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Title: The Canadian Literary Magazine, No 2. May 1833

Date of first publication: 1833

Author: George Gurnett (publisher)

Date first posted: Sep. 4, 2015

Date last updated: Sep. 4, 2015

Faded Page eBook #20150905

This ebook was produced by: Alex White & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net



No. II. MAY, 1833. Vol. 1


[This table of contents is added for convenience.—Transcriber.]























TO CUPID.—From the Greek.




The majority of the reading Public, in this present age, seem to agree upon one point in particular with the witty Montaigne—and that point is, a love of Biographical works. “The Historians,” says the lively and entertaining Frenchman, “are my true province, for they are pleasant and easy; where immediately man in general, the knowledge of whom I hunt after, does there appear more lively and entire than any where besides: the variety and truth of his internal qualities, in gross and piecemeal; the diversity of means by which he is united and knit, and the accidents that threaten him. Now, those that write Lives, by reason they insist more upon counsels than events,—more upon sallies from within, than upon that which happens without, are the most proper for my reading; and therefore, above all others, Plutarch is the man for me.” History may be compared to a numerous festive assembly, where the guest is distracted by the multiplicity of objects and persons;—whereas, Biography may be likened to that social intercourse which we hold with a friend, when enjoying a quiet tete-a-tete by our own fireside. We are fully alive to the truth of the saying uttered by a French prince, That no man is a hero to the servants of his chamber; indeed it is because no man is a hero in his own chamber, that we like to follow him there. The mind—distracted and dazzled by the details of the pomp and circumstance of war, and wearied with endeavouring to penetrate the snares of subtle policy, or to unlock the hidden causes of events—abandons for a while, with delight, the grand theatre of the world, and loves to follow the principal actors behind the scenes, into the privacy and recesses of domestic life. We feel a natural and reasonable curiosity to know in what way the master-spirits of the earth demeaned themselves, when engaged in those pursuits which are common to us all: we also are prone to feed our self-love, by tracing out points of resemblance betwixt them and ourselves; and, in many instances, a pursuit or occupation, hitherto followed with no extraordinary zeal, becomes interesting all of a sudden, merely from the circumstance of its having been the favorite pursuit or occupation of some great man, whose Life we have just been reading.—Dead to all the noblest feelings of the heart must he be, who feels not a glow of complacency when he reads of Henry the Great riding on his children’s hobby-horse! How does our admiration of Lord Collingwood increase, when we follow him into his garden and grounds, and watch him engaged with old Scott, his gardener, in weeding his favorite oaks! Does not the follower of Isaac Walton pursue the art of Angling with additional pleasure, when he finds that the immortal Nelson was a good fly-fisher, and even continued the pursuit with his left-hand! How will the bachelor and old maid feel strengthened in their affection for the feline race, when they learn that Lord Heathfield, the gallant defender of Gibraltar, was so fond of cats, that he suffered numbers of these animals, young and old, to gambol about him, even when most actively engaged on the bastions of the fortress. In fact, a feeling somewhat similar to that which leads us to the looking-glass, attracts our attention to Biography, the looking-glass of the inward man;—and that biographical work which places the subject before us in his chamber and in his garden, as well as in the cabinet and in the battle, will always be perused with delight. The critics may rail against Memoirs and Portrait Painting, as excluding their more dignified sisters, History and Historical Painting, from the rank they ought to hold in the public estimation;—but the critics will brandish their nettle-rods in vain. History is frequently indebted to Biography for its most touching and graphic passages; and, as an elegant critic very justly observes, “the original intention of this excellent historian (Hume) to write only the reigns of the Stuarts, has given to his work those lively dashes of biography, which have greatly contributed to render it so popular and interesting.” The same remark may with equal justice be applied to Lord Clarendon, in whose pages the principal characters of the day stand out most boldly and plainly exhibited in alto relievo to the mental vision, though somewhat invested with the hues which the allowable prejudices of the noble historian threw around them. The able critic just quoted, observes more at large, that “it is worth while to remark with what advantage this spirit of Biography will sometimes enter into the plan of History, the most attractive and animated parts of which are often those partial delineations of select and favourite characters, where the vehemence of admiration overcomes the general sobriety and equal tenour of historical representation; and the heat of the writer’s bosom prevails above the ceremony of rules, and shows itself in bold and enthusiastic touches of extraordinary splendor.”

Forty years ago, the Periodicals of the day contained very severe censures on the uses, or rather the abuses, to which Biography was prostituted. At that period, a mania for reading the Lives of swindlers and Newgate heroes seized upon one portion of the public; while, on the other hand, the enthusiastic and over-religious part of the community ran into the opposite extreme of cant; and a youth, with a little smattering of learning, and a habit of quoting Scripture upon almost every occasion, was—on his death by consumption, or some other interesting disease,—canonized as a Saint, and exalted far above the merits of the talented and excellent Kirk White.

Partiality of friendship, or inconsiderate affection, will, even in these days, raise a pompous monument to the memory of him who, when alive, occupied but little of the public notice, and whose life was a link of particulars, only interesting to those more immediately connected with him. But the number of such instances is trifling, when compared with those, where a surviving relative or friend has not only gratified his personal feelings, but has conferred a benefit upon the community, by a memoir of the idol of his affections. The Memoirs and Correspondence of the late Lords Collingwood and Rodney by their respective sons-in-law;—the Lives of Bishop Heber, Sir Stamford Raffles, and Sir Edward J. Smith, by their respective widows;—and the Biography of Sir David Baird, compiled by Theodore Hooke, from papers and documents furnished by the widow of the deceased hero, are works of a sterling nature, illustrative of history, inculcative of morality, and fascinating records of the domestic lives of the great and good.

A perusal of the first volume of The Georgian Æra has elicited the foregoing desultory remarks. The memoirs comprised in this volume are arranged in classes, and have been compiled with accuracy and care. Although the plan of the work does not admit of the devotion of a large space to each individual memoir, yet The Georgian Æra possesses far higher merits than mere dry details and dates. Each memoir concludes with a summary of the character of the individual,—and in such summary are picturesquely and skilfully grouped together anecdotes and facts which would have interrupted the thread of the narrative.—The reader is thus presented with correct facts and dates, and, at the same time, with sketches of character, written in terse and elegant language, and conceived in a tone of considerable impartiality. It is plainly to be perceived that the politics of the editor, who superintended the work, are those of the old Whigs.

Before we proceed to extract from the main body of the work, we will, in the words of the Preface, take a rapid review of the principal events that characterised the reigns of the four Georges. “In comparison with the Elizabethan, or the Modern Augustan, (as the reign of Anne has been designated,) that which may be appropriately termed the Georgian Æra possesses a paramount claim to notice; for not only has it been equally fertile in conspicuous characters, and more prolific of great events, but its influence is actually felt by the existing community of Great Britain. It is rendered memorable by the accession of a new family to the throne;—by the intrigues and daring exploits, the final discomfiture, romantic adventures, and great sufferings of the Pretenders and their adherents;—by the revolt of the American Colonies, and the foundation of a mighty Empire in the West;—by the awful struggles of this country with nearly all the nations of Europe, and the domestic excitement produced by the French Revolution;—by the mutiny of the Fleet,—the Rebellion in Ireland,—and the alarm of an invasion;—by the dazzling career of Napoleon, his final overthrow at Waterloo, and the capture of Paris;—by the military achievements of Granby, Wolfe, Elliott, Albemarle, Clive, Lake, Cornwallis, Abercromby, Wellington, Moore, Anglesey, Hill, and other distinguished commanders;—by the naval victories obtained by Rodney, St. Vincent, Howe, Hawke, Duncan, Hood, and Nelson;—by the successful labors of Cook, Anson, Carteret, Bruce, and other voyagers and travellers, and the spirited endeavours made to find a North-West passage;—by the astonishing advance of Science in all its branches;—by the discovery of vaccination,—by extraordinary improvements in manufacture,—the vast extension of commerce,—the increased spirit of speculation,—the fluctuations of public credit,—the South Sea Scheme, and the Bubble Companies of 1825;—by controversies of singular interest among the Dignitaries of the Established Church, and the important foundation of Methodism;—by political contests of almost unprecedented bitterness, many of them marked by the circumstance of the Heir Apparent supporting the opposition;—by the close imprisonment of one Queen Consort, and the introduction of a bill of pains and penalties against another;—by the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts,—the emancipation of the Catholics, and the strenuous exertions made to obtain a change in the representation of the people;—by the number of masterly productions in Literature and the Arts, and by the rapid advancement of general knowledge.”

In turning over the pages of this interesting Volume, with a view to select the most striking and entertaining passages, we are completely at a loss to know which to choose.—We think, however, that we cannot do amiss in commencing with a brief but vivid delineation of the character of that great Statesman—

The Georgian Æra. Memoirs of the most eminent Persons who have flourished in Great Britain, from the accession of George the First to the demise of George the Fourth. In four volumes. Vol I. The Royal Family;—The Pretenders and their adherents;—Churchmen, Dissenters, and Statesman, London, Vizetolly, Branston, and Co., Fleet-street 1832.


In the beginning of the year 1797, Burke’s health declined with great rapidity. Although enfeebled in body, his mind remained unimpaired, and he conversed with his usual powers, until a short time before he died. His young friend, Mr. Nagle, of the War-Office, attended him in his last moments. While that gentleman and Burke’s servants were conveying him to his bed, on the 8th of July, 1797, he faintly articulated, “God bless you!”—and after a brief struggle, expired in their arms. He was buried in Beaconsfield church.

Burke was about five feet ten inches in height; robust in form, but not corpulent; in his youth he was remarkable for activity, and his countenance, during the early part and prime of his life, was generally accounted handsome. His features were expressive of benevolence and sensibility, rather than indicative of exalted talent. He was near-sighted, and used spectacles from about the year 1780. He was negligent in dress, and towards the latter end of his life wore a little bob-wig, and a brown coat, which appeared so tight as almost to impede the free, natural action of his arms.

His character in private life was wholly unimpeachable: as a friend, a husband, and a father, his conduct was exemplary.

His powers of conversation were equal, if not superior, to those of any man of his day. On one occasion, when Johnson was ill, he said—“Edmund Burke, in discourse, calls forth all the powers of my mind: were I to argue with him in my present state, it would be the death of me.” He loved praise, abhorred slander, and was loth to give offence. There was more safety in his society than in that of his friend, the surly lexicographer;—not that he was less powerful, but because he was more amiable. He never crushed those with whom he had been gambolling, for the mere purpose of exhibiting his strength: he protected rather than assaulted his inferiors, and appears to have occasionally delighted in descending to the level of those about him, as much as Johnson gloried in asserting his supremacy. He was always prepared to enter upon subjects of the most exalted interest, and frequently started them himself; but, in general, he seems to have felt a preference for lively and familiar conversation. He loved humour, and, among intimate friends, his fancy and spirits occasionally led him, “nothing loth,” into extravagance and folly. He not only punned, for the purpose, as he stated, of pleasing the ladies, but punned so miserably, that his niece, Miss French, frequently rallied him for his failures.

He was so very partial to children, that he would play at tee-totum and push-pin with them, and apparently take as much delight in the stories of Jack the Giant-killer and Tom Thumb as themselves. “Half an hour might pass,” says Murphy, “during which he would keep speaking in such a way, that you could see no more in him than in an ordinary man,—good-naturedly amusing his young auditors, when some observation or suggestion calling his attention, a remark of the most profound wisdom would slip out, and he would return to his tee-totum.” It is related of him, that one day, after dining with Fox, Sheridan, Lord John Townshend, and several other eminent men, at Sheridan’s cottage, he amused himself by rapidly wheeling his host’s little son round the front-garden in a child’s hand-chaise. While thus employed, the great orator, it is added, evinced by his looks and activity that he enjoyed the sport nearly as much as his delighted play-fellow.

He was an intense admirer of poetry, particularly that of Milton; but, like Pitt, Fox, and Johnson, he had no ear for music. He was neither addicted to the bottle nor the dicebox: he scarcely knew the most simple games at cards; and although he drank wine in moderation (claret was his favourite) during the early part of his life, he preferred very hot water, latterly, to any other beverage. “Warm-water,” he would often observe, “is sickening; but hot-water stimulates.” He was a man of extraordinary application: his studies were so extensive, and his attention was so much occupied by public affairs, that he had, as he said, no time to be idle. While some of his political friends were sleeping off the effects of a tavern carousal, or recruiting their mental and bodily powers, after having exhausted both at the gaming-table, he was engaged in political or private business, in study, or literary labour. On his way to the House, he was in the habit of calling on Fox, whom he usually found just risen from bed, fresh and unjaded for the struggles of the evening; while Burke was at the same moment nearly exhausted by the occupations of the morning. “It is no wonder, therefore,” he would sometimes say, “that Charles is so much more vigorous than I am in the debate.”

At his entrance into public life, he can scarcely be said to have joined a party on conviction of the propriety of their principles: he seems rather to have enlisted as a recruit, in hopes of promotion, under the banners of the first political leader, who offered him bounty. He partook largely of the public opinions of his noble patron, Lord Rockingham, and was more of an aristocrat than the majority, if not all, of his junior coadjutors in opposition.—He detested what he termed pedlar principles in public affairs, but maintained the necessity of retrenching the public expenditure; of being economical without degenerating into parsimony.

On no other subject, except perhaps, Pitt’s Bill for Parliamentary Reform, which Burke strenuously opposed, did his aristocratic feelings so far overwhelm his popular principles as on that of the Revolution in France. A difference of opinion on the topic was sufficient to extinguish his private regard: he ceased to be conciliatory, and lost his usual liberality while discussing it. “He left no means unemployed,” says Nicholls, “to inflame the whole of Europe to the adoption of his opinions.” The late Sir Philip Francis used to say, that if the friends of peace and liberty had subscribed £30,000 to relieve Burke’s pecuniary embarrassments, there would have been no war against the French Revolution.

As a public speaker, Burke’s manner was bold and forcible; his delivery vehement and unembarassed; but, though easy, he was inelegant. His head continually oscillated, and his gesticulations were frequently violent. To the last hour of his life his pronunciation was Hibernian. Although a great orator, he was not a skilful debater. Few men ever possessed a greater strength of imagination, or a more admirable choice of words. His mind was richly stored, and he had the most perfect mastery over its treasures.—His astonishing exuberance was often fatal to his success. He crowded trope on trope, and metaphor on metaphor, with such profusion, that although he always kept the main question in view, every one else often lost sight of it. He more frequently astonished than convinced. It has been said, that to have attained a relish for the charms of his compositions, was to have greatly advanced in literature; but, unfortunately for his success in debate, he was not aware of, or did not heed this important fact himself. He gave his hearers credit for an alacrity of comprehension, “a knowledge of things visible and invisible,” the sober realities of historical truth, the arcana of science, the most exalted flights of poetry, and the feelings, habits, and opinions of the various grades of society in different ages and countries, which few men possess. He drew his illustrations from what, to most of his hearers, was terra incognita; his figures were startling, and, to many of his auditors, mysterious. He amazed and stultified the country gentlemen by his gorgeous imagery, and the splendid ornaments with which he often bedecked and half buried his arguments; and, at length, they turned a deaf ear to what they could not understand. In his most brilliant efforts, he was sometimes deemed dull, because, to those whom he addressed, he was incomprehensible; and he was not unfrequently laughed at for being absurd when safely winging his glorious way along the brink of the sublime.

The numerous technical terms, derived from a variety of occupations, with which he enriched and invigorated his diction, often tended to disguise his meaning; and the luxuriance of his fancy frequently betrayed him, during the warmth of debate, into a ludicrous confusion of metaphor. He carried few of the virtues of his social deportment into the House of Commons; where, on many occasions, he was coarse, intemperate, and reckless of inflicting pain on those who were opposed to him in political opinions.—His copiousness repeatedly bordered on prolixity; his praise, on fulsome flattery; his indignation, on virulence; his imaginative flights, on nonsensical rhapsody; and his splendid diction, on gross bombast.

But with all his faults, Burke was one of the very few of whom it may safely be said, “This man was a genius.” His cotemporaries have applied almost every laudatory epithet in the language to his eloquence. Johnson said he was not only the first man in the House of Commons, but the first man everywhere; and on being asked if he did not think Burke resembled Cicero, replied, “No Sir, Cicero resembled Burke.” Crabbe states that his powers were vast, and his attainments various.—Pitt characterized some of his remarks as the overflowings of a mind, the richness of whose wit was unchecked for the time by its wisdom.

In the language of Cazales, he possessed the sublimest talents, the greatest and rarest virtues, that ever were enshrined in a single character. When he died, Windham said that it was not among the least calamities of the times that the world had lost him. Curwen asserts that he not only surpassed all his cotemporaries, but perhaps, never was equalled. Winstanley, Principal of Alban Hall, and Camden Professor of ancient history, asserts that it would be exceedingly difficult to meet with a person who knew more of the philosophy, the history, and the filiation of languages, or the principles of etymological deduction, than Burke. Wilberforce, who was usually opposed to him in politics, confessed that his eloquence had always attracted, his imagination continually charmed, and his reasoning often convinced him.—“Who is there,” says Dr. Parr, speaking of Burke, “among men of eloquence or learning more profoundly versed in every branch of science? Who is there that has cultivated philosophy, the parent of all that is illustrious in literature or exploit, with more felicitous success? Who is there that can transfer so happily the result of laborious and intricate research to the most familiar and popular topics? Who is there that possesses so extensive, yet so accurate, an acquaintance with every transaction recent or remote?”

His mind, by one author, has been described as an encyclopœdia, from which every man who approached it received information. As an orator, says another, notwithstanding some defects, he stands almost unrivalled. Learning, observes a third, waited upon him like a handmaid, presenting to his choice all that antiquity had culled or invented; and if grandeur, says a fourth, is not to be found in Burke, it is to be found nowhere. Gerard Hamilton, when at variance with him, protested that this extraordinary man understood every thing but gaming and music. Goldsmith, speaking of Johnson said, “Does he wind into a subject like a serpent, as Burke does?” Lord Townshend, after hearing one of his early speeches, exclaimed, “Good God! what a man is this! How could he acquire such transcendant powers!” Lord Thurlow is reported to have expressed an opinion that he would be remembered with admiration when Pitt and Fox would be comparatively forgotten; and Fox himself, on more than one occasion, confessed, that all he had ever read in books, all that his fancy had imagined, all that his reasoning faculties had suggested, or his experience had taught him, fell far short of the exalted knowledge which he had acquired from Burke.

His writings exhibit most of the excellencies and some of the defects which characterize his speeches.—Had he eschewed politics, and devoted himself to literature, he would, probably, have become the greatest author of his age. “With respect to his facility in composition,” says Hazlitt, “there are contradictory accounts. It has been stated by some that he wrote out a plain sketch first, and added the ornaments and tropes afterwards. I have been assured by a person, who had the best means of knowing, that the letter to a noble Lord, (the most rapid, impetuous, glowing, and sportive of all his works) was printed off, and the proof sent to him, and that it was returned to the printing office with so many alterations and passages interlined, that the compositors refused it as it was, took the whole matter to pieces, and re-set the copy.” [This is no extraordinary case: we have it on literary record against one author, that he wrote three volumes of corrections, to one volume of proofs.] “Perhaps among the passages interlined,” continues Hazlitt, “was the description of the Duke of Bedford, as the leviathan among all the creatures of the crown—the catalogue raisonnee of the Abbe Sieyes’s pigeon holes—or the comparison of the English monarchy to the proud keep of Windsor, with its double belt of kindred and coeval towers.”


His ministerial duties, and the opposition he experienced from the spirited adherents of his deceased rival, rapidly undermined his constitution. He seems to have been fully aware of the decay of his bodily powers. “Pitt,” said he, “died in January; perhaps I may go off before June!” A gentleman, who was in company with him, having made some observation in reply—“Nay,” said he, “I begin to think my complaint not unlike Pitt’s, my stomach has long been discomposed, I feel my constitution dissolving!” Trotter, whose account of Fox’s last days we shall abridge, states, that he found him, in the beginning of June, melancholy, and filled with gloomy presentiments. In a short time his illness became alarming; he suffered dreadful pains; but his temper was still serene. Mrs. Fox and Trotter frequently read to him:—Crabbe’s poems in manuscript pleased him much, particularly the story of Phœbe Dawson. Sheridan paid him a short and unsatisfactory visit; at which Fox spoke but a few words, and those very coldly. Sheridan, on his part, was embarrassed, and equally taciturn. Soon after, Fox had a warm and friendly interview with Grattan. His disease being evidently dropsy, on the 7th of August he underwent the operation of tapping, by which five gallons of fluid were taken from him. An alarming degree of weakness succeeded: he was speechless for some time, and it was not until the 10th, that he began to recover strength. Shortly after, he was removed to the Duke of Devonshire’s house, at Chiswick. He now ceased entirely to hear the newspapers read; but listened with pleasure, to passages from Dryden, Johnson’s Lives of the Poets, the Æneid, and Swift’s Poems.

Preparations were making for his return to St. Anne’s Hill, when an alarming drowsiness crept upon him; and he increased so much in size, that it again became necessary for him to undergo another operation; from which, however, he derived but little benefit. He rapidly grew worse, but manifested an invincible fortitude and resignation under his sufferings. At length his dissolution evidently approached. “I die happy,” said he, fixing again and again his eyes upon Mrs. Fox. He endeavoured to speak further, but could only articulate, “Trotter will tell you.” Then raising his arms to meet Mrs. Fox’s embrace, he expired without either struggle or distortion. At the time of his death, which took place on the 13th of September, 1806, Fox was in the fifty-eighth year of his age. His remains were interred, with great funeral pomp, in Westminster Abbey, within a few feet of those of his great rival, Pitt, on the 10th of October, the anniversary of his first election for Westminster.

His property was soon after sold by auction, and it is related that among his books was Gibbon’s first volume of the Roman History, which seemed to be a presentation copy to Fox, who had inserted, on the blank leaf, this anecdote: “The Author at Brookes’s said, there was no salvation for the country, until six heads of the principal persons in administration were laid on the table. Eleven days after, the same gentleman accepted a place of lord of trade, under those very Ministers, and has acted with them ever since.” Such was the avidity of bidders for the smallest memorial of Fox, that, on account of this memorandum, the book fetched three guineas.

Nollekens executed no less than thirty busts of Fox, and portraits of him were almost innumerable. He was of middle stature, and, though in youth remarkably active, became in the latter part of his life corpulent and unwieldy. His countenance was manly, bold, and open; his complexion very dark, his nose well-formed, and his mouth expressive of great good-nature. His eyebrows were thick, black, and peculiarly shaped—not being arched, but rising upward, at a considerable angle from the temples, towards the middle of the forehead.

It would be difficult to convey a just idea of the eloquence of Fox. He rejected every thing that had the appearance of art; and it was a saying of his that “if a speech read well, it was a bad speech.”—His illustrations were drawn from history or common life. He reasoned from facts and obvious principles, and made his hearers think and feel with him, because he appeared to speak what he thought, and to feel like one of themselves.

“His speeches,” said Sheridan, “were amongst the finest examples of argumentation; abounding in pointed observations and just conclusions, clothed in forcible expression, and delivered with manly boldness.—The leading characteristic of his oratory was a ready, and, as it were, intuitive power of analysis, which he possessed beyond any man now living; and it would not exceed the truth, if it were added, equal to any man that has ever lived.” “Fox, as an orator,” says Godwin, “seemed to come immediately from the forming hand of Nature. He spoke well, because he felt strongly and earnestly. His eloquence was impetuous as the current of the river Rhone. Nothing could arrest its course. His voice would insensibly rise to too high a key; he would run himself out of breath.—Every thing showed how little artifice there was in his oratory. Though on all great occasions he was throughout energetic, yet it was by sudden flashes and emanations, that he electrified the heart, and shot through the blood of his hearer. I have seen his countenance brighten up with more than mortal ardour and goodness; I have been present when his voice has been suffocated with the sudden bursting forth of a flood of tears.”

Sir James Mackintosh says of him, “When he began to speak, a common observer might have thought him awkward, and even a consummate judge could only have been struck with the exquisite justness of his ideas, and the transparent simplicity of his manners; for he carried into public much of the negligent exterior, which belonged to him in private. But no sooner had he spoken for some time, than he was changed into another being; he forgot himself, and every thing around him; he thought only of his subject; his genius warmed and kindled as he went on; he darted fire into his audience; torrents of impetuous and irresistible eloquence swept along their feelings and convictions.—He certainly possessed, above all moderns, that union of reason, simplicity and vehemence, which formed the prince of orators. He was the most Demosthenean speaker since Demosthenes.”

The following passage occurs in the elaborate character of Fox, by Dr. Parr:—“If you had been called upon to select a friend from the whole human race, where could you have found one endowed as he was, with the guileless playfulness of a child, and the most correct and comprehensive knowledge of the world; or distinguished, as he was, by profound erudition, by well-founded reverence for the constitution of his country, and the keenest penetration into the consequences, near and remote, of all public measures? Where could you have found an orator, gifted with properties of eloquence so many and so great?—Always exciting attention by his ardour, and rewarding it by his good sense; always adapting his matter to the subject, and his diction to the matter; never misrepresenting, where he undertook to confute, nor insulting because he had vanquished; instructive without a wish to deceive, and persuasive without an attempt to domineer; manfully disdaining petty controversy, eager for victory only as the price of truth; holding up the most abstruse principles in the most glowing colours; and dignifying the most common by new combinations, at one moment incorporating it with argument, and at the next ascending from historical details to philosophical generalization; irresistible from effort, captivating without it; and by turns, concise and copious, easy and energetic, familiar and sublime!”

In manners, Fox was a high-bred gentleman. What his opinions were, as to religion, is uncertain; but in essentials he was undoubtedly a Christian. Dr. Parr, adverting to this subject, says, “I have often remarked that upon religious topics, he did not talk irreverently, and generally appeared unwilling to talk at all. He was certainly not deeply versed in theological lore; yet from my conversation with him, I am induced to think that according to the views he has taken of Christianity, he did not find any decisive evidence for several doctrines, which many of the wisest men had sincerely believed. Yet he occasionally professed, and from his known veracity, we may be sure that he inwardly felt the highest approbation of its pure and benevolent precepts.”

His conversation was inexhaustibly rich; he was never dogmatic, but on the contrary, eminently conciliating. His wit inflicted no wounds; his humour was always innocent. “His memory,” says Parr, “seems never to have been oppressed by the number, or distracted by the variety, of the materials which it gradually accumulated; and his companions can never forget the readiness, correctness, and glowing enthusiasm, with which he repeated the noblest passages in the best English, French, and Italian poets, and in the best epic and dramatic writers of antiquity.” “I myself,” says Hazlitt, “have heard Charles Fox engaged in familiar conversation. It was in the Louvre; he was describing the pictures to two persons that were with him. He spoke rapidly, but very unaffectedly; I remember his saying, ‘All these blues and greens, and reds, are the Guercinos; you may know them by the colours!’ He set Opie right as to Dominichino’s St. Jerome! ‘You will find,’ said he, ‘though you may not be struck with it at first, that there is a good deal of truth and good sense in that picture!’ There was a person, at one time, with Mr. Fox, who, when the opinion of the latter was asked on any subject, very frequently interposed to give the answer. This sort of tantalizing disappointment was ingeniously enough compared, by some one, to walking up Ludgate Hill, and having the spire of St. Martin’s constantly getting in your way, when you wished to see the dome of St. Pauls.”

Friends and foes have concurred in praising the extreme kindness of his disposition, his almost morbid dread of giving offence in private life, and his enthusiastic humanity. He, who by his towering eloquence, earnestly sought to break the chains of the enslaved African, would carefully turn aside to avoid bruising a worm. When a friend accidentally mentioned some amiable trait of Fox to Burke, the latter exclaimed, “to be sure, he is a man made to be loved!”

Boothby, who had been on intimate terms with Fox, once sketched his character in the following manner:—“Charles Fox is, unquestionably, a man of first-rate talents, but so deficient in judgment as never to have succeeded in any object during his whole life. He loved only three things; women, play, and politics. Yet, at no period did he ever form a creditable connexion with a woman; he lost his whole fortune at a gaming table; and with the exception of about eleven months, he has always remained in opposition.”

To the love of power may be attributed the various blots in his public life; it made him, consecutively, Lord North’s political dangler, his bitter enemy, and his associate in power and opposition; it prompted him to become the advocate of unconstitutional principles on the discussion of the Regency Bill, and finally produced his union with the Grenvilles. Of sordid views he was incapable; money weighed against integrity would have been to him as dust in the balance; and it is more than probable that, in the pursuit of his favorite object, power, he deluded even himself, and was quite unconscious of his political errors.—Men of strong imagination are frequently deficient in judgment; and the mighty genius of Fox, before which the mountain of difficulty dwindled into a mole-hill, may have sometimes diverged from its glorious aims, for want of the guiding hand of prudence. A different cause, however, operated strongly against his success as a politician; he flung away the jewel, independence, with reckless prodigality, before he could appreciate its value; and through the remainder of his life he continued to pay the penalty of his rashness. Gratitude for pecuniary favours rendered him the slave, if not the tool, of a party; and wrung from him a thousand compliances, which, under other circumstances, he would have disdained.

But while we admit his errors, we cannot but admire his great merits. His views, always noble, were often sublime. His love of country was a passion rather than a principle, but his philanthropy extended to the whole human race. He was at once the advocate of the oppressed Catholic, the suffering Hindoo, and the enslaved African. Peace was the Goddess of his idolatry; he sighed with benevolent ardour for her advent, and wrought ardently for the universal diffusion of freedom, knowledge, and happiness.

At one period, Fox appears to have had various literary projects in view. Among others are mentioned an edition of Dryden, a defence of the French Stage, and an Essay on the Beauties of Euripides. Of the latter author, as well as of Virgil, he was a most devoted admirer. In the latter part of his life, according to Lord Holland, he spoke with delight and complacency of whole days devoted to the perusal of their works. To Racine he also appears to have been particularly partial. In a letter to his noble nephew, in 1803, after remarking that some modern writers did not sufficiently appreciate the beauties of the French dramatist, he says, “It puts me quite in a passion. Je veux contre eux faire un jour un gros livre,” as Voltaire says. Even Dryden, who speaks with proper respect of Corneille, vilipends Racine. “If ever I publish my edition of his works, I will give it him for it, you may depend. Oh! how I wish that I could make up my mind to think it right to devote the remaining part of my life to such subjects, and such only!”

For some time before his death he was engaged on an historical work, which he did not live to complete.—It was published after his death, by his nephew, Lord Holland, under the title of “A History of the early part of the Reign of King James the Second, with an introductory chapter.” It is doubtful at what precise period he began this, which was his principal literary composition; but it appears, that early in 1800, in one of his letters to Lord Lauderdale, he stated, that he was seriously thinking of writing History, and had indeed begun; but even his introductory chapter was not then completed, and not only had he consulted no important manuscripts relative to the subject he proposed treating, but frankly admitted that he did not know where any such existed—“therefore,” he added, “any information on that head would be very welcome.” Lord Lauderdale, it seems, transmitted him many valuable hints in reply, and introduced him to Laing, the author of a History of Scotland, to whom Fox was greatly indebted, as well for references to authorities, as perhaps for suggestions of consequence, in the progress of his work. He went to Paris, as we have already stated, principally for the purpose of examining papers relative to the Reign of James the Second, which were supposed to be deposited in the Scots College in that capital. In the Depot des Affaires Extraordinaires he discovered documents so illustrative of many obscure transactions, which he had already narrated in his intended history, that on his return he was obliged to make numerous insertions in the manuscript; and, to use his own expression, “he found piecing in the bits from his Parisian materials a troublesome job.”—Indeed, literary composition, altogether, seems to have been so laborious to him, that it is a matter of wonder he should ever have engaged in so extensive a work as his contemplated history. Although bold and fluent as a speaker, he was timid and slow as a writer. His letter to the Electors of Westminster, in 1793, was the produce of many days’ toil; “and even the publication on the late Duke of Bedford,” says Lord Holland, “occupied a greater portion of time than could possibly be imagined by those who were unacquainted with his scrupulous attention to all the niceties of language.”

His mode of writing was truly singular for a man of such gigantic powers. Every sentence appears to have cost him a mental throe. It was his custom to set down, on the backs of letters, passages which, says Lord Holland, he had, in all probability, turned in his mind, and, in some degree, formed in his walks, or during his hours of leisure; and, at intervals, he read his scraps to Mrs. Fox, who copied them neatly into the manuscript book from which the work was printed. The original papers he usually destroyed; a few of them have, however, been preserved, and in these are found erasures, interlineations, and other marks of laborious revision.—Even while dictating from his corrected manuscript, to his beloved amanuensis, he is said, not only to have altered words, but to have frequently changed the construction of sentences. The object of so much toil was to attain an unadorned simplicity of style; to reject any word for which he had not the authority of Dryden; to preserve a constant perspicuity; to incorporate as much as possible, such matter as is usually conveyed by means of notes, into his text; and to avoid writing as he would have spoken in public. His apprehension lest his pages should display any traces of that art in which he was so great a master, induced him, it is said, to expunge many vivid passages, which he might perhaps, have advantageously retained. His fastidiousness, in this respect, was so great, that in a letter to one of his correspondents, he says, “I have at last finished my introduction: but, after all, it looks more like a speech than it should be.”

The fragment certainly possesses considerable merits: it contains many admirable sentiments and philosophical remarks; the events are sometimes related with majestic and appropriate simplicity; but the language is frequently rugged or mean, occasionally somewhat ambiguous; and often so cold, as to freeze all interest for the facts. “Fox,” says a late talented writer, “is not to be blamed for having written an indifferent history of James the second, but for having written a history at all. It was not his business to write a history—his business was not to have made any more coalitions. But he found writing so dull, he thought it better to be a colleague of Lord Grenville! He did not want style; (to say that, was nonsense, because the style of his speeches was just and fine;) he wanted a sounding board in the ear of posterity to try his periods upon. If he had gone to the House of Commons in the morning, and tried to have made a speech fasting, when there was nobody to hear him, he might have been equally disconcerted at his want of style.”

In a Canadian publication, it may not be inappropriate to remark, that the differences between Burke and Fox, originating in the subject of the French Revolution, terminated in a final rupture, on the occasion of the debate on the Canada Bill in 1791. Burke, who had previously declared, that he and Sheridan were separated in politics for ever, solemnly renounced all connexion, either public or private, with Fox; and neither humiliation or entreaties on the part of the latter could ever after appease him. “My separation from Mr. Fox,” said he, “is a principle, and not a passion. I hold it my sacred duty, to confirm what I have said and written, by this sacrifice. And to what purpose would be the re-union for a moment? I can have no delight with him, nor he with me.” When the speedy dissolution of Burke was confidently predicted, Fox wrote to Mrs. Burke, earnestly entreating that he might be permitted to have an interview with her husband; but even that favour was refused. Mrs. Burke, in reply to his letter, stated, “That it had cost Mr. Burke the most heartfelt pain to obey the stern voice of his duty, in rending asunder a long friendship: but that he had effected this necessary sacrifice; and that, in whatever life yet remained to him; he conceived he must continue to live for others, and not for himself.”

An infringement on chronological order will be committed by introducing after Burke and Fox, some notices of the greatest Statesman the world ever produced,—we mean the Earl of Chatham. But we wished, to place the Father and Son in close juxta-position; and Pitt being the junior of Burke and Fox, we tho’t it better to introduce the founder of British greatness in North America, in the present place. We commence with that part of his life, when after being dismissed from office in April, 1757, he was by the reluctant George the Second, in obedience to the voice of the nation, recalled to the administration of affairs in the following June.


The vigour of the new Administration soon produced an extraordinary effect. The spirit, activity, and resolution of Pitt wrought miracles in the Government offices. To those who told him that his orders could not be executed within the time required, he peremptorily replied, “It must be done!” and alacrity ceased to be considered impossible. To foreign diplomatists he assumed a tone of determined energy, and avoided entering into any specious and protracted negotiations, by boldly stating how he meant to act, and bidding his opponents, in so many words, to do as they pleased. He infused new life and vigour into the army and navy, invariably providing commanders with the best means in his power to carry their instructions into effect. He once asked an officer who had been appointed to conduct a certain important expedition, how many men he should require: “Ten thousand,” was the reply.—“You shall have twelve,” said the Minister: “and then it will be your own fault if you do not succeed.”—Under his auspices, the whole fortune of the war was changed: England triumphed in every quarter of the globe; the boldest attempts were made by her sea and land forces; and almost every enterprise they undertook was fortunate. In America the French lost Quebec; in Africa their chief settlements fell, in the East Indies their power was abridged; in Europe their armies suffered defeat; while their navy was nearly annihilated, and their commerce almost reduced to ruin.

On the accession of George the Third, Pitt, who felt strongly impressed with the policy of declaring war against Spain, was thwarted in his wishes by the influence of Lord Bute; and disdaining to be nominally at the head of a cabinet which he could not direct, he resigned his offices in October, 1761, and accepted a pension of three thousand pounds a-year, for the lives of himself, his son, and his wife, who was created Baroness of Chatham. He had written to a female relation, some years before, severely reproaching her for the “despicable meanness” of which she had been guilty, in having accepted an annuity out of the public purse: the lady, on the present occasion, it is said, had her revenge, by sending him a copy of his own letter.

In 1764, he greatly distinguished himself by his opposition to general warrants, which, with all his accustomed energy and eloquence, he stigmatized as being atrociously illegal. A search for papers, or a seizure of the person, without some specific charge was, he contended, repugnant to every principle of true liberty. “By the British Constitution,” said he, “every man’s house is his castle! Not that it is surrounded by walls and battlements; it may be a straw-built shed; every wind of heaven may whistle round it; all the elements of nature may enter it; but the King cannot—the King dare not!”

His patriotism had already been rewarded with a considerable legacy: it now gained him a very valuable estate. Sir William Pynsent having, about this time, disinherited his own relatives, and bequeathed the bulk of his extensive property to Pitt; who, unlike Pliny, under similar circumstances, did not think proper to relinquish his legal rights in favour of the natural heirs.

At the latter end of 1766, he took office again as Lord Privy Seal, and lost his enviable title of the Great Commoner, with some portion of his deserved popularity, by accepting a Peerage; having been called to the House of Lords as Viscount Pitt, of Burton Pynsent, and Earl of Chatham. His views being but feebly supported in the Cabinet, he resigned his place in November, 1768, and never took office again. But altho’ an old man, and a martyr to the gout, few debates of importance occurred in which he did not still render himself conspicuous. He attacked Lord Mansfield’s doctrine of libel with great power, and animadverted severely on the proceedings of the Lower House, with regard to the Middlesex election. He had invariably opposed, with the whole force of his eloquence, the measures which led to the American War; and long after his retirement from office, had exerted himself most zealously to bring about a reconciliation between the Mother Country and her Colonies. But when the Duke of Portland, in 1778, moved an Address to the Crown, on the necessity of acknowledging the Independence of America, Lord Chatham, although he had but just left a sick-bed, opposed the motion with all the ardent eloquence of his younger days.—“My Lords,” said he, “I lament that my infirmities have so long prevented my attendance here, at so awful a crisis. I have made an effort almost beyond my strength, to come down to the House on this day, (and perhaps it will be the last time I shall ever be able to enter its walls,) to express my indignation at an idea which has gone forth of yielding up America. My Lords, I rejoice that the grave has not yet closed upon me,—that I am still alive to lift up my voice against the dismemberment of this ancient and most noble monarchy. Pressed down as I am by the hand of infirmity, I am little able to assist my country in this most perilous conjuncture; but, my Lords, while I have sense and memory, I will never consent to deprive the royal offspring of the House of Brunswick of their fairest inheritance. Where is the man that will dare to advise such a measure?—My Lords, his Majesty succeeded to an Empire great in extent, as it was unsullied in reputation. Shall we tarnish the lustre of this nation by an ignominious surrender of its rights and best possessions? Shall this great kingdom, which has survived, whole and entire, the Danish depredations, the Scottish inroads, and the Norman Conquest,—that has stood the threatened invasion of the Spanish Armada, now fall prostrate before the House of Bourbon? Surely, my Lords, this nation is no longer what it was! Shall a people that, seventeen years ago, was the terror of the world, now stoop so low as to tell its ancient, inveterate enemy, ‘Take all we have, only give us peace?’ It is impossible! I wage war with no man, or set of men;—I wish for none of their employments, nor would I co-operate with those who still persist in unretracted error, or who, instead of acting on a firm, decisive line of conduct, halt between two opinions where there is no middle path. In God’s name! if it be absolutely necessary to declare either for peace or war, and the former cannot be preserved with honor, why is not the latter commenced without hesitation? I am not, I confess, well informed of the resources of this kingdom; but I trust it has still sufficient to maintain its just rights, though I know them not. But, my Lords, any state is better than despair. Let us, at least, make one effort; and if we must fall, let us fall like men!”

The Duke of Richmond having replied to this speech, Lord Chatham attempted to rise again, but fainted, and fell into the arms of those who were near him. The House instantly adjourned, and the Earl was conveyed home in a state of exhaustion, from which he never recovered.—His death took place at Hayes, early in the following month—namely, on the 11th May, 1778. The House of Commons voted the departed patriot, who had thus died gloriously at his post, a public funeral, also a monument in Westminster Abbey, at the national expense. An income of four thousand pounds per annum was annexed to the Earldom of Chatham, and the sum of twenty thousand pounds cheerfully granted to liquidate his debts; for, instead of profiting by his public employments, he had wasted his property in sustaining their dignity, and died in embarrassed circumstances.

In figure, Lord Chatham was eminently dignified and commanding. “There was a grandeur in his personal appearance,” says a writer, “who speaks of him when in his decline, which produced awe and mute attention; and, though bowed by infirmity and age, his mind shone through the ruins of his body, armed his eye with lightning, and clothed his lip with thunder.” Bodily pain never subdued the lofty daring, or the extraordinary activity of his mind. He even used his crutch as a figure of rhetoric. “You talk, my Lords,” said he, on one occasion, “of conquering America,—of your numerous friends there, and your powerful forces to disperse her army. I might as well talk of driving them before me with this crutch!”

Sir Robert Walpole could not look upon, or listen to him, without being alarmed; and told his friends, “that he should be glad, at any rate, to muzzle that terrible cornet of horse.” “He was born an orator,” says Wilkes, “and from nature possessed every outward requisite to bespeak respect, and even awe: a manly figure, with the eagle eye of the great Conde, fixed your attention, and almost commanded reverence, the moment he appeared; and the keen lightning of his eye spoke the high respect of his soul, before his lips had pronounced a syllable. There was a kind of fascination in his look when he eyed any one askance. Nothing could withstand the force of that contagion. The fluent Murray has faltered, and even Fox shrunk back appalled from an adversary ‘fraught with the unquenchable,’ if I may borrow an expression of our great Milton.—He had not the correctness of language so striking in the great Roman orator; but he had the verba ardentia—the bold, glowing words.” Horace Walpole describes his language as having been amazingly fine and flowing; his voice admirable, his action most expressive, and his figure commanding. A more modern writer says, that Pitt was unequal as a speaker; and that the first time he heard him, nothing could be more commonplace than his language and manner; but that, on some contradiction in argument being given him, his real powers instantly burst forth, and he displayed all the wonderful eloquence for which he was so celebrated.

He felt impatient of contradiction in the Cabinet, and reposed unlimited confidence in his own talents—it was his ambition to raise his native country above all other powers, and to elevate himself by her exaltation. He was sagacious, firm, and admirably patriotic. His opinions were liberal; his views lofty and enlightened; and his measures so eminently successful, that he has perhaps with truth been termed the greatest Statesman of his country.

Walpole says that his conversation was affected and unnatural, his manner not engaging, nor his talents popular. Chesterfield describes him as being haughty, imperious, and overbearing; and yet, according to the latter authority, he was a most agreeable and lively companion in social life; and had such a versatility of wit, that he could adapt it to all sorts of conversation.

It is evident, from the tone of his letters, that he was fondly attached to his family: he had two daughters and three sons, one of whom became the successful rival of the son of that celebrated Statesman, Fox, over whom he had achieved a political supremacy. In his domestic circle, he frequently amused himself by reading the serious parts of Shakspeare’s plays, the comic scenes being, on such occasions, invariably taken by some other persons present. He would never suffer himself, if possible, it is said, to be seen, by his nearest friends, in an undress; and that, while in office, he would not transact any public business until he had assumed his full official costume. He was, however, often compelled, on account of his hereditary complaint, to receive his colleagues in bed. One evening, in the depth of winter, the Duke of Newcastle, on whom he frequently inflicted a lecture, had a consultation with him in his chamber. Pitt had so great a horror of heat, that he would never suffer a fire to be lighted in his room; the Duke had an equal antipathy to cold; and the night being excessively severe, and his coadjutor’s lecture unusually long, perceiving a second bed in the room, (for the Premier and his lady then slept apart,) he seated himself upon it, and covered his legs with a blanket. But still feeling insupportably cold, he gradually crept, full-dressed as he was, into Mrs. Pitt’s bed; and the two Ministers lay, for a considerable time, at opposite ends of the room,—the one warmly declaiming, and the other shivering and submissively listening,—with nothing but their heads above the bed-clothes.


On the 12th of May, 1804, Addington having resigned office, Pitt was again nominated first Lord of the Treasury, and Chancellor of the Exchequer. On resuming the reins of Government, he prosecuted the war with all the vigour in his power. Russia and Austria became engaged in the contest with France; but their efforts were speedily terminated by the battle of Austerlitz, which, in its consequences, more than balanced the victory of Trafalgar.

The Minister’s spirits and health, already impaired, were fatally affected by the disastrous aspect of affairs on the Continent; and the impeachment of his faithful adherent, Lord Melville, wounded his feelings even more, perhaps, than the absurd charge of corruption insinuated against himself relative to a loan upon scrip, to Messrs. Boyd & Co., in 1796. His constitution, weakened as it was by hereditary gout, had also been severely injured by an immoderate use of wine; of which, previously to an important debate, he would often swallow several bottles, to relieve himself from the languor produced by extreme mental and bodily exertion. Wine, at length, ceased to afford him the necessary excitement, and he had recourse to laudanum, of which, as an eminent physician has assured us, he sometimes took above two hundred drops at a dose!

By the use of this destructive stimulant, his bodily powers were rapidly debilitated. He tried the Bath waters, in December, 1805, but without effect. For some time, he could not sleep; water on the chest was at length produced by his gout; and his stomach became so weak, as to be incapable of retaining food. On the 10th of January, 1806, he returned to his seat at Putney. On the 19th, he was able to discuss some public questions with his colleagues, and his physicians thought that he might probably resume his official duties in the course of the winter. His symptoms, however, soon returned with such aggravated violence, that all hopes of his recovery were abandoned. He became so lethargic, that the awful intelligence of his approaching death had scarcely any effect upon him. On the return of consciousness, he was solicited to join with Bishop Tomline in devotion. “I fear,” replied the expiring Statesman, “that I have, like many other men, neglected my religious duties too much, to have any ground for hope that they can be efficacious on a death-bed. But,” added he, making an effort to rise as he spoke, “I throw myself entirely on the mercy of God!”

He then joined in prayer with calm and humble piety. Shortly afterwards, adverting to his nieces, the daughters of Earl Stanhope by his older sister, for whom he had long manifested the warmest affection, he said, “I could wish a thousand or fifteen hundred a-year to be given to them,—if the public think my long services deserving of it.” The mortal crisis was now fast approaching. His extremities became cold, and, as a last and desperate effort to protract existence, blisters were applied to the soles of his feet. They restored him to consciousness, and he did not again lose his self-possession until within a few moments of his death, which took place early on the morning of the 23d of January, 1806. His last words, according to an assertion made by Mr. Rose, in the House of Commons, were, “Oh! my Country!” A public funeral was decreed to his remains, and monuments have been erected to his memory, in Westminster Abbey, (where he was buried,) in the Guildhall of the City of London, in the great hall of the University of Cambridge, and in many of the principal cities of the kingdom.

So far from taking advantage of his official station to acquire wealth, and notwithstanding he was by no means of an extravagant disposition, he died in debt, and a sum of forty thousand pounds was voted to pay his creditors. His disinterestedness was singular: although he had abandoned a lucrative profession to enter into the public service,—although his patrimony was small, and his retention of office precarious, yet, during the unexampled attack on his administration by the coalesced parties of Fox and Lord North, the Clerkship of the Pells having become vacant, he neither took that lucrative situation himself, nor did he even confer it on one of his friends, but in a spirit of true patriotism gave it to Colonel Barre, on the condition that the latter should resign a pension of three thousand pounds a-year. Lord Thurlow said of him, on this occasion, that he had, with notions of purity, not only very uncommon in modern days, but scarcely paralleled in the purest times of Greece and Rome, nobly preferred the public good to the consideration of his own interest.

In May, 1790, Pitt having solicited the reversion of a Tellership of the Exchequer for Lord Auckland’s son, the King granted it; but at the same time observed, that had Pitt proposed some means of rendering it useful to himself, he (the King) should have been better pleased. In 1792, when he had already been nine years a Minister, the King insisted on conferring upon him the Wardenship of the Cinque Ports; and Pitt wisely consented to accept it; for his private fortune was now dissipated, and he had not saved one shilling of his official income. “I take the first opportunity of acquainting Mr. Pitt,” said the King, in his letter to the Premier on this occasion, “that the Wardenship of the Cinque Ports is an office for which I will not receive any recommendations, having positively resolved to confer it on him, as a mark of that high regard which his eminent services have deserved from me. I am so bent on this, that I shall be seriously offended at any attempts to decline it.”

In person, Pitt was tall, slender, well proportioned, and active. He had blue eyes, rather a fair complexion, prominent features, and a high capacious forehead. His aspect was severe and forbidding; his voice clear and powerful; his action dignified, but neither graceful nor engaging; his tone and manners, although urbane and complacent in society, were lofty, and often arrogant, in the senate. On entering the house, it was his custom to stalk sternly to his place, without honoring even his most favoured adherents with a word, a nod, or even a glance of recognition. Fox, on the contrary, strolled at leisure, and, occasionally, even meandered to his seat, bestowing a good-humoured smile, a kind enquiry, or a gay observation, upon every friend whom he passed.

As an orator, Pitt was remarkably correct, clear, and copious. His matter was always skilfully arranged, and stated with astonishing precision and force. He dealt comparatively but little in metaphor; his sentiments were seldom disguised by splendid imagery; and he seemed to think that facts could never be so forcible, or arguments so convincing, as when stated in a pure, unadorned, impressive style. Though infinitely less rich, his eloquence was more effective even than that of Burke. Some of the orators of his day were more profound, but none of them so uniformly clear: it was impossible to misunderstand him, unless he aimed at being unintelligible. He excelled in sarcasm, and, during the heat of debate, always retained the most perfect command over his temper. “Pitt,” says a cotemporary, alluding to one of his speeches, “surpassed himself, and then, I need not tell you, that he surpassed Cicero and Demosthenes. What a figure would they, with their formal, laboured, cabinet orations, make vis-a-vis his manly vivacity and dashing eloquence, at one o’clock in the morning, after sitting in the heat of a crowded senate for eleven hours! He spoke above an hour and a half with scarcely a bad sentence.” To conclude, it has been justly said of him, that he never failed to put the best word in the best place.

As a minister, he displayed an equal degree of patriotic zeal, but not so much ability as his father, to maintain Great Britain in an exalted place among the nations of Europe. But, had his political skill even exceeded that of the great Lord Chatham, it is questionable if the warfare, in which he engaged the country, would have been successful. No genius, however pre-eminent, perhaps, could have withstood the astonishing march of events by which France established her ascendency on the Continent. His financial measures have been enthusiastically praised by some and vehemently censured by others. To withstand, and eventually to conquer, as he did, the powerful parties which opposed him in the senate, he must have possessed an extraordinary share of talent, firmness, and energy. His motives have been highly eulogised; but it is doubtful, if he did not, on many important occasions, sacrifice principle to expediency. His opinions were in favour of emancipation, but he shuffled out of office, partly because he would not risk his favor with the King, by boldly bringing the question forward, and thus fulfilling the expectations he had held out to the Catholics of Ireland. He was a professed friend to parliamentary reform, and the abolition of the slave trade; but, while in the plenitude of his power, he suffered them both to be negatived, because he would not make them ministerial measures. His views were not invariably tolerant; for he resolutely opposed the repeal of the test act. He was ambitious of power; but acquired it by no meanness, and used it without the least taint of corruption. He was above every little art, or low intrigue, for his sentiments were lofty as his professions were dignified.

In his social circle, Pitt was urbane, generous, sportive, and convivial to a fault. His only private vice was a propensity to the bottle, and he once nearly lost his life in what may fairly be termed a drunken frolic. One night, a gate-keeper, on the road between Croydon and Wimbledon, was roused from his slumbers, by the rapid approach of three horsemen, who gallopped on, the gate being open, without waiting to pay toll. Numerous robberies having recently been committed in the neighbourhood, the honest gate-keeper, judging from their extraordinary haste that they were highwaymen, discharged his blunderbuss at them, but without effect. The suspicious triumvirate, who had thus cheated the toll-taker, consisted of Pitt, Thurlow, and Dundas, the first lord of the treasury, the lord chancellor, and the treasurer of the navy, who were on their return to Wimbledon, from Mr. Jenkinson’s, at Croydon, where they had been dining.

Pitt narrowly escaped being shot on another occasion, after having dined with Jenkinson. Returning home in a post-chaise, the boy lost the road, and being unable to regain it, Pitt alighted, and went towards a farm-house for the purpose of obtaining information. As he approached, the dogs began to bark; and, in a few moments, the farmer appeared with a gun in his hand, threatening to shoot the midnight intruder on his premises, if he did not forthwith retire. Pitt expostulated; but his eloquence was powerless, for the farmer at length fired. The bullet went through Pitt’s coat, but did him no injury. An explanation then took place, and the rustic condescended to direct the premier how to reach the main road.

Pitt’s affair with Tierney, on Putney heath, has been adduced as one great proof of that personal courage which he certainly possessed in an eminent degree: but surely the acceptance of a challenge, which he can venture to refuse, only, under penalty of losing his caste, is no exalted proof of a man’s bravery. That he possessed extraordinary nerve and resolution, is much more satisfactorily shown by his bold and determined conduct in parliament, and particularly at the early part of his premiership. That he was sometimes absurdly inconsiderate of his personal safety, “after dining with Mr. Jenkinson, at Croydon,” is indisputable; but we can scarcely credit an assertion which has been made, that once, during the war, he foolishly sailed between Dover and Calais, for some time, in an open boat, for the purpose of obtaining information, preparatory to bringing in a bill to protect the revenue.

Pitt evinced his gratitude to his preceptors and early political friends, by procuring for Wilson, a canonry, for Turner, a deanery, and for Tomline, a bishopric; the lord-lieutenancy of Ireland for the Duke of Rutland, who had introduced him to Sir James Lowther, and a peerage for the latter, under whose auspices he had first obtained a seat in parliament. Although he never married, he is said to have been fond of female society, and to have evinced great affection towards his sisters: on the death of one of them, Lady Harriot Eliot, he is described as having been so absorbed in grief as to be incapable, for some time, of attending to public affairs.[1]

Many witticisms have been attributed to Pitt, which are utterly unworthy his great talents. The following are, however, worthy of repetition. The lively Duchess of Gordon, who had not seen him for some time before, one day asked him if he had lately talked as much nonsense as usual: “Madam,” replied he, “I have not heard so much.”—“Pray,” said the duchess, “as you know all that occurs in the political world, tell me some news.” “I am sorry, madam,” said the minister, “that I cannot oblige you, as I have not read the papers to-day.” “I wish you to dine with me at ten to-night,” said the duchess. “Madam, I cannot,” was Pitt’s answer, “for I am obliged to sup with the Bishop of Lincoln at nine.”—While the volunteer mania was raging, the corporation of London offered to raise a troop, on condition that it should not be expected to leave the country. “It certainly never shall,” said Pitt, “except in case of an invasion.”

His influence over the king’s mind appears to have been very great. In 1792, Thurlow thought proper to try his interest at court against that of the premier: presuming on the stability of his own favour with the king, he voted against some of the measures proposed by the minister, who no sooner appealed to his majesty, than the refractory chancellor was dismissed.

When Pitt proposed to the king that his tutor, Bishop Tomline, should be raised to the see of Lincoln, the following brief dialogue ensued: “Too young, Pitt;—too young! Can’t have it, Pitt;—can’t have it!”—“Had it not been for him, sire, I should never have been in your service.”—“Shall have it, Pitt;—shall have it!”

During the king’s temporary insanity, his majesty, in opposition to the wishes of his medical attendants, refused, for some time, to remove from Windsor to Kew; but Pitt having written a note, requesting that his majesty would try the effect of a change of air, he agreed to go to Kew immediately. The king, it is said, frequently expressed a desire to make him a knight of the Garter, but the minister invariably declined that honour; and at length on his refusing it, “once more and for ever,” in 1791, it was conferred on his elder brother, the Earl of Chatham.

Pitt was a great admirer of Burns’ poetry. “I can think of no verse, since Shakspeare’s, that has too much the appearance of coming sweetly from nature,” said the Premier.—This being the case, it is difficult to account for Mr. Arlington’s unsuccessful applications for a pension for Burns.——Vide, Lockhart’s Life of Burns. 12mo. ed. p. 242.


I loved you long and tenderly,

  I urged my suit with tears,—

But coldly and disdainfully

  You crush’d the hope of years.

I gazed upon your crimson’d cheek;

  I met your flashing eye;

The words I strove in vain to speak,

  Were smother’d in a sigh!


I swore to love you faithfully,

  Till death should bid us part,

But proudly and reproachfully

  You spurn’d a loyal heart.

Despair is bold—you turn’d away,

  And wish’d we ne’er had met;

But, ah! through many a weary day,

  That parting haunts me yet.


Oh think not chilling apathy

  Can passion’s tide repress!

Alas! with fond idolatry,

  I would not love you less!

Your image meets me in the crowd,

  Like some fair beam of light,

Which, bursting through its sable shroud,

  Makes glad the face of night!

Written by Major Littlehales—and now first printed from the original MSS

1793. Feb. 4th.—On Monday His Excellency Lieutenant Governor Simcoe, accompanied by Captain Fitzgerald, Lieutenant Smith of the 5th Regiment, Lieutenants Talbot, Grey, Givens, and Major Littlehales left Navy Hall in sleighs, and proceeded through the concessions parallel with Lake Ontario, to the Twelve-mile Creek. The roads being very indifferent and wet, owing to the unusual mildness of the season, we were obliged to stop there a short time, and reached the Twenty-mile Creek in the evening. We slept that night at one of Colonel Butler’s houses.

5th.—Upon arriving at the Ten-mile Creek an Express arrived from Kingston, brought by two Mississagua Indians. This circumstance detained the Governor till the next day,—

6th.—when, with some difficulty, we reached Nellis’s, at the Grand River (or Ouse) being obliged to cross the mountain, which bore the sad relics of devastation, occasioned by a hurricane the preceding Autumn.

7th.—About twelve o’clock we arrived at Captain Brant’s, at the Mohawk Indian Village—going along the ice on the Grand River with great rapidity, for a considerable way. The country between this place and Niagara, a distance computed about seventy miles, previous to ascending the mountain (considered as a branch of the Alleghany,) is in a tolerable stale of improvement,—the mountain is well timbered, and richly dressed with Pine, Oak, Beech, Maple, &c. The torrents of rain issuing from its summit, and the several creeks which run into Lake Ontario, break the ground, making deep ravines, and thereby much diversify the scene. The mountain runs parallel with Lake Ontario.

On our arrival at the Mohawk Village the Indians hoisted their flags and trophies of war, and fired a feu de joye in compliment to His Excellency, the Representative of the King, their Father.

This place is peculiarly striking when seen from the high land above it; extensive meadows are spread around it, and the Grand River rolls near it, with a termination of forest. Here is a well built wooden Church, with a steeple; a school, and an excellent house of Captain Brant’s.—The source of the Grand River is not accurately ascertained, but is supposed to be adjoining the waters which communicate with Lake Huron. It empties itself into Lake Erie; and, for fifty or sixty miles, is as broad as the Thames at Richmond, in England. Some Villages of the Onondago, Delaware, and Cayuga Indians are dispersed on its banks. While we were at the Mohawk Village we heard divine Service performed in the Church by an Indian. The devout behaviour of the women, (Squaws,) the melody of their voices, and the exact time they kept in singing their hymns is worthy of observation.

10th.—We did not quit the Mohawk Village till noon, when we set out with John Brant, and about twelve Indians—came to an encampment of Mississaguas, and slept at a trader’s house.

11th.—Passed over some fine open plains said to be frequented by immense herds of deer; but, as very little snow had fallen this winter, we did not see them.

We crossed two or three rivulets through a thick wood, and over a Salt Lick, and stopped at four o’clock to give the Indians time to make a small wigwam. The dexterity and alacrity of these people, habituated to the hardships incidental to the woods, is remarkable.—Small parties will, with the utmost facility, cut down large trees with their tomahawks, bark them, and in a few minutes construct a most comfortable hut, capable of resisting any inclemency of weather, covering it with the bark of the Elm. During this day’s march we saw the remains of several Beaver dams.

12th.—We travelled through an irregular woody country, and passed an encampment said to have been Lord Edward Fitzgerald’s when on his march to Detroit, Michilimackinac, and the Mississippi. We passed a fine cedar grove, and about one o’clock crossed, on the trunk of a tree, a small branch of the La Franche (Thames,) and soon afterwards crossed the main branch of that River in the same manner.

We met a man almost starved, who was overjoyed to obtain a temporary relief of biscuit and pork,—he was going to Niagara. From the conductor of the annual Winter-express from Detroit, whom we afterwards met, we learnt that the above man had been guilty of theft. We halted in an open part of the wood and hutted as we did last night—we were much fatigued, and refreshed ourselves with soup and dried venison.

13th.—Early this morning the express from Detroit with Mr. Clarke, a Wiandot, and a Chippawa Indian, parted from us on their way to Niagara. We went between an irregular fence of stakes made by the Indians to intimidate and impede the Deer, and facilitate their hunting. After crossing the main branch of the Thames, we halted, to observe a beautiful situation, formed by a bend of the River—a grove of Hemlock and Pine, and a large Creek. We passed some deep ravines, and made our wigwam by a stream on the brow of a hill, near a spot where Indians were interred. The burying ground was of earth raised, neatly covered with leaves, and wickered over—adjoining it was a large pole, with painted hieroglyphics on it denoting the nation, tribe, and achievements of the deceased, either as Chiefs, Warriors, or Hunters.

This day a Racoon was discovered in a very large Elm tree, upon which the Indians gave a most tremendous shout,—all set to work with their tomahawks and axes, and in ten or fifteen minutes the tree was cut down. The way of entrapping the animal was curious. Judging correctly of the space the tree would occupy in falling, they surrounded it, and closed in so suddenly that the Racoon could not escape, and was killed. The Indians at first amused themselves with allowing a Newfoundland dog to attack it, but it defended itself so well that, I think, it would have escaped from the dog, but for the interposition of the Indians. Several more Racoons were traced in the snow, and two of them taken by the same mode. The three when roasted made us an excellent supper. Some parts were rancid, but in general the flesh was exceedingly tender and good.

14th.—This day brought us within a few miles of the Delaware Indian Village, where we encamped. The Indians shot some black and other squirrels. I observed many trees blazed, and various figures of Indians (returning from battle with scalps,) and animals drawn upon them, descriptive of the nations, tribes, and number that had passed. Many of them were well drawn, especially a Lion. This day we walked over very uneven ground, and passed two Lakes of about four miles in circumference, between which were many fine Larch trees. An Indian, who carried a heavier pack than the rest, was behind, and on over-taking us, said that a white man was coming with despatches to the Governor. This person proved to be a wheeler, who, as we afterwards heard, made use of that plea to get supplied with provisions and horses to the Grand River, and from thence with an Indian guide to Detroit.—He quitted us under the plausible pretence of looking for land to establish a settlement.

15th.—We breakfasted at the Delaware Indian Village, having walked on the ice of the La Franche (Thames) for five or six miles; here we were cordially received by the Chiefs of that nation, and regaled with eggs and venison. Captain Brant being obliged to return to a Council of Six Nations, we stayed the whole day. The Delaware Castle is pleasantly situated upon the banks of the Thames; the meadows at the bottom are cleared to some extent, and in Summer planted with Indian Corn. After walking twelve or fourteen miles this day, part of the way through plains of white Oak and Ash, and passing several Chippawa Indians upon their hunting parties, and in their encampments, we arrived at a Canadian Trader’s; and, a little beyond, in proceeding down the River the Indians discovered a spring of an oily nature, which upon examination proved to be a kind of petroleum. We passed another wigwam of Chippawas, making maple sugar, the mildness of the Winter having compelled them in a great measure to abandon their annual hunting. We soon arrived at an old hut where we passed the night.

17th.—We passed the Moravian Village this day. This infantine settlement is under the superintendence of four Missionaries, Messrs. Zeisberger, Senseman, Edwards and Young; and principally inhabited by Delaware Indians, who seem to be under the control, and, in many particulars, under the command of these persons. They are in a progressive state of civilization, being instructed in different branches of Agriculture, and having already corn fields. At this place every respect was paid to the Governor, and we procured a seasonable refreshment of eggs, milk, and butter.—Pursuing our journey eight or nine miles, we stopped for the night at the extremity of a new road, cut by the Indians, and close to a Creek. Mr. Gray missed his watch, and being certain he left it at our last encampment, two of the Indians who observed his anxiety about it, proposed and insisted on returning for it; they accordingly set out, and returned with it the next morning, although the distance there and back must have been twenty-six miles.

18th.—Crossing the Thames, and leaving behind us a new log house, belonging to a sailor, named Carpenter, we passed a thick, swampy wood of black walnut, where His Excellency’s servant was lost for three or four hours. We then came to a bend of the La Franche (Thames) and were agreeably surprised to meet twelve or fourteen carioles coming to meet, and conduct the Governor, who, with his suite got into them, and at about four o’clock arrived at Dalson’s, having previously reconnoitred a fork of the River, and examined a mill of a curious construction erecting upon it. The settlement where Dalson resides is very promising, the land is well adapted for farmers, and there are some respectable inhabitants on both sides of the River; behind it to the South is a range of spacious meadows—Elk are continually seen upon them—and the pools and ponds are full of cray fish.

From Dalson’s we went to the mouth of the Thames in carioles, about twelve miles, and saw the remains of a considerable town of the Chippawas, where, it is reported, a desperate battle was fought between them and the Senecas, and upon which occasion the latter, being totally vanquished, abandoned their dominions to the conquerors. Certain it is, that human bones are scattered in abundance in the vicinity of the ground, and the Indians have a variety of traditions relative to this transaction. Going along the bordage from the Lake St. Clair, we came to the north-east shore of the River Detroit. The Canadian Militia fired a feu-de-joie, and soon afterwards we crossed the river in boats, but were much impeded by the floating ice; we then entered the Garrison of Detroit, which was under arms to receive his Excellency, Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe, and upon his landing, a royal salute was fired. Detroit is situated in the strait between Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair: the Canadian inhabitants, who are numerous, occupy both sides of the river. Their property in land is divided into three or six acres in front, on which their houses, barns, &c. are built, by forty feet in depth, which constitutes their farm and apple orchards; this, with a few large windmills dispersed on the bank of the strait, gives an appearance of population and respectability. Many beautiful islands enrich the view.—The country about Detroit is perfectly flat; and we had bad weather the whole time we stayed there, both sleet and snow-storms. Governor Simcoe reviewed the twenty-fourth Regiment, and examined the garrison, Fort Lenoult, and the rest of the works. We then went in a calash to the river Rouge, where we saw a compact, well-built sloop, almost ready to be launched. The merchant-vessels are here laid up in ordinary during the winter months, (when the Lakes are not navigable,) in the same manner as his Majesty’s ships, which are placed under the protection of the guns at the Fort. We went to see the bridge where Pontiac, the Indian Chief, after being unsuccessful in his treacherous attempt to surprise Detroit, made a stand; and where so much slaughter ensued of British troops, that it is distinguished by the name of the Bloody Bridge. The distance between Detroit and Niagara, by the route we came, is about two hundred and seventy miles: the distance is greater by Lake Erie.

23d.—Early on Saturday morning the Governor left Detroit; and the same firing and ceremonies as on his arrival, took place. We returned by Lake St. Clair, and in the evening reached Dalson’s, a distance of about forty miles.

24th.—The weather was very bad. Lieutenant Smith read prayers to the Governor, his suite, and those of the neighbourhood who attended. We stayed at Dalson’s the whole day.

25th.—It froze extremely hard; by which we were enabled to go on the ice in carioles up the Thames to the high bank, where we first met the carioles when on our way to Detroit. Colonel M’Kee, Mr. Baby, and several of the principal inhabitants, accompanied the Governor thus far;—but here we separated; and each taking his pack, or knapsack, on his back, we walked that night to the Moravian village.

26th.—We were detained at the Moravian village till noon, to hear divine service performed by two of the ministers—one speaking extempore from the Bible—the other expressing himself in the Indian language.—To-day we went a little beyond one of our former wigwams, crossing some runs of water, and ravines, and going through lands which abounded with basswood, hickory, and ash.

27th.—We continued our journey, and reached the Delaware Village. Some Chiefs, returning from their hunting, were assembled to congratulate the Governor on his return, and brought presents of venison, etc. In the evening they danced—a ceremony they never dispense with when any of the King’s officers of rank visit their villages.

28th.—At six we stopped at an old Mississagua hut, upon the south side of the Thames. After taking some refreshment of salt pork and venison, well cooked by Lieutenant Smith, who superintended that department, we, as usual, sang God save the King, and went to rest.

March 1st.—We set out along the banks of the river; then, ascending a high hill, quitted our former path, and directed our course to the northward. A good deal of snow having fallen, and lying still on the ground, we saw tracks of otters, deer, wolves, and bears, and other animals, many of which being quite fresh, induced the Mohawks to pursue them, but without success. We walked fourteen or fifteen miles, and twice crossed the river, and a few creeks, upon the ice: once we came close to a Chippewa hunting camp, opposite to a fine terrace, on the banks of which we encamped, near a bay. The Governor, and most of the party, wore moccasins, having no snowshoes: this he had before found necessary on the course of the journey.

2d.—We struck the Thames at one end of a low flat island enveloped with shrubs and trees: the rapidity and strength of the current were such as to have forced a channel through the main land, being a peninsula, and to have formed the island. We walked over a rich meadow, and at its extremity came to the forks of the river. The Governor wished to examine this situation and its environs; and we therefore remained here all the day. He judged it to be a situation eminently calculated for the metropolis of all Canada. Among many other essentials, it possesses the following advantages: command of territory,—internal situation,—central position,—facility of water communication up and down the Thames into Lakes St. Clair, Erie, Huron, and Superior,—navigable for boats to near its source, and for small crafts probably to the Moravian settlement—to the southward by a small portage to the waters flowing into Lake Huron—to the south-east by a carrying place into Lake Ontario and the River St. Lawrence; the soil luxuriantly fertile,—the land rich, and capable of being easily cleared, and soon put into a state of agriculture,—a pinery upon an adjacent high knoll, and other timber on the heights, well calculated for the erection of public buildings,—a climate not inferior to any part of Canada. To these natural advantages an object of great consideration is to be added, that the enormous expenses of the Indian Department would be greatly diminished, if not abolished: the Indians would, in all probability, be induced to become the carriers of their own peltries, and they would find a ready, contiguous, commodious, and equitable mart, honorably advantageous to Government, and the community in general, without their becoming a prey to the monopolizing and unprincipled trader.

The young Indians, who had chased a herd of deer in company with Lieutenant Givens returned unsuccessful, but brought with them a large porcupine; which was very seasonable, as our provisions were nearly expended. This animal afforded us a very good repast, and tasted like a pig. The Newfoundland dog attempted to bite the porcupine, but soon got his mouth filled with the barbed quills, which gave him exquisite pain. An Indian undertook to extract them, and with much perseverance plucked them out, one by one, and carefully applied a root or decoction, which speedily healed the wound.

Various figures were delineated on trees at the forks of the river Thames, done with charcoal and vermilion: the most remarkable were the imitations of men with deer’s heads.

We saw a fine eagle on the wing, and two or three large birds, perhaps vultures.

3d.—We were glad to leave our wigwam early this morning, it having rained incessantly the whole night; besides, the hemlock branches on which we slept were wet before they were gathered for our use.—We first ascended the height at least one hundred and twenty feet into a continuation of the pinery already mentioned: quitting that, we came to a beautiful plain with detached clumps of white oak, and open woods; then crossing a creek running into the south branch of the Thames, we entered a thick swampy wood, where we were at a loss to discover any track; but in a few minutes we were released from this dilemma by the Indians, who, making a cast, soon descried our old path to Detroit. Descending a hill, and crossing a brook, we came at noon to the encampment we left on the 14th of February, and were agreeably surprised by meeting Captain Brant and a numerous retinue, among them were four of the Indians we had despatched to him when we first altered our course for the forks of the river Thames. Two of the party had just killed a buck and a doe; and one of the Indians—wishing to preserve the meat from the wolves in the night, or to show his activity,—climbed up a small tree of iron-wood, which, being elastic, bent with him till it nearly reached the ground; then hanging the meat upon the tree, it sprung back into its original position. The meat was secure till the morning, when he cut down the tree.

4th.—During this day’s march it rained without intermission, and last night it thundered and lightened dreadfully: the brooks and rivulets were swollen considerably, and we were obliged to cross them on small trunks of trees or logs. In the afternoon we passed the hut where we slept on the 12th of February. I noticed very fine beech trees.

5th.—Met Mr. Clarke and the winter express returning from Niagara, and Mr. Jones, the Deputy Surveyor. We again crossed one of the branches of the S. E. fork of the Thames, and halted in a Cypress or Cedar grove, where we were much amused by seeing Brant and the Indians chase a mynx with their dogs and rifle guns, but they did not catch it. Several porcupines were seen.

6th.—This morning we arrived at the Mohawk Village, the Indians having brought horses for the Governor and his suite, to the end of the plains, near the Salt Lick Creek.—It had frozen exceedingly hard last night, and we crossed the Grand River at a different place from that we crossed before, and by a nearer route. In the evening all the Indians assembled and danced their customary dances, the War, Calumet, Buffalo, Feather dances, &c.—Most of his Excellency’s suite being equipped and dressed in imitation of the Indians, were adopted as Chiefs.

7th.— This afternoon we came to Wilson’s mills on the mountain.

8th.—A very severe and unremitting snow storm prevented our going further than Beasley’s, at Burlington Bay, the head of Lake Ontario.

9th.—Late this evening we arrived at Green’s, at the 40-mile Creek.

10th.—Sunday the Governor arrived at Navy Hall.


[In a valley of the Mississippi is one of those immense mounds so frequently found in the New World. The Monks of La Trappe, vowed to perpetual silence, cultivated the mound, and had a monastery near it—a strange but fit residence for those austere and silent votaries of religion.]

They came from the depths of the pathless wood,

    Like shades of the olden time;

But they wore the garb of the holy and good,

    Of another and distant clime:

Quickly a dim and lonely home

    Arose as if by a spell,

With its Gothic door and humble dome,

    And many a shadowy cell.


Their bell was heard at the vesper hour

    To peal through the forest around;

The wild-deer rush’d from his leafy bower,

    And the red man leap’d at the sound.

Its tone was borne o’er the prairie away,

    And re-echo’d again and again;

But no prayer was heard at the close of day,

    Nor sound of the vesper strain.


Yet many a kneeling form was there,

    At the sound of the vesper-bell;

But whether their thoughts were of Heaven in prayer,

    Or of earth, but One may tell;—

But One may tell if their hearts were proud—

    If their visions did not remain

With those they had known, and fondly loved,

    But never might see again.


A strange, mysterious mound was near

    The Temple, which they had made,

Where the dead of many a by-gone year

    By an unknown race were laid:—

They planted the maize upon that mound,

    And it grew on its solemn place,

And its broad leaves waved with a rustling sound

    O’er the bones of a fallen race.


Bright were the flowers in the early dew,

    Which bloom’d in their rude parterre;

But they told no tale, as they upward grew,

    Of the dead, who slumber’d there;—

Of the mighty dead, who had pass’d away

    From the earth, and left no trace

Of what they had been, or had done in their day,

    But their final resting-place.


When the evening sun went down in flame—

    When he burst from the golden wave—

Summer and winter, those Monks were the same—

    Silent, and stern as the grave.

They came like dreams of the silent night—

    Like dreams they have pass’d away—

Leaving their flowers to a lonely blight,

    And their home to its wild decay!


‘Gaze on with wonder, and discern in me

 The abstract of the world’s epitome.’

Ingentes animos angusto in pectore versant—Virg.

What a horrid misfortune it is to be tall! To what annoyances, inconveniences, and miseries are Patagonian poplar like persons exposed! He who has been in the habit of perambulating, for the last few years, the streets of London, must recollect Charles Carus Wilson, the gigantic Attorney of Furnival’s Inn, “like the mast of some High Admiral,” lifting his unhappy visage above the crowd. Poor man! he suffered much. He never could stir out, but every one turned round, and looked up at him with astonishment. The Lilliputians stared not more at Gulliver, than did every little urchin at this moving man-mountain. One day, I heard a beggar boy, who wished to attract his charitable notice, cry out “Is it cold up there, Sir!” while on the other side, a mischievous Flibbertigibbet of an imp, holloaed out, “Take care, Sir; you will knock your head against the clock.” The clock was not more than fifty feet from the ground. Every day brought similar annoyances to the unhappy Lawyer. One morning, as he was engaged at his chambers in taking instructions for her will from a handsome young widow, and perhaps at the same time insinuating himself into her good graces, he heard a violent rap at the door, which he had not time to answer before in bounced a rough looking fellow in a suit of corduroy. “What do you want?” “La, Sir,” replied the man, “don’t be so snappish. I have come entirely about your own advantage, and have a proposition to make. My name is Tompkins, Sir; and I have the finest collection of beasts, stuffed snakes, and curiosities, you can imagine. I am also the owner of the beautiful Circassian Albino, with white hair, and pink eyes; and I have the honor to be the possessor of the celebrated Irish giant, Mr. O’Brien. Now Sir, what I come about is this. I have been thinking as how the public would be interested, by seeing a couple of giants engaged in a mock fight, and I will make you a very liberal allowance, if you will hire yourself to me. Fix your own price, Sir. Mr. O’Brien, you will find, a very agreeable companion; and, like him, you shall be treated as one of the family.” Mr. Wilson jumped up in a perfect frenzy, and would have kicked Tomkins down stairs, had he not hit his head a tremendous blow against the ceiling, by which he was so stunned, that the show-keeper escaped before he could turn round. This is only de pluribus unum, one out of many miseries. Poor Wilson once poured out his sorrows into my confiding ear, although, at the same time, he said it made his back ache to stoop sufficiently low for me to hear him. He told me, that he never travelled in a stage coach, but his legs were so confined that he thought he should die of the cramp; that no bed but his own, expressly made for him, was half large enough; that his feet stuck out for a considerable distance at the bottom of the couch, and in Summer were blistered by gnats, but in Winter were almost mortified by the cold. He lamented to me, that the days were gone by, when a Monarch rejoiced in a tall regiment of guards, in which, he thought, his stature would have entitled him to a Captaincy. I told him, it was true enough that Frederick of Prussia, the father of Frederick the Great, although avaricious in the extreme, thought nothing of giving a thousand pounds for a tall recruit. Yet, I begged him to remember, that the same Monarch, in order to propagate a race of giants in his dominions, “was accustomed, whenever he saw a woman of extraordinary stature to marry her forthwith to one of his guards, without in the slightest degree consulting the inclinations of either party upon the subject;” and that, very laughable, but very unpleasant, mistakes some times occurred upon such occasions.[1] I advised him, however, to quit London, and to settle in Edinburgh. There he could enrol himself in the Six Feet Club, and be kept in countenance by the Literary Giants, Sir Walter Scott, and Allan Cunningham; and the Modern Athenians, accustomed to feed their eyes daily with the sight of Patagonians, would not annoy him with an intrusive stare, like the Lilliputians of London.

I thank the Gods I am not so tall as Charles Carius Wilson! I also thank the Deities of Olympus, that I am contented, nay! that I am delighted with my diminutive stature. Any bed is large enough for me.—I feel no cramp, sitting inside or outside a coach. It is true, I am sometimes pushed into a gutter, when walking the streets; and it is also true, that now and then, folks turn round and exclaim, “what a dwarf!” But I am too well cased in self-complacency to regard such senseless taunts. Montaigne, notwithstanding his vanity and egotism, is a great favourite of mine, and I frequently skim the cream of his discursive, but elegant essays—indeed, I read him with additional pleasure, for another reason—he was a little man. In one respect, however, he greatly displeases me: the silly fellow is ashamed of his person. “Now I am of something lower,” says he, “than the middle stature, a defect that not only borders upon deformity, but carries withal a great deal of inconvenience along with it, especially to those who are in command for the authority which a graceful presence and a majestic mien beget, is wanting.” Carius Marius did not willingly list any soldiers that were not six feet high. The courtier has, indeed, reason to desire a moderate stature in the person he is to make, rather than any other, and to reject all strangeness that should make him be pointed at. But in chusing, he must have a care in this mediocrity, to have rather below than above the common standard: I would not do so in a soldier. “Little men,” says Aristotle, “are pretty, but not handsome; and greatness of soul is discovered in a great body, as beauty is in a conspicuous stature. The Ethiopians and Indians, in chusing their kings and magistrates, had a special regard to the beauty and stature of their persons.” A little farther on, Montaigne continues in the same disgusting strain. “Where there is a contemptible stature, neither the largeness and roundness of the forehead, nor the whiteness and sweetness of the eyes, nor the moderate proportion of the nose, nor the littleness of the ears and mouth, nor the evenness and whiteness of the teeth, nor the thickness of a well set brown beard, shining like the husk of a chesnut, not curled hair, nor the just proportion of the head, nor a fresh complexion, nor a pleasant air of a face, nor a body without any offensive scent, nor the just proportion of limbs, can make a handsome man.” What a traitor to his order, was the little Frenchman! But he has not gone uncensured for his treachery. An Annotator on his works, who, no doubt, from the spirit in which he takes up the matter, was a little man, most energetically condemns the position that greatness of soul is discovered in a great body. “This is false,” he, more vehemently, than politely, observes, “the greatest souls have been in men of low stature: witness, Alexander, &c.—The contrast in scripture between David and Goliah is beautiful.” Yes! “witness Alexander!” I repeat. Witness the gigantic Porus yielding the palm of victory to the little-bodied, but great-minded Macedonian. Witness the greatest Naval Hero that ever lived, in the little weather-beaten person of the immortal Nelson! Witness, the wisest of Philosophers in Sir Isaac Newton, “a short, well set man”! Witness, the English Homer, Milton, whose beautiful person, was below the middle size, and who knew how to exercise the sword, as well as the pen! Witness, the great satirist Pope, who, in his account of the Little Club, has compared himself to a spider; who was protuberant behind and before; a kind of Hottentot Apollo; and whose stature was so low, that to bring him to a level with common tables, it was necessary to raise his seat! Witness one of the purest and most sinless of human beings in the person of Dr. Isaac Watts, who very little exceeded five feet in height, and who excited the admiration of Dr. Johnson, in almost every respect, but in that of his nonconformity. As for the Ethiopians and Indians chusing “great lubberly,” porter-like, Pandaras and Bitias-sort of fellows, for their kings, it only shows their folly. The Goths, whose name is generally synonymous with every thing barbarous and uncouth, showed more sense; they had a law, which compelled them to select a short, thick, man for their king.

Perhaps some tall gentleman is laughing at what I have written; but he had better take care not to laugh in my face. Little men are as choleric, as Celts: and Sir Jeffery Hudson (a name ever to be venerated by me!) has shown, that little men are not to be insulted with impunity.—On the breaking out of the troubles in England, the Pigmy Knight was made a captain in the Royal Army, and in 1644 attended the Queen to France, where he received a provocation from Mr. Crofts, a young man of family, which he took so deeply to heart, that a challenge ensued. Mr. Crofts appeared on the ground armed with a syringe. This ludicrous weapon, roused the indignation of the magnanimous little hero to the highest pitch. A real duel ensued, in which the antagonists were mounted on horseback, and Sir Jeffery, with the first fire of his pistol, killed Mr. Crofts on the spot.

I cannot refrain from lingering a little on the history of the gallant Hudson. Sir Walter Scott, in his novel of Peveril of the Peak, has immortalized the chivalrous little knight; and I humbly wish to lend my feeble aid in making known to the Canadian public the deeds of departed littleness. Sir Jeffery Hudson figured conspicuously in the transactions of English history. At an early age he was retained in the service of the Duke of Buckingham, who, on a visit from Charles the First and his Queen, caused little Jeffery to be served up to table in a cold pie, which the duchess presented to her Majesty. The pie, and its contents of course, belonged to the Queen; and Jeffery entered into the service of the beautiful, but unfortunate, daughter of Henry the Great. He frequently amused his royal mistress with the sallies of his wit, and the outbreakings of his ardent and chivalrous mind. So highly was he valued, and so much reliance was placed in his discretion, that he had the high honor of being sent to France in 1630, to bring over a midwife. In Paris, the Lilliputian cavalier was in his glory: he revelled in a constant round of gallantry and pleasure. Mary de Medicis, and the fairest ladies of the Court, bestowed on him rich presents to the value of £2500; and the maids of honor wept over his departure, like Glumdalclitch over that of Gulliver. But, alas! misfortune overtakes the little, as well as the great. On his return homewards, Sir Jeffery was taken prisoner by the Dunkirkers, and despoiled of his presents and riches. But this was not the heaviest calamity the surly Fates had in store for him. When he regained his liberty, and again basked in the sunshine of the presence of Henrietta, a cloud came over his happiness. The satirical Davenant wrote a burlesque poem, in which he laid the scene at Dunkirk, and represented Sir Jeffery to have been rescued from an enraged turkey-cock by the courage of the gentlewoman, the fair votary of Lucina. The King’s porter also, a man of gigantic height, afraid to attack a man of his own size, seized hold of the little knight, on the occasion of a masque at Court, and, unobserved by all, put him in his pocket, from which, in a few moments, he drew out Sir Jeffery, to the great entertainment of the company.—Does not the sight of this unfortunate little man, bravely “struggling with the storms of fate,” excite admiration and sympathy! The horrid imprisonment in a cold pie,—the sufferings of the knight in the porter’s pocket, perchance equal to the torments suffered by the prisoners in the black-hole of Calcutta, must move the heart of a flint! And when we still further read, that the knight died in prison, what other consolation can we experience than that of knowing he was then beyond the reach of his persecutors? In 1682 he was arrested upon suspicion of connivance in the Popish Plot, and committed to the gate-house in Westminster, where he died at the age of sixty-three, and at the height of three feet nine inches. Peace to his manes!

Little men should follow the example of the Edinburgh giants, and gather themselves together in a club. There is the Ugly Club, the Six Feet Club, and many other such Clubs.—Why then, my little friends, do we not unite our forces? That there is strength in union, is a doctrine, however exploded it may be by Dan O’Connell; sanctioned by the experience of ages. Our club-house can be adorned with the portrait of Sir Jeffery Hudson, whom we will take for our tutelar saint; and I have no doubt that the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, would present us with some valuable relics of the knight, there deposited—namely, his waistcoat of blue satin, slashed and ornamented with pinked white silk,—and his breeches and stockings, in one piece of blue satin. We would make it a principal rule of the Club, that should any Member be insulted, the President, and the Members in succession, according to their respective sizes, (the smallest being deemed the most honorable, and consequently intitled to priority,) should call out the offender, and not leave the ground till satisfaction should be tendered by an unconditional apology, or the insult wiped out with blood. Another rule must be, that no one be admitted, whose height exceeds five feet.

A thought has just struck me, that Sir John Colborne, whom we must all detest on account of his height,—(I know no other satisfactory cause of dislike)—will issue a proclamation to put our Club down, as Lord Mulgrave has done, with regard to the Church Unions in Jamaica. But, a fig for such a proclamation! We will not be put down—we will rise en masse, and assert our liberties. The tyrant shall not stride over us, like the Colossus at Rhodes over a ship sailing underneath. No! our great souls will excite our little bodies to feats of heroic valor; and I myself will boldly lead you to the Government House, and, before you all, will defy His Excellency to single combat; and I doubt not that I shall send him to the Shades below, to join the insolent Mr. Crofts.

But here I must stop,—though thoughts are crowding one upon another, and I have got in my hand the pen of a ready writer. But I love to be short, in my writings, as well as in my stature; and I therefore conclude here, lest I should indite—that which is my utter abomination—a long article.

On one occasion, in going from Potsdam to Berlin, he met a young, handsome, and well-made girl, of an almost gigantic size. He was struck with her, and, having stopped and spoken to her, he learned from herself that she was a Saxon, and not married—that she had come on business to the market at Berlin and was now returning to her village in Saxony. “In that case,” said Frederic William to her, “you pass before the gate of Potsdam; and if I give you a note to the Commandant, you can deliver it without going out of your way. Take charge, therefore, of the note which I am about to write, and promise me to deliver it yourself to the Commandant, and you shall have a dollar for your pains.” The girl, who knew the King’s character well, promised all that he wished. The note was written, sealed, and delivered to her with the dollar; but the Saxon, aware of the fate that attended her at Potsdam, did not enter the town. She found near the gate a very little old woman, to whom she made over the note and the dollar, recommending her to execute the commission without delay, and acquainting her at the same time that it came from the King, and regarded some urgent and pressing business. After this our gigantic young heroine continued her journey with as much rapidity as possible. The old woman, on the other hand, hastened to the Commandant, who opened the note, and found in it a positive order to marry the bearer of it without delay to a certain grenadier, whose name was mentioned. The old woman was much surprised at this result: she, however, submitted herself, without murmuring, to the orders of His Majesty: but it was necessary to employ all the power of authority, mingled with alternate menaces and promises, to overcome the extreme repugnance, and even despair, of the soldier. It was not till the next day that Frederic William discovered he had been imposed upon, and that the soldier was inconsolable at his misfortune. No other resource then remained to the King, but to order the immediate divorce of the new-married couple.—Lord Dover’s Life of Frederic the Great.


In person, the Duke of Marlborough was above the middle size; his features were manly and handsome, and his form symmetrical.—Although robust, he was constantly subject to head-ache and fevers.—His portrait has been painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller, St. Amour, Vanderwerff, King, Closterman, and Dahl; and beautifully engraved by Houbraken, Simon, and Vertue.—The Bodleian library contains his bust, sculptured by Rysbrach.

His character, as a general, appears to have been without a flaw—Although thwarted continually by the narrow-minded jealousy of his colleagues, the ignorant and unseasonable interference of the Dutch deputies, the conflicting objects pursued by the combined powers, and the annoyances and detractions of domestic faction, he acquired a series of most splendid victories over experienced generals, and highly disciplined troops, who, in number, frequently exceeded his own. His bravery was repeatedly proved; of his merits as a tactician, the most eminent among his cotemporaries, whether friends or foes, entertained the highest admiration. No predominant quality appears to have been attributed to him; he was, on the contrary, described as possessing the chief excellence of every distinguished soldier of his age. Bolingbroke termed him the greatest general, as well as the greatest statesman, that this or any other country ever produced; and the Earl of Peterborough, his enemy, said of him, “He was so great a man, that I have forgotten his faults.” Prince Vaudemont, on being asked by King William what he thought of the English generals, replied, “Kirk has fire—Lanier, thought—Mackay, skill—and Colchester, bravery; but there is something inexpressible in the Earl of Marlborough.” The Duc de Lesdiguieres observed of him, “I have seen the man who is equal to Turenne in conduct, to Conde in courage, and to Luxembourg in success.” Buonaparte felt so much impressed with a sense of his merits, that he ordered a work to be written descriptive of the Flemish campaigns, as a valuable text book of military instruction; and said to Barry O’Meara, that, to find an equal to Wellington, in the annals of his country, it was necessary to go back to Marlborough.

An officer, from ocular experience, describes his camp as resembling a quiet and well-governed city: cursing and swearing were seldom heard among the officers; a drunkard was the object of scorn; and his troops, many of whom were the refuse and dregs of the nation, became, at the close of one or two campaigns, civil, sensible, and cleanly. A sincere observer of religious duties himself, he enforced their performance throughout his camp; divine service was regularly performed; prayers were offered up before a battle; and thanksgiving followed close upon victory. His humanity extended itself even to his enemies; and he felt delighted whenever he could mitigate the miseries of war by an act of mercy or benevolence. A French officer, on the point of marriage, having been taken prisoner, and sent to England, the duke obtained leave for him to return to his country and bride elect. Exceedingly affable and easy of access, his soldiers looked up to Corporal John (as he was familiarly termed) with confidence and affection. His memory was enshrined in their hearts, and the veteran who had served under him cherished an attachment for all who bore his name, or belonged to his family. A Chelsea pensioner, at an election for Windsor, in 1737, was threatened with the loss of his pension, if he did not vote for Lord Vere. His answer was, “I will venture starving, rather than it shall be said that I voted against the Duke of Marlborough’s grandson, after having followed his grandfather so many hundred leagues.” The duchess, who relates this anecdote, adds, with her characteristic ardour, “I do not know whether they have taken away his pension, but I hope they will; for I have sent him word, if they do take it away. I will settle the same upon him for his life.”

The duke was master of a self-possession that never forsook him in the most imminent danger; and his equanimity of temper was never ruffled by the frequent annoyances, serious or trifling, which he was doomed to encounter. Accompanied by Lord Cadogan, he was one day reconnoitring the army in Flanders, when a heavy rain came on, and they both called for their cloaks.—Cadogan’s servant, brought his master’s in a moment; but the duke’s attendant was so sluggish, that his grace was drenched to the skin.—On being mildly reproved for his delay, the man answered surlily, “I came as fast as I could.” The duke said nothing further to him, but, turning to Lord Cadogan, observed calmly, “I would not have that fellow’s temper for a thousand pounds.”

The strong union which subsisted between Marlborough and Prince Eugene, has been often and deservedly eulogized. They were both devoid of jealousy, and each strove to exceed the other only in adding to their mutual reputation, and promoting the welfare of their common cause. A similar nobility of spirit which prompted Marlborough to make no reply to the emperor’s letter, after the battle of Blenheim, in which Eugene’s troops had behaved like poltroons influenced the latter, when, in answer to the compliment paid him by Harley, (who had risen to eminence on the wreck of Marlborough’s greatness,) that he was the greatest general of his age, he said, “If it be so, I owe it to your lordship.” They rarely differed; yet the prince, on one occasion, is said to have sent a challenge, which the duke declined: and when time brought the matter of dispute to light, it appeared clearly that Eugene was wrong.

William the Third said that Marlborough possessed the warmest heart, with the coolest head of any man he had ever known. He was an able statesman, and a consummate diplomatist. It is related of him, by Noble, that he discovered the intentions of the King of Prussia, by observing the maps upon his table; and won his confidence, by declining to dine with him through a pretended modesty. But his moral character, as a politician, was truly odious. His intrigues were invariably under the influence of self-interest. No sooner was his first, his chief benefactor, the founder of his fortunes, the man who had actually saved his life when shipwrecked, in danger of being ousted from his hereditary dominions, than he curried favour with the apparent successor to the crown, and deserted the erring but unfortunate monarch in his deepest distress. Though favoured and rewarded for his exertions to bring in William of Nassau, he scrupled not, as soon as the new possessor of the throne appeared to sit somewhat insecurely,—although he still held office under, and openly supported him,—clandestinely to intrigue with the deposed sovereign, and implore pardon for his treachery in the event of a counter-revolution. During the latter part of Queen Anne’s reign, he took a decided part in favor of the Elector of Hanover; yet it is asserted that, to guard against possibilities, he still continued his secret correspondence with the Stuarts.

The avarice of Marlborough has obtained the notoriety, though, perhaps, it wants the truth, of a proverb. He appears to have been thrifty rather than sordid. On one occasion while looking over some papers, he met with a green purse containing some money, which he viewed with apparent satisfaction, and said to Cadogan, who was present, “Observe these pieces,—they deserve to be observed,—there are just forty of them; ’tis the very first sum I ever got in my life, and I have kept it unbroken from that time to this day.” He has been accused of having blamed his servant for lighting four candles in his tent, when Prince Eugene was coming to hold a secret conference with him; and, it is said, that, while in Flanders, with a view to save the expense of a table, when an officer came to him on business, he would say, “I have not time to talk of it now; I’ll come and dine with you to-morrow.” This anecdote, which is told by one of his enemies, is rendered somewhat doubtful by the assertion of another of them, that, after he had become a prince of the empire, the duke affected eating alone.

While at Bath, towards the close of his life, he frequently indulged in his favorite game of whist; and, after playing one evening a long time with Dean Jones, he left off, the winner of six-pence, which the dean, having no silver, did not immediately pay. The duke, it is said, after having made several ineffectual applications for “his winnings,” at last prevailed on the Dean to change a guinea, and hand him the sixpence; because, as he said, he wanted it to pay for a chair: it is added, however, that he put the sixpence in his pocket and walked home. While, on the one hand, no proofs are recorded that his parsimony rendered him callous to distress, yet, on the other, it is just to admit, that no act of generosity is by any writer attributed to him, except his gift of fifty pounds per annum to Gell, who had saved him from being taken prisoner in Flanders.

His domestic character was truly admirable. Although brought up in a most profligate court, and exposed to unusual temptations, on account of his great personal beauty, his bitterest enemies never accused him of the least taint of libertinism. To his wife and children, he was fondly attached: in his letters to the former, written amid the bustle of a camp, and which, of course, were not intended for the public eye, he addresses her in the most affectionate terms, and declares that he would rather live with her in a cottage, than without her in a palace.

His manners were easy, unassuming, and so graceful, as to have elicited praise from the fastidious Chesterfield. Evelyn describes him as “well-spoken, affable, and supporting his want of acquired knowledge by keeping good company.” He certainly must have been very deficient in “acquired knowledge,” if the following story related of him be true:—In a conversation with Bishop Burnet, he committed such gross anachronisms, that the amazed bishop exclaimed, “Where, may I ask, did your grace meet with all this?” The duke, equally surprised at Burnet’s ignorance, replied, “Why, don’t you remember?—it is in the only English history of those times that I have ever read—in Shakespeare’s plays.”

His conversation, though not very instructive, was cheerful and pointed, free from ill-nature, and occasionally enlivened with quiet humor. The critic, Dennis, who had reflected severely on the French, in his tragedy of Liberty Asserted, entertaining an absurd fear that, at the peace of Utrecht, he should be delivered up as a sacrifice to the resentment of Louis the Fourteenth, waited upon Marlborough to beg his assistance in averting so dreadful a calamity. The duke heard him with gravity, and, in reply, stated, that he had no interest with the party then in office; but, to console the poor poet, added, “I have taken no care to get myself excepted in the articles of peace, and yet I cannot help thinking, that I have done the French almost as much damage as Mr. Dennis.”

The duchess survived her husband twenty-two years, and lived to see the completion of Blenheim, for which the duke had set apart an annual sum by his will. Lord Coningsby and the Duke of Somerset both made her offers of marriage; but she replied, with a noble spirit, “Were I even thirty, instead of threescore, I would not permit the emperor of the world to succeed in that heart which has been devoted to John, Duke of Marlborough!”—Without her, the duke would scarcely have attained so exalted a station. No man ever had a more zealous political helpmate: she was, however, better adapted to obtain power than to secure it. Success rendered her haughty; it inflamed her temper into ungovernable violence; and she accelerated, by her arrogance, the fall of Marlborough, as much as by her ambitious spirit she had contributed to his rise.

Her susceptibility to passion, and her virulent animosity to those who presumed to thwart her, appear to have been frequently conspicuous. On resigning her employments about the queen’s person, in 1711, she threw down the golden key of her office, bade the duke take it up and carry it to the queen, against whom she inveighed with great heat, and called one of her daughters “a fool” for still entertaining a regard for her majesty. During the duke’s last illness, Dr. Mead, who attended him, having given some advice that displeased her, she is said to have sworn at him bitterly, and attempted to tear off his perriwig.—Lord Grimston, who had written a play, of the demerits of which he became so sensible, that, after its publication, he attempted to buy up all the copies for the purpose of burning them, having opposed the interest which she had espoused at an election, the duchess, who had kept a copy of his bad comedy, caused a new edition of it to be printed, to which was prefixed, in ridicule of his having attempted a task for which he was so little adapted, an elephant dancing on a rope, as a frontispiece.

Auditor Harley, while proceedings were pending against his brother, the Earl of Oxford, waited upon the duchess with a letter, formerly written by the duke, which clearly established the fact of his correspondence with the Pretender. After reading its contents, Harley said that it should certainly be made public, unless the proceedings against his brother were relinquished. The duchess heard him with courtesy, but, watching her opportunity, at length, seized the letter, and threw it into the fire. Her exultation was, however, but brief.—“Madam,” said Harley, “you have burnt a worthless copy: I knew your grace too well to venture here with the original, which is quite safe in another place.”

The following appears to be another version of the same story:—Before his intended trial, the Earl of Oxford sent his son, with Serjeant Comyns, to ask the duke a question or two as to his handwriting. Marlborough inquired if Oxford had any letters of his. “Yes,” was the reply, “all that you have written to him since the revolution.” Upon hearing this, the duke walked about the room, violently agitated, and even threw off his wig with passion. It is added that Marlborough’s fear of having his correspondence exposed, was the true reason why the proceedings against Oxford were suspended.

In the height of her resentment against Anne, the duchess, after stripping it of its diamond ornaments, gave a portrait of the queen, with which she had been presented by her majesty, “to one Mrs. Higgins,” says Swift, “an intriguing old woman, bidding her to make the best of it. Lord Treasurer (the Earl of Oxford) sent to Mrs. Higgins for this picture, and gave her £100 for it.” In the dean’s opinion, it was worth about a fifth of that sum; but the earl, no doubt, gladly paid so high a price for it to evince his own loyalty, and to expose to the queen with how much insulting contempt her majesty’s present had been treated by the duchess. She had been repeatedly accused of avarice, but no particular circumstances are adduced by her enemies in support of the charge. The fact, that, at the time of her death, (which took place in 1744,) she was immensely rich, is no evidence of her penuriousness. Benevolence might be triumphantly attributed to her, from the authenticated statement, that, “during her lifetime she distributed £300,000 in charities,” if, unfortunately for her fame in this particular, it were not added,—“and in presents to her family.” It does not appear what part of this enormous sum was devoted to the relief of distress: it might have been small, and the residue, whatever may have been its amount, was, in all probability, parted with rather through pride, ambition, or natural affection, than mere generosity. She gave Hooke £5000 for drawing up an account of her own conduct, but left only £500 a-piece to Glover and Mallet to write a life of the duke. To this bequest, the singular condition was annexed that not a single line of verse should be inserted in the work. Her hatred of poetry is said to have arisen from the bitter censure which Pope has bestowed upon her under the appellation of Atossa, and which she attempted, but in vain, to prevail upon him to suppress. Glover declined taking any share in the duke’s proposed biography, in which Mallet had made but little progress when he died.


To the Baron of Moray the Bruce did exclaim—

    “From your chaplet a rosebud is fall’n to the ground;

For the English knight, Clifford, a name without shame,

    Will quickly beleaguer old Stirling around.”


By the taunt of the Monarch the Baron was stung—

    With a few score of spearmen he rush’d to the fight;

Swift as lightning the reins to his courser he flung,

    Then awaited the onset of England’s bold knight.


At a distance Lord Douglas beheld the fierce strife

    Briefly thus to King Robert he urged his request—

“Let me march to the field,—for, alas! by my life,

    Mid the turmoil I see not the brave Baron’s crest.”


“No, no,” said the Monarch, “Lord Moray must pay

    The forfeit his rashness hath brought on his head;

For the Bruce will not hazard the chance of the day,

    E’en though my Lord Moray should sleep with the dead.”


“Great King!” quoth the Douglas, “it ne’er shall be told

    In the annals of Old Caledonia’s glory,

That a Douglas could passively stand, and behold,

    Yet assist not a rival, defeated and gory.”


On he march’d where the banner of Scotland was streaming,

    But the Clifford already was backward receding;

And the Baron of Moray, with red falchion gleaming,

    With the blood of the foe, not his own, was seen bleeding.


“Hold and halt!” said the Douglas. “Too late for the danger,

    We’ll share in no honour our swords have not won;

When Freedom demands it, to envy a stranger,

    I fight for the country that calls me her son.”


“Then welcome, brave Moray! Thy laurels so green,

    O! ne’er may they fade in the quick lapse of age!

May my name but with thine, by our children be seen

    Recorded forever in one deathless page!”


In this Paper I shall attempt to explain the causes of certain phenomena in the Peat Mosses in Scotland, by stating certain appearances that may be observed in various parts of the forests of Upper Canada.

During the latter part of the last century, and all that has elapsed of the present, the nature, qualities, and formation of Peat Moss has been an object of anxious investigation to the scientific world. What first seems to have called to the practical consideration of the subject was, the plan (by most people supposed chimerical) of reclaiming large tracts of land covered with several feet of this substance, by raising water from the bed of a river to fill canals, by which it was to be floated away. This bold undertaking was commenced by Lord Kaimes; and is still carried on, with great success, by his descendant Home Drummond, at the Family Estate of Blair Drummond in Perthshire. But the agency of fire, as well as water, has been used to get rid of this substance, so inimical to the life of all useful vegetable substances; and the landed proprietors of that plain, extending from the town of Paisley to the parish of Erskine, have reclaimed some thousands of acres by the simple expedient of ploughing the surface of the Moss, and then allowing it to be exposed to the sun sufficiently long to dry it; after this it is set fire to, and then the ploughing and burning are repeated alternately, until they get down to the original sod, in some instances, through six feet of the more recent superstratum.

These operations immediately interested both practical and scientific men; the agriculturist saw the means by which rich crops could be raised upon ground, which formerly would yield but indifferent support to a few mountain sheep—the chemist set to work to investigate its antiseptic powers, by which animal and vegetable bodies were preserved, little, if at all, changed for centuries—and the geologist and mineralogist conjointly laboured to discover how it was formed, and what other purposes, in the economy of nature, it might be called upon to serve, besides supplying fuel where wood and coal were not to be found. And before going on to the main business of this Paper, it may be interesting to state some of the results of their investigations.

In agriculture, it was found that the land, treated as described, produced very large crops of turnips, for which the ashes seemed to form a most favourable manure. We find something parallel to that in this country, for the best turnip crops are produced in new land, over which are strewed the ashes produced by burning the timber. It was also found that, in some soils, Peat Moss, though, in itself, injurious to vegetable life, made a good manure when applied as a compost with other substances.

As far as chemical analysis had gone when I had last an opportunity of hearing of it, nothing farther had been discovered to account for its power in preserving animal and vegetable substances, than a small quantity of iron which it contains. A series of experiments was set on foot to try if any artificial means could be derived, by which oak, intended for naval purposes, could be impregnated with iron so as to render it as imperishable as the oak dug out of peat bogs is found to be. What success these experiments have had, I have not learned.

The iron, however, fully accounts for the jet black colour of moss oak; by mixing with the acid juices of the oak, it makes, in fact, a natural ink, with precisely the same materials as make the artificial one;—still it remains a question, whence arises its wonderful power in preserving animal bodies, a remarkable instance of which was related to me by Lord Napier of Merchiston, which occurred on his own Estate at Thirlwall Castle. A party of his people were digging peat in a moss near the Castle, when they came upon a human body; on removing it from the pit, it turned out to be the body of a man, dressed in an antique suit of the family livery, with the arms of the family on the buttons. A rope about his neck, explained in part, the cause of this extraordinary mode of burial—he had committed suicide, and been refused burial in consecrated ground, and some of the old people of the Estate mentioned a tradition they had heard in their younger days, of the family coachman having hanged himself in the stable, and having been buried somewhere in that Moss. Not only was the body perfectly fresh, but the clothes were uninjured, and his Lordship has now in his possession a piece of red plush quite uninjured, and unfaded, which composed a portion of the nether garment of the unfortunate suicide.

Geologists, with whom principally we have to deal, have been not less active than the chemists and agriculturists; and, recollecting the disadvantages under which they laboured, have done a great deal to explain the nature of the formation of Peat Mosses, considering that they had to deduce all their arguments from effects, the causes of which they had no opportunity of observing; for in old countries timber is infinitely too valuable for its owners to allow nature to take her own way with it, the vigilant eye of the Parker or Forester is continually upon it, and the first symptom of decay is the signal for a tree to come down to make room for another. In this country our forests are in the same state as those of Scotland must have been at the Christian æra; therefore we can watch the work in progress, which they can only see when completed.

The first appearance in Scotch peat mosses which we can explain by referring to the swamps of Canada, is that of a root, found as if the soil had been washed from around it, and standing as if on a stool, or like the hand with the points of the fingers rested on a table. I was very much puzzled with this appearance whilst shooting on Blackstone Moss in Rentrewshire, till I met it again in the township of Guelph. I immediately set to work to discover the cause, & I very soon did discover it. A tree is blown down—it begins to decay, and lichens and mosses are formed on its bark; these, with the decayed bark and sap of the tree, form a thin stratum of soil, sufficient to support a seedling, but as this seedling grows up, its roots cannot penetrate the centre of the log, which is still fresh, but find their way down along its sides until they get rooted in the ground. The young tree then becomes independent of its original support, and draws its nutriment direct from the soil. In the course of time the log decays from under it, and as nature always possesses a power of giving strength where it is required, the roots become sufficiently strong to support the trunk and branches in their unnatural position, from two to five feet above the surface of the earth.

In what the Romans called the Silva Caledonica, Roman causeways have been discovered very deep in the Peat Moss, and many gentlemen, after much labor and research, have now pretty generally agreed, that the trees which were uniformly found ranged on each side with their roots towards the road, and their branches from it, were intended for an abattis to prevent a sudden attack of the enemy. Now, as every man understands his own business best, a Canadian chopper could, where Forests are concerned, instruct the whole Antiquarian Society—he would tell them that Roman legionary soldiers, like all the rest of the world, did their work in the easiest way they could, and that not having the fear of the owner of the lot before their eyes, they cut their trees so as to make them fall out of the road, by which means, instead of being obliged to cut their trunks into lengths and roll them out, they had only to cut one length which lay in the roadway; and at this hour I could show them one hundred miles of as good a double abattis as I would ever wish to fight behind in the Canada Company’s Huron Tract.

In all Peat Mosses it is observed that the trees lie regularly in one uniform direction; there are some variations from the rule, but most frequently the root is found pointing to the north-west. This has been ascribed by many to some enormous rush of water which has once swept down, and buried an entire forest. Here again the Chopper would have the advantage of the Philosopher—he would tell him that it was a windfall; that they had such things often in Canada, and that there, as in Scotland, the north-west being the prevalent wind, windfalls were generally found to lie with their tree tops in the opposite direction.

These windfalls we often find to be the cause of swamps, and it takes place thus—one or more springs exist upon a piece of level land; a windfall drives trees across the stream, by which the water goes off; this forms a natural dam, and in this dam the process of converting the timber into Peat Moss is carried on; and, in fact, in no part of Canada have I ever found Peat Moss in strata, except in a cedar swamp, and I have met with no such stratum of Peat Moss more than eighteen inches thick, and this induces me to believe that this continent, or at least the part of it we inhabit, is in reality, what we style it metaphorically, a new country. Though in Scotland, where the growth and decay of vegetable substances is much more slow than in Canada, they have strata of Peat Moss, four feet deep, over causeways which probably were not constructed before the middle of the second century,—it is but fair to argue from the comparative thickness of the strata here and there, that no Peat Moss has begun to be formed in Canada at a greater distance of time than the third of that at which they commenced to form on the causeways in Scotland, say five hundred years, and if you add to that three hundred more, as a time sufficient to form a forest from the mud of a deserted lake, it will give you eight hundred years as the date when the greater part of Upper Canada and the Northern parts of the States of New York, Pensylvania, Ohio, and Michigan became dry land.

The last phenomenon to which I shall call attention, is when a Peat Moss is found with the trees in it lying in every possible direction, and often extending to a very great depth. Here again the Canadian Woodsman would explain the appearance; he would tell us it was a jamb, that is to say, that timber, undermined by a river and falling into it, was carried down by a flood to a shallow and rapid part of the river; that here it grounded and stuck, and that every successive flood brought down more timber, which was either lifted on the top of it, or laid alongside of it, as the vulgar would say, higgledy piggledy, till perhaps a mile of the river was thus filled up, and all the while, leaves and other light bodies were detained, and formed a perfectly tight dam; and the river, finding it impossible to proceed by its ancient course, bursts a new one for itself, and leaves the accumulated timber in its deserted bed to turn itself into Peat Moss at its leisure.

This Paper has been read at a Meeting of the Literary and Philosophical Society. The learned Doctor, on his departure for England, left it unfinished, without the slightest idea that it would ever, in its present state, appear in print. We were anxious, however, to grace one of our earliest numbers with any thing written by a man so much beloved, and so connected with the literature of the Province, as Dr. Dunlop; and, under that feeling, we have taken the liberty to commit his instructive and amusing lucubrations to the press.


By a well shaped cranium or head, such as we frequently find in the Caucasian species, we mean a face as nearly perpendicular as we ever find it in nature, with a high broad forehead rather projecting over the eyes, the top of the chin in a line with the lips, the crown of the head rising gently from side to side into a longitudinal ridge, the back part of the head rather contracted than expanded, and rising up in a line from the back part of the neck nearly perpendicular. A head thus shaped, and large is a certain indication of superior mental endowments.

Camper was the first Zoologist who pointed out the particular shape and dimensions of the head, as being indications of superior mental endowments. He discovered a method for measuring the facial angle, by drawing a line from the lower edge of the external opening of the Ear to the tip of the nose, and from the tip of the nose perpendicularly to the most prominent part of the forehead. From these measurements, Camper found that in general those persons who had the highest facial angle had the most handsome countenances, and possessed the greatest share of mental endowments. Of this the Grecian Sculptors seem to have been well aware in practice, for in forming the faces of their heroes and gods, they went beyond nature, and raised the facial angle of a hero to ninety degrees, and that of a god to a hundred, which seems to be the utmost most range of the facial angle consistent with dignity or beauty. But such faces formed by the chisel of the Grecian Sculptors, however, dignified or beautiful, are not to be found in nature, for the highest facial angle in the human species is eighty-four degrees, and the lowest sixty-four. Below sixty-four degrees of the facial angle we find the Orang Outang, then the Baboon, and next in succession the different species of Monkeys, and after them, according to their different degrees of intelligence, all the inferior species of animals.

But the Grecians, whose taste was most exquisite in all things where elegance was the object, were not contented with improving the facial angle; they contracted the mouth, lengthened the chin, and rounded the features so as to combine the beauty of childhood with the strength of mature age. In this last mentioned effort they succeeded to admiration; for the most illiterate clown in the whole world can readily discover an indescribable beauty which is almost enchanting in the countenance of a Grecian Statue.—Still the Greeks, though capable of giving the most exquisite beauty and grandeur to the human countenance, seem to have known nothing of the proper size of the head, or of the shape of the back part necessary to indicate mental endowments. The whole skill of their Sculptors seems to have been expended in adorning the countenance, for the heads of the Grecian Statues are generally so very small that had they been human beings, however beautiful, they would every one have been ideots.

We have already described, what we mean by a well shaped head, such as we generally find in the Caucasian species; we have next to describe the countenance and head of the Ethiopian Species. The facial angle seldom exceeds seventy degrees in the Ethiopians, the features of whose faces are not distinct as they are in the Caucasian species, but run one into another imperceptibly; for example, the nose is flat and runs into, or rather expands into the cheeks; the forehead and chin slant backwards, and the jaws protrude. Besides the forehead is low, and contracts as it ascends—the crown of the head is rounded—the head gradually expands laterally as it runs backward, and terminates in a broad projection overhanging the perpendicular line of the neck behind, further than the chin overhangs the perpendicular line of the neck before. In consequence of this shape and position of the head, whenever the power of volition is lost as in sleep, and the Ethiopian is sealed in the erect position, the head drops backward between the shoulders; whereas in the Caucasian species, the chin drops forward on the breast.

Thus in the Ethiopian species as in the inferior animals, a comparatively greater quantity of the brain is situated in the back part of the head, than in the Caucasian species. And like the inferior animals the nerves which the brain of the Ethiopian species gives off, are stronger than the nerves given off by the brain of the Caucasian species. Hence, like the inferior animals, the senses of the Ethiopians are more acute, and the reason more obtuse than we find them in the Caucasian species. This seems to be a law of nature which, as far as Anatomists have discovered, continues uninterrupted through all the gradations of animals—that wherever the brain is small it gives off, comparatively large nerves, and in proportion to the large size of the nerves and the small quantity of brain the senses are acute and the reason obtuse.

From this we may reasonably infer what experience has proved to be the fact, that the principal seat of the mind, the sensorium or thinking part of the brain, is situated in the forehead, immediately above the eyebrows; for there the lassitude of thinking is first felt. From which we may likewise infer that when the forehead is high, and well developed, we are almost certain of finding it connected with great mental endowments. This idea seems to have been in the mind of that extraordinary being Shakspeare, for when speaking of the degeneracy of the human race, he says that mankind would turn to Apes and Monkeys “with foreheads villainously low;” and Lord Byron when describing his Corsair, says “sunburnt his cheek his forehead high and pale.” To these weighty expressions of Shakspeare and Byron, might be added many more of the same kind from the works of our most celebrated authors. Besides we have only to examine the portraits of distinguished men, eminent for their talents, and we shall find every one of them possessed of a high and well developed forehead. In this respect the portrait of Shakspeare himself excels that of all other authors, ancient or modern. His portrait exhibits such a high and well developed forehead, as I never saw but once in nature. The heads of great men have likewise been noticed by historians, as remarkable for their size. That of Æsop is said to have been large to deformity. The head of Attila the Hun of the Mongolian species, is mentioned by historians as being of a preternatural size. Lately in Europe, casts of the heads of great men have been carefully taken after death, and their brains weighed to ascertain how much the brain of a great man exceeds the ordinary quantity, as well as to ascertain the facial angle, and the exact shape of the head. The brain of Bonaparte weighed three pounds and a half, the brain of Lord Byron weighed two ounces more than that of Bonaparte; and the brain of the able and amiable statesman, George Canning, weighed more than either of the two.

The heads of the Ethiopians seldom, if ever, exhibited that size and grandeur of appearance, which is conspicuous in the Caucasian species. It is true the facial angle, the size and elegant contour of the head of some superior individuals of the Ethiopian species approaches to, or even goes beyond inferior individuals of the Caucasian species. But that is not a general law of nature, for although the facial angle of the superior Ethiopians and inferior Caucasians, does meet somewhere about seventy degrees, still there are many other specific marks left to distinguish [unclear] sculls of the one species [unclear] the other. In the Ethiopians the head is round, the scull is remarkably thick, and the brain is deficient in position and quantity.—Upon the whole, the sculls of the Ethiopians bear a striking resemblance to the sculls of ideots of the Caucasian species, which are always small and round. But the likeness between Ethiopians and ideots, does not end here, the ideots generally speak ill, that is inarticulately, and the Ethiopians do the same, not because the organs of speech are defective, but because the ideas are dark, in consequence of an imperfect mind. It is from the same reason, viz. a paucity of ideas, that some individuals stutter in their speech, and that children, and old people in their dotage often speak unintelligibly. The Orang Outang, and even the other inferior animals, have all the organs of speech but they want a sufficient share of reason to enable them to speak; and the cause of this want is in the position of and deficiency in the quantity of, the brain. Here it is worthy of being recorded among other anatomical facts, that the brain of the human species weighs more than the brain of any other animal yet discovered, either in the sea or on the land, with the exception of the Elephant, and the Dolphin. Was it from the quantity of brain, or from the dying tints, that the ancients had such a fond predilection for this remarkable fish? With these two exceptions, the brain of no other animal yet dissected in our schools of Comparative Anatomy, weighs so much as that of the human species. The brain of a horse, which is next in size and weight to that of the human species, weighs about a pound and a half, and so on through all the gradations of inferior animals, those possessing the greatest quantity of brain always exhibiting the greatest share of sagacity.

But besides quantity, the structure and appearance of the human brain, when cut into, is very different from the structure and appearance of the brain of any other animal. The brain of the inferior animals, when cut into, presents in appearance a white pulpy mass, so nearly similar in all its parts, as to afford but few distinguishing marks for the Anatomist, by which he can describe the various parts; and its surface is comparatively smooth. Whereas the surface of the human brain is covered with convolutions, and its substance divided into the right and left hemisphere by a membrane. Besides, the human brain, when cut into, presents two distinct substances, very different in appearance one from another: these two distinct substances are known to Anatomists by the names of the Cortical and Medullary substances of the brain. The Cortical substance which constitutes the external part of the brain is nearly of the colour of cork; while the Medullary substance which constitutes the internal part of the human brain, is as white as spermaceti.—Some physiologists have imagined that the thinking principle resided chiefly in the cortical substance, and the great quantity of that substance found in the brain of Lord Byron, seems to favour that opinion. Still, the truth probably is, that a large proportion of both substances are necessary to constitute a powerful brain, and that they act upon one another in some way like two galvanic plates, or in some other way which gives man his pre-eminence over a beast.

The common reproach of wanting brains, a round head, and a thick skull, are mere colloquial expressions, often spoken at random to suit the humour of the moment; but, on enquiry, they are found to be [unclear]tly philosophical expressions, sanctioned by the experience of ages.—This physical deficiency in the position and quantity of the brain, explains on philosophical principles the grand secret, why the Ethiopians have so long been retained in a state of slavery. That knowledge is power, is an undisputed aphorism which applies well to the present condition of the Ethiopian species; they want knowledge to discover and appreciate their own power, otherwise they would have broken the gyves of slavery in pieces long before this evil hour. For the first use that every man makes of knowledge, is to turn it to his own advantage. It is the same want of knowledge in a still greater degree, which constitutes what we call docility in the horse, or Elephant. The strength of either of these animals is far beyond that of a man; but they know it not,—they cannot avail themselves of their natural superiority in this respect; therefore they are confounded by the commanding skill of their drivers, and tamely submit to their dominion.

It is with the Ethiopian species, as with weak individuals when contending with a powerful adversary; a consciousness of inferiority paralyzes all their efforts at resistance. For even where Ethiopian sufferings are so excruciating as to exceed human endurance, the partial resistance which they occasionally make, is excited by an ebullition of passion, rather than a regularly concerted plan for freedom, the same as the resistance of a horse, or Elephant. The Ethiopians are all naturally cowards, for courage is but another word for strength of mind; and as mankind are guided by their fears, rather than their affection, it has been found comparatively easy to overawe the Ethiopians, and their braver brethren have been mean enough to take advantage of negro simplicity. Had the Ethiopians possessed that share of talent for which even philosophers have given them credit, they would naturally have risen into notice and acted their own part on the theatre of the world long before this time, for nothing can obscure genius; like the sun, it will give light, let the day be ever so cloudy, or let the night be ever so long and dark, the day will break through at last. Of this fact, that is of the radiating power of genius, we have already had many bright examples in private life; & we must continue to have many more, so long as nature occasionally forms superior beings; for a man of genius will shine; he early learns to measure himself with the rest of mankind; he observes what space he occupies in their estimation; he grows proud, because he feels his superiority; and ultimately bounds over the heads of his contemporaries by the elasticity of genius. It was this proud feeling of superiority that raised a Robert Burns, a James Fergusson, a Dr. Franklin, a Fulton, a Rittenhouse, a Daboll, and a Captain James Cook, from the shades of poverty, to the distinguished places which their names now occupy among other illustrious names that peer above the ordinary crowd of mankind. These humble, but highly gifted, individuals maintained a successful struggle against all the disadvantages of humble birth and adverse circumstances, and rose into notice by their own exertions.

But the Ethiopians, when left to themselves, that is, to their own exertions, continue the same rude beings which they ever were, from time immemorial. Like their long African deserts, or dark uncultivated forests, they continually present the same dreary and unchanging prospect, unbroken by cultivation, or unrelieved by variety. For, although they may occasionally display a degree of cunning, as a people they never have had either an exalted idea nor an extensive view of any one subject. All the faculties of the Ethiopians appear to be of that secondary class which may be taught, but cannot teach, and will always require a teacher. For it is more than doubtful if the Ethiopians will ever become masters of arts and sciences, so as to be capable of teaching them, independently of auxiliary aid; and consequently they must always fill a subordinate situation among mankind. They are merely imitators; and it is painful to observe that slavery in some measure tends to cultivate their minds, for the Ethiopians in a state of slavery are superior to Ethiopians in their native freedom, as much so as tame Elephants are superior to those that are wild in the woods. When the Ethiopians obtain their liberty, among the Caucasian species, they learn to imitate the customs and manners of a more intelligent race, and they even follow the industrious habits which they see around them. Still, in all this, they are mere imitators; they never excel; and if left to themselves, without the advantages and stimulus of daily examples, coupled with necessity, I have no doubt but they would soon, that is, in two or three generations, relapse back to their pristine rudeness.

Such is the melancholy picture which Ethiopian inferiority presents, when drawn from history, observation, and Anatomy. Of these facts themselves, which appear from history, observation, and Anatomy, there can be no mistake. The only error that possibly can be in the doctrine of Ethiopian inferiority, is that the conclusions drawn from these facts, presented by history, observation, and Anatomy, may not be legitimate, and for the sake of the Ethiopians, it is sincerely to be wished that they are not. But in our present state of logic, at least as far as I am acquainted with it, there is little reason to doubt their legitimacy, and from the other side of the question, not a single philosophical argument has been brought forward, that goes directly to prove their fallacy. It is true that disputants contend only about things which they do not understand, and obstinacy and ignorance are for the most part linked together. I have therefore endeavoured to keep my mind open to conviction, on this as well as on every other controversy, knowing that truth is, or ought to be, the aim of all investigation.

John Galt
Lithographed for the Canadian Literary Magzine


Of the early history of John Galt we know nothing, except that he was born in Scotland. When a young man, he entered into the Society of Lincoln’s Inn, with the design of studying the Law; and soon afterwards, with a view to recruit his feeble health, sailed in the packet for Gibraltar, intending to spend a few weeks in Malta, Sicily, and Sardinia. At Gibraltar he fell in with Lord Byron, and the present Sir John Cam Hobhouse. Tarrying on The Rock but for a short time, he sailed, together with his aristocratic companions, to Cagliari, where he parted with them. He then protected his travels. At Tripolizza, in the Morea, he smoked his pipe, quaffed his coffee, and cracked his joke with Velhi Pashaw, the son of the celebrated Ali Pashaw. He indulged his love of ancient classic lore by visiting Argos, Megara, Corinth, and Athens; and, at the latter city, stumbled again upon Byron and Hobhouse, with whom he visited the marble quarry of Pentelicus, where they all three had the honor of inscribing their initials on the ceiling of a cave with the smoke of a candle.

It can easily be imagined that, when revelling in the enthusiastic recollections of departed glory, amid the wrecks and monuments of Grecian Art, Galt little thought of ever visiting the interminable forests of Upper Canada,—or, when sitting on a fragment of the ruined Acropolis, of ever founding a city of stumps. But he who witnessed the mouldering magnificence of Ephesus, was destined to superintend the settlement of an American wilderness, and to give his name to a village on the banks of the Grand River. Mr. Galt resided in this country for a considerable time, some few years ago, as Superintendant of the affairs of the Canada Company, of which he was one of the original projectors. During his sojourn here, however, in that capacity, he did not conciliate general esteem. Not making sufficient allowances for a new country, he looked down, with a feeling somewhat akin to contempt, upon the Canadian gentry, among whom he was fond of playing the Captain Grand. He also assumed the style and deportment of an independent chief, and seemed as if he wished to create an imperium in imperio: he refused, for a long time, to correspond with Sir Peregrine Maitland, through the medium of his Secretary, Major Hillier; and was often invoked in many unpleasant dilemmas, from attaching too much consequence to his own importance.

But this is the shade,—now for the sunshine of the picture. Mr. Galt always conducted himself as a man of the strictest probity and honor: he was warm in his friendships, extremely hospitable in his Log Priory at Guelph, and thoroughly esteemed by those who had an opportunity of mingling with him in close and daily intimacy. He was the first to adopt the plan of opening roads, before making a settlement, instead of leaving them to be cut, as heretofore, by the settlers themselves,—a plan which, under the irregular and patchwork system of settling the country then prevailing, has retarded the improvement of the Province more, perhaps, than any other cause. The name and writings of Galt have also been of considerable avail in attracting public attention in Great Britain towards Upper Canada; and his plans, upon the main, are, by a talented successor, said to have been well conceived; though, it must be confessed, his erection of an isolated town (Guelph) in the wilderness, savours more of the romantic than the practical. But the worthy author of “The Ayrshire Legatees” has long since ceased to be Viceroy of the Canada Company, and is now busily engaged in forming the British American Land Association.

As an Author—not as a Superintendant of Emigrants—is Mr. Galt chiefly known on the other side of the Atlantic. His pen has been one of the most prolific, and, in a certain department, one of the most successful, of the nineteenth century. Dramatic Sketches, and a Life of Cardinal Wolsey, were, we believe, his earliest productions. Since then, he has ushered into the world a numerous family of novels, viz. The Ayrshire Legatees,—The Provost,—The Entail,—Rhingan Gilhaize,—Sir Andrew Wylie,—Annals of the Parish,—Pen Owen,—Bogle Corbet,—Lawrie Todd, Southennan,—and Stanley Buxton;—and when to these we add his Life of Lord Byron,—his numerous contributions to Magazines, Annuals, &c.,—and when we recollect that he was at one period Editor of the London Courier, we must acknowledge that he has made a good use of the talents intrusted to his care.

The greatest merit of Galt’s writings is the extreme felicity with which he depicts the subacid humor of the Scotch, and the manners of the middling and lower classes of his countrymen. His claim to a niche in the Temple of Fame must indeed rest solely upon his merits as a Scottish Novelist; for his Life of Lord Byron, though it has gone through several editions, is but a sorry and insipid production. The Noble Bard has been more just to Galt, than Galt has been to him. On one occasion, it is true, Byron felt angry with Galt, (who said that his Lordship had borrowed one of his ideas,) and declared that he was the last person any one would think of stealing from. But the fit of petulance left no permanent resentment behind, and the Noble Childe subsequently styled Galt the Wilkie of writers,—an appropriate and complimentary phrase conveying a correct idea of the merits of Galt. Wilkie owes his well-merited reputation to his skill in minutely delineating domestic scenes and incidents, and to the homely feeling and pathos glowing over all his canvass.—What Wilkie has achieved in his paintings, Galt has accomplished in his novels.

Lady Blessington also has recorded a conversation with Lord Byron, in which our Author is still more honorably and cordially mentioned.

“ ‘Lord Blessington has been talking to me about Mr. Galt,’ said Lord Byron, ‘and tells me much good of him. I am pleased at finding he is as amiable a man as his recent works prove him to be a clever and intelligent author. When I knew Galt, years ago, I was not in a frame of mind to form an impartial opinion of him; his mildness and equanimity struck me even then; but, to say the truth, his manner had not deference enough for my then aristocratical taste; and finding I could not awe him into a respect sufficiently profound for my sublime self, either as a peer or an author, I felt a little grudge towards him that has now completely worn off. There is a quaint humour end observance of character in his novels that interest me very much; and when he chooses to be pathetic, he fools one to his bent,—for, I assure you, ‘The Entail’ beguiled me of some portion of watery humours, yclept tears, ‘albeit unused to the melting mood.’ What I admire particularly in Galt’s works,’ continued Byron, ‘is, that with a perfect knowledge of human nature and its frailties and legerdemain tricks, he shows a tenderness of heart which convinces one that his is in the right place, and he has a sly caustic humour that is very amusing. All that Lord Blessington has been telling me of Galt has made me reflect on the striking difference between his (Lord B.’s) nature and my own. I had an excellent opportunity of judging Galt, being shut up on board ship with him for some days; and though I saw he was mild, equal, and sensible, I took no pains to cultivate his acquaintance further than I would with any commonplace person, which he was not; and Lord Blessington in London, with a numerous acquaintance, and ‘all appliances to boot,’ for choosing and selecting, has found so much to like in Galt, malgre the difference of their politics, that his liking has grown into friendship.’ ”

We regret to state that Mr. Galt has lately been attacked with paralysis, from which however, when we last heard of him, he was sufficiently recovered to walk in his garden.—Our best wishes attend him! May he descend the hill of life, soothed by the retrospect of a checquered and honorable career! May those faculties, which have so frequently been exercised for the amusement and instruction of the world, shine bright and unclouded to the last!

And, when old Time shall lead him to his end,

Goodness and he fill up one monument!


In our younger and happier days we read with pleasure that excellent little work, styled Evenings at Home, written by Dr. Aikin and Mrs. Barbauld for the instruction and amusement of young persons. One of our favorite Dialogues was intitled Eyes and No Eyes; it was the story of two boys who took a ramble through the fields on a summer’s afternoon: one returned home highly delighted with his walk, having observed with pleasure the woodpecker, the lapwings, the heath flowers, and some remnants of Roman antiquities; the other came back dissatisfied and grumbling, and said that he would have preferred a walk along the turnpike road.

This is a familiar, but, in our opinion, a good illustration of the two classes into which mankind may be divided: the one, the Prosaical; the other, the Poetical. A man of the former class looks at the sun, and calls it the sun; but he sees no beauty in it, beyond its practical utility in ripening the fruits of the earth; the mountain stream, rolling thro’ the vallies, is pleasing to his sight; because it irrigates his meadows, or turns his mill; talk to him, however, of

Tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,

Sermons in stones, and good in every thing,—

and he will turn from you with a deaf ear.

A primrose on the river’s brim

A yellow primrose is to him,

    And it is nothing more:—

such a being we denominate Prosaical.

The Poetical class of mankind, on the other hand, embraces many besides those who are commonly denominated Poets. It is not necessary to write, to be a Poet. There is a Poetry of thought, far surpassing the grandest flights of written verse—a Poetry which floats over the mind, and is of too gossamer and evanescent a nature, ever to be embodied in words—a Poetry not confined to the learned and the great, but equally participated in by the Northampton Shepherd Clare, as by the learned and sublime Milton, the master of Roman, Grecian, and Italian learning. Burns, in particular, possessed the art of investing with a poetic light the commonest and homeliest objects of Nature. Of the living, Wordsworth excels in this particular, though he sometimes allows his simplicity to sink into mawkish twaddle. In one of his imaginative and philosophical snatches he beautifully sings—

To me the meanest flower that blows can give

Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

And who, among Poets, have been, and ever will be, the world’s favorites; but those who have been susceptible of such delicate and amiable emotions,—those who have loved to illustrate the moral by light borrowed from the natural world?—Cowper, Goldsmith, and Thomson, especially the two former, are perhaps more read than any other Poets, excepting Pope; and they have chosen nature and rural scenery for their subjects. The most beautiful passages of Byron and Scott are those in which they paint the glories and the charms of Nature, and the influence and impressions left by such scenes on the human mind.—We are not all fashioned in so goodly a frame as Scott and Byron; neither are we all of us endowed with the natural gift of a vivid and creative imagination; but we must be lifeless clods indeed, if the decay and renewal of vegetation, the sighing of the breeze, the rushing of the wind, the current of a shining river, or the glories of the heavenly luminaries, never lead us into a train of contemplation, interesting to beings born to an immortal existence,—if such objects and operations of nature awake not a Poetry in our inmost hearts!

From the specimens of Mrs. Moodie’s Poetry which have already appeared in the New York Albion, and in the First Number of this Magazine, our readers will immediately assign her a place among those who are not only Poetical de facto, but also de jure,—who not only bear, but also deserve the name of Poet.—A volume of this lady’s Poems, published shortly before her departure from England, lies before us, and has afforded us extreme gratification in the perusal. When we consider that the first lessons of childhood are taught by a mother’s lips, it cannot but be observed with pleasure by every philanthropist and parent, among the many wonders of this wonderful age, how the Press teems with works, in every department of Literature and Science, from the pens of female writers. In a future Number we intend to revert to this subject, and for the present will confine ourselves to the task of culling for our readers, from Mrs. Moodie’s Poetical Garland a few flowers, of exquisite colour, and fragrance.—A healthful and pure tone of feeling pervades all this lady writes. No sickly sentiment spreads its miasma over her pages;—here is no moonlight nonsense,—no gallopading, or mozourka dancing fairies;—Scripture is not turned into allegory and romance,—nor sensuality, gilded over, a la Tom Moore, or L.E.L., with a thin, deceitful gauze-work of glowing and ensnaring imagery;—Nature is the book which Mrs. Moodie has taken for her comments,—and from Nature she has looked up to Nature’s God. Like Sir Thomas Browne, she “sucks divinity from the flowers of Nature;” she never can “take her walks abroad,” but what some simple and beautiful object awakes the Poetry of her soul, and leads her into a train of devotional meditation. The following pieces we select from many others of equal merit; but these will fully show, that the author is a true alchymist, and can extract a precious moral from an object which the Prosaical man, with “No eyes,” would pass by, unheeded or despised.


“What hast thou seen in the olden time,

  Dark Ruin, lone and gray?”

“Full many a race from thy native clime,

  And the bright earth, pass away.

The organ has peal’d in these roofless aisles.

  And Priests have knelt to pray

At the altar, where now the daisy smiles

  O’er their silent beds of clay.


“I’ve seen the strong man a wailing child,

  By his mother offer’d here;

I’ve seen him a warrior fierce and wild;

  I’ve seen him on his bier,

His warlike harness beside him laid

  In the silent earth to rust;

His plumed helm and trusty blade

  To moulder into dust.


“I’ve seen the stern reformer scorn

  The things once deem’d divine,

And the bigot’s zeal with gems adorn

  The altar’s sacred shrine.

I’ve seen the silken banners wave

  Where now the ivy clings,

And the sculptured stone adorn the grave

  Of mitred priests and kings.


“I’ve seen the youth in his tameless glee

  And the hoary locks of age,

Together bend the pious knee,

  To read the sacred page;

I’ve seen the maid with the sunny brow

  To the silent dust go down,

The soil-bound slave forget his woe,

  The king resign his crown.


“Ages have fled—and I have seen

  The young—the fair—the gay—

Forgot as if they ne’er had been,

  Though worshipp’d in their day.

And schoolboys here their revels keep,

  And spring from grave to grave,

Unconscious that beneath them sleep

  The noble and the brave.


“Here thousands find a resting-place

  Who bent before this shrine:

Their dust is here,—their name and race,

  Oblivion’[unclear] now are thine.

The prince—the peer—the peasant sleeps

  Alike beneath the sod;

Time o’er their dust short record keeps,

  Forgotten save by God!


“I’ve seen the face of Nature change,

  And where the wild waves beat,

The eye delightedly might range

  O’er many a goodly seat;

But hill, and dale, and forest fair,

  Are whelm’d beneath the tide;

They slumber here, who could declare

  Who own’d these manors wide.


“All thou hast felt—these sleepers knew;

  For human hearts are still

In every age to Nature true,

  And sway’d by good or ill:

By passion ruled, and born to woe,

  Unceasing tears they shed;

But thou must sleep, like them, to know

  The secrets of the dead!”


Beautiful Flowers! with your petals bright,

Ye float on the waves like Spirits of light,

Wooing the Zephyr that ruffles your leaves

With a gentle sigh, like a lover that grieves,

When his mistress, blushing, turns away

From his pleading voice and impassion’d lay.


Beautiful Flowers! the Sun’s westward beam,

Still lingering, plays on the crystal stream;

And ye look like some Naiad’s golden shrine,

That is lighted up with a flame divine;

Or a bark in which Love might safely glide,

Impell’d by the breeze o’er the purple tide.


Beautiful Flowers! how I love to gaze

On your glorious hues, in the noontide blaze;

And to see them reflected far below

In the azure waves, as they onward flow;

When the Spirit, who moves them, sighing turns

Where his golden crown on the water burns.


Beautiful Flowers! in the rosy west

The Sun has sunk in his crimson vest,

And the pearly tears of the weeping Night

Have spangled your petals with gems of light,

And turn’d to stars every wandering beam

Which the pale Moon throws on the silver stream.


Beautiful Flowers! yet a little while,

And the Sun on your faded buds shall smile;

And the balm-laden Zephyr that o’er you sigh’d,

Shall scatter your leaves o’er the glassy tide,

And the Spirit that moved the stream shall spread

His lucid robe o’er your watery bed.


Beautiful Flowers! our youth is as brief

As the short-lived date of your golden leaf.

The Summer will come, and each amber urn,

Like a love-lighted torch, on the waves shall burn.

But when the first bloom of our life is o’er,

No after Spring can its freshness restore;

But Faith can twine round the hoary head

A garland of beauty when youth is fled!


There is no subject which, at the present moment, is calculated to excite greater public interest in Upper Canada than that of Emigration. The immense accession to its population, its wealth, and its intelligence which this Province has derived from Emigration alone within the last three years; and the unprecedently rapid advancement within that period of all the great interests of the Colony,—agricultural, commercial, and manufacturing consequent thereon, has rendered the subject of Emigration one in which every individual in the Province, who is influenced either by feelings of patriotism, or self interest—must necessarily feel the deepest concern.

Prior to the year 1830 the Emigration from the Mother Country to the Canadas was, even in point of numbers, in relation to the subsequent years, comparatively inconsiderable, while that Emigration was almost exclusively confined to the laboring, and poorest classes of the British population: and although the influx of this class of Settlers, was, unquestionably calculated, ultimately, to benefit both themselves and the country of their adoption,—and therefore, for both of these reasons, could not but be viewed with gratification by every philanthrophic and patriotic individual; yet the Emigration of those years—comparatively trifling as it was in point of numbers, and limited as it almost exclusively was to persons who brought with them no other means of promoting the interest of themselves or of the country of their adoption, except the labour of their hands, could not in the nature of things, have given any sensible or observable impetus to the then slowly advancing prosperity of the Canadian Provinces.

Within the last three years however, and particularly during the year 1832, the Emigration from the Mother Country to the Canadas has not only increased numerically in a three or four fold ratio, as compared with the average of preceding years, but has included within its numbers a large proportion of men of wealth, intelligence and enterprise—English, Irish, and Scotch farmers of properly, practical skill and industrious habits—Men of Literature and science; and respectable professional persons of every description; including a large number of half-pay, and retired Officers of the Navy and Army. The arrival amongst us of these numerous and respectable bodies of settlers has had a talismanic influence upon all the great interests of these Colonies; the beneficial effects of which have been felt in every section of the Canadas, from Quebec to Sandwich. Trade, commerce, and manufactures, the shipping on our internal waters, and the value of real estate in every part of the Provinces, particularly of Upper Canada, have been in consequence increased a hundred per cent. The wild lands of this Province, which, prior to the period in question, possessed at best but a mere nominal value, and which were in many instances rather an incumbrance than an advantage to the possessor, have, in consequence of the increased and increasing demand for them, acquired a real, marketable value in many parts of the Colony, of from one to two hundred per cent. above their former estimated worth.

With such evidence of the advantages which the Province, and every individual in the Province, derives from the emigration of their fellow-subjects from the Mother Country to this Colony, it is natural that the people of Upper Canada should feel a warm interest in the subject, as well regarding the past, as in reference to the future emigration to this Colony.

In the conviction, therefore, that the subject will be alike interesting and agreeable to the inhabitants of these Colonies, particularly to those who have been lately settled therein, and useful to our fellow subjects in Great Britain and Ireland who may intend to emigrate to Canada, we have prepared the following statement of “The Emigration of 1832;” which statement, though of course not official, has been obtained from such sources that its accuracy may be relied on.

This statement comprises returns, in the Tabular form, of the numbers of Emigrants who arrived at Quebec from England, Ireland, Scotland, and other parts of the British Empire, in the years 1831 and 1832, stating the Ports from which they came; together with a comparative statement of the numbers arrived at Quebec during the years 1829, 1830, 1831 and 1832.

The number who arrived at the same port during each week of the Emigration Season: distinguishing respectively the number of adult males and females—children under fourteen years of age; those who came out by parochial aid; and those who came out voluntarily at their own expense.

Distribution of the immigrants of 1832—being an estimate of the numbers who have settled respectively in Upper Canada: Lower Canada; in the United States; of the numbers who returned to Britain; and of those who died of Cholera.

To these Tables are appended explanatory observations; progress made by the Emigrants in their respective settlements since their arrival—information and advice to future Emigrants, &c. &c.


Names of Ports from whence Emigrants came during the Year 1832, with comparative statement of the number arrived in 1831, at Quebec and Montreal.

Names of Ports.1832.1831.
Berwick and Newcastle340239
Glocester and Frome6
Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and New Brunswick546424
Hamburgh and Gibraltar9

Comparative Statement of the number of Emigrants arrived at Quebec during the Years 1829, 1830, 1831, and 1832.

From whence.1829.1830.1831.1832.
Hamburgh and Gibraltar9
Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick123451424546

The following Statement shows the weekly arrival of Emigrants during the Year 1832—specifying the number of Males, Females, and Children under 14 years, also the number of voluntary Emigrants and those receiving aid.

Week endingMales.Females.Children under 14.Parochial aid.Voluntary.Total each week.
12 May 1832334282258517874874
19  -       -2546207314533255556072
26  -       -1282110993114932903332
 2 June     -18881644130169346844833
 9  -       -403935593001415990610599
16  -       -82076573124019012316
23  -       -87181679133522382478
30  -       -59851454221913191654
 7 July     -90577073255521882407
14  -       -114298599983525713126
21  -       -99691188012119522787
28  -       -5044344153012181353
 4 August   -4222304306494
11  -       -14561324115135013931
18  -       -343303264909909
25  -       -210170160225540540
 1 September-4743883271059641189
 8  -       -24723020287574679
15  -       -278206180577664
22  -       -257197163617617
29  -       -956067222222
 6 October  -1376974280280
13  -       -282184179645645
20  -       -1914134646
27  -       -9541818
 3 November -131313
14  -       -888
30  -       -3618167070

Distribution of the Emigrants arrived at Quebec in the Year 1832.

City and District of Quebec4500 
District of Three Rivers450 
District of St. Francis and Eastern Townships750 
City and District of Montreal40000 
Ottawa District500 
Total to Lower Canada10,200
Ottawa, Bathurst, and Eastern Districts, as far as Kingston included4000 
Townships in the vicinity of the Bay of Quinte and the District of Newcastle6000 
York and Home District7500 
Hamilton, Guelph, and Huron Tract, and situations adjacent6000 
Niagara Frontier and District, including the line of the Welland Canal, and round the head of Lake Ontario to Hamilton3000 
Settlements bordering on Lake Erie, including the London District, Adelaide Settlement, &c., to Lake St. Clair8500 
Total to Upper Canada35,000
Died of cholera in Upper and Lower Canada2350
Returned to the United Kingdom, principally Widows, and Orphans children,—about 100 Pensioners, and a few lazy characters850
Gone to the United States3346

It will strike the attention of the reader in perusing the above tables, that, though Emigration has increased 1829 from 15,945 to 51,746, the relative increase from different parts of the United Kingdom has varied very materially.

From England, for instance, the increase during those four years has been five fold; viz., from 3,565 to 17,481.

From Ireland, during the same period, the increase has been three fold; viz., from 9,614 to 28,204.

And in Scotland two fold; viz., from 2,643 to 5,500.

During the last two years the discrepancy has been still greater. From England the Emigration of 1831 was 10343, & of 1832 was 17481, being an increase of 70 per cent.

From Ireland in 1831 it was 34,133; and 28,204 in 1832; being a decrease of 15 per cent.

While from Scotland the numbers during the last two years have been nearly equal.

Another novel feature in the Emigration from England as exhibited in the above returns, is, that the tide appears latterly to have flowed chiefly from the Southern counties. Previous to 1831, English Emigration was confined almost exclusively to York, Lancaster, and other Northern shires. From the Counties, South of the Medway and Trent, but few Emigrants came to Canada; and from those to the South of the Severn and the Thames, hardly any. In 1831, the Southern counties began to contribute their quota of Settlers to these Colonies,—in that year the numbers were; from the Northern Counties 6,838; from the Southern 3,541; but in the year 1832 those numbers were; from the Northern 6,401; from the Southern 10,831, chiefly from the Southern range of maritime counties, from Kent to Cornwall; and the South-eastern counties of Norfolk, Sufolk, and Essex. The midland counties appear to have contributed little, as yet, to the stream of emigration. From the principality of Wales, the numbers were; in 1831, 60; and in 1832, 249.

The falling off in the Emigration from Ireland in 1832, as compared with that of 1831, applies to all parts of the sister Kingdom; there being a diminution from each of the Four Provinces; that diminution, however, it will be observed, was greater in Connaught and Munster than in the other two Provinces.

In Scotland there was a smaller Emigration from the Lowlands, and a greater from the Highlands and Western Islands in 1832, than in 1831.

The estimate of the distribution of the Emigrants of 1832, which is given in one of the foregoing returns, is not to be regarded as being strictly accurate. Those returns, however, have been made up from the most correct data that could be obtained, and are, probably, not far from the truth; but it is proper to remark, that a statement, furnished by the Emigrant Agent at Prescott, estimates the number of Emigrants who came into Canada, via Quebec, during the past season, at only 29,803; being upwards of 5,000 less than the estimate contained in the foregoing table. This latter statement, however, is made up only to the 1st. November, and is described as being exclusive of those Emigrants who came up from the Lower Province by land; while it does not include those settlers who came into the country by way of New York, and who, during the last season, were much more numerous than upon any former occasion. In former years, a very considerable proportion of the British Emigrants who arrived at Quebec, proceeded immediately to the United States; while but few, comparatively, came into these Provinces by way of that Country. During the last two years, however, and more particularly during the season of 1832, but a very small proportion of the Emigrants proceeded to the States; while the numbers who came into this Province by way of the States, were much greater than usual; and, unquestionably, very considerably exceeded those who proceeded in a contrary direction. Under these circumstances, therefore, the estimate given above of the number of Emigrants, viz., 35,000, who settled in Upper Canada during the year 1832, is probably very near the truth.

Among the Emigrants of the two last seasons, and particularly of the last year, as we have remarked before, there were a very large proportion of them men of substance—Professional men—particularly those of the Medical profession—men of Science; half-pay and retired Officers; and farmers and country gentlemen of capital. Those of the two former classes have established themselves in the various towns and villages of Upper Canada, where nearly the whole of them are now exercising their callings with every prospect of profit to themselves and benefit to the communities in which they have taken up their abode. The gentlemen of the Army and Navy have generally obtained the quantities of wild land to which the Government regulations entitle them for their services; upon which land they have either already settled, or are making improvements, with a view of settling on them hereafter. Most of these lands have been taken up either in the District of Newcastle; the County of Simcoe in the Home District; or in the District of London. Many of those gentlemen, however, have purchased ready-cultivated farms in other parts of the Country, upon which they have established their families: and all of them, without a single exception, that we have heard of, are highly delighted with the Country of their adoption, and look forward to the future with perfect assurance that their removal to the Province will be of the greatest advantage to themselves and their rising families. The Agricultural Emigrants who possessed the means of doing so, have purchased cultivated farms in different places throughout the Province; and, in this new field for the exercise of their skill and habits of industry, this class of persons cannot be otherwise than eminently successful.

But the most numerous class of the Emigrants, even of the last seasons, were the labouring poor, who were sent out to the Country by parochial aid, or by the voluntary assistance of private individuals. These Emigrants, with their families—for this class of our countrymen are usually blessed with a goodly progeny—have been settled, under the direction and superintendence of the Government and its Agents, on the wild land of the Crown; chiefly in the back Townships of the Newcastle District, in the Townships of Oro (or Heytesbury), Orillia, and Medonte, in the Home District; and in the Township of Caradoc, and the newly laid out Townships of Adelaide, Warwick, and Plympton, in the District of London. The proportion of this class of Emigrants, who have been settled in the first mentioned District during the last two years, has been less than in the former seasons. Some thousands of indigent English and Irish labourers, however, have been placed on the lands of the Crown, in the different Townships of the Newcastle District, during that period, under the superintendence of A. McDonell Esq., the Government Agent; and the whole of these poor people, without any exceptions that we have heard of, (save the commuted pensioners,—men, in general, of dissolute habits,)—are now in a thriving condition: most of them having cleared and cultivated a sufficient quantity of their land to provide, already, the necessary sustenance for their families; and in a very few years, with industry, prudence, and the blessing of health, they will be on the highway to independence.

It may be appropriate here, to state that it was in the District of Newcastle, that the first experiment was made of settling bodies of indigent Emigrants on the wild lands of the Crown in the Province; and that experiment, notwithstanding the difficulties which beset the undertaking at the outset, and notwithstanding the privations and the sufferings to which a great proportion of the poor people were subjected, during the first year or two after their arrival—may now be regarded as having been an eminently successful one. The project originated with, and was carried into execution by, the Honorable Peter Robinson, the Commissioner of the Crown lands in Upper Canada; who went home to Ireland, and gathered together between two and three thousand of the poorest and most destitute class of Irish laborers, Catholics and Protestants, but chiefly the former, whom, at the expence of the Government, he brought out to this Country under his own charge, and settled them in the then newly surveyed and located Townships of Smith, Ennismore, Emily, Douro, Otonabee, and Monaghan. As we said before, notwithstanding the difficulties, the hardships, and trials, which these people were necessarily subjected to in the early days of their sojourn in the wilderness, the undertaking has proved to be a highly successful one; almost the whole of these Emigrants are now in comfortable circumstances, have good farms, with from 20 to 50 acres cleared, snug buildings, with farming stock, implements of husbandry, &c., &c.: while a handsome town, called Peterboro’, in compliment to the Hon. Peter Robinson, the Founder of the Settlement, has grown up in the centre of the block of the Township before named, and is now become one of the largest, if not the very largest, inland town in Upper Canada. The introduction of this body of destitute labourers, and the great success which they have met with, may, perhaps, indeed, be regarded as having given the first impetus to the recent rapid, and unequalled growth and prosperity of the fine District of Newcastle; the population of which, has increased, within the last seven years, from ten to near thirty thousand souls!

Although not exactly within the compass of this article, the object of which is to speak more particularly of the “Emigration of 1832,” yet before we leave the Newcastle District, it may not be inappropriate to introduce the following brief extracts from a pamphlet recently issued from the Cobourg press, and compiled by James Gray Bethune, Esq., one of the most public spirited, enterprising, and therefore, as he ought to be, the most influential persons in that District. The pamphlet, to which a map is prefixed, is entitled “A Schedule of real estate on sale in the Newcastle District; with statistical remarks; for the information of Emigrants,” &c. and concludes with the following descriptive observations:—

“The district of Newcastle, deservedly called the favorite district of Upper Canada, is bounded on its southern frontier by the magnificent Lake Ontario, and in addition to this vast advantage, the front townships abound in numerous chrystal streams, bursting from innumerable springs that take their rise along the chain of high lands that divide the waters of the interior from Ontario. Many of these beautiful streams are successfully used in driving all kinds of mills and machinery.

The waters of the interior are distant from Cobourg, the Capital of the district, 12 miles, and they are navigated by steam-vessels, eastward as far as Healy’s Falls, in the township of Seymour, on the River Trent 30 miles; and northward ascending the Otonabee River to the town of Peterborough, 25 miles.—The rapid waters of the Otonabee, north of Peterborough, are avoided by a short carrying-place of 6 miles, across the isthmus in Smith to Chemong Lake;—from whence there is an uninterrupted steam navigation for 80 miles, on waters that pass the townships of Smith, Ennismore, Emily, Verulam, Harvey, Fenelon, Ops, Cartwright, Eldon, and Mariposa: to this may be added a further navigation of several miles in the Home District, by a lock at Cameron Falls, in Fenelon, which would open a steam navigation to within a few miles of Lake Simcoe.

The soil of the Newcastle District is admitted to be generally equal to the best in the provinces, and it is allowed to be the most healthy part of Upper Canada; many respectable families have settled, previous and since 1825, in the neighbourhood of Cobourg and Peterborough, to which last season has brought a large accession of wealth and respectability. The emigration of British settlers to the Newcastle District commenced in 1817 and 18, a number of families, (who probably unaware of the localities and situation of U. C. emigrated to the United States,) were humanely directed here by Mr. Buchanan, the British Consul at New York:—from that period to 1825, there was a small annual increase; in the latter year about 2000 were settled in the neighbourhood of Peterborough by the Honorable Peter Robinson. For the last three years there has been an increase of from three to five thousand annually. The Newcastle District in 1817 contained a population of barely four thousand souls, and did not contain a single town or village in the whole district: the census of the present year, 1883, will shew a population of nearly 30,000 souls, and the district now contains the following towns and villages, in a flourishing state of advancement; Cobourg, Peterborough, Port-Hope, Grafton, Colborne, Brighton, Carrying Place, and Trent;—also, just commenced, Bewdley, Claverton, Sully, Campbelton, Howard, Keen, and Kelso.

The following gentlemen from the United Kingdom are settled in the district, principally in the neighbourhood of Cobourg and Peterborough, and are successfully prosecuting the business of Canadian Farming.

Capt. Boswell, R. N., Swansea, Wales, Legislative Councillor of Upper Canada; T. A. Stewart, Ireland, L. C. of U. Canada; W. Sowden, Yorkshire, England, Magistrate; Lieut. Williams, R. N. England, do; W. Owston, R. N. do. do; Lieut. Rubidge, R. N. do. do; Dr. Hutchison, Scotland, Magistrate; Mr. Covert, Swansea, Wales, do; Mr. Hall, Ireland, Magistrate; W. Falkner, Bath, England, District Judge; Mr. W. Crawford, Ireland; Lieut. Rowe, R. N. England; Lieut. Brown, 21st Regt. do; Lieut. Trail, 21st Regiment ditto; Lieutenant Moodie, 21st Regt. do; Maj. M’Neil, Scotland; Mr. Jack, do; Lieut. Townshend, R. N. England; Mr. Reed, Purser, R. N. do; Dr. Bayley, do.; Mr. Bidwell, Devonshire; Mr. Kimber., do; Major Campbell, England; Colonel Campbell, do; Mr. Talbot, do; Lieut. Moe, R. N. do; Mr. Griffith, do; Mr. Ferguson, Ireland; Mr. Stephenson, do; Mr. Rubidge, London; Mr. Birdsall, Yorkshire, Magistrate; Mr. Bancks, Bewdley; Mr. Kilvert, Bath, England; Lieut. Handcock, 69th Regt. Ireland; Mr. Evans, Ireland; Mr. Calcutt, do; Mr. Gilbert, do; Mr. Buller, Devonshire; Mr. Wilcocks, England; Lieut. Elmherst. R. N. do; Mr. Page, London; Dr. Connin, R. N. Ireland, Magistrate; Mr. Menzies, R. N. England; Mr. Thompson, Scotland; Mr. Strickland, England; Mr. Reid, Ireland, Magistrate; Mr. Sawers, England; Lieut. Roche, R. N. do; Mr. Need, Nottinghamshire; Mr. Copperthwaite, Yorkshire; Capt. Hick, 51st Reg. England; Mr. Abbot, Devonshire; Mr. Darcus, Ireland; Mr. Athill, do; Mr. Armstrong, do; Capt. Shea, England; Mr. Vernon, do; Mr. Nichols; Lieut. Lloyd.

This is a list, it will be observed, of the Naval and Military Officers and other gentlemen of property who have settled in the Newcastle District only. Almost every other district of the Province could furnish a similar list, to a greater or less extent. We have no opportunity at present of furnishing such lists; but, among the numerous half-pay and retired Officers who have settled in the Western part of this Province, mostly within the last two years, we personally know of the following:

On the Niagara Frontier—Lieutenant-General John Murray; Lieutenant-Colonels Jones of the 71st, and Delatre of the Ceylon Regiments, Major Leonard of the 104th; Commanders Wilson and Graham, and Lieutenants Milne and Jones of the Royal Navy; Captain Creighton of the 70th; Captains Marsh and Tench of the Army; Lieutenant Dixie of the Royal Marines; Mr Green of the Commissariat Department; Dr Mewburn, and other military and private gentlemen.

In the Townships near Lake Simcoe, and other parts of the Home District—Captains A. Baldwin, Bouchier, and Oliver of the Royal Navy; Major Rains of the Royal Artillery; Captains Davis and Ross of the 8th foot; Captain Tincombe, Captain Baldwin, 82d foot; Lieutenants Steele, Blake, and John Carthew, Royal Navy; Mr Thompson, Royal Navy; Lieutenant Adam, R. A. D.; Lieutenant Carthew, 64th foot; Lieutenants Monck and Wood, 44th foot; Lieutenants O’Brien, M’Vittie, De Grassi, and Johnson, and others.

In the Gore and London Districts—Lieutenant-Colonel Light, 25th foot; Major Barwick, half-pay 79th; Major Mercer, unattached; Commander Vidal, Royal Navy; Captains Roxborough, Allison, Drew; Lieutenants Curran, Wilson, Brown, and a great many others whose names we have not now at hand.

The greater proportion of the labouring Emigrants of the last two seasons, settled under the auspices of the Government, have been located in the townships on the northern shore of Lake Simcoe; and the newly surveyed Townships in the London and Western Districts, between the Thames, Lake St. Clair, and Lake Huron. In the former Townships, that is to say, in those of Oro, Orillia, and Medonte, between two and three thousand souls have been settled since the month of June 1831, chiefly English and Irish, with a few Scotch. The progress made in this settlement is concisely described in the following extract from a publication which appeared in October last:—

“We are informed by Mr Ritchie, the Agent for superintending the settlement of Emigrants in the Townships of Oro, Medonte, and Orillia, North of Lake Simcoe, that he has settled 53 families of Emigrants in Oro during the present season, making in the whole 231 families, or 1100 souls, who have actually settled in that Township since the Spring of 1831. In Medonte and Orillia, 173 families, English, Scotch, and Irish—being about 800 souls—have actually settled during the present season. The town line Road between Oro and Medonte, intersecting the Penetanguishene Road on the West, and the Cold Water Road on the East, has been opened during this summer, and is now passable for waggons, sleighs, and all other modes of travelling, so that the settlers in either of the above townships can get out to market, by land, at all seasons of the year. In all these townships, too, the concession lines are opened, wherever the settlements extend, which enables the inhabitants to get out, either to a land or water conveyance, at all times. All the settlers of last year are doing remarkably well—some of them have 20 or 30 acres cleared, and all, from 5 to 10 or 20—many have from 100 to 1000 bushels of potatoes for sale this fall, besides corn and other produce;—several will have from 10 to 20 acres of wheat sowed this season; almost every family have a cow, and many have already obtained a yoke of oxen each.

“When we consider that nearly all these settlers were poor Emigrants, without a sixpence to help themselves when they went on to their land last spring, this is certainly astonishing progress, and must be cheering in the extreme to the poor Emigrants who have settled, or may intend to settle, in this flourishing colony.—About 27 half-pay Officers, and 17 other gentlemen, have also settled in these townships. In Oro there is not a single lot remaining, belonging to the Crown.

“Mr Ritchie, the gentleman under whose superintendence these settlements have been established, is a very enterprising and assiduous person, to whose exertions for the prosperity and comfort of the poor settlers, the rapid advancement which we have described, is in a great measure to be attributed. It may be recollected that the settlers voted Mr Ritchie a silver snuff-box (we think it was) last year, as a token of their gratitude for his services; and we believe Sir John Colborne has expressed his warm approbation of Mr Ritchie’s services.”

This statement, the accuracy of which may be relied on, is certainly highly gratifying. During the first season the poor Emigrants were occasionally employed by the Government in opening roads, for which they were paid in provisions for the support of their families. Provisions and stores were also supplied to the more indigent during the first winter of their settlement, and until they were enabled to raise a crop of potatoes and grain from their own land; after which, as will be seen by the above statement, they were enabled to subsist from their own resources.

The largest proportion of the indigent Emigrants of the last season were settled, under the auspices of the Government, in the township of Caradoc, and in the newly surveyed townships of Adelaide, Warwick, and Plympton, in the London and Western Districts. Between three and four thousand of this class of persons from England, Ireland, and Scotland, including a considerable proportion of the poor Emigrants from the county of Sussex, who were sent out at the expense, and under the care of the agents of that benevolent and high-minded nobleman the Earl of Egremont,[1] were settled in these townships during the last year. This settlement was not commenced until about the middle of last summer, and although great progress has been made, many Emigrants having cleared from three to thirty acres of land on their respective lots during the season, yet it was too late in the year to raise any produce for the support of the families during the past winter, and in consequence, notwithstanding the liberality of the Government in furnishing supplies of provisions towards their subsistence, many of these poor settlers have suffered, are yet suffering, and it must be expected will continue to suffer very serious and severe privations, until employment can be obtained for them, or until the crops of grain, potatoes, &c. of the coming season shall furnish them with the means of subsistence for themselves and families. As the lands in these townships, however, are among the very best in the Province, and as the climate is mild and salubrious, and as, moreover, employment is about, we learn, to be furnished them by the Government, there is no doubt that these poor settlers will soon surmount the difficulties and privations which at the onset are inseparable from their circumstances and situation, and that the coming season will effectually place them beyond the reach of such difficulties and privations hereafter. A number of half-pay Officers and gentlemen of property have already purchased lands in these new townships, and many others are about to do so, with the view of becoming permanent residents therein. With the almost unequalled advantages which this neighbourhood possesses, therefore, there can be little hazard in predicting that this settlement will shortly become one of the most prosperous in the Colony.

The foregoing account of the distribution and progress of the Emigrants of the last two seasons does not comprehend the very large proportion of those Emigrants, of all classes, who settled on the lands of the Canada Company, at Guelph, Goderich, and the different townships of the Huron Tract. We are not at present in possession of the necessary information to enable us to give any thing like an accurate return either of the number of Emigrants, or the quantity of land sold to the Emigrants who have settled on the Company’s Tracts; but we know that both have been very great; and we see from Mr. Bethune’s pamphlet that 4400 acres have been sold to actual settlers, by this Company, in the township of Manvers alone, within the last twelve months. A great number of gentlemen, and respectable farmers of capital, from the South of England, purchased property and settled in the neighbourhood of Guelph last summer, and we know of considerable bodies of settlers who have gone into other parts of the Company’s Tracts; all of whom, without any exceptions that have come to our knowledge, are doing well. Indeed, with the advantages which these lands possess, in point of soil, situation, and climate, which are at least equal to the best in the Colony,—and with the liberal and accommodating terms upon which these lands are disposed of to actual settlers, it is scarcely possible that Emigrants of ordinary industry and enterprise who locate on the Company’s territory, should fail of success.

Having pointed out the satisfactory progress made by the recent settlers in this Colony, and the beneficial consequences of emigration to Canada generally, we should not present a complete or entirely impartial view of the subject, were we to omit to speak of the difficulties with which the Emigrants, even of the last two seasons, have had to contend; and the trials and privations to which many of them have been subjected, in their progress from the land of their nativity, to their final destination in this Province. During the last season, that fatal pestilence, the Cholera, commenced its ravages in these Colonies, about the time, or rather a little before the time, of the arrival of the first Emigrant vessels; and from the peculiarly exposed state of the poorer Emigrants, unprotected either by night or by day from the varying temperature of the atmosphere—and unsheltered alike from the scorching sun and the chilling rains, it is not surprising that this frightful malady should have had a more than ordinary fatal influence upon this description of subjects; and accordingly we find, from the estimate of that indefatigable public officer, A. C. Buchanan, Esq., Chief Agent at Quebec, that no less than 2350 of the 51,746 Emigrants of last year, being nearly one out of every twenty-two, fell victims to this disease. However appalling this fatality may be to contemplate, it must be observed, notwithstanding, that it is much less than the fatality from the same disease in the large towns of Quebec, Montreal, and York, in which near one-twelfth of the whole inhabitants were swept off by the same pestilence.

The other difficulties to which the Emigrants of the last season, and indeed of all former seasons, have been exposed, are the impediments, delays, and consequent increased expense, and additional exposure to sickness, which attend the transportation of themselves and luggage from the navigable waters of the St. Lawrence to those of Lake Ontario; that is to say, from Montreal to Prescott. This evil is ascribed by the Emigrant Agents and other gentlemen who have devoted their attention to the subject, to the cupidity of the Forwarding Merchants; that is to say, the proprietors of the Durham-boats and batteaux, which convey passengers and luggage, by water, between the two above-named towns; among whom there is too little competition, and too little regard for any other object than that of personal gain, to consult either the health, convenience, or necessities of the poor Emigrants. This is an evil, however, to which the attention of the public, and of the Government, has now been drawn; and there is little fear, therefore, but that the necessary remedy for that evil will be hereafter applied.

After having made due allowance for these drawbacks, however, there can be no question that the emigration of the last two years has, in every point of view, been productive of more satisfactory consequences, both to the Emigrants (as a body) themselves, and to the country of their adoption, than that of any preceding period of the history of these Colonies. Individually, the new settlers have had much fewer difficulties and privations to encounter than in former years. Employment is now more easily obtained; money more abundant; roads improved, & more generally extended throughout all the ramifications of the Colony; while the means of internal communication by land and by water, by stage and by steamboat, have increased an hundred fold within the last two or three years. The value of every description of real estate, and of almost every kind of agricultural produce, has been greatly enhanced: trade, commerce, and manufactures, have improved in an equal ratio. The principal towns and villages of the Province, particularly the seat of Government, have doubled in size and population within the same period, while new towns and villages are almost daily springing up in every direction around us.

These are among the advantages which the Province of Upper Canada, and the people of that province, have derived, and are continually deriving, from the emigration of their fellow-subjects from the Mother Country to this Colony; for which advantages, the people of Upper Canada are almost exclusively indebted to the present Lieutenant Governor, His Excellency Sir John Colborne; who may be emphatically termed the Patron of Emigration; and who has been not less anxious to promote the interests of this Colony by encouraging the introduction of valuable settlers amongst us, than he has been to promote the comfort and prosperity of the Emigrants themselves, after their arrival in this Colony.

As an additional proof of the great interest entertained by Government on the subject of Emigration, it will not be out of place here to observe that a distinct department has recently been created for the management of Emigration, under the superintendence of Anthony B. Hawke, Esq., the late Agent for Emigration at Montreal and Lachine—a gentleman eminently qualified by his talents, experience, and long residence in the country, to fill so important a situation.

Several noblemen and gentlemen in England have relieved the distresses of their tenantry by sending them to this country: of these, in addition to the venerable proprietor of Petworth, we can name the Marquess of Bath, and the Honourable and Reverend William Herbert, brother to the Earl of Carnarvon. The Emigrants sent out by the former have settled chiefly in the township of Dummer, in the Newcastle District; the latter has bought land in the Huron Tract. An Irish nobleman, of estimable character, and great wealth, contemplates a visit to this country next summer, should his health permit it, and intends to settle his poor tenants in this Province.


Companion of my early hours,

Delusive Hope! where art thou fled?

Thy sparkling hues—thy wreath of flowers—

The lovely Iris round thy head—

Have pass’d and melted into air,

As though such visions never were!

The time is past—the hour of youth—

When I could listen to thy tale,

As if thou wert the child of Truth—

An oracle that might not fail:

Alas! I listen’d and believed—

Thy glozing tale my heart deceived!

Of many a weary hour is life

Made up, and many a thronging care;

It is a barren desert rife

With thorns—and bounded with despair.

Peace dwells not even in the urn,

If, after death, our ashes burn.

False, flattering Hope! so long the star

That o’er my lonely pathway shone—

Still shone, although my step was far

From the loved haunt, where not alone

I used to gaze upon the sky,

And read in stars my destiny.

False, flattering Hope! where art thou fled?

No longer now I hear thy voice.

Thy wreath of flowers is withered.

The song which bade my soul rejoice

Is now a dismal dirge—and I

Have found too late thy fallacy.

The Iris-like, the Northern light,

Show’d its bright hues, and disappear’d,—

Leaving my soul in utter night:

This is the hell abhorr’d and fear’d—

To lose all happiness in this,

And not expect a world of bliss!

E. R.


A few summers ago, I spent the happiest portion of my existence on the coast of Somerset. My residence was a stone cottage, of modest dimensions and irregular structure; but externally picturesque, and internally as comfortable as the most fastidious Benedict could desire. The fragrant myrtle—delighting the eye with its beauty, and ever recalling to my mind some favorite passage in the pages of classic lore—spread itself over the old-fashioned porch, and, in a graceful rivalry with the passion-flower, clasped in its green embrace the entire front of the cottage, leaving little visible but the sloped straw roof, and the group of tall chimnies, mostly concealed by ivy, that sprang up from the back part of the dwelling. My parlour, though low, was snug and cheerful: its numerous windows prevented the too gloomy appearance it would otherwise have had from its old, dark, oaken wainscoat; and its irregular recesses were fitted up with cases, doubly laden with books of all kinds, descriptions and languages, being almost as motley a group as composed the Grecian Army before Troy, or the camp of the Crusaders before Jerusalem. Antlers, dog-collars, guns, and fishing-tackle, strewed the floor, or were piled up in the corners; before the southern window was placed a stand of choice exotics; and on the rug usually lay my favorite spaniels Romp and Dash.—In a paddock, upon which the windows of my sitting-room looked out, generally grazed my Exmoor pony, who would now and then come up to the window, and endeavour to attract my notice. Beyond the paddock ran the village-road, from which there was a gradual descent to the sea.

One evening in the latter end of August, a few days after the heath-poult shooting had commenced, I was returning home, in company with the dearest friend I have in the world, after a day’s good sport: our pockets, by their protuberance, gave evidence of our success; and the drooping and jaded appearance of ourselves and our dogs, toiling up a steep and stony hill, showed that we had deserved, as well as commanded success. As we were winding up the difficult ascent, on the top of which my cottage stood, we beheld the sun in one broad, unbroken blaze of glory, giving to the still and unruffled sea the appearance of a lake of molten gold; the trees, stretching downward even to the brink of the ocean, as if fainting beneath the scorching heat of the magnificent luminary, were scarcely distinguishable from the waves beneath, so dazzling and overpowering were the golden splendours of the sun. In the distance rose Dunster Castle, girt round with tall, ancestral trees, leaving vistas here and there, in which we could perceive, like so many dots, the deer and sheep: on a mound, opposite to the Castle, rose a lofty, solitary tower, which, in days of yore, is said to have communicated with the Castle by a subterranean passage; and in the valley, that intervened between these stately twins of ancient architecture, ascended to heaven the embattled tower of the church, surmounted by low, unbroken pinnacles, and recording the gratitude of Henry VII., for the assistance he received from the inhabitants of Dunster at the battle of Bosworth Field. These objects, together with a mill erected on a stream, and reposing under the wing of the lordly abode of the Luttrells, lending a homely but peaceful charm to the scene, lay stretched before us: on our right was the ocean; and on the other hand, the hills bared their bold crests to the sky, into which they imperceptibly melted.

Such and so resplendent were the glories of that summer evening; and my friend and myself, jaded as we were, determined to stay out of doors to behold the sun set. With a view to while away the time in the most pleasant manner, we left our guns, our spoils, and our dogs at the cottage, and descended to the shore to bathe. I led the way, by a steep winding path through the low copse wood, to a sequestered little bay, where scarcely a pebble interrupted the smoothness of the yellow sands; and where, while we refreshed our bodies in the briny wave, a thousand beauties peeped out from each side, and delighted our eyes with the combined magnificence of earth and ocean. In humble imitation of Lord Byron’s famous feat across the Hellespont, we swam to a rock at some little distance from the shore, and resting a while on it, and wringing out our dripping locks, to enable us to behold the already fading hues of the sun, varying as often as the colours of the dying dolphin, afterwards tried our skill in diving.—Satiated at length with the joy of the waters, we regained the shore, and soon ensconced ourselves in two venerable soft cushioned arm-chairs in my trim little parlour. My landlady, whose cooking was equal to, and whose temper was much pleasanter than that of Mrs. Meg Dods, catered nobly for our famished vivers: the hare-soup trickled down our throats with a lingering flavour; the saddle of mountain mutton made our teeth smile with delight; the heath-poults, the spoil of the first day of the season, surrounded with a rich stream of gravy, were duly honored; and our hock, as cool as if just taken from a Canadian ice-house, refreshed our parched palates with its thrice-grateful nectar, and lit up our countenances with pleasure. Our dogs occasionally received from our hands a rejected morsel; and, the meal being over, settled themselves in friendly juxta-position of the rug; while we, over our wine, recounted the feats of the day, and “stole a few hours from the night,” in the recollections of the past, the anticipations of the future, and the free and unreserved outpouring of the innermost thoughts of our hearts.

Not long after this blissful evening, which crowned one of the happiest and most cloudless days of my life, I repaid my friend’s visit at the residence of his father, in the secluded and beautiful village of Hawkchurch, in the neighbourhood of Axminster. A lady, with her pretty and accomplished, but rather romantic daughter, were guests of the mansion at the same time; and diversified by the pleasures of riding, driving, music, dancing, and conversation, the time fled with imperceptible swiftness. The neighbouring town of Lyme, with its newly erected and handsome cobb, or pier, attracted a visit from us on one of these occasions, and led to the satisfactory elucidation of a phenomenon, totally unintelligible before to the two ladies.

No one who tarries for a few hours in Lyme, can fail to perceive in the windows of the shops several extraordinary specimens of conchology, discovered in the surrounding cliffs. Our party was not unlike the rest of the world; and we were making our purchases of conchological curiosities, when a discussion arose as to the existence of Mermaids. My friend and myself were as incredulous as Jews; while the ladies arraigned our heterodoxy in severe terms, and undertook, on our return home, to prove the existence of the Mermaid, from facts which tell under their own observation. Our fair opponents needed not to be reminded of the case they had undertaken to prove; for, upon our rejoining the ladies in the drawing-room after dinner, the younger produced her Sketch-book, and laid before us a landscape of exquisite beauty, with a cottage in the background. At one glimpse, I instantly recognised my own Somersetshire abode, and exclaimed with delight, “That is my cottage!” The fair artist replied, that she knew not whose cottage it was: “I sketched it,” she added, “one beautiful evening in August;—here is the date in the corner of the sketch—it was the sixteenth. We were on our way to visit the celebrated valley of rocks at Linton. On arriving at the top of a very steep hill, we stopped for a moment to give our horses breath, and seating ourselves on a mound of turf, gazed with a feeling of enthusiastic delight on the romantic and varied scenery around us, bathed in the glories of a gorgeous sunset.—The cottage we had passed some yards before we alighted; but I was so struck with its picturesque, bird’s nest appearance, and with the loveliness of the landscape around it, that I instantly sketched it as you see here. But what was my surprise, when turning round to take in a view of the sea, I beheld two Mermaids? Beautiful creatures, indeed, they were! One was larger than the other, but they both sat on the rocks, wringing out their green locks, and, as I imagine, weaving garlands out of the sea-weed. They swam and sported about so gracefully!—for a minute they would disappear; and then, rising to the surface, exhibit their fair skins, and sea-green tresses tinted by the setting sun. Look! I have introduced them in my sketch. After this, you surely will not deny the existence of Mermaids.” The young lady appealed to her mother for a corroboration of the story, in which she was not only fully borne out, but the accidental omission of the Mermaids’ tails was duly supplied, the old lady pronouncing them of the same colour and appearance as the Mermaids’ tresses. In a minute, and simultaneously, the real facts of the case occurred both to my friend and myself, and, unable to resist the titillation of our risible nerves, we burst into a loud roar of laughter. My friend ran out of the room, but quickly returned with his diary, and read a passage, under date of the sixteenth of August, describing our bathing, the circumstance of our swimming to the rock, our diving, and our floating on some heaps of seaweed, which the mother must have mistaken for the Mermaids’ tails.—Altogether, by our minute description of every particular of time and place, we convinced, much against their will, the two too credulous ladies, that the fair-skinned, green-haired, tail-bearing Mermaids, were the two young men, who stood heartily laughing before them.

Previously to this untoward elucidation of so interesting a natural phenomenon, I had observed my friend particularly attentive to the young lady, and the young lady particularly pleased with the attentions of my friend. The Mermaid story, however, caused a coldness, for a few days, on the part of the offended fair one, who felt highly indignant at our merciless ridicule of her romantic error. Her good-nature, however, with the assistance of a more tender feeling, soon triumphed over her spleen she was brought to laugh heartily at her own mistake, and could even endure to hear the story related in her presence. The only revenge she took, was to marry the Mermaid. On this happy occasion I presented her with a handsome ornament, in the shape of a Mermaid, the hair and tail being formed of emeralds, and the fair skinned body, of silver. Since their union, I have not heard of my friend taking to the sea and quitting his wife; neither do his young Mermaids evince any predilection for the water; on the contrary, when they are bathed, I am told that they utter cries very different from those which the fabled Sea Nymph utters, when sitting on some rock in the pure moonlight, and murmuring a plaintive dirge over the shipwrecked and unburied sailor.

TO CUPID.—From the Greek.

Reclining on the rose-strew’d ground

The youthful God of Love I found;

And seizing on the charming Boy,

I plunged him in my wine with joy.

Then, raising to my lips the cup,

I drank the little urchin up;

But fluttering now within my heart,

He causes many a gentle smart.


The subject of Roads is interesting to every one in Upper Canada. We all feel the miseries of their present wretched state, whether toiling along on foot, or wading through a swamp on horseback, or in a waggon. In referring, however, to the works of those who travelled through England in the course of the two last centuries, we shall find that the roads in the Mother Country were, down to a very late period in the eighteenth century, nearly as bad and impassable, as are the Highways of Upper Canada at this present time. The English vehicles also were nearly as rude and incommodious as Canadian stage coaches, and the waggon was not then deemed a despicable and dilatory conveyance.

In 1609, the communication between the North of England and the Universities was maintained by carriers, who performed an uniform, but tedious, route, with whole trains of pack-horses. Not only the packages, but frequently the young scholars, were assigned to their care. Through these carriers epistolary correspondence was conducted, and as they always visited London, a letter could scarcely be exchanged between Oxford and Yorkshire in less time than a month.

About the year 1658 stage coaches were first established in England; yet people “of better rank,” and even ladies, frequently travelled from the country, on their way to London, by the waggon. Sir William Dugdale observes in his Diary, under date 13th March, 1660, that his daughter Lettice went towards London in a Coventry waggon. Upon this, that able antiquary, Mr. Hamper, observes, “This mode of conveyance was possibly chosen by the young lady as affording greater security and comfort than the stage coach, or permitting her to carry a larger quantity of luggage. The company of friends might also influence her choice.” Our novelists of a later period, often introduced the scenes which a stage waggon supplied them with.

In the reign of Charles the Second, travelling in England was much worse than it is at this present moment in Upper Canada. For when M. Sorbiere, a French man of Letters, came to England for the purpose of being introduced to the King, and visiting the most distinguished literary and scientific characters in England, he proceeded from the place of his landing to the Metropolis, by a conveyance now used only by poor countrymen, and sore footed trampers. He says,—“That I might not take post, or be obliged to use the stage coach, I went from Dover to London in a waggon; I was drawn by six horses, one before another, (magnificent tandem!) and drove by a waggoner, who walked by the side of it. He was clothed in black, and appointed in all things like another St. George; he had a brave mounteror on his head, and was a merry fellow, fancied he made a figure, and seemed mightily pleased with himself.”—By the above passage, it would seem that a waggon was a preferable conveyance to the stage-coach of that day; or, perhaps M. Sorbiere, like an English Barrister of the nineteenth century, when travelling the circuit, thought that he should lessen his dignity by mixing with the passengers in a stage-coach.

About 1670, some spirited coach proprietor, like the farfamed widow Nelson of Aldgate, must have arisen in the land. For, at that time, an invention called the Flying Coach, achieved the journey from Oxford to London, which is under sixty miles, in thirteen hours; this, however, was only done in the summer season, for between Michaelmas and Lady Day the same journey was uniformly a two days performance.

To such an alarming extent had public conveyances increased, in 1673, that a sagacious writer, upon whose shoulders the mantle of Soloman must have fallen, suggested “that the multitude of stage-coaches and caravans travelling on the roads, might all, or most of them, be suppressed, especially those within forty, fifty, or sixty miles of London.” He proposed that the number of stage-coaches should be limited to every shire-town in England, to go once a week, backwards and forwards, and to go through with the same horses they set out with, and not travel more than thirty miles a day in summer, and twenty-five in winter. His arguments in support of these proposals were, that coaches and caravans were mischievous to the public, destructive to trade, and prejudicial to lands; because, firstly, they destroyed the breed of good horses, and made men careless of horsemanship; secondly, they hindered the breed of watermen, who were the nursery of seamen; thirdly, they lessened the revenue.

In 1682, a journey from Nottingham to London occupied four whole days, and this was considered expeditious travelling, for a describer of England, a few years afterwards, speaks of it as excelling all other nations in the conveniency of coaches, but especially that of stage-coaches, which he praises for their commodiousness and ease, and particularly for their expedition. He says, “Here one may be transported without over-violent motion, and sheltered from the injuries of the air, to the most noted places in England, with so much speed, that some of these coaches will reach above fifty miles in a summer day.” We may now go in a stage nearly double that distance before stopping to dine; and on a summer day between sunrise and sunset, a fast coach travels nearly three times the distance.

The stale of the roads in the South of England, in 1703, may be inferred from the following statement in December of that year, by an attendant on the King of Spain, from Portsmouth to the Duke of Somerset’s, at Petworth, in Sussex; for they were fourteen hours on the journey:—“We set out at six o’clock in the morning to go to Petworth, and did not get out of the coaches, save only when we were overturned or stuck fast in the mire, till we arrived at our journey’s end. ’Twas hard service for the Prince to sit fourteen hours in the coach that day, without eating anything, and passing through the worst ways that ever I saw in my life; we were thrown but once, indeed, in going, but both our coach which was leading, and his Highness’s body coach, would have suffered very often, if the nimble boors of Sussex had not frequently poised it, or supported it with their shoulders, from Godalmin almost to Petworth; and the nearer we approached the Duke’s, the more inaccessible it seemed to be. The last nine miles of the way cost six hours time to conquer.” In the lifetime of the proud Duke of Somerset, who died in 1748, the roads in Sussex were so bad, that in order to arrive at Guildford from Petworth, persons were obliged to make for the nearest point from the great road from Portsmouth to London, and the journey was a work of so much difficulty, as to occupy the whole day. The distance between Petworth and London is less than fifty miles, and yet the Duke had a house at Guildford which was regularly occupied as a resting place for the night by any part of his family travelling to the metropolis.

The Exact Dealer’s Daily Companion, published in 1720, says—

“By stage-coaches one may be transported to any place, sheltered from foul weather and foul ways, free from endamaging one’s health or body, by hard jogging or over-violent motion, and this not only at a low price, as about a shilling for every five miles, but with such velocity and speed, as that the posts, in some foreign countries, make not more miles in a day; for the stage-coaches called flying-coaches make forty or fifty miles in a day, as from London to Oxford or Cambridge, and that in the space of twelve hours, not counting the time for dining, setting forth not too early, nor coming in too late.” The method and rate of driving, or rather dragging, (for the boasted “velocity and speed” may be estimated at something like four miles an hour,) the writer esteems “such an admirable commodiousness both for men and women of better rank, to travel from London, and to almost all the villages near this great city, that the like hath not been known in the world!”

Mr. Pennant, in his “Journey from Chester to London,” says—

“In March 1739-40, I changed my Welsh School for one nearer to the Capital, and travelled in the Chester stage, then no despicable vehicle for country gentlemen. The first day, with much labour, we got from Chester to Whitchurch, twenty miles; the second day, to the Welsh Harp; the third, to Coventry; the fourth, to Northampton; the fifth, to Dunstable; and, as a wondrous effort, on the last, to London before the commencement of night. The strain and labour of six good horses, sometimes eight, drew us through the sloughs of Mireden, and many other places. We were constantly out two hours before day, and as late at night; and in the depth of winter, proportionably later. Families who travelled in their own carriages contracted with Benson & Co., and were dragged up, in the same number of days, by three sets of able horses. The single gentlemen, then a hardy race, equipped in jack-boots and trowsers up to their middle, rode post through thick and thin, and, guarded against the mire, defied the frequent stumble and fall; arose and pursued their journey with alacrity; while, in these days, their enervated posterity sleep away their rapid journies in easy chaises, fitted for the conveyance of the soil inhabitants of Sybaris.”

In 1742, a journey from London to Birmingham occupied nearly three days, as may be seen by the following curious advertisement from Walker’s Birmingham Paper of the 12th April, 1742. “The Litchfield and Birmingham stage-coach set out this morning (Monday) from the Rose Inn at Holbourne Bridge, London, and will be at the house of Mr. Francis Cox, the Angel and Hen and Chickens, in the high town of Birmingham, on Wednesday next, to dinner, and goes the same afternoon to Litchfield, and returns to Birmingham on Thursday morning to breakfast, and gets to London on Saturday night, and so will continue every week regularly, with a good coach and able horses.”

In the early part of the eighteenth century, Marshal Wade commanded the forces in North Britain, and employed the troops over whom he was placed, in cutting roads through the Highlands. He was occupied for ten years in the superintendence of this undertaking, the effects of which were extremely beneficial. Several gentlemen made ways from their own residences to the main road; forty stone bridges were built; and in districts where scarcely any habitations, but turf-huts, could previously have been found, substantial houses for the accommodation of travellers were erected at short distances from each other. The soldiers, many of whom were husbandmen, taught the Highlanders an improved method of tilling their ground, several useful arts were introduced, to which the peasantry had hitherto been strangers; and the English drovers, who had rarely ventured to attend the Fairs beyond the borders, now penetrated, to purchase cattle, into the heart of the country. Wade, on account of his long and arduous services as a road-maker, was termed, by the humourists of the day, the greatest highwayman in existence; and a classical wag facetiously proposed that the following line from Horace should be inscribed on his tomb:

Non indecoro pulvere sordidus

In Chambers’ book of Scotland, one of the Marshal’s roads is described as being sixteen miles in length, with only four turnings; and these, it is remarked, were occasioned, not by eminences, but by the necessity of crossing rivers.—“Wade,” continues the author, “seems to have communicated his own stiff, erect, and formal character to his roads, but above all to this particular one, which is as straight as his person, as undeviating as his mind, and as indifferent to steep braes, as he himself was to difficulties in the execution of his duty. But, perhaps, of all persons who may be little disposed to lift up their hands and bless General Wade, the antiquary will be the least; for the Marshal, with that persevering straightforwardness for which he was so remarkable, has gone smack through a grand Roman camp at Cudock, and obliterated the whole of one of its sides, though he might have easily avoided the same, by turning a few yards out of his way.”

Since the days of Marshal Wade, a Scotchman, in the person of Mr. Macadam, has repaid to England the benefits conferred upon Scotland by an Englishman; and we hope, that ere long Upper Canada will not be without a Macadam of its own. The perusal of the “shreds and patches” we have pinned together in this article, will show that it is only within a few years, so great an improvement has been effected in the Roads of Great Britain; and from hence we may gather courage to keep us from sinking into the “Slough of Despond,” when contemplating the seas of mud through which we are obliged to pilot our laborious way, moreover, when we happen to stick fast, it will be some consolation to reflect, that a King of Spain, little more than a century ago, was nearly battered into a jelly when travelling and travailing on an English highway.


      Ye Spirits clear and bright,

      Who throng the field of Night,

Winking on mortals from your heights afar—

      Ye Vestals pure and fair,

      Who wave your golden hair,

Scatt’ring the dews each from her trackless car:—

      Oh speak!—Are ye the same?

      Ye!—the bright hosts that came,

Striking their harps when God’s fair work was done,—

      When the vault of heaven rang,

      Angels in concert sang,

And virgin Spheres first danced around their Sun.

      Saw ye, with look intense,

      Man in his innocence?—

Saw ye round Eden flame the fiery guard?—

      Have ye seen two on Earth

      Without sin from their birth?—

Alas! did ye behold God’s image marr’d?—

      Are ye the Powers who aim’d

      The death-wing’d shafts that maim’d

The heathen Sisera warring in his pride,—

      When God for Israel fought,

      And their deliverance wrought,

When on His Name the contrite people cried?

      Did ye your faces veil,

      When ye saw Nature quail,

As on the awful Mount the holy Saviour gasp’d,

      When Earth’s recesses groan’d,

      The Grave its Conqueror own’d,

And Love and Justice round the cursed tree clasp’d?

      Yes! ye your rays have cast

      O’er all strange things long past,

Which Time hath shadow’d now with darkling pall;

      Ye’ve seen the ebb and flow

      Of a world’s joy and woe,

Men’s births and deaths, and nations rise and fall.

      Worlds change, but ye endure,

      Bright, stainless,—yet not pure

To Him, to whom the Seraph veils his brow—

      So thick your sunless host,

      We miss not one when lost—

O! think then what an atom, haughty man, art thou?


Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

Inconsistency in hyphenation has been retained.

This magazine was transcribed from microfiche of a very old document. There was significant dropout of various characters; in particular many punctuation characters were missing or hard to interpret. Some words which could not be interpreted have been indicated by [unclear].

[The end of The Canadian Literary Magazine, No 2. May 1833 by various]