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King in very light cloth, with silver buttons, and the Queen in lemon-coloured flowered silk on cream-coloured ground. They saw the milkmaids and chimney-sweeps keep May-day in all its ancient splendour, with many hundred pounds' worth of silver plate disposed amid an enormous pyramid of foliage and garlands. They watched five couple of young persons chained together, walking under the care of tip-staves to Bridewell. They visited the British Museum, and examined the Alexandrine Manuscript. Readers of Shakespeare, like all of their countrymen who read anything, they made an expedition to the Boar's Head tavern in the City for the sake of Falstaff, and into Hertfordshire in order to inspect the great Bed of Ware. They heard blind Sir John Fielding administer justice at Bow Street. They were present when the Reverend Doctor Dodd, at the Magdalen Hospital, delivered a discourse which set the whole chapel crying, not much more than a twelvemonth before he preached his own Condemned Sermon in Newgate gaol. They saw Garrick in tragedy; and were crushed, and buffeted, and almost stifled, for the space of two hours at the Pit door of Drury Lane theatre in a vain attempt to see him in comedy. They dined with the ex-Governor of Massachusetts, and met each other; and with the ex-Attorney General, and met each other again. They sought distraction in the provinces, and made a round of manufacturing towns, and cathedrals, and feudal castles, and romantic prospects. They explored Blenheim, and Old Sarum, and Stonehenge, and the inn at Upton where Tom Jones found Sophia Western's muff with the little paper pinned to it. But all was to no purpose. After eighteen months spent in surveying the wonders and beauties of the mother country with sad and weary eyes, Judge Curwen pronounced, as the conclusion of the whole matter, that his flight to England had been a dreadful and irreparable mistake. The tyranny of an unruly rabble, when endured beneath a man's own roof, with a plentiful purse
1 Twelfth Night ; Act IV., Scene 2.
and all his friends around him, was, (he confessed,) an enviable fate compared to liberty under the mildest government on earth, when accompanied by poverty, with its horrid train of evils.1
The American exiles, with very few exceptions, were bitterly poor. Curwen found London “a sad lickpenny,' where the vital air could not be breathed unless at great expense. Everything was ruinously dear, – the lodging; the food; the wine, without the production of which no business could be transacted, and no visitor honoured; and, above all, the fuel. In January 1776 there came a cold Sunday, when the Thames bore, and the mercury stood at eight degrees below zero. “The fires here," Curwen wrote, "are not to be compared to our large American ones of oak and walnut. Would that I was away!” Numerous applications to the Treasury by Loyalists, who had stronger claims than his, excluded him from the most distant hope of relief. To beg from chance acquaintance was humiliating, “and to starve was stupid ;” and so, — with a mild stroke of sarcasm against Seneca and the long list of moralists, heathen and Christian, who wrote most edifying treatises on the duty of contentment and resignation, but had never known what it was to want a meal, — he went into a cheap and dull retirement at Exeter, where he kept body and soul together on something less than half a guinea a week.3 John Wentworth, who had been formerly Governor of New Hampshire, resided in Europe all through the Revolution. He was received with exceptional favour by the Ministry and by the King; and yet he esteemed the lot of an exile, at the very best, to
1 Samuel Curwen to the Hon. Judge Sewall; Exeter, Jan. 19, 1777.
2 One of these exceptions was Charles Steuart, a rich tobacco-merchant of Norfolk in Virginia. Steuart, contrary to all intention of his own, did a memorable service to liberty; for he brought with him from America the negro Somerset, whose name will always recall Lord Mansfeld's declaration of the principle that our free soil makes a free man.
8 Letters to the Revd Isaac Smith, June 6, 1776; to Dr. Charles Russell of Antigua, June 10, 1776; and to the Hon. Judge Sewall, Dec. 31,
be all but intolerable. When the war was over, he thought himself bound to give the benefit of his experience to those unhappy Loyalists who still lingered on their native soil, stripped of all their property, and exposed to the insults of triumphant and unforgiving adversaries. However distressing might be their plight, he earnestly recommended no one to seek a refuge in England who could get clams and potatoes in America. "My destination," he added, "is quite uncertain. Like an old flapped hat, thrown off the top of a house, I am tumbling over and over in the air, and God only knows where I shall finally alight and settle.” 1
The affection of the Massachusetts Loyalists for the chief town of their province grew with absence, and only ceased at death. A distinguished Nova Scotia statesman, the son of a refugee, has given a pleasant and spirited account of his father's unalterable attachment to the city of his birth, which had cast him out. In 1775 John Howe, who then was just of age, had served his apprenticeship as a printer, and, like a true young American, was already engaged to be married; and yet "he left all his household goods and gods behind him, carrying away nothing but his principles, and his pretty
He settled at Halifax and prospered. Though a true Briton, he made no shame of loving Boston with a filial regard. While the conflict between England and the revolted colonies was still at its height, John Howe
1 Sabine's Loyalists ; Vol I., page 322, and Vol. II., page 10. In the American Archives there is a letter addressed by Thomas Oliver to a friend who had escaped from Boston to Nova Scotia. “ Happy am I,” (Oliver wrote from London,) “that you did not leave Halifax to encounter the expenses of this extravagant place. Every article of expense is increased fourfold since you knew it. What the poor people will do, who have steered their course this way, I cannot tell. I found Mrs. Oliver well, and settled in a snug little house at Brompton, in the neighbourhood of London; but I shall continue here no longer than I am able to find an economical retreat. I have no time to look about me as yet. Some cheaper part of England must be the object of my enquiry.".
2 The words are quoted from a speech delivered by the Honourable Joseph Howe in Faneuil Hall, Boston, on the Fourth of July, 1858. Joseph Howe was Secretary of the Province, and leader of the Liberal party, in Nova Scotia,
did every kindness in his power to American prisoners of war, if only they were Boston men; and, far into the nineteenth century, whenever he was in poor health, his family, as an infallible remedy, shipped the old fellow off southwards to get a walk on Boston Common. Wherever a banished New Englander wandered, and whatever he saw, his model of excellence, and his standard for comparison, was always the capital of Massachusetts. At Exeter, according to Judge Curwen's calculation, the inhabitants were seven-eighths as numerous as at Boston; but the city was not so elegantly built, and stood on much less ground. Birmingham, in its general appearance, looked more like Boston, to his eyes, than any other place in England. There was something very pathetic in the feeling with which the exiles regarded the home where they never again might dwell. Awake, or in dreams, their thoughts were for ever recurring to old Boston days; they tried to believe that a more or less distant future would bring those good times back for themselves and their families; and they industriously collected every scrap of news which came by letter from a town where their places had already been filled by others, and their names were by-words. Assailed by the fierce and implacable hostility of their own fellow-citizens, and treated too often with contemptuous indifference in England, they tasted the force of that verse in the Book of Proverbs which says: “The brethren of the poor do hate him. How much more do his friends go far from him! He pursueth them with words, but they are wanting unto him.”
For, in one important particular, a painful disillusion awaited the exiles at their arrival on our shores. They had anticipated the enjoyment of much rational and sympathetic intercourse with the most select and the best of company. In their own country, -- since the troubles began, and the Stamp Act, and afterwards the Tea-duty, had been to the fore in every conversation, - they had been alarmed by the spread of Republicanism, and infinitely disgusted by the manners of some who pro
mulgated that novel and hated creed. The father of Mrs. Grant of Laggan, for instance, had acquired a large property in Vermont, which he called by the name of Clarendon, and liked to describe as a Baronial estate. But social tendencies in New England, (if ever they had taken that direction,) now altogether ceased to point towards the formation of an aristocracy. “My father," wrote Mrs. Grant, "grew fonder than ever of fishing and shooting, because birds and fish did not talk of tyranny and taxes. Sometimes we were refreshed by the visit of friends who spoke respectfully of our dear King and dearer country; but they were soon succeeded by some Obadiah, or Zephaniah, from Hampshire or Connecticut, who came in without knocking, sate down without invitation, lighted his pipe without cerer ny, and began a discourse on politics that would have done honour to Praise God Barebones."1 In contrast to all that seemed vulgar and offensive to them in America, the emigrants had beguiled themselves with an ideal picture of the welcome which they would receive from the refined society of England. A writer unequalled in his acquaintance with the surface aspects of the Revolution, and not less observant of the inward causes which then governed the ebb and flow of political opinion, has remarked that a prodigious obstacle to the Whig cause in the colonies was the worldly prestige, “the purple dignity, the aristocratic flavour," of the Tory side of the question. To live familiarly amid such associations, to
1 In order to escape this infliction, the Lord of the Manor of Clarendon retreated to his native Scotland in the summer of 1770 ; and, before very long, every acre that he left behind him in America had been confiscated.
2 These are the epithets used by Professor Tyler, in the 30th chapter of his Literary History. He there quotes an account by Francis Hopkinson, the Whig humourist
, of a lady who did not possess one political principle, nor had any precise idea of the real cause of the contest between Great Britain and America ; and who yet was a professed and confirmed Tory, merely from the fascination of sounds. The Imperial Crown, the Royal Robes, the High Court of Parliament, the Lord Chancellor of Eng. land, were names of irresistible influence; while captains and colonels who were tailors and tavern-keepers, and even the respectable personality of General Washington the Virginian farmer, provoked her unqualified disdain.