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bank of gorgeous bloom piled upward to a thousand different forms life swarms the sky, till where its outline cut the in the gaping and dusty earth, as much blue, flowers and leaves, too lofty to be as in the bosom of the waters, and the distinguished by the eye, formed a broken air which breathes around.' rainbow of all hues quivering in the as. "At last a soft and distant murmar, cending streams of azure mist, until they increasing gradually to a heavy roar, seemed to melt and mingle with the very announced that they were nearing some heavens.
cataract ; till turning a point, where the * And as the sun rose higher and higher, deep alluvial soil rose into a low cliff a great stillness fell upon the forest. fringed with delicate ferns, they came The jaguars and the monkeys had hidden full in sight of a scene at which all paused: themselves in the darkest depths of the not with astonishment, but with somewoods. The birds'notes died out one by one; thing very like disgust." the verybutterflies ceased their flitting over the tree-tops, and slept with outspread
We could quote several other dewings upon the glossy leaves, undistin- scriptive passages, not less beautiful, guishable from the flowers around them. as illustrative of Mr Kingsley's reNow and then a colibri whirred down markable graphic power; and we only ward toward the water, hummed for a abstain from doing so because we are moment around some pendent flower, and warned that our space is limited. In then the living gem was lost in the deep this inland journey, Amyas meets with blackness of the inner wood, among tree
an Indian girl, or rather a girl whom trunks as huge and dark as the pillars of
the Indians had found straying in the some Hindoo shrine ; or a parrot swung and screamed at them from an overhang
woods, and brought up as a kind of ing bough; or a thirsty monkey slid lazily
female Cacique. She turns out afterdown a liana to the surface of the stream, wards to be the daughter of an earlier dipped up the water in his tiny hand, European adventurer; but the story is and started chattering back, as his eyes too long to be upravelled. This child met those of some foul alligator peering of the forest forms an unrequited pasupward through the clear depths below. sion for Amyas, accompanies him in In shaded nooks beneath the boughs, the his wanderings, and is brought home capibaras, rabbits as large as sheep, went by him to England, and intrusted, for paddling sleepily round and round, thrust
the necessary process of civilisation, ing up their unwieldy heads among the to the care of his lady mother. The grablooms of the blue water-lilies; while black and purple water-hens ran up and
dual reclaiming of the savage girl is down upon the rafts of floating leaves.
dwelt upon at considerable length, but The shining snout of a fresh-water dol
ter dol: to our mind it is forced and unnatural.
to our phin rose slowly to the surface; a jet of Then comes the period of the Arspray whirred up; a rainbow hung upon mada, in depicting which Mr Kingsley it for a moment; and the black snout has put forth his whole historical sank lazily again. Here and there, too, strength, and he makes a botch of it. upon some shallow pebbly shore, scarlet The scenes preliminary to the apflamingoes stood dreaming knee-deep on pearance of that extraordinary arone leg ; crested cranes pranced up and
mament, though Drake, Hawkins, down, admiring their own finery ; and
and Frobisher are brought into view, ibises and egrets dipped their bills under water in search of prey; but before noon
resemble, rather a, boozing match even those had slipped away, and there
of Greenwich pensioners than a sereigned a stillness which might be
rious preparation to meet the greatheard - such a stillness (to compare est danger to which England was ever small things with great) as broods be exposed. It is in scenes of this kind neath the rich shadows of Amyas's that the incapacity of Mr Kingsley as own Devon woods, or among the lonely a vivid and truthful writer is princisweeps of Exmoor, when the heather is pally displayed. In the hands of in flower—a stillness in which, as Hum- Scott, the preparation for receiving boldt says, ' If beyond the silence we listen the Armada 'wonld have resolved for the faintest undertones, we detect a
itself into a most noble and animatstifled, continuous hum of insects which
ed picture; in the hands of Mr Kingscrowd the air close to the earth ; a confused swarming murmur which hangs
ley, it is a stupid Dutch daubing,
ley," round every bush, in the cracked bark of suggestive of sack, tobacco, and trees, in the soil undermined by lizards. bowls. Howbeit, they all get on millepedes, and bees; a voice proclaiming board, one way or another, and there to us that all Nature breathes, that under is plenty of powder expended, and
Amyas Leigh, having ascertained that ful, in so far as they purport to be Don Guzman is in command of one of accurate pictures of the age and scenes the Spanish vessels, determines to which he describes; and the author is tackle to it only; and by the slaughter evidently doubtful himself of the fideof the Don, who really had done him lity of his own representations. They no harm, to get rid of his accumulated interest, because he is a man of genius, bile. So he follows him clear round and can, to a certain extent, redeem Scotland and the Northern Islands, the absurdity of his positions by a and down again to Devonshire, like a display of rhetorical power, and very greyhound coursing a hare, until, in a few writers of the present day posstorm of thunder and lightning, the sess a style comparable to his. NeverSpanish vessel strikes against the theless, it appears to us that he has rocks, and founders; and Amyas, ut- not yet done justice to his undeniable tering words of blasphemy, is stricken powers. We hope that Mr Kingsley is blind by a flash. As a matter of capable of better things, and we think course, to satisfy romantic require- 80; but we cannot understand what ments, he takes Ayacanora to bis wholesome purpose he meditated by bosom, with the sanction of the re- the writing of Hypatia ; or what lesson, spectable Mrs Leigh.
to men of the present century, is conIf, in the course of this article, we veyed by the publication of Westward have occasionally borne hard upon Ho! It is not a picture, such as we Mr Kingsley, we simply plead the might expect from the hand of an acprovocation. We have acknowledged, complished artist, but a mere caricawith the utmost readiness, his fine ture, which might be most triumphtalents; and the efforts which he has antly answered, were any one to conmade to elevate the condition of the struct a novel on the admitted facts working classes, whether they be prac- contained in the History of the Bucaticable or not, are most praiseworthy niers. The stone which Mr Kingsley from their motive. But, having read has thrown might recoil upon himself his works from the beginning, with with a vengeance. But what of that? much attention, and with a sincere He is free of the realms of fiction ; desire of discovering whether the but we are constrained to say that, in views which they inculcated were cal- our view, except in so far as deculated to promote a more genial state scription of scenery is concerned, he of feeling among the different classes has never kept within bounds. Let of modern society, we are constrained us add this remark for his own conto say that, of all possible guides, he sideration. Mr Kingsley, with all his is the most unsafe and indefinite. liberality, has a strong propensity to Indeed, he is no guide at all, because persecution. We would rather keep he does not know where he is going out of his reach were he armed with His historical romances are untruth- ecclesiastical powers.
ALAND-THE BALTIC IN 1854.
At the entrance of the Gulf of Both peace and content. The natural chania, and about midway betwixt the racter of their country compelled a coasts of Sweden and Finland, cover primitive state of society, and faing much of the inter ing space voured a pastoral life. There was with a net-work of islands, stands the no inlet, no outlet for the tide of civi
Detached from the lisation. There was not only the nagreat thoroughfares of the world, un tural island separation, but the group important in itself, offering few facili was so intersected and dissected by ties for commerce, and apparently no water, and each islet was again so cut temptation to conquest, this little spot up by loch and morass, that not only would, it might be thought, have re it but every farm almost had an isolatained the seclusion which nature had tion of its own. Thus even the proassigned it. Man's history, however, gress which arises from internal traffic proves that no isolation of position, and communication was checked. The no poverty, no obscurity or inoffen- land lies in a succession of meadows, siveness, is security against the aims with marshy pools in the midst, and of ambition or the aggression of edged by rocky wooded ridges, which power. A country may lie apart from run like headlands and promontories the great tracks and roadways—its into the grassy plains. These meapeople keep aloof from the great con dows afford pasturage for the cattle flicting interests and great struggles, required for draught or winter store ; and yet attract the desires of some the plateaux and slopes offer spots for conqueror, as an outwork to his pos- limited tillage; the pine plantations sessions, or a pasturage for his flocks; give fuel; the lakes have fish ; the he wants it for an advanced post, a meres bring waterfowl; so that there barrier, a citadel, or a “ garden of is enough, and enough only, within herbs," and straightway it becomes his. their narrow demesnes for their own
Thus has it fared with the poor wants. There is little product for Alanders. The very position which export — little demand on foreign seemed to promise privacy and impu- markets. nity, has brought upon them again and This primitive state, this simplicity, again the presence of war, and provoked without savagery or barbarism, has the disturbance of their primitive state, been ever a favourite topic of poets by more than ordinary vicissitudes and and pastoral romancists. They have transitions. Once a kingdom-so says fondly pictured it as a primal natural tradition—the sovereignty, perhaps, of stage-a sort of stand-point, where some northern erl or viking, whose man arrived at the height of innoships found a snug refuge in its nu cence, happiness, and content, and merous coves and fiords ; then, fol- thence emerged into all the vices, lowing the fortunes of its neighbour luxuries, and
ambition attendant on Finland, a dependency of Sweden, civilisation. Delusion we know this or rather a unit in its federation of to be; and yet there is something atraces; then overrun by Russian soltractive even in the idea of a state diers, converted into a military sta- where man pretends to no higher digtion, and placed under the rule of a nity than that of labour, and is surnation alien in sympathies, laws, and rounded by no artificialities of rank, blood,—this little island aggregation ceremonies, or etiquette; where his becomes at last the scene of a war in vices and passions, though perhaps no which neither its interest nor its pa- less than in other stages, are still triotism is involved. Russia was only simple in their development; where, an invader ; England and France
“ For man light labour spreads her wholewere strangers, known only through some store, some vague idea of power or wealth. Just gives what life requires, but gives no
The rule of Sweden seems to have been mild and easy.
Under it the The poor Alanders possessed, perAlanders lived their simple lives in haps, all that was ever real in such a
state—the simplicity, labour, and fru- they had lived so long and so peacegality. Their labour might be light, fully. but it was constant and various. In To Russian policy Aland was more the spring and autumn many of the a military outpost than a colony: it men went forth in fishing-boats, or as was to be a stepping-stone-a startpilots to the ships which carried on ing-point to more extensive conquest. the traffic in the smaller ports on the It was, therefore, held only by a coasts of Sweden and Finland, and sufficient garrison; and though the with their earnings brought back some inhabitants stared, perhaps, to see small provision for the winter. Mean- grim fortresses and military buildings while tillage and harvest went on, for starting up on the shores where they the gude-wives took more than a share had dried their nets or beached their of field toil, and allowed not the boats, and groaned at first under the absence of their lords to check the petty inflictions of martial occupaprogress of husbandry. The winter tion, yet the strangers were too few brought its peculiar avocations. There to effect any innovation in their social was the care of store cattle; the fish- usages ; and another revolution of ing through holes in the ice, or with destiny found them little altered in deep nets underneath it; the shooting habits or condition. The name and or trapping of wild-fowl or eider-duck. locality became familiar to many who In the long winter nights, too, the in- had scarcely ever heard of either bedoor work began ; the men manu fore, when, in the beginning of last factured harness, farm and domestic year, war with Russia arose before implements, for each man was his own us as a great fact, and men's minds artisan, and had manual skill enough began to grow busy with the questo meet the needs of his labour. The tions of assault and defence. Specu
wove and spun their own lators on the Baltic operations fixed coarse woollen garments, picked and upon Aland as the first point of atsorted the down and feathers of the tack, and there was much reason in birds, and salted the fish. Then there the supposition. It was at once the were the little festivities, and the most assailable of the enemy's possessimple sports on the ice, to fill up the sions, and the most easy of occupapicture of primitive life.
tion. All the other strongholds--Abo, The Alanders, like the Finns, were Revel, Helsingfors-might have been good sailors, but seem not to have bombarded, but could not have been been fond of roving far from home, held except by the aid of a large and confined their seamanship to the army, whilst our flying squadron navigation of their own bays and could have effectually cut off all comfiords, or occasional pilotage of the munication betwixto Aland and the gulf. There was no frequent commu mainland, and secured it from attack. nication with the opposite shores, but Its possession would have afforded there was kindness and neighbourli- our ships a convenient rendezvousness on both sides. Thus year after a depot for coals and stores-an hosyear passed on, bringing its chronicle pital establishment for infectious of births, deaths, and marriages, but diseases—and a fold or grazing ground little other change in the condition of for the cattle, which might then have the Aland group.
been collected from every quarter for Their time was coming. The war, the use of the fleet. Above all, its which was convulsing great principa. capture at the outset of the war would lities and powers, obtruded its move have been hailed as a good first blow; ments even on their obscurity. In afterwards it was looked upon merely 1808, Russia seized the opportunity as a compromise for the non-performof aggression, and stretched forth her ance of more brilliant exploits. It hand towards Finland and Aland. would have shown the earnest purpose Her armies soon overran them. Swe of the war-might have decided waverden for a time drove back the inva- ing allies, and daunted covert foes. Our sion, but in the following year both rulers and chiefs thought otherwise. were ceded to Russia, and the Aland Early in the spring of 1854 a ers found themselves finally separated mighty armament went forth for the from the nation under whose rule Baltic—the most perfect that even the
might of England had ever sent from steam and the improvements in archiher shores. The ships were mostly tecture, armament, and organisation, models of architecture-all were splen- could counterbalance the lack of them. didly armed and fairly equipped. The T he fleet went forth. England great auxiliary which science had looked with just pride on this offgiven to seamanship was well and spring of its strength. Opportunity, largely applied : the steam - power conduct, command, alone seemed was abundant. The crews, too (spite wanting to repeat the glory of Copenof Mansion-House dinner-speeches), hagen or Trafalgar. The fleet was though not worthy of the ships, per- fine, and a good spirit animated the haps, were as good, if not better than men who sailed therein. There was those with which Nelson and his cap- no violent enthusiasm, but an earnest tains did their deeds of fame. Every strong tone of feeling pervaded all ship had a body of trained gunners- ranks. There was enough of expeall had in greater or less proportion à rience gathered in the last war, and certain nomber of good seamen in the petty struggles which have draughts from the coast-guard far- since given such frequent opportunished a class of men, not very young nities to naval action - enough of or active, but orderly, trustworthy, young impulse and latent enterprise and used to discipline. These, with to meet any emergency - and all the marines, formed a good nucleus hands had a steady confidence in The remainder, nicknamed Graham- themselves and in the force they ites, were certainly an unkindly lot, wielded. The prestige of the past had the scrapings and gatherings from not quite lost its inspiration : the sea-coast and fishing villages-from names of the old battles had still for the highways and byways of inland many a stirring sound; and the record counties. Bad as these were, they of the old deeds still said to many a were better than their like in the last heart, " Go and do likewise." There war. Our fathers tell us that their were few who did not believe that ships then were manned by crews, the campaign would swell the old about one-third of whom were men- annals, and add a glorious day or two of-war's-men-that the rest were the to the calendar of victories. scourings of jails and the sweepings Kiöge Bay was the first rendezof hospitals -- men who were sent vous, and there the rodomontade sigamong them impregnated with vice nal about sharpening cutlasses cast and disease, and sowed therewith the the first shade of doubt over the geneseeds of mutiny and death. The ral confidence. It contrasted harshly arms of all description were excel with the old Nelson signal, so exlent. The guns were of the newest pressive and so sublime in its simplipattern, the gun-gear of the newest city, which had been made so familiar adaptation. Cannon of heavier metal to men's eyes and minds that it seemed and superior construction occupied the national preparation for battle. the places of the old rickety carron. But the sight which the combined ades and twenty-four - pounders,- fleets of France and England presights and ranges had exploded the sented, when the ships assembled old random hap-hazard plan of taking about the middle of June, was one to aim; an organised system of drill and dispel all doubt and place hope in the firing had superseded the old muzzle. ascendant. Twenty-nine sail of the to-muzzle practice; well poised cut- line floated on the waters of the Ballasses had replaced the clumsy wea- tic. Powerful steam-frigates formed pops which swept the decks of the an advanced guard, and a host of Chesapeake.
steamers went hither and thither to The material of our armament, reconnoitre, pilot, or blockade, as then, was superior in most respects, occasion required. The gulfs were equal in all, to what it was at the now open, reconnoissances bad been proudest period of our naval power. made along the shores, and the time It remained to be seen whether the for action seemed near at hand. Exqualities developed in the last war pectation was at the highest pitch. were still existing to produce new Conjecture ranged over every possible triumphs, or whether the addition of and impossible point of attack. The