« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
whatever comes within the usual category first thought seriously of religion; it was of accomplishments and was not excluded then also that Miss Hannah first confessed by the peculiar rules or prejudices of sect :- her tenderness, and their engagement was linguists, musicians-bold and graceful readily sanctioned by her parents, although equestrians, but not dancers : critics in his worldly prospects were no longer so (Bowdler's) Shakspeare, who would have bright as when the acquaintance began. The shuddered at the name of a play-house : all succession to the Irish estate had opened, devoutly religious, a)l zealous quakers-Day, but his claim was disputed; a suit had comthe handsomest of the three, about the age menced, and his lawyers honestly warned when beauties make their debul at Almack's, him that there was at least an equal chance already in esteem as a preacher. That of the decision being against him; if that Cymon should bave left Earlbam deep in were the issue, the remainder of his paterlove, and with stern resolutions for study, nal property in England would not exempt was natural; the wonder is that be did not him from the necessity of choosing some depart buttopless and broad brimmed. profession. His mother, too, had vow en
Gay pictures of college life, but especially tered on a second marriage, and this provisions of tall hunters and the Curragh of bably inferred a further diminution of exKildare, had had much to do with bis first pectations. The Gurney family, however, consent to go to Dublin ; but he dismissed were generous and tender-hearted ;-and all these, and du. ing the four years to which old and young of them had by this time his Irish residence extended, he was ex- formed not only a warın liking for him, but clusively the student. Aware of his defi- a high estimate of his talents and his whole ciencies, on bis arrival he quartered himself character. They were wise, too—for sad with a private tutor near the capital; and folly it is in any parents to cross a young there so well employed a few months that, woman of superior understanding, when she on entering the University, he was pro- has deliberately given her affections to a nounced not inferior to any freshman of that gentleman of honor and principle, who bas term : and he continued to labor so assidu- means enough for a fair start and has shown ously, that before he took his degree he was his capacity for industry. After the engageconsidered an excellent mathematician, and ment was completed, he parted from them in classics not below any of his rivals. The at Edinburgh ; they to journey homewards most formidable of these was John Henry by the eastern road; he to make his way · North, afterwards eminent at the Irish bar, by bimself to Dublin. The last night they and, during a too short space, in the House were together happening to be a blowy one, of Commons; they became and were ever. Miss Hannab requested a promise that he after, in spite of all differences of opinion, would not take any of the shorter passages, attached and intimate friends. They divid- which she supposed to be attended with aded between them the principal prizes at ditional risks, and he promised accordingly. Trinity; and they seem to have been thought From some accident his travels were not the ablest speakers (of their standing) in smooth, and the term being at hand when the Historical Society.
But the best evi- he reached Lancashire, the temptation to dence as to Buxton's whole academical ca- embark at once was considerable ; but Buxreer is found in the fact that, towards its ton kept his word, and proceeding through close, he was invited to fix his ambition on Wales to Holyhead, arrived safe—though the Parliamentary representation of the Uni- late—at Trinity College, where his appearversity, by a circular so signed and support-ance was a happy relief to his fellow-stued that, in North’s opinion, there could have dents; for the Liverpool packet, in which been no doubt of his success at the next it was supposed he must have taken bis paselection. This was a rare and splendid sage, had foundered in mid-channel, and out compliment in the case of so young a man, of 119 persons whom he had seen embark, and an Englishman; he was greatly flatter and many of whom had urged him to accomed--but would not rashly commit himself; pany then, only one escaped to tell the tale. and he had good reason for his reserve.
On his arrival he received still more unHe had during his under-graduateship paid favorable reports as to his lawsuit, and, two or three visits at Earlhan, and in the after some little hesitation, dismissed whollast long vacation the Gurneys carried him ly the parliamentary proposal. He consiwith them on a tour into the Highlands of dered all worldly prospects as worthless, unScotland. That was an eventful tour for bim. less a speedy union with Miss Gurney were It was, he says, in the course of it that he included; and to enter the House of Com
mons would be to put it out of his power and services, was at length induced to restore to engage in any course of professional in- him to his place. They afterwards becaine very dustry. Moreover, he had a settled opinion, good friends, and the salutary effect of the in which we are old-fashioned enough to
changes introduced by Mr. Buxton
length admitted by his leading opponent; nor, concur, that no man should sit in the legis- except in one instance, did he ever contend lature unless bis pecuniary position be one against them again. On that occasion Mr. Bux, of perfect independence. Mr. North reluc- ton merely sent him a message, that he had tantly acquiesced in his arguments, and that better meet him in the counting-house ai six matter was at an end. He took his degree o'clock the next morning.' The book-keeper's with great honor—was afterwards opposition was heard of no more.”—p. 41, married, and went to live in a cottage near
In the early part of his married life Mr. ended his first child was born, and the Irish Buxton regularly accompanied his wife to lawsuit was determined against him; and her Quaker chapel : from 1811 he appears his anxiety to do something for himself bar to have divided bimself pretty equalls being been made known to his own and his tween that and “the ministry of the Rev. wife's relations, he received ere long an
Josiah Pratt, in Wheeler Chapel, Spitaloffer of employment in the Hanbury brew-fields.” To Mr. Pratt's preaching he ever ery, with the prospect after three years'
afterwards referred as the source of “ bis probation, of a share in the business. This first real acquaintance with the doctrines of met all his desires ; he removed immediate- illness in 1813, and the meditations of a
Christianity :” but he had a dangerous ly to the spot, and devoting himself to the
slow concern with the same zeal that had dis
deepened the devotional feeltinguished his academical life, he soon made ings which that phraseology signifies. Sehimself thoroughly master of it. At the veral entries in the diary also refer to proend of twelve months the partners gave
which had influence. For
him a house on the premises ; in 1811 he was
example, in 1815– taken into the firm--bringing with him, we “ Mr. Back and I (he says) went into the presume, some considerable capital ; and brewery to survey the repairs which were goduring the seven ensuing years the brewery ing on; we were standing upon a plank, with in Spitalfields occupied the man.
only room for two, face to face ; we changed
places in order that I might survey a spot to “Soon after his admission, his senior part- which he was directing my attention ; his hat ners struck by his energy and force of mind, was on-I was uncovered ; as soon as we had placed in his hands the difficult and responsi- changed places, several bricks fell from the ble task of remodelling their whole system of roof, and one struck his head; his hat in some management. It would be superfluous to enter measure averted the blow, but he never reco. into the details of his proceedings, though, per- vered the injury, and died shortly afterwards baps, he never displayed greater vigor and of an oppression of the brain.”—p. 55. firmness than in carrying through this undertaking. For two or three years he was occu
Again, in December, 1817-by which pied from morning till night in prosecuting, time he had ceased to be resident at the step by step, his plans of reform: a single Breweryexample may indicate with what spirit he grappled with the difficulties that beset him on all “On Saturday last, in consequence of an al. sides.
most oh-olete promise to sleep in town when all “One of the principal clerks was an honest the other partners were absent, I slept at Brick man, and a valuable servant; but he was wed. Lane. S. Hoare had complained to me that sedeù to the old system, and viewed with great veral of our men were employed on the Sunday. antipathy the new partner's proposed innova. To inquire into this, in the morning I went into tions. At length, on one occasion he went so the brewhouse, and was led to the examination far as to thwart Mr. Buxton's plans. The latter of a vat containing 170 ton-weight of beer. I took no notice of this at the time, except desiring found it in what I considered a dangerous situahim to attend in the counting.house at six tion, and I intended to have it repaired the next o'clock the next morning. Mr. Buxion met him morning. I did not anticipate any inmediate there at the appointed hour; and, without any danger, as it had stool so long. When I got to exposiulation, or a single angry word, desired Wheeler Street Chapel, I did as I usually do in him to produce his books, as he meant for the cases of difficully,-1 craved the direction of my future ; to undertake the charge of them himself, heavenly Friend, who will give rest to the bur. in addition to his other duties. Amazed at this thened and instruction to the ignorant. From decision, the clerk promised complete submission that moment I became very uneasy, and instead for the future; he made his wife intercede for of proceeding to Hampstead, as I had intended, I him; and Mr. Buxton, who valued his character returned to Brick Lane. On examination I saw,
or thought I saw, a still further declension of | spent in Ireland, he was as much a sportsthe iron pillars which supported this immense weight, so I sent for a surveyor; but before he commonly' called business ever was or will
man as any man not wholly without what is came I became apprehensive of immediate
be. danger, and ordered the beer, though in a state
Not more regular was the Meeting or of fermentation, to be let out. When he arrived Chapel at the opening of another keen week he gave it as his decided opinion that the vat of his Gylery, than the escape from London was actually sinking, that it was not secure for and all its concerns for as many weeks as five minutes, and that if we had not emplied it, he could spare during the autumn and winit would probably have fallen. Jis fall would ter, and the eager occupation of almost every have knocked down our steam-engine, coppers, hour of them in the sports of the field. He roof, with two great iro.a reservoirs full of water-in fact, the whole brewery.”—p. 74.
was as unwearied in fishing and shooting as
Chantrey er Davy-as fond of dogs as Scott In bis letters we now have frequent la- .--as complete a horseman and as knowing mentations over infirmity of spirit-clear in horse-flesh as Charles Apperley. Since perceptions of the wortħlessness and the dogs have been mentioned, we must not pass nothingness of this world's affairs, vehement an anecdote of this period of Buxton's life, resolutions henceforth to live only for the in which his nerve and decision and good world to come, ever-recurring bemoanings feeling are strikingly told. He has been that he has not been able to renounce his spending a Wednesday with his brother-ininterest in the business or even in the law Mr. Hoare at Hampstead. A few days pleasures of this transitory scene. Thus :
aft"rwards he writes to his wife, then in
Norfoik: “This habit of full engagement of the mind has its advantages in business and other things, Spitalfields, July 15, 1816.-As you must but is attended with this serious disadvantage, hear the story of our dog Prince, I may as well that it immerses ine mind so fully in its inme tell it you: On Thursday inorning, when I got diate object, ihat there is no room for thoughts on my horse at S. Hoare's. David told me that of higher importance and more real moment to there was something the matter with Prince, that creep in. I feel this continually—the hours and he had killed the cat and almost killed the new hours that I spend in utter forgetfulness of that dog, and had bit at him and Elizabeth. I orderwhich I well know to be the only thing of im- ed him
to be tied up and taken care of, and then portance ! How
very greal a portion of one's rode off to town. When I got into Hampstead I life there is in which one might as well be a
saw Prince covered with mud, and running fuheathen!"-p. 54.
riously, and biting at everything. I saw him “ The true cause of my disquietude arises from bite at least a dozen dogs, two boys, and a man. a certain feature in my own mind, which I can Of course, I was exceedingly alarmed, being perhardly describe; a kind of unregulated ardor suaded he was mad. I tried every effort to stop in any pursuit which appears to me to be of him or kill him, or to drive him into some out. great importance, which takes captive all my fa- house, but in vain. At last he sprang up at a culties, and binds them down to that pursuit, boy, and seizeil him by the breast ; happily I and will not let them or me rest till it is accom- was near hiin, and knocked him off with my plished. I hate this; it is so unpleasant to whip. He then set off towards London, and I wake, and to go to sleep, with your head full of rode hy his side, waiting for some opportunity vats and subs; and I disapprove it more than I of stopping hin. I continually spoke to hiin, hate it. No man, I think, can have more ab- but he paid no regard to coaxing or scolding. stract conviction of the folly and futility of such You may suppose I was seriously alarmed, engagement of heart upon objects só uiterly dreading the immense mischief he might do i trifling and undurable. I see that it is an infira was terrified at the idea of his getting into Cammity; I deeply feel that it chokes the good den Town and London, and at length considerseed, and is a most pernicious weed, and I feeling that if ever there was an occasion that the breaches that it makes in my own quiet; justified a risk of life, this was it, I determined yet so much am I its slave, that it will intrude to catch him myself. Happily he ran up to into the midst of such reflections, and carry ine Pryor's gate, and I threw myself from my borse off to my next Gyle. How sincerely I do often upon him, and caught him by the neck; he bit wish that I could direct this fervent energy at me, and his strnggles were so desperate that about temporals into its proper channel: that 1 it seemed at first almost impossible to hold him, could be as warm about things of infinite import-i1 lifted him up in the air, when he was more ance as I am about dust and ashes.”—p. 56.
easily managed, and I contrived 10 ring the bell.
I was afraid that the foam, which was pouring Nothing of this will surprise anybody might get into some scraten, and do me injury
from his mouth in his furious efforts to bite me, but ever knows the general course of
si) with great difficulty I held him with one baid Mr. Buxton's bistory must feel some sur-chile I put the other into my pocket and forced prise that all through life, except the period I on my glove; then I did the same with my other
hand, and at last the gardener opened the door. f task-works. From the moment of peace saying, “ What do you want?” l've brought the fabrics of France and Italy acquired you a mad dog," replied !; and telling him to fresh energy, and having immense advanget a strong chain, 1 valked into the yard, carry; tages in material and climate, needed only ing the dog by the neck. I was determined not to kill him, as I thought if he should prove not the legislation of the hear: less science” to to be mad, it would be such a satisfaction to the achieve a ruinous disconfiture of the dothree persons whom he had bitten. I male the mestic industry. If we except the unhappy gardener (who was in a terrible fright) secure people of the Hebrides and the opposite ihe collar round his neck and fix the other end coasts, all reduced at one fell swoop, the of the chain to a tree, and then walking to its furthest range, with all my force, which was
gentry to poverty, the peasants to destitunearly exhausted by his frantic struggles, I tion, by the sudden abolition of the barilla flung him away from me and sprang back. He duty-no class suffered more fearfully than made a desperate bound after me, but finding the ingenious community among wlose long himself foiled, he uttered the most fearful yell lines of low, frail, many-windowed teneI ever heard. All that day he did nothing but ments the big brewhouse towered like some rush to and fro, champing the foam which Egyptian temple over Fellah hovels. They He snatched at it with fury, but instantly had money to spend, too a great part of it
were bis immediate neighbors; while they dropped it again. The next day when I went to see him I thought the chain seemed worn, 80 i had been spent in the produce of his vatspinned him to the ground between the prongs of but in their better times they had been on a pitchfork, and then fixed a much larger chain the whole inoffensive as well as profitable rouni his neck; when I pulled off the fork he neighbors—they included many decent sprang up and made a dash at me, which snap-well-ordered families-not a few of them ped the old chain in two! He died in forty; frequenters, like himself, of the Wheeler all the cats. The man and boys who were bit Chapel. The situation of these people inare doing pretty well. Their wounds were im
vitei, of course, the appearance among mediately cut and burnt out.”—p. 59.
them of our never-failing brood of sedition
mongers—some of those vicious and thereIt was also during the busiest of his brew- fore unprosperous adventurers, who are ership that he addicted himself to the study always ready to turn the misery of the igof Political Economy, embraced zealously norant into the weapon of their own ambisome of the most fashionable of its doctrines, tion--that is, their rebellion against the and being touched with the propagandist rules of all civilized society. Doctor Watspirit of this new sect, was willing to revive son and Lieutenant Thistlewood were first his practice of speaking, disused since the heard of in connexion with the Spitalfields days of the Dublin Historical Society. The meetings and riots of 1916. It is no partiimportant citizen was welcomed into a de- cular reproach to those agitators that they bating club held in the legal part of the never dirècted their efforts against the town, and composed principally of lawyers, cu able causes of the distress with which but not without some intermixture of lay they pretended to sympathize :---either the aspirants. Here he encountered his old habitual improvidence of our operative schoolfellow Horace Twiss, who had some classes, who almost universally indulge in difficulty in recognizing the honest elephant early marriages-abstinence from which is of Greenwich in the keen dogmatist from the rule for all the upper ranks, except Spitalfields. This, probably, was another the eldest sons of very opulent familiasof the carnal exercitations that called for and who, having surrounded themselves black marks in his diary ; but he ere long with wives and children, seldom, very selfound redeeming use of the accomplishment dom, think of saving anything out of their it had advanced.
wages when they are high, but leave the His first public exhibition as a speaker chances of sickness and the certainty of old was in a good cause, and one in which his age to take care of themselves, and consume situation made it especially his duty to be- in gross pampering of their appetites the stir biunself-that of the poor weavers of money that night, if rightly husbanded, go Spitalfields. While the Continent was shut far to secure an independence for old age, up by the long war, our silk-manufacture at and even to rear their progeny for modes of home flourished; every encouragement was life bitter than their own ;-or yet the cruel given to the investment of capital in it, and conceit of those charlatans baving the rapid growth of a population dependant taken up any theory, however new, are wholly on their skill in its nice and delicate always eager for reducing it to immediate
practice, at whatever cost of pain and sor- been so pleased by the spirit and temper of
“ I cannot claim the merit of being influenced selves in the front rank with the less alarm- only by regard for the Spitalfields' sufferers in ing symbols of some ambi-traitorous delu- the pleasure I have received from your perior: sion; which of course they were in a con- mances at the meeting. It is partly a selfish dition to adopt successfully in 1830, and feeling, for I anticipate the success of the efforts have only eschewed since when (lucki- which I trust you will one day make in other ly for all parties) bound over by the occu- instances in an assenbly in which I trust we
shall be feilow-laborers, both in the motives pancy or close expectancy of Downingstreet. In 1816 the radicals were left to by which we are actua'ou and in the objects to
which our exertions will be directed." themselves, and they spoke plainly; avowedly then, as indubitably ever since, the “ This communication," says the biograone great object was the Cobbett Sponge ; pher,"" may be deemed almost prophetic." and neither Duke nor Archbishop saw more We have no doubt that, like
other clearly than Messrs. Truman and Hanbury, prophecies, it owed much of its fulfilment that if faith were openly broken with the to itself. At all events. that field-day at national creditor, he—whose name is indeed the Mansion House proved to be the second Legion-could never fall alone. But Buxton turning point of Buxton's history. was kind of heart as well as shrewd, and no one will suspect him of having been
“ He was now launched upon that stream of mainly, even though unconsciously, swayed
labor for the good of others along which his by other motives than those of religion and Having done what he could in relieving the
course lay for the remainder of his life. humanity, when he made his debut in public miseries of his poor neighbors, he soon entered speaking as the advocate of those afflicted upon a wider field of benevolence.”—p. 64. and in part misled artisans.
A meeting at the Mansion House was It is our humble opinion that if his field attended by many men of note in the com- had never extended beyond Spitalfields, he mercial world, and the speeches and the could and must have done more good to his subscriptions (43,3691.) were alike honora- species than was accomplished by all his ble to the City. Buxton's address was subsequent "stream of labor.” But to admired. Lord Sidmouth was then, and proceed-in the course of the following throughout many perilous years, Secretary autumn, being on a visit to his wife's relafor the Home Department-in which office tions in Partridgeshire, he was pressed by the single hearted benevolence of his cha- one of them to attend a Bible Society mcetracter, combined with undaunted bravery, ing in the neighborhood, and there delivered and a kindliness of manger which never a second speech, which extended his reputadetracted from the dignity of his position, tion and strengthened his confidence. Mrs.. enabled him to do more for his country than Fry now struck in ; she had by this time was ever done by the wits that ridiculed applied herself to the condition of prisons and the rhetoricians that eclipsed liim. His throughout the empire- day, throughout the share was small and reluctant in the inci world; and though she had a ready fellow.' pient liberalism which, on the earliest op- laborer in Mr. John Gurney, more help po: tunity, shook him off as an inconvenien: was wanted, and the help that Buxton could memento of the ante-Huskissonian ages give would be the more welcome, because On the second day he sent for Mr. Buxton he did not, like herself and her worthy bro" to inform him that the Prince Regent had ther, actually belong to the Quaker body.