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to distract the attention of the police from himself, and the noise of his fetter. His walking arm-in-arm with Mathews, (who had at all times the look of a gentleman,) probably saved the felon from the scrutiny of the policeman. No more was heard of him; but the lesson was of some value to Mathews, who made no more midnight excursions to Milbank, but returned regularly to his own house.
with his lame limb cramped by long sitting, and forced to hold by the ironrailing, as he went along, through feebleness. All at once he heard a low tinkling sound behind him; he stopped, and the sound stopped too; he went on, and it followed. In this way he proceeded for some time, unable to see any body, yet hearing the mysterious sound. At length, growing nervous at the lateness of the hour and the loneliness of the place, he hurried forward, and the sound immediately One of his peculiarities was an came clanking after him. Determi- extraordinary fondness for birds and ned to ascertain the cause, he stopped beasts. He used to stay for hours in suddenly, and saw a man approach, the Zoological Gardens, familiarizing who addressed him civilly; observing, himself with the animals so remarkin a mild tone, "I am afraid, sir, you ably, that the Duke of Wellington are suffering-you seem in pain."- once good.humouredly taxed him with Mathews replied, "No, I am rather 66 going there for studies of character." cramped by long sitting in the House One night he had supped out with a of Commons, that's all."'-"But you party of gentlemen while living in seem lame, sir."- "Yes, I am rather," London, and returned home between was the answer. "Allow me then, sir, two and three in the morning; when, to offer you my arm. I, too, have as he came up the street, a large goat come from the House of Commons, met him, and made a sort of appeal. and it seems am going your way. It Mathews, in return, made him a bow, will give me pleasure to see you safe and talked to him, as was his habit to home, and to assist you with animals. my arm.' The goat seemed to be in Mathews could not discern whether distress. Mathews enquired of him the person's dress was that of a gen"whether he was locked out of his tleman or not. He could only perceive that he wore a greatcoat. The hazard of this strange companionship was obvious; but his infirmity prevailed, and he took the offered arm. They moved on a pace or two, and the sound came again. Mathews was startled, and stopped. Next moment, a policeman turned the corner, and looked full at the wayfarers. Mathews thought that he felt his companion agitated; but the policeman bid them "Good-night,” and passed on. They now moved again. Suddenly, by the gleam of a lamp, Mathews saw a fetter on the ankle of his companion, from which a bit of broken chain hung, which occasioned the noise. It was evident that he was arm-in-arm with an escaped felon! However, he had presence of mind enough to keep his discovery to himself, and continued to lean upon him till he had reached his friend's house. The man assisted him to the door, and then darted away, and seen no more. Mathews's version of this incident was, that the man had broken out of prison, and had hit upon the idea of closely following, or walk ing with the first person whom he might happen to meet in the streets;
NO. CCXC. VOL. XLVI.
lodgings?" The animal muttered sounds, expressive to his ear of a distressed affirmative; and as he moved on, walked side by side with him to the door, where the goat paused, as if determined not to leave him. Mathews addressed him again, said that "he regretted his forlorn situation, but feared that he had not a bed to offer him suited to his convenience." As he was letting himself in with a key, his long-bearded friend seemed to say-" Pray, at least, don't shut your door against me." On this, Mathews told him that "he should have shelter for the night;" and on his entering, the goat rushed past him, ran down into the kitchen, and laid himself down in an attitude of content on the hearth. There he was left: Mathews giving him a lecture on propriety of conduct during the night; and the goat (as he translated it) entering into a compact not to break any of the moveables. In the morning, the servants, finding the animal in possession, endeavoured to turn him out, but it resisted until Mathews appeared. With some difficulty his wife prevented him from receiving the stranger as a regular inmate ; but
it was at length traced to a livery stable, where its loss had been much regretted, and where Mathews afterwards paid it a formal visit-we are not told whether of condolence or congratulation.
We can trace some of the most effective pleasantries of his performances on the stage to his own observation. He was famous for a patriotie harangue, which he professed to make out of three words "LibertyCountry Corruption," the rest being filled up by mouthings and gesticulations. Perhaps the following artiste was his teacher. "A man," says he in one of his letters, "bought four hundred copies of the Morning Herald, came down to Brighton on the top of the coach this morning, blew a horn, called out lustily, Dreadful news - bloody news frightful news-Belgium-AntwerpDutch-France,'-he sold all his stock, and pocketed four hundred shillings by the disposal of papers without an atom of news, and which had been in Brighton six hours before!"
If it should be asked why Mathews, though perpetually in the receipt of large sums of money, seems never to have realized any, the answer is perhaps to be found in his very eager ness to realize. He appears to have been seldom untempted by some scheme for making a hundred per cent: such a man naturally fell a prey to the bubble year, and the creditors of one of the companies in which he had purchased shares, at one time brought actions against him for no less than thirty thousand pounds! From these he could escape only by a compromise. A succession of the painful results of imprudence soon came upon him. He was first compelled to part with his cottage, which appears to have been, from the beginning, a remarkably injudicious possession for a man of precarious income; it requiring a handsome establishment of servants, gardeners, &c., with which it could not dispense, though its owner certainly ought, until he had a secure revenue.
The next blow was parting with his pictures. They were offered to the Garrick Club; but the club offered no more in return than a fifth of their cost.
An attempt was then made to raise money on them by exhibition. This too was a failure; for the ex
penses of the exhibition exceeded the receipts by a hundred and fifty pounds. But worse was to come. In 1834, he was induced, by hope of redeeming his fortunes, to cross the Atlantic a second time; but the impressions which the Americans were supposed to have received by his Yankee caricatures in England, had made him hesitate for a while. regretted this," says the biographer, "and pressed him to make up his mind to this certain mode of retriev. ing all losses." She offered to ac company him; and as Mathews hated all formal leave-takings of his friends and the public, he went down to Portsmouth to wait for the packet, the "Canada." After six weeks' passage they reached New York, and the day had arrived which she terms "the important day, big with the fate of Cato and of Rome," on which he was to re-appear, and either to triumph, or be swept from the American stage by the breath of the most patriotic and dram-drinking public on the face of the earth. The threats of the American press had certainly been violent-that press being the King, Lords, and Commons of America, a legislative and executive in one, and exercising the powers of a dictatorship, to which that of old Rome was a thing "of leather and prunella.' Of course, the theatrical proprietor were also in great alarm; for the wil of the sovereign people might have no merely extinguished the actor, but de molished the theatre. With all the perturbations startling them togethe Mathews and his friends went to tl: theatre, where the state of things i thus described.
"We found the doors clogged up wit crowds of people endeavouring to gai admission in vain. It was within fiv
minutes of the curtain's rising-the da had been rainy, but it poured in the even ing-and there stood more than I guess the number of, in this wetting wea filled. ther, striving to enter a place evidentl It was impossible for us to thin of entering this dense mob of pressin people; and, had there not been an en trance by the stage-door, we must hav returned home. When I got behind th scenes, Mr Simpson (the proprietor met me with a countenance of disma wished I had not come,' &c. We enter ed the private box, and there-what house! Not a nook that was not crow
ed. I looked at the pit, where, every night before, I had seen the lowest order of men mixing with the more respectable, [females do not sit in the pit in New York,] and saw what appeared to me all gentlemen.
This revived me. I looked at the boxes, and beheld all elegantly dressed people, such as I had never seen here before."
It happened, however, and this was certainly to the credit of the popular character, that all this alarm was the work of imagination; that the audience had too much of the original John Bull about them to cherish wrath against a humorist, whose trade it was to make all the world laugh with him, and at each other; and that they had no idea of regarding the pleasantest of mimics as worthy of the national thunder. As to the placards and para. graphs which had denounced poor Mathews as only fit to be exhibited to the public tarred and feathered, they had been evidently voted vulgar by the pit" full of gentlemen," and the boxes full of ladies costumed à la Parisienne. All was therefore charming. The biographer proceeds:—
"After the table and lamps were placed, a dead silence ensued for a minute, (my heart almost died in that minute ;) but, when the prompter's bell was rung, and before the curtain could rise, a burst of the most stunning applause I ever heard, put all my fears aside. The curtain rose, and Mathews walked on sternly, but as pale as death, and was met by such plaudits and cheerings as can scarcely be imagined."
work-I have been eleven days confined here-Siberian weather has set in. Thermometer ten degrees, sometimes more, below zero! and I jumping from a sick room to a stage, surrounded with blasts (not draughts) of wind. A rhinoceros could not endure it! All the illness of my fifty-eight years of life added up, is not equal to the number of days I have been ill here. Forty days' perfect health at sea, succeeded by instantaneous effects of miasma on landing."
In another letter, of equal misery, he writes-" The worst description of ill luck overwhelms me. Every seat was taken in the Boston theatre, when I totally lost my voice-nine days in one room!-On my recovery, the winter had commenced! I cannot describe it to an European; you have never seen any thing like it-twenty degrees below zero at night, ten in the daytime-houses warmed up to ninety
cold stage at night-no chance of a partial thaw till March.'
Some of the most amusing parts of these memoirs consist of these little sketches from America. Mrs Mathews writes-"I have not walked out for days, until this morning, when I begin to hope that the weather is relaxing in a small degree. Nothing, however, but sleighs and buffalo skins is to be seen-nothing is to be heard but the jingling of the bells attachedto the horses' heads, which is truly distracting. Your poor father cannot make the least effort towards air, and much less exercise. I induced him on Wednesday to accompany me in a
called,) to make a few calls; but, though the hut was almost air-tight, the boobies within it were nearly frozen; and after I had got out once, and grazed my leg from ankle to knee, by slipping through the iron steps on my first attempt to get in again, we all returned home, where, after half an hour's experiment, we were satisfied that we had not lost our noses.'
In his address, it was requisite that erhe should touch upon his expected re-booby hut,' (so a covered sleigh is pulse. This was certainly a point which required some adroitness; but he had too often appealed to audiences in his own country to feel much alarm in any other. Among his topics, he promised that he would perform his trip to America," word for word, and leave it to an American audience to say, whether he was the national libeller that he was said to be. All this was received with good feeling by the audience, and his popularity was re-established, if it had ever been shaken.
His health was now decaying, and his feelings of the bitter climate certainly offer no encouragement to emigration. In December, he thus writes to his son:" This will not do-I must come back. I am blighted; I cannot
Mathews, with all his oddity, had English feelings in his nature, and he was therefore a hater of Whigs. He provides for those lovers of place, a place which all well wishers of the empire would gladly see them possessing. He thus writes from Boston:"There are a few hundred thousand Irish tyrants at least here, who, from a hackney coach upwards, drive you as
they please. I congratulate you on the return of the Tories. [1835.] I wish you could send all the Whigs here: I should like no better punishment for them, than their being compelled to visit America in search of liberty!"
He again expresses his horror of the climate in this graphic passage:"When I came out [from his sickbed] the thermometer was at twentyfour degrees below zero! I stood at my table one hour and a half, and the bolt of ice that then entered my head, and extended to my feet, has in fact remained in my lungs until this present moment unthawed!"
But the scene which closes on all in their turn, was now about to close on this clever, active, and rambling man of pleasantry. His return to England, though delighting him by the sensation that he had escaped the climate of the States, severe to all, but desperate to his frame, produced no renewal of his health. The blow, in fact, was already struck. He tried Devonshire, but unwisely, for mild as its coast comparatively is in winter, it is harsh and stormy in spring. The ice-bolt was still in him. After suffering much from difficulty of breathing, he died on his birthday, June 20th, 1835. His last hours were spent in a manner suited to his state, and which must be gratifying to all who remember him; he frequently read his Bible, and evidently thought deeply on its consolations. But two days before his death, he awoke in a kind of rapture, yet without extravagance. Though speaking with difficulty, he said-“ Õh, I have had such beautiful visions-such lovely, heavenly visions—I wish some
imaginative poet, like Coleridge or Shelley, could have seen what I have seen; what a beautiful account he would give of it! Oh, such heavenly visions!"
It is true that language of this kind has been often uttered by enthusiasts and affectors of enthusiasm; but he was neither, but a man of simple mind, with all his acuteness, and doubtless spoke only what had solaced and brightened his sleeping hour.
Since the appearance of these volumes, a statement has been published by Arnold, the patentee of the Lyceum theatre, contradicting the biographer's account of the contract under which the "At Homes" had been given. The detail is long, curious, and supported by much testimony; but we cannot, in our space, more than advert to it now. It strongly denies that Mrs Mathews could have been in the state of ignorance relative to the transaction which she affects; declares that, by Arnold's own desire, it was fully and personally communicated to her; that it produced from her expressions not merely of acquiescence but of gratitude, pronouncing him "the saviour of the family," &c. The manager's offer certainly appears to have been a very handsome one-£1000 a-year for seven years' acting, and from this period an annuity of £1000 for life. If Mathews had abided by this agreement, he would, in all probability, have been alive at this moment; it would have saved him from all those dismal journeys which undermined his health; and, above all, from the American adventure, which decidedly laid him in his grave.
ON THE PRESENT POSITION OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND.
THE Church of Scotland, as it at present exists, with its Presbyterian form of government, was first established in 1592. To this period therefore, of all others, the greatest importance is necessarily attached in a discussion like the present. But there seems to be in the minds of some men, a strange misapprehension both as to the mode and the time in which the Presbyterian Church of Scotland was first called into existence as a national establishment. The reverence which is entertained for the names and characters of Knox, and the other early reformers, has led many, unconsciously perhaps, or at least without due consideration, to look back on the age in which they lived as a period of prosperity, and as affording the purest and most perfect example of Presbyterian polity. But there can be no greater mistake than this. Popery, no doubt, was abolished so early as 1560; but this was pre-eminently the work, not of the Church but of the Legislature of Scotland. The Records of Parliament, in 1560, contain a summary of Protestant doctrine, addressed to the whole people of Scotland, under the following title:-" The Confessioun of Faith, profest and beleved be the Protestantes within the realme of Scotland, publisht be thaime in Parliament, and be the estaites thereof ratifeit and approvit as hailsome and sound doctrine, groundit upon the infallible trewth of God's word."* Not a syllable is said of "The Church," or of any church, apart from the Universall Church of Christ. † On the contrary, the Parliament, in their own name and authority alone, address themselves to "thair naturall countreymen, and to all utheris realmes and natiounes." The opening passage of their address is most remarkable :"Lang have we thristet, deir brethren, to have notifeit unto the warld the soume of that doctrine qlk we profest, and for the qlk we have sustenit infamy and dainger. Bot sick has bene the
rage of Sathan against us and against Christ Jesus, his eternal veritie laitlie borne amangst us, that to this day na tyme hes bene grantet unto us to clear oure consciences, as maist glaidlie we wold have done, ffor how we have bene tosset a haill zier past, the maist parte of Europe (as we supois) dois understand." This, be it observed, is not the ecclesiastical but the civil govern. ment, not the Church but the Parlia ment, that is addressing itself to the people of Scotland, and explaining the sum and substance of that Protestant faith and doctrine which they had seen fit to embrace.
Again, in 1567, we have a ratification of the acts and proceedings of the Parliament of 1560, and a republication, by civil authority alone, of "The Confessioun of the Faith and Doctrine believit and professit be the Protestantes of the realme of Scotland, exhibitit to the Estatis of the same in Parliament, and be thair public votis authorisit as a doctrine groundit upon the infallibill word of God."§ The same Parliament declares, that the "jurisdiction" of "the true Kirk, and immaculate Spous of Christ Jesus," (i. e. obviously of the Church universal,) "consistis and standis in preiching of the trew word of Jesus Christ, correctioun of manneris, and administratioun of haly Sacramentis." No doubt, the examination and admission of ministers was, at the same time, committed to the general body of the clergy, under a special reservation of the rights of the "just and auncient patrones." But the whole policy of the Parliament of 1567, leads to the conclusion, that this Act was passed rather by way of experiment, pending the discussion with the clergy, as to their rights and constitutional position, than as the final establishment of a national Church. Were it otherwise, however—even assuming that, by virtue of the Acts of 1567, there existed, de facto, an Es
*Thomson's Acts, vol. ii. p. 526. Ibid. p. 526. || Ibid. p. 24.
Ibid. p. 530. Ar.-" Of the Kirk." S Thomson's Acts, vol iii. p. 14. Ibid. p. 23.