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we entered a labyrinth of broken rocks, Upon asking him whether he belonged which had the appearance of being the to the party of our consort, he replied wreck of a mountain shattered by some in the negative, and at the same time terrible convulsion into a thousand frag- expressed his joy on finding we were ments, and scattered over the plain. his countrymen, upon which informaAfter losing and finding our path at tion his caution was instantly banished ; least a dozen times, we issued from this and, without further reserve, told us he perplexing place into the open country, had seen the ships anchor in the road, when one of the strangest-looking be- and the boats approach the shore, and ings ever seen was the first object that then he fled into the interior of the arrested our attention.
island, and gave as his reasons for such At a short distance from us we dis- proceeding, that he had been ill used covered a man, a stranger to our party, and robbed by a party who had landed who at first appeared disposed to avoid on the island about six months previous us, but, owing to the nature of his to our visit. position, that was almost an impossi- Confidence rapidly sprung up bebility; the open country was before him tween us; and, among other things, he it is true, but the view was unobstructed gave us the following brief outline of to the sea, and we were between him his life, and the cause that led him to and the only hiding-place at hand—the adopt this strange and solitary place narrow, rocky defile through which we for his abode. had so lately passed, and from which, His name, he said, was George Stewas we afterwards found, he had retreated art, and that he came from a rural dison hearing our approach.
trict in North Britain ; in early life he He appeared to consider any further emigrated, with many others, to the attempts at concealment unnecessary, Canadas, hoping to better his condition and gradually approached us. He wore
in the New World ; after suffering many upon his head a roughly-made seal-skin misfortunes and hardships, his agriculcap, a jacket made of similar materials tural speculation ending in ruin, he covered his body, and a ragged pair of joined a hunting expedition in the backcoarse canvas seaman's trowsers en- woods of America, in the service of a veloped his lower extremities. His face fur company; from some circumstance was deeply bronzed by exposure, and a which he did not explain, he abandoned long beard hung down from his chin this pursuit. upon his chest, which was open to Having found his way to a seaport, view; a long gun was in bis hand- he then embarked in an American
whaler, which ship had left him on the “The only law of a desert land"
island where we found him, as near as and held in a position for instant use, he could calculate, about a year; he should its services be required. Single- had lost all reckoning as regards time, handed he would have been a dangerous neither knowing the day in its monthly foe; but, opposed to our numerous party, or weekly position. resistance would be madness, and, no English and American whalers someharm being meant or intended on our times leave men upon the island for the side, we were at a loss to account for purpose of catching seals, and taking the cautious and somewhat menacing their skins and oil, the ship pursuing attitude he assumed. We thought we hor
to other seas for the grander had found the Robinson Crusoe of the . object of killing whales, and, having place, and, als circumstances consid- completed their cargo (which sometimes ered, the suggestion was excusable. The occupies a period of one or two years' surprise of his great prototype, on dis- varying duration, according to the succovering the impression of the footprint cessful nature of their operations), they in the sand, could not be greater than return home, picking up on their route ours in finding a human being in a the men they have left at different situation so remote from the haunts of places sealing. men as this solitary place—this speck It happens sometimes that the ship upon the globe; the dotting of a pin's is lost, and humanity shudders at the point upon the map being an exaggera- fate of the hapless individuals thus left tion of its size, in comparison with the to their solitary fate. We dwelt upon defined proportions of the rest of the the chance of his either being forgotten, world.
or that his ship might be lost, and urged him to take his passage in ours, which One day, while hunting seals in a rehe instantly declined. Taking a lively mote part of the island, he found upon interest in his behalf, we expressed our a flat shelving rock, near the sea beach, surprise at his being able to sustain a human skeleton, which he supposed such a solitary existence; he acknowl- was the remains of some former inhabitedged it was very irksome at first, but ant of the place, who, like himself, had that was occasioned by his companion, been left for the purpose of taking skins, with whom he had repeated quarrels; and, being overtaken by sickness, had but since he had left him for the neigh- crawled to the spot where his bones boring island (which he thought was were found, in the hope of seeing a nine months since), he had been much ship pass by, and, waiting there in vain, happier. As for solitude, he was used had died in a manner the heart sickens to it, having spent months quite alone
to dwell upon.
This circumstance in the wilds of America when engaged caused him great uneasiness for some on his fur-hunting expeditions, and that time; he, however, performed the last he was then perfectly contented. offices upon his remains, and buried
Of course our astonishment was ex- them near the spot where they were cited on finding in such a place, with found. every circumstance to bind two lonely Some time after the above melanmen together, if not for the sake of choly affair, while repairing his boat, society, at least for protection, that he was alarmed by a rumbling noise they should separate : it appeared, how- proceeding from the circular basin, ever, that his companion was of a quar- which was followed by a smart shock relsome disposition, avaricious, and of an earthquake. This he stated was overbearing; "and at night,” said Stew- the only occurrence of the kind that had art, “I never closed my eyes in safety, happened during his residence there. for fear of being murdered by him, He had been able to exist very well, knowing that all the profits accruing the lagoon supplying him with abunfrom their mutual labors in sealing dance of fish, and occasionally he killed would belong to the survivor, and there a hog, but was indifferently supplied would be no evidence to prove that I with vegetables. The biscuit left him had not died a natural death."
by his ship was nearly expended, which Under these circumstances, existence he felt as an evil; but we relieved his became insupportable; and one morn- anxiety by promising to leave him a ing, after a quarrel, ending in a desper- good store for his future wants, toate conflict, in which they seriously gether with some flour, ammunition, wounded each other, they agreed to and fishing-lines and hooks. separate, and casting lots which should Our excursion being brought to a depart, and Stewart winning the choice, close, our newly-found friend conducted rernained on St. Paul's; his companion, his hut, which was upon the martaking the largest of the two boats, left gin of the lagoon, in a recess formed them by their ship, sailed for the neigh- by nature in the rock : the entrance he boring island of Amsterdam, and from had narrowed with stones, filling the that hour to the time of our meeting interstices with sand and earth comStewart, they had never seen nor heard bined, leaving a small doorway, which of each other.
was curtained with a piece of canvas. During our conversation with him, It contained a seaman's chest, a large among other things he mentioned, while barrel which held th. skins he had looking for seals, he had seen ships at dried, and in other parts, skins were various times pass the island; but, with undergoing the process necessary for the exception of the one which robbed their preservation. A seaman's hamhim, none had sent a boat on shore ; mock and bedding, with a gun, and a and the remembrance of his former few other articles, completed the furnitreatment induced him to endeavor to ture of his cabin. avoid a meeting with us. “But,” said It surprised our party to find his the honest-hearted fellow, “it was wrong dwelling so near the place where we to suppose all men were like the cow- landed, and that we should have passed ards who ill-treated and robbed a single it unobserved ; but the fact can be acman in my situation. Bah!” said he, counted for in no other way than our with a strong Scotch accent, “they being overwhelmed with the novelties were Portuguese.”
of the place, and unable to bestow any
time upon objects which appeared in- clined, having a firm reliance in the significant.
word of the captain of his ship, who, he As night was fast approaching, we was confident, would call for him when felt anxious to return to our vessel, he had completed his cargo. Stewart accompanying us in his boat, The breeze freshening, we became first extracting a promise not to take impatient to put to sea, and, having him to sea.
fulfilled our promise to Stewart in supOn board he was the object of con- plying his deficiencies, we got under siderable curiosity, and amused those way; and for some time all eyes were who had not been on shore, with a re- fixed upon his receding figure in his cital of his monotonous existence; and boat, when the extreme distance at last when urged again to leave his dreary shut him and his solitary abode forever abode, and sail with us, he stoutly de- from our view.
the reader of our present age could ceptor to own himself in the wrong, and
be transported back into the living his subsequent fame as "the fellow who England of some thirty years ago, one
had beat the master," is so curiously of the names that he would oftenest characteristic of the Henry Brougham hear, and hear always in connection of maturer years, that one regrets to be with some earnest intellectual work, obliged to transfer the honor of the would be that of Henry Brougham. achievement to some other and unEven then he was distinguished in known person. A more certain fact is, many, almost contradictory, ways. His that he was distinguished as a quick knowledge was held to be but little and eager scholar, and proceeded to short of encyclopædian; he had won for the university at the age of sixteen. himself a high reputation in mathemat- His attention, in the first instance, was ical science; his writings were both given chiefly to physical and mathenumerous and powerful; the senate and matical science; and so considerable the bar were daily ringing with his pas- was his progress, that papers of his, on sionate eloquence; and he had become subjects belonging to these departments a prominent and a popular advocate of of knowledge, were soon afterwards some of the very grandest causes which published in the Transactions of the contribute to the progress of mankind. Royal Society, and were noticed in a And, beyond all this, he had given highly flattering manner in some of the abundant proof of an able, restless, and circles most competent to judge fairly aspiring nature, conscious of its own of their value. Indicative as these concapacities, and using them on all fit tributions were of the early ripeness of occasions with a ready and impetuous the youth's intellect, and probably of daringness which augured well for a some special faculty for the pursuits triumphant issue of his aims.
which they referred to, one cannot but One of the earliest glimpses that we rejoice that his studies swept betimes get of him is in St. David street, Edin- over a far wider sphere. In his twenburgh, running on the pavement with tieth year—on the 21st of November, Francis Horner, before either of the 1797—he was admitted, with Francis little playfellows had fairly got through Horner again for a companion, into that his second year. His education was Speculative Society in which so many begun betimes, at the High School, of the ablest of his Scottish contemwhere Mr. Luke Fraser and Dr. Adam poraries prepared themselves for the were in turn his masters. The anec- realities of public life. dote which Lord Cockburn tells of afterwards—having, in the mean time, Brougham's dispute with Mr. Fraser on traveled awhile on the Continent-he a point of Latinity, his punishment, his became a member of the Society of renewal of the dispute the next day Advocates, of Edinburgh. under the ægis of a heap of authorities Up to this point in his career, or which compelled the kind-hearted pre- even a little beyond it, it is probable
that Brougham had hardly much sur- effective use and display of that knowledge. passed in visible performances many
But his ardor is so urgent, that I should be
afraid of his bein; deficient in prudence. of the very gifted young men who were That he would ultimately become a leading his associates at the Scottish bar. But and predominant mind, I cannot doubt; but he had been silently building up the he might attempt to fix himself in that place foundations of that surprising versatility
too soon---before he had gone through what I which has been ever since one of the
presume is a necessary routine of subordina
tion.” most marked of all his mental characteristics. When the “Edinburgh Re- He was, at any rate, not much disview” began, with an audacity at least posed to continue long in subordination as great as its ability and knowledge, at Edinburgh. In that city of strong to fulmine over the literary world, political partisanship, Whiggism, in the Brougham was a distinguished member early years of the present century, was of the brilliant band of its contributors ; far from being the most profitable side but he had, at the same time, already for a young advocate to enlist on; and completed a bargain with the publisher Brougham, animated by the consciousfor his " Inquiry into the Colonial Policy ness of power, and the ambition which of the European Powers" — -an extensive
that consciousness engendered, may work, marked in an equal measure by have been not prevented by his good extent of information, vigor of talent, professional success from seeking for a and maturity and boldness of political wider and a freer field for his exertions. views. That so good a book should Instigated by this consideration, and have been written by so young a man, hastened, probably, in his determination was extraordinary enough; but that the by the result of his appearance before same individual should have also found the House of Lords as one of the junior time, within so short an antecedent counsel for Lady Essex Ker in the Roxperiod, to make his important com- burghe peerage case, in his twentymunications to the Royal Society, to ninth or thirtieth year, he settled in becoine a prominent debater in the London, where, after a short time, he Speculative, to prepare himself for his was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn, admission to the bar, to get through and began to practice as a barrister in his foreign travel, and to write brilliant the Court of King's Bench. contributions to the “Edinburgh Re- This was in 1808, and from this date view," was such a manifestation of in- until that of his elevation to the wooltellectual activity and power as would sack in 1830, Mr. Brougham came by not easily be paralleled in recent times. degrees to be engaged in what was litAnd there was one amongst his inti- erally an unparalleled annount of labor. mates by whom the strength and weak- In his capacities of statesman, advoness of his singular nature was even cate, and author, he was soon doing the then correctly and completely known. work of three industrious men. MarIn a letter, written a few months after velous stories have been told of his their joint admission to the Speculative dispatch of business, indubitable myths Society, Horner says:
originating in a reality of performance “Had you any conversation with Brough. surprising enough to stand in no need am ? He is an uncommon genius, of a com
of exaggeration. Business, indeed, posite order, if you allow me to use the flowed in upon him in a deep and full expression: he unites the greatest ardor for tide. In the Court of King's Bench, general information in every branch of knowl.
and on the Northern Circuit, he quickly edge, and, what is more remarkable, activity in the business, and interest in the pleasures became, especially in political cases, a of the world, with all the powers of a mathe- favorite advocate ; and his distinction matical intellect."
at the bar recommended him at once to And again, four years later, on the
an ample participation in the toils, and eve of the publication of his friend's strife, and triumphs of the senate. In work on Colonial Policy, the same deep he still found time for a multitude of
the midst of these abundant occupations and calm observer writes :
publications of which he is the known, “Should an active scene be opened to acknowledged author, as well as, probaBrougham, I shall tremble with anxiety for bly, for no inconsiderable number-as some time, though it is what I very ardently there is good reason for surmisingwish: his information on political subjects, especially in some departments, is now im.
which may be hereafter traced to his mense; his talents are equal to the most prolific pen. In order to understand the extent of his activity during this afterwards conducted the “Champion," portion of his indefatigable career, let and the “London Magazine," and who us endeavor to catch a glimpse of some was killed in a duel consequent upon a of his greater labors in each of these stern, unpalatable reprehension of the departments of exertion.
personalities of “Blackwood's MagaOne of the earliest of his memorable zine ;''--and it is a curious instance of efforts as an advocate, occurred within the uncertainty of law, that whilst John two years of his admission to the and Leigh Hunt were acquitted by a English bar. The Berlin decrees, by jury at Westminster, Drakard was conwhich Napoleon sought to cramp the victed at Lincoln and sentenced by the commerce of England, had provoked Court of King's Bench to imprisonthe government of that day to a retali- ment for eighteen months. But the atory absurdity in the shape of " orders defense on both occasions was clear, in Council,” which, by a subsequent and vigorous, and eloquent; doing as modification, had been made oppress- much justice to the principle of free ively severe. Mr. Brougham, as the discussion, which these prosecutions representative of a large and influential aimed at, as to the individual defendportion of the mercantile community, ants in the two causes. It was the was employed to plead against the co- very natural result of a frequent advoercion and continuance of these wor- cacy of this kind to make Mr. Broughders” before the House of Lords; and am eminently popular both as a barrishis argument, which occupied two days ter and a politician. How great his in its delivery, though ineffectual as to business and his popularity had grown, its specific aim, manifested so rare a may be in some degree inferred from combination of knowledge, boldness, the well-remembered delight of the peoingenuity, and eloquence, that the ad- ple when it became known to them that vocate himself was at once welcomed he had engaged in the onerous duties as a pillar of strength on the popular of Attorney-General to the Queen. side in the fierce party warfare of the He had been for many years her lawtime. A seat in the House of Com. adviser, and in that capacity had, in mons was ono of the immediate conse- conjunction with Mr. Whitbread, strongquences of this masterly discourse, but ly remonstrated against her perilous not the only or the most important one. residence abroad; and when the fruits It opened the way to a very considera- of her unfortunate resolution appeared ble extension of his professional busi- in their mature bitterness in the Bill of ness; not merely by making known Pains and Penalties, he entered with the warmth and vigor of his powers his whole heart and soul into her deand the wide extent of his resources, fense. but by making known also the liberality But to him, as to the great mass of of his own political views, and the the people of England at that time, the likelihood that he would, therefore, put question at issue was not one that might forth his strength with a hearty good- be compressed within the narrow limits will in defense of those who had, by too of an inquiry into the guilt or innocence free an advocacy of similar convictions, of his ill-fated client. It expanded itsubjected themselves to the inquisition self into the broader and the higher of a somewhat rigorous law. It was problem—the problem infinitely more not long before cases of this kind oc- momentous, both in its moral and pocurred, in which he was actually called litical bearing—of the absoluteness of to champion the oppressed. In the the king's power to degrade and do volume of his Social and Political away with a consort whom he had outSpeeches," just published by Messrs. raged by his own uniform career of Griffin & Co., there are the reports of coarse, unprincipled sensuality; whom two speeches which were delivered in he had from the beginning of their the following year, in defense of per- union slighted, hated, and by meanest sons against whom prosecutions on a arts oppressed; and whom he sought charge of libel had been instituted by at last to cast down from her queenly the state. On both of these occasions, rank, and ruin outright; though, had Mr. Brougham's clients were proceeded the foulest perjuries that English gold against for the publication of the same had bought against her been believed, article-an article on Military Flog- she would still have seemed, even to ging, written by Mr. John Scott, who human eyes, immeasurably less stained