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Descending to Evolena, the pedestrians were received after a most cold and niggardly fashion in the dwelling of the curé, whose sister, a person of ungovernable temper and rude manners, seemed to find pleasure in the arrival of strangers only as fresh subjects whereon to vent her spleen, and to show how heartily she despised the inhabitants of her brother's parish, compared to the aristocratic burghers of the decayed town of Sion,'-her usual residence. We have no doubt that her inhospitality was exceeded only by her ugliness, but on this point the philosopher is silent. Jaded by a fatiguing journey, and without any prospect of beds for the night, she let them sit around a table, for a couple of hours, till some soup, prepared from their own rice, was at last placed before them. At a late hour in the evening they were told that one bed might be had somewhere in the village, so they left the manse, shaking the dust from their feet, and proceeded to their destined lodging, where, drawing lots for the place of repose, our Professor gained the prize. Where M. Studer slept never transpired;-he had, however, spent a night of misery'and they parted shortly afterwards, under agreement to meet again at Zermatt.

We close our citations with a fragment from the Professor's descent in that direction upon the glacier of Zmutt.

Pralong proposed to attempt descending the cliff, by which he recollected to have passed when he last crossed, and to have successfully reached the glacier below. We began cautiously to descend, for it was an absolute precipice: Pralong first, and I following, leaving the other guides to wait about the middle, until we should see whether or not a passage could be effected. The precipice was several hundred feet high. Some bad turns were passed, and I began to hope that no insurmountable difficulty would appear, when Pralong announced that the snow this year had melted so much more completely than on the former occasion as to cut off all communication with the glacier, for there was a height of at least thirty vertical feet of rocky wall, which we could by no means circumvent. Thus, all was to do over again, and the cliff was reascended. We looked right and left for a more feasible spot, but descried none. Having regained the snows above, we cautiously skirted the precipice until we should find a place favourable to the attempt. At length the rocks became mostly masked under steep snow-slopes, and down one of these, Pralong, with no common courage, proposed to venture, and put himself at once in the place of danger. We were now separated by perhaps but 200 feet from the glacier beneath. The slope was chiefly of soft deep snow, lying at a high angle. There was no difficulty in securing our footing in it, but the danger was of producing an avalanche by our weight. This, it may be thought, was a small matter, if we were to alight on the glacier below; but such a surface of snow upon rock rarely connects with a glacier without a break, and we all


knew very well that the formidable "Bergschrund" was open to receive the avalanche and its charge if it should take place. We had no ladder, but a pretty long rope. Pralong was tied to it. We all held fast on the rope, having planted ourselves as well as we could on the slope of snow, and let him down by degrees, to ascertain the nature and breadtu of the crevasse, of which the upper edge usually overhangs like the roof of a cave, dropping icicles. Were that covering to fail, he might be plunged, and drag us, into a chasm beneath. He, however, effected the passage with a coolness which I have never seen surpassed, and shouted the intelligence that the chasm had been choked by previous avalanches, and that we might pass without danger. He then (having loosed himself from the rope) proceeded to explore the footing on the glacier, leaving me and the other two guides to extricate ourselves. I descended first by the rope, then Biona, and lastly Tairraz, who, being unsupported, did not at all like the slide, the termination of which it was quite impossible to see from above. We then followed Pralong, and proceeded with great precaution to sound our way down the upper Glacier of Zmutt, which is here sufficiently steep to be deeply fissured, and which is covered with perpetual snow, now soft with the heat of the morning sun. It was a dangerous passage, and required many wide circuits; but at length we reached, in a slanting direction, the second terrace or precipice of rock which separates the upper and lower Glacier of Zmutt. When we were fairly on the debris we stopped to repose, and to congratulate ourselves on the success of this difficult passage. Pralong then said that he wished to ask a favour of me. To my astonishment, this was that he might be allowed to return to Erin instead of descending the Glacier to Zermatt. He was afraid, he said, of change of weather, and did not wish to lose time by going round by Visp. Of course I readily granted his request, and paid him the full sum agreed upon. To return all alone (and it was now afternoon) over the track we had just accomplished was a piece of spirit which would scarcely have entered the imagination of any of the corps of guides of Chamouni. I almost hesitated at allowing him to expose himself, but he was resolved and confident; and having given him most of the provisions, and all the wine, we saw him depart.'-pp. 304-306.

We have not touched on many instructive and entertaining chapters; but enough, we hope, has been done to give our readers some notion of glacier-exploring, and also of the skill with which this energetic successor of Playfair manages to combine scientific disquisition and picturesque description.


ART. IV.-The Public and Private Life of Lord Chancellor Eldon, including his Correspondence, and Selections from the Anecdote Book, written by himself. By Horace Twiss, Esq., one of Her Majesty's Counsel. 3 vols. 8vo. London, 1844.


N the Law Magazine of 1839 appeared a series of papers on the life of Lord Eldon, compiled with such care, and including comments on the whole so just, that perhaps a revised collection of them was all the public may have expected; but the present Earl found, on examination, that materials equally authentic and interesting remained untouched; and he has been fortunate in obtaining the services of Mr. Twiss for the arrangement of a copious and regular biography. This gentleman had always, on a few important subjects, maintained opinions different from those of the venerated Chancellor; but his noble friend rightly anticipated that no such circumstance would be allowed to interfere with the fulness and fairness of his historical record. Mr. Twiss appears to us to have acquitted himself, as to all points of controversy, with an exemplary union of honesty and modesty— neither dissembling his personal views, nor unnecessarily, upon any temptation, projecting them. His main narrative is freely and unaffectedly written-manly and spirited-on proper occasions interspersed with passages of true eloquence; the reader feels that he is in the hands of a man of extensive knowledge in life and affairs-acute, sagacious, thoroughly despising cant and claptraps. We cannot speak with the same unmixed approbation of the selections from the Chancellor's correspondence. Of course he asked and received the permission of those whose letters to his lordship are here printed-or of their proper representatives: but we must think that in sundry cases these parties ought not to have been, thus early, called upon to either grant or withhold such consent. Nor can we compliment Mr. Twiss unreservedly on the use he has made of a certain Anecdote Book,' the amusement of octogenarian chair-days at Encombe,-or of some papers of reminiscences by surviving connexions. From these sources he has drawn undoubtedly many valuable illustrations of character and manners; but an ample supply also of bald Joe Millers, and dismal puns, and pointless details of dull doings. We hope to see all such heavy redundancies cleared away from a second edition. This is a sterling book: it will live, and no pains ought to be grudged.

It would be impossible, within the limits of one article, to comprise any adequate examination of even a few of the great questions, legal and political, with which Lord Eldon's name must be connected by every future historian of Great Britain. We shall


make no attempt of this nature: reserving until another Number whatever we may desire to say of Lord Eldon as one of the greatest of lawyers and of judges, and of Mr. Twiss's estimate of him as such in the closing chapters-we shall at present deal exclusively with the Memoirs, and endeavour to select anecdotes and specimens of correspondence, which may bring our readers better acquainted with the personal character and conduct of the man, and the course of his relations with eminent contemporaries, as a minister of the crown.

Inglis is a rare name in Scotland, but Scott has from an early period been a very common one in England. No one is likely to doubt that some progenitor of Lord Stowell and Lord Eldon had emigrated from Scotland into Northumberland; but it is the glory of these great men that their ancestry was too obscure to be traceable beyond the grandfather, whose legal designation, in early and middle life, was William Scott, of Sandgate, yeoman,' -his ultimate position that of clerk in a coal-fitter's warehouse at Newcastle. William, son of this yeoman and clerk, became himself a master coal-fitter-a member of the ancient fraternity of Oastmen in that town-a careful, worthy, and latterly prosperous tradesman. Mr. Twiss might as well have omitted all allusion to some vague and idle claims of a descent from one of the most eminent of the Scotch families named Scott-the once great house of Balwearie-(that of which the wizard, Auld Michael,' was chief)—still respectably represented by the baronets of Ancrum. It is not even said that there was any tradition of such a lineage. The sole evidence for it amounts to this: that when distinguished graduates at Oxford, the sons of the coal-fitter used seals exhibiting the armorial bearings of Balwearie. Only this morning our eye rested on a newspaper advertisement by a sealengraver, closing in these terms: N.B. Arms found without extra charge.' Neither the yeoman of Sandgate nor the Oastman of Newcastle ever dreamt of pedigrees or escutcheons.

The coal-fitter is the intermediate agent between the lessee of a coal-pit and the shipper of coals. Mr. Scott's house and coalyard were situated near the river, in one of the narrow lanes of old Newcastle-Love Lane. These lanes have the local alias of chares. Lord Eldon puzzled the Chancery bar, on some occasion, by mentioning from the bench that he was born in a chare-foot.' It was well for him and for his country that his elder brother William could not have told the same story. When their mother was about to be confined for the first time-September, 1745—

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* According to Camden, the Oastmen were originally so called as trading principally to the Ost-sae, or East Sea, i. e. the Baltic; but there is much dispute about the etymon.


the neighbourhood was alarmed by the progress of the Scottish rebels; and she was removed, for security, to the house of her father, in the village of Heworth, on the southern side of the Tyne. It has often been told, with grave circumstantiality, that she was taken ill just as the Highlanders were about to invest the town, and smuggled over the walls, and down into a boat on the river, after all egress had been forbidden by the magistrates. This was not so; but the Heworth midwife took fright during the travail, and a Newcastle surgeon, summoned to her assistance after the gates were barred for the night, had to scale the wall at the chare-foot. The important circumstance is that William's birth took place in the county palatine of Durham.

John Scott, the future Chancellor, was born on the 4th of June, 1751-near six years later than William. Though their parents had thirteen children, only one other son, Henry, and two daughters, survived infancy. The boys were all put to the old grammar school of Newcastle, then exceedingly well conducted by the Rev. Hugh Moises, who among his assistants had, for the arithmetical department, no less a person than the afterwards celebrated mathematician, Hutton. In this seminary William Scott's extraordinary talents were rapidly developed; and John, in due season, supported the credit of the family name. To the end of their days, both retained a most grateful sense of their obligations to the early care and kindness of Mr. Moises. The particular anecdotes here recorded of their schoolboy life are worthless-with one exception, and as to that we have our doubts. It is said that Mr. and Mrs. Scott used to expect from their boys, on a Sunday evening, some proof that they had been attentive to the sermon they had heard at church, and that William and John acquitted themselves in this matter equally to their worthy parents' satisfaction, but in different ways-William retracing, in a few clear sentences, the pith of the preacher's argument; while John surprised the circle, and occasionally wearied it, by the almost verbatim accuracy of his report. The story has much the air of an ex post facto. For the rest, it is sufficiently indicated that, with all their exemplary diligence as to lessons of every sort, they were neither of them grave plodding boys, but both took their full share in all the sports and pranks and trickeries of their coevals. Both had remarkably vigorous constitutions, and animal spirits to correspond. If we may not say that the great man is almost always made of such materials, the rule admits most rare exception as to the great lawyer.

It appears that the good coal-fitter kept his Christmas in the genial fashion so well represented in the text, and also on the frontispiece, of Mr. Dickens's charming Prose Carol of 1843. All


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