Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 343, May 1844
Author: Various
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Transcriber's Note: Minor typos have been corrected and footnotes moved to the end of each article.



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NO. 1.


Among the many causes of anxiety which the present state of society in the British empire must occasion to every thoughtful or reflecting mind—one of the most extraordinary and alarming is, the constant and uninterrupted increase of crime. The Liberals shut their eyes to this, because it affords a sad illustration of the effect of their favourite theories, which for a quarter of a century have been, under the direction of his Majesty's Ministry or his Majesty's Opposition, in almost ceaseless operation. The selfish and inconsiderate (and they form the vast majority of men) give themselves no sort of trouble about the matter: they care not though their neighbours are murdered or robbed, plundered or swindled, so as they escape unscathed themselves; and without either thinking on the subject, or suggesting one remedy for its evils, interfere only, with stentorian lungs, to resist any project to arrest them having the remotest tendency to terminate in an assessment. Their principle is to take of civilisation only its fruits, and steadily to withstand the concomitant evils; and the simple way by which they think this is to be effected—is quietly, and without saying a word, to reap the benefit of manufacturing industry in the doubling or tripling of their incomes; but to roar out like madmen if the smallest per centage is proposed to be laid on them, to arrest or mitigate the evils which that industry brings in its train. Government meanwhile, albeit fully aware of the danger, is not sufficiently strong to do any thing to avert it; its own majority is paralysed by the inherent selfishness of mankind; and nothing but some great and stunning public calamity can, it is universally felt, awaken the country to a sense of the evils growing out of its greatness, but threatening in the end to endanger its existence. Thus nothing is done, or at least nothing effectual is done, to avert the dangers: every one shuts his eyes to them, or opens them only to take measures to avert an assessment; and meanwhile crime advances with the steps of a giant, sweeping whole classes of society into its vortex, and threatening to spread corruption and vice, in an incredible manner, through the densest and most dangerous classes of the community.

Authentic and irrefragable evidence of the magnitude of this danger exists in the statistical tables of committals which have now, for a very considerable time, been prepared in all parts of the British empire. Since the year 1805, when regular tables of commitments first began to be kept in England, commitments have increased sixfold: they have swelled from five to thirty-one thousand. During the same period population has advanced about sixty per cent: in other words, detected crime has advanced FOUR TIMES AS FAST AS THE NUMBERS OF THE PEOPLE. Unwilling as we are to load our pages with statistical tables—which, attractive to the thinking few, are repulsive to the unthinking many—we must yet request our readers to cast their eyes to the bottom of the pages, where these appalling truths are demonstrated by the parliamentary returns. In Scotland and Ireland the returns of commitments have not been kept, until within the last twenty years, with such accuracy as can be relied on; but they exhibit an increase still more alarming. Ireland, as might be expected, exhibits a growth of crime which has fully kept pace with that of England during the same period: but Scotland exhibits a change which fairly outstrips all the others in the race of iniquity. In 1803, Lord Advocate Hope said in Parliament, that more crime was tried at one Quarter Sessions at Manchester than over all Scotland in a whole year; and the proceedings of the criminal courts to the north of the Tweed, at that period, amply demonstrated the truth of his assertion. In the year 1805, eighty-nine criminals were brought before the whole tribunals, supreme and inferior, in Scotland; but in the year 1842, the committals for serious offences were nearly four thousand—in other words, serious crime, in less than forty years, had augmented in Scotland above THIRTY-SIX FOLD. During the same period population has advanced about fifty per cent, viz. from 1,800,000 to 2,660,000; so that in moral, staid, and religious Scotland, serious crime, during the last forty years, has risen TWENTY-FIVE TIMES as fast as the number of the people.[1]

Overlooked as this prodigious change has been, as all things are which arise gradually in this country, it has yet attracted, as well it might, the astonishment of writers on the Continent. Nine yeas ago, M. Moreau observed, speaking of the increase of crime in Scotland—"In the year 1805, the criminal commitments in Scotland were eighty-nine: they are now 2864—that is, they have increased in thirty years thirty-fold. It would appear that Scotland, in becoming a manufacturing state, has in a great degree lost the virtue and simplicity of character by which she was formerly distinguished."[2]

What renders this prodigious increase of crime in so short a period, in all parts of the British Empire, in a peculiar manner extraordinary and alarming, is, that it has taken place at the very time when unheard-of efforts were made, in every part of the country, for the moral and religious instruction of the people. We are very far indeed from saying that enough has been done in this way: no one is better aware that the vast debt, which the prosperous wealth of Britain owes in this respect to its suffering indigence, is still in great part undischarged, and that till it is taken up and put on a proper footing by the state, it never can be completely liquidated;—still, more has been done to discharge it during the last thirty years, than in the whole previous centuries which have elapsed since the Reformation. The churches of England and Scotland, during that period, have improved to an astonishing degree in vigour and efficiency: new life, a warmer spirit, a holier ambition, has been breathed into the Establishment; the dissenters of all denominations have vied with them in zeal and effort; churches and chapels have been built and opened in every direction; and though they have by no means, in the manufacturing districts, kept pace with the increase of population, yet they have advanced with a rapidity hitherto unheard of in British history. The laity of all denominations have made extraordinary efforts to promote the cause of education. In this great and good work, persons of all descriptions have, though from very different motives, laboured together; but much remains to be done. We well know how many tens and hundreds of thousands, in the manufacturing districts, are now wandering in worse than heathen darkness in the midst of a Christian land;—we well know what insurmountable obstacles mere voluntary zeal and exertion meet with in the most praiseworthy efforts, from the selfish resistance of property and the reckless dissipation of indigence. But still, no one acquainted with the subject can deny, that during the last thirty years, incomparably more has been done to promote education among the poor than in the preceding three centuries. Yet this period of anxious solicitude, awakened fear, and general effort to stem, by all the known methods, the deluge of profligacy and depravity with which the country has been flooded, has been characterized by an increase of crime, and a general loosening of morals among the labouring classes, hitherto unprecedented in the country—certainly not equaled during the same period in any other European state, and, so far as we know, without an example in the previous history of mankind.

Struck with astonishment at this extraordinary and painful phenomenon, and wholly at a loss to explain it on any of the principles to which they have been accustomed to give credit, the Liberals have generally endeavoured to deny its existence. They say that the returns of commitments do not afford a correct measure of the crime that really exists in the country; that a police force is now more generally established, and is incomparably more vigilant than heretofore; that crimes are classified in a different way from what they formerly were; and that though the figures do not err, yet the results to which they point are not the real ones. There is some truth in these observations. It is true that a police force is more extensively established, and is more efficient than it formerly was;—it is true that crimes are now differently classified, and enter different columns, and appear in different returns from what they formerly did;—it is true that there are specialties in the case;—but it is not true that those specialties tend to make the returns of crime appear greater than the reality; on the contrary, they all tend the other way. They show that the returns as now constructed, and the police force as it at present exists, do not by any means exhibit the growth of crime in its true colours; that it is in reality incomparably greater than these returns or this agency has brought to light; and that, great as the evil appears from an examination of the Parliamentary returns, it is in truth far more colossal and alarming.

How is a police force established in any part of Great Britain? If we except the metropolis, where the vast concourse from all parts of the empire unavoidably forced upon government, fourteen years ago, the establishment of a central police, since found to be attended with such admirable effects, it is every where set on foot by the voluntary act of the inhabitants, or a certain portion of them, in a peculiar manner cognizant of the necessity which exists for such an addition to the means of public defence. In boroughs, it is generally the magistrates, elected by a suffrage little superior to household suffrage, who introduce such a measure. In counties, it can only be proposed by the justices of peace in England, or commissioners of supply in Scotland—both of which bodies are thoroughly imbued with, and fairly represent, the general voice of the community. In all cases, whether in the metropolis or in the provinces, a police imposes an immediate and heavy burden on all householders. In London L40,000 a-year is given by government to aid in the support of the police; but the whole remainder of the cost, amounting to four times as much, falls on the ratepayers. In the provinces the whole cost of every police force falls on the householders; and our readers need not be told how heavy it sometimes is, and how universally it is every where complained of.

Now, if there is any one peculiarity more than another by which this generation is distinguished, it is aversion to assessment. People may differ in other respects as to the designation by which the age should be characterized; but we believe all will agree that it is a tax-hating age. What did this nation first do on being liberated from danger by the battle of Waterloo? Throw off the income-tax. What alone induced them to submit to it again on the modified scale of three per cent? The disasters in Affghanistan; the perils of our Indian empire; the rocking of Britain to its foundation. When therefore, in such a country and in such an age, we see numerous bodies of men—popularly elected in some cases, in all swayed by the popular voice—concurring, in a great many places, in the taxation of themselves for the establishment of a police, we may rely upon it that some very general and grinding sense of necessity has been at work to produce the effect. Nothing but this could overcome, in men really and practically invested in this particular with the power of self-government, the universal and almost invincible repugnance to assessments. Rely upon it, for every crime which is brought to light, and made the subject of commitment and trial by the institution of a police force, ten previously existed, undetected and unpunished, before men were driven to the flebile remedium, the ultimum malum, of taxing themselves for the establishment of a force to repress them.

To illustrate the strength of this resistance, and the important bearing it has upon the present question, we shall refer only to two instances—one in England, and one in Scotland. It is well known what a scene of confusion and disorder South Wales has for years past been. The bloodshed at Merthyr-Tydvil, the strikes in Glamorganshire, the attack on Newport, and the Rebecca riots, had for a series of years fixed the attention of all parts of the empire upon this, as one of the most inflammable and dangerous portions of the community. Nor did these disorders appear surprising to those who were practically acquainted with the state of the country, overrun as it is in many places by vast iron-works, which have brought together a great and reckless population, and inhabited in all by a discontented and ill-instructed peasantry. Population had advanced with unexampled rapidity—having increased, from 1831 to 1841, thirty-six and a tenth per cent in Monmouthshire; the greatest increase during the same period of any county in the British empire.[3] Here then, if anywhere, it might have been expected that a general feeling of insecurity, the sense of an overbearing necessity, would have overcome the general repugnance of men towards local assessment, and led to the establishment of a police force in all the counties of South Wales, on a scale adequate to the magnitude of the danger with which they were threatened. Was it so? Had the counties taken the requisite steps to avoid the calamity? Quite the reverse; the aversion to a police assessment was so strong, that nothing whatever had been done. Glamorganshire had only established one on a small scale, after repeated and earnest efforts on the part of its able and public-spirited lord-lieutenant, the Marquis of Bute; and the Rebecca riots surprised the adjoining counties without any preparation whatever. And even after those disgraceful disorders had continued several weeks, and rendered South Wales the scandal of the empire, and the astonishment of Europe; still the repugnance to assessment was such, that it was only after a severe struggle, and by no small exertions, that it was at length carried; and the public-spirited member for the county, who to his infinite credit brought forward the measure, stated at the county meeting on the subject, that he was aware he endangered his seat by so doing!

The Scotch have shown themselves not a whit behind their southern compatriots in repugnance to a police assessment. In Lanarkshire, as it is well known, the iron and coal trades have made unexampled progress during the last ten years. Its population, in consequence, has enormously increased; having risen from 316,000 to 434,000 in ten years, from 1831 to 1841—an increase of thirty-six per cent in that short time—the next to Monmouthshire of the whole empire. Crime had, of course, enormously increased. In 1835, the committals for serious offences were 401: in 1842, they had risen to 696—being an increase of seventy-five per cent in seven years.[4] Serious crime, therefore, so far as detected, was doubling in ten years, while population was doubling in thirty—in other words, detected crime was increasing three times as fast as the numbers of the people. Disturbances, as a matter of course, of a very serious nature had arisen. In 1837, the great cotton-spinners' conspiracy, which led to the memorable trial, had kept above twenty thousand persons in Lanarkshire, for four months, in a state of compulsory destitution. In 1842, the colliers' strike threw a still greater number into a state of idleness for five months, which led to a general system of plunder, and forcible seizure of the farmers' produce in the fields; only repressed, with infinite difficulty, by the introduction of a large military force, aided by the yeomanry of the county, who were on permanent duty for six weeks, and the establishment for a few months, by subscription, of a powerful police. In October 1842, twenty policemen, who had some prisoners in charge for combination offences, were assaulted by a furious mob of two thousand persons on the streets of Airdrie, in the centre of the mining district of the county, the house in which they had taken refuge set on fire, and the prisoners by main force rescued from the hands of the law.[5] These facts were known to the whole county, and the terror which, in consequence, pervaded the agricultural inhabitants of the mining districts was so great, that in a petition to government praying for protection, they stated—that they would be better if law were altogether abolished, and every man were allowed to defend himself by fire-arms, than they were now; for that, if they used lethal weapons in defence of their property, they ran the risk of being transported for culpable homicide—if they did not, they were certain of being plundered by the combined workmen. And what did the county do to arrest this disgraceful and perilous system of outrage and plunder? Why, in the full knowledge of all these facts, they passed a solemn resolution at Lanark, on 30th April 1843, that they never would again, on any occasion, or under any circumstances of necessity whatever, sanction the employment of any police or defensive force raised at their expense.

We do not suppose that the inhabitants of South Wales or the banks of the Clyde are particularly short-sighted or selfish, or more inclined to resist assessment for objects of public utility or necessity than those of other parts of the empire. On the contrary, we know that they are in a remarkable degree the reverse; and that in no part of the world are undertakings in public improvement or charity entered into with more alacrity, and supported with more liberality. We suppose the Scotch and Welsh are what other men are—neither better nor worse. We adduce these facts, not as tending to fasten any peculiar charge on them, but as indicating the general character of human nature, and the universal repugnance to taxation, which, when men are really and practically, and not in form only, invested with the power of self-government, appears the moment that any proposition of subjecting them to assessment for the purpose of local defence and protection, even under the most aggravating circumstances, is brought forward. How great, then, must have been the mass of experienced, but undetected and unpunished, crime which pervades the state, when this all but invincible repugnance has been generally overcome, and men in so many cities and counties have been induced to submit to the certainty of the visit of the tax-gatherer, rather than the chance of a visit from the thief or the burglar!

And for decisive evidence that the new establishment of a police force is not, by the crimes which it is the means of binging to light, the cause of the prodigious increase of crime of late years in the British empire, we refer to the contemporary examples of two other countries, in which a police force on a far more extensive scale has been established, and has been found the means of effecting a signal diminution of crime and commitment. In Hindostan, as is well known, a most extensive and admirably organized system of police has been found absolutely indispensable to repress the endless robberies of which its fertile plains had long been the theatre; and the force employed, permanently or occasionally, in this way amounts to a hundred and sixty thousand! The consequence has been a diminution of crime and commitments, during the last forty years, fully as remarkable as this simultaneous increase in the British islands. The official reports which have been compiled in India by the British authorities, exhibit of late years the pleasing prospect of a decrease of serious crime to a third or fourth part of its former amount.[6]

Look at France during the same period. That there is in that great country a numerous and well-organized police force, will not probably be denied by those who know any thing, either of its present circumstances by observation, or its past from history. Unlike Great Britain, it is universally established and raised, not by separate acts of Parliament, local effort, and contribution, but by a general assessment, under the name of "Centimes Additionels," yet varying in particular districts, according to the necessity and amount of the defensive force, but, in all, imposed by the authority and levied by the officers of government. And what has been the result? Is it that crime, from being generally brought to light, evinces the same steady and alarming increase which is conspicuous in all parts of the British islands? Quite the reverse: criminal law and a powerful system of police appear there in their true light, as checking and deterring from crime. Population is advancing steadily though slowly in that country, crime is stationary or declining;[7] and while the most powerful and efficient police in Europe only bring to light about 7000 serious criminals annually out of 34,000,000 souls—that is, 1 in 6700—in Great Britain, out of a population, including England and Scotland, of 18,000,000 in round numbers, there were in 1842 no less than 34,800 persons charged with serious crimes before the criminal tribunals, or 1 in 514—in other words, serious crime is fourteen times as prevalent in Great Britain as it is in France. Nothing can more clearly demonstrate the deplorable fallacy of those who ascribe the present extraordinary frequency and uninterrupted growth of crime in this country, as attested by the criminal returns, to the vigilance of the police in bringing it to light.

In truth, so far from its being the case that crime is now better looked after, and therefore more frequently brought to light than formerly, and that it is that which swells our criminal returns, the fact is directly the reverse. So weak, feeble, and disjointed, are the efforts of our various multiform and unconnected police establishments over the country generally,[8] that we assert, without the fear of contradiction by any person practically acquainted with the subject, that the amount of undetected and unpunished crime is rapidly on the increase, and is now greater than it was in any former period. We would recommend any person who doubts this statement, to go to any of the criminal establishments in the country, and compare the list of informations of serious crimes lodged with those of offenders committed; he will find the latter are scarcely ever so much as a third of the former. These facts do not appear in the criminal returns, because they are not called for; and the police-officers are in no hurry to publish facts which proclaim the insufficiency of the means of repressing crime at their disposal. But occasionally, and under the pressure of immediate danger, or a strong sense of duty on the part of the public functionaries, they do come out. For example, it was stated by Mr Millar, the head of the Glasgow police, (a most able and active officer,) in a letter read at the county meeting of Lanarkshire on 21st January 1843, on the subject of a police for the rural district of that and the adjoining counties, that in the three months immediately preceding that date, ninety-one cases of theft, chiefly by housebreaking, had been reported at the Glasgow police-office, committed in the neighbourhood of Glasgow, but beyond the police bounds; and that from his own information, and that of the other officers of his establishment, this number, great as it was, was not a third of the crimes of that description which had actually been committed during that period. On the other hand, it was stated by the sheriff of the county at the same meeting, that in only fourteen of these ninety-one cases had any trace whatever been got of the delinquents. In other words, the number of instances in which any clue was obtained to the criminals was only fourteen out of 273, or one in twenty nearly. And yet this miserable driblet of one in twenty, exhibits in the criminal returns for Lanarkshire an increase of 75 per cent in seven years, or a duplication in ten. This instance, to which hundreds of others might be added from all parts of the country, shows how extreme is the illusion of those who lay the flattering unction to their souls, that serious crime is not now more prevalent than it was formerly, but only better brought to light.

In truth, it has long been known, that in consequence of the relaxation of the severity of our criminal code, and the astonishing increase of serious crimes which cannot be passed over, a vast number of criminals are now disposed of in the police courts, and never appear in the criminal returns at all, who, twenty years ago, were deemed felons of the very highest class, and visited often with death, always with transportation. It was stated in parliament as a subject of complaint against the Lancashire magistrates, that during the insurrection of 1842 in that county, nearly ten thousand persons were imprisoned, and let go after a short confinement, without ever being brought to trial. During the disturbances in the same year, in Lanarkshire and many other counties of Scotland, (especially Ayrshire, Fife, and Mid-Lothian,) the accumulation of prisoners was so great, that not only were none detained for trial but those against whom the evidence was altogether conclusive; but that great numbers were remitted for trial before the summary tribunals, and escaped with a month or two of imprisonment, who had committed capital crimes, and a few years before would infallibly have been transported for fourteen years. We are getting on so fast, that nothing is more common now than to see hardened criminals, both in England and Scotland, disposed of by the police magistrates, and for capital crimes receive a few months imprisonment. Their names and crimes never appear in the returns at all. There is no fault attached to any one for this seeming laxity. The thing is unavoidable. If the class of cases were all sent to the higher tribunals which formerly were considered privative to them, the judges, were they twice as numerous as they are, would sit in the criminal courts from one year's end to another, and the jails would still be choked up with untried criminals, numbers of whom would linger for years in confinement.

The Liberal party, in the beginning of the present century, were unanimous in imputing the vast increase of crime to the defects of our criminal law. The nominal severity of that system, it was said, and said justly, with its uncertain punishments and frequent opportunities of escape, afforded in fact a bounty on the commission of crime. Injured parties declined to give information for fear of being bound over to prosecute; witnesses were reluctant to give evidence, judges caught at legal quibbles, juries violated their oaths, in order to save the accused from a punishment which all felt was disproportioned to the offence; and thus the great object of criminal jurisprudence, certainty of punishment, was entirely defeated. There was much truth in these observations, but much fallacy in the hope that their removal would effect any reduction in the number of offences. The object sought for was carried. Humane principles were triumphant. The labours of Sir Samuel Romilly and Sir James Mackintosh, aided by the cautious wisdom and experienced ability of Sir R. Peel, produced a total revolution in our criminal jurisprudence. The old stain has been removed: we need no longer fear a comparison With the laws of Draco. For the last fifteen years so many offences, formerly capital, have had that dreadful penalty removed, that the law in Great Britain, as now practically administered, is probably the mildest in Europe. Death is scarce ever inflicted except for murder; in cases of housebreaking, even when attended with personal violence, it is never thought of. The executions in Great Britain now range from twenty-five to thirty-five only a-year, instead of a hundred and fifty or two hundred, which they formerly were. And what has been the result? Has the promised and expected diminution of crime taken place, in consequence of the increased certainty of punishment, and the almost total removal of all reasonable or conscientious scruples at being concerned in a prosecution? Quite the reverse. The whole prophecies and anticipations of the Liberal school have been falsified by the result. Crime, so far from declining, has signally increased; and its progress has never been so rapid as during the last fifteen years, when the lenity of its administration has been at its maximum. An inspection of the returns of serious crimes already given, will completely demonstrate this.

Next, it was said, that education would lay the axe to the root of crime; that ignorance was the parent of vice; and, by diffusing the school-master, you would extinguish the greater part of the wickedness which afflicted society; that the providing of cheap, innocent, and elevating amusements for the leisure hours of the working-classes, would prove the best antidote to their degrading propensities; and that then, and then only, would crime really be arrested, when the lamp of knowledge burned in every mechanic's workshop, in every peasant's cottage. The idea was plausible, it was seducing, it was amiable; and held forth the prospect of general improvement of morals from the enlarged culture of mind. The present generation is generally, it may almost be said universally, imbued with these opinions; and the efforts accordingly made for the instruction of the working-classes during the last twenty-five years, have been unprecedented in any former period of our history. What have been the results? Has crime declined in proportion to the spread of education? Are the best instructed classes the least vicious? Has eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge diminished the power of the Tempter? So far from it, the consequences, hitherto at least, have been melancholy and foreboding in the extreme.

The criminal returns of Great Britain and Ireland for the last twenty years, demonstrate that the uneducated criminals are about a third of the whole: in other words, the educated criminals are to the uneducated as two to one.[9] In Scotland, the educated criminals, are about four times the uneducated; in England, just double; in Ireland, they are nearly equal. Nay, what is still more remarkable, while the number of uneducated criminals, especially in Scotland, is yearly diminishing, that of educated ones is yearly increasing.[10] In France, the criminal returns have for long demonstrated that the amount of crime, in all the eighty-four departments of the monarchy, is just in proportion to the number of educated persons which each contains; a fact the more remarkable, as three-fifths of the whole inhabitants of the country have received no education whatever.[11] Of the criminals actually brought before the Courts of Assize, which correspond to our Old Bailey and Circuit Courts, it appears that about four-sevenths are educated, and three-sevenths destitute of any instruction; which gives a greater proportion of criminals to the educated than the uneducated class, as three-fifths of the people are wholly uninstructed.[12] But what is most marvellous of all, the criminal returns of Prussia, the most universally educated country in Europe, where the duty of teaching the young is enforced by law upon parents of every description, and entire ignorance is wholly unknown, the proportion of criminals to the entire population is TWELVE TIMES greater than in France, where education of any sort has only been imparted to two-fifths of the community.[13] These facts are startling—they run adverse to many preconceived ideas—they overturn many favourite theories; but they are not the less facts, and it is by facts alone that correct conclusions are to be drawn in regard to human affairs. In America too, it appears from the criminal returns, many of which, in particular towns and states, are quoted in Buckingham's Travels, that the educated criminals are to the uneducated often as three, generally as two, to one. These facts completely settle the question; although, probably, the whole present generation must descend to their graves before the truth on the subject is generally acknowledged.

But to any one who reflects on the principles of human nature, and the moving powers by which it is impelled, whether towards virtue or vice, such a result must appear not only intelligible but unavoidable. It is our desires which are our tempters. All the statistical returns prove that the great majority of educated persons, generally at least three-fourths of the whole, have received an imperfect education. They have just got knowledge enough to incur its dangers; they have not got enough either to experience its utility or share in its elevation. Their desires are inflamed, their imaginations excited, their cravings multiplied by what they read; but neither their understandings strengthened, their habits improved, nor their hearts purified. The great bulk of mankind at all times, and especially in all manufacturing communities, can only receive an imperfect education. It is not in the age of twelve hours' labour at factories, and of the employment of children without restraint in coal and iron mines, that any thing approaching to a thorough education can be imparted to the working classes, at least in the manufacturing districts. The conclusion to be drawn from this is, not that education is hopeless and should be abandoned, in relation to the great bulk of men—for we every day, in detached instances, have proof of its immense and blessed influence; the conclusion is, that it is by the active, not the intellectual powers, the desires, not the understanding, that the great majority of men are governed; that it is the vast addition civilisation and commerce make to the wants and passions of men, which constitutes the real cause of its demoralizing influence; and that these dangers never will be obviated till means are discovered of combating sin with its own weapons, and by desires as extensively felt as its passions. We must fight it, not only with the armour of reason, but the fire of imagination. It is by enlisting the desires on the side of virtue and order, that we can alone generally influence mankind.

It is astonishing how many ways men will turn before they can be brought to admit the simple truth unfolded in the book of Jeremiah and enforced in every page of the gospel, that the heart is "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." Driven from the chimeras of mild punishment and general education as antidotes against the antagonist power of sin, philanthropists have at last taken refuge in the infallible effects of solitary confinement. Punishment, it was said, is the real demoralizer of society; it is our jails which are the hotbeds and nurseries of crime. Reform them—separate the hardened criminal from the apprentice to crime—let solitary confinement teach its impressive lessons, and confer its regular habits; and vice, with all its concomitant evils, will disappear from the land. At the same time a great impression was made on the legislature by a graphic, and, in some respects, just description of the suffering in the penal colonies of New South Wales; and the result has been a general adoption, over the whole empire, of the system of long imprisonment instead of transportation, to an extent previously unknown since the system of forced convict-labour in the colonies was introduced. All persons practically acquainted with the subject were aware of the result in which their experiment would terminate, and the fearful multiplication of irreclaimable criminals to which it would lead in the heart of the empire. But unfortunately the persons practically acquainted with the subject had scarcely a voice in the legislature—the current ran strong in favour of lengthened imprisonment, and the abolition, except in very bad cases, of transportation. The judges gave ample scope to the new system, and it received in every point of view a fair experiment. Highway robbers, housebreakers, and habitual thieves, received, in great numbers of cases, sentences of imprisonment, instead of transportation for life or fourteen years. The jails at the same time were every where improved; a general system of prison discipline was adopted and enforced; and solitary confinement, with hard labour, became almost universal. And what has been the result? Why, that it has been now demonstrated by experience, that even the longest imprisonments, and the best system of prison discipline, have no effect, or scarce any, in reclaiming offenders; and that the only effect of the new system has been, to crowd the jails with convicts and the streets with thieves; to load the counties with assessments and the calendars with prisoners; to starve New South Wales for want of compulsory labour, and oppress Great Britain by the redundance of hardened idleness. We speak of a matter the subject of universal notoriety: ample proof of it will be furnished in a future Number.

But, what is most alarming of all, it has now been completely demonstrated, that we are not to look even to the general spread of religious instruction for any immediate or even rapid diminution of crime, or amelioration of the habits of the labouring classes. We say immediate or rapid, because none can be more sensible than we are, that it is thus alone that crime in the end is to be arrested, and that the efforts now making in this respect in all parts of the British empire, are laying the only foundation whereon in future times the superstructure of a moral and orderly society are to be laid. But, as every system must be tested by its fruits, and these fruits in the present forced and artificial state of society are so rapidly brought forth—it is worse than useless to go on encouraging expectations of an early reformation of society from the extension of church establishments, the zeal of dissenters, or the efforts of clerical instructors. Depend upon it, half a century must elapse before these praiseworthy and philanthropic efforts produce any general effect on the frame of society. We shall be fortunate indeed, if in a whole century the existing evils are in any material degree lessened, and society has gone on so long without one of those terrible convulsions, like the French Revolution, which at once destroy the prospects of the present generation and the hopes of the next.

The reason is, that degraded and sensual men have an instinctive aversion to religious truth, and a still greater distaste for religious restraint. The carnal man is at war with God. When will this great truth, so loudly proclaimed in every page of the gospel, be practically acknowledged and acted upon? To those who are acquainted with the anatomy of crime, and who see exemplified in real life the courses of the wicked, its truth becomes not only evident, but of overwhelming importance. The strength of the world consists in its pleasures and enjoyments. It is the vehemence of the desire for these pleasures and enjoyments, which constitutes the fearful force of its temptations. The whole progress of society, the whole efforts of man, the whole accumulations of wealth are directed, in its later stages, to augment these desires. Necessities in a large portion of society being provided for, pleasures only are thought of. Civilisation increases them, for it augments enjoyment: commerce, for it multiplies the wealth by which it is purchased: ingenuity, for it adds to the instruments of luxury: knowledge, for it spreads an ardent, and often exaggerated picture of its gratifications. The whole efforts of man in civilized life are directed to the increase of human enjoyment, the incitement of human desire. Need we wonder, then, if religion, which prescribes an abstinence from the pleasures of sin, which enjoins continence to the sensual, sobriety to the drunkard, reflection to the unheeding, gentleness to the irascible, restraint to the voluptuous, probity to the avaricious, punishment to the profligate, meets in such an age with very few votaries? Some, doubtless, will always be found, who, disgusted with the profligacy with which they are surrounded, are led only the more rapidly to a life of rectitude and duty by such vice; but how many are they amidst the crowd of sensual and unreflecting? Perhaps one in twenty. The great mass pass quietly by on the other side; they do not say there is no God, but they live altogether without God in the world. In vain are efforts made to reclaim the vicious, to bring up their children in the way they should go, in the hope that when they are old they will not desert it. The grown-up will not go to church; in manufacturing towns they will not even put on Sunday's clothes, but revel in intoxication or sloth in their working-dresses all the Lord's day; except when softened by misfortune, or roused by calamity, they will not listen, even at home, to the voice of religious counsel. Children may learn their catechism, and repeat their responses at school; but when they become men and women, will they resist the temptations by which they are surrounded? Numerous congregations are often suddenly formed by the planting of an eloquent and earnest divine into a densely peopled and neglected locality; but where does the congregation in general come from? Go into the thinned or deserted churches or chapels in its vicinity, and you will find you have only transferred the serious and Christian community from one place of worship to another.

Nor let it be said that these dangers affect only a limited portion of the community, and that, provided only society holds together, and property is upon the whole secure, it is of little consequence to the great bulk of the nation whether its criminals are doubling or tripling every ten years, whether its convicts are hanged, imprisoned, or transported. Doubtless that is the view taken by the majority of men, and which ever makes them resist so strenuously any measures calculated to arrest the general evils by a forced contribution from all classes of the state. But is such a view of so very serious a matter either justified by reason, or warranted by a durable regard to self-interest? Considered in reference only to immediate advantage, and with a view to avert the much-dreaded evil of an assessment, is it expedient to allow crime to go on increasing at the fearful rate which it has done in this country during the last forty years? Can we regard without disquietude the appalling facts demonstrated by the Parliamentary returns of population and commitments—that the people are augmenting three times as fast in the manufacturing as the agricultural districts—that detected and punished crime is multiplying in the former three times as fast as the people—and crime really committed three times as much as that which is brought to light? What can be expected from a state in which crime, in the manufacturing districts, is thus increasing TWENTY-SEVEN TIMES as fast as mankind in the rural? From what sources does this overflowing stream of recklessness, profligacy, and misery, which overflows our workhouses and fills our jails, mainly spring, but from this prodigious and unrestrained increase of crime and depravity among the working classes in the manufacturing districts? Must not such a state of things lead to a constant augmentation of poor-rates, county rates, and jail assessments? And how short-sighted is the policy which allows these oppressive burdens to go on constantly increasing, merely from terror of incurring additional expense in striving to arrest them, and hopes to avoid danger, like the partridge, by putting its head in the bush, and ceasing to look it in the face?

But most of all, in a public and political view, is this extraordinary increase of crime in our manufacturing districts, a subject of serious and anxious consideration to all classes in the state. It is in vain to seek to conceal, it is folly to attempt to deny, that in the dense masses of the manufacturers the real danger of Great Britain is to be found. Though not amounting, upon the whole, to more than a tenth part of the nation, they are incomparably the most alarming from their close proximity to each other, the fierce passions which the revolutionary press has long nourished among them, and the perfect organization which, under the direction Of the leaders of their trades' unions, they have long attained. The insurrection in the manufacturing districts of England, and violent strikes in Scotland in 1842, may warn us of the danger of such an outbreak, especially when combined, as the next will almost certainly be, with a general rebellion of the Irish Repealers. Infinite local mischief, incredible destruction of life and property, would inevitably follow any serious and general insurrection among them; even though crushed, as in the end it certainly would be, by an united effort of the other classes in the state. But is the shock to credit, the destruction of capital, the breaking of the bread of hundreds of thousands, nothing in a national point of view? And what can augment the dangers of such local insurrections so much as the acknowledged fact, that crime is making unprecedented progress amongst them; that so general have the causes of dissoluteness become, that whole masses are brought up in depraved and reckless habits, on the verge of, if not actually committing crime; and that "les classes dangereuses" are daily receiving additional accessions on the depraved, the dissolute, and abandoned from all the other ranks in the state.

Let us therefore no longer deceive ourselves, or attempt to deceive others. Crime is making extraordinary and unprecedented progress amongst us; it is advancing with a rapidity unparalleled in any other European state: if not arrested, it will come to render the country unbearable; and will terminate in multiplying to such an extent "les classes dangereuses," as they have been well denominated by the French, as, on the first serious political convulsion, may come to endanger the state. It has advanced with undeviating and fearful rapidity through all the successive delusions which have been trusted to in the country to check its progress. With equal ease it has cast aside the visions of Sir Samuel Romilly and the advocates of lenient punishment—the dreams of Lord Brougham and the supporters of general education—the theories of the Archbishop of Dublin and the enemies of transportation—the hopes of Lord John Russell and the partizans of improved prison discipline at home. Even the blessed arm of the gospel has hitherto failed in checking its advance amongst us; and it nowhere appears in more appalling colours than in the districts where the greatest and most strenuous efforts have been made for the moral and religious instruction of the people. "Nous avons donnes a penser," as the French say. Ample subject for serious reflection has been furnished to our readers till a future occasion, when the cause of this general failure, and the means requisite for the diminution of crime, will be considered.


[1] Table showing the progress of crime in the British islands since 1805, in so far as can be ascertained.

Years. England. Scotland. Ireland. 1805 4605 89 3600 1806 4346 101 3781 1807 4446 97 3522 1808 4735 124 3704 1809 5330 Chasm. 3641 1810 5146 3799 1811 5337 4162 1812 6576 4286 1813 7164 Chasm. 1814 6390 1815 7818 1816 9091 1817 13,932 1818 13,567 1819 14,254 1820 13,710 1486 1821 13,115 1522 1822 12,241 1691 13,251 1823 12,263 1733 14,632 1824 13,698 1802 15,258 1825 14,437 1876 15,515 1826 16,164 1999 16,318 1827 17,924 2116 18,031 1828 16,564 2024 14,683 1829 18,675 2063 15,271 1830 18,107 2329 15,794 1831 19,647 2451 16,192 1832 20,829 2431 16,056 1833 20,072 2564 17,819 1834 22,451 2691 24,381 1835 20,731 2867 21,205 1836 20,984 3922 23,891 1837 23,612 3126 24,804 1838 23,094 3418 25,723 1839 24,443 3409 26,392 1840 27,187 3872 23,833 1841 27,760 3562 20,796 1842 31,309 3884

—PORTER's Progress of the Nation, iii. 172, 227.

[2] MOREAU, Stat. de la Grande Bretagne, vol. ii. p. 317.

[3] Census of 1841.

[4] PORTER'S Parliamentary Tables.

[5] These facts were all proved in the subsequent trial of the leaders of the riot, at Edinburgh.

[6] Table showing the diminution of crime in British India:—


Burglary. Cattle-stealing. Fraud. Larceny. Total. 1816 to 1818 2853 203 150 1516 3722 1825 to 1827 1036 31 49 223 1339

LOWER AND WESTERN PROVINCES OF BENGAL. LOWER WESTERN Sentenced. Gang Robberies. Murder. 1816 13,869 1807 1481 406 1827 8075 1824 234 30

—MARTIN'S British Colonies. 12mo, Edin. IX. 322, 329

[7] Table showing the persons accused at the Assize Courts of France in the under mentioned years:—

1828—6922 1832—7565 1836—6289 1840—6117 1829—7359 1833—6694 1837—7164 1841— 1830—6962 1834—6952 1838—6872 1842— 1831—7604 1835—6371 1839—6271

—PORTER'S Parl. Tables, vi. 346.

[8] We except the police of London, which is admirable, and also that of Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester, and Edinburgh; where, though there is great room for improvement, much has been done in this way to repress crime.

[9] Table showing the instruction of criminals over the British Empire in 1841.

Neither read Total. nor write. Imperfectly. Well. Superior. Educated. Uneducated.

England 9220 13,732 2,253 126 18,171 9,220 Scotland 696 2,248 554 42 2,834 696 Ireland 7152 3,084 5,631 0 8,733 7,152 ——— ———- ——— ——- ———- ———- 17,068 19,064 8,438 168 29,738 17,068

—PORTER'S Progress of the Nation, iii. 201, 214, 215, 232.

[10] Table showing the centesimal proportion of crime in relation to education in the under-mentioned years.

Unable to read Not or write. Imperfectly. Well. Superior. ascertained. Total.

1836 33.52 52.53 10.36 0.91 2.68 100 1837 35.85 52.08 9.45 0.43 2.18 100 1838 34.42 53.41 9.77 0.34 2.08 100 1839 33.53 53.48 10.07 0.32 2.60 100 1840 33.32 55.57 8.29 0.37 2.45 100 1841 33.21 56.67 7.10 0.43 2.27 100 1842 32.33 58.52 6.77 0.22 2.34 100

Parl. Papers, 5th May 1843. M'CULLOCH, Stat. of Great Britain, i. 476-7.

[11] See GUERRY'S Stat. Tables of France.

[12] Uneducated. Imperfectly educated. Good do. Superior do. Total educated.

1828 4,116 1,858 780 118 2,756 1831 4,600 2,047 767 190 3,004 1834 4,080 2,061 608 203 2,872

—PORTER'S Parl. Tables, ii. 346.

[13] In France and Prussia there were in 1826.—

Prussia. France. Crimes against the person 1 in 34.122 1 in 32.411 Do. property 1 in 597 1 in 9.392 Do. on the whole 1 in 587 1 in 7.285


"On the Rhine, I am never more than twenty years old!" says the Countess Ida Hahn Hahn, in her Erinnerungen. "There only do I feel myself quite at home. Whether arriving from the Baltic or the Guadalquivir, I have always a recurrence of the same nameless home-feeling, which renders me at once happy and tranquil. O, the Rhine! the Rhine! What are other rivers—your Seine, and Garonne, and Tagus—compared with him? But small and secondary streams beside the mighty Rhine. There are certain rivers which represent nations, and ideas, and periods of history—the Scamander for instance, bringing to our thoughts the days of Grecian heroism; when men fought with gods, and in so doing seemed to wrest from them a portion of their supernatural strength and beauty—the Nile, the priestly Nile, mysterious as a dogma, but rich in blessings as the agency of a divine spirit; concealed in its source, but manifest in its operation—then the Jordan, the stream of revelation, on whose banks is heard the rushing of the wings of the dove, while a voice, other than that of man, murmurs over the waters—and the Tiber, a small and muddy stream, but the gigantic and sparkling reflex of Rome's immortal turrets. But the Rhine, that heroic river, which nations never cross without buckling on their armour for the fight; and yet, on whose banks life is so free, so safe, and so delightful. Hark to the clatter of wine-cups, the echoes of music, the whispered legends, and the clash of weapons! while the old river flows on so cheerily, murmuring as he goes words of encouragement to his children.

"I embrace thee, O Rhine! and wherever I go I will not cease to love thee.

* * * * *

"When I pass in review all the beautiful scenes I have visited, and then ask myself the question, Where I would fain see the sun set for the last time? the answer is unhesitating and heartfelt, and invariably the same—'Behind Stobzenfels, on the Rhine.'"

It would be difficult better to illustrate German veneration and affection for the Rhine, than by the above passages from one of the most intellectual female writers of the day—a writer whose works will bear comparison with those of George Sand for genius and masculine vigour of style, (exempt, however, from much that is objectionable in the French-woman;) while for elegance, taste, and a fine feeling for art and poetry, they may be placed on the same line with those of our own "Ennuyee." What the Countess Hahn Hahn feels and expresses with all the fervour of a poetical imagination—the sort of exhilarating and exulting love for the most classical stream of modern story—is felt in a greater or less degree by all intellectual classes of Germans. Their veneration for the old river that waters one of the sunniest and fairest districts of the Vaterland, is profound; their admiration of the natural beauties, and of the vestiges of days gone by, that abound upon its banks, unceasing. German patriotism is comprehensive: it hails as one country all the wide lands in which the Teuton tongue is spoken; and in nearly all those lands is the Rhine thought and talked of with an admiration amounting to enthusiasm. By a contradiction, however, of not unfrequent occurrence, the people who seem least capable of sharing this feeling, are those who ought to be most under its influence—the inhabitants of the Rhine-country itself. The well known and often quoted passage of Jean Jacques, applied by him to the dwellers on the shores of Lake Leman, is equally applicable to the denizens of the Rhineland. "Je dirois volontiers a ceux qui ont du gout et sont sensibles—allez a Vevey, visitez le pays, examinez les sites, promenez vous sur le lac; et dites si la nature n'a pas fait ce beau pays pour une Julie, pour une Claire, et pour un St Preux; mais—— ne les y cherchez pas." In like manner we would say—Visit the Rhine, not as most tourists do, by rushing in a steam-boat from Rotterdam or Cologne to Basle or Baden, but deliberately, on shore as well as on the water, climbing the mountains and strolling through the valleys, seeking out the innumerable and enchanting points of view, and contemplating them by sunset and sunrise, in the broad glare of noon and by the subdued evening light; and then say whether such a country is not worthy of different inhabitants from the mongrel race, part German, part Flemish, part French, which it now possesses—a population which, when it has consumed its five or six heavy meals, smoked a dozen or two pipes, and slept its long sleep of repletion, considers it has done its duty to God and man, and troubles itself little with such intangible matters as poetical reveries or mental cultivation.

But we are running away from our subject, and losing sight of the intention we had in commencing this paper, which was, to hook ourselves on to the dexter arm of that indefatigable rambler, M. Alexander Dumas, and accompany him in an excursion up the Rhine. He thinks proper to proceed thither by way of Belgium, and we must conform to his arrangements. In due time we shall return to our Rhenish friends.

M. Dumas's earliest care, on arriving at Brussels, was to deliver to King Leopold a letter of recommendation with which he had provided himself for that monarch; and he hastened to the palace, where he obtained admission, he tells us, more easily than he could have done at Paris at the house of a second-rate banker. We were not aware that the French bureaucratie of the day were of such difficult access, and would strongly advise them, since it is so, to take pattern by his Belgian majesty; who in this instance, however, was not at Brussels at all, but at his country palace of Lacken, whither M. Dumas proceeds. Here he is immediately ushered into the king's presence.

"After a quarter of an hour's conversation," says our traveller, "which his Majesty was pleased to put at once upon a footing of familiar chat, I became convinced that I was speaking with the most philosophical king who had ever existed, not excepting Frederick the Great."

We congratulate M. Dumas sincerely upon the exquisite keenness of perception which enabled him to make this discovery, and from so decided an opinion in the course of a quarter of an hour's familiar chat. At the same time we cannot repress a fear, that he is apt to be a little dazzled by the sparkling halo that surrounds a diadem. This we do not say so much with reference to the King of the Belgians, who may be a very philosophical, as he has proved himself to be a very judicious sovereign; but it has struck us more than once, during the perusal of M. Dumas's wanderings in various lands, that he exhibits a slight, an inconceivably small, tendency to tuft-hunting, hardly consistent with his ultra-liberal principles, and difficult to reconcile with the cynical tone that he habitually adopts in speaking of most existing governments and institutions. To say the truth, we have conceived a great affection for our friend Alexander, and feel every disposition to glide lightly over his faults and exalt his virtues; to treat him tenderly, in short, even as one we love. We do not expect perfection from him, although we are anxious to believe that he approaches as near to that angelic state as it is given to a child of clay to do. We would pardon his recording in some detail the gracious words spoken to him by the King of this, and the Prince of that—showing how he was treated on a footing of perfect equality and familiarity by the mighty ones of the earth—how they caressed and complimented him, and wore out the boots of their aides-de-camp and chamberlains by sending after him—and how they told him to "Venez me demander a diner," or in other words, to go and take a chop with them whenever he could make it convenient. At all these interesting and carefully recorded incidents we should indulgently smile, were they narrated by any one but our much-esteemed Alexander—the confirmed democrat, the political Utopian, the declared disciple of the subversive school, the worthy representative, when he gets upon the chapter of politics, of that recently discovered zoological curiosity, the tigre-singe. It is the inconsistency of the thing that strikes and afflicts us.

Of M. Dumas's very ultra views on political subjects, we have abundant proof in the section headed "Waterloo," which is an amusing specimen of the rabid style. The tone is pretty much the same as that of the most violent of the French democratic and anti-English journals. We should like to extract it all, but it is too lengthy, and we must content ourselves with the last ten lines. Here they are, breathing saltpetre and bayonets:—

"A quarter of a century has elapsed since that date, (June 1815,) and France is only now beginning to understand that the defeat of Waterloo was necessary for the liberty of Europe; but she not the less cherishes at the bottom of her heart a poignant grief and rage at having been marked out for a victim. On that plain where so many Spartan-like warriors fell for her sake—where the pyramid of the Prince of Orange, the tomb of Colonel Gordon, and the monument of the Hanoverians, serve as mementoes of the fight—no stone, or cross, or inscription recalls the name of France. But the day shall come when God will bid her (France) recommence the work of universal liberation—the work begun by Bonaparte and interrupted by Napoleon; then, when that work is done, we will turn the lion of Nassau with its head towards Europe, et tout sera dit."

As this rather high-flown passage might not be generally intelligible to our readers, we will put it into plain English. It will then run thus:—

"When France shall again become a republic, or when she shall find a king mad or wicked enough to give in to her worst propensities, she will pour her legions across every frontier, sweep all opposition before her, revolutionize and emancipate Europe, and hoist the triumphant and blood-stained tricolor over the ashes of sovereignties, and the ruins of every old and time-honoured institution."

It is strange to see a man of undoubted talent, and who ought to be amongst the enlightened ones of his country and his age, indulging in such absurd visions and insane prophecies. Rhapsodies of this kind would be merely laughable, were it not for the weight which they unquestionably have with the younger and less reflecting classes of Frenchmen, especially when proceeding from a writer of M. Dumas's abilities and reputation. It is by this style of writing, which abounds in French periodical literature, and in the works of some, fortunately a minority, of the clever litterateurs of the day, that the attacks of war fever, to which France is subject, are aggravated, if not frequently brought on.

We do not intend following M. Dumas step by step through Belgium, to which country he devotes a volume. We prefer passing at once to the Rhine, which he ascends from Cologne to Strasburg, making continual pauses, and enlivening the description of what he sees by agreeable and spirited versions of what he has read and heard. Much of what he tells us has been already printed in the numerous tours and guide-books, which, in conjunction with steam-boats and railways, have familiarized most Englishmen with the Rhine and its legends. It acquires a fresh charm, however, from the present narrator's agreeable and pointed style, and from his calling in the aid of his imagination to supply any little deficiencies; rounding and filling up stories that would otherwise be angular and incomplete. He also gives some agreeable caricatures, if caricatures they may be called, of certain German eccentricities. Yet we should have thought that so keen an observer of men and manners, might have made more than he has done of the peculiarities of German society and habits; but unfortunately M. Dumas appears to understand little, if any, of the language, and this has doubtless been a great hindrance to him, and has prevented him from making his book as characteristic as his Italian sketches. Nevertheless he is piquant enough in some places. We will give his droll account of his entrance into Rhenish Prussia. After being robbed by the innkeeper at Liege, he gets into the Aix-la-Chapelle diligence; and, on reading the printed ticket that has been given to him at the coach-office, finds that he has the fourth seat, and that he is forbidden to change places with his neighbours, even by mutual consent.

"This military sort of strictness, still more than the abominable jargon of the postilion, made me aware that I was about to enter the dominions of King Frederick William. As I had a corner of the coach, the tyranny of his Prussian majesty was tolerably endurable, and I soon fell fast asleep. About three in the morning, just as day was breaking, I awoke, and found that the diligence was standing still. I at first thought there was an accident, and put my head out of the window to see what was the matter. No accident had happened; no other coach was near—the road was excellent. We were alone and motionless. I took my ticket out of my pocket, read it from one end to the other, and having satisfied myself that it was not forbidden to speak in the diligence, I asked my neighbour if we had been standing there long.

"'About twenty minutes,' was the answer.

"'And pray,' continued I, 'can you tell me what we are doing here?'

"'We are waiting.'

"'Ah! we are waiting. And for what?'

"'For the time.'

"'What time?'

"'The time at which we are allowed to arrive.'

"'There is a time fixed for arriving, then?'

"'Every thing is fixed in Prussia.'

"'And if we arrived before the time?'

"'The conductor would be punished.'

"'And if after?'

"'He would also be punished.'

"'Ah! that is very well arranged.'

"'Every thing is well arranged in Prussia.'

"I bowed assentingly. Not for worlds would I have contradicted a gentleman possessed of such an exalted opinion of his country and its institutions, and who answered my questions so courteously and laconically. My acquiescence appeared to gratify him. I felt encouraged, and continued my enquiries.

"'Pardon me, sir, but at what hour ought the diligence to arrive at Aix-la-Chapelle?'

"'At twenty-five minutes to five.'

"'But if the conductor's watch were slow?'

"'His watch can never be slow.'

"'Indeed! And why so?'

"'Opposite to where he sits, and under lock and key, there is a watch which is regulated before starting by the clock at the coach-office. The conductor knows at what hour he should pass through each town and village on his route, and he makes the postilions hurry or slacken their pace accordingly, so as to arrive at Aix-la-Chapelle exactly at the right time.'

"'But with those precautions, how is it that we are obliged to wait upon the road?'

"'The conductor has doubtless followed your example, and slept, and the postilions have taken advantage of that to go quicker.'

"'Well, since we have still some time to remain here, I will get out and stretch my legs a little.'

"'It is not allowed to get out of the diligence in Prussia.'

"'Indeed! That is very agreeable. I wished particularly to look at that castle on the other side of the road.'

"'That is Emmaburg. It is the scene of the famous legend of Eginhard and Emma.'

"'Really! Be so obliging as to change places with me for a moment, that I may look at it through the window.'

"'I should be most happy, sir; but in Prussia it is not allowed to change places.'

"'True, true! How could I forget it? I beg your pardon, sir.'

"'These tamned Frenchmans, they do noting but shatter and talk!' said a fat German sitting opposite to me, opening his mouth for the first time since we had left Liege, but still keeping his eyes shut.

"'You were saying, sir——?' said I, not particularly gratified by the remark.

"'I say noting—I shleep.'

"'Shleep as much as you like, but try not to dream aloud, eh? Or, if you dream, dream in your mother tongue.'

"The German began to snore.

"'Postilion, vorwarts!' shouted the conductor.

"We were off at a gallop. I put my head out of the window to try to get a view of the ruins, but it was vain; they had disappeared behind an angle of the road. At twenty-five minutes to five, not a second later or earlier, we drove into the coach-yard at Aix-la-Chapelle."

At Cologne M. Dumas pauses, and fills a hundred pages with the cathedral, and the legend attaching to it. Most of our readers are probably aware that the above-named church was commenced by an architect whose name has been forgotten, and who procured the design for the building from Satan himself, upon the usual condition of giving a promissory note for his soul. A certain Father Clement, however, a very knowing priest, of whom the arch-tempter stood in almost as great awe as he had ever done of St Dunstan of nose-pulling celebrity, came to the assistance of the builder, and put him up to a stratagem, by which he avoided signing away his spiritual part, although he still obtained possession of the plan for the cathedral. Satan confessed himself outwitted, but prophesied that the building should never be finished, and that its builder's name should not go down to posterity. The latter part of the prediction has been accomplished; but as the present King of Prussia has declared his intention of finishing the work that has been so magnificently begun, it seems probable Beelzebub may prove mistaken in one portion of his prophecy.

Cologne being a large city, somewhat Frenchified in its ways, M. Dumas manages pretty well as regards eating and drinking; but, as he ascends the river, matters get worse. He arrives at Bonn at the hour of the one o'clock meal, called the first dinner, and we find him expatiating on the subject of German appetites and feeding.

"The Germans eat from morning till night. On opening their eyes, at seven o'clock in the morning, they take their coffee—at eleven, breakfast—at one, the little dinner, (a sort of luncheon)—at three, dinner—at five, another meal, nondescript, nameless, and abundant—at nine, a tremendous supper, preparatory to going to bed. Tea, cakes, and sandwiches, fill up the intervals."

This is really only a moderate exaggeration on the part of M. Dumas. Five meals a-day, three of them solid, meat-devouring, wine-bibbing feeds, are the regular allowance of every well-conditioned, well-to-do, comfortable Rhinelander. We do not consider Frenchmen small eaters, whatever they may consider themselves—if they eat little of each dish, they eat of a vast number; but for examples of positive voracity, commend us to a German table-d'hote. A coachful of French commis voyageurs, assembled, after a ten hours' fast, round the luxurious profusion and delicacies of a Languedocian dinner, would appear mere babes and sucklings in the eating way, compared to a party of Germans at their one o'clock feed. The difference is nearly as great as between the Lady Amine eating rice with a bodkin, and the same fair one battening ghoulishly upon the cold meat in the cemetery. Nothing can equal the persevering industry with which a German crams himself at a public table, where, having to pay a fixed sum for his dinner, he always seems desirous to get as much as he can for his money. The obligato bowl of soup is followed by sundry huge slices of boiled beef, sufficient of themselves for an ordinary man's dinner, but by no means sufficing for a German's; then come fowl and meat, fish, puddings and creams, and meat again; sweet, sour, and greasy—greasy, sweet, and sour, alternating and following one another in inextricable and interminable confusion. Every body eats of every thing largely and voraciously, and the short pauses between the appearance of the dishes are filled up by nibblings at such salutary and digestible extremets as raw hams and herrings, pickled cucumbers, and pickled grapes! German cookery is famous for odd mixtures. M. Dumas is rather amusing on this head.

"At Bonn, the dinner they served me consisted of an unintelligible sort of soup, full of round balls of a pasty substance; beef stewed with prunes, hare dressed with preserves, wild boar with cherries; it was impossible to take more pains to spoil things which separately, would have been very commendable eating. I tasted them each in turn, and each time sent away my plate. When I sent away the wild boar, the waiter could stand it no longer.

"'Does not monsieur like wild boar with cherries?'

"'I detest it!'

"'That is singular; a great poet like monsieur.'

"'You are mistaken, my man: I make verses perhaps; but that is no reason for calling me a great poet, nor for ruining the coats of my stomach with your infernal fricassees. Besides, supposing I were a great poet, what has poetry got to do with pig and cherry sauce?'

"'Our great Schiller adored that dish.'

"'Our tastes differ, then. I have no objection to William Tell or Wallenstein, but—— take away your pig.'

"The waiter carried off the wild boar: meantime I tasted the beef and prunes, but, to do more than taste it, was out of the question; and, when the man returned, I bid him change my plate. His astonishment was greater than ever.

"'What!' cried he, 'does not monsieur like beef and prunes?'


"'M. Goethe was passionately addicted to it.'

"'I am sorry not to have the same addictions as the author of Faust. Make me an omelet.'

"In a few minutes back came the waiter with the omelet. It looked uncommonly nice, and I was uncommonly hungry. Nevertheless, I could not swallow the first mouthful.

"'What the devil have you put into your omelet? An omelet should be made with butter, eggs, salt, and pepper.'

"'Certainly, sir. It is made with butter, eggs, salt, and pepper.'

"'And what else?'

"'A little flour.'

"'And besides?'

"'A little cheese.'

"'Go on.'

"'Some saffron.'

"'And then?'

"'Cloves, nutmeg, and a little thyme.'

"'Enough, enough! Take away your omelet.'"

The master of the hotel, who is an intelligent personage, now makes his appearance, and M. Dumas at last finds that, by ordering a dinner a la Francaise, he can get something eatable. Encouraged by this success, he ventures, when bedtime comes, to petition for a bed in which a Frenchman can sleep. This requires a little explanation, which will be best given in his own words.

"In France we are pretty much accustomed to sleep in a bed; that is to say, on a couch consisting of a frame some three and a half or four feet wide, and some six or six and a half feet long. On this frame or bedstead we place two or three mattresses and a feather bed, a pair of sheets, a counterpane, a pillow and bolster; we then tuck in the edges of these coverings, the person for whom the bed is intended slips in between the sheets, and if his health is good and his conscience clear, and he has not been drinking too much green tea or strong coffee, he goes to sleep. In a bed of this description any body can sleep, whether German, Spaniard, Italian, Hindoo, or Chinese, unless he makes up his mind not to do so. But in Germany things are very different. A German bed is composed as follows:—

"First, a bedstead two or two and a half feet wide, and five to five and a half feet long. Procrustes must decidedly have been a German. On the bedstead they place a sack of shavings, on the sack of shavings an enormous feather bed, and then a sheet, shorter and narrower than the feather bed, and which we should call a towel. Upon this sheet or towel comes a quilted coverlet of the same size, and a sort of cushion stuffed with feathers. Two or three pillows, piled up at the head of the bed, complete this singular edifice.

"When a Frenchman gets into a bed of this kind, as he does not think of taking any particular precautions, in about five minutes the pillows fall on one side, the coverlet on the other; the sheet rolls itself up and disappears; so that the aforesaid Frenchman finds himself with one side of his body uncovered and frozen, and the other side sunk in the feather bed and perspiring profusely. This arises, say the Germans, from the circumstance of the French being so impetuous and lively. With a calm and phlegmatic German the case is quite different. The latter raises the counterpane very cautiously, creeps underneath, and places himself with his back against the pillows, and his feet against the bottom of the bed, screwing himself up into the shape of the letter Z: he then draws the covering over his knees, shuts his eyes, goes to sleep, and awakes the next morning in the same position. To do this it is necessary to be a German, and as I am not one, I had not slept a wink since I had been in the country; I was growing as thin as a lath, and I had a cough that seemed to tear my chest open. This is why I asked for a bed a la Francaise. Mine host had fortunately six of them. When I heard that, I could have embraced him with pleasure."

The villages of Winnebourg and Metternich near Coblentz, the former the birthplace, the latter the property, of Prince Metternich, lead M. Dumas into a little digression on the subject of the celebrated diplomatist. The family name, we are informed, was originally Metter, but received the addition of the last syllable in the following manner:—

"In one of the great battles of the fifteenth century, the emperor of Germany saw an entire regiment take to flight with the exception of one man, who stood his ground and defended himself gallantly, till he fell covered with wounds. The emperor enquired his name. It was Metter."

That night at supper the emperor said, talking of the regiment in question—"They all fled, but Metter nicht." Every body knows that "nicht" is the German for not. The family adopted the additional syllable, and hence the origin of the name of Metternich.

M. de Metternich, it appears, is a great collector of autographs, and of course his position has facilitated the gratification of this taste. His collection is rich in royal, imperial, and princely letters; nor is there any lack of odes from German poets, and sonnets from Italian improvisatori. One day, however, it occurred to him that, now the public press had become a power in many countries, he ought to have the autographs of a few journalists, in order to complete his collection; and as in Italy and Germany, thanks to the censorship, there are plenty of journals but no journalists, he was obliged to send to France. Amongst others, M. Jules Janin (one of the editors of the Journal des Debats) received a most polite request for an autograph from the rival of M. de Talleyrand. Janin immediately took up his pen, and wrote as follows:—

"Received from his Excellency Prince Metternich, twenty-four bottles of Johannisberg, first quality.

"Paris, 15th May 1838."

A month afterwards there arrived at Paris the twenty-four bottles of wine, of which Janin, with a confidence that the prince no doubt knew how to appreciate, had acknowledged receipt beforehand. M. de Metternich has preserved Janin's witty autograph with the greatest care. I doubt very much if Janin has preserved M. de Metternich's wine.

M. Dumas finds some compensation for the badness of German beds in the excellence of German roads. His soundest sleep is always obtained in the diligence. He takes a nap from Mayence to Frankfort; but on entering the latter city is shaken out of his slumbers by an Austrian soldier, who demands his passport. In consequence of an incident that had lately occurred, the soldiery were particularly on the alert with regard to passports. M. Dumas relates the anecdote in his usual pointed and effective manner.

"The free city of Frankfort, which, in its capacity of a free city, is garrisoned by an Austrian and a Prussian regiment, had been laid under contribution during the spring fair by a most expert pickpocket, whom the police had in vain endeavoured to detect and capture. The fair was nearly at an end; and, in order that the thief might not escape, the sentries at the gates were directed to allow no man to leave the town without sending him into the guard-house to have his passport examined, and to see if his height, features, and appearance corresponded with the description on the paper. This order given, the authorities did not trouble their heads any more about the matter, feeling quite certain that the offender could not escape.

"On the other hand, the unfortunate thief felt very uncomfortable. Nature had endowed him with rather a remarkable physiognomy, and it was difficult to find a passport to fit him unless it were made on purpose; so that out of five or six which he had in his possession, not one would do. At last he made up his mind to walk out of the town without a passport, as if he were one of the town's-people going for a stroll. He accordingly took a cane in his hand, and lounging along with an affectation of great indifference, approached a gate at which the Austrians were on guard. But the sentry had his orders, and when the stranger drew near—

"'Who goes there?' he vociferated.

"'A friend,' answered the thief.

"'Advance, friend!' said the sentry with a significant rattle of his musket—a sort of intimation that non-compliance might be rewarded by a bullet.

"The thief walked up to the soldier.

"'Your passport,' demanded the latter.

"'My passport!' repeated the thief in tone of infinite astonishment, 'I have none.'

"'All the better for you,' said the sentry, shouldering his musket. 'If you had had one I should have been obliged to send you into the guard-house to have it examined, and that would have detained you a good half hour. But since you have no passport you can't show one, so you may pass.'

"And the intelligent warrior recommenced his monotonous promenade; while the thief, profiting by his obliging permission, walked out of the town."

Mannheim, the scene of Kotzebue's death, and his assassin's execution, could hardly fail to detain M. Dumas. At Frankfort he applies to a friend for an introduction to some person likely to give him details concerning Kotzebue and Sand, and his friend procures him a letter addressed to Mr Widemann, surgeon, Heidelberg. He has no letter for any body at Mannheim, and after visiting Kotzebue's house, leaves that town to proceed to Heidelberg. Just outside Mannheim he causes the postilion to stop, while he contemplates the place of the mad student's execution, which goes by the name of "Sand's Himmelfahrtwiese," or the meadow of Sand's ascension to heaven. It is a green meadow intersected by a rivulet, and situated within a few hundred yards of the town. While gazing at this field, and trying to conjecture the exact spot where the scaffold had stood, a stranger approaches of whom our traveller makes an enquiry. They fall into conversation, and the newcomer proves to be the governor of the prison in which Sand had been confined. Delighted at this rencontre, M. Dumas turns back and stops a day or two longer at Mannheim, copying some letters of Sand's, and collecting materials which fill several chapters of his book. He learns from his new friend that the Mr Widemann at Heidelberg, for whom he has a letter, is not only a surgeon but also the public executioner, although as yet his services have not been called into request in the latter capacity. It was his father who decapitated Sand. The Heidelberg executioner is noble by right of descent. The origin of his family's nobility is given by M. Dumas as follows:—

"The evening of the day on which King Louis of Bavaria was crowned emperor, there was a splendid ball at the town-hall, at which the empress was present. Amongst the guests was a cavalier dressed entirely in black, and having his face covered with a black mask. He invited the empress to dance: she accepted, and, whilst they were dancing together, another mask approached the emperor and asked him if he knew who his wife's partner was. 'No,' replied the emperor, 'but I suppose it is some sovereign prince.'

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