MISCELLANIES IN PROSE.
an acre—not a tree—not a blade of grass can I call my own! All my
little patrimony gone!—gone through my own folly; and Morley Grange, my
father's pride, must pass into stranger hands! Cursed be the day,
Mr. Blandford, that led me to London!"
"Do not blaspheme, Philip Morley; it was the man, and not the
hour, that was at fault. I hoped better for my friend's son,—you who
promised so well. I foresaw the consequences of the reckless course
you were pursuing, and warned you—in vain, as the results have proved.
I do not utterly condemn you,—I can make allowances for youthful
impetuosity and inexperience. I doubt not you have had evil
advisers, who have fattened on your imprudence, and now seek other
"It is true, most true; and upon one who began and
accelerated my ruin, I will be amply revenged!"
"Leave him to his Maker and to his conscience, Philip;
revenge is unworthy of a brave man."
"I will be revenged, Mr. Blandford; but not in a way that
shall call call forth your disapproval, even if you know it."
"That's right, my boy. Now let us talk of the future.
Let me advise you to go some distance hence, and endeavour to retrieve
your fallen fortunes. You have some talent, and with resolution will
succeed. You may not win back your patrimony, but you may yet be
happy in another sphere. Permit me to say, however, in duty to
myself and my daughter, that your relations with her must cease, or at all
events be suspended for a time. I should have been glad to have had
you for a son-in-law, and shall be when you can become so with honour to
yourself and us. Have I spoken justly?"
"I should be a scoundrel to think otherwise. No, my
best of friends; I will release Alice from her engagements to me; but if
she remain unmarried for a year or two, I will make myself worthy of her,
if endeavour and purity of purpose can do it."
"Why, that is nobly said. Now, what do you intend to
do? Where shall be the first scene of action, Philip?"
"A long way off, Mr. Blandford; but where, must depend upon
"I will not oppose you; but you will require some means.
Can my poor purse——"
"Not a fraction, my generous friend, will I accept at your
hands. I should be a mean coward to take it. No! I have
the wreck of a few pounds, and that must serve me till I earn more, either
by head or hands. I am grateful for your goodness. You will
let me see Alice? I go away to-night."
"Well, my boy, you have my earnest prayers for your success.
Be resolute—be watchful—be upright. God bless you, and farewell!
I will send Alice to you."
With a trembling voice Mr. Blandford wrung the young man's
hand, and left the room. In a few moments Alice entered, and
silently seating herself at Philip's side, took his hand, and looking in
his face, said mournfully, "Philip, this is very sad!"
"It is sad!" her lover as mournfully replied. And they
sat gazing into each other's face for a long time.
Alice was a beautiful creature of nineteen—tender, but
generally calm and firm,—one of those women whose superiority you feel
rather than understand,—one of those who are quick in their instincts,
slow to divulge their impressions, but who, when their confidence and love
are gained, are to be trusted for ever. Philip and she were
betrothed, and had it not been for the circumstances above alluded to,
would ere long have been united.
Soon after the death of his father, who had left him the
little estate of Morley Grange, Philip had some money matters to transact
in London, and he went thither for the first time. By one of those
thousand-and-one chances which are ever ready in London to deceive the
unwary, he slided into error. He fell into the hands of some
well-dressed scamps, professed gamblers, who to the unsophisticated eyes
of Philip seemed gentlemen. He was, with apparent indifference on
their part, introduced to the gaming table, and he soon became
imprudently, recklessly infatuated with play. One of his new
associates, named Brand, with most consummate tact and apparent
disinterestedness, led him on, step by step, towards ruin. He was
poor Philip's Mephistopheles,—ever at his elbow, ever prompting him to
evil, allowing him no time for reflection, till his money and his acres
melted away from his grasp like a ball of snow. It was only when he
discovered himself to be a beggar that the villainy of his tempter became
fully disclosed, and in the heat of his passionate despair he vowed to
take terrible revenge. How he took it, the course of our
story will show.
Return we to the lovers. After their painful silence,
Alice was the first who spoke.
"Philip, I know all; do not hesitate to talk with me.
Surely our happiness is not utterly wrecked—utterly beyond
"I trust not, Alice—my Alice I would have said; but I
may not say so now. Can you forgive me, Alice?"
"Can you doubt that, Philip? I not only forgive you,
but I promise to be faithful to you till all hope is lost. Can I say
"That is more than I deserve; but the remembrance of your
love and forgiveness will nerve me to virtuous action. I am going a
long way off I know not where; but you shall hear of my whereabouts ere
long. We will exact no promises from each other, only let me say
this, I will not deceive you—I will not tamper with your affections.
I will write to you, and perhaps you will write to me in return, as long
as it may be proper and agreeable; but if any unforeseen circumstance
should completely sunder us, let us sometimes indulge in the sweet but
mournful memory of the past. May I not take, as a talisman, one
tress of this silken hair? Thanks! Now, Alice, we must part.
'Tis sunset, and ere midnight I shall be many long miles away."
Philip rose to his feet, as did Alice, who throwing herself
upon his bosom, uttered in broken sobs—"Philip, my own Philip! this is a
bitter hour! "
"A bitterness," said Philip, "which shall enhance the
sweetness of that hour when I shall return to thee, my beloved, and when
thou shalt receive me with pride and joy."
"I will pray to God for the speedy coming of that day," said
Alice. "Bless thee, Philip!"
"Bless thee, my beloved!" was the earnest and sincere
response; and after a long embrace, Philip placed the weeping maiden
gently in a chair, and abruptly quitted the house.
It was the close of autumn. A chilling wind swept to
the ground and along the footways the many-coloured leaves, adding to the
sadness of the parting hour. Philip cast a long, lingering look
behind, then hurried on till he was overtaken by a stage-coach, which
carried him far, away from the place of his birth.
The foregoing scene took place at the house of the Rev. Mr.
Blandford, Vicar of Elmsley, a beautiful village in one of our southern
counties. To this village we must confine the chief attention of the
Alice Blandford somewhat miscalculated her strength.
Some hours after the departure of Philip her grief was excessive, and for
weeks she wandered about the house like one lost. Gradually,
however, she regained her tranquillity, and she found a sad yet hopeful
pleasure in talking with her father about the wanderer. Father and
daughter were mutually confiding. Both were alike interested in
Philip's welfare, and as they conversed of him in their little parlour, at
"The leaves of memory seemed to make
A mournful rustling in the dark." *
In about four months they received a letter, and knowing the
superscription, oh! how joyfully they opened it! It contained very
few words, and ran thus—
"I have just this moment set foot in New York. I am healthy,
hopeful, and buoyed up by a pure and determined purpose. Send
a kind wish for me across the Atlantic. Adieu!"
"Thank God!" said Alice, yet adding, sadly, "I did not think
he would have gone so far away."
This missive, brief as it was, was a great treasure to Alice;
it kept the flowers of her soul, hope and love, in full bloom and
freshness. Another six months brought another letter, saying—
"I am working hard, have nothing to complain of, and
fairish prospects before me. Hope on, dearest Alice; and if
your father will permit you, give me a few words of cheer, by way of
This was permitted, and immediately done. The next
letter informed them that he had improved his situation; the following one
that he was a junior partner in a thriving concern. Thus every six
months brought, for upwards of four years, its written sign of
encouragement and success. Then no letter came for a whole year; a
circumstance that threw the good Vicar and his daughter into gloomy doubt
and perplexity. One came at last. Philip had been travelling
in remote regions, and had been ill, very ill, in the wilderness. He
"Please God, I shall be at home in a few months.
Prepare to receive the Prodigal, and kill for him the "fatted calf."
Alice wept with mingled commiseration and joy.
Six years had elapsed since Philip went away. Autumn
had come round again; the corn had been cut and garnered; the woods were
casting their beautiful but withered garlands to the ground; the stubble
fields were tinged with the subdued and mellow radiance of the evening
sun, when a stranger, cloaked and muffled, knocked at the door of the
vicarage of Elmsley, and begged to see Mr. Blandford in private. The
old man was busy among his books in the library, but ordered the stranger
to be admitted.
The stranger entered abruptly, and seizing Mr. Blandford's
hand, said, "My friend—my father! receive your son, who comes to you
unscaithed, uncontaminated, regenerated, and comparatively rich!
Give me your blessing."
"God bless thee, my boy! I embrace thee with all my
soul! This is a happy day for all of us!"
Seizing the bell, the old man rang.
"Tell Alice to come hither."
"Alice, receive thy husband, who I am assured is worthy of
thee! God bless you both!" and in a tremor of emotion, the old man
quitted the room.
"Dear Philip!"—"Beloved Alice."
'Twas all; but how much! Let us not intrude upon the
sanctity of that moment, hallowed as it was by the hopes, fears, sorrows,
and affections of years.
What a pleasant little supper was that of which the reunited
three partook, that night! What hurried questionings—what
ejaculations—what looks of love and satisfaction—what tears dissipated by
bright smiles! Oh, it was delightful! Philip thought Alice
more lovely than ever; she thought Philip wonderfully improved both in
mind and person. She was sure he had a loftier bearing and a more
refined manner, and she felt a corresponding degree of pride and pleasure
in the discovery.
With some trepidation Philip inquired concerning Morley
"Oh," said Mr. Blandford, "it has changed hands more than
once since you left us, and I believe even now waits for a purchaser."
"I will have it!" said Philip, starting up with enthusiasm;
and you, Alice, shall make it a little nest of comfort and pure enjoyment
for us. I will have it, if it is to be had; we will see about it
"I think there will be little difficulty," added the Vicar;
"and you cannot conceive the satisfaction I feel, Philip, that you are
able to redeem your patrimony. You see what strength of will and
uprightness of endeavour can accomplish."
"Sweet are the uses of adversity," said Philip; "I shall
never forget the lesson I have received, nor cease to profit by the
discipline to which it has subjected me. I thank God for this hour!"
Philip begged for a day or two's rest before he related his
adventures in America. On the day following his return he was all
impatience about Morley Grange. In company with Alice, each loved
and well-remembered spot was visited; every tree, stile, and field-path
hailed with delight. Satisfactory arrangements were made respecting
the re-purchase of the Grange, and once more Philip became the owner of
his native home and paternal acres.
At tea, that afternoon, Mr. Blandford said suddenly, "Alice,
do you remember we were to hear the famous lecturer this evening?
Philip's arrival had almost made me forget it. We can all go
together; a ride of five miles to the next town can do us no harm."
"I was about to make the same proposition," said Philip, "for
I heard somewhat of him as I was travelling hither."
"Yes," rejoined the Vicar, "I should not like to miss him.
His name has reached us often, within the last few months; and the Press
has been unanimous in its praise of his enlightened views, commanding
eloquence, and benevolence of character."
"How beautiful is intellect!" exclaimed Alice how beautiful
is intellect! but especially beautiful when linked with usefulness and
"Ah! you will make me jealous," said Philip, playfully.
"We cannot all be philosophers and poets, dearest; but I wish I were
intellectual, for your sake, Alice."
Alice put her hand upon his shoulder, and with a look whose
calm, bright sincerity could not be doubted, said, "Philip, you know that
I am satisfied."
They set out, and, having reached the lecture-hall, took
front seats, when Philip Morley left Mr. Blandford and his daughter for a
few minutes. The audience was numerous, and seemed orderly and
intelligent. By and by, a gentleman in the capacity of chairman
begged to introduce Mr. Vivian, the lecturer, who, stepping from the back
of the platform with papers in his hand, came forward to the reading desk
in front. Could it be?—yes! it was no other than Philip Morley!
Alice started to her feet with astonishment; but a slight
waving of the hand and a meaning look from her betrothed, and she sat
down, silent and bewildered. The audience also seemed mystified, for
many therein appeared to recognise Philip; but they held their peace.
The subject of the lecture was Social and Domestic Reform.
The lecture was masterly. A great variety of knowledge was brought
to bear on the subject, and the illustrations were striking. By
turns the lecturer was earnest, humorous, and pathetic; and when he
concluded, which he did with a lofty burst of glowing and convincing
eloquence, the applause that followed was hearty and prolonged.
Alice Blandford was ready to faint with pleasure and wonder.
Philip soon joined her; and their conveyance being at the door, they at
once departed homeward. As they went, beneath the quiet, clear
stars, and a young moon, Alice felt supremely happy; and, too full of
thought for conversation, could only return the pressure of her lover's
hand, and look what she could not utter.
After supper they sat together an hour beyond "the acid waste
and middle of the night," while Philip gave a summary of his six years'
absence. We must epitomise his narrative. He said,—
"When I arrived in New York, I immediately set about looking
for a situation. I soon found one, as a clerk in a store. In a
short time I exchanged that for a better. By the strictest attention
and probity, and by improving my aptitude for business, I became necessary
to my employers, was taken into partnership, and also speculated a little
on my own account.
"Feeling now somewhat settled, but lonely and thoughtful
after business hours, I formed a resolution to improve my mind by books,
and the most intelligent society I could find. I was successful: a
new world, of which I had no previous conception, seemed to open to me.
I grew in love with knowledge, and loving it, made rapid progress in every
branch of it I undertook to acquire. In order to practise myself in
speaking, I began to give brief lectures on popular subjects. I
thought that in case of a reverse of fortune I might avail myself of this
as a means of living. I stored my mind with new and important facts
relative to education, social and sanitary questions, imprisonment, &c.
I saw a useful career before me, did I choose to take advantage of it; and
I saw more and more what an utter waste I had made of my earliest years.
Feeling at length an unconquerable desire to see more of that wonderful
country, I closed my connexion with my partners, and received a goodly sum
as my share. I then visited the principal cities, and penetrated
into the 'far West.' In the solitude I fell ill of a fever, and in
the dwelling of a German emigrant passed many, many weeks of pain and
melancholy. When completely convalescent, I determined to come home,
and here, thank God! I am.
"When I landed at Liverpool, an idea struck me—sensible
enough in one sense, but romantic in another—that I would for a few months
deliver lectures in the different provinces. I found that England
was beginning to take great interest in those very questions which I had
made my study. I intended, my dear friends, to take you by surprise.
I knew how much my new acquirements, so unexpected, would gratify my
dearest Alice. I lectured under the name of Vivian; succeeded, and
received invitations from a dozen quarters at once. I went to
London, and there I determined, if possible, to take my full measure of
revenge upon that individual—that Brand—who first led me to the gaming
table, and effected my ruin. I had my revenge!"
Here the good Vicar and his daughter gazed upon Philip Morley
with inquiring and sorrowful looks. He went on:—
"I sought him in his old haunts, in vain. His old
associates had for some time lost sight of him. I looked for him
again and again. I traced him at last to a low music saloon, and
found him singing a silly and grotesque comic song. I knew him at
once, through his broken down dandyism, by his shabby, self-assured,
jaunty air. I accosted him, but he did not seem wishful to recognise
me. He found it would not do, however; I was not to be baffled.
I took him into a private room, and learned his latter career. He
had gone with accelerated steps downwards—if lower he could go—and was now
singing comic songs at ten shillings a-week. I talked seriously with
him—found him possessed of capabilities which might be turned to
account—and apparently he was willing to take an honest course, if he
could get a start. I lent him some immediate help; recommended him
to a subordinate situation in connexion with an Institution in London, and
left him with a warning to be careful. The fellow promised well, and
seemed in earnest. I shall keep my eye upon him, and if he does not
relapse, I will help him further, in order that one may be reclaimed from
that vice which I have reason to abhor. Such was my revenge!
"My account, all save the details, is done. More, much
more shall you hear, when I am settled with my wife in my old new home.
In the meantime other matters will engage my attention."
"Bless thee, my boy!" said Mr. Blandford; "thy revenge, as
thou callest it, was noble. I hope the man will profit by it."
Alice, stooping down and whispering in her lover's ear, said,
"And I bless thee, too, my Philip. Thou hast doubly won me!"
Our tale now draws to a close. Philip was reinstated in
his possessions; old servants who were scattered were brought back; every
thing was put into order, in anticipation of an important event.
Grounds were retrimmed—rooms were re-furnished, and a thorough renovation
made in all that had fallen into neglect and decay. On the following
Christmas-day morning a merry peal rang from the grey square tower of the
church at Elmsley, and a gay wedding-party stood at the altar, where the
venerable Vicar officiated in the most solemn and impressive manner.
The festivities of the season were redoubled in the village on that
occasion, and "Quips, and cracks, and wreathed smiles," were the order of
"For many, many years, when the villager and passer-by wished
to illustrate by example the blessings of connubial life, and the beauty
of means and days well spent, they pointed with respect and exultation to
the tranquil nest, the love-encircled domain of MORLEY
IN the month of July, 1830, impelled by an
accumulation of depressing circumstances, I resolved upon going to France,
in the full and confident hope of bettering my worldly condition.
Accordingly, I took a place on the top of the Peveril of the Peak stage
coach, bound for London. I was full of spirits, and indulged in a
thousand pleasing anticipations of success. The novelty of the
journey, too—for I had not before been thirty miles from home—added to my
satisfaction; and though my resources were barely sufficient to carry me
to the North of France, my intended destination, I felt little anxiety,
but, buoyed up by a hopeful temperament, scarcely dreamed of reverses in
my wild speculation.
Possessing a poetic turn of mind, and a passionate love of
external nature, I was delighted as we passed into Derbyshire. I
became absorbed in the ever-changing panorama of mountain, vale, and
river, which characterises that romantic county. The bare and breezy
heights of Buxton, the rude and rocky passes beyond, and above, that
paradise of valleys—Matlock, wound me up to a pitch of silent enthusiasm;
and it was not till we got into the flat country that my mind came down to
the level of every-day things.
About noon next day we entered the crowded wilderness of
London, which astonished me with its vastness and multitudinous life.
Shortly afterwards I was seated in a small, dim back parlour of a
chop-house near the Thames. Scarcely had I partaken of refreshment,
when mine host entered with the horrifying intelligence that a revolution
had broken out in Paris, and that Charles the Tenth had fled to England.
I was paralysed at the news, and for some time I could not resolve upon
what course to pursue. I had left poverty behind, and there was a
dreadful alternative before me; but, flattering myself that the affairs of
France were exaggerated, or at all events, that the disturbances would be
of short duration, I determined to proceed, rather than return to the
miseries I had escaped.
At an early hour next morning I embarked for Calais, and as
we floated down the noble river, with its thousand objects of interest,
every apprehension of danger and distress vanished from my mind.
After we had passed the mouth of the river, and got fairly out upon the
expanse of waters, my delight and admiration were indescribable. A
bustle on the deck roused me from a reverie, and I observed that our
captain was preparing to hail a packet returning from Calais.
"Ahoy! what news from France?" he demanded.
"All communication between Paris and the provinces is
stopped, and the people are in a state of great uncertainty and alarm,"
was the disagreeable and ominous reply.
At this moment a piercing shriek from one of the female
passengers, who had caught the appalling words, broke wildly on our ears.
She was in a violent hysteric fit; but the kind exertions of the
passengers at length restored her to consciousness; when, gazing around
her with a bewildered air, she exclaimed, "My God! what will become of my
This exclamation aroused our curiosity, and in answer to our
inquiries she informed us that her husband was in Paris,—that she was
apprehensive, from the impetuosity of his temper, and the opinions he
entertained, that he would take part with the revolutionists, and she
trembled at the danger to which he would be exposed. Every one
sympathised with and pitied her, endeavouring to inspire her with the
assurance that her fears were groundless; but she settled into a silent
melancholy for the remainder of the day, as if her thoughts were wandering
to the beloved object upon whom her happiness depended.
She appeared to be about four-and-twenty years of age;
graceful in form, with a face of great softness and sweetness. She
seemed a being formed to inspire and feel the most passionate and devoted
love. A beautiful boy, some four years old, stood prattling by his
mother's knee, looking up into her face, and asking a crowd of artless but
puzzling questions. It was evident that some of these questions
pained her. To relieve her, I beckoned the child to me, and taking
him on my knee, we soon became intimate friends. The mother rewarded
me with a smile of grateful acknowledgement, but the tears starting into
her eyes, she turned aside to conceal her emotion.
A little before sunset we neared Calais, which, floating like
a picture on the waters, its white towers and chimneys gleaming in the
softened light, seemed to welcome me to a land of antiquity and romance.
We reached the pier, which was crowded, and after I had struggled my way
through a host of commissionnaires, who were clamorous in extolling
the merits of their respective hotels, I looked round for my interesting
fellow-passenger, and on meeting with her, we bade each other a hasty but
I was forced to remain in Calais three days, for want of a
conveyance. At length the diligences came in from the capital,
bringing the agreeable tidings that the "three glorious days" were over,
and that Louis-Philippe had been elected King of the French. The
people were in raptures; the cafes became suddenly crowded; and nothing
was heard in or out of doors but "Les Braves Français!"
"La Belle France!" and the Marseillaise Hymn, and various other
vociferations indicative of excessive vanity and exultation.
By the first conveyance into Picardy I set off, my coat
bedecked with a national rosette, while the tricolor, planted on the top
of the diligence, floated gaily in the breeze. On we went through
Dunkirk, St. Omer, Douai, and Cambrai, all of which towns were in a state
of great commotion, till we halted in the Grand Place of St. Quentin,
where I intended to try my fortune as a British artisan. I was
doomed, however, to be disappointed, for recent events had deadened and
depressed commercial spirit and enterprise. In consequence, my
applications for employment were almost in every case unsuccessful.
Nevertheless, I contrived with great difficulty to sojourn in the town two
months, till, finding my prospects becoming daily more gloomy, I hesitated
whether to return to England or proceed to some other manufacturing town
of France. I decided on the latter course, and prepared to go to
Mulhausen, in Alsace.
Packing up a scanty wardrobe, I made my way to Paris, where I
staid eight days. Though Louis Philippe had scarcely taken his seat
on the throne, and though the blood of her citizens was barely dry upon
her streets, Paris appeared to have resumed all her life and splendour,
all her fashion and frivolity. The thoroughfares were thronged with
people as gay, as talkative, and as vain as ever. The theatres were
crowded with spectators of the indelicate and horrible; the public walks
were brilliant with female beauty; the gambling houses were still haunted
by the infatuated votaries of gain; and every hotel, cafe, and cabaret
rung with its usual sounds of unrestrained enjoyment. That noble
city, over which but a few weeks before the Angel of Death hovered, making
many a heart sick and many a home desolate, now seemed filled with
laughter, music, and festivity; as if revolution and slaughter were things
of common occurrence, and as if the crushing of crowns and overturning of
thrones were but occasional pastime.
Sauntering through the streets one day, in a mood of
despondency, I stepped, almost unconsciously, into the august cathedral of
Notre Dame. Wrapt in thought, I paced the silent aisles with
feelings of veneration for that Being to whose praise and glory such a
pile had been raised. There were very few persons in the cathedral
at the time; but I was struck with the graceful figure of a female in deep
mourning, kneeling on a low chair before a picture of "The Virgin."
Motionless as a statue, her hands clasped in prayer, her veil thrown
aside, this fair petitioner to heaven riveted me to the spot. The
coloured light, streaming down from a gorgeous window, fell on the upper
part of her person, giving her almost the semblance of an angel.
Disturbed by a slight movement which I made, she turned her face towards
me, and I instantly recognized her who had so interested me on my passage
from London to Calais. She arose, adjusted her veil, and without
noticing me, quitted the church. I followed, and overtaking her in
the street, accosted her, and politely made myself known. She
remembered me, was seized with a paroxysm of grief, and wept convulsively.
After the first burst of grief had subsided, I ventured to express my
fears that her forebodings had been too lamentably realized. She
invited me to accompany her home, where I should hear all, and with the
more confidence, because I was the countryman of her husband.
We reached her mother's dwelling, which stood in the
faubourgs of Paris. There was an air and neatness and order in
the internal arrangements of the abode, which to an English eye was as
agreeable as it was unexpected. Pauline, for so she was named,
introduced me to her mother, who received me very graciously, and after we
had seated ourselves to partake of coffee, I learned the following simple,
but to me exceedingly affecting, history:—
Pauline Peronne was the only child of a lace manufacturer,
who, by dint of economy and industry, realized a moderate competency, and
retired outside the barriers of the city, quietly to enjoy his well-earned
gains. Scarcely, however, had he begun to taste the fruits of his
thrift, than he was seized with a sudden and dangerous malady, which
carried him off in a few days. Some care had been taken of the
orphan Pauline's education, and those graceful accomplishments which give
a charm to woman had not been denied her. She possessed marked good
sense, an equable sweetness of temper, and tender and deep affections.
She appeared generally less volatile and vivacious than her countrywomen,
but she could throw aside her almost habitual thoughtfulness, and be as
merry, as sparkling, and as fascinating as the gayest of them all.
In the year 1825, Henry Rushbrooke, the son of an opulent
tradesman in the South of England, visited Paris on his way to Switzerland
and Italy. The gay metropolis of France had an unexpected charm for
him, and week after week found him still lingering in its haunts of
pleasure and fashion. At the house of one of his Parisian friends he
met with Pauline, and was struck with her charms. He strove to make
himself agreeable to her, and after an evening passed in the happiest
manner, he craved permission to renew their acquaintance, which was
modestly acceded to, and Henry sought his lodgings with a buoyant heart.
Henry kept up his visits to Pauline at her mother's house, till he was
received on the footing of an accepted lover. He harboured no
unworthy passion, for his nature was incapable of a dishonourable thought
or deed. Except in one particular, he was all that a fond, confiding
woman could desire. He was handsome, constitutionally brave, and
generous almost to a fault; frank and full of warm and tender feelings;
but withal, he possessed a fiery and impetuous soul, which at times set
restraint at defiance. He entertained strong, but perhaps erroneous
opinions respecting liberty and the rights of man, and whatever were his
views, he took little pains to conceal them.
Henry urged Pauline to a speedy marriage. By the force
of entreaty, and the language of endearment and persuasion, he beguiled
her of her consent that he should communicate with his family on the
subject, and in the event of a refusal, she promised to share, and
endeavour to soothe, the pain of his fallen fortunes. Henry wrote to
England that night.
In a few days he received a stern denial of his request,
coupled with orders to return home immediately. Henry had been a
wayward, but clever and favourite child, and his father entertained higher
views for him than those of marrying a comparatively poor, but worthy
Parisian damsel. But Henry Rushbrooke's mind was made up. He
had a small property in his own right, which, with the little that would
revert to Pauline, would enable them to defy absolute poverty; and in a
short period of time he had chosen for himself a new country and a
For four years Henry held no connexion with his family in
England, save by an occasional letter inquiring after their health, to
which, when they deigned to write, they replied in the coldest terms.
In the meantime Pauline gave birth to a son, and the society of his wife
and child kept Henry almost secluded from the world. His little
household was a scene of peace, love, and intellectual enjoyment, and save
a wish to be reconciled to his parents, he had not a desire that remained
Such was the state of things in the summer of 1830, when
Henry received a letter from his mother,—a letter such as mothers only
write, breathing love, forgiveness, and a wish to embrace her son.
The epistle proceeded to announce that she had prevailed upon his father
to send his unqualified pardon. It concluded by beseeching him to
come to England as soon as possible, and to bring his wife as a
participator in the joy of the expected meeting.
With alacrity Henry prepared to obey his mother's
affectionate commands, and within forty-eight hours, accompanied by
Pauline and his boy, he was on his way to Boulogne. In three days he
was locked in the arms of his parents and sisters, all of whom were
charmed with Pauline, and enraptured with the artless prattle of little
Victor. Henry passed a week of unalloyed enjoyment with his family,
but having some urgent business to transact in Paris, he bade them
farewell, with a promise to visit them in the ensuing Spring, and left his
wife and child to follow in a month.
A month soon passed in the interchange of affection, and
Pauline set out for France, laden with presents, and followed by the
blessings of her kindred. This was during the "three glorious days"
of July, when I first beheld her on her way to Calais,—a journey which she
began in joy, but ended in inconsolable misery.
When she reached Paris she found the people in a state of
uncontrollable excitement, but it was the excitement of triumphant
success—a rejoicing over a victory, to attain which much human blood had
been spilt, and by which thousands were reduced to beggary and starvation.
Poor Pauline trembled every step she took, and hurried towards home as
fast as her anxiety would permit her. As she came in sight of the
spot, she felt that some heavy calamity awaited her, and she almost sank
to the ground as she knocked faintly at the door. It was opened by
the accustomed servant, whose sudden start and gloom of countenance, as
she beheld her mistress, confirmed her fears. "Good God!" exclaimed
Pauline, "what has happened?" and she fell back exhausted on a chair.
Her mother, who was above, and who heard the well-known voice, rushed
down, wringing her hands in agony, and, falling on her child's neck,
sobbed out that Henry was dying. With difficulty Pauline was led to
her husband's bed-side, but the scene that ensued may be better imagined
On the first outbreak of the revolution, fired at what he
considered the tyranny and injustice of the Government, Henry placed
himself at the head of a formidable band of citizens, took a prominent
part in every assault, and ended by falling, covered with wounds, in the
front of his followers. As he was known to many, a small party of
his friends succeeded in conveying him home. A surgeon was with some
difficulty procured, his wounds were examined, and the sad and unfortunate
man was told the worst. Henry bore the pain of body with fortitude,
but his mental agony was beyond conception. His rashness and folly
in joining the insurgents—the absence of his wife and child—his fear that
he should die before they arrived—the misery which would be inflicted on
his parents, and the prospect of an approaching end—all combined, well
nigh deprived him of reason. When he had embraced Pauline and his
child he felt more resigned. His drooping wife hovered over his
pillow like a ministering angel, and while her own heart was a prey to the
bitterest sorrow, she soothed and supported him to the close. In
less than a week he died, and his family, who had been apprised of the
melancholy circumstance, arrived just in time to see him consigned to a
This simple and affecting narrative was often interrupted by
the convulsive sobs of the bereaved Pauline, and when it was finished,
none of us seemed disposed to speak. I felt I could not then offer a
word of consolation to the sufferer. As I parted with her, however,
she must have read in my countenance how much I sympathised with her.
Gazing on her face, I found written thereon a settled and deep-rooted
sorrow, which had dimmed her eye and paled her cheek, and seemed to be
eating up her life day by day. With mutual good wishes and farewells
we parted, and, walking hurriedly down the street, I inwardly prayed for
I went down to Mulhausen, but from the depression of
commerce, I met with the same disheartening results as before. With
great struggling, much mortification, and some starving, I remained five
months, when, being fairly beaten out by the inexorable foe, Necessity, I
put a knapsack on my back, ten sous (all I had) in my pocket, and
in the middle of the severe winter of 1831, set out on foot to return to
England. By a long, circuitous route I reached Paris, as patient and
as pennyless as man could be, and in the possession of a little more
experience, if not prudence, than when I landed on the shores of France.
My first thought was of Pauline, and my first business to
seek her abode. I knocked at the well-known door, was admitted, and
warmly welcomed by the matron. I ventured to inquire after her
daughter, with an expression of hope that a few months had restored her to
cheerfulness and tranquillity. I saw by the cloud that gathered over
the poor mother's brow that all was not well. Without uttering a
word she led me to her daughter's chamber, and there she lay, pale, but
lovely as a statue of alabaster, gazing with intense affection in the face
of little Victor, who was carelessly playing with the dark ringlets of her
When her ear caught the sound of a strange footstep, she
turned her head on the pillow languidly, recognized me, and with a very
faint blush of pleasure on her cheek, gave me her thin, transparent hand.
I started as I touched it,—it was cold as ice. She saw what passed
through my mind, for with a smile tender as that of an autumn evening, she
said—"Yes, I am much changed, am I not?"
"You are indeed," I said, thoughtfully.
"Yes," she continued, "but it is a change for the better!
I am much happier than when I saw you last; I shall soon be completely so.
I go to be reunited to my Henry, in that temple which is not built with
hands, through the compassion and by the power of Him whose symbol I
So saying, she raised a small golden crucifix, suspended by a
ribbon round her neck, and kissed it devoutly.
"If anything could bind me to earth," she resumed, calmly,
"it would be that aged woman, and this boy, the image of his departed
father; but my mother will follow soon, and my child I can entrust to the
protection of Providence. His will be done!"
After a pause of some minutes, during which the aged mother
strove to stifle her sobs, and the boy looked from one to another with
serious and bewildered looks, Pauline turned her head suddenly, while her
eyes shone with almost unnatural light, and said quickly—
"Will you come and see me to-morrow evening? I want to
talk with you; but you must leave me now—I am oppressed with sleep ;—good
I promised I would come, and left the room overcome with my
Next evening I went early. Pauline, who lay in a state
of stupor, had not spoken for some time. Her mother, with the boy on
her knee, and some friends, sat round the bed, awaiting solemnly the hour
of dissolution. A long-drawn sigh, or a smothered sob, were the only
sounds which broke a silence almost unearthly. At length, a voice in
the street, immediately below the death-room, startled the mournful group.
It proceeded from one of those itinerant minstrels so common on the
Continent. He was singing, with much skill and power, the celebrated
patriotic song "La Parisienne," and after be had finished the first
stanza, and begun with fresh vigour the second, Pauline awoke suddenly
from her lethargy, and seemed to listen with great attention. The
last stanza of this song changes both in time and tone, becoming
exceedingly plaintive and pathetic. It speaks of the coffin and the
bier,—the funeral cavalcade,—the roll of the muffled drum,—the renown and
glory of those who have won a grave in the cause of liberty, and concludes
by calling upon the citizens to pay the last honours to the remains of
their departed brethren. Scarcely had the last words escaped the
lips of the singer, than Pauline said faintly, but suddenly—
"Mother, bring me my child, bring me Victor!" The child
was given to her. She took him round the neck, and gazed long and
earnestly in his face, the boy weeping and asking her when she would get
up again. She kissed him passionately, and beckoning her mother,
kissed her also; then, extending her hands to her friends, with a smile
that irradiated her countenance, she closed her eyes,—clasped the crucifix
to her bosom, moved her lips for a moment, as if in prayer,—drew a deep
sigh, and the dim, mysterious shadow of Death quenched the last lingering
rays of her mortal life!
There was a brief pause amongst us, as if we questioned the
unwelcome truth, but the quick change which passed over the face removed
all doubt; and one who sat near the bed put her hand on the lips of
Pauline, and said in a whisper which startled us—"She is gone!"
Then, the wail of the aged mother,—the cry of the orphan
child, and the tears of surrounding friends, bewildered me; but
recollecting myself, I went on my way, sorrowfully pondering on the scene.
Pauline lies beside her husband, in a solitary and secluded
corner of Pere-la-Chaise. Her child was conveyed to his father's
relations in England. Pauline's mother followed her to the grave in
a few months.
The simple facts I have attempted to present in the form of a
narrative, I shall never forget; and should chance or inclination ever
again lead my steps to Paris, my first ramble shall be to the
resting-place of the faithful and unfortunate PAULINE
CHANGES FOR THE BETTER.
(FROM AN UNPUBLISHED LECTURE.)
LET us look at the sunny side of the picture.
Have we not progressed?—are we not progressing? We need not go back
to the Feudal ages, contrasting them with our own days, to prove this.
What living man would exchange for those times, characterised as they were
by lawless adventure, mistaken and misapplied heroism,—by earnest but
cruel piety, and gross and wild superstitions,—by refined ruffianism, rude
and sensual enjoyments, and barbaric splendours,—by strong-handed baronial
dominancy, and ignorant, degrading serfdom, over which cowered but the
shadow of freedom;—what living man would exchange for those times, and
these their discordant features, clothed though they be in the hues of
romance and poetical association,—the peaceful power, the widely-diffused
intellect, the civilized advantages and liberties, and the ever-growing,
ever-purifying institutions of our own country in our own days? We
believe not one—not even those few generous members of the aristocracy
who, led away by a falsely-poetic enthusiasm, would fain cheat us into the
belief that we have suffered by the change. No, no; we must on; and
if we have faith in the good tendencies of the spirit that prevails, we
must improve as we proceed; gain an ampler horizon at every step, and
look, with a proud consciousness of our position, on the wilderness of
Error we have left far behind.
Have we not improved upon that unhappy state of society when
a difference of faith, or creed, or form of worship, met with the most
unjust and unchristian persecution?—when the dungeon was peopled with
those who, daring to assert liberty of conscience, dared more than
death?—when the bloody rack groaned beneath its load of human agony?—when
the fire-stake, with a final cruelty, but which was often deemed a
blessing, consumed its martyrs to ashes? At no very distant period
of the past, hundreds of inoffensive beings, charged by ignorant people
with that absurdity of absurdities—Witchcraft, were put to death in
different ways, and, it is scarcely to be believed, with the sanction of
men of high standing in the law,—men of large intellectual endowments, and
great benevolence of soul. Even Sir Matthew Hale, in 1665, either
from an unaccountable credulity, or from a fear of the popular voice,
convicted, and caused to be executed, several unhappy individuals accused
of witch craft. It was not till near the close of the seventeenth
century that men arose superior to the ridiculous prejudices of the time.
This foolish belief and its lamentable effects then began rapidly to
Let us be thankful for the utter annihilation of these two
evils. No religious persecution now, or if there be, it is not
permitted to offer violence either to the person, property, or privileges
of any member of the British community. Whatever be our opinions or
convictions touching the all-important subject of religion, we can do as
we like. Are we devotionally disposed, we can choose or build our
temple how or where our reason or fancy may dictate: in the ancient and
time-honoured church of our fathers,—in the plain and prim conventicle,—on
the mountains,—in the fields,—anywhere, and observing any form, we may
render homage to the Deity. We may be encouraged, nay, oft entreated
to adopt some definite mode of religious observance, but none can coerce
us to it, or in the slightest degree restrain our freedom of thought and
action. This is a privilege our forefathers little dreamed of—a
privilege which, instead of retarding our progress, and deteriorating our
social condition, has advanced and improved them. We dare venture to
say that there is more practical piety, a wider humanity at work within
and about us, than at any former period of our country's history; and we
confidently believe that Infidelity gains few proselytes among the British
people. Witchcraft, and a host of other dissipated delusions, now
only excite a smile of derision, or a word of wonder at the preposterous
superstitions of the past.
Not five hundred, but fifty years will suffice to show the
many and mighty advances we have made towards the perfect liberty and
happiness it is Man's nature to yearn after. The Press has grown
into a giant, whose arm of power, and whose voice of thunder or
persuasion, nothing can restrain. Daily, hourly it is pouring forth
terror to the evil-doer—peace and promise to the lowly and sad of
heart—knowledge to the multitudes, and with that knowledge imparting
social harmony and moral strength. It hath rooted up error after
error, thrown down wrong after wrong, and its hallowed crusade, its
bloodless warfare of tongue and pen, against old and new abominations,
will achieve yet greater victories, and arrive at more humanizing and
enduring results than the most poetical imagination ever pictured, or the
most prophetic voice ever foretold. By its aid Science has taken to
itself more vigorous wings, soaring higher, and taking a more discursive
range than the prejudices of the past permitted. Nothing is too
elevated, nothing too humble for its assiduous search. No
obstruction, however formidable, can bar its way,—no principle, however
abstruse, which it does not attempt to elucidate,—no point of grandeur and
utility towards which it does not direct its energies. From the
measurement of a star to the cultivation of a plant,—from the hewing of a
mountain to the inspection of a fossil,—from the crossing of valleys with
a span to the minutiæ of microscopic
search, from the mysteries of the human mind to the instinct of the
brute,—from the illimitable vastness and magnificence of the universe to
the tiny beauty of a dew-drop;—nothing escapes its scrutinizing
glance,—nothing but yields something to its devotion and its power.
The inventive mind of a WATT, musing
over the rude and insignificant plaything of a predecessor, suggested, and
all but made perfect, the steam-engine; and what a stupendous revolution
it has brought about! ARK-WRIGHT, artfully
appropriating, and improving upon, the invention of a poor reed-maker,
introduced the Spinning Jenny, and this spinning jenny, with its
subsequent ally—the power-loom, has peopled Manchester, and other towns of
Lancashire and Yorkshire, with merchant-princes, whose wealth and
influence threaten to overthrow the old hereditary aristocracy of the
land. A STEPHENSON laid down the first iron
road, yoked his steam-winged steeds, and sent us travelling at four times
our accustomed speed. Similarly organized minds, stimulated by the
gigantic achievement, entered the arena of Practical Science, and shared
his triumphs. Nature and her physical obstructions succumbed to the
will and power of Genius and Enterprise. Rivers were leaped over at
a bound,—valleys were spanned by enormous yet graceful structures,—the
bowels of the hills were invaded and rent,—the broad light of day, and the
strange sounds of self-moving caravans, laden with thousands of eager,
active, human passengers, pierced the most ancient solitudes, and woke
them from their slumbers immemorial. Our country is now veined and
intersected in every direction by these wondrous lines of national and
social intercommunication. Cities the most distant from each other
in the kingdom, the space of a few hours can link together; people of the
most different pursuits, characters, tastes, dialects, begin to see and
understand each other, and find that they possess common interests in all
the improvements going on around them—common capacities for physical and
intellectual enjoyment—and a common desire and endeavour to keep pace with
the spirit of progress that leads to better things. Nor must we
forget a WHEATSTONE, who, seizing the electric
fluid, and laying down a path for it, sent it winged with the speed of
solar light, to carry intelligence to any point of its direction.
The saying of Ariel in "the Tempest," who promised his master,
Prospero, to "put a belt about the earth in forty minutes," does not
seem impossible to be realized. From such mighty promises what
mightier performances may we not expect! And are not these changes
for the better?
Moreover, our Literature is changed for the better. The
horrible and unnatural school, in Fiction, of RADCLIFFE
and MONK LEWIS, is "barred
out" for ever. We are going back to the truthfulness and simplicity
of nature. The BULWERS, with their
spiritualized philosophy and keen insight into the motives of human
actions,—the DICKENSES, with their large
benevolence, good-humoured satire, humanizing pathos, and graphic
delineations of humble life, the JERROLDS, with
their bitter yet wholesome strictures on the evils of society, the HOWITTS,
with their unsophisticated, kindly, and eloquent spirits,—the MARTINEAUS,
who in their prose tales have so ardently vindicated the rights of the
lowly-born, the producers of the earth, and the sustainers of our
country's wealth and greatness:—these have acquired a pure and lasting
fame;—pure, because they have worshipped at the shrine of Truth and
Nature;—lasting, because the principles upon which their writings are
based are those that come home to every human being. They have
appealed to our common humanity, and our inmost hearts have answered to
them. Eschewing party feeling, the cant of sects, and the prejudices
of the few, they have written for the millions, and the voice of the
millions shall utter their names with reverence and honour.
Have not our Poets imbibed a spirit for the better?
They have overcome the heartless and artificial frippery, the cumbrous
pomp and dry emptiness of the last century. Examine, and behold the
contrast. COWPER and BURNS
were the first reformers in this later commonwealth of Poetry;—one, with
his calm English pictures of domestic felicity, and forcible denunciations
of Negro slavery; the other, the noblest peasant that God ever gifted with
the fire of inspiration, with his impetuous and often pathetic harp,
created a revolution in the world of Poësy
at which we have abundant reason to rejoice. COLERIDGE
of the Dreamy, and SHELLEY of the Mystic lay, have done more in the cause
of freedom and humanity than a superficial reader would give them credit
for. WORDSWORTH has found
" * *
* * * books in the
"Sermons in stones, and good in everything;"
Eliza Cook (1812–1889),
poet and journalist.
and interpreted them to the world, musically and eloquently, with a full
regard to the mental wants and aspirations of the multitude. LEIGH
HUNT has done his share towards the elevation of the
pained at the privations of some of the working classes, has written nobly
for them, and thrown into his "Song
of the Shirt" the full feelings of a large and benevolent heart.
CHARLES MACKAY has devoted
himself wholly to the work of peace, progress, and humanity.
strains strong and ringing as his own steel, has denounced the doings of
oppression, and rebuked the vices of the poor, while he has pleaded for
their distresses. Miss ELIZA COOK
and Miss TOULMIN have lent their talents to the same
cause, and to the delicate and quick sympathies of their sex have added a
masculine spirit,—masculine because of its earnestness and sincerity.
Mrs. BARRETT BROWNING has
brought down her fine mind from the pure realms of imagination to the
stern realities of life, and pleaded for the poor juvenile workers in the
factory and the mine, with the force of uncommon genius and compassion.
A crowd of lofty souls might be enumerated who turn the endowments of
intellect to the high and proper purpose of rousing us to a just sense of
our natural rights, and our capabilities of becoming wiser, better, and
happier. It is sufficient to know that the Pen is wielded, the Press
worked, the Tongue made eloquent—not for a class merely, as heretofore,
but for the community, and especially for those portions of it which stand
most in need of their sublime energies.
Again, look at the thousand, yea ten thousand easily
accessible sources from which the labouring man may derive healthy and
elevating knowledge,—refined and moral recreation. A crowd of
liberal institutions, without regard to sect or party, Athenæums,
Mechanics' Institutes, Lyceums, Libraries, Reading Rooms, wait on every
hand to receive and instruct him. Lecturers, highly endowed in mind,
eloquent in speech, and bent on benevolent toils, minister to his mental,
and often to his physical wants, by teaching him how best to enjoy his
little leisure, and economise his scanty means. It is almost a
reproach in these days to be without a smattering of general intelligence.
Men's opportunities, temperaments, capacities, it is true, are very
different. All cannot become learned, eminent, and objects of the
world's admiration. The laws of God and nature are against it; but
it does appear to me that the multitudinous means that lie about us of
calm and pure enjoyment, books, music, the Arts, the revelations of
Science, ought to be sought after and appreciated by all. "There is
a good time coming," however; the ice of apathy is breaking up, and
drifting away before genial breezes, and a fair open sea is looming up,
radiant with the mind's sunshine, and studded with beautiful isles, where
the adventurous voyager may rest, and contemplate the ever-expanding, the
ever-brightening world of intellect around him. God speed the
And then War! What a tremendous and deplorable burden!
What a reckless waste of money; and how vast and incalculable must have
been that of human life! Who may tell the amount of physical
suffering and moral deprivation consequent on this terrible system!
It is fearful to contemplate. Let us rejoice that a different spirit
is beginning to pervade the public mind. We are fast relinquishing
our taste for, and our admiration of the gorgeous devilry of war.
The "Society of Friends," who have been ever foremost in rational reforms,
commenced their hallowed crusade against it. How far they have been
successful, the state of public opinion will testify. Nearly every
member of the Public Press is leagued against it. Well organized
societies exist expressly to restrain, by all available means, the
gigantic evil. ELIHU BURRITT'S
"Olive Leaves" and "Bond of Brotherhood" are doing things
heretofore deemed impracticable. May the nations profit by the
glorious example, and give us permanent Peace, without which the progress
of the human mind, though it cannot be arrested, may be retarded!
Let our neighbours and brothers, the French, restrain their military
vanity, and cooperate with us in the endeavour to lessen, if not
annihilate, this unchristian system. There are nobler battles to
fight—those against social crime and misery; nobler trophies to win—those
of intellect and virtue; let us arm ourselves for the hallowed struggle,
and accomplish other Changes for the Better!
OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.
Mr. Prince is one of those men, so rare, yet so welcome when
they come, who, born and educated amid poverty, and invested with a quick
intellect, have, amid the gloom of their world, such an expansion of
heart, that when they condemn, they condemn without bitterness. In
the entire range of literary history we have read of no poet with a mind
more elastic than that possessed by Prince. His mind rebounds from
the passions and the degradation with which he has been unavoidably
associated, and the rebound has been both signal and lofty. Apart
from birth and education, and in the completeness and individuality of the
word, J. C. Prince is a poet. He has an intuitive perception of the
finest beauties of life, and a quick comprehension of the beauties of
nature. We need not say more. We have written only what is
generally admitted; but our desire is that Mr. Prince's works should be
the companions of every poor man, because they will increase his social
tendencies; and further, we wish them to be in the possession of every
rich man, because they will teach him that a Poet of the People is
not necessarily antagonistic to the wealthy.—The Critic.
One of the chief merits of his productions lies in their
being so faithful a transcript of the feelings and sentiments cherished by
the class of men to which he belongs. His poems are one and all the
products of a sound and healthy mind, equally free from moody misanthropy
or pining discontent. His ill success in life has soured neither his
temper nor his verses. While pleading the rights of the poor, he
does not forget the respect due to those of the rich, and, accordingly, no
harsh hatred of those superior to him in station is to be found in his
pages. The regeneration for which he longs is perfectly compatible
with the permanence of existing institutions; and no man anathematises
more strongly than himself, the popular demagogues who, for the attainment
of their own lawless ends, would disturb the peace of society, and
remorselessly involve the nation in ruin and bloodshed.—Monthly
Here we have a volume of verses which, considering the
condition and opportunities of the poet, may be pronounced wonderful.
But, wherever or howsoever composed, his poems possess very considerable
merit, merely as poems, and laying aside altogether the circumstances
under which they have been produced. If the Muse "found him poor at
first, and kept him so," the measure of the divine gift he possesses has
brought its own delights and rewards; and, in the midst of poverty, he can
still wisely and piously bless God for "having made him susceptible of
feelings so elevating, so humanising, so divine."—Tait's Magazine.
Had such a volume of poetry as the one before us been
produced twenty years ago by a poor cotton weaver, its author would have
been accounted a prodigy. Mr. Prince's merits are enthusiasm,
earnestness, freshness of feeling, and a quiet power of painting bits of
scenery and nature. His command over language is remarkable, and he
sometimes evinces great felicity of expression. It will be seen from
our extracts that he has caught a real spark from the great meteor of Poësy,
and we trust he will still solace his leisure hours with the Muses,
gaining his meed of tribute and applause from his fellow men.—
It is greatly to the credit of Mr. Prince's heart, and the
divine art which he pursued with such enthusiasm, that poverty has had no
power to sour or corrupt
his nature. His poems show an innate refinement of mind, and a sweet
healthy tone of sensibility, together with a pure and ennobling morality,
which speak volumes in favour of the author's head and heart.—Sun.
Having closed our extracts, we may express our estimation of
the author. If poetry may be defined as an intense love of the
beautiful, the right, and the true, then is Prince a poet in "lie noblest
sense of the word. All his thoughts, sentiments, and aspirations are
in the right direction. His poetry has a healthy, fresh tone, which
must reach the unsophisticated heart.—Manchester Guardian, (,Second
In taking leave of this volume, we may say that, as an
appropriate gift to youth of either sex, we know few that can compare with
it in genuine poetry, blended with the highest moral feeling, and the
purest taste and sentiment. It is full of earnestness and sincerity,
and has many other good qualities which must make for it a path to favour,
wherever truth is valued, the best affections prized, and the moral
advancement of man desired.—Manchester Guardian, (third notice.)
Considering the many grave disadvantages with which the
author of this volume has had to contend, he must be accounted a poetic
genius of the highest order. There are an elasticity of thought, a
fruitfulness of imagination, and a high-toned generosity about everything
he writes, which must of necessity gain him troops of friends.
We are happy to say that these poems require no tenderness on
the score of circumstances, from the hand of a critic. They abound
with images of beauty and themes of rejoicing; and except when a pensive
thought breaks in upon him for a moment, there is scarcely a solitary
evidence of the pangs out of which all this sweet music is extracted.
We have sufficient cause to wonder that these poems possess so much
intrinsic beauty, and so much real weight of unadulterated truth. Atlas.
It is wonderful that this man, after what he has suffered,
should still have the heart to write poetry—poetry gentle and beautiful in
sentiment, and graceful in composition. He is a man of originality
and genius. "Hours with the Muses," all things considered, is a
wonderful production. We see in it the evidence of a great power,
which, we hope and trust, will be worthily developed.—Sheffield
Of all those whose names have risen as a bright star from the
low horizon of society, the author of "Hours with the Muses," is, in our
our opinion, almost unequalled. We hate half praise when we have
felt whole pleasures; and certainly, our minds have never kindled with
more true fervour than while reading the poems of J, C. Prince. Most
warmly do we recommend this volume to the notice of our readers; we are
indeed in error if any one can read it without being better and wiser.
We hesitate not to predicate that the name of J. C. Prince can never die.—Midland
Mr. Prince is no ordinary man, and no ordinary poet.
His poetry is a marvel; its high finish, melodious rhythm, purity of
sentiment, and elegant diction, would do honour to any living poet.
We regard it as an honour to our age and country to have produced such a
man, arid heartily recommend his volume to all lovers of true poetry.—Sheffleld
Mr. Prince's poetry is the natural expression of a mind
observing and thoughtful, and his mind has been prompted by his heart in
all its remarkable enterprises. His intellect has never left his
feelings in the background. There is always a drop of benevolence at
the bottom that sweetens the whole draught.—Leeds Times.
The poetry of J. C. Prince is of a free and flowing melody
and graceful expression. The "Poet's Sabbath" offers proof that the
writer has both a painter's hand and a poet's heart. All his
sentiments, as represented by his poetry, do him great credit. —Athenæum.
Mr. Prince's poetry is of a high and sterling class. It
is full of imaginative beauty, and of a delicate and pure; diction.
But what is even more admirable than the poetry itself, are the sound
sense and the true philosophy which distinguish it. All his
unmerited sufferings have not embittered his nature, nor distorted his
reason; he calls upon his fellows to liberate themselves, but warns them
against the destructive delusions of physical force. He points out
in peaceful language the real enemies of the working man; he advocates at
once both political and domestic reform. Mr. Prince has only to hold
on, to be a prince amongst poets, and a blessing to the meritorious but
suffering masses of this country.—WILLIAM HOWITT.
*.* Favourable notices have also appeared in The Spectator, The
Metropolitan, The Church of England Magazine, The Christian Teacher, The
Manchester Times, The Manchester Advertiser, The Leeds Intelligencer, The
Liverpool Albion, The Liverpool Mercury, Chambers' Journal, Bradshaw's
Journal, The New York Herald, The New York Tribune, Channing's American
Magazine, and others.
Care and Sever, Printers, 18, St. Ann's-street, Manchester.