A Celebration of
Women Writers

"Book II, Chapter XXIII." by Isabel Lady Burton (1831-1896)
From: The Romance of Isabel Lady Burton Volume II, by Isabel Lady Burton, edited by W. H. Wilkins.
New York: Dodd Mead & Co., 1897. pp. 604-624.

Editor: Mary Mark

[Page 604] 




The busy fingers fly; the eyes may see
Only the glancing needle that they hold;
But all my life is blossoming inwardly,
And every breath is like a litany;
While through each labour, like a thread of gold,
Is woven the sweet consciousness of thee.

ON their return from India Isabel and her husband settled down at Trieste, and pursued for the most part a quiet literary life. It was summer, and they swam a good deal by way of recreation, and went frequently to Opçina. They started a habit of not dining at home, and of asking their intimates to meet them at one café or another, where they would sup in the open air, and drink the wine of the country and smoke cigarettes. These pleasant evenings were quite a feature of their life at this time. Their house too became the centre of many a réunion, and a Mecca to which many a literary pilgrim and social, scientific, and political celebrity turned his steps when travelling by way of Trieste. There is no better description of the [Page 605]  Burtons' life at Trieste at this time than that which appeared in The World in 1877, written by Burton's old Oxford friend, Mr. Alfred Bates Richards. Lady Burton has quoted it in full in her Life of her husband; but I think that a small part of it which relates to herself will bear repeating here:

"Captain and Mrs. Burton are well, if airily, lodged in a flat composed of ten rooms, separated by a corridor, with a picture of our Saviour, a statuette of St. Joseph with a lamp, and the Madonna with another lamp burning before it. Thus far the belongings are all of the Cross; but no sooner are we landed in the little drawing-rooms than signs of the Crescent appear. Small, but artistically arranged, the rooms, opening in to one another, are bright with oriental hangings, with trays and dishes of gold and silver, brass trays and goblets, chibouques with great amber mouthpieces, and all kinds of Eastern treasures mingled with family souvenirs. There is no carpet; but a Bedawin rug occupies the middle of the floor, and vies in brilliancy of colour with Persian enamels and bits of good old china. There are no sofas, but plenty of divans covered with Damascus stuffs. Thus far the interior is as Mussulman as the exterior is Christian; but a curious effect is produced among the oriental mise en scène by the presence of a pianoforte and a compact library of well-chosen books. There is too another library here, greatly cherished by Mrs. Burton; to wit, a collection of her husband's work in about fifty volumes. On the walls there are many interesting relics, medals, and diplomas of honour, one of which [Page 606]  is especially prized by Captain Burton. It is the brevet de pointe earned in France for swordsmanship. Near this hangs a picture of the Damascus home of the Burtons, by Frederick Leighton.

"As the guest is inspecting this bright bit of colour, he will be aroused by the full strident tones of a voice skilled in many languages, but never so full and hearty as when bidding a friend welcome. The speaker, Richard Burton, is a living proof that intense work, mental and physical, sojourn in torrid and frozen climes, danger from dagger and from pestilence, 'age' a person of good sound constitution far less than may be supposed. . . .

"Leading the way from the drawing-rooms, or divans, he takes us through bedrooms and dressing-rooms furnished in Spartan simplicity, with the little iron bedsteads covered with bear-skins, and supplied with writing- tables and lamps, beside which repose the Bible, the Shakspeare, the Euclid, and the Breviary, which go with Captain and Mrs. Burton on all their wanderings. His gifted wife, one of the Arundells of Wardour, is, as becomes a scion of an ancient Anglo-Saxon and Norman Catholic house, strongly attached to the Church of Rome; but religious opinion is never allowed to disturb the peace of the Burton household, the head of which is laughingly accused of Mohammedanism by his friends. The little rooms are completely lined with rough deal shelves, containing perhaps eight thousand or more volumes in every Western language, as well as in Arabic, Persian, and Hindústani. Every odd corner is piled with weapons, guns, pistols, boar- [Page 607]  spears, swords of every shape and make, foils and masks, chronometers, barometers, and all kinds of scientific instruments. One cupboard is full of medicines necessary for oriental expeditions or for Mrs. Burton's Trieste poor, and on it is written 'The Pharmacy.' Idols are not wanting, for elephant-nosed Gumpati is there cheek by jowl with Vishnu.

"The most remarkable objects in the room just alluded to are the rough deal tables, which occupy most of the floor space. They are almost like kitchen or ironing tables. There may be eleven of them, each covered with writing materials. At one of them sits Mrs. Burton, in morning négligé, a gray choga–the long loose Indian dressing-gown of camel's hair–topped by a smoking-cap of the same material. She rises and greets her husband's old friend with the cheeriest voice in the world. 'I see you are looking at our tables; every one does. Dick likes a separate table for every book, and when he is tired of one he goes to another. There are no tables of any size in Trieste, so I had these made as soon as I came. They are so nice. We may upset the ink-bottles as often as we like without anybody being put out of the way. These three little rooms are our "den," where we live, work and receive our intimes; and we leave the doors open, so that we may consult over our work. Look at our view!' From the windows, looking landward, one may see an expanse of country extending over thirty or forty miles, the hills covered with foliage, through which peep trim villas. Beyond the hills higher mountains dotted with villages, a bit of the [Page 608]  wild Karso peering from above. On the other side lies spread the Adriatic, with Miramar, poor Maximilian's home and hobby, lying on a rock projecting into the blue water, and on the opposite coast are the Carnian Alps, capped with snow. 'Why we live so high up,' explained Captain Burton, 'is easily explained. To begin with, we are in good condition, and run up and down stairs like squirrels. We live on the fourth story because there is no fifth. If I had a campagna, and gardens and servants, and horses and carriages, I should feel tied, weighed down in fact. With a flat and two or three maid-servants one has only to lock the door and go. It feels like "light marching order," as if we were always ready for an expedition; and it is a comfortable place to come back to. Look at our land-and-sea-scape: we have air, light, and tranquillity; no dust, no noise, no street smells. Here my wife receives something like seventy very intimate friends every Friday–an exercise of hospitality to which I have no objection save one, and that is met by the height we live at. There is in every town a lot of old women of both sexes, who sit for hours talking about the weather and the scandal of the place and this contingent cannot face the stairs.' . . .

"The ménage Burton is conducted on the early rising principle. About four or five o'clock our hosts are astir, and already in their 'den,' drinking tea made over a spirit-lamp, and eating bread and fruit, reading and studying languages. By noon the morning's work is got over, including the consumption of a cup of soup, the ablution without which no true believer is [Page 609]  happy, and the obligations of a Frankish toilet. Then comes a stroll to the fencing-school, kept by an excellent broadswordsman, an old German trooper. For an hour Captain and Mrs. Burton fence in the school, if the weather be cold; if it be warm, they make for the water, and often swim for a couple of hours.

"Then comes a spell of work at the Consulate. 'I have my Consulate,' the chief explains, 'in the heart of the town. I do not want my Jack Tar in my sanctum; and when he wants me he has generally been on the spree, and got into trouble.' While the husband is engaged in his official duties, the wife is abroad promoting a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a necessary institution in southern countries, where, on the purely gratuitous hypothesis that the so-called lower animals have no souls, the utmost brutality is shown in the treatment of them. 'You see,' remarks our host, 'that my wife and I are like an elder and younger living en garçon. We divide the work. I take all the hard and the scientific part, and make her do all the rest. When we have worked all day, and have said all we have to say to each other, we want relaxation. To that end we have formed a little "Mess" with fifteen friends at the table d'hôte of the Hôtel de la Ville, where we get a good dinner and a pint of the country wine made on the hillside for a florin and a half. By this plan we escape the bore of housekeeping, and are relieved from the curse of domesticity, which we both hate. At dinner we hear the news if any, take our coffee, cigarettes, and [Page 610]  kirsch outside the hotel, then go home and read ourselves to sleep, and to-morrow da capo.'"

This summer, while at Gorizia, Isabel saw again the Comte de Chambord (Henri V. of France) and the Comtesse. She had been received by them at Venice before her marriage, and they remembered her and sent for her. They were staying at Gorizia with a small Court. Isabel had an audience of them twice, and they desired that she should dine with them. She had to explain that she had nothing but a travelling-dress; but they waived that objection, and allowed her to "come as she was." This incident will seem a small thing to many; but it was a great thing to Isabel, for like many members of old English Catholic families, she was a strong Legitimist, and she appreciated the kindness which was shown to her by this king and queen de jure with their shadowy Court and handful of faithful followers, more than if they had come into their own and received her royally at the Tuileries.

A little later Burton took it into his head to make an expedition to Midian in Arabia. Many years before, in his Arab days, Burton had come upon this golden land (though at that time he thought little of gold and much of reputation); and a quarter of a century later, seeing Egypt suffering from lack of the precious metal, and knowing that Midian belonged to Egypt, he asked leave of the Foreign Office to go to Cairo, where he imparted his views on the subject of the wealth of the Mines of Midian to Khedive Ismail. His Highness was so much impressed that he equipped an expedition [Page 611]  in a few days, and sent Burton to explore the land. His report of the possibilities of the Mines of Midian was so promising that the Khedive engaged him to come back the following winter, and himself applied to the English Foreign Office for the loan of Burton's services. Burton accordingly went again to Midian, and discovered the region of gold and silver and precious stones. He sketched the whole country, planned an expedition, and brought back various metals for analysis. The Khedive was delighted with the prospect of wealth untold, and he made contracts with Burton which, had they been carried out, would have placed him and his wife in luxury for their lives. It used to be a joke with the Burtons at this time that they would die "Duke and Duchess of Midian." Unfortunately Ismail Khedive abdicated just when the third expedition was about to come off, and the new Khedive, Tewfik, did not consider himself bound by any act of his father. The English Government would not stir in the matter, and so Burton not only lost his chance of realizing a large fortune, but also the money which he and his wife had got together for paying expenses in connexion with the expedition, and which they thought would surely have been refunded. The only gain was that Burton wrote some interesting books on the Land of Midian, its history, and its inhabitants. Until the day of her death Lady Burton never ceased to believe in the vast wealth which was lying waste in the Mines of Midian, and used to wax quite enthusiastic about it.

Isabel was anxious to accompany her husband on his first expedition to Midian; but as there was not enough [Page 612]  money for both of them, she had to make the usual sacrifice and stay at home. During her husband's absence she spent most of her time at Opçina and up in the mountains, as she was busily engaged in correcting the proofs of one of his books.

When Burton started on his second expedition to Midian, it was arranged between him and his wife that, as Ismail Khedive was in such a very good humour, Isabel should make her way out to Cairo, and induce the Khedive to send her after her husband to Midian. She was eager and impatient to start, and as soon as she could possibly complete her arrangements she went on board an Austrian Lloyd's and made the voyage from Trieste to Alexandria. When she arrived at the latter place, she found a letter from her husband, "You are not to attempt to join me unless you can do so in proper order." This rather upset her plans, as she did not know what "proper order" meant. She therefore went on at once to Cairo, made her representations in the proper quarter, and then returned to Suez. After remaining there some time in a state of great impatience, she was informed that a ship was going to be sent out, and that she was to have the offer of going in her, though it was intimated to her privately that the Khedive and the Governor, Said Bey, very much hoped that she would refuse. She had no intention of refusing, and the next morning she went down to the ship, which was an Egyptian man-of-war, the Senaar. It was to anchor off the coast until the expedition returned from the desert, and then bring them back. The captain, who was astonished at her turning up, received her

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[Page 613]  with honour. All hands were piped on deck, and a guard and everything provided for her. Notwithstanding their courtesy, Isabel's woman's instinct told her that she was a most unwelcome guest–far more unwelcome than she had anticipated. She saw at once that the situation was impossible, and prepared to beat a graceful retreat. So, after looking round the quarters prepared for her, she thanked the captain and officers exceedingly for their courtesy, and explained, to their evident relief, that she would not trouble them after all. She returned to the town, took some small rooms at the Suez Hotel, and applied herself to literary work. The reason she gave as an excuse for her change of mind was that her expedition would be too dangerous, as she would have to cross the Red Sea in an open sambuk with head-winds blowing, and then to find her way alone across the desert upon a camel to Midian. The danger, however, would hardly have weighed with her, for she was always careless of her own safety. The real reason was that she was afraid of injuring her husband's prospects with the Khedive.

She was at Suez some time. At last, after many weeks, the Governor sent her a slip of paper saying, "The Senaar is in sight." It was the ship by which Burton returned. She went on board to welcome him, and found him looking very ill and tired. The Khedive sent a special train to meet him on his return from Midian, and the Burtons went at once to Cairo, where they were received with great éclat.

From Cairo the Burtons went back to Trieste, or rather to Opçina, for a brief rest, and then proceeded [Page 614]  to London. From London they went to Dublin, where they joined the annual meeting of the British Association. Burton delivered several lectures, and Isabel was busy writing her A. E. I. (Arabia, Egypt, and India). From Dublin they returned to London, which they made their headquarters for some time, breaking their stay in town by many country visits. The most memorable of these was a visit to Lord and Lady Salisbury at Hatfield, where they again met Lord Beaconsfield, who, strange to say, though he had much in common with the Burtons–notably a love of the East and mysticism, and had a liking for them, and for Isabel especially, with whom he was wont to discuss her favourite Tancred, his book–never did anything for them, though he must have known better than most men how Burton was thrown away at a place like Trieste. Perhaps Burton's strong anti-Semitic views had something to do with this neglect.

It was during this stay in London that the Burtons attended a meeting on spiritualism, at which Burton read a paper. On the subject of Lady Burton's attitude towards spiritualism we shall have something to say later; but it is better to interpolate here a speech which she made at this meeting, as it explains her views in her own words:

"It appears to me that spiritualism, as practised in England, is quite a different matter to that practised in the East, as spoken of by Captain Burton. Easterns are organized for such manifestations, especially the Arabs. It causes them no surprise; they take it as a natural thing, as a matter of course; in short, it is no [Page 615]  religion to them. Easterns of this organization exhale the force; it seems to be an atmosphere surrounding the individual; and I have frequently in common conversation had so strong a perception of it as to withdraw to a distance on any pretext, allowing a current of air to pass from door or window between them and myself. There is no doubt that some strange force or power is at work, trying to thrust itself up in the world, and is well worthy of attention. When I say 'new,' I mean in our hemisphere. I believe it to be as old as time in Eastern countries. I think we are receiving it wrongly. When handled by science, and when it shall become stronger and clearer, it will rank very high. Hailed in our matter-of-fact England as a new religion by people who are not organized for it, by people who are wildly, earnestly seeking for the truth, when they have it at home–some on their domestic hearth, and others next door waiting for them–it can only act as a decoy to a crowd of sensation-seekers, who yearn to see a ghost as they would go to a pantomime; and this can only weaken and degrade it, and distract attention from its possible true object–science. Used vulgarly, as we have all sometimes seen it used, after misleading and crazing a small portion of sensitive persons, it must fall to the ground." 1

Early in February, 1879, her book A. E. I. came out, and the publisher was so pleased with it that he gave a party in honour of the authoress. There were seventeen guests, and there were seventeen copies [Page 616]  of the book piled in a pyramid in the middle of the table. After supper one was given to each guest. They must have made a merry night of it, for Isabel notes that the gaieties began at 11 p.m. and did not end until 5 a.m. Notwithstanding this auspicious send-off, the book did not reach anything like the success achieved by her first work, The Inner Life of Syria.

The longest leave comes to an end, and it was now time to return to Trieste. Burton started ahead as was his wont, leaving his wife to "pay, pack, and follow." She paid and she packed, and when she was leaving the house to follow a beggar woman asked her for charity. She gave her a shilling, and the woman said, "God bless you! May you reach your home without an accident." She must have had the Evil Eye; for the day after, when Isabel arrived in Paris, en route for Trieste, she tumbled down the hotel stairs from top to bottom, arriving at the bottom unconscious. She was picked up and put to bed. When she came to herself she exclaimed, "Do not send the carriage away; I must get my work done and go on." But when she attempted to rise, she fainted again. The visible injuries resolved themselves into a bad sprain and twisted ankle. After the fourth day she had herself bound up and conveyed to the train. She travelled straight through to Turin. There she had to be carried to an inn, as she was too ill to go on. The next day she insisted on being packed up again, and travelled to Mestre. The heat was intense, and she had to wait four hours in the wretched station at Mestre, during which she suffered great pain. Then she travelled on by the post-zug, a slow train, [Page 617]  and arrived at Trieste at half-past eight in the morning where her eyes were gladdened by seeing her husband waiting to receive her on the platform. She was carried home and promptly put to bed.

This illustrates the literal way in which she used to obey her husband's slightest directions. He told her to follow him "at once," and she followed him, not even resting on account of her accident. In fact it is absolutely true to say that nothing short of death would have prevented her from carrying out his slightest instructions to the letter.

The accident which she met with in Paris turned out to be more serious than she had at first supposed. It was a long time before she could leave her bed. She had injured her back and her ankle very badly, and she underwent a long course of massage and baths; but she never permanently got quite well again. She said herself, "Strength, health, and nerve I had hitherto looked upon as a sort of right of nature, and supposed that everybody had them; I never felt grateful for them as a blessing, but I began to learn what suffering was from this date." Henceforth we see her not as the woman who was ready to share any dare-devil adventure or hair-breadth escape, and who revelled in a free and roving life of travel, but rather as the wife, whose thoughts now turned more than ever to the delights of home, and how to add to her husband's domestic comforts.

Expressions of sympathy and goodwill were called forth by her accident from friends far and wide. Among others, Lady Salisbury wrote: [Page 618] 



"We were all very sorry to hear of your misfortunes, and I hope that the Viennese doctors and their baths have now cured you and restored you to perfect health. It was indeed most trying to have that accident at Paris just as you were recovering from your illness in London. I suppose you are now thinking of the preparations for your Egyptian trip, unless the new Khedive has stopped it, which he is not at all likely to have done, as its success would redound so much to his own advantage. We have been here for the last two months, and are beginning to think our holiday is over, and that we ought to go back to England again.

"Of course we have all been talking and thinking of nothing but Cabul lately. The Afghans really seem like the Constantinople dogs, quite untamable. I suppose we shall soon hear of the English troops entering Cabul and all the horrors of the punishment, which, as is usual in such cases, is almost sure to fall on the innocent instead of the guilty.

"This country seems very prosperous. People are rich and orderly, and every one seems as busy and happy as possible; the harbour is full of ships, and new houses are being built and new shops opened; and, according to M. Waddington, who was here the other day, this is the same all over France. What is the real truth about Count A—'s resignation? Is it health or weariness, or what is it? We are all puzzled at it here. I suppose Prince Bismarck's visit will lead to some éclaircissement. [Page 619] 

"We hear occasionally from Lord Beaconsfield, who seems very well. He is at Hughenden. We often think of the pleasant days you spent with us at Hatfield when he was there.

"With kind regards to Captain Burton and yourself from us all,

"Believe me very sincerely yours,



In the autumn Isabel went to Venice on a brief visit; but had to return shortly, as Burton had made up his mind to go once more to Egypt to try his luck about the Midian Mines. There was nothing for her to do but to see him off (there was no money for two) and remain behind to spend her Christmas alone at Trieste.

Soon after the new year Isabel began to get ill again. She had not really recovered from her fall in Paris nine months before. The doctors advised her to see a bone-setter. She wrote and told her husband, who was then in Egypt, and he replied by telegram ordering her to go home to London at once. She reached London, and went through a course of medical treatment. She notes during this dreary period a visit from Martin Tupper, who came to see her on the subject of cruelty to animals. (Burton always joked with his wife about "Tupper and the animals.") He presented her with a copy of his Proverbial Philosophy, and also wrote her the letter which is reproduced here:

"WEST CROYDON, January 17, 1880.


"I hope you will allow a personal stranger, [Page 620]  though haply on both sides a book friend, to thank you for your very graphic and interesting A. E. I. travels; may the volume truly be to you and yours an everlasting possession! But the special reason I have at present for troubling you with my praise is because in to-day's reading of your eleventh chapter I cannot but feel how one we are in pity and hope for the dear and innocent lower animals so cruelly treated by their savage monarch, man, everywhere during this evil æon of the earth. To prove my sympathy as no new feeling, I may refer your kindly curiosity to my Proverbial Chapters on 'The Future of Animals,' to many of my occasional poems, and to the enclosed, which I hope it may please you to accept. You may like to know also, as a kindred spirit (and pray don't think me boastful), that years ago, through a personal communication with Louis Napoleon, I have a happy reason to believe that the undersigned was instrumental in stopping the horrors of Altorf, besides other similar efforts for poor animals in America and elsewhere. I believe, with you, that they have a good future in prospect (perhaps in what is called the millennial era of our world), that they understand us and our language, especially as to oaths, and that those humble friends will be met and known by us in our happier state to come.

"But I must not weary you with what might be expanded into a treatise; I am confident we agree; and I know in my own experiences (as doubtless you do in yours) that the poor horses and dogs we have pitied and helped, love and appreciate and may hereafter be found capable of rewarding–in some small way [Page 621] –those who are good to them in this our mutual stage of trial.

"With my best regards then, and due thanks, allow me to subscribe myself

"Your very sincere servant,



Isabel was anxious about her husband, as things in Egypt were in a very unsettled condition. Ismail Khedive had now abdicated, and Tewfik had succeeded him. This, as we know, upset all Burton's plans; he got no farther than Egypt on his way to Midian, and remained at Alexandria eating out his heart in despair at his bad luck. One night on coming home from dinner he was attacked by a band of roughs, who hit him over the head from behind with a sharp instrument. It was supposed to be foul play with a motive, as the only thing they stole was his divining-rod for gold, which he carried about with him, and they did not take his money. He kept the loss a secret, in order that it should be no hindrance to him if he had the chance to go back to work the Mines of Midian. But that chance never came. He returned to Trieste, and did not let his wife know of the assault until she joined him there on her return from London.

In the meantime she had not been idle. Despite her ill-health when in London she had been agitating for her husband's promotion, and had built high hopes on the kind interest of Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Salisbury. Unfortunately for her Lord Beaconsfield's last Administration collapsed in April with a crash, and her [Page 622]  hopes were buried in the ruins. Lord Granville, who had recalled Burton from Damascus, succeeded Lord Salisbury at the Foreign Office, and she knew that she could not hope for much from Lord Granville. When she saw the turn the General Election of 1880 had taken, she made a last despairing effort to induce the out-going Government to do something for her husband before the Ministers gave up their seals. She received the following kind letter from Lady Salisbury:



"I received your note here yesterday, and fear it is too late to do anything, as the lists went in yesterday, and Lord Beaconsfield is with the Queen to-day. So we must bear our misfortunes as best we can, and hope for better days. I cannot help feeling that this change is too violent to last long. But who can say? It is altogether so astonishing. As regards Captain Burton, I hope you will not lose anything. So valuable a public servant will, I hope, be sure of recognition whatever Government may be in office.

"With our united kind regards to him and to you,

"Yours very sincerely,



It was a sad home-coming for Isabel; for not only were her hopes, so near fruition, dashed to the ground, but she found her husband very ill from the effects of his accident and from gout. The first thing she did was to send for a doctor, and take him off to Opçina. [Page 623]  It is sad to note that from this time we find in their letters and diaries frequent complaints of sickness and suffering. They, who had rarely known what illness meant, now had it with them as an almost constant companion. From Opçina they went to Oberammergau to see the Passion Play, which impressed them both very much, though in different ways. Isabel wrote a long description of this play, which has never been published. Burton also wrote an account, which has seen the light. When they returned to Trieste, they had a good many visitors, among others the late Mr. W. H. Smith and his family. He was always a kind friend to Isabel, as indeed he was to every one he liked. And that (like Lord Beaconsfield, Lord Salisbury, Lord Clarendon, Lord Derby, and many other leading statesmen) he had a high opinion of her abilities is, I think, evident from the following letter. Men do not write in this way to stupid women:

"3, GROSVENOR PLACE, S.W., March 1, 1881.


"Your kind letters have reached us since our arrival here. We were earlier in our return than we had at first intended, as Parliament was called together so soon; but our house was not ready, and my family had to stay in the country for some little time. It is very good of you to send me the Lusiads. I am keeping them for those delightful days of quiet and enjoyment which are to be had sometimes in the country, but not in these stormy days in London. Are we to have peace and quiet? Ireland will be [Page 624]  sullenly quiet now under coercion, after having been stimulated by oratory almost to madness. South Africa is a very serious matter indeed. I am told the Dutch colonists within the Cape will remain loyal; but our reputation as an invincible race suffers with all the natives. And then the European East, nothing at present can look blacker, and all because of passionate words and hatred. I am afraid too we are low in the estimation of the people of the West, and likely to remain so.

"Your good Christmas wishes reached us long after the New Year; but we had a very pleasant Christmas at Malta with many of our old naval friends, and we spent our New Year's Day at a little port in Elba. What a charming island it is! Small, no doubt; but not a bad prison for an Emperor if he had books and papers and some powers of self-control. Coming up to Nice we had very heavy weather; but the yacht behaved well, and it was certainly pleasanter at sea with a strong easterly wind than on shore.

"There is to be a great Candahar debate in the Lords to-night. Lord Lytton speaks remarkably well–as an old debater would–and great interest is felt in the event. All the same Candahar will be given up; and some time hence, if we have soldiers left, we shall probably have to fight our way back again to it.

"Pray give our united kind regards to Captain Burton. I shall be so glad to hear any news if anything transpires at Trieste.

"Yours very sincerely,
"W. H. SMITH."


Editor: Mary Mark


[Page 615]

1 Speech at the British National Association of Spiritualists, December 13, 1878.


Editor: Mary Mark

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