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anarchy; and the world-history of the last sixty years, whilst it conveys a terrible warning against the neglect of a despised population, shows us that, in order to be permanent, all social ameliorations must be carefully and cautiously introduced.
But we feel that we owe an apology to Mrs Stowe for this digression. It was no fault of hers that she had to run the gauntlet through so many soirées, or to appear perpetually in the disagreeable character of a lionne. The whole programme was arranged before she set foot in this country; and she had nothing else for it than to go through her allotted part with patience and equanimity. We must admit that she was sorely tried during her sojourn in the north. She seems to have been under the custody of a special dissenting body-guard, with about as little liberty of action as the unfortunate Lady Grange. No wonder that Scotland appeared to her a very different country from the land of her imagination. Not one of those by whom she was surrounded possessed a spark of romantic enthusiasm, or cared about the associations which have shed the light of poetry over the land. "One thing," says Mrs Stowe, "has surprised, and rather disappointed us. Our enthusiasm for Walter Scott does not apparently meet a response in the popular breast." Very little indeed does the lady know of the beating of the national heart of Scotland, or the veneration in which the memory of our greatest poet is held by his countrymen. But it is not at soirées, or meetings such as she witnessed or attended, that the national feeling finds a voice; nor have the writings of Sir Walter Scott been ever favourably regarded by the rigid sectarians among whom she moved. His thoughts were not as their thoughts are, nor would it be possible that any sympathy should exist between minds so differently constituted. We cannot expect Mr Sturge to take much delight in the "Lay of the Last Minstrel," or a sleek member of the Peace Society to feel his spirit moved by the chaunt of the "Field of Flodden." What has amused us most in the perusal of this book is, the evident influence which the dislike of her friends to the martial strains of Scott
produced at length upon herself. She seems to have entered Scotland in a sort of fever of enthusiasm, as is testified by the perpetual quotations from Sir Walter's poetry- rather common, by the way, for they are to be found in all the guide-books-in which she indulges. By-and-by she begins to find that her raptures are coldly listened to by the society in which she moves; and ultimately she seems to have adopted the view that in some respects her friends were right. The following is a very pretty morceau of criticism: "The most objectionable thing, perhaps, about his influence is its sympathy with the war spirit. A person Christianly educated can hardly read some of his descriptions in the Lady of the Lake and Marmion without an emotion of disgust, like what is excited by the same things in Homer: and as the world comes more and more under the influence of Christ, it will recede more and more from this kind of literature." We marvel that Mrs Stowe, who is a clever woman, does not perceive that the people of a country in which the spirit which she pleases to reprehend becomes extinct, must necessarily be in time succeeded by a race of unresisting slaves. The remark, too, comes with a peculiarly bad grace from a lady who is not only proud of the independence of her country, but affects intense enthusiasm for the struggles of the Puritans and Covenanters in Great Britain. However, we suppose she thought it polite to the members of the Peace Society, among whom she was moving, to give this little jog to their principles; and it may be that, after all, her intimacy with the writings of Scott is considerably less than one would conclude from the quantity of quotation. Certainly we were surprised to find it stated by a lady of so much literary pretension and apparent acquaintance with the personal history of Sir Walter, that Abbotsford "is at present the property of Scott's only surviving daughter;" and we must also confess that some of her quotations unsettle our ancient ideas as to the limits of the Border. For example, she says with reference to a visit paid at the Earl of Carlisle's-"I was also interested in
a portrait of an ancestor of the family, the identical "Belted Will" who figures in Scott's "Lay."
"Belted Will Howard shall come with speed,
And William of Deloraine, good at need.""
Possibly Lord Carlisle was not previously aware that his ancestor was a Scotsman, and a retainer of the house of Buccleuch. With equal propriety might Omer Pasha be described as a hetman of the Cossacks, rushing to the rescue of Gortschakoff.
On the whole, we are inclined to think that the American public will not derive much enlightenment on the subject of Scotland and the Scots from the revelations of Mrs Stowe. We can assure them that the general aspect, tone, and sentiments of society here do not at all correspond with what is represented in her pages. It is not the fact that the greater part of our time is occupied by delivering or listening to wish-washy platform speeches, or even to such as have "the promising fault of too much elaboration or ornament," on the subjects of tee-totalism, olive-leavery, or any of the other mild absurdities of the day. It is not the fact that we have lost all grateful memory for the warlike deeds of our ancestors, or for the poets who have worthily recorded them. And, above all, it is not the fact that Mrs Stowe had a fair opportunity of forming a judgment, on almost any point, of the views entertained by the bulk of the more educated classes of society. We do not say this at all in disparagement of the parties among whom she moved, and by whom she was so hospitably entertained. We have every respect for their worth, position, and acquirements; and we are well aware that among the ministers of various denominations to whom she was introduced, and of whom she speaks affectionately, there are many whose talent, learning, and devotion have made their names known beyond the waters of the Atlantic. It must have been peculiarly gratifying to her to receive the congratulations of the late venerable Dr Wardlaw of Glasgow, of Dr John Brown of Edinburgh, whom she rightly calls "one of the best exegetical scholars in Europe,"
and other lights of the United Presbyterian and Congregationalist Churches. In Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen she received much civic kindness and attention; but we are at a loss, after reading her book, to discover much trace of her intercourse with general society beyond a very limited coterie. True, she refers to some persons "from ancient families, distinguished in Scottish history both for rank and piety," and especially to a "Lady Carstairs," of whose corporeal existence we can find no trace in any Book of Dignity within our reach. All that, however, is of little moment; and we never should have thought of alluding to such circumstances, were it not that, so very much having been said in America on the subject of Mrs Stowe's reception in Scotland, her account of what she saw may naturally be received as an accurate picture of the country. We have no doubt whatever of her general accuracy in describing what she saw. We are very proud to think that she was received with much enthusiasm and cordiality; and nothing could be more genuine than the expression of feeling on the part of the working-classes. Her book undoubtedly struck most deeply in the popular mind; producing a sensation which we have never seen equalled, inasmuch as it extended through every grade of society. And we can very well understand the intensity of the feeling which must have thrilled Mrs Stowe, when she found that even in sequestered villages in Scotland her work had been moistened with tears, and that the people, on the announcement of her approach, thronged to welcome the woman who had exercised so mighty a spell over their intellect and their passions. There was, really, no delusion in the matter, in so far as admiration of her talent and respect for her intrepidity were concerned; but we may, at the same time, be allowed to regret that she was made part of a premeditated pageant. The utter want of delicacy which marked the whole arrangements was most extraordinary. are sure that Mrs Stowe must have been surprised, if not disgusted, at finding herself announced as ready to receive deputations and addresses at certain stated hours, and at the invi
tation of crowds to attend in order to cheer her at railway stations. There is something elevating in spontaneous enthusiasm, even when it is carried beyond the limits of strict propriety; but demonstrations such as those to which we have alluded, are not only unfair to the party paraded, but border closely on the ludicrous. quackery of the kind was required to insure Mrs Stowe a cordial reception in Scotland; and we fear that in some respects it operated rather to her disadvantage than otherwise.
We confess to have been greatly disappointed in the perusal of her northern tour. We had expected to derive some amusement, if not edification, from the remarks of a lady whose previous publications had manifested considerable power in the depiction of character, not unmixed with occasional glimpses of humour; the more especially as there is much in the northern idiosyncrasy which must appear peculiar in the eyes of a stranger. Nothing of the sort, however, is to be found in the pages of Mrs Stowe. Read her work, omitting the familiar names of places, and one would be utterly at a loss to suppose that she is describing Scotland and its inhabitants either outwardly or inwardly. Saunders, as she depicts him, is a sort of sentimental Treddles, minding every body's business more than his own, intoning peace speeches on a platform with a strong nasal twang, and refreshing himself, after his labours, with oceans of the weakest and the worst of tea. It is ten thousand pities that Mrs Stowe should not have witnessed either a Lowland kirn or a regular Highland meeting. Possibly the sounds either of fiddle or of bagpipe might have grated harshly on her ear; and the "twasome" reel or that of Houlakin been regarded as forbidden vanities; still she would have been infinitely the better of some more diversified experience, which might at least have caused her to avoid the error of depicting us as a nation of Mucklewraths, Hammeryaws, and Kettledrummles. As for her outward sketches, we must say that we greatly prefer the ordinary guide-books. They have at least the merit of being concise, and do not usually confound localities and historical events, as Mrs
VOL. LXXVI.-NO. CCCCLXVII.
Stowe certainly does when she indicates Glammis Castle as the scene of the tragedy in Macbeth.
Moving southwards, Mrs Stowe seems to have been surrendered, in the Midland Counties, almost entirely into the hands of the Quakers. They appear to have acted towards her with considerable indulgence; for her host, albeit one of the most eminent of his sect, consented to join a party to Stratford-on-Avon. Mrs Stowe's Shakespearian remarks do not appear to us either so novel or profound as to justify any lengthy extract—indeed, they are chiefly confined to speculations as to what Shakespeare might have done or said had he been born under different circumstances and in a different age. Disquisitions of this sort appear to us very nearly as sensible and profitable as the question, once gravely argued in the German schools, whether Adam, if born in the fifteenth century, would instinctively have betaken himself to the occupation of a gardener. Mrs Stowe, upon the whole, inclines to the opinion that Shakespeare would have ranked with the Tories. She says "That he did have thoughts whose roots ran far beyond the depth of the age in which he lived, is plain enough from numberless indications in his plays; but whether he would have taken any practical interest in the world's movements, is a fair question. The poetic mind is not always the progressive one; it has, like moss and ivy, a need for something old to cling to and germinate upon. The artistic temperament, too, is soft and sensitive; so there are all these reasons for thinking that perhaps he would have been for keeping out of the way of the heat and dust of modern progress." Certainly, understanding progress in the sense which Mrs Stowe attaches to it, we cordially agree with her that Shakespeare would have kept out of its way; but it does seem to us a most monstrous assumption that he would have taken no practical interest in the world's movements. Of all the poets that ever lived, Shakespeare was decidedly the most practical and comprehensive in his views. So far from being addicted to clinging to old things, from mere want of moral stamina, he has created a new world of his own; and no man X
ever possessed so keen a power of analysis of human character, and perception of the springs of action. But possibly we do her wrong. The word "practical" nowadays has divers significations; and if Mrs Stowe simply means to express her belief that Shakespeare, had he existed in our time, would neither have been a habitual spouter upon platforms, a vegetarian, a tee-totaller, a member of the Peace Congress, nor a unit of the Manchester phalanx, we beg leave to record our entire acquiescence in her estimate. Also we think that, as an eminent vice-president of the Fogie Club lately phrased it, she has hit the nail on the point, when she adds "One thing is quite certain, that he would have said very shrewd things about all the matters that move the world now, as he certainly did about all matters that he was cognisant of in his own day." We have not the least doubt of it.
The Stratford pilgrimage, however, seems to have given little gratification to any of the party except Mrs Stowe, who considered it in the light of a duty. Her brother, the Rev. C. Beecher, who was of the party, doing a little independent platform business whenever he could with propriety, and whose journal materially swells the bulk of the second volume, seems to be quite the sort of man whom Prynne would have delighted to have honoured. Relic-hunting after professors of the lewd art of play-making, was by no means to his taste; and accordingly we find the following commentary delivered over the tea and crumpets on the questionable amusements of the day :-"As we sat, in the drizzly evening, over our comfortable tea-table, C ventured to intimate pretty decidedly that he considered the whole thing a bore; whereat I thought I saw a sly twinkle round the eyes and mouth of our most Christian and patient friend, Joseph Sturge. Mr S. laughingly told him that he thought it the greatest exercise of Christian tolerance, that he should have trailed round in the mud with us all day in our sight-seeing, bearing with our unreasonable raptures. He smiled, and said quietly 'I must confess that I was a little pleased that our friend Harriet was so
zealous to see Shakespeare's house, when it wasn't his house, and so earnest to get sprigs from his mulberry, when it wasn't his mulberry.' We were quite ready to allow the foolishness of the thing, and join the laugh at our own expense."
Warwick Castle, where Mrs Stowe grows critical upon art, after a very peculiar fashion-and Kenilworth, at which she indulges in the somewhat singular remark that "it was a beautiful conception, this making of birds"!
need not detain us. The pleasure trip was succeeded by a penance, in the shape of a lecture "against the temptations of too much flattery and applause, and against the worldliness which might beset me in London," delivered by a celebrated female preacher, belonging to the Society of Quakers, of the name of Sibyl Jones, who had "a concern upon her mind for me." That Sibyl possessed somewhat of the prophetic spirit, appears plain from the commentary of Mrs Stowe, who was sensibly touched by the hints which she received, and very likely began to feel that she had been somewhat over-elevated by the inflation of the northern Puffendorffs. In all seriousness, we believe that the lesson was both well meant and well timed; but the commentary appended is but one of the many proofs contained in these volumes, that Mrs Stowe is something more than a passive spectator of the Transatlantic movement for establishing what are called the "Rights of Woman"-in more vulgar language, the superiority of the grey mare, and the supremacy of the petticoat over the breeches. Now, as to the supremacy of women, we never had any doubt about itfew men, who have been married for a year, can be sceptical upon that point
and the utmost that men can demand from their wives as to the respective ranking of the garments, is, in the ancient and significant language of the Highlanders, to be allowed "to cast their clothes together." Moreover, to the wife is invariably committed that highest symbol of authority known as "the power of the keys;" so that she has it in her power at all times to coerce her husband by the simplest and the readiest. means. In fact, she has him at a
dead lock, and possesses the entire command of the press. Young Hampden may talk as much as he pleases, at his Club, about the liberty of the press, and its being as essential as the air he breathes; but, when he returns home, about one in the morning, he is very fain to take his candle, and move up-stairs as quietly as possible, without attempting to enfranchise any incarcerated spirits. We do not hesitate to declare ourselves in favour of the supremacy of the wife in her own household, believing that it is, in almost every case, an unavoidable consummation, and, upon the whole, the very best arrangement that human ingenuity could devise. But the American notion goes far beyond this. The advocates of the "Rights of Woman" admit of no such paltry compromise as the surrender of domestic authority. What you as a man can do, of that your wife is equally capable, and may lawfully exert herself accordingly. Are you a barrister-why should not your wife, who has studied as a juris-consult, and been admitted to the honours of the forensic gown more legitimately than Portia, take a fee from the opposite party, and, by an influence only known to herself, cause you to quail before you have proceeded half-way in the exposition of the cause of your client? Or are you a doctor -Harriet Hunt, M.D., forgive us for this supposition; for your image, albeit we never saw you and never may, often haunts us in our dreams, and from your imaginary hand have we received multitudes of indescribable but seemingly celestial pills-how would you like your wife to be called in as an adviser on the homœopathic principle, after you had staked your existence on the superiority of the drastic method, and see her recover a patient in less than a week, whereas you had calculated upon a month's legitimate fees under the ordinary curatory process? Or let us suppose that one of the fairest dreams of the strong-minded women of our generation should be realised, and that all political disabilities were removed from the fair sex, so that they might be admitted to sit and vote in Parliament. We scorn to take up the objection which might occur to a com
mon mind of the impossibility of the Speaker maintaining order—we shall suppose a far worse case; and that is the possible disagreement between man and wife in political principle and conduct. How could you possibly endure the spectacle of your spouse accompanying the smiling Mr Gladstone to a division in one lobby, whilst your stern sense of duty compelled you to retire into another? How could you possibly remain at bed and board with a woman who was in the habit of attending those meetings at Chesham Place, which Lord John Russell is so fond of calling whenever he requires a friendly castigation, as Henry II. bared his brawny shoulders to the monks? And how, as a gentleman and a man of honour, could you reconcile it with your conscience to lay your head on the same pillow with a woman who can support the Coalition Ministry, and even go the length of declaring that she has confidence in the Earl of Aberdeen? Or we shall come to preaching, which is perhaps the more germain to the matter. The Rev. Asahel Groanings, of some undefined shadow of dissent, marries Miss Naomi Starcher of corresponding principles, with a fortune of some few hundred pounds, which are speedily sunk, beyond hope of extrication, in the erection of an Ebenezer. Both are licensed to the ministry, Asahel officiating in the morning and his helpmate in the afternoon. But somehow or other, Asabel is not popular with his congregation. His style of oratory reminds one unpleasantly of the exercitations of a seasick passenger in a steamboat, and his visage is ghastly to look upon, being distorted as if he laboured under a permanent attack of colic. Whereas, the voice of Naomi is soft as that of a dove cooing in a thicket of pomegranates, her countenance is fair and comely, and the thoughts of the elders, as they gaze upon her, revert to the apocryphal history of Susannah. The result is, that Asahel utters his ululations to empty benches, whilst Naomi attracts hundreds of the rising youth of dissenting Christendom. How can their union possibly be a happy one; or how can they continue to fructify in the same theatre of usefulness?