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met the public eye, and gained no small share of applause. But we must beware of hallooing ere we are out of the wood.
with them on terms of intimacy. Here we are in our own quiet parlour, or by our own kitchen-hearth, book in hand, and what striking scenes are passing before our mind's eye! There is old Cromwell, severe, yea stormy in his mien, with his three hundred soldiers at his back, dismissing the Long Parliament, pointing to the mace lying on the table, and ordering an attendant to 'take away the bauble! There sits, in the porch of his humble cottage, the venerable Milton, musing on the evil days and evil tongues' whereon he had fallen, and rolling off line after line of his great epic! There is Newton under the apple-tree, seizing the law that keeps the sun in his sphere and the planets in their orbits! There is Galileo, his eye fixed on the swinging chandelier; meanwhilehappy moment for the world!-his spirit darts on his famous theory for measuring the flight of time! There is Johnson, the scowl of disdain on his brow, writing to my Lord Chesterfield, to assure him how little value he set on his patronage, when proffered after it was no longer
ford, and Tasso in his at Ferrara-mighty dreamers both! We see Tell informing Gessler why that other arrow was stuck in his belt; and Chatham all but expiring on the floor of the House of Commons; and Blake and Wellington bearing themselves proudly amidst the perils of flood and field! But we ask our readers' pardon. We are not writing a dissertation on biography, but are anxious that they should sympathize with us in the interest we feel about this department of our undertaking.
Of the Poetry that shall appear in our pages we have only to say, that, whether original or selected, it shall be sparingly given, and always in remembrance of the classic rule, that, in this art, there is no such thing as mediocrity.
Biographical sketches of celebrated persons will appear in our columns as often as a due regard to other topics will permit. This department of our work we shall strive to render alike pleasing and profitable. Talent, worth, well-earned fame, belong to no one country and to no one class of men. We shall choose, therefore, the subjects of these sketches without regard either to profession, rank, or nation. Illustrious statesmen, heroes, philosophers, poets, painters, physicians, christian ministers, &c., will supply themes varying in interest-all of them, however, replete with valuable in struction. With the principal facts in the lives of the individuals whose histories may be given, there will also, in most instances, be something like an analysis furnished of the more prominent features of their intellectual and moral character. To the biographical section of our labours, we look forward with a lively interest-an in-needed by him! There is Bunyan in his dungeon at Bedterest sharpened by the conviction that there is no kind of reading more extensively useful, or better adapted to persons of all grades of intellect. Dr Johnson somewhere observes, that there has perhaps rarely passed a life, of which a judicious and faithful narrative would not be useful;' and a still higher authority has a remark to this effect that the moral history of a beggar, fully and honestly given, might greatly enlarge and enlighten the views of a philosopher. Understood in a qualified sense, there is truth in Pope's line, which has almost become a proverb- The proper study of mankind is man.' Now, biography supplies us with materials for this study. It introduces us to the best and most illustrious of our race. It makes us the companions of the wise, the gifted, and the good. It shows us how they wrestled with difficulties and vanquished them, how they encountered temptations and were not scathed by them. It points out to us the path by which some men rose to a noble elevation, and that by which others sank into disgrace. It warns as well as encourages us. It allures to a course of virtue; it cautions us against the gilded snares of vice. It gives us strength, in a word, for our own battles with the evils of the present scene. And, irrespective of these advantages, as a means of gratifying a lawful curiosity about the illustrious portion of mankind, what shall we compare with it? or rather, what substitute shall we find for it? We all experience this curiosity; philosophers themselves are not exempted from it. Dr Adam Smith, the famous political economist, used to declare, that he felt thankful for the information that the author of Paradise Lost wore latchets in his shoes instead of buckles; and we have all heard a remark to the same effect about the wry neck of Catiline, the conspirator against the liberties of Rome. A mysterious interest, in fact, which we cannot bid away, attaches to everything about great men. We are eager to know all about them we can; we feel we have a right to get this information, regarding the lions of our race as a kind of common property. Biography, then, meets this desire. Through this medium we hear them converse, see them act, learn what their peculiar tastes were, what their daily habits; in what style they lived, and what kind of persons they chose for their companions. We may thus really know more about them than had we been their cotemporaries, and lived
Our Tales will be varied in character-such only being excluded as would impede the growth of our best affections. For this department, it may be right to add, we have secured the services of several of the best storytellers of the day. Besides original tales, others will occasionally be given, translated from the French, Italian, German, and Swedish languages.
When to the above we have added our notices of new and useful publications—intelligence respecting any fresh discoveries in science, or recent improvements in art— an essay now and then, about the virtues of social life, or those evils that disturb its peace-some useful hints to our fair friends, whose good graces we shall endeavour by all means to win—and an occasional chapter that shall prove especially interesting to those of both sexes who are yet in the spring-time of their days-our readers will have a tolerably accurate idea of the weekly meal we mean to present to them.
We have only to add, that all politics shall be kept in abeyance. There may surely be some quiet spots in the region of periodical literature which the storms of faction shall not disturb, and where men of common candour and charity may meet without the asperities of party feeling. As proof of our wish to adhere strictly to this pledge, it may be enough to mention the fact, that among those who feel interested in the prosperity of the INSTructor, and who have had a hand in its projection, there are individuals whose opinions on political questions widely differ. They are quite at one, however, as respects the object it is meant to promote-the increase of knowledge, virtue, and happiness.
T. B. MACAULAY.
THERE is a charm, we confess, about the writings of Thomas Babington Macaulay, which half-reconciles us to his opinions, even when these may happen to differ from our own. His pen has a kind of magic power over us; to use a modern phrase, it magnetizes us. We feel somewhat as Pitt may be supposed to have felt, when, after Sheridan's brilliant speech in a well-known case, he declared the House of Commons to be incapable of coming to a cool and fair decision, and proposed an adjournment. We shall endeavour to steer clear of this fascination, however, in presenting our readers with his literary portrait, taking care to give as correct and faithful a likeness of him as possible. What, then, are we to say about this chieftain of modern literature? His glories, are they not illustrated in Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, the Edinburgh Review, and the Lays of Ancient Rome? Do not men of all shades of politics agree in warm admiration of his literary powers: a sure sign that there is something good about him, and useful, and destined not to die. Still, we trust it wont be looked upon as presumption in us to do to him what he has done to others-serve him up as a dainty dish to the public. We may do this without giving offence to any one, since we mean to eschew entirely that part of him that belongs to politics and party. His enemies, or sneering friends, have, we are told, tried to fix upon him the title of Tom the Lucky.' There are some men on whom it is impossible to make a nickname stick; and he who, at half the fourscore years that are measured out to man, has risen to a front rank in the British legislature-to whom the public look, more than to any other man perhaps, to put the characters of history in their placesand who has sung the ballads of old Rome with such a trumpet power-we should incline to think, must be one of them.
Mr Macaulay is the son of Zacharias Macaulay, a rich African merchant, and a friend of Wilberforce, who, though his interests lay the other way, was an ardent and sincere advocate for the abolition of, slavery in our colonies. His son, the subject of the present sketch, studied, we believe, at Trinity College, Cambridge, and distinguished himself there, having gained some of the highest honours which the University can confer. He took his bachelor's degree in 1822, and obtained a fellowship at the October competition, open to graduates of Trinity. His stomach, it is understood, like the stomach of many a sensible nan, did not much lie to mathematics. At the Union Debating Society, he gave early indications of great power, realizing Wordsworth's well-known observation, the boy is father to the man.' Mr Macaulay also studied at Lincoln's Inn, and was called to the bar in 1826. In the same year his essay on Milton appeared in the Edinburgh Review; he has been a pillar of it, and one of its chief ornaments, ever since. We confess, that when a friend whispers to us, on the occasion of a fresh number being published, that it contains one of Tom Macaulay's racy and sparkling articles, we feel impatient till we get a hold of it. And we will give him this our feeble praise, that we have rarely sat down to peruse his contributions without finishing them at a sitting, and rising, as we believed, wiser and happier, and with a more sincere admiration of the writer's literary powers. There may be exceptions to this remark; we cannot, however, recall them at present, and we have no wish. His political career may be told in few words: By the Whig administration he was appointed one of the commissioners of bankrupts. He entered Parliament as member for Calne, in the Reform Parliament of 1832. He sat again for Leeds in 1834; at which time he was secretary to the India Board. His seat was, however, soon resigned; for, in the same year, he was appointed member of the Su
preme Council in Calcutta, under the East India Company's new charter. He returned to England in 1838. He is now one of the members for Edinburgh, having been thrice chosen to that honour.
These are nearly all the public facts of his life that we know. They are what may be called the husks of his history; and as inadequate to enable our readers to drink into the spirit of the man, as the running over our prospectus is to realize to them all the wells of literature and pleasant science that we shall open in our pages. Has he not told the story of Hastings and Hampden as few other men could? Has he not shadowed forth the spirit of Milton and Johnson with that effect which only a man of similar mental calibre may do? and, with the ease of sport, though not the amiableness, has he not shown himself a master of anatomy, when subjecting to the cool critical dissection of his scalpel the poet-laureates of Satan and the Georges?
The hobby which he loves to ride, and which he rides the best, appears to be the philosophy of history, literary and political; and in this character he has galloped over much of our country's annals, taking an occasional scamper over those of others. Nothing comes amiss to him, from Milton to Machiavelli, from the comic poets of Charles's reign to the civil disabilities of the Israelites. He must have an honest manly heart to have preserved the purity of his taste, and the impartiality of his likings, and the healthful vigour of his pen, in the midst of his versatile studies and varied pursuits. He can admire what a gifted but eccentric cotemporary in the world of letters would call a 'sincere man,' though, on questions of politics, he may widely differ from his own views. We like this aspect of his character, we confess; and those who have been in the habit of reading his contributions to the Edinburgh Review, will admit the justice of our remark.
In considering what might be described as the characteristics of Mr Macaulay, the first thought that strikes us is, that he is not so much marked for possessing one or two peculiar excellences, as for possessing a round number of them, and these well-balanced and admirably proportioned. The fire of the early Roman is in him; he is a master in logic; he has a memory for details that might delight an antiquary; a perception of the humourous, subtle and thorough-going; a power of language that would satisfy a scold: and, withal, his writings are pervaded and toned by a healthy moral power, which should render even his rivals and opponents willing to lend him a shoulder up to the pinnacles of literary glory. If some of them have special qualities as bright, few have them so well combined and in such extent.
He is too much of a party man to be placed in the first order of characters or minds; but few party men surely have, in their writings, manifested such ability to look at history and her actors so fairly, so unbiassedly, so critically-preserving all the time their moral warmth, and courage, and decision. One characteristic of his historical essays there is-arising, we suppose, from his wellbalanced taste, and judgment, and imagination, and knowledge-power; and which partly pleases and partly dissatisfies us-and that is, he is not an optimist in his views of men and things. He seldom brings any other standard in his hand for testing men, than some one which they themselves, or those around them, acknowledge-the moral code of history, or fashion, or Parliament; and seems less anxious about men having a good footing in another world, or even in an improved state of mundane society, than about having a fair and firm footing on the dark ball they are at present treading. An acre of Middlesex,' as he somewhere says, when speaking of the practical nature of Bacon's philosophy, 'is better than an estate in Utopia.' Not untrue, Mr Macaulay; and yet, without some genuine aspirations and efforts after what the majority of mankind seem to deem utopian, we are but poor pitiable creatures, and neither realize the nature of our being, nor the nobility of our origin, nor the grandeur of our destiny, nor (what is more to the pur
pose, you will perhaps think) the blessedness of our acres of Middlesex.' No; to the man who cannot get a castle on the ground, or who cannot get one that will keep out the weather, far be it from us to speak slightingly, if he should build a few in the air; and our hearty encouragements to him, if he shall try to raise one on some purer planet than our own. But the best sort of biography, or memoir, or notice of a man is to make him speak for himself (it is thus we may observe the power and spirit of the man), and not merely exhibit him with the impertinence of showmen.
The following sketch of a great poet, now in his grave, or rather of the elements which shaped his character and destiny, is in Mr Macaulay's happiest vein. We are not aware that the character of Byron has, by any writer, been more powerfully analyzed or more vividly drawn, than in the essay from which we quote, though many and able hands have tried it. The influence of Byron's poetry on modern society has been extensive-would we could add happy!—and there are few who do not feel an interest, strong and intense still, in this gifted son of song, though it is now more than a score of years since the grave closed over him. We give the following extract, though somewhat lengthy, as a specimen of Mr Macaulay's graphic power. Speaking of Byron, he says:
The pretty fable by which the Duchess of Orleans illustrated the character of her son the Regent, might, with little change, be applied to Byron. All the fairies, save one, had been bidden to his cradle. All the gossips had been profuse of their gifts; one had bestowed nobility, another genius, a third beauty. The malignant elf who had been uninvited came last; and, unable to reverse what her sisters had done for their favourite, had mixed up a curse with every blessing. In the rank of Lord Byron, in his understanding, in his character, in his very person, there was a strange union of opposite extremes. He was born to all that men covet and admire. But in every one of those eminent advantages which he possessed over others was mingled something of misery and debasement. He was sprung from a house, ancient indeed and noble, but degraded and impoverished by a series of crimes and follies, which had attained a scandalous publicity. The kinsman whom he succeeded had died poor, and, but for merciful judges, would have died upon the gallows. The young peer had great intellectual powers; yet there was an unsound part in his mind. He had naturally a generous and feeling heart; but his temper was wayward and irritable. He had a head which statuaries loved to copy; and a foot, the deformity of which the beggars in the streets mimicked. Distinguished at once by the strength and by the weakness of his intellect-affectionate yet perverse-a poor lord and a handsome cripple-he required, if ever man required, the firmest and the most judicious training. But, capriciously as nature had dealt with him, the parent to whom the office of forming his character was intrusted was more capricious still. She passed from paroxysms of rage to paroxysms of tenderness. At one time she stifled him with caresses; at another she insulted his deformity. He came into the world, and the world treated him as his mother had treated him-sometimes with fondness, sometimes with cruelty, never with justice; it indulged him without discrimination, and punished him without discrimination. He was truly a spoiled child-not merely the spoiled child of his parent, but the spoiled child of nature, the spoiled child of fortune, the spoiled child of fame, the spoiled child of society. His first poems were received with a contempt which, feeble as they were, they did not absolutely deserve. The poem which he published on his return from his travels, was, on the other hand, extolled far above its merit. At twenty-four he found himself on the highest pinnacle of literary fame, with Scott, Wordsworth, Southey, and a crowd of other distinguished writers beneath his feet. There is scarcely an instance in history of so sudden a rise to so dizzy an eminence.'
So much for the character of Byron. The correctness
with which Mr Macaulay describes the influence his personal habits and poetry produced on a certain class of persons tempts us to indulge in another extract. Well do we remember the sickly sentimentalism, the burning brows, the maddening brains, the sighings for an early grave, the bitter denunciations of mankind, the countless gloomy personages, in the style of the Giaour and the Corsair, with which the productions of a host of poetasters were stocked, both before and after their great model went to his account. We could scarcely tolerate many of those things in Byron himself; and, in his puny imitators, they were nauseating in the extreme. There was copying, even in the article of dress; so much so, that we cannot doubt that most of the poet's imitators in this point must have had repeated attacks of quinsey, as the result of their servile imitation. Would that the poetry and character of Byron had produced no more hurtful influence, however! But we shall let Mr Macaulay speak what we mean :
'Among that large class of young persons whose reading is almost entirely confined to works of imagination, the popularity of Lord Byron was unbounded. They bought pictures of him; they treasured up the smallest relics of him; they learned his poems by heart; and did their best to write like him, and to look like him. Many of them practised at the glass, in the hope of catching the curl of the upper lip, and the scowl of the brow, which appear in some of his portraits. A few discarded their neckcloths, in imitation of their great leader. For some years, the Minerva press sent forth no novel, without a mysterious, unhappy, Lara-like peer. The number of hopeful under-graduates and medical students who became things of dark imaginings, on whom the freshness of the heart ceased to fall like dew, whose passions had consumed themselves to dust, and to whom the relief of tears was denied, passes all calculation. This was not the worst. There was created in the minds of many of these enthusiasts a pernicious and absurd association between intellectual power and moral depravity. From the poetry of Lord Byron they drew a system of ethics, compounded of misanthropy and voluptuousness-a system in which the two great commandments were, to hate your neighbour, and to love your neighbour's wife. This affectation has passed away; and a few more years will destroy whatever yet remains of that magical potency which once belonged to the name of Byron. To us he is still a man, young, noble, and unhappy. To our children he will be merely a writer; and their impartial judgment will appoint his place among writers, without regard to his rank, or to his private history. That his poetry will undergo a severe sifting-that much of what has been admired by his cotemporaries will be rejected as worthless, we have little doubt. But we have as little doubt, that, after the closest scrutiny, there will still remain much that can only perish with the English language.'
Mr Macaulay's personal appearance is prepossessing. He is about the middle size, and well formed." His eyes are of a deep blue, and have a very intelligent expression; his complexion is dark; his face is rather inclined to the oval form; and his features are small and regular. He does not speak often in the House of Commons, but always to the purpose, and with effect-handling some great principle of the British constitution or of public expediency and justice. Hence, unlike those of many others, his speeches read well, and will stand a grave perusal long after the events that gave them birth have been well nigh forgotten. His utterance is natural, rapid, and tumultuous-indicative of the flood of sentiment, and passion, and information, that runs below. Long may he live to adorn the world of letters! and, in his capacity as a legislator, may he not fail to profit by those lessons-so familiar to his mind-which the past teaches! Byron, we think, said of George Canning, that he was a universal genius-an orator, a poet, a wit, and a statesman. The same may be said, with some slight modification, of Thomas Babington Macaulay!
'In prison and ye came unto me.'
THE name of John Howard will not quickly fade from the recollection of mankind. Men of all religious sects and of all political parties now honour it. And posterity, to use Milton's words in reference to his great epic, will not willingly let it die. To this man and his philanthropic achievements, indeed, we may apply with truth and justice the sacred maxim- The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.' And surely it is not too much to add, that the respect in which he and kindred spirits shall be held in time to come, and the terms in which they shall be spoken of, will form a tolerably accurate test of the progress our race have made in wisdom and virtue. The eulogy pronounced upon this famous philanthropist by an American divine, now in the dust, no one aware of what he did in the service of suffering humanity will think too fervid or too highly coloured. In search of a specimen of the true sublime in the region of morals, the pious Wayland found one we may believe quite to his taste in the character and merciful exploits of John Howard. The following is no every-day tribute; of how few could half as much be said without stooping to play the sycophant:-Surveying our world like a spirit of the blessed, he beheld the misery of the captive, he heard the groaning of the prisoner. His determination was fixed. He resolved, single-handed, to gauge and to measure one form of unpitied, unheeded wretchedness; and bringing it out to the sunshine of public observation, to work its utter extermination. And he well knew what this undertaking would cost him. He knew what he had to hazard from the infection of dungeons; to endure from the fatigues of inhospitable travel; and to brook from the insolence of legalized oppression: He knew that he was devoting himself upon the altar of philanthropy, and he willingly devoted himself. He had marked out his destiny, and he hastened forward to its accomplishment with an intensity which the nature of the human mind forbade to be more, and the character of the individual forbade to be less.' Thus he commenced a new era in the history of benevolence. And hence the name of Howard will be associated with all that is sublime in mercy, till the final consummation of all things.'
John Howard was an Englishman by birth. And well may England be proud to claim as one of her sons a man whom the world delights to honour! He was born at Lower Clapton, in the parish of Hackney, in the year 1727. Here his father lived in retirement, freed from the din and bustle of the great metropolis, having, as a London merchant, earned a comfortable independence. When taken from school, at which his education was rather neglected, he was apprenticed to a Mr Newham, a wholesale grocer in the city of London. In this situation he continued for some time, but finding it by no means congenial to his tastes and feelings, on the death of his father, when ample means were left at his command, he bargained with his master and got his engagement dissolved. A story is told of him about this period of his life pleasingly characteristic. When coming from the metropolis to Clapton, he very often reached his destination about the time the baker's cart was passing his gate. On such occasions he would purchase a loaf, throw it over the garden wall, and afterwards tell his gardener to look among the cabbages, and he would find something for his family.
He was now on the verge of manhood, and, actuated by that enterprising and inquiring spirit which, when guided by love to his species, led afterwards to such important results, he visited several countries of the Continent. On his return to England his health threatened to give way, and this circumstance, in connexion with his studious habits and his fondness for rural scenery, made him prefer a country to a city life. It is a singular incident
in his history, and one which strikingly exhibits the generosity of his disposition, whatever it may say for his prudence, that he married the woman who waited on him during his illness, though she was twice his own age, and of a very weakly constitution. There is some proverb to the effect that a boy's first love is generally made to a woman as old again as himself. Whether Howard's first wife was also his first love we have no means of ascertaining; such, at all events, was the disparity of years betwixt his partner and himself, a disparity not the most favourable to connubial blessedness. The whole of the property which his wife had when he married her, he, with his wonted disinterestedness, settled upon her sister, so that whatever may be thought of the prudence of such a union, he did not, on entering into it, sacrifice his feelings and taste, as many do, for the gratification of their avarice. They passed three years together in unbroken harmony, when, in 1756, Mrs Howard died, and he once more repaired to the Continent. The chief object he had in view when he left England was to see the ruins of Lisbon, which had recently been desolated by a tremendous earthquake. In this, however, he was frustrated, the vessel in which he sailed having been captured, so that his second visit to France was in the capacity of a war-prisoner. This incident, regarded no doubt as a serious inconvenience by Howard at the time it happened, may be said to have contained the germ of his future greatness. It was the key-note of his subsequent history. For to the privations he then personally endured, and witnessed in the case of others, we are at liberty to ascribe the peculiar form, or rather the precise direction, which his benevolence took. Our own sufferings teach us to sympathize with those of others. And hence it is that, as a general rule, we reckon on receiving most compassion and promptest aid from those who have been exposed to dangers or have met with hardships similar to those we ourselves have been called to encounter. The toil-worn mechanic, whom commercial distress has reduced to the pitiable condition thus described by our national poet :
'See yonder poor o'er-laboured wight,
this man will apply with far stronger hope of receiving
A few years after the death of his first wife, Howard married a second. The object of his second choice was the eldest daughter of a Sergeant Leeds of Croxton, Cambridgeshire. This was every way a suitable alliance. He resided at this period on his estate at Cardington, in the vicinity of Bedford. The second Mrs Howard was in all respects worthy of such a husband. She felt it her joy to co-operate with him in his benevolent labours; though independent in circumstances, she was an industrious and frugal housewife; and we need not say that her excel
lence was fully appreciated by him whom she felt it both her duty and delight to please. They had not been long married when the delicate state of her health induced Mr Howard to purchase a house and small estate in the New Forest, Hampshire, where the climate was more salubrious than at Cardington, and where he fondly hoped the health of his amiable partner would quickly be restored. Disappointed in this, they returned to Cardington, intending it should henceforth be their fixed place of abode. Acting upon the wise maxim, charity begins at home,' Mr Howard set on foot a number of benevolent projects for the good of his poor neighbours, and especially his own tenants. His charity was not only large but well directed. He built a number of neat cottages on his estate, with a patch of garden to each. He established schools, in which the youth of both sexes were educated gratuitously. He gave with a liberal hand to the sick and destitute around him, while various public charities found in him a zealous and efficient supporter. His own domestic establishment, it need scarcely be added, was a model for regularity, decorum, and all the virtues that adorn a household. His solitary hours were devoted to study; and to the Royal Society, of which he was a member, he sent several valuable papers on scientific subjects. The picture we are sketching is one on which the mind loves to linger. We are tempted by its beauty to ask whether Howard, pacing over Europe in quest of wretchedness-penetrating the recesses of its dungeons, and there conversing with the roughest outcasts of humanity, presents a more fascinating object of contemplation than Howard, as we now behold him, at the head of his patriarchal establishment at Cardington, diffusing peace and comfort on all within the sphere of his influence, and finding his greatest happiness in communing with his God, and doing good to his fellow-men? What a pattern he was now setting before the rich! How valuable the lesson he was teaching mankind! How fair a comment the life he now led on the Christianity he believed! Thus some few years rolled happily and usefully away, and we almost repine at the event which crushed for a season his spirit, though it did not interrupt his labours of love. We refer to the death of his partner, which happened about three years after their union. She died after giving birth to a son, Howard's only child, and, as the event proved, a source of deep grief to him in his declining years. He had scarcely tasted the new delight of being a father, when his beloved Henrietta was snatched from him. So swift trod sorrow on the heels of joy! Grief trains the spirit for great things. The best and noblest of our race have been reared in her school. John Howard was now sent to it, and learned there lessons, we may believe, of high moment to him in after-life. But we must proceed with his history.
Several years after the death of his wife, he was appointed high-sheriff of the county of Bedford. Conscientious in the discharge of all his duties, ardent in his disposition, and active in his habits, it could not be that such a post would be regarded by him as a mere sinecure. Howard could not have been a sinecurist. His constitution as well as his principles forbade. He could have felt no joy in a life of inglorious ease; nor was any luxury sweeter to him than the luxury,' as the poet calls it, 'of doing good. Aware that there was much requiring reform in the management of the jails and houses of correction throughout England, and resolved to obtain accurate knowledge on the subject, he visited every one of them in person. The result of his observations he communicated to the House of Commons, for which he received a unanimous vote of thanks. It was mainly owing to the testimony furnished by him on this occasion that two bills were passed by that house at the time, one of them making provision for more attention being paid to the health of those who were imprisoned. Now fairly entered on a career, in pursuing which he felt he might be the humble instrument of benefiting a portion of his fellow-creatures hitherto too much shut out from sympathy and care, he extended his observations to Scotland, Ire
land, and various countries on the Continent. The mass of valuable information he collected was immense, and, with his characteristic self-denial, he gave it to the public in works, the getting up of which involved an outlay for which he could never dream he would be refunded. And here it may be noticed, that all these, whether his earlier or later ones, were characterized by that coolness and candour of tone, that perfect command of temper, which, coupled with the writer's unblemished fame and unsuspected purity of motive, gained for the statements they contained the respectful attention of all parties in the state. His various proposals to men in power met with that reception to which they were so well entitled; and very soon after his return from his continental tour, to which we have just alluded, he was gratified by Parliament passing an act for the establishment of houses of correction, in complete harmony with his own ideas. This token of approval from so high a quarter he felt increased his obligation to pursue with vigour the path on which he had entered. Visit after visit was made to the Continent; survey upon survey was taken of the prisons in Scotland, Ireland, England, and Wales; appendix succeeded appendix, presenting to the public the details of his inquiries, all involving an amount of toil and travel, pecuniary sacrifice, and personal privation, which it would be difficult to estimate. In the course of these tours his benevolence found a new field on which to expatiate, viz., the state of hospitals. Their inspection involved his exposure to the most infectious and appalling diseases, yet nothing could damp the ardour of his heroic zeal. He was a hero indeed, in the highest sense, and the task he now undertook-the visitation of hospitals, with the especial purpose of devising means by which the progress of contagious disease among their inmates might be stayed, demanded a style of courage far higher than that of the man who 'seeks the bubble reputation even at the cannon's mouth.' He felt satisfied that an examination of the principal lazarettos of Europe might throw considerable light upon the subject, and suggest some valuable hints for preventing the spread of disease, and especially that awful malady the plague. In the latest edition of his work upon prisons, he suggested the propriety of such an examination; but the hint not having been taken up by any one, he resolved to act it out himself. He set out on this fresh expedition towards the close of 1785, unaccompanied even by a servant, feeling that he had no right to expose to the perils he was about to encounter any life save his own. He took his way by the south of France, through Italy, to Malta, Zante, Smyrna, and Constantinople. His inquiries into the state of disease in the prisons and hospitals of these and other cities, exposed him to perils, privation, and insulting treatment from parties in authority, that must have severely tried his benevolent and meek spirit. The following extracts from letters to friends in England may give some idea of the scenes he witnessed and the dangers he faced :
I am sorry to say some die of the plague about us; one is just carried before my window. Yet I visit where none of my conductors will accompany me. In some hospitals as in lazarettos, and yesterday among the sick slaves. I have a constant headach; but, in about an hour after, it always leaves me. Sir Robert Ainslie is very kind; but, for the above and other reasons, I could not lodge in his house. I am at a physician's, and keep some of my visits a secret.'
At Smyrna the foreigners' houses are shut up; every thing they receive is funiigated, and their provisions pass through water; but in Constantinople, where many of the natives drop down dead, the houses of foreigners are still kept open. I conversed with an Italian merchant on Thursday, and had observed to a gentleman how sprightly he was; he replied, he had a fine trade, and was in the prime of life; but, alas! on Saturday he died and was buried, having every sign of the plague.'
I came hither [to Salonica] on Saturday in a Greek boat full of passengers, one of whom being taken ill he was brought to me, as I always pass for a physician. I