Poems and Prose Remains, Vol. I


From 1853 to 1861


Arthur Hugh Clough

To Charles Eliot Norton, Esq., Cambridge, Massachusetts.

On board the Asia: July 7, 1853.        
Here we are, pretty well on our way across, about 2,200 miles from New York.

Mr. Slidell of Louisiana, and a young man apparently his companion, are perhaps the most unexceptionable human beings that one sees. Some Spaniards from Mexico and Cuba are also pleasant to look at, specially two little boys. A maiden aunt and nephew from Burlington, New Jersey, sit near me, and are not so bad. A horrid woman from New York whines, or rather wheines, or whaines, or even whoines just beyond, whom it is misery even to think of. I feel convinced there is a purgatory for vulgar people.

Combe Hurst, Surrey: July 15.        
Now I am here I find the case is altered a good deal. Still I like America best; and, but for the greater security which one has in a fixed salary, would give up all thought of staying here at once. At least I might take the place for a time. It is a temptation, if I am to live the rest of my life chez vous, to secure another year’s schooling on this side first; πολλα δε διδασκομενος, in short.

I like America all the better for the comparison with England on my return. Certainly I think you are more right than I was willing to admit about the position of the lower classes here. I hope you will be able to get along without anything like it, and in any case you have a great blessing in the mere chance of that. Such is my first re-impression. However, it will wear off soon enough, I dare say; so you must make the most of my admission. Thackeray, they tell me, is full of the kind-heartedness and generousness of the Americans, and is faithful to his purpose of writing no book.

July 20, 1853.        

The thing is done; and I am to try my hand in this place. I go to the Education Office on Monday next. With the prospect of being able to marry within the year, I could hardly do otherwise. Yet I could not venture with any comfort without the prospect of America beyond.


To the same.
Council Office: August 29, 1853.        
Really, I may say I am only just beginning to recover my spirits after returning from the young, and hopeful, and humane republic, to this cruel, unbelieving, inveterate old monarchy. There are deeper waters of ancient knowledge and experience about one here, and one is saved from the temptation of flying off into space, but I think you have beyond all question the happiest and best country going. Still the political talk of America, such as one hears it here, is not always true to the best intentions of the country, is it?

Everybody is away from town, except a few stray lawyers and newspaper contributors. I took a long walk yesterday, calling at Highgate, on the Homers, with a young Morning Chronicler, son of the Vicar of Conway, a first-class man at Oxford, and Fellow of University. We went on beyond Highgate to a place called Muswell Hill, and thence near Colney Hatch, near the Great Northern Railway, and across the course of the New River to Southwell, where we got some luncheon, and then came back to Hornsey, where we got an omnibus, after walking from 12.30 to 5.

I met the other day, at the Homers’, Murray, the ci-devant American, just come from Egypt, and starting for Berne, where he is to have office: he is really very American. The Pulskys came in in the, evening. I have met Mr. Pulsky three times in the last twelve months perhaps—once in England before I came away; then at Mrs. Howe’s, Boston, with you; and again yesterday, chez Mrs. Horner. We meet with the utmost unconcern under the oddest changes of circumstances; it is really very cosmopolitan.

Well, I go on in the office—operose nihil agendo—very operose, and very nihil too. London is dead empty, or nearly so. The Lords are scampering through the last bills, heaven knows how many per night. The Commons are off grousewards, and scarcely any one remains to ask one to dinner or anything else.

I am very glad to be enrolled among the φ.β.κ.’s. What can I do to express my sense of the honour done me? I assure you I am very glad of any tie with my sometime fellowcitizens, if I may so call them. England, we who know America agree, is more endurable because of one’s knowledge of America as a refuge. However, my employment in England is in one respect, namely, in its entire freedom from all spiritual despotism or surveillance, more agreeable than what I used to have.


To the same.
Council Office: September 21, 1853.        
I sometimes get overpowered by the burden and weight of European metropolitan life, and am driven in spirit to the solution of Transatlantic new life, but as to the letter of such palingenesy I can’t say. I like the quill-driving very well. I did not know how tired I had become of pedagogy or boy-driving till I learnt something of it by the change. Beyond that mere fact, however, I do not know that there is much interest in composing sheets of agenda.

I am very glad to hear something reasonable about American politics. As for naturalisation, it seems to me a little cloud that must cover a good space of the political heavens before long. I think the old countries must abandon their present doctrine of inalienable right. It seems fair, however, to allow some interval of time; and in case of ‘rebels,’ I should say no fully naturalised citizen, far less a man going to be a citizen, can claim with any justice to return to his old country and be protected by his new country. After full five years Kossuth could not without insult go to Vienna. It would be quite enough that he should go to Turkey or the Canton Tessin, which I would claim for him.

The old classical system by which closer ties of relationship between this country and that, than between this and some third, seems no bad one. Between America and England, between the British American Colonies in particular and the United States, one would be glad if there could exist some isopolity: that a man might be a citizen in which he pleased, and change about as he chose. Treaties with different countries might establish different degrees of privilege very naturally. Had I remained with you, I would gladly have become an American citizen; but I should not like to pledge myself to fight against England, except in defence of my new country. It seems to me it would be well if that degree of transfer were open to one.


To R. W. Emerson, Esq.
London: Sunday, October 9, 1853.        
People are beginning to return now to their beloved metropolis. Here is a specimen of the sort of thing I used to try and represent to you. I went out this morning to do civilities, this being the only day of the week free for that object. I went first to Mr. Frank Newman, with whom was a certain Dr. Stamm, abroad on a mission to or from a new Religious Union or League,—he delivering himself of a sort of Anima Mundi Religion; Humanism, I think they call it; F. N. fraternising from a Theistic distance. Thence I got to old Mr. Crabbe Robinson with Liberalism and Abolitionism, &c. Then I went across country and made a call in Belgravia, where presently in came two ladies, one of whom (called by Mrs. B.’s little girl Miss Lord ——, being sister to Lord ——) is a very fair specimen of aristocratic tradition. Then I fell in in my walk with Carlyle; and then two or three other casualties, which I omit. However, these changes of atmosphere do not affect me as they used to do. On the whole, I do not think there is much here you have to envy; and there is a hopefulness and a belieffulness, so to say, on your side, which is a great compensation.

Your woods are in full beauty, I suppose, about this time. There is something visible of autumnal richness even here in the Regent’s Park.

Thackeray is off to Paris. He seems restless and uneasy after his Transatlantic travel. Europe feels small to him.


To Charles E. Norton, Esq.
[On hearing of his father’s death.]
London: October 13, 1853.        
The news your letter brought was no surprise. The change in your father between the day when you first brought me to Shady Hill, and that when he bade me good-bye before going to Newport, was too great not to give some warning. And, quite recently, the accounts which I had had made me expect that your next letter would be to this purpose.

My own feeling is really that, rather than anything else, of your happiness in having so long and so much enjoyed the blessing of your father’s society. This is all the more striking to me, as I was parted from my father at nine years old, and hardly had begun to know him properly again before his death, soon after I had taken my degree at Oxford. I am truly glad that my visit to America was early enough to let me know your father.


To the same.
London: November 29, 1853.        
It grieved me to the heart to think of my hostages being returned; and my books, &c. (much as I want them), being already embarked. But thank you very much for discharging that painful duty. I send you M. Arnold’s Poems. I myself think that the Gipsy Scholar is the best. It is so true to the Oxford country.

December 9, 1853.        
All news from your side is very acceptable; political, personal, and first-personal. I do a little Plutarch continually; only a very little, I fear; but it always brings up some vision of the Common or Shady Hill, or the Appian Way, or the road across from your gate towards Allen and Farnham’s. Things go on slowly and rather dismally here in the December fog.

Tell Child not to be too learned about his Chaucer, for my sake; and, above all, to make the verses scan. I hesitate about recommending any indications of the metre in the typography. But a set of simple directions, emphatically and prominently given at the outset (e.g. for the sounding or silencing of the final e) will, I think, be essential. People won’t read Chaucer against their ears.

There is a curious notion afloat among the German extreme radicals, that Russia is more hopeful than feudal Western Europe; that the life of the Russian commune is pure democracy; and except that every member is bound to the soil, and cannot quit it except by placing himself under the quasiownership of a seigneur, I believe there is some truth in the statement. However, I don’t think we can afford to try.

Carlyle has, like Emerson, just lost his mother; like her, I should think, rather a remarkable woman. He left the Ashburtons’ house in Hampshire just after I got there, to go and see her at Ecclefechan, in Annandale.

Will you tell me, please, what is the amount of rate for schools in Boston and Cambridge? I am right, am I not, in telling people that children of colour attend the schools at Cambridge, but not at Boston?

For a scrap of news—

Over-worked, over-hurried,
Over-Crokered, over-Murrayed.

Such was the monody uttered over himself by the invalided ex-editor of the ‘Quarterly,’ on retiring for an Italian seclusion.


To the same.
London: February 1854.        
Here we are enjoying cool weather, with about as much light per diem as you get in mid-winter, looking therefore very cheerful and sunny. Meantime the Parliament is going to begin its parliamenteering of the new year; and the Queen, who it was said was afraid her loyal subjects might pelt her husband, is, it appears, not afraid, and is going to open session in person. Many people, do you know, really believed Prince Albert was actually sent to the Tower; and some repairs being in operation in one of the turrets, a large number of people collected to look on, in the belief that apartments were to be fitted up for H.R.H.

I read your article on Indian Canals with much pleasure and interest. I think it is very well done, and I hope it is all true. I fancy the Company have rather gained in public estimation by their late ordeal of trial.

Bright, you see, has for the first time come out for the secular system. It is a great accession to that cause, which, however, I think myself cannot prevail for our country in general. For the clergy in the country parishes are almost always the only persons who really exert themselves, the population in general being at present too apathetic to think of managing these matters. But in the municipal towns something perhaps could be done. And certainly all through the land the secular schools should receive government subsidies, from which at present. they are excluded.

Convocation, you will perhaps observe, is allowed to sit, and there really is to be an effort to set the old church a going again; much to its own and other people’s alarm. The census, by which it appears that the church people, so far as attendance on Census Sunday went, are quite a minority, has taken the world by surprise.


To the same.
February 20, 1854.        
Many thanks for the ‘Boston Daily Express.’ I do truly hope that you will get the North ere long thoroughly united against any further encroachments. I don’t by any means feel that the slave system is an intolerable crime, nor do I think that our system here is so much better; but it is clear to me that the only safe ground to go upon is that of your Northern States. I suppose the rich and poor difficulties will be creeping in at New York, but one would fain hope that European analogies will not be accepted even there.

Well, here we are going to war; and really people after their long and dreary commercial period seem quite glad: the feeling of the war being just is of course a great thing. The enlightened or official opinion of the Turkish troops meantime is extremely low.

As for the poems, I really do think seriously of accepting your benevolent offer, but I don’t think I can set to work to unravel my weaved-up follies at the present moment. There are very few, indeed, that I can at all find pleasure in seeing again.

Is it true, as is said, that Longfellow has resigned? If so, he will come over here and run the gauntlet of idolising young ladies, will he not? However, I think he is adroit enough to steer through the Belgravian multitude without much damage.

People talk a good deal about Whewell’s book on the ‘Plurality of Worlds.’ I recommend Fields to pirate it. It is to show that Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, &c., are all pretty certainly uninhabitable, being strange, washy limbos of places, where at the best only mollusks (or in the case of Venus, salamanders) could exist. Hence we conclude that we are the only rational creatures, which is highly satisfactory, and what is more, quite scriptural. Other scientific people, on the other hand, declare it a most presumptuous essay, conclusions audacious, and reasoning fallacious, though the facts are allowed; and in that opinion I, on the ground that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in the inductive philosophy, incline to concur. Meantime, it is thought possible that Whewell may rise to the Episcopate on the wings of the orthodox inductive philosophy.


To the same.
Downing Street: May 9, 1854.        
You will think I am perfide Albion itself. The fact is, I have been overwhelmed with work and imaginary responsibility. Plutarch goes on, though with huge interruptions. And I was very glad to see Felton. And I obeyed your vermilion edict, and sent some verse by him; if you do think it worth while to be at the trouble, I will not be ashamed. I have some few Elegiacs and Hexameters, written at Rome during my visit there in the time of the siege.

Politics here are rather colourless. Scotch education is thrown overboard by a coalition between the landowners, establishmentarians, and voluntaries, who have defeated government by eight votes. The Oxford Bill will pass, with a few scratches in committee rather damaging to it, but not very momentous. Gladstone, I think, has done himself great honour by refusing to borrow for the war, but the bankers and great capitalists have been abusing him furiously. By this time you are all scattering to the seas and the hills, and Boston will be getting hot and empty, and the shadow of the pines an object of exceeding desire, but for the mosquitoes.


To R. W. Emerson, Esq.
Downing Street: June 10, 1854.        
It is now nearly a twelvemonth since I fled in that precipitate, half-voluntary manner from Massachusetts. Another fortnight will complete the year: and another two days from this will, in all probability, see me married.

You, in the meantime, are in all the turmoil of a renewed slavery contest. From this distance it almost looks as if the aggression would be of more use in breaking down the idea of compromise than of harm in its actual results.

I am going on here, working in the office in the ordinary routine, which, however, after years of Greek tuition, is really a very great relief. All education is in England, and I think in America, so mixed up with religious matters, that it is a great difficulty.


To C. E. Norton, Esq.
Lea Hurst, Matlock: June 28, 1854.        
Your letter of congratulation arrived, curiously enough, on the very morning of our marriage, and was a very pleasant incident of the day. Felton’s letter, announcing a variety of kind remembrances, came three or four days after, and was, I assure you, a very pleasant surprise indeed. This place strangely reminds me of Shady Hill last summer; though it is not really very like it, being a house on a broad open bank, a considerable height above the river Derwent, the valley of which it looks down as it flows from Matlock to Derby. Nor have we any of those scorching heats which had begun before I left you, now twelve months ago exactly. I am doing Plutarch, and living in an in-and-out-of-doors sort of way.


To the same.
Combe Hurst: August 19, 1954.        
I have almost chosen a house, and in six weeks expect to be a householder, with goods and chattels, and the post householder sedens atra cura.

Cholera is amongst us, as you see, and laying low lords even; Lord Beaumont (but not by cholera) in the last three weeks, besides Lord Jocelyn.

Did you see the ‘Examiner’ on Mrs. Stowe’s ‘Sunny Memories?’ quite a severe article, and quite unnecessarily so, I should say. The use of quite is a peculiarity which I quite remarked myself, but I think you have quite a right to use it as a substitute, if you please, for our less exact ‘very,’ and in colloquial writing no one ought to object. I don’t see that the old-country English are to have the exclusive right of introducing new expressions.


To F. J. Child, Esq., of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Downing Street: September 2, 1854        
I hope the Chaucer is going on prosperously. I think you should adopt means to make the metre quite obvious, at any sacrifice of typographical prettiness. Yet I don’t like the grave accent, ‘When Zephyrus eke with his sotè breth,’ and should almost prefer the ∪, sotĕ, but that it seems unmeaning to use a mark of quantity. Yet it is not a case of accent, either. I think I should in one way or another mark every syllable that would not now be pronounced, grevĕs and levès and Emperourè’s daughter—the most correct mark would be ë Emperourë’s; sotë. And I should prefix to the whole a very plain and short statement of the usage in these points.

I suppose there is not much doubt about a few general rules, though Chaucer did not regularly observe them, as, for example, the use of the ĕ in adjectives after definite articles, which it seems to me he omits occasionally, with French adjectives, as if it was a matter of ear rather than rule. So also with such Saxon dissyllables as tymĕ, which is not invariably a dissyllable, I think. And yet it would be worth while giving a list of such words as are liable to be dissyllables. However, ere this, I dare say you have settled all these preliminaries. I don’t quite see what you should do about the Miller’s and the Reve’s tales. I think explanation might be a little retrenched there, so as to leave them in the ‘decent obscurity of a learned language.’ They are thoroughly English stories, but I don’t know whether they are New English. They are just what would be relished to this day in public-houses in farming districts, but I can’t say that I could wish them urged upon any palate that does not already fancy them, and I don’t much admire the element in the English character that does relish them. It is a great thing, no doubt, to do dirty work, and the English are pretty good at it; but when it ceases to be work, it is a different thing, and I don’t see much good in it.

I think the Americans have the advantage of being less ‘farceurs’ than the British subject is apt to be. There is a sort of servants’-hall facetiousness which predominates in the cockney world, and finds its way into literature, which I think deserves no sort of imitation or admiration.

I have just been taking a house in the extreme skirts of the Regent’s Park, not far from the Zoological Gardens, with a canal underneath it, and some very un-Venetian gondolas, called here coal-barges, passing to and fro upon it in the foreground, while in the distance rise the suburban Alps of ’Ampstead and ’Ighgate—‘Oh breathe on them softly’—and a little to one side swells the pastural eminence of Primrose Hill.


To C. E. Norton, Esq.
London: September 1854.        
I have never acknowledged yet, except per Professor Child, Ph.D., your letter from Newport. Your description was somewhat amusing, as, in point of fact, I have been in Newport, and have not been in the Isle of Wight. I was at Newport at the age of six or seven, and passed by it, moreover—scarcely, however, realising the scenes of my infancy—in that swift transit commenced under your auspices, from Boston via Fall River to New York and the ‘Asia’ steamer.

London is empty, of course, and only excited by the terror of cholera, which is however, I believe, subsiding. Positively, for two or three days last week, in the district between Leicester Square and Oxford Street, north and south, and Soho Square and Regent Street, east and west, there were scenes not unlike those of the old Plague. It has often been asserted that this was one of the great burying-places of the old 1665 Plague, and this outbreak is by some ascribed to this. How ever, virulent as it was, it was as brief; and fortunately, perhaps, it came just at the beginning of a new Health Report week, so that it did not get into the papers till it was pretty well over.

Tell me a little about politics, as the weather gets cooler. I am at the mercy of the ‘Times,’ and don’t believe that it knows much about anything. Are there really any ‘Know-nothings,’ and is it really a matter of importance? That the Whigs will not, as a body, join as yet in political alliance with the Free-soil party, I suppose, is true.

I send a little volume, ‘Scaliger’s Poetics,’ with Johnson’s autograph (pretty certain, I believe), for your own antiquarian appropriation, if you will have it.


To the same.
Downing Street: October 24, 1854.        
I went over to Calais last Saturday night, to see Florence Nightingale so far on her way to Scutari. She has ten Sisters of Mercy proper, eight of Miss Sellon’s, six of a sort of Via Media institution, and ten other nurses under her charge.

According to Lord Burghersh, the aide-de-camp, who is just come home with despatches, Lord Raglan is everything out there; neither St. Arnaud nor Canrobert at all compare with him. His advice carried it for landing where they did, both the Frenchmen being for other places, which experience afterwards showed would have been impossible. His character has risen greatly in reputation. In the middle of the fighting, when he rode up into very dangerous places, looking after things, his aides-de-camp remonstrated, and were answered by ‘Be quiet, I’m busy.’ Fortunately he is so wise as to wear nothing but a plain foraging cap, and so is scarcely observed.

You, meantime, must be thinking more of the Arctic than of the Crimea. When I came over from New York last summer, I remember the probability of some such calamity happening being discussed on board the ‘Asia,’ when we met the ‘Andes’ right upon our track, fortunately on a clear day.


To the same.
Downing Street: November 1854.        
About this time two years we were very likely walking about the streets of Boston together; at present, I may call myself just re-established in London. We took possession of our abode in the Regent’s Park two nights ago.

There is an immense interest, or rather anxiety, about our little army in the Crimea. I passed some recruits the other day, and a man looking on said, ‘They’ll all be killed; every man Jack of them; I’m sorry for it.’ Generally the feeling is of apprehension, or even worse, on the arrival of untoward news.


To ————.
Downing Street: January 18, 1855.        
Of wars and rumours of wars we have of course enough. The ‘Times’ is blamed and believed; the Ministry is blamed and continued. I saw a Queen’s messenger who had just come from Constantinople with one set of despatches and was just returning with another. The journey as performed by Queen’s messenger is, it appears, at the quickest, from Constantinople to Marseilles, six and a half days; from Marseilles to London, forty-seven hours.

This new Indian Civil Service scheme may, I dare say, interest you. I rather regret that so little is made of Eastern languages. I think Persian might be allowed as a study almost co-ordinate with Latin and Greek, and quite with French, German, and Italian, as at present valued in the scheme.


To Professor F. J. Child.
London: January 31, 1855.        
Here we are with, I am just told, the Tories in once again. When they last came in, they drove me from England into New England. I don’t know how it will be now.

Our literature, at present, is the war column in the newspaper. The best military reports are those of the ‘Morning Herald,’ I am told; but Macdonald, the hospital correspondent at Constantinople, has been more successful practically than ever newspaper correspondent yet had the glory of being.

February 2.        
This steamer, it appears, will not quite certainly tell you ‘under which’ Prime Minister we are to ‘do our duty,’ but Palmerston must manage somehow we suppose. Yesterday we believed that Lord Derby would be our king, and Disraeli our foreign minister, Palmerston holding the war department; but that seems over altogether.


To the same.
London: May 3, 1855.        
Last week we had Emperor and Empress passing by here under our windows, with Queen and Prince, in the midst of applauding multitudes, and certainly there is no denying Louis Napoleon’s courage.

Unless Sebastopol gets taken before long, it will, I think, upset the present ministry, and perhaps the present aristocracy along with them; and Laing, Layard, and Lowe, if they can provide themselves with a sufficient Co., may come in as the new parliamentary firm. The war, which the great people, lords and statesmen, thought would be unpopular in a few months, is more likely, I think, to become a popular question versus lords and statesmen. There is no murmuring at the new taxes, but a good deal at the old politicians.

Here is an authentic anecdote from Vienna. The French and English Plenipotentiaries urged how natural the arrangement would be that the Euxine should, like the American lakes, be common to both nations; to which Prince Gortschakoff answered, that he should not object to that, were there only a Niagara at the Dardanelles.


To C. E. Norton, Esq.
London: September 14,. 1855.        
So we have at last taken the besieged city. We here took it very unconcernedly, when the great news gradually oozed out and then spread abroad, on Monday evening last. It is, however, an immense relief, privately as well as publicly, and I do not doubt is felt as such. I confess to my own feeling that Russia should be let off easily. What other power can bring North Asia into discipline? I could be thankful to see her hold some port or have some means of exit to the Atlantic, now that she has learnt that the maritime powers are strong enough to check her encroachments when they please.


To Professor F. J. Child.
London: October 29, 1855.        
I have been astonished and delighted at once to see Shady Hill reposing itself in St. James’s Street. I had hardly faith, I confess, to expect the removal of that mountain to this side of our common sea.

I congratulate you on having achieved ‘Spenser.’ I hope I shall see the work. Let me confess to having never yet read one quarter of the ‘Faery Queen: But you are a much more literary nation than we. Few people, I fear, will return in England to the study of Plutarch’s Lives, and in working to the end of that attempt I can only look forward to the readers of America. I hope it will be pretty tolerably readable and correct when it does at last present itself. Certainly, if I had tried to translate it myself, it would have had a more Greek tone; but I don’t think we any of us write so idiomatically now as my friends of Charles II’s time.

You see that we, that is our newspapers, after considerable bluster, mean decidedly to back out of any quarrelling with you. The ‘Times,’ I think, decidedly feels that it took a wrong step, and is walking out of its front position with all possible celerity.

I hear you have undertaken the kind labour of putting my ‘Reliquiæ’ through the press. If you like to add epigraphs on fly-leaves, you might put before ‘The Bothie:

Pauperis et tuguri congestum cespite culmen;


Ite, meæ, felix quondam pecus, ite camenæ;

and before the Roman verses—

                                Navibus atque
Quadrigis petimus bene vivere.


To C. E. Norton, Esq.
London: July 11, 1856.        
There is a severe review of Macaulay in to-day’s ‘Times.’ I myself like this better than the first pair of volumes, chiefly, perhaps, because it has a more European subject to deal with. I have only detected one error myself, but it is a very Macaulayesque one. He speaks of ‘the oaks of Magdalen:’ they are elms. There was no occasion to say anything but trees, but the temptation to say something particular was too strong. It makes one distrust all his descriptions, and that of Glencoe certainly is thoroughly exaggerated without being at all characteristic.


To Professor F. J. Child.
London: January 16, 1856.        
I hope I shall get your Spenser ballads. I am not enthusiastic, but the Chaucer I really think you may bring to better shape than anyone has hitherto done. I like ‘Hiawatha;’ and I think it is liked here generally, and none the worse for being Indian. Are you really, any of you, going to fight with your ancestors, about Costa Rica, and the Clayton-Bulwer treaty? I hope not; not even the ambitious Franklin Pierce himself. But Palmerston is a sad haggler, and may, I dare say, go on insisting about his Mosquito Protectorate, till he gets a warning.

I am examining among others for appointments in the Engineers and Artillery, which are open to general competition, and the candidates examined inter alia in English composition, literature, and history. Hence, I can more than pay my income tax, and, like the farmers, rejoice in the war. But at present we all more than half expect peace. Louis Napoleon is said to be pacific. For many good reasons I also am pacific; for if the war went on even two years longer, we should kill Turkey with our kindness, and have to encounter all the difficulties and disgrace of a partition of her. The sick man is really very sick after all, and doesn’t get at all better, but rather worse.


To the same.
London: November 13, 1856.        
I must send a few lines to thank you for the Spenser, which I am very much pleased to have. I am only sorry that the notes are so very unobtrusive.

How is Cambridge? which Lowell reports so changed that he should not have known it. I still retain a dollar note, with the portraiture of the college buildings, flanked by the faces of Judge Story and some other eminence; but all this, I suppose, eminences included, will have become obsolete by this time.

Here there is nothing very new, nor anything particularly true, to tell. Until the next French revolution all things will continue. Meantime, omnes omnia mala dicere, we anticipate no good. Charles Norton dines with us this evening, valedictorily.

I have been reading pretty nearly through Crabbe lately. Have you republished Crabbe? If not, you ought to do so. There is no one more purely English (in the Dutch manner), no one who better represents the general result through the country of the last century. His descriptions remind even me of things I used to see and hear of in my boyhood. And sometimes, though rarely, he has really the highest merit, e.g. Ruth, in the “Tales of the Hall.’


To Charles Norton, Esq.
London: January 22, 1857.        
We are here going on much as usual, occupied with nothing else but commerce and the money market. I do not think anyone is thinking audibly of anything else. Some disaster, perhaps, in the realm of Dost Mahomed may startle us out of our mercantile composure, but at present the only danger we care to think about is that of being garotted, and the main business of the new Parliament will be to see about transportation of possible garotters.

I have read with more pleasure than anything I have seen lately Kane’s ‘Arctic Explorations,’ which is certainly a wonderful story, and the book, moreover, very well got up at Philadelphia. I think I did see Kane at Boston in the spring before he started; I have a distinct image of his figure. The whole narrative is, I think, very characteristic of the difference between the English and the American-English habits of command and obedience.

The first volume of Plutarch is to appear next month. I think the later volumes are much better, or at least less open to criticism. The life of Pericles was wretchedly done in the Dryden, and ought to have been re-written. Plutarch’s best life is Antony, I think.


To the same.
London: August 1857.        
I hope you really did arrive in Boston safe and sound. Our parliament is at last going, away. Indian news appears to create no sort of alarm, scarcely so much as anxiety; for one reason, people must take their holiday even from their anxieties. The atrocities are of course felt pretty strongly.

This town is hot, dusty, and of ill odour, and very different from Westmoreland, where we were together last.

September 3.        
News from India, I think, is getting to be felt more seriously.

October 31.        
Well, Delhi is taken, which is a happy thing, though one dreads to hear of the details. Captures of cities are horrible at the best, and this cannot have been at the best, with wild Sikhs, and no quarter, and a wealthy and luxurious, metropolis.

If you have read the letters in the ‘Times,’ you will have noticed Indophilus, i.e. Sir Charles Trevelyan (who ought, in proper Greek, to call himself Philindus; Indophilus would be more properly ‘beloved of the Hindoos’). Leadenhall Street is full of the humane feeling, and would back up Lord Canning’s proclamation, and Mr. Grant’s Allahabad releases, with all its influence. It may be right, but it is not discreet; it is not possible yet to enforce clemency. They should have waited till Delhi had fallen, and Lucknow been relieved. So, at least, we think here. The Company, however, is sadly at a discount, and will have hard work to maintain any of its power. The War Department, I believe, is very hard upon it. Sir Robert Vivian, who commanded the Turkish Contingent, and who is one of the directors appointed by the Crown, spoke the other day of the outbreak at Meerut and Delhi as a thing that ought to have been put down at once. He believes there was no sort of general conspiracy on foot, and urges the irregular and utterly indiscreet way in which the regiments have mutinied, here and there, and at the worst chosen times and places. Neill commanded a brigade under him in the Crimea. He quite disapproved of Neill’s outrages on the caste feeling at Cawnpore. I confess I don’t. I think we may break down caste one way or other, and ally ourselves with the Sikhs and the Buddhists of Nepaul, &c., whose religions are reasonable and comparatively unceremonial.

I don’t believe Christianity can spread far in Asia unless it will allow men more than one wife, which isn’t likely yet, out of Utah. But I believe the old Brahmin touch-not-and-taste-not, and I-am-holier-than-thou-because-I-don’t-touch-and-taste, may be got rid of. As for Mahometanism, it is a crystallised theism, out of which no vegetation can come. I doubt its being good even for the central negro.


To J. R. Lowell, Esq., Cambridge.
Downing Street: January 5, 1858.        
You have just got half the ‘Amours de Voyage’ (for the ‘Atlantic Monthly’); there will be two more reports, and then all will end in smoke. The poem has been suppressed to the orthodox maturity of the ninth year, but, like poor wine, it is, I fear, only the worse for not having been drunk and forgotten long ago.

The ‘Atlantic Monthly,’ I hope, makes its way. I am glad to see it so national, so little characterised by any mercantile importations from our side. I have a great distaste to the prevalent professional literature of the metropolis, a fungoid vegetation springing up on the rotting remains of the giants of the old literary forest, whose honours are no more.


To C. E. Norton, Esq.
London: March 26, 1858.        
Many thanks for your kind inquiries after my wife and family: they are very well, especially the ‘family.’1

Things have been tolerably eventful over here of late, have they not? I confess myself a sort of admirer of Orsini, though I do not consider assassination good policy, and therefore consider it wrong.

A Tory government, meantime, is a strange dispensation to live under; happily it is only on sufferance. Lord Palmerston, we consider, fell chiefly through his appointment of Lord Clanricarde.

The days of the Company you will, of course, have felt to be numbered, on seeing Lord Ellenborough gazetted as President of the Board of Control.


To Professor F. J. Child.
April 10, 1858.        
I am very glad there is a prospect of your coming over here; but doubtless you will transform yourself into a worm, and be during your whole visit lost to sight in the MSS. of the British Museum. Nevertheless, even so, pray do not fail to come over. Charles Norton, I hope, is well through the winter. By this time the snows are beginning, I suppose, to disappear in your parts: in a month or so the Common will begin to exchange its brown for its green suit; there will be buds in the Washington elm; frogs will again be vocal, and double-robins visible.

Do you see that the Frenchman who translated the Canterbury Tales has found at Paris the original of the ‘Squire’s Tale,’ 30,000 lines? I wonder if it is like Spenser’s, in any respect.

The great literary success of the last twelve months has been Buckle’s ‘History of Civilisation.’ Really, it is wonderful what numbers of people have read this thick volume, and what a reputation its author has gained by it. High and low—and high quite as much as low—write in its praise. Are you Buckle-bewitched in Boston, or do you retain a sane mind?

I do not suppose that anybody finds much natural pleasure in my five-act epistolary tragicomedy, or comi-tragedy. I like Part III. rather better than its predecessors myself; but other people, I dare say, will not. I think it will have some merit in its conclusion; but to that also, I dare say, there will be no affirmation but my own. However, so it was, and no otherwise could be. So much for keeping poems nine years, instead of burning them at once.

Tennyson’s two unpublished Arthur poems gave me pleasure, and I am sorry they do not appear. Otherwise England seems as unpoetical as between Chaucer and Spenser.


To C. E. Norton, Esq.
London: April 17, 1858.        
Perhaps the beginning of May will find you once more at Shady Hill, for the brief North American interval between the two penal fierce extremes of heat and cold.

Between the two Indian Bills, the Directors, it is thought, will escape for the present, and survive a little longer. I myself was not so absolutely unfavourable to the Ellenborough Bill as the English world in general. I desire much to see a franchise given to those who have served. That offered to the five towns is perhaps impracticable. My notion is to make a great Council of all who have served in certain offices, and give them the appointment of half the Executive Council. But our people hate all refinements of this sort.

Politics are almost at a dead lock with us. Palmerston cannot come back with his own party alone to back him. Lord John Russell has joined Milner Gibson, and has formed a sufficient body of opponents in the Liberal part of the House to make it impossible for Palmerston to get sufficient support there. So that for the present the Derby people stay, and are almost ashamed and indignant to stay, by the help of Lord John and his Manchester allies.

To the same.
London: May 17, 1858.        
Things here are in sad confusion. Lord Ellenborough, who is really competent, has thrown himself overboard, and cannot be by his best friends acquitted of a great indiscretion. In India the enemy all abroad again, and a hot weather campaign before us. Not, however, it seems, by Sir Colin’s fault; for he was bid to clear all the other districts first, and not till then to attack Lucknow, but was overruled by Lord Canning. John Mill, it is said, does not consider Lord Canning’s proclamation wrong; but is very sorry, on general grounds, to lose Lord Ellenborough.

Pray read Hogg’s ‘Life of Shelley.’ It is a great pleasure to see Shelley really alive, and treading the vulgar earth—Hogg’s transparent absurdity being the only intervening impediment.

I am reading, too, Gladstone’s ‘Homer:’ it is very direct and plain-sailing, and in that respect is an agreeable contrast to German annotation. The working out of his theory about Danaans, Achæans, Argives, and Hellenes was to me satisfactory; but at the end he goes off all at once out of his depth into general ethnology. Gladstone’s uncompromising belief in Homer and the heroes, as real people, gives the book a solidity and substance which is acceptable. Carlyle said he read carefully Homer and the controversy some years ago, and was quite convinced that ‘Iliad’ and ‘Odyssey’ were written at different ages—the ‘Odyssey’ by one man, the ‘Iliad’ not; and he likes the ‘Odyssey’ best. He thinks anyone mad who holds the ‘Iliad’ and ‘Odyssey’ to be written by one man.

While I wrote, came a rumour, hot from a private secretary, that news had come from India that the proclamation had been stopped at the last moment, at the entreaty of Sir C. Campbell, Sir John Lawrence, Outram, and Mansfield, who went on their knees to Lord Canning, and besought him, in the name of England’s honour, no less than for the sake of present security. So that, if this be true, Lord Ellenborough is right after all.


To the same.
Cowley House, Oxford: May 21, 1858.        
Hither we came on the 19th on a visit. Yesterday we went about walking, and seeing things and people—new things and old people; heard a lecture from Max Müller on the origin of the French language; thence to the new Museum in the Venetian style, by Woodward. I think Venetian windows, whose beauty is their deep setting, might do for you who have some sun to keep out; for us, not. We want light, and must place the glass too near the outer plane of the walls to allow the proper effect to the tracery.

The M.P.s meet to-night for their great decision. Already, perhaps, the new evidence of the government despatches is in their hands. A proclamation, it is clear, has been issued, and an altered proclamation. A private letter tells us that the Ministry may possibly have a majority of five or six—a different story from that which prevailed when I began this letter.

Wednesday, the day of our coming here, intervened, with the absorbing interests of the Derby. To be winner of the Derby while in office as Prime Minister, was, it is said, Lord Derby’s ambition, but would be, it was thought, too high a felicity for any simply human Earl. Toxophilite’s defeat may, it is presumed, be the inevitable sacrifice that may avert the parliamentary catastrophe.


To the same.
Downing Street: June 23, 1858.        
I have had, mirabile dictu, a letter from Emerson, who reprimanded me strongly for the termination of the ‘Amours de Voyage,’ in which he may be right, and I may be wrong; and all my defence can only be, that I always meant it to be so, and began it with the full intention of its ending so; but very likely I was wrong all the same.

I cannot help wishing to preserve some Corporate Body or Privy Council for India, to elect half the Ministers’ Council, though I have no liking for the constituency of 7,000 or 8,000 to whom Lord Stanley did propose to give this power.

Last night I heard Tennyson read a third Arthur poem: the detection of Guenevere and the last interview with Arthur. These poems all appear to me to be maturer and better than any he has written hitherto.

As for wars and rumours of wars, I trust we need not alarm ourselves at present. I hope the French are at heart pacific; they cannot well afford the money for a war, and though I believe they might inflict, if the chances favoured them, immense damage upon us, in the end they would find themselves the weaker vessels. Their population, it is said by the statistical authorities, is decreasing, and they ought to nurse their vitality carefully. It has not yet recovered the losses of the wars of 1812-15.


To the same.
Downing Street: July 30, 1858.        
We are cooler and less odorous than we were, and I begin to hope that we may get to the end of August without any terrible outbreak of cholera. Time has often been compared to a river: if the Thames at London represent the stream of traditional wisdom, the comparison will indeed be of an ill savour. The accumulated wisdom of the past will be proved upon analogy to be, as it were, the collected sewage of the centuries, and the great problem, how to get rid of it.

In a commercial point of view, the publication of the ‘Amours’ has been a great event to me. This is the first money I ever received for verse-making, and it is really a very handsome sum.

October 1.        
I have just read the ‘Courtship of Miles Standish’ with much pleasure. I think in one or two points the story should have been differently managed; but it is a very pleasant poem:

A perversion, as the Anglican people call it, seems to me a very sad thing; it is, according to all experience, so irrevocable a change. I have known one or two instances of a return out of the Babylonish Captivity, but they seem rarely to happen.

The only remarkable phenomenon of the time is a continuous one; viz. the comet, which is a really wonderful, portentous-looking, historical sort of comet, with a tail sweeping a considerable space in the northern skies. It sets at 9 P.M., but leaves its streamer behind it for some time.

Another continuous study with me is Barth’s ‘Africa,’ which is really worth reading, laborious though it be, and needlessly filled up with daily records. Barth is, I believe, gone back to Hamburg, his native place; a little disappointed, perhaps, with finding so little come of his long toil. Livingstone published just after him, and took the wind out of his sails. Yet there is more permanently valuable and curious information in Barth, though Livingstone will do more himself in a practical way, we will hope.

There is as yet but a very slight ripple on the face of our political waters. The interest taken in these matters by the nation seems to grow less and less. People will not mind if the other party come in, but they don’t want Lord Palmerston again; and if these men don’t play the fool in some way, they may stay in. Your matters are more serious.

India, I suppose, will keep us at the military boiling point for some time to come (more’s the pity, perhaps, if only France were safely pacific!) and improvements in organisation will slowly creep in: they are certainly much wanted. In the medical department a good deal has been effected this year.

I am greatly ashamed of our English proceedings in this France-bullying-Portugal case. So far as I can see, it has been sheer timidity; terror of being taken undefended while India is still unsettled, and ought to disgrace us in the eyes of all European nations. But there may be diplomatic explanations proving France in the technical right.

Bright and his speech at Birmingham deserve notice. But I doubt whether he can rouse the towns; and people in general, i.e. the people who are more or less represented, care little about it. I believe that a Reform would give us a better and more rational House of Commons; but many things press. Reform takes up so much time, and gives so much trouble; how is the Government to be carried on meantime, the government of India included?


To the same.
London: January 26, 1859.        
Child brought me your present of Emerson’s picture, which is really, I think, without any question, the best portrait of any living and known-to-me man that I have ever seen. It is a great pleasure to possess it.

Bright’s agitation will bear fruits. The Ministerial Bill would have been very different without this. Bright is scoffed at in the metropolitan papers, and at all clubs. But his hold on the country is such as no M.P. whatever, except himself, possesses; and in the main, the course he has taken is right, I think. Lord Stanley seems to be a present guarantee for the tolerable government of India; but he, of course, may go any day. I wish the Council were on a surer basis: the self-electing plan can hardly be permanent.

February 9.        
They say it is to be peace. France is utterly indisposed to fight; so much so as to praise ‘la sagesse Anglaise’ for discrediting the sentimental Imperial oratory, and holding fast to treaties as they are, and peace, with or without goodwill, upon earth. Moreover, the sinews of war are wanting. Rothschild will not lend money to Austria, and only acts as commission agent for the loan.

People are a little agog about the Bible-in-India question. Old Indians seem to be pretty tolerably unanimous against having it read in the schools.


To the same.
London: April 1, 1859.        
I am getting on with ‘The Bothie,’ acting on a criticism which appeared to me correct, that the letters and sermonising parts were too long and least to the point. I believe I may have cut out something which for old acquaintance you may regret, but the general effect to a new reader will, I think, be improved; and a reduction in the amount of disquisition was certainly required.

Excuse this letter all about my own concerns. I am pretty busy, and have time for little else; such is our fate after forty. My figure forty stands nearly three months behind me on the roadway, unwept, unhonoured, and unsung; an octavum lustrum bound up and laid on the shelf. ‘So-and-so is dead,’ said a friend to Lord Melbourne, of some author. ‘Dear me, how glad I am! Now I can bind him up.’

Here is a jest of Lord Derby’s to a friend who told him he was in a great mess. ‘Yes,’ replied he, ‘but Benjamin’s mess is five times greater than than those of his brethren.’

We have been having deaths lately for our news, as for example that of William Arnold, who, after lying ill for some time at Cairo, started and sailed from Alexandria just as one of his brothers was coming in to see him; just set his foot on Europe, and died, at St. Roque, a few miles from Gibraltar; a great loss, I think, public and private.


To the same.
May 27, 1859.        
As for the war, alas! to whom can we desire success? Garibaldi is the only person I sympathise with. I hope he will do something. But how can it end otherwise than ill?

Here is the dictum of the Due de Malakhoff: ‘Nous les battrons, nous leur offrirons des conditions bien douces. Its les refuseront. Puis, nous les battrons encore, et nous leur offrirons des conditions bien dures. Its les accepteront.’ Meantime, the French feeling has become, it appears, universally warlike; and the wise people think that the dynasty, which must have fallen otherwise, will, unless the Austrians drive all before them, be secured.

I have never thanked you for your article on Sleeman’s ‘Oude,’ which came safely to hand, and which I fear is only too favourable to British rule. Let us, however, hope for the best, though the climate is so sadly against any fair development of English qualities, and the war has left behind it a fierce and insulting spirit.

Disraeli, in answer to some friendly regrets at his fall, said it could only be a check for a time. But I think Palmerston may regain the general confidence of the country, as he has in a great measure of the Liberal members, or at any rate the Liberal statesmen, and may perhaps maintain himself, even if Lord John secede. The new Ministry will be strongly Italian in composition; Lord John and Gladstone in addition to Palmerston. It is almost to be feared that they will outrun the national feeling, and go too much in the track of Louis Napoleon. We who live nearer to Louis Napoleon, with only the Channel, and not the whole Atlantic to divide and protect us from him, do not feel quite the same liberty to indulge the natural feelings of enthusiasm in witnessing his aggrandisement in Europe, though it be merely as a liberator that he effects it at present. One thing I devoutly hope; that, with French influence predominating in Italy, the Pope will go to the dogs, with all his canaille accompanying. Evidently the conclave fear this, and there is no doubt at all that instructions came from Rome to the Roman Catholic leaders that they should support Lord Derby, who would support Austria. It has not been uniformly obeyed, but that the order was issued is, I believe, certain.


To the same.
London: July 22, 1859.        
I shall be very glad indeed of your notice of Plutarch in the ‘North American.’ I hope the Lives will be readable to the young public of your most reading country. Meantime Plutarch has arrived here, and certainly looks very well; but they have not put in all the errata I sent. I hope the young America will read it. Young England, I fear, is too critical, and thinks Plutarch an old fool.

Here we are reading the last bulletin of that wonderful melodramatic genius Napoleon III., of which what can be said? ‘L’Empire, c’est la paix?’ Certainly one did not desire the enfranchisement of Italy to be effected by his means; and one may hope, also, that the general result will be to damage him and his dynasty.

Mill’s ‘Dissertations’ and Tennyson’s ‘Idylls of the King’ are also before an admiring public. I certainly think these Idylls are the best thing that Tennyson has done.

We are having a burning July, and the length of our day makes it in some respects worse than it would be in a more southern latitude. But, after all, 90° in the shade was not, I think, what we endured when I lived with you at Shady Hill, six years ago. You should come here again soon, and we will try and sweeten the Thames for you ‘during the current year.’

I think Louis Napoleon less formidable since the Italian war, unless the army prove to have tasted blood and to be greedy for more, in which case of course he must let them have it. But I don’t much believe in the love of the French soldier for war; he wants to go to his pays again.

Dana has sent his book on Cuba, which is very pleasant reading. And is he really gone off again to circumnavigate the orbis veteribus notus? I have always felt an instinctive desire to go round, and have coveted the sensation of having ascertained the fact by one’s own bodily locomotion.


To the same.
September 9.        
I begin a sheet just to say that we are leaving the house in which you saw us, near the Regent’s Park, and have taken one on Campden Hill, Kensington, far to the west. It is just under Macaulay’s.

October 13.        
Plutarch is too dear for the English; however, a favourable article, and really I think a good article, in the ‘Athenæum,’ has put a little wind in its sails. Plutarch is not sought for here as a library book; indeed, he is quite put out of fashion by Thirlwall, Grote and Co., and some effort is needed to recall attention to him.

The French Emperor’s ‘allocution’ to the Cardinal at Bordeaux is a slight improvement on his doings lately; perhaps a feeler to the country, for if he were not afraid of the popular adherence to the Pope and clergy in France, I suppose he would certainly take the holy father by the temporal beard in Bologna.

Council Office: December 5.        
We are here in a state of rifle fever, which I do not think will be allayed by the imperial smooth words. Palmerston is not to go to the Congress, and France, I fear, will do as she pleases.

I was glad to have your account of Brown. His behaviour before his death struck me quite in the way in which you regard it: nothing could be plainer, and more composed and upright.


To the same.
Hastings: December 29, 1859.        
I have been sent here for ventilation, after an attack of scarlatina, which made me an inconvenient neighbour to a little boy2 just born to us, who arrived on the 16th of this month. This is dull enough, the old town with the old churches in the hollow between the East Hill and the West Hill, the latter crowned by remnants of the castle, the new town stretching along the shore for nearly a couple of miles, one row deep, with a handsome sea terrace all along.

Here my chief discovery has been a cottage improvement society, so successful as to pay yearly dividends of 6 per cent. The working man is my doctor—Dr. Greenhill—who is secretary. Most of these societies have been quite failures as regards finance. The principles here are (1) Repairing, not building; (2) Rigorous collection of rents. There is a benevolent society attached to the cottage society, but it acts quite separately. Rent is rent, and charity, charity.


To the same.
January 26, 1860.        
Your artist friend, Stillman, has presented his credentials; he called at Campden Hill, and of course I was out; but we hope to see him on Sunday, to dinner, in the ‘native American’ manner, at 2 P.M.

March 3.        
Stillman has commenced operations on my face, and returns to the charge on Monday. He is making many friends. We dined with him at Robert Mackintosh’s a week ago, which much reminded me of Longfellow’s dinner-table. I have read your critique on Plutarch in the ‘Atlantic Monthly’ carefully since I wrote, and find it very satisfactory. The early lives are certainly faulty. I did not feel as if it was done rightly till I was doing Otho and Galba. The life which is most mine is that of Demetrius, which is really almost mine. Dion, however, is just about an average specimen.

When is Rowse coming over? Will you give him a letter to me? I continue to think his picture of Emerson the best portrait I know of anyone I know.

How unsatisfactory the world in general is just now! The French having made a ‘belle guerre’ for an idea, are now bent on realising their ideas. The Pope, after all, won’t be sent a-begging. Austria will yet bully Hungary with the help of her big brother further east, and the big brother, with the help of the smaller one, will have his own bad way in Turkey, probably.


To the same.
21 Campden Hill Road: July 13, 1860.        
I had your letter, heaping coals of fire on my head, last Monday. I enclose a fragment of the past, in token of my having contributed somewhat to the pavement below in respect of you.

To break one’s toe is no fair reason against using one’s fingers, but it prevents one’s walking, and impairs one’s energies in general. Rowse has done me very nearly. You will, I hope, have a photograph, and I hope he won’t spoil it before he finishes. He has done Owen, and seems well pleased with his work, but is sadly afflicted with Heimweh.


To the same.
July 20, 1860.        
To-day I was at a breakfast party of statisticians, attending the International Statistical Congress, and met Dr. Jervis from your parts. Quetelet, the divine statistician, I have also seen. He is getting rather feeble with age, and complains of forgetting names. A certain Swede, un nommé Berg, is said to be the aureus alter who will succeed to the primacy.

Shall you see that Oxford traveller, the Prince of Wales? He is my grand-pupil. His Oxford tutor was my pupil. We are lingering on here sadly, waiting for the end of Parliament, and having no summer. People talk of a grand fusion of the Conservative and Liberal-Conservative parties, modern Tories and modern Whigs making one solid national defence against Bright and the Radicals. Things tend a good deal that way, but unless Bright and the Radicals become formidable indeed, personal jealousies will keep the aristocratic parties in a state of separation. They have, however, acted together this session, and have succeeded in staving off Parliamentary Reform, and in some other things. The future is quite obscure. I don’t think, however, that any Ministry will venture on an unliberal foreign policy, though there may be some quiet rapprochement to the Germans, Austrians even included. The nation generally holds, I think, to alliance with the French in general, and to support of Italy with or without the French.

Rowse went off yesterday for Southampton. His picture of Owen is very good; that of me is less successful. He was interrupted in the midst of it, was delayed by sore eyes, and then had to go to Owen; but still it is a very good likeness.


To the same.
Granton House, Edinburgh: October 11, 1860.        
Your letter of the 24th came to me two days ago at Glasgow, and was a very pleasant surprise. We were passing through, and I had not thought of receiving anything. We have been spending a more than usual length of time in holidays. We had a visit to Fryston in Yorkshire, and after passing through the Highlands to Oban, made a three weeks’ stay in Morven (the Morven of Ossian or Macpherson), a very out-of-the-way district, whence we had some difficulty in effecting a return; the equinoctical gales having delayed the steamer and broken up the roads.

We are staying here with Sir John MacNeill, the Crimean Commissioner and sometime Envoy in Persia; he has the charge of the administration of the Poor Laws in Scotland. The Highland population is passing through the stage of decrease. Emigration has been going on pretty actively since the famine of 1846 and 1847, and Iona, for example, which had 500, has now 250 inhabitants. The emigrants send back money to bring out their friends, and this will continue: Sir John MacNeill, however, who has had a great deal to do with it, expects that the population will recover when the new methods of cultivating (or using) the soil are established. Such has been the case in many formerly Highland and now really Lowland places.

I am glad to hear of Rowse’s restoration to life and happiness in his native land.


To the same.
Council Office: October 25, 1860.        
I have just sent off the corrected ‘Bothie,’ and two copies of all the little poems. We have been here in town for about ten days, but I think very likely we shall go to Malvern for a week to complete our holiday, and for a little gentle water-cure for me, who am a little out of order, and not quite in vigour for the ten months’ campaign shortly to commence.

Louis Napoleon is said to be very cross, having offered his company at Warsaw, and had it declined; however, if he is cross that way, all the better. But why does he keep his paw on the patrimony of St. Peter, and exclude the lawful heir, Victor Emmanuel? The popular feeling in France is said to be very strong for Garibaldi, but there is some considerable jealousy in the army, where Lamoricière’s disgrace touches professional vanity, and where Garibaldi is, I suppose, not acceptable in himself.

Was not the Duke of Newcastle quite wrong to take our young Prince to Richmond, where it is well known there is a blackguard population? They say here it is his fault. However, it is no great harm, specially as it happened in a proud slave state. Just now you will be thinking about Presidents, not Princes; eight years ago, I think, you were busy electing Pierce, and I was just starting per Canada to visit you.


To the same.
Freshwater, Isle of Wight: March 10, 1861.        
I hope your being at home may be understood to prove that you are a good deal stronger. I am a good deal better myself, and have no very good excuse for not writing beyond the advice which is given me to indulge in laziness. Had I had six months’ leave proclaimed to me from beforehand, I should have naturally thought of going over to see you in America; but what with water-cure and other things, I don’t think I shall even go abroad to the Continent for more than a month.

I am glad to hear you speak so hopefully of your future; much, however, will I suppose in any case depend on the good sense and character of your new President and his advisers. I for my part should suppose that an attempt to retake the federal forts would be unwise. You are strong enough not to need it.

Emerson’s new essays were to me quite as good as, if not better than, any former volume. The reviews are no great index of public interest unless you collect a good number. There are now so many local reviews, and people with us depend so very little on Athenæums and Literary Gazettes, or even Saturday Reviews. An article in the ‘Times’ is the really important thing for a book to get with a view to sale, but even that proves little as to people’s interest. There is a vast deal of anti-mysticism, and of a dense, supercilious, narrow-minded common sense, which of course speaks pretty loudly.


To his Wife.
Athens: April 24, 1861.        
This morning about six I got up, and found we had just passed Cerigo, and had turned up north-eastward along the Peloponnesian coast. By half-past nine we had passed Hydra and seen Calaurea, and were in sight of Ægina right before us, and of Sunium on the right in the distance. Coming up from breakfast (half past nine) we presently came in sight of a low set of petty hills rising from a little plain, and on one of the lowest saw the Parthenon. Passing Ægina and advancing towards Salamis we have this right before us, Hymettus on the right, Pentelicus more distant, Parses beyond the plain, the

bay stretching towards Corinth on the left, Salamis hiding all the coast left of Athens, and all very bright and sunny. We landed in Piræus about twelve, and came on shore in a boat and up here in a vettura. I’m two pairs up, looking towards the Acropolis.

April 28.        
On Friday we went to Eleusis, through the pass of Daphne; there is scarcely anything left; the little village just about occupies the site of the great temple. There is a little quay like a sickle running out into the water, and in one spot some lesser ruins have been opened out. The bay, which is completely shut in by Salamis, is beautiful, and so is the plain, now green with young corn, and the mountains of Parnes behind it. Dark poppies and small camomile flowers abound everywhere instead of grass, and a good many flowers quite strange to me.

April 29.        
Last night I dined at the Wyses’, and met General Church, Mr. Finlay, Mr. Elliot, Secretary of Legation, Captain Lambert, R.N. (of the Scylla, which lies in the Piræus), who was at Marsala when Garibaldi landed, and seems a fine hearty gallant sort of officer. An Austrian Secretary of Legation and an Attaché made up the party. Captain Lambert spoke of the harbour. Phalerum they say is the right harbour, it is so hard to tack into Piræus. General Church spoke of seventeen tacks. But there is no trade at the back. Patras, said Sir T. Wyse, is the only, place with a back to it; i.e. currants.

The weather has become perfectly fine, the sun hot, but a fresh breeze blowing. In a fortnight, they say, all will be brown. Just now the land is green with barley, into which they turn the horses, partly cutting it, partly leaving them to feed on as it stands, only shackling them.

This place is very pleasant to stay at, in the lounging way. I walked to Colonus and the Academy, about a mile and a half away, going north-east towards the Cephissus and the ‘Olive Grove.’ You are let into a farm-house garden, with all sorts of fruits and vegetables, quince-trees, pomegranate-trees, orange-trees, &c.; and here also are a few remains. I suppose the trees have never grown well up again since Sylla cut them down.3 There are a few old olives, and about the farm newer trees, planes chiefly. Then you cross a bare field to the bare hill or mound of Colonus, where are two marble monuments to Ottfried Müller and to Lenormant. The view of the Acropolis is very good.

In the evening I rambled about, along the Ilissus, picked some maiden-hair from the rocks over the springs of Calirrhoë, where we found women washing and donkeys drinking, and so through some beer and wine gardens along the water-side to the Stadium, a great hollow in the hill-side where the foot-races were.

Tuesday, April 30.        
Yesterday I went to Phyle, up on the hills of Parnes; took four hours on horseback to get there, and nearly four hours back. This is Greek Passion Week, and horses are not easy to get; my guide had a very poor one. Phyle is romantic enough; a very steep, rough horse-way leads to it, and on one side of it, to Thebes. It is a fort with three sides remaining, and two towers, and from the plateau you see Hymettus and the plain with the Acropolis far below. The road up rounds a shoulder of Ægialus, and then gets wilder. You see goats about, nearly all black. The whole of the mountains are pinewooded—a light-green with a stone-pine head; they spring from the bare rock. There is a thin herbage in places, with bare shrubs; the biggest is the πρινος, with little prickly hollyleaves, quite red when young as now, and very close; numerous flowers at Phyle, cistus, thyme in blossom. The young pines look soft of foliage: I mistook them for deciduous trees.

To-day Mr. Finlay called, and took me to the University Library, and to the βουλευτηριον, where the βουλη;, were sitting, and apparently at work. There are fifty βουλευται. Also we saw the Chamber, who seemed wholly idle. Thence to the new Cathedral, not yet finished, and very gorgeous (for so small a place) inside; thence to his house, where the visit ended by some Scotch marmalade, of which one takes a spoonful and a glass of water.

At the library I saw a new Greek translation of Plutarch, and of Homer, in verse. I also saw Mr. Finlay’s Attic coins, from the στατηρ to the lowest.

May 1.        
This morning I was called at ten minutes to four; got some café-au-lait and went down to Piræus, and embarked on a Greek steamer, which at six started for Kalamaki, a little landing-place on the Isthmus, whence the road runs over, four miles long, to New Corinth. As I started, on the road to Piræus, the light of sunrise (about 5.20) came over Lycabettus, the sun actually rising over Hymettus with the Parthenon between. People were then in the fields. Acrocorinthus was visible pretty nearly all the way, and latterly the mountains of Phocis, clouded, over the low Isthmus; Megara just beyond, and Salamis very noticeable. Old Corinth, or New Corinth the elder, nearly on the site of the antique, was wholly destroyed by earthquake in 1857. To New Corinth, which is on the sea-side of the Gulf of Corinth, the passengers are taken by omnibus and cart, and embark for Patras. At Kalamaki I mounted a horse with a Greek saddle, the most dreadful invention in the world, which made it hopeless to reach Corinth and return before the steamer returned to Athens; however, we went on as well as the saddle allowed, some way up towards Acrocorinthus, a wild country, with a great deal of low pine about, and with old quarries, and saw from the higher part4 the Gulf of Corinth stretching away to the mountains of Phocis, heavily clouded, to the northern side of it. When we got back it was just beginning to rain, and it has rained hard ever since. I was fain to go into the cabin, where I found however a resource in a Greek army doctor (in full uniform, I only found out that he was a doctor afterwards). He spoke French well enough. This rain is said to be very unusual. The morning from five o’clock was delightful. Kalamaki is just at the northeast extremity of the low level of the Isthmus, out of which Acrocorinthus rises, almost by itself, and which is filled up, north and south, as the space widens, by high mountains.

May 2.        
The town is full of people buying and selling for πασχα, e.g. lambs; there are flocks all about, on the Areopagus, and also the outskirts. Wax candles also, beside the usual marketings.

May 4.        
Yesterday was Friday, in Greek παρασκευη, and yesterday in particular, Good Friday, η μεγαλη παρασκευη a great fast, and everybody buying his lamb for the Pascha of Sunday.

On Thursday I went up Pentelicus; left this at eight, got up by twelve. The view was clouded to the west and north-west, but Eubœa and the Euripus and Marathon lay like a map below, also South Attica, with Andros, Tenos, Ceos, and over Eubœa, less distinct, Scyros. The upper slopes of the mountain are clad with arbutus chiefly, just going out of flower. There are marble quarries for a great part of the way up, and one with a great grotto or cave richly adorned with the common English maiden-hair, and with a little of the true Capillus veneris.

Coming down I stopped to lunch beside the monastery of the Pan-agia; bread and cheese and oranges, by a beautiful gushing water in a sort of cup out of a wall, tall white poplars overhead, olives, and also large dwarf oaks (fifteen feet high or more), the first I have seen. I looked into the monastery court, in the middle of which is a huge bay-tree. Mr. Psyllis, a Greek gentleman, a senator, whom Mr. Finlay, had introduced me to, happened to be there; he was spending his holiday there with some of his family, so he talked to me, and presently gave me coffee, which Miss Victoria, his daughter, presented on a tray to us, retiring after so doing. Then he took me up a little outside staircase to a little set of rooms, and presented me to his relation, the abbot or ηγουμενος, Cyrillus Δελγεριος, a fine-looking elderly man, who lives there in two small rooms; one a sort of reception room where sometimes the king and queen come, and therefore adorned with their pictures (two common engravings); the other his bedroom and sitting-room, where he had a little wood fire. He also asked me to take coffee, so presently his domestic made it at this fire, and presented it, with that well-known Turkish sweetmeat, but made at Syra, and much nicer, and with a glass of water. You take first sweetmeat; secondly, coffee; thirdly, water. The monastery is very rich.

Last night (May 3rd) was a great night. The people at eight crowd to the churches. In every church a bier is laid out with a great cloth over it, and a figure or representation (sometimes a little embroidered map) of the crucifixion. The people all come in (in the chief church between files of soldiers) and kiss the figure, and then perhaps go out. About half-past nine the priests take up the bier and carry it out, and the people follow after with lighted candles (stéariques), and go all about the streets. The chief procession had a band of military music at the head, and lots of soldiers, then some banners and crosses, and then, a little way behind, the priests and the bier. All the streets are filled with the people carrying lighted stéariques, and blue and red lights were let off.

To-day is pretty quiet, only they are still buying lambs, which are all to be killed, poor things, this evening.

Sunday, May 5.        
The paschal lambs were very generally sacrificed in the course of yesterday afternoon. About 4 P.M. I met their skins walking about on the backs of sundry collectors of lambskins here, as of hareskins with you, and on the doors of the houses one might see here and there in the byeways a skin ready for delivery.

In the afternoon I went up to the Parthenon; the effect of interval and depth in the columniation is far greater than in any picture or imitation; then out on a road towards Phalerum with very good views of the Parthenon. Coming back I met the lambskins on the backs of skin-collectors, and hanging at doors, in the byeways by the Lantern of Demosthenes.

I was tired and a little out of sorts at night, and so did not sit up to see the hullabaloo at 12 P.M., when the king and queen, after attending divine service, come out upon a platform and show themselves, in honour of the great event, and in token that ο χριστος ανεστη. This morning I was disturbed by worse than heathen Greeks howling away under my window in a yard, and looking forth beheld four paschal lambs over the embers, stuck through with poles, and the heathen turning them, and singing strange words, among which I thought I could occasionally detect ‘Yesous.’

Wednesday, May 8.        
The weather continues uncertain. Yesterday I went in a boat from Piræus out into Salamis Bay, past Psyttalea, and then back and round the whole headland of Piræus, to see the little harbour on the other side, and the walls, of which very nearly all the circuit can be traced by blocks still remaining. The two harbours, Munychia and Zea, are pretty little coves, both very small, Munychia extremely so, with jetties of stone closing its mouth; it is shallow and deserted. The rain came on, so I came up by omnibus to the αστι, where the dances that should have been, round the Temple of Theseus, were much interrupted.

Thursday, May 9.        
In the afternoon, yesterday, I went to the Acropolis from three to six, and looked at the sculptures on the left hand as you go in. Note the minute comparative size of the Erechtheum, which is also a good deal lower in site than the Parthenon. I suppose the figures are perhaps seven feet high. This small size shows very well from the terrace under Lycabettus, where you see both.

I and two other gentlemen have agreed to go to Nauplia by steamer on the 12th, and to ride thence to Corinth, returning by steamer from the Isthmus on the 15th. The weather is now beautiful, and seems to promise favourably. New snow seems to have fallen on some of the hills near the Isthmus. We are to go with Spiro Adamopulos, a well-known trustworthy guide.

Pray can you guess what a φεσοπωλειον is, or a καπνοπωλειον, or finally, a πνευματοπωλειον? There are a great many in Athens, but there are even more καφφανεια. You know of course a υποδηματαποιος, but what is a ραπτης I and should you know an omnibus as a λεωφορειον?

Saturday, May 11.        
I dined yesterday at the Hills’, at three, meeting Miss Bremen, who has been living here three years. She is a little shrunk old lady, very quiet. In the evening I went to a mixed soiree, consisting chiefly of Greeks, from nine to near twelve; music, with two professionals, Italians. I talked a little to Miss Brewer, and to a Mr. and Mrs. and Miss Dragoumi. Mrs. and Miss Dragoumi had come with us in the boat; he conducts a Greek review. The music was good, I think; they get pianos from Vienna, and have some good masters. They say the Greek girls marry at seventeen; they learn French and music very well. Everybody learns French; a good many, English, to read; everybody, old Greek, to read a little.

Thursday, May 16.        
I have got back, a little tired, but no worse. We had a beautiful sail by steamer to Nauplia on Sunday; it is a filthy place, and we left it gladly at six on Monday, on horseback; saw the ruins of Tiryns, Τιρυνθα τε τειχιοεσσαν, and stopped half an hour at Argos, after a ride of seven miles. It was by this time nine o’clock, and very hot; and we didn’t go up the Acropolis, but rode off, and in about an hour and a half reached our halting-place below Mycenæ, remains of walls on some bare rocky ground a mile above being visible as we rode up. We lunched under a tree, almost the only tree visible, and then went up, riding. The Tomb,5 or Treasury, is extremely remarkable, so also are the other ruins, the Gate and the Wall. Thence back by another course to the road, and shortly into a pass, the τρητος, which became wooded, with shrubs, and had a pleasant stream. So into a fine upland among hills, then down into an open valley, or plain among hills, where we saw the three columns of Nemea; then down to them, and back over the hill-side, lower down to our former line, and so down a water-course to another little plain, to four houses among some willows—one a small barrack for some ten soldiers; one a little cook and coffee shop; one, I suppose, a little farm, and a sort of granary place behind the shop, with a room fitted up over one part of the granary for strangers. Here we lodged, and next day went on to Corinth; but here rain came on, and we saw no view. We slept at Kalamaki on the east side of the Isthmus, and came on yesterday. I go to-day to Constantinople,. and shall return on the 31st.


To the same.
Constantinople: Sunday, May 19, 16 A.M.        
We arrived here this morning at half-past four, and landed between six and seven; it was raining all the time, so that the far-famed first view was nil for us. But our voyage otherwise was prosperous, fair and fine all the way; the moon and stars bright over the isles of Marmora when we went to bed last night.

The steamer only left Piræus at 3 P.M. on Friday. We passed under Cape Colonna, and saw the temple very well about 5.30 P.M.; passed then through the strait between the southern point of Eubœa and the northern point of Andros: the forner is known as Capo d’Oro, i.e. Caphareus, where Minerva drowned Ajax the Lesser. Night fell as we left Eubœa; and when I came on deck at 6.30 A.M. yesterday, we had Lesbos, a long range of mountains, on the immediate right; and the coast of Asia, south of the Troad, on the right bow. An aged modern Greek pointed out to me a small thing on the horizon, almost straight ahead, a little to the left of our course, which he said was Ténetho, ‘bello paese, buono wino, buon’ e forte.’ Some little after we passed it, and several French savans began to quote, ‘Est in conspectu,’ rather reminding one of ‘As in præsenti.’ We went in between Tenedos or Tenetho (a desert-looking island still, but with one little corner occupied by a little town, with a fort and three minarets) and the Troad, and at this crisis were summoned to breakfast, but recovered (most of us) the deck in time to see the actual plain of Troy, and the entrance of the Dardanelles. There should have appeared three tumuli at the turn, but I could not well make them out. The embouchure of the Simois, just above the town, lets you look up into the plain, backed, many miles off, by Mount Ida.

And so up the Dardanelles, which were crowded with vessels taking advantage of the south wind, and so to Dardanelles (the Turkish town so called), where we stop, to obtain permission to go on. Here are the castles and the consuls, and H.M.S. ‘Melpomene,’ having just, as I now learn, brought Lord Dufferin from Beyrout; and one hears that the Sultan is very ill and likely to die, which on arriving here one learns is all a lie. Then past Sestos and Abydos, and the strait gradually widens till at Gallipoli, where the French and English armies encamped, it opens into the Sea of Marmora. Lampsacus is on the right, a little before Gallipoli on the left. Ægospotami I couldn’t quite make out. The Sea of Marmora, also, was full of shipping, most in full sail for Constantinople, some also beating down, outward bound.

May 20.        
Another wet day! Was there ever such a disaster? We are to have the firman to see St. Sophia on Wednesday; to-morrow we are to do the walls; Thursday, Scutari; Friday, Swee-Waters; Saturday, the Bosphorus. But the place is one requiring blue sky and bright sun, and there is no promise of either. The hotel is costly, but comfortable in its way, if one only had not to stay in it altogether.

May 21, 6.30 P.M.        
We waited because of heavy clouds this morning for more than an hour, and then mounted our horses, and set out just in time for a heavy shower, but before getting quite wet we were across the bridge of boats, and under shelter in the bazaar, through whose covered arcades we paced on horseback, between silks and shawls, &c., with great imperturbability. When we got to the end, the shower was over, and passing the Mosque of Sultan Bajazet, and under the Seraskierat tower, we went right ahead through strange Turkish lanes with pavements worse than execrable, and in about two hours from starting, reached the ancient citadel of the Seven Towers, still all entire. There, under some trees, we dismounted, and with some trouble got admittance into the court, full of trees and shrubs of natural growth. The trees are here more northern than in Greece,—ashes, a sort of lime, planes not abundant, wild figs, and the cypresses, which I suppose are almost all planted; the cemeteries, of course, are perfect forests of them. So up to the parapet, and up a tower for the view; the Sea of Marmora here, the city there—a very fine view; then out and along the outside of the ancient walls, for a long way, to a café at the Adrianople gate; then inside to Belisarius’s castle, and on foot through a house full of Jews (seven or eight girls pulling at us for baksheesh) to a parapet, for another view of the Golden Horn. Thence through a horrible Jews’ quarter, and a not much better Greek quarter, across to the Patriarchal Church, and so along the Golden Horn shore, but separated from it by houses, to our former bridge, and so across to Pera and home, 11 A.M. to 6 P.M.

May 23.        
Yesterday, with some rain and some fatigue, we did the Seraglio (French engravings and French goût), Kiosk of Amurath II. (better), St. Irene, St. Sophia, the Mosque of Ahmed (all white, except some blue China tiles, beautiful courtyard and fountains), the Hippodrome, and a Tomb of Sultan Mahmoud—all this under the protection of the firman, and in a party of nearly twenty strangers. Sultan Mahmoud’s is a sort of conservatory tomb—large windows all round, with white curtains, light and airy, and high-domed roof. The Sultan is buried there, with his wife, sister and four daughters.

The Seraglio was a good deal below one’s expectations; St. Sophia certainly beyond mine. The amplitude of the dome is very impressive; it is a sort of Pantheon exalted into a Monotheon. Michael Angelo ought to have seen it.

How many times in the course of the day’s work we had to pull off boots and shoes and put on slippers, I can’t dare to say. The weather is still unsettled. The Bithynian Olympus is one long range of snow-covered Alp. Till yesterday we had a fire in the sitting-room, and yesterday we missed it. I have found great solace from a terrace on the roof, which gives a tolerable view of the Strait, and the Seraglio point, and Scutari, and the hills across the end of the Sea of Marmora, and the snowy Olympus overtopping them.

May 24, 10 A.M.        
This, you know, is the Mahometan Sunday, and the Sultan goes to mosque, and we are to go and stare at him on his way. Mosque is at twelve o’clock, and we start at eleven.

I dined yesterday with Dr. Beretta, who is a most amiable kind man, but first I went with him to see Elizabeth Kondaxaky, the Cretan sibyl, who prophesies, fortunately in English, as well as Greek, and other tongues, whereof she has the gift. I have not exactly summed up the result of her prophecies, but she seems to be for England and Turkey—the latter as ‘a necessary evil,’ and the former as the natural protector of necessary evils.

May 26.        
On Friday we went to see the Sultan go to mosque, which he did in his calque of twenty oars or more. We were received into the house of Halil Bey, a profane Frank-mannered Turk, with windows looking, some upon the Bosphorus, where the caique passed by, and some upon the court of the mosque, where the Sultan disembarked, so we saw the poor creature admirably; he looks quite ‘the sick man.’ When he got on shore, a sort of chant was set up, interpreted to us, as ‘O Sultan! trust not in yourself; there is God above, who is greater than you,’ which was not saying very much.

Then I left my companions and went back to the hotel, and then over to Scutari with Dr. Pincoff, and saw all Scutari, Barrack and General Hospitals, and F. N’s own tower, and rooms, and everything, of which you shall hear when I return.

We went by steamer up the Bosphorus, to Buyukdere, and up a hill to see the Black Sea.

Sunday, 5 P.M.        
We have been to see the dancing dervishes, really not an unedifying spectacle in the way of a divine service. ‘O God, what a wonderful Creator Thou art! Thou hast made so many thousand human beings, black and white; and whom Thou pleasest, black or white, Thou canst raise to be distinguished.’ To such words and other such, chanted with musical instruments aocompanying, twenty men, in presence of their chief, in solemn silence, go twirling about with extended arms and spinning long petticoats. ‘O God, what a wonderful Creator Thou art!’ &c., &c. Adieu.


To C. E. Norton, Esq.
London: July 4, 1861.        
On coming back from abroad ten days ago I received two letters from you, one of which I had received by copy from my wife at Athens. Many thanks for them; they were very interesting, and I hope you will not be discouraged by my brief acknowledgments from writing further. I am still invalided, and am to go abroad again the day after to-morrow. I have achieved a good deal already, having seen Athens and Constantinople. I was half tempted to come over to pay you the visit you so kindly proposed, but I should have had to return early in September, and I hope some year to spend a September on your side. I have just made a call on a former acquaintance in America, Miss E. H., of Concord, who brought me a letter from Emerson moreover. She tells me that in New England, she believes, people do not expect that the Southern States will ever be brought back into the Union, and that it is not the object simply to make them return; it being indeed hardly possible that the States, North and South, should ever again live together in union, but that the war is rather in vindication of the North and its rights, which have been trampled upon by the South. Is this true, in your judgment? Certainly it does seem hardly conceivable that South Carolina should ever return. On what terms then would the North be willing to make peace, and what conditions would it require in limine before entering upon the question of separation?

As for the feeling here, you must always expect statesmen to be cold in their language, and the newspapers impertinent and often brutal. Beyond this, I think people here had been led to suppose at the outset that the Northern feeling was strong against civil war (and so it was I suppose), and that the principle of separation was conceded; the indignation being merely at the mode adopted for obtaining it. And the attack on Fort Sumter, which caused so sudden a revulsion of feeling with you, was naturally attended with no such change here. But coexisting with all this, I believe there is a great amount of strong feeling in favour of the North.

Technically we are wrong, I suppose, and as a matter of feeling, we are guilty of an outrage in recognising the South as a belligerent power, but as a matter of convenience between your Government and ours, I suppose the thing is best as it is.

Miss H. will take to Emerson four photographs of Rowse’s picture of me; one for you: it may be better than nothing.

My nervous energy is pretty well spent for to-day, so I must come to a stop. I have leave till November, and by that time I hope I shall be strong again for another good spell of work.

Lord Campbell’s death is rather the characteristic death of the English political man. In the cabinet, on the bench, and at a dinner party, busy, animated, and full of effort to-day, and in the early morning a vessel has burst. It is a wonder they last so long. I shall resign if it proves much of a strain to me to go on at this official work. Farewell.


To his Wife.
Mont Dore-les-Bains, Auvergne: July 16, 1861.        
This is a queer place, a French watering-place, a village, scarcely even a village, metamorphosed by having a square of hotels on three sides and a bath establishment on one side, with a sort of terrace or esplanade stuck down into it. The place is some 3,000 feet above the sea, a green Swiss-like valley, right in the mountains, with fir-trees standing out from the green mountain sides, just as in Switzerland. There is a hot spring, or rather a quantity of hot springs, issuing from the volcanic rock, known and used by the Romans, and re-discovered or re-established for use under the first Napoleon, to whose time the buildings seem to belong. They are about sufficient for the 500 or 600 people who come. We were fifty, I think, at dinner yesterday, in one of the hotels.

The journey here in the diligence was agreeable, right over the chain of hills, of which Puy de Dome is the highest, from the valley of the Allier (flowing to the Loire) to the valley here flowing to the Gironde. We mounted to about 3,300 or 3,400 feet above the sea, and descended 300 or 400 to this place; the high land was a green pastoral district with rounded hills mostly; no very distinct craters on the route; a lake a little way off was one, I suppose.

This is really an odd enough place to be in; déjeuner at ten, dinner at half-past five; two tables of about twenty-five people, all French; we also have a drawing-room where we meet before meals, and sit generally (only I don’t); gentlemen unbeknown to ladies give their arms to ladies aforesaid, to conduct them into dinner, and occasionally out from dinner. I sit near some pleasant people at dinner, a Parisian of the Parisians on one hand, and a Marseilles opulent-seeming seeming-merchant with a wife, a sister and some children, on the other. Last night, from eight to half past nine, was a soirée magicale, things coming out of hats, &c., followed by a divertissement of a poet and improvisatore, who did bout-rimer. The company supplied him for his last épreuve with about fourteen or sixteen words, rhymes masculine and feminine, mitraille, canaille, volcan, encan, ending with baigneur and bonheur, which gave him the opportunity (the subject by the way being also given him after the rhymes, viz., vin de champagne) to wish in conclusion to chaque aimable baigneur I don’t know how much bonheur, which of course drew the house. The poet’s face was a great round simple-looking piece of countenance, and he was fat but alert, and knew more tricks than one, I dare say.

July 19.        
Went to Lac Guéry and the Plateau with Jean. Wages, three francs a day, and for harvest three francs and victuals the same as at Marseilles. The schoolmaster has 600 francs.

July 20.        
Talked with M. Chabuy. He is percepteur of all taxes. They are impérial, départemental, communal. (There are three classes of percepteurs, the 3rd, viz. of communes de canton, is named by the préfet.) He is bound within a certain time to pay all to the trésor. His accounts are verified by the prefecture, and inspectors come every now and then—one every year into each department—who have the right of looking into the accounts, examining the caisse communale. It would not do to leave it to the conseil and maire. There is very little malversation. The church payments for chaires, burials, &c., are regulated by the bishop. Government pays all the ministers—Catholic, Protestant, and Jews. If a place of worship of any kind is to be built, the commune pays, and everybody is contribuable, of whatever religion.


To the same.
Mont Dore-les-Bains: July 21.        
My plans are changed. This morning about 8.30, going across the place to the café, whom should I see but Tennyson. They are all here. They go to the Pyrenees, and I am to follow them. I want to come home in September, and see no sufficient reason yet for not returning to work in November. I don’t at all want to spend a winter abroad away from the children, and were I to be brought to do so, I should want to come home first. Coming home did me good. I now propose to go to some place in the Pyrenees and ride about, Bagnères de Luchon will be the first trial, as the Tennysons will be there.


To the same.
Bagnères de Luchon, Pyrénées: July 30.        
I came on here yesterday; a ten hours’ drive in the banquette of a diligence, but it was a fine day and not excessively hot. The place is exceedingly crowded, a sort of mountain Brighton. This Franco-Gallo-cockney-Chamouni, is, however, not unbearable, if taken in the right way. It is in a rich valley, an almost perfect level here of corn, maize especially, and vegetables, running in like an estuary among the mountains. At the head of it, between sides of wooded mountains, you see the rocky peaks with snow in their clefts, filling up the gap. But there are no Alpine eternal-snowy peaks visible here.

August 4.        
On Friday I went in a sort of public conveyance some six or eight miles up the valley to the Hospice, and thence walked with my fellow-passengers up the Port de Venasque into Spain. You see the whole Maladetta, and it’s the principal thing to do here. Yesterday I went up into the Vallée de Lys, full of waterfalls; and to-day I have been a longish ride, starting at 6 A.M. to the Lac d’Oo, really a very beautiful mountain lake, the lowest of four or five; the others are a good way higher up.

August 6.        
I have been my ride, five hours over hills, looking out upon the glaciers of the main chain; these hills are called the Super Bagnères, and rise right above here. Then down about eleven o’clock to the chalet of the Vallée de Lys, where I stayed about three hours, breakfasting, going up to some waterfalls, and sheltering from a brief storm, and so home.

August 8.        
Providence overruled my mind not to go out riding to-day as I had intended, so I got the letter telling of the new little daughter in good time. I think you must call the little girl Blanche Athena.

The Tennysons are at Bigorre. I am very glad to have the prospect of joining them, for it is rather too solitary work going about Pyreneeing with a horse and a guide, or even to say two horses and a guide. However, the two men I have had here have been good company in their way—two cousins, both having served as soldiers, one six years, the other eight or nine. One was in the Crimea, and all through the campaign in Italy, and means to be a soldier again. He had just finished his time when his brother was drawn in the conscription. His brother had just married, so he said he would serve two years for him, and when the two years were ended and he came home, somehow or other the brother was let off. Eighteen went from Luchon to the Crimea, ten or twelve of them cousins; thirteen came back, and they are, I think, all here as baigneurs, guides, &c. This fine young fellow was a hussar, and went out straight to Algiers, where he set to work and ate so many figs and oranges that he had a fever at once, and was in the hospital for three months. He was wounded just at the end of the Crimean war, a fortnight before the peace, and was in hospital at Constantinople for three months. He made great friends with the English, apparently. So much for Pierre Redonnet, with whom I rode on Tuesday over Super Bagnères to the Vallée de Lys. The day before I had his cousin Jean, who is a family man, and unambitious of military service.

I have seen here a certain Comte de ——, an Italian, a Tuscan, who knew some friends of yours at Rome. He is a Confederation man, and declaims against this premature attempt at a united Italy. I met him at the Lac d’Oo. He has just been here, and all but embraced me in his obscurantist arms, and has bidden me adieu, ‘God bless you.’ He talks English, which he mixes a little with German, and I mix my English with a little Italian. Who can he be? and why has he so nearly embraced me?

Luchon is a very Parisian place; people flaunt about, and wear strange Parisian mountain-costumes, ‘tours-de-tête’ of all kinds. The French upper classes seem to me to be strongly possessed with the feeling that the Italian kingdom is very much against French interests; and partly also with the feeling that the Emperor is driven into it by England, who knows it to be bad for France. Sardinia would pacify them, no doubt. But after Ricasoli’s declaration, can he, and after Lord John’s speech, can he, assent? All things perhaps are possible.

August 9.        
To-day comes a note to say that the Tennysons are all coming here this evening, and I have already taken my place for Luz viâ Bigorre! Go I must, and start early to-morrow morning.


To the same.
Luz, St. Sauveur: August 13.        
This (Luz) is the place where all the Barèges things are made. The old women are all busy with distaff and spindle. The things are made not at Barèges, but here and at Bigorre. The old women go about in scarlet hoods; the men all wear light-blue caps: the younger women handkerchiefs, brown, with yellow stripes. I have nothing to relate, so I send you some verses made this morning, called ‘Currente Calamo.’6

August 17.        
I have been laid up for some days, but am well again, and this morning walked up to Barèges, four miles up a high valley east of this. It is a regular pool of Bethesda, only the diseased and impotent people seem to have learnt to play at cards; a desolate place with a staring établissement and a soldiers’ hospital, and everybody on crutches, and the only apparent enjoyment playing at cards in shabby cafés. A high road with electric telegraph leads up to it and ends with it.

August 18.        
To-day, as soon as I got the letters, I set off for Gavarnie; the horses were waiting at the door for the postman. We got away at 7.20 A.M., and riding up the Gave or river-side, reached Gavarnie village in two hours; here there is a hotel of a quiet kind. Soon after passing through this, you come in fair sight of the Cirque. The ground is mostly level, except a rise at the end, which brings you to the platform of the Cirque itself, and to the cottage which is the end of the riding. A little beyond it there is snow, forming a bridge over the stream, and you have the vast cascade in full sight, but far off. One waits till noon for the sun to get on the cascade and turn it into a white cloud. It is the finest thing, certainly, that I have seen in the Pyrenees.

August 19.        
Yesterday was very hot, cloudless, though not without air. To-day there is a ‘brouillard sec’ all over the hill tops, a north wind blowing, and no sunshine.

August 20.        
To day again is the blessed brouillard, keeping all the world cool, but preventing the ascent of hills.

August 23.        
I have been to Cauterets by diligence two days ago. Yesterday at 6 A.M. went to Lac de Gaube, which is very good, returned to Cauterets and lounged about the rest of the day, and this morning at 6.30 came back on horseback over the hills and got here at eleven. Cauterets is certainly beautiful, more beautiful than this, only it is a busyish water-place, which this is not; the water-place here, St. Sauveur, being a mile off, and very little frequented. Cauterets is right in the real granite, and the stream is absolutely clear, which no other large stream yet seen by me in these parts is.

August 31.        
I have been over to Luchon to see the Tennysons, whom I found very comfortably established in pleasant lodgings out of the town, in maize fields, not far from the river. These places are beginning to lose their beau monde. It was a two days’ journey. I rode on Saturday through Barèges, up to the Tourmalet Pass, and down to Grip, up again to Col d’Aspin, and so down to Arreau. Next day left Arreau at 6.30 A.M. and came up a long valley to the top of another col, and so down to Luchon before half-past eleven. It was agreeable enough to be worth doing twice, so I came back on horseback the same way, leaving Luchon on Tuesday. I rode to Arreau in the afternoon, then reascended the Col d’Aspin, when the view this time was complete and much finer; from Maladetta east to the Pic du Midi de Bigorre west; saw, with a slight haze in the air, Maladetta and Port de Venasque perfectly, the glaciers about the Vallée de Lys, the Lac d’Oo, the Pic du Midi, and the Barèges mountains, all quite clear. I reached Luz about six on Wednesday.

I did one new thing yesterday, and went up the Pic des Bergons, whence there is really a fine view of Pic du Midi on the one hand, and Mont Perdu and Brèche de Roland on the other. I send you another Pyrenean fragment

She fed her cows, the mountain-peaks between.7

September 1.        
The Tennysons arrived at 6.30 yesterday. Tennyson was here, with Arthur Hallam, thirty-one years ago, and really finds great pleasure in the place; they stayed here and at Cauterets. ‘Ænone,’ he said, was written on the inspiration of the Pyrenees, which stood for Ida.

September 6.        
Yesterday we went up the Pic du Midi, which proved fully equal to all expectations, though there was haze over the plain and over the remoter ends of the chain. It is a very complete view of the chain as we saw it, only from the Maladetta to the Pic du Midi d’Ossau; our Pic du Midi lying detached, or only tacked-to by the thin Col de Tourmalet, some way to the north.

Tennyson and —— have walked on to Cauterets, and I and the family follow in a calèche at two.

Cauterets: September 7.        
To-day is heavy brouillard down to the feet, or at any rate ankles, of the hills, and little to be done. I have been out for a walk with A. T. to a sort of island between two waterfalls, with pines on it, of which he retained a recollection from his visit of thirty-one years ago, and which, moreover, furnished a simile to ‘The Princess.’ He is very fond of this place, evidently, and it is more in the mountains than any other, and so far superior.

1. ‘The family’ was his eldest daughter Florence.    [back]

2. His second child, Arthur.    [back]

3. Clough’s Plutarch. Life of Sylla, vol. iii. p. 157.    [back]

4. From the Acrocorinth watched the day
    Light the eastern and the western bay.—Mari Magno.    [back]

5. With wonder in the spacious gloom
    Stood of the Mycenaean tomb.—Mari Magno.    [back]

6. Marl Magno: My Tale.    [back]

6. Marl Magno: My Tale.    [back]

Poems and Prose Remains vol. I - Contents

Back    |    Words Home    |    Arthur Hugh Clough Home    |    Site Info.    |    Feedback