I thought, for one moment, that even then she would have relented, but it was far otherwise; she began at once, with the calmest voice, to give a sketch of Flavio's life from the time when she first met him. The story was one of intense interest. It seems that at one time he was engaged in gaining an honest livelihood; but one unlucky day he quarrelled with a man—struck him; this led to a tussle, and, in a fit of exasperation, he took out a knife and killed him on the spot. From that moment he was lost. The dead man's family vowed vengeance against him. He had to take to the woods, where, for self-defence, and really for his subsistence, he took to the brigand's life. His extreme courage, and even generosity, soon brought a large number of followers together; and, as I have already remarked, he became the terror of the whole Neapolitan frontier. At one time two or three regiments were sent in pursuit of him; and then it was he undertook the last and boldest step of coming to Rome itself. He got into the city at night, and for a long time nothing more was heard of Flavio. At last his old habits returned. Some robberies committed with wondrous skill, and a murder of extraordinary atrocity, made the police suspect that the man who thus braved their vigilance was a criminal of no ordinary description; but do what they would, they were baffled in every scheme which they planned for his arrest. At one moment his extraordinary nerve saved him,—for instance, when chased by the police, he sought shelter in one of the very tribunals, which they might naturally imagine was about the last place where he would have been found. Mingled with this wild and savage character were some generous qualities; he had been known to assist people in misfortune, and a vague kind of interest attached to him on account of traits of self-denial that were attributed to him. But now, when Rachel told me of his heartless conduct to her, I learned how entirely visionary are all those tales of nobility of character among men who are leading an abandoned and vicious life.
From her story it could not be doubted for a moment that he it was who had instigated her to commit the act which had brought her to despair. Nothing could equal the bitterness with which she inveighed against him. She told all his hiding-places—the secret passages by which he evaded all pursuit; and when the story was finished, and her vengeance accomplished, she wept like a child.
Even the stern M. Narelli was touched at the painful tale. He gave orders that every comfort should be shown her, and after some minutes further delay, we left the prison.
We had been there almost three hours, but the time had seemed very short. When we crossed the Ponte St. Angelo the people were leaving the Opera, after three hours of fictitious sorrow, while I had been passing that time in the presence of real affliction—side by side, as it were, in the face of each other, the mockery of woe and its solemn reality. And how often is it so! Unthought of—not, indeed, uncared for—but unthought of by the happy, the carriage rolls along, passing the hospital and the prison in its rapid progress; the golden youth, listlessly reclining in happy indolence, hears not the voice of pain, sees not the hectic glow of suffering on the cheek; nursed in the sweet sorrows of romance, dreams not of living agonies more fearful than those which the greatest actor can portray, and of death as a reality.
I determined to lose no time in fulfilling my mission. The directions of the house where the child lived had been very carefully written, so I had no difficulty in discovering it; but I had to pass through a labyrinth of dirty streets, until at last, in a small, narrow lane, next the Farnese Palace, I found the house. Evidently something had occurred to excite the inmates, for people were bustling about the door, and there was unusual excitement for that late hour of the night. I stood aside for a few moments to learn, if possible, what was the cause of all this movement; and then I overheard expressions which made me tremble for the safety of the poor child, if it was quite certain that she lived there. "Who did it? Where is the man? Poor child, how beautiful she was!" At last, unable to restrain my feelings, I rushed through the group, and asked whether a young girl of eight or ten years lived there.
"She did live here," said an old woman, with the tears trickling down her cheek,—"she did live here, but she is dead."
"Dead!" I exclaimed; for however indifferent a person may be to us, perhaps in the circle of events nothing is more fearful than to seek the living and find the corpse; to expect joy, and tremble before despair. "Dead! When did she die? How did she die?"
"Come up, and see for yourself," said the woman; "the room will explain every thing." And the men made way for me, and I followed up a rickety staircase to the third flat,—it was scarcely worth the name of a floor. As we drew near the top I saw two or three myrmidons of the police; they all, I observed, looked pale—almost alarmed: evidently some great catastrophe had occurred, but I had yet to learn the worst.
The light which the old woman held in her hand shone upon something sparkling on the ground. I touched her arm to point it out to her, and then she threw the full blaze of light upon it, and I saw at once that it was blood. A cold, creeping sensation passed over me; that terrible conviction that in one moment we are going to be witnesses of the effects of a great crime almost paralyzed my senses; but, strange to say, at this moment of horror I felt as if I had witnessed the whole scene before. When we entered the room, and I saw the body of a young and lovely child lying on the floor, bathed in blood, I did not shrink even then, although destitution and crime were both presented to me in their most fearful aspect. My nerves appeared to have been braced for some great necessity. The police were standing by perfectly irresolute, and incapable of taking any decided course, when one of them picked up a handkerchief from the floor.
"Rachel!" he exclaimed, looking at the corner.
I started at the name, and then a sudden idea flashed across me: it was Flavio who had been here, and with that devilish spirit of revenge to which Rachel alluded, he had killed his own child. I took the chief of the police to one side, and asked him if he knew Flavio.
"Well," he replied. "I was one of the band who were sent in pursuit of him for two or three months. We fell in with him several times, but never were able to take him."
"You had better inquire about him," I said; "for I strongly suspect him of having committed this murder."
He took my suggestion, and it appeared that a man, precisely resembling Flavio, had been seen leaving the house at the time of the murder. When once suspicion was directed into the right channel, numerous corroborative circumstances were cited. It appeared that Flavio came constantly to see the child: the only strange part of the case was that he appeared very fond of it, and as tender and considerate towards it as a man of his brutal nature could be. There clearly must have been some ground for this sudden and unprovoked attack,—if, indeed, he committed it; after exhausting every possible motive, we could not arrive at any definite conclusion.
After a while the horror of the spectacle grew upon me: it presented itself no longer as a picture to my imagination, but as a fearful fact. The crowd of people who forced their way into the room—the blasphemous and terrible expressions—the coarse jokes—the vulgar, obscene language—the poor child, not fashioned tenderly, but lying like a confused mass of clothes and gore upon the floor, perfectly sickened my heart. And when I thought that I could not be of any further use, I was too happy to turn away.
I returned home, but could not sleep. All the events of the day crowded upon my mind. My dream had been dreamt before I laid my head upon the pillow: it now filled my brain like a horrible vision. I rose early, wearied with restlessness, and went immediately in search of M. Narelli. To my great surprise I found that he was up, and in close communication with the chief of the police, whom I had seen on the preceding night at the poor child's room. I was immediately shown into his office, and I observed that his countenance betrayed an anxiety and annoyance unusual in persons of his nature under any circumstances.
I was beginning to tell him my story, when he interrupted me.
"My dear sir," he said, "pardon me, but we have no time to lose, and I know it all. A murder has been committed, and there is no question that Flavio is the murderer: and I will tell you something more that will surprise you. I know the cause of the murder—the motives that influenced him. What do you think?—he was present at the examination of that girl, yesterday!"
"He!" I exclaimed, with an expression of astonishment.
"It is surprising what he can do," he said: "he was disguised like a soldier on guard; and, if you remember, two or three of them were listening when the door was opened, when I returned after your interview with Rachel."
The whole mystery was now explained: he had murdered the child to revenge himself on Rachel.
"What I fear is," continued M. Narelli, "that we are three hours too late, and the fellow has escaped; but we have sent off in all directions, and all that can be will be done. I am now going to see the poor girl, will you come with me?"
A strange fascination made me do so; besides, I wished to restore the objects which she had given into my charge. When we arrived we found her asleep: the jailer awoke her more gently and with more consideration than before, for her sorrow had touched even his heart. When she saw me she gave an exclamation of joy.
"And my child?" she said.
I could not answer a word, but put the packet into her hand.
She looked up with a kind of vague, incredulous smile, and passed her hand across her forehead, as though to reflect more clearly.
"You have seen her, and you have not given it to her," she said. "What does it mean?"
"It means," said M. Narelli, "that your child is the victim of an act of fearful treachery, of a dreadful crime."
"My child! my child!" she shrieked aloud. "There is but one man who could hurt a child, a sweet child like that—its own father!"
She bowed her head for a time, and raised it again only to utter the most fearful ravings. Fit followed fit; her whole frame was convulsed, and I withdrew in horror and anguish.
The result may be shortly stated. She went mad, and was confined in an asylum,—one of those glorious charitable establishments of which modern Rome can boast. Flavio escaped to the Campo Morto, where he is now living,—an asylum for men guilty of the blackest crimes, where they gradually fall victims to the pestilential vapors which they inhale, and perish beneath the brightest sun while cultivating the soil so soon to become their graves.
From the American Whig Review for January.
HENRY C. CAREY, AND HIS POLITICAL ECONOMY.
BY RUFUS W. GRISWOLD.
Henry C. Carey has been recognized through continental Europe as one of the master thinkers of our generation. It is time for him to be known in his own country. In Political Economy he has applied the methods of the Positive Philosophy, and his works exhibit the chief advances the science has made since Adam Smith published his "Wealth of Nations." They are text-books in the colleges even of Sweden and Norway, while at the University in the street next to that in which the author has his residence, books are adopted composed of ideas from empirical and nearly obsolete systems: Say and Ricardo are regarded as expositors of the last and ultimate discoveries. Let us see if this law respecting prophets cannot be changed; or if not changed, confirmed, by an exception in the case of our philosopher.
Mr. Carey was born in Philadelphia, in December, 1793. His father was the late eminent Matthew Carey, memories of whose virtues preserve about his name a thousand delightful associations. Matthew Carey was a political economist also. He wrote much, and he wrote effectively, because he taught that which was in accordance with the feelings and interests of his readers; but he was of the old school, dead now, with its professors. He disliked abstract ideas or principles, and did not trouble himself much with their investigation. The consequence was, that he made no addition to politico-economical knowledge, and left nothing by which he should be remembered except the fact that he was a consistent and ardent friend of Protection.
Ricardo left his doctrine of Rents; Malthus his principle of Population; their books are little read now, and they themselves would have been long since forgotten, but that they taught what had been taught by no others. Of the hundreds of their countrymen who have since written, scarcely one has furnished a new idea; or if such an idea can be found in the books of any one, it will not bear investigation. Many have collected facts, that are useful, and all of them have talked and written about their facts and theories; but only as empirics. One man contended on one side and another on another, and there was no standard by which to judge them. Ricardo and Malthus gave laws that would not fit the facts, and the facts were altered and suppressed to suit the laws. McCulloch taught that transportation and exchange were more advantageous than production, and Cobden that it was better to go to colonies in which rich lands were to be had cheap, than to stay at home where landlords charged high rents for the poor ones that were necessarily cultivated: and therefore that imported food would be cheaper than that which was grown at home. The result has proved that he was wrong. Food is now obtained with more difficulty than before; emigration is necessary, and the late decision in Parliament shows that Protection will be restored: as the ministry could command only the mean majority of 21.
A few years hence McCulloch will be remembered only as the compiler of a few indifferent books of reference, and Cobden as the author of much ill to the people of England. Many of these men have ideas that are sound; but they know nothing of the principles of the science they undertake to teach; and so they are continually making blunders. Of all the French writers of the first forty years of this century, only one, Jean Baptiste Say, has lived to the middle of it, and his work is only a mass of error in an imposing form.
This may be called sweeping criticism; but time will prove that it is just. We need principles, as the astronomers did before Copernicus, Kepler and Newton, gave them the laws which govern the movements of the universe. Others observed facts and wrote treatises, but only these names have lived. Ricardo and Malthus furnished what they believed to be the great natural laws in regard to land and the sources of its value; the relation of the laborer and the capitalist; and of population. Their names are still familiar, but their theories are shattered by the assaults of critics; they will be forgotten, and their places will be occupied by those of the great author of whose works we propose to write. Ricardo and Malthus will be to Carey as Ptolemy to Copernicus.
From 1803, a period of almost fifty years, since Ricardo published his doctrine of Rent, there has not been even an attempt, except Carey's, to add any thing to political economy. Senior, Whateley, and a thousand others, have been disputing about words, while as many others have been attacking Malthus and Ricardo; but no one has attempted to discover laws, to take the place of those which were assailed. Of the supporters of these writers, every one has been compelled to admit that their laws did not cover the facts, and to interpolate accommodating passages. John Stuart Mill, in his recent work, has done this even more largely than his predecessors, and so furnished additional proof that their laws were not laws, but mere anarchy. Ricardo had to leave a place of escape for difficult facts and his successors have since found themselves obliged to open so many new ones, that his laws are now like sieves.
The period was propitious for a discoverer. The opinion of D'Alembert that the steps of Civilization were to be taken in the middle of each century, was to be confirmed by a new illustration.
Mr. Carey's father was a practical man; all his children were trained to affairs; thus they became observers. The students of books are rarely creators in science. Truth is most likely to be evolved in the school of experience. From the age of seven years until he was twenty-one, Mr. Carey was in his father's bookstore. From 1821 to 1838, he was a partner in the important publishing house of Carey, Lea & Carey, and Carey & Lea; but in this period he passed one season abroad, we believe immediately after his marriage with a sister of Leslie the painter. The determination of his mind was already fixed, when his retirement from business enabled him to devote his faculties entirely to the science with which his name will for ever be associated.
Mr. Carey's first book—An Essay on the Rate of Wages—was published in 1836, and was soon after expanded into The Principles of Political Economy, which appeared in three octavo volumes in 1837—1840.
Before proceeding to give an account of this performance, we will more particularly show what was, at the date of its publication, the condition of the science it was designed to illustrate. Mr. Malthus had taught that population tended to increase faster than food, and that so irresistible was this tendency, that all human efforts to restrain the number of men within the limits of subsistence were vain. It was a great "law of nature," and it was of little consequence, therefore, how fast food might be increased, since the only effect must be to stimulate population, which, in the end, was sure to outrun the means of living. The impression which this work produced has been briefly noticed in what we have written in connection with Mr. Alexander H. Everett's reply to it, printed in London and Boston in 1822. The doctrine was a convenient one, for it relieved the directors of affairs from the charge of causing, or suffering, the poverty and wretchedness by which they were surrounded.
Soon after this, Mr. Ricardo attempted to explain by what means the supply of food was limited. He taught that men always commenced the work of cultivation on the most fertile soils, capable of yielding, say, one hundred quarters for a given quantity of labor; but that as population increased, it became necessary to resort to poorer soils, yielding but ninety quarters, and that then the owner of the first could command as rent ten quarters. With a further increase, lands of a third quality, yielding but eighty quarters, were brought into use, and then the first and second would command as rent the whole difference, say, twenty quarters for the first, and ten quarters for the second. The payment of rent is thus regarded, in this school, as an evidence of constantly diminishing reward of labor, resulting from the increase of population in consequence of which it is necessary to extend the area of cultivation. With each step of its progress, the owner of the land takes a larger proportion of this constantly decreasing product, leaving a smaller one to be divided among those who apply either labor or capital to cultivation, thus producing a constant increase in the inequality of human condition. The interests of the landlord are in this manner shown to be for ever opposed to those of all the other portions of society. Rent is supposed to be paid because land has been occupied in virtue of an exercise of power and not because the owners have done any thing to entitle them to it. Here we see the germ of that discord which everywhere in Europe exists between the payers and receivers of rent. The annual fund from which savings can be made is held to be continually diminishing, the poor becoming poorer as the rich grow richer. The tendency to increase is more powerful in population than in capital, and the natural result must be that "wages will be reduced so low that a portion of the population will regularly die of want."
The effect of the promulgation of these principles, upon the science of which they were asserted to be the basis, was curious. It was clear that increase of population led to famine. It was equally clear that increase of wealth tended to the extension of cultivation over inferior soils, with constantly decreasing returns to labor. Nevertheless, the political economist was everywhere surrounded by facts showing that the condition of man improved as numbers increased, and as cultivation was extended. With lessened rewards of toil there should be deterioration of moral condition, and abridged facilities for intellectual cultivation, but it was incontestable that men were more moral and better instructed than in any previous centuries. The increasing disproportion between the share of the landlord and that of the laborer was calculated to increase the inequality of condition, and yet it was not to be doubted that the two were nearer together than they were in the days of Elizabeth or of Henry VIII. The fact and the theory were always at variance with each other, and hence resulted a determination to limit the science to the consideration of wealth alone, excluding all reference to social condition. Mr. McCulloch therefore defined Political Economy as the Science of Values, and Archbishop Whately desired to change the name to Catallactics, or the Science of Exchanges. The whole duty of the teacher of this new science was held to be that of explaining how wealth might be increased, allowing "neither sympathy with indigence, nor disgust at profusion nor at avarice; neither reverence for existing institutions, nor detestation of existing abuses; neither love of popularity, nor of paradox, nor of system, to deter him from stating what he believed to be the facts, or from drawing from those facts what appeared to him to be the legitimate conclusions."
Such was the Political Economy then, and such is that which is now, taught in the schools of England. The consequences are seen in the manner in which the poor people of every part of the United Kingdom are being expelled from the little holdings to which they have been reduced by a system of unbounded public expenditure, and the contemptuous tone in which the common people are spoken of in all their journals. Charity is denounced as tending to promote the growth of population. Marriage among the poor is regarded as a crime, and farmers are regarded as participant in crime for giving employment to men with families in preference to single men. But the system itself was an enormous wrong against nature. Mr. Carey entered the lists against it, with the earnestness and confidence inspired by a conviction that he contended for humanity.
His book commences with a single elementary proposition, that man desires to maintain and improve his condition, whether physical, moral, intellectual, or political: and the object of it is to show, that the theories of Mr. Malthus and Mr. Ricardo are in direct opposition to the universal fact, and therefore cannot be regarded as natural laws. On the contrary, he shows that food has always grown faster than population, and that the power to obtain subsistence has always increased most rapidly in those countries, and at those times, in which population has most rapidly increased, and in which cultivation has most rapidly extended over those soils denominated by Mr. Ricardo inferior. The error of all these writers is shown to be in taking quantities instead of proportions, and it is the law of proportions that constitutes the novel feature of this work. Ricardo and Malthus assert that land, labor, and capital are the agents of production, and are subject to different laws, all tending to produce contrariety of interests, and that the reason why such is the case is that land owes its value—or power to command rent for its use—to monopoly, while capital is the accumulated product of labor. Mr. Carey, on the contrary, shows, by a vast variety of facts, that land owes its value to labor alone, and that its selling price is invariably less than would purchase the quantity of labor required to induce its present condition were it restored to a state of nature. It is, therefore, like steam-engines, mills, or ships, to be considered as capital, the interest upon which is called rent, and it is subject to the same laws as capital in any other form. With the growth of wealth and population, the landlord is shown to be receiving a constantly decreasing proportion of the product of labor applied to cultivation, but a constantly increasing quantity, because of the rapid increase in the amount of the return as cultivation is improved and extended. So it is with the capitalist. The rate of interest falls as cultivation is improved, and capital is accumulated with greater facility, and the capitalist receives a smaller proportion; but the quantity of commodities obtainable in return for the use of a given amount of capital increases, and with every change in that direction there is shown to be an increasing tendency to equality and to improvement of condition, physical, moral, intellectual, and political.
According to the system of Mr. Ricardo, the interests of the land owner and laborer, the capitalist and the employer of capital, are always opposed to each other. Mr. Carey, on the contrary, proves, and we think most conclusively, that "the interests of the capitalist and of the employer of capital are thus in perfect harmony with each other, as each derives advantage from every measure that tends to facilitate the growth of capital, and to render labor productive; while every measure that tends to produce the opposite effect is injurious to both."
The entire novelty of these views rendered it necessary that they should be supported by a great body of facts, and Mr. Carey therefore furnished an examination of the causes which have in various countries, particularly India, France, Great Britain, and the United States, retarded the growth of wealth—demonstrating that they were to be found in the great public expenditure for the support of fleets and armies, and the prosecution of wars, the natural results of a state of things in which the few govern the many, taxing them at their will; and that the remedy was to be found in that improvement of political condition which should enable men to govern and to tax themselves, doing which they would be disposed to remain at peace.
That man may be enabled to improve his physical condition, combination of effort is shown to be necessary, and that tends to increase with the increase in the density of population. Therewith comes increased security of person and property, and increased respect for the rights of others, tending to promote the further increase of wealth, and to enable men to devote more time to the cultivation of mind. Improved mental condition enables men to apply their labors more productively, and thus obtain better subsistence from a diminished surface, facilitates combination of action, and increases the growth of wealth. With its growth the proportion of the laborer increases, and that of the landlord or other capitalist decreases, and the power of the former to govern himself, and to tax himself, grows steadily with the growth of wealth and population; and thus we have physical, moral, intellectual and political improvement, each aiding, and aided by, the other.
It will be seen from this brief summary that the field occupied is a most extensive one, more so than that of any similar work that has been written. The views are presented with great distinctness and force, and illustrated throughout by numerous facts drawn not only from the four countries principally referred to, but from Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, &c. It is one of the chief distinguishing merits of the work, that each part of it, while complete in itself, has that relation to the other which belongs to the divisions of a whole, in which all things are so interblended and harmonious as to produce a cumulative and finally perfect effect; while in the various systems presented to us by Europe, every part is in conflict with every other.
In denying Mr. Ricardo's theory of the occupation of the earth, Mr. Carey did not undertake to present any by himself, but this he has done in his more recent performance, The Past, the Present and the Future, published in Philadelphia in 1848. In this original and masterly composition, he has shown that the law is in direct opposition to the principle announced by Mr. Ricardo, and since adopted in the English school, and to some extent in France and in this country. In the infancy of civilization, man is poor and works with poor machinery, and must take the high and poor soils requiring little clearing and no drainage; and it is only as population and wealth increase, that the richer soils are brought into cultivation. The consequence is, that in obedience to a great law of nature, food tends to increase more rapidly than population, and it is only by that combination of effort which results from increasing density of population that the richer soils can be brought into activity. The truth of this is shown by a careful and particular account of the settlement of this country, followed by a rapid sketch of the occupation of Mexico, the West Indies, South America, Great Britain, France, Italy, Greece, India, and the Islands of the Pacific, illustrating and confirming the position that the poor lands at the heads of streams, or the small and rocky islands, are first chosen for cultivation, while the lower and richer soils are left unimproved for want of the means which come with growing wealth and population. Mr. Ricardo's theory is then examined in all its parts, and shown to be entirely opposed to the whole mass of facts presented in a rapid review of the course of events in the different portions of the world, while the exceptions made by him for the purpose of providing for the infinite number that could not be brought under his general law, are shown to be themselves the law; and that such is the case is now admitted by some of the most eminent economists of Europe.
With the downfall of Mr. Ricardo's hypothesis of the occupation of land, disappears the base on which rests the celebrated theory of Mr. Malthus—a theory which has been largely discussed in this country by Mr. Everett and others, and which is examined at length from his point of view by Mr. Carey, who shows that everywhere increase of population has led to the cultivation of the lower and richer soils, followed by increase in the facility of obtaining food, while depopulation has everywhere been marked by the retreat of cultivation to the hills; a truth which he illustrates by numerous instances.
He next surveys the circumstances attending the progress of wealth. It is held by the English economists that capital, applied to land, must necessarily bring diminishing profits, because applied to a machine of constantly decreasing powers; and that, therefore, manufactures and trade, steam-engines and ships, are more profitable than agriculture; whereas, Mr. Carey shows that land is a machine of constantly increasing capacities, and that the only manner in which machinery of any description is beneficial, is by diminishing the labor required for converting and transporting the products of the earth, and permitting a larger quantity to be given to the work of production. The earth is the sole producer, says Mr. Carey, and man merely fashions and exchanges her products, adding nothing to the quantity to be converted or exchanged, and the growth of wealth everywhere is shown to be in the ratio of the quantity of labor that can be given to the cultivation of the great machine bestowed on man for the production of food and wool. This leads to an examination of the British system, the object of which is shown to have been that of compelling the people of every part of the world to bring to her their raw products to be converted and exchanged, thus wasting on the road a large portion of them, and all the manure that would result from their home consumption, the consequence of which is shown to be the exhaustion of the land and its owner. The broad ground is then taken that the products of the land should be consumed upon the land, and that nations grow rich or remain poor precisely as they act in accordance with, or in opposition to, that view. Mr. Carey is a free-trader. In his first book he advocated the British doctrine of diminished duties, as the means of bringing about free trade. In his Past and Present he admits his error, and shows that the protective system was the result of an instinctive effort at the correction of a great evil inflicted upon the world by British legislation, and that the only course towards perfect freedom of trade is to be found in perfect protection.
The effect of increasing wealth and population resulting from the power to cultivate the richer soils, in bringing about the division of land and the union of man is then shown, and illustrated by examples drawn from the history of the principal nations of the world, ancient and modern; and here the European system of primogeniture is examined, with a view to show that it is purely artificial, and tends to disappear with the growth of wealth and population. This leads to the discussion of the relations of man to his fellow-men, which are shown to tend to the establishment of equality wherever peace is maintained, and wealth and population are allowed to grow; and to inequality, with every step in the progress of war and devastation.
Man himself next appears on the scene. Mr. Malthus, Mr. Ricardo, and all others of the English School, represent him as the slave of his necessities, working because he fears starvation. Mr. Carey, on the contrary, shows him to be animated by hope, and improving in all his moral qualities, precisely as by the growth of wealth and population—the results of peace—he is enabled to clear and cultivate the rich soils of the earth.
Thence we pass to the relations of man and his helpmate, which are shown to improve precisely as do those of man to his fellow-man, as the rich soils are brought into cultivation. Man and his family follow, and the same improvement, under the same circumstances, is shown to take place in the relations of parent and child.
Concentration, or the habit of local self-government, so strikingly illustrated in New-England, is next examined in contrast with centralization, as exhibited in England and France, and its admirable effects in tending to the maintenance of peace are fully exhibited. The various systems of colonization next pass in review, and give occasion for an examination of the various causes that brought negro slavery into this country, and the reason why it is here alone that the race has increased in numbers. India and Ireland, and the devastating effects of the colonial system, Annexation, and Civilization, furnish the materials for the succeeding chapters, and give occasion—the last particularly—for the expression of opinions much at variance with those taught by Guizot and others of the most distinguished men of our day. Such are the Past and Present. The closing chapter is the Future, and contains an examination of many remarkable facts now presented to our view by our own country, produced by the existence of the unnatural system fastened upon the world by England, and to be remedied by the adoption of an American policy, having for its object that of enabling men to live together and combine their exertions, instead of flying from each other, leaving behind rich lands uncultivated, and going to Texas or Oregon to begin the work of cultivation on the poorer ones. "With each step in the progress of concentration his physical condition would improve, because he would cultivate more fertile lands, and obtain increased power over the treasures of the earth. His moral condition would improve, because he would have greater inducements to steady and regular labor, and the reward of good conduct would steadily increase. His intellectual condition would improve, because he would have more leisure for study, and more power to mix with his fellow-men at home or abroad; to learn what they knew, and to see what they possessed; while the reward of talent would steadily increase, and that of mere brute wealth would steadily decline. His political condition would improve, because he would acquire an increased power over the application of his labor and of its proceeds. He would be less governed, better governed, and more cheaply governed, and all because more perfectly self-governed."
The field surveyed by Mr. Carey in the Past and Present is a broad one—broader than that of any other book of our time—for it discusses every interest of man. The ideas are original—whether true or not, they are both new and bold. They are based upon a great law of Nature, and it is the first time that any system of political economy has been offered to the world that was so based. The consequence is, that all the facts place themselves, as completely as did the planets when Copernicus had satisfied himself that the earth revolved around the sun.
More recently, in his Harmony of Interests, Mr. Carey has published a full examination of the great question of commercial policy, with a view to show that protection, as it exists in this country, is the true and only road to free trade. He has brought to the illustration of this important doctrine a mass of facts, greater, probably, than was ever before displayed in support of any position in political economy. It commences with an examination of our whole commercial policy for the last thirty years, and shows the effect of protection in increasing the sum of production and consumption, the means of transportation, internal and external, and the influx of population from abroad, always an evidence of the increased productiveness of labor. In this work it is shown conclusively, that shipping grows with protection, because protection tends to promote immigration, or the import of men, the most valuable of commodities, and thus to diminish the cost of sending to market the less valuable ones, grain, tobacco, and cotton. The question is examined in every point of view—material, moral, intellectual, and political; and the result arrived at is, "that between the interests of the treasury and the people, the farmer, planter, manufacturer and merchant, the great and little trader and the ship-owner, the slave and his master, the land-owners and laborers of the Union and the world, the free-trader and the advocate of protection, there is perfect harmony of interests, and that the way to the establishment of universal peace and universal free trade, is to be found in the adoption of measures tending to the destruction of the monopoly of machinery, and the location of the loom and the anvil in the vicinity of the plough and the harrow."
In addition to the works I have named, Mr. Carey has published two others, on the Currency—the larger of which is entitled Credit System in France, England, and the United States. Their object is to show, that there is a very simple law which lies at the root of the whole currency question, and that by its aid the revulsions so frequently experienced may be perfectly accounted for. That law is perfect freedom of trade in money, whether by individuals or associations, leaving the latter to make their own terms with their customers, and to assume limited or unlimited liability, as they themselves may think most expedient. In a detailed review of the operations of several of the principal nations, and of all the States of this Union, it is shown that the tendency to steadiness in the quantity, and uniformity in the quality, of currency, is in the exact ratio of freedom, while with every increase in the number or extent of restrictions, steadiness diminishes and insecurity increases. The views contained in this work are now adopted by some of the most eminent writers in France. They constitute the basis of a recent and excellent work by M. Coquelin, who quotes largely from that of Mr. Carey, declaring that our countryman has, "in the investigation of causes and effects, succeeded better than the English inquirers," and had, as early as 1838, "clearly shown the primary causes of the perturbations recurring almost periodically in commerce and currency."
Since these paragraphs were written, Mr. Carey has commenced the publication of a series of Letters to Mr. Walker, the late Secretary of the Treasury, in which he promises more largely and satisfactorily than heretofore to indicate and vindicate his opinions upon the subject of Trade. They are likely to have a powerful influence upon affairs, being of that class of compositions which the mind receives with astonishment that it had not anticipated their truth.
 Thus we see by a correspondence published in the London papers that Mr. Horace Mayhew, author of the metropolitan "Labor and the Poor" articles, has ceased to write for the London Morning Chronicle, the conductors of that journal wishing him to suppress, in his reports on the condition of the working classes, facts opposed to free trade.
 See Carey's Past, Present and Future, p. 128.
 The Past, the Present and the Future, pp. 70, 71.
 Mr. Mill, quoted by Mr. Carey.
 Mr. Senior, quoted by Mr. Carey.
 By the following passages, which we take from M. Bastiat's new work, Harmonies Economiques, it will be seen that he adopts these views as the basis of his political economy: "A mesure que les capitaux s'accroissent, la part absolue des capitalistes dans les produits totaux augmente et leur part relative diminue. Au contraire, les travailleurs voient augmenter leur part dans les deux sens. (p. 280).... Ainsi le partage se fera de la maniere suivante.
Produit total. Part du capital. Part du travail. Premiere periode, 1000 500 500 Deuxieme periode, 2000 800 1200 Troisieme periode, 3000 1050 1950 Quatrieme periode, 4000 1200 2800
"Telle est la grande, admirable, consolante, necessaire, et inflexible loi du capital."—(p. 281.)
"Ainsi la grande loi du capital et du travail, en ce qui concerne le partage du produit de la collaboration, est determinee. Chacun d'eux a une part absolue de plus en plus grand, mais la part proportionnelle du capital diminue sans cesse comparativement a celle du travail."—(p. 284.)
Cause of value in Land.—"Cette valeur, comme tous les autres, est de creation humaine et social."—p. 362. After reciting the various modes of applying labor to the improvement of land, he says: "La valeur c'est incorporee, confondue dans le sol, et c'est pourquoi on poura tres bien dire par metonymie: le sol vaut."—(p. 363.)
Land not changeable for as much labor as it has cost. "J'ose affirmer qu'il n'est pas un champ en France qui vaille ce qu'il a coute, qui puisse s'echanger contre autant de travail qu'il en a exige pour etre mis a l'etat de productivite ou il se trouve."—(p. 398.)
Cause of this.—"Vous avez employee mille journees a mettre votre domaine dans l'etat ou il est; je ne vous en restituerai que huit cents, et ma raison est qu'avec huit cents journees je puis faire aujourd'hui sur la terre a cote ce qu'avec mille vous avez fait autrefois sur la votre. Veuillez considerer que depuis quinze ans l'art de dessecher, de detricher, de batir, de creuser des puits, de disposer les etables, d'executer les transports a fait des progres. Chaque resultat donne exige moins du travail, et je ne veux me soumettre a vous donner dix de ce que je puis avoir pour huit, d'autant que le prix du ble a diminue dans la proportion de ce progres, que ne profite ni a vous ni a moi, mais a l'humanite tout entiere."—(p. 368.)
The reader who may desire to see the perfect correspondence of these views with those published by Mr. Carey, as far back as 1837, may do so by a glance at Chapters II., III., IV., and VII. of his first volume, where he gives a great number of facts in support of ideas then so new, and of course so heretical.
A remarkable fact, to which we now desire to call the attention of our readers, is, that which M. Bastiat has thus adopted the views of Mr. Carey, without, so far as we have been able to see, alteration or addition. His name never occurs in the work, except as authority for one of his quotations, which M. Bastiat has copied, while the names of Ricardo, Malthus, Senior, Scrope, Considerant, and a host of others, are found in almost every chapter. It must be highly gratifying to Mr. Carey to see his views obtain so entirely the approbation of a man of the reputation of M. Bastiat, that he should be willing to give them to the world as his own.
 Vol. I., p. 339.
 This work has been much read abroad, and we perceive that it has recently been translated into Swedish, and published at Stockholm.
From Blackwood's Magazine.
MY NOVEL: OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE.
BY PISISTRATUS CAXTON.
Continued from page 285.
BOOK III.—INITIAL CHAPTER, SHOWING HOW MY NOVEL CAME TO BE CALLED "MY NOVEL."
"I am not displeased with your novel, so far as it has gone," said my father graciously; "though as for The Sermon—"
Here I trembled; but the ladies, Heaven bless them! had taken Parson Dale under their special protection; and observing that my father was puckering up his brows critically, they rushed boldly forward in defence of The Sermon, and Mr. Caxton was forced to beat a retreat. However, like a skillful general, he renewed the assault upon outposts less gallantly guarded. But as it is not my business to betray my weak points, I leave it to the ingenuity of cavillers to discover the places at which the Author of Human Error directed his great guns.
"But," said the Captain, "you are a lad of too much spirit, Pisistratus, to keep us always in the obscure country quarters of Hazeldean—you will march us out into open service before you have done with us?"
Pisistratus, magisterially, for he has been somewhat nettled by Mr. Caxton's remarks—and he puts on an air of dignity, in order to awe away minor assailants.—"Yes, Captain Roland—not yet awhile, but all in good time. I have not stinted myself in canvas, and behind my foreground of the Hall and the Parsonage I propose, hereafter, to open some lengthened perspective of the varieties of English life—"
Blanche, putting her hand on my father's lip.—"We shall know better the design, perhaps, when we know the title. Pray, Mr. Author, what is the title?"
My Mother, with more animation than usual.—"Ay, Sisty—the title?"
Pisistratus, startled,—"The title! By the soul of Cervantes! I have never yet thought of a title!"
Captain Roland, solemnly.—"There is a great deal in a good title. As a novel-reader, I know that by experience."
Mr. Squills.—"Certainly; there is not a catchpenny in the world but what goes down, if the title be apt and seductive. Witness 'Old Parr's Life Pills.' Sell by the thousand, sir, when my 'Pills for Weak Stomachs,' which I believe to be just the same compound, never paid for the advertising."
Mr. Caxton.—"Parr's Life Pills! a fine stroke of genius! It is not every one who has a weak stomach, or time to attend to it, if he have. But who would not swallow a pill to live to a hundred and fifty-two?"
Pisistratus, stirring the fire in great excitement.—"My title! my title!—what shall be my title!"
Mr. Caxton, thrusting his hand into his waistcoat, and in his most didactic of tones.—"From a remote period, the choice of a title has perplexed the scribbling portion of mankind. We may guess how their invention has been racked by the strange contortions it has produced. To begin with the Hebrews. 'The Lips of the Sleeping,' (Labia Dormientium)—what book do you suppose that title to designate?—A Catalogue of Rabbinical writers! Again, imagine some young lady of old captivated by the sentimental title of 'The Pomegranate with its Flower,' and opening on a treatise on the Jewish Ceremonials! Let us turn to the Romans. Aulus Gellius commences his pleasant gossiping 'Noctes' with a list of the titles in fashion in his day. For instance, 'The Muses' and 'The Veil,' 'The Cornucopia,' 'The Beehive,' and 'The Meadow.' Some titles, indeed, were more truculent, and promised food to those who love to sup upon horrors—such as 'The Torch,' 'The Poniard,' 'The Stiletto'—"
Pisistratus, impatiently.—"Yes, sir; but to come to My Novel."
Mr. Caxton, unheeding the interruption.—"You see, you have a fine choice here, and of a nature pleasing, and not unfamiliar to a classical reader; or you may borrow a hint from the early Dramatic Writers."
Pisistratus, more hopefully.—"Ay! there is something in the Drama akin to the Novel. Now, perhaps, I may catch an idea."
Mr. Caxton.—"For instance, the author of the Curiosities of Literature (from whom, by the way, I am plagiarizing much of the information I bestow upon you), tells us of a Spanish gentleman who wrote a Comedy, by which he intended to serve what he took for Moral Philosophy."
Pisistratus, eagerly.—"Well, sir?"
Mr. Caxton.—"And called it 'The Pain of the Sleep of the World.'"
Pisistratus.—"Very comic indeed, sir!"
Mr. Caxton.—"Grave things were then called Comedies, as old things are now called Novels. Then there are all the titles of early Romance itself at your disposal—'Theagenes and Chariclea,' or 'The Ass' of Longus, or 'The Golden Ass' of Apuleius, or the titles of Gothic Romance, such as 'The most elegant, delicious, mellifluous, and delightful History of Perceforest, King of Great Britain.'"—And therewith my father ran over a list of names as long as the Directory, and about as amusing.
"Well, to my taste," said my mother, "the novels I used to read when a girl (for I have not read many since, I am ashamed to say),—"
Mr. Caxton.—"No, you need not be at all ashamed of it, Kitty."
My Mother, proceeding.—"Were much more inviting than any you mention, Austin."
Mr. Squills.—"Certainly. Nothing like them now-a-days!"
My Mother.—"'Says she to her Neighbor, What?'"
The Captain.-"'The Unknown, or the Northern Gallery'—"
Mr. Squills.—"'There is a Secret; Find it Out!'"
Pisistratus, pushed to the verge of human endurance, and upsetting tongs, poker, and fire-shovel.—"What nonsense you are talking, all of you! For heaven's sake, consider what an important matter we are called upon to decide. It is not now the titles of those very respectable works which issued from the Minerva Press that I ask you to remember—it is to invent a title for mine—My Novel!"
Mr. Caxton, clapping his hands gently.—"Excellent—capital! Nothing can be better; simple, natural, pertinent, concise—"
Pisistratus.—"What is it, sir—what is it! Have you really thought of a title to My Novel?"
Mr. Caxton.—"You have hit it yourself—'My Novel.' It is your Novel—people will know it is your Novel. Turn and twist the English language as you will—be as allegorical as Hebrew, Greek, Roman—Fabulist or Puritan—still, after all, it is your Novel, and nothing more nor less than your Novel."
Pisistratus, thoughtfully, and sounding the words various ways.—"'My Novel'—um—um! 'My Novel!' rather bald—and curt, eh?"
Mr. Caxton.—"Add what you say you intend it to depict—Varieties in English Life."
My Mother.—"'My Novel; or, Varieties in English Life'—I don't think it sounds amiss. What say you, Roland? Would it attract you in a catalogue?"
My Uncle hesitates, when Mr. Caxton exclaims imperiously:
"The thing is settled! Don't disturb Camarina."
Squills.—"If it be not too great a liberty, pray who or what is Camarina?"
Mr. Caxton.—"Camarina, Mr. Squills, was a lake, apt to be low, and then liable to be muddy; and 'Don't disturb Camarina' was a Greek proverb derived from an Oracle of Apollo; and from that Greek proverb, no doubt, comes the origin of the injunction, 'Quieta non movere,' which became the favorite maxim of Sir Robert Walpole and Parson Dale. The Greek line, Mr. Squills (here my father's memory began to warm), is preserved by Stephanus Byzantinus, de Urbibus—
[Greek: 'Me kinei Kamarinan akinetos gar ameinon.']
Zenobius explains it in his Proverbs; Suidas repeats Zenobius; Lucian alludes to it; so does Virgil in the Third Book of the AEneid; and Silius Italicus imitates Virgil—
'Et cui non licitum fatis Camarina moveri.'
Parson Dale, as a clergyman and a scholar, had, no doubt, these authorities at his fingers' end. And I wonder he did not quote them," quoth my father; "but, to be sure, he is represented as a mild man, and so might not wish to humble the Squire over much in the presence of his family. Meanwhile, My Novel is My Novel; and now that that matter is settled, perhaps the tongs, poker, and shovel may be picked up, the children may go to bed, Blanche and Kitty may speculate apart upon the future dignities of the Neogilos, taking care, nevertheless, to finish the new pinbefores he requires for the present; Roland may cast up his account-book, Mr. Squills have his brandy and water, and all the world be comfortable, each in his own way. Blanche, come away from the screen, get me my slippers, and leave Pisistratus to himself. [Greek: Me kinei Kamarinan]—don't disturb Camarina. You see, my dear," added my father kindly, as, after settling himself into his slippers, he detained Blanche's hand in his own—"you see, my dear, every house has its Camarina. Man, who is a lazy animal, is quite content to let it alone; but woman, being the more active, bustling, curious creature, is always for giving it a sly stir."
Blanche, with female dignity.—"I assure you, that if Pisistratus had not called me, I should not have—"
Mr. Caxton, interrupting her, without lifting his eyes from the book he has already taken.—"Certainly you would not. I am now in the midst of the great Puseyite Controversy. [Greek: Me kinei Kamarinan]—don't disturb Camarina."
A dead silence for half an hour, at the end of which
Pisistratus, from behind the screen.—"Blanche, my dear, I want to consult you."
Blanche does not stir.
Pisistratus.—"Blanche, I say."
Blanche glances in triumph towards Mr. Caxton.
Mr. Caxton, laying down his theological tract, and rubbing his spectacles mournfully.—"I hear him, child: I hear him. I retract my vindication of Man. Oracles warn in vain: so long as there is a woman on the other side of the screen,—it is all up with Camarina!"
It is greatly to be regretted that Mr. Stirn was not present at the Parson's Discourse—but that valuable functionary was far otherwise engaged—indeed, during the summer months he was rarely seen at the afternoon service. Not that he cared for being preached at—not he: Mr. Stirn would have snapped his finger at the thunders of the Vatican. But the fact was, that Mr. Stirn chose to do a great deal of gratuitous business upon the day of rest. The Squire allowed all persons, who chose, to walk about the park on a Sunday; and many came from a distance to stroll by the lake, or recline under the elms. These visitors were objects of great suspicion, nay, of positive annoyance, to Mr. Stirn—and, indeed, not altogether without reason, for we English have a natural love of liberty, which we are even more apt to display in the grounds of other people than in those which we cultivate ourselves. Sometimes, to his inexpressible and fierce satisfaction, Mr. Stirn fell upon a knot of boys pelting the swans; sometimes he missed a young sapling, and found it in felonious hands, converted into a walking-stick: sometimes he caught a hulking fellow scrambling up the ha-ha! to gather a nosegay for his sweetheart from one of poor Mrs. Hazeldean's pet parterres; not unfrequently, indeed, when all the family were fairly at church, some curious impertinents forced or sneaked their way into the gardens, in order to peep in at the windows. For these, and various other offences of like magnitude, Mr. Stirn had long, but vainly, sought to induce the Squire to withdraw a permission so villanously abused. But though there were times when Mr. Hazeldean grunted and growled, and swore "that he would shut up the park, and fill it (illegally) with man-traps and spring-guns," his anger always evaporated in words. The park was still open to all the world on a Sunday; and that blessed day was therefore converted into a day of travail and wrath to Mr. Stirn. But it was from the last chime of the afternoon service bell until dusk that the spirit of this vigilant functionary was most perturbed; for, amidst the flocks that gathered from the little hamlets round to the voice of the Pastor, there were always some stray sheep, or rather climbing desultory vagabond goats, who struck off in all perverse directions, as if for the special purpose of distracting the energetic watchfulness of Mr. Stirn. As soon as church was over, if the day were fine, the whole park became a scene animated with red cloaks, or lively shawls, Sunday waistcoats, and hats stuck full of wildflowers—which last Mr. Stirn often stoutly maintained to be Mrs. Hazeldean's newest geraniums. Now, on this Sunday especially, there was an imperative call upon an extra exertion of vigilance on the part of the superintendent—he had not only to detect ordinary depredators and trespassers; but, first, to discover the authors of the conspiracy against the stocks; and secondly, to "make an example."
He had begun his rounds, therefore, from early in the morning; and just as the afternoon bell was sounding its final peal, he emerged upon the village green from a hedgerow, behind which he had been at watch to observe who had the most suspiciously gathered round the stocks. At that moment the palace was deserted. At a distance, the superintendent saw the fast disappearing forms of some belated groups hastening towards the church; in front, the stocks stood staring at him mournfully from its four great eyes, which had been cleansed from the mud, but still looked bleared and stained with the marks of the recent outrage. Here Mr. Stirn paused, took off his hat, and wiped his brows.
"If I had sum un, to watch here," thought he, "while I takes a turn by the water-side, praps summat might come out; praps them as did it ben't gone to church, but will come sneaking round to look on their willainy! as they says murderers are alway led back to the place where they ha' left the body. But in this here willage there ben't a man, woman, nor child, as has any consarn for Squire or Parish, barring myself." It was just as he arrived at that misanthropical conclusion that Mr. Stirn beheld Leonard Fairfield walking very fast from his own home. The superintendent clapped on his hat, and stuck his right arm akimbo. "Hollo, you sir," said he, as Lenny now came in hearing, "where be you going at that rate?"
"Please, sir, I be going to church."
"Stop, sir—stop, Master Lenny. Going to church!—why, the bell's done; and you knows the Parson is very angry at them as comes in late, disturbing the congregation. You can't go to church now!"
"I says you can't go to church now. You must learn to think a little of others, lad. You sees how I sweats to serve the Squire! and you must serve him too. Why, your mother's got the house and premishes almost rent-free: you ought to have a grateful heart, Leonard Fairfield, and feel for his honor! Poor man! his heart is well-nigh bruk, I'm sure, with the goings on."
Leonard opened his innocent blue eyes, while Mr. Stirn dolorously wiped his own.
"Look at that ere dumb cretur," said Stirn, suddenly, pointing to the stocks—"look at it. If it could speak, what would it say, Leonard Fairfield? Answer me that!—'Damn the stocks, indeed!'"
"It was very bad in them to write such naughty words," said Lenny, gravely. "Mother was quite shocked when she heard of it, this morning."
Mr. Stirn.—"I dare say she was, considering what she pays for the premishes: (insinuatingly,) you does not know who did it—eh, Lenny?"
Lenny.—"No, sir: indeed I does not!"
Mr. Stirn.—"Well, you see, you can't go to church—prayers half over by this time. You recollex that I put them stocks under your 'sponsibility,' and see the way you's done your duty by 'em. I've half a mind to"—
Mr. Stirn cast his eyes on the eyes of the stocks.
"Please, sir," began Lenny again, rather frightened.
"No, I won't please; it ben't pleasing at all. But I forgives you this time, only keep a sharp look-out, lad, in future. Now you just stay here—no, there—under the hedge, and you watches if any person comes to loiter about or looks at the stocks, or laughs to hisself, while I go my rounds. I shall be back either afore church is over or just arter; so you stay till I comes, and give me your report. Be sharp, boy, or it will be worse for you and your mother; I can let the premishes for four pounds a year more, to-morrow."
Concluding with that somewhat menacing and very significant remark, and not staying for an answer, Mr. Stirn waved his hand, and walked off.
Poor Lenny remained by the stocks, very much dejected, and greatly disliking the neighborhood to which he was consigned. At length he slowly crept off to the hedge, and sat himself down in the place of espionage pointed out to him. Now, philosophers tell us that what is called the point of honor is a barbarous feudal prejudice. Amongst the higher classes, wherein those feudal prejudices may be supposed to prevail, Lenny Fairfield's occupation would not have been considered peculiarly honorable; neither would it have seemed so to the more turbulent spirits among the humbler orders, who have a point of honor of their own, which consists in the adherence to each other in defiance of all lawful authority. But to Lenny Fairfield, brought up much apart from other boys, and with a profound and grateful reverence for the Squire instilled into all his habits of thought, notions of honor bounded themselves to simple honesty and straightforward truth; and as he cherished an unquestioning awe of order and constitutional authority, so it did not appear to him that there was any thing derogatory and debasing in being thus set to watch for an offender. On the contrary, as he began to reconcile himself to the loss of the church service, and to enjoy the cool of the summer shade, and the occasional chirp of the birds, he got to look on the bright side of the commission to which he was deputed. In youth, at least, every thing has its bright side—even the appointment of Protector to the Parish Stocks. For the stocks, themselves, Leonard had no affection, it is true; but he had no sympathy with their aggressors, and he could well conceive that the Squire would be very much hurt at the revolutionary event of the night. "So," thought poor Leonard in his simple heart—"so if I can serve his honor, by keeping off mischievous boys, or letting him know who did the thing, I'm sure it would be a proud day for mother." Then he began to consider that, however ungraciously Mr. Stirn had bestowed on him the appointment, still it was a compliment to him—showed trust and confidence in him, picked him out from his contemporaries as the sober moral pattern boy; and Lenny had a great deal of pride in him, especially in matters of repute and character.
All these things considered, I say, Leonard Fairfield reclined in his lurking-place, if not with positive delight and intoxicating rapture, at least with tolerable content and some complacency.
Mr. Stirn might have been gone a quarter of an hour, when a boy came through a little gate in the park, just opposite to Lenny's retreat in the hedge, and, as if fatigued with walking, or oppressed by the heat of the day, paused on the green for a moment or so, and then advanced under the shade of the great tree which overhung the stocks.
Lenny pricked up his ears, and peeped out jealously.
He had never seen the boy before: it was a strange face to him.
Leonard Fairfield was not fond of strangers; moreover, he had a vague belief that strangers were at the bottom of that desecration of the stocks. The boy, then, was a stranger; but what was his rank? Was he of that grade in society in which the natural offences are or are not consonant to, or harmonious with, outrages upon stocks? On that Lenny Fairfield did not feel quite assured. According to all the experience of the villager, the boy was not dressed like a young gentleman. Leonard's notions of such aristocratic costume were naturally fashioned upon the model of Frank Hazeldean. They represented to him a dazzling vision of snow-white trowsers, and beautiful blue coats, and incomparable cravats. Now the dress of this stranger, though not that of a peasant nor of a farmer, did not in any way correspond with Lenny's notions of the costume of a young gentleman: it looked to him highly disreputable; the coat was covered with mud, and the hat was all manner of shapes, with a gap between the side and crown.
Lenny was puzzled, till it suddenly occurred to him that the gate through which the boy had passed was in the direct path across the park from a small town, the inhabitants of which were in very bad odor at the Hall—they had immemorially furnished the most daring poachers to the preserves, the most troublesome trespassers on the park, the most unprincipled orchard-robbers, and the most disputatious assertors of various problematical rights of way, which, according to the town, were public, and, according to the Hall, had been private since the Conquest. It was true that the same path led also directly from the Squire's house, but it was not probable that the wearer of attire so equivocal had been visiting there. All things considered, Lenny had no doubt in his mind but that the stranger was a shopboy or 'prentice from the town of Thorndyke; and the notorious repute of that town, coupled with this presumption, made it probable that Lenny now saw before him one of the midnight desecrators of the stocks. As if to confirm the suspicion, which passed through Lenny's mind with a rapidity wholly disproportionate to the number of lines it costs me to convey it, the boy, now standing right before the stocks, bent down and read that pithy anathema with which it was defaced. And having read it, he repeated it aloud, and Lenny actually saw him smile—such a smile!—so disagreeable and sinister! Lenny had never before seen the smile sardonic.
But what were Lenny's pious horror and dismay when this ominous stranger fairly seated himself on the stocks, rested his heels profanely on the lids of two of the four round eyes, and, taking out a pencil and a pocketbook, began to write. Was this audacious unknown taking an inventory of the church and the Hall for the purposes of conflagration? He looked at one, and at the other, with a strange, fixed stare, as he wrote—not keeping his eyes on the paper, as Lenny had been taught to do when he sat down to his copybook. The fact is, that Randal Leslie was tired and faint, and he felt the shock of his fall the more, after the few paces he had walked, so that he was glad to rest himself a few moments; and he took that opportunity to write a line to Frank, to excuse himself for not calling again, intending to tear the leaf on which he wrote out of his pocketbook, and leave it at the first cottage he passed, with instructions to take it to the Hall.
While Randal was thus innocently engaged, Lenny came up to him with the firm and measured pace of one who has resolved, cost what it may, to do his duty. And as Lenny, though brave, was not ferocious, so the anger he felt, and the suspicions he entertained, only exhibited themselves in the following solemn appeal to the offender's sense of propriety,—
"Ben't you ashamed of yourself? Sitting on the Squire's new stocks! Do get up, and go along with you!"
Randal turned round sharply; and though, at any other moment, he would have had sense enough to extricate himself very easily from his false position, yet, Nemo mortalium, &c. No one is always wise. And Randal was in an exceedingly bad humor. The affability towards his inferiors, for which I lately praised him, was entirely lost in the contempt for impertinent snobs natural to an insulted Etonian.
Therefore, eyeing Lenny with great disdain, Randal answered briefly,—
"You are an insolent young blackguard."
So curt a rejoinder made Lenny's blood fly to his face. Persuaded before that the intruder was some lawless apprentice or shop lad, he was now more confirmed in that judgment, not only by language so uncivil, but by the truculent glance which accompanied it, and which certainly did not derive any imposing dignity from the mutilated, rakish, hang-dog, ruinous hat, under which it shot its sullen and menacing fire.
Of all the various articles of which our male attire is composed, there is perhaps not one which has so much character and expression as the top-covering. A neat, well-brushed, short-napped, gentlemanlike hat, put on with a certain air, gives a distinction and respectability to the whole exterior; whereas, a broken, squashed, higgledy-piggledy sort of a hat, such as Randal Leslie had on, would go far towards transforming the stateliest gentleman that ever walked down St. James's Street into the ideal of a ruffianly scamp.
Now, it is well known that there is nothing more antipathetic to your peasant-boy than your shopboy. Even on grand political occasions, the rural working-class can rarely be coaxed into sympathy with the trading town-class. Your true English peasant is always an aristocrat. Moreover, and irrespectively of this immemorial grudge of class, there is something peculiarly hostile in the relationship between boy and boy when their backs are once up, and they are alone on a quiet bit of green. Something of the game-cock feeling—something that tends to keep alive, in the population of this island, (otherwise so lamblike and peaceful,) the martial propensity to double the thumb tightly over the four fingers, and make what is called "a fist of it." Dangerous symptoms of these mingled and aggressive sentiments were visible in Lenny Fairfield at the words and the look of the unprepossessing stranger. And the stranger seemed aware of them; for his pale face grew more pale, and his sullen eye more fixed and more vigilant.
"You get off them stocks," said Lenny, disdaining to reply to the coarse expressions bestowed on him; and, suiting the action to the word, he gave the intruder what he meant for a shove, but which Randal took for a blow. The Etonian sprang up, and the quickness of his movement, aided but by a slight touch of his hand, made Lenny lose his balance, and sent him neck-and-crop over the stocks. Burning with rage, the young villager rose alertly, and, flying at Randal, struck out right and left.
Aid me, O ye Nine! whom the incomparable Persius satirized his contemporaries for invoking, and then, all of a sudden, invoked on his own behalf—aid me to describe that famous battle by the stocks, and in defence of the stocks, which was waged by the two representatives of Saxon and Norman England. Here, sober support of law and duty and delegated trust—pro aris et focis; there, haughty invasion, and bellicose spirit of knighthood, and that respect for name and person, which we call honor. Here, too, hardy physical force—there, skilful discipline. Here——the Nine are as deaf as a post, and as cold as a stone! Plague take the jades!—I can do better without them.
Randal was a year older than Lenny, but he was not so tall nor so strong, nor even so active; and after the first blind rush, when the two boys paused, and drew back to breathe, Lenny, eyeing the slight form and hueless cheek of his opponent, and seeing blood trickling from Randal's lip, was seized with an instantaneous and generous remorse. "It was not fair," he thought, "to fight one whom he could beat so easily." So, retreating still farther, and letting his arms fall to his side, he said mildly—"There, let's have no more of it; but go home, and be good."
Randal Leslie had no remarkable degree of that constitutional quality called physical courage; but he had all those moral qualities which supply its place. He was proud—he was vindictive—he had high self-esteem—he had the destructive organ more than the combative;—what had once provoked his wrath it became his instinct to sweep away. Therefore, though all his nerves were quivering, and hot tears were in his eyes, he approached Lenny with the sternness of a gladiator, and said between his teeth, which he set hard, choking back the sob of rage and pain—
"You have struck me—and you shall not stir from this ground—till I have made you repent it. Put up your hands—I will not strike you so—defend yourself."
Lenny mechanically obeyed; and he had good need of the admonition; for if before he had had the advantage, now that Randal had recovered the surprise to his nerves, the battle was not to the strong.
Though Leslie had not been a fighting boy at Eton, still his temper had involved him in some conflicts when he was in the lower forms, and he had learned something of the art as well as the practice in pugilism—an excellent thing, too, I am barbarous enough to believe, and which I hope will never quite die out of our public schools. Ah, many a young duke has been a better fellow for life from a fair set-to with a trader's son; and many a trader's son has learned to look a lord more manfully in the face on the hustings, from the recollection of the sound thrashing he once gave to some little Lord Leopold Dawdle.
So Randal now brought his experience and art to bear; put aside those heavy roundabout blows, and darted in his own, quick and sharp—supplying the due momentum of pugilistic mechanics to the natural feebleness of his arm. Ay, and the arm, too, was no longer so feeble: so strange is the strength that comes from passion and pluck!
Poor Lenny, who had never fought before, was bewildered; his sensations grew so entangled that he could never recall them distinctly: he had a dim reminiscence of some breathless impotent rush—of a sudden blindness followed by quick flashes of intolerable light—of a deadly faintness, from which he was roused by sharp pangs—here—there—everywhere; and then all he could remember was, that he was lying on the ground, huddled up and panting hard, while his adversary bent over him with a countenance as dark and livid as Lara himself might have bent over the fallen Otho. For Randal Leslie was not one who, by impulse and nature, subscribed to the noble English maxim—"Never hit a foe when he is down;" and it cost him a strong if brief self-struggle, not to set his heel on that prostrate form. It was the mind, not the heart that subdued the savage within him, as, muttering something inwardly—certainly not Christian forgiveness—the victor turned gloomily away.
Just at that precise moment, who should appear but Mr. Stirn! For, in fact, being extremely anxious to get Lenny into disgrace, he had hoped that he should have found the young villager had shirked the commission intrusted to him; and the Right-hand Man had slily come back, to see if that amiable expectation were realized. He now beheld Lenny rising with some difficulty—still panting hard—and with hysterical sounds akin to what is vulgarly called blubbering—his fine new waistcoat sprinkled with his own blood which flowed from his nose—nose that seemed to Lenny Fairfield's feelings to be a nose no more, but a swollen, gigantic, mountainous Slawkenbergian excrescence,—in fact, he felt all nose! Turning aghast from this spectacle, Mr. Stirn surveyed, with no more respect than Lenny had manifested, the stranger boy, who had again seated himself on the stocks (whether to recover his breath, or whether to show that his victory was consummated, and that he was in his rights of possession). "Hollo," said Mr. Stirn, "what is all this?—what's the matter, Lenny, you blockhead?"
"He will sit there," answered Lenny, in broken gasps, "and he has beat me because I would not let him; but I doesn't mind that," added the villager, trying hard to suppress his tears, "and I'm ready again for him—that I am."
"And what do you do, lolloping there on them blessed stocks?"
"Looking at the landscape; out of my light, man."
This tone instantly inspired Mr. Stirn with misgivings: it was a tone so disrespectful to him that he was seized with involuntary respect: who but a gentleman could speak so to Mr. Stirn?
"And may I ask who you be?" said Stirn, falteringly, and half inclined to touch his hat. "What's your name, pray, and what's your bizness?"
"My name is Randal Leslie, and my business was to visit your master's family—that is, if you are, as I guess from your manner, Mr. Hazeldean's ploughman!"
So saying, Randal rose; and moving on a few paces, turned, and throwing half-a-crown on the road, said to Lenny,—"Let that pay you for your bruises, and remember another time how you speak to a gentleman. As for you, fellow,"—and he pointed his scornful hand towards Mr. Stirn, who, with his mouth open, and his hat now fairly off, stood bowing to the earth—"as for you, give my compliment to Mr. Hazeldean, and say that, when he does us the honor to visit us at Rood Hall, I trust that the manners of our villagers will make him ashamed of Hazeldean."
O my poor Squire! Rood Hall ashamed of Hazeldean! If that message had ever been delivered to you, you would never have looked up again!
With those bitter words, Randal swung himself over the stile that led into the parson's glebe, and left Lenny Fairfield still feeling his nose, and Mr. Stirn still bowing to the earth.
Randal Leslie had a very long walk home: he was bruised: and sore from head to foot, and his mind was still more sore and more bruised than his body. But if Randal Leslie had rested himself in the Squire's gardens, without walking backwards, and indulging in speculations suggested by Marat, and warranted by my Lord Bacon, he would have passed a most agreeable evening, and really availed himself of the Squire's wealth by going home in the Squire's carriage. But because he chose to take so intellectual a view of property, he tumbled into a ditch; because he tumbled into a ditch, he spoiled his clothes; because he spoiled his clothes, he gave up his visit; because he gave up his visit, he got into the village green, and sat on the stocks with a hat that gave him the air of a fugitive from the treadmill; because he sat on the stocks—with that hat, and a cross face under it—he had been forced into the most discreditable squabble with a clodhopper, and was now limping home, at war with gods and men;—ergo, (this is a moral that will bear repetition)—ergo, when you walk in a rich man's grounds, be contented to enjoy what is yours, namely, the prospect;—I dare say you will enjoy it more than he does.
If, in the simplicity of his heart, and the crudeness of his experience, Lenny Fairfield had conceived it probable that Mr. Stirn would address to him some words in approbation of his gallantly, and in sympathy for his bruises, he soon found himself wofully mistaken. That truly great man, worthy prime-minister of Hazeldean, might, perhaps, pardon a dereliction from his orders, if such dereliction proved advantageous to the interests of the service, or redounded to the credit of the chief; but he was inexorable to that worst of diplomatic offences—an ill-timed, stupid, over-zealous obedience to orders, which, if it established the devotion of the employe, got the employer into what is popularly called a scrape! And though, by those unversed in the intricacies of the human heart, and unacquainted with the especial hearts of prime-ministers and right-hand men, it might have seemed natural that Mr. Stirn, as he stood still, hat in hand, in the middle of the road, stung, humbled, and exasperated by the mortification he had received from the lips of Randal Leslie, would have felt that that young gentleman was the proper object of his resentment; yet such a breach of all the etiquette of diplomatic life as resentment towards a superior power was the last idea that would have suggested itself to the profound intellect of the Premier of Hazeldean. Still, as rage, like steam, must escape somewhere, Mr. Stirn, on feeling—as he afterwards expressed it to his wife—that his "buzzom was a burstin," turned with the natural instinct of self-preservation to the safety-valve provided for the explosion; and the vapors within him rushed into vent upon Lenny Fairfield. He clapped his hat on his head fiercely, and thus relieved his "buzzom."
"You young willain! you howdacious wiper! and so all this blessed Sabbath afternoon, when you ought to have been in church on your marrow bones, a-praying for your betters, you has been a-fitting with a young gentleman, and a wisiter to your master, on the werry place of the parridge hinstitution that you was to guard and pertect; and a-bloodying it all over, I declares, with your blaggard little nose!" Thus saying, and as if to mend the matter, Mr. Stirn aimed an additional stroke at the offending member; but, Lenny mechanically putting up both his arms to defend his face, Mr. Stirn struck his knuckles against the large brass buttons that adorned the cuff of the boy's coat-sleeve—an incident which greatly aggravated his indignation. And Lenny, whose spirit was fairly roused at what the narrowness of his education conceived to be a signal injustice, placing the trunk of the tree between Mr. Stirn and himself, began that task of self-justification which it was equally impolitic to conceive and imprudent to execute, since, in such a case, to justify was to recriminate.
"I wonder at you, Master Stirn,—if mother could hear you! You know it was you who would not let me go to church; it was you who told me to—"
"Fit a young gentleman, and break the Sabbath," said Mr. Stirn, interrupting him with a withering sneer. "O yes! I told you to disgrace his honor the Squire, and me, and the parridge, and bring us all into trouble. But the Squire told me to make an example, and I will!" With those words, quick as lightning flashed upon Mr. Stirn's mind the luminous idea of setting Lenny in the very stocks which he had too faithfully guarded. Eureka! the "example" was before him! Here, he could gratify his long grudge against the pattern boy; here, by such a selection of the very best lad in the parish, he could strike terror into the worst; here, he could appease the offended dignity of Randal Leslie; here was a practical apology to the Squire for the affront put upon his young visitor; here, too, there was prompt obedience to the Squire's own wish that the stocks should be provided as soon as possible with a tenant. Suiting the action to the thought, Mr. Stirn made a rapid plunge at his victim, caught him by the skirt of his jacket, and, in a few seconds more, the jaws of the stocks had opened, and Lenny Fairfield was thrust therein—a sad spectacle of the reverses of fortune. This done, and while the boy was too astounded, too stupefied by the suddenness of the calamity for the resistance he might otherwise have made—nay, for more than a few inaudible words—Mr. Stirn hurried from the spot, but not without first picking up and pocketing the half-crown designed for Lenny, and which, so great had been his first emotions, he had hitherto even almost forgotten. He then made his way towards the church, with the intention to place himself close by the door, catch the Squire as he came out, whisper to him what had passed, and lead him, with the whole congregation at his heels, to gaze upon the sacrifice offered up to the joint powers of Nemesis and Themis.