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NOBODY in this generation reads The Specta- | very satyriasis of curiosity, no man ever wished tor. There are, however, several people still to see the author of a Ready Reckoner, or of a surviving who have read No. 1. In which No. 1. treatise on the Agistment Tithe, or on the Present a strange mistake is made. It is there asserted deplorable Dry-rot in Potatoes. "Bundle off, as a general affection of human nature, that it is sir, as fast as you can," the most diligent reader impossible to read a book with satisfaction until would say to such an author in case he insisted one has ascertained whether the author of it be on submitting his charms to inspection. tall or short, corpulent or thin, and as to com- have had quite enough distress of mind from plexion, whether he be a "black" man (which, reading your works, without needing the addiin the Spectator's time, was the absurd expres- tional dry-rot of your bodily presence. Neither sion for a swarthy man), or a fair man, or a sal- does any man, on descending from a railway low man, or perhaps a green man, which Southey train, turn to look whether the carriage in which affirmed to be the proper description of many he has ridden happens to be a good-looking carstout artificers in Birmingham, too much given riage, or wish for an introduction to the coachto work in metallic fumes; on which account the maker. Satisfied that the one has not broken name of Southey is an abomination to this day his bones, and that the other has no writ against in certain furnaces of Warwickshire. But can his person, he dismisses with the same frigid anything be more untrue than this Spectatorial scowl both the carriage and the author of its doctrine? Did ever the youngest of female existence. novel-readers, on a sultry day, decline to cat a bunch of grapes until she knew whether the fruiterer were a good-looking man? Which of us ever heard a stranger inquiring for a "Guide to the Trosachs," but saying, "I scruple, however, to pay for this book, until I know whether the author is heather-legged?" On this principle, if any such principle prevailed, we authors should be liable to as strict a revision of our physics before having any right to be read, as we all are before having our lives insured from the medical advisers of insurance offices; fellows that examine one with stethescopes, that pinch one, that actually punch one in the ribs, until a man becomes savage, and-in case the insurance should miss fire in consequence of the medical report-speculates on the propriety of prosecuting the medical ruffian for an assault, for a most unprovoked assault and battery, and, if possible, including in the indictment the now odious insurance office as an accomplice before the fact. Meantime the odd thing is, not that Addison should have made a mistake, but that he and his readers should in this mistake have recognised a hidden truth, the sudden illumination of a propensity latent in all people, but now first exposed; for it happens that thero really is a propensity in all of us very like what Addison describes, very different, and yet, after one correction, the very same. No reader cares about an author's person before reading his book it is after reading it, and supposing the book to reveal something of the writer's moral nature, as modifying his intellect, it is for his fun, his fancy, his sadness, possibly his craziness, that any reader cares about seeing the author in person. Afflicted with the

But, with respect to Mr. Landor, as at all connected with this reformed doctrine of the Spectator, a difficulty arises. He is a man of great genius, and, as such, he ought to interest the public. More than enough appears of his strong, eccentric nature, through every page of his now extensive writings, to win, amongst those who have read him, a corresponding interest in all that concerns him personally in his social relations, in his biography, in his manners, in his appearance. Out of two conditions for attracting a personal interest, he has powerfully realised one. His moral nature, shining with coloured light through the crystal shrine of his thoughts, will not allow of your forgetting it. A sunset of Claude, or a dying dolphin, can be forgotten, and generally is forgotten; but not the fiery radiations of a human spirit, built by nature to animate a leader in storms, a martyr, a national reformer, an arch-rebel, as circumstances might dictate, but whom too much wealth, and the accidents of education, have turned aside into a contemplative recluse. Had Mr. Landor, therefore, been read in any extent answering to his merits, he must have become, for the English public, an object of prodigious personal interest. We should have had novels upon him, lampoons upon him, libels upon him; he would have been shown up dramatically on the stage; he would, according to the old joke, have been "traduced " in French, and also "overset in Dutch. Meantime he has not been read. It would be an affectation to think it. Many a writer is, by the sycophancy of literature, reputed to be read, whom in all Europe not six eyes settle upon through the revolving year. Literature, with its cowardly


* The Works of Savage Landor. 2 vols. London: Moxon. "Southey affirmed:"-viz. in the "Letters of Espriella," an imaginary Spaniard on a visit to England, about the year 1810.

"Too much wealth:"-Mr. Landor, who should know best, speaks of himself (once, at least) as "poor;" but that is all nonsense. I have known several people with annual incomes bordering on £20,000, who spoke of themselves, and seemed seriously to think themselves, unhappy “ paupers." Lady Hester Stanhope, with £2700 a-year (of which about twelve arose from her government pension), and without one solitary dependent in her train, thought herself rich enough to become a queen (an Arabic maleky) in the Syrian mountains, but an absolute pauper for London: "for how, you know," (as she would say, pathetically) “could the humblest of spinsters live decently upon that pittance?"

falsehoods, exhibits the largest field of conscious This, however, is true only of Mr. Landor's Phrygian adulation that human life has ever ex-prose works. His first work was a poem, viz. posed to the derision of the heavens. Demosthenes, for instance, or Plato, is not read to the extent of twenty pages annually by ten people in Europe. The sale of their works would not account for three readers; the other six or seven are generously conceded as possibilities furnished by the great public libraries. But, then, Walter Savage Landor, though writing a little in Latin, and a very little in Italian, does not write at all in Greek. So far he has some advantage over Plato; and, if he writes chiefly in dialogue, which few people love to read any more than novels in the shape of letters, that is a crime common to both. So that he has the d-l's luck and his own, all Plato's chances, and one of his own beside-viz. his English. Still it is no use counting chances; facts are the thing. And printingpresses, whether of Europe or of England, bear witness that neither Plato nor Landor is a marketalle commodity. In fact, these two men resemble each other in more particulars than it is at present necessary to say. Especially they were both inclined to be luxurious: both had a hankering after purple and fine linen; both hated "filthy dowlas with the hatred of Falstaff, whether in appareling themselves or their diction; and both bestowed pains as elaborate upon the secret art of a dialogue as a lapidary would upon the cutting of a sultan's rubies.

But might not a man build a reputation on the basis of not being read? To be read is undoubtedly something to be read by an odd million or so, is a sort of feather in a man's cap; but it is also a distinction that he has been read absolutely by nobody at all. There have been cases, and one or two in modern times, where an author could point to a vast array of his own works, concerning which no evidence existed that so much as one had been opened by human hand, or glanced at by human eye. That was awful: such a sleep of pages by thousands in one eternal darkness, never to be visited by light; such a rare immunity from the villanies of misconstruction; such a Sabbath from the impertinencies of critics! You shuddered to reflect that, for anything known to the contrary, there might lurk jewels of truth explored in vain, or treasure for ever intercepted to the interests of man. But such a sublimity supposes total defect of readers; whereas it can be proved against Mr. Landor, that he has been read by at least a score of people, all wide awake; and if any treason is buried in a page of his, thank Heaven, by this time it must have been found out and reported to the authorities. So that neither can Landor plead the unlimited popularity of a novelist, aided by the interest of a tale, and by an artist, nor the total obscuration of a German metaphysician. Neither do mobs read him, as they do M. Sue; nor do all men turn away their eyes from him, as they do from Hegel.*

“From Hegel:”—I am not prepared with an affidavit that no man ever read the late Mr. Hegel, that great master of the impenetrable. But sufficient evidence of that fact, as I conceive, may be drawn from those who have written commentaries upon him.

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Gebir; and it had the sublime distinction, for some time, of having enjoyed only two readers; which two were Southey and myself. It was on first entering at Oxford that I found "Gebir" printed and (nominally) published; whereas, in fact, all its advertisements of birth and continued existence, were but so many notifications of its intense privacy. Not knowing Southey at that time, I vainly conceited myself to be the one sole purchaser and reader of this poem. I even fancied myself to have been pointed out in the streets of Oxford, where tho Landors had been well known in times preceding my own, as the one inexplicable man authentically known to possess "Gebir,' or even (it might be whispered mysteriously) to have read "Gebir." It was not clear but this reputation might stand in lieu of any independent fame, and might raise me to literary distinction. The preceding generation had greatly esteemed the man called Single-Speech Hamilton; not at all for the speech (which, though good, very few people had read), but entirely for the supposed fact that he had exhausted himself in that one speech, and had become physically incapable of making a second: so that afterwards, when he really did make a second, everybody was incredulous; until, the thing being past denial, naturally the world was disgusted, and most people dropped his acquaintance. To be a Mono-Gebirist was quite as good a title to notoriety; and five years after, when I found that I had "a brother near the throne," viz. Southey, mortification would havo led me willingly to resign altogether in his favour. Shall I make the reader acquainted with the story of Gebir?


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Gebir is the king of Gibraltar; which, how-
ever, it would be an anachronism to call Gib-
raltar, since it drew that name from this very
Gebir; and doubtless, by way of honour to his
memory. Mussulmans tell a different story; but
who cares for what is said by infidel dogs? King
then, let us call him of Calpe; and a very good
king he is; young, brave, of upright intentions;
but being also warlike, and inflamed by popular
remembrances of ancient wrongs, he resolves to
seek reparation from the children's children of
the wrong-doers; and he weighs anchor in search
of Mr. Pitt's" indemnity for the past," though
not much regarding that right honourable gentle-
man's "security for the future." Egypt was
the land that sheltered the wretches that repre- ·
sented the ancestors that had done the wrong.
To Egypt, therefore, does king Gebir steer his ex-
pedition, which counted 10,000 picked men :

By meditating on primeval wrongs,
He blew his battle-horn; at which uprose
Whole nations here ten thousand of most might
He called aloud; and soon Charoba saw

His dark helm hover o'er the land of Nile."

Who is Charoba? As respects the reader, she is the heroine of the poem: as respects Egypt, she is queen by the grace of God, defender of the

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again amidst festival and flowers these objcetd are scenically effective. The conception of the grouping is good; the mise en scene; ist: good; but, from want of pains-taking, not sufficiently brought out into strong relief; and the dying words of Gobir, which wind up the whole, are{ted bookish; they seem to be part of some [anticle which he had been writing for the Gibraltar Quarterly. #do boq si find scubarb & to There are two episodes, composing jointly about two-sevenths of the poem, and by ɔ no means its weakest parts. One/describes the descent of Gebir to Hades. His guide is a mani who is this man? bed adyni’dyit-4905 191 "Living-they called him Aroar.Rs 1/978d


faith, and so forthYoung and accustomed to unlimited obedience, how could she be otherwise than alarmed by the descent of a host far more martial than her own effeminate peoplo, and as suming a religious character avengers of wrong in some forgotton age? In her trepidation, she turns for aid and counsel to her nurse Dalica. Dalica, by the way, considered as a word, is a dactyle; that is, you must not lay the accent on the i, but on the first syllable. Dalica, considered as a woman, is about as bad a one as even Egypt could furnish. She is a thorough gipsy; a fortune-teller, and something worse, in fact. She is a sorceress," stiff in opinion and it needs not Pope's authority to infer that ............ of course! she is always in the wrong." By her advice, Is he not living, then? No. Is he dead, then ? but for a purpose known best to herself, an inter- No, nor dead either. Poor Aroar cannot live, view is arranged between Charoba and the in- and cannot dieso that he is in an almighty fix. vading monarch. At this interview, the two In this disagreeable dilemma, he contrives to youthful sovereigns, Charoba the queen of hearts amuse himself with politics and, rather ofsul and Gebir the king of clubs, fall irrevocably in jacobinical cast: like the Virgilian Eneas, Gebir love with each other. There's an end of club is introduced not to the shades of the past only, law; and Gebir is ever afterwards disarmed. but of the future. He sees the pre-existing But Dalica, that wicked Dalica, that sad old dac ghosts of gentlemen who are yet to come, silent tyle, who sees everything clearly that happens as ghosts ought to be, but destined at some far dis to be twenty years distant, cannot see a pike-tant time to make a considerable noise in our upper! staff if it is close before her nose; and of course she mistakes Charoba's agitations of love for paroxyams of anger. Charoba is herself partly to blame for this; but you must excuse her. The poor child readily confided her terrors to Dalica; but how can she be expected to make a love confidante of a tawny old witch like her? Upon this mistake, however, proceeds the whole remaining plot. Dr. Dalica [which means doctor D., and by no means dear D.], having totally mistaken the symptoms, the diagnosis, the prognosis, and everything that ends in osis, necessarily mistakes also the treatment of the case, and, like some other doctors, failing to make a cure, covers up her blunders by a general slaughter. She visits her sister, a sorceress more potent than herself, living


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world. Amongst these is our worthy old George III., who (strange to say!) is not foreseen as gal loping from Windsor to Kew, surrounded by an escort of dragoons, nor in a scarlet coat riding after a fox, nor taking his morning rounds amongst his sheep and his turnips; but in the likeness of some savage creature, whom really, were it not for his eye-brows and his "slanting" forehead, the reader would never recognise : chody stiff

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"Aroar! what wretch that nearest us? what wretch Is that, with eye-brows white and slanting brow ?omni O king! hoort Iberia bore him; but the breed accurst Inclement winds blew blighting from north-east,' Iberia is spiritual England; and north-east is mystical Hanover. But what, then, were the "wretch's" crimes? The white eye-brows I confess to; those were certainly crimes of considerable magnitude; but what else? Gebir has the same curiosity as myself, and propounds something like the same fishing question :

"He was a warrior then, nor feared the gods?** To which Aroar answers

'Deep in the wilderness of woe, Masar.' Between them they concert hellish incantations. From these issues a venomous robe, like that of the centaur Nessus. This, at a festal meeting between the two nations and their princes, is given by Charoba to her lover-her lover, but as "Gebir! he feared the demons, not the gods; yet not recognised as such by her, nor until the moThough them, indeed, his daily face ador'd, ment of his death, avowed as such by himself. And was no warrior; yet the thousand lives Gebir dies-the accursed robe, dipped in the "vis- Squander'd as if to exercise a sling, &c. &c." cous poison" exuding from the gums of the grey ce- Really Aroar is too Tom-Painish, and seems up rastes, and tempered by other venomous juices of to a little treason. He makes the poor king plant and animal, proves too much for his rocky answerable for more than his own share of naconstitution-Gibraltar is found not impregnable tional offences, if such they were. All of us in -the blunders of Dalica, the wicked nurse, and the last generation were rather fond of fighting the arts of her sister Myrthyr, the wicked witch, and assisting at fights in the character of mere are found too potent; and in one moment the union spectators. I am sure I was. But if that is of two nations, with the happiness of two sove- any fault, so was Plato, who (though, probably reigns, is wrecked for ever. The closing situa-inferior as a philosopher to you and me, reader); tion of the parties-monarch and monarch, nation and nation, youthful king and youthful queen, dying or despairing-nation and nation that had been reconciled, starting asunder once

was much superior to either of us as a cock, fighter. So was Socrates in the preceding age; for, as he notoriously haunted the company of Alcibiades at all hours, he must often have found


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his pupil diverting himself with those fighting quails which ho kept in such numbers. Be as sured that the oracle's wisest of men" lenta hand very cheerfully to putting on the spurs when a main was to be fought; and, as to betting, probably that was the reason that Xantippe was so often down - upon him when he went home at night. To como home reeling from a fight, with out a drachma left in his pocket, would naturally provoke any woman. Posterity has been very much misinformed about these things; and, no doubt, about Xantippe, poor woman, in partien ları If she had had a disciple to write books, as her cock-fighting husband had, perhaps we should have read a very different story. By the way, the propensity to scandalum magnatum in Aroar was one of the things that fixed my youthful at tention, and perhaps my admiration, upon Gebir. For myself, as perhaps the reader may have heard, I was and am a Tory; and in some remote geological æra, my bones may be dug up by some future Buckland as a specimen of the fossil Tory. Yet, for all that, I loved audacity; and I gazed with some indefinite shade of approbation upon a poet whom the attorney-general might have occasion to speak with.

This, however, was a mere condiment to the main attraction of the poem. That lay in the picturesqueness of the images, attitudes, groups, dispersed everywhere. The eye seemed to rest everywhereupon festal processions, upon the pannels of Theban gates, or upon sculptured vases, The very first lines that by accident met I cite them in my eye were those which follow. mere obedience to the fact as it really was; else there are more striking illustrations of this sculpturesque faculty in Mr. Landor; and for this faculty it was that both Southey and myself separately and independently had named him the English Valerius Flaccus.

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"But Gebir, when he heard of her approach,
Laid by his orbed shield: his vizor helm,
His buckler and his corslet he laid by,
And bade that none attend him: at his side
Two faithful dogs that urge the silent course,
Shaggy, deep-chested, croucht; the crocodile,
Crying, oft made them raise their flaccid ears,
And push their heads within their master's hand.
There was a lightning paleness in his face,
Such as Diana rising o'er the rocks
Showr'd on the lonely Latmian; on his brow
Sorrow there was, but there was nought severe."
"And the long moonbeam on the hard wet sand
Lay like a jasper column half up-rear'd."
"The king, who sate before his tent, descried
The dust rise redden'd from the setting sun."
-Now let us pass to the imaginary dialogues:-
Marshal Bugeaud and Arab Chieftain. This
dialogue, which is amongst the shortest, would
not challenge a separate notice, were it not for
the freshness in the public mind, and the yet un-
cicatrised rawness of that atrocity which it com-
memorates. Here is an official account from the
commander-in-chief:-" Of seven hundred refrac-
tory and rebellious who took refuge in the caverns,

thirty" [says the glory-hunting Marshall, "and thirty only, are alive and of these thirty there are four only who are capable of labour, or indeed of motion."How precious to the Mar shal's heart must be that harvest of misery from which he so reluctantly allows the discount of about one-half per cent. Four only out of seven hundred, he is happy to assure Christendom, remain capable of hopping about; as to working or getting honest bread, or doing any service in this world to themselves or others; it is truly delightful to announce, for public information, that all such practices are put a stop to for ever.

Amongst the fortunate four, who retain the power of hopping, we must reckon the Arabi Chieftain, who is introduced into the colloquy in the character of respondent. He can hop, of course, ex hypothesi, being one of the ever lucky quaternion; he can hop a little also as a rhetorician; indeed, as to that he is too much for the Marshal; but on the other hand he cannot see; the cave has cured him of any such impertinence as staring into other people's faces; he is also lame, the cave has shown him the absurdity of rambu ling about; and, finally, he is a beggar; or, if he will not allow himself to be called by that name, upon the argument (which seems plausible) that he cannot be a beggar if he never begs, it is not the less certain that, in case of betting a sixpence, the chieftain would find it inconvenient to stake the cash.

The Marshal, who apparently does not pique himself upon politeness, addresses the Arab byl the following assortment of names Thief, as sassin, traitor! blind greybeard! lame beggar!" The three first titles being probably mistaken for! compliments, the Arab pockets in silence; but to the double-barrelled discharges of the two last her replies thus: Cease there. Thou canst never make me beg for bread, for water, or for life; my grey beard is from God; my blindness and lame ness are from thee." This is a pleasant way of doing business; rarely does one find little accounts so expeditiously settled and receipted. Beggar? But how if I do not beg? Greybeard? Put that down to the account of God. Cripple? Put that down to your own. Getting sulky under. this mode of fencing from the desert-born, the Marshal invites him to enter one of his new-made! law courts, where he will hear of something prog bably not to his advantage. Our Arab friend, however, is no connoisseur in courts of law: small wale of courts in the desert; he does not so ›

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*Wale (Germanicé wahl) the old ballad word for choice. But the motive for using it in this place is in allusion to an excellent old Scottish story (not sufficiently known in the South), of a rustic laird, who profitted by the hospitality of his neighbours, duly to get drunk once (and no more) every lawful night, returning in the happiest frame of mind under the escort of his servant Andrew. In spite of Andrew, however, it sometimes happened that the laird fell off his horse; and on one of these occasions, as he himself was dismounted from his saddle, his wig was dis-> mounted from his cranium. Both fell into a peat-moss, and both were fished out by Andrew. But the laird, in his confusion, putting on the wig wrong side before, reasona bly "jaloused" that this could not be his own wig, but some other man's, which suspicion he communicated to Andrew, who argued contra by the memorable reply "Hout! laird, there's nae wale o' wigs i' a peat-moss."


much do himself the honour to decline" as he | tematically. The danger is for the most part

turus a deaf ear to this proposal, and on his part presents a little counter invitation to the Marshal for a pic-nic party to the caves of Dahra. "Enter" (says the unsparing Sheik) "and sing and whistle in the cavern where the bones of brave men are never to bleach, are never to decay. Go, where the mother and infant are inseparable for ever-one mass of charcoal; the breasts that gave life, the lips that received it-all, all, save only where two arms, in colour and hardness like corroded iron, cling round a brittle stem, shrunken, warped, and where two heads are calcined. Even this massacre, no doubt, will find defenders in your country, for it is the custom of your country to cover blood with lies, and lies with blood. "And (says the facetious French Marshal) here and there a sprinkling of ashes over both." ARAB. "Ending in merriment, as befits ye. But is it ended?" But is it ended? Aye; the wilderness beyond Algiers returns an echo to those ominous words of the blind and mutilated chieftain. No, brave Arab, although the Marshal scoffingly rejoins that at least it is ended for you, ended it is not; for the great quarrel by which human nature pleads with such a fiendish spirit of warfare, carried on under the countenance of him who stands first in authority under the nation that stands second in authority amongst the leaders of civilization. A quarrel of that sort, once arising, does not go to sleep again until it is righted for ever. As the English martyr at Oxford said to his fellow martyr" Brother, be of good cheer, for we shall this day light up a fire in England that, by the blessing of God, cannot be extinguished for ever"-even so the atrocities of these hybrid campaigns between baffled civilization and barbarism, provoked into frenzy, will, like the horrors of the middle passage rising up from the Atlantic deep, suddenly, at the bar of the British Senate; sooner or later reproduce themselves in strong reactions of the social mind throughout Christendom, upon all the hor-operative, upon all capital questions affecting hurors of war that are wilful and superfluous. In that case there will be a consolation in reserve for the compatriots of those, the brave men, the women, and the innocent children, who died in that fiery furnace at Dahra.

that the very violence of public feeling should rock it asleep-the tempest exhausts itself by its own excesses-and the thunder of one or two immediate explosions, by satisfying the first clamours of human justice and indignation, is too apt to intercept that sustained roll of artillery which is requisite for the effectual assault of long-established abuses. Luckily in the present case of the Dahra massacre there is the less danger of such a result, as the bloody scene has happened to fall in with a very awakened state of the public sensibility as to the evils of war generally, and with a state of expectation almost romantically excited as to the possibility of readily or soon exterminating these evils.

"Their moans

The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
To heaven."*

The caves of Dahra repeated the woe to the hills,
and the hills to God. But such a furnace,
though fierce, may be viewed as brief indeed if
it shall terminate in permanently pointing the
wrath of nations (as in this dialogue it has pointed
the wrath of genius) to the particular outrage
and class of outrages which it concerns. The
wrath of nations is a consuming wrath, and the
scorn of intellect is a withering scorn, for all
abuses upon which either one or the other is lcd,
by strength of circumstances, to settle itself sys-

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Hope meantime, even if unreasonable, becomes wise and holy when it points along a path of purposes that are more than usually beneficent. According to a fine illustration of Sir Philip Sidney's, drawn from the practice of archery, by attempting more than we can possibly accomplish, we shall yet reach farther than ever we should have reached with a less ambitious aim; we shall do much for the purification of war, if nothing at all for its abolition; and atrocities of this Algerine order are amongst the earliest that will give way. They will sink before the growing illumination, and (what is equally important) before the growing combination of minds acting simultaneously from various centres, in nations otherwise the most at variance. By a rate of motion continually accelerated, the gathering power of the press, falling in with the growing facilities of personal intercourse, is, day by day, bringing Europe more and more into a state of fusion, in which the sublime name of Christendom will continually become more significant, and will express a unity of the most awful order, viz., in the midst of strife, long surviving as to inferior interests and subordinate opinions, will express an agreement continually more close, and an agreement continually more

man rights, duties, and the interests of human progress. Before that tribunal, which every throb of every steam-engine, in printing-houses and on railroads, is hurrying to establish, all flagrant abuses of belligerent powers will fall prostrate; and, in particular, no form of pure undisguised murder will be any longer allowed to confound itself with the necessities of honourable warfare.

Much already has been accomplished on this path; more than people are aware of; so gradual and silent has been the advance. How noiseless is the growth of corn! Watch it night and day for a week, and you will never see it growing; but return after two months, and you will find it all whitening for the harvest. Such, and so imperceptible in the stages of their motion, are the victories of the press. Here is one instance. Just forty-seven years ago, on the shores of Syria, was celebrated by Napoleon Bonaparte, the most damnable carnival of murder that romance has


fabled, or that history has recorded.
more than four thousand men-not (like Tyrolese

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