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Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXIX. January, 1844. Vol. LV. by Various

Part 2 out of 5

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and the battalion moved out. They soon came in sight of the fugitives,
as they thought, but on drawing nearer, the latter turned out to be
Mexican dragoons, who sprang upon their horses, which were concealed
in the neighbouring islands of trees, and a desperate fight began. The
Mexicans, far superior in numbers, received every moment accessions to
their strength. The Louis-Potosi and Santa Fe cavalry, fellows who
seem born on horseback, were there. Our unfortunate countrymen were
hemmed in on all sides. The fight lasted two days, and only two men
out of the five hundred escaped with their lives.

Before the news of this misfortune reached us, orders had been sent to
Fanning to evacuate the fort and join us with six pieces of artillery.
He received the order, and proceeded to execute it. But what might
have been very practicable for eight hundred and sixty men, was
impossible for three hundred and sixty. Nevertheless, Fanning began
his march through the prairie. His little band was almost immediately
surrounded by the enemy. After a gallant defence, which lasted twelve
hours, they succeeded in reaching an island, but scarcely had they
established themselves there, when they found that their ammunition
was expended. There was nothing left for them, but to accept the terms
offered by the Mexicans, who pledged themselves, that if they laid
down their arms, they should be permitted to return to their homes.
But the rifles were no sooner piled, than the Texians found themselves
charged by their treacherous foes, who butchered them without mercy.
Only an advanced post of three men succeeded in escaping.

The five hundred men whom we had left in San Antonio de Bexar, fared
no better. Not being sufficiently numerous to hold out the town as
well as the Alamo, they retreated into the latter. The Mexican
artillery soon laid a part of the fort in ruins. Still its defenders
held out. After eight days' fighting, during which the loss of the
besiegers was tremendously severe, the Alamo was taken, and not a
single Texian left alive.

We thus, by these two cruel blows, lost two-thirds of our army, and
little more than seven hundred men remained to resist the numerous
legions of our victorious foe. The prospect before us, was one well
calculated to daunt the stoutest heart.

The Mexican general, Santa Anna, moved his army forward in two
divisions, one stretching along the coast towards Velasco, the other
advancing towards San Felipe de Austin. He himself, with a small
force, marched in the centre. At Fort Bend, twenty miles below San
Felipe, he crossed the Brazos, and shortly afterwards established
himself with about fifteen hundred men in an entrenched camp. Our
army, under the command of General Houston, was in front of
Harrisburg, to which place the congress had retreated.

It was on the night of the twentieth of April, and our whole
disposable force, some seven hundred men, was bivouacking in and about
an island of sycamores. It was a cloudy, stormy evening: high wind was
blowing, and the branches of the trees groaned and creaked above our
heads. The weather harmonized well enough with our feelings, which
were sad and desponding when we thought of the desperate state of our
cause. We (the officers) were sitting in a circle round the general
and Alcalde, both of whom appeared uneasy and anxious. More than once
they got up, and walked backwards and forwards, seemingly impatient,
and as if they were waiting for or expecting something. There was a
deep silence throughout the whole bivouac; some were sleeping, and
those who watched were in no humour for idle chat.

"Who goes there?" suddenly shouted one of the sentries. The answer we
did not hear, but it was apparently satisfactory, for there was no
further challenge, and a few seconds afterwards an orderly came up,
and whispered something in the ear of the Alcalde. The latter hurried
away, and, presently returning, spoke a few words in a low tone to the
general, and then to us officers. In an instant we were all upon our
feet. In less than ten minutes, the bivouac was broken up, and our
little army on the march.

All our people were well mounted, and armed with rifles, pistols, and
bowie-knives. We had six field-pieces, but we only took four,
harnessed wit twice the usual number of horses. We marched at a rapid
trot the whole night, led by a tall, gaunt figure of a man who acted
as our guide, and kept some distance in front. I more than once asked
the Alcalde who this was. "You will know by and by," was his answer.

Before daybreak we had ridden five and twenty miles, but had been
compelled to abandon two more guns. As yet, no one knew the object of
this forced march. The general commanded a halt, and ordered the men
to refresh and strengthen themselves by food and drink. While they
were doing this, he assembled the officers around him, and the meaning
of our night march was explained to us. The camp in which the Mexican
president and general-in-chief had entrenched himself was within a
mile of us; General Parza, with two thousand men, was twenty miles
further to the rear; General Filasola, with one thousand, eighteen
miles lower down on the Brazos; Viesca, with fifteen hundred,
twenty-five miles higher up. One bold and decided blow, and Texas
might yet be free. There was not a moment to lose, nor was one lost.
The general addressed the men.

"Friends! Brothers! Citizens! General Santa Anna is within a mile of
us with fifteen hundred men. The hour that is to decide the question
of Texian liberty is now arrived. What say you? Do we attack?"

"We do!" exclaimed the men with one voice, cheerfully and decidedly.

In the most perfect stillness, we arrived within two hundred paces of
the enemy's camp. The _reveillee_ of the sleeping Mexicans was the
discharge of our two field-pieces loaded with canister. Rushing on to
within twenty-five paces of the entrenchment, we gave them a deadly
volley from our rifles, and then, throwing away the latter, bounded up
the breastworks, a pistol in each hand. The Mexicans, scared and
stupefied by this sudden attack, were running about in the wildest
confusion, seeking their arms, and not knowing which way to turn.
After firing our pistols, we threw them away as we had done our
rifles, and, drawing our bowie-knives, fell, with a shout, upon the
masses of the terrified foe. It was more like the boarding of a ship
than any land fight I had ever seen or imagined.

My station was on the right of the line, where the breastwork, ending
in a redoubt, was steep and high. I made two attempts to climb up, but
both times slipped back. On the third trial I nearly gained the
summit; but was again slipping down, when a hand seized me by the
collar, and pulled me up on the bank. In the darkness and confusion I
did not distinguish the face of the man who rendered me this
assistance. I only saw the glitter of a bayonet which a Mexican thrust
into his shoulder, at the very moment he was helping me up. He neither
flinched nor let go his hold of me till I was fairly on my feet; then,
turning slowly round, he levelled a pistol at the soldier, who, at
that very moment, was struck down by the Alcalde.

"No thanks to ye, squire!" exclaimed the man, in a voice which made me
start, even at that moment of excitement and bustle. I looked at the
speaker, but could only see his back, for he had already plunged into
the thick of the fight, and was engaged with a party of Mexicans, who
defended themselves desperately. He fought like a man more anxious to
be killed than to kill, striking furiously right and left, but never
guarding a blow, though the Alcalde, who was by his side, warded off
several which were aimed at him.

By this time my men had scrambled up after me. I looked round to see
where our help was most wanted, and was about to lead them forward,
when I heard the voice of the Alcalde.

"Are you badly hurt, Bob?" said he in an anxious tone.

I glanced at the spot whence the voice came. There lay Bob Rock,
covered with blood, and apparently insensible. The Alcalde was
supporting his head on his arm. Before I had time to give a second
look I was hurried forward with the rest towards the centre of the
camp, where the fight was at the hottest.

About five hundred men, the pick of the Mexican army, had collected
round a knot of staff-officers, and were making a most gallant
defence. General Houston had attacked them with three hundred of our
people, but had not been able to break their ranks. His charge,
however, had shaken them a little, and, before they had time to
recover from it, I came up. Giving a wild hurrah, my men fired their
pistols, hurled them at their enemies' heads, and then springing over
the carcasses of the fallen, dashed like a thunderbolt into the broken
ranks of the Mexicans.

A frightful butchery ensued. Our men, who were for the most part, and
at most times, peaceable and humane in disposition, seemed converted
into perfect fiends. Whole ranks of the enemy fell under their knives.
Some idea may be formed of the horrible slaughter from the fact, that
the fight, from beginning to end, did not last above ten minutes, and
in that time nearly eight hundred Mexicans were shot or cut down. "No
quarter!" was the cry of the infuriated assailants: "Remember Alamo!
Remember Goliad! Think of Fanning, Ward!" The Mexicans threw
themselves on their knees, imploring mercy. "_Misericordia! Cuartel,
por el amor de Dios!_" shrieked they in heart-rending tones but their
supplications were not listened to, and every man of them would
inevitably have been butchered, had not General Houston and the
officers dashed in between the victors and the vanquished, and with
the greatest difficulty, and by threats of cutting down our own men if
they did not desist, put an end to this scene of bloodshed, and saved
the Texian character from the stain of unmanly cruelty.

When all was over, I hurried back to the place where I had left the
Alcalde with Bob--the latter lay, bleeding from six wounds, only a few
paces from the spot where he had helped me up the breastwork. The
bodies of two dead Mexicans served him for a pillow. The Alcalde was
kneeling by his side, gazing sadly and earnestly into the face of the
dying man.

For Bob was dying; but it was no longer the death of the despairing
murderer. The expression of his features was calm and composed, and
his eyes were raised to heaven with a look of hope and supplication.

I stooped down and asked him how he felt himself, but he made no
answer, and evidently did not recollect me. After a minute or two,

"How goes it with the fight?" he asked in a broken voice.

"We have conquered, Bob. The enemy killed or taken. Not a man

He paused a little, and then spoke again.

"Have I done my duty? May I hope to be forgiven?"

The Alcalde answered him in an agitated voice.

"He who forgave the sinner on the cross, will doubtless be merciful to
you, Bob. His holy book says: There is more joy over one sinner that
repenteth than over ninety and nine just men. Be of good hope, Bob!
the Almighty will surely be merciful to you!"

"Thank ye, squire," gasped Bob "you're a true friend, a friend in life
and in death. Well, it's come at last," said he, while a resigned and
happy smile stole over his features. "I've prayed for it long enough.
Thank God, it's come at last!"

He gazed up at the Alcalde with a kindly expression of countenance.
There was a slight shuddering movement of his whole frame--Bob was

The Alcalde remained kneeling for a short time by the side of the
corpse, his lips moving in prayer. At last he rose to his feet.

"God desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn
from his wickedness and live," said he, in a low and solemn tone. "I
had those words in my thoughts four years ago, when I cut him down
from the branch of the Patriarch."

"Four years ago!" cried I. "Then you cut him down, and were in time to
save him! Was it he who yesterday brought us the news of the vicinity
of the foe?"

"It was, and much more than that has he done," replied the Alcalde, no
longer striving to conceal the tears that fell from his eyes. "For
four years has he dragged on his wretched existence, weary of the
world, and despised of all men. For four years has he served us,
lived, fought, and spied for us, without honour, reward, hope, or
consolation--without a single hour of tranquillity, or a wish for
aught except death. All this to serve Texas and his countrymen. Who
shall say this man was not a true patriot? God will surely be merciful
to his soul," said the Alcalde after a pause.

"I trust he will," answered I, deeply affected.

We were interrupted at this moment by a message from General Houston,
to whom we immediately hastened. All was uproar and confusion. Santa
Anna could not be found amongst the prisoners.

This was a terrible disappointment, for the capture of the Mexican
president had been our principal object, and the victory we had gained
was comparatively unimportant if he escaped. Indeed, the hope of
putting an end to the war by his capture, had more than any thing
encouraged and stimulated us to the unequal conflict.

The moment was a very critical one. Amongst our men were some thirty
or forty most desperate characters, who began handling their knives,
and casting looks upon the prisoners, the meaning of which it was
impossible to mistake. Selecting some of our trustiest men, we
stationed them as a guard over the captives, and, having thus assured
the safety of the latter, began questioning them as to what had become
of their general.

They had none of them seen Santa Anna since the commencement of the
fight, and it was clear that he must have made his escape while we
were getting over the breastworks. He could not be very far off, and
we at once took measures to find him. A hundred men were sent off with
the prisoners to Harrisburg, and a hundred others, capitally mounted
on horses found in the Mexican camp, started to scour the country in
search of the fugitive chief. I accompanied the latter detachment.

We had been twelve hours in the saddle, and had ridden over nearly a
hundred miles of ground. We began to despair of finding the game we
were in quest of, and were thinking of abandoning the chase, when at a
distance of about seven miles from the camp, one of our most
experienced hunters discovered the print of a small and delicate boot
upon some soft ground leading to a marsh. Following this trail, it at
last led us to a man sunk up to his waist in the swamp, and so covered
with mud and filth, as to be quite unrecognizable. We drew him from his
hiding-place, half dead with cold and terror, and, having washed the
dirt from his face, we found him to be a man of about forty years of
age, with blue eyes, of a mild, but crafty expression; a narrow, high
forehead; long, thin nose, rather fleshy at the tip; projecting upper
lip, and long chin. These features tallied too exactly with the
description we had had of the Mexican president, for us to doubt that
our prisoner was Santa Anna himself.

The only thing that at all tended to shake this conviction, was the
extraordinary poltroonery of our new captive. He threw himself on his
knees, begging us, in the name of God and all the saints, to spare his
life. Our reiterated assurances and promises were insufficient to
convince him of his being in perfect safety, or to induce him to adopt
a demeanour more consistent with his dignity and high station.

The events which succeeded this fortunate capture are too well known
to require more than a very brief recapitulation. The same evening a
truce was agreed upon between Houston and Santa Anna, the latter
sending orders to his different generals to retire upon San Antonio de
Bexar, and other places in the direction of the Mexican frontier.
These orders, valueless as emanating from a prisoner, most of the
generals were weak or cowardly enough to obey, an obedience for which
they were afterwards brought to trial by the Mexican congress. In a
few days, two-thirds of Texas were in our possession.

The news of these successes brought crowds of volunteers to our
standard. In three weeks, we had an army of several thousand men, with
which we advanced against the Mexicans. There was no more fighting,
however, for our antagonists had had enough, and allowed themselves to
be driven from one position to another, till, in a month's time, there
was not one of them left in the country.

The Struggle was over, and Texas was Free!

* * * * *


When enumerating (in our number for July, last year) the principal
Greek romances which succeeded the _Ethiopics_ of Heliodorus, we
placed next to the celebrated production of the Bishop of Trica in
point of merit (as it is generally held to have been also in order of
time) the "Adventures of Clitophon and Leucippe," by Achilles Tatius.
Though far inferior, both in the delineation of the characters and the
contrivance of the story, to the _Ethiopics_, (from which, indeed,
many of the incidents are obviously borrowed,) and not altogether free
from passages offensive to delicacy, "Clitophon and Leucippe" is well
entitled to a separate notice, not only from the grace of its style
and diction, and the curious matter with which the narrative is
interspersed, but from its presenting one of the few pictures, which
have come down to these times, of the social and domestic life of the
Greeks. In the _Ethiopics_, which may be considered as an _heroic_
romance, the scene lies throughout in palaces, camps, and temples;
kings, high-priests, and satraps, figure in every page; the hero
himself is a prince of his own people; and the heroine, who at first
appears of no lower rank than a high-priestess of Delphi, proves, in
the sequel, the heiress of a mighty kingdom. In the work of Achilles
Tatius, on the contrary, (the plot of which is laid at a later period
of time than that of its predecessor,) the characters are taken,
without exception, from the class of Grecian citizens, who are
represented in the ordinary routine of polished social existence,
amidst their gardens of villas, and occupied by their banquets and
processions, and the business of their courts of law. There are no
unexpected revelations, no talismanic rings, no mysterious secret
affecting the fortunes of any of the personages, who are all presented
to us at the commencement in their proper names and characters. The
interest of the story, as in the _Ethiopics_, turns chiefly on an
elopement, and the consequent misadventures of the hero and heroine
among various sets of robbers and treacherous friends; but the lovers,
after being thus duly punished for their undutiful escapade, are
restored, at the finale, to their original position, and settle
quietly in their native home, under their own vines and fig-trees.

Of the author himself little appears to be certainly known. Fabricius
and other writers have placed him in the "third or fourth" century of
our era; but this date will by no means agree with his constant
imitations of Heliodorus, who is known to have lived at the end of the
fourth and beginning of the fifth century; and Tatius, if not his
contemporary, probably lived not long after him. Suidas (who calls him
_Statius_) informs us that he was a native of Alexandria; and
attributes to his pen several other works on various subjects besides
the romance now in question, a fragment only of which--a treatise on
the sphere--has been preserved. He adds, that he was a pagan when he
wrote "Clitophon and Leucippe," but late in life embraced
Christianity, and even became a bishop. This latter statement,
however, is unsupported by any other authority, and would seem to be
opposed by the negative testimony of the patriarch Photius, who (in
his famous _Bibliotheca_, 118, 130) passes a severe censure on the
immorality of certain passages in the works of Tatius, and would
scarcely have omitted to inveigh against the further scandal of their
having proceeded from the pen of an ecclesiastic. "In style and
composition this work is of high excellence; the periods are generally
well rounded and perspicuous, and gratify the ear by their harmony ...
but, except in the names of the personages, and the unpardonable
breaches of decorum of which he is guilty, the author appears to have
closely copied Heliodorus both in the plan and execution of his
narrative." In another passage, when treating of the _Babylonica_[1]
of Iamblichus, he repeats this condemnation:--"Of these three
principal writers of amorous tales. Heliodorus has treated the subject
with due gravity and decorum. Iamblichus is not so unexceptionable on
these points; and Achilles Tatius is still worse, in his eight books
of _Clitophon and Leucippe_, the very diction of which is soft and
effeminate, as if intended to relax the vigour of the reader's mind."
This last denunciation of the patriarch, however, is somewhat too
sweeping and indiscriminate, since, though some passages are certainly
indefensible, they appear rather as interpolations, and are in no
manner connected with the main thread of the story, the general
tendency of which is throughout innocent and moral; and whatever may
be said of these blemishes, it must be allowed that the pages of
Achilles Tatius are purity itself when compared with the depravity of
Longus, and some of his followers and imitators among the Greek

[1] This work is now lost, and we know it only by the abstract
given by Photius in the passage quoted.

The period of time at which the adventures of _Clitophon and Leucippe_
are supposed to take place, appears to be in the later ages of Grecian
independence, when the successors of Alexander reigned in Syria and
Egypt, and the colonized cities in Thrace and Asia Minor still
preserved their municipal liberties. The story is related in the first
person by the hero himself; a mode of narration which, though the best
adapted for affording scope to the expression of the feelings of the
principal personages, is, in this instance, very awkwardly introduced.
A stranger, while contemplating a famous picture of the Rape of Europa
in the Temple of Astarte at Sidon, is accosted by a young man, who,
after a few incidental remarks, proceeds, without further preface, to
recount his adventures at length to this casual acquaintance. This
communicative gentleman is, of course, Clitophon; but before we
proceed to the narrative of his loves and woes, we shall give a
specimen of the author's powers in the line which appears to be his
forte, by quoting his description of the painting above referred
to:--"On entering the temple, my attention was attracted by a picture
representing the story of Europa, in which sea and land were
blended--the Phoenician Sea and the coasts of Sidon. On the land was
seen a band of maidens in a meadow, while in the sea a bull was
swimming, who bore on his shoulders a beautiful virgin, and was making
his way in the direction of Crete. The meadow was decked with a
profusion of bright flowers, to which a grateful shelter was afforded
by the dense overhanging foliage of the shrubs and clumps of trees,
which were interspersed at intervals throughout its extent; while so
skilfully had the artist represented the appearance of light and
shade, that the rays of the sun were seen to pass here and there
through the interstices of the leaves, and cast a softened radiance on
the ground underneath. A spring was seen bubbling up in the midst, and
refreshing the flowers and plants with its cool waters; while a
labourer with a spade was at work opening a fresh channel for the
stream. At the extremity of the meadow, where it bordered on the sea,
the maidens stood grouped together, in attitudes expressive of mingled
joy and terror; their brows were bound with chaplets, and their hair
floated in loose locks over their shoulders; but their features were
pale, and their cheeks contracted, and they gazed with lips apart and
opened eyes on the sea, as if on the point of uttering a cry
half-suppressed by fear. They were standing on tiptoe on the very
verge of the shore, with their tunics girt up to the knee, and
extending their arms towards the bull, as if meditating to rush into
the sea in pursuit of him, and yet shrinking from the contact of the
waves. The sea was represented of a reddish tint inshore, but further
out the colour changed to deep azure; while in another part the waves
were seen running in with a swell upon the rocks, and breaking against
them into clouds of foam and white spray. In the midst of the sea the
bull was depicted, breasting the lofty billows which surged against
his sides, with the damsel seated on his back, not astride, but with
both her feet disposed on his right side, while with her left hand she
grasped his horn, by which she guided his motions as a charioteer
guides a horse by the rein. She was arrayed in a white tunic, which
did not extend much below her waist, and an under-garment of purple,
reaching to her feet; but the outline of her form, and the swell of
her bosom, were distinctly defined through her garments. Her right
hand rested on the back of the bull, with the left she retained her
hold of his horn, while with both she grasped her veil, which was
blown out by the wind, and expanded in an arch over her head and
shoulders, so that the bull might be compared to a ship, of which the
damsel's veil was the sail. Around them dolphins were sporting in the
water, and winged loves fluttering in the air, so admirably depicted,
that the spectator might fancy he saw them in motion. One Cupid guided
the bull, while others hovered round bearing bows and quivers, and
brandishing nuptial torches, regarding Jupiter with arch and sidelong
glances, as if conscious that it was by their influence that the god
had assumed the form of an animal."

To return to Clitophon and his tale. He begins by informing his
hearer, that he is the son of Hippias, a noble and wealthy denizen of
Tyre, and that he had been betrothed from his childhood, as was not
unusual in those times,[2] to his own half-sister Calligone:--but
Leucippe, the daughter of Sostratus, a brother of Hippias, resident at
Byzantium, having arrived with her mother Panthia, to claim the
hospitality of their Tyrian relatives during a war impending between
their native city and the Thracian tribes, Clitophon at once becomes
enamoured of his cousin, whose charms are described in terms of
glowing panegyric:--"She seemed to me like the representation of
Europa, which I see in the picture before me--her eye beaming with joy
and happiness--her locks fair,[3] and flowing in natural ringlets, but
her eyebrows and eyelashes jetty black--her complexion fair, but with
a blush in her cheeks like that faint crimson with which the Lydian
women stain ivory, and her lips like the hue of a fresh-opened rose."
Love is not, however, in this case, as in that of Theagenes and
Chariclea, instantaneous on both sides; and the expedient adopted by
Clitophon, with the aid of his servant Satyrus, (a valet of the
_Scapin_ school,) to win the good graces of the lady, are detailed at
length, evincing much knowledge of the human heart in the author, and
affording considerable insight into the domestic arrangements of a
Grecian family.[4] An understanding is at last effected between them,
and Clitophon is in sad perplexity how to defer or evade his
approaching nuptials with his sister-bride, when Calligone is most
opportunely carried off by a band of pirates employed by Callisthenes,
a young Byzantine, who, having fallen in love with Leucippe from the
mere report of her beauty, and having been refused her hand by her
father, has followed her to Tyre, and seeing Calligone in a public
procession chaperoned by Panthia, has mistaken her for Leucippe! The
lovers are thus left in the unrestrained enjoyment of each other's
society; but Clitophon is erelong detected by Panthia in an attempt to
penetrate by night into her daughter's chamber; and though the
darkness prevents the person of the intruder from being recognised,
the confusion which this untoward occurrence occasions in the family
is such, that Clitophon and Leucippe, feeling their secret no longer
safe, determine on an elopement. Accompanied by the faithful Satyrus,
and by Clinias, a kinsman and confident of Clitophon, who generously
volunteers to share their adventures, they accordingly set sail for
Egypt; and the two gentlemen, having struck up an acquaintance with a
fellow passenger, a young Alexandrian named Menelaus, beguile the
voyage by discussing with their new friend the all-engrossing subject
of love, the remarks on which at last take so antiplatonic a tone,
that we can only hope Leucippe was out of hearing. These disquisitions
are interrupted, on the third day of the voyage, by a violent tempest;
and the sailors, finding the ship on the point of coming to pieces,
betake themselves to the boat, leaving the passengers to their fate.
But Clitophon and Leucippe, clinging to the forecastle, are
comfortably wafted by the winds and waves to the coast of Egypt, and
landed near Pelusium, where they hire a vessel to carry them to
Alexandria; but their voyage through the tortuous branches of the Nile
is intercepted by marauders of the same class, _Bucoli_ or buccaniers,
as those who figure so conspicuously in the adventures of _Chariclea_
and _Theagenes_. The robbers are at this juncture in expectation of an
attack from the royal troops; and, having been ordered by their
priests to propitiate the gods by the sacrifice of a virgin, are
greatly at a loss for a victim, when chance throws Leucippe in their
way. She is forthwith torn from her lover, and sent off to the
headquarters of the banditti; and Clitophon is on his way to another
of their retreats, when his captors are attacked and cut to pieces by
a detachment of troops, whose commander, Charmides, commiserates the
misfortunes of our hero, and hospitably entertains him in his tent.

[2] The laws of Athens permitted the marriage of a brother
with his sister by the father's side only--thus Cimon married
his half sister Elpinice; and several marriages of the same
nature occur in the history of the Egyptian Ptolemies.

[3] Fair hair, probably from its rarity in southern climates,
seems to have been at all times much prized by the ancients;
witness the [Greek: Xanthos Menelaos] of Homer, and the "Cui
_flavam_ religas comam?" of Horace. The style of Leucippe's
beauty seems to have resembled that of Haidee--

"Her hair, I said, was auburn; but her eyes
Were black as night, their lashes the same hue."

[4] One incident, where Clitophon pretends to have been stung
on the lip by a bee, and to be cured by a kiss from Leucippe,
has been borrowed by Tasso in the Aminta, (Act I. Scene 2.)
"Che fingendo ch'un ape avesse morso il mio labbro di sotto,"
&c., whence the idea has been again copied by a host of later
poetasters. This is not Tasso's only obligation to the Greek
romances, as we have already seen that he was indebted to
Heliodorus for the hint of his story of Clorinda.

A general attack on the buccanier force is projected for the next day,
but the advance of the troops is found to be barred by a trench so
wide and deep as to be impassable; and while preparations are made for
filling it up, Leucippe is brought to the opposite brink by two
officiating priests, sheathed in armor; and there, to the horror of
Clitophon, apparently ripped up alive before the altar. After
completing the sacrifice, and depositing the body in a sarcophagus,
the robbers disperse; the passage of the trench is at length effected;
and Clitophon is preparing to fall on his sword at the tomb of his
murdered love, when his hand is stayed by the appearance of his
faithful friends, Menelaus and Satyrus, whom he had supposed lost in
the ship. The mystery is now explained. They had reached the shore,
like Clitophon, on pieces of the wreck and having also fallen into the
power of the robbers, (as appears to have been the inevitable fate of
every one landing in Egypt at the time of this narrative,) were
surprised by finding Leucippe among their fellow captives, and
learning from her the dreadful fate which awaited her. Menelaus,
however, having recognized some former acquaintances among the
buccaniers, was released from his bonds; and having gained their
confidence by proposing to enrol himself in their band, offered his
services as sacrificer, which were accepted. He now contrived to equip
Leucippe with an artfully constructed _false stomach_, and being
further assisted in his humane stratagem by the discovery of a knife
with a sliding blade, among some theatrical _properties_ which the
robbers had acquired in the course of casual plunder, succeeded in
appearing to perform the sacrifice without any real injury to the
victim, who at his call rises from the sarcophagus, and throws herself
into her lover's arms.

It might be supposed, that after so portentously marvellous an escape
as the one just related, the unlucky couple might be allowed a short
respite at least from the persecutions of adverse fortune. But perils
in love succeed without an interval to perils in war. It is the
invariable rule of all Greek romances, as we have remarked in a
previous number, that the attractions both of the hero and heroine,
should be perfectly irresistible by those of the other sex; and
accordingly, the Egyptian officer Charmides no sooner beholds
Leucippe, than he falls in love with her, and endeavours to gain over
Menelaus to further his views. Menelaus feigns compliance, but
privately gives information of the designs of Charmides to Clitophon,
who is thrown into a dreadful state of consternation by his
apprehensions of this powerful rival. At this juncture, however,
Leucippe is suddenly seized with a fit of extravagant frenzy, which
defies all the skill of the Egyptian camp; and under the influence of
which she violently assaults her friends, and is guilty of sundry
vagaries not altogether seemly in a well-bred young lady. Both her
admirers, Charmides and Clitophon, are in despair, and equally in
ignorance of the cause of her malady; but before any symptoms of
amendment are perceptible, Charmides receives orders[5] to march with
his whole force against the buccaniers, by whom he is inveigled into
an ambuscade, and with most of his men either slain or drowned by the
breaking of the dykes of the Nile. The madness of Leucippe is still
incurable, till a stranger named Choereas makes his appearance, and
introducing himself to Clitophon, informs him that he has discovered
from the confession of a domestic, that Gorgias, an officer who fell
in the late action with the _Bucoli_, captivated, like every one else,
by the resistless charms of the heroine, had administered to her a
philtre, the undue strength of which had excited frenzy instead of
love. By the administration of proper remedies, the fair patient is
now restored to her senses: and the total destruction of the
robber-colony by a stronger force sent against them having rendered
the navigation of the Nile again secure, the lovers once more embark
for Alexandria, accompanied by Menelaus and Choereas, and at length
arrive in safety at the city, which they find illuminated for the
great feast of Serapis. The first sight of the glories of Alexandria,
at the supposed period of the narrative the largest and most
magnificent city in the world, and many ages subsequently second only
to Imperial Rome herself, excites the astonishment and admiration of
the newcomers:--and the author takes the opportunity to dilate, with
pardonable complacency, on the magnitude and grandeur of the place of
his birth. "When I entered the city," (says Clitophon,) "by the gates
called those of the sun, its wonderful beauty flashed at once upon my
sight, almost dazzling my eyes with the excess of gratification. A
lofty colonnade of pillars, on each side of the street,[6] runs right
from the gates of the sun on one side, to those of the moon, (for
these are its guardian deities,) on the other; and the distance is
such, that a walk through the city is in itself a journey. When we had
proceeded several stadia, we arrived at the square named after
Alexander, whence other colonnades, like those I saw extending in a
right line before me, branched off right and left at right angles; and
my eyes, never weary of wandering from one street to another, were
unable to contemplate separately the various objects of attraction
which presented themselves. Some I had before my eyes, some I was
hastening to gaze upon, when I found myself unable to pass by others,
while a fresh series of marvels still awaited me, so that my powers of
vision were at last fairly exhausted, and obliged to confess
themselves beaten. The vast extent of the city, and the innumerable
multitude of the population, produced on the mind the effect of a
double paradox; for regarding the one, the stranger wondered where
such a city, which seemed as large as a continent, could find
inhabitants; but when his attention was drawn to the other, he was
again perplexed how so many people, more numerous than a nation, could
find room in any single city. Thus the two conflicting feelings of
amazement remained in equilibrio."

[5] These orders are said to have come from the "_satrap_,"
the Persian title having been retained under the Ptolemies,
for the governors of the _nomes_ or provinces. The description
of the stronghold of the buccaniers, in the deep recesses of a
marsh, and approachable only by a single hidden path, (like
the stockades of the North-American Indians in the swamps, as
described by Cotton Mather,) if not copied, like most of the
other Egyptian scenes, from the _Ethiopics_, presents a
curious picture of a class of men of whom few details are in
authentic history.

[6] The main street, according to Diodorus, was "forty stadia
in length, and a _plethrum_ (100 feet) in breadth; adorned
through its whole extent by a succession of palaces and
temples of the most costly magnificence. Alexander also
erected a royal palace, which was an edifice wonderful both
for its magnitude and the solidity of its architecture, and
all the kings who have succeeded him, even up to our times,
have spent great sums in further adorning and making additions
to it. On the whole, the city may be fairly reckoned as the
first in the world, whether for magnitude and beauty, for
traffic, or for the greatness of its revenues."--"It
comprehended," says Gibbon, speaking of it under the Roman
Emperors, "a circumference of fifteen miles, and was peopled
by 300,000 free inhabitants, besides, at least, an equal
number of slaves."

Choereas, himself a native of the city, who had been called upon to
take service in the late expedition against the buccaniers, does the
honours of the locale to his new friends:--but he is not proof against
the fatal charms of Leucippe, and resorts to the old expedient of
procuring her abduction by a crew of pirates while on an excursion to
the Pharos. The vessel of the captors is, however, chased by a
guard-boat, and on the point of being taken, when Leucippe is brought
on deck and decapitated by the pirates, who throw the headless body
into the sea, and make their escape; while Clitophon stays the
pursuit, to recover the remains of his mistress for sepulture.
Clitophon now returns to Alexandria to mourn for his lost love, and is
still inconsolable at the end of six months, when he is surprised by
the appearance of Clinias, whom he had supposed to have perished when
the vessel foundered at sea. Clinias relates that having, like the
others, floated on a piece of the wreck, he had been picked up by a
ship, which brought him back to Sidon; and as his absence from home
had been so short as not to have been generally noticed, he had
thought it best not to mention it, especially as he had no good
account to give of his fellow-fugitives. In the mean time, as
Calligone is given up for lost, Sostratus, who has heard of his
daughter's attachment to Clitophon, but not of the elopement, writes
from Byzantium to give his consent to their union; and diligent
enquiries are made in every direction for the runaway couple, till
information is at length obtained that Clitophon has been seen in
Egypt. His father, Hippias, is therefore preparing to set sail for
Alexandria to bring back the truant, when Clinias, thinking it would
be as well to forewarn Clitophon of what had occurred in his absence,
starts without delay, unknown to Hippias, and reaches Alexandria
before him.

The intelligence thus received throws Clitophon into fresh agonies of
grief and remorse: he curses his own impatience in carrying off
Leucippe, when a short delay would have crowned his happiness; accuses
himself anew as the cause of her death; and declares his determination
not to remain in Egypt and encounter his father. His friends, Menelaus
and Clinias, in vain endeavour to combat this resolve; till the
over-ready Satyrus finds an expedient for evading the difficulty. A
young "Ephesian widow," named Melissa, fair and susceptible, who has
lately lost her husband at sea, and become the heiress of his immense
wealth, has recently (in obedience to the above-mentioned invariable
law of Greek romance) fixed an eye of ardent affection on Clitophon;
and it is suggested by his friends that, by marrying this new
inamorata, and sailing with her forthwith on her return to Ephesus,
his departure would at once be satisfactorily explained to his father
on his arrival, and he might return to his friends at Tyre after their
emotions at the tragical catastrophe of Leucippe had in some measure
subsided. After much persuasion, Clitophon accedes to this
arrangement, with the sole proviso that nothing but the _fiancailles_,
or betrothal, shall take place in Egypt, and that the completion of
the marriage shall be deferred till their arrival in Ephesus--on the
plea that he cannot pledge his faith to another in the land where his
beloved Leucippe met with her fate. This proposal, after vehement
opposition on the part of the amorous Ephesian, is at last agreed to;
and Clitophon, with his half-married bride, sets sail for Ephesus,
accompanied by Clinias; while Menelaus, who remains in Egypt,
undertakes the task of explaining matters to Hippias. The voyage is
prosperously accomplished; and Melissa becomes urgent for the formal
solemnization of the nuptials; while Clitophon continues to oppose
frivolous delays which might have roused the anger of a lady even of a
less ardent temperament. Her affection, however, continues
undiminished; but Clitophon, while visiting, in her company, her
country residence in the neighbourhood of the city, is thunderstruck
by fancying that he recognizes, in the disfigured lineaments of a
female slave, said to be a Thessalian of the name of Lacoena, who
approaches Melissa to complain of the ill-treatment she has received
from the steward, Sosthenes, the features of his lost Leucippe. His
suspicions are confirmed by a billet which Leucippe conveys to him
through Satyrus; and his situation becomes doubly perplexing, as
Melissa, more than ever at a loss to comprehend the cause of his
indifference, applies to Leucippe, (whom she supposes to possess the
skill of the Thessalians in magic,) for a love-charm to compel his
affections, promising her liberty as a reward. Leucippe is delighted
by the proof which this request affords of the constancy of her lover;
but the preparations for his marriage with Melissa still proceed, and
evasion appears impossible; when at the preliminary banquet, the
return of her husband, Thersander, is announced, who had been falsely
reported to have perished by shipwreck. A terrible scene of confusion
ensues, in which Thersander,

--"proceeding at a very high rate,
Shows the imperial penchant of a pirate."

Clitophon gets a violent beating, to which he submits with the utmost
tameness, and is thrown into fetters by the enraged husband; and
though Melissa, on certain conditions, furnishes him with the means of
escape from the house in the disguise of a female, he again unluckily
encounters Thersander, and is lodged in the prison of Ephesus.
Leucippe, meanwhile, of whose unrivalled charms Thersander has been
informed by Sosthenes, is still detained in bondage, and suffers cruel
persecution from her brutal master; who, at last, having learned from
an overheard soliloquy her true parentage and history, as well as her
attachment for Clitophon, (of her relations with whom he was not
previously aware,) forms a scheme of ridding himself of this twofold
rival, by sending one of his emissaries into the prison, who gives out
that he has been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the
murder of Leucippe, who has been dispatched by assassins employed by
the jealous Melissa. Clitophon at once gives full credence to this
awkwardly devised tale, and determines not to survive his mistress, in
spite of the remonstrances of Clinias, who argues with much reason,
that one who had so often been miraculously preserved from death,
might have escaped also on the present occasion. But Clitophon refuses
to be comforted; and when brought before the assembly in the forum to
stand his trial, on the charge, (apparently, for it is not very
clearly specified,) of having married another man's wife, he openly
declares himself guilty of Leucippe's murder, which he affirms to have
been concerted between Melissa and himself, in order to remove the
obstacle to their amours, and now revealed by him from remorse. He is,
of course, condemned to death forthwith, and Thersander is triumphing
in the unexpected success of his schemes, when the judicial
proceedings are interrupted by the appearance of a religious
procession, at the head of which Clitophon is astonished by
recognizing his uncle Sostratus, the father of Leucippe, who had been
deputed by the Byzantines to offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, at the
Temple of Diana, for their victory over the Thracians. On hearing the
state of affairs, he furiously denounces the murderer of his daughter;
but at this moment it is announced that Leucippe, whom Thersander had
believed to be in safe custody, has escaped, and taken refuge in the
Temple of Diana!

The interest of the story is now at an end; but much yet remains
before the conclusion. Thersander, maddened at the prospect of being
thus doubly baulked of his prey, throws gross aspersions on the purity
of Leucippe, and even demands that Clitophon, in spite of his now
manifest innocence, shall be executed in pursuance of the previous
sentence! but the high-priest of Diana takes the lovers under his
protection, and the cause is adjourned to the morrow. Leucippe now
relates the circumstances of her captivity:--the Alexandrian pirates,
having deceived their pursuers by beheading another captive dressed in
her garments, had next fallen out with and murdered their base
employer Choereas, and finally sold her for two thousand drachmas to
Sosthenes: while from Sostratus, on the other hand, Clitophon receives
tidings that his long-lost sister Calligone is on the point of
marriage to Callisthenes, who, it will be remembered, had carried her
off from Tyre by mistake for Leucippe, (having become enamoured of the
latter without ever having seen her,) and on the discovery of his
error, had made her all the amends in his power by an instant transfer
of his affections. Thus everything is on the point of ending happily;
but the sentence passed against Clitophon still remains unreversed,
and Thersander, in the assembly of the following day, vehemently calls
for its ratification. But the cause of the defendant is espoused by
the high-priest, who lavishes on the character and motives of
Thersander a torrent of abuse, couched in language little fitting his
sacred character; while Thersander shows himself in this respect fully
a match for his reverend antagonist, and, moreover, reiterates with
fresh violence his previous charge against Leucippe. The debates are
protracted to an insufferably tedious length; but the character of
Leucippe is at last vindicated by her descent into a cavern, whence
sounds of more than human melody are heard on the entrance of a damsel
of untainted fame. The result of this ordeal is, of course,
triumphant; and Thersander, overwhelmed with confusion makes his
escape from the popular indignation, and is condemned to exile by
acclamation as a suborner of false evidence; while the lovers, freed
at length from all their troubles, sail for Byzantium in company with
Sostratus; and after there solemnizing their own nuptials, return to
Tyre to assist at those of Callisthenes and Calligone.

The leading defects observable in this romance are obviously the
glaring improbability of many of the incidents, and the want of
connexion and necessary dependence between the several parts of the
story. Of the former--the device of the false stomach and theatrical
dagger, by means of which Menelaus and Satyrus (after gaining,
moreover, in a moment the full confidence of the buccaniers,) save the
life of Leucippe when doomed to sacrifice, is the most flagrant
instance; though her second escape from supposed death, when Clitophon
imagines that he sees her head struck off by the Alexandrian pirates,
is almost equally liable to the same objection; while in either case
the deliverance of the heroine might as well have been managed,
without prejudice either to the advancement or interest of the
narrative, by more rational and probable methods. The too frequent
introduction of incidents and personages not in any way connected
with, or conducive to the progress of the main plot, is also
objectionable, and might almost induce the belief that the original
plan was in some measure altered or departed from in the course of
composition. It is difficult to conceive for what purpose the
character of Calligone, the sister and fiancee of Clitophon, is
introduced among the dramatic personae. She appears at the beginning
only to be carried off by Callisthenes as soon as Clitophon's passion
for Leucippe makes her presence inconvenient, and we incidentally hear
of her as on the point of becoming his bride at the conclusion; but
she is seen only for a moment, and never permitted to speak, like a
walking gentlewoman on the stage, and exercises not the smallest
influence on the fortunes of the others. Gorgias is still worse used:
he is a mere _nominis umbra_, of whose bodily presence nothing is made
visible; nor is so much as his name mentioned, except for the purpose
of informing us that it was through his agency that the love-potion
was administered to Leucippe, and that he has since been killed in the
action against the buccaniers. The whole incident of the philtre,
indeed, and the consequent madness of the heroine, is unnatural and
revolting, and serves no end but to introduce Choereas to effect a
cure. But even had it been indispensable to the plot, it might have
been far more probably ascribed to the Egyptian commander Charmides,
with whose passion for Leucippe we were already acquainted, and who
had, moreover, learned from Menelaus that he had little chance of
success by ordinary methods, from the pre-engagement of the lady to

Nor are these defects compensated by any high degree of merit in the
delineation of the characters. With the exception of Leucippe herself,
they are all almost wholly devoid of individual or distinguishing
traits, and insipid and uninteresting to the last degree. Menelaus and
Clinias, the confidants and trusted friends of the hero, are the
dullest of all dull mortals--a qualification which perhaps fits them
in some measure for the part they are to bear in the story, as
affording some security against their falling in love with Leucippe, a
fate which they, of all the masculine personages, alone escape. Their
active intervention is confined to the preservation of Leucippe from
the _bucoli_ by Menelaus, and a great deal of useless declamation in
behalf of Clitophon before the assembly of Ephesus from Clinias.
Satyrus, also, from whose knavish ingenuity in the early part of the
tale something better was to be expected, soon subsides into a
well-behaved domestic, and hands his master the letter in which poor
Leucippe makes herself known to him at Ephesus, when she imagines him
married to Melissa, with all the nonchalance of a modern footman.
Clitophon himself is hardly a shade superior to his companions. He is
throughout a mere passive instrument, leaving to chance, or the
exertions of others, his extrication from the various troubles in
which he becomes involved: even of the qualities usually regarded as
inseparable from a hero of romance, spirit and personal courage, he is
so utterly destitute as to suffer himself to be beaten and ill
treated, both by Thersander and Sostratus, without an attempt to
defend himself; and his lamentations, whenever he finds himself in
difficulties, or separated from his ladye-love, are absolutely
puerile. As to the other characters, Thersander is a mere vulgar
ruffian--"a rude and boisterous captain of the sea,"--whose brutal
violence on his first appearance, and subsequent unprincipled
machinations, deprive him of the sympathy which might otherwise have
been excited in behalf of one who finds his wife and his property
unceremoniously taken possession of during his absence; while, on the
other hand, the language used by the high-priest of Diana, in his
invectives against Thersander and his accomplices, gives but a low
idea of the dignity or refinement of the Ephesian hierarchy. But the
female characters, as is almost always the case in the Greek romances,
are far better drawn, and infinitely more interesting, than the men.
Even Melissa, though apparently intended only as a foil to the
perfections of Leucippe, wins upon us by her amorous weakness, and the
invincible kindness of heart which impels her, even when acquainted
with the real state of affairs, to protect the lovers against her
husband's malpractices. Leucippe herself goes far to make amends for
the general insipidity of the other characters. Though not a heroine
of so lofty a stamp as Chariclea, in whom the spirit of her royal
birth is all along apparent, she is endowed with a mingled gentleness
and firmness, which is strongly contrasted with the weakness and
pusillanimity of her lover:--her uncomplaining tenderness, when she
finds Clitophon at Ephesus (as she imagines) the husband of another,
and the calm dignity with which she vindicates herself from the
injurious aspersions of Thersander, are represented with great truth
and feeling, and attach a degree of interest to her, which the other
personages of the narrative are very far from inspiring.

In the early part of the story, during the scenes in Tyre and Egypt,
the action is carried on with considerable spirit and briskness; the
author having apparently thus far kept before him, as a model, the
narrative of Heliodorus. But towards the conclusion, and, indeed from
the time of the arrival of Clitophon and Melissa at Ephesus, the
interest flags wofully. The _denouement_ is inevitably foreseen from
the moment Clitophon is made aware that Leucippe is still alive and in
his neighbourhood, and the arrival of Thersander, almost immediately
afterwards, disposes of the obstacle of his engagement to Melissa; but
the reader is acquainted with all these circumstances before the end
of the fifth book; the three remaining books being entirely occupied
by the proceedings in the judicial assembly, the recriminations of the
high-priest, and the absurd ordeal to which Leucippe is subjected--all
apparently introduced for no other purpose than to show the author's
skill in declamation. The display of his own acquirements in various
branches of art and science, and of his rhetorical powers of language
in describing them, is indeed an object of which Achilles Tatius never
loses sight; and continual digressions from the thread of the story
for this purpose occur, often extremely _mal-a-propos_, and sometimes
entirely without reference to the preceding narrative. Thus, when
Clitophon is relating the terms of an oracle addressed to the
Byzantines, previous to their war with the Thracians, he breaks off at
once into a dissertation on the wonderful qualities of the element of
water, the inflammable springs of Sicily, the gold extracted from the
lakes of Africa, &c.--all which is supposed to be introduced into a
conversation on the oracle between Sostratus and his colleague in
command, and could only have come to the knowledge of Clitophon by
being repeated to him _verbatim_, after a considerable interval of
time, by Sostratus. Again, in the midst of the hero's perplexities at
his threatened marriage with Calligone, we are favoured with a minute
enumeration of the gems set in an ornament which his father purchased
as part of the trousseau; and this again leads to an account of the
discovery and application of the purple dye. The description of
objects of natural history is at all times a favourite topic; and the
sojourn of the lovers in Egypt affords the author an opportunity of
indulging in details relative to the habits and appearances of the
various strange animals found in that country--the crocodile, the
hippopotamus, and the elephant, are described with considerable spirit
and fidelity; and even the form and colours of the fabulous phoenix,
are delineated with all the confidence of an eyewitness.

Many of these episodical sketches, though out of place when thus
awkwardly inserted in the midst of the narrative, are in themselves
curious and well written; but the most valuable and interesting among
them are the frequent descriptions of paintings, a specimen of which
has already been given. On this subject especially, the author dwells
_con amore_, and his remarks are generally characterised by a degree
of good taste and correct feeling, which indicates a higher degree of
appreciation of the pictorial art than is generally ascribed to the
age in which Achilles Tatius wrote. Even in the latter part of the
first century of our era, Pliny, when enumerating the glorious names
of the ancient Greek painters, laments over the total decline, in his
own days, of what he terms (_Nat. Hist_. xxxv. 11) "an aspiring art;"
but the monarchs of the Macedonian dynasties in Asia, and, above all,
the Egyptian Ptolemies, were both munificent patrons of the fine arts
among their own subjects, and diligent collectors of the great works
of past ages; and many of the _chefs-d'oeuvres_ of the Grecian masters
were thus transferred from their native country to adorn, the temples
and palaces of Egypt and Syria. We find, from Plutarch, that when
Aratus was exerting himself to gain for the Achaean league the powerful
alliance of Ptolemy Euergetes, he found no means so effectual in
conciliating the good-will of the monarch, as the procuring for him
some of the master-pieces of Pamphilus[7] and Melanthius, the most
renowned of the famous school of Sicyon; and the knowledge of the high
estimation in which the arts were held, under the Egyptian kings,
gives an additional value to the accounts given by Tatius of these
treasures of a past age, his notices of which are the latest, in
point of time, which have come down to us from an eyewitness. We have
already quoted the author's vivid description of the painting of
Europa at Sidon--we shall now subjoin, as a pendant to the former
notice, his remarks on a pair of pictures at Pelusium:--

[7] Pamphilus was a Macedonian by birth, and a pupil of
Eupompus, the founder of the school of Sicyon; to the
presidency of which he succeeded. His pupils paid each a
talent a year for instruction; and Melanthius, and even
Apelles himself, for a time, were among the number.--Pliny,
_Hist. Nat_. xxxv. 36. The great talent of Melanthius, like
that of his master Pamphilus, lay in composition and grouping;
and so highly were his pictures esteemed, that Pliny, in
another passage, says, that the wealth of a city would hardly
purchase one.

"In this temple (of Jupiter Casius) were two famous works of
Evanthes, illustrative of the legends of Andromeda and
Prometheus, which the painter had probably selected as a pair,
from the similarity of the Subjects--the principal figure in
each being bound to a rock and exposed to the attack of a
terrific animal; in one case a denizen of the air, in the
other a monster of the sea; and the deliverers of both being
Argives, and of kindred blood to each other, Hercules and
Perseus--the former of whom encountered, on foot, the savage
bird sent by Jove, while the latter mounted on borrowed wings
into the air, to assail the monster which issued from the sea
at the command of Neptune. In the picture of Andromeda, the
virgin was laid in a hollow of the rock, not fashioned by art,
but rough like a natural cavity; and which, if viewed only
with regard to the beauty of that which it contained, looked
like a niche holding an exquisite fresh from the chisel; but
the sight of her bonds, and of the monster approaching to
devour her, gave it rather the aspect of a sepulchre. On her
features extreme loveliness was blended with deadly terror,
which was seated on her pallid cheeks, while beauty beamed
forth from her eyes; but, as even amid the pallor of her
cheeks a faint tinge of colour was yet perceptible, so was the
brightness of her eyes, on the other hand, in some measure
dimmed, like the bloom of lately blighted violets. Her white
arms were extended, and lashed to the rock; but their
whiteness partook of a livid hue, and her fingers were like
those of a corpse. Thus lay she, expecting death, but arrayed
like a bride, in a long white robe, which seemed not as if
woven from the fleece of the sheep, but from the web of the
spider, or of those winged insects, the long threads spun by
which are gathered by the Indian women from the trees of their
own country. The monster was just rising out of the sea
opposite to the damsel, his head alone being distinctly
visible, while the unwieldy length of his body was still in a
great measure concealed by the waves, yet so as partially to
discover his formidable array of spines and scales, his
swollen neck, and his long flexible tail, while the gape of
his horrible jaws extended to his shoulder, and disclosed the
abyss of his stomach. But between the monster and the damsel,
Perseus was depicted descending to the encounter from the
upper regions of the air--his body bare, except a mantle
floating round his shoulders, and winged sandals on his
feet--a cap resembling the helmet of Pluto was on his head,
and in his left hand he held before him, like a buckler, the
head of the Gorgon, which even in the pictured representation
was terrible to look at, shaking its snaky hair, which seemed
to erect itself and menace the beholder. His right hand
grasped a weapon, in shape partaking of both a sickle and a
sword; for it had a single hilt, and to the middle of the
blade resembled a sword; but there it separated into two
parts, one continuing straight and pointed, like a sword,
while the other was curved backwards, so that with a single
stroke, it might both inflict a wound, and fix itself in the
part struck. Such was the picture of Andromeda; the design of
the other was thus:--

"Prometheus was represented bound down to a rock, with fetters
of iron, while Hercules, armed with a bow and arrow, was seen
approaching. The vulture, supporting himself by fixing his
talons in the thigh of Prometheus, was tearing open the
stomach of his victim, and apparently searching with his beak
for the liver, which it was his destiny daily to devour, and
which the painter had shown through the aperture of the wound.
The whole frame of the sufferer was convulsed, and his limbs
contracted with torture, so that, by raising his thigh, he
involuntarily presented his side to the bird--while the other
limb was visibly quivering in its whole length, with
agony--his teeth were clenched, his lips parted, and his brows
wrinkled. Hercules had already fitted the arrow to the bow, and
aimed it against his tormentor: his left arm was thrown
forward grasping the stock, while the elbow of the right was
bent in the attitude of drawing the arrow to his breast; while
Prometheus, full of mingled hope and fear, was endeavouring to
fix his undivided gaze on his deliverer, though his eyes, in
spite of himself, were partially diverted by the anguish of
his wound."

The work of Achilles Tatius, with all its blemishes and defects,
appears to have been highly popular among the Greeks of the lower
empire. An epigram is still extant, attributed to the Emperor Leo, the
philosopher,[8] in which it is landed as an example of chaste and
faithful love: and it was esteemed as a model of romantic composition
from the elegance of its style and diction, in which Heretius ranks
the author above Heliodorus, though he at the same time severely
criticizes him for want of originality, accusing him of having
borrowed all the interesting passages in his work from the
_Ethiopics_. In common with Heliodorus, Tatius has found a host of
followers among the later Greeks, some of whom (as the learned critic
just quoted, observes) have transcribed, rather than imitated him. In
the "Hysminias and Hysmine" of Eumathius, a wretched production of the
twelfth century, not only many of the incidents, but even of the
names, as Sostratus, Sosthenes, and Anthia, are taken from Clitophon
and Leucippe: and to so servile an extent is this plagiarism carried,
that two books out of the nine, of which the romance consists, are
filled with descriptions of paintings; while the plot, not very
intelligible at the best, is still further perplexed by the
extraordinary affectation of making nearly all the names alike; thus,
the hero and heroine are Hysminias and Hysmine, the towns are
Aulycomis, Eurycomis, Artycomis, &c. In all these works, the outline
is the same; the lovers undergo endless buffetings by sea and land,
imaginary deaths, and escapes from marauders; but not a spark of
genius or fancy enlivens these dull productions, which, sometimes
maudlin and bombastic, often indecent, would defy the patience of the
most determined novel reader. One of these writers, Xenophon of
Ephesus, the author of the "Ephesiacs, or Habrocomas and Anthia," is
commended by Politian for the classical purity of his language, in
which he considers him scarcely inferior to his namesake the
historian: but the work has little else to recommend it. The two
principal personages are represented as miracles of personal beauty;
and the women fall in love with Habrocomas, as well as the men with
Anthia, literally by dozens at a time: the plot, however differs from
that of the others in marrying them at the commencement, and sending
them through the ordinary routine of dangers afterwards. The
_Ephesiacs_ are, however, noticeable from its having been supposed by
Mr Douce, (_Illustrations of Shakspeare_, ii. 198,) that the
catastrophe in Romeo and Juliet was originally borrowed from one of
the adventures of Anthia, who, when separated from her husband, is
rescued from banditti by Perilaus, governor of Cilicia, and by him
destined for his bride. Unable to evade his solicitations, she
procures from the "poverty, not the will" of an aged physician named
Eudoxus, what she supposes to be a draught of poison, but which is
really an opiate. She is laid with great pomp, loaded with gems and
costly ornaments, in a vault; and on awakening, finds herself in the
hands of a crew of pirates, who have broken open her sepulchre in
order to rifle the treasures which they knew to have been deposited
there. "This work," (observes Mr Douce,) "was certainly not published
nor translated in the time of Luigi da Porto, the original narrator of
the story of Romeo and Juliet: but there is no reason why he might not
have seen a copy of the original in MS. We might enumerate several
more of these later productions of the same school; but a separate
analysis of each would be both tedious and needless, as none present
any marked features of distinction from those already noticed. They
are all, more or less, indifferent copies either from Heliodorus or
Achilles Tatius; the outline of the story being generally borrowed
from one or the other of these sources, while in point of style,
nearly all appear to have taken as their model the florid rhetorical
display and artificial polish of language which characterize the
latter. Their redeeming point is the high position uniformly assigned
to the female characters, who are neither immured in the Oriental
seclusion of the harem, nor degraded to household drudges, like the
Athenian ladies in the polished age of Pericles:[9] but mingle without
restraint in society as the friends and companions of the other sex,
and are addressed in the language of admiration and respect. But these
pleasing traits are not sufficient to atone for the improbability of
the incidents, relieved neither by the brilliant fancy of the East,
nor the lofty deeds of the romances of chivalry: and the reader,
wearied by the repetition of similar scenes and characters, thinly
disguised by change of name and place, finds little reason to regret
that "the children of the marriage of Theagenes and Chariclea," as
these romances are termed by a writer quoted by d'Israeli in the
"Curiosities of Literature"--have not continued to increase and
multiply up to our own times.

[8] Some bibliographers have assigned it to Photius; but the
opinion of Achilles Tatius expressed by the patriarch, and
quoted at the commencement of this article, precludes the
possibility of its being from his pen.

[9] See Mitford's _History of Greece_, ch. xiii, sect. 1.

* * * * *



"Aliter non fit, avite, liber."--MARTIAL.

It is more than probable that, at the first discovery of that
mightiest of arts, which has so tended to facilitate every other--the
art of printing--many old-fashioned people looked with a jealous eye
on the innovation. Accustomed to a written character, their eyes
became wearied by the crabbedness and formality of type. It was like
travelling on the paved and rectilinear roads of France, after winding
among the blooming hedgerows of England; and how dingy and graceless
must have appeared the first printed copy of the Holy Bible, to those
accustomed to luxuriate in emblazoned missals, amid all the pride,
pomp, and vellum of glorious MS.!

Dangerous and democratic, too, must have appeared the new art, which,
by plebeianizing knowledge and enlightening the mass, deprived the law
and the prophets of half their terrors, and disrobed priestcraft and
kingcraft of their mystery. We can imagine that, as soon as a printed
book ceased to be a great rarity, it became an object of great

There were many, no doubt, to prophesy, as on occasion of every new
invention, that it was all very well for a novelty; but that the thing
would not, and could not last! How were the poor copyists to get their
living if their occupation was taken from them? How were so many
monasteries to be maintained which had subsisted on _manuscriptum_?
And, then, what prince in his right senses would allow a
printing-press to be set up in his dominions--a source of sedition and
heresy--an implement of disaffection and schism? The free towns,
perhaps, might foster this pernicious art, and certain evilly-disposed
potentates wink at the establishment of type-founderies in their
states. But the great powers of Europe knew better! They would never
connive at this second sowing of the dragon's teeth of Cadmus.

Thus, probably, they argued; becoming reconciled, in process of time,
to the terrible novelty. Print-books became almost as easy to read as
manuscript; soon as cheap, and at length of a quarter the price, or
even less; till, two centuries later, benefit of clergy ceased to be
a benefit, books were plenty as blackberries, and learning a thing for
the multitude. According to Dean Swift's account, the chaplain's time
hung heavy on his hands, for my lady had sermon books of her own, and
could read; nay, my lady's woman had jest books of her own, and wanted
none of his nonsense! The learned professions, or black arts, lost at
least ninety-five per cent in importance; and so rapid as been the
increase of the evil, that, at this time of day, it is a hard matter
to impose on any clodpole in Europe! Instead of signing with their
marks, the kings of modern times have turned ushers; instead of
reading with difficulty, we have a mob of noblemen who write with
ease; and, now-a-days, it is every duke, ay, and every duchess her own

A year or two hence, however, and all this will have become
obsolete.--_Nous avons change tout cela!_--No more letter-press!
Books, the _small_ as well as the great, will have been voted a great
evil. There will be no gentlemen of the press. The press itself will
have ceased to exist.

For several years past it has been frankly avowed by the trade that
books have ceased to sell; that the best works are a drug in the
market; that their shelves groan, until themselves are forced to
follow the example.

Descend to what shifts they may in order to lower their prices, by
piracy from other booksellers, or clipping and coining of authors--no
purchasers! Still, the hope prevailed for a time among the lovers of
letters, that a great glut having occurred, the world was chewing the
cud of its repletion; that the learned were shut up in the Bodleian,
and the ignorant battening upon the circulating libraries; that hungry
times would come again!

But this fond delusion has vanished. People have not only ceased to
purchase those old-fashioned things called books, but even to read
them! Instead of cutting new works, page by page, people cut them
altogether! To far-sighted philosophers, indeed, this was a state of
things long foreshown. It could not be otherwise. The reading world
was a sedentary world. The literary public was a public lying at
anchor. When France delighted in the twelve-volume novels of
Mademoiselle de Scuderi, it drove in coaches and six, at the rate of
four miles an hour; when England luxuriated in those of Richardson, in
eight, it drove in coaches and four, at the rate of five. A journey
was then esteemed a family calamity; and people abided all the year
round in their cedar parlours, thankful to be diverted by the arrival
of the _Spectator_, or a few pages of the _Pilgrim's Progress_, or a
new sermon. To their unincidental lives, a book was an event.

Those were the days worth writing for! The fate of Richardson's
heroines was made a national affair; and people interceded with him by
letter to "spare Clarissa," as they would not now intercede with her
Majesty to spare a new Effie Deans. The successive volumes of _Pope's
Iliad_ were looked for with what is called "breathless" interest,
while such political sheets as the _Drapier's Letters_, or _Junius_,
set the whole kingdom in an uproar! And now, if Pope, or Swift, or
Fielding, or Johnson, or Sterne, were to rise from the grave, MS. in
hand, the most adventurous publisher would pass a sleepless night
before he undertook the risk of paper and print; would advise a small
edition, and exact a sum down in ready money, to be laid out in puffs
and advertisements! "Even then, though we may get rid of a few copies
to the circulating libraries," he would observe, "do not expect, sir,
to obtain readers. A few old maids in the county towns, and a few
gouty old gentlemen at the clubs; are the only persons of the present
day who ever open a book!"

And who can wonder? _Who_ has leisure to read? _Who_ cares to sit down
and spell out accounts of travels which he can make at less cost than
the cost of the narrative? _Who_ wants to peruse fictitious
adventures, when railroads and steamboats woo him to adventures of his
own? Egypt was once a land of mystery; now, every lad, on leaving
Eton, yachts it to the pyramids. India was once a country to dream of
over a book. Even quartoes, if tolerably well-seasoned with suttees
and sandalwood, went down; now, every genteel family has its "own
correspondent," per favour of the Red Sea; and the best printed
account of Cabul would fall stillborn from the press. As to Van
Dieman's Land, it is vulgar as the Isle of Dogs; and since people have
steamed it backwards and forwards across the Atlantic more easily than
formerly across the Channel, every woman chooses to be her own
Trollope--every man his own Boz!

For some time after books had ceased to find a market, the periodicals
retained their vogue; and even till very lately, newspapers found
readers. But the period at length arrived, when even the leisure
requisite for the perusal of these lighter pages, is no longer
forthcoming. People are busy ballooning or driving; shooting like
stars along railroads; or migrating like swallows or wild-geese. It
has been found, within the current year, impossible to read even a

The march of intellect, however, luckily keeps pace with the
necessities of the times; and no sooner was it ascertained, that
reading-made-easy was difficult to accomplish, than a new art was
invented for the more ready transmission of ideas. The fallacy of the
proverb, that "those who run may read," being established, modern
science set about the adoption of a medium, available to those sons of
the century who are always on the run. Hence, the grand secret of
ILLUSTRATION.--Hence the new art of printing!

The pictorial printing-press is now your only wear! Every thing is
communicated by delineation. We are not _told_, but _shown_ how the
world is wagging. The magazines sketch us a lively article, the
newspapers vignette us, step by step, a royal tour. The beauties of
Shakspeare are imprinted on the minds of the rising generation, in
woodcuts; and the poetry of Byron engraver in their hearts, by means
of the graver. Not a boy in his teens has read a line of Don Quixote
or Gil Blas, though all have their adventures by heart; while
Goldsmith's "Deserted Village" has been committed to memory by our
daughters and wives, in a series of exquisite illustrations. Every
body has La Fontaine by heart, thanks to the pencil of Granville,
which requires neither grammar nor dictionary to aid its
interpretations; and even Defoe--even the unparalleled Robinson
Crusoe--is devoured by our ingenuous youth in cuts and come again.

At present, indeed, the new art of printing is in its infancy, but it
is progressing so rapidly, that the devils of the old will soon have a
cold birth of it! Views of the Holy Land are superseding even the Holy
Scriptures; and a pictorial Blackstone is teaching the ideas of the
sucking lawyers how to shoot. Nay, Buchan's "Domestic Medicine" has
(proh pudor!) its illustrated edition.

The time saved to an active public by all this, is beyond computation.
All the world is now instructed by symbols, as formerly the deaf and
dumb; and instead of having to peruse a tedious penny-a-line account
of the postilion of the King of the French misdriving his Majesty, and
his Majesty's august family, over a draw-bridge into a moat at
Treport, a single glance at a single woodcut places the whole disaster
graphically before us; leaving us nine minutes and a half of the time
we must otherwise have devoted to the study of the case, to dispose of
at our own will and pleasure; to start, for instance, for Chelsea, and
be back again by the steam-boat, before our mother knows we are out.

The application of the new art is of daily and hourly extension. The
scandalous Sunday newspapers have announced an intention of evading
Lord Campbell's act, by veiling their libels in caricature. Instead of
_writing_ slander and flat blasphemy, they propose to _draw_ it, and
not draw it mild. The daily prints will doubtless follow their
example. No more Jenkinsisms in the _Morning Post_, concerning
fashionable parties. A view of the duchess's ball-room, or of the
dining-table of the earl, will supersede all occasion for lengthy
fiddle-faddle. The opera of the night before will be described in a
vignette--the ballet in a tail-piece; and we shall know at a glance
whether Cerito and Elssler performed their _pas_ meritoriously, by the
number of bouquets depicted at their feet.

On the other hand, instead of column after column of dry debates, we
shall know sufficiently who were the speakers of the preceding night,
by a series of portraits--each having an annexed trophy, indicative
of the leading points of his oration. Members of both Houses will be,
of course, daguerreotyped for the use of the morning papers; and
photographic likenesses of the leaders of _ton_ be supplied gratis to
the leaders of the press.

How far more interesting a striking sketch of a banquet, containing
portraits of undoubted authenticity, to the matter-of-fact
announcements of the exploded letter-press--that "yesterday his Grace
the Duke of Wellington entertained at dinner, at Apsley House, the
Earls of Aberdeen and Liverpool, the Dukes of Richmond and Buccleuch,
the Master of the Horse, the Lord Chancellor, Sir Robert Peel, Sir
James Graham, Sir Frederick Trench, Colonel Gurwood, and M. Algernon
Greville!" Who has patience for the recapitulation of a string of
names, when a group of faces may be placed simultaneously before him?

And then, accounts of races! How admirably will they be concentrated
into a delineation of the winner passing the post--the losers
distances; and what disgusting particulars of boxing matches shall we
avoid by a spirited etching. Think of despatches from India, (one of
Lord Ellenborough's XXXX,) published in a series of groupings worthy
the frescoes of the tomb of Psammis. As to the affairs of China, we
shall henceforward derive as much pleasure from the projects of Sir
Henry Pottinger, cut in wood by the _Morning Herald_, as in surveying
the Mandarins sailing on buffaloes through the air, or driving in
junks over meadows, in one of Wedgewood's soup plates!

It has long been the custom for advertisers in the continental
journals to typify their wares. The George Robinses of Brussels, for
instance, embody their account of some exquisite villa in a charming
perspective of the same, or of a capital town mansion in a grim
likeness; while the _carossiers_, who have town chariots or family
coaches to dispose of, make it known in the most designing manner. The
consequence is, that the columns of certain foreign papers bear a
striking likeness to a child's alphabet, such as "A was an archer, and
shot at a frog." Among ourselves, this practice is at present only
partially adopted. We are all familiar with the shape of Mr Cox
Savory's tea-pots, and Messrs Dondney's _point-device_ men in buckram;
while Mordan acquaints us, with much point, how many varieties he has
invented of pencil-cases and toothpicks. As to the London Wine
Company, the new art has long imprinted upon our minds a mysterious
notion of a series of vaults in the style of the Thames tunnel,
frequented by figures armed with spigots and dark lanterns, that
remind us of Guy Fawkes, and make us tremble for ourselves and Father
Mathew! Loose notions of the stay-making trade have been circulated by
the same medium; and we have noticed wood-blocks of wig-blocks,
deservedly immortalizing the pernquier.

But consider what it will be when the system is adopted on a more
comprehensive scale. The daily papers will present a series of
designs, remarkable as those of the Glyptothek and Pinacothek at
Munich; and in all probability, the artists of the prize cartoons will
be engaged in behalf of the leading journals of Europe. Who cannot
foresee her Majesty's drawing-room illustrated by Parris! Who cannot
conceive the invasion of Britain outdone in an allegorical leading
article: "Louis Philippe (in a Snooks-like attitude) inviting Queen
Victoria to St Cloud; and the British lion lashing out its tail at the
Coq Gaulois!"

As to the affairs of Spain, they will be a mine of wealth to the new
press--_L'Espagne Pittoresque_ will sell thousands more copies than
Spain Constitutionalized; and let us trust that Sir George Hayter will
instantly "walk his chalks," and secure us the Cortes in black and

The Greek character will now become easy to decipher; and the evening
papers may take King Otho both off the throne and on. The designs of
Russia have long been proverbial; but the exercise of the new art of
printing may assign them new features. The representations of
impartial periodicals will cut out, or out-cut De Custine; and while
contemplating the well-favoured presentment of Nicholas I., we shall
exclaim--"Is this a tyrant that I see before me?" Nothing will be
easier then to throw the Poles into the shade of the picture, or to
occupy the foreground with a brilliant review.

As to Germany, to embody her in the hieroglyphics of the new press,
might be a study for Retsch; and who will care for the lumbering pages
of Von Raumer, or the wishy-washy details of Kohl, when able, in an
_augenblick_, to bring Berlin and Vienna before him; to study the
Zollverein in the copy of the King of Prussia's cogitative
countenance, and ascertain the views of Metternich concerning the
elder branch of the Bourbons, by a _cul de lampe_ in the _Morning

We have little doubt of shortly seeing announcements--standing like
tombstones in those literary cemeteries, the Saturday papers--of "A
new work upon America, from the graver of George Cruickshank;" or "A
new fashionable novel, (diamond edition,) from the accomplished pencil
of H.B." Kenny Meadows will become the Byron of the day, Leech the
Scott, Forrester the Marryatt, Phiz the Trollope; Stanfield and Turner
will be epic poets, Landseer preside over the belles-lettres, and
Webster and Stone become the epigrammatists and madrigalists of the

All this will, doubtless, throw a number of deserving persons out of
employ. The writers, whose stock in trade consists of words rather
than ideas, will find their way to Basinghall Street, prose will be at
a discount, and long-windedness be accounted a distemper. A great
variety of small Sapphos must turn seamstresses*, at three-halfpence
a shirt instead of a penny a line; while the minor poets will have to
earn a livelihood by writing invoice, instead of in verse. But this
transposition of talent, and transition of gain, is no more than arose
from the substitution of railroads for turnpike roads. By that
innovation thousands of hard-working post-horses were left without
rack or manger; and by the present arrangement, Clowes, Spottiswoode,
and the authors who have served to afford matter for their types, will
be driven from the field.

*Transcriber's Note: Original "semstresses"

But the world (no longer to be called of letters, but of emblems) will
be the gainer. It will be no longer a form of speech to talk of having
"_glanced_ at the morning papers," whose city article will, of course,
be composed by artists skilled in drawing figures. The biographies of
contemporary or deceased statesmen will be limned, not by Lord
Brougham or Macaulay, but by the impartial hand of the Royal Academy;
and the catacombs at Kensal Green, like those discovered by Belzoni on
the banks of the Nile, exhibit their eulogistic inscriptions in
hieroglyphics. By this new species of shorthand we might have embodied
this very article in half a dozen sprightly etchings! But as the
hapless inventor of the first great art of printing incurred, among
his astounded contemporaries, the opprobrium of being in compact with
the evil one, (whence, probably, the familiar appellation of printers'
devils,) it behoves the early practitioners of the new art to look to
their reputations! By economizing the time of the public, they may
squander their own good repute. It is not every printer who can
afford, like Benjamin Franklin, to be a reformer; and pending the
momentum when (the schoolmasters being all abroad) the grand causeway
of the metropolis shall become, as it were, a moving diorama,
inflicting knowledge upon the million whether it will or no--let us
content ourselves with birds'-eye views of passing events, by way of
exhibiting the first rudiments of THE NEW ART OF PRINTING!

* * * * *





Michael Allcroft returned to his duties, tuned for labour, full of
courage, and the spirit of enterprise and action. Discharged from the
thrall which had hitherto borne hard upon his energies, and kept them
down, he felt the blessed influence of perfect Liberty, and the
youthful elasticity of mind and body that liberty and conscious
strength engender. Devoted to the task that he had inflicted upon
himself, he grudged every hour that kept him from the field of
operations. Firm in his determination to realize, by his exertions, a
sum of money equal to his parent's debts, and to redeem the estate
from its insolvency, he was uneasy and impatient until he could resume
his yoke, and press resolutely forward. Rich and independent as he
was, in virtue of the fortune of his wife, he still spurned the idea
of relying upon her for his release--for the means of rescuing his
fathers name and house from infamy. No; he saw--he fancied that he saw
a brighter way marked out before him. Industry, perseverance, and
extreme attention would steer his bark steadily through the difficult
ocean, and bring her safely into harbour: these he could command, for
they depended upon himself whom he might trust. He had looked
diligently into the transactions of the house for many years past, and
the investigation was most satisfactory. Year after year, the business
had increased--the profits had improved. The accumulations of his
father must have been considerable when he entered upon his ruinous
speculations. What was the fair inference to draw from this result?
Why--that with the additional capital of his partners--the influx and
extension of good business, and the application of his own resolute
mind, a sum would be raised within a very few years, sufficient to
reinstate the firm, to render it once more stable and secure. And
then--this desirable object once effected, and the secret of the
unfortunate position of the house never divulged--the income which
would afterwards follow for his partners and himself, must be immense.
It was this view of the subject that justified, to his mind, the means
which he had used--that silenced self-reproof, when it accused him of
artifice, and called him to account for the deception he had practised
upon his colleagues. It must be acknowledged, that the plan which he
proposed held out fair promise of ultimate success and that, reckoning
upon the united will and assistance of his partners, he had good
reason to look for an eventual release from all his difficulties and
cares. Yet it was not to be. "_We still have judgment here._"
Punishment still comes to us from those whom we would circumvent. It
was in vain that Michael set foot in the Bank with an indomitable and
eager spirit; in vain that he longed to grapple with his
fate--resolute to overcome it. The world was against him. The battle
was already decided. His first hard struggle for deliverance was
coincident with his last hour of earthly peace.

Before one year had passed over the respectable heads of our notable
Banking-House, Allcraft was involved in a net of perplexity, from
which it required all the acuteness of his apprehending mind to work
out a mode of extrication. Augustus Brammel continued abroad, spending
his money, and drawing upon the house, with the impudent recklessness
which we have already seen to be a prime ingredient in his character.
He did not condescend to communicate with his partners, or to give
them any information touching his whereabouts, except such as might be
gathered from his cheques, which came, week after week, with alarming
punctuality, for sums as startling. From this one source of misery,
where was a promise or a chance of a final rescue? Michael saw none.
What if he refused to cash his partner's drafts? What if he permitted
them to find their way back, as best they might, through the
various channels by which they had travelled on their previous
journey--dishonoured and disgraced? Who but himself would be the loser
by the game? Such a refusal would lead to quick enquiry--enquiry to
information--information to want of confidence and speedy ruin. What
reliance could repose upon a house, divided against itself--not safe
from the extravagance and pillage of its own members? The public eye,
ever watchful and timid, waits scarcely for the show of danger to take
alarm and withdraw its favour. Michael shrunk from the bare conception
of an act of violence. It was more agreeable, in an hour of
self-collectedness, to devise a remedy, which, if it did not cure the
disease, helped at least to cicatrize the immediate wounds. He looked
from Brammel to Brammel's father for indemnification. And the old man
was in truth a rare temptation. Fond, pitiable father of a false and
bloodless child! doting, when others would have hated, loving his
prodigal with a more anxious fondness as his ingratitude grew
baser--as the claims upon a parent's heart dwindled more and more
away. The grey-haired man was a girl in tenderness and sensibility. He
remembered the mother of the wayward child, and the pains she had
taken to misuse and spoil her only boy; his own conduct returned to
him in the shape of heavy reproaches, and he could not forget, or call
to mind without remorse, the smiles of encouragement he had given, the
flattering approbation he had bestowed when true love, justice, duty,
mercy, all called loudly for rebuke, restraint, wholesome correction,
solemn chastisement. Could he be conscious of all this, and not excuse
the unsteady youth--accuse himself? It was he who deserved
punishment--not the sufferer with his calamities _imposed_ upon him by
his erring sire. He was ready to receive his punishment. Oh, would
that at any cost--at any expense of bodily and mental suffering, he
could secure his child from further sorrow and from deeper
degradation! To such a heart and mind, Michael might well carry his
complaints with some expectation of sympathy and reimbursement.
Aggrieved as he was, he did not fail to paint his disappointment and
sense of injury in the strongest colours; but blacker than all--and he
was capable of such a task, he pictured the gross deception of which
he had so cruelly been made the subject.

"I could," he said to the poor father, in whose aged eyes, turned to
the earth, tears of shame were gushing, "I could have forgiven any
thing but that. You deceived me meanly and deliberately. The character
you gave with him was false. You knew it to be so, and you were well
aware that nothing but mischief and ruin could result from a connexion
with him."

"Indeed, Mr Allcraft," replied the unhappy man, "I had great hopes of
his reformation. He had improved of late years a little, and he gave
me his word that he would be steady. If I had not thought so, I should
certainly not have permitted you to receive him. What can we do, sir?"

"Ah! what, Mr Brammel. It is that I wish to know. The present state of
things cannot continue. Where is he now?"

"Indeed, I do not know. He is a bad boy to hide himself from his
father. I do not deserve it of him. I cannot guess."

"Are you aware, sir, that he is married?"

"They have told me something of it. I am, in truth, glad to hear it.
It will be to his wife's interest to lead him back to duty."

"You have not seen her, then?"

The old man shook his head.

"Well, well, sir," continued Allcraft, "this is not to the purpose. We
must protect ourselves. His profligacy must be checked; at all events,
we must have no connexion with it. Hitherto we have honoured his
drafts, and kept your name and his free from disgrace. I can do so no
longer. We have paid his last cheque this very day. To-morrow I shall
advertise publicly our determination, to honour his demands no more."

"No--no, no, Mr Allcraft," interposed old Brammel anxiously, taking
every word for granted, "that must not be done--I cannot allow it; for
the poor boy's sake, that determination must not be made at present. I
am sure he will reform at last. I should not be surprised if he
returned to business in a day or two, and settled steadily to work for
the remainder of his life. It is likely enough, now that he is
married. I have much to answer for on account of that youth, Mr
Allcraft, and I should never forgive myself if I suffered any thing to
be done that is likely to render him desperate, just when a glimmering
of hope is stealing upon us. You shake your head, sir, but I am
confident he will yet make up for all his folly."

"Heaven grant it, sir, for your sake!"

"Yes, and for his own, poor child--for what will become of him if he
does not! Now, as to these cheques, Mr Allcraft, let me have them all.
I will restore every farthing that you have paid on his account; and
should any more be presented, let them be duly honoured. I hold myself
responsible for their discharge. I am sure this is the wisest course
to pursue. It is quite reasonable for you to demur, and to object to
these demands. I like you the better, Mr Allcraft, for your scruples:
you are an honourable man, sir. I would lose my last drop of blood to
make my poor boy like you. It is wise and praiseworthy in you to look
so carefully to the good credit of your house; and it is fair and
right that I should take this matter upon myself. I do it, persuaded
of the propriety of the step, and satisfied that all will go well with
him yet. Be lenient with the unhappy boy, sir, and have yet a little

"I am afraid, sir, that he will but presume on your generosity and
good nature."

"Ah, but he is never to know it, Mr Allcraft; I would not for the
world have him hear of what I have done. Should you discover his
abode, write to him, I pray--tell him that I am enraged at his
proceedings--that I do not think that I can ever be reconciled to him
again. Say that my anger has no bounds--that my heart is
breaking--will break and kill me, if he persists in his ingratitude
and cruelty. Implore him to come home and save me."

The old man stopped and wept. Michael was not yet a father and could
not understand the tears: it appears that he understood business much
better; for, taking leave of Brammel as soon as he could after the
latter had expressed a wish to cash the cheques, he went immediately
to the bank and procured the documents. He presented them with his own
hand to the astounded father, from whom, also with his own hand, he
received one good substantial draft in fair exchange.

So far, so good; but, in another quarter, Allcraft suddenly discovered
that he had committed an egregious blunder. He had entrusted Planner
with the secret of his critical position--had made him acquainted with
the dishonest transactions of his father, and the consequent
bankruptcy of the firm. Not that this disclosure had been made in any
violent ebullition of unguarded feeling--from any particular love to
Planner--from an inability on the part of the divulger to keep his own
good counsel. Michael, when he raised Planner from poverty to
comparative affluence, was fully sensible of the value of his man--the
dire necessity for him. It was indispensable that the tragic underplot
of the play should never be known to either Bellamy or Brammel, and
the only safe way of concealing it from them, was to communicate it
unreservedly to their common partner, and his peculiar _protege_. He
did so with much solemnity, and with many references to the
extraordinary liberality he had himself displayed in admitting him to
his confidence, and to a share of his wealth. "Maintain my secret," he
said to Planner, "and your fortune shall be made; betray me, and you
are thrown again into a garret. You cannot hurt me; nothing shall save
you." He repeated these words over and over again, and he received
from his confidant assurance upon assurance of secrecy and unlimited
devotion. And up to the period of Allcraft's return from France, the
gentleman had every reason to rely upon the probity and good faith of
his associate; nor in fact had he less reason _after_ his return. Were
it not that "the thief doth fear each bush an officer," he had no
cause whatever to suspect or tremble: his mind, for any actual danger,
might have been at rest. But what did he behold? Why, Planner and
Bellamy, whom he had left as distant as stage-coach acquaintances, as
intimate and loving, as united and inseparable, as the tawny twins of
Siam. Not a week passed which did not find the former, once, twice, or
three times a guest at the proud man's table. The visits paid to the
bank were rather to Mr Planner than for any other object. Mr Planner
only could give advice as to the alteration of the south wing of the
hall: Mr Planner's taste must decide upon the internal embellishments:
then there were private and mysterious conversations in the small back
room--the parlour; nods and significant looks when they met and
separated; and once, Michael called to see Planner after the hours of
business, and whom should he discover in his room but Mr Bellamy
himself, sitting in conclave with the schemer, and manifestly intent
upon some serious matter. What was the meaning of all this? Oh, it was
too plain! The rebel Planner had fallen from his allegiance, and was
making his terms with the enemy. Allcraft cursed himself a thousand
times for his folly in placing himself at the mercy of so unstable a
character, and immediately became aware that there had never been any
cogent reason for such a step, and that his danger would have been
infinitely smaller had he never spoken to a human being on the
subject. But it was useless to call himself, by turns, madman and
fool, for his pains. What could be done now to repair the error?
Absolutely nothing; and, at the best, he had only to prepare himself,
for the remainder of his days, to live in doubt, fear, anxiety, and

In the meanwhile, Planner grew actually enamoured of the
_Pantamorphica_ Association. The more he examined it, the more
striking appeared its capabilities, the fairer seemed the prospect of
triumphant unequivocal success. In pursuance of his generous
resolution, he communicated his designs to Allcraft. They were
received with looks of unaffected fright. Without an instant's
hesitation, Michael implored his partner to desist--to give up at
once, and for ever, all thoughts of the delusion--to be faithful to
his duty, and to think well of his serious engagement. "Your
Association, sir," he exclaimed in the anger of the moment, "is like
every other precious scheme you have embarked in--impracticable,
ridiculous, absurd!" Planner, in these three words, could only
read--_ingratitude_--the basest it had ever been his lot to meet. Here
was a return for his frankness--his straightforward conduct--his
unequalled liberality. Here was the affectionate expression of thanks
which he had so proudly looked forward to--the acknowledgment of
superior genius which he had a right to expect from the man who was to
profit so largely by the labour of his brains. Very well. Then let it
be so. He would prosecute the glorious work alone--he would himself
supply the funds needful for the undertaking, and alone he would
receive the great reward that most assuredly awaited him. Very
delicately did Michael hint to his partner, that his--Planner's--funds
existed, with his castles and associations, in the unsubstantial air,
and no where else; but not so delicately as to avoid heaping fuel on
the fire which he had already kindled in the breast of the offended
schemer. The latter bristled at the words, lost for an instant his
self-possession, said in his anger more than he intended--more than he
might easily unsay--enough to bruise the already smarting soul of
Allcraft. A threat escaped his lips--a reproach--a taunt. He spoke of
his _power_, and touched cuttingly upon the deep schemes of _other_
men, more feasible than his own perhaps, and certainly more honest.
Allcraft winced, as every syllable made known the speaker's actual
strength--his own dependence and utter weakness. He made no reply to
the attack of the man whom he had drawn from beggary; but he looked
him in the face steadily and reproachfully, and shamed him into
vexation and regret.

"I did not mean to speak unkindly, Michael," he stammered with a view
to apologize. "I am sorry that I lost my temper. You need not fear me.
Don't remember what I have said."

"You have threatened me, Planner," answered Allcraft, trembling with
irritation. "You have attempted to frighten me into compliance with
your demands. I say, sir, you have threatened me. It is the first
time--it shall be the last."

"It shall, Michael--I promise you it shall."

"I ask no promise from you," continued the excited and suspicious man,
writhing under a sense of his helplessness. "You have betrayed the
cloven foot. I thank you for it. I am aware of what is to follow--I
expect it--I shall hold myself prepared!"

"Do nothing of the kind, Allcraft. You know me better. You are safe
with me. I am ashamed of myself for what I have spoken. Forgive me"--

"But never mind," proceeded the unhappy Michael. "I defy you: do your
worst. Let this be your acknowledgment of past favours--the fulfilment
of your sacred promise. Betray me to Bellamy, and be at ease."

"Michael, you do not use me well. I spoke angrily, and without
consideration. I am sorry that I did so, and I have asked your
forgiveness. What can I do more? You should allow for wounded
feelings. It was hard to hear you ridiculing an affair that occupies
my serious thoughts. I was irritated--think no more about it."

"Answer me this, How much does Mr Bellamy already know?"

"From me--nothing. Make your mind happy on that score. It is not to
the interest of any one of us that secrets should be known. You need
not fear. Shake hands."

Michael took his hand.

"And as to this Association," continued Planner, "let me have my way
for once--the thing is clear, and cannot fail. The elements of success
are there, and a splendid fortune must be realized. I am not greedy. I
don't want to grasp every thing for myself. I told you just now that
we would share and share alike. You are not up to projects of this
nature. I am. Trust to me. I will engage to enter upon no new affair
if I am disappointed in this. The truth is, I cannot quietly let a
fortune slide through my fingers, when a little skill and energy only
are necessary to secure it. Come, Michael, this once you must not say

The hope, however faint, of making money by this speculation, and the
fear of offending the depositary of his great secret, compelled at
length from Allcraft a reluctant acquiescence. He consented to the
trial, receiving Planner's solemn promise that, in the event of
failure, it should be the last. Planner himself, overjoyed at his
victory, prepared himself for action, and contemplated the magnificent
resources of the bank with a resolute and daring spirit that would
have gratified exceedingly the customers of the house, could they have
but known it. Planner conscientiously believed that he had hitherto
failed in all his schemes, because he had never commanded cash
sufficient to carry out his views. This great obstacle being removed,
he wisely determined to make the most of his good fortune. And in
truth he was without the shadow of an excuse for timidity and
forbearance. The anxiety which might have accompanied his ventures,
had the money been his own, was mercifully spared him; the thought of
personal danger and ruin could never come to cloud his intellect, or
oppress his energy. As for the ruin of any other party, the idea, by a
very happy dispensation, never once occurred to him. It took a very
few months to make Mr Planner the largest shareholder--the principal
director--the president and first man in the famous "_Joint-Stock
Pantamorphica Association._"

And whilst he was busy in the purchase of lands required for the
extensive undertaking, his dear friend Mr Bellamy was agreeably
occupied in paying off, by degrees, the heavy mortgages which, for
many years, had been weighing on his beautiful estate. In addition to
the ten thousand pounds which he had abstracted during the absence of
Mr Allcraft, he had not hesitated to draw large sums under the very
nose of his too easy and unsuspecting partner. The manner of Mr
Bellamy threw Michael off his guard. He walked so erect--looked upon
every body so superciliously--spoke even to Allcraft in so high a
tone, and with so patronizing an air, that it was quite impossible to
suspect him of being any thing but real coin, a sound man, and worthy
of all trust. It is certainly true that Mr Bellamy had not brought
into the concern as he had engaged, some twenty, or forty thousand
pounds--it does not matter which--but the reasons which he
condescended to give for this failure were perfectly satisfactory, and
accounted for the delay--so well accounted for it that Michael
entreated Mr Bellamy not to think about it, but to take his time. And
how very natural it was for a man of Mr Bellamy's consideration and
enormous wealth to secure the little property that adjoined his own,
and to borrow from the bank any sum of money that he might want to
complete so desirable a purchase! And how very natural, likewise, on
the part of Allcraft, ever fearful of discovery, ever desirous to keep
upon the best terms with Mr Bellamy (the great man of the country, the
observed of all observers)--to be at all times anxious to oblige his
friend, to render him sensible of his desire to please him, and of the
obligation under which, by these repeated acts of kindness and
indulgence, he was insensibly brought.

And so they reached the close of the first year of partnership; and
who shall say that the situation of Michael was an enviable one, or
that the persevering man had not good cause for despondency and dread?
He was already deeply indebted to his wife; not one of his three
partners had proved to be such as he expected and required. Danger
threatened from two of them: Mr Bellamy had not afforded the support
which he had promised. A stronger heart than Michael's might have
quailed in his position; yet the pressure from without animated and
invigorated _him_. In the midst of his gloom, he was not without a
gleam of hope and consolation. As he had foreseen, the business of the
house rapidly increased: its returns were great. Day and night he
laboured to improve them, and to raise the reputation of the tottering
concern; for tottering it was, though looking most secure. For
himself, he did not draw one farthing from the bank; he resided with
his wife in a small cottage, lived economically, and sacrificed to his
engrossing occupation every joy of the domestic hearth. The public
acknowledged with favour the exertions of the labouring man;
pronounced him worthy of his sire; vouchsafed him their respect and
confidence. Bravely the youth proceeded on his way--looking ever to
the future--straining to his object--prepared to sacrifice his life
rather than yield or not attain it. Noble ambition--worthy of a less
ignoble cause--a better fate!

The second year passed on, and then the third: at the close of this,
Michael looked again at his condition. During the last year the
business of the house had doubled. Had not the profits, and more than
the profits, been dragged away by Bellamy and Planner--his ardent mind
would have been satisfied, his ceaseless toil well-paid. But the
continual drafts had kept ever in advance of the receipts, draining
the exchequer--crippling its faculties. Even at this melancholy
exhibition, his sanguine spirit refused to be cast down, and to resign
the hope of ultimate recovery and success. He built upon the promise
of Mr Bellamy, who at length had engaged to refund his loans upon a
certain day, and to add, at the same time, his long-expected and
long-promised quota of floating capital: he built upon the illusions
of Planner's strong imagination--Planner, who suddenly becoming sick
of his speculation, alarmed at his responsibility, and doubtful of
success, had been for some time vigorously looking out for a
gentleman, willing to purchase his share and interest in the unrivaled
_Pantamorphica_, and to relieve him of his liabilities; and had at
last persuaded himself into the belief that he had found one. _He_
likewise fixed a period for the restoration of a fearful sum of money,
which Michael, madman that he was, had suffered him to expend--to
fling away like dirt. Upon such expectation, Allcraft stood--upon such
props suffered his aching soul to rest. There wanted but a month to
the acceptable season when claims upon the house poured in which
could not be put off. Michael borrowed money once more from his wife
to meet them. He did it without remorse or hesitation. Why should he
have compunction--why think about it, when the hour of repayment was
so near at hand? It was a proper question for a man who could slumber
on a mine that was ready to burst, and shatter him to atoms.



It was a constant saying of old Mr Brammel, that if his time were to
come over again, he would adopt a very different plan from that which
he had pursued in the education of his son. Now, a different plan it
might have been; but one leading to a more satisfactory result, I must
take the liberty to deny. Of what use is experience to one who, with
sixty years of life in him, still feels and thinks, reasons and acts,
like a child? Who but a child would have thought of paying the
wholesale demands of that dissolute, incorrigible youth, with the
notion of effecting by such subtle means his lasting reformation: who
but a child would have made the concealment of his name a condition of
the act? As may be guessed, the success of this scheme was equal to
its wisdom. Augustus Theodore, too grateful for the facilities
afforded him, showed no disposition to abridge his pleasures, or to
hasten his return. In the regular and faithful discharge of his
drafts, his vulgar soul rejoiced to detect a fear of offending, and an
eagerness to conciliate, on the part of his partner, Michael Allcraft.
He would see and acknowledge nothing else. And the idea once fixed in
his mind, he was not likely to rest contented with half the glory of
his victory. "No.--He would punish the fellow.--He would make him
smart; he would teach him to come all the way to France on purpose to
bully him. He hadn't done with the gentleman yet. Master Allcraft
should cry loud enough before he had. He'd sicken him." Still the
hopeful youth pursued his travels--still he transmitted his _orders at
sight_--still they were honoured punctually--still Augustus Theodore
chuckled with stupid delight over what he considered the pitiful
submission of his partner, who had not courage to reject his drafts,
and dared not utter now one brief expostulatory word. Mr Brammel,
junior, like the rest of the firm, lived in his own delusions. The
fourth year dawned, and Mr Brammel suddenly appeared amongst his
friends. He and his lady had travelled over Europe; they had seen the
world--the world had seen them; they were sick of wandering--they
desired to settle. A noble villa, with parks and paddocks, was
quickly taken and sumptuously furnished; hunters were got from
Tattersall's--nursery-maids from France--an establishment worthy of
the name rose like magic, almost within sight of Michael's humble
dwelling, taking the neighbourhood by surprise, startling and
affrighting Allcraft. Again the latter visited the fond old
man--remonstrated, complained; and once more the father entreated on
behalf of his son, begged for time and patience, and undertook to
satisfy the prodigal's extravagance. He gave his money as before,
willingly and eagerly, and stipulated only, with unmeaning
earnestness, for secrecy and silence. And the fourth year closed as
drearily as it had opened. The promises of Bellamy and Planner were as
far from fulfilment as ever; their performance as vigorous and
disastrous as at first. The landed proprietor still redeemed, day
after day, portions of his involved estate. The schemer, disappointed
in his expectations of a purchaser, returned to his speculation with
redoubled ardour, and with fresh supplies of gold. His only chance of
ultimate recovery was to push boldly forward, and to betray no fear of
failure. One retrograde or timid step would open the eyes of men, and
bring down ruin on the _Pantamorphica_. Planner became conscious of
all this to his dismay, and he had nothing to do in the very extremity
of his distress, but to proceed in his venture with the best spirits
he could command, and to trust himself fairly to the swelling
tide.--Allcraft looked on and trembled.

It is wonderful how long a withered leaf will sometimes cling to its
branch. It will hold tenaciously there, the last of its race, days
after the decay of its greener and more healthy-looking mates. "A
creaking door," the proverb has it, "hangs long upon its hinges;" and
many a wheezing, parchment-looking gentleman, as we all know, who
ought to have died every year of his life since he was born, draws his
difficult breath through threescore years and ten; whilst the young,
the hardy, and the sound are smitten in their pride, and fall in heaps
about him. It is no less strange that a house of business like that of
our friend Mr Allcraft, should assert its existence for years, rotten
as it was, during the whole of the time, at its very heart's core. And
yet such is the case. Eight years elapsed, and found it still in the
land of the living: yes, and to the eye external, as proper and as
good a house of business as any you shall name. Its vitals were
going--were gone, before the smallest indications of mischief appeared
upon the surface. Life must have been well nourished to maintain
itself so long. And was it not? Answer, thou kind physician, gentle
Margaret! Answer, thou balm and life's elixir--Margaret's _gold_!

Eight weary years have passed, and we have reached a miserable day in
the month of November. The wind is howling, and the rain is pelting
against the parlour windows of the Banking-house, whose blinds are
drawn close down. The partners are all assembled. Michael, whose hair
is as grey as his father's on the day of his death, and whom care and
misery have made haggard and old, sits at a table, with a heap of
papers before him, and a pen in his hand--engaged, as it appears, in
casting up accounts. Mr Bellamy, who looks remarkably well--very
glossy and very fat--sits at the table likewise, perusing leisurely
the county newspapers through golden eyeglasses. He holds them with
the air of a gentleman, comfortable and at ease in all respects,

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