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mily. Nur Jehan, the black slave, acts ns ftraslt, or carpet-spreader; she does all 'the dirty work -, spreads the carpets, sweeps the rooms, sprinkles the water over the court-yard, helps the cook, carries parcels and messages, and, in short, is at the call of every one."
All this is delightfully naif, and natural! One sees so plainly that Zeenab has not had any one to talk to for "these two hours."
"As for old Leilah, she is a sort of duenna over the young slaves; she is employed in the out-of-door service, carries on any little affair that the Ktianum may have with other harems, and is also supposed to be a spy upon the actions of the doctor. Such as we are, our days are past in peevish disputes, whilst, at the same time, two of us are usually leagued in strict friendship, to the exclusion of the others. At this present moment, I am at open war with the Georgian, who, some time ago.found her good luck in life had forsaken her, and she in consequence contrived to procure a talisman from a Dervish. She had no sooner obtained it, than, on the very next day, the Klmnum presented her with a new jacket; this so excited my jealousy, that I also made interest with the Dervish to supply me with a talisman that should secure me a good husband. On that very game evening I saw you on the terrace—conceive my happiness!"
We will be crucified if there be not six Zeenabs in every boarding-school for five miles round London.
"But this has established a rivalship between myself and Shireen, which has ended in hatred, and we are now mortal enemies; perhaps we may as suddenly be friends again." Agreeable variety! "I am now on the most intimate* terms with Nur Jelmn; and, at my persuasion, she reports to the Klmmim every story unfavourable to my rival. Some rare sweetmeats with baklava (sweet-cake) made in the royal seraglio, were sent, a few days ago, from one of the Shah's ladies as a present to our mistress; the rats eat a great part of them, and we gave out that the Georgian was the culprit, for which she received blows on the feet, which Nur Jehan administered. I broke my mistress's favourite drinking cup, Shireen incurred the blame, and was obliged to supply another. I know that she is plotting against me, for she is eternally closeted with Leilah, who is at present the confidante of our mistress. I take core not to .eat or drink anything
which has passed through hci hands to me, for fear of poison, and she returns me the same compliment."
The ladies will kill Mr Hope for having written this part of the book, and we shall kill him for having written the other parts of it.
There is a subsequent scene, in which Hajji is admitted to the anilerun, written with the same sprighttiness and gossiping pleasantry as the foregoing. Zeenab has been engaged to cry at a funeral, to which the Khartum goes with all the family; and for which service she is to receive a black handkerchief, and "to cat sweetmeats." Instead of going, she beckons Hajji into the anderun to breakfast.
"• By what miracle,' exclaimed I, 'have you done this? Where is theKhanum I where are the women! And how, if they are not here, shall I escape the doctor?'
"' Do not fear,' she repeated again, 'I have barred all the doors. You must know that our destinies are on the rise, and that it was a lucky hour when we first saw each other. My rival, the Georgian, put it into the Klumum's head that Leilab, who is a professed weeper at burials, having learned the art in all its branches since a child, was a personage absolutely necessary on the present occasion, and that she ought to go in preference to me, who am a Curd, and can know but little of Persian customs; all this, of course, to deprive me of my black handkerchief,and other advantages. Accordingly, I have been left at home; and the whole party went off, an hour ago, to the house of the deceased.'"
That fine perception about the "black handkerchief," is worth a million! Zeenab afterwards relates her life, which is amusing, but not remarkable—exhibiting the customs of the Yezeedies, a wild Curdish tribe, to which she belonged. Eventually, the chief physician makes a present of her to the Shall; and Hajji (who, in the meantime, has become a iiasalfchi, or sub-provost-marshal) is compelled to witness her execution, for a fault of which he himself is the author. But this scene, which the same pen that wrote the story of Euphrosyne, might have rendered (we should have supposed) almost too fearful for endurance, has, abstractedly, very little merit; and, coming from the author of Anastasius, is a decided failure.
Indeed, the latter half of the book consists mainly of matter, very little worthy of a considerable writer. Hajji's adventures as a nasakchi have not a great deal of novelty about them; and the personages are weak into whose association he is thrown. The chief executioner, for instance, is a dull fellow; and the attack (vol. II. p. 272) by two Russian soldiers upon five /»««dred Turkish horse, should be authenticated. The subsequent business, in which Hajji becomes a molltih, (priest,) with the attack upon the Armenians, tends to almost nothing. The episodes, too, are in no instance fortunate. The story of Yusuf and Mariara is tedious. The adventures of the Dervises few persons will get through; and the legend of " The Baked Head" is a weak imitation of the little Hunchback of the Arabian Nights.
The hero subsequently runs, during the whole of the last volume, through a round of incoherent, and often carelessly related adventures. He becomes a merchant, and that is not entertaining; marries, and is divorced again; •writes accounts of the Europeans and their customs, which are puerile; and, at last, just as he is appointed sjcretary-in-chief to the Persian English embassy in Persia, (our supposed translator,) stops short, and addresses the reader. Profiting by the example of the Persian story-tellers, he pauses in his tale at the most interesting point, and says to the public, " Give me encouragement, and I will tell you more. You shall be informed how Hajji Baba accompanied a great ambassador to England; of their adventures by sea and land ; of all he saw and all he remarked; and of what happened to him on his return to Persia. But, in case," he adds, like the third Dcrvisc, (a personage in the tale,) " he should find that he has not yet acquired the art of leading on the attention of the curious, he will never venture to appear again before the world, until he has gained the necessary experience to ensure success."
Now, the author of Anastasius may command encouragemenlin abundance to do anything else; but he shall have no encouragement from us to continue the history of Hajji Baba. An Oriental gentleman, who can neither fight
nor make love, will never do to buckle three more volumes upon the back of.
Besides, we have already got some specimen of Hajji's talent for describing European peculiarities; and, from what we see, we should say most decidedly, Let us on that head have no more. All the business about the vaccination — and the doctor's desire to dissect dead bodies —" Boonapoort," the East India " Coompani,"and the European constitutions, is, to speak the truth plainly, very wretched stuff indeed. And we say this with the less hesitation to Mr Hope, because we have expressed our unfeigned admiration of his former work. It should seem that he can do well; and if so, there is no excuse for him when he does miserably ill.
Let us guard ourselves against being mistaken. Hajji Baba may be read; and there are, as our extracts will prove, some good things in it. But, as a whole, it is tiresome, incoherent, and full of " damnable iteration." Combats — caravans — reviews — palaces— processions — repeating themselves over and over again — and many of them repetitions, and weak repetitions, of what we have had, in strength, from Mr Hope before.
Seriously, Hajji Baba should be cashiered forthwith. As far as the public is concerned, the journey of the "pilgrim" should be at an end. And, indeed, England to be described by any foreigner, is a subject just now not the most promising. For the difference between Mr Hope's last work and his present one, it would be verj difficult to account; but certainly, if he writes again, let him at leait trust freely to his own conceptions. The present book has none of the eloquence or poetic feeling, very little of the wit, and still less of the fine taste, which distinguished the former in so eminent a degree. Qf Anastasius, one would say, that it seemed to have been written by some mighty hand, from a store, full, almost to overflowing, with rich and curious material; of Hajji Baba, that some imitator, of very little comparative force indeed, had picked up the remnant of the rifled note-book, and brought it to market in the best shape that he wag able.
'I'n i. Session of Parliament seems likely to be ushered in by circumstances, alike happy and extraordinary. At home, agricultural distress has vanish* ed; reform, even as a term, has become obsolete; faction has been disarmed by the scorn of " the people," and all is unclouded prosperity and peace. Abroad, the demon of revolution has been again smote to the earth, and its followers only exist to be derided for their madness and imbecility. Fate, which has been prodigal of its favours so long to party spirit, seems now resolved to place public affairs above its reach, and to decree, that the Ministry and Opposition shall pass, at least one session, without even a pretext for quarrel and combat.
Transcendently beneficial as this state of things is to the nation at large, there are those to whom it is transcendcntly disastrous. There is a class in the State which it plunges into the extreme of loss, and distress, and hopelessness. I cannot conceive any situation more truly pitiable than that in which the brilliant aspect of public affairs places the heads of Opposition, from Grey, down to Wtlson. Out of doors, their general principles are covered with contempt and ridicule, and the few followers they retain will not suffer them to open their lips; and in Parliament, they seem to be deprived of every topic that might enable them to keep themselves in sight as public men. Without the assistance of the charitable and humane, their utter ruin seems to be inevitable.
It is impossible to withhold our compassion even from the distress of an enemy. We forget the dangers which he has drawn around us, and the injuries which we have received at his hands; and we only remember that he rent the veil which concealed our talents, arid lit the blaze of our glory. Tf there had been no Buonaparte, there had been no Wellington. We have passed together through a portion of life front to front, if not side by side; we have become familiar from sight and contact, if not from sympathy and affection ; and we therefore regard the fall of a foe with more pity, than that of • stranger who never wronged us. I have long been the bitter enemy of
the individuals to whom I have adverted, because I believed their scheme* to threaten the State with ruin; but when I now glance at them, I should, if I were addicted to weeping, shed tears over their wretchedness. If they could be relieved by legislative enactments, I would actually sign a petition to Parliament in their behalf; and if a subscription could serve them, I protest I would put down five pounds with the utmost alacrity. In truth, the sole object of my present communication is, to furnish the means for preserving them from total annihilation.
These truly unfortunate and unhappy persons are well aware that they must nave matter for Parliamentary motions, or lose their political being; and that all their old subjects—-reform, public distress, foreign policy, finance, alteration of the criminal laws, &c. &c. —are now utterly unserviceable. I here tender to them an entirely new set of Parliamentary motions. If they are wise men, they will eagerly accept Tny offering; and if they are grateful men, they will, in due season, honour me with a statue as their saviour.
In the first place, let Earl Grey in the Lords, and Mr Tierney in the Commons, move that a committee be appointed to ascertain precisely the creed and nature of modern Whiggism. The Committee must be instructed to point out with the greatest care the difference between the Whiggism of the present day, and that of 1688 : and to state with the utmost exactness, the distinctions in faith and practice between the Whigs, and the huge Continental faction, which is known by the thousand and one names of, the Carbonari, Liberals, Revolutionists, Constitutionalists, Anarchists, &c. &c. The committee should likewise shew, where modern_Whiggism agrees with, and where it is hostile to, the British Constitution; and, as the terms, liberty, despotism, constitutional, patriotic, &c. &c., would probably be often employed in the discussion, it ought to give correct definitions of these terms, by way of preface to its report.
In due time afterwards, let the same most eminent individuals move for a committee to inquire into the causes of the decline and fall of Whiggism. This committee must not fail to notice in its report the conduct of the Whigs during the Peninsular war—at the peace—on the repeal of the income-tax —during the Manchester and other riots—on the trial of Queen Caroline —towards Carlile and other blasphemers at home, and the Continental deists and traitors, &c. &c.; and it must be careful to give a just description of the present Whigs, touching their abilities and acquirements—their character as honest men and statesmen.
That the long and arduous labours of these committees may be in some degree shortened and simplified, let the following motions be made by the individuals to whom I assign them.
Let Earl Grey, on the behalf of the Whigs as a body, propose a string of resolutions for the adoption of thb Lords, purporting that the British constitution, though apparently a monarchy, is in intent and essence a republic—that all the powers, duties, and privileges which it assigns to the King and the Aristocracy, are mere names, and that it is highly unconstitutional to regard them as anything else; and that, as-the Constitution in spirit and working means the Democracy to constitute the nation, and a faction, domineering alike over King and people, to constitute the Government, it is in the highest degree unconstitutional to believe that factions ought not to possess despotic power, or that they can commit wrong—and that all who dissent from this are enemies of the Constitution.
Let the same noble person, on his own personal account, move the Peers to resolve, that no man is qualified to be the Prime-Minister of this great nation, •whose political reasonings and predictions have not been through life falsified by events—who has not constantly studied to render inflammatory and turbulent times still more inflammatory and turbulent—who has not been the Parliamentary champion of the infidels and democrats of the Continent, —and who has not invariably made the weal of his country subservient to that of his party, and the propagation of the tenets of modern Whiggism.
Let the Bishop of Norwich move, that the alliance between Church and State be dissolved—that the Catholic ascendency be substituted for the Protestant one—that all passages be ex
punged from the Scriptures which militate against schism—and that it be made high treason for any one to say, that the Catholic claims have other opponents than the Clergy of the Establishment.
Let Mr Tierney, in a most pathetic speech, movethat it is in the highest degree cruel, unconstitutional, and tyrannical, to suffer the clamouren for office to sink into their graves, without permitting them to have more than a trifling taste of it.
It will be ah'ke beneficial to Sir James Mackintosh and his party, if he can carry a resolution to this effect: —A writer will be an impartial historian, in proportion as he is a bigotted political partiznn. The despot Buonaparte, the murderer Buonaparte, the treaty-violator Buonaparte, the enslaver of the Continent Buonaparte, was a paragon, as a man and a Sovereign, and his memory ought to be revered by every friend of humanity and freedom. It is highly expedient that this country do forthwith erect a monument to the memory of that benefactor to mankind, Napoleon Buonaparte. Crime will be restrained by mildness of punishment, and vice versa. Imprison a murderer for a month, and you purge the nation of murderers; hang him, and you make them abound.
Be it Lord John RusselFs care to move, that a day-labourer from every town and village in the nation be summoned to the bar of the Houte of Commons, to be examined with regard to his proficiency in political and other learning. If such labourers answer, as in all probability they will, that they believe the Constitution to be some strange animal brought over-sea —the House of Commons to be a public alms-house—the House of Peers, to be the place at which Pears are retailed to the Cockneys, &c. &c., let Lord John move the House to resolve, that such persons are, of all others, the best qualified for choosing Lawgivers and Statesmen. He must follow this with a set of resolutions to this effect:—Because a stray copy of Don Carlos has been seen in a remote northern village, it is the opinion of this House that the labouring population of the three kingdoms has become exceedingly learned and refined. Falsehood, sedition, and blasphemy, are knowledge and wisdom ,• therefore, this House conscientiously believes that the lower classes have been rendered extremely knowing and wise, especially with regard to State matters, by the mighty increase of Sunday Newspapers. A large stake in the weal of the State, and a good education, positively disable a man from giving an honest and wise vote; therefore, this House is abundantly certain that none •will ever vote honestly and wisely at elections, except those who are ignorant and destitute, whose votes are constantly on sale at the rate of a guinea, a yard of ribbon, and a couple of gallons of beer, and who know that Burdett, Hunt, Dr Watson, and Waddington, are the only men in the nation capable of forming a government. This House feels itself bound to declare, that all are evil-disposed persons who dare to assert that a House of Commons, chosen exclusively by such voters, would yield anything but blessings to the country. This House is fully convinced, that it was originally formed, not for purposes of national good, but that every poor man might have a vote to sell at elections, and it declares it to be highly slavish and unconstitutional to think otherwise.
It will be advisable in Mr H. G. Bennett to move, that, whenever a statement of the misery of criminals is made to the House, every member be compelled to shed tears over it; and that every member be ordered to go into slight mourning on the transportation of every convict, and into deep mourning at every public execution. He may follow it with a resolution, stating it to be highly necessary for public good, that honourable members should lose their temper, and make inflammatory speeches—that the Tory press should be destroyed by privilege of Parliament—and that he, himself, should be regarded, as Hume's friend and equal.
Mr, late Sir Robert Wilson, may move for a committee to ascertain how his character stands at present with the nation. The committee must be instructed to report on the following particulars: — Is not Mr Wilson a greater statesman than Prince Mctternich, and a more able general than the Duke of Wellington? and was he not warranted in addressing Spain and Portugal, as he did, in language which clearly indicated that he believed himself to have a right to dis
pose as he pleased of both kingdoms? Is there any Ion of honour in publicly charging Buonaparte with the most heinous crimes, and then, through the mouth of a friend, retracting the charge on the hustings for electioneering purposes—in violating the laws of a foreign country to save from punishment a criminal convicted of perjury and treason—in being expelled the British army—in being publicly stripped of various foreign orders— and in being indebted for bread to a factious subscription? On the bringing up of the report, Mr Wilson may move, that all writers be in future compelled to maintain, that when an alien endeavours to force a nation to accept, at the sword's point, a fonn of government, and a set of rulers which the vast majority of it abhors, he is proving himself to be a champion of national liberty, and an enemy of foreign interference.
Mr Alderman Wood may move, that the House do cause it to be notified to the public, that he is still alive, and in good health—that it is a high crime and misdemeanour in the mob not to cheer him as usual—and that, if his popularity be not restored forthwith, he will commence an action against the state for the recovery of his legaj and constitutional property.
Sir Francis Bvrdett may move for a committee of discovery to search the records of the House, and report upon the following points.—What beneficial law calls him parent? Did he ever attempt to carry any such law through Parliament? Did he ever introduce or support any measure of general utility which had no connection with party politics? Has honest conviction, or party madness, produced his violent and disgusting changes of opinion on Reform? Was he, or was he not, the parent of radicalism? What will be his character with historians twenty years after his decease? On the bringing up of the report, Sir Francis may move the House to declare, that patriotism consists in the making of senseless and inflammatory speeches to the multitude,—in the diffusing of hatred towards constituted authorities,—and, in the constantly opposing of all measures calculated to yield public good.
Mr Hume must prevail on the House to resolve, that the rules of arithmetic, which have been hitherto used