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Political economy received, at the period to which we advert, no inconsiderable share of Mr. Galt's special attention ; and from the developement of his views on the subject, he appears to be a decided opponent of free trade. By one of those vicissitudes to which mercantile establishments are so liable, it was Mr. Galt's misfortune to have failed with his partner in business. He again, tried the mercantile line with his brother, but without any success, and at last he determined to abandon the pursuit. He then entered as a student at Lincoln's Inn, and subsequently went abroad for his health. He took his passage at Falmouth and proceeded to Gibraltar. On the way he had sufficient time for reflecting on his situation and prospects, and, strange to say, on the most mature deliberation, he came to the conclusion that the step which he had taken as a candidate for the bar was a wrong one ; and he resolved accordingly to go no further in this business. The reasons on which Mr. Galt founded his determination appear to have been judicious, and are well worthy of being dwelt upon as sources of instruction to all who may be placed in the like circumstances. It is his belief that one who conceits himself to be at least equal to his neighbours in energy, is very apt to make a false estimate of the chances of life. He sees that men only get forward by their own talents, and it is not till he has obtained some insight of the world that he discovers, although this be true, he is yet apt to undervalue difficulties by attending too much to that circumstance. At the outset of life there is no profession whatever to which the aid of friends, be the individual's talent what it may, is not essential. If he possess superior ability, he will in time, with the precursor of friendship, make himself distinguish, ed; but if he be only an ordinary person, he will never rise above his first establishment. At the time, however, to which he himself alludes, he was reluctant to believe this; a more accurate knowledge of human rivalry, however, has left no room to doubt the fact, and it has reconciled him to his subsequent desultory life; for afterwards it did not appear within the scope of probability that he could have made his way at the bar to any satisfactory degree of distinction. No one existed on whom he could fasten the slightest claim for assistance, nor could he discern any chance in store to facilitate an ambitious career by the law.
Mr. Galt remarks, that in undertaking a voyage from England; he had thrown himself, as it were, from a dice-box like a die, so little did he know or care about his destiny. But whether or not he has reason at present to be pleased with the accident, yet it cer tainly must have been deemed by him at the time a fortunate event, to have become acquainted with no other than Lord Byron, at Gibraltar. The circumstances of that meeting have already been detailed by Mr. Galt, in his Life of Byron; it is therefore unnecessary to state more than that Mr. Galt accompanied him in the ship for Malta. We have also to notice that Mr. Galt's account of his travels has been long before the public, and that we should
have felt it our duty to pass over such portion of the present work as might be a reprint, or even a new version of the contents of the former. But he commences his third chapter with a statement, to the effect, that, having on the former occasion refrained, by the impolitic advice of mistaken friends, from inserting matter of a personal nature, but which still would have been interesting, he does not hesitate, now that he is less squeamish by being better acquainted with the world, to make up the breach and to revive many partieulars which he had been induced to withhold from earlier publieation. Mr. Galt then proceeds to speak of his residence in Sicily; but nothing of much interest occurs in the narrative. He visited several of the Greek islands during his stay, and at Tripolitza had the good fortune to have met the primate of the Morea, whom Mr. Galt, to his astonishment, found to be descended from the famous Greek Paleologi. Who these were Mr. Galt takes care to inform us. It appears, from an account, which by considerable industry he has collected, that Constantine Paleologus, the last of the Greek emperors, had a brother called Tomasio, a soldier of such spirit and bravery' that Mahomet II., in speaking of the Peloponnesus, said he had found many slaves in that country, but only one man, Tomasio. After defending the fortress of Salonica with undaunted constancy against the conqueror, when all hope of relief was abandoned, this prince fled into Italy, where Pope Pius II. ale lowed him a pension till his death. He had an only son, called John, who accompanied his father into Italy, and afterwards married a noble lady of Pisa, where, after the death of Tomasio, they assumed some of the forms and etiquettes of the antient imperial court. The offspring of this marriage was also a son, 'named Theo doro,- who in due course of years also married and became the father of Prospero, the father of Camilio. In the time of Pope Paul V. Camilio rendered himself so obnoxious to the papal court, by adhering to the Greek church, that he was forced to fly with his son, and what became of them was never ascertained. It was be lieved that they both perished at sea, and with them the imperial line was extinguished. But at Lindulph, in Cornwall, some light is thrown on this interesting historical fact. In the church is a mural monument, ornamented with an escutcheon of brass, on which were engraved two turrets, with the figure of an eagle with two heads, resting a claw on each turret, the singularity of this armorial bearing to persons acquainted with heraldry is very attractive, and the inscription is still more remarkable; as follows:-" Here lyethy the body of Theodoro Paleologus, of Pisanio, in Italye, descended from the Imperyall lyne of the last Christian Emperours of Greece, being the sonne of Camilio, the sonne of Prospero, the sonne of Theodoro, the sonne of John, the sonne of Thomas, the second brother to Constantine Paleologus, the eighth of that name, and last of the lyne that raygned in Constantinople, until subdued by the Turks, who married with Mary, the daughter of William Balls, of
VOL. IV. (1833). NO. II.
Hadlye, in Souffolke, gents; and had issue five children ---Theodoro, John, Ferdinando, Maria, and Dorothy, and departed this life at Clyfton, the 21st of January, 1636."
At Athens, Mr. Galt was engaged in a commercial enterprise, with respect to the particulars of which he appears to observe a most edifying degree of candour. The Signor Luseri, who was the agent of the Earl of Elgin at Athens, for shipping the far famed marbles, the relics of Greek architecture, to England, one day called on Mr. Galt, and told him that the French consul was very jealous of all the marbles going to England, and that he, the signor, experienced much inconvenience in consequence of his bills not being honoured by Lord Elgin's agents in Malta. A vessel, at the moment, was freighted, and in the dilemma in which he found himself, the signor thought himself justified in offering the cargo for sale. Mr. Galt acknowledges that he jumped at the offer of getting such a prize into his hands, as a speculation in such precious commodities would be sure to procure for him: he instantly gave letters for his agents at Malta to pay the bills upon receiving the stores, and saw the ship safely convoyed by a man-of-war to Malta. When there, however, he found the agent of the noble earl, who claimed them as a matter of right, and readily defrayed all the expensesi Mr Galt produces for our amusement a poem called the Athenaid, of his own composition of course, and intended to celebrate the
Rape of the Marbles from Athens." An account of an excursion to and about Constantinople by Mr. Galt, from Greece, contains nothing to which we feel it necessary to invite the reader's attention, We shall only present as a specimen a description, by himself, of one of these fits of abstraction into which Mr. Galt was occasionally liable to relapse. It is very amusing, but for a different reason from that, on account of which Mr. Galt gives it.
I have all my life been liable to occasional fits of abstraction, unless particularly roused. At Cagliari, a ludicrous incident of this kind bappened when Prince K- - introduced himself to me. The weather was very warm,' and I'vas to dine at the ambassador's; in consequence, the process of my dressing was slow, and I was very indolent. I had only got on my stockings and smallclothes, and was sitting in my shirt reading, of all things, Dr. Black's translation of the Life of Alfieri. The room in which I was sitting had a tiled floor, and was swarming with fleas and sand-flies.t. In reading the book I felt my legs often annoyed by these bloody-minded beasts, and without thinking that I had on white silk stockings, every now and then committed murder. On the entrance of the prince I was roused from my abstraction, and lo and behold! my stockings were all freckled with blood, and God knows how many lives I had to answer for. –Vol. i. pp. 221, 222.
A voyage from Cagliari, where Mr. Galt studied antiquities, to the eity of Cork, was the next great event in his history; and in the latter place he found matter for metaphysical speculation in the state of the eriminal laws as he saw them administered in that part of Ireland.
He afterwards returned to London. In the meantime he had matured a plan for the introduction of British produce into the continent by Turkey; and he called at the foreign office, in the expectation that Mr. Stratford Canning, with whom he had communicated abroad, would have prepared the government at home for the reception of this plan. Mr. Galt was exceedingly mortified at finding the people at the office perfectly ignorant of, and, what was more galling, pera fectly indifferent to the whole matter. He gave up his scheme in despair, “ and not knowing well what to do," Mr. Galt says, with great simplicity, "I resolved to publish my travels.” Having fully his time on his hands, he now renewed his acquaintance with Lord Byron, that nobleman having returned from the continent. sorry to find that even yet the rankling feeling against the person of the illustrious poet still agitates his heart. He now does not hesitate to accuse Lord Byron of endeavouring to sell some property for himself, which he knew belonged to the heirs of the family, and not to him self individually. There was, he says, about this extraordinary young nobleman something that, even while he was agreeable, checked all confidence; for though his temper was not decidedly bad, it was skinless and capricious, and I was not always in a humour to accord that indulgence which he constantly required. Of all men I have ever known, he had the least equanimity, and yet in bis felicitous moments he was singularly amusing, often interesting. To me there was an agreeable excitement frequently produced by his conversation, but he claimed more deference than I was disposed to grant. The fault might however be mine, for certainly, in proportion as a superiority is assumed, I have all my life risen against it. This weakness with men of the world may be laughable, but to those who are only half and half, it seems presumptuous: I am as well aware as any man can be, that it sets up the hair on the backs of those who plume themselves on their birth or fortune.
In speaking of the reception of his Travels by the public, Mr. Galt admits, with his usual candour, that it was not welcomed." as a phenix, with any particular laud and admiration, from the other birds and fowls of the same element;" but the result, so far as the proceeds were concerned, was satisfactory; and he is proud in thinking, that, though it sleeps, yet, that it has still vitality. Very fortunately for Mr. Galt, the house of Finlay, in London, resolved upon establishing a branch house at Gibraltar, Spain being, at that period, in the hands of the French. Mr. Galt was applied to to take à situation in the house, and, gladly accepting the offer, he departed without delay for Gibraltar. He confesses, that, in the situation which he filled, he was altogether out of his element; and, between the state of his feelings and the successes of the Duke of Wellington in Spain, which nearly destroyed the elements of the plan taken advantage of by the house of Finlay-moreover, by the distress which he endured for some bodily complaint which required surgical assistance, Mr. Galt was forced to quit Gibraltar, and return to
England once more, his affairs and prospects being still in the same distressed state as ever. Shortly afterwards, he was visited by mo less a personage than the notorious Mrs. Clarke, whose history has been so intimately connected with the late Duke of York. Mrs. Clarke, it seems, was led to call on him at the recommendation of some bookseller, of whom she sought advice. They referred her to Mr. Galt, who examined her papers, but recommended her not to publish. She took his advice, and he lost sight of her afterwards. The interviews which Mr. Galt had with this woman, enables him to appreciate her qualities and person sufficiently, to ren. der his description authentic. We shall give it in his own words:
She had certainly no pretensions whatever to beauty, though there was a life and intellectuality in her eyes, sparklingly agreeable. She dressed with what I would call much taste---remarkably neat, plain, and clean, and, generally, with a bare head. Her hair was almost black. She
possessed great powers of conversation, was often witty, and suddenly surprised you with flashes of shrewdness seldom seen in woman. Her mind was decidedly masculine, and she read books of what may be called the male kind. But it was not by knowledge that she made herself agreeable. On the contrary, her general conversation had very few literary allusions; her great forte lay in the discernment of character, and in stripping pretensions. She told me, that, during her examinations in the House of Commons, with all the apparent presence of mind she was supposed to evince, she was very much agitated. b. The scene she described of her separation from the Duke was exceedingly graphic. The first that she heard of his intention not to come again, was delivered to ber by a gentleman whose name I shall not repeat, because
I am not sure of being correct. He came, however, to her in a hackney-coach, which he left standing for him at the door. When shewn up into the front drawing-room she was sitting near the window, and, he immediately began to deliver bis commission. She was, at first, astpnished, for there had been no quarrel with the Duke. She then reflected on having a large establishment of servants, and no money; but she began, as the gentleman proceeded, to feel a woman's scorn, and, when he had completed the object of his visit, instead of making him any answer, she looked out at the window, and, observing the hackney-coach, rose and rung the bell. The butler answered it, and, with all the gravity that she could assume, she inquired “What low person has dared to come to my house, and leave his hackney-coach at the door? Send it away!"
Madam," said the ambassador, “ I came with it, and it waits for me.
13. For you!" exclaimed: Mrs. Clarke; "then, instantly get out; for, if you say another word, to me, I will order the footmen to toss you in a blanket!” She was, by this time, in a boiling passion, and the gentleman immediately withdrew.
( I inquired respecting the Duke's character, and, to her, credit, she spoke of him with much kindness and respeet. The two greatest faults she could'lay to his charge were a certain mauvaise honte, that made him averse to strangers, and a love of good eating. Among other things, she mentioned that George the Third made a rich present of jewels to the -191 isnt , 10-11