What I Remember, Volume 2
Thomas Adolphus Trollope

Part 1 out of 6

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No! as I said at the end of the last chapter but one, before I was led
away by the circumstances of that time to give the world the benefit
of my magnetic reminiscences--_valeat quantum!_--I was not yet bitten,
despite Colley Grattan's urgings, with any temptation to attempt
fiction, and "passion, me boy!" But I am surprised on turning over my
old diaries to find how much I was writing, and planning to write,
in those days, and not less surprised at the amount of running about
which I accomplished.

My life in those years of the thirties must have been a very busy
one. I find myself writing and sending off a surprising number of
"articles" on all sorts of subjects--reviews, sketches of travel,
biographical notices, fragments from the byeways of history, and the
like, to all kinds of periodical publications, many of them long since
dead and forgotten. That the world should have forgotten all these
articles "goes without saying." But what is not perhaps so common an
incident in the career of a penman is, that _I_ had in the majority
of cases utterly forgotten them, and all about them, until they were
recalled to mind by turning the yellow pages of my treasured but
almost equally forgotten journals! I beg to observe, also, that all
this pen-work was not only printed, but _paid for_. My motives were of
a decidedly mercenary description. "_Hic scribit fama ductus, at ille
fame._" I belonged emphatically to the latter category, and little
indeed of my multifarious productions ever found its final resting
place in the waste-paper basket. They were rejected often, but
re-despatched a second and a third time, if necessary, to some other
"organ," and eventually swallowed by some editor or other.

I am surprised, too, at the amount of locomotion which I contrived to
combine with all this scribbling. I must have gone about, I think,
like a tax-gatherer, with an inkstand slung to my button-hole! And
in truth I was industrious; for I find myself in full swing of some
journey, arriving at my inn tired at night, and finishing and sending
off some article before I went to my bed. But it must have been only
by means of the joint supplies contributed by all my editors that
I could have found the means of paying all the stage-coaches,
diligences, and steamboats which I find the record of my continually
employing. "_Navibus atque Quadrigis petimus bene vivere!_" And
I succeeded by their means in living, if not well, at least very

For I was born a rambler.

I heard just now a story of a little boy, who replied to the common
question, "What he would like to be when he grew up?" by saying that
he should like to be either a giant or a _retired_ stockbroker! I find
the qualifying adjective delicious, and admire the pronounced taste
for repose indicated by either side of the alternative. But my
propensities were more active, and in the days before I entered my
teens I used always to reply to similar demands, that I would be a
"king's messenger"! I knew no other life which approached so nearly to
perpetual motion. "The road" was my paradise, and it is a true saying
that the child is father to the man. The Shakespearian passage which
earliest impressed my childish mind and carried with it my heartiest
sympathies was the song of old Autolycus:

"Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,
And merrily hent the stile-a:
Your merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tires in a mile-a."

Over how many miles of "foot-path way," under how many green hedges,
has my childish treble chanted that enlivening ditty!

But that was in much earlier days to those I am now writing of.

During the years between my dreary time at Birmingham and my first
departure for Italy, I find the record of many pedestrian or other
rambles in England and abroad. There they are, all recorded day by
day--the qualities of the inns and the charges at them (not so much
less than those of the present day as might be imagined, with the
exception of the demands for beds), the beauty and specialties of the
views, the talk of wayfaring companions, the careful measurements of
the churches, the ever-recurring ascent of the towers of them, &c. &c.

Here and there in the mountains of chaff there may be a grain worth
preserving, as where I read that at Haddon Hall the old lady who
showed the house, and who boasted that her ancestors had been
servitors of the possessors of it for more than three hundred
years, pointed out to me the portrait of one of them, who had been
"forester," hanging in the hall. She also pointed out the window from
which a certain heiress had eloped, and by doing so had carried the
hall and lands into the family of the present owners, and told me that
Mrs. Radcliffe, shortly before the publication of her _Mysteries
of Udolpho_, had visited Haddon, and had sat at that window busily
writing for a long time.

I seem to have been an amateur of sermons in those days, from the
constant records I find of sermons listened to, by no means always,
or indeed generally, complimentary to the preachers. Here is an entry
criticising, with young presumption, a sermon by Dr. Dibdin, whose
bibliophile books, however, I had much taste for.

"I heard Dr. Dibdin preach. He preached with much gesticulation,
emphasis, and grimace the most utterly trashy sermon I ever heard;
words--words--words--without the shadow of an idea in them."

I remember, as if it were yesterday, a shrewd sort of an old lady, the
mother, I think, of the curate of the parish, who heard me, as we were
leaving the church, expressing my opinion of the doctor's discourse,
saying, "Well, it is a very old story, young gentleman, and it is
mighty difficult to find anything new to say about it!"

The bibliomaniacal doctor, however, seems to have pleased me better
out of the pulpit than in it, for I find that "he called in the
afternoon and chatted amusingly for an hour. He fell tooth and nail
upon the Oxford Tracts men, and told us of a Mr. Wackerbarth, a curate
in Essex, a Cambridge man, who, he says, elevates the host, crosses
himself, and advocates burning of heretics. It seems to me, however,"
continues this censorious young diarist, "that those who object to the
persecution, even to extermination of heretics, admit the uncertainty
and dubiousness of all theological doctrine and belief. For if it be
_certain_ that God will punish disbelief in doctrines essential to
salvation, and _certain_ that any Church possesses the knowledge what
those doctrines are, does it not follow that a man who goes about
persuading people to reject those doctrines should be treated as we
treat a mad dog loose in the streets of a city?" Thus fools, when they
are young enough, rush in where wise men fear to tread!

I had entirely forgotten, but find from my diary that it was our
pleasant friend but indifferent preacher, Dr. Dibdin, who on the 11th
of February, 1839, married my sister, Cecilia, to Mr., now Sir John,

It appears that I was not incapable of appreciating a good sermon
when I heard one, for I read of the impression produced upon me by an
"admirable sermon preached by Mr. Smith" (it must have been Sydney, I
take it) in the Temple Church. The preacher quoted largely from Jeremy
Taylor, "giving the passages with an excellence of enunciation and
expression which impressed them on my mind in a manner which will not
allow me to forget them." Alack! I _have_ forgotten every word of

I remember, however, perfectly well, without any reference to my
diary, hearing--it must have been much about the same time--Sydney
Smith preach a sermon at St. Paul's, which much impressed me. He took
for his text, "Knowledge and wisdom shall be the stability of thy
times" (I write from memory--the memory of half a century ago--but I
think the words ran thus). Of course the gist of his discourse may be
readily imagined. But the manner of the preacher remains more vividly
present to my mind than his words. He spoke with extreme rapidity, and
had the special gift of combining extreme rapidity of utterance with
very perfect clearness. His manner, I remember thinking, was unlike
any that I had ever witnessed in the pulpit, and appeared to me to
resemble rather that of a very earnest speaker at the hustings than
the usual pulpit style. His sentences seemed to run downhill, with
continually increasing speed till they came to a full stop at the
bottom. It was, I think, the only sermon I ever heard which I wished
longer. He carried me with him completely, for the century was in
those days, like me, young. But if I were to hear a similarly fervid
discourse now on the same subject, I should surely desire some clearer
setting forth of the difference between "knowledge" and "wisdom."

It was about this time, _i.e._, in the year 1839, that my mother, who
had been led, by I forget what special circumstances, to take a great
interest in the then hoped-for factory legislation, and in Lord
Shaftesbury's efforts in that direction, determined to write a novel
on the subject with the hope of doing something towards attracting the
public mind to the question, and to visit Lancashire for the purpose
of obtaining accurate information and local details.

The novel was written, published in the then newly-invented fashion of
monthly numbers, and called _Michael Armstrong_. The publisher, Mr.
Colburn, paid a long price for it, and did not complain of the result.
But it never became one of the more popular among my mother's novels,
sharing, I suppose, the fate of most novels written for some
purpose other than that of amusing their readers. Novel readers are
exceedingly quick to smell the rhubarb under the jam in the dose
offered to them, and set themselves against the undesired preachment,
as obstinately as the naughtiest little boy who ever refused to be
physicked with nastiness for his good.

My mother neglected no means of making the facts stated in her book
authentic and accurate, and the _mise en scene_ of her story graphic
and truthful. Of course I was the companion of her journey, and was
more or less useful to her in searching for and collecting facts in
some places where it would have been difficult for her to look
for them. We carried with us a number of introductions from Lord
Shaftesbury to a rather strange assortment of persons, whom his
lordship had found useful both as collectors of trustworthy
information, and energetic agitators in favour of legislation.

The following letter from the Earl of Shaftesbury, then Lord Ashley,
to my mother on the subject, is illustrative of the strong interest he
took in the matter, and of the means which he thought necessary for
obtaining information respecting it:

* * * * *

"MADAM,--The letters to Macclesfield and Manchester shall be sent by
this evening's post. On your arrival at Macclesfield be so kind as
to ask for Reuben Bullock, of Roe Street, and at Manchester for John
Doherty, a small bookseller of Hyde's Cross in the town. They will
show you the secrets of the place, as they showed them to me.

"Mr. Wood himself is not now resident in Bradford, he is at present in
Hampshire; but his partner, Mr. Walker, carries out all his plans with
the utmost energy. I will write to him to-night. The firm is known
by the name of 'Wood and Walker,' Mr. Wood is a person whom you may
easily see in London on your return to town. With every good wish and
prayer for your success,

"I remain your very obedient servant,


"P.S.--The _Quarterly Review_ of December, 1836, contains an article
on the factory system, which would greatly assist by the references to
the evidence before Committee, &c. &c."

* * * * *

It is useless here and now to say anything of the horrors of
uncivilised savagery and hopeless abject misery which we witnessed.
They are painted in my mother's book, and should any reader ever refer
to those pages for a picture of the state of things among the factory
hands at that time, he may take with him my testimony to the fact that
there was no exaggeration in the outlines of the picture given. What
we are there described to have seen, we saw.

And let doctrinaire economists preach as they will, and Radical
socialists abuse a measure, which helps to take from them the fulcrum
of the levers that are to upset the whole existing framework of
society, it is impossible for one who _did_ see those sights, and
who has visited the same localities in later days, not to bless Lord
Shaftesbury's memory, ay, and the memory, if they have left any, of
the humble assistants whose persistent efforts helped on the work.

But the little knot of apostles to whom Lord Shaftesbury's letters
introduced us, and into whose intimate _conciliabules_ his
recommendations caused our admittance, was to my mother, and yet more
to me, to whom the main social part of the business naturally fell, a
singularly new and strange one. They were all, or nearly all of them,
men a little raised above the position of the factory hands, to the
righting of whose wrongs they devoted their lives. They had been at
some period of their lives, in almost every case, factory workers
themselves, but had by various circumstances, native talent, industry,
and energy, or favouring fortune--more likely by all together--managed
to raise themselves out of the slough of despond in which their
fellows were overwhelmed. One, I remember, a Mr. Doherty, a very small
bookseller, to whom we were specially recommended by Lord Shaftesbury.
He was an Irishman, a Roman Catholic, and a furious Radical, but a
_very_ clever man. He was thoroughly acquainted with all that had been
done, all that it was hoped to do, and with all the means that were
being taken for the advancement of those hopes, over the entire

He came and dined with us at our hotel, but it was, I remember, with
much difficulty that we persuaded him to do so, and when at table his
excitement in talking was so great and continuous that he could eat
next to nothing.

I remember, too, a Rev. Mr. Bull, to whom he introduced us
subsequently at Bradford. We passed the evening with this gentleman at
the house of Mr. Wood, of the firm of Walker and Wood, to whom also we
had letters from Lord Shaftesbury. He, like our host, was an ardent
advocate of the ten hours' bill, but unlike him, had very little hope
of legislative interference. Messrs. Walker and Wood employed three
thousand hands. At a sacrifice of some thousands per annum, they
worked their hands an hour less than any of their neighbours, which
left the hours, as Mr. Wood strongly declared, still too long. Those
gentlemen had built and endowed a church and a school for their hands,
and everything was done in their mill which could humanise and improve
the lot of the men, women, and children. Mr. Bull, who was to be the
incumbent of the new church, then not quite finished, was far less
hopeful than his patron. He told me that he looked forward to some
tremendous popular outbreak, and should not be surprised any night to
hear that every mill in Bradford was in flames.

But perhaps the most remarkable individual with whom this Lancashire
journey brought us into contact, was a Mr. Oastler. He was the Danton
of the movement. He would have been a remarkable man in any position
or calling in life. He was a very large and powerfully framed man,
over six feet in height, and proportionately large of limb and
shoulder. He would, perhaps, hardly have been said to be a handsome
man. His face was coarse, and in parts of it heavy. But he had a most
commanding presence, and he was withal a picturesque--if it be not
more accurate to say a statuesque--figure. Some of the features, too,
were good. He had a very keen and intelligent blue eye, a mass of iron
grey hair, lips, the scornful curl of which was terrible, and with all
this a voice stentorian in its power, and yet flexible, with a flow
of language rapid and abundant as the flow of a great river, and as
unstemmable--the very _beau-ideal_ of a mob orator.

"In the evening," says my diary, "we drove out to Stayley Bridge to
hear the preaching of Stephens, the man who has become the subject of
so much newspaper celebrity," (Does any one remember who he was?) "We
reached a miserable little chapel, filled to suffocation, and besieged
by crowds around the doors. We entered through the vestry with very
great difficulty, and only so by the courtesy of sundry persons who
relinquished their places, on Doherty's representing to them that we
were strangers from a distance and friends to the cause. Presently
Stephens arrived, and a man who had been ranting in the pulpit,
merely, as it seemed, to occupy the people till he should come,
immediately yielded his place to him. Stephens spoke well, and said
some telling words in that place, of the cruel and relentless march of
the great Juggernauth, Gold. But I did not hear anything which seemed
to me to justify his great reputation. Really the most striking part
of the performance, and that which I thought seemed to move the people
most, was Oastler's mounting the pulpit and giving out the verses of a
hymn, one by one, which the congregation sang after him." So says my
diary. Him I remember well, though Stephens not at all. I remember,
too, the pleasure with which I listened to his really fine delivery of
the lines; his pronunciation of the words was not incorrect, and when
he spoke, as I heard him on sundry subsequent occasions, his language,
though emphasised rather, as it seemed, than marred by a certain
roughness of Lancashire accent, was not that of an uncultivated man.
Yes! Oastler, the King of Lancashire as the people liked to call
him, was certainly a man of power, and an advocate whom few platform
orators would have cared to meet as an adversary.

When my mother's notes for her projected novel were completed, we
thought that before turning our faces southwards, we would pay a
flying visit to the lake district, which was new ground to both of
us. I remember well my intense delight at my first introduction to
mountains worthy of the name. But I mean to mention here two only of
my reminiscences of that first visit to lake-land.

The first of these concerns an excursion on Windermere with Captain
Hamilton, the author of _Cyril Thornton_, which had at that time made
its mark. He had recently received a new boat, which had been built
for him in Norway. He expected great performances from her, and as
there was a nice fresh wind idly curling the surface of the lake, he
invited us to come out with him and try her, and in a minute or two we
were speeding merrily before the breeze towards the opposite shore.
But about the middle of the lake we found the water a good deal
rougher, and the wind began to increase notably. Hamilton held the
tiller, and not liking to make fast the haulyard of the sail, gave me
the rope to hold, with instructions to hold on till further orders. He
was a perfect master of the business in hand, and so was the new boat
a perfect mistress of _her_ business, but this did not prevent us from
getting thoroughly ducked. My attention was sufficiently occupied in
obeying my orders, and keeping my eye on him in expectation of fresh
ones. The wind meanwhile increased from minute to minute, and I could
not help perceiving that Hamilton, despite his cheery laughter, was
becoming a little anxious. We got back, however, to the shore we had
left after a good buffeting, and in the condition of drowned rats. My
mother was helped out of the boat, and while she was making her way
up the bank, and I was helping him to make the boat secure, I said,
"Well! the new boat has done bravely!" "Between you and me, my dear
fellow," said he, as he laid his hand on my shoulder with a grip, that
I think must have left his thumb-mark on the skin, "if the boat had
not behaved better than any boat of her class that I ever saw, there
would have been a considerable probability of our being dined on by
the fishes, instead of dining together, as I hope we are going to do!
I have been blaming myself for taking your mother out; but the truth
is that on these lakes it is really impossible to tell for half an
hour what the next half hour may bring forth."

The one other incident of our visit to lake-land which I will record,
was our visit to Wordsworth.

For my part I managed to incur his displeasure while yet on the
threshold of his house. We were entering it together, when observing
a very fine bay-tree by the door-side, I unfortunately expressed
surprise at its luxuriance in such a position. "Why should you be
surprised?" he asked, suddenly turning upon me with much displeasure
in his manner. Not a little disconcerted, I hesitatingly answered
that I had imagined the bay-tree required more and greater warmth of
sunshine than it could find there. "Pooh!" said he, much offended at
the slight cast on his beloved locality, "what has sunshine got to do
with it?"

I had not the readiness to reply, that in truth the world had
abundance of testimony that the bay could flourish in those latitudes!
But I think, had I done so it might have made my peace--for the
remainder of that evening's experiences led me to imagine that the
great poet was not insensible to incense from very small and humble

The evening, I think I may say the entire evening, was occupied by
a monologue addressed by the poet to my mother, who was of course
extremely well pleased to listen to it. I was chiefly occupied in
talking to my old schoolfellow, Herbert Hill, Southey's nephew, who
also passed the evening there, and with whom I had a delightful walk
the next day. But I did listen with much pleasure when Wordsworth
recited his own lines descriptive of Little Langdale. He gave them
really exquisitely. But his manner in conversation was not impressive.
He sat continuously looking down with a green shade over his eyes even
though it was twilight; and his mode of speech and delivery suggested
to me the epithet "maundering," though I was ashamed of myself for the
thought with reference to such a man. As we came away I cross-examined
my mother much as to the subjects of his talk. She said it had been
all about himself and his works, and that she had been interested. But
I could not extract from her a word that had passed worth recording.

I do not think that he was popular with his neighbours generally.
There were stories current, at Lowther among other places, which
imputed to him a tendency to outstay his welcome when invited to visit
in a house. I suspect there was a little bit of a feud between him and
my brother-in-law, Mr. Tilley, who was the Post Office surveyor of the
district. Wordsworth as receiver of taxes, or issuer of licenses or
whatever it was, would have increased the profits of his place if the
mail coach had paid its dues, whether for taxes or license, at his end
of the journey instead of at Kendal, as had been the practice. But of
course any such change would have been as much to the detriment of the
man at Kendal as to Wordsworth's advantage. And my brother-in-law,
thinking such a change unjust, would not permit it.

I cannot say that on the whole the impression made on me by the poet
on that occasion (always with the notable exception of his recital of
his own poetry) was a pleasant one. There was something in the manner
in which he almost perfunctorily, as it seemed, uttered his long
monologue, that suggested the idea of the performance of a part got
up to order, and repeated without much modification as often as
lion-hunters, duly authorised for the sport in those localities, might
call upon him for it. I dare say the case is analogous to that of the
hero and the valet, but such was my impression.


I had been for some time past, as has been said, trying my hand,
not without success, at a great variety of articles in all sorts of
reviews, magazines, and newspapers. I already considered myself a
member of the guild of professional writers. I had done much business
with publishers on behalf of my mother, and some for other persons,
and talked glibly of copyrights, editions, and tokens.

(I fancy, by the by, that the latter term has somewhat fallen out of
use in these latter days, whether from any change of the methods used
by printers or publishers I do not know. But it strikes me that many
youngsters, even of the scribbling tribe, may not know that the phrase
"a token" had no connection whatever with signs and wonders of any
sort, but simply meant two hundred and fifty copies.)

And being thus equipped, I began to think that it was time that I
should attempt _a book_. During a previous hurried scamper in Normandy
I had just a glimpse of Brittany, which greatly excited my desire to
see more of it. So I pitched on a tour in Brittany as the subject of
my first attempt.

Those were happy days, when all the habitable globe had not been
run over by thousands of tourists, hundreds of whom are desirous of
describing their doings in print--not but that the notion, whether
a publisher's or writer's notion, that new ground is needed for the
production of a good and amusing book of travels, is other than a
great mistake. I forget what proposing author it was, who in answer
to a publisher urging the fact that "a dozen writers have told us all
about so and so," replied, "But _I_ have not told you what _I_ have
seen and thought about it." But if I had been the publisher I should
at once have asked to see his MS. The days when a capital book may be
written on a _voyage autour de ma chambre_ are as present as ever they
were. And "A Summer Afternoon's Walk to Highgate" might be the subject
of a delightful book if only the writer were the right man.

Brittany, however, really was in those days to a great extent fresh
ground, and the strangely secluded circumstances of its population
offered much tempting material to the book-making tourist. All this is
now at an end; not so much because the country has been the subject of
sundry good books of travel, as because the people and their mode of
life, the country and its specialties have all been utterly changed by
the pleasant, convenient, indispensable, abominable railway, which in
its merciless irresistible tramp across the world crushes into a
dead level of uninteresting monotony so many varieties of character,
manners, and peculiarities. And thus "the individual withers, and the
world is more and more!" But _is_ the world more and more in any sense
that can be admitted to be desirable, in view of the eternity of that
same Individual?

As for the Bretons, the individual has withered to that extent that
he now wears trousers instead of breeches, while his world has become
more and more assimilated to that of the Faubourg St. Antoine, with
the result of losing all those really very notable and stiff and
sturdy virtues which differentiated the Breton peasant, when I first
knew him, while it would be difficult indeed to say what it has
gained. At all events the progress which can be stated is mainly to be
stated in negatives. The Breton, as I first knew him, believed in all
sorts of superstitious rubbish. He now believes in nothing at all.
He was disposed to honour and respect God, and his priest, and his
seigneur perhaps somewhat too indiscriminately. Now he neither honours
nor respects any earthly or heavenly thing. These at least were the
observations which a second, or rather third visit to the country a
few years ago suggested to me, mainly, it is true, as regards the
urban population. And without going into any of the deeper matters
which such changes suggest to one's consideration, there can be no
possible doubt as to the fact that the country and its people are
infinitely less interesting than they were.

My plans were soon made, and I hastened to lay them before Mr.
Colburn, who was at that time publishing for my mother. The trip was
my main object, and I should have been perfectly contented with terms
that paid all the expenses of it. _Di auctius fecerunt_, and I came
home from my ramble with a good round sum in my pocket.

I was not greedy of money in those days, and had no unscriptural
hankerings after laying up treasure upon earth. All I wanted was a
sufficient supply for my unceasing expenditure in locomotion and inn
bills--the latter, be it observed, always on a most economical scale.
I was not a profitable customer; I took nothing "for the good of the
house." I had a Gargantuesque appetite, and needed food of some sort
in proportion to its demands. I neither took, or cared to take, any
wine with my dinner, and never wanted any description of "nightcap."
As for accommodation for the night, anything sufficed me that gave me
a clean bed and a sufficient window-opening on fresh air, under such
conditions as made it possible for me to have it open all night. To
the present day I cannot sleep to my liking in a closed chamber; and
before now, on the top of the Righi, have had my bed clothes blown off
my bed, and snow deposited where they should have been.

But _quo musa tendis?_ I was talking about my travels in Brittany.

I do not think my book was a bad _coup d'essai_. I remember old John
Murray coming out to me into the front office in Albemarle Street,
where I was on some business of my mother's, with a broad good-natured
smile on his face, and putting into my hands the _Times_ of that
morning, with a favourable notice of the book, saying as he did so,
"There, so _you_ have waked this morning to find yourself famous!"
And, what was more to the purpose, my publisher was content with the
result, as was evidenced by his offering me similar terms for another
book of the same description--of which, more anon.

As my volumes on Brittany, published in 1840, are little likely to
come under the eye of any reader at the present day, and as the
passage I am about to quote indicates accurately enough the main point
of difference between what the traveller at that day saw and what the
traveller of the present day may see, I think I may be pardoned for
giving it.

"We had observed that at Broons a style of _coiffure_ which was new
to us prevailed; and my companion wished to add a sketch of it to his
fast-increasing collection of Breton costumes. With this view, he had
begun making love to the maid a little, to induce her to do so much
violence to her maiden modesty, as to sit to him for a few minutes,
when a far better opportunity of achieving his object presented

"The landlady's daughter, a very pretty little girl about fourteen
years old, was going to be confirmed, and had just come down stairs
to her mother, who was sitting knitting in the _salle a manger_, for
inspection and approval before she started. Of course, upon such an
occasion, the art of the _blanchisseuse_ was taxed to the utmost. Lace
was not spared; and the most _recherche coiffure_ was adopted, that
the rigorous immutability of village modes would permit.

"It would seem that the fickleness of fashion exercises in constant
local variations that mutability which is utterly denied to it in
Brittany with regard to time. Every district, almost every commune
has its own peculiar 'mode' (for both sexes) which changes not from
generation to generation. As the mothers dress, so do their daughters,
so did their grandmothers, and so will their grand-daughters." [But I
reckoned when writing thus without the railroad and its consequences.]
"If a woman of one parish marries, or takes service, or for any other
cause resides in another, she still retains the mode of her native
village; and thus carries about her a mark, which is to those, among
whom she is a sojourner, a well-recognised indication of the place
whence she comes, and to herself a cherished souvenir of the home
which she never ceases to consider her own country.

"But though the form of the dress is invariable, and every inhabitant
of the commune, from the wealthy farmer's wife to the poorest cottager
who earns her black bread by labour in the fields, would as soon think
of adopting male attire as of innovating on the immemorial _mode du
pays_, yet the quality of the materials allows scope for wealth and
female coquetry to show themselves. Thus the invariable _mode de
Broons_, with its trifling difference in form, which in the eye of the
inhabitants made it as different as light from darkness from the _mode
de St. Jouan_,' was equally observable in the coarse linen _coiffe_ of
the maid, and the richly-laced and beautifully 'got up' head-dress of
the daughter of the house.

"A very slight observation of human nature under a few only of its
various phases may suffice to show that the instinct which prompts a
woman to adorn her person to the best possible advantage is not the
hot-house growth of cities, but a genuine wild flower of nature. No
high-born beauty ever more repeatedly or anxiously consulted her
wax-lit _psyche_ on every faultless point of hair, face, neck, feet,
and figure, before descending to the carriage for her first ball, than
did our young Bretonne again and again recur to the mirror, which
occupied the pier between the two windows of the _salle a manger_,
before sallying forth on the great occasion of her confirmation.

"The dear object of girlish ambition was the same to both; but the
simplicity of the little _paysanne_ showed itself in the utter absence
of any wish to conceal her anxiety upon the subject. Though delighted
with our compliments on her appearance, our presence by no means
prevented her from springing upon a chair every other minute to obtain
fuller view of the _tout ensemble_ of her figure. Again and again the
modest kerchief was arranged and rearranged to show a hair's breadth
more or a hair's breadth less of her brown but round and taper throat.
Repeatedly, before it could be finally adjusted to her satisfaction,
was the delicate fabric of her _coiffure_ moved with cautious care and
dainty touch a _leetle_ backwarder or a _leetle_ forwarder over her
sun-browned brow.

"Many were the pokings and pinchings of frock and apron, the
smoothings down before and twitchings down behind of the not less
anxious mother. Often did she retreat to examine more correctly the
general effect of the _coup d'oeil_, and as often return to rectify
some injudicious pin or remodel some rebellious fold. When all was at
length completed, and the well-pleased parent had received from the
servants, called in for the express purpose, the expected tribute of
admiration, the little beauty took _L'Imitation de la Vierge_ in her
hand, and tripped across to a convent of _Soeurs Grises_ on the other
side of the way to receive their last instructions and admonitions
respecting her behaviour when she should be presented to the bishop,
while her mother screamed after her not to forget to pull up her frock
when she kneeled down.

"All the time employed in this little revision of the toilet had not
been left unimproved by my companion, who at the end of it produced
and showed to the proud mother an admirable full-length sketch of her
pretty darling. The delighted astonishment of the poor woman, and her
accent, as she exclaimed, '_O, si c'etait pour moi_!' and then blushed
to the temples at what she had said, were irresistible, and the
good-natured artist was fain to make her a present of the drawing."

My Breton book ("though I says it as shouldn't") is not a bad one,
especially as regards the upper or northern part of the province. That
which concerns Lower Brittany is very imperfect, mainly, I take it,
because I had already nearly filled my destined two volumes when I
reached it. I find there, however, the following notice of the sardine
fishery, which has some interest at the present day. Perhaps the
majority of the thousands of English people who nowadays have
"sardines" on their breakfast-table every morning are not aware that
the contents of a very large number of the little tin boxes which are
supposed to contain the delicacy are not sardines at all. They are
very excellent little fishes, but not sardines; for the enormously
increased demand for them has outstripped the supply. In the days when
the following sentences were written sardines might certainly be had
in London (as what might not?) at such shops as Fortnum and Mason's,
but they were costly, and by no means commonly met with.

On reaching Douarnenez in the summer of 1839 I wrote:--"The whole
population and the existence of Douarnenez depend on the sardine
fishery. This delicious little fish, which the _gourmands_ of Paris so
much delight in, when preserved in oil, and sent to their capital in
those little tin boxes whose look must be _familiar to all who have
frequented the Parisian breakfast-houses_" [but is now more familiar
to all who have entered any grocers shop throughout the length and
breadth of England], "is still more exquisite when eaten fresh on the
shores which it frequents. They are caught in immense quantities along
the whole of the southern coast of Brittany, and on the western shore
of Finisterre as far to the northward as Brest, which, I believe, is
the northern limit of the fishery. They come into season about the
middle of June, and are then sold in great quantities in all the
markets of southern Brittany at two, three, or four sous a dozen,
according to the abundance of the fishery and the distance of the
market from the coast. I was told that the commerce in sardines along
the coast from l'Orient to Brest amounted to three millions of francs

At the present day it must be enormously larger. I remember well the
exceeding plentifulness of the little fishes--none of them so large as
many of those which now fill the so-called sardine boxes--when I was
at Douarnenez in 1839. All the men, women, and children in the place
seemed to be feasting upon them all day long. Plates with heaps of
them fried and piled up crosswise, like timber in a timber-yard, were
to be seen outdoors and indoors, wherever three or four people could
be found together. All this was a thing of the past when I revisited
Douarnenez in 1866. Every fish was then needed for the tinning
business. They were to be had of course by ordering and paying for
them, but very few indeed were consumed by the population of the

And this subject reminds me of another fishery which I witnessed a
few months ago--last March--at Sestri di Ponente, near Genoa. We
frequently saw nearly the whole of the fisher population of the place
engaged in dragging from the water on to the sands enormously long
nets, which had been previously carried out by boats to a distance not
more I think than three or four hundred yards from the shore. From
these nets, when at last they were landed after an hour or so of
continual dragging by a dozen or twenty men and women, were taken huge
baskets-full of silvery little fish sparkling in the sun, _exactly_
like whitebait. I had always supposed that whitebait was a specialty
of the Thames. Whether an icthyologist would have pronounced the
little Sestri fishes to be the same creatures as those which British
statesmen consume at Greenwich I cannot say; but we ate them
frequently at the hotel under the name of _gianchetti_, and could find
_no_ difference between them and the Greenwich delicacy. The season
for them did not seem to last above two or three weeks. The fishermen
continued to drag their net, but caught other fishes instead of
_giancketti_. But while it lasted the plenty of them was prodigious.
All Sestri was eating them, as all Douarnenez ate sardines in the old
days. When the net with its sparkling cargo was dragged up on the sand
and the contents were being shovelled into huge baskets to be carried
up into the town, the men would take up handfuls of them, fresh, and I
suppose still living, from the sea, and plunging their bearded mouths
in them, eat them up by hundreds. The children too, irrepressibly
thronging round the net, would pick from its meshes the fishes which
adhered to them and eat them, as more inland rising generations eat
blackberries. I did not try the experiment of eating them thus, as one
eats oysters, but I can testify that, crisply fried, and eaten with
brown bread and butter and lemon juice, they were remarkably good.

Fortified by the excellent example of Sir Francis Doyle, who in his
extremely amusing volume of _Reminiscences_ gives as a reason for
disregarding the claims of chronology in the composition of it, the
chances that he might forget the matter he had In his mind if he did
not book it at once, I have ventured for the same reason to do the
same thing here. But I have an older authority for the practice in
question, which Sir Francis is hardly likely to have lighted on.
That learned antiquary and portentously voluminous writer, Francesco
Cancellieri, who was well known to the Roman world in the latter years
of the last, and the earliest years of the present, century, used
to compose his innumerable works upon a similar principle. And when
attacked by the critics his cotemporaries, who Italian-like supposed
academically correct form to be the most important thing in any
literary work, he defended himself on the same ground. "If I don't
catch it _now_, I may probably forget it; and is the world to be
deprived of the information it is in my power to give it, for the sake
of the formal correctness of my work?"

There is another passage in my book on Brittany respecting which it
would be interesting to know whether recent travellers can report
that the state of things there described no longer exists. I wrote in

"Very near Treguier, on a spot appropriately selected for such a
worship--the barren top of a bleak unsheltered eminence--stands the
chapel of _Notre Dame de la Haine!_ Our Lady of HATRED! The most
fiendish of human passions is supposed to be under the protection of
Christ's religion! What is this but a fragment of pure and unmixed
Paganism, unchanged except in the appellation of its idol, which has
remained among these lineal descendants of the Armorican Druids for
more than a thousand years after Christianity has become the professed
religion of the country! Altars, professedly Christian, were raised
under the protection of the Protean Virgin, to the demon _Hatred_; and
have continued to the present day to receive an unholy worship from
blinded bigots, who hope to obtain Heaven's patronage and assistance
for thoughts and wishes which they would be ashamed to breathe to man.
Three _Aves_ repeated with devotion at this odious and melancholy
shrine are firmly believed to have the power to cause, within the
year, the certain death of the person against whom the assistance of
Our Lady of Hatred has been invoked. And it is said that even yet
occasionally, in the silence and obscurity of the evening, the figure
of some assassin worshipper at this accursed shrine may be seen
to glide rapidly from the solitary spot, where he has spoken the
unhallowed prayer whose mystic might has doomed to death the enemy he

I must tell one other story of my Breton recollections, which refers
to a time much subsequent to the publication of the book I have been
quoting. It was in 1866 that I revisited Brittany in company with
my present wife; and one of the objects of our little tour was the
Finisterre land's end at the extreme point of the horn-like promontory
which forms the department so named. We found some difficulty in
reaching the spot, not the least part of which was caused by the
necessity of threading our way, when in the immediate neighbourhood of
the cliffs, among enormous masses of seaweed stacked in huge heaps
and left to undergo the process of decay, which turns it into very
valuable manure. The odour which impregnated the whole surrounding
atmosphere from these heaps was decidedly the worst and most
asphyxiating I ever experienced.

We stood at last on the utmost _Finis terrae_ and looked over the
Atlantic not only from the lighthouse, which, built three hundred feet
above the sea level, is often, we were told, drenched by storm-driven
spray, but from various points of the tremendous rocks also. They are
tremendous, in truth. The scene is a much grander one than that at our
own "Land's End," which I visited a month or two ago. The cliffs are
much higher, the rocks are more varied in their forms--more cruelly
savage-looking, and the cleavages of them are on a larger scale. The
spot was one of the most profound solitude, for we were far from the
lighthouse, and the scream of the white gulls as they started from
their roosting-places on the face of the rocks, or returned to them
from their swirling flights, were the only indication of the presence
of any creature having the breath of life.

The rock ledges, among which we were clambering, were in many places
fearful spots enough--places where a stumble or a divagation of
the foot but six or eight inches from the narrow path would have
precipitated the blunderer to assured and inevitable destruction.
"Here," said I to my wife, as we stood side by side on one such ledge,
"would be the place for a husband, who wanted to get rid of his
wife, to accomplish his purpose. Done in ten seconds! With absolute
certainty! One push would suffice! No cry of any more avail than the
screams of those gulls! And no possibility of the deed being witnessed
by any mortal eye!"

I had hardly got the words out of my mouth before our ears were
startled by a voice hailing us; and after some searching of the eye
we espied a man engaged in seeking sea-fowls' eggs, who had placed
himself in a position which I should have thought it absolutely
impossible to reach, whence he had seen us, as we now saw him!

Let this then, my brethren, be a warning to you!


Returning from my Breton journey, I reached my mother's house in York
Street on the 23rd of July, 1839, and on the 26th of the same month
left London with her to visit my married sister in her new home at
Penrith, where Mr. Tilley had established himself as Post Office
surveyor of the northern district. His home was a pretty house
situated between the town and the well-known beacon on the hill to the
north of it.

The first persons I became acquainted with in this, to me, entirely
new region, were Sir George Musgrave, of Edenhall, and his wife, who
was a sister of Sir James Graham. My brother-in-law took me over to
Edenhall, a lovely walk from Penrith, and we found both Sir George
and Lady Musgrave at home. We--my mother and I--had not at that
time conceived the idea of becoming residents at Penrith. But when
subsequently we were led to do so, we found extremely pleasant and
friendly neighbours at Edenhall, and though not in strict chronology
due in this place, I may throw together my few reminiscences of Sir

He was the _beau-ideal_ of a country gentleman of the old school. He
rarely or never went to London--not, as was the case with some of his
neighbours, because the expense of a season there was formidable, for
his estate was a fine one, and he was a rich man living largely within
his income, but because his idea was, that a country gentleman's
proper place was on his own acres, and because London had no
temptations for him. He was said to be the best landlord in the
county, and really seemed to look upon all his numerous tenants,
and all their labourers, as his born subjects, to whom protection,
kindness, assistance, and general looking after were due, in return
for their fealty and loyal attachment. I think he would have kicked
off his land (and he was a man who could kick) any man who talked in
his hearing of the purely commercial relationship between a landlord
and his tenants. Of course he was adored by all the country side. No
doubt the stout Cumberland and Westmoreland farmers and hinds were
good and loyal subjects of Queen Victoria, but for all practical
purposes of reverence and obedience, Musgrave was king at Edenhall.

Lady Musgrave was a particularly lady-like woman, the marked elegance
of whose breeding might, with advantage, have given the tone to many a
London drawing-room. I have seen her surrounded by country neighbours,
and though she was _velut inter ignes luna minores_, I never saw the
country squire's or country parson's wife, who was not perfectly happy
and at ease in her drawing-room, while unconsciously all the time
taking a lesson in good breeding and lady-like manners. She was
thoroughly a help-meet for her husband in all his care for his people.
I believe that both he and she were convinced at the bottom of their
hearts that Cumberland and Westmoreland constituted the choicest,
best, and most highly civilised part of England. And she was one of
those of whom I was thinking, when in a former chapter I spoke of
highly educated people whom I had known to affect provincialism of
speech. Lady Musgrave always, or perhaps it would be more correct to
say generally, called a cow a "coo," and though I suspect she would
have left Westmoreland behind if evil fate had called her to London,
on her own hill-sides she preferred the accents of the native speech.

Sir George had, or affected to have, considerable respect for all the
little local superstitions and beliefs which are so prevalent in
that "north countree." And the kindness with which he welcomed us as
neighbours, when we built a house and came to live there, was shown
despite a strong feeling which he had, or affected to have, with
regard to an incident which fatally marked our _debut_ in that

We bought a field in a very beautiful situation overlooking the ruins
of Brougham Castle and the confluence of the Eden with the Lowther,
and proceeded to build a house on the higher part of it. But there was
a considerable drop from the lower limit of our ground to the road
which skirted the property, and furnished the only access to it. There
was some difficulty, therefore, in contriving a tolerable entrance
from the road for wheel traffic, and it was found necessary to cause a
tiny little spring that rose in the bank by the roadside to change
its course in some small degree. The affair seemed to us a matter of
infinitesimal importance, but Sir George was dismayed. We had moved,
he said, a holy well, and the consequence would surely be that we
should never succeed in establishing ourselves in that spot.

And surely enough we never did so succeed; for, after having built a
very nice little house, and lived in it one winter and half a summer,
we--for I cannot say that it was my mother more than I, or I more than
my mother--made up our minds that "the sun yoked his horses too far
from Penrith town," and that we had had enough of it. Sir George,
of course, when he heard our determination, while he expressed
all possible regret at losing us as neighbours, said that he knew
perfectly well that it must be so, from the time that we so recklessly
meddled with the holy well.

He was the most hospitable man in the world, and could never let many
days pass without asking us to dine with him. But his hospitality was
of quite the old world school. One day, but that was after our journey
to Italy and when he had become intimate with us, being in a hurry to
get back into the drawing-room to rejoin a pretty girl next whom I had
sat at dinner, I tried to escape from the dining-room. "Come back!"
he roared, before I could get to the door, "we won't have any of your
d--d forineering habits here! Come back and stick to your wine, or by
the Lord I'll have the door locked."

He was, unlike most men of his sort, not very fond of riding, but was
a great walker. He used to take the men he could get to walk with him
a tramp over the hill, till they were fain to cry "Hold! enough!" But
_there_ I was his match.

Most of my readers have probably heard of the "Luck of Edenhall," for
besides Longfellow's[1] well-known poem, the legend relating to it
has often been told in print. I refer to it here merely to mention a
curious trait of character in Sir George Musgrave in connection with
it. The "Luck of Edenhall" is an ancient decorated glass goblet, which
has belonged to the Musgraves time out of mind, and which bears on it
the legend:--

"When this cup shall break or fall,
Farewell the luck of Edenhall."

[Footnote 1: Subsequently to the publication of his poem Musgrave
asked Longfellow to dine at Edenhall, and "picked a crow" with him on
the conclusion of the poem, which represents the "Luck" to have been
broken, which Sir George considered a flight of imagination quite
transcending all permissible poetical licence.]

After what I have written of Sir George and the holy well, which we so
unfortunately moved from its proper site, it will be readily imagined
that he attached no small importance to the safe keeping of the
"Luck;" and truly he did so. But instead of simply locking it up,
where he might feel sure it could neither break nor fall, he would
show it to all visitors, and not content with that, would insist
on their taking it into their hands to examine and handle it. He
maintained that otherwise there was no fair submission to the test of
luck, which was intended by the inscription. It would have been mere
cowardly prevarication to lock it away under circumstances which took
the matter out of the dominion of "luck" altogether. I wonder
that under such circumstances it has not fallen, for the nervous
trepidation of the folks who were made to handle it may be imagined!

I made another friend at Penrith in the person of a man as strongly
contrasted with Sir George Musgrave as two north-country Englishmen
could well be. This was a Dr. Nicholson, who has died within the last
few months, to my great regret, for I had promised myself the great
pleasure of taking him by the hand yet once again before starting on
the journey on which we may, or may not meet. He was my senior by a
few years, but not by many. Nicholson was a man of very extensive
reading and of profound Biblical learning. It may be deemed surprising
by others, as it was, and is, to me, that such a man should have been
an earnest and thoroughly convinced Swedenborgian--but such was the
case. And I can conscientiously give this testimony to the excellence
of that creed--that it produced in the person of its learned
north-country disciple at least one truly good and amiable man. Dr.
Nicholson was emphatically such in all the relations of life. He was
the good and loving husband of a very charming wife, the unremittingly
careful and affectionate father of a large family, a delightful host
at his own table, an excellent and instructive companion over a cigar
(hardly correctly alluded to in the singular number!) and a most
_jucundus comes_ in a tramp over the hills.

Amusing to me still is the contrast between those Cumberland walks
with Sir George and my ramblings over the same or nearly the same
ground with the meditative Swedenborgian doctor;--the first always
pushing ahead as if shouldering along a victorious path through life,
knowing the history of every foot of ground he passed over, interested
in every detail of it, and with an air of continually saying "Ha!
ha!" among the breezy trumpets of those hills, like the scriptural
war-horse; the second with his gaze very imperfectly turned
outward, but very fruitfully turned inward, frequently pausing with
argumentative finger laid on his companion's breast, and smile half
satirical half kindly as the flow of discourse revealed theological
_lacunae_ in my acquirements, which, I fear, irreparably and most
unfairly injured the Regius professor of divinity in the mind of the
German graduate. For Nicholson was a theological "doctor" by virtue of
a degree from I forget what German university, and had a low estimate,
perhaps more justified at that day than it would be now, of the extent
and calibre of Oxford theological learning. He was himself a disciple,
and an enthusiastic admirer of Ewald, a very learned Hebraist, and an
unflagging student.

I was more capable of appreciating at its due value the extent and
accuracy of his knowledge upon another subject--a leg of mutton! It
_may_ be a mere coincidence, but certainly the most learned Hebraist
it was ever my lot to know was also the best and most satisfactory
carver of a leg of mutton.

Nobody knows anything about mutton in these days, for the very
sufficient reason that there is no mutton worth knowing anything about.
Scientific breeding has improved it off the face of the earth. The
immature meat is killed at two years old, and only we few survivors of a
former generation know how little like it is to the mutton of former
days. The Monmouthshire farmers told me the other day that they could
not keep Welsh sheep of pure breed, because nothing under an eight-foot
park paling would confine them. Just as if they did not jump in the days
when I jumped too! Believe me, my young friends, that George the Third
knew what he was talking about (as upon certain other occasions) when he
said that very little venison was equal to a haunch of four-year-old
mutton. And the gravy!--chocolate-coloured, not pink, my innocent young
friends. Ichabod! Ichabod!

My uncle, too, Mr. Partington--who married my father's sister, and
lived many years chairman of quarter sessions at Offham, among the
South Downs, near Lewes--there was a man who understood mutton! A
little silver saucepan was placed by his side when the leg of mutton,
or sometimes two, about as big as fine fowls, were placed in one
dish before him. Then, after the mutton had been cut, the abundantly
flowing gravy was transferred to the saucepan, a couple of glasses of
tawny old port, and a _quantum suff._ of currant jelly and cayenne
were added, the whole was warmed in the dining-room, and then--we ate
mutton, as I shall never eat it again in this world!

Well! _revenir a nos moutons_ we never, never shall! So we must, alas!
do the reverse in returning to my Penrith reminiscences.

I remember specially an excellent old fellow and very friendly
neighbour, Colonel Macleod, a bachelor, who having fallen in love with
a very beautiful spot, in the valley of the Lowther, built an ugly
brick house, three stories high, because, as he said, he was so greedy
of the view, forgetful apparently that he was providing it mainly for
his maid servants. Then there was the old maiden lady, with a name
that might have been found in north-country annals at almost any
date during the last seven hundred years, who mildly and maternally
corrected my sister at table for speaking of _vol-au-vent_, telling
her that the correct expression was _voulez-vous!_ My sister always
adopted the old lady's correction in future, at least when addressing

Then there were two pretty girls, Margaret and Charlotte Story, the
nieces of old De Whelpdale, the lord of the manor. I think he and Mrs.
De Whelpdale never left their room, for I do not remember to have ever
seen either of them; nor do I remember that I at all resented their
absence from the drawing-room when I used to call at the manor house.
One of the girls was understood to be engaged to be married to a far
distant lieutenant, of whom Penrith knew nothing, which circumstance
gave rise to sundry ingenious conceits in the acrostic line, based on
allusions to "his story" and "mystery!" I wonder whether Charlotte is
alive! If she is, and should see this page, she will remember! It was
for her sake that I deserted, or tried to desert, Sir George's port,
as related above.

We left Penrith on that occasion without having formed any decided
intention of establishing ourselves there, and returned to London
towards the end of August, 1839. During the next two months I was hard
at work completing the MS. of my volumes on Brittany. And in November
of the same year, after that long fast from all journeying, my mother
and I left London for a second visit to Paris. But we did not on this
occasion travel together.

I left London some days earlier than she did, and travelled by Ostend,
Cologne, and Mannheim, my principal object being to visit my old
friend, Mrs. Fauche, who was living at the latter place. I passed
three or four very pleasant days there, including, as I find by my
diary, sundry agreeable jaunts to Heidelberg, Carlsruhe, &c. My mother
and I had arranged to meet at Paris on the 4th of December, and at
that date I punctually turned up there.

I think that I saw Paris and the Parisians much more satisfactorily on
this occasion than during my first visit; and I suspect that some of
the recollections recorded in these pages as connected with my first
visit to Paris, belong really to this second stay there, especially I
think that this must have been the case with regard to my acquaintance
with Chateaubriand, though I certainly was introduced to him at the
earlier period, for I find the record of much talk with him about
Brittany, which was a specially welcome subject to him.

It was during this second visit that I became acquainted with Henry
Bulwer, afterwards Lord Dalling, and at that time first secretary of
the British legation. My visits were generally, perhaps always, paid
to him when he was in bed, where he was lying confined by, if I
remember rightly, a broken leg, I used to find his bed covered with
papers and blue-books, and the like. And I was told that the whole, or
at all events the more important part of the business of the embassy
was done by him as he lay there on the bed, which must have been for
many a long hour a bed of suffering.

Despite certain affectations--which were so palpably affectations, and
scarcely pretended to be aught else, that there was little or nothing
annoying or offensive in them--he was a very agreeable man, and was
unquestionably a very brilliant one. He came to dine with me, I
remember, many years afterwards at my house in Florence, when he
insisted (the dining-room being on the first floor) on being carried
up stairs, as we thought at the time very unnecessarily. But for
aught I know such suspicion may have wronged him. At all events his
disability, whatever it may have been, did not prevent him from making
himself very agreeable.

One of our guests upon that same occasion (I must drag the mention of
the fact in head and shoulders here, or else I shall forget it), was
that extraordinary man, Baron Ward, who was, or perhaps I ought to say
at that time had been, prime minister and general administrator to the
Duke of Lucca. Ward had been originally brought from Yorkshire to be
an assistant in the ducal stables. There, doubtless because he knew
more about the business than anybody else concerned with it, he soon
became chief. In that capacity he made himself so acceptable to the
Duke, that he was taken from the stables to be his highness's personal
attendant. His excellence in that position soon enlarged his duties
to those of controller of the whole ducal household. And thence, by
degrees that were more imperceptible in the case of such a government
than they could have been in a larger and more regularly administered
state, Ward became the recognised, and nearly all-powerful head,
manager, and ruler of the little Duchy of Lucca. And I believe the
strange promotion was much for the advantage of the Duke and of the
Duke's subjects. Ward, I take it, never robbed him or any one else.
And this eccentric specialty, the Duke, though he was no Solomon,
had the wit to discover. In his cups the ex-groom, ex-valet, was not
reticent about his sovereign master, and his talk was not altogether
of an edifying nature. One sally sticks in my memory. "Ah, yes! He was
a grand favourite with the women. But _I_ have had the grooming of
him; and it was a wuss job than ever grooming his hosses was!"

Ward got very drunk that night, I remember, and we deemed it fortunate
that our diplomatist guest had departed before the outward signs of
his condition became manifest.

Henry Bulwer, by mere circumstance of synchronism, has suggested the
remembrance of Ward, Ward has called up the Duke of Lucca, and he
brings with him a host of Baths of Lucca reminiscences respecting his
Serene Highness and others. But all these _must_ be left to find their
places, if anywhere, when I come to them later on, or we shall never
get back to Paris.

It was on this our second visit to _Lutetia Parisiorum_ that my mother
and I made acquaintance with a very specially charming family of the
name of D'Henin. The family circle consisted of General le Vicomte
D'Henin, his English wife, and their daughter. The general was a
delightful old man, more like an English general officer than any
other Frenchman I ever met. Madame D'Henin was like an Englishwoman
not unaccustomed to courts and wholly unspoiled by them. Mademoiselle
D'Henin, very pretty, united the qualities of a denizen of the inmost
circles of the fashionable world with those of a really serious
student, to a degree I have never seen equalled. They were great
friends of the Bishop of London, and Mademoiselle D'Henin used to
correspond with him. She was earnestly religious, and I remember her
telling me of a _demele_ she had had with her confessor. She had told
him in confession that she was in the habit of reading the English
Bible. He strongly objected, and at last told her that he could not
give her absolution unless she promised to discontinue the practice.
She told him that rather than do so, she would take what would be to
her the painful step of declaring herself a Protestant, whereupon he
undertook to obtain a special permission for her to read the English
Bible. Whether he did really take any such measures I don't know, and
I fancy she never knew; but the upshot was that she continued to read
the heretical book, and nothing more was ever said of refusing her

I have a large bundle of letters from this highly accomplished young
lady to my mother. Many passages of them would be interesting and
valuable to an historian of the reign of Louis Philippe. She writes at
great length, and her standpoint is the very centre of the monarchical
side of the French political world of that day. But as I am _not_
writing a history of the reign of Louis Philippe, I must content
myself with extracting two or three suggestive notices.

In a letter dated from Paris, 19th July, 1840, she writes:--"You shew
much hospitality towards your royal guests. But I assure you it will
not in this instance be taken as an homage to superior merit--words
which I have heard frequently applied here to John Bull's frenzy
about Soult, and to the hospitality of the English towards the Duc de
N[emours], When I told him how much I should like to be in his place
(_i.e._, about to go to England), he protested that he would change
places with no one, '_quand il s'agissait d'aller dans un aussi
delicieux pays, que cette belle Angleterre, que vous avez si bonne
raison d'aimer et d'admirer._'"

On the 29th of August in the same year she writes at great length of
the indignation and fury produced in Paris by the announcement of
the Quadruple Alliance. She is immensely impressed by the fact that
"people gathered in the streets and discussed the question in the open
air." "Ireland, Poland, and Italy are to rise to the cry of Liberty."
But she goes on to say, "Small causes produce great effects. Much of
this warlike disposition has arisen from the fact of Thiers having
bought a magnificent horse to ride beside the King at the late
review." She proceeds to ridicule the minister in a tone very
naturally suggested by the personal appearance of the little great man
under such circumstances, which no doubt furnished Paris with much
fun. But she goes on to suggest that the personal vanity which
made the prospect of such a public appearance alluring to him
was reinforced by "certain other secondary but still important
considerations of a different nature, looking to the results which
might follow from the exhibition of a war policy. This desirable end
being attained beyond even the most sanguine hopes, the martial fever
seems on the decline."

Now all this gossip may be accepted as evidencing the tone prevailing
in the very inmost circles of the citizen king's friends and
surroundings, and as such is curious.

Writing on the 8th of October in the same year, after speaking at
great length of Madame Laffarge, and of the extraordinary interest
her trial excited, dividing all Paris into Laffargists and
anti-Laffargists, and almost superseding war as a general topic
of conversation, she passes to the then burning subject of the
fortification of Paris, and writes as follows--curiously enough,
considering the date of her letter:--

"Louis Philippe, whose favourite hobby it has ever been, from the idea
that it makes him master of Paris, lays the first stone to-day. Some
people consider it the first stone of the mausoleum of his dynasty.
I sincerely hope not; for everything that can be called lady or
gentleman runs a good chance of forming part of the funeral pile. The
political madness which has taken possession of the public mind is
fearful. Foreign or civil war! Such is the alternative. Thiers, who
governs the masses, flatters them by promises of war and conquest. The
_Marsellaise_, so lately a sign of rebellion, is sung openly in the
theatres; the soldiers under arms sing it in chorus. The Guarde
Nationale urges the King to declare war. He has resisted it with all
his power, but has now, they say, given way, and has given Thiers
_carte blanche_. He is in fact entirely under his control. The
Chambers are not consulted. Thiers is our absolute sovereign. We call
ourselves a free people. We have beheaded one monarch, exiled three
generations of kings merely to have a dictator, '_mal ne, mal fait, et
mal eleve_.' There has been a rumour of a change of ministry, but no
one believes it. The overthrow of Thiers would be the signal for a
revolution, and the fortifications are not yet completed to master it.
May not all these armaments be the precursors of some _coup d'etat_? A
general gloom is over all around us. All the faces are long; all the
conversations are sad!"

This may be accepted as a thoroughly accurate and trustworthy
representation of the then state of feeling and opinion among the
friends of Louis Philippe's Government, whether _Parceque Bourbon_ or
_Quoique Bourbon_, and as such is valuable. It is curious too, to find
a staunch friend of the existing government, who may be said to have
been even intimate with the younger members of the royal family,
speaking of the Prime Minister with the detestation which these
letters again and again express for Thiers.

In a letter of the 19th November, 1840, the writer describes at great
length the recent opening of the Chamber by the King. She enlarges on
the intensity of the anxiety felt for the tenor of the King's speech,
which was supposed to be the announcement of war or peace; and
describes the deep emotion, with which Louis Philippe, declaring his
hope that peace might yet be preserved, called upon the nation to
assist him in the effort to maintain it; and expresses the scorn and
loathing with which she overheard one republican deputy say to another
as the King spoke, "_Voyez donc ce Robert Macaire, comme il fait
semblant d'avoir du coeur_!"

A letter of the 14th March, 1842, is written in better spirits and
a lighter tone. Speaking of the prevalent hostile feeling towards
England the writer wishes that her countrymen would remember
Lamartine's observation that "_ce patriotisme coute peu! Il suffit
d'ignorer, d'injurier et de hair_." She tells her correspondent that
"if Lord Cowley has much to do to establish the exact line between
Lord Aberdeen's _observations_ and _objections_, Lady Cowley has
no less difficulty in keeping a nice balance between dignity and
popularity," as "the Embassy is besieged by all sets and all parties;
the tag and rag, because pushing is a part of their nature; the _juste
milieu_ [how the very phrase recalls a whole forgotten world!] because
they consider the English Embassy as their property; the noble
Faubourg because they are tired of sulking, and would not object
to treating Lady Cowley as they treated Colonel Thorn,[1] viz.,
establishing their quarters at the 'Cowley Arms,' as they did at
the 'Thorn's Head,' and inviting their friends on the recognised
principle, '_C'est moi qui invite, et Monsieur qui paie_'"

[Footnote 1: Colonel Thorn was an American of fabulous wealth, who was
for a season or two very notorious in Paris. He was the hero of the
often-told story of the two drives to Longchamps the same day; first
with one gorgeous equipment of _liveries_, and a second time with
other and more resplendently clothed retainers.]

Then follows an account of a fancy _bal monstre_ at the Tuileries,
which might have turned out, says the writer, to deserve that title
in another sense. It was believed that a plot had been formed for
the assassination of the King, at the moment, when, according to his
invariable custom, he took his stand at the door of the supper-room to
receive the ladies there. Four thousand five hundred tickets had been
issued and a certain number of these, still blank, had disappeared.
That was certain. And it was also certain that the King did not go to
the door of the supper-room as usual. But the writer remarks that the
tickets may have been stolen by, or for, people who could not obtain
them legitimately. But the instantly conceived suspicion of a plot is
illustrative of the conditions of feeling and opinions in Paris at the

"For my part," continues Mademoiselle D'Henin, "I never enjoyed a
ball so much; perhaps because I did not expect to be amused; perhaps
because all the royal family, the Jockey Club, and the fastidious
Frenchwomen congratulated me upon my toilet, and voted it one of the
handsomest there. They _said_ the most becoming (but that was _de
l'eau benite de Cour_); perhaps it was because the Dukes of Orleans,
Nemours, and Aumale, who never dance, and did so very little that
evening, all three honoured me with a quadrille. You see I expose to
you all the very linings of my heart I dissect it and exhibit all
the vanity it contains. But you will excuse me when I tell you of a
compliment that might have turned a wiser head than mine. The fame of
my huntress's costume (Mademoiselle D'Henin was in those days the very
_beau-ideal_ of a Diana!) was such that it reached the ears of the
wife of our butcher, who sent to beg that I would lend it to her to
copy, as she was going to a fancy ball!"

A letter of the 8th of August, 1842, written from Fulham Palace,
contains some interesting notices of the grief and desolation caused
by the sad death of the Duke of Orleans.

"Was there ever a more afflicting calamity!" she writes. "When last
I wrote his name in a letter to you, it was to describe him as the
admired of all beholders, the hero of the _fete_, the pride and honour
of France, and now what remains of him is in his grave! The affliction
of his family baffles all description. I receive the most touching
accounts from Paris. Some ladies about the Court write to me that
nothing can equal their grief. As long as the coffin remained in the
chapel at Neuilly, the members of the family were incessantly kneeling
by the side of it, praying and weeping. The King so far mastered his
feelings, that whenever he had official duties to perform, he was
sufficiently composed to perform _son metier de Roi_. But when the
painful task was done he would rush to the chapel, and weep over the
dead body of his son, till the whole palace rang with his cries and
lamentations. When the body was removed from Neuilly to Notre Dame,
the scene at Neuilly was truly heartrending. My father has seen the
King and the Princes several times since the catastrophe, and he says
it has done the work of years on their personal appearance, The Due de
Nemours has neither eaten nor slept since his brother died, and
looks as if walking out of his grave. Mamma wrote him a few lines
of condolence, which he answered by a most affecting note. Papa was
summoned to attend the King to the House, as _Grand Officier_, and
says he never witnessed such a scene. Even the opposition shed their
crocodile tears. Placed immediately near the King on the steps of
the throne, he saw the struggle between kingly decorum and fatherly
affliction. Nature had the victory. Three times the King attempted to
speak, three times he was obliged to stop, and at last burst into a
flood of tears. The contagion gained all around him. And it was only
interrupted by sobs that he could proceed. And it is in the face of
this despair, when the body of the prince is scarcely cold, that
that horrid Thiers and his associates begin afresh their infernal

A letter of the 3rd April, 1842, contains among a quantity of the
gossip of the day an odd story, which, the writer says, "is putting
Rome in a ferment, and the clergy in raptures." I think I remember
that it made a considerable stir in ecclesiastic circles at the time.
A certain M. Ratisbonne, a Jew, it seems entered a church in Rome (the
writer does not say so, but if I remember rightly, it was the "Gesu"),
with a friend, a M. de Bussieres, who had some business to transact in
the sacristy. The Jew, who professed complete infidelity, meantime was
looking at the pictures. But M. de Bussieres, when his business was
done, found him prostrate on the pavement in front of a picture of the
Madonna. The Jew on coming to himself declared that the Virgin had
stepped from her frame, and addressed him, with the result, as he
said, that having fallen to the ground an infidel, he rose a convinced
Christian! Mademoiselle D'Henin writes in a tone which indicates small
belief in the miracle, but seems to accept as certain the further
facts, that the convert gave all he possessed to the Church and became
a monk.

I have recently--even while transcribing these extracts from her
letters--heard of the death, within the last few years, of the writer
of them. She died in England, I am told, and unmarried. Her sympathies
and affections were always strongly turned to her mother's country, as
indeed may be in some degree inferred from even those passages of her
letters which have been given. And I can well conceive that the events
which, each more disastrous than its predecessor, followed in France
shortly after the date of the last of them, may have rendered,
especially after the death of her parents, a life in France
distasteful to her. But I, and, I think, my mother also, had entirely
lost sight of her for very many years. Had I imagined that she was
living in England, I should undoubtedly have endeavoured to see her.

I have known many women, denizens of _le grand monde_, who have
adorned it with equally brilliant talents, equally captivating beauty,
equally sparkling wit and vivacity of intelligence. And I have known
many, denizens of the studious and the book world, gifted with larger
powers of intellect, and more richly dowered with the results of
thought and study But I do not think that I ever met with one who
possessed in so large a degree the choice product resulting from
conversance with both these worlds. She was in truth a very brilliant

Madame D'Henin I remember made us laugh heartily one evening by
telling us the following anecdote. At one of those remarkable
_omnium-gatherum_ receptions at the Tuileries, of which I have spoken
in a former chapter, she heard an American lady, to whom Louis
Philippe was talking of his American recollections and of various
persons he had known there, say to him, "Oh, sire, they all retain the
most lively recollections of your majesty's sojourn among them, _and
wish nothing more than that you should return among them again_!" The
Duke of Orleans, who was standing behind the King, fairly burst into a

There was a story current in Rome, in the days of Pius the Ninth,
which may be coupled with this as a good _pendant_. His Holiness, when
he had occupied the papal throne for a period considerably exceeding
the legendary twenty-five years of St. Peter, was one day very affably
asking an Englishman, who had been presented to him, whether he had
seen everything in Rome most calculated to interest a stranger, and
was answered; "Yes indeed, your Holiness, I think almost everything,
except one which I confess I have been particularly anxious to
witness--a conclave!"

Here are a few jottings at random from my diary, which may still have
some little interest.

"Madame Le Roi, a daughter of General Hoche, told me (22nd January,
1840), that as she was driving on the boulevard a day or two ago,
a sou piece was thrown with great violence at the window of her
carriage, smashing it to pieces. This, she said, was because her
family arms were emblazoned on the panel. Most of the carriages in
Paris, she said, had no arms on them for fear of similar attacks."

Then we were active frequenters of the theatres. We go, I find, to the
Francais, to see Mars, then sixty years old, in _Les Dehors Trompeurs_
and in the _Fausses Confidences_; to the opera to hear _Robert le
Diable_ and _Lucia di Lammermuir_, with Persiani, Tamburini, and
Rubini; and the following night to the Francais again, to see Rachel
in _Cinna_.

I thought her personally, I observe, very attractive. But that, and
sundry other subsequent experiences, left me with the impression
that she was truly very powerful in the representation of scorn,
indignation, hatred, and all the sterner and less amiable passions of
the soul, but failed painfully when her _role_ required the exhibition
of tenderness or any of the gentler emotions. These were my
impressions when she was young and I was comparatively so. But when,
many years afterwards, I saw her repeatedly in Italy, they were not, I
think, much modified.

The frequent occasions on which subsequently I saw Ristori produced an
impression on me very much the reverse. I remember thinking Ristori's
"Mirra" too good, so terribly true as to be almost too painful for the
theatre. I thought Rachel's "Marie Stuart" upon the whole her finest
performance, though "Adrienne" ran it hard.

Persiani, I note, supported by Lablache and Rubini, had a most
triumphant reception in _Inez de Castro_, while Albertazzi was very
coldly received in _Blanche de Castille_. Grisi in _Norma_ was
"superb." "Persiani and P. Garcia sang a duet from _Tancredi_; it was
divine! I think I like Garcia's voice better than any of them. Nor
could I think her ugly, as it is the fashion to call her, though it
must be admitted that her mouth and teeth are alarming."

Then there were brilliant receptions at the English Embassy (Lord
Granville) and at the Austrian Embassy (Comte d'Appony). My diary
remarks that stars and gold lace and ribbons of all the Orders in
Christendom were more abundant at the latter, but female beauty at the
former. I remember much admiring that of Lady Honoria Cadogan, and
that of a very remarkably lovely Visconti girl, a younger sister of
the Princess Belgiojoso. But despite this perfect beauty, my diary
notes, that it was "curious to observe the unmistakable superiority
as a human being of the young English patrician." I remember that the
"sit-down" suppers at the Austrian Embassy--a separate little table
for every two, three, or four guests--were remarked on as a novelty
(and applauded) by the Parisians.

Then at Miss Clarke's (afterwards Madame Mohl) I find Fauriel, "the
first Provencal scholar in Europe," delightful, and am disgusted with
Merimee, because he manifested self-sufficiency, as it seemed to my
youthful criticism, by pooh-poohing the probability of the temple
at Lanleff in Brittany having been aught else than a church of the

Then Arago reads an _Eloge_ on "old Ampere," of which I only remark
that it lasted two hours and a half. Then there was a dinner at Dr.
Gilchrist's whose widow our old friend Pepe, who for many years had
always called her "Madame Ghee-cree," subsequently married. My notes,
written the same evening, remind me that "I did not much like the
radical old Doctor (his wife was an old acquaintance, but I had
never seen him before); he is eighty, and ought to know better. Old
Nymzevitch (I am not sure of the spelling), the ex-Chancellor of
Poland, dined with us. He is eighty-four. When he said that he had
conversed with the Duc de Richelieu, I started as if he had announced
himself as the Wandering Jew. But, in fact, he had had, when a young
man, an interview with the Duc, then ninety. He was, Nymzevitch told
me, dreadfully emaciated, but dressed very splendidly in a purple
coat all bedizened with silver lace. He received me, said the old
ex-Chancellor, with much affable dignity."'

Then comes a breakfast with Pepe, at which I met the President
Thibeaudeau, "a grey old man who makes a point of saying rude, coarse,
and disagreeable things, which his friends call dry humour. He found
fault with everything at the breakfast table."

Then a visit to the Chamber (where I heard Soult, Dupin, and Teste
speak, and thought it "a terrible bear-garden)" is followed by
attendance at a sermon by Athanase Coquerel, the Protestant preacher
whose reputation in the Parisian _beau monde_ was great in those days.
He was, says my diary, "exceedingly eloquent, but I did not like his
sermon;" for which dislike my notes proceed to give the reasons, which
I spare the, I hope grateful, reader. Then I went to hear Bishop
Luscombe at the Ambassador's chapel, and listened to "a very stupid
sermon." I seem, somewhat to my surprise as I read the records of it,
to have had a pronounced taste for sermons in those days, which I fear
I have somehow outgrown. But then I have been very deaf during my
later decades.

Bishop Luscombe may perhaps however be made more amusing to the reader
than he was to me in the Embassy chapel by the following fragment of
his experience. The Bishop arrived one day at Paddington, and could
not find his luggage. He called a porter to find it for him, telling
him the name to be read on the articles. The man, very busy with other
people, answered hurriedly, "You must go to hell for your luggage."
Now, Luscombe, who was a somewhat pompous and very _bishopy_ man, was
dreadfully shocked, and felt, as he said, as if the porter had struck
him in the face. In extreme indignation he demanded where he could
speak with any of the authorities, and was told that "the Board"
was then sitting up stairs. So to the boardroom the Bishop went
straightway, and announcing himself, made his complaint. The chairman,
professing his regret that such offence should have been given,
said he feared the man must have been drunk, but that he should be
immediately summoned to give an account of his conduct. So the porter
in great trepidation appeared in a few minutes before the august
tribunal of "the Board."

"Well, sir," said he in reply to the chairman's indignant questioning,
"what could I do? I was werry busy at the time. So when the gentleman
says as his name was Luscombe, I could do no better than tell him to
go to h'ell for his luggage, and he'd have found it there all right!"

"Oh! I see," said the chairman, "it is a case of misplaced aspirate!
We have spaces on the wall marked with the letters of the alphabet,
and you would have found your luggage at the letter L. You will see
that the man meant no offence. I am sorry you should have been so
scandalised, but though we succeed, I hope, in making our porters
civil to our customers, it would be hopeless, I fear, to attempt to
make them say L correctly." _Solvuntur risu tabulae_.

I find chronicled a long talk with Mohl one evening at Madame
Recamier's. The room was very full of notable people of all sorts, and
the tide of chattering was running very strong. "How can anything last
long in France?" said he, in reply to my having said (in answer to
his assertion that Cousin's philosophy had gone by) that it had been
somewhat short-lived. "Reputations are made and pass away. It is
impossible that they should endure. It is in such places as this that
they are destroyed. The friction is prodigious!"

We then began to talk of the state of religion in France. He said
that among a large set, religion was now _a la mode_. But he did not
suppose that many of the fine folks who _patronised_ it had much
belief in it. The clergy of France were, he said, almost invariably
very illiterate. Guizot, I remembered, calls them in his _History of
Civilisation doctes et crudits_, but I abstained from quoting him.
Mohl went on to tell me a story of a newspaper that had been about to
be established, called _Le Democrat_. The shareholders met, when it
appeared that one party wished to make it a Roman Catholic, and the
other an atheist organ. Whereupon the existence of God was put to the
vote and carried by a majority of one, at which the atheist party were
so disgusted that they seceded in a body.

I got to like Mohl much, and had more conversation, I think, with him
than with any other of the numerous men of note with whom I became
more or less acquainted. On another occasion, when I found him in his
cabinet, walled up as usual among his books, our talk fell on his
great work, the edition of the oriental MSS. in the _Bibliotheque
Royale_, which was to be completed in ten folio volumes, the first
of which, just out, he was showing me. He complained of the extreme
slowness of the Government presses in getting on with the work. This
he attributed to the absurd costliness, as he considered it, of the
style in which the work was brought out. The cost of producing that
first volume he told me had been over 1,600_l_. sterling. It was to be
sold at a little less than a hundred francs. Something was said (by
me, I think) of the possibility of obtaining assistance from the King,
who was generally supposed to be immensely wealthy. Mohl said that he
did not believe Louis Philippe to be nearly so rich a man as he was
supposed to be. He had spent, he said, enormous sums on the chateaux
he had restored, and was affirmed by those who had the means of
knowing the fact, to be at that time twelve millions of francs in

My liking for Mohl seems to have been fully justified by the
estimation he was generally held in. I find in a recently published
volume by Kathleen O'Meara on the life of my old friend, Miss Clarke,
who afterwards became his wife, the following passage quoted from
Sainte-Beuve, who describes him as "a man who was the very embodiment
of learning and of inquiry, an oriental _savant_--more than a
_savant_--a sage, with a mind clear, loyal, and vast; a German mind
passed through an English filter, a cloudless, unruffled mirror, open
and limpid; of pure and frank morality; early disenchanted with all
things; with a grain of irony devoid of all bitterness, the laugh of a
child under a bald head; a Goethe-like intelligence, but free from all
prejudice." "A charming and _spirituelle_ Frenchwoman," Miss O'Meara
goes on to say, "said of Julius Mohl that Nature in forming his
character had skimmed the cream of the three nationalities to which he
belonged by birth, by adoption and by marriage, making him deep as a
German, _spirituel_ as a Frenchman, and loyal as an Englishman."

I may insert here the following short note from Madame Mohl, because
the manner of it is very characteristic of her. It is, as was usual
with her, undated.

* * * * *

"MY DEAR MR. TROLLOPE,--By accident I have just learned that you are
in London. If I could see you and talk over my dear old friend (Madame
Recamier) I should be so much obliged and so glad. I live 68 Oxford
Terrace, Hyde Park. If you would write me a note to say when I should
be at home for the purpose. But if you can't, I am generally, not
always, found after four. But if you could come on the 10th or 12th
after nine we have a party. I am living at Mrs. Schwabe's just now
till 16th this month. Pray write me a note, even If you can't come.

"Yours ever,


* * * * *

All the capital letters in the above transcript, except those in her
name are mine, she uses none. The note is written in headlong hurry.

Mignet, whom I met at the house of Thiers, I liked too, but Mohl was
my favourite.

It was all very amusing, with as much excitement and interest of
all kinds crammed into a few weeks as might have lasted one for a
twelvemonth. And I liked it better than teaching Latin to the youth of
Birmingham. But it would seem that there was something that I liked
better still. For on March 30th, leaving my mother in the full swing
of the Parisian gaieties, I bade adieu to them all and once again
"took to the road," bound on an excursion through Central France.


My journey through central France took me by Chartres, Orleans, down
the Loire to Nantes, then through La Vendee to Fontenay, Niort,
Poitiers, Saintes, Rochefort, La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Angouleme,
Limoges, and thence back to Paris. On looking at the book for the
first time since I read the proof-sheets I find it amusing. The fault
of it, as an account of the district traversed, is, that it treats
of the localities described on a scale that would have needed twenty
volumes, instead of two, to complete the story of my tour in the same
proportion. I do not remember that any of my critics noted this fault.
Perhaps they feared that on the first suggestion of such an idea I
should have set about mending the difficulty by the production of a
score of other volumes on the subject! I could easily have done so. I
was in no danger of incurring the anathema launched by Sterne--I think
it was Sterne--against the man who went from Dan to Beersheba and
found all barren. I found matter of interest everywhere, and could
have gone on doing so, as it seemed to me in those days, for ever.

The part of France I visited is not much betravelled by Englishmen,
and the general idea is that it is not an interesting section of the
country. I thought, and still think, otherwise. My notion is, that
if a line were drawn through France from Calais to the centre of the
Pyrenean chain, by far the greater part of the prettiest country and
most interesting populations, as well as places, would be found to the
westward of it. I do not think that my bill of fare excited any great
interest in the reading world. But I suppose that I contrived to
interest a portion of it; for the book was fairly successful.

I wrote a book in many respects of the same kind many years
subsequently, giving an account of a journey through certain
little-visited districts of central Italy, under the title of a
_Lenten Journey_. It is not, I think, so good a book as my French
journeys furnished, mainly to my mind because it was in one small
volume instead of two big ones, and both for want of space and want of
time was done hurriedly and too compendiously. The true motto for the
writer of such a book is _nihil a me alienum puto_, whether _humanum_
or otherwise. My own opinion is, to make a perfectly clean breast of
it, that I could now write a fairly amusing book on a journey from
Tyburn turnpike to Stoke Pogis. But then such books should be
addressed to readers who are not in such a tearing hurry as the
unhappy world is in these latter days.

It would seem that I found my two octavo volumes did not afford me
nearly enough space to say my say respecting the country traversed,
for they are brought to an end somewhat abruptly by a hurried return
from Limoges to Paris; whereas my ramble was much more extended,
including both the upper and lower provinces of Auvergne and the
whole of the Bourbonnais. My voluminous notes of the whole of these
wanderings are now before me. But I will let my readers off easy,
recording only that I walked from Murat to St. Flour, a distance of
fifteen miles, in five minutes under three hours. Not bad! My diary
notes that it was frequently very difficult to find my way in walking
about Auvergne, from the paucity of people I could find who could
speak French, the _langue du pays_ being as unintelligible as Choctaw.
This would hardly be the case now.

I don't know whether a knot of leading tradesmen at Bordeaux could
now be found to talk, as did such a party with whom I got into
conversation in that year, 1840. It was explained to me that England,
as was well known, had liberated her slaves in the West Indies
perfectly well knowing that the colonies would be absolutely ruined by
the measure, but expecting to be amply compensated by the ruin of
the French colonies, which would result from the example, and the
consequent extension of trade with the East Indies, from which France
would be compelled to purchase all the articles her own colonies now
supplied her with. One of these individuals told me and the rest of
his audience, that he had the means of _knowing_ that the interest of
the English national debt was paid every year by fresh borrowing, and
that bankruptcy and absolute smash must occur within a few years.
"Ah!" said a much older, grey-headed man, who had been listening
sitting with his hands reposing on his walking-stick before him, and
who spoke with a sort of patient, long-expecting hope and a deep sigh,
"ah! we have been looking for that many a year; but I am beginning to
doubt whether I shall live to see it." My assurances that matters were
not altogether so bad as they supposed in England of course met with
little credence. Still, they listened to me, and did not show angry
signs of a consciousness that I was audaciously befooling them, till
the talk having veered to London, I ventured to assure them that
London was not surrounded by any _octroi_ boundary, and that no impost
of that nature was levied there.[1] Then in truth I might as well have
assured them that London streets were literally paved with gold.

[Footnote 1: It may possibly be necessary to tell untravelled
Englishmen that the _octroi_, universal on the Continent, is an impost
levied on all articles of consumption at the gates of a town.]

On the 30th of May, 1840, I returned with my mother from Paris to
her house in York Street. Life had been very pleasant there to her
I believe, and certainly to me during those periods of it which my
inborn love of rambling allowed me to pass there. But in the following
June it was determined that the house in York Street should be given
up. Probably the _causa causans_ of this determination was the fact of
my sister's removal to far Penrith. But I think too, that there was
a certain unavowed feeling, that we had eaten up London, and should
enjoy a move to new pastures.

I remember well a certain morning in York Street when we--my mother
and I--held a solemn audit of accounts. It was found that during her
residence in York Street she had spent a good deal more than she had
supposed. She had entertained a good deal, giving frequent "little
dinners." But dinners, however little, are apt in London to leave
tradesmen's bills not altogether small in proportion to their
littleness. "The fact is," said my mother, "that potatoes have been
quite exceptionally dear." For a very long series of years she never
heard the last of those exceptional potatoes. But despite the alarming
deficit caused by those unfortunate vegetables, I do not think
the abandonment of the establishment in York Street was caused by
financial considerations. She was earning in those years large sums
of money--quite as large as any she had been spending--and might have
continued in London had she been so minded.

No doubt I had much to do with the determination we came to. But
for my part, if it had at that time been proposed to me, that our
establishment should be reduced to a couple of trunks, and all our
worldly possessions to the contents of them, with an opening vista of
carriages, diligences, and ships _ad libitum_ in prospect, I should
have jumped at the idea. A caravan, which in addition to shirts and
stockings could have carried about one's books and writing tackle
would have seemed the _summum bonum_ of human felicity.

So we turned our backs on London without a thought of regret and once
again "took the road;" but this time separately, my mother going to
my sister at Penrith and I to pass the summer months in wanderings
in Picardy, Lorraine, and French Flanders, and the ensuing winter in

I hardly know which was the pleasanter time. By this time I was
no stranger to Paris, and had many friends there. It was my first
experiment of living there as a bachelor, as I was going to say, but I
mean "on my own hook," and left altogether to my own devices. I found
of course that my then experiences differed considerably from those
acquired when living _en famille_. But I am disposed to think that the
tolerably intimate knowledge I flatter myself I possessed of the Paris
and Parisians of Louis Philippe's time was mainly the result of this
second residence. I remember among a host of things indicating the
extent of the difference between those days and these, that I lived
in a very good apartment, _au troisieme_, in one of the streets
immediately behind the best part of the Rue de Rivoli for one hundred
francs a month! This price included all service (save of course a tip
to the porter), and the preparation of my coffee for breakfast if I
needed it. For dinner, or any other meal, I had to go out.

"Society" lived in Paris in those days--not unreasonably as the result
soon showed--in perpetual fear of being knocked all to pieces by an
outbreak of revolution, though of course nobody said so. But I lived
mainly (though not entirely) among the _bien pensants_ people, who
looked on all anti-governmental manifestations with horror. Perhaps
the restless discontent which destroyed Louis Philippe's government
is the most disheartening circumstance in the whole course of recent
French history. That the rule of Charles Dix should have occasioned
revolt may be regrettable, but is not a matter for surprise. But that
of Louis Philippe was not a stagnant or retrogressive _regime. "La
carriere_" was very undeniably open to talent and merit of every
description. Material well-being was on the increase. And the door
was not shut against any political change which even very advanced
Liberalism, of the kind consistent with order, might have aspired to.
But the Liberalism which moved France was not of that kind.

One of my most charming friends of those days, Rosa Stewart, who
afterwards became and was well known to literature as Madame Blaze de
Bury, was both too clever and too shrewd an observer, as well as, to
me at least, too frank to pretend any of the assurance which was then
_de mode_. She saw what was coming, and was fully persuaded that it
must come. I hope that her eye may rest on this testimony to her
perspicacity, though I know not whether she still graces this planet
with her very pleasing presence. For as, alas! in so many scores of
other instances, our lives have drifted apart, and it is many years
since I have heard of her.

One excursion I specially remember in connection with that autumn was
partly, I think, a pedestrian one, to Amiens and Beauvais, made
in company with the W---- A----, of whom my brother speaks in his
autobiography; which I mention chiefly for the sake of recording my
testimony to the exactitude of his description of that very singular
individual. If it had not been for the continual carefulness
necessitated by the difficulty of avoiding all cause of quarrel, I
should say that he was about the pleasantest travelling companion I
have ever known.

In the beginning of April, 1841, after a little episode of spring
wandering in the Tyrol and Bavaria (in the course of which I met my
mother at the chateau of her very old friend the Baroness de Zandt,
who has been mentioned before, and was now living somewhat solitarily
in her huge house in its huge park near Bamberg), my mother and I
started for Italy. Neither of us had at that time conceived the idea
of making a home there. The object of the journey, which had been long
contemplated by my mother, was the writing of a book on Italy, as she
had already done on Paris and on Vienna.

Our journey was a prosperous one in all respects, and our flying visit
to Italy was very pleasant. My mother's book was duly written, and
published by Mr. Bentley in 1842. But the _Visit to Italy_, as the
work was entitled (with justly less pretence than the titles of either
of its predecessors had put forward), was in truth all too short. And
I find that almost all of the huge mass of varied recollections which
are connected in my mind with Italy and Italian people and things
belong to my second "visit" of nearly half a century's duration!

We made, however, several pleasant acquaintances and some fast
friends, principally at Florence, and thus paved the way, although
little intending it at the time, for our return thither.

Our visit was rendered shorter than it would probably otherwise have
been by my mother's strong desire to be with my sister, who was
expecting the birth of her first child at Penrith. And for this
purpose we left Rome in February, 1842, in very severe weather. We
crossed the Mont Cenis in sledges--which to me was a very acceptable
experience, but to my mother was one, which nothing could have induced
her to face, save the determination not to fail her child at her need.

How well I remember hearing as I sat in the _banquette_ of the
diligence which was just leaving Susa for its climb up the mountain
amid the snow, then rapidly falling, the driver of the descending
diligence, which had accomplished its work and was just about entering
the haven of Susa, sing out to our driver--"_Vous allez vous amuser
joliment la haut, croyez moi_!"

We did not, however, change the diligence for the sledges till we came
to the descent on the northern side. But as we made our slow way to
the top our vehicle was supported from time to time on either side by
twelve strapping fellows, who put their shoulders to it.

I appreciated during that journey, though I was glad to see the
mountain in its winter dress, the recommendation not to let your
flight be in the winter.


I accompanied my mother to Penrith, and forthwith devoted myself heart
and body to the preparation of our new house, and the beautifying
of the very pretty paddock in which it was situated. I put in some
hundreds of trees and shrubs with my own hands, which prospered
marvellously, and have become, I have been told, most luxuriant
shrubberies. I was bent on building a cloistered walk along the entire
top of the field, which would have afforded a charming ambulatory
sheltered from the north winds and from the rain, and would have
commanded the most lovely views, while the pillars supporting the
roof would have presented admirable places for a world of flowering
climbing plants. And doubtless I should have achieved it, had we
remained there. But it would have run into too much money to be
undertaken immediately,--fortunately; for, inasmuch as there was
nothing of the sort in all that country side, no human being would
have given a stiver more for the house when it came to be sold, and
the next owner would probably have pulled it down. There was no
authority for such a thing. Had it been suffered to remain it would
probably have been called "Trollope's folly!"

Subsequently, but not immediately after we left it, the place--oddly
enough I forget the name we gave it--became the property and the
residence of my brother-in-law.

Of my life at Penrith I need add nothing to the jottings I have
already placed before the reader on the occasion of my first visit to
that place.

My brother, already a very different man from what he had been in
London, came from his Irish district to visit us there; and I returned
with him to Ireland, to his head-quarters at Banagher on the Shannon.
Neither of this journey need I say much. For to all who know anything
of Ireland at the present day--and who does not? worse luck!--anything
I might write would seem as _nihil ad rem_, as if I were writing of
an island in the Pacific. I remember a very vivid impression that
occurred to me on first landing at Kingstown, and accompanied me
during the whole of my stay in the island, to the effect, that the
striking differences in everything that fell under my observation from
what I had left behind me at Holyhead, were fully as great as any that
had excited my interest when first landing in France.

One of my first visits was to my brother's chief. He was a master of
foxhounds and hunted the country. And I well remember my astonishment,
when the door of this gentleman's residence was opened to me by an
extremely dirty and slatternly bare-footed and bare-legged girl. I
found him to be a very friendly and hospitable good fellow, and his
wife and her sister very pleasant women. I found too that my brother
stood high in his good graces by virtue of simply having taken the
whole work and affairs of the postal district on his own shoulders.
The rejected of St. Martin's-le-Grand was already a very valuable and
capable officer.

My brother gave me the choice of a run to the Killeries, or to
Killarney. We could not manage both. I chose the former, and a most
enjoyable trip we had. He could not leave his work to go with me, but
was to join me subsequently, I forget where, in the west. Meantime
he gave me a letter to a bachelor friend of his at Clifden. This
gentleman immediately asked me to dinner, and he and I dined
_tete-a-tete._ Nevertheless, he thought it necessary to apologise for
the appearance of a very fine John Dory on the table, saying, that he
had been himself to the market to get a turbot for me, but that he had
been asked half-a-crown for a not very large one, and really he could
not give such absurd prices as that!

Anthony duly joined me as proposed, and we had a grand walk over
the mountains above the Killeries. I don't forget and never shall
forget--nor did Anthony ever forget; alas! that we shall never more
talk over that day again--the truly grand spectacular changes from
dark thick enveloping cloud to brilliant sunshine, suddenly revealing
all the mountains and the wonderful colouring of the intertwining
sea beneath them, and then back to cloud and mist and drifting sleet
again. It was a glorious walk. We returned wet to the skin to "Joyce's
Inn," and dined on roast goose and whisky punch, wrapped in our
blankets like Roman senators!

One other scene I must recall. The reader will hardly believe that it
occurred in Ireland. There was an election of a member for I forget
what county or borough, and my brother and I went to the hustings--the
only time I ever was at an election in Her Majesty's dominions. What
were the party feelings, or the party colours, I utterly forget. It
was merely for the fun of the thing that we went there. The fun indeed
was fast and furious. The whole scene on the hustings, as well
as around them, seemed to me one seething mass of senseless but


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