Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

street.

was

This little Loughborough. Episode would lad," I replied, “ I am more poor than thyself.” have pleased Crabbe; and there is an

“How is that ?" “Why," I said, “thou hast other, in a more comical vein, which a room to retire to, and a bed to repose upon, might well repay the illustrating graver of but I have neither home nor lodging, nor food, George Cruikshank. The whole chapter is them!" "Why then God help thee!” he said,

nor a farthing of money towards procuring most diverting On reaching London, " thou art indeed worse off than myself, exBamford renews his attempts on the book. cept as to liberty.”—“And that I may not have sellers. One potentate frankly told him he long."-He asked me what I meant; and I told would rather have a 16th share in a good him that I was come up from the country to new cookery book, than the copyright out receive judgment for attending the Manchesand out of a new Paradise Lost.' Another ter meeting.. “If that be the case,” he said, listened more leisurely—and at last said he as three-pence or sixpence, thou shalt have it."

come back in an hour, and if I get as much felt interested and disposed to make a lib- I thanked him sincerely, and gratefully, and eral offer-in short, he would run the risk promised I would come back if no better forof paper and print, and give the author tune befel me, and so, pleased that I had found " half the profits, if any,' charging merely one friend in the course of the morning, 1 bade "the usual commission. These technical bim good bye, and went on towards Bridge. phrases conveyed to the weaver bard no

"At sight of the bridge I recollected a genidea except that some 'artful dodge' was tleman on the other side of the river, who had meditated. He stepped eastward, west-behaved very kindly to me the last time I was ward, southward, and northward,—but Par. in London, and I thought I might as well call son Adams with the portmanteau of Notes upon him, for, at all events, I could not be more on the Supplices and Sermons for the disappointed than I had been. I therefore Times, was but a type of the Middleton passed over the bridge, and soon found the Tyrtæus. In general the shopman merely called Surrey-road, I think. Several young

shop of my friend in the main thoroughfare, looked at him and said, Mr,

men were busy in the shop, and I asked one of engaged.'

them if Mr. Gibb was within ? “Oh yes,” he “To be sure, the booksellers were not entire said: "Is that you, Mr. Bamford ? Walk forly blameable; my appearance was no doubt

, he'll be glad to see you; step in." I thought

ward, he's in the sitting-room at breakfast; somewhat against me. My clothes and shoes were covered with dust, my linen soiled, and that was like a lucky beginning at any rate, my features brown and weathered like leather, and without a second invitation I entered the which circumstances, in combination with my gentleman to his feet. He took my hand and

A glance of one moment brought the stature and gaunt appearance, made me an object not of the most agreeable or poetical made me sit down, and rang the bell

, and orcast. Still I thought these booksellers must be dered another cup, and more butter and toast, very owls at mid-day, not to conceive the pos: lasted, I suppose," he said. I replied that I

and eggs and ham. “You have not breaksibility of finding good ore under a rude

exte- had not; it was just what I had been wanting rior like mine. And then I bethought me, and comforted myself therewith-inasmuch as

do the last hour and a half. “Bamford,” he others had trodden the same weary road be said, as we went on with our repast,“ What's fore me-of Otway, and Savage, and Chatter- the matter with you ? you don't seem as you ton, and of the great son of learning, as un

did the last time you were in London.”—“How gainly as myself-Samuel the lexicographer

am I changed ?"_“Why the last time you —and I might have added of Crabbe, and were yp, you were all life and cheerfulness others of later date, but their names had not when I saw you, and now you seem quite then caught my ear.'

thoughtful. Are you afraid of being rent to

prison ?" "No," I said, “I was not.” “ What's He was reduced to extreme distress.

the reason you are so serious ?"-I said, “I

could not help being so.” “What's the cause ?" "I was half inclined to believe that the peo- he said ; “Tell me the reason of this great ple I met seemed as if they knew I was penny change ?" “Well then, to tell you God's less. I had become quite wolfish, and the sight truth,” I said, “I have not a farthing in the of good substantial meats, and delicate viands world, and I could not have had a meal if I in the windows of the eating-houses, all of had not come here.” “Oh! if that's all, man,” which I stopped before and contemplated, he said, “make yourself easy again. Come! tended to increase the pangs of hunger, which take some more, and make a good breakfast,"; were no ways allayed by the savoury fumes and I took him at his word-I did make a good arising from the cooking cellars. At last I breakfast. When we had finished, he took me wandered round Fleet-market, and coming to to his dressing-room, where were water and the prison, I found a poor debtor begging at towels to wash. He also ordered the servant the grate. “Please to bestow a trifle on a to clean my shoes, and found me a clean neckpoor prisoner,” he said. "God bless thee, erchief, and a pair of stockings. When I re

[graphic]

PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF A RADICAL.

396

[Nov. turned to the sitting-room, I was quite smart, Bamford was shocked to learn that Dr. comparatively. Now, Bamford,” he said, Healey, though as poor as himself, had paid “this is my breakfast hour; at one we dine, at

a guinea for a seat in a window command. five take tea, and supper at eight; and so long as you are in London, my table is yours, if you ing a good view of the Debtors' door at the will attend at meals. 'Take this one pound

Old Bailey note,” putting one into my hand, “and if there On the 15th of May-when all Hunt's is not a change in your circumstances for the affidavits, &c., &c., had been disposed of better, when that is done, come for another." sentence was pronounced : Hunt to be conI thanked him most sincerely. I never was fined for two years and a half in Ilchester more affected by an act of kindness in my He was, in truth, "a friend in need, a friend jail—and Healey and Bamford, among othindeed.”

ers, for one year at Lincoln. Mr. Bamford

seems still to think he might have been more Before this kind baker's one pound note leniently dealt with, but for the peroration was expended, Bamford received a remit- of his speech in mitigation of punishment, tance of £10' from some Reform fund in which, after reasserting strenuously that and thenceforth expected with resignation behaviour to the Middleton men on the

he had preached forbearance and orderly the day of judgment.

16th of August, he added with fervor, that "The detection of Arthur Thistlewood and he would never again preach in such a his companions took place, if I mistake not, strain until every drop of blood shed at during our trial at York; it caused a great Peterloo had been amply revenged.? At sensation at the time, and the conviction of the same misguided men occurred soon aster our all events, this language could not have arrival in London. It was the subject of gen- tended to the mitigation of his doom. eral conversation, and particularly the intrepid He met it like a sensible man. By the bearing of the prisoners during their trial. kindness of Sir Charles Wolsely (who was Mrs. Thistlewood had an asylum with the fa- himself in trouble enough at the time) he mily of our friend West, the wire-worker in was set at ease as to his pecuniary matters the Strand, and I frequently saw the unfortunate woman there. She was rather low in during confinement. He procured books, stature; with handsome regular features of and read diligently-among other things he the Grecian cast; very pale, and with hair, fagged at a Spanish Grammar—and by his eyes, and eyebrows as black as night. Still submissive and regular behavior conciliated she was not what may be called interesting the sympathy and esteem of the Lincoln she had a coldness of manner, which was al- magistrates, insomuch that, when he was most repulsive. She seemed as if she had no assailed with a threatening of a pulmonary natural sensibilities, or as if afliction had be disorder, they allowed him to send for his numbed them. She wore her hair very long, and when she went to visit her husband, which wife, and allotted him and her a comfortable she did with devoted attention, she was strict- room to themselves in the jail. This inly examined, and amongst other precautions, dulgence had the best effects on Bamford's her long hair was unbound and combed out. health, moral as well as physical. It, howHunt frequently indulged in imprecations ever, was heard of with bitter dissatisfacagainst Thistlewood and his party. He as- tion at Ilchester-for Hunt had been repersed their courage, the fame of which seemed to have hurt him. But the worst fused the society of Mrs. V—; and he thing I ever knew him do was his slandering now turned against poor Bamford as if the of Mrs. Thistlewood, whom he represented as kindness shown to him were an aggrava. carrying on a criminal intimacy with West, tion of the cruelty to himself. Surely,' during her husband's incarceration. A baser, says Bamford, 'there is some difference bemore unfounded, or more improbable slander tween being permitted to have one's own was never uttered. Its atrocity was its anti-wife with one, and being permitted to have Jote. In fact, he would have said any thing another man's wife with one, in a prison. of any one against whom he entertained a pique. My blind adherence to Hunt could not | But Hunt could not see the reasonableness but be much shaken by such oft repeated in- of this distinction, and Bamford prints stances of an ignoble mind.

sundry blustering, ungrammatical epistles, "On the morning of the execution of the which at last dissolved their friendship.' conspirators, I remained in my room, earnestly It had been in a thawing condition for praying God to sustain them in their last hour; some time. It is impossible to conceive of for though they professed not to believe in a future existence, I did, and could therefore sin- a shabbier creature on the whole than Mr. cerely say, “ Father, forgive them ! they knew Orator Hunt, as depicted in these volumes

. not whai they did.” At noon, when all was The cordiality between Bamford and over, I came down stairs.'

Healey also came to a close during an early

we

period of their confinement; but the details sage within about three weeks, I said; and about the doctor are too dirty for quotation. she was mother to a fine girl, now in the It is obvious that he could not away with ninth year of her age."

"Oh! she was sorthe superior attention which Bamford's su- should have a comfortable bed ready in a

ry to have mistaken us,” she said; “ perior talents and wiser demeanor could not few minutes.” And so saying, she left the but command from the visiting magistrates. room, satisfied, no doubt, with the explana

The hour of delivery came at last. Mr. tion which had set at rest her troublesome Bamford's parting with the authorities at qualms of conscience. We had most excelLincoln was an affecting scene he had lent lodgings; and in the morning we rose been treated like an erring brother, and he early and commenced our journey by lanes felt accordingly. This over, he exchanges of flowers and echoing the music of birds.?

and shady foot paths-sweet with the breath gifts of kind remembrance with jailer and -Vol. ii.

P

221. turnkey, and in company with his faithful

We stopped not at Whaley helpmate the ever-tidy, ever-pleasing Je- Bridge, for the sun was getting low, but mima, turns his face once more towards hastened to Disley, and after a brief rest Middleton--a sobered man, with a fixed there, we again started, though neither I nor resolution to eschew demagogues and agi- my fellow-traveller were so alert as in the tation. Of the last and happiest walk here morning. In fact, our feet began to be recorded we must take a paragraph or two. got upon the paved causeway betwixt Bul

worse for our two days' travel, and when we "We continued our journey through a lev- lock Smithy and Stockport

, it was like treadel country, full of woods and plantations, tilling on red-hot stones. Thus, long after nightthe broad waters of the Trent suddenly apport

. We found the dwelling of our friend

fall, we went limping arm in arm into Stockpeared before us. A shout and a signal Moorhouse, at the lower end of the town, brought the ferryman over, and after some persuasion, with fear and trembling, my wife and knocking at the door were received with at length went on board, and we were ferried every hospitality. over, and landed in the county of Notting: did all they could to make us comfortable.

My friend and his wife bustled about, and ham. A short and very agreeable walk through a rural country, with pretty English and then essayed to go to rest, but my poor

We got a supper of good refreshing tea, cottages embowered in gardens and fruittrees, brought us to the village of Great little companion had to mount the stairs on Markham, where we entered a snug little

ber knees,—she would not be carried uppublic-house, and took up our quarters.

and when her stockings were removed, her “We sat chatting over our tea until it was feet were found covered with blood-red blisDearly bed-time, and when I requested that ters, I got some hot water and soap,-washwe should be shown to our room, the landlady quite dry,-wrapped them in her flannel pet

ed her feet well, --wiped them carefully, till gave an inquiring and dubious glance at us, and retired, evidently to take a second thought ticoat, and put her to bed. I then washed upon the subject. The servant-woman next my own feel, for they were not much betcame into the room, pretending to fetch some-ter than hers, and committing ourselves to thing, but once or twice I observed her taking

divine care, we were soon oblivious of all side-looks at us; and as I perceived there weariness and anxiety, and on awaking the were misgivings of some sort, I ordered a next morning, our feet were as sound, for glass of liquor and a pipe, resolved to amuse any thing we felt

, as they were when we myself by watching the shifts and manæuvres set out from Lincoln.

Our walk to Manchester the next mornof these simple country-folks.

The mistress brought the glass, and the ing was a mere pleasure trip. We scarcegirl brought the pipe, and each gave a scru

"ly stopped there, but hastening onwards, we tinizing glance, which we seemed not to no- 'entered Middleton in the afternoon, and were tice. We were both ready to burst into met in the street by our dear child, who came

We

running, wild with delight, to our arms. laughter, only my wife was a little apprehensive lest we should be turned out of doors. soon made ourselves comfortable in our own I thee'd and thou'd her in their presence, as

humble dwelling; the fire was lighted, the. a man might do his wise-and talked to her hearth was clean swept, friends came to welin my ordinary careless way; and at last the come us, and we were once more at home. landlady came, and begging we would not

«« Be it ever so humble, be offended, asked if the young woman was There's no place like home."'-Vol. ii. p. 230. my wife? I now laughed outright, and my wife could not refrain, though she covered

We have reason to believe that since her face. I assured the good woman that 1821, Mr. Bamford has adhered to the good my companion had been my wife many years. resolutions with which he left Lincoln" Nay she had no ill opinion of her," she said—“ only she looked so young.'

"L'" But that his quiet course of industry has not young as she appears, she reckons to be my been unrewarded, and that he is now look

ed up to as one of the most respectable prose surely is remarkable. With a suffiseniors in Middleton. The little work, cient spice of the prevailing exaggeration, which we suspect has not until now been and here and there a laughable touch of noticed in any journal likely to come be- the bathos, his language is, on the whole fore our readers in London, has, we see by clear, lively, nervous-worthy of the man. the title-page, had a 'considerable circula- That such English should be at the comtion in his own province—and 'it has even mand of one who, it must be supposed, attracted notice, by whatever accident, seldom conversed during his prime except abroad. It has been translated into Ger- in the dialect of Doctor Healey, is a fact man, and made such an impression that a which may well give pause to many of highly-distinguished Prussian traveller some those whose houses are like museums. weeks ago repaired to Lancashire, chiefly, But the great lesson is to be drawn from as he assured us, for the purpose of spend the incidents themselves of his story—the ing an evening with Samuel Bamford. small incidents especially—and the feelings

We have in a sense enabled others to do and reflections which these are seen to 80—but we hope our extracts will not satis- have excited in the narrator. No kindness, fy very many of these.

Mr. Bamford's no mark or token of human sympathy and narrative ought to be read as a whole; ‘and good-will, appears ever to have been thrown however widely we must dissent from some away upon Bamford. He was betrayed by of the political opinions even of his sedate youthful vanity into unhappy and all but retirement, there is a very great deal in his fatal delusions and transgressions: he still, ultimate reflections on the state of England, according to our view, labors under the and especially of English society, which misfortune of a false political creed. But deserves the most serious attention. We he never was, never could have been, at have quoted purposely not a few passages heart a Radical. We see no traces in him in reference to the manners of the weal- of any thing like a cold, rooted aversion for thier classes, which must amuse, but ought the grand institutions of England. There not merely to amuse them. Let them see are, we sincerely believe, among the more and consider in what aspects they are re- intelligent of his class, few, very few, whose garded by thousands upon thousands of minds would not be found open to salutary their fellow countrymen-and-granting impressions on the subjects as to which that these aspects are extremely distorted— they have been most generally led astray, ask deliberately whether there is no remedy were they but approached and dealt with within their own power for what they must by their superiors in worldly gifts, with a feel to be about the worst mischief that little more of that frankness and confidence could befall a nation—the habitual misun- which made Samuel Bamford take leave of derstanding and misappreciation of certain the Lincoln magistrates with tears in his comparatively fortunate orders of society by eyes.' He himself admits in his closing those less fortunate, but infinitely more nu- chapter, that things are in this respect menmerous, and including a great and rapidly ded since 1820; and surely his book ought increasing proportion of not merely vigor- to accelerate the improvement which it ous natural talent, but talent cultivated and acknowledges. directed in a degree and a manner of which former generations could scarcely have anticipated the possibility.

Of Mr. Bamford's poetry we have read only the few specimens interwoven in this Autobiography; and we are forced to ac- curious statistics, prepared by one of the princi

LIGHTING THE METROPOLIS.—The following knowledge that, judging by them, the Lon- pal gas companies, will give some idea of the don booksellers acted prudently in declin-| means at present employed for lighting London ing his advances. His verse is not

and its suburbs: There are 18 public gas-works, tonishing. He is no Burns—he is not

conducted by 12 companies; their capital amounts

to upwards of £2,800,000, employed in pipes, even to be named with the living weaver- tanks, &c. The revenue derivable therefrom is poet of Inverury, Mr. Thom.* But his estimated at £450,000 per annum.

There are

about 180,000 tons of coal used annually ; there * We are sorry to confess that we have not are 1,460,000,000 cubic feet of gas made ; 134,300 seen Mr. Thom's book-but only some most private lights, 30,400 public lights; 380 lamplight. touching stanzas of his, given in a generous arti- ers, 176 gasometers, several of them double, and cle of the · Examiner' newspaper for September capable of storing 5,500,000 feet; and about 2,500 15, 1844.

persons are employed in various ways.- Times.

6

as

ENGLISH OPINIONS ON GERMANY. offends them when it is not cooked to their From the Foreign Quarterly Review, (October.)

palate. Even the unalterable elements to

which so much of the fashioning of human 1. The Rural and Domestic Life of Ger-institutions is unavoidably adapted, will

many. By William Howitt. London: sometimes excite a biliary derangement in Longman and Co.

the English. They will make little or no 2. German Experiences : addressed to the allowance for the inevitable effects of cli

English; both Stayers at Home, and mate. They would carry their own climate Goers Abroad. By William Howitt.— every where—that sullen climate which deLondon: Longman and Co.

stroyed poor Weber, that yellow climate, There are no two countries in the civil- loaded with sulphur and human steam. ized world so similar in some aspects, and Conceive then an Englishman writing a so dissimilar in others, as Germany and Eng- book upon social Germany, the most intracland. And the points of resemblance are table of all men sitting down to a subject so close, as to make the points of contrast which, of all others, demands the most paabsolutely glaring-perhaps even to pro- tient investigation, and the most complete duce a painful sense of uneasiness or distrust suppression of previous theories. upon the detection of them. It is to this It must not be supposed from this prelude sort of strange antagonism, expanding amidst that we are about to analyze the works family affinities and sympathies, that we whose titles we have placed at the head of must mainly attribute all the vexed pro- this paper. They are too well known to blems into which our English writers upon require any such process at our hands. Germany are constantly falling.

The well-merited reputation of the author There is no country so difficult of access has already secured to them a large and in its real inner character as Germany. --admiring circle of readers, and every body We must know the people long and inti- who feels any interest in Germany, or the mately, and become ourselves habituated to Germans, may be presumed to be already their usages and modes of thinking, before tolerably familiar with their contents. But we can reconcile their surface contradic- we propose to touch upon a few of the tions, and discover the true harmony that salient opinions expressed in them, not for lies beneath. It is the most difficult of all the sake of criticising Mr. Howitt's writcountries for a foreigner to write a book ings, but merely to indicate some of the about, that shall be both faithful and com- points upon which, as it seems to us, our prehensive.

countrymen are apt to entertain erroneous And of all book-writing people the Eng-impressions. lish are the last to produce works upon the We have observed that Englishmen are domestic life of other nations in the right, not the best adapted by constitution, or unbiassed, universal spirit. It is not that temperament, or hereditary position, for they do not possess in a very high degree writing sound books of travels—carefully the requisite qualifications, ---knowledge, confining the observation, however, to the keen observation, sagacity; but that they social and domestic phases of the subject. are afflicted with serious disqualifications, We must be frank enough to say that we which do not exist elsewhere in such para- do not consider Mr. Howitt an exception mount force-insular prejudices, a perpetual to the general rule. He is a thorough-bred tendency to think every thing wrong that Englishman in his tastes and habits, in his does not assort with their own modes and likings and his dislikings, in the uncomnotions, a constant recurrence to the one promising energy of his mind, his education, rigid self-elected judgment. The English and the aims and produce of his whole life. cannot go out of themselves : they cannot Were we to select the writer who, in our enter into the circumstances of other races. estimation, was best qualified to penetrate They can hardly comprehend a people ex- the recesses of our society, and portray isting without such an eternal pressure upon faithfully the actual life of our people, we their faculties as shall literally absorb out should unquestionably name William Howof every-day life all traces of poetry and itt. But it may be fairly doubted whether romance. There cannot be a greater enig- one who is thus deeply imbued with Engma to them than the silent influence of lish feeling, and whose modes of thinking tradition in moulding living customs and are so thoroughly English, is exactly the manners. Every thing that is new to them fittest person to undertake the delineation jars against their habits. Pleasure itself of foreign life. Such a book in such hands

« VorigeDoorgaan »