Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

never losing self-respect or consistency, a worthy pastor, yet of Glasgow. The picture given of the life of the town at that a gentleman thoroughly au courant with his times,-the day is interesting. There were no post-chaises or hackney opinions and recollections of Alexander Carlyle touching the coaches ; there was not a teacher of French or music in all men and events about him, may be accepted as of extreme Glasgow; there were no places of amusement ; during two value for trustworthiness and intelligence. He possessed winters there was but one concert in the town, and that was personal advantages which never fail to win the smiles of given by “ Walter Scott, Esq., of Harden, who was himself society. He was the converse of John Wilkes, and a good an eminent performer on the violin, and his band of assistants quarter of an hour before most men. He was eminently consisted of two dancing-school fiddlers and the town waits.” handsome. “The grandest demigod I ever saw," says Sir There were no dinner parties, and not half-a-dozen families Walter Scott, was Dr. Carlyle, minister of Musselburgh, had man-servants. It was customary to drink drams and commonly called Jupiter Carlyle, from having sat more than white wine in the forenoon, and to resort after dinner to the once for the king of gods and men to Savin Hamilton.” coffee shops and taverns, to read the journals and drink Another witness describes him later in life when he went on punch. The students formed clubs for study and converse, a mission to London upon church affairs, and attended at the met at Mr. Dugald's tavern, near the cross, and discussed court of St. James's in the costume of his profession. “His theology, drinking a little punch after their beef-steaks and portly figure, his fine expressive countenance, with an aquiline pancakes, “the expense never exceeding one shilling and sixnose, his flowing silver locks, and the freshness of the colour pence, seldom one shilling." of his face, made a prodigious impression upon the courtiers." In the “ 45” Carlyle was in Edinburgh. A staunch Whig, He sat to Martin the portrait-painter in 1770, and wrote of he joined the volunteer force of four hundred men embodied his picture to his wife,_" It is now finished for the exhibition. for the defence of the city. There was great ferment, wonIt looks like a cardinal, it is so gorgeously dressed. It is in derful turmoil. The provost was suspected of Jacobite inclia pink damask night-gown in a scarlet chair. Martin thinks nations; the dragoons ran away to Dunbar to join Sir John it will do him more good than all the pictures he has done.” Cope; the alarm bell was rung; a panic seized the citizens ; Such was the aspect of the man who in extreme age looked it was determined to abandon all defence; the volunteers back upon the past and wrote this book. He had long pro- were disbanded and their arms deposited in the castle, and jected and long postponed the labour. He was assisted by the city surrendered to the Highlanders. Carlyle quitted notes taken at various stages of his career, by copious and Edinburgh to join his father at Preston-pans, and witnessed careful diaries, and by his excellent memory, trained by the the battle fought there, tending the wounded. He formed system of his church, which requires that the preacher should but a low estimate of the rebel army, accounting the Highsermonize without book and from matter got by heart. landers as at the best “but a raw militia who were not

He was in Edinburgh, youth of fourteen, during the cowards.” Prince Charles having issued a proclamation perPorteous riot, so admirably made available by Scott for the mitting all the volunteers to attend his court within three opening chapters of the Heart of Mid-Lothian. He was in weeks to receive a free pardon, Carlyle went twice down to the the Tolbooth Church when, according to rule, the criminals abbey court. He describes the prince as “a good-looking Wilson and Robertson, condemned to death for robbing a man of about five feet ten inches ; his hair was dark red, and custom-house, were brought in guarded and placed in a pew his eyes black. His features were regular, his visage long, near the pulpit to listen to a discourse appropriate to their much sunburnt and freckled, and his countenance thoughtful condition. He witnessed the escape of Robertson, who sprang and melancholy.” The prince missed his chance by dallying suddenly from the pew and rushed from the church. The at Edinburgh when he should have been marching on London. crowd had a sympathy for smugglers, and did not attempt to Carlyle had made the acquaintance of Smollett, and was in arrest him, while the soldiers were busy holding back his com- London when the news of the battle of Culloden arrived, and rade, who made desperate efforts to regain his liberty also. the town was in an uproar of joy. He walked about the He had even his foot upon the seat, and was in the act of leap- streets with Smollett, but the mob was so riotous, and there ing, when he was pulled back. Carlyle viewed the execution was so incessant a fire of squibs, that the twain were comof Wilson from a window on the north side of the Grass- pelled to put their wigs in their pockets, and take their swords market. The mob threw mud and stones at the hangman. from their belts, and walk with their swords in their hands. Captain Porteus, inflamed with wine, and irritated at this Carlyle was cautioned not to speak lest his accent should want of respect to the authorities, ordered the troops to betray his country, and the mob become insolent,_" for," fire upon the people. Eight or nine were killed, and double said Smollett, “John Bull is as haughty and valiant to-night the number wounded. An extraordinary excitement pre- as he was abject and cowardly when the Highlanders were at vailed. Porteus was tried and condemned to be hanged, Derby.” but was reprieved. The indignation at this rose to fury. In 1745-6, Carlyle visited the Hague, and, returning from The prison was forced at night, and the wretched man was Halvoet to Harwich in the packet, made the acquaintance of dragged forth, and hanged on a dyer's tree at two o'clock a fellow-passenger, who was afterwards of some note. There in the morning. The whole affair was managed with the were three foreigners of different ages on the quarter-deck ; utmost secresy; only a few persons were concerned in it; one of them, a handsome young person of sixteen, was taken and though the exasperated government offered large rewards for a Hanoverian baron coming to Britain to pay his court at and resorted to the most violent measures for discovering St. James. The traveller, however, proved to be a lady in the perpetrators of the deed, not one of them ever was dis male attire, Malle. Violetti, the dancer engaged at the covered.

opera, and who subsequently was married to David Garrick. In 1741 Carlyle dined with Simon Lord Lovat and others Twelve years later Carlyle was again introduced to the lady, at the house of “ Lucky Vint,” a tavern keeper. Lovat said grown fat, though still very lively, being a woman of grace,-"two or three sentences in French.” The claret cir- uncommon good sense, and now mistress of English, and in culated. Lord Drummore's piper came in to entertain the all respects most agreeable company.” He does not remind company after dinner. The wine brought the juvenescence her of their former meeting, for with his friend Home, the and gaiety. Lovat, at seventy-five years of age, stood up to author of Douglas, he is dining sumptuously at David Gar. dance a reel with Kate Vint, the landlady's daughter, a hand- rick's house at Hampton. The party take their wine in the some girl, with fine black eyes, and not of unimpeachable Cockney Shaksperian temple at the end of the garden, and character, but possessed of a bashful air that is described as the Scotch clergyman astonishes the London actor by his alluring: The reel went spinning on, till Kate, "observing skilful performance in the game of golf. Lovat's legs as thick as posts, fell a laughing and ran off.” Before this time Carlyle had been introduced to many

A student at Edinburgh, Carlyle found the living there families of distinction in London, and was taken to one of cheap enough to suit even his slender purse. There were the evening drawing-rooms of George II. He saw that ordinaries at fourpence a head for a good dinner of broth and monarch play cards with the Princess Amelia, “who had beef, with a roast and potatoes, fish three or four times a been a lovely woman," while the courtiers sauntered about week, and all the small beer that was called for till the cloth for an hour or two. He went also to “a ridolta at the Hay. was removed. In 1743, however, he entered the University market," a ball where there were not fewer than fifteen huo.

[ocr errors]

dred people. He made friends, too, of the officers of the are well known. Pope concentrated their poison and bitterHorse Guards, whom he found to be “all men of the world, ness in a line which has for generations been repeated, as it and some of them of erudition and understanding." They was written, without any examination of the facts on which were addicted, however, to the most expensive suppers that the accusations embodied in it were based. To free Bacon the taverns could supply, and which included, amongst many from the stigma of having been other delicacies, champagne and ice creams, both new to our

"The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind," clergyman, and the last then rare in London.

Mr. Dixon has brought forward a mass of hitherto unpubIn Edinburgh, some years later, Carlyle appears as the lished papers, collected from the State-paper office, the friend of David Hume, whose circumstances were then rather Lambeth and Wells libraries, and the manuscript treasures narrow, and his economy necessarily strict. Not but that he of the Duke of Manchester and Sir John Pakington, which, now and then gave a supper to a friend, when“ roasted hen, apart from the momentous subject to which they relate, are minced collops, and a bottle of punch,” graced the board. valuable as throwing new light on the domestic and political As bis income improved, the fare altered, until at last the life of Elizabethan England. historian presided over elegant dinners and suppers, and

Lady Ann Bacon is left with two sons, Anthony and the best claret.” David Hume, Adam Smith, Adam Fer- Francis, with contracted means. Anthony, as the eldest son, gusson, Lord Elibank, and Drs. Blair and Jardine, were fre- owns a small estate at Redburn, in Hertfordshire, and has quently assembled round his table. The Ossian discussion the reversion of Gorhambury at his mother's death. Whatwas raging then in literary circles. Hume was load in favour ever he has Francis shares, and whatever Francis can borrow of the authenticity of the poems, though in London ho after- he takes part of. But the two young fellows, sharing wards denounced them as inventions of Macpherson. Car-chambers at Gray's Inn, are at times as hard pressed for lyle met the forger-poet at Dumfries in 1759. “ He was good money as any two gallants of gentle birth and clouded looking, of a large size, with very thick legs, to hide whi

fortunes in all London town. Lady Ann starves herself at he generally wore boots, though not then the fashion. He Gorhambury that she may send to Gray's Inn ale from her appeared to me proud and reserved, and shunned dining with cellar, pigeons from her dovecote, fowls from her farm-yard; us on some pretence.” Adam Smith is described as con gifts which she seasons with a good deal of motherly love, stantly absent and pre-occupied, talking to himself, and and not a little of her best motherly advice. The young men smiling in the midst of large companies. Disturbed in his take the love and leave the advice, as young men will. Like reverie, he would commence a long harangue in a harsh Buckhurst, Herbert, and the race of gay cavaliers, while grating voice, and with a thick, stammering enunciation. He waiting for better days and brighter fortunes, they relieve could not converse ; he could only lecture. “On political their wants by help of Lombards and the Jews.” Lady subjects," writes Dr. Carlyle, “ he was not very sound.”

Ann's letters, now published for the first time, present Carlyle was present at the first performance of his friend awarm pathetic picture of the domestic relations of ElizaHome's famous tragedy of Douglas. This was in Edinburgh, bethan life, being rich with the picturesque charms of the and preceded the production of the tragedy in London. period in which they were penned, and with the aroma of The play was received with great enthusiasm, though an womanly grace and piety. If some passages of them cause opposition sprung up, who deemed it very scandalous that a the reader to smile at the prudent matron, making much ado clergyman should write a play, and that other clergymen of her housewifely cares, her ale and game, her servants and should attend the theatre and applaud. Dr. Carlyle penned furniture, or at the maternal solicitude which omits no topic a satirical pamphlet, An Argument to prove that the Tragedy of religion or court intrigue, worldly policy or medical of Douglas ought to be publicly burnt by the hands of the regimen, from the lengthy exhortations which she sends her kangman. His warm partizanship resulted in his being boys, yet, taken as a whole, they are matchless transcripts of charged before an ecclesiastical court for keeping low com- the acted poetry of a generation upon which we of to-day pany, and for aiding and abetting the performance of a profane cannot look back with too much pride. stage play. He conducted his own defence, and the result was

It was during the Gray's Inn period of youthful pleasure in his favour by a majority of 117 over 39.

and manly toil, that Francis and Anthony became intimately The last event chronicled in the biography is the accession associated with the Earl of Essex. Hitherto it has been the of Lord North to the premiership, in 1770. Carlyle was in fashion to speak of the two brothers as mere personal the House of Commons, and saw his stout lordship take his favourites and clients, and to describe Essex as a lavish and seat of office, “very agreeable, and as a private gentleman splendid patron. Nothing can be more at variance with facts as worthy as he was witty ;” and the clergyman was at the than this commonly received view. “A plain history of British Coffee-house soon after, telling the heads of the new events," says Mr. Dixon, “ will show that the connexion of premier's speech, and recounting his firmness and humour,— Bacon with Essex was one of politics and business ; that it a valuable recital then, when the presence of reporters was brought no advantages to Bacon, and imposed on him no not recognised by the house, and parliamentary proceedings obligations; that it ceased by the earl's own acts ; that perheld no place in the public journals.

sonally and politically Essex separated himself from Bacon, We have touched lightly on some of the more marked not Bacon from Essex ; that Bacon, in his efforts to save incidents in Dr. Carlyle's life. The book is full of those Essex, while he believed him a true man, went the extremest anecdotal records which, apart from being very pleasant litera- lengths of chivalry; and that in acting against him, when he ture, are estimable for filling up the chinks and crannies in proved himself a rebel and a traitor, he did no more than regular history, and aiding the biographies of the contem- discharge his necessary duty to his country and his queen.” poraries. “A shrewd, clever, old carle was he," as Sir Francis Bacon was, in plain terms, the earl's business adWalter says, loving his claret and his punch and good com viser,--his guide and prompter in politics, just as he was his pany; yet doing his duty manfully in the line of life assigned lawyer. After years of service, the time came when it was to him, and leaving behind him a book whose value will keep right that the workman should be paid. “Essex is poor. his name long in remembrance.

Dress, dinners, horses, courtesans, exhaust his coffers. If be

cannot pay in coin, he will pay in place. His servant, Francis MR. HEPWORTH DIXON'S VINDICATION OF

Bacon, shall be the queen's solicitor. Essex swears it." And LORD BACON. *

the queen's solicitor Francis Bacon would then unques. Mr. Dixon's vindication of Lord Bacon is undoubtedly the tionably have been, had it not been for the earl’s imprudent, most important historical work that has issued from the intemperate, blustering suit. Burghley, Egerton, Fortescue, press for many years. It will provoke much discussion, Cecil

, were all in Bacon's favour, and supported his claims which, it may confidently be predicted, will terminate in a on the queen's regard. Essex spoilt all. Indignant at the general verdict for the father of modern science.

thought of being bullied out of a great office, Elizabeth The charges under which Bacon's fame has long laboured declined to confer the vacant solicitorship on one to whom at

heart she was well disposed, and instead bestowed it, after • A Personal Biography of Lord Becon. By Herwonte Dizon. London: I have said from the days of Bushel, that the earl atoned to

much delay, on Fleming. “Lord Campbell says, as writers Murray. 1861,

Bacon for his failure by a gift of Twickenham park. It hap- came into his hands. Two hundred and twenty pounds a pens, however, that Twickenham park was not, and never year is his wife's whole fortune. What is not spent in lace had been, the earl's to give.” What the earl did really make and satins for her bridal dress, he allows her to invest for her over to Bacon was a strip of land, worth from £1,200 to separate use. From his own estate he settles on her five £1,500 sterling, an amount that was surely no very muni. hundred pounds a year. Now, in what sense can a marriage ficent payment for four years' toil of Francis Bacon's brain. in which there seems to be a good deal of love, and in which This discovery is alone of immeasurable importance, as it there is certaiuly no great flush of money, be called on Bacon's completely cuts the ground from under the feet of those who side a mercenary match ?" In mercenary love there is somewould make Bacon the recipient of enormous favours from thing so repulsive to an honourable mind, that merely to be the man whom treason of the blackest dye brought to an early suspected of it, is with gentlemen to be ignominious. Much and ignominious death. In like manner it is shown that, in the of the scorn that has been showered on Bacon's supposed awful drama which closed with the earl's execution, Bacon moral deformities had its origin in a belief that he sold himperformed bravely and honestly, but with the most admirable self a domestic slave to a rich woman for whom he had no moderation, a painful task, which a weak man might have affection. Surely this calumny is now effectually sponged shirked, but which no good or patriotic man could have out. avoided. The prevalent notion that public feeling resented We must pass over the part Bacon played in Irish politics, the part taken by Bacon in the prosecution of Essex is also and glance at him as the occupant of high office. On shown to be erroneous. Lord Campbell talks of his fall in becoming attorney-general, he was honoured, at the general popularity, saying, “ for some time after Essex’s execution, election following his advancement, with a triple return, Bacon was looked upon with great aversion.” What are the Cambridge, Ipswich, and St. Albans electing him for their facts ? At the very time that Francis Bacon is supposed by representative. When the houses met on the following Lord Campbell to have been the mark of general obloquy, April, it was buzzed round the benches that the elections writs were sent down to the counties for a new parliament. for Cambridge, Ipswich, and St. Albans were all null and How did the prevailing sentiment express itself ? The void. There was no precedent for an attorney-general sitting electors of Ipswich again elected Bacon for their representa in the House of Commons. The point was debated, and the tive, and those of St. Albans also chose him for their member members waived their right in favour of their admired and “Such a double return,” Mr. Dixon properly observes, popular orator. “They take him as he is. Crown lawyer or “always rare in the House of Commons, is the highest com. not crown lawyer, he is Sir Francis Bacon. As Sir Francis pliment that could have been paid to the purity and popula. Bacon he shall sit. But the case shall stand alone.” Since his rity of his political life.”

time, however, the presence of the attorney-general among the After surveying Bacon's public conduct at the commence- representatives of the people has been constant. "Bad men," ment of James's reign, Mr. Dixon for the first time brings to as Mr. Dixon observes, " kill great offices. Good men found light some interesting particulars of his social position and them.” domest relations, --his knighthood, love, and marriage. Lord Campbell, who has not a word to say on Bacon's The traducers of Bacon have delighted to paint him as a part in the plantation of Virginia, or in the regeneration of servile worshipper of rank and wealth, the victim of inordi. Ulster, has room for page after page of statement, more or nate greed for worldly honour and prosperity. “Lord Camp-less false in fact, wholly false in spirit, on the examination bell takes everything on trust. When Bacon got his knight into the contempt of Oliver St. John, and on the trial of hood, Lord Campbell says he was 'infinitely gratified by Edmond Peacham. These two cases are commonly cited as being permitted to kneel down with three hundred others.' affording proof that Bacon, as a law officer of the crown, Now, Bacon's letters to Cecil on the knighthood are not only betrayed the most sacred principles of the constitution, and in print, but are known to every one who reads. In place of aided in political persecutions that were directly at variance being infinitely gratified, Bacon protests against the shame of with the laws of the country. Let them be taken in order. being compelled to kneel down with Peter and John. So To meet the combination of the papal powers, James and his again with his marriage with Alice Barnham. Lord Camp. ministers bestirred themselves to put the armaments of the beil makes merry over his mercenary love and his match of kingdom in a state of efficiency. The parliament, however, convenience. Yet from his own text, and from the pages of distrusted the king, fearing him even more than the Roman Montagu, it is certain that he knows nothing whatever of league, and refused to vote grants. this love or of this match ; neither who Alice Barnbam was, In this emergency James tried to raise money by a.benevonor the circumstances of her parents ; neither when she lence. “All mayors of towns are ordered to receive such became Bacon's wife, nor the amount of jointure which she gifts as may be offered. No rate is laid ; no one is forced to brought home to her lord. He imagines that Alice became give; at least so say the officers of the crown.

In loyal Lady Bacon in 1603, shortly after July 3rd. He says she was shires persuasion may be used to swell the lists; but where rich.” Bacon's wedding-day was May 10, 1606. Before that the magistrates are not loyal the benevolence flags.” Whilst date he had mastered the adverse circumstances of his earlier this benevolence was being raised in this moderate manner, life-battle. The court was once again with him ; in the without violence or menace, Oliver St. John, a libellous, craven House of Commons his voice was anthoritative; amongst bully, wrote a letter to the mayor of Marlborough declaring lawyers he was regarded as & most successful mem that the king, in asking his people for a free gitt of money, ber of his profession. Nor were his private affairs less had violated his oath, committing a perjury more gross than sunny. Duns had long since ceased to frequent the door that for which more than one English monarch had lost his of his chambers. His mother and his elder brother Anthony crown. Lord Campbell, branding the conduct of Bacon for dead, he possessed Gorhambury and the lands about it, officially aiding to silence this whining demagogue, says that “ besides the grants bestowed on him by Elizabeth, the Bacon in his speech against Oliver St. John strenuously reversion in the Star Chamber (not yet fallen in), and the defended the raising of money by benevolences. Bacon did leases of Cheltenham and Charlton Kings, of the Pitts and no such thing. He only showed that the particular benevoTwickenham.” Surely a man so endowed, expecting the lence denounced by St. John as a violation of the king's oath, post of solicitor-general, worth three or four thousand pounds bad not in any way the character of a forced loan. The trial a year, to be bestowed on him without delay, and rich in the was not on the legality of benevolences, but on the question intimate companionship of the illustrious and powerful, might whether or no St. John's defamatory epistle was a grievous be allowed to marry an opulent bride, without incurring a contempt,-whether it was allowable for a bilious politician charge of mercenary love simply because the lady was to call the king forsworn on such grounds. As soon as the opulent. But it so happens that Alice Barnham was far abusive knave came within the grip of the law, all his potfrom rich. Indeed, regard being had to her social conditions, valour oozed out, and relinquishing insolent invective, he she was poor. “Alice brings to her husband two hundred began to deluge the king with slavish adulation. We cannot and twenty pounds a year, with a further claim, on her for want of space transcribe the entire letter (published by mother's death, of one hundred and forty pounds a year. As Mr. Dixon for the first time) of this miserable craven. Its I.ady Pakington long outlived Bacon, that increase never body is of the same stuff as the following commencement,

was,

“ Most High and Mighty King, my alone virtually and right to be very careful that those fees and presents were not paid fully dread Lord and Sovereign (after God my maker, and until the causes of those who paid them had been fully my Saviour Jesus Christ), my hearty chief joy, love, and decided on. It however, often difficult, sometimes im. delight.” So much for the mock-patriot on whom Lord possible, to prevent premature payment. The officer appointed Campbell wastes so much sympathy.

to receive the judge's fee, and his own minor honorarium From the library of the bishopric of Wells, Mr. Dixon has (the clerk's fee of ordinary practice in our time), was not unearthed the materials for a satisfactory elucidation of the seldom only too glad to anticipate the day of settlement. Peacham case. Hallam wondered how this poor parson, in Frequently in cases involving many complications of claim a wild part of the west country, far from a large town, could and suits, decisions, appeals, and reversals, it would be diffi. have fallen into the clutches of the law. For several years cult to say whether or no the time had arrived when a par. Peacham had been rector of Hinton St. George. " The papers ticular suitor ought properly to pay his fee to the court. We at Wells still prove that Peacham had been very troublesome cannot enter into the minutiæ of legal intricacies. Enough to the church. There had been irregularities in his institu- has been said to show how, under such a system, a payment tion; there had been libels and accusations in the bishop's accepted honestly might be made to assume the appearance court. At length there came from Hinton St. George a foul of a bribe taken corruptly; how a band of unprincipled and malignant libel against the bishop himself; when and powerful conspirators might trump up a charge of Montague appealed to his primate, and Archbishop Abbot venality against a judge of spotless purity. A minute's cited the offender to appear before him at Lambeth and glance at the cases brought against Bacon shows the nature purge his fame. His character and his cause appeared so of the movement. The evidence produced against him, as bad, that on his arrival in town Abbot lodged him in the gate Heneage Finch has told the House of Commons, proves his house, among the herd of recusants, monks, and priests." case, and frees him from blame. Of the twenty-two charges Ten commissioners,-one of them an archbishop, four of them of corruption three are debts,-Compton's, Peacock's, and bishops,-fairly representing both parties of the church, tried Vanlore's; two of these, Compton's and Vanlore's, debts on this culprit, and by a solemn act cast him from the church. bond interest. Any man who borrows money may be as "Amongst a mass of pernicious writings found in his house justly charged with taking bribes. One case, that of the at Hinton St. George, was discovered the harmless "sermon" London companies, is an arbitration, not a suit in law. Even for which, according to Lord Campbell, he was inhumanly Cranfield, though bred in the city, cannot call their fee a persecuted. In this sermon the guileless priest declared, bribe. Smithwick's gift, being found irregular, has been amongst other things, that the king's officers were so vile, sent back. Thirteen cases,—those of Young, Wroth, Hody, that they ought to be set upon and put to the sword, and that Barker, Monk, Trevor, Scott, Fisher, Lenthal, Dunch, Mon. the king himself was a creature not alone unfit to reign, but tague, Ruswell, and the Frenchmen, are of daily practice in unworthy to bear the name of Christian or of man,-was a every court of law. They fall under Bacon's third list, com. thing too abject to crawl on earth or be redeemed in heaven. mon fees, paid in the usual way, paid after judgment has Undoubtedly, in accordance with the recognised usage of the been given." The remaining cases were on examination times, this abject old scoundrel, who would have involved men found to be just as trivial. Unable to stand against the of honour in the shame and penal consequences of his guilt, clique,-one that, beyond all the spawn of any royal court was examined, by torture, by the following commissioners :- mentioned in history, had grown and fattened on corrupWinwood, secretary of state; Cesar, master of the rolls; tion,-the pure and lofty statesman retired. For peace, he Bacon, attorney - general ; Yelverton, solicitor - general ; made an admission that possibly he had not been as careful Montague, recorder of London; Serjeant Crew; and Helwys, in watching his subordinate officers as he ought, that in lieutenant of the Tower. But why, it may be asked, is Bacon some cases he perhaps did not take sufficient pains to to be selected from this assemblage, and from all the similar ascertain whether suits were ended before he accepted his commissions, appointed under similar circumstances, to bear, fees. But never did he admit that he had accepted a bribe. in the form of personal odium, the repugnance that is felt in our Nor is there a tittle of evidence that he was ever, in any way day for the barbarous customs of the times in which he lived? or degree, guilty of judicial corruption. The time will come when capital punishment will be disused Our readers who enter on a careful study of Mr. Dixon's in this country, just as torture has long been abolished. Will book will be richly repaid. It is as brilliant and fascinating it then be just, Mr. Dixon asks, for the historian to fix on as it is profound.

J. CORDY JEAFFRESON. Lord Campbell, and argue that he was a brutal reproduction of Judge Jeffreys, thirsting for blood, because he sentenced THE SLAVE STATES OF NORTH AMERICA.* Sarah Chesham and Emma Mussett to be hạng ? Leaving the minor calumnies uttered concerning Bacon by in its moral aspect, and consequently of understating the

We are too much in the habit of considering slavery exclusively lying Jesuits and faithless wits, we must close with a brief survey of the circumstances that led to his fall. As difficulties in the way of its abolition. The bondage of any soon as he got the seals without bribing the favourite, race, the compulsion upon men to submit themselves in the Villiers faction resolved on ruining him, and driving him everything to the caprices of another man not necessarily from his office, so that they might sell it to a wealthy

aspi- their superior intellectually or morally, appears to us so rant for state honours. This scheme of throwing down great utterly indefensible, that we are astounded to find men, in officers, and disposing of their places by aucti entered

other respects intelligent and amiable, maintaining it, and upon with the plunder of the unpopular Suffolk, and followed hope to convince them of their error by exhortations or up with the spoil of Yelverton, was brought to its height of denunciations. That conviction obtained, emancipation seems triumph by the scandalous proceedings which deprived Bacon an easy work. The belief is apparently justified by the exof the chancellorship, and proclaimed him guilty of judicial for the theory, the strong convictions which brought about

periences of West Indian emancipation. But, unfortunately corruption. The means by which the conspiracy obtained its end were ingenious. The chancellor derived the revenues for that measure were not those of the slave-owners themselves, his whole personal expenditure, and for the support of the but of persons who were not at all interested in slavery, and numerous officers attached to his person and court, from fees lost nothing by its abolition beyond their share in the twenty and presents paid him by suitors. The seals, though the millions paid for compensation, an outlay which, as the Lord Chancellor had no proper salary, were in Egerton's money was borrowed, never clearly came home to them, time worth from ten to fifteen thousand pounds a year. Such whilst the immediate economical losses which followed the was the fashion in which all judicial officers were then paid, to be much felt in this country. The slave states of the

liberation, although heavy, were yet upon too small a scale their salaries being either nil, or merely nominal payments, American Union still occupy more than half its superficial and their large receipts, for which they relinquished lucrative practice at the bar, coming to them in the form of the hono area, and furnish two-fifths of its population. The conrarium and the contribution. Of course it was incumbent on

viction of the Northern States, assuming them to be dea judge anxious to guard such a system from abuse, and at

A Journey in the Back Country, By FREDERICK LAW OLXSTED. London : the same time to secure himself from suspicion of corruption, Sampson Low, Son, and Co. 1560.

the “

cidedly in favour of abolition, cannot force that step upon so can be had so cheap. All the money the planter saves,--and formidable a minority, and the moral argument against that is often almost the whole value of his crop,-he employs slavery has lost much of its former force with that minority. in buying negroes or land, and the advantages of large planTwenty years ago, slave-owners admitted, without hesitation, tations over small are so great, that the land and negroes that slavery was, strictly speaking, repugnant to the gospel are fast coming into comparatively few hands. A master and the natural law, although they defended it by allegations who intends to use an estate for fifteen years, and then of high moral purposes which they declared that it indirectly abandon it, thoroughly worn out, will, of course, spend no served. Now they justify it upon religious, moral, and money on roads or railways, in building a good house for physical grounds. The reason of this change is, that the himself

, or in other improvements. He is usually an absentee, institution has of late years apparently become more pro- spending his money in New York or Europe. A branch of fitable. So long as direct and powerful interest prompts one of the tributaries of the Mississippi serves to carry his men to maintain any system, they will, as a body, yield little cotton to New Orleans. Many men have as many as five or heed to the most conclusive moral arguments against it. six plantations, with a hundred slaves upon each. Each

The only way to deal with the slave-owners is to prove to plantation is under the management of an overseer, who is them that slavery does not pay,--not, of course, to attempt to usually left entirely to himself, so long as he produces a cermake out that slave labour does not frequently yield a large tain number of bales of cotton. These overseers, as a rule, pecuniary return to its owner, for the experience of each are changed every two or three years, and are generally rude, would at once dispose of such an absurdity; but to show vulgar fellows, who only care about getting a certain number that, on the whole, it exercises a deleterious influence upon of bales, as a recommendation to another master, and who the master and his family, which more than counterbalances are allowed to treat the negroes pretty much as they like, its profit, and that under a system of free labour the produce provided they produce a heavy crop, there being so vehement of the soil, and consequently its value, would increase enor- a rivalry amongst the planters as to who shall make the mously. If the slave-owner can be led to perceive this; if largest number of bales, that they concern themselves little

poor whites” who inhabit the slave states can be about the damage to their valuable nigger property. taught to see that slavery is a curse to them also; and if, lastly, The slaves are not arbitrarily ill-treated upon these large the commercial and manufacturing interests which depend so plantations, that is to say, they are not tortured, to gratify greatly upon these states for cotton can come to the conclusion the cruel fancies of a Legree, but they are worked terribly that cotton production is possible without slavery, there is then from daylight to sunset, a driver constantly watching them, a chance of gradual and safe emancipation, and of the ultimate and touching up with his whip the man or woman who lags release of the Southern States from that damnasa hære- for an instant. To keep them to this work, a severe disciditas left them by the old règime, for Englishmen should pline is absolutely necessary. A negro hates work, and will always remember, when the taunt of slavery rises to their shirk it if possible : the lash is, therefore, constantly in requilips, that the English Government, prompted by English sition for both sexes. On the other hand, they are systemerchants, forced the slaves upon the protesting colonies. matically well fed : they have a peck of meal and three or four

Such is the task which Mr. Frederick Law Olmsted has poun of pork, besides a certain quantity of molasses, allowed undertaken. In previous volumes he has presented to the them every week. They have gardens, keep fowls, catch public his observations during journeys in the sea-board slave game, and are, besides, most inveterate thieves. They are states and in Texas; in the Journey in the Back Country he fond of liquor, but are not allowed any, and are often induced describes more particularly the rich cotton districts of the by the poor whites in the neighbourhood to steal in order to valleys of the Mississippi and its tributaries, and summarises, buy it, and that is one of the reasons why the planters seek to -“focalizes," as he expresses it,--the results of his previous buy up all the land around them. They generally get a fair observations. Mr. Olmsted is no fanatic, and writes in allowance of clothes, besides presents of finery, of which they no prejudiced spirit. He has evidently tried to find out are extremely fond. After the Mexican war, a quantity of all the good that slavery can offer. His observations are soldiers' clothing was sold by auction at New Orleans. Some those of a shrewd, sensible, travelled, and honest New of the planters bought a portion of it cheap, and gave it to Yorker, and bear the strongest impress of accuracy and their slaves, who were intensely delighted. Slaves often run impartiality. They are, therefore, invaluable. The con- away, but are generally starved into surrender. There are clusions he draws may sometimes be questionable, but the regular“nigger dogs," trained to the work from pups, which facts upon which he bases them appear incontestable. We are safe to trace any runaway, if rain does not fall immeproceed to give our readers, as far as is possible within our diately after his escape. They will tear the poor wretch to limits, a presentment of the working of the “domestic in- pieces, if not called off by the hunters, who usually do call stitution," as gathered from the note books of this matterthem off so soon as he has been worried a little. Some of the of-fact, yet withal entertaining, traveller.

runaways fight desperately, and prefer death to surrender. Slavery presents itself under several phases, even in the Generally in the south, the life of a negro is little regarded. Southern States of America. The life of a negro in Virginia The money loss is the only point about which any concern is or Kentucky differs greatly from that which he must lead in the expressed; but it must be remembered that if southern men cotton plantations of Mississippi or the sugar plantations of have little scruple in taking the life of a negro who offends Louisiana. Again, there is a considerable difference in his them, they have not much more reluctance to take that of lot, even in these latter states, as he happens to be placed on an intimate friend, if they chance to quarrel with him. On a large or a small plantation; and the economical features of the the large plantation severity is absolutely necessary to check institution are equally affected by these differences of place insubordination. An overseer only preserves his own life by and circumstance. At present, the most profitable employ- keeping his slaves in constant fear of him. Upon the smaller ment of slave labour is in the production of cotton, and the plantations, with from ten to forty slaves, the treatment is old states are drained of their negroes as fast as they can usually better, because the owner himself is manager, and rear them to supply the wants of the Alabama and Missis. looks after the work himself; and if he happens to be a sippi planters. The soil of the old states has long been ex. bumane and liberal man his slaves will enjoy great adhausted by the reckless process of cultivation adopted by the vantages over those of his richer neighbours. planters, and the present centres of production, with all their Working in a constant humdrum routine, in which no exermarvellous fertility, must speedily share the same fate. The cise of intelligence or judgment is required, the slaves of the cause of this exhaustive system of cultivation lies in the fact cotton districts are a stupid, sensual race. A negro can never that land costs nearly nothing, whilst labour costs very much. be depended upon for doing work ; unless his master is there Fresh soil may be had for less than five dollars an acre, whilst to see it done, he will shirk it. He feels no moral obligation one hand, who can cultivate fifteen acres, costs more than a to obey his master, and has not the slightest scruple about thousand dollars. The planter, knowing that he can get fresh robbing him or telling him lies. Fear is the only restraint land whenever he wants it at this low price, will neither rest, upon him, and his only care is to avoid punishment. Falsemanure, nor drain his fields. He cannot afford to waste the hood and eye service are inseparable from a servile conlabour of his slaves in that way, when fresh rich cotton soil dition. The morality of the slaves generally is of the

« НазадПродовжити »