orange Protestant of the deepest dye—one prepared to make any sacrifice for the maintenance of church and state as established by the revolution of 1688. Who, therefore, so fit as he to represent the loyalty, learning, and orthodoxy of Oxford? To have done so had been the object of Mr. Canning's young ambition: but in 1817 he could not be so ungrateful to Liverpool as to reject its representation even for the early object of his parliamentary affections. Mr. Peel, therefore, was returned without opposition, for that constituency which many consider the most important in the land—with which he remained on the best possible terms for twelve years. The question of the repeal of the penal laws affecting the Roman Catholics, which severed so many political connections, was, however, destined to separate Mr. Peel from Oxford. In 1828 rumors of the coming change were rife, and many expedients were devised to extract his opinions on the Catholic question. But with the reserve which ever marked his character, left all curiosity at fault. At last, the necessities of the government rendered further concealment impossible, and out came the truth that he was no longer an Orangeman. The ardent friends who had frequently supported his Oxford elections, and the hot partisans who shouted "Peel and Protestantism," at the Brunswick Clubs, reviled him for his defection in no measured terms. On the 4th of February, 1829, he addressed a letter to the vice-chancellor of Oxford, stating, in many well-turned phrases, that the Catholic question must forthwith be adjusted, under advice in which he concurred; and that, therefore, he considered himself bound to resign that trust which the University had during so many years confided to his hands. His resignation was accepted; but as the avowed purpose of that important step was to give his constituents an opportunity of pronouncing an opinion upon a change of policy, he merely accepted the Chiltern Hundreds with the intention of immediately becoming a candidate for that seat in parliament which he had just vacated. At this election Mr. Peel was opposed by Sir Robert Inglis, who was elected by 755 to 609. Mr. Peel was, therefore, obliged to cast himself on the favor of Sir Manasseh Lopez, who returned him for Westbury, in Wiltshire, which constituency he continued to represent two years, until at the general election in 1830 he was chosen for Tamworth, in the representation for which he continued for twenty years.

The main features of his official life still remain to be noticed. With the exception of Lord Palmerston, no statesman of modern times has spent so many years in the civil service of the crown. If no account be taken of the short time he was engaged upon the bullion committee in effecting the change in the currency, and in opposing for a few months the ministries of Mr. Canning and Lord Goderich, it may be stated that from 1810 to 1830 he formed part of the government, and presided over it as a first minister in 1834-5, as well as from 1841 to 1846 inclusive. During the time that he held the office of [pg 199] home secretary under Lord Liverpool he effected many important changes in the administration of domestic affairs, and many legislative improvements of a practical and comprehensive character. But his fame as member of parliament was principally sustained at this period of his life by the extensive and admirable alterations which he effected in the criminal law. Romilly and Mackintosh had preceded him in the great work of reforming and humanizing the code of England. For his hand, however, was reserved the introduction of ameliorations which they had long toiled and struggled for in vain. The ministry through whose influence he was enabled to carry these reforms lost its chief in Lord Liverpool during the early part of the year 1827. When Mr. Canning undertook to form a government, Mr. Peel, the late Lord Eldon, the Duke of Wellington, and other eminent tories of that day, threw up office, and are said to have persecuted Mr. Canning with a degree of rancor far outstripping the legitimate bounds of political hostility. Lord George Bentinck said "they hounded to the death my illustrious relative"; and the ardor of his subsequent opposition to Sir Robert Peel evidently derived its intensity from a long cherished sense of the injuries supposed to have been inflicted upon Mr. Canning. It is the opinion of men not ill informed respecting the sentiments of Canning, that he considered Peel as his true political successor—as a statesman competent to the task of working out that large and liberal policy which he fondly hoped the tories might, however tardily, be induced to sanction. At all events, he is believed not to have entertained toward Mr. Peel any personal hostility, and to have stated during his short-lived tenure of office that that gentleman was the only member of his party who had not treated him with ingratitude and unkindness.

In January, 1828, the Wellington ministry took office and held it till November, 1830. Mr. Peel's reputation suffered during this period very rude shocks. He gave up, as already stated, his anti-Catholic principles, lost the force of twenty years' consistency, and under unheard-of disadvantages introduced the very measure he had spent so many years in opposing. The debates on Catholic emancipation, which preceded the great reform question, constitute a period in his life, which, twenty years ago, every one would have considered its chief and prominent feature. There can be no doubt that the course he then adopted demanded greater moral courage than at any previous period of his life he had been called upon to exercise. He believed himself incontestibly in the right; he believed, with the Duke of Wellington, that the danger of civil war was imminent, and that such an event was immeasurably a greater evil than surrendering the constitution of 1688. But he was called upon to snap asunder a parliamentary connection of twelve years with a great university, in which the most interesting period of his youth had been passed; to encounter the reproaches of adherents whom he had often led in well-fought contests against the advocates of what was termed "civil and religious liberty;" to tell the world that the character of public men for consistency, however precious, is not to be directly opposed to the common weal; and to communicate to many the novel as well as unpalatable truth that what they deemed "principle" must give way to what he called "expediency."

When he ceased to be a minister of the crown, that general movement throughout Europe which succeeded the deposition of the elder branch of the Bourbons rendered parliamentary reform as unavoidable as two years previously Catholic emancipation had been. He opposed this change, no doubt with increased knowledge and matured talents, but with impaired influence and few parliamentary followers. The history of the reform debates will show that Sir Robert Peel made many admirable speeches, which served to raise his reputation, but never for a moment turned the tide of fortune against his adversaries, and in the first session of the first reformed parliament he found himself at the head of a party that in numbers little exceeded one hundred. As soon as it was practicable he rallied his broken forces; either he or some of his political friends gave them the name of "Conservatives," and it required but a short interval of reflection and observation to prove to his sagacious intellect that the period of reaction was at hand. Every engine of party organization was put into vigorous activity, and before the summer of 1834 reached its close he was at the head of a compact, powerful, and well-disciplined opposition. Such a high impression of their vigor and efficiency had King William IV received, that when, in November, Lord Althorp became a peer, and the whigs therefore lost their leader to the House of Commons, his Majesty sent in Italy to summon Sir Robert Peel to his councils, with a view to the immediate formation of a conservative ministry. He accepted this responsibility, though he thought the King had mistaken the condition of the country and the chances of success which had awaited his political friends. A new House of Commons was instantly called, and for nearly three months Sir Robert Peel maintained a struggle against the most formidable opposition that for nearly a century any minister had been called to encounter. At no time did his command of temper, his almost exhaustless resources of information, his vigorous and comprehensive intellect appear to create such astonishment or draw forth such unbounded admiration as in the early part of 1835. But, after a well-fought contest he retired once more into the opposition till the close of the second Melbourne Administration in 1841. It was in April, 1835, that Lord Melbourne was restored to power, but the [pg 200] continued enjoyment of office did not much promote the political interests of his party, and from various causes the power of the whigs began to decline. The commencement of a new reign gave them some popularity, but in the new House of Commons, elected in consequence of that event, the conservative party were evidently gaining strength; still, after the failure of 1834-5, it was no easy task to dislodge an existing ministry, and at the same time to be prepared with a cabinet and a party competent to succeed them. Sir Robert Peel, therefore, with characteristic caution, "bided his time", conducting the business of opposition throughout the whole of this period with an ability and success of which history affords few examples. He had accepted the Reform Bill as the established law of England, and as the system upon which the country was thenceforward to be governed. He was willing to carry it out in its true spirit, but he would proceed no further. He marshaled his opposition upon the principle of resistance to any further organic changes, and he enlisted the majority of the peers and nearly the whole of the country gentlemen of England in support of the great principle of protection to British industry. The little maneuvres and small political intrigues of the period are almost forgotten, and the remembrance of them is scarcely worthy of revival. It may, however, be mentioned, that in 1839 ministers, being left in a minority, resigned, and Sir Robert Peel, when sent for by the Queen, demanded that certain ladies in the household of her majesty,—the near relatives of eminent whig politicians,—should be removed from the personal service of the sovereign. As this was refused, he abandoned for the time any attempt to form a government, and his opponents remained in office till September, 1841. It was then Sir Robert Peel became the first lord of the treasury, and the Duke of Wellington, without office, accepted a seat in the cabinet, taking the management of the House of Lords. His ministry was formed on protectionist principles, but the close of its career was marked by the adoption of free trade doctrines differing in the widest and most liberal sense. Sir Robert Peel's sense of public duty impelled him once more to incur the odium and obliquy which attended a fundamental change of policy, and a repudiation of the political partizans by whose ardent support a minister may have attained office and authority. It was his fate to encounter more than any man ever did, that hostility which such conduct, however necessary, never fails to produce. This great change in our commercial policy, however unavoidable, must be regarded as the proximate cause of his final expulsion from office in July, 1846. His administration, however, had been signalized by several measures of great political importance. Among the earliest and most prominent of these were his financial plans, the striking feature of which was an income-tax; greatly extolled for the exemption it afforded from other burdens pressing more severely on industry, but loudly condemned for its irregular and unequal operation, a vice which has since rendered its contemplated increase impossible.

Of the ministerial life of Sir Robert Peel little more remains to be related except that which properly belongs rather to the history of the country than to his individual biography. But it would be unjust to the memory of one of the most sagacious statesman that England ever produced to deny that his latest renunciation of political principles required but two short years to attest the vital necessity of that unqualified surrender. If the corn laws had been in existence at the period when the political system of the continent was shaken to its centre and dynasties crumbled into dust, a question would have been left in the hands of the democratic party of England, the force of which neither skill nor influence could then have evaded. Instead of broken friendships, shattered reputations for consistency, or diminished rents, the whole realm of England might have borne a fearful share in that storm of wreck and revolution which had its crisis in the 10th of April, 1848.

In the course of his long and eventful life many honors were conferred upon Sir Robert Peel. Wherever he went, and almost at all times, he attracted universal attention, and was always received with the highest consideration. At the close of 1836 the University of Glasgow elected him Lord Rector, and the conservatives of that city, in January, 1837, invited him to a banquet at which three thousand gentlemen assembled to do honor to their great political chief. But this was only one among many occasions on which he was "the great guest." Perhaps the most remarkable of these banquets was that given to him in 1835 at Merchant Tailors' Hall by three hundred members of the House of Commons. Many other circumstances might be related to illustrate the high position which Sir Robert Peel occupied. Anecdotes innumerable might be recorded to show the extraordinary influence in Parliament which made him "the great commoner" of the age; for Sir Robert Peel was not only a skillful and adroit debater, but by many degrees the most able and one of the most eloquent men in either house of parliament. Nothing could be more stately or imposing than the long array of sounding periods in which he expounded his doctrines, assailed his political adversaries, or vindicated his own policy. But when the whole land laments his loss, when England mourns the untimely fate of one of her noblest sons, the task of critical disquisition upon literary attainments or public oratory possesses little attraction. It may be left for calmer moments, and a more distant time, to investigate with unforgiving justice the sources of his errors, or to estimate the precise value of services which the public is now disposed to regard with no other feelings than those of unmingled gratitude.

[pg 201]

From the Art-Journal.



The frequent observation of foreigners is, that in England we have few "celebrated women." Perhaps they mean that we have few who are "notorious;" but let us admit that in either case they are right; and may we not express our belief in its being better for women and for the community that such is the case. "Celebrity" rarely adds to the happiness of a woman, and almost as rarely increases her usefulness. The time and attention required to attain "celebrity," must, except under very peculiar circumstances, interfere with the faithful discharge of those feminine duties upon which the well-doing of society depends, and which shed so pure a halo around our English homes. Within these "homes" our heroes, statesmen, philosophers, men of letters, men of genius, receive their first impressions, and the impetus to a faithful discharge of their after callings as Christian subjects of the State.

There are few of such men who do not trace back their resolution, their patriotism, their wisdom, their learning—the nourishment of all their higher aspirations—to a wise, hopeful, loving-hearted and faith-inspired Mother; one who believed in a son's destiny to be great; it may be, impelled to such belief rather by instinct than by reason: who cherished (we can find no better word) the "Hero-feeling" of devotion to what was right; though it might have been unworldly; and whose deep heart welled up perpetual love and patience toward the overboiling faults and frequent stumblings of a hot youth, which she felt would mellow into a fruitful manhood.

The strength and glory of England are in the keeping of the wives and mothers of its men; and when we are questioned touching our "celebrated women", we may in general terms refer to those who have watched over, moulded, and inspired our "celebrated men".

Happy is the country where the laws of God and Nature are held in reverence—where each sex fulfills its peculiar duties, and renders its sphere a sanctuary! And surely such harmony is blessed by the Almighty—for while other nations writhe in anarchy and poverty, our own spreads wide her arms to receive all who seek protection or need repose.

But if we have few "celebrated" women, few who, impelled either by circumstances or the irrepressible restlessness of genius, go forth amid the pitfalls of publicity, and battle with the world, either as poets, or dramatists, or moralists, or mere tale-tellers in simple prose—or, more dangerous still, "hold the mirror up to nature" on the stage that mimics life—if we have but few, we have, and have had some, of whom we are justly proud; women of such well-balanced minds, that toil they ever so laboriously in their public and perilous paths, their domestic and social [pg 202] duties have been fulfilled with as diligent and faithful love as though the world had never been purified and enriched by the treasures of their feminine wisdom; yet this does not shake our belief, that despite the spotless and well-earned reputations they enjoyed, the homage they received, (and it has its charm,) and even the blessed consciousness of having contributed to the healthful recreation, the improved morality, the diffusion of the best sort of knowledge—the woman would have been happier had she continued enshrined in the privacy of domestic love and domestic duty. She may not think this at the commencement of her career; and at its termination, if she has lived sufficiently long to have descended, even gracefully, from her pedestal, she may often recall the homage of the past to make up for its lack in the present. But so perfectly is woman constituted for the cares, the affections, the duties—the blessed duties of un-public life—that if she give nature way it will whisper to her a text, that "celebrity never added to the happiness of a true woman". She must look for her happiness to HOME. We would have young women ponder over this, and watch carefully, ere the veil is lifted, and the hard cruel eye of public criticism fixed upon them. No profession is pastime; still less so now than ever, when so many people are "clever", though so few are great. We would pray those especially who direct their thoughts to literature, to think of what they have to say, and why they wish to say it; and above all, to weigh what they may expect from a capricious public, against the blessed shelter and pure harmonies of private life.

But we have had some—and still have some—"celebrated" women, of whom we have said "we may be justly proud". We have done pilgrimage to the shrine of Lady Rachel Russell, who was so thoroughly "domestic", that the Corinthian beauty of her character would never have been matter of history, but for the wickedness of a bad king. We have recorded the hours spent with Hannah More; the happy days passed with, and the years invigorated by, the advice and influence of Maria Edgworth. We might recall the stern and faithful puritanism of Maria Jane Jewsbury, and the Old World devotion of the true and high-souled daughter of Israel—Grace Aguilar. The mellow tones of Felicia Hemans' poetry lingers still among all who appreciate the holy sympathies of religion and virtue. We could dwell long and profitably on the enduring patience and lifelong labor of Barbara Hofland, and steep a diamond in tears to record the memories of L.E.L. We could,—alas! alas! barely five and twenty years' acquaintance with literature and its ornaments, and the brilliant catalogue is but a Memento Mori. Perhaps of all this list, Maria Edgworth's life was the happiest: simply because she was the most retired, the least exposed to the gaze and observation of the world, the most occupied by loving duties toward the most united circle of old and young we ever saw assembled in one happy home.

The very young have never, perhaps, read one of the tales of a lady whose reputation as a novelist was in its zenith when Walter Scott published his first novel. We desire to place a chaplet upon the grave of a woman once "celebrated" all over the known world, yet who drew all her happiness from the lovingness of home and friends, while her life was as pure as her renown was extensive.

In our own childhood romance-reading was prohibited, but earnest entreaty procured an exception in favor of the "Scottish Chiefs". It was the bright summer, and we read it by moonlight, only disturbed by the murmur of the distant ocean. We read it, crouched in the deep recess of the nursery-window; we read it until moonlight and morning met, and the breakfast-bell ringing out into the soft air from the old gable, found us at the end of the fourth volume. Dear old times! when it would have been deemed little less than sacrilege to crush a respectable romance into a shilling volume, and our mammas considered only a five-volume story curtailed of its just proportions.

Sir William Wallace has never lost his heroic ascendancy over us, and we have steadily resisted every temptation to open the "popular edition" of the long-loved romance, lest what people will call "the improved state of the human mind", might displace the sweet memory of the mingled admiration and indignation that chased each other, while we read and wept, without ever questioning the truth of the absorbing narrative.

Yet the "Scottish Chiefs" scarcely achieved the popularity of "Thaddeus of Warsaw"—the first romance originated by the active brain and singularly constructive power of Jane Porter—produced at an almost girlish age.

The hero of "Thaddeus of Warsaw" was really Kosciuszko, the beloved pupil of George Washington, the grandest and purest patriot the modern world has known. The enthusiastic girl was moved to its composition by the stirring times in which she lived, and a personal observation of and acquaintance with some of those brave men whose struggles for liberty only ceased with their exile or their existence.

Miss Porter placed her standard of excellence on high ground, and—all gentle-spirited as was her nature—it was firm and unflinching toward what she believed the right and true. We must not therefore judge her by the depressed state of "feeling" in these times, when its demonstration is looked upon as artificial or affected. Toward the termination of the last, and the commencement of the present century, the world was roused into an interest and enthusiasm, which now we can scarcely appreciate or account for; the sympathies of England were awakened by [pg 203] the terrible revolutions of France and the desolation of Poland; as a principle, we hated Napoleon, though he had neither act nor part in the doings of the democrats; and the sea-songs of Dibdin, which our youth now would call uncouth and ungraceful rhymes, were key-notes to public feeling; the English of that time were thoroughly "awake"—the British Lion had not slumbered through a thirty years' peace. We were a nation of soldiers, and sailors, and patriots; not of mingled cotton-spinners, and railway speculators, and angry protectionists. We do not say which state of things is best or worst, we desire merely to account for what may be called the taste for heroic literature at that time, and the taste for—we really hardly know what to call it—literature of the present, made up, as it too generally is, of shreds and patches—bits of gold and bits of tinsel—things written in a hurry, to be read in a hurry, and never thought of afterward—suggestive rather than reflective, at the best: and we must plead guilty to a too great proneness to underrate what our fathers probably overrated.

At all events we must bear in mind, while reading or thinking over Miss Porter's novels, that in her day, even the exaggeration of enthusiasm was considered good tone and good taste. How this enthusiasm was fostered, not subdued, can be gathered by the author's ingenious preface to the, we believe, tenth edition of "Thaddeus of Warsaw."

This story brought her abundant honors, and rendered her society, as well as the society of her sister and brother, sought for by all who aimed at a reputation for taste and talent. Mrs. Porter, on her husband's death, (he was the younger son of a well-connected Irish family, born in Ireland, in or near Coleraine, we believe, and a major in the Enniskillen Dragoons,) sought a residence for her family in Edinburgh, where education and good society are attainable to persons of moderate fortunes, if they are "well-born;" but the extraordinary artistic skill of her son Robert required a wider field, and she brought her children to London sooner than she had intended, that his promising talents might be cultivated. We believe the greater part of "Thaddeus of Warsaw" was written in London, either in St. Martin's Lane, Newport Street, or Gerard Street, Soho, (for in these three streets the family lived after their arrival in the metropolis); though, as soon as Robert Ker Porter's abilities floated him on the stream, his mother and sisters retired, in the brightness of their fame and beauty, to the village of Thames Ditton, a residence they loved to speak of as their "home." The actual labor of "Thaddeus"—her first novel—must have been considerable: for testimony was frequently borne to the fidelity of its localities, and Poles refused to believe the author had not visited Poland; indeed, she had a happy power in describing localities. It was on the publication of Miss Porter's two first works in the German language that their author was honored by being made a Lady of the Chapter of St. Joachim, and received the gold cross of the order from Wurtemberg; but "The Scottish Chiefs" was never so popular on the Continent as "Thaddeus of Warsaw", although Napoleon honored it with an interdict, to prevent its circulation in France. If Jane Porter owed her Polish inspirations so peculiarly to the tone of the times in which she lived, she traces back, in her introduction to the latest [pg 204] edition of "The Scottish Chiefs." her enthusiasm in the cause of Sir William Wallace to the influence an old "Scotch wife's" tales and ballads produced upon her mind while in early childhood. She wandered amid what she describes as "beautiful green banks," which rose in natural terraces behind her mothers house, and where a cow and a few sheep occasionally fed. This house stood alone, at the head of a little square, near the high school; the distinguished Lord Elchies formerly lived in the house, which was very ancient, and from those green banks it commanded a fine view of the Firth of Forth. While gathering "gowans" or other wild-flowers for her infant sister, (whom she loved more dearly than her life, during the years they lived in most tender and affectionate companionship), she frequently encountered this aged woman, with her knitting in her hand; and she would speak to the eager and intelligent child of the blessed quiet of the land, where the cattle were browsing without fear of an enemy; and then she would talk of the awful times of the brave Sir William Wallace, when he fought for Scotland, "against a cruel tyrant; like unto them whom Abraham overcame when he recovered Lot, with all his herds and flocks, from the proud foray of the robber kings of the South," who, she never failed to add, "were all rightly punished for oppressing the stranger in a foreign land! for the Lord careth for the stranger." Miss Porter says that this woman never omitted mingling pious allusions with her narrative. "Yet she was a person of low degree, dressed in a coarse woollen gown, and a plain Mutch cap, clasped under the chin with a silver brooch, which her father had worn at the battle of Culloden." Of course she filled with tales of Sir William Wallace and the Bruce the listening ears of the lovely Saxon child, who treasured them in her heart and brain, until they fructified in after years into "The Scottish Chiefs." To these two were added "The Pastor's Fireside," and a number of other tales and romances. She contributed to several annuals and magazines, and always took pains to keep up the reputation she had won, achieving a large share of the popularity, to which, as an author, she never looked for happiness. No one could be more alive to praise or more grateful for attention, but the heart of a genuine, pure, loving woman, beat within Jane Porter's bosom, and she was never drawn out of her domestic circle by the flattery that has spoiled so many, men as well as women. Her mind was admirably balanced by her home affections, which remained unsullied and unshaken to the end of her days. She had, in common with her three brothers and her charming sister, the advantage of a wise and loving mother—a woman pious without cant, and worldly-wise without being worldly. Mrs. Porter was born at Durham, and when very young bestowed her hand and heart on Major Porter. An old friend of the family assures us that two or three of their children were born in Ireland, and that certainly Jane was amongst the number. Although she left Ireland when in early youth, perhaps almost an infant, she certainly must be considered Irish, as her father was so both by birth and descent, and esteemed during his brief life as a brave and generous gentleman. He died young, leaving his lovely widow in straitened circumstances, having only her widow's pension to depend on. The eldest son—afterward Colonel Porter—was sent to school by his grandfather.

We have glanced briefly at Sir Robert Ker Porter's wonderful talents, and Anna Maria, when in her twelfth year, rushed, as Jane acknowledged, "prematurely into print." Of Anna Maria we knew personally but very little, enough however to recall with a pleasant memory her readiness in conversation and her bland and cheerful manners. No two sisters could have been more different in bearing and appearance; Maria was a delicate blonde, with a riant face, and an animated manner—we had said almost peculiarly Irish—rushing at conclusions, where her more thoughtful and careful sister paused to consider and calculate. The beauty of Jane was statuesque, her deportment serious yet cheerful, a seriousness quite as natural as her younger sister's gaiety; they both labored diligently, but Anna Maria's labor was sport when compared to her eldest sister's careful toil; Jane's mind was of a more lofty order, she was intense, and felt more than she said, while Anna Maria often said more than she felt; they were a delightful contrast, and yet the harmony between them was complete; and one of the happiest days we ever spent, while trembling on the threshold of literature, was with them at their pretty road-side cottage in the village of Esher before the death of their venerable and dearly beloved mother, whose rectitude and prudence had both guided and sheltered their youth, and who lived to reap with them the harvest of their industry and exertion. We remember the drive there, and the anxiety as to how those very "clever ladies" would look, and what they would say; we talked over the various letters we had received from Jane, and thought of the cordial invitation to their cottage—their "mother's cottage"—as they always called it. We remember the old white friendly spaniel who looked at us with blinking eyes, and preceded us up stairs; we remember the formal old-fashioned courtesy of the venerable old lady, who was then nearly eighty—the blue ribands and good-natured frankness of Anna Maria, and the noble courtesy of Jane, who received visitors as if she granted an audience; this manner was natural to her; it was only the manner of one whose thoughts have dwelt more upon heroic deeds, and lived more with heroes than with actual living men and women; the effect of this, however, soon passed away, but not so the fascination which was in all she said and [pg 205] did. Her voice was soft and musical, and her conversation addressed to one person rather than to the company at large, while Maria talked rapidly to every one, or for every one who chose to listen. How happily the hours passed!—we were shown some of those extraordinary drawings of Sir Robert, who gained an artists reputation before he was twenty, and attracted the attention of West and Shee2 in his mere boyhood. We heard all the interesting particulars of his panoramic picture of the Storming of Seringapatam, which, the first of its class, was known half over the world. We must not, however, be misunderstood—there was neither personal nor family egotism in the Porters; they invariably spoke of each other with the tenderest affection—but unless the conversation was forced by their friends—they never mentioned their own, or each other's works, while they were most ready to praise what was excellent in the works of others; they spoke with pleasure of their sojourns in London; while their mother said, it was much wiser and better for young ladies who were not rich, to live quietly in the country, and escape the temptations of luxury and display. At that time the "young ladies" seemed to us certainly not young: that was about two-and-twenty years ago, and Jane Porter was seventy-five when she died. They talked much of their previous dwelling at Thames Ditton, of the pleasant neighborhood they enjoyed there, though their mother's health and their own had much improved since their residence on Esher hill; their little garden was bounded at the back by the beautiful park of Claremont, and the front of the house overlooked the leading roads, broken as they are by the village green, and some noble elms. The view is crowned by the high trees of Esher Place; opening from the village on that side of the brow of the hill. Jane pointed out the locale of the proud Cardinal Wolsey's domain, inhabited during the days: of his power over Henry VIII., and in their cloudy evening, when that capricious monarch's favor changed to bitterest hate. It was the very spot to foster her high romance, while she could at the same time enjoy the sweets of that domestic converse she loved best of all. We were prevented by the occupations and heart-beatings of our own literary labors from repeating this visit; and in 1831, four years after these well-remembered hours, the venerable mother of a family so distinguished in literature and art, rendering their names known and honored wherever art and letters flourish, was called HOME. The sisters, who had resided ten years at Esher, left it, intending to sojourn for a time with their second brother, Doctor Porter, (who commenced his career as a surgeon in the navy) in Bristol; but within a year the youngest, the light-spirited, bright-hearted Anna Maria died; her sister was dreadfully shaken by her loss, and the letters we received from her after this bereavement, though containing the outpourings of a sorrowing spirit, were full of the certainty of that re-union hereafter which became the hope of her life. She soon resigned her cottage home at Esher, and found the affectionate welcome she so well deserved in many homes, where friends vied with each other to fill the void in her sensitive heart. She was of too wise a nature, and too sympathizing a habit, to shut out new interests and affections, but her old ones never withered, nor were they ever replaced; were the love of such a sister-friend—the watchful tenderness and uncompromising love of a mother—ever "replaced," to a lonely sister or a bereaved daughter! Miss Porters pen had been laid aside for some time, when suddenly she came before the world as the editor of "Sir Edward Seward's Narrative", and set people hunting over old atlases to find out the island where he resided. The whole was a clever fiction; yet Miss Porter never confided its authorship, we believe, beyond her family circle; perhaps the correspondence and documents, which are in the hands of one of her kindest friends (her executor), Mr. Shepherd, may throw some light upon a subject which the "Quarterly" honored by an article. We think the editor certainly used her pen as well as her judgment in the work, and we have imagined that it might have been written by the family circle, more in sport than in earnest, and then produced to serve a double purpose.

After her sister's death Miss Jane Porter was afflicted with so severe an illness, that we, in common with her other friends, thought it impossible she could carry out her plan of journeying to St. Petersburgh to visit her brother, Sir Robert Ker Porter, who had been long united to a Russian princess, and was then a widower; her strength was fearfully reduced; her once round figure become almost spectral, and little beyond the placid and dignified expression of her noble countenance remained to tell of her former beauty; but her resolve was taken; she wished, she said, to see once more her youngest and most beloved brother, so distinguished in several careers, almost deemed incompatible,—as a painter, an author, a soldier, and a diplomatist, and nothing could turn her from her purpose: she reached St. Petersburgh in safety, and with apparently improved health, found her brother as much courted and beloved there as in his own land, and his daughter married to a Russian of high distinction. Sir Robert longed to return to England. He did not complain of any illness, and everything was arranged for their departure; his final visits were paid, all but one to the Emperor, who had ever treated him as a friend; the day before his intended journey he went to the palace, was graciously received, and then drove home, but when the servant opened the carriage-door at his own residence he was dead! One sorrow after another [pg 206] pressed heavily upon her; yet she was still the same sweet, gentle, holy-minded woman she had ever been, bending with Christian faith to the will of the Almighty,—"biding her time".

How differently would she have "watched and waited" had she been tainted by vanity, or fixed her soul on the mere triumphs of "literary reputation". While firm to her own creed, she fully enjoyed the success of those who scramble up—where she bore the standard to the heights of Parnassus; she was never more happy than when introducing some literary "Tyro" to those who could aid or advise a future career. We can speak from experience of the warm interest she took in the Hospital for the cure of Consumption, and the Governesses' Benevolent Institution; during the progress of the latter, her health was painfully feeble, yet she used her personal influence for its success, and worked with her own hands for its bazaars. She was ever aiding those who could not aid themselves; and all her thoughts, words, and deeds, were evidence of her clear, powerful mind and kindly loving heart; her appearance in the London coteries was always hailed with interest and pleasure; to the young she was especially affectionate; but it was in the quiet mornings, or in the long twilight evenings of summer, when visiting her cherished friends at Shirley Park, in Kensington Square, or wherever she might be located for the time—it was then that her former spirit revived, and she poured forth anecdote and illustration, and the store of many years' observation, filtered by experience and purified by that delightful faith to which she held,—that "all things work together for good to them that love the Lord". She held this in practice, even more than in theory; you saw her chastened yet hopeful spirit beaming forth from her gentle eyes, and her sweet smile can never be forgotten. The last time we saw her, was about two years ago—in Bristol—at her brother's, Dr. Porter's, house in Portland Square: then she could hardly stand without assistance, yet she never complained of her own suffering or feebleness, all her anxiety was about the brother—then dangerously ill, and now the last of "his race." Major Porter, it will be remembered, left five children, and these have left only one descendant—the daughter of Sir Robert Ker Porter and the Russian Princess whom he married, a young Russian lady, whose present name we do not even know.

We did not think at our last leave-taking that Miss Porter's fragile frame could have so long withstood the Power that takes away all we hold most dear; but her spirit was at length summoned, after a few days' total insensibility, on the 24th of May.

We were haunted by the idea that the pretty cottage at Esher, where we spent those happy hours, had been treated even as "Mrs. Porter's Arcadia" at Thames Ditton—now altogether removed; and it was with a melancholy pleasure we found it the other morning in nothing changed; and it was almost impossible to believe that so many years had passed since our last visit. While Mr. Fairholt was sketching the cottage, we knocked at the door, and were kindly permitted by two gentle sisters, who now inhabit it, to enter the little drawing-room and walk round the garden: except that the drawing-room has been re-papered and painted, and that there were no drawings and no flowers the room was not in the least altered; yet to us it seemed like a sepulcher, and we rejoiced to breathe the sweet air of the little garden, and listen to a nightingale, whose melancholy cadence harmonized with our feelings.

"Whenever you are at Esher," said the devoted daughter, the last time we conversed with her, "do visit my mother's tomb." We did so. A cypress flourishes at the head of the grave; and the following touching inscription is carved on the stone:—

Here sleeps in Jesus a Christian widow, JANE PORTER. Obiit June 18th, 1831, ætat. 86; the beloved mother of W. Porter, M.D., of Sir Robert Ker Porter, and of Jane and Anna Maria Porter, who mourn in hope, humbly trusting to be born again with her unto the blessed kingdom of their Lord and Savior. Respect her grave, for she ministered to the poor.

Recent Deaths.


The Rev. William Kirby, Rector of Barham, Suffolk, who died on the 4th ult. in the ninety-first year of his age, with his faculties little impaired, ranked as the father of Entomology in England; and to the successful results of his labors may he chiefly attributed the advance which has been made in this over other kindred departments of natural history. His reputation is based not so much on the discoveries made by him in the science as on the manner of its teaching. No man ever approached the study of the works of nature with a purer or more earnest zeal. His interpretation of the distinguishing characters of insects for the purposes of classification has excited the warmest approval of entomologists at home and abroad; while his agreeable narrative of their wonderful transformations and habits, teeming with analyses and anecdote, has a charm for almost every kind of reader.

Mr. Kirby's first work of particular note was the "Monographia Apum Angliæ", in two volumes published half a century ago at Ipswich; to which town he was much endeared, and in whose Museum, as President, under the friendly auspices of its Secretary, Mr. George Ransome, he took a lively interest. His admirable work on the Wild Bees of Great Britain was composed from materials collected almost entirely by himself,—and most of the plates were of his etching. Entomology was at that time a comparatively new science in this country, and it is an [pg 207] honorable proof of the correctness of the author's views that they are still acknowledged to be genuine.

His further progress in entomology is abundantly marked by various papers in the "Transactions of the Linnæan Society",—by the entomological portion of the Bridgewater Treatise "On the History, Habits, and Instincts of Animals,"—and by his descriptions, occupying a quarto volume, of the insects of Sir John Richardson's "Fauna Boreali-Americana." The name of Kirby will, however, be chiefly remembered for the "Introduction on Entomology" written by him in conjunction with Mr. Spence. In this work a vast amount of material, acquired after many years' unremitting observation of the insect world, is mingled together by two different but congenial minds in the pleasant form of familiar letters. The charm, based on substantial knowledge of the subject, which these letters impart, has caused them to be studied with an interest never before excited by any work on natural history,—and they have served for the model of many an interesting and instructive volume. Whether William Kirby or William Spence had the more meritorious share in the composition of these Letters, has never been ascertained; for each, in the plenitude of his esteem and love for the other, renounced all claim, in favor of his coadjutor, to whatever portion of the matter might be most valued.

In addition to the honor of being President of the Museum of his county town—in which there is an admirable portrait of him—Mr. Kirby was Honorary President of the Entomological Society of London, Fellow of the Royal, Linnæan, Geological, and Zoological Societies of the same city, and corresponding member of several foreign societies.

The death of REV. DR. GRAY, Professor of Oriental Languages in the University of Glasgow, is reported in the Scotch papers.

The Fine Arts.

One of the favorite painters of Paris is Ingres, renowned especially for the beauty of his designs from the human figure, and the sweetness of his coloring. Eight years ago he was commissioned by M. de Luynes, who then wore the title of Duke—which, it must be said, he is still called by, though the Republic frowns on such aristocratic distinctions—to paint two historical pictures in fresco, for a country-house near Paris. The subjects were left to the choice of the artist, who was to have 100,000 francs (or £20,000) for the two pictures, one quarter of which was paid him in advance. During these eight years Mr. Ingres has begun various designs, and done his best to satisfy himself in the planning and execution of the pictures; but in vain did he blot out one design and labor long and earnestly upon another—success still fled from his pencil. At last, after eight years' fruitless exertion, he despaired, and going to M. de Luynes, told him that he could not make the pictures. At the same time he offered to return the £5,000; but M. de Luynes, one of the most munificent gentlemen in France, refused to receive it. Madame Ingres, however, arranged the difficulty. She remembered that during these eight years her kitchen had been regularly supplied with vegetables from M. de Luynes' garden, and these she insisted on paying for. "Very well," said M. de Luynes, "if you will have it so, my gardener shall bring you his bill." Accordingly, not long after, the gardener brought a bill for twenty-five francs. "My friend," said Madame Ingres to him, "you are mistaken in the amount: this is very natural, considering the length of the time. I have a better memory: your master will find in this envelope the exact sum." When M. de Luynes opened the envelope, he found in it bills for twenty thousand francs.

LESTER, BRADY & DAVIGNON's "Gallery of Illustrious Americans," is very favorably noticed generally by the foreign critics. The Art Journal says of it: "This work is, as its title imports, of a strictly national character, consisting of portraits and biographical sketches of twenty-four of the most eminent of the citizens of the Republic, since the death of Washington; beautifully lithographed from daguerreotypes. Each number is devoted to a portrait and memoir, the first being that of General Taylor (eleventh President of the United States), the second, of John C. Calhoun. Certainly, we have never seen more truthful copies of nature than these portraits; they carry in them an indelible stamp of all that earnestness and power for which our trans-Atlantic brethren have become famous, and are such heads as Lavater would have delighted to look upon. They are, truly, speaking likenesses, and impress all who see them with the certainty of their accuracy, so self-evident is their character. We are always rejoiced to notice a great nation doing honor to its great men; it is a noble duty which when properly done honors all concerned therewith. We see no reason to doubt that America may in this instance rank with the greatest."

DR. WAAGEN, so well known for his writings on Art, is at present in England for the purpose of adding to his knowledge of the private collection of pictures there, but principally to make himself acquainted with ancient illuminated manuscripts in several British collections.

A MONUMENT IN HONOR OF COWPER, THE POET, is proposed to be erected in Westminster Abbey, from a design by Marshall, the Sculptor, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1849.

[pg 208]



Bright was the summer's noon when quickening steps

Followed each other till a dreary moor

Was crossed, a bare ridge clomb, upon whose top

Standing alone, as from a rampart's edge,

I overlooked the bed of Windermere,

Like a vast river, stretching in the sun.

With exultation at my feet I saw

Lake, islands, promontories, gleaming bays,

A universe of Nature's fairest forms

Proudly revealed with instantaneous burst,

Magnificent, and beautiful, and gay.

I bounded down the hill shouting amain

For the old Ferryman; to the shout the rocks

Replied, and when the Charon of the flood

Had stayed his oars, and touched the jutting pier,

I did not step into the well-known boat

Without a cordial greeting. Thence with speed

Up the familiar hill I took my way

Toward that sweet Valley where I had been reared;

'Twas but a shore hour's walk, ere veering round

I saw the snow-white church upon her hill

Sit like a throned Lady, sending out

A gracious look all over her domain.

You azure smoke betrays the lurking town;

With eager footsteps I advance and reach

The cottage threshold where my journey closed.

Glad welcome had I, with some tear, perhaps,

From my old Dame, so kind and motherly,

While she perused me with a parent's pride.

The thoughts of gratitude shall fall like dew

Upon thy grave, good creature! While my heart

Can beat never will I forget they name.

Heaven's blessing be upon thee where thou liest

After thy innocent and busy stir

In narrow cares, thy little daily growth

Of calm enjoyments, after eighty years,

And more than eighty, of untroubled life,

Childless, yet by the strangers to thy blood

Honored with little less than filial love.

What joy was mine to see thee once again,

Thee and they dwelling, and a crowd of things

About its narrow precincts all beloved,

And many of them seeming yet my own!

Why should I speak of what a thousand hearts

Have felt, and every man alive can guess?

The rooms, the court, the garden were not left

Long unsaluted, nor the sunny seat

Round the stone table under the dark pine,

Friendly to studious or to festive hours;

Nor that unruly child of mountain birth,

The famous brook, who, soon as he was boxed

Within our garden, found himself at once,

As if by trick insidious and unkind,

Stripped of his voice and left to dimple down

(Without an effort and without a will)

A channel paved by man's officious care.

I looked at him and smiled, and smiled again,

And in the press of twenty thousand thought,

"Ha," quoth I, "pretty prisoner, are you there!"

Well might sarcastic Fancy then have whispered,

"An emblem here behold of they own life;

In its late course of even days with all

Their smooth enthralment;" but the heart was full,

Too full for that reproach. My aged Dame

Walked proudly at my side: she guided me;

I willing, nay—nay, wishing to be led.

—The face of every neighbor whom I met

Was like a volume to me; some were hailed

Upon the road, some busy at their work,

Unceremonious greetings interchanged

With half the length of a long field between.

Among my schoolfellows I scattered round

Like recognitions, but with some constraint

Attended, doubtless, with a little pride,

But with more shame, for my habiliments,

The transformation wrought by gay attire.

Not less delighted did I take my place

At our domestic table: and, dear Friend!

In this endeavor simply to relate

A Poet's history, may I leave untold

The thankfulness with which I laid me down

In my accustomed bed, more welcome now

Perhaps than if it had been more desired

Or been more often thought of with regret;

That lowly bed whence I had heard the wind

Roar and the rain beat hard, where I so oft

Had lain awake on summer nights to watch

The moon in splendor couched among the leaves

Of a tall ash, that near our cottage stood;

Had watched her with fixed eyes while to and fro

In the dark summit of the waving tree

She rocked with every impulse of the breeze.

Among the favorites whom it pleased me well

To see again, was one by ancient right

Our inmate, a rough terrier of the hills;

By birth and call of nature pre-ordained

To hunt the badger and unearth the fox

Among the impervious crags, but having been

From youth our own adopted, he had passed

Into a gentler service. And when first

The boyish spirit flagged, and day by day

Along my veins I kindled with the stir,

The fermentation, and the vernal heat

Of poesy, affecting private shades

Like a sick Lover, then this dog was used

To watch me, an attendant and a friend,

Obsequious to my steps early and late,

Though often of such dilatory walk

Tired, and uneasy at the halts I made.

A hundred times when, roving high and low,

I have been harassed with the toil of verse,

Much pains and little progress, and at once

Some lovely Image in the song rose up

Full-formed, like Venus rising from the sea;

Then have I darted forward to let loose

My hand upon his back with stormy joy,

Caressing him again and yet again.

And when at evening on the public way

I sauntered, like a river murmuring

And talking to itself when all things else

Are still, the creature trotted on before;

Such was his custom; but whene'er he met

A passenger approaching, he would turn

To give me timely notice, and straightway,

Grateful for that admonishment, I hushed

My voice, composed my gait, and, with the air

And mein of one whose thoughts are free, advanced

To give and take a greeting that might save

My name from piteous rumors, such as wait

On men suspected to be crazed in brain.

Those walks well worth to be prized and loved—

Regretted!—that word, too, was on my tongue,

But they were richly laden with all good,

And cannot be remembered but with thanks

And gratitude, and perfect joy of heart—

Those walks in all their freshness now came back

Like a returning Spring. When first I made

Once more the circuit of our little lake,

If ever happiness hath lodged with man,

That day consummate happiness was mine,

Wide-spreading, steady, calm, contemplative.

The sun was set, or setting, when I left

Our cottage door, and evening soon brought on

A sober hour, not winning or serene,

For cold and raw the air was, and untuned;

But as a face we love is sweetest then

When sorrow damps it, or, whatever look

It chance to wear, is sweetest if the heart

Have fullness in herself; even so with me

It fared that evening. Gently did my soul

Put off her veil, and, self-transmuted, stood

Naked, as in the presence of her God.

While on I walked, a comfort seemed to touch

A heart that had not been disconsolate:

Strength came where weakness was not known to be,

At least not felt; and restoration came

Like an intruder knocking at the door

Of unacknowledged weariness. I took

The balance, and with firm hand weighted myself.

—Of that external scene which round me lay,

Little, in this abstraction, did I see;

Remembered less; but I had inward hopes

And swellings of the spirit, was rapt and soothed,

Conversed with promises, had glimmering views

How life pervades the undecaying mind;

How the immortal soul with God-like power

Informs, creates, and thaws the deepest sleep

That time can lay upon her; how on earth,

Man, if he do but live within the light

Of high endeavors, daily spreads abroad

His being armed with strength that cannot fail

Nor was there want of milder thoughts, of love

Of innocence, and holiday repose;

And more than pastoral quiet, 'mid the stir

Of boldest projects, and a peaceful end

At last, or glorious, by endurance won.

Thus musing, in a wood I sat me down

Alone, continuing there to muse: the slopes

And heights meanwhile were slowly overspread

With darkness, and before a rippling breeze

[pg 209]

The long lake lengthened out its hoary line,

And in the sheltered coppice where I sat,

Around me from among the hazel leaves,

Now here, now there, moved by the straggling wind,

Came ever and anon a breath-like sound,

Quick as the pantings of the faithful dog,

The off and on companion of my work;

And such, at times, believing them to be,

I turned my head to look if he were there;

Then into solemn thought I passed once more.

A freshness also found I at this time

In human Life, the daily life of those

Whose occupations really I loved;

The peaceful scene oft filled me with surprise,

Changed like a garden in the heat of spring

After an eight days' absence. For (to omit

The things which were the same and yet appeared

Far otherwise) amid this rural solitude.

A narrow Vale where each was known to all,

'Twas not indifferent to a youthful mind

To mark some sheltering bower or sunny nook,

Where an old man had used to sit alone,

Now vacant; pale-faced babes whom I had left

In arms, now rosy prattlers at the feet

Of a pleased grandame tottering up and down;

And growing girls whose beauty, filched away

With all its pleasant promises, was gone

To deck some slighted playmate's homely cheek.

Yes, I had something of a subtler sense,

And often looking round was moved to smiles

Such as a delicate work of humor breeds;

I read, without design, the opinions, thoughts,

Of those plain-living people now observed

With clearer knowledge; with another eye

I saw the quiet woodman in the woods,

The shepherd roam the hills. With new delight,

This chiefly, did I note my gray-haired Dame;

Saw her go forth to church or other work

Of state, equipped in monumental trim;

Short velvet cloak, (her bonnet of the like,)

A mantle such as Spanish Cavaliers

Wore in old time. Her smooth domestic life,

Affectionate without disquietude,

Her talk, her business, pleased me; and no less

Her clear though sallow stream of piety

That ran on Sabbath days a fresher course;

With thoughts unfelt till now I saw her read

Her Bible on hot Sunday afternoons,

And loved the book, when she had dropped asleep

And made of it a pillow for her head.

Nor less do I remember to have felt,

Distinctly manifested at this time,

A human-heartedness about my love

For objects hitherto the absolute wealth

Of my own private being and no more:

Which I had loved even as a blessed spirit

Or Angel, if he were to dwell on earth,

Might love in individual happiness.

But now there opened on me other thoughts

Of change, congratulation or regret,

A pensive feeling! It spread far and wide;

The trees, the mountains shared it, and the brooks,

The stars of heaven, now seen in their old haunts—

White Sirius glittering o'er the southern crags,

Orion with his belt, and those fair Seven,

Acquaintances of every little child,

And Jupiter, my own beloved star!

Whatever shadings of mortality,

Whatever imports from the world of death

Had come among these objects heretofore,

Were, in the main, of mood less tender: strong,

Deep, gloomy were they, and severe: the scatterings

Of awe or tremulous dread, that had given way

In latter youth to yearnings of a love

Enthusiastic, to delight and hope.

As one who hangs down-bending from the side

Of a slow-moving boat, upon the breast

Of a still water, solacing himself

With such discoveries as his eye can make

Beneath him in the bottom of the deep,

Sees many beauteous sights—weeds, fishes, flowers,

Grots, pebbles, roots of trees, and fancies more,

Yet often is perplexed and cannot part

The shadow from the substance, rocks and sky

Mountains and clouds, reflected in the depth

Of the clear flood, from things which there abide

In their true dwelling; now is crossed by gleam

Of his own image, by a sunbeam now,

And wavering motions sent he knows not whence,

Impediments that make his task more sweet;

Such pleasant office have we long pursued

Incumbent o'er the surface of past time

With like success, nor often have appeared

Shapes fairer or less doubtfully discerned

Than those to which the Tale, indulgent Friend!

Would now direct thy notice. Yet in spite

Of pleasure won, and knowledge not withheld,

There was an inner falling off—I loved,

Loved deeply all that had been loved before

More deeply even than ever: but a swarm

Of heady schemes jostling each other, gawds,

And feast and dance, and public revelry,

And sports and games (too grateful in themselves,

Yet in themselves less grateful, I believe,

Than as they were a badge glossy and fresh

Of manliness and freedom) all conspired

To lure my mind from firm habitual quest

Of feeding pleasures, to depress the zeal

And damp those yearnings which had once been mine—

A wild, unworldly-minded youth, given up

To his own eager thoughts. It would demand

Some skill, and longer time than may be spared,

To paint these vanities, and how they wrought

In haunts where they, till now, had been unknown.

It seemed the very garments that they wore

Preyed on my strength, and stopped the quiet stream

Of self-forgetfulness.

Yes, that heartless chase

Of trivial pleasures was a poor exchange

For books and nature at that early age.

'Tis true, some casual knowledge might be gained

Of character or life; but at that time,

Of manners put to school I took small note,

And all my deeper passions lay elsewhere.

Far better had it been to exalt the mind

By solitary study, to uphold

Intense desire through meditative peace;

And yet, for chastisement of these regrets,

The memory of one particular hour

Doth here rise up against me. 'Mid a throng

Of maids and youths, old men, and matrons staid,

A medley of all tempers, I had passed

The night in dancing, gayety, and mirth,

With din of instruments and shuffling feet,

And glancing forms, and tapers glittering,

And unaimed prattle flying up and down;

Spirits upon the stretch, and here and there

Slight shocks of young love-liking interspersed,

Whose transient pleasure mounted to the head,

And tingled through the veins. Ere we retired

The cock had crowed, and now the eastern sky

Was kindling, not unseen, from humble copse

And open field, through which the pathway wound,

And homeward led my steps. Magnificent

The morning rose, in memorable pomp,

Glorious as e'er I had beheld—in front,

The sea lay laughing at a distance; near,

The solid mountains shone, bright as the clouds,

Grain-tinctured, drenched in Empyrean light;

And in the meadows and the lower grounds

Was all the sweetness of a common dawn—

Dews, vapors, and the melody of birds,

And laborers going forth to till the fields.

Ah! need I say, dear Friend! that to the brim

My heart was full; I made no vows, but vows

Were then made for me; bond unknown to me

Was given, that I should be, else sinning greatly,

A dedicated Spirit. On I walked

In thankful blessedness, which yet survives.

Strange rendezvous! My mind was at that time

A parti-colored show of grave and gay,

Solid and light, short-sighted and profound;

Of inconsiderate habits and sedate,

Consorting in one mansion unreproved.

The worth I knew of powers that I possessed,

Though slighted and too oft misused. Besides,

That summer, swarming as it did with thoughts

Transient and idle, lacked not intervals

When Folly from the frown of fleeting Time

Shrunk, and the mind experienced in herself

Conformity as just as that of old

To the end and written spirit of God's works,

Whether held forth in Nature or in Man,

Through pregnant vision, separate or conjoined.

When from our better selves we have too long

Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop,

Sick of its business, of its pleasure tired,

How gracious, how benign, is Solitude;

How potent a mere image of her sway;

Most potent when impressed upon the mind

With an appropriate human centre—hermit,

Deep in the bosom of the wilderness;

Votary (in vast cathedral, where no foot

Is treading, where no other face is seen)

Kneeling at prayers; or watchman on the top

Of lighthouse, beaten by Atlantic waves;

Or as the soul of that great Power is met

Sometimes embodied on a public road,

[pg 210]

When, for the night deserted, it assumes

A character of quiet more profound

Than pathless wastes.

Once, when those summer months,

Where flown, and autumn brought its annual show

Of oars with oars contending, sails with sails,

Upon Windander's spacious breast, it chanced

That—after I had left a flower-decked room

(Whose in-door pastime, lighted up, survived

To a late hour), and spirits overwrought

Were making night do penance for a day

Spent in a round of strenuous idleness—

My homeward course led up a long ascent,

Where the road's watery surface, to the top

Of that sharp rising, glittered to the moon

And bore the semblance of another stream

Stealing with silent lapse to join the brook

That murmured in the vale. All else was still;

No living thing appeared in earth or air,

And, save the flowing water's peaceful voice,

Sound there was none—but, lo! an uncouth shape,

Shown by a sudden turning of the road,

So near that, slipping back into the shade

Of a thick hawthorn, I could mark him well,

Myself unseen. He was of stature tall,

A span above man's common measure, tall,

Stiff, land, and upright; a more meager man

Was never seen before by night or day.

Long were his arms, pallid his hands; his mouth

Looked ghastly in the moonlight: from behind,

A mile-stone propped him; I could also ken

That he was clothed in military garb.

Though faded, yet entire. Companionless,

No dog attending, by no staff sustained,

He stood, and in his very dress appeared

A desolation, a simplicity,

To which the trappings of a gaudy world

Make a strange back-ground. From his lips, ere long,

Issued low muttered sounds, as if of pain

Or some uneasy thought; yet still his form

Kept the same awful steadiness—at his feet

His shadow lay, and moved not. From self-blame

Not wholly free, I watched him thus; at length

Subduing my heart's specious cowardice,

I left the shady nook where I had stood

And hailed him. Slowly from his resting-place

He rose, and with a lean and wasted arm

In measured gesture lifted to his head

Returned my salutation; then resumed

His station as before: and when I asked

His history, the veteran, in reply,

Was neither slow nor eager; but, unmoved,

And with a quiet, uncomplaining voice,

A stately air of mild indifference,

He told in few plain words a soldier's tale—

That in the Tropic Islands he had served,

Whence he had landed scarcely three weeks past;

That on his landing he had been dismissed,

And now was traveling toward his native home.

This heard, I said, in pity, "Come with me."

He stooped, and straightway from the ground took up,

An oaken staff by me yet unobserved—

A staff which must have dropt from his slack hand

And lay till now neglected in the grass.

Though weak his step and cautious, he appeared

To travel without pain, and I beheld,

With an astonishment but ill-suppressed,

His ghostly figure moving at my side;

Nor could I, while we journeyed thus, forbear

To turn from present hardships to the past,

And speak of war, battle, and pestilence,

Sprinkling this talk with questions, better spared.

On what he might himself have seen or felt

He all the while was in demeanor calm.

Concise in answer: solemn and sublime

He might have seen, but that in all he said

There was a strange half-absence, as of one

Knowing too well the importance of his theme

But feeling it no longer. Our discourse

Soon ended, and together on we passed

In silence through a wood gloomy and still.

Up-turning, then, along an open field,

We reached a cottage. At the door I knocked.

And earnestly to charitable care

Commended him as a poor friendless man,

Belated and by sickness overcome.

Assured that now the traveler would repose

In comfort, I entreated that henceforth

He would not linger in the public ways,

But ask for timely furtherance and help

Such as his state required. At this reproof,

With the same ghastly mildness in his look,

He said, "My trust is in the God of Heaven,

And in the eye of him who passes me!"

The cottage door was speedily unbarred,

And now the soldier touched his hat once more

With his lean hand, and in a faltering voice,

Whose tone bespake reviving interests

Till then unfelt, he thanked me; I returned

The farewell blessing of the patient man,

And so we parted. Back I cast a look,

And lingered near the door a little space,

Then sought with quiet heart my distant home.




The end of so perilous and novel a journey, which must necessarily, under the most favorable circumstances, have produced more honor than profit, was attained; and yet the success of the adventure was doubtful. The season was still too cold for any search for fossil ivory, and the first serious duty was the erection of a winter residence. Fortunately there was an ample supply of logs of wood, some half-rotten, some green, lying under the snow on the shores of the bay into which the river poured, and which had been deposited there by the currents and waves. A regular pile, too, was found, which had been laid up by some of the provident natives of New Siberia, who, like the Esquimaux, live in the snow. Under this was a large supply of frozen fish, which was taken without ceremony, the party being near starvation. Of course Sakalar and Ivan intended replacing the hoard, if possible, in the short summer.

Wood was made the groundwork of the winter hut which was to be erected, but snow and ice formed by far the larger portion of the building materials. So hard and compact did the whole mass become when finished, and lined with bear-skins and other furs, that a huge lamp sufficed for warmth during the day and night, and the cooking was done in a small shed by the side. The dogs were now set to shift for themselves as to cover, and were soon buried in the snow. They were placed on short allowance, now they had no work to do, for no one yet knew what were the resources of this wild place.

As soon as the more immediate duties connected with a camp had been completed, the whole party occupied themselves with preparing traps for foxes, and in other hunting details. A hole was broken in the ice in the bay, and this the Kolimsk men watched with assiduity for seals. One or two rewarded their efforts, but no fish were taken. Sakalar and Ivan, after a day or two of repose, started with some carefully-selected dogs in search of game, and soon found that the great white bear took up his quarters even in that northern latitude. They succeeded in killing several, which the dogs dragged home.

About ten days after their arrival in the great island, Sakalar, who was always the first to be moving, roused his comrades round him just as a party of a dozen strange men appeared in the distance. They were short, stout fellows, with long lances in their hands, and by their dress very much resembled the [pg 211] Esquimaux. Their attitude was menacing in the extreme, and by the advice of Sakalar, a general volley was fired over their heads. The invaders halted, looked confusedly around, and then ran away. Firearms retained. therefore, all their pristine qualities with these savages.

"They will return," said Sakalar, moodily; "they did the same when I was here before, and then came back and killed my friend at night. Sakalar escaped."

Counsel was now held, and it was determined, after due deliberation, that strict watch should be kept at all hours, while much was necessarily trusted to the dogs. All day one of the party was on the lookout, while at night the hut had its entrance well barred. Several days, however, were thus passed without molestation, and then Sakalar took the Kolimsk men out to hunt, and left Ivan and Kolina together. The young man had learned the value of his half-savage friend: her devotion to her father and the party generally was unbounded. She murmured neither at privations nor at sufferings, and kept up the courage of Ivan by painting in glowing terms all his brilliant future. She seemed to have laid aside her personal feelings, and to look on him only as one doing battle with fortune in the hope of earning the hand of the rich widow of Yakoutsk. But Ivan was much disposed to gloomy fits; he supposed himself forgotten, and slighted, and looked on the time of his probation as interminable. It was in this mood that one day he was roused from his fit by a challenge from Kolina to go and see if the seals had come up to breathe at the hole which every morning was freshly broken in the ice. Ivan assented, and away they went gaily down to the bay. No seals were there, and after a short stay they returned toward the hut, recalled by the distant howling of the dogs. But as they came near, they could see no sign of men or animals, though the sensible brutes still whined under the shelter of their snow-heaps. Ivan, much surprised, raised the curtain of the door, his gun in hand, expecting to find that some animal was inside. The lamp was out, and the hut in total darkness. Before Ivan could recover his upright position, four men leaped on him, and he was a prisoner.

Kolina drew back, and cocked her gun; but the natives, satisfied with their present prey, formed round Ivan in a compact body, tied his hands, and bade him walk. Their looks were sufficiently wild and menacing to make him move, especially as he recognized them as belonging to the warlike party of the Tchouktchas—a tribe of Siberians who wander about the Polar Seas in search of game, who cross Behring's Straits in skin-boats, and who probably are the only persons who by their temporary sojourn in New Siberia, have caused some to suppose it inhabited. Kolina stood uncertain what to do, but in a few minutes she roused four of the dogs, and followed. Ivan bawled to her to go back, but the girl paid no attention to his request, determined, as it seemed, to know his fate.

The savages hurried Ivan along as rapidly as they could; and soon entered a deep and narrow ravine, which about the middle parted into two. The narrowest path was selected, and the dwelling of the natives soon reached. It was a cavern, the narrow entrance of which they crawled through; Ivan followed the leader, and soon found himself in a large and wonderful cave. It was by nature divided into several compartments, and contained a party of twenty men, as many or more women, and numerous children. It was warmed in two ways—by wood-fires and grease-lamps, and by a bubbling semi-sulphurous spring, that rushed up through a narrow hole, and then fell away into a deep well, that carried its warm waters to mingle with the icy sea. The acrid smoke escaped by holes in the roof. Ivan, his arms and legs bound, was thrust into a separate compartment filled with furs, and formed by a projection of the rock and the skin-boats which this primitive race employed to cross the most stormy seas. He was almost stunned; he lay for a while without thought or motion. Gradually he recovered, and gazed around; all was night, save above, where by a narrow orifice he saw the smoke which hung in clouds around the roof escaping. He expected death. He knew the savage race he was among, who hated interference with their hunting-grounds, and whose fish he and his party had taken. What, therefore, was his surprise, when from the summit of the roof, he heard a gentle voice whispering in soft accents his own name. His ears must, he thought, deceive him. The hubbub close at hand was terrible. A dispute was going on. Men, women. and children all joined, and yet he had heard the word "Ivan." "Kolina," he replied, in equally low but clear tones. As he spoke a knife rolled near him. But he could not touch it. Then a dark form filled the orifice about a dozen feet above his head, and something moved down among projecting stones, and then Kolina stood by him. In an instant Ivan was free, and an axe in his hand. The exit was before them. Steps were cut in the rock, to ascend to the upper entrance, near which Ivan had been placed without fear, because tied. But a rush was heard, and the friends had only time to throw themselves deeper into the cave, when four men rushed in, knife in hand, to immolate the victim. Such had been the decision come to after the debate.

The lamps revealed the escape of the fugitive. A wild cry drew all the men together, and then up they scampered along the rugged projections, and the barking of the dogs as they fled showed that they were in hot and eager chase. Ivan and Kolina lost no time. They advanced boldly, knife and hatchet in [pg 212] hand, sprang amid the terrified women, darted across their horrid cavern, and before one of them had recovered from her fright, were in the open air. On they ran in the gloom for some distance, when they suddenly heard muttering voices. Down they sank behind the first large stone, concealing themselves as well as they could in the snow. The party moved slowly on toward them.

"I can trace their tracks still," said Sakalar, in a low deep tone. "On, while they are alive, or at least for vengeance!"

"Friends!" cried Ivan.

"Father!" said Kolina, and in an instant the whole party were united. Five words were enough to determine Sakalar. The whole body rushed back, entered the cavern, and found themselves masters of it without a struggle. The women and children attempted no resistance. As soon as they were placed in a corner, under the guard of the Kolimsk men, a council was held. Sakalar, as the most experienced, decided what was to be done. He knew the value of threats: one of the women was released, and bade go tell the men what had occurred. She was to add the offer of a treaty of peace, to which, if both parties agreed, the women were to be given up on the one side, and the hut and its contents on the other. But the victors announced their intention of taking four of the best-looking boys as hostages, to be returned whenever they were convinced of the good faith of the Tchouktchas. The envoy soon returned, agreeing to everything. They had not gone near the hut, fearing an ambuscade. The four boys were at once selected, and the belligerents separated.

Sakalar made the little fellows run before, and thus the hut was regained. An inner cabin was erected for the prisoners, and the dogs placed over them as spies. But as the boys understood Sakalar to mean that the dogs were to eat them if they stirred, they remained still enough, and made no attempt to run away.

A hasty meal was now cooked, and after its conclusion Ivan related the events of the day, warmly dilating on the devotion and courage of Kolina, who, with the keenness of a Yakouta, had found out his prison by the smoke, and had seen him on the ground despite the gloom. Sakalar then explained how, on his return, he had been terribly alarmed, and had followed the trail on the snow. After mutual congratulations the whole party went to sleep.

The next morning early, the mothers came humbly with provisions for their children. They received some trifling presents and were sent away in delight. About midday the whole tribe presented themselves unarmed, within a short distance of the hut, and offered a traffic. They brought a great quantity of fish, which they wanted to exchange for tobacco. Sakalar, who spoke their language freely, first gave them a roll, letting them understand it was in payment of the fish taken without leave. This at once dissipated all feelings of hostility, and solid peace was insured. So satisfied was Sakalar of their sincerity, that he at once released the captives.

From that day the two parties were one, and all thoughts of war were completely at an end. A vast deal of bloodshed had been prevented by a few concessions on both sides. The same result might indeed have been come to by killing half of each little tribe, but it is doubtful if the peace would have been as satisfactory to the survivors.


Occupied with the chase, with bartering, and with conversing with their new friends, the summer gradually came around. The snow melted, the hills became a series of cascades, in every direction water poured toward the sea. But the hut remained solid and firm, a little earth only being cast over the snow. Flocks of ducks and geese soon appeared, a slight vegetation was visible, and the sea was in motion. But what principally drew all eyes were the vast heaps of fossil ivory exposed to view on the banks of the stream, laid bare more and more every year by the torrents of spring. A few days sufficed to collect a heap greater than they could take away on the sledges in a dozen journeys. Ivan gazed at his treasure in mute despair. Were all that at Yakoutsk, he was the richest merchant in Siberia; but to take it thither seemed impossible. But in stepped the adventurous Tchouktchas. They offered, for a stipulated sum in tobacco and other valuables, to land a large portion of the ivory at a certain spot on the shores of Siberia, by means of their boats. Ivan, though again surprised at the daring of these wild men, accepted the proposal, and engaged to give them his whole stock. The matter was then settled, and our adventurers and their new friends dispersed to their summer avocations.

These consisted in fishing and hunting, and repairing boats and sledges. Their canoes were made of skins and whalebone, and bits of wood; but they were large, and capable of sustaining great weight. They proposed to start as soon as the ice was broken up, and to brave all the dangers of so fearful a navigation. They were used to impel themselves along in every open space, and to take shelter on icebergs from danger. When one of these icy mountains went in the right direction, they stuck to it; but at others they paddled away, amid dangers of which they seemed wholly unconscious.

A month was taken up in fishing, in drying the fish, or in putting it in holes where there was eternal frost. An immense stock was laid in: and then one morning the Tchouktchas took their departure, and the adventurers remained alone. Their hut was broken up, and all made ready for their second journey. The sledges were enlarged, to bear the heaviest possible load at starting. [pg 213] A few days' overloading were not minded, as the provisions would soon decrease. Still not half so much could be taken as they wished, and yet Ivan had nearly a ton of ivory, and thirty tons was the greatest produce of any one year in all Siberia.

But the sledges were ready long before the sea was so. The interval was spent in continued hunting, to prevent any consumption of the traveling store. All were heartily tired, long before it was over, of a day nearly as long as two English months. Soon the winter set in with intense rigor; the sea ceased to toss and heave; the icebergs and fields moved more and more slowly; at last ocean and land were blended into one—the night of a month came, and the sun was seen no more.

The dogs were now roused up; the sledges harnessed; and the instant the sea was firm enough to sustain them, the party started. Sakalar's intention was to try forced marches in a straight line. Fortune favored them. Not an accident occurred for days. At first they did not move exactly in the same direction as when they came, but they soon found traces of their previous journey, proving that a plain of ice had been forced away at least fifty miles during the thaw.

The road was now again rugged and difficult, firing was getting scarce, the dogs were devouring the fish with rapidity, and only one half the ocean-journey was over. But on they pushed with desperate energy, each eye once more keenly on the look-out for game. Every one drove his team in sullen silence, for all were on short allowance, and all were hungry. They sat on what was to them more valuable than gold, and yet they had not what was necessary for subsistence. The dogs were urged every day to the utmost limits of their strength. But so much space had been taken up by the ivory, that at last there remained neither food nor fuel. None knew at what distance they were from the shore, and their position seemed desperate. There were even whispers of killing some of the dogs; and Sakalar and Ivan were upbraided for the avarice which had brought them to such straits.

"See!" said the old hunter suddenly, with a delighted smile, pointing toward the south.

The whole party looked eagerly. A thick column of smoke rose in the air at no very considerable distance. This was the signal agreed on with the Tchouktchas, who were to camp where there was plenty of wood.

Every hand was raised to urge on the dogs to this point, and at last, from the summit of a hill of ice they saw the shore and the blaze of the fire. The wind was toward them, and the atmosphere heavy. The dogs smelled the distant camp, and darted almost recklessly forward. At last they sank near to the Tchouktcha huts, panting and exhausted.

Their allies of the spring were true; they gave them food, of which both man and beast ate greedily, and then sought repose. The Tchouktchas had then formed their journey with wonderful success and rapidity, and had found time to lay in a pretty fair stock of fish. This they freely shared with Ivan and his party, and were delighted when he abandoned to them all his tobacco and rum, and part of his tea.

The Tchouktchas had been four years absent in their wanderings, and were eager to get home once more to the land of the reindeer, and to their friends. They were perhaps the greatest travelers of a tribe noted for its facility of locomotion. And so, with warm expressions of esteem and friendship on both sides, the two parties separated—the men of the east making their way on foot, toward the Straits of Behring.


Under considerable disadvantages did Sakalar, Ivan, and their friends prepare for the conclusion of their journey. Their provisions were very scanty, and their only hope of replenishing their stores was on the banks of the Vchivaya River, which being in some places pretty rapid might not be frozen over. Sakalar and his friends determined to strike out in a straight line. Part of the ivory had to be concealed and abandoned, to be fetched another time; but as their stock of provisions was so small, they were able to take the principal part. It had been resolved, after some debate, to make in a direct line for the Vchivaya river, and thence to Vijnei-Kolimsk. The road was of a most difficult, and, in part, unknown character; but it was imperative to move in as straight a direction as possible. Time was the great enemy they had to contend with, because their provisions were sufficient for a limited period only.

The country was at first level enough, and the dogs, after their rest, made sufficiently rapid progress. At night they had reached the commencement of a hilly region, while in the distance could be seen pretty lofty mountains. According to a plan decided on from the first, the human members of the party were placed at once on short allowance, while the dogs received as much food as could be reasonably given. At early dawn the tent was struck, and the dogs were impelled along the banks of a small river completely frozen. Indeed, after a short distance, it was taken as the smoothest path. But at the end of a dozen miles they found themselves in a narrow gorge between two hills; at the foot of a once foaming cataract, now hard frozen. It was necessary to retreat some miles, and gain the land once more. The only path which was now found practicable was along the bottom of some pretty steep rocks. But the track got narrower and narrower, until the dogs were drawing along the edge of a terrific precipice with not four feet of holding. All alighted, and led the dogs, for a false step was death. Fortunately the path became no narrower, and in one place it widened out and made a sort of hollow. Here a bitter blast, almost strong enough to cast them from their feet, checked further progress, and on that naked spot, under a projecting mass of stone, without fire, did the whole party halt. [pg 214] Men and dogs huddled together for warmth, and all dined on raw and frozen fish. A few hours of sleep, however, were snatched; and then, as the storm abated, they again advanced. The descent was soon reached, and led into a vast plain without tree or bush. A range of snow-clad hills lay before them, and through a narrow gully between two mountains was the only practicable pathway. But all hearts were gladdened by the welcome sight of some argali, or Siberian sheep, on the slope of a hill. These animals are the only winter game, bears, and wolves excepted. Kolina was left with the dogs, and the rest started after the animals, which were pawing in the snow for some moss or half-frozen herbs. Every caution was used to approach them against the wind, and a general volley soon sent them scampering away to the mountain-tops, leaving three behind.

But Ivan saw that he had wounded another, and away he went in chase. The animal ascended a hill, and then halted. But seeing a man coming quickly after him, it turned and fled down the opposite side. Ivan was instantly after him. The descent was steep, but the hunter saw only the argili, and darted down. He slid rather than ran with fearful rapidity, and passed the sheep by, seeking to check himself too late. A tremendous gulf was before him, and his eyes caught an instant glance of a deep distant valley. Then he saw no more until he found himself lying still. He had sunk, on the very brink of the precipice, into a deep snow bank formed by some projecting rock, and had only thus been saved from instant death. Deeply grateful, Ivan crept cautiously up the hill-side, though not without his prize, and rejoined his companions.

The road now offered innumerable difficulties, it was rough and uneven—now hard, now soft. They made but slow progress for the next three days, while their provisions began to draw to an end. They had at least a dozen days more before them. All agreed that they were now in the very worst difficulty they had been in. That evening they dined on the last meal of mutton and fish; they were at the foot of a lofty hill, which they determined to ascend while strength was left. The dogs were urged up the steep ascent, and after two hours' toil, they reached the summit. It was a table-land, bleak and miserable, and the wind was too severe to permit camping. On they pushed, and camped a little way down its sides.

The next morning the dogs had no food, while the men had nothing but large draughts of warm tea. But it was impossible to stop. Away they hurried, after deciding that, if nothing turned up the next morning, two or three of the dogs must be killed to save the rest. Little was the ground they got over, with hungry beasts and starving men, and all were glad to halt near a few dried larches. Men and dogs eyed each other suspiciously, The animals, sixty-four in number, had they not been educated to fear man, would have soon settled the matter. But there they lay, panting and faint—to start up suddenly with a fearful howl. A bear was on them. Sakalar fired, and then in rushed the dogs, savage and fierce. It was worse than useless, it was dangerous, for the human beings of the party to seek to share this windfall. It was enough that the dogs had found something to appease their hunger.

Sakalar, however, knew that his faint and weary companions could not move the next day if tea alone were their sustenance that night. He accordingly put in practice one of the devices of his woodcraft. The youngest of the larches was cut down, and the coarse outside bark was taken off. Then every atom of the soft bark was peeled off the tree, and being broken into small pieces, was cast into the boiling pot, already full of water. The quantity was great, and made a thick substance. Round this the whole party collected, eager for the moment when they could fall to. But Sakalar was cool and methodical even in that terrible hour. He took a spoon, and quietly skimmed the pot, to take away the resin that rose to the surface. Then gradually the bark melted away, and presently the pot was filled by a thick paste, and looked not unlike glue. All gladly ate, and found it nutritive, pleasant, and warm. They felt satisfied when the meal was over, and were glad to observe that the dogs returned to the camp completely satisfied also, which, under the circumstances, was matter of great gratification.

In the morning, after another mess of larch-bark soup, and after a little tea, the adventurers again advanced on their journey. They were now in an arid, bleak, and terrible plain of vast extent. Not a tree, not a shrub, not an elevation was to be seen. Starvation was again staring them in the face, and no man knew when this dreadful plain would end. That night the whole party cowered in their tent without fire, content to chew a few tea-leaves preserved from the last meal. Serious thoughts were now entertained of abandoning their wealth in that wild region. But as none pressed the matter very hardly, the ledges were harnessed again next morning, and the dogs driven on. But man and beast were at the last gasp, and not ten miles were traversed that day, the end of which brought them to a large river, on the borders of which were some trees. Being wide and rapid, it was not frozen, and there was still hope, The seine was drawn from a sledge, and taken into the water. It was fastened from one side to another of a narrow gut, and there left. It was of no avail examining it until morning, for the fish only come out at night.

There was not a man of the party who had his exact sense about him, while the dogs lay panting on the snow, their tongues hanging out, their eyes glaring with almost savage fury. The trees round the bank were large and dry, and not one had an atom of soft [pg 215] bark on it. All the resource they had was to drink huge draughts of tea, and then seek sleep. Sakalar set the example, and the Kolimsk men, to whom such scenes were not new, followed his advice; but Ivan walked up and down before the tent. A huge fire had been made, which was amply fed by the wood of the river bank, and it blazed on high, showing in bold relief the features of the scene. Ivan gazed vacantly at everything; but he saw not the dark and glancing river—he saw not the bleak plain of snow—his eyes looked not on the romantic picture of the tent and its bivouac-fire: his thoughts were on one thing alone. He it was who had brought them to that pass, and on his head rested all the misery endured by man and beast, and, worst of all, by the good and devoted Kolina.

There she sat, too, on the ground, wrapped in her warm clothes, her eyes, fixed on the crackling logs. Of what was she thinking? Whatever occupied her mind, it was soon chased away by the sudden speech of Ivan. "Kolina," said he, in a tone which borrowed a little of intensity from the state of mind in which hunger had placed all of them, "canst thou ever forgive me?"

"What?" replied the young girl softly.

"My having brought you here to die, far away from your native hills?"

"Kolina cares little for herself," said the Yakouta maiden, rising and speaking perhaps a little wildly; "let her father escape, and she is willing to lie near the tombs of the old people on the borders of the icy sea."

"But Ivan had hoped to see for Kolina many bright, happy days; for Ivan would have made her father rich, and Kolina would have been the richest unmarried girl in the plain of Miouré!"

"And would riches make Kolina happy?" said she sadly.

"Young girl of the Yakouta, hearken to me! Let Ivan live or die this hour; Ivan is a fool. He left home and comfort to cross the icy seas in search of wealth, and to gain happiness; but if he had only had eyes, he would have stopped at Miouré. There he saw a girl, lively as the heaven-fire in the north, good, generous, kind; and she was an old friend, and might have loved Ivan; but the man of Yakoutsk was blind, and told her of his passion for a selfish widow, and the Yakouta maiden never thought of Ivan but as a brother!"

"What means Ivan?" asked Kolina, trembling with emotion.

"Ivan has long meant, when he came to the yourte of Sakalar, to lay his wealth at his feet, and beg of his old friend to give him his child: but Ivan now fears that he may die, and wishes to know what would have been the answer of Kolina?"

"But Maria Vorotinska?" urged the girl, who seemed dreaming.

"Has long been forgotten. How could I not love my old playmate and friend! Kolina—Kolina, listen to Ivan! Forget his love for the widow of Yakoutsk, and Ivan will stay in the plain of Vchivaya and die."

"Kolina is very proud," whispered the girl, sitting down on a log near the fire, and speaking in a low tone; "and Kolina thinks yet that the friend of her father has forgotten himself. But if he be not wild, if the sufferings of the journey have not made him say that which is not, Kolina would be very happy."

"Be plain, girl of Miouré—maiden of the Yakouta tribe! and play not with the heart of a man. Can Kolina take Ivan as her husband?"

A frank and happy reply gave the Yakoutsk merchant all the satisfaction he could wish; and then followed several hours of those sweet and delightful explanations which never end between young lovers when first they have acknowledged their mutual affection. They had hitherto concealed so much, that there was much to tell; and Ivan and Kolina, who for nearly three years had lived together, with a bar between their deep but concealed affection, seemed to have no end of words. Ivan had begun to find his feelings change from the very hour Sakalar's daughter volunteered to accompany him, but it was only in the cave of New Siberia that his heart had been completely won.

So short, and quiet, and sweet were the hours, that the time of rest passed by without the thought of sleep. Suddenly, however, they were roused to a sense of their situation, and leaving their wearied and exhausted companions still asleep, they moved with doubt and dread to the water's side. Life was now doubly dear to both, and their fancy painted the coming forth of an empty net as the termination of all hope. But the net came heavily and slowly to land. It was full of fish. They were on the well-stocked Vchivaya. More than three hundred fish, small and great, were drawn on shore; and then they recast the net.

"Up, man and beast!" thundered Ivan, as, after selecting two dozen of the finest, he abandoned the rest to the dogs.

The animals, faint and weary, greedily seized on the food given them, while Sakalar and the Kolimsk men could scarcely believe their senses. The hot coals were at once brought into requisition, and the party were soon regaling themselves on a splendid meal of tea and broiled fish. I should alarm my readers did I record the quantities eaten. An hour later, every individual was a changed being, but most of all the lovers. Despite their want of rest, they looked fresher than any of the party. It was determined to camp at least twenty hours more in that spot; and the Kolimsk men declared that the river must be the Vchivaya, they could draw the seine all day, for the river was deep, its waters warmer than others, and its abundance of fish such as to border on the fabulous. They went accordingly down to the side of the stream, and then the happy Kolina gave [pg 216] free vent to her joy. She burst out into a song of her native land, and gave way to some demonstrations of delight, the result of her earlier education, that astonished Sakalar. But when he heard that during that dreadful night he had found a son, Sakalar himself almost lost his reason. The old man loved Ivan almost as much as his own child, and when he saw the youth in his yourte on his hunting trips, had formed some project of the kind now brought about; but the confessions of Ivan on his last visit to Miouré had driven all such thoughts away.

"Art in earnest, Ivan?" said he, after a pause of some duration.

"In earnest!" exclaimed Ivan, laughing; "why, I fancy the young men of Miouré will find me so, if they seek to question my right to Kolina!"

Kolina smiled, and looked happy; and the old hunter heartily blessed his children, adding that the proudest, dearest hope of his heart was now within probable realization.

The predictions of the Kolimsk men were realized. The river gave them as much fish as they needed for their journey home; and as now Sakalar knew his way, there was little fear for the future. An ample stock was piled on the sledges, the dogs had unlimited feeding for two days, and then away they sped toward an upper part of the river, which, being broad and shallow, was no doubt frozen on the surface. They found it as they expected, and even discovered that the river was gradually freezing all the way down. But little caring for this now, on they went, and after considerable fatigue and some delay, arrived at Kolimsk, to the utter astonishment of all the inhabitants, who had long given them up for lost.

Great rejoicings took place. The friends of the three Kolimsk men gave a grand festival, in which the rum, and tobacco, and tea, which had been left at the place for payment for their journey, played a conspicuous part. Then, as it was necessary to remain here some time, while the ivory was brought from a deposit near the sea, Ivan and Kolina were married. Neither of them seemed to credit the circumstance, even when fast tied by the Russian church. It had come so suddenly, so unexpectedly on both, that their heads could not quite make the affair out. But they were married in right down earnest, and Kolina was a proud and happy woman. The enormous mass of ivory brought to Kolimsk excited the attention of a distinguished exile, who drew up a statement in Ivan's name, and prepared it for transmission to the White Czar, as the emperor is called in these parts.

When summer came, the young couple, with Sakalar and a caravan of merchants, started for Yakoutsk, Ivan being by far the richest and most important member of the party. After a single day's halt at Miouré, on they went to the town, and made their triumphal entry in September. Ivan found Maria Vorotinska a wife and mother, and his vanity was not much wounded by the falsehood. The ci-devant widow was a little astonished at Ivan's return, and particularly at his treasure of ivory: but she received his wife with politeness, a little tempered by her sense of her own superiority to a savage, as she designated Kolina to her friends in a whisper. But Kolina was so gentle, so pretty, so good, so cheerful, so happy, that she found her party at once, and the two ladies became rival leaders of the fashion.

This lasted until the next year, when a messenger from the capital brought a letter to Ivan from the emperor himself, thanking him for his narrative, sending him a rich present, his warm approval, and the office of first civil magistrate in the city of Yakoutsk. This turned the scales wholly on one side, and Maria bowed low to Kolina. But Kolina had no feelings of the parvenu, and she was always a general favorite. Ivan accepted with pride his sovereign's favor, and by dint of assiduity, soon learned to be a useful magistrate. He always remained a good husband, a good father, and a good son, for he made the heart of old Sakalar glad. He never regretted his journey: he always declared he owed to it wealth and happiness, a high position in society, and an admirable wife. Great rejoicings took place many years after in Yakoutsk, at the marriage of the son of Maria, united to the daughter of Ivan, and from the first unto the last, none of the parties concerned ever had reason to mourn over the perilous journey in search of the Ivory Mine.

For the information of the non-scientific, it may be necessary to mention that the ivory alluded to in the preceding tale, is derived from the tusks of the mammoth, or fossil elephant of the geologist. The remains of this gigantic quadruped are found all over the northern hemisphere, from the 40th to the 75th degree of latitude: but most abundantly in the region which lies between the mountains of Central Asia and the shores and islands of the Frozen Sea. So profusely do they exist in this region, that the tusks have for more than a century constituted an important article of traffic—furnishing a large proportion of the ivory required by the carver and turner. The remains lie imbedded in the upper tertiary clays and gravels; and these, by exposure to the river-currents, to the waves of the sea, and other erosive agencies, are frequently swept away during the thaws of summer, leaving tusks and bones in masses, and occasionally even entire skeletons, in a wonderful state of preservation. The most perfect specimen yet obtained, and from the study of which the zoologist has been enabled to arrive at an accurate knowledge of the structure and habits of the mammoth, is that discovered by a Tungusian fisherman, near the mouth of the river Lena, in the summer of 1799.

[pg 217]

Being in the habit of collecting tusks among the debris of the gravel-cliffs, (for it is generally at a considerable elevation in the cliffs and river banks that the remains occur,) he observed a strange shapeless mass projecting from an ice-bank some fifty or sixty feet above the river; during next summer's thaw he saw the same object, rather more disengaged from amongst the ice; in 1801 he could distinctly perceive the tusk and flank of an immense animal; and in 1803, in consequence of an earlier and more powerful thaw, the huge carcase became entirely disengaged, and fell on the sandbank beneath. In the spring of the following year the fisherman cut off the tusks, which he sold for fifty rubles (£7, 10s.;) and two years afterward, our countryman, Mr. Adams, visited the spot, and gives the following account of the extraordinary phenomenon:

"At this time I found the mammoth still in the same place, but altogether mutilated. The discoverer was contented with his profit for the tusks, and the Yakoutski of the neighborhood had cut off the flesh, with which they fed their dogs. During the scarcity, wild beasts, such as white bears, wolves, wolverines, and foxes, also fed upon it, and the traces of their footsteps were seen around. The skeleton, almost entirely cleared of its flesh, remained whole, with the exception of a foreleg. The head was covered with a dry skin; one of the ears, well preserved, was furnished with a tuft of hair. All these parts have necessarily been injured in transporting them a distance of 7,330 miles, (to the Imperial museum of St. Petersburgh,) but the eyes have been preserved, and the pupil of one can still be distinguished. The mammoth was a male, with a long mane on the neck. The tail and proboscis were not preserved. The skin, of which I possess three-fourths, is of a dark-gray color, covered with a reddish wool and black hairs: but the dampness of the spot where it had lain so long had in some degree destroyed the hair. The entire carcase, of which I collected the bones on the spot, was nine feet four inches high, and sixteen feet four inches long, without including the tusks, which measured nine feet six inches along the curve. The distance from the base or root of the tusk to the point is three feet seven inches. The two tusks together weighed three hundred and sixty pounds, English weight, and the head alone four hundred and fourteen pounds. The skin was of such weight that it required ten persons to transport it to the shore; and after having cleared the ground, upward of thirty-six pounds of hair were collected, which the white bears had trodden while devouring the flesh."

Since then, other carcases of elephants have been discovered, in a greater or less degree of preservation; as also the remains of rhinoceroses, mastodons, and allied pachyderms—the mammoth more abundantly in the old world, the mastodon in the new. In every case these animals differ from existing species: are of more gigantic dimensions; and, judging from their natural coverings of thick-set curly-crisped wool and strong hair, upward of a foot in length, were fitted to live, if not in a boreal, at least in a coldly-temperate region. Indeed, there is proof positive of the then more milder climate of these regions in the discovery of pine and birch-trunks where no vegetation now flourishes; and further, in the fact that fragments of pine-leaves, birch-twigs, and other northern plants, have been detected between the grinders and within the stomachs of these animals. We have thus evidence, that at the close of the tertiary, and shortly after the commencement of the current epoch, the northern hemisphere enjoyed a much milder climate; that it was the abode of huge pachyderms now extinct; that a different distribution of sea and land prevailed; and that on a new distribution or sea and land, accompanied also by a different relative level, these animals died away, leaving their remains imbedded in the clays, gravels, and other alluvial deposits, where, under the antiseptic influence of an almost eternal frost, many of them have been preserved as entire as at the fatal moment they sank under the rigors of external conditions no longer fitted for their existence. It has been attempted by some to prove the adaptability of these animals to the present conditions of the northern hemisphere; but so untenable in every phase is this opinion, that it would be sheer waste of time and space to attempt its refutation. That they may have migrated northward and southward with the seasons is more than probable, though it has been stated that the remains diminish in size the farther north they are found; but that numerous herds of such huge animals should have existed in these regions at all, and that for thousands of years, presupposes an exuberant arboreal vegetation, and the necessary degree of climate for its growth and development. It has been mentioned that the mastodon and mammoth seem to have attained their meridian toward the close of the tertiary epoch, and that a few may have lived even in the current era; but it is more probable that the commencement of existing conditions was the proximate cause of their extinction, and that not a solitary specimen ever lived to be the contemporary of man.

[From Fraser's Magazine.]



Askest thou if in my youth I have mounted, as others have mounted,

Galloping Hexameter, Pentameter cantering after,

English by dam and by sire; bit, bridle, and saddlery, English;

English the girths and the shoes; all English from snaffle to crupper;

Everything English around, excepting the tune of the jockey?

Latin and Greek, it is true, I have often attach'd to my phaeton

Early in life, and sometimes have I ordered them out in its evening,

[pg 218]

Dusting the linings, and pleas'd to have found them unworn and untarnisht.

Idle! but Idleness looks never better than close upon sunset.

Seldom my goosequill, of goose from Germany, fatted in England,

(Frolicksome though I have been) have I tried on Hexameter, knowing

Latin and Greek are alone its languages. We have a measure

Fashion'd by Milton's own hand, a fuller, a deeper, a louder.

Germans may flounder at will over consonant, vowel, and liquid,

Liquid and vowel but one to a dozen of consonants, ending

Each with a verb at the tail, tail heavy as African ram's tail,

Spenser and Shakspeare had each his own harmony; each an enchanter

Wanting no aid from without. Chevy Chase had delighted their fathers,

Though of a different strain from the song on the Wrath of Achilles.

Southey was fain to pour forth his exuberant stream over regions

Near and remote: his command was absolute; every subject,

Little or great, he controll'd; in language, variety, fancy,

Richer than all his compeers and wanton but once in dominion;

'Twas when he left the full well that for ages had run by his homestead,

Pushing the brambles aside which encumber'd another up higher,

Letting his bucket go down, and hearing it bump in descending,

Grating against the loose stones 'til it came but half-full from the bottom.

Others abstain'd from the task. Scott wander'd at large over Scotland;

Reckless of Roman and Greek, he chanted the Lay of the Minstrel

Better than ever before any minstrel in chamber had chanted.

Never on mountain or wild hath echo so cheerfully sounded,

Never did monarch bestow such glorious meeds upon knighthood,

Never had monarch the power, liberality, justice, discretion.

Byron liked new-papered rooms, and pull'd down old wainscot of cedar;

Bright-color'd prints he preferr'd to the graver cartoons of a Raphael,

Sailor and Turk (with a sack,) to Eginate and Parthenon marbles,

Splendid the palace he rais'd—the gin-palace in Poesy's purlieus;

Soft the divan on the sides, with spittoons for the qualmish and queesy.

Wordsworth, well pleas'd with himself, cared little for modern or ancient.

His was the moor and the tarn, the recess in the mountain, the woodland

Scatter'd with trees far and wide, trees never too solemn or lofty,

Never entangled with plants overrunning the villager's foot-path.

Equable was he and plain, but wandering a little in wisdom,

Sometimes flying from blood and sometimes pouring it freely.

Yet he was English at heart. If his words were too many; if Fancy's

Furniture lookt rather scant in a whitewasht homely apartment;

If in his rural designs there is sameness and tameness; if often

Feebleness is there for breadth; if his pencil wants rounding and pointing;

Few of this age or the last stand out on the like elevation.

There is a sheepfold he rais'd which my memory loves to revisit,

Sheepfold whose wall shall endure when there is not a stone of the palace.

Still there are walking on earth many poets whom ages hereafter

Will be more willing to praise than they are to praise one another:

Some do I know, but I fear, as is meet, to recount or report them,

For, be whatever the name that is foremost, the next will run over,

Trampling and rolling in dust his excellent friend the precursor.

Peace be with all! but afar be ambition to follow the Roman,

Led by the German, uncomb'd, and jigging in dactyl and spondee,

Lumbering shapeless jackboots which nothing can polish or supple.

Much as old metres delight me, 'tis only where first they were nurtured,

In their own clime, their own speech: than pamper them here I would rather

Tie up my Pegasus tight to the scanty-fed rack of a sonnet.

[From Household Words.]


A great deal has been said about the prowess of Nimrod, in connection with the chase, from the days of him of Babylon to those of the late Mr. Apperley of Shropshire; but we question whether, among all the sporting characters mentioned in ancient or modern story, there ever was so mighty a hunter as the gentleman whose sporting calendar now lies before us.4 The annals of the chase, so far as we are acquainted with them, supply no such instances of familiar intimacy with lions, elephants, hippopotami, rhinoceroses, serpents, crocodiles, and other furious animals, with which the human species in general is not very forward in cultivating an acquaintance.

Mr. Cumming had exhausted the deer-forests of his native Scotland; he had sighed for the rolling prairies and rocky mountains of the Far West, and was tied down to military routine as a mounted rifleman in the Cape Colony; when he determined to resign his commission into the hands of Government, and himself to the delights of hunting amid the untrodden plains and forests of South Africa. Having provided himself with wagons to travel and live in, with bullocks to draw them, and with a host of attendants; a sufficiency of arms, horses, dogs, and ammunition, he set out from Graham's-Town in October, 1843. From that period his hunting adventures extended over five years, during which time he penetrated from various points and in various directions from his starting-place in lat. 33 down to lat. 20, and passed through districts upon which no European foot ever before trod; regions where the wildest of wild animals abound—nothing less serving Mr. Cumming's ardent purpose.

A lion story in the early part of his book will introduce this fearless hunter-author to our readers better than the most elaborate dissection of his character. He is approaching Colesberg, the northernmost military station belonging to the Cape Colony. He is on a trusty steed, which he calls also "Colesberg." Two of his attendants on horseback are with him. "Suddenly," says the author, "I observed a number of vultures seated on the plain about a quarter of a mile ahead of us, and close beside them stood a huge lioness, consuming a blesblok which she had [pg 219] killed. She was assisted in her repast by about a dozen jackals, which were feasting along with her in the most friendly and confidential manner. Directing my followers' attention to the spot, I remarked, 'I see the lion;' to which they replied, 'Whar? whar? Yah! Almagtig! dat is he;' and instantly reining in their steeds and wheeling about, they pressed their heels to their horses' sides, and were preparing to betake themselves to flight. I asked them what they were going to do? To which they answered, 'We have not yet placed caps on our rifles.' This was true; but while this short conversation was passing, the lioness had observed us. Raising her full round face, she overhauled us for a few seconds, and then set off at a smart canter toward a range of mountains some miles to the northward; the whole troop of jackals also started off in another direction; there was therefore no time to think of caps. The first move was to bring her to bay, and not a second was to be lost. Spurring my good and lively steed, and shouting to my men to follow, I flew across the plain, and, being fortunately mounted on Colesberg, the flower of my stud, I gained upon her at every stride. This was to me a joyful moment, and I at once made up my mind that she or I must die. The lioness soon after suddenly pulled up, and sat on her haunches like a dog, with her back toward me, not even deigning to look round. She then appeared to say to herself, 'Does this fellow know who he is after?' Having thus sat for half a minute, as if involved in thought, she sprang to her feet, and facing about, stood looking at me for a few seconds, moving her tail slowly from side to side, showing her teeth and growling fiercely. She next made a short run forward, making a loud, rumbling noise like thunder. This she did to intimidate me; but finding that I did not flinch an inch, nor seem to heed her hostile demonstrations, she quietly stretched out her massive arms, and lay down on the grass. My Hottentots now coming up, we all three dismounted, and drawing our rifles from their holsters, we looked to see if the powder was up in the nipples, and put on our caps. While this was doing, the lioness sat up, and showed evident symptoms of uneasiness. She looked first at us, and then behind her, as if to see if the coast were clear; after which she made a short run toward us, uttering her deep-drawn murderous growls. Having secured the three horses to one another by their rheims, we led them on as if we intended to pass her, in the hope of obtaining a broadside; but this she carefully avoided to expose, presenting only her full front. I had given Stofolus my Moore rifle, with orders to shoot her if she should spring upon me, but on no account to fire before me. Kleinboy was to stand ready to hand me my Purdey rifle, in case the two-grooved Dixon should not prove sufficient. My men as yet had been steady, but they were in a precious stew, their faces having assumed a ghastly paleness; and I had a painful feeling that I could place no reliance on them. Now, then, for it, neck or nothing! She is within sixty yards of us, and she keeps advancing. We turned the horses' tails to her. I knelt on one side, and taking a steady aim at her breast, let fly. The ball cracked loudly on her tawny hide, and crippled her in the shoulder; upon which she charged with an appalling roar, and in the twinkling of an eye she was in the midst of us. At this moment Stofolus'a rifle exploded in his hand, and Kleinboy, whom I had ordered to stand ready by me, danced about like a duck in a gale of wind. The lioness sprang upon Colesberg, and fearfully lacerated his ribs and haunches with her horrid teeth and claws. The worst wound was on his haunch, which exhibited a sickening, yawning gash, more than twelve inches long, almost laying bare the very bone. I was very cool and steady, and did not feel in the least degree nervous, having fortunately great confidence in my own shooting; but I must confess, when the whole affair was over, I felt that it was a very awful situation, and attended with extreme peril, as I had no friend with me on whom I could rely. When the lioness sprang on Colesberg, I stood out from the horses, ready with my second barrel for the first chance she should give me of a clear shot. This she quickly did; for, seemingly satisfied with the revenge she had now taken, she quitted Colesberg, and slewing her tail to one side, trotted sulkily past within a few paces of me, taking one step to the left. I pitched my rifle to my shoulder, and in another second the lioness was stretched on the plain a lifeless corpse."

This is, however, but a harmless adventure compared with a subsequent escapade—not with one, but with six lions. It was the hunter's habit to lay wait near the drinking-places of these animals, concealed in a hole dug for the purpose. In such a place on the occasion in question, Mr. Cumming—having left one of three rhinoceroses he had previously killed as a bait—ensconsed himself. Such a savage festival as that which introduced the adventure, has never before, we believe, been introduced through the medium of the softest English and the finest hot-pressed paper to the notice of the civilized public. "Soon after twilight," the author relates, "I went down to my hole with Kleinboy and two natives, who lay concealed in another hole, with Wolf and Boxer ready to slip, in the event of wounding a lion. On reaching the water I looked toward the carcase of the rhinoceros, and, to my astonishment, I beheld the ground alive with large creatures, as though a troop of zebras were approaching the fountain to drink. Kleinboy remarked to me that a troop of zebras were standing on the height. I answered, 'Yes,' but I knew very well that zebras would not be capering around the carcase of a rhinoceros. I quickly [pg 220] arranged my blankets, pillow, and guns in the hole, and then lay down to feast my eyes on the interesting sight before me. It was bright moonlight, as clear as I need wish, and within one night of being full moon. There were six large lions, about twelve or fifteen hyenas, and from twenty to thirty jackals, feasting on and around the carcases of the three rhinoceroses. The lions feasted peacefully, but the hyenas and jackals fought over every mouthful, and chased one another round and round the carcases, growling, laughing, screeching, chattering, and howling without any intermission. The hyenas did not seem afraid of the lions, although they always gave way before them; for I observed that they followed them in the most disrespectful manner, and stood laughing, one or two on either side, when any lions came after their comrades to examine pieces of skin or bones which they were dragging away. I had lain watching this banquet for about three hours, in the strong hope that, when the lions had feasted, they would come and drink. Two black and two white rhinoceroses had made their appearance, but, scared by the smell of the blood, they had made off. At length the lions seemed satisfied. They all walked about with their heads up, and seemed to be thinking about the water; and in two minutes one of them turned his face toward me, and came on; he was immediately followed by a second lion, and in half a minute by the remaining four. It was a decided and general move, they were all coming to drink right bang in my face, within fifteen yards of me."

The hunters were presently discovered. "An old lioness, who seemed to take the lead, had detected me, and, with her head high and her eyes fixed full upon me she was coming slowly round the corner of the little vley to cultivate further my acquaintance! This unfortunate coincidence put a stop at once to all further contemplation. I thought; in my haste, that it was perhaps most prudent to shoot this lioness, especially as none of the others had noticed me. I accordingly moved my arm and covered her; she saw me move and halted, exposing a full broadside. I fired; the ball entered one shoulder, and passed out behind the other. She bounded forward with repeated growls, and was followed by her five comrades all enveloped in a cloud of dust; nor did they atop until they had reached the cover behind me, except one old gentleman, who halted and looked back for a few seconds, when I fired, but the ball went high. I listened anxiously for some sound to denote the approaching end of the lioness; nor listened in vain. I heard her growling and stationary, as if dying. In one minute her comrades crossed the vley a little below me, and made toward the rhinoceros. I then slipped Wolf and Boxer on her scent, and, following them into the cover, I found her lying dead."

Mr. Cumming's adventures with elephants are no less thrilling. He had selected for the aim of his murderous rifle two huge female elephants from a herd. "Two of the troop had walked slowly past at about sixty yards, and the one which I had selected was feeding with two others on a thorny tree before me. My hand was now as steady as the rock on which it rested, so, taking a deliberate aim, I let fly at her head, a little behind the eye. She got it hard and sharp, just where I aimed, but it did not seem to affect her much. Uttering a loud cry, she wheeled about, when I gave her the second ball, close behind the shoulder. All the elephants uttered a strange rumbling noise, and made off in a line to the northward at a brisk ambling pace, their huge fanlike ears flapping in the ratio of their speed. I did not wait to load, but ran back to the hillock to obtain a view. On gaining its summit, the guides pointed out the elephants; they were standing in a grove of shady trees, but the wounded one was some distance behind with another elephant, doubtless its particular friend, who was endeavoring to assist it. These elephants had probably never before heard the report of a gun; and having neither seen nor smelt me, they were unaware of the presence of man, and did not seem inclined to go any further. Presently my men hove in sight, bringing the dogs; and when these came up, I waited some time before commencing the attack, that the dogs and horses might recover their wind. We then rode slowly toward the elephants, and had advanced within two hundred yards of them, when, the ground being open, they observed us, and made off in an easterly direction; but the wounded one immediately dropped astern, and next moment she was surrounded by the dogs, which, barking angrily, seemed to engross her attention. Having placed myself between her and the retreating troop, I dismounted to fire, within forty yards of her, in open ground. Colesberg was extremely afraid of the elephants, and gave me much trouble, jerking my arm when I tried to fire. At length I let fly; but, on endeavoring to regain my saddle. Colesberg declined to allow me to mount; and when I tried to lead him, and run for it, he only backed toward the wounded elephant. At this moment I heard another elephant close behind: and on looking about I beheld the 'friend,' with uplifted trunk, charging down upon me at top speed, shrilly trumpeting, and following an old black pointer named Schwart, that was perfectly deaf, and trotted along before the enraged elephant quite unaware of what was behind him. I felt certain that she would have either me or my horse. I, however, determined not to relinquish my steed, but to hold on by the bridle. My men, who of course kept at a safe distance, stood aghast with their mouths open, and for a few seconds my position was certainly not an enviable one. Fortunately, however, the dogs took off the attention of the elephants; and, just us they [pg 221] were upon me I managed to spring into the saddle, where I was safe. As I turned my back to mount, the elephants were so very near, that I really expected to feel one of their trunks lay hold of me. I rode up to Kleinboy for my double-barrelled two-grooved rifle; he and Isaac were pale and almost speechless with fright. Returning to the charge, I was soon once more alongside, and, firing from the saddle, I sent another brace of bullets into the wounded elephant. Colesberg was extremely unsteady, and destroyed the correctness of my aim. The 'friend' now seemed resolved to do some mischief, and charged me furiously, pursuing me to a distance of several hundred yards. I therefore deemed it proper to give her a gentle hint to act less officiously, and so, having loaded, I approached within thirty yards, and gave it her sharp, right and left, behind the shoulder; upon which she at once made off with drooping trunk, evidently with a mortal wound. Two more shots finished her; on receiving them she tossed her trunk up and down two or three times, and falling on her broadside against a thorny tree, which yielded like grass before her enormous weight, she uttered a deep hoarse cry and expired."

Mr. Cumming's exploits in the water are no less exciting than his land adventures. Here is an account of his victory over a hippopotamus, on the banks of the Limpopo river, near the northernmost extremity of his journeyings.

"There were four of them, three cows and an old bull; they stood in the middle of the river, and though alarmed, did not appear aware of the extent of the impending danger. I took the sea-cow next me, and with my first ball I gave her a mortal wound, knocking loose a great plate on the top of her skull. She at once commenced plunging round and round, and then occasionally remained still, sitting for a few minutes on the same spot. On hearing the report of my rifle two of the others took up stream, and the fourth dashed down the river; they trotted along, like oxen, at a smart pace as long as the water was shallow. I was now in a state of very great anxiety about my wounded sea-cow, for I feared that she would get down into deep water, and be lost like the last one; her struggles were still carrying her down stream, and the water was becoming deeper. To settle the matter I accordingly fired a second shot from the bank, which, entering the roof of her skull, passed out through her eye; she then, kept continually splashing round and round in a circle in the middle of the river. I had great fears of the crocodiles, and I did not know that the sea-cow might not attack me. My anxiety to secure her, however, overcame all hesitation; so, divesting myself of my leathers, and armed with a sharp knife. I dashed into the water, which at first took me up to my arm-pits, but in the middle was shallower. As I approached Behemoth her eye looked very wicked. I halted for a moment, ready to dive under the water if she attacked me, but she was stunned, and did not know what she was doing; so, running in upon her, and seizing her short tail, I attempted to incline her course to land. It was extraordinary what enormous strength she still had in the water. I could not guide her in the slightest, and she continued to splash, and plunge, and blow, and make her circular course, carrying me along with her as if I was a fly on her tail. Finding her tail gave me but a poor hold, as the only means of securing my prey, I took out my knife, and cutting two deep parallel incisions through the skin on her rump, and lifting this skin from the flesh, so that I could get in my two hands, I made use of this as a handle; and after some desperate hard work, sometimes pushing and sometimes pulling, the sea-cow continuing her circular course all the time and I holding on at her rump like grim Death, eventually I succeeded in bringing this gigantic and most powerful animal to the bank. Here the Bushman, quickly brought me a stout buffalo-rheim from my horse's neck, which I passed through the opening in the thick skin, and moored Behemoth to a tree. I then took my rifle, and sent a ball through the center of her head, and she was numbered with the dead." There is nothing in "Waterton's Wanderings," or in the "Adventures of Baron Munchausen" more startling than this "Waltz with a Hippopotamus!"

In the all-wise disposition of events, it is perhaps ordained that wild animals should be subdued by man to his use at the expense of such tortures as those described in the work before us. Mere amusement, therefore, is too light a motive for dealing such wounds and death Mr. Cumming owns to; but he had other motives,—besides a considerable profit he has reaped in trophies, ivory, fur, &c., he has made in his book some valuable contributions to the natural history of the animals he wounded and slew.

From Graham's Magazine for August




From the doorway, Manuela, in the sheeny April morn,

Southward looks, along the valley, over leagues of gleaming corn;

Where the mountain's misty rampart like the wall of Eden towers,

And the isles of oak are sleeping on a painted sea of flowers.

All the air is full of music, for the winter rains are o'er,

And the noisy magpies chatter from the budding sycamore;

Blithely frisk unnumbered squirrels, over all the grassy slope;

Where the airy summits brighten, nimbly leaps the antelope.

Gentle eyes of Manuela! tell me wherefore do ye rest

On the oaks' enchanted islands and the flowery ocean's breast?

Tell me wherefore down the valley, ye have traced the highway's mark

Far beyond the belts of timber, to the mountain-shadows dark?

Ah, the fragrant bay may blossom, and the sprouting verdure shine

With the tears of amber dropping from the tassels of the pine.

[pg 222]

And the morning's breath of balsam lightly brush her sunny cheek—

Little recketh Manuela of the tales of Spring they speak.

When the Summer's burning solstice on the mountain-harvests glowed,

She had watched a gallant horseman riding down the valley road;

Many times she saw him turning, looking back with parting thrills,

Till amid her tears she lost him, in the shadow of the hills.

Ere the cloudless moons were over, he had passed the Desert's sand.

Crossed the rushing Colorada and the dark Apache Land,

And his laden mules were driven, when the time of rains began.

With the traders of Chihuaha, to the Fair of San Juan.

Therefore watches Manuela—therefore lightly doth she start,

When the sound of distant footsteps seems the beating of her heart;

Not a wind the green oak rustles or the redwood branches stirs,

But she hears the silver jingle of his ringing bit and spurs.

Often, out the hazy distance, come the horsemen, day by day,

But they come not as Bernardo—she can see it, far away;

Well she knows the airy gallop of his mettled alazan,5

Light as any antelope upon the Hills of Gavilan.

She would know him mid a thousand, by his free and gallant air;

By the featly-knit sarape,6 such as wealthy traders wear;

By his broidered calzoneros7 and his saddle, gaily spread,

With its cantle rimmed with silver, and its horn a lion's head.

None like he the light riata8 on the maddened bull can throw;

None amid the mountain-canons, track like he the stealthy doe;

And at all the Mission festals, few indeed the revelers are

Who can dance with him the jota, touch with him the gay guitar.

He has said to Manuela, and the echoes linger still

In the cloisters of her bosom, with a secret, tender thrill,

When the hay again has blossomed, and the valley stands in corn,

Shall the bells of Santa Clara usher in the wedding morn.

He has pictured the procession, all in holyday attire,

And the laugh and look of gladness, when they see the distant spire;

Then their love shall kindle newly, and the world be doubly fair,

In the cool delicious crystal of the summer morning air.

Tender eyes of Manuela! what has dimmed your lustrous beam?

'Tis a tear that falls to glitter on the casket of her dream.

Ah, the eye of love must brighten, if its watches would be true,

For the star is falsely mirrored in the rose's drop of dew!

But her eager eyes rekindle, and her breathless bosom stills,

As she sees a horseman moving in the shadow of the hills;

Now in love and fond thanksgiving they may loose their pearly tides—

'Tis the alazan that gallops, 'tis Bernardo's self that rides!

From Fraser's Magazine for July.


Ledru Rollin is now in his forty-fourth or forty-fifth year, having been born in 1806 or 1807. He is the grandson of the famous Prestidigateur, or Conjurer Comus, who, about four or five-and-forty years ago, was in the acme of his fame. During the Consulate, and a considerable portion of the Empire, Comus traveled from one department of France to the other, and is even known to have extended his journeys beyond the Rhine and the Moselle on one side, and beyond the Rhône and Garonne on the other. Of all the conjurers of his day he was the most famous and the most successful, always, of course, excepting that Corsican conjurer who ruled for so many years the destinies of France. From those who have seen that famous trickster, we have learned that the Charleses, the Alexanders, even the Robert Houdins, were children compared with the magical wonder-worker of the past generation. The fame of Comus was enormous, and his gains proportionate; and when he had shuffled off this mortal coil it was found he had left to his descendants a very ample—indeed, for France, a very large fortune. Of the descendants in a right line, his grandson, Ledru Rollin, was his favorite, and to him the old man left the bulk of his fortune, which, during the minority of Ledru Rollin, grew to a sum amounting to nearly, if not fully, £4,000 per annum.

The scholastic education of the young man who was to inherit this considerable fortune, was nearly completed during the reign of Louis XVIII., and shortly after Charles X. ascended the throne il commençait à faire sur droit, as they phrase it in the pays Latin. Neither during the reign of Louis XVIII., nor indeed now, unless in the exact and physical sciences, does Paris afford a very solid and substantial education. Though the Roman poets and historians are tolerably well studied and taught, yet little attention is paid to Greek literature. The physical and exact sciences are unquestionably admirably taught at the Polytechnique and other schools; but neither at the College of St. Barbe, nor of Henry IV., can a pupil be so well grounded in the rudiments and humanities as in our grammar and public schools. A studious, pains-taking, and docile youth, will, no doubt, learn a great deal, no matter where he has been placed in pupilage; but we have heard from a contemporary of M. Rollin, that he was not particularly distinguished either for his industry or his docility in early life. The earliest days of the reign of Charles X. saw M. Ledru Rollin an étudiant en droit in Paris. Though the schools of law had been re-established during the Consulate pretty much after the fashion in which they existed in the time of Louis the XIV., yet the application of the alumni was fitful and desultory, and perhaps there were no two [pg 223] classes in France, at the commencement of 1825. who were more imbued with the Voltarian philosophy and the doctrines and principles of Rousseau, than the élèves of the schools of law and medicine.

Under a king so sceptical and voluptuous, so much of a philosophie and phyrronéste, as Louis XVIII., such tendencies were likely to spread themselves through all ranks of society—to permeate from the very highest to the very lowest classes: and not all the lately acquired asceticism of the monarch, his successor, nor all the efforts of the Jesuits could restrain or control the tendencies of the étudiants en droit. What the law-students were antecedently and subsequent to 1825, we know from the Physiologie de l'Homme de Loi; and it is not to be supposed that M. Ledru Rollin, with more ample pecuniary means at command, very much differed from his fellows. After undergoing a three years' course of study, M. Rollin obtained a diploma as a licencié en droit, and commenced his career as stagiare somewhere about the end of 1826 or the beginning of 1827. Toward the close of 1829, or in the first months of 1830, he was, we believe, placed on the roll of advocates; so that he was called to the bar, or, as they say in France, received an advocate, in his twenty-second or twenty-third year.

The first years of an advocate, even in France, are generally passed in as enforced an idleness as in England. Clients come not to consult the greenhorn of the last term; nor does any avoué among our neighbors, any more than any attorney among ourselves, fancy that an old head is to be found on young shoulders. The years 1830 and 1831 were not marked by any oratorical effort of the author of the Decline of England; nor was it till 1832 that, being then one of the youngest of the bar of Paris, he prepared and signed an opinion against the placing of Paris in a state of siege consequent on the insurrections of June. Two years after he prepared a memoir; or factum, on the affair of the Rue Transonain, and defended Dupoty, accused of complicité morale, a monstrous doctrine invented by the Attorney-General Hebert. From 1834 to 1841 he appeared as counsel in nearly all the cases of émeute or conspiracy where the individuals prosecuted were Republicans, or quasi-Republicans. Meanwhile, he had become the proprietor and rédacteur en chef of the Reforme newspaper, a political journal of an ultra-Liberal—indeed of a Republican—complexion, which was then called of extreme opinions, as he had previously been editor of a legal newspaper called Journal du Palais. La Reforme had been originally conducted by Godefroy Cavaignac, the brother of the general, who continued editor till the period of the fatal illness which preceded his death. The defense of Dupoty, tried and sentenced under the ministry of Thiers to five years' imprisonment, as a regicide, because a letter was found open in the letter-box of the paper of which he was editor, addressed to him by a man said to be implicated in the conspiracy of Quenisset, naturally brought M. Rollin into contact with many of the writers in La Reforme; and these persons, among others Guinard Arago, Etienne Arago, and Flocon, induced him to embark some portion of his fortune in the paper. From one step he was led on to another, and ultimately became one of the chief—indeed, if not the chief proprietor. The speculation was far from successful in a pecuniary sense, but M. Rollin, in furtherance of his opinions, continued for some years to disburse considerable sums in the support of the journal. By this he no doubt increased his popularity and his credit with the Republican party, but it cannot be denied that he very materially injured his private fortune. In the earlier portion of his career, M. Rollin was, it is known, not indisposed to seek a seat in the Chamber, under the auspices of M. Barrot, but subsequently to his connection with the Reforme, he had himself become thoroughly known to the extreme party in the departments, and on the death of Gamier Pagès the elder, was elected in 1841 for Le Mans, in La Sarthe.

In addressing the electors, after his return, M. Rollin delivered a speech much more Republican than Monarchical. For this he was sentenced to four months' imprisonment, but the sentence was appealed against and annulled on a technical ground, and the honorable member was ultimately acquitted by the Cour d'Assizes of Angers.

The parliamentary début of M. Rollin took place in 1842. His first speech was delivered on the subject of the secret-service money. The elocution was easy and flowing, the manner oratorical, the style somewhat turgid and bombastic. But in the course of the session M. Rollin improved, and his discourse on the modification of the criminal law, on other legal subjects, and on railways, were more sober specimens of style. In 1843 and 1844 M. Rollin frequently spoke; but though his speeches were a good deal talked of outside the walls of the Chamber, they produced little effect within it. Nevertheless, it was plain to every candid observer that he possessed many of the requisites of the orator—a good voice, a copious flow of words, considerable energy and enthusiasm, a sanguine temperament and jovial and generous disposition. In the sessions of 1845-46, M. Rollin took a still more prominent part. His purse, his house in the Rue Tournon, his counsels and advice, were all placed at the service of the men of the movement; and by the beginning of 1847 he seemed to be acknowledged by the extreme party as its most conspicuous and popular member. Such indeed was his position when the electoral reform banquets, on a large scale, began to take place in the autumn of 1847. These banquets, promoted and forwarded by the principal members of the opposition to serve the [pg 224] cause of electoral reform, were looked on by M. Rollin and his friends in another light. While Odillon Barrot, Duvergier d'Haurunne, and others, sought by means of them to produce an enlarged constituency, the member for Sarthe looked not merely to functional, but to organic reform—not merely to an enlargement of the constituency, but to a change in the form of the government. The desire of Barrot was à la vérité à la sincerité des institutions conquises en Juillet 1830; whereas the desire of Rollin was, à l'amélioration des classes laborieuses; the one was willing to go on with the dynasty of Louis Philippe and the Constitution of July improved by diffusion and extension of the franchise, the other looked to a democratic and social republic. The result is now known. It is not here our purpose to go over the events of the Revolution of February 1848, but we may be permitted to observe, that the combinations by which that event was effected were ramified and extensive, and were long silently and secretly in motion.

The personal history of M. Rollin, since February 1848, is well-known and patent to all the world. He was the ame damnée of the Provisional Government—the man whose extreme opinions, intemperate circulars, and vehement patronage of persons professing the political creed of Robespierre—indisposed all moderate men to rally around the new system. It was in covering Ledru Rollin with the shield of his popularity that Lamartine lost his own, and that he ceased to be the political idol of a people of whom he must ever be regarded as one of the literary glories and illustrations. On the dissolution of the Provisional Government, Ledru Rollin constituted himself one of the leaders of the movement party. In ready powers of speech and in popularity no man stood higher; but he did not possess the power of restraining his followers or of holding them in hand, and the result was, that instead of being their leader he became their instrument. Fond of applause, ambitious of distinction, timid by nature, destitute of pluck, and of that rarer virtue moral courage, Ledru Rollin, to avoid the imputation of faint-heartedness, put himself in the foreground, but the measures of his followers being ill-taken, the plot in which he was mixed up egregiously failed, and he is now in consequence an exile in England.


MR. FILIPANTE gives the following notice of this Italian revolutionary leader in a communication to the Evening Post. "His exertions in behalf of the liberal movement in Italy have been indefatigable. As active as he was courageous, he was among the first to take up arms against Austrian tyranny, and the last to lay them down. Even when the triumvirate at Rome had been overthrown, and the most ardent spirits despaired of the republic, Garibaldi and his noble band of soldiers refused to yield; they maintained a vigorous resistance to the last, and only quitted the ground when the cause was so far gone that their own success would have been of no general advantage.

"The General is about forty years of age. He was in early life an officer in the Sardinian service, but, engaging in an unsuccessful revolt against the government of Charles Albert, he was compelled to leave his native land. He fled to Montevideo, where he fought with distinction in the wars against Rosas. At the breaking out of the late revolution he returned. His military capacities being well known, he was entrusted with a command; and throughout the war his services were most efficient. He defeated the allied troops of Austria, France, and Naples, in several battles; his name, in fact, became a terror, and when the republic fell, and he was compelled to retire to the Appenines, the invaders felt that his return would be more formidable than any other event.

"From Italy he went to Morocco, where he has since lived. But his friends, desiring that his great energies should be actively employed, have offered him the command of a merchant ship, which he has accepted. He will, therefore, hereafter be engaged in the peaceful pursuits of commerce, unless his country should again require his exertions."


In recent discussions of the effects of education upon morals, the relative conditions of Great Britain and France in this respect have often been referred to. The following paragraph shows that the statistics in the case have not been well understood:

"In a recent sitting of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, M. Leon Faucher, the representative, read a paper on the state of crime in England; and some of the journals have taken advantage of this to institute a comparison with returns of the criminality of France, recently published by the Government—the result being anything but flattering to England. But M. Faucher, the Academy, the newspapers, and almost everybody else in France, seems to be entirely ignorant that it is impossible to institute a comparison between the amount of crime in England and the amount of crime in France, inasmuch as crimes are not the same in both countries. Thus, for example, it is a felony in England to steal a pair of shoes, the offender is sent before the Court of Assize, and his offense counts in the official returns as a "crime;" in France, on the contrary, a petty theft is considered a délit, or simple offense, is punished by a police magistrate, and figures in the returns as an "offense." With respect to murders, too, the English have only two general names for killing—murder or manslaughter—but the French have nearly a dozen categories of killing, of which what the English call murder forms only one. It is the same, in short, with almost every species of crime."

Footnote 1: (return)

RURAL HOURS: by a Lady, George P. Putnam, 155 Broadway. 1850.

Footnote 2: (return)

In his early days the President of the Royal Academy painted a very striking portrait of Jane Porter, as "Miranda," and Harlowe painted her in the canoness dress of the order of St. Joachim.

Footnote 3: (return)

In the press of Appleton & Co.

Footnote 4: (return)

A Hunter's Life in South Africa. By R. Gordon Cumming, Esq., of Altyre.

Footnote 5: (return)

In California horses are named according to their color. An alazan is a sorrel—a color generally preferred, as denoting speed and mettle.

Footnote 6: (return)

The sarape is a knit blanket of many gay colors, worn over the shoulders by an opening in the center, through which the head is thrust.

Footnote 7: (return)

Calzoneros are trowsers, generally made of blue cloth or velvet, richly embroidered, and worn over an under pair of white linen. They are slashed up the outside of each leg, for greater convenience in riding, and studded with rows of silver buttons.

Footnote 8: (return)

The lariat, or riata, as it is indifferently called in California and Mexico, is precisely the same as the lasso of South America.