Изображения страниц

up springs the falcon, his bells jingling, and the real sport of the day is begun. If this is not better than going out blazing away with a gun at once noisome and noisy (instead of musical), I have no taste. It is a poor excuse to say that you kill more game with one gun than you could with a whole stand of falcons, and in half the time. There speaks the greedy stomach. Give me the poetry, and you may take the victuals. But it is useless complaining. The argument from cruelty is a good one, and not even for the pleasure of missing Mr. Cole's shop (which so annoys Mr. Matthew Arnold) at the corner, and the pleasure of feeling that I might go out hawking to-morrow, would I wish the king's mews back to Charing-cross."

for themselves at kiss-in-the-ring or leap-frog. It is scarcely possible to doubt that there was more of this spontaneous pleasure-making in the England of the Edwards than there is now. But of course the change in this particular is part of a larger change which lies, we hope, in the path to a greater good. The lightsomeness, of which I speak as a main characteristic of Chaucer's writings, is long ago gone from our literature, and the other forms of our art do not help us as they ought. When our religion and our art have overtaken the problems set them by the changing conditions of our history, we shall have no reason, even if we now had any reason, to regret Merry England."

We have incidentally mentioned the literary criticism which occurs in this work.

Graver, but not less beautiful and sympathetic, is the following passage upon "Mer-The running commentary on Chaucer, which ry" England: is the backbone of the book, gives occasion "There are, after all, two or three particu- for an analysis of the "Canterbury Tales" lars, if no more, in which we may find a sug-in particular, which we cannot describe othgestion that the England of to-day really and erwise than as masterly. Matthew Browne's truly is less merry than the England of the criticism, as he has shown in previous works, middle ages. One obvious consideration is, that is at all times fresh, unconventional, and, in the population in general have not the same an eminent degree, suggestive; but in the simple religious faith that they had then. It is present case the largeness of the topic seems easier for a man with a superstition to be merry, to have called forth a corresponding largethan one with a half-faith. There is thus a ness of sympathy and of effort, which tosense in which a poor Italian peasant may be gether have produced a most valuable commerrier than a well-to-do Englishman. He can devolve his sins on his confessor, his troubles on mentary upon Chaucer's writings. It is his patron saint, and so lay down his cares. impossible to give any idea by means of Undoubtedly merriment of this order does not extracts-which would themselves most accompany a general sense of responsibility, such likely contain copious illustrative extracts as it is our aim to cultivate in England now; from Chaucer of this comprehensive study though, in the time of Chaucer, responsibility of our first great English poet; but the folwas not for churls any more than falconry was. lowing glimpse may be taken of the style of Another obvious point is, that the squalid con- treatment. The author is replying to the trasts of great towns are not favourable to mer- charge sometimes brought against Chaucer riment; though they are to drunkenness. And of his having constructed the "Canterbury yet another point is, that England is not now a Tales" in imitation of the "Decameron: "conquering country. War brings mourning, but it brings elation also. The meanest man in "Boccaccio makes a number of ladies and the population partakes of the sense of power gentlemen run away from the plague to a which a victory brings to a country. Once country house, and there among arbours, founmore, we must take into account, perhaps, the tains, birds, and other such pretty things, tell gradual civification of the surface of the land, tales to each other, in order that they may forand the removal of the country to a distance get the misery which the very sunshine they are from the eyes of so large a number of the people. enjoying at peace lights up not far off. The The return of the spring, the sight of the near whole conception is evidently medieval-Italian meadows, painted with delight,' as Shakespeare - cowardly, romantic, and thin. The treatsays, the sights and sounds of harvest-home, ment is artificial and bald, so far as the framewere all occasions of common joy to the people work or fable' is concerned. What can be in a thousand places where they now miss any poorer or more theatrical than all this twaddle such excitements, sweet and wholesome as they about the birds, the trees, and the sunshine? were. It may be said, even now, that when the It needs not to say that many of the stories have fine days begin, the town pours out its whole- exceeding merit; and some of them, to which some merriment into the green suburbs, whoever Chaucer's tales run parallel, are told with a stays within the stony bounds for amusement. grace, and above all, with a snaky Italian The sweethearts, and the boys and girls-all finesse, which, of course, we do not find in whose hearts overflow with natural gladness-Chaucer. But it is in the framework of his go off into the fields to romp and be gay. If Canterbury Tales' that Chaucer is by universal they want any pleasure made for them, it is of consent at his best. In the first place, an Enga very simple character- —a merry go-round is lish poet of the fourteenth century did not neel enough; but better is the pleasure they make to travel far for so very obvious and natural an



idea as that of making wayfarers amuse each | Charles Jones, of the 15th Hussars, was other by the telling of stories. In the second descended from an old Norman family, setplace, Chaucer's fable' is thoroughly English, tled in the Welsh Marches, and was equerry and widely different from that of the Decam- to the late Duke of Cumberland, who be eron.' Its Englishness we recognize at a glance came King of Hanover under the title of -the inn, the company, the good fellowship, Ernest I. The King was Mr. Jones's godthe common purpose (so different from mere father. Major Jones bought an estate in running away or retirement), the straightfor- Holstein, and remained there with his famward look of the pilgrims in the poet's picture ily till 1838. His son Ernest composed a - all this is, I repeat, thoroughly English, and as peculiar to Chaucer as anything English can number of poems when very young, which were afterwards published by Nesler, of be. Hamburg. At 11 years of age he disapConsidering the immense multitude of peared from home, and was found with a facts contained in such a work as the pres-bundle under his arm trudging across Lauent, we have remarked singularly few errors, enberg to help the Poles," who were then and these are of slight consequence. In in insurrection. Later he achieved some one place the author quotes Hallam to show distinction at the College of St. Michael that in the early part of the reign of Queen Luneberg. In 1838 Major Jones removed Elizabeth chimneys were unknown in this to England with his family, and in 1841 country; and that some time later, in cer- young Ernest was presented to the Queen tain parts, "the fire was in the midst of the by the late Duke of Beaufort. He married house, or against a hob of clay, while the Miss Atherly, of Barfield, Cumberland, oxen lived under the same roof." But to whose father and uncle were the heads of find, as the normal condition of cottage-life, old Conservative families, but Mr. Jones a fire in the middle of the earthern floor, clung to his Radical prepossessions. with a hole in the roof to let the smoke out, this year appeared the first of his larger the family bed on one side, and the cattle works, a romance entitled "The Wood ranged upon the other, with no partition Spirit," published anonymously by Boone between, Mr. Browne has only, in these of New Bond-street. Some songs and present times, to visit the western isles of poems followed, and in Easter term, 1844, Scotland. Elsewhere he remarks on the Mr. Jones was called to the Bar at the probable emotions of a modern artist in Middle Temple. cookery if asked to prepare for dinner, among other things, a peacock. A visit to Leadenhall Market, at certain seasons of the year, would show our author that the taste for peacock is not quite obsolete; and a practical trial of the bird would further convince him that our ancestors, in eating peacock, showed a sound gastronomic judgment. On the question of porpoise we are not in a position to say anything; while tansy-pudding is offensive in its very name. These, however, are but trifling slips in a work which deals with a profoundly interesting subject, in a manner which is characterized by extreme freshness and intellectual



He now commenced what promised to be a successful professional career on the Northern Circuit, but, in an evil hour for his position and prospects as a barrister, he joined the Chartists, and rapidly became their leader. This was in 1845, when Sir Robert Peel's government was in power. Long before this, however, the Chartists had contrived to attract to their proceedings a considerable share of the public attention. The body was called into existence soon after the passing of the Reform Act of 1832, and they demanded what they termed the six points of the People's Charter, viz:Universal suffrage, vote by ballot, annual parliaments, payment of the members, the abolition of the property qualification, and equal electoral districts. To this day the only point which has been conceded is the abolition of the property qualifications for members of the House of Commons, and this was adopted in the same session that witnessed the admission of Jews to Parliament, that of 1858, when the Conservatives were in power. Seven years before Mr. Jones took a prominent part in the agitation, the Chartists had assembled in great force in various parts of the kingdom, armed with guns, pikes, and other weapons, and carrying torches. They conducted themselves

From The Magazine of Biography.

A GENTLEMAN whose name, twenty years ago, was prominently before the public in connection with the Chartist movement, Mr. Ernest Jones, died at Manchester, after a brief illness, on the 26th of January, having just completed his 50th year.

Mr. Jones was born on the 25th of January, 1819, at Berlin. His father, Major

the Chart


During this excitement Mr. Jones delivered an inflammatory speech on 4th June, 1848, in Bishop Bonner's Fields, London. This speech the law officers of Lord John Russell's government held to be seditious. A warrant was accordingly issued against Mr. Jones, who was apprehended at Manchester on the night of the 6th, and immediately taken to London. The trial took place on the 10th of July, and Mr. Jones, together with the other prisoners arraigned

so tumultuously that on the 12th December, stituted authorities trembled 1838, the Melbourne ministry found it ex-ists proposed to hold a mass meeting of pedient to issue a proclamation against 200,000 men on Kennington-common, to them. At that time their headquarters was march them in procession to the house of the borough of Birmingham, and the late parliament, and in this way to present a Mr. Thomas Atwood was one of their most petition to the House of Commons. This active leaders. In August 1838 a monster obvious endeavour to overawe the legislapetition was agreed to at Birmingham at a ture was, however, frustrated by the enerso-called National Convention," and a getic action of the authorities. The Bank few months afterwards it was presented to and other public establishments were parliament by Mr. Atwood. On the 15th guarded by military, and the approaches to July in this year they committed great out- Westminster bridge were commanded by rages in the hardware capital, but the most artillery. The consequence was that not extraordinary part of their proceedings up more than 20,000 men assembled on the to this time was reserved for the borough common, the monster petition which had of Newport, in Monmouthshire. The Chart- been prepared was sent to the House of ists, on the 4th of November, collected Commons in detached rolls, and no fewer from the mines and collieries in the neigh- than 150,000 persons of all classes, includbourhood to the number of 10,000, armed ing the present Emperor of the French, with guns, pikes, and clubs. They divided were sworn in as special constables. themselves into two bodies, one being under the command of Mr. John Frost, an ex-magistrate, while the other was under the leadership of his son. They met in front of the Westgate Hotel, where the magistrates were assembled with about thirty soldiers of the 45th Regiment, and a few special constables. The rioters commenced breaking the windows of the house, and fired on the inmates, wounding the mayor and several others. The soldiers returned the fire, dispersing the mob, which at the same time, were declared guilty, with its leaders fled from the town, leaving and sentenced to long periods of imprisontwenty dead, and many others dangerously ment. The sentence against Mr. Jones wounded. For his share in this fatal affray, was two years' solitary confinement, and he Frost and others of the leaders were sen- was further ordered to find two sureties of tenced to death, but the punishment was 1007. each, and to be bound in his own commuted to transportation for life. They recognizances for 2007. to keep the peace received a pardon on the conclusion of for three years. His own published account peace with Russia in 1856. of the severity of his treatment provoked a good deal of indignation. He was kept in solitary confinement on the silent system, enforced with the utmost rigour; for nineteen months he was neither allowed pen, ink, nor paper, but confined in a small cell, 13 feet by 6, varied only by a solitary walk in a small high-walled prison-yard. He obeyed all the prison regulations, excepting as to picking oakum, observing that for the sake of public order he would seek to conform to all forms and rules, but would never lend himself to voluntary degradation. To break his firmness on this point he was again and again imprisoned in a dark cell and fed on bread and water. On one occasion, while cholera was raging in London, this punishment was enforced, though the object of it was suffering from dysentery at the time, and he was consigned to a dark cell from which a man dying from cholera had just been removed. But such efforts were in vain. The prison authorities never

Such was the class of men with which Mr. Ernest Jones became connected in 1845. To advocate the Chartist cause he not only gave up what promised to be a good and increasing practice at the bar, but he refused to accept any emolument for his services, and spent large sums in supporting what he believed to be the interests of the people. Both on the platform and in the press he was indefatigable in enforcing the claims of the political section to which he belonged. From time to time he issued The Labourer, Notes of the People, and other periodicals: and he established also The People's Paper," which remained the organ of the Chartists for eight years. In 1847 he unsuccessfully contested Halifax; but it was the following year which marked a memorable incident in his chequered career. On the 10th of April, 1848 a day when, according to the late Sir James Graham, the throne of Europe rocked, and con

[ocr errors]


succeeded in making him perform the degrading labour task. In the second year of his imprisonment Mr. Jones was so broken in health that he could no longer stand upright. He was found lying on the floor of his cell, and then only taken to the prison hospital. He was told that if he would petition for his release, and promise to abjure politics, the remainder of his sentence would be remitted. But he refused his liberty on those conditions, and was reconsigned to his cell. While in prison he composed an epic, published after his release in 1851, entitled The Revolt of Hindostan," entirely written with his blood on the leaves of the prison prayer-books.


Soon after his release from prison his uncle Mr. John Halton Annesley sent for him and asked if he would give up the principles by which he was disgracing" his family. Mr. Jones was the old man's only relative. The answer he got from the advocate of democracy may be imagined from the fact that Mr. Annesley left all his property, said to be worth 2,000l. a-year, to his gardener, a man named Carter.

His remains were conveyed to their last resting-place in Ardwick Cemetery, Manchester, on the 31st of January. Several thousand persons joined in the procession. The pall-bearers were Mr. Edward Hooson, Mr. Jacob Bright, M.P., Mr. Elijah Dixon, Mr. Edmond Beales, Mr. Alderman Heywood, Mr. T. B. Potter, M.P., Sir É. Armitage, Mr. F. Taylor, Mr. James Crossley, the Rev. H. M. Steinthall, Mr. H. Rawson, and Mr. Thomasson, of Bolton.



In 1853 Mr. Jones unsuccessfully contested Nottingham, and in 1857 he again tried his fortunes in that borough, but with- The carriers were Mr. Benjamin Whiteley, out avail. Meanwhile his name had come Mr. John Bowes, Mr. J. Cunliffe, and Mr. before the public as the author of several T. Topping (one of the Chartists arrested poems, and amongst these were The Bat-like Mr. Jones in 1848). After the funertle Day" (1855), "The Painter of Flor- al service had been read, and the coffin ence (1856), The Emperor's Vigil" deposited in a temporary grave (until a (1856). These were followed by "Belda- vault has been constructed), Mr. Beales gon Church" and "Corayda" in 1860. delivered a brief funeral oration, in which he described the deceased as having combined with the condition of the scholar, the genius of the poet, the fervid eloquence of the orator, and the courageous spirit of the patriot, whom no prosecution could frighten from the advocacy of his principles, and whom no threatened loss of fortune or seductive offers of advancement could tempt to abandon them. The whole proceedings were orderly. Among the mutes who preceded the procession were four survivors of the memorable "Peterloo" massacre, as it was called, of 1818.

The Daily News remarks that Mr. Jones

At the general election which took place in November 1868, Mr. Jones stood as the third liberal candidate for Manchester, but although he received 10,746 votes he was not elected. On the Friday and Saturday preceding his death, in the novel experiment of a test ballot in that city, Mr. Jones" was one of those men of poetic temperareceived 7,382 votes, against 4,133 recorded ment to whom any cause which they may for Mr. Milner Gibson as the candidate for espouse becomes a passion and a faith. the liberal party, should Mr. Birley lose his The very exaggerations of his career may After a short illness he died at his res-be traced to the loftiness of his purpose and idence in Wellington-street, Higher Brough- the simplicity of his motives. His devotion ton. Mr. Jones was suffering from severe to the popular cause made his life a contincold in the early part of the week, but was ual sacrifice to what he conceived to be its induced to leave his bedroom to attend a interests, and if he represented the turbumeeting of the Hulme and Choriton Work- lent period of popular Radicalism, he was ing Men's Association on the 20th of Janu- also one of the central figures of its martyr ary. He left a heated atmosphere to return age. Mr. Jones's extreme opinions on


After the extinction of Chartism Mr. Jones returned to his practice on the Northern Circuit, and his name will be remembered in connection with the defence of the Fenian prisoners Allen, Gould, and Larkin, who were tried at Manchester in November 1867 for the murder of Police-Sergeant Brett.

home by cab, and incautiously left the win-
dow open. It is supposed that the expos-
ure to the weather aggravated his cold, for
the next day he was attacked by severe
inflammation of the lungs, which was after-
wards followed by pleurisy fever, under
which he gradually succumbed. He was
informed of the result of the ballot on Sun-
day morning. His last speech to the work-
ing men contains the following passage as
reported in a local paper:
There was a
personal reason why he desired soon to get
into the House of Commons, and that was
that he could not afford to wait very long.
What little work there was in him must be
taken out speedily, or it would soon be lost

some points were the result of his enthusi- | ladies of the harem. We were taken to astic temperament, but his devotion to those see the Grotto, a place in itself worthy of opinions, his sacrifices for them, and his much note, it being at least sixty feet high, eloquent defences of them, had at length with walks right through it, leading to its won universal respect. The affection with summit, and little streamlets of water runwhich a large class of working men re- ning and trickling at every niche and corgarded him was shown in his unsuccessful ner, and lamps, with the same sort of contests at Nottingham and Manchester, globes as those in the gardens, interspersed and had just received conclusive proof in throughout, while here and there was a the ballot in the latter city. It is gratify- mimic little waterfall whose streams ran ing to see that the people can appreciate over stained glass lighted from behind, givunselfish service. Mr. Jones had lived ing to the water the colour of the glass on down much of the suspicion and dislike of which it ran. From this we were conducted one class without having outlived the affec- to the Viceroy's hall of reception in the tion of the other. Men of very different grounds. This is a large open terrace political views from his own would have whose roof is supported by marble pillars, been glad to see him in Parliament, where with floor of the same, and in the centre he would have been received as the earnest, stood a large fountain, which, however, was honest, and eloquent exponent of views dry. While walking through the gardens which are not now represented there. He on our way back to the palace we heard has died comparatively young, but he had voices laughing and talking, and soon found lived through the troublous time of his own out that the ladies of the harem were returncareer and of our domestic politics, and the ing through the grounds to their palace. Our esteem and regret of all classes will follow guide said we must walk out of their way, him to his grave. In the most turbulent but unfortunately we were too late for comsphere of English political life, in the sphere pliance. Our only refuge was under one which has always had unusual temptations of the lamps, where the ladies passed us. for self-seeking, he lived and died an honest With them, and walking in front, were the man." Viceroy's daughters, at least so our guide told us; and these ladies on seeing us put up their eyeglasses, astonished at the presence of such curious people.

From The Pall Mall Gazette.

A CORRESPONDENT sends a long account of the Viceroy's ball given on the 4th inst. at his new palace at Gezireh, on the banks of the Nile, about five miles' drive from Cairo. On reaching the gates (the writer says) we were stopped by a crowd of Turkish officials who asked for our tickets, and who on receiving them saluted us, and we passed on through the gates into the grounds. We were at once struck with the beauty and magnificence of the place the drive on either side studded with trees of the densest foliage, and here and there lamps whose posts were gilded, and whose soft and blended lights had a beautiful effect. We arrived at the palace too soon, for after having given up our hats and cloaks, we were asked by one of the officials if we would not like to go out in the grounds for half an hour. There was evidently some reason for wishing to get us away, as we soon found out, for at that moment the Viceroy himself appeared, and told one of the attendants to take us out and show us the grounds. The fact was, he wished to show the palace when lighted up and before the guests arrived to the

[ocr errors]

We now return to the palace. On entering the portico one could not fail to be struck with the magnificence of the interior. Facing us and leading to the upper part of the palace were the stairs, of the purest white, and inlaid with strips of black marble, highly polished. Stationed at either corner and at the turns of the stairs were Nubian soldiers clad in tunics of chain armour and helmets whose visors extended in a bar of steel below the nose. On reaching the top of the stairs we entered one of the large state rooms, with floor of polished wood, sofas and chairs of crimson velvet surrounding it, and a gigantic ottoman in the centre, of the same material, sufficiently large to accommodate at least twenty-five people. In front of this room was the verandah, where the dancers after each dance resorted for fresh air. The verandah was filled with rich and rare plants, whose soft colours, in contrast with the gorgeous fittings around, gave relief and pleasure to the eye. On the left of this, and about the size of the first room, but more richly furnished, was the reception-room, where the visitors on entering made their obeisance to the Viceroy, who appeared to receive every one very cordially, shaking hands with many of the ladies. On leaving

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »