« PreviousContinue »
glare and light of these, extending over nearly a What a mingled essence of honeysuckle, sweet quarter of a mile, we travelled to the sepulchral briar, rose, jessamine, &c. What a pleasant thing howlings of these Hindoo children. The method to see icicles clinging to the sweet petals of the adopted was for the first man ahead to commence passion flower, and then what a still more glorious the strain in a loud, wild, shrieking tone; and sight to contemplate, face to face, raspberries and whilst he continued incessantly repeating the same apples, strawberries and peaches, with many other thing over and over again, one by one the others English fruits, only known here and at one or two took up the strain until from a solitary yell it other stations in India, and to cull which first gradually swelled into the tremendous howling of from the tree was in itself worth a Jew's eye. some sixty hale-lunged Hindoos. No wonder, in- Our compound was a very large one, bordering deed, that tigers and wild beasts were scared from on the Ulsoor Tank, where the horses of the native attacking us; accustomed as they were to the ter-cavalry and English dragoons were brought to rible roaring and growling that nightly re-echoed water daily, which alone was a sufficient plea for through those jungles, they had never heard any. my partiality to the place ; for beside the music of thing that could surpass our chorus : and backed the bugles, and the sport of seeing some halfas it was by the light of fifty torches, must have score restive animals, plunging and kicking till, mis ken us for the demon of fire and destruc-unhorsing their riders, they bore away, tail on end tion, and fled for refuge to the darkest recesses. to the cavalry lines, to the terror of all ladies and
A friend at Tellicherry bad kindly furnished us small children that chanced to be outriding at that with a letter of introduction to Mr. Cassamajor, early hour, the garden abounded with the most of the Madras Civil Service, then the British re- delicious guava trees, up which I used to scramble sident at Mysore. The Residency itself was at a at early daybreak every morning, and contest with place called Yelwall; and thither, one fair morning, the squirrels the fruit that ripened over night. soon after daybreak, we found our bearers carrying Then, agaiu, my future brother-in-law had further us over an apparently barren and waste country, ingratiated himself by sending me a splendid which only wanted, and, perhaps, wants to this little pony, on whose back I soon became as well present day, proper means of irrigation to render known to the frequenters of the race-course as it extremely fertile.
any celebrated jockey of the day. Morning and The Resident was himself from home, but evening, sometimes three times a day, I was off having been forewarned of our arrival, he had left on my pony for a gallop round the cantonment. instructions with his servants to see that we wanted The old officer that commanded the 13th Light for nothing. The house was a princely mansion, Dragoons, then stationed at Bangalore, took quite surrounded by a flower garden, which displayed a fancy to me from the sheer fact of my being so very great taste, and unmistakeable European | bold a horseman. Any leap that the pony could handiwork. In the Residency, besides a vast accomplish I fearlessly undertook ; and I firmly amount of amusing books and pictures, there was believe, if I had had the chance, I would have in one room a great variety of musical instruments. ventured, nothing loath, into the saddle of the Here we breakfasted and dined, enjoying the un- most spirited charger in the Regiment. But this speakable luxury of a cool shower bath, and trial the old Colonel would never allow me, urging plenty of exercise in walking over the compound. that a few years hence would be ample time for At sunset we were again imprisoned in our palkees, me to place my neck in jeopardy. and never liberated from them again until, four One of the most amusing things at Bangalore days afterwards, the last stage of our journey was was the public drive, which led through a tope or completed at precisely four a.m.; and we were set dense forest of trees, which was thickly inhabited down in the verandah of our house at Bangalore, by monkeys. Regularly, about five o'clock of an which had been secured for us by a friend of my evening, a whole string of carriages might be seen future brother-in-law, and where our servants (who taking their way to monkey tope, and accom. had long preceded us with the baggage) had pre-papied by numerous equestrians. All these came pared everything against our arrival, even to a supplied with food for fun, in the shape of scaldsmoking hot cup of tea and muffins, tban which ing hot potatoes, nuts, fruit, &c., which were few things could have been more acceptable after liberally distributed amongst the monkeys, who, in what we had recently undergone.
eager gluttony, day after day, scalded their mouths, What a delightful place was this said Bangalore and then shrieked again with agony and rage. It to the parbaked Indian subaltern or civilian of was a ludicrous but humiliating sight to see these those days. How a week's sojurn in its pleasant brutes, in everything but speech, a grotesque cool temperature revived long forgotten recollec- caricature upon man, drawn up on either side of tions of home and distant friends. Here were the road, and waiting with patient anxiety for the we all of a sudden lodged in a house with glass distribution which regularly took place. Some of windows and veritable fireplaces-aye, and fires in the females had young ones at their breast, and them too-and most welcome, so severe was the nurtured them with all the care and assiduity of cold at this early hour of the day. Then, as the loving mothers. I never heard of a single instance sun gradually dispersed the mist, what delicious where these monkeys had perpetrated any rudeness odours were wafted in by the morning breeze. or a felony. They fought amongst themselves
like demons, but never contested a morsel until it With such a large European population, espebad been fairly thrown in amongst them.
cially during the periodical visits of the governors Bangalore was then, and still continues to be, and commander-in-chief, Bangalore was exceedingly one of the largest military cantonments in the gay. The officers frequently got up amateur perMadras Presidency. In addition to a regiment of formances in a very pretty little theatre that beRoyal Dragoons, and one of Her Majesty's infantry, longed to the community. Balls and suppers were there were three or four native infantry regiments, of weekly occurrence, and, young though I was, I one of native cavalry, and the head quarters of was regularly included in the invitations. I rethe Madras horse and foot artillery; besides a collect one grand affair given by the officers of the vast influx of invalids, who came from all parts of artillery, when, for want of space, the supper was India, and the civil, engineer, and clerical staff laid out under some very large tents which were attached to the place.
gaily decorated, and brilliantly illuminated. Hardly, The Fort was at a considerable distance from however, had the notes of the “Roast Beef of old the town or pettah, and the parade-ground, a mag. England” subsided, and been succeeded by an nificent open space of some miles extent, inter universal clattering of knives and jingling of vened. In the fort resided some staff officers and glasses, when a terrific squall levelled the whole the garrison surgeon, Dr. C- a clever but ex. structure, lest us dark and supperless, and en. ceedingly eccentric man, who was for ever endan tangled in a heap of confusion--of broken bottles, gering his own life by taking off his shoes and upset oil-lamps, blanc mange, creams, salads,&c., from stockings, and puddling ankle-deep through every which we were extricated by the efforts of the quagmire he encountered, in search of different European artillerymen, and escorted home supper. specimens of thorn, which he extracted from his less, and wet through to the skin, lit objects for own naked feet, marking down the precise result commiseration, yet exciting the irrepressible and of the painful incision they had occasioned, uproarious mirth, not only of each other, but of and thus classifying them as more or less poi- the very native sepoys who were on guard at the sonous.
various sentinel posts.
RICH as our literature is in works of biography, others, for which he continued ever to be so we have comparatively few that enter into the honourably distinguished. inner life. Our bookmakers seem rather to prefer | On reaching his fifteenth year, then still a very dealing in genealogies and outer-life history. They small lad, he was sent to Leipzig to become treat us to fall and particular, if not always true, apprentice to Adam Frederick Böhme bookseller accounts of the various relatives, direct and col- tbere. This personage, a sentimental, eccentric lateral, of the subjects of their memoirs. They character, soon showed that it was not his intentell us what particular events occurred in their tion to spoil him by over-indulgence. His first career, varied with occasional descriptions of the injunctions to him were that he should let liis hair great folks they have met or corresponded with ; grow in front to a brush, and behind to a cue. but of the men themselves, and of the secret He further ordered him to cast off his sailor's springs of their actions, they tell us little or round hat, and replace it with a cocked one, nothing. In the memoirs recently published of specially ordered for his use, and to don a pair of Frederick Perthes, the illustrious bookseller of wooden buckles. In the evening, with another Hamburgh, we have a fine specimen of what a apprentice, he was thrust into a garret of such biography ought to be. It is Perthes the man, scanty dimensions that it was quite overcrowded not Perthes the mere bookseller or politician, that with the two beds and two stools, the table and is set before us. Like many other men wbo have two trunks, which—with the exception of a small, risen to great after eminence his entrance upon ill-fed stove-constituted the whole furniture. life was sufficiently unpromising. He was born Böhme put his two young assistants on i egulation in the year 1772—"a very calamitous year for allowance. In the mornings they were each Germany." Famine and pestilence had smote the presented with one cup of tea, and on the Sundays land, and for a time it seemed as if the youth born with seven lumps of sugar, and seven half..pence under their shadow was still to be haunted by a-piece, to purchase bread for the ensuing week. their influences. At the early age of seven years, Their half-penny roll was all the bread they bad to he was thrown fatherless and almost motherless eat at breakfast. From one in the afternoon till upon the compassionate care of a maternal uncle. eight in the evening they were not allowed a To the instructions and example of this relative, he morsel. “This," Perthes naively but piteously attributed that intense horror of every kind of remarked, “is what I call hunger." His duly as immorality, and that respect for the rights of youngest apprentice required him during the whole
of the first winter to go the round of the other its zenith, was regarded by him, in common with warehouses. When he returned to the office, most of his contemporaries, as an undeniable which was generally not till dusk, he had to stand indication of the progress of the race. His youthfor hours, with damp seet, collating upon the cold ful enthusiasm fondly believed in human perseeti. stone flags. Böhme never allowed a fire to be bility, and he doubted not that out of the chaos used in his shop. He thought that if he could into which this moral convulsion had plunged stand the cold himself
, his apprentices had no right society, humanity would yet emerge with brighter to complain. Perthes, naturally delicate, soon lustre. Two years later, a better knowledge of broke down under this treatment. His feet his own heart led him to modify his views. He became so frost-bitten that he could not walk, and said that while he had supposed that men must when a surgeon was at last summoned to his necessarily increase in happiness and virtue as they assistance, he declared that had another day increased in knowledge, the future perfection of elapsed, amputation would have been necessary. the race appeared to him probable; but when For nine weeks, Perthes was confined to his little daily experience convinced him that men might chamber. The time however did not pass un- entertain the most unimpeachable theories of life, pleasantly. He found a kind nurse in Frederika, and yet in their own persons be given up to the his master's second daughter, a sprightly girl of practice of every vice, he then began to despair of twelve years, who relieved the tedium of his seeing realised a virtuous ideal. confinement by her lively conversation, and by The tender passion, as might be expected, conreading to him works of history.
tributed its part towards the development of the As Perthes grew up he found himself exposed young man's inner-life. He found Frederika to much temptation from the dissolute example of Böhme, now in the first blush of womanhood, his · the young men of Leipzig. The bookseller's best moral teacher. “What the most serious apprentices, he declared, were, with two exceptions, reflections on the greatness and perfectibility of dissipated youths who spent the Sundays, their man could never accomplish,” he said in a letter to only holidays, at the taverns, in all kinds of excess. his uncle, " has been effected by the influence of a These made a point of persecuting all the lads in pure and innocent love." Evil thoughts, as Perthes their own sphere of life who kept aloof from their significantly termed the prurient tendencies of youth, society. Perthes attributed it entirely to the had occasioned him many a sharp struggle. But
trong moral support he received from his fellow- these seemed to pass away as the image of the apprentice that he escaped their seductions. “Had fair Frederika enshrined itself more and more in I been left to mix with these," he wrote to his his inmost heart. He had rivals, as he knew to uncle, “I should hare made shipwreck of all the his cost, for the maiden's beauty brought her many good principles I derived from you." The oppor- admirers; but even when his passion appeared tunities for improving his mind which he enjoyed most hopeless, it still exercised an elevating influwhile in Böhme's service were few, but be availed Had his suit been more prosperous it might himself of these with praiseworthy perseverance. have been attended with less beneficial consequences. The only hours he could call his own were those of this he had a notable proof on one memorable before seven in the morning and after nine at night. occasion when, at a dinner given by Böhme to some With the aid of a grammar and dictionary he made strangers on a visit to Leipzig, he found himself some progress in French and English ; but he had placed opposite to Frederika. The one being in naturally little turn for languages, and his poverty the world whom he idolised seemed to have eyes prevented the employment of a teacher. In only for him. Her attentions were of the most philosophy he was less successful. The bent of marked description, and she took every opportunity his genius would have led him rather to devote of drawing him into conversation. In the exhilarahimself to history and geography, but as every tion of the moment he departed from his usual young man with any pretensions to intellectual abstemiousness and partook freely of wine. The ability was at that period expected to be a philo- intoxicating draught, true to its ancient prestige, sopher, Perthes had no alternative but to commence while adding fuel to his passions changed their the study of Kant, whose system was then in the whole character. Suddenly, in reaching over bis ascendant. The key to Kant was Kiesmetter's chair to take something from the table, Frederika Logic, and with this Perthes first sought to become approached him so closely that he could feel her acquainted. He spent many precious hours scrawl. heart beating through her blue silk dress. He ing over whole sheets of paper with logical tables lost all command of himself
, and rising abruptly, by way of familiarising his mind with the inter- rushed out into the darkness of the night. For minable terminology and formula of the system ; hours he wandered through the fields like a maniac. but with all bis efforts he never, in the Kantian He felt—as he afterwards declared—as if in that sense at least, became a philosopher. He had the hour the sanctuary of his thoughts had been consolation, however, of knowing that the exercise violated. When he returned, the maiden was no considerably sharpened his powers. He now longer the same. “ She was cold as ice and hard began to take a deep interest in social and political as iron.” movements, and to speculate much on human Perthes soon after this left Leipzig for Hamdestiny. The French Revolution, at that time in burgh, where, after a year or two, he entered into
partnership with Nessig, lis late fellow apprentice, entertained misgivings when he found that in and chief rival in the affections of Frederika. ignoring feeling he was discarding as worthless This young man, his junior, had often won the all that was most peculiar to his character. When young lady's ear by the lively prattle of his con- at last, he liad to tell them that his heart beat versation, when her early admirer, who could con- higher for virtue than his will willed it, they verse with her only on such lofty themes as the themselves bad begun to arrive at a similar dignity of man and the love of God, had to sit sad conclusion. They directed liim to a new way, and silent. Sentiments would thus arise in the which they said, would enable him to fulll the breast of Perthes towards his friend very different moral law. This was the celebrated theory of from what would have met with the approval of Schiller, by which feeling, inspired, elevated, and an apostle of universal brotherhood, or an advocate purified, was to become the ruling power of the of the perfectibility of the species. By a noble life. Perthes received the dogma with enthusiasm. effort, however, he overcame the antipathy which He believed that he would now achieve that jealousy was fast generating. He opened his freedom, for which he had so long panted. A whole heart to his rival, who reciprocated the little further experience of himself convinced him confidence; and their friendship became stronger that the Physical never could be so elevated and than ever. In 1796, when business required the ennobled as to harmonise perfectly with the Spiritual. presence of Perthes in Leipzig, he engaged to It will be perceived that in all these strivings solicit Frederika's hand for Nessig. She was still after moral light and strength, Perthes had prodear to himself, but he believed that she preferred ceeded on the assumption that man was capable of his rival, and he imagined that his own affection himself to work out the problem of his destiny. had passed in great measure from the heart to the The failure of his repeated attempts, carried out fancy. His first interview undeceived him. , as they were with such losty resolution, prepared Frederika stood before him in all the frank dignity the way for the coming in of a better hope. of her noble nature ; her thoughtful eye and Philosophy was to accomplish for Perthes what expressive features beaming with undeniable satis- the law did for the Israelites. When Jacobi, one faction. He then knew how entirely he was still of Germany's great critics, and a writer distinguished her slave. He wrote to Nessig revealing the state for his deep religious feeling, told him that man of his feelings. It was agreed that they should was a fallen being, and could never in himself find both make an offer of their hand, and that the the satisfaction he sought, his mind was quite ripe rejected one should peacefully withdraw. In en. for the reception of that fundamental truthi. tering into this arrangement, however, they counted Jacobi's theological views would scarcely meet without their host. Frederika, on receiving the with the approbation of any of our Christian conjoint proposals, at first said not a word. Then, denominations, yet they proved of essential service with deep earnestness and without changing to Perthes in the peculiar circumstances in which colour, she replied—“I love Perthes--I love he was then placed. It was the opinion of this Nessig; but my hand I can give to neither.” philosopher that while truth had been revealed to After this, we hear nothing of Frederika ; but it man as a guide in bis earthly course, this had was long before Perthes recovered his peace of never been by word or symbol, but as a feeling in mind.
his own heart. God, he said, still revealed Himself In Hamburgh, Perthes was early fortunate in and eternal truth in human feeling, without any securing the friendship of three young men, who intermediate agency. All that man needed was considerably facilitated his moral progress. The that he should withdraw himself from the impresassociation thus formed was of the most exalted sions of the sensuous world, and patiently wait for character. It was that of four young men uniting light. This doctrine was accepted by Perthes themselves together solely that they might assist the more readily that the feelings were still to be one another in their strivings after the good and followed as the pole-star of life; and years after true, and their pursuit of the beautiful. The first when he had become a devout believer in that effect of the connection upon Perthes was to give Christianity to which Jacobi bimself never attained, him a deeper interest in the great literary works he acknowledged that it was he who had first given of the period; but its most important influence a right direction to his moral pursuits. We may was the profounder insight it afforded him into the as well give here the conclusion of this singular requirements of the inward moral law. His friends but most instructive spiritual history. Pertbes, taught him that virtue could not consist in while so resolutely helping himself, was fortunate, momentary impulses and individual acts, but must as such men always are, in finding others able to be a permanent internal state regulating the whole help him. The illustrious Claudius, his future outward life. This was a decided step in advance, father-in-law, directed him to the revelation of for hitherto he had been content with cultivating Holy Writ as the only source of true religion. certain virtues and avoiding certain vices. The Salvation, he said, was to be found not in the chief defect in the system of his new acquaintances feelings listening to the voice of God within, but in was that it subjected all feeling, good and bad, to the historical fact of the Redemption, and its the iron severeignty of the will. Such as it was, converting power on the heart of man. Perthes Perthes loyally sought to conform to it, and only accepted as indubitable historical events the facts
of Revelation, and in due time experienced their had entertained liglı views of his calling. He vital power.
now resolved to convert it into an engine for up. While thus resolutely devoting himself to the holding among bis countrymen that unity of promotion of bis spiritual interests, be displayed no feeling so essential for the development of German less energy in prosecuting bis temporal concerns. nationality and independence. He started a "I feel," he said, “that I have found myself journal to which he gave the name of " The Na. through my calling ; owing to my previous negli- tional Museum.” The first number appeared in gence this was the only way in which my powers the spring of 1810. It contained articles by Jean were susceptible of development." In 1798, Paul, Frederick Schlegel, and other eminent men. his connection with Nessig, which was only of a Its success far exceeded the expectations of its provisional nature, was dissoived, chiefly on account projector, but to bis regret he could say little of of the trifling returns. But Perthes was not the what he sain would have utterred, when it was man to fail in an enterprise on which he had set brought to an untimely close by the formal incorhis heart. Such was the estimation which his poration of Hamburgh, and the whole north-west energy and straightforward conduct bad secured of Germany, into the French empire, its cessation for him, that 30,000 dollars were speedily placed was regarded as a national misfortune. at his disposal to begin business afresh. It was After the annihilation of Napoleon's mighty his high ambition to become the medium of armament by the frosts of Russia, the French literary intercourse for all European nations, and abandoned Hamburgh. The joy of its inhabihe was fortunate in securing for his next partner tants, however, was short-lived. Davoust laid John Henry Besser, the man of all others best siege to it again in a few months. After a few fitted for giving him the assistance required. The days' hard fighting, the enemy obtained possession new firm had a prosperous start, and soon took a of an important position, which enabled them to foremost position in the trade. Previous to this, open a bombardment. Grenades by hundreds were he had taken a step which more than any other thrown into the devoted city every evening; but contributed to his earthly happiness and to give this time it was not to be tamely surrendered. confirmation to his attainments in the inner-life. The burgher-guard furnished daily 800 to 1,000 This was his marriage with Caroline Claudius, the men for the defence of the more exposed points ; daughter of his friend. Caroline was a truly noble and each night a portion of these citizen-soldiers woman. “You have penetrated into the pro- bivouacked under the open sky. Perthes was foundest recesses of my being," he once wrote to everywhere recognised as the master spirit of her, “there is no moment of my existence in the siege, the centre of every effort. When ex. which you are not with me and before me ; and liausted nature would have been justified in snatchall I see, feel, and observe, I seem to feel, see, and ing a few moments' repose, he might have been observe only for your sake.” In his family circle, seen patrolling the more distant posts, and inspirhe never failed to find a resting place from the ing his comrades with his own dauntless resolution. ceaseless turmoil of business life. It proved a For twenty-one nights he never undressed, and little heaven on earth, from which he returned to during all that period never lay down in bed. the world with a refreshed and thanksul spirit. But no efforts, however gallant, could save the city
The years were now approaching when Perthes from its unsparing and indefatigable foe. When it was to find full occasion to test the value of the fell, Perthes sought safety in flight. Of the moral conquests of his youth and early manhood. wisdom of this step he soon received convincing In 1806, Hamburg, after undergoing many vicissi. proof. His ungenerous enemies not only hung tudes, fell into the possession of the French. This him on the gallows in effigy, and sequestrated his to our brave bookseller, with his true German property, but excepted his name, along with the heart, was the greatest of calamities. But while names of nine others, from the general amnesty many in their despair succumbed to the conqueror, which they shortly afterwards proclaimed. believing that Europe was given over
Many a man in Perthes' position would have servedly to the domination of Napoleon, Perthes utterly broken down. After a painful struggle never relaxed his efforts for the liberation of his with the world for seventeen years, during which beloved city, and of his native land. “Ought we be had honestly won a competency for himself and not,” he heroically said, " to feel ourselves great, family, it was hard to be turned adrift upon just because we are born in such evil times ?" society, with a price upon his head, and a pregnant Even in prosecuting his business, notwithstanding wife and seven helpless children to provide for. the universal stagnation which ensued upon the But even in these circumstances Perthes never proclamation of the French regulations, and the despaired. His true riches, won by still more great losses to which he was consequently sub- arduous effort, were of a kind which the world jected, he displayed a resolution and confidence could not give and could not take away.
* Re manifested by no one else. The excitement of the signation to the will of God,” he said, “ firm conrictimes only afforded further scope for his enter- tions and rich experience, a heart full of love and prising spirit. Niebuhr sportively but appropri- youthful feeling, truth and rectitude, such are the ately called him—"the king of the booksellers treasures which my forty years of life have given." from the Ems to the Baltic.” From the first he Homeless and proscribed, he devoted himself