Puslapio vaizdai

this, by so many degrees, the worst deed of modern* military life. From that deed all the waters of the Atlantic would not have cleansed him; and yet, since 1804, we have heard much oftener of the sick men whom he poisoned in his Syrian hospital (an act of merely erroneous humanity), and more of the Duc d' Enguien's execution than of either; though this, savage as it was, admits of such palliations as belong to doubtful provocations in the sufferer, and to extreme personal terror in the inflictor. Here, then, we have a case of wholesale military murder, emanating from Christendom, and not less treacherous than the worst which have been ascribed to the Mahometan Timur, or even to any Hindoo Rajah, which hardly moved a vibration of anger, or a solitary outery of protestation from the European press (then, perhaps, having the excuse of deadly fear for herself), or even from the press of moral England, having no such excuse. Fifty years have passed; a less enormity is perpetrated, but again by a French leader; and, behold! Europe is now convulsed from side to side by unaffected indignation! So travels the press to victory: such is the light, and so broad, which it diffuses: such is the strength for action by which it combines the hearts of nations.

or Spanish guerrillas) even in pretence "insur- | section of the press, cared much to insist upon gent rustics," but regular troops, serving the Pacha and the Ottoman Sultan, not old men that might by odd fractions have been thankful for dismissal from a life of care or sorrow, but all young Albanians, in the early morning of manhood, the oldest not twenty-four-were exterminated by successive rolls of musketry, when helpless as infants, having their arms pinioned behind their backs like felons on the scaffold, and having surrendered their muskets (which else would have made so desperate a resistance) on the faith that they were dealing with soldiers and men of honour. I have elsewhere examined, as a question in casuistry, the frivolous pretences for this infamous carnage, but that examination I have here no wish to repeat; for it would draw off the attention from one feature of the case, which I desire to bring before the reader, as giving to this Jaffa tragedy a depth of atrocity wanting in that of Dahra. The four thousand and odd young Albanians had been seduced, trepanned, fraudulently decoyed, from a post of considerable strength, in which they could and would have sold their lives at a bloody rate, by a solemn promise of safety from authorised French officers. "But," said Napoleon, in part of excuse, “these men, my aides-de-camp, were poltroons: to save their own lives, they made promises which they ought not to have made." Suppose it so; and suppose the case one in which the supreme authority has a right to disavow his agents; what then? This entitles that authority to refuse his ratification to the terms agreed on; but this, at the same time, obliges him to replace the hostile parties in the advantages from which his agents had wiled them by these terms. A robber, who even owns himself such, will not pretend that he may refuse the price of the jewel as exorbitant, and yet keep possession of the jewel. And next comes a fraudulent advantage, not obtained by a knavery in the aides-de-camp, but in the leader himself. The surrender of the weapons, and the submission to the fettering of the arms, were not concessions from the Albanians, filched by the representatives of Napoleon, acting (as he says) without orders, but by express falsehoods, emanating from himself. The officer commanding at Dahra could not have reached his enemy without the shocking resource which he employed: Napoleon could. The officer at Dahra violated no covenant: Napoleon did. The officer at Dahra had not by lies seduced his victims from their natural advantages: Napoleon had. Such was the atrocity of Jaffa in the year 1799. Now, the relation of that great carnage to the press, the secret argument through which that vast massacre connects itself with the progress of the press, is this-that in 1799, and the two following years, when most it had become important to search the character and acts of Napoleon, excepting Sir Robert Wilson, no writer in Europe, no


* "Modern military life:"-By modern I mean since the opening of the thirty years' war. In this war, the sack, or of the worst amongst martial ruffianisms. But this happartial sack, of Magdeburg, will occur to the reader as one pens to be a hoax. It is an old experience, that, when once the demure muse of history has allowed herself to in our own history, which our children read traditionally tell a lie, she never retracts it. Many are the falsehoods for truths, merely because our uncritical grandfathers beWhat fault there was in the case belonged to the King of lieved them to be such. Magdeburg was not sacked. Sweden, who certainly was remiss in this instance, though with excuses more than were hearkened to at that time. Tilly, the Bavarian General, had no reason for severity in this case, and showed none. According to the regular routine of war, Magdeburg had become forfeited to military execution; which, let the reader remember, was not, in those days, a right of the General as against the enemy, and by way of salutary warning to other cities, lest they also should abuse the right of a reasonable defence, but was a right of the soldiery as against their own leaders. A town stormed was then a little perquisite to the ill-fed and ill-paid soldier. So of prisoners. If I made a prisoner of" Signor Drew" [see Henry V.], it was my business to fix his ransom: the General had no business to interfere with that. Magdeburg, therefore, had incurred the common penalty (which she must have foreseen) of obstinacy; and the only difference between her case and that of many another brave little town, that quietly submitted to the usual martyrdom, without howling through all the speaking-trumpets of history, was this-that the penalty was, upon Magdeburg, but partially enforced. Harte, the tutor of Lord Chesterfield's son, first published, in his Life of Gustavus Adolphus, an authentic diary of what passed at that time, kept by a Lutheran clergyman. This diary shows sufficiently that no real departures were made from the customary routine, except in the direction of mercy. But it is evident that the people of Magdeburg were a sort of German hogs, of whom, it is notorious, that if you attempt in the kindest way to sheer them, all you get is horrible yelling, and (the proverb asserts) very little wool. The case being a classical one in the annals of military outrages, I have noticed its real features,

[ocr errors]

on to slumu A 190 zerq urolo na odem bas WESTERN LOCOMOTION. ure of al palão leid# bas JOURNAL OF A VOYAGE BETWEEN BALLINASLOE AND DUBLIN AN OWER TRUE TALEBO¡P190q29 Thursday, Dec. 3. Three o'clock P.M.-Windings and overhead trampings of the boat-boys, the N.N.E.pand the afternoon like my aunt Hannah, crashings and bumpings in the locks, the foetid fair but frosty. Embark in the Company's "swift exhalations of bog fog and stagnant pool, comboat," shortly after the arrival of Signor Bianconi's mingled with fumes of whisky punch, reek of taflow long cars from Galway and from Westport, and candles, and breath (not to mention shoes) of some skim along through floating plates of ice towards twenty persons, cooped together, and chattering, Shannon harbour. Skipper takes our cash in ad- laughing, wrangling, or snoring, for upwards of vance, engaging that we shall be all deposited, high eighteen hours, in a tiny wooden box, sixteen feet and dry, upon the pier at Portobello, convenient to long, six wide, and hardly so much in height. the metropolis, at eleven o'clock of the following “Oh, you get a very comfortable dinner in the morning. Alas, the race is not to the Swift. Much good may it do you !A lo Eight o'clock Frosty feelings about the lower extremities, notwithstanding the high temperature kept up by means of a stove at the upper end of the cabin. A grating sound heard now and then against the sides of the vessel, as though the ice were closing in around us. And so it is. In half, an-hour afterwards the noise is without intermis, sion, and we feel ourselves sawing our way through a continuous crust.

Second visit from skipper to ask us all to dine; not that he has any dinner to offer in this rollieking little bit of a lobster shell, but he wants to telegraph to our host that is to be, in the night boat now awaiting our approach,


"Alone by the banks of the dark-rolling Shannon," how many legs of mutton, and how many turnips, will be required for our entertainment.

[ocr errors]

No wires laid down upon this line as yet; but the affair is well managed with a pole and bit of bunting.

Four o'clock. Pass Clonfort, formerly an Episcopal residence, and still the site of a fine old cathedral church. Take in one policeman, and two couples of chickens, the latter of which are immediately put to death, to boil with the bacon we shall have by and bye. Daresay they had fatter chickens at Clonfort when the bishops lived there.

[ocr errors]

Half-past Four-Cross the Shannon in a Noah's Ark called a packet-boat, whose ordinary gait of going, wind and weather favouring, averages three and a quarter miles, Irish, per hour. This, calculating our present distance from Dublin, as per chart, at sixty miles, gives a promise that we shall be at the other terminus in about eighteen hours and a half. Such annihilation of time and space will scarcely be dreamt of by posterity. But won't we do it?

boat." :

Sir or Madam

Half-past Eleven, Tullamore.—Limerick aqua tics had only bargained for perils by water, and therefore determined to go ashore, taking chance for a conveyance on the morrow by coach and train to Dublin. Lucky man from Banagher, derides their caution, asks where will they be next day at noon, quotes Horace, "festina lente," and declares, for pushing on.

Mem.-It is easy to say, push on.

Push on, then, past Philipstown, a boat-boy: standing most of the way in the bow, to smash the ice with a pole. No pedometer on board, but guess we are going half-a-knot an hour. Skipper con➜0 sulted whether he thinks she'll stick?

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

December 4, Three o'clock A.M.-Now twelve Five o'clock.-Pass Shannon harbour, and take hours afloat. Saw labours incessantly. Wonder in a few aquatic tourists, who had steamed it in the is this the way they get through Wenham Lake?) morning from Limerick. One passenger from Ba-Some audible wishes expressed that the wishers nagher, who had to run for it, and barely overtook had taken a hint from the Southrons, and stopped us under the bridge, comes puffing and panting into at Tullamore. Too late now to stop anywhere, the cabin, and whilst he uncases himself from half-being on the verge of the bog of Allen, and far a-dozen shawls and greatcoats, eagerly demands of all the company-" Wasn't I in luck, not to be left behind?" That remains to be proved. Nobody knows his luck till he finds the end of it. Six o'clock.-Dinner-the grand secret of Canal of them. We are now running through the eleImmortality.

"Le veritable Amphitryon

Est l'Amphitryon, ou l'on dine.

away from human habitation. Banagher passenger still buoyant, and clamorous for spatchcock.

Four o'clock. There be two kinds of speed, railway speed and snailway speed; and this is one

ment at the rate of one yard per minute; whereupon we think it high time to call another council. Skipper in hopes that, when she comes fairly into If it were not for that leg of mutton, and those the "long level," the springs, thereabouts aboundburnips, who would encounter the nocturnal bellow-ing at the bottom of the canal, will beat the frost

and make a clear passage. A supply of hot water its own munificent cost and charge, for our conveyance to the railway station at Kildare, and, further, frank us forward to the great terminus of all our hopes and exertions.

and whisky, ordered in to season this cheering
expectation, inspired by which Banagher, after the
manner of Sir James Graham, gives us a stave
appropriate to our situation
is staye

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Mieg of bas egnil-irs -mon fooq tucigala bus Weel does the boatie row," indz Men-Boatie growls a most discordant bass from both her sides, her sole response to this flattering tale "hado bus ruling di Five o'clock, In the "long level" at last, with out mistake; but the ice only tougher and tougher. Skipper scratches his head, and acknowledges that “the springs are bet for once.", jeg meg đíð “ Agreeable intelligence in the middle of the Bog of Allen,, at five o'clock of a December morning, and the man in the moon leering down upon us, From skies where you could count each little star," with a taunting expression of countenance, as much as to say, “What on earth brought you there?" Even the favourite of fortune has not a word of comfort, nor a scrap of Latin left. Banagher itself is "bet.” He can only blow his fingers and meditate upon his luck."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

There are more pleasing situations in "this bleak world" than that of the Company's packet-boat,. No. 5, on this fourth morning of December, icebound in a brown ditch, surrounded on all sides by a bog, whereof the visible extent is only limited by the far horizon, and many miles distant from any town or house of entertainment, within which a wayfarer may lay his head. How she could come to stick there this morning, of all the mornings in the year, surpassed the comprehension of the most able and intelligent of navigators." She had often made the passage in a harder frost, and would again! But there is something unnattheral in everything this year. When the potatoes go wrong, all the world goes wrong; even ice itself is conthairy by what it used to be.”

That's the philosophy of the whole matter; and we were fain to take it for our only consolation, as we set out to trudge along a dreary and shelterless road to Rathangan, some twelve miles south-east of our "sticking-place." There, we were told, the Company would be so kind as to provide cars, at


DOST thou speak of me when dreaming?
Slumbering, do thy lips me call?

-A strange deep rapture's through me streaming
As thy accents fall-

Lake voice of seraph, calm and holy,

Breathing for my gladness solely.

s't then true, the Hindoo fable,
That the unsleeping spirit, stirr'd,
Through the slumbering ear, is able
To hear the whisper'd word;
And dreams arise the heart enthralling-
Echoes to the tender calling?
But with thee, thou fond adorer!

Th' unprompted spirit, wand'ring free,
Sa Mid the visions beaming o'er her,

A lady, who with two little children had accompanied us in our expedition, relying upon the hope. ful assurances of the Banagher pioneer, was of course unable to join in this pedestrian adventure. She was, therefore, left behind in the ditch; but how long she remained there, or whether she remains there to this day, are matters only known to herself and to her friends, and to the directors of our Inland Navigation.

Nine o'clock, P.M. Dublin. Here we are at last, having been just thirty hours engaged in performing a transit of seventy miles from the nearest point of the province of Connaught. Well may it be called The Far West.".

The Limerick party, having enjoyed a comfortfast in the morning, came leisurely by dry land to able night's rest at Tullamore, and a good breakthe same railway station, and arrived in this same city six hours before us. So much for our Banagher perhaps, that there may be "luck in leisure.”. contrade and his "festina lente." He knows now,

the manœuvres of this Grand Canal Company, and And now, let it not be forgotten that it was by for the preservation of their vested rights, as the sole chartered carriers of goods and human bodies between Dublin and Ballinasloe, that the Irish the House of Lords in the session of 1845; and Great Western Railway Bill was thrown out by that by the same tactics, and with the same objects, the same bill was also rejected by the House of Commons in the session of 1846. And further more, be it borne in mind, that with similar intentions and designs, certain adroit individuals are now pretending to bring forward a plan of a western railway along the banks of the said Grand Canal, construct anything of the sort, one purpose will be and even, if hereafter they have not the wish to accomplished, if other and more feasible projects. can be defeated,—the privilege of sawing a passage through the ice will be secured for Galway travellers, as long as the winter wind freezes and the canal water does not flow.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]



shown to men of letters. He has a high and a very just appreciation of the value of literature to the lawyer of all men; who, much abstracted from society by his pursuits, can know the real world in many of its phases chiefly through books, and who sees but the seamy side of life in his own profession.

One point, upon which public opinion, and also that of the profession, is nearly ripened, is pretty well established by Lord Campbell's work. We allude to the necessity-one which has existed for ages-of separating the judicial offices of the Chancellor from the political functions which the English Chancellors, the Keepers of the King's Conscience, have often so mischievously exercised; and which strongly tempt, if they do not almost compel, the highest law officer of the country to sink into a supple, subservient, intriguing minister, whose main object is to keep his place, emolu

which, so late as our own "enlightened" day, tended to make Thurlow an unscrupulous knave, and Eldon-whatever Lord Campbell shall be pleased to describe that curious human and legal compound!

LORD CAMPBELL, the indefatigable, has now nearly finished his, literally, Herculean labours. -In digging deeply and vigorously into the accumulated lumber of English history, and the history of English Chancellors, of law courts, and kings' courts, statesmen's cabinets, and queens' closets-he has, through immeasurable heaps of trash, dragged into light a few rare and precious treasures. But where little was hidden, less was to be discovered; and it would be unreasonable to expect, in the lives of a few commonplace, or mere-lawyer chancellors, the vitality and interest that abound in biographies of a-Becket, Wolsey, More, and Bacon. The new biographies are written in the same familiar and pleasant vein which characterised the former performances, and which, if somewhat unprofessional, not to say undignified, was found extremely agreeable as soon as the reader got over his first shock at a lawyer and ex-chancellor-inments, and enormous patronage—a necessity the abstract a very high and solemn personage doffing his robes, and, like Thurlow when at play, putting his wig into his pocket, drawing in his chair, tilting his legs, taking his cigar into his mouth, and writing about great historical events, and the lives of grave and venerable dignitaries of the law and the state, exactly as he might have talked of them after a Bencher's dinner, or at Nando's coffee-house; to which-like Thurlow again he had slipped out, in deshabille, from his chambers of an evening, to relax from the dry and severe studies of a long day. As he approaches his own times, Lord Campbell becomes more and more free and familiar, and at last fairly wins upon his readers, by placing them completely at their ease with him. Whether the great critics may not rebuke this undignified style, we cannot guess; but what is more to our purpose, plain | readers will find the style well adapted to much of the subject-matter to the gossip and anecdotes, the delicate scandals, and the Court and current jokes of a past generation. These plea-quaintance with the Eldon period, and his disposantries may not always be the most felicitous imaginable, but the humour, such as it is, is always good-humour. And Lord Campbell deserves unqualified praise for higher things—for The fourth and fifth volumes, just published, undeviating adherence to the principles of civil contain the lives of fifteen Chancellors or Lord and religious liberty, for enlarged views of those Keepers, from Maynard to Thurlow inclusive; principles, for his admiration of the personal and some of whose names are, we verily believe, now domestic virtues, and the comprehensive and en-known only to their descendants and a few readthusiastic devotion to literature, which entitles ing lawyers. Who, popularly speaking, ever him as much to the gratitude of the sojourners and grovellers in the heights or depths of Grub Street, as to that of poets soaring to the loftiest regions of Parnassus. One of his uniform tests, in summing up the character of his heroes, is the particular chancellor's achievements in literature, or the arts and sciences; and secondary to this, the kindness or patronage which he may have

It must be remembered, in perusing these Lives, that the Chancellors have here the fair advantage of being tried by their peers. It is an eminent lawyer and an ex-Chancellor, who passes warm encomiums on whatever virtues or merits they possessed; while he frankly exposes their blemishes, and sums up with candour and leniency. If they come, most of them, out of the ordeal damaged and disfigured, the fault is not that of their judge.

The Lives that remain to be written are those of the Chancellors Loughborough, Erskine, and Eldon, which are to fill a sixth and concluding volume; and though Lord Campbell has been in part forestalled by Mr. Twiss and others, we have no doubt that, from his intimate personal ac

sition as a Whig to display the reverse of the medal, he will make a satisfactory work-leaning, too probably, to the side of indulgence.

heard of Trevor, or Lord Keeper Wright; and for several of the others who cares? Lord Campbell was under the necessity of serving out the chaff with the wheat, but our duty is more agreeable. It leads us back, in the first place, to the original series, when, in April last, we took leave of Lord Campbell, complaining of his harsh condemnation, and, as we humbly conceived, very

The Lives of the Lord Chancellors and Keepers of the Great Seal of England, from the earliest times till the reign of King George IV. By John, Lord Campbell, A.M., F.R.S.E. (Second Series. From the Revolution of 1088 till the death of Lord Thurlow, in 1806.) Vols, iv, and v. London: John Murray.]

inadequate appreciation of one English Chan-whose money he had pocketed, but stifling the misgivings cellor, who intellectually was among the most of conscience by the splendour and flattery which he now commanded-struck to the earth by the discovery of his exalted of the human race. But the examina- corruption-taking to his bed, and refusing sustenancetion of this single life of Bacon would demand confessing the truth of the charges brought against him, for itself a long paper; and we must be content, and abjectly imploring mercy-nobly rallying from his for the present, to point attention to what is most disgrace, and engaging in new literary undertakings, which obvious in its injustice and misconstruction. have added to the splendour of his name-still exhibiting a touch of his ancient vanity, and in the midst of pecuLord Campbell shows reverence, by approach- niary embarrassment refusing to be stripped of his feaing the presence of Chancellor Bacon, not in his thers'-inspired, nevertheless, with all his youthful zeal usual slipshod pace but with measured and for science, in conducting his last experiment of stuffing stately step. He considers the life of Bacon a fowl with snow to preserve it,' which succeeded ex"still a desideratum in English literature;" and, cellently well,' but brought him to his grave." if he be right, it remains one:-England will not accept of his. He has, "with fear and trembling," attempted the arduous task of delineating a character which certainly baffles all ordinary rules and common-place axioms; and which, we humbly think, he has but imperfectly penetrated, and sometimes judged on narrow and warped views. The most studied, and what is termed ambitious piece of composition in these volumes is, the

introduction to the life of Bacon :

"Patted on the head by Queen Elizabeth-mocking the worshippers of Aristotle at Cambridge-catching the

first glimpses of his great discoveries, and yet uncertain whether the light was from heaven-associating with the learned and the gay at the Court of France-devoting himself to Bracton and the Year Books in Gray's Innthrowing aside the musty folios of the law to write a moral essay, to make an experiment in natural philosophy,

Thus Lord Campbell sets out by concentrating all the frailties and faults spread over a long life into a focus, and then sitting down to contemplate and examine in detail the ugly heap of blots and blemishes which he has raked together; exaggerating errors, and making less allowance for the spirit and manners of Bacon's age than he has done in every other instance, or for that passionless and philosophical temperament which held

Lord Verulam at once above and below the ordinary standard of humanity, and placed him beyond the pale of its common sympathies. Bacon

was not one of those men who either desire or attract personal affection. He might have been hard and cold-blooded, but one of the greatest men of any age or country could not have been a perfect monster of moral depravity.

or to detect the fallacies which had hitherto obstructed The son of Lord Keeper Sir Nicholas Bacon, the progress of useful truth-contented for a time with and the near relative of the Cecils, the most taking all knowledge for his province'-roused from wealthy and powerful persons in the State, he, these speculations by the stings of vulgar ambition-ply- who had been reared in affluence and luxury, ing all the arts of flattery to gain official advancement by found himself, by the sudden death of his father, royal and courtly favour-entering the House of Commons, and displaying powers of oratory of which he had just as he was entering upon life, a very poor been unconscious-being seduced by the love of popular younger son; regarded with jealousy or treated applause, for a brief space becoming a patriot-making with indifference by those on whom he had a na amends, by defending all the worst excesses of preroga- tural claim for assistance, and either obstructed tive-publishing to the world lucubrations on morals which show the nicest perception of what is honourable or left to make his unaided way to fortune. That and beautiful, as well as prudent, in the conduct of life he sometimes diverged into crooked paths, and yet, the son of a Lord Keeper, the nephew of the prime debased himself to gain his ambitious or his minister, a queen's counsel, with the first practice at the praiseworthy objects, though deeply to be regretbar, arrested for debt, and languishing in a spunginghouse-tired with vain solicitations to his own kindred ted, is not without palliation. There may be less for promotion, joining the party of their opponent, and, excuse for his coldness to Essex, a patron whom after experiencing the most generous kindness from the he never could have esteemed, and also for his young and chivalrous head of it, assisting to bring him to corruption as a Judge, though pecuniary embarthe scaffold, and to blacken his memory-seeking, by a rassment may be pleaded in extenuation of equimercenary marriage, to repair his broken fortunes-on vocal conduct. the accession of a new sovereign offering up the most Nor can we cast out of view the servile adulation to a pedant whom he utterly despised-temptations into which poverty has betrayed the infinitely gratified by being permitted to kneel down, with strongest minds. two hundred and thirty others, to receive the honour of knighthood-truckling to a worthless favourite with the most slavish subserviency, that he might be appointed a law officer of the Crown-then giving the most admirable advice for the compilation and emendation of the laws of England, and helping to inflict torture on a poor parson whom he wished to hang as a traitor for writing an unpublished and unpreached sermon-attracting the notice of all Europe by his philosophical works, which established a new era in the mode of investigating the phenomena both ef matter and mind-basely intriguing in the meanwhile for further promotion, and writing secret letters to his Sovereign to disparage his rivals-riding proudly between the Lord High Treasurer and Lord Privy Seal, preceded by his mace-bearer and purse-bearer, and followed by a long line of nobles and judges, to be installed in the office of Lord High Chancellor-by-and-bye, settling with his servants the account of the bribes they had received for Lim-a little embarrassed by being obliged, out of decency, the case being so clear, to decide against the party


student of law, and his early eminence as
Due praise is given to Bacon's assiduity as
sound lawyer," to which profession he had been
reluctantly driven, when, at the age of twenty, all
hopes of obtaining some public employment by
which he might live, and devote himself to science
and literature, had failed.

"The Cecils not only refused to interest themselves for their kinsman, but now, and for many years after, that he might receive no effectual assistance from others, they spread reports that he was a vain speculator, and totally unfit for real business.'

After being called to the bar, the recommendation of his uncle, the Lord Treasurer Cecil, was necessary to obtain him a certain step in his profession,

[ocr errors]

To an application for his interference, the old Lord,

« AnkstesnisTęsti »