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Princess of Wales, which Rundelli and Bridge sent to the house one Satar! day, for the Duke to take to Windsor. This was a temptation she could not resist. Accordingly, she decked herself with the royal gems, and went that night with them to the Opera Next morning, bis Royal High ness delivered them to the King at Windsor.
! 1810 At this distance of time, I do not recollect a tithe of the anecdotes she told me; but my acquaintance with her continued, and some of her stories respecting George the Fourth were very racy. Of the Duchess of York she always spoke with respect, but I think she had no particular anecdotes to tell of her; from which I inferred that she knew little about her. wards Colonel M.Mahon she had certainly something of an antipathy; for, although she spoke of him with bitterness, I could never recollect any particular
story which she related to his disadvantage. The fact is, that Mrs. Clarke did not possess that extraordinary fascination which posterity may suppose from the incidents in which she was engaged; but she was undoubtedly clever, with a degree of tact, that, either in man or woman, would have been singularly acute.?
worden wanting something to do, Mr. Galt took advantage of the facility of travelling to France, which had now been opened by the peace; and his object was to find, if possible, inducements to remain there. He returned home, however, and was soon in full employ: ment, as a contributor to a monthly publication called The Rejected Theatre. Mr. Galt put into the first number a rejected tragedy of his own, called The Witness. This was enough; the publication, after the second number, changed its title and object, and made another onset on the gullible portion of the public. This altered edition was known under the name of the New British Theatre. The fate of this performance was merely a repetition of that of the first; and, Mr. Galt having good reason to foresee its rapid downfall, * cut and run” in time, as he himself expresses it. In taking leave of this last work, Mr. Galt calls our attention to a canto which it contains, from Homer's Iliad. He speaks of it in the most disinterested manner, he tells us; because he had only the patching of it up, and the changing of Pope's rhymes into blank verse; but it is so good-it so equals, in beauty of versification, any drama in the English language, that the ” total neglect of it is truly inconceivable." The next of the strange aspects
which we find Mr. Galt assuming, is that of Secretary to the National Caledonian Asylum! and here the evil genius which so perseveringly haunted him, showed a peculiar degree of malignity: for his charitable intentions having induced him to resort to an ingenious contrivance for raising the funds of the Asylum, he fell a victim to his generosity in the most lamentable manner. At the splendid dinner which took place on the opening of the Institution, a great sum was raised by subscription; but not content with this, Mr. Galt determined to publish the music performed at the dinner. It was to be done by subscription, and was set down as a source which would prove very productive to the Charity. But the artist who was to execute the music proved a dilatory sort of a gentleman, and before he finished his work, that terrible despoiler of all civil and social gratifications, the battle of Waterloo, intervened, and no music made its appearance. Two hundred and seventy pounds odd was the amount of the reckoning för the unfinished plan, and upon poor Mr. Galt fell the obligation to pay it. We do not wonder, therefore, to hear him declare--I have never since looked near the Caledonian Asylum, except once to see the building; for, of all sordid things that ever I knew, it has appeared to me that this was the meanest.
What was the next trial of Mr. Galt? We shall tell the reader. He was employed by some Glasgow merchants to procure a London guarantee for shipments to Jamaica, destined for the Spanish colonies. Mr. Galt, by diligence and activity, matured the scheme; but at the very moment when it was ripe, the evil genius again pounced upon the poor man. In fact, the sudden revolt of the Spanish colonies set the plan at defiance. Mr. Galt retired with his family to Greenock, and was not long there when he received an offer to go to London and support a bill then in progress for the formation of a canal. This project, too, ended in smoke, but Mr. Galt now determined to make London his residence; and, after remaining for some time in the metropolis, he was appointed by certain claimants in Canada as their agents to make good their demands with the government here. He was a principal in establishing the Canada Company, and subsequently he became deeply involved in Canadian affairs ; so as to make him anxiously wish that he had never had any thing to do with them. The Company and the Government were engaged in a dispute, and Mr. Galt was under the necessity of making two trips to Canada, to the great injury of his health. The theme is too dull and too distressing to detain us. Some observations on Mr. Horton's plan of emigration, of no sort of consequence, terminate the first volume.
In the commencement of the second volume, we find Mr. Galt in Upper Canada, conducting himself with so much indiscretion that Sir Peregrine Maitland, the Governor, is obliged to send him 'a' remonstrance. Mr. Galt gives very fairly the whole of the correspondence between them, and we do not hesitate to say, that, whilst we condemn the very officious, and, under the circumstances, very indelicate conduct of Mr. Galt, we are not less ready to do justice to the firmness and the good temper which Sir Peregrine displayed in his necessary expostulations with, and his admonitions to Mr. Galt, the nature of whose interference will be best understood by Sir Peregrine's complaints. " You must be aware," writes the Governor, " that any communication had by you with members in opposition, with a view to influence their public conduct, would subject the government to misconstructions and misrepresentations more 'unpleasant and injurious than any acts of those persons can possibly be. I am sure that his Majesty's government, and the Court of Directors of the Canada Company, of whose sentiments I am so unreservedly put'in possession, would be most unwilling to believe that your expectation of exercising an influence on the conduct of such persons could be grounded on any community of feeling, or any strong tie of personal friendship; and if, on the other hand, it were left to be supposed, that, feeling, and thinking, and acting with the government, you trusted to any personal influence from the weight which the confidence reposed in you by the Canada Company, or by the government, must confer upon you, to (make representations which might naturally be supposed to be derived from the government, you must feel that it would be a kind of discretion which I could not willingly. commit to any person whatsoever. And I think it right to acquaint you that any indirect attempt to influence the public conduct of the members of Assembly is a course diametrically..opposite to those principles upon which this government is conducted." 0 Mr. Galt gives a minute account of his proceedings in Upper Capada, in Quebec, and in York, as agent of the Canada Company. Amongst other acts of importance was his laying, with great ceremony, the foundation of a city, to which the name of Guelph has been given, this title being chosen out of respect to the royal family. The place, he says, is now in a thriving condition. All these operations were accomplished, of course, in the name of the Company, and for the specific purpose of extending their influence. All now seemed to be proceeding prosperously with Mr. Galt; but the old enemy, his evil genius, appeared to be as powerful as ever. sufficient to say, that he became obnoxious to all the authorities, including even his special friend, Mr. Horton;, he was reprimanded by the Directors of the Canada Compaay, and be was at length forced to send in his resignation. But no steps were taken on this, and the course of proceedings which the Directors subsequently adopted are stated by Mr. Galt to be only the result of a machination against him.
filt otsinnt They sent out an Accountant who was to act as cashier, and this man forms the subject of some very unfavourable observations by Mr. Galt. However, he persevered in carrying on such works as he thought the company, ought to execute, never paying the least attention to the Accountant, whose airs, arrogance, and false representations he duly commemorates. In reference to this devoted Accountant, we shall let the reader have another specimen of Mr. Galt's good feeling and discretion.
bus)017 It was just at this crisis that Sir Peregine Maitland was superseded in the government by Sir John Colborne. The former, just before his departure, sent to Mr. Galt and told him that he should have the pleasure of introducing him to Sir John, if he came on the following morning to the Government-house. This, observes Mr. Galt, was more than I expected, and I received the invitation as an ássurance that my political conduct had not been unsatisfactory. I mentioned this inyitation to the Accountant, and begged him to be in order, as I would afterwards present him to Sir John Colborne; but, at the communication, he sullenly heard me. Next day, when
I returned from the Government-house, I requested him to dress himself to go with me to Sir John Colborne, but he broke out into a frantic passion, talked unmitigated nonsense, and said, I ought to have taken him in my hand when I went to Sir Peregrine. His manner was so ridiculous that I could not answer him gravely; but something like, a threat of complaining to the Directors, implying a sort of authorized surveillance over me, and as if he had something in his power, roused me to think; and as my situation by him, and other things, was rendered one of real suffering, I determined to return to England, and accordingly wrote by the first packet.
This proceeding requires scarcely any comment. We need only say, that the unhappy Accountant fled from the disagreeable scene even before Mr. Galt, who, however, found it necessary to persist in his determination of leaving the country. The Company now gave proofs that they lost all confidence in him; and the bitterness of the complaints which he makes against them, may be taken as the measure of the dislike which they manifested towards him. It gives us deep pain to hear the language of Mr. Galt on this occasion."
My successors have not found they could improve my plans, but they are gathering the freightage of the vessel which I had planned and had the laborious task of the building and launching, by which my health has been vitally injured, and my mind filled with a rancour that has embittered my
fe. But public bodies are without hearts, and the true way of earning disappointment, is by an ardent endeavour to please. I say this with the austerity of truth, warranted by experience.'-Vol. ii. p. 137
... to li Before his departure, Mr. Galt thought it proper that he should pause for a moment and sum up the items of knowledge which he had acquired during his sojourn. He found, on consideration, that he had at least gained some experience and some acquaintance with what he calls the “idiomatic difference,” which distinguishes the English race of the new world from their kindred in the old. But he confesses that his acquirements there were, upon the whole, very scanty indeed. He satisfied himself, however, of the existence in some localities of antient earthen fortifications; and another of his discoveries was, that that the divining rod, such as was employed
Dousterswivel, in the novel of the Antiquary, to find out Springs, was rvally and truly a talisman of the greatest eflicacy. I became, says Mr: Galt, a little interested, very little at first, in the man's proceedings, but ultimately made him prepare a rod, and took a part in the mystery myself. My own experiment, however, owing no doubt to its being a first attempt, was unsuccessful : but after some time he pitched on a spot for the well, and this was on the top of the artificial moand before described. I determined, however, in spite of reason, to give the German fair play, and accordingly, in disregard of remonstrance, ordered the well to be excavated there.
5 After digging through the earthen mass, which was six or seven feet deep, the digger came to the rock, which, with much blasting aird perseverence, was penetrated to the depth of between thirty and
forty feet, without any symptom of water, at last he reached'a porous stratum, in which were the remains of tropical fishes' petrified, and the lime-stone apparently perforated thickly with worms. I have some specimens of this curious subterranean wonder in 'my possession, but all was as yet as dry as hay ! 6.163
The well-digger then had recourse to his iron rod, and soon reached with it a subterranean stream of water, which, by rising through the aperture, half filled the well. I offer no comment on this fact, but the well is there, and obtains its water from the perforated rock.
Two chapters more describes Mr. Galt's own notions of what he accomplished, not merely for the Canada Company, but for the vegetable, kingdom of that country, and also a perilous excursion through a forest, on his way to Lake Huron; and, then we have the agreeable intelligence cominunicated to us of Mr. Galt's final return to England.
Seating himself down in the metropolis, the now fatigued and disappointed wanderer resolved upon retiring from the mercantile siness, but yet, he says, and we believe with great truth,“
busullenness of a vanquished bull!” In this state of feeling, he completed his “Lawrie Todd.” He then commenced the novel of
Southennai," a novel which he declares has not been sufficiently appreciated. Indeed he begs leave to inform the gentle public that his obsolete lore and knowledge have never been valued at their proper worth, notwithstanding all his efforts to follow strictly the rule of art, which requires from the historical painter not only accuracy of costume and character, but precision in the exhibitions of still life.
We e now contemplate Mr. Galt, stationed in the metropolis, making up his mind to remain there, and to devote it to literary pursuits. He seems perfectly satisfied with his prospects, when, all of a sudden, after breakfast one morning, he remembers that his family is in Canada, waiting impatiently for the return of the proper season to come home. A thought strikes the man. After breakfast, he starts for the house of his friend Lord L-,, and he and Lord L proceed forthwith to Downing Street, where the noble Lord solicits from Sir George Murray a grant of land for his friend Mr. Galt, who, if the request were complied with, was ready to start that moment for Canada! Sir George declined, and Mr. Galt stayed at home, and he wrote, by desire of Messrs. Colburn & Bentley, his Life of Lord Byron, by which he has obtained such vast addi, tional credit to that extorted by him in the wilds of North America, to his good sense and discretion.
Here we are forced to pause a while, in listening to the observal tion's which Mr. Galt deems it necessary to make in reference to the expressions of feeling which issued from all quarters throughout the kingdom, after the publication of his biography of Byron. Instead of apologizing to the public-instead of manifesting any compunc, tions for the calumnies which he had uttered against the national poet, Mr. Galt only shews that he can be still more pitifully spite.