Memories (2)
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William and David Scott; Wells; Sibson.

    WILLIAM BELL SCOTT I first knew in 1841.  I may say at that date began our friendship, a friendship which happily lasted until his death in 1890.  He was a son of Robert Scott of Edinburgh, an excellent landscape engraver in copper, after the delicate and expressive manner, and with much of the quality, of Milton, whose Irish and other views, but little known, are of the best engraving ever done.  My friend, a year older than myself, was a tall, broad-shouldered man, with a handsome face surmounted in young days by a fall of black hair (the whole of which he lost while yet in middle age), thoughtfully serious and rather reserved, but yet genial and attractive, throughout his early life looking older than his years.  Poet and artist, he had come south in 1837 to seek his fortune; and in 1843 competed for the prize for the best cartoons, in the exhibition in Westminster Hall of the designs for pictures to be placed in the new Houses of Parliament.  Though he obtained neither prize nor commission, and though his cartoon of the "Picts attacking the Roman Wall" was not so academically strong as some of the rival cartoons, it merited more consideration than most as a fine subject, well thought, well composed, and well drawn.  It may, however, have led to his appointment as master of the School of Design at Newcastle-on-Tyne, in which capacity he continued, a very efficient and successful teacher, for many years, returning to London in 1864 on a pension for good service and as examiner of the drawings of the pupils at South Kensington.

    A fertile designer, an excellent etcher and draftsman on wood, a good painter, an accomplished artist who, in his painting, only fell short of greatness, his most important work was a series of pictures on Northumbrian history on the walls of the hall of Sir Walter Trevelyan's house at Wallington.  He also painted the story of the King's Quair (the poem written by King James the First of Scotland, during his imprisonment at Windsor) on the wall of a circular staircase at Penkill Castle, near Girvan in Ayrshire, some twenty miles from Ayr, the ancestral home of Spencer Boyd, with his sister, the last of a family not unknown in Scottish history.  Among his etchings deserving of especial notice are those from his brother David's and his own designs for Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, published by the Fullartons of Edinburgh, and a series of selections from his brother's works published by the Art Union of Glasgow.  His writings were many and of more than ordinary worth; a memoir of his brother David, the greater Scottish painter, accounts and criticisms of the "Little Masters," a Life of Durer, various other manuals on Art, and poems, one the Year of the World, a philosophical poem of which Emerson spoke to me admiringly.  A handsome volume, published in 1875, with etchings by Alma Tadema and Scott himself, containing "Ballads, Studies from Nature, Sonnets," etc., ranks high, though neither popular nor well known, among the verse-work of the nineteenth century.

    David Scott, an elder brother of William, I knew also, but not so intimately; visiting him in Edinburgh, and once visited by him on occasion of his being in London to see his brother.  I was then living by the forest-side at Woodford.  Two coaches ran between the city and Woodford.  By the first, one Sunday morning, came David Scott to spend the day with me.  By the second came an unexpected visitor, Charles Wells, in youth a friend of Keats, in emulation of whom he had written a quite-forgotten drama of Joseph and his Brethren.  Two men differing more in outer appearance and in nature could hardly have been brought together, both men of mark.  Scott, tall, severely handsome, but with a melancholy expression, the sadness of a high-soaring and disappointed artist; Wells, under the average height, spare and wiry, alert, looking as if he might be a fox-hunting sportsman; Scott, a poet, his art held by him as an apostleship; Wells, not more poetically enthusiastic in delivery than in appearance.  For myself, I was at that time chiefly possessed by political fervour, in which neither of my visitors had any interest.  How we three could pass an agreeable day together I now hardly imagine, yet I recall it as a notably pleasant time till my two guests departed together in the evening.  This must have been in 1846.

    I had become acquainted with Wells in 1845 through reprinting some of his Stories after Nature, a little book I had picked up at a book-stall in 1842, and which had charmed me with its originality and freshness.  In 1845 I was editing the Illustrated Family Journal, a weekly melange of Tales, Essays, and Verse, and in the latter half of the same year, I succeeded Douglas Jerrold as editor of the Illuminated Magazine, a monthly issue of the same character.  In both these magazines I printed some of Wells' Stories.  How he, then living in Brittany, got sight of the reprint, must, I think, have been through the younger Hazlitt, with whom he was in some way connected by marriage.  He (Wells) wrote to me, thanking me for having used them, and sent me two other stories in manuscript.  One, Claribel, I printed; the second I returned, and have ever since regretted that I did so.  It was powerfully written, but too gruesome for a popular serial: the story of a man discovering his wife with her lover, shutting them up together to starve to death, and years afterwards opening the closed chamber to contemplate his revenge.  So, as I have said, when in England he came to see me, and was very friendly, giving me a copy of the Joseph and his Brethren, published, if unsuccessful bringing out can be called publishing, two years after the death of Keats, under the pseudonym of H. L. Howard.

    Both of Wells' books I lent to Dante Rossetti, who much admired them and talked of illustrating the Stories for my engraving; the project, however, fell through.  Except for the reprints of the few Stories in the two magazines, until the republication of Joseph and his Brethren, with a preface by Swinburne, in 1876, Wells remained unknown, only heard of by the mention of his name in 1877 in a scarcely noticed sonnet by Keats,—"To a friend who sent me some roses"; his name again, followed by a line, "whose genius sleeps for its applause," and an admiring note to justify the line, in Wade's Contention of Death and Love, in 1837, and some later praiseful words by Rossetti in a supplementary chapter to Gilchrist's Life of Blake.  So buried in neglect was the work of one who, in the words of so capable a critic as Swinburne, "will some day be acknowledged among the memorable men of the second great period in our poetry."  A strange fight against oblivion has been the fate of Wells.  I dare to claim some share in the endeavours at an honourable rescue.  I lost sight of the man when, after a short stay in London, he returned to Brittany.  The Stories after Nature were reprinted in 1891, by Messrs. Lawrence and Bullen, with a few prefatory words by myself.

    David Scott I knew afterwards at his home in Edinburgh, when, on a visit to my friends the Fullartons, the publishers, I found time to visit him and see his pictures in his own studio, too many of them there unsold and unprized; for he also, although the President of the Scottish Academy, had not in life the full meed of appreciation, little known indeed south of the Tweed.  A great man every way was David Scott, one of three or four men who attracted Emerson when in England, and whom Emerson cared to recollect.  One of his best works is a half-length portrait of Emerson, now in America, in the Public Library of Concord, Massachusetts.  His great picture of "Vasco de Gama encountering the Spirit of the Cape" is in the Trinity House of Leith.  Even now his multifarious work is chiefly known by his brother's loving Memoir, and by engravings from his pictures, great as his work was, the greatest of Scottish Art, great in the wide scope of his imaginative power and, to those who know his pictures, in masterful accomplishment.  In the words of Margaret Fuller, one saw in him "a man, an artist, severe and antique in spirit; he seemed burdened by the sorrows of aspiration, yet very calm, as secure in the justice of Fate."  He died in 1849.  A memoir of considerable length in the Art Journal was printed, with my name to it; what I had written much cut down by the unscrupulous editor, Mr. S. C. Hall, apparently only because praise of the dead, even without direct comparison, might seem to detract from the merits of the living.

    Hall, who sat to Punch for Pecksniff, a truer likeness than that which Dickens unfairly and unhandsomely attempted to fasten on Leigh Hunt, acted as unworthily as toward me with a notice which was sent to him by W. B. Scott of another artist to whom Scott and myself were much attached, and of whom we were proud, Thomas Sibson, a young man of great promise and some excellent performance, now utterly unknown.  He was the younger son of a Cumberland farmer, an elder son, Francis, when I first knew him, being house-surgeon at Nottingham Hospital.  Afterwards he was Physician to the Consumptive Hospital in London.  Thomas had been placed with an uncle in a mercantile house at Manchester, but enthusiastic for Art, and surely feeling his own genius, he started moneyless and on foot to London to become an artist.  There, I know not how, he dropped on Wornum, a young painter trying his hand ambitiously on big unnoticed pictures; a man, however, of much culture, and in due time the Keeper of the National Gallery.  He met also with W. B. Scott, who took frankly to him, and at whose house, Scott and I already close friends, I first saw him and became attached to him.  A tall, spare, not handsome youth he was, looking like a sinewy countryman, yet soon showing symptoms of a consumptive tendency; earnest, quick, and quaint and humorous, attractive and winning, and thorough in devotion to his art.  His first work of importance was a series of etchings, designs in illustration of Dickens' Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge, by a long way the best illustrations of Dickens' Works (I speak of them from present knowledge, corroborative of earlier perception), but the publication, a weekly issue without the text, was not successful pecuniarily.  Then he began for me illustrations for a History of England, which my young ambition projected as a desirable work, in which the social life of the English people should be dominant, and its epochs so distinguished, instead of by the reigns of Kings.  For this he made for my engraving many drawings of a size for an octavo page, admirably designed and drawn.  Not satisfied with them, he cancelled them all, and resumed his work on a larger scale.

    Every Thursday, the day of sending in my weekly engraving for the Illustrated London News (which gave me a half-holiday, after probably late sitting up the night before), he would come to meet me, and we would ramble together, with much talk of Art, through the Kentish Town fields (all built over now) to Hampstead Heath, dining at "Jack Straw's," the Heath hotel, and finishing the day with a pipe at Scott's house in Kentish Town.  His genius was so apparent that, with the outfit provided by some friends, he betook himself to Germany to place himself as a pupil in Kaulbach's school.  Arrived at Munich, he found that the school had been given up; but the master received him with kindness, examined his drawings, and with the generosity of one of the Old Masters took him as a pupil free of all charge.  With Kaulbach in Munich, working well, he remained for a year or more, returning to England only to find that as his art progressed his health was failing.  He came to live with me, soon too weak for serious study.  I used to bring him, when he became too feeble for continued walking, gatherings of wild flowers, rose, briony, folk's glove, and others, of which he would draw in pencil large masterly cartoons.  Some of these, when I came to America, I gave to my friend Dr. Rimmer, at that time master of the free drawing school at the Cooper Institute in New York, thinking so to make them useful.  They were admirably drawn.  At last he had to cease from even such comparatively easy work, and the only chance for his life appeared to be a voyage to the Mediterranean.  A ship was found for him; one sailing to Odessa from Newcastle-on-Tyne, and I accompanied him to Newcastle, staying, till the ship was ready, with friends of the captain at Blaydon House, then the residence of Mr. Carr, who had been mayor of Newcastle.  We left Newcastle one evening, ominously scraping the Bar as we went down the Tyne, and next day had a rough passage, and on the following morning a fog, in which our ship struck on Filey Brig, an outlying reef of rocks some seven miles from Scarborough on the Yorkshire coast.  We got safely on shore after a few hours, and two days later I took my poor friend by easy journeys to his brother at Nottingham.  Some little while afterwards he was carried to Malta, only to die there before many weeks had passed.  He gave promise of becoming a master painter had he lived, and so industriously observant was he that he left a collection of fourteen hundred sketches, in a volume now in the Print Room of the British Museum, beside the few designs for our History, excellent both in conception and in execution; designs in my possession, I regret to say, yet unpublished.


Bennoch & Twentyman; Haydon; Meadows; Henning; Other Artist Friends; Hall's Book of Ballads; The National, a Library for the People; Mutual Instruction Society; Chartist Meetings; Institute of the Fine Arts.

    SIBSON'S going to Malta was helped by the generosity of a friend, Mr. Richard Twentyman, of the firm of Bennoch & Twentyman, silk agents, and wholesale dealers in gimp, of Wood Street, Cheapside.  Francis Bennoch was something of a minor Scottish poet, and Twentyman, by the loan of pictures to copy, was the helper and encourager of the youthful aspirations of Holman Hunt, whose father was in the employ of, I believe, a neighbour merchant in Wood Street.  There was a story of Twentyman, soon after the beginning of Hunt's pictures obtaining notice, seeing the father, and being met, on inquiry as to the son's progress, with the naive remark, "O, Mr. Twentyman! that pre-Raphaelitism is a grand invention."  Bennoch and Twentyman were liberal men, and at their daily luncheon in the house, artists were specially welcome.  There I met Haydon, some of whose smaller pictures belonged to Bennoch, one I well remember of the "Death-Cart, carrying victims to the place of execution" during the French Revolution,—only a sketch in oil, but finer than anything else I can recall of Haydon's.  He was a sturdy-looking man, not a little self-assertive.  I once heard him lecture eloquently on Art; and I take it that he was a better lecturer and critic than a painter, his pictures not wanting in force but exaggerated in form.  We owe to him the first appreciation of the Phidian Marbles brought to England by Lord Elgin.  Speaking of these, I am reminded of small copies of the frieze, with restoration of the mutilated parts, cut in slate, for casting in plaster, by John Henning, a Scottish sculptor of real genius.  There was a long series of the Parthenon and Phygalian, some forty feet in all, about three inches in height, done with excellent accuracy, wonderfully strong and delicate.  He gave me a set of them.  He was a keen, energetic Scot, of average height, with a noble head.  He died, I believe, aged over ninety, of cancer in his face.  A son of the old man, John, had much of the father's genius, but turned it to no account.  A second son, Archibald, was a fair and prolific draftsman on wood.  A daughter was the wife of Kenny Meadows.

    With Meadows I had much association, engraving many of his drawings for his Shakspere and the Heads of the People: a witty man, with some inventive talent, but a poor draftsman, having had little artistic education, brought up, one might say, on Finden's Book of Beauty, and the like wishy-washiness.  I would often spend an evening at his house, or he would come to mine.  There would be interchange of visits with Scott and Duncan.  W. Leighton Leitch, the landscape painter (the "man, with the itch," as Jerrold called him—he was a Scotchman—to distinguish him from John Leech), Dodgson, Topham, Franklin, were also of those who were my visitors and friends.  Some I knew through their having to draw for me for the Illustrated London News; some, the great copper-engravers, John Pye, Lupton, Willmore, and Edward Finden, as fellow-members of the Artists' Annuity Fund; some, Young Mitchell (afterwards master of the Sheffield Art School), my close, dear friend Edward Wehnert (the water-colour painter), George Raphael Ward, the last of our great mezzotint engravers (the son of James Ward, R.A., disregarded as a poor painter in my young days, painting almost to the age of ninety, but after his death found to have been in his prime one of our greatest painters of landscape and animals), J. P. Knight (the genial Secretary of the Royal Academy),—these I knew as members of the Institute of Fine Arts, formed in 1846, at which, at our rooms in Great Marlborough Street, I used to join them at meetings of the council.  Such connection with Art, added to my necessary business associations, made me more or less personally acquainted with artists.  Among the principal not yet mentioned, I may name George Lance, the fruit-painter (only a fruit-painter, but of whom I have heard Haydon speak as one of the very few good figure draftsmen at that time in England, a man universally liked, whose quaint manner seemed of the Charles Lamb kind); John Gilbert, a pupil of Lance; Archer, Lance's brother-in-law, and Hine (two good archæologists); Tenniel; George Cruikshank; the younger Pickersgill; Richard Dadd (a talented and most amiable young painter, who went out of his mind, and in a paroxysm killed his father); Von Holst (an eccentric, clever German); McIan (a fierce Scotch Catholic); Fahey (the Secretary of the New Water-Colour Society); Henry Warren (the President of the same); Elmore, Frost, and Hart (Royal Academicians).

    Many of these men, Scott, Sibson, Franklin, Meadows, Von Holst, Dadd, McIan, and perhaps others, engaged with Smith & Linton on Hall's Book of British Ballads, for some time attended the receptions given by Hall and his amiable and clever wife, Mrs. S. C. Hall, the Irish writer, at their house in Brompton, "the Rosery" (which some of us afterwards irreverently called the Roguery), where we were entertained with small talk and smaller Marsala, the flavour of which we, coming out together, generally corrected with a more pleasant potency at the nearest tavern.  The Book of Ballads was an unfortunate investment, as the publication was not successful, and the failure left some of us unpaid.  Smith & Linton lost largely.

    The years of my London life, from 1838 to 1848, were busy years.  In 1838 I was a reader in the old Reading Room at the British Museum, for several months a close student while preparing for the issue of a cheap weekly publication, which, as "A Library for the People," I hoped might supply the working classes with political and other information not open to them with their limited means for purchase and time for study, and scarcely to be printed under the laws then gagging the press.  I asked Watson to publish for me, at my own expense.  At first he tried to dissuade me from it, as likely to lead me into trouble personally as well as pecuniarily; but when he found me determined, he accepted and heartily helped.  Six months exhausted my means.  Settling with him, I noticed that he had not charged for folding the weekly sheets, or for folding and stitching a considerable number of monthly parts, the circulation having been much more than I had reason to expect, though not covering cost.  No! he told me, he had been sure that I could only be a loser by the publication; and he and his wife "had done the whole of the work," a generous service not to be forgotten.  In return I wrote for him a Life of Paine, which for a number of years had a continuous sale.  About the same time I translated from the French Paine's Address for the Abolition of Royalty, its first appearance in English.

    When I became a partner with Orrin Smith in 1842, I of course gave up the editorship of Hetherington's Odd-Fellow; but I was not asked to give up my interest in political matters, though often by one artist friend or another remonstrated with for the impolicy of my open association with chartists and the like.  Indeed, by highly respectable and most pious folk Chartism was considered vulgar and disreputable.  Certainly I lost friends, some good friends, dear to me, and whose friendship might have been valuable, by my independent action.  After Smith's death in 1843, which left on my hands the charge of a large business and the support of two families, my own and his, I began to feel the untoward consequences.  One man, a low church publisher, told me plainly that he could not avail himself of engraving, however well done, by a man of such principles.  Living later at Woodford, I came daily to my place of business at 85 Hatton-Garden, London, by the Woodford coach, returning by the same conveyance.  My companions outside the coach were city men, bankers, and the like, whose residences were on the forest side.  It was very long before I had so much as a "Good-morning" from them.  The only offence I gave my neighbours was that I opposed the church-rates, and was known to be a chartist (as such an advocate for admitting low people to the suffrage), and that I had helped to establish a "Mutual Instruction Society" among the workingmen of Walthamstow, a village separated from Woodford by a strip of the forest.  It was for this Society that on one occasion I became a veritable stump-orator.  The Society was originated at a meeting to hear two missionaries from the Chartist Convention sitting in London; and in consequence of the political colour so given, when the next meeting, the first of the Society, was to be held, the few men gathered together found that they were not to be admitted anywhere.  We therefore held our first meeting in an open part of the forest, and I had to speak from the stump of a felled tree.  We afterwards obtained a place of meeting on protesting that we had no illegal intentions.  I there gave my first lecture—Against Death-punishment; and for the sake of the funds of the Society, engaged in a three-nights' discussion with a pious temperance preacher, who did not compliment me.

    In London I was continually a speaker at chartist meetings, and an active worker for the cause; writing and lecturing, without profit to myself, and, as before said, with some damage to my business.  Conducting a large engraving establishment, sometimes as many as twenty journeymen and pupils in my employ, whose work I superintended and with whom I worked, my public political action as well as my position on the Council of the Institute of Fine Arts interfered with my time.  I did what I could to make up for this by many nights remaining in town, working at my engraving after returning from the Institute or from a public meeting or lecture.  I was much helped by the exceptionally good work done by my people and by profitable employment for the Illustrated London News.  The News folk at last thought it might suit them better to have an engraving establishment exclusively for their own use; and, with that view, stopped employing me, one by one drew off my workmen, and so broke up my business.  Partly in consequence of this, and partly for sake of the health of my family, my term of partnership with Orrin Smith and of responsibility to his family being ended, in the spring of 1849 I left London to reside at "Miteside," near Ravenglass, on the Cumberland coast.


Ebenezer Jones; Our Visit to the Lake Country; A Tour in Scotland; London Life again; Prosecutions for Blasphemy; Haslam; Shelley; A Characteristic Incident; The Queen's Bench Prison; Powell; Roebuck; Thomas.

    I HAD fallen in love with our beautiful mountain land in a hasty ramble through it two, it may have been three, years before with a poet friend, Ebenezer Jones, a clerk in a tea-dealer's house, who had ventured to indulge in dreams of poetic fame.  A true poet he was, if not a great one, the author of a volume, Studies of Sensation and Event, published in 1843, very characteristic of the young man's impressionable nature, his impulsiveness and sense of beauty, but which utterly failed of public appreciation.  I was much attached to him, and we had frequent companionship during years in London following 1841.  Our Lake Country ramble, the first visit to that beautiful district, is also a thing to be remembered.  Here I may repeat some few words from Reminiscences of my friend prefixed to a reprint of his poems in 1879.

    I was writing of our journey to the Lakes, a week's holiday there from London work.  "How well to this day I can retrace our steps and recall the pleasant, bright companionship, that, like the sparkle in wine, made that pleasure-draught but more enjoyable; our delight in the moonlight walk from the Windermere Station by the Lakeside to Ambleside, that loveliest five miles in all England; our next day's climb (the track missed) over the Stake Pass, after bathing under the fells in a pool at the head of Langdale; how we lingered, dallying with our joy, on the mountain tops till night came on, a cloudy night of late September, after a day of autumn glory, overtaking us before we could reach the Borrowdale road; how, unable even to grope our way, we lay down together on the stones to sleep, and awakened by rain, crept under an overhanging rock, and cold and hungry, smoked our pipes and talked till the dawning light enabled us to find a path to Stonethwaite; how we sat in a cottage porch to await the rising of the inmates and welcome a breakfast of bad coffee and mutton-ham so salt that it scarified our mouths.  No grave-minded man was either of the pair who went laughing and singing, if somewhat limping, on their way; nor was there much disposition to gravity two evenings later when, after supper, at the little Fish Inn at Buttermere, we amused ourselves with improvising verses (certainly never printed) not exactly in honour of

'William Marshall, William Marshall,
 Cotton-Spinner of Leeds.'

Verses of mere rhythmical extravagance in proper poetic execration of the factory-owning plutocrat who had the impudence to possess the one grand house in pastoral Buttermere.  Full capacity for enjoyment, whether of his senses or his intellectual faculties, characterised the man in his day of health: delighted with all he saw, from the rugged bleakness of Wastdale to the pastoral repose of Buttermere, enjoying equally a row on Crummoch Water and our evening walk beside the golden woods to Keswick.  This was Ebenezer Jones, the City Clerk, not too much disappointed at a literary failure before his heart was saddened (by domestic infelicities) and his health destroyed."  The man was of the type of Alcibiades, but with an idea of duty which the Greek had not, which made him heroic in a time of severe martyrdom ending only with his death from consumption, in 1860, aged forty years.  Beside his poetry he wrote also a very vigorous pamphlet during the Irish famine time, on the Land Monopoly.

    His week's holiday over, Jones returned to London, in order that a fellow-clerk in the same house might take his turn at recreation.  This young man went with a friend into Scotland, and four or five days later, the two were found dead on a hillside, having, as Jones and I had earlier, lost their way and laid down to sleep in the cold air.  On parting from Jones, I, too, went on to Scotland, having a week's tour mapped out for me by my friend Leitch, the landscape painter.  I parted from Jones at Penrith, and took train thence to Glasgow, and the following morning left the busy city, taking the steamer down the Clyde to Dumbarton, going thence by coach to Loch Lomond.  Up the western side of the Lake to Glen Crow, a little way along the Glen, I came at eventide upon a rude shanty tenanted apparently by only two small children, a girl nine or ten years old, and a younger boy.  Father had come in tired from the field, and was abed; mother had gone to fetch home the kye.  There was a small neat off-room where I could sleep; and the little lassie boiled for me a trout, fresh caught from the beck, which with rye bread and whiskey made me a capital late dinner, or rather supper.  After a good meal I went down to the byre to make acquaintance with the mother, a bonnie peasant woman busy with the beasts.  Then the whiskey was potent, and I thought it best to retire to my "prophet's chamber," where I slept soundly till late next morning, getting up then with a decided preference for tea.  After breakfast I had my twelve miles' walk through the Glen, and through a powerful Scotch mist, to an inn by the side of Loch Long, where I dried myself before the great kitchen fire and was glad of another whiskey and of a plate of hot kail-brose offered me from the servants' table, to the evident disgust of the incoming landlady at a gentleman so misbehaving.  But an offer of hot kail-brose was not to be despised on a wet day, when the traveller had yet another twelve miles to walk round the head of Loch Long and the head of Loch Fyne before the day's tramp was over and he could rest in his landlord's dry clothes and enjoy Loch Fyne fresh herrings (the best of herrings known) and a little more of whiskey at Inverary.

    Next day it did not rain, but was gloomy; fit weather for the Inverary woods and dark Loch Awe.  From Loch Awe is one long glen, returning eastward to the head of Loch Lomond.  Nearly through the glen, but I knew not how near, I came upon a rough-looking fellow sitting by the roadside.  He got up as I was passing him and walked on by my side.  I did not like his look, and still less liked his halting behind me every minute to kick a stone out of the road.  Some miles on we met a couple of fellows as rough as himself.  They had some words in Gaelic with my companion, and the three stepped on with me.  I thought it prudent then to wish them good evening and to hasten on ahead, with considerable haste so soon as I turned a corner and was out of their sight; and I was not sorry when I reached an inn where I put up for the night.  Next day I walked by the western side of Loch Lomond to opposite Inversnaid.  I was wondering how to get there when I fell in with a gentlemanly middle-aged man sauntering on the road, who told me I must light a fire on the beach and the smoke would be answered by a boat from the opposite shore.  He took me into a two-roomed cottage in which he lived, the sitting-room lined with books as if he was some retired collegian playing recluse for the nonce, gave me matches, and showed me where to make my signal.  Some children there helped me to gather sticks and, the fire lighted, there was quickly a boat across the lake.  From Inversnaid next morning I had two pleasant young tourists with me over the fell to the head of Loch Katrine and down its eastern side to Lochs Achray and Vennachar.  From there it was good road travelling to Callander and Stirling.  Thence I went to Edinburgh to David Scott.

    I go back to earlier happenings during my London life.  I find it impossible in these Recollections to keep to strict chronological order.  In 1841, when the Government visited its political opponents, the leaders of the working classes, with indictments for "blasphemy" (the pretext on this occasion the mere sale, among other miscellaneous publications, of an intemperate book by one Haslam, Letters to the Clergy, so pushed into notoriety), Heywood, the first prosecuted, advised retaliation upon Government partisans, that goose and gander might be served with the same sauce; and Hetherington, also indicted, took up the fight in London by indicting simultaneously four metropolitan booksellers of most unimpeachable respectability for the same disreputable offence, inasmuch as they had "published or exposed for sale the blasphemous and seditious" works of one Percy Bysshe Shelley, containing notably his Queen Mab, for which already, indeed many years before, William Clark had incurred and suffered the vengeance of offended law.  We knew, of course, that the Shelley volume (the first complete edition of his poems) would only be well advertised by the prosecution, we had no desire that it should be otherwise; but if social obloquy and punishment for a conviction for "blasphemy" were to be so used against political opponents, we deemed it politic that boomerang-like they should return to plague their employers.  Conviction was sure: law like physic always obedient to precedent.  Our purpose was to prevent the trial of Hetherington or to affect his sentence.  The first object was defeated.  Hetherington's trial was prompt, while one or other of the counter-indicted attempted to evade trial by buying off our indispensable witness to the sale of the books, a compositor in Hetherington's employ, a former apprentice.  They also got their trials postponed, seeing Watson and myself in daily attendance at the Court, as if we were fully prepared.

    An incident in connection with this prosecution may help to show what manner of men were these "seditious" ones, stigmatised as stirrers up of strife, as of old, it is said, were certain other men, not unlike them, in Athens and Ephesus and elsewhere.  Hetherington had determined not to pay a fine; "they might take it out of his bones,"—not so courtly an expression, yet of the same spirit as brave Sir John Eliot's defiance to Charles I.  This later martyr had also his possessions, a shop, and books, and presses, and other printing material, besides household stuff.  Once before all his belongings had been swept away; he would be craftier now.  A few days before the trial I was with him calling upon the London agent of an old good friend, Hugh Williams, a Caermarthen lawyer.  The agent had instructions to give to Hetherington a sufficient sum to buy his property.  It was given without so much as an acknowledgment.  Then Hetherington passed the money into the hands of one of his shopmen, Thomas Powell, who thereupon bought the property duly valued by a sworn broker to legalise the sale; and Hetherington, returning his friend's loan, went penniless into Court to meet the worst that could be inflicted.  He defended himself with much eloquence and moderation, in spite of a bitter and unfairly personal attack of the prosecutor, Attorney-General Campbell (Lord Campbell afterwards); was complimented by Denman, then Chief Justice, and sentenced to the lightest punishment on record (the lightness, it may be, motived by the still threatened trials to follow), six weeks in a debtors' prison, that of the Queen's Bench, without a fine.  Visiting him there was my only acquaintance with the inside of a prison, which I did not always feel sure of escaping.  It was a not uncomfortable prison, with capital tennis grounds.

    When he came out, we were still looking for the missing witness.  One day, walking together, Hetherington and Watson came upon him; and their moral influence was sufficient to outweigh the inducement which had first captured him.  He came into Court, gave evidence; and Moxon, the publisher of the incriminated book, the first to be tried, was, notwithstanding the eloquent pleading of Talfourd, found guilty.  There was no escaping the jaws of Precedent.  It remained only for the prosecutors to call the convicted "blasphemer" up for judgment, which of course was never done, personal animosity or revenge (Hetherington now out of prison) being beside the question; nor was farther proceeding taken against the other indicted "blasphemers," Frazer, Richardson, and Saunders of the firm of Saunders & Otley.  We had gained enough.  Prosecutions for blasphemy were estopped.  I think there has since been only one, with foolish wilfulness provoked for the sake of personal notoriety.

    It need hardly be said that Powell handed back the property when Hetherington came out of prison.  He, Powell, a Welshman (Hetherington, I think, was also Welsh), graduating in patriotism, had had his twelve months' gaol lessons, suffering for hasty words used in preventing an outbreak; such a man clearly more dangerous than a mere mob-inciter.  After the failure of Chartism he was active in organising a colonisation-party to South America.  That too failed.  He died a few years later in Trinidad.

    It was at this time I made personal acquaintance with John Arthur Roebuck, the member for Sheffield, unpopular because of his endorsement of the New Poor Law, a staunch radical still, a man of influence in Parliament as a powerful and uncompromising speaker.  He had undertaken for Hetherington to move an arrest of judgment, so that there should be some prolongation of the defence, and more of public attention insured for it.  Calling to confer with him about it, I found him disinclined to take a part.  He judged that it would be impolitic, that it would be taken as an aggravation of the offence.  Finding him of such an opinion, and deciding that anything like a speech in mitigation or as a plea for mercy would be far from our purpose, I took away his brief (the motion for arrest of judgment was to be on the next day) and placed it in the hands of a younger and less known barrister, Ralph Thomas, who spent the night in preparing his speech, and spoke well to the question.  Of course all we desired was the prolongation and addition to the defence: a second defence, in fact.


Hugh Williams; Rebecca and Her Daughters; With Sibson in Wales; Travel Risks; St. Ives; Boulogne; Miteside; Brantwood.

    HUGH WILLIAMS, the Caermarthen lawyer, a man of large business till he lost favour by his defence of poor men, was some little while after these Shelley prosecutions the instigator and undiscovered leader of the "Rebecca Movement," the one successful uprising in England since the Great Rebellion.  It seems that power was vested in the local magistracy, or arrogated by them, to impose tolls on the highroads, and not only on the highroads, but even on by-ways to their own personal advantage.  So great a grievance had this become in Caermarthenshire that the farming people at last secretly organised themselves and, masked and otherwise disguised, mostly as women, passed at night through the county, smashing the toll-gates and sometimes destroying the houses of the toll-collectors.  The band was known as "Rebecca and her daughters," some Scriptural warrant being found for the name.  Soldiers were sent into the district; but their interference was rendered of no avail by the universal sympathy with the movement and the clannishness of the Welsh peasantry.  "Going to catch Becky?" would be tauntingly sung out by the boys at the soldiers setting forth to stop some threatened outrage, misled, the attack being always elsewhere.  I learned from Powell of Williams being concerned, and going for a holiday, and asked by the Illustrated London News to look out for anything worth picturing in the paper, I went directly to Caermarthen to visit Williams, whom I had met in London and knew both as a good chartist and as a friend of Hetherington.  I dined with him one evening, and he sent me off to Pontyberem, some seven miles away, where next day was to be a gathering in favour of universal suffrage, a step beyond the tollgate movement, which Williams from the first had meant as a preparation for farther political action.  The meeting was held on a hill, attended by some thousands, a local magistrate placed in the chair, the chair in a cart, and all proceeded quietly and fairly.  Going thence to a little inn in the neighbouring village, where I suppose Williams met his associates, he procured a horse for me, and we rode together to Caermarthen, where the same night I sent off a report to the Morning Chronicle, at that time the one liberal daily paper in London.  Walking out with Williams next day, he owned that the Rebecca movement, so far unobstructed, was at an end.  A numerous body of police had been drafted into the district and, scattered everywhere to watch individuals, secret action could no longer be maintained.  Up to that time the Welshmen, with their usual tenacious fidelity to each other under all circumstances, had baulked every endeavour to trace the persons concerned.  The movement was successful: the tolls were not reimposed.  Williams' sister was the wife of Richard Cobden.  "That was our bad uncle," said one of Cobden's daughters to me, many years afterwards, when I told her of my acquaintance with him.

    I have spoken of my ramble through the Lake Country with Ebenezer Jones.  That was not my first mountain experience.  My first was with Thomas Sibson, before he went to Germany, I think in 1842.  Taking train one morning from London to Birmingham, we walked thence the fifteen miles to Wolverhampton, through the "Black Country," black enough with coal and coal smoke everywhere until night-fall, when the innumerable fires burst forth, making our walk to seem almost like a passage through Hell.  We slept at Wolverhampton, went by rail next morning to Liverpool, and the following morning by steamboat, I think, to Rhyll, and on foot to Abergeley.  Then we set off for a walk along the northern Welsh coast, past where Llandudno now is, then not even projected, and under the wild out-jutting rock of Penman Mawr on the road to Bangor.  It was a bright sunny morning, numerous larks in the air singing in chorus with the bass of the waves coming up the shore beneath them.  Some way far on our road it came on to rain, and we found shelter in a toll-house.  There sat a woman, the noblest form I ever saw, the living Milo Venus, or at least a Roman empress, paring turnips.  I know we outstayed the necessity of the shower in admiring contemplation of the pseudo-empress; and ended our day's march, so shortened, at Aber, some miles short of our proper intention at Bangor.  To Bangor next day and to the Menai Suspension Bridge, the wonder of the time, across the Straits to the Isle of Anglesea.  Under the Bridge we bathed, then went on it; then returned through Bangor, taking, as we supposed, the road to Llanberris.  Late in the afternoon we learned that there was a stiff bit of mountain range between us and our destination.  This we ventured to cross, having our pathless direction by compass.  After severe climbing, severer because it was our first experience, we reached the top only as darkness came on, so dark before we began to descend the other side that we could not see each other.  We did not dare to stay on the top, so had to try the descent, letting ourselves slide, where it was too steep to walk, and guiding ourselves by the sound of many little waterfalls, which of course we avoided.  At last we reached the bottom, found ourselves against a stone wall, and following it caught a perception of a white horse, and presently stumbled up against a cottage.  To our knocking the door was opened by a young girl holding a light, with her black hair hanging below her waist.  She started back, and an older man, we supposed her father, appeared, seemed to recognise us as belated travellers, and civilly piloted us into the road and to our inn.  We were so tired that we were glad to lean on him, one on either side.  Fortunately we had kept our right direction, and so were within a few hundred yards of the one little inn of Llanberris Pass, the "Vryneck Arms," where after a reviving dose of whiskey, we had our sodden boots pulled off, and hastened to bed, sitting up in bed to finish the day with ham and eggs, and probably more whiskey.

    The next day, both of us suffering, Sibson from rheumatism, I from stiffness, we had to rest, only shambling a little way to Llanberris Lake.  Another day, and we took the road through the Pass, the wildest and ruggedest in the country, so ruggedly precipitous we would not have ventured up in daylight where we came down in the darkness; and made, if I mistake not, a three days' journey, by Corwen, and Bettws-y-coed (for its beauty for many years a favourite resort of artists), and the Vale of Llangollen, to Shrewsbury.  There we parted, Sibson going across the country to his brother at Nottingham, and I making for Monmouth, within a few miles of which I hoped to find the house of the young friend whom I had taken care of during Frost's trial, to whom I had promised a visit.  A few miles out of Shrewsbury I fell lame (most likely I had strained myself on the mountain), and, instead of walking as I had intended, was glad of the coach to Hereford, and again next morning to Monmouth, landing there at breakfast time with, after feeing the coachman, a shilling in my pocket.  Some previous experience had taught me to go to the best hotel.  So I walked boldly into the "Monmouth Arms," and said I wanted a gig to carry me to Blackwood.  Well, Blackwood was more than a few—it was forty miles from Monmouth.  They could take me to Pontypool, where there would be no difficulty in getting farther conveyance.  Indeed there would.  "I have no money, so unless you can send me all the way I can not even have breakfast."  Though how I, still a little lame, was to walk forty miles with only a shilling for food, I did not exactly see.  A very little hesitation, and (I suppose they were not unaccustomed to the dilemmas of tourists) they would take me all the way.  I had a splendid breakfast; the charge for that and the fee to waiter, for the gig and driver, and even the toll-gates, set down in my bill (and they did not overcharge me); and I went on my forty miles' ride on a bright summer day through one of the loveliest counties in England, reaching my friend's house in time for an early dinner, taken out of pawn, and welcomed.  I stayed some days with him, returning to London by way of Bristol.

    I had a careless habit, perhaps excusable in an artist, of going to the very end of my tether on such excursions.  One Sunday evening I found myself at St. Ives, on the far end of the northern coast of Cornwall, a great place for the pilchard fishery.  But though after paying my inn-bill next morning my purse held but five shillings, I knew the date of a steamer from Bristol and was not afraid.  As it happened, so making me sure, the sea was rough enough to prevent the ship from coming in, and passengers went to her in boats.  The steward only came round for fares after the boats had left.  At Bristol I gave my watch as security while I went ashore for money, having been this time wise enough to leave money there as I went on my round: a round to Exeter, Torquay, Plymouth, Falmouth, St. Ives, and back.  At Exeter I had the fortune to arrive on an evening when the Devon Madrigal Society was dining there, and took up my quarters at the same hotel.  Of good vocal music I have heard much, but nothing ever pleased me like the old English madrigals.  Once on a visit to London I stayed some weeks at the house of a lady who before her marriage was known as Miss Thornton, the best of ballad singers.  Her husband was musical, a friend living with them a musician also, and a fourth friend came in almost every evening to join them in madrigal singing.

    To return to my travel-risks.  One was on returning from Paris by diligence to Boulogne.  The diligence should have reached Boulogne in time for the English steamboat, but did not get in till the boat had gone.  It was noon, and I had to wait till next morning, with but little more money than would carry me through to London.  The surplus was just enough to pay for a night's lodging, and only a few sous beyond for not much bread and some pears, on which I had to subsist till I got to London next day, going breakfastless from Boulogne to London.  The previous afternoon I could only ramble about Boulogne.  How I hated the place, not interesting under the best of circumstances.

    Yet another time, this time deceived by distance, I had a similar fortune.  I had come from London to Miteside to arrange for some repairs to the house I was about to live in.  The distance from there to Kendal, where I would get the train to London, I understood to be about twenty-five miles.  It was late when I left the house, and I had only covered some fifteen miles over the fells to Broughton by dark.  I went into the little inn, had bread and cheese and beer, and asked for a bed.  Having no luggage, they looked askance at me, possibly took me for a tramp, and were not inclined to harbour me.  Only by my persistence, and showing determination to remain, they were at last overcome.  I learned that I had still a twenty-five-mile walk across the fells to Kendal, and had to start before daylight.  It was in February.  A little way out of the town I found my feet sore; in fact, the skin was off my toes of both feet.  And it was a cold and stormy day, wind and rain, and sometimes snow upon the ground, and the way rough and often steep.  Again I had but a shilling beyond my railway fare: it gave me bread and cheese, once stopping to rest, and a glass of whiskey at a second halting-place.  I appreciated in that day's journey what a sore-footed beggar, weary and wet through, might suffer.  But I reached Kendal in time for the South train, and was in London next morning, very thankful to a fellow-passenger who gave me a sup of whiskey to keep out the cold.  It was more than a few days before I had any pleasure in walking again.

    At "Miteside" (the river Mite, a little stream coming out from the back of the Wast-water Screes) I lived for three years, barring occasional visits to London, until my landlord wanted the house for himself, when I found a home at Brantwood on the eastern side of Coniston Water, some nine or ten miles from Ambleside, a house under Furness Fells, in Monk Coniston, so called because the land had been part of the domain of the Cistercian Monks of Furness Abbey (Church Coniston village was on the western side of the lake).  The manorial right had fallen to the Buccleughs at the time of the dissolution of the Monasteries; and to the Duke of Buccleugh, my portion of the land being copyhold, I paid a yearly fine of one shilling and three half-pence, to have my title recorded in the manorial books when after a year's tenancy I was enabled by the help of mortgage-money to buy the estate,—a fairly large house and ten acres of copse-wood steeply rising up the fell.  I sold it to Ruskin years afterwards when I found I was likely to remain in America.


The People's International League; The Three Days of February; Congratulatory Address to France; With Mazzini in Paris; George Sand; Lamennais; The Cause of the People.

    IN London, in 1847, at the instigation of Mazzini, and informed by him, the "Peoples' International League" was founded, with the following objects:—

"To enlighten the British public as to the political condition and relations of foreign countries;

"To disseminate the principles of national freedom and progress;

"To embody and manifest an efficient public opinion in favour of the right of every people to self-government and the maintenance of their own nationality;

"To promote a good understanding between the peoples of all countries."

    How necessary such an association was simply as a means of public enlightenment may be understood when even the Spectator, the highest priced and most thoughtful newspaper at that time in England, a paper which had as contributors such men as Carlyle, Stuart Mill, Bridges Adams, and Colonel Thompson, depended altogether for foreign information on the Journal des Debats, whose columns were closed to all popular movements in Europe.  Mazzini's views in projecting the League may be given in his own words (not without interest even at the present time) in the address, which (with the exception of a wordy and unnecessary introduction by Mr. Philip Harwood) was from the draft prepared by him, a draft in his own handwriting, which I copied.

    He wrote:—

    "In the division of Europe among the several powers at the Congress of Vienna an immense error, not to say a great iniquity, was committed.  The natural peculiarities of character, the indications of different destinies, the diverse natural tendencies of various peoples (deducible from their languages, creeds, habits, historical traditions, and geographical positions) were altogether overlooked or disregarded.  Questions of the balance of power, of imaginary equalities, calculated by ciphers representing square miles or millions of men, not human ideas, human wants, human tendencies, were the considerations that decided the partition of Europe.  It was a hurried, an ill-advised, and improvident work, concocted on the one hand by Powers that had nothing in view but their own despotic interests and aggrandisement, on the other by politicians looking no farther than their own time, seeking only for present peace, frightened at and weary of the convulsions through which Europe had just passed, and without faith in the future,—men anxious merely to reconstitute the old system which Napoleon had broken down, and who had given neither time nor sympathy to the study of those vital elements out of which a new system might be constructed, and upon which alone permanent peace and progression can be established. . . . The question now at issue throughout Europe, at the bottom of all European movements, is the question of nationality, of national rights and duties."

    The League was initiated at a public meeting held on Wednesday, April 28, 1847, at the "Crown and Anchor" tavern in the Strand (the usual place for such meetings), Dr. Bowring, M.P., in the chair.  The Council appointed at the meeting for the ensuing year were:

Mr. W. Bridges Adams. Mr. Douglas Jerrold.
— W. H. Ashurst. — W. J. Linton.
— Goodwin Barmby.  — Richard Moore.
Dr. Bowring, M.P.  — T. Humphreys Parry.
Mr. William Carpenter.  — William Shaen.
— Thomas Cooper.  — James Stansfeld.
— William Cumming.  — P. A. Taylor.
— T. S. Duncombe, M.P.  — P. A. Taylor, Jun.
Dr. Epps.  — Richard Taylor.
Mr. W. J. Fox.  — Joseph Toynbee.
— S. M. Hawkes.  — Henry Vincent.
— Thornton Hunt.  — James Watson.

    Messrs. Ashurst, Hawkes, Parry, Shaen, and Stansfeld were all young lawyers professing sympathy with the chartist movement, some of them practising public speaking at chartist meetings,—Parry, Stansfeld, and P. A. Taylor, Jun., being afterwards in Parliament; Richard Taylor was a Common Councillor of London, one of the old-fashioned school of educated printers, a man who edited a reprint of Horne Tooke's Diversions of Purley; Carpenter, a literary man, had preceded Hetherington in endeavours to break through the laws against the Press.  Of other members I speak elsewhere.  I acted as Honorary Secretary, and at my house, Hatton-Garden, was the office of the Association, where the meetings of the Council were held.  Usually these meetings were also attended by Mazzini, who would wait afterwards for a friendly talk with me over a glass of rum and water: rum, the one liquor from our West Indian possessions peculiar to England, and prized for its strangeness, as it seems to me, by all foreigners.

    On the 15th of November, 1847, the League reported proceedings to that date to a public meeting of nearly fifteen hundred persons, held at the "Crown and Anchor," to give farther publicity to the views and intentions for the advancement of the objects of the Association. Dr. Bowring, M.P., was in the chair. The speakers were Colonel Thompson, M.P., Mr. P. A. Taylor, Jun., Mr. George Thompson, M.P. (the Abolitionist orator), and Mr. Linton.

    The Report of Proceedings showed that the Address of the League (with a circular requesting coöperation) had been sent to the Members of both Houses of Parliament, to the entire Press of Great Britain and Ireland, to a large number of public institutions, political and literary, and to several thousand individuals, including many foreigners resident in England.  It was favourably noticed and occasionally reprinted by a number of the British and of the Continental Press: among the latter,—in France, the National, the Réforme, and the Démocratie Pacifiquce, besides provincial journals; in Belgium, the Brussels German Gazette; in Germany, the Bremer Gazette, the Frankfort Journal, the Berlin Gazette, the Upper Rhenish Gazette; in Italy, the Alba of Florence; in Switzerland, the Helvetie of Berne, the National Gazette of Basle, the Nouvelliste Vaudois, the Narrator of St. Gall, the Review of Geneva.  Many of these journals gave repeated notices.

    The address had been translated into French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Polish.  Other manifestations of strong sympathy came from many parts of the Continent; and in Switzerland the formation of the League was celebrated by public demonstrations in Berne, Lausanne, Basle, and Geneva; and responded to by resolutions of several Swiss associations to support and join.

    The Council had also published a pamphlet, written by Mazzini, on the question of the "Sonderbund" (the attempt to separate the Catholic Cantons from the Confederation) then agitating Switzerland.  This had been distributed among the four hundred members of the League, the Press, the Members of the House of Commons, and a number of public institutions.  It had been translated into French and German, and its statements approved by most of the Swiss journals.  Beyond this the Council of the League had been active in establishing communications with the principal cities of the Continent for the purpose of obtaining correct and ready information on all important questions.  Seventeen lectures also had been delivered in London upon the political condition of Italy and Switzerland, by Mr. R. H. Horne, Mr. Thomas Cooper, and Mr. W. J. Linton.

    So much good work was accomplished by the League, and the work continued until the revolutionary events in Europe beginning with the February days in Paris, and the departure of Mazzini (the informing spirit of the League) for Italy, stayed proceedings; some of the Council seeming to think farther action unnecessary, others becoming indifferent.  The last action was a congratulatory address to the Provisional Government of France.

    The revolution in France in February, 1848, called forth the hearty sympathy of the working classes in England, of the chartists especially, they seeing in it a prospect of reinvigorating the chartist movement, which during some years had degenerated into a mere succession of desultory and purposeless speechifying.  At a meeting called within a few hours of receiving the news of the Paris victory, Mr. J. D. Collett (the active secretary of the Association for the Abolition of the Taxes on Knowledge) and myself were deputed to carry the first address of congratulation, from working men in London, to the Provisional Government.  We travelled to Paris in company with Mazzini; and, Collett returning almost immediately to England, I remained for more than a week, sharing lodgings with Mazzini.  While there I had the opportunity through his introduction of an interview with "George Sand," a handsome matronly woman, from whom afterwards I had authorisation to translate her works,—a project which circumstances prevented my carrying out.  Through Mazzini also I came to know the venerable Abbé Lamennais, whom I had admired in younger days as the author of Les Paroles d'un Croyant.  He had already begun a daily paper, Le Peuple Constituant, to teach the true principles of republicanism and, if possible, to help in guiding the course of public conduct in accordance therewith.  Had his advice been taken, Lamartine's non-intervention manifesto had not betrayed the republican hopes of Poland, Italy, and the rest of Europe, and the terrible insurrection of June, of the Parisian working class, cheated by promises of vague and impracticable socialist theories, might have been avoided.  I had a cordial reception from the old Abbé (he knew me by my translation, years before, of his Modern Slavery—L'Eselavage Moderne), a small, spare, worn man, physically weak, and poorly circumstanced, who was editing his paper in the one bare room in which he lived in the Rue Jacob; in spite of age and weakness fervent and energetic, a man truly of the stuff of which heroes and saints were made, if ever there was one.  On one evening I went to see him he was out, and I waited for his return, on the stairs, talking with a lad who served him in circulating the paper.  It needed not many words to tell me how this man whom the Pope feared and anathematised ("We damn forever this book of small size but huge depravity"—such the papal interdict on his Words of a Believer) could, nevertheless, be reverenced and loved.  He gave me his paper, and continued to send it to me in London until its suppression by General Cavaignac on occasion of the insurrection in June: Lamennais' sympathies, if not approving their action, being with the Insurgents.  True to the people, when he died the little he had to leave was left to none who had taken part against them in those unhappy days.

    Very strange at that time was the appearance of Paris; the barricades not all cleared away; before public buildings cannon, watched by lads of the Garde Mobile; the ante-rooms of the Hotel de Ville, where the Provisional Government held its sittings, guarded by men in blouses, the place having the aspect of a mediæval incomplete revolt; and strange and strangely impressive the funeral procession of those who had fallen in the Three Days, as from the balcony of the Cafe du Grand Balcon I saw it defiling along the Boulevard through the crowding masses of Parisians, the Provisional Government on foot as chief mourners, the roadway kept, not by soldiers or police, but by a single tri-colour ribbon; every regimental or other band taking part, one playing the "Marseillaise" and the next the song of the luckless Girondins—"Mourir pour la patrie," even in that day of solemn triumph sounding like an ill omen.  For already it was plain that French policy was separated from the nascent republican hopes of revolutionary Europe.

    Returning from Paris, with hope of reviving our chartist agitation, I began the publishing of the Cause of the People, a weekly newspaper, nominally edited by myself and G. J. Holyoake, but for which Holyoake did nothing.  At that date the Isle of Man, as well as the Channel Islands (Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, and Sark), was exempt from duties imposed on the mainland; and taking advantage of this exemption, newspapers, which in all the country else passed through the post for a certain number of days free in virtue of the penny stamp upon them, passed freely without a stamp from these islands.  So I had my paper printed and published in Douglas, in the Isle of Man, sending there the copy for the eight pages, and having the bulk of the printed matter sent through the post to my publisher in London (Watson), the single papers to be by him reposted free.  My venture lasted but nine weeks.  After that, it may be to prevent a wider use of the precedent, the exceptional privileges of the islands I have named were withdrawn.  Duties also, on brandy, tobacco, etc., from which they had been exempt, were, I think, now imposed on them as upon the rest of the community.


A Day with the Irish; Writing in the Nation; Charles Gavan Duffy; Conversations with Carlyle; Carlyle and Duffy on Linton; Misrepresentations of Mazzini; Carlyle's Worth.

    REFERRING to Sir Charles Gavan Duffy's Conversations with Carlyle, 1892, it seems that it was in 1845 he (Duffy), a young Irish friend named Pigott, and another Irishman, paid a visit to Carlyle.  It is likely, therefore, that it was in that year (though I had thought it was not so early) that I made personal acquaintance with Duffy, breakfasting by invitation with him and Meagher ("Thomas Meagher of the Sword") at their hotel in the Haymarket.  If this date be correct, I had already written for the Irish patriotic paper, the Nation.  Mrs. Carlyle's description of Duffy, by him reported, is amusing.  "With the coarsest of human faces, decidedly as like a horse's as a man's, he is one of the people I should get to think beautiful, there is so much of the power both of intellect and passion in his physiognomy."  I agree with the intellect and passion, saying rather earnestness, but not with the coarseness or horse-likeness.  My own impression was of a good-looking if not handsome, capable and honest man, to whom I was attracted as one fit to be a leader of men, and one whom I could trust.  In Meagher, a taller and more personable man, I was not so much interested.  He struck me as a self-assured, clever but rather raw collegian.  He was in a fume at not having had his letters delivered to him, some of them having lain in the hotel office, his Celtic pronunciation of his own name differing from the English sound of Meagher, which even Landor used as rhyming with eager.  I recollect that after breakfast I went with them to call on the young Pigott, whom Mrs. Carlyle also describes: "a handsome youth," she says, "of the romantic cast, pale-faced, with dark eyes and hair, and an 'Emancipation of the Species' melancholy," of whom she was disposed to predict that in case of an insurrection in Ireland he would "rise to be a Robespierre of some sort," sure some day to be beheaded.  I should rather have likened him to the enthusiast St. Just.  I never knew of him after that day till I saw mention of him in the Conversations of having become a successful advocate at the Indian Bar.  With the four of us that evening dined Wm. Smith O'Brien, a tall, courtly gentleman of most prepossessing appearance and manner, a man, as shown in all his conduct, sincere to devotedness, chivalrous to very quixotism.

    Some while after this I was to have met Duffy in London, wishful to confer with him in order to obtain some friendly co-operation of the Young Ireland party, with the remnant of the chartists, and with such "moderate reformers" as might be available; he was prevented from coming over from Ireland at the time appointed, and another opportunity did not occur.  From the time I met him, as here related, I wrote in the Nation much verse over the pseudonym of "Spartacus" (the name I had used from my first writing in Hetherington's Odd Fellow), and over my own name occasional prose, chiefly on points in which I differed from the Irish party; specially (not so differing, I think) in 1847, in advocacy of "the right of the Irish people to the whole land of Ireland," and proposing the imposition of a tax of so much an acre, superseding all other taxation, for the prevention of another famine.  In this I antedated the writing of Mr. Henry George.

    When Duffy came out of prison in 1849, he asked me to join on the staff of the Nation.  I refused only because I wished to remain a free lance.  It was well.  He had, when talking with me in England, demurred to my association with Mazzini, whose anti-papal course was not acceptable to the Nation, and who became the object of personal attacks which I could not but resent.  I replied to them very bitterly, not more bitterly, I think even now, than they deserved, but with perhaps unneeded acrimony, too much for me to remain as a contributor to the paper.  So we were sundered.  Only four or five years ago came a letter to me from Nice, where Sir Charles Gavan Duffy was residing, couched in friendliest terms, ignoring all the offence which surely he had been warranted in keeping up.  It was a generosity which revived all the regard of old time, and renewed my respect for the character of the man.

    Carlyle in 1849 had written to Duffy, among other bits of advice: "Also do not much mind Linton, who is a well-enough meaning but, I fear, extremely windy creature, of the Louis Blanc, George Sand, etc., species."  On this Duffy comments as follows, and I am proud both of the higher appreciation and of the more than kindly feeling which prompted his remarks.

    "Carlyle never saw Mr. Linton" [at that time he had twice seen me] "and misunderstood him, I think.  W. J. Linton, the well-known wood-engraver (and who, judging him by the illustrations of one of his own poems, was also an artist of profuse fancy and skilful pencil), was less a French republican of the school of George Sand and Louis Blanc, than an English republican of the school of Milton and Cromwell, to which Carlyle himself may be said to have belonged.  Like many gifted young Englishmen of the time, he found himself drawn toward the Nation, and contributed to it largely in prose and verse.  The prose was, for the most part, controversial, justifying or illustrating opinions on which he differed with the editor; the poetry was incitements toward a generous and lofty nationality.  I was delighted at the time, and still recall with pleasure the pictures he drew of the future we aimed to create." (Conversations with Carlyle, pp. 132-3.)

    Before laying aside Sir Charles' book, I may note, there chronicled, some other hasty and misleading judgments of both Carlyle and his wife.  "I asked him" (writes Duffy) "about the party of Young Italy and its leader.  Mazzini, he said, I 'was a diminutive, dark-visaged little fellow with bright black eyes.'  Not dark-visaged for an Italian; and I 'diminutive' hardly describes a man certainly not less than five feet and seven inches in height.  But he may have been looked down upon by the tall Scotchman."

    Carlyle went onto say: "Mazzini was a perfectly honourable and true man, but possessed by wild and fanciful theories borrowed from the French Republicans.  He believed in George Sand and that sort of cattle, and was altogether unacquainted with the true relation of things in this world.  The best thing that had ever befallen him was the opening of his letters by Sir James Graham; he was little known in London before that transaction; known in fact to few people except the circle in Cheyné Row.  But afterwards he had innumerable dinner invitations, and got subscriptions up and down London for his Italian schools and other undertakings.

    "(Diary, 1854.) I spoke to Mrs. Carlyle of Mazzini, whose name just then was a good deal in the papers.  She said his character, which was generous and self-devoted, was greatly spoiled by a spirit of intrigue.  He was always thinking what advantage he could get out of every occurrence.

    "'Advantage for his cause?' I queried.

    "Yes! advantage for his cause, she said; but by methods such a man should scorn.  It was he who planned the dinner of revolutionists at the American Consul's lately, which got the American Ambassador into such a scrape.  The Consul, a young American—Saunders was probably his name—pestered Mazzini to dine with him.  He would only consent on condition that Garibaldi, Kossuth, Ledru Rollin, and the rest were invited.  An old Pole, it was said, had to borrow a sovereign to get his uniform out of pawn.  Mazzini expected great results in Italy and Hungary from the false interpretation which would be put on this dinner with an American official....In fact it was all a stage play, which Mazzini expected to produce the effect of a sincere and serious transaction.

    "I said I had supposed him too grave and proud for anything like a trick.  She said he was certainly grave and dignified, but he sometimes uttered trivial sentimentalities with this air of gravity and dignity in a way that was intensely comic.  He was entirely engrossed in his purpose, however, while one of his brother triumvirs, a successor of Rienzi in the government of Rome, actually wrote to London to say that the Westminster Review need not despair of an article he had promised, he would send it with the delay of a month or two.  This was a national tribune pour rire]." (Conversations, pp. 109-11.)

    I note so much (no doubt fairly reported by Duffy), not by any means wishing to attack the Carlyles, but in justice to Mazzini, here seen in an altogether false light through their prejudiced eyes.  "That sort of cattle" may mark the value of the judgment of the fanciful historian, or rather dramatist, of the French Revolution.  Mazzini did justice to the noble and high purpose of George Sand's writings, believed in her genius and the nobility of her nature; but he did not share her political theories nor in any way borrowed from French Republicanism.  "A perfectly honourable and true man," "innumerable dinner invitations" and the getting of subscriptions for his Italian cause (the "other undertakings ") might be no disparagement, though certainly he was far less a diner out than Carlyle himself.

    Carlyle would have given to Duffy a truer impression of Mazzini had he but referred him to Carlyle's Letter to the Times in 1844, a letter containing the following:—

    "I have had the honour to know M. Mazzini for a series of years, and whatever I may think of his practical insight and skill in worldly affairs, I can, with great freedom, testify to all men that he, if I have ever seen one such, is a man of genius and virtue, a man of sterling veracity, humanity, and nobleness of mind, one of those rare men, numerable, unfortunately, but as units in this world, who are called to be martyr souls; who in silence, piously in their daily life, understand and practise what is meant by that."

    This is the real Mazzini, as Carlyle then knew him, and the character but little accords with that of one "greatly spoiled by a spirit of intrigue," "using methods a man should scorn," "planning a stage play" to produce a false impression, and uttering "trivial sentimentalities in a way that was intensely comic."  But the worth of Mrs. Carlyle's judgment may be estimated by the uncalled for sneer at the Pole who "had to borrow a sovereign to get his uniform out of pawn" (there was no such Pole at the dinner), and the sneer at one of Mazzini's "brother triumvirs" (which could only mean Saffi), for writing to the Westminster Review concerning the delay of a promised article.  Saffi was closely with Mazzini during that heroic defence of Rome, and certainly was not "a tribune pour rire."  He was so well esteemed in England that when exiled he was given a professorship at Oxford, where probably he wrote to and for the Westminster Review.  The dinner at the American Consul's was not "planned by Mazzini."  Only he refused to accept it merely as a personal compliment, as other than a mark of American sympathy with the European Republicans, little knowing how scant such sympathy was, how bound was the generous "Republic" to the selfish and cowardly policy of not entangling itself with dutiful alliances.

    Untrustworthy as historian or as a judge of men, the man who can find no more descriptive epithet for Robespierre than "sea-green," or for Marat than "dog-leech," and who could defend Governor Eyre's Jamaica Massacre (in which he had the unfortunate backing of Tennyson and Kingsley), and (quoting his own words, incorrect as regards Mazzini) "utterly unacquainted with the true relation of things in this world," I still regard admiringly the author of Sartor Resartus, of Past and Present, and of Hero-Worship: books which did immense good, corning at a time in which they were expressly wanted, stirring young souls with higher aims than were deducible from socialistic materialisms, or from the Manchester morality of a generation of Whig utilitarians.  Very great, I take it, was the service done by Carlyle's earlier books to the young men of that day, giving to them an ennobling gospel, for which England may well hold the Sage of Chelsea in continued reverence.  He led the young aristocracy to a clearer perception of the condition of the country and to some recognition of their duties as an aristocracy.  He was really the founder of the Disraelitish "Young England" party, a party I would not discredit, though it was not the young England I hoped to see.


Leigh Hunt and his Family; On the Spectator; Going to Miteside; The Leader; Thornton Hunt; G. H. Lewes; Larken; W. E. Forster; Minter Morgan; Lausanne; Mazzini; Herzen; Lamennais; Forbes; George Combe; Robert Owen.

    KNOWING Leigh Hunt, I also knew his family.  Hunt had, as so many men of his time also had, imbibed the negative principles of the Frenchmen of 1759.  To be free meaned to dispute the justice of established law and to ignore the worth of tradition.  This should be borne in mind in judging such men as Shelley, Hunt, and others.  The lawlessness of Self-will as a rightful rebellion against the despotism of Authority came to be considered almost as a duty, at least a necessity of courageous free thought.  With men of high natures and innate nobleness, their own consciences and wills might be sufficient rulers.  Hunt, a man of amiable disposition, good and pure, a Bayard sans peur and sans reproche, had his conduct little affected by "free" thinking.  At worst it left him with a childish carelessness of pecuniary obligations, and also to a considerable disregard of misconstruction.  He went on his quiet, pleasurable way, never outraging Mrs. Grundy in his private life, not unconcerned at world-wrongs, speaking honestly but with kindness of all men, and fairly earning his reputation as "the gentlest of the wise."  But his family, perhaps spoiled by his easiness, inherited that easiness rather than the chivalrousness which had kept him free from blame.  He had eight children, sons and daughters.  Of his daughters, Florimel, the eldest, Mrs. Gliddon, was a handsome woman; Julia, the second daughter, a petite and pretty coquette; Jacintha, whom her father used to call "monkey-face," was the good wife of one of my pupils who, forsaking engraving, got his living by literature.  Of two of the sons, Percy and Henry, government clerks, I knew but little, nor cared to know more.  It was perhaps when seeking to get an appointment for one of them that, it was said, Leigh Hunt and Sheridan Knowles (the dramatist) met on the steps of the Government Office and Hunt made way for Knowles, who was on a like errand, to enter first, with the remark that there might be only place for one.  John Hunt, the eldest son, though a man not without brains, may have had some mental weakness to excuse his conduct.  After breakfasting with a friend, he would borrow a book and pledge it at the nearest pawnbroker's; he would try to borrow money in his father's name from his father's friends, on one awkward occasion the father being in the house at which he called; such like tricks were not infrequent.  Vincent, the youngest, was a very lovable fellow; for some time employed by me, he wrote for the Illustrated Family Journal short, graceful sketches of wild flowers, somewhat in the style of the father and possibly helped by him.  A weak repeat of his father, gentle but without moral fibre, he died almost before reaching manhood.  Thornton, the second son, I knew best, a man rather below average height, deserving rather than his sister the name of "monkey-face," but bright, clever, and very winning, a man in spite of his physiognomy who had his way with women; far too much so, it was notorious, with the pretty wife of his friend George Henry Lewes, the two men only quarrelling over the expense of the double family.  Thornton asserted his belief in communistic principles, and in self-will as sufficient law.  I note him as an instance of what such a man may be in spite of kindly and generous impulses, in spite of great sincerity and straightforwardness, for which traits I could not but like him before I knew him so thoroughly as to lose respect for him.

    One instance of real kind-heartedness I may give.  He was editor, under the proprietor and manager, Rintoul, of the Spectator, a newspaper which, in the words of Carlyle, was at that time "the best article of the kind to be found anywhere in England."  One day Thornton interrupted my engraving at Hatton-Garden with a request that I would leave it and come to him, to be for a short time sub-editor with him, in order to keep the place open for a young friend who had been in that capacity and who had fallen sick.  I went, partly to oblige Thornton, partly for the sake of the sick man, with whom I had some acquaintance, and partly because I thought, as the call upon my time was only for a few hours on certain days, that it might be worth while to learn something of the management of such a paper.  So I took my place for three weeks.  At the end of the time Rintoul asked me to dine with him and insisted on paying me for my service, assuring me that the young man now recovered should receive his salary as if he had not been absent.  This must have been early in 1849, as during my brief sub-editorship I wrote for the Spectator a notice of David Scott, who died on the 5th of March in that year.

    In May, 1849, I went to Cumberland, sending my household goods by sea to Whitehaven, and taking my family by steamer (a stormy voyage of nearly three days) to Newcastle; thence across the country by rail to Carlisle and Whitehaven; and from Whitehaven the sixteen or more miles to my new dwelling-place at "Miteside" by carriage, as the house was some way off the rail line between Whitehaven and Ravenglass.  Near Gosforth we had a view of Scawfell and the surrounding mountains at the head of Wast-water, some four or five miles from our road.  It was a bright Spring day, the road-sides were lined with primroses, in the distance were the dark grey mountains, and between them and the sunlit primroses was a fleeting snow-shower.  We found our packages of household goods awaiting us, and with them a parcel of reindeer tongues sent by a friend in Newcastle.  Bread and milk we got from a farmhouse almost adjoining our own; tired out, we slept that night on the floor; and so fairly started on an economical but not too hard life in the strange land.  We had a square walled garden on an island in the little river Mite, almost under a line of fells, and from the front of the house we should have seen the sea but for an intervening rise of ground.  Ravenglass, about three miles from us, where the Whitehaven railway then terminated, was our nearest town, or rather village; here was the confluence of the Mite and Irt, in which latter stream the Romans fished for the pearl-mussel.  I rested here, doing such little engraving as came to me from London, and enjoying the wild beauty of the country.  But I was soon called back to London.  Some correspondence with Thornton Hunt resulted in our projecting a weekly newspaper, the Leader.  We found a papermaker and a printer to give help; W. E. Forster (afterwards Secretary for Ireland) took shares in the venture; we had also help from Minter Morgan, a friend of Robert Owen, a man of means who busied himself with a mild sort of socialistic scheme to establish "Happy Villages" under the auspices of the parochial clergy; but the principal funds were contributed by the Rev. Edmund Larken, a friend of Hunt and a "Christian Socialist" of the stamp of Maurice and Kingsley.  Larken had married a daughter of Lord Monson, and his rectory was pleasantly situated in his father-in-law's park at Burton, three miles from Lincoln.

    My purpose was to make the Leader at once an organ of the European Republicans and the centre of an English republican party after the manner of the National and Réforme in Paris.  So, mindful of even the Spectator's insufficient information as regarded European views and happenings, before beginning the newspaper I went to Lausanne, where I expected to find Mazzini, in Switzerland since the fall of Rome, hoping through him to obtain trustworthy foreign correspondents.  This was in February, 1850.  I had snow the whole way travelling from Dijon to Geneva by the malle poste, with one companion, in a sort of unwheeled cab acting as a sledge.  A splendid sight was the rosy dawn lighting the snow as we crossed the Jura Alps, a passage sometimes cut through the snow for us.  I reached Geneva about P.M., after a twenty-fours' travel from Dijon, and went to bed; but before I was asleep was ordered out by a buxom chambermaid, so that the bed might be properly made; got up at 10 P.M. to a breakfast or dinner or supper (it might be called either), of twenty dishes, and at midnight left Geneva by diligence for Lausanne, arriving there at about 6 next morning.  My hotel was opposite to where the diligence stopped.  I breakfasted, and when daylight came sauntered through the streets.  Presently my glance rested on another saunterer, whom I guessed to be an Italian.  I accosted him, got into some sort of half-understood conversation with him, and at last won so much upon his confidence as to learn where I might hear of Mazzini.  There I went, only to be told that a letter could be forwarded to him, which sent, in an hour I had an appointment to see him.  I spent a week in Lausanne, daily with him and Saffi, who was in the same house.  There were many Italian and French refugees in the city, Felix Pyat among the French, who seemed to me much inferior in appearance and bearing to the Italians.  When I came away, I had for companion an Englishman, Colonel Hugh Forbes, who had come out of Rome with Garibaldi, and who, when Garibaldi divided his forces, had commanded one division.  I brought away letters from Mazzini, and tracts to be distributed in Paris.  The tracts were bound together in a thick volume with a title-page of one of Gioberti's unobjectionable works.  When at the frontier, we were ordered out of the diligence for examination, I left the volume open at the title-page on my seat, and it escaped suspicion.  At Lyons we breakfasted, and thence went on to Paris, where we spent the next day.  Here I had the happiness of a cordial meeting with dear old Lamennais (not to be seen again), and a welcome from Herzen, the Russian friend to whom Mazzini had given me an introduction, and of whom I shall have to speak again.  Most of the day else we passed in the company of Madame Bourdillon Nassy (whom I had known in England as Eliza Ashurst, an early translator of some of George Sand's novels) and her husband.  By them I was introduced to Maria Weston Chapman, American and Abolitionist, a very beautiful woman.  Forbes and I dined with the Nassys, and left Paris by the evening train for Calais.  At Calais it was a dark and stormy night, the pier was being repaired, and the English steamer could not put in to it.  I scrambled down the side of the pier into a boat; but Forbes was not quick enough in following me; and the boat was full and went off without him.  It was pitch-dark, the sea rough, the boatmen were saying their prayers; and I had some fear that, unable to find the steamer, we might have to go back, and not without danger.  But at length we reached a black mass, which was our ship.  Forbes was left behind; and no other steamer crossed the channel for forty-eight hours, the weather being so bad.  I got safely to London, and reported to Larken at the Rectory, resting there pleasantly for some days.  Forbes crossed so soon as the weather allowed; but I did not see him, as he left England for America directly.  He afterwards returned to Europe, to take part in Garibaldi's Sicilian expedition.

    The Leader was started: Hunt as principal editor and manager, Lewes as literary editor, myself taking the place of editor for foreign matters, and Ballantyne for English.  Ballantyne had been on the Manchester Examiner.  He and I worked together, and very agreeably; but I had soon to find that Hunt's and Lewes' sympathies with the republican party were not to be depended on, that they merely wanted to exploit the connection for the commercial advantage of the paper.  After a few weeks I gave up my position.  I recollect but one meeting toward the formation of a party, and but one person of any prominence at that—George Combe, who gave us an amusing account of Robert Owen's impracticability at his American colony, "New Harmony."  Coleridge's button-holding Lamb till Lamb cut off the button and left him to discourse to that, was but a type of Owen's never-ending and never-varying speech.  On occasion of the first meeting at New Harmony, his oration had to be interrupted with the important question, "Pardon me, Mr. Owen, but I would ask if any here can milk a cow?  If so, let them hold up their hands, for the cows can not wait for oratory."  I had plenty of opportunity for observing this as characteristic of Owen, a most dry and unimaginative creature, who, like his son, Robert Dale (whom I afterwards met in New York, a man far cleverer and in every way more capable than the father), finished not unnaturally with a blind subservience to "spiritualism."  Extremes meet.

    So much for the Leader, which led nowhither, under the capricious direction of Hunt and Lewes, running, like Leigh Hunt's Irishman's pig, "up all manner of streets."  Disappointed in it, and feeling that my republican friends had also cause for disappointment, I undertook a work which occupied me for nearly five years, the publication of the—English Republic.

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