The Project Gutenberg eBook of International Weekly Miscellany of Literature, Art and Science - Volume 1, No. 9, August 26, 1850

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Title: International Weekly Miscellany of Literature, Art and Science - Volume 1, No. 9, August 26, 1850

Author: Various

Release date: October 19, 2004 [eBook #13797]
Most recently updated: December 18, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Joshua Hutchinson, William Flis, the PG Online Distributed
Proofreading Team, and Cornell University


Of Literature, Art, and Science.

Vol. I. NEW YORK, August 26, 1850. No. 9.

[pg 257]


A magnificent work1 upon this subject has just been completed in Paris, where it was commenced fifteen years ago. It was begun under the auspices of M. Paul Delaroche and M.C. Lenormand, member of the Institute, and well known already as one of the first authorities in the numismatic branch of archæology. Some faint idea of the greatness of the task may be given by stating that it embraces the whole range of art, from the regal coins of Syracuse and of the Ptolemies, down to those of our day; that such a stupendous scheme should ever have been carried into execution is not solely due to the admirable ease and fidelity, with which the "Collas machine" renders the smallest and the largest gems of the antique: but to him who first felt, appreciated, and afterward promoted its capabilities in this labor of love, M.A. Lachevardiere. Comparisons and contrasts, which are the life of art, though generally confined to the mental vision, are not the least of the recommendations of this vast work. For the first time have the minor treasures of each country been brought together, and not the least conspicuous portion are those from the British Museum and the Bank of England.

Whether we consider the selection of these monumental relics, the explanatory letterpress, or the engravings which reproduce them, we are struck by the admirable taste, science, and fidelity with which the largest as well as the smallest gems have each and every one been made to tally in size with the originals.

The collection of the "Trésor de Numismatique et Glyptique," consisting of twenty volumes in folio, and containing a thousand engraved plates in folio, reproduces upward of 15,000 specimens, and is divided into three classes—1st. The coins, medals, cameos, &c. of antiquity; 2d. Those of the middle ages; lastly, those of modern times. The details of this immense mass of artistic wealth would be endless; but these three classes seem to be arranged according to the latest classification of numismatists.

In the first class may be noticed—1. The regal coins of Greece, which contains, beside the portraits of the Greek Kings, to be found in Visconti's "Iconographie," copied from medals and engraved gems, all the coins bearing the Greek name of either a king, a prince, or a tyrant, and every variety of these types, whether they bear the effigy of a prince, or only reproduce his name. To the medals of each sovereign are joined the most authentic and celebrated engraved gems of European cabinets. Next come the series of portraits of the Roman emperors and their families, with all the important varieties of Roman numismatics, amongst which will be found the most celebrated coins of France, Vienna, Dresden, Munich, Florence, Naples, St. Petersburg, Weimar, &c.; and, moreover, those medallions which perpetuate great events. These two volumes contain eight-fold more matter than the great work of Visconti.

In the second class, containing the works of the middle ages, and showing the uninterrupted progress of the numismatic art down to modern times, and forming alone fourteen volumes, we find the source which the French artists and men of letters have studied with such predilection. First in order are the Italian medals of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, chiefly by the famous Victor Pisano, a Veronese, whom Nasari has so much lauded. The scholars and imitators of Pisano also produced works as interesting as historical documents as they are admirable in workmanship. Here also will be found the French and English seals, in which the balance of skill in design and execution is acknowledged to be in our favor.

Less barbarous, and indeed perfect works of art, in character of costume and visage, are the medals struck in Germany during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when the influence of Albert Durer and his school was strongly felt. And finally, relics of ornamental art of different nations and epochs.

In the third class, two parts only are devoted to contemporary art; the medals illustrative of the French revolution of 1789; those of the "Empire" and of the Emperor [pg 258] "Napoleon;" generally smacking of the florid and corrupt taste of that period, they are nevertheless curious as being often the sole evidence of the facts commemorated. There is, however, a manifest improvement in the late ones, and in them may be traced the transition from the independent ideas of the revolution to the subsequent submission to one man: and not less striking is the transition from a slip-shod style of art to a pedantic imitation of the antique. The "Trésor de Numismatique et de Glyptique" is the most scientific and important work of art which has been executed and achieved of late years in France. Our great public libraries may be proud of possessing so rich, so valuable, and so curious a collection,

Most lovers of art have their favorite periods and well-beloved masters, but in this varied range of excellence it is difficult which to select for preference and admiration. The cameos have a beauty and finesse which far surpass that of busts and statues; they evince the skill of grouping, which, with rare exceptions, such as the Niobe and Laocoon, is seldom aimed at in the more important pieces of sculpture. Cameos, moreover, let us, as it were, into the secrets of indoor life. To these considerations we may add that these gems have had an immense influence on French modern art. The "Apotheosis of Augustus" especially, known to antiquarians as the "Agate of Tiberius," the largest cameo in the world, and beautifully engraved the size of the original in this collection, may be traced in more than one of their late compositions.

It is said that large medallions are a sign of taste either in the medalist or the monarch he is supposed to honor; if so, Dupré and Varin have drawn a thick vail over the effulgence of Louis XIV. We would not, however, lose their wigs and smiles for a world of historiettes.

But it is to be remembered that the more names are blazoned on works of art, the more art becomes deteriorated. In this respect the present collection shows the rapidly progressive march of this evil through twenty-five centuries—a most instructive subject of contemplation.


Of the chivalry, the gallantry, the splendor, the hospitality, the courage, and the love of liberty of the Hungarian noble or gentleman, no one doubts. Of his ideas of true constitutional freedom, or the zeal with which that or Hungarian independence has been maintained first through Turkish, and then German domination for some hundred years past, doubts may be entertained. Neither do the Hungarian peasantry or people reflect high credit on their "natural superiors." Something should be deducted for the forced vivacity and straining after effect of the littérateur; but this sketch of a large class of peasantry from Max Schlesinger's "War in Hungary," just published in London, must have some foundation in truth—and very like the Red Indians or half-breeds of Spanish America the people look.

"The Csikos is a man who from his birth, somehow or other, finds himself seated upon a foal. Instinctively the boy remains fixed upon the animal's back, and grows up in his seat as other children do in the cradle.

"The boy grows by degrees to a big horse-herd. To earn his livelihood, he enters the service of some nobleman, or of the Government, who possess in Hungary immense herds of wild horses. These herds range over a tract of many German square miles, for the most part some level plain, with wood, marsh, heath, and moorland; they rove about where they please, multiply, and enjoy freedom of existence. Nevertheless, it is a common error to imagine that these horses, like a pack of wolves in the mountains, are left to themselves and nature, without any care or thought of man. Wild horses, in the proper sense of the term, are in Europe at the present day only met with in Bessarabia; whereas the so-called wild herds in Hungary may rather be compared to the animals ranging in our large parks, which are attended to and watched. The deer are left to the illusion that they enjoy the most unbounded freedom; and the deer-stalker, when in pursuit of his game, readily gives in to the same illusion. Or, to take another simile, the reader has only to picture to himself a well-constituted free state, whether a republic or a monarchy is all one.

"The Csikos has the difficult task of keeping a watchful eye upon these herds. He knows their strength, their habits, the spots they frequent; he knows the birthday of every foal, and when the animal, fit for training, should be taken out of the herd. He has then a hard task upon his hands, compared with which a Grand-Ducal wild-boar hunt is child's play; for the horse has not only to be taken alive from the midst of the herd, but of course safe and sound in wind and limb. For this purpose, the celebrated whip of the Csikos serves him; probably at some future time a few splendid specimens of this instrument will be exhibited in the Imperial Arsenal at Vienna, beside the sword of Scanderberg and the Swiss 'morning-stars.'

"This whip has a stout handle from one and a half to two feet long, and a cord which measures not less than from eighteen to twenty-four feet in length. The cord is attached to a short iron chain, fixed to the top of the handle by an iron ring. A large leaden button is fastened to the end of the cord, and similar smaller buttons are distributed along it at distances, according to certain rules derived from experience, of which we are ignorant. Armed with this weapon, which the Csikos carries in his belt, together with a short grappling-iron or hook, he sets out on his horse-chase. Thus mounted and equipped without saddle or stirrup, he flies like [pg 259] the storm-wind over the heath, with such velocity that the grass scarcely bends under the horse's hoof; the step of his horse is not heard, and the whirling cloud of dust above his head alone marks his approach and disappearance. Although familiar with the use of a bridle, he despises such a troublesome article of luxury, and guides his horse with his voice, hands, and feet—nay, it almost seems as if he directed it by the mere exercise of the will, as we move our feet to the right or left, backward or forward, without its ever coming into our head to regulate our movements by a leather strap.

"In this manner for hours he chases the flying herd, until at length he succeeds in approaching the animal which he is bent on catching. He then swings his whip round in immense circles, and throws the cord with such dexterity and precision that it twines around the neck of his victim. The leaden button at the end, and the knots along the cord, form a noose, which draws closer and tighter the faster the horse hastens on.

"See how he flies along with outstretched legs, his mane whistling in the wind, his eye darting fire, his mouth covered with foam, and the dust whirling aloft on all sides! But the noble animal breathes shorter, his eye grows wild and staring, his nostrils are reddened with blood, the veins of his neck are distended like cords, his legs refuse longer service—he sinks exhausted and powerless, a picture of death. But at the same instant the pursuing steed likewise stands still and fixed as if turned to stone. An instant, and the Csikos has flung himself off his horse upon the ground, and inclining his body backward, to keep the noose tight, he seizes the cord alternately with the right and left hand, shorter and shorter, drawing himself by it nearer and nearer to the panting and prostrate animal, till at last coming up to it he flings his legs across its back. He now begins to slacken the noose gently, allowing the creature to recover breath: but hardly does the horse feel this relief, before he leaps up, and darts off again in a wild course, as if still able to escape from his enemy. But the man is already bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh; he sits fixed upon his neck as if grown to it, and makes the horse feel his power at will, by tightening or slackening the cord. A second time the hunted animal sinks upon the ground; again he rises, and again breaks down, until at length, overpowered with exhaustion, he can no longer stir a limb....

"The foot-soldier who has discharged his musket is lost when opposed to the Csikos. His bayonet, with which he can defend himself against the Uhlans and Hussars, is here of no use to him; all his practiced maneuvers and skill are unavailing against the long whip of his enemy, which drags him to the ground, or beats him to death with his leaden buttons; nay, even if he had still a charge in his musket, he could sooner hit a bird on the wing than the Csikos, who, riding round and round him in wild bounds, dashes with his steed first to one side then to another, with the speed of lightning, so as to frustrate any aim. The horse-soldier, armed in the usual manner, fares not much better; and wo to him if he meets a Csikos singly! better to fall in with a pack of ravenous wolves."


An account of the Expedition for the survey of the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, carried on by order of the British Government, in the years 1835, 1836, and 1837; preceded by geographical and historical notices of the regions situated between the Nile and the Indus, with fourteen maps and charts, and ninety-seven plates, besides numerous woodcuts, has just appeared in London, in four large volumes, from the pen of Lieutenant-Colonel Chesney, R.A., F.R.S., &c., commander of the Expedition. It is too comprehensive a work ever to be reprinted here, or to be much read, even in England, but it is undoubtedly very valuable as an authority. The following paragraphs from it describe the present state of religion in Persia:

"The title of Múlla is conferred on a candidate by some member of the order, after the requisite examination in theology and law; and the person is then intrusted with the education of youth, as well as the administration of justice, and the practice of law. The Múllas sometimes possess sufficient power not only to influence the people at large, but even the King himself.

"Of this class of priests, those who have been successful in life are either placed in mosques or private families, waiting for advancement; but a greater number are nominally attached to colleges, and live by the practice of astrology, fortune-telling, the sale of charms, talismans, &c. They who are not possessed of the requisite ingenuity to subsist by the credulity of others, take charge of an inferior school, or write letters, and draw up marriage and other engagements, for those who are unequal to the task. They mix at the same time largely in the domestic concerns of families. But in addition to these and other vocations, a considerable number of the lowest priests derive a scanty support from that charity which no one denies to the true believer. These men wander as fakirs from place to place, carrying news, and repeating poems, tales, &c., mixed with verses from the Koran. The heterodox religions are very numerous; nor is Irián without her free-thinkers, as the Kamúrs and Mu'tazelís, (Mitaulis,) who deny everything which they cannot prove by natural reason. A third sect, the Mahadelis, or Molochadis, still maintain the Magian belief that the stars and the planets govern all things. Another, the Ehl el Tabkwid, (men of truth,) hold that there is no God except the four elements, and no rational soul or life after this one. They maintain also, that all living bodies, being mixtures of the elements, will [pg 260] after death return to their first principles. They also affirm that paradise and hell belong to this world, into which every man returns in the form of a beast, a plant, or again as a man; and that in this second state, he is great, powerful, and happy, or poor, despicable, and unhappy, according to his former merits or demerits. In practice they inculcate kindness to and respect for each other, with implicit obedience to their chiefs, who are called Pir, (old men,) and are furnished with all kinds of provisions for their subsistence. This sect is found in the provinces of Irák and Fárs.

"The Táríkh Zenádikah (way of the covetous) are directly opposed to the last on the subject of transmigration; and they believe that God is in all places, and performs all things. They likewise maintain that the whole visible universe is only a manifestation of the Supreme Being; the soul itself being a portion of the Divine essence. Therefore, they consider, that whatever appears to the eye is God, and that all religious rites should be comprised in the contemplation of God's goodness and greatness.

"On these various creeds the different branches of Suffeeism seem to have been founded. One of the most extraordinary of these sects is the Rasháníyah; the followers of which believe in the transmigration of souls, and the manifestation of the Divinity in the persons of holy men. They maintain likewise, that all men who do not join their sect are to be considered as dead, and that their goods belong, in consequence, to the true believers, as the only survivors."


Mr. Burke gives in his gossiping book about the English aristocracy, the following anecdotes of this once famous person:

"Few men occupied a more conspicuous place about the court and town for nearly seventy years, during the reigns of the Second and Third Georges. Like Wilmot Earl of Rochester, he pursued pleasure under every shape, and with as much ardor at fourscore as he had done at twenty. At the decease of his father, in 1731, he became Earl of March; and he subsequently, in 1748, inherited his mother's earldom of Ruglen, together with the family's estates in the counties of Edinburgh and Linlithgow. These rich endowments of fortune, and a handsome person, of which he was especially careful, combined to invest the youthful Earl with no ordinary attractions, and the ascendency they acquired he retained for a longer period than any one of his contemporaries; from his first appearance in the fashionable world in the year 1746, to the year he left it forever, in 1810, at the age of eighty-five, he was always an object of comparative notoriety. There was no interregnum in the public course of his existence. His first distinction he achieved on the turf; his knowledge of which, both in theory and practice, equaled that of the most accomplished adepts of Newmarket. In all his principal matches he rode himself, and in that branch of equitation rivaled the most professional jockeys. Properly accoutered in his velvet cap, red silken jacket, buckskin breeches, and long spurs, his Lordship bore away the prize on many a well-contested field. His famous match with the Duke of Hamilton was long remembered in sporting annals. Both noblemen rode their own horses, and each was supported by numerous partisans. The contest took place on the race-ground at Newmarket, and attracted all the fashionables of the period. Lord March, thin, agile, and admirably qualified for exertion, was the victor. Still more celebrated was his Lordship's wager with the famous Count O'Taafe. During a conversation at a convivial meeting on the subject of 'running against time,' it was suggested by Lord March, that it was possible for a carriage to be drawn with a degree of celerity previously unexampled, and believed to be impossible. Being desired to name his maximum, he undertook, provided choice of ground were given him and a certain period for training, to draw a carriage with four wheels not less than nineteen miles within the space of sixty minutes. The accomplishment of such rapidity staggered the belief of his hearers; and a heavy wager was the consequence. Success mainly depending on the lightness of the carriage, Wright of Long Acre, the most ingenious coach-builder of the day, devoted the whole resources of his skill to its construction, and produced a vehicle formed partly of wood and partly of whale-bone, with silk harness, that came up to the wishes of his employer. Four blood horses of approved speed were then selected, and the course at Newmarket chosen as the ground of contest. On the day appointed, 29th of August, 1750, noble and ignoble gamesters journeyed from far and near to witness the wonderful experiment; excitement reached the highest point, and bets to an enormous amount were made. At length the jockeys mounted; the carriage was put in motion, and rushing on with a velocity marvelous in those times of coach traveling, but easily conceived by us railway travelers of the nineteenth century, gained within the stipulated hour the goal of victory."


Not the least valuable parts of Burke's just published "Anecdotes of the Aristocracy," are a species of essay on the fortunes of families. The following is from a chapter on their decadence:

"It has often occurred to us that a very interesting paper might be written on the rise and fall of English families. Truly does Dr. Borlase remark that 'the most lasting houses have only their seasons, more or less, of a certain constitutional strength. They have their spring and summer sunshine glare, their wane, decline, and death.' Take, for example, the Plantagenets, the Staffords, and the [pg 261] Nevills, the three most illustrious names on the roll of England's nobility. What race in Europe surpassed in royal position, in personal achievement, our Henries and our Edwards? and yet we find the great-great-grandson of Margaret Plantagenet, daughter and heiress of George Duke of Clarence, following the craft of a cobbler at the little town of Newport in Shropshire, in the year 1637. Beside, if we were to investigate the fortunes of many of the inheritors of the royal arms, it would soon be discovered that

'The aspiring blood of Lancaster'

had sunk into the ground. The princely stream at the present time flows through very humble veins. Among the lineal descendants of Edmund of Woodstock, Earl of Kent, sixth son of Edward I., King of England, entitled to quarter the Royal arms, occur Mr. Joseph Smart, of Hales Owen, butcher, and Mr. George Wilmot, keeper of the turnpike-gate at Cooper's Bank, near Dudley; and among the descendants of Thomas Plantagenet, Duke of Gloucester, fifth son of Edward III., we may mention Mr. Stephen James Penny, the late sexton at St. George's, Hanover Square.

"The story of the Gargraves is a melancholy chapter in the romance of real life. For full two centuries, or more, scarcely a family in Yorkshire enjoyed a higher position. Its chiefs earned distinction in peace and war; one died in France, Master of the Ordnance to King Henry V.; another, a soldier, too, fell with Salisbury, at the siege of Orleans; and a third filled the Speaker's chair of the House of Commons. What an awful contrast to this fair picture does the sequel offer. Thomas Gargrave, the Speaker's eldest son, was hung at York, for murder; and his half-brother, Sir Richard, endured a fate only less miserable. The splendid estate he inherited he wasted by the most wanton extravagance, and at length reduced himself to abject want. 'His excesses,' says Mr. Hunter, in his 'History of Doncaster,' 'are still, at the expiration of two centuries, the subject of village tradition; and his attachment to gaming is commemorated in an old painting, long preserved in the neighboring mansion of Badsworth, in which he is represented as playing at the old game of put, the right hand against the left, for the stake of a cup of ale.

"The close of Sir Richard's story is as lamentable as its course. An utter bankrupt in means and reputation, he is stated to have been reduced to travel with the pack-horses to London, and was at last found dead in an old hostelry! He had married Catherine, sister of Lord Danvers, and by her left three daughters. Of the descendants of his brothers few particulars can be ascertained. Not many years since, a Mr. Gargrave, believed to be one of them, filled the mean employment of parish-clerk of Kippax.

"A similar melancholy narrative applies to another great Yorkshire house. Sir William Reresby, Bart., son and heir of the celebrated author, succeeded, at the death of his father, in 1689, to the beautiful estate of Thrybergh, in Yorkshire, where his ancestors had been seated uninterruptedly from the time of the Conquest; and he lived to see himself denuded of every acre of his broad lands. Le Neve states, in his MSS. preserved in the Heralds' College, that he became a tapster in the King's Bench Prison, and was tried and imprisoned for cheating in 1711. He was alive in 1727, when Wootton's account of the Baronets was published. In that work he is said to be reduced to a low condition. At length he died in great obscurity, a melancholy instance how low pursuits and base pleasures may sully the noblest name, and waste an estate gathered with labor and preserved by the care of a race of distinguished progenitors. Gaming was amongst Sir William's follies—particularly that lowest specimen of the folly, the fights of game-cocks. The tradition at Thrybergh is (for his name is not quite forgotten) that the fine estate of Dennaby was staked and lost on a single main. Sir William Reresby was not the only baronet who disgraced his order at that period. In 1722, Sir Charles Burton was tried at the Old Bailey for stealing a seal; pleaded poverty, but was found guilty, and sentenced to transportation; which sentence was afterward commuted for a milder punishment."


Gazpacho; or, Summer Months in Spain, is the title of a new book by W. George Clark, published in London. Gazpacho, it seems, is the name of a dish peculiar to Spain, but of universal use there, a sort of cold soup, made up of familiars and handy things, as bread, pot-herbs, oil, and water. "My Gazpacho," says the author, "has been prepared after a similar receipt. I know not how it will please the more refined and fastidious palates to which it will be submitted; indeed, amid the multitude of dainties wherewith the table is loaded, it may well remain untasted." It at least deserves a better fate than that. The volume relates, in a pleasant, intelligent, and gossiping way, a summer's ramble through Spain, describing with considerable force the peculiarities of its people, and the romantic features by which it is marked. The clever painter could not have better materials. The party-colored costumes of the peasants, like dahlias at a Chiswick show; the somber garments of the priests, the fine old churches, the queer rambling houses, looking centuries old, the dull, gloomy streets of Madrid, the life and activity of the market-place. Such are the objects upon which the eye rests, and of which Mr. Clark was too observant to neglect any. The following passages will give an idea of the materials of which the Gazpacho is made up:—


"I left, I suppose, scarcely a street in Madrid which I did not traverse, or a church which I did not enter. The result is hardly worth the trouble. One street and church [pg 262] are exactly like another street and church. In the latter, one always finds the same profusion of wooden Christs, and Madonnas in real petticoats, on the walls, and the same scanty sprinkling of worshipers, also in petticoats, on the floor. The images outnumber the devotees here, as in all other Roman Catholic countries (except Ireland, which is an exception to every rule.) To a stranger, the markets are always the most interesting haunts. A Spaniard, he or she, talks more while making the daily bargain than in all the rest of the twenty-four hours. The fruit and vegetable market was my especial lounge. There is such a fresh, sweet smell of the country, and the groups throw themselves, or are thrown, into such pretty tableaux after the Rubens and Snyders fashion. The shambles one avoids instinctively, and fish-market there is none, for Madrid is fifty hours' journey from the nearest sea, and the Manzanares has every requisite for a fine trout stream, but water.

"Madrid has one peculiarity which conduces very much to the visitor's comfort, namely, that there are very few inevitable 'sights' to be gone through. The armory said to be the finest in the world; the palace, ditto (which people who are addicted to upholstering may go and see, if they don't mind breaking the tenth commandment); the museum of natural history, where is the largest loadstone in active operation between this and Medina; and the Academia, nearly complete the list. Everybody should devote a morning to the last-named, were it only for the sake of the Murillos. The famous picture of 'St. Isabel giving alms to the sick' has been arrested at Madrid on its return from Paris to Seville. As the Sevilians have instituted a 'process' for its recovery, it is likely to stay there for some time longer. 'The Patrician's Dream' is quite cheering to look upon, so rich and glowing it is. Shut your eyes to the semi-ludicrous effect of husband, wife, and dog, in a decreasing series, like the three genders in Lindley Murray, all asleep.

"The gardens of the queen, sunk in a deep hollow below the palace, deserve a visit. The head-gardener, of course a Frenchman, struggles gallantly against all kinds of difficulties of soil, climate, and lack of water. By a series of ingenious artifices he has concocted a plot of grass, some ten feet square, to the great astonishment of all natives."


"One day my kind friend Colonel S. took me to hear a debate in the Senado, the Spanish Chamber of Peers, which holds its sittings in the chapel of a suppressed convent, near the palace. By dint of paint, gilding, and carpets, the room has been divested of its sanctified aspect, and made to look like a handsome modern room. They have not thought it necessary that a place in which a hundred gentlemen in surtouts meet to discuss secular matters in this nineteenth century, should be made to resemble a chapel of the fifteenth. Antiquity is here represented in the person of two halberdiers, who stand to guard the door, dressed in extravagant costume, like beefeaters in full bloom. Rows of raised seats extend on each side of the room; in the center, facing the beef-eaters, are the chair and desk of the president, and on each side a little tribune, from which the clerks read out documents from time to time. The spectators are accommodated in niches round the walls. Each member speaks from his place, and the voting is by ballot. First a footman hands round a tray of beans, and then each advances, when his name is called, to a table in the center, where he drops his bean into the box. The beans are then counted, and the result proclaimed by the president. On the right of the chair, in the front, is the bench assigned to the ministers; and there I had the good luck to see Narvaez, otherwise called Duke of Valencia, and a great many fine names besides, and, in reality, master of all the Spains. His face wears a fixed expression of inflexible resolve, very effective, and garnished with a fierce dyed mustache, and a somewhat palpable wig to match. His style of dress was what, in an inferior man, one would have called 'dandified.' An unexceptionable surtout, opened to display a white waistcoat with sundry chains, and the extremities terminated, respectively, in patent leather and primrose kid. During the discussion he alternately fondled a neat riding-whip and aired a snowy pocket-handkerchief. Those who know him give him credit for good intentions and great courage, but do not expect that he will ever set the Thames on fire, whatever he may do to the Manzanares. He is a mixture, they say, of the chivalric and the asinine: a kind of moral mule. His personal weakness is a wish to be thought young, and hence he was naturally angry when Lord Palmerston wanted to give him a 'wrinkle.' I saw, likewise, Mon, the Minister of Finance, smiling complacently, like a shopkeeper on his customers; and the venerable Castanos, Duke of Bailen, who, as he tottered in, stooping under the weight of ninety years, was affectionately greeted by Narvaez and others. On the whole, the debate seemed to be languid, and to be listened to with little interest; but that is the general fate of debates in July."


Of the Servian swineherd we have heard something of late, both in history and romance; because this was the vocation of Kara George, the Servian Liberator. In Hungary the swine-keeper does not seem to be so respectable a person. Here is a sketch of him from Max Schlesinger's new book on the Hungarian war:

"The Kanasz is a swineherd, whose occupation, everywhere unpoetical and dirty, is doubly troublesome and dirty in Hungary. Large droves of pigs migrate annually into the latter country from Serbia, where they still live in a half-wild state. In Hungary [pg 263] they fatten in the extensive oak-forests, and are sent to market in the large towns, even to Vienna, and still further....

"It is a true enjoyment to live in these shady forests. The oak attains a finer and more luxuriant growth on the Hungarian soil than in any part of Germany. The hogs find food in profusion, and commonly stuff themselves to such a degree that they lose all desire for roving about: so that dog, master, and ass, lead a comparatively easy life, and are left to the quiet enjoyment of nature. But the lot of the Kanasz is a pitiable one when, at the close of summer, he has to drive his swine to market. From Debreczin, nay even from the Serbian frontier, he has to make a journey on foot more toilsome than was ever undertaken by the most adventurous traveler, pacing slowly over the interminable heaths in rain, storm, or under a burning sun, behind his pigs, which drive into his face hot clouds of dust. Every now and then a hog has stuffed itself so full as to be unable to stir from the spot; and there it lies on the road without moving, whilst the whole caravan is obliged to wait for half a day or longer, until the glutted animal can get on his legs again; and when at length this feat is accomplished, frequently his neighbor begins the same trick. There is truly not a more toilsome business in the wide world than that of a Kanasz.... The fokos is a hatchet, with a long handle, which the Kanasz hurls with great dexterity. Whenever he desires to pick out and slaughter one of his hogs, either for his own use or for sale, the attempt would be attended with danger, in the half-savage state of these animals, without such a weapon. The fokos here assists him; which he flings with such force and precision, that the sharp iron strikes exactly into the center of the frontal bone of the animal he has marked out; the victim sinks on the earth without uttering a sound, and the drove quietly proceeds on its way. That he can strike down a man with equal precision at eighty to a hundred paces, is proved by the gallows at the entrance of the forest—the three-legged monument of his dexterity. During recent events, too, the surgeons of the Austrian army will readily furnish the Kanasz and Csikos with certificates of their ability and skill."


France, Russia, Prussia, and other countries, have introduced the Hussars into their armies; but these soldiers are merely Russian, French, and Prussian cavalry, dressed in the Hungarian laced jacket: they want the spirit, the horse, and—the 'Magyar Isten.' For this reason, the Hungarian Hussar will not acknowledge them as brethren; and whenever he comes in contact with foreign Hussars, he lets them feel in battle the full force of his contempt. A story is told, that during a campaign against the French in the war with Napoleon, the bivouacs of the Prussian and Hungarian Hussars were near to one another. A Prussian came over to his neighbors in a familiar way with a glass of wine, and drank it to the health of his 'brother hussar.' But the Hungarian gently pushed the glass back, and stroked his beard, saying, 'What brother?—no brother—I hussar—you jack-pudding.'

This expression is not to be mistaken for a brag. The Hungarian hussar is no fanfaron like the French chasseur, but he is conscious of his own powers, like a Grenadier of the Old Imperial Guard. The dolmany, the csako, and the csizma, have grown to his body; they form his holyday dress even when off duty—the national costume transferred into the army; and as he is aware that this is not the case in other countries, the foreign Hussar's dress is in his eyes a mere servant's livery; and logically the man is not altogether wrong.

The Hussar, like the Magyars in general, is naturally good-tempered. The finest man in the service, he is at the same time the most jovial companion in the tavern, and will not sit by and empty his glass by himself when a Bohemian or German comrade at his side has spent all his money. There is only one biped under the sun who is in his eyes more contemptible and hateful than any animal of marsh or forest. This is the Banderial Hussar—that half-breed between Croat and Magyar, that caricature of the true Hussar, who serves in the cavalry, as the Croat in the infantry, of the Military Frontier. Never was an Hungarian Hussar known to drink with a Banderial Hussar; never will he sit at the same table: if he meets a snake he crushes it under foot—a wolf he will hunt in the mountains—with a buffalo he will fight on the open heath—with a miserable horse-stealer he will wrestle for a halter; but as for the Banderial Hussar, he spits in his face wherever he meets him.

It was at Hatvan, or at Tapjo-Bicske, that Hungarian and Banderial Hussars were for the first time in this war—the first time perhaps in the recollection of man—opposed to one another in battle. If looks could slay, there would have been no need of a conflict, for the eyes of the Magyars shot death and contempt at their unworthy adversaries. The signal of attack sounded; and at the same instant, as if seized by one common thought, the Hungarian Hussars clattered their heavy sabres back into the scabbard, and with a fearful imprecation, such as no German tongue could echo, charged weaponless and at full speed their mimic caricatures whom fate had thrown in their way. The shock was so irresistible, that the poor Croats could make no use of their sabers against the furious onset of their unarmed foe: they were beaten down from their saddles with the fist, and dragged off their horses by their dolmanys; those who could save themselves fled. The Hussars disdained to pursue them; but they complained to their Colonel at having been opposed to 'such a rabble.'—Schlesinger.

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Original Poetry.



"Quorum pars magna fui."

Oh! loveliest of the stars of Heaven,

Thus did ye walk the crystal dome,

When to the earth a child was given,

Within a love-lit, northern home;

Thus leading up the starry train,

With aspect still benign,

Ye move in your fair orbs again

As on that birth long syne.

Within her curtained room apart,

The pale young mother faintly smiled;

While warmly to a father's heart

With love and prayer was pressed the child;

And, softly to the lattice led,

In whispers grandams show

How those presaging stars have shed

Around the child a glow.

Born in the glowing summer prime,

With planets thus conjoined in space

As if they watched the natal time,

And came to bless the infant face;

Oh! there was gladness in that bower,

And beauty in the sky;

And Hope and Love foretold a dower

Of brightest destiny.

Unconscious child! that smiling lay

Where love's fond eyes, and bright stars gleamed,

How long and toilsome grew the way

O'er which those brilliant orbs had beamed;

How oft the faltering step drew back

In terror of the path,

When giddy steep, and wildering track

Seemed fraught with only wrath!

How oft recoiled the woman foot,

With tears that shamed the path she trod.

To find a canker at the root

Of every hope, save that in God!

And long, oh! long, and weary long,

Ere she had learned to feel

That Love, unselfish, deep, and strong,

Repays its own wild zeal.

Bright Hesperus! who on the eyes

Of Milton poured thy brightest ray!

Effulgent dweller of the skies,

Take not from me thy light away—

I look on thee, and I recall

The dreams of by-gone years—

O'er many a hope I lay the pall

With its becoming tears;

Yet turn to thee with thy full beam,

And bless thee, Oh love-giving star!

For life's sweet, sad, illusive dream

Fruition, though in Heaven afar—

"A silver lining" hath the cloud

Through dark and stormiest night,

And there are eyes to pierce the shroud

And see the hidden light.

Thou movest side by side with Jove,

And, 'tis a quaint conceit, perchance—

Thou seem'st in humid light to move

As tears concealed thy burning glance—

Such Virgil saw thee, when thine eyes,

More lovely through their glow,2

Won from the Thunderer of the skies

An accent soft and low.

And Mars is there with his red beams,

Tumultuous, earnest, unsubdued—

And silver-footed Dian gleams

Faint as when she, on Latmos stood—

God help the child! such night brought forth

When Love to Power appeals,

And strong-willed Mars at frozen north

Beside Diana steals.

BROOKLYN, August, 1850.


How oft the burdened heart would sink

In fathomless despair

But for an angel on the brink—

In mercy standing there:

An angel bright with heavenly light—

And born of loftiest skies,

Who shows her face to mortal race,

In Friendship's holy guise.

Upon the brink of dark despair,

With smiling face she stands;

And to the victim shrinking there,

Outspreads her eager hands:

In accents low that sweetly flow

To his awakening ear,

She woos him back—his deathward track.

Toward Hope's effulgent sphere.

Sweet Friendship! let me daily give

Thanks to my God for thee!

Without thy smiles t'were death to live,

And joy to cease to be:

Oh, bitterest drop in woe's full cup—

To have no friend in need!

To struggle on, with grief alone—

Were agony indeed!



All daring sympathy—clear-sighted love—

Is, from its source, a ray of endless bliss;

Self has no place in the pure world above,

Its shadows vanish in the strife of this.

The toil—the tumult—the sharp struggle o'er,—

The casket breaks;—men say, "A martyr dies!"

The death—the martyrdom—has past before:

The soul, transfigured, finds its native skies.

The good—the ill—we vainly strive to weigh

With Reason's scales, hung in the mists of Time:

Yet child-like Faith the balance doth survey,

Held high in ether, by a hand sublime.

May, 1850. HERMA.


The SPANISH ACADEMY OF SCIENCES have announced the following subject for competition: "An experimental investigation and explanation of the theory of nitrification, the causes which most influence the production of this phenomenon, and the means most conducive in Spain to natural nitrification." The prize, to be awarded in May 1851, is to be a gold medal and 6000 copper reals—about seventy pounds sterling; and a second similar medal will be given to the second best paper. The papers, written in Spanish or Latin, are to be sent in before the 1st May, with, as usual, the author's name under seal.

IMPROVEMENTS IN THE TELEGRAPH.—The Presse gives some account of experiments made at the house of M. de Girardin, in Paris, with a new telegraphic dictionary, the invention of M. Gonon. Dispatches in French, English, Portuguese, Russian, and Latin, including proper names of men and places, and also figures, were transmitted and translated, says this account, with a rapidity and fidelity alike marvelous, by an officer who knew nothing of any one of the languages used except his own. Dots, commas, accents, and breaks were all in their places. This dictionary of M. Gonon is applicable alike to electric and aerial telegraphy, to transmissions by night and by day, to maritime and to military telegraphing. The same paper speaks of the great interest excited in the European capitals by the approaching experiment of submarine telegraphic communication between England and France. The wires, it says, on the English side are deposited and ready for laying down. It is probable that in a very few days the experiment will be complete.

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Authors and Books.

NEW ORLEANS AS SEEN BY A GERMAN PRINCE is very naturally not quite the same city as in the opinion of her own pleasure-loving citizens, nor can the republic whose South-western metropolis is condemned with the rigidity of a merciless judge and the jaundice of an unfriendly traveler, hope to get clear of censure from the same super-royal pen. It seems that his serenest highness Major-General Duke Paul William, of Wirtemburg, is traveling in America, and that the Ausland, a weekly paper, of Stuttgart, is from time to time favored with the results of his experience on the way. From some recent portions of his correspondence The International translates the subjoined morceau, which, however, despite its great exaggeration, is not altogether devoid of truth: "It is not necessary here to mention how much New Orleans has altered, increased, and deteriorated, for it is an established thing that cities which grow to such gigantic proportions gain nothing in respect to the morals of their inhabitants. Here drunkenness and gambling, two vices of which the Americans were ignorant in the time of the founders of their great federation, have taken very deep root. The decrease of the inflexible spirit of religion, and the increase of vice and luxury, gnaw the powerful tree, and are fearful enemies, which cannot be resisted by a structure that might resist with scorn all foreign foes, and would have played a mighty part in the world's history had the spirit of Washington and Franklin remained with it. The annexation of Texas, the war with Mexico, and now the gold of California, have transformed the United States. A people which makes conquests, loses inward power in proportion to the aggrandizement of its volume, and the increase of its external enemies."

AN ARABIAN NEWSPAPER, with the title Mobacher. has lately been commenced in Algiers, at the expense of the French Government. It is edited in the cabinet of the Governor-General, issued weekly, and lithographed, as less expensive than printing, which in Arabic types would be quite costly. It contains political news from Europe and Africa, the latest advices from Constantinople, all those laws and decrees of the Government which in any way concern the Arabs, and descriptions of such new discoveries and inventions as can be made intelligible to the readers for whom it is designed. A thousand copies are printed weekly and sent to the chiefs and headmen of all the tribes that are under French rule or influence. At first it was not read much, but now the vanity of the Arabs has been excited by it as a mark of special attention from the Governor-General, so that they take it as an honor, and a degree of curiosity has been excited to obtain news from other parts of the world.

Within a short time, also, an additional importance has been given to the paper by the publication in it of the amount of the tribute which each tribe is required to pay to France. Formerly this was known only to the chiefs who would accordingly exact from their people whatever amount they deemed best, under the pretense that it was for the government, while the greater part was retained by themselves. These tribes have profited greatly by the French conquest; it is estimated that of the eighty millions of francs which the army in Algeria costs yearly, from twenty to twenty-five millions remain in the hands of the Arabs. The Arab sells his corn, dates, horses, sheep, the baskets he weaves, &c., to the European population, but never buys anything from them in turn, except it be arms and powder. The rest of his money he carries home and buries where no one knows but himself, so that, if he dies suddenly, it is lost. Only the chiefs of the tribe know how to extort anything of these hidden sums. According to the most moderate estimates the tribes must have from two to three hundred millions of French money. The gains which the chiefs draw from this wealth is considerable; some of them have from a hundred to a hundred and fifty thousand francs income. They are beginning to build large houses, and cultivate gardens around them, a disposition which the government favors, because it is easier to keep tribes in order that are settled and have dwellings to lose which they cannot take with them. The publication of the tribute in the Mobacher, is, under these circumstances, of great value for the Arabs, because it enables them, as it were, to supervise their chiefs, and to refuse to pay exorbitant taxes laid under pretense of a high tribute. This has increased the respect generally felt for the paper, though it has not rendered it more a favorite with the chiefs. The power of these leaders is very great in the various tribes, having been in most cases hereditary, at least since the tenth century, and although not always inherited in direct line, the tribes have never suffered it to pass into the hands of new families. Hitherto nothing has diminished it; the war rather gave it new strength, and it is only by means of the chiefs that the French can keep Algiers quiet. It would be a remarkable fact if the dissolving power of publicity through the press should be manifested here as elsewhere, and begin the overthrow of the long standing influence exercised by the great Arabian families.

MRS. M. ST. LEON LOUD, of Philadelphia, has in the press of Ticknor, Reed & Fields, of Boston, a collection of her poems, entitled, "Wayside Flowers." Mrs. Loud is a writer of much grace and elegance, and occasionally of a rich and delicate fancy. The late Mr. Poe was accustomed to praise her works very highly, and was to have edited this edition of them.

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THE LITERATURE OF SOCIALISM occupies the press in France. The subject is warmly debated, pro and con. In a pamphlet called Despotisme ou Socialisme, M. Pompery rapidly sketches the alternative which, he says, lies open to those who rise against despotism. There are but two religious doctrines according to him: the one absolutist, represented by De Maistre, and the Catholic school, which is, logically enough, desirous of reestablishing the Inquisition; the other professed by all the illustrious teachers of mankind, by Pythagoras, Jesus, Socrates, Pascal, &c., which, believing in the goodness of the Creator and the perfectibility of man, endeavors to found upon earth the reign of justice, fraternity, and equality. A more important work on Socialism is that of Dr. Guepin, of Nantes, Philosophie du Socialisme; and M. Lecouturier announces a Science du Socialisme.

MR. G.P.R. JAMES has taken a cottage at Jamaica, Long Island, and is domiciliated as an American—we hope for a long time. He has made troops of friends since his arrival here, and is likely to be as popular in society as he has long been in literature. We are sure we communicate a very pleasing fact when we state that it is his intention to give in two or three of our principal cities, during the autumn and fall, a series of lectures—probably upon the chivalric ages, with which no one is more profoundly familiar, and of which no one can discourse more wisely or agreeably. His abilities, his reputation, and the almost universal acquaintance with his works, insure for him the largest success. We are indebted to no other living author for so much enjoyment, and by his proposed lectures he will not only add to our obligations, but furnish an opportunity to repair in some degree the wrong he has suffered from the imperfection and injustice of our copyright system.

"THE LIFE, CHARACTER, AND GENIUS OF EBENEZER ELLIOTT," is a volume by January Searle, author of Leaves from Sherwood Forest, &c., who knew the corn-law rhymer well, and has been enabled to give very characteristic sketches, original descriptions, correspondence, &c. There are in it many judiciously selected specimens of Elliott's poems, prose productions, and lectures. Mr. Searle observes of him, that "he was cradled into poetry by human wrong and misery; and was emphatically the bard of poverty—singing of the poor man's loves and sorrows, and denouncing his oppressors." Again: "He has one central idea—terrible and awful in its aspect, although beautiful and beneficent in spirit—before which he tries all causes, and men, and things. It is the Eternal Idea of Right; his synonyme of God. And this idea is perpetually present in his mind, pervades all his thoughts, will not be shuffled nor cheated, but demands a full satisfaction from all violators of it."

THE LATE MRS. OSGOOD was in a very remarkable degree respected and beloved by those who were admitted to her acquaintance. Without envy or jealousy, or any of the immoralities of the intellect which most commonly beset writers of her sex, she occasioned no enmities and was a party to none, but was regarded, especially by the literary women of this country, with a feeling of tenderness and devotion probably unparalleled in the annals of literature or of society. Immediately after her death, therefore, a desire was manifested to illustrate the common regard for her by some suitable testimonial, and upon consultation, it was decided to publish a splendid souvenir, to consist of the gratuitous contributions of her friends, and with the profits accruing from its sale to erect a monument to her memory in the cemetery of Mount Auburn. This gift book, edited by Mrs. Osgood's most intimate friend, Mary E. Hewitt, will be published by Mr. Putnam, on the first of October, under the title of The Cairn, and it will contain original articles by George Aubrey, Lord Bishop of Jamaica: the Right Rev. George W. Doane, the Right Rev. Alonzo Potter, the Hon. R.H. Walworth, the Hon. J. Leander Starr, the Rev. C.S. Henry, D.D., G.P.R. James, Esq., N.P. Willis, Esq., W. Gilmore Simms, Esq., Bayard Taylor, Esq., J.H. Boker, Esq., Alfred B. Street, Esq., R. H. Stoddard, Esq., Miss Fredrika Bremer, Mrs. Sigourney, Mrs. Oakes Smith, Mrs. Embury, Mrs. Lewis, Mrs. Neal, Mrs. Willard, Mrs. Whitman, Miss Lynch, Miss Hunter, Miss Cheesebro', and indeed nearly all the writers of her sex who have attained any eminence in our literary world. The volume will be illustrated with nine engravings on steel, by Cheney and other eminent artists.

THE REV. WALTER COLTON has just published through A.S. Barnes & Co. "Three Years in California," a journal of experiences and observations in the gold region, from the period when it first attracted the attention of the Atlantic cities. Mr. Colton was some time alcade of Monterey, and he had in every way abundant opportunity to acquire whatever facts are deserving of preservation in history. His "Ship and Shore," "Constantinople and Athens," "Deck and Port," and other works, have illustrated his genial temper, shrewdness, and skill in description and character writing; and this book will increase his reputation for these qualities. It contains portraits of Capt. Sutter, Col. Fremont, Mr. Gwin, Mr. Wright, Mr. Larkin, and Mr. Snyder, a map of the valley of the Sacramento, and several other engravings, very spirited in design and execution.

MR. GEORGE STEPHENS, author of the "Manuscripts of Erdely," has been struck by ill health and reduced to poverty, and an amateur play has been prepared for his benefit at the Soho Theater. He wrote "The Vampire," "Montezuma," and "Martinuzzi."

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The Gallery of Illustrious Americans, conducted by Mr. Lester, continues with every number to increase in interest. The work is designed to embrace folio portraits, engraved by Davignon, from daguerreotypes by Brady, of twenty-four of the most eminent American citizens who have lived since the time of Washington. The portraits thus far have been admirable for truthfulness and artistic effect. It may be said that the only published pictures we have, deserving to be called portraits, of the historian Prescott, or Mr. Calhoun, or Colonel Fremont, are in this Gallery. The great artist, naturalist, and man of letters, Audubon, is reflected here as he appears at the close of the battle, receiving the reverence of nations and ages. In the biographical department Mr. Lester has evinced very eminent abilities for this kind of writing. He seizes the prominent events of history and the strong points of character, and presents them with such force and fullness, and happy combination, as to make the letter-press as interesting and valuable as the engraved portion of the work. We are pleased to learn that the Gallery is remarkably successful. No publication of equal splendor and expensiveness has ever before been so well received in this country. The cost of it is but one dollar per number, or twenty dollars for the series of twenty-four numbers. It is now half completed.

M. Max Schlesinger, author of "The War in Hungary, in 1848-9,"—a work which, from what we read of it in the foreign journals, is much the most striking and attractive of all that have appeared upon its subject in English,—is described in the Athenæum, as by birth a Hungarian, by the accidents of fortune a German. For some time a resident in Prague, and more recently settled in Berlin, he has had excellent opportunities of seeing the men and studying the questions connected both in the literary and political sense with the present movement of ideas and races in Eastern Europe. His acquaintance with the aspects of nature in his native land—his knowledge of the peculiar character of its inhabitants, their manners, modes of thought and habits of life—his familiarity with past history—his right conception of the leading men in the recent struggle—are all vouched for as "essentially accurate" by no less an authority than Count Pulszky. It would be an injustice merely to say that M. Schlesinger has given in an original and picturesque way a general view of the course of events in the late war, more complete and connected than is afforded in any account hitherto presented to the public. He has done more: he has enabled the German and English reader to understand the miracle of a nation of four or five millions of men rising up at the command of a great statesman, and doing successful battle with the elaborately organized power of a first-class European state, shaking it to its very foundations, and contending, not without hope, against two mighty military empires,—until the treachery from within paralyzed its power of resistance.

Dr. Mayo's new novel, "The Berber, or the Mountaineer of the Atlas," published by Putnam, promises to be scarcely less popular than his "Kaloolah." The Evening Post says of it: "Kaloolah was a sprightly narrative of the wanderings of a Yankee, who seemed to combine in his person the characteristics of Robinson Crusoe with those of Baron Munchausen; but the Berber professes to be nothing more than a novel; or, as the author says in his preface, his principal object has been to tell an agreeable story in an agreeable way. In doing so, however, an eye has been had to the illustration of Moorish manners, customs, history, and geography; to the exemplification of Moorish life as it actually is in Barbary in the present day, and not as it usually appears in the vague and poetic glamour of the common Moorish romance. It has also been an object to introduce to the acquaintance of the reader a people who have played a most important part in the world's history, but of whom very few educated people know anything more than the name. As Dr. Mayo has traveled extensively over the regions he describes, we presume that his descriptions may be taken as true. His account of the Berbers, a tribe of ancient Asiatic origin, who inhabit a range of the Atlas, and who live a semi-savage life like the Arabs, is minute, and to the intelligent reader quite as interesting as the more narrative parts of the work. It is, perhaps, the best evidence of the merits of the book, that the whole first edition was exhausted by orders from the country before the first number had appeared in the city."

Col. Forbes, who was in Italy during the revolution, and many years previous, and who was himself, both in a military and civic capacity, one of the actors in that event, the Evening Post informs us, is about to give public lectures on the subject of Italy in the various cities and towns of the United States. Col. Forbes was intimately connected with the revolutionary chiefs during the brief existence of the Roman Republic, and was directly and confidently employed by Mazzini. His knowledge of the country, its people, its politics, and its recent history, will supply him with materials for making his lectures highly interesting and instructive.

The Gem of the Western World, edited by Mrs. Hewitt, and published by Cornish & Co., Fulton street, is a very beautiful gift-book, and in its literary character is deserving of a place with the most splendid and; tasteful annuals of the season. Mrs. Hewitt's own contributions to it embrace some of her finest compositions, and are of course among its most brilliant contents.

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FRENCH PERIODICALS.—A Parisian correspondent of the London Literary Gazette observes, that if we exclude the Revue des Deux Mondes—a, sort of cross between the English Quarterly and the monthlies,—if we exclude also a few dry scientific periodicals, and one or two theatrical or musical newspapers, we shall seek in vain for any Quarterly, or Blackwood, or Art Union, or Literary Gazette; and that even the periodicals and journals which make the nearest approach to the weekly, monthly, or quarterly publications of England, are either wretched compilations, or abominably ill-written and ill-printed. The feuilleton system of the newspapers is no doubt the principal cause of the periodical literature being in such an extremely low condition. But though literary and scientific periodicals be, generally speaking, vile in quality, they can at least boast of quantity. There are, it seems, not fewer than 300 of one kind or another published in Paris alone. Among them are 44 devoted to medicine, chemistry, natural science, &c.; 42, trade, commerce, railways, advertisements; 34, fashions; 30, law; 22, administration, public works, roads, bridges, mines; 19, archæology, history, biography, geography, numismatics; 19, public instruction and education; 15, agriculture and horticulture; 8, bibliography and typography; 10, army and navy; 7, literary; the rest theatrical, musical, or of a character too hybrid to be classified.

THE ILLUSTRATED DOMESTIC BIBLE, edited by the Rev. Ingram Cobbin, seems to us decidedly the best family Bible ever offered to the trade in this country. It is printed with remarkable correctness and beauty; illustrated with a very large number of maps and engravings on wood; and its notes, written with much condensation and perspicuity, are such as are necessary for the understanding of the text. Indeed, all that is added to the letter of the Bible is legitimate and necessary illustration. It is being published in a series of twenty-five numbers, at twenty-five cents each, by S. Hueston, publisher of The Knickerbocker, Nassau-street.

THE VIENNA UNIVERSITY, long one of the best in Europe, has not been reopened since the insurrection of November, 1848, its principal edifice having been occupied as barracks for a regiment of soldiers. It is now proposed to restore it to its proper use, but great difficulty is experienced in finding professors. The old ones are scattered, some as exiles in foreign countries, on account of democratic opinions,—some in prison for the same reason, others employed elsewhere. Wackernagel, the eminent professor of the German Language and Literature at Basle, Switzerland, tempted by liberal offers, had promised to come to Vienna, and lend the aid of his reputation and talents to the restoration of the University, but being lately at Milan, on a wedding tour, as he and his wife were passing through the Piazza d'Armi, their ears were saluted by cries of pain, which on inquiry they found to proceed from sundry rebellious Italians, of both sexes, who were receiving each from twenty-five to fifty blows of the military baton, or cane, employed by the Austrians in flogging soldiers. Madame Wackernagel at once declared that she would never willingly inhabit a country whose laws and habits suffered women to be so brutally punished for patriotism, and her husband could only agree with her. He has accordingly broken off the engagement, and the Government cannot hope to supply his place.

HINCKS ON LITERARY LARCENY.—A Canadian friend sends us the following extract from a speech by Francis Hincks, a leading member of the Canadian Ministry, touching the International Copyright question:

"The American publisher steals the works of British authors, because he is immoral enough to do it, because he is scoundrel enough, and the nation is scoundrel enough to permit it. (Ironical cheers.) Yes, because the nation is scoundrel enough to permit it."

Our unknown friend who sends us this wants us to give Hincks a thorough roasting for it, and evidently expects every hair on our head to bristle with indignation. Now we have not the least objection to roasting the Minister aforesaid, and will do it when a fair chance presents itself, but we don't consider this such a chance. In fact, though we think Francis has drawn rather a strong draught from "the well of English undefiled," yet essentially we regard his observations above quoted as rather more than half right. It is rascally to steal a man's book, print it, sell it, read it, and refuse him any pay for the labor of writing it; and we don't see that his being an Englishman makes any material difference. There may be a cheaper way to get the proceeds of another man's toil than by paying for it, but we don't think there is any other strictly honest way.—Tribune.

HERR SCHUMANN's opera, "Généviève," was produced at Leipsic on the 28th ultimo. "This work," says the Gazette Musicale, "after having been much recommended beforehand, does not seem to have satisfied public expectation, being concert music, without any dramatic force." For the verdict which will finally be passed on "Généviève" every one must be curious who has at all followed the journals of Young Germany in the recent crusades which they nave made, not so much to establish Schumann as a great composer, as to prove him greater than Mendelssohn.

THE GRAND LITERARY TRADE SALES are now in progress in New York: and the catalogues of the rival houses are the largest ever printed. Cooley & Keese at their splendid hall in Broadway present this year a richer and more extensive series of invoices than has ever before been sold in America.

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The Fine Arts.

Bavaria is a sort of artists' paradise, both the late King Louis and the present Maximilian being determined to leave behind them the glory of munificent patrons of art. In this they have so far succeeded, that Munich, which before their time was by no means among German cities the most worthy a traveler's attention, may now dispute the palm even with Dresden, notwithstanding the unrivaled gallery of paintings, possessed by the latter. For students of modern art, and especially of the German schools, Munich is incomparable, while its collection of ancient sculptures cannot be equaled out of Italy. We now learn that King Maximilian has conceived the plan of a grand series of pictures to comprehend the prominent epochs and events of history. The most eminent German and foreign artists are to be invited to assist in carrying out this immense undertaking; so that thus the series will not only represent the great experiences of mankind, but will, it is hoped, contain specimens of all the great schools of modern painting.

An exhibition of indisputable works by the old painters is now open at Valenciennes, in France. It consists of pictures belonging to the family of the Belgian general Rottiers. They are for sale, either single or together. Among them is a St. Denis, bearing his Head, by Rubens, said to have been painted by order of Pope Urban VIII. It was deposited in the Convent of the Annunciades, at Antioch; in 1747, Louis XV. offered 100,000 francs for it, but was refused, the convent having no right to dispose of it. Afterward, on the suppression of the convent, it fell into the hands of the family to which it now belongs. The exhibition also contains a landscape by Salvator Rosa, representing a scene in the Appenines; a Magdalen kneeling in a Cavern, by Kneller; two Allegories, by Giulio Romano; several portraits by Rubens and Van Dyke, besides other works of less value.

Darley's "Sleepy Hollow."—The London Art Journal, for July, has the following notice of Mr. Darley's illustrations of Irving's "Legends of Sleepy Hollow," published by the American Art Union: "The charmingly quaint original legend told with so much quiet humor by Washington Irving, is here illustrated by a native artist in a congenial spirit, and his scenes realized in a manner which must give its author satisfaction, and redound to the credit of the designer. We have before noticed the great ability exhibited by Mr. Darley for the mode of illustration he adopts, which we may add is that rendered famous by Retzsh. The series we are now noticing are quite as meritorious as that designed by the same artist to Rip Van Winkle; but the subject matter is not equally capable of such broad contrasts in drollery as that legend presents. Nevertheless, Mr. Darley has executed his task in the truest appreciation of his author; and his hero is the veritable Ichabod Crane of Irving; his love-making scene with "the peerless daughter of Van Tassel" is exquisite in its quiet humor; so also is the merry-making in the Dutch Farmer's home. Altogether, the series is extremely good, and does the greatest credit to the designer. American literature thus illustrated by American artists cannot fail to achieve honor to that country in the old world as well as the new. We believe Mr. Darley, in his line, to be as great as any American artist whose works have fallen under our notice."

Chaucer's Monument.—The Athenæum says, "One of the objections formerly urged against taking steps to restore the perishing memorial of the Father of English Poetry in Poet's Corner was, that it was not really his tomb, but a monument erected to do honor to his memory a century and a half after his death. An examination, however, of the tomb itself, by competent authorities, has proved this objection to be unfounded—inasmuch as there can exist no doubt, we hear, from the difference of workmanship, material, &c., that the altar tomb is the original tomb of Geoffrey Chaucer,—and that instead of Nicholas Brigham having erected an entirely new monument, he only added to that which then existed the overhanging canopy, &c. So that the sympathy of Chaucer's admirers is now invited to the restoration of what till now was really not known to exist—the original tomb of the Poet—as well as to the additions made to it by the affectionate remembrance of Nicholas Brigham."

Lessing's new picture.—A letter from Düsseldorf under date of 9th July, in the Courier and Enquirer, says that Lessing's great painting, "The Martyrdom of Huss," Sad just been finished and had been exhibited for the last few days at the Academy of Fine Arts, where it was visited by thousands. When it became known that orders for its immediate shipment had arrived from New York, the desire to obtain a last view of this truly great work became so intense that it was found necessary to put the Police in requisition to keep back the throng, and the gates of the Academy had to be closed. It causes general regret that it is to be sent out of the country. The Cologne Gazette calls this picture the most sublime production of the great artist, and expresses the conviction that a speedy fortune might be realized by its exhibition in Europe.

Mr. George Flagg has just completed a portrait of Mrs. E. Oakes Smith, which will be ranked among the first productions of his pencil. We know of scarce a picture as beautiful or a portrait as truthful. It is to be engraved, we believe, by Cheney.

[pg 270]

Mlle. Rachel.—The wonderful accuracy of the death-scene in "Adrienne Lecouvreur" has been the object of universal praise in London, not merely from the thrilled and thralled public, but from men of art and science. A physician, it is said, was complimenting Mademoiselle on her amazing truth to the symptoms of mortal agony: "You must have studied death closely," said he. "Yes, I have," was the quiet reply; "my maid's. I went up to her—I stayed with her—she recommended her mother to me!—I was studying my part." This is probably merely one of those cynical stories with which the sharp people of Paris love to environ and encircle every one who stands a dangerous chance of becoming too popular. But smaller artists than Mademoiselle Rachel have sometimes had recourse to curious expedients to give their dramatic personations a show at reality. The French prima donna, who not very long ago appeared in M. Clapisson's poor opera, "Jeanne la Folle," is said to have shut herself up in the Salpêtrière, by way of studying her part, and to have been rewarded for her zealous curiosity by receiving a basin of scalding soup dashed in her face by one of the poor miserable objects of her examination.

A Frankfort journal states that the colossal statue of Bavaria, by SCHWANTHALER, which is to be placed on the hill of Seudling, surpasses in its gigantic proportions all the works of the moderns. It will have to be removed in pieces from the foundry where it is cast to its place of destination,—and each piece will require sixteen horses to draw it. The great toes are each half a metre in length. In the head two persons could dance a polka very conveniently,—while the nose might lodge the musician. The thickness of the robe—which forms a rich drapery descending to the ankles—is about six inches, and its circumference at the bottom about two hundred metres. The Crown of Victory which the figure holds in her hands weighs one hundred quintals (a quintal is a hundred-weight).

The death of SIR ROBERT PEEL, says the Literary Gazette, has awakened a busy competing spirit for the production of articles relating to him, and especially in connection with Literature and the Arta. In the one, Memoirs, Speeches, Recollections, Anecdotes, &c., have been abundantly supplied; and in the other, every printshop window in London displays its Peels of every style and every degree, but mostly very indifferent, absolutely bad, or utter caricature.

Goupil, Vibert & Co. have published a series of portraits of eminent Americans which is deserving of the largest approval and sale. The head of Mr. Bryant is the best ever published of that poet; it presents his fine features and striking phrenology with great force and with pleasing as well as just effect. A portrait of Mr. Willis is wonderfully truthful, in detail, and is in an eminent degree characteristic. The admirers of that author who have not seen him will find in it their ideal, and all his acquaintances will see in it as distinctly the real man who sits in the congress of editors as the representative of the polite world. The head of the artist Mount, after Elliott, is not by any means less successful. Among the other portraits are those of Gen. Scott, President Fillmore, Robert Fulton, J.Q. Adams, Mr. Clay, Mr. Webster, and President Taylor. They are all on imperial sheets, and are sold at $1 each.

The Paris papers tell a story of a young actor, who finding no engagement in that city, came to America to try his fortune. From New Orleans he went to California, was lucky as a digger, embarked in business and got immensely rich. He is now building in the Champs Elysées a magnificent hotel for his mother. All actors are not so fortunate.

Expected arrivals from Nineveh.—The Great Bull, and upward of one hundred tons of sculpture, excavated by Dr. Layard, are now on their way to England, and may be expected in the course of September. In addition-to the Elgin, Phigalian, Lycian, and Boodroun marbles, the British Museum will soon be enriched with a magnificent series of Assyrian sculptures.

Mr. Burt has nearly finished the "Anne Page and Slender" of Leslie, which is to be the annual engraving of the Art Union. It will be an admirable picture, but we cannot but regret that the managers selected for this purpose a work so familiar.

The French Minister of the Interior has decided that marble busts of M. Gay-Lussac and of M. Blainville shall be executed at the expense of the government, and placed in the Institute.

Mr. Powell, who is living in Paris, engaged upon his picture for the capital, has been in ill health nearly all the summer.

Recent Deaths.

The French papers report the death, at Paris, of M. MORA, the Mexican Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of St. James. M. Mora was the author of a History of Mexico and its Revolutions since the establishment of its independence, and editor-in-chief of several journals in Mexico.

MR. B. SIMMONS, an amiable and accomplished writer, whose name will be recollected as that of a frequent contributor of lyrical poems of a high order to Blackwood's Magazine, and to several of the Annuals, died in London on the 20th of July.

[pg 271]

[From Graham's Magazine.]



"Paint me as I am," said Cromwell,

Rough with age, and gashed with wars—

"Show my visage as you find it—

Less than truth my soul abhors!"

This was he whose mustering phalanx

Swept the foe at Marston Moor;

This was he whose arm uplifted

From the dust the fainting poor.

God had made his face uncomely—

"Paint me as I am," he said.

So he lives upon the canvas

Whom they chronicled as dead!

Simple justice he requested

At the artist's glowing hands,

"Simple justice!" from his ashes

Cries a voice that still commands.

And, behold! the page of History,

Centuries dark with Cromwell's name,

Shines to-day with thrilling luster

From the light of Cromwell's fame!

[From the Examiner.]


This is a voice that speaks to us across a gulf of nearly fifty years. A few months ago Wordsworth was taken from us at the ripe age of fourscore, yet here we have him addressing the public, as for the first time, with all the fervor, the unworn freshness, the hopeful confidence of thirty. We are carried back to the period when Coleridge, Byron, Scott, Rogers, and Moore were in their youthful prime. We live again in the stirring days when the poets who divided public attention and interest with the Fabian struggle in Portugal and Spain, with the wild and terrible events of the Russian campaign, with the uprising of the Teutonic nations and the overthrow of Napoleon, were in a manner but commencing their cycle of songs. This is to renew, to antedate, the youth of a majority of the living generation. But only those whose memory still carries them so far back, can feel within them any reflex of that eager excitement with which the news of battles fought and won, or mailcoach copies of some new work of Scott, or Byron, or the Edinburgh Review, were looked for and received in those already old days.

We need not remind the readers of the Excursion that when Wordsworth was enabled by the generous enthusiasm of Raisley Calvert to retire with a slender independence to his native mountains, there to devote himself exclusively to his art, his first step was to review and record in verse the origin and progress of his own powers, as far as he was acquainted with them. This was at once an exercise in versification, and a test for the kind of poetry for which he was by temperament fitted. The result was a determination to compose a philosophical poem containing views of man, of nature, and of society. This, ambitious conception has been doomed to share the fate of so many other colossal undertakings. Of the three parts of his Recluse, thus planned, only the second, (the Excursion, published in 1814,) has been completed. Of the other two there exists only the first book of the first, and the plan of the third. The Recluse will remain in fragmentary greatness, a poetical Cathedral of Cologne.

Matters standing thus, it has not been without a melancholy sense of the uncertainty of human projects, and of the contrast between the sanguine enterprise and its silent evaporation (so often the "history of an individual mind"), that we have perused this Prelude which no completed strain was destined to follow. Yet in the poem itself there is nothing to inspire depression. It is animated throughout with the hopeful confidence in the poet's own powers, so natural to the time of life at which it was composed; it evinces a power and soar of imagination unsurpassed in any of his writings; and its images and incidents have a freshness and distinctness which they not seldom lost, when they came to be elaborated, as many of them were, in his minor poems of a later date.

The Prelude, as the title-page indicates, is a poetical autobiography, commencing with the earliest reminiscences of the author, and continued to the time at which it was composed. We are told that it was begun in 1799 and completed, in 1805. It consists of fourteen books. Two are devoted to the infancy and school-time of the poet; four to the period of his University life; two to a brief residence in London immediately subsequent to his leaving Cambridge, and a retrospect of the progress his mind had then made; and three to a residence in France, chiefly in the Loire, but partly in Paris, during the stormy period of Louis the Sixteenth's flight and capture, and the fierce contest between the Girondins and Robespierre. Five books are then occupied with an analysis of the internal struggle occasioned by the contradictory influences of rural and secluded nature in boyhood, and of society when the young man first mingles with the world. The surcease of the strife is recorded in the fourteenth book, entitled "Conclusion."

The poem is addressed to Coleridge; and apart from its poetical merits, is interesting as at once a counterpart and a supplement to that author's philosophical and beautiful criticism of the Lyrical Ballads in his Biographia Literaria. It completes the explanation, there given, of the peculiar constitution of Wordsworth's mind, and of his poetical theory. It confirms and justifies our opinion that that theory was essentially partial and erroneous; but at the same time it establishes the fact that Wordsworth was a true and a great poet in despite of his theory.

The great defect of Wordsworth, in our judgment, was want of sympathy with and knowledge of men. From his birth till his entry at college, he lived in a region where he met with none whose minds might awaken his sympathies, and where life was [pg 272] altogether uneventful. On the other hand, that region abounded with the inert, striking, and most impressive objects of natural scenery. The elementary grandeur and beauty of external nature came thus to fill up his mind to the exclusion of human interests. To such a result his individual constitution powerfully contributed. The sensuous element was singularly deficient in his nature. He never seems to have passed through that erotic period out of which some poets have never emerged. A soaring, speculative imagination, and an impetuous, resistless self-will, were his distinguishing characteristics. From first to last he concentrated himself within himself; brooding over his own fancies and imaginations to the comparative disregard of the incidents and impressions which suggested them; and was little susceptible of ideas originating in other minds. We behold the result. He lives alone in a world of mountains, streams, and atmospheric phenomena, dealing with moral abstractions, and rarely encountered by even shadowy specters of beings outwardly resembling himself. There is measureless grandeur and power in his moral speculations. There is intense reality in his pictures of external nature. But though his human characters are presented with great skill of metaphysical analysis, they have rarely life or animation. He is always the prominent, often the exclusive, object of his own song.

Upon a mind so constituted, with its psychological peculiarities so cherished and confirmed, the fortunes and fates of others, and the stirring events of his time, made vivid but very transient impressions. The conversation and writing of contemporaries trained among books, and with the faculty of speech more fully developed than that of thought, seemed colorless and empty to one with—whom natural objects and grandeurs were always present in such overpowering force. Excluded by his social position from taking an active part in the public events of the day, and repelled by the emptiness of the then fashionable literature, he turned to private and humble life as possessing at least a reality. But he thus withheld himself from the contemplation of those great mental excitements which only great public struggles can awaken. He contracted a habit of exaggerating the importance of every-day incidents and emotions. He accustomed himself to see in men and in social relations only what he was predetermined to see there, and to impute to them a value and importance derived mainly from his own self-will. Even his natural good taste contributed to confirm him in his error. The two prevailing schools of literature in England, at that time, were the trashy and mouthing writers who adopted the sounding language of Johnson and Darwin, unenlivened by the vigorous thought of either; and the "dead-sea apes" of that inflated, sentimental, revolutionary style which Diderot had unconsciously originated, and Kotzebue carried beyond the verge of caricature. The right feeling and manly thought of Wordsworth were disgusted by these shallow word-mongers, and he flew to the other extreme. Under the influences—repulsive and attractive—we have thus attempted to indicate, he adopted the theory that as much of grandeur and profound emotion was to be found in mere domestic incidents and feelings, as on the more conspicuous stage of public life; and that a bald and naked simplicity of language was the perfection of style. Singularly enough, he was confirmed in these notions by the very writer of the day whose own natural genius, more than any of his contemporaries, impelled him to revel in great, wild, supernatural conceptions; and to give utterance to them in gorgeous language. Coleridge was perhaps the only contemporary from whom Wordsworth ever took an opinion; and that he did so from him, is mainly attributable to the fact that Coleridge did little more than reproduce to him his own notions, sometimes rectified by a subtler logic, but always rendered more attractive by new and dazzling illustrations.

Fortunately it is out of the power of the most perverse theory to spoil the true poet. The poems of Wordsworth must continue to charm and elevate mankind, in defiance of his crotchets, just as Luther, Henri Quatre, and other living impersonations of poetry do, despite all quaint peculiarities of the attire, the customs, or the opinions of their respective ages, with which they were imbued. The spirit of truth and poetry redeems, ennobles, hallows, every external form in which it may be lodged. We may "pshaw" and "pooh" at Harry Gill and the Idiot Boy; but the deep and tremulous tenderness of sentiment, the strong-winged flight of fancy, the excelling and unvarying purity, which pervade all the writings of Wordsworth, and the exquisite melody of his lyrical poems, must ever continue to attract and purify the mind. The very excesses into which his one-sided theory betrayed him, acted as a useful counter-agent to the prevailing bad taste of his time.

The Prelude may take a permanent place as one of the most perfect of his compositions. It has much of the fearless felicity of youth; and its imagery has the sharp and vivid outline of ideas fresh from the brain. The subject—the development of his own great powers—raises him above that willful dallying with trivialties which repels us in some of his other works. And there is real vitality in the theme, both from our anxiety to know the course of such a mind, and from the effect of an absorbing interest in himself excluding that languor which sometimes seized him in his efforts to impart or attribute interest to themes possessing little or none in themselves. Its mere narrative, though often very homely, and dealing in too many words, is often characterized also by elevated imagination, and always by eloquence. The bustle of London life, the prosaic uncouthness of its exterior, the earnest heart that beats beneath it, the [pg 273] details even of its commonest amusements, from Bartholomew Fair to Sadler's Wells, are portrayed with simple force and delicate discrimination; and for the most part skillfully contrasted with the rural life of the poet's native home. There are some truthful and powerful sketches of French character and life, in the early revolutionary era. But above all, as might have been anticipated, Wordsworth's heart revels in the elementary beauty and grandeur of his mountain theme; while his own simple history is traced with minute fidelity, and is full of unflagging interest.

We have already adverted to the fact that this Prelude was but the overture to a grander song which the poet has left, in a great measure, unsung. Reverting to this consideration an important fact seems to force itself upon our notice. The creative power of Wordsworth would appear to have been paralyzed after the publication of his Excursion. All his most finished works precede that period. His later writings generally lack the strength and freshness which we find in those of an earlier date. Some may attribute this to his want of the stimulus which the necessity of writing for a livelihood imparts, and in part they may be right; but this is not the whole secret. That his isolation from the stirring contact of competition, that his utter disregard of contemporary events, allowed his mind, which for perfect health's sake requires constantly-renewed impulses from without, to subside into comparative hebetude, there can be no doubt whatever. But the main secret of the freezing up of his fountain of poetical inspiration, we really take to have been his change of politics. Wordsworth's muse was essentially liberal—one may say, Jacobinical. That he was unconscious of any sordid motive for his change, we sincerely believe; but as certainly his conforming was the result less of reasonable conviction than of willfulness. It was by a determined effort of his will that he brought himself, to believe in the Church-and-State notions which he latterly promulgated. Hence the want of definite views, and of a living interest, which characterizes all his writings subsequent to that change, when compared with those of an earlier time. It was Wordsworth's wayward fate to be patronized and puffed into notice by the champions of old abuses, by the advocates of the pedantry of Oxford, and by the maintainers of the despotism not even of Pitt but of Castlereagh. It is already felt, however, that the poet whom these men were mainly instrumental in bringing into notice, will live in men's memories by exactly those of his writings most powerful to undermine and overthrow their dull and faded bigotries. Despite his own efforts, Wordsworth (as has been said of Napoleon) is the child and champion of Jacobinism. Though clothed in ecclesiastical formulas, his religion is little more than the simple worship of nature; his noblest moral flights are struggles to emancipate himself from conventional usage; and the strong ground of his thoughts, as of his style, is nature stripped of the gauds with which the pupils of courts and circles would bedeck and be-ribbon it. Even in the ranks of our opponents Wordsworth has been laboring in our behalf.

It is in the record of his extra-academic life that the poet soars his freest flight, in passages where we have a very echo of the emotions of an emancipated worshiper of nature flying back to his loved resorts. Apart from its poetic value, the book is a graphical and interesting portraiture of the struggles of an ingenuous and impetuous mind to arrive at a clear insight into its own interior constitution and external relations, and to secure the composure of self-knowledge and of equally adjusted aspirations. As a poem it is likely to lay fast and enduring hold on pure and aspiring intellects, and to strengthen the claim of Wordsworth to endure with his land's language.




Now the fever hath somewhat subsided which came over the people from the grave of Sir Robert Peel, there is room for a few observations on his decease and on its consequences. All public writers, I believe, have expatiated on his character, comparing him with others who, within our times, have occupied the same position. My own opinion has invariably been that he was the wisest of all our statesmen; and certainly, though he found reason to change his sentiments and his measures, he changed them honestly, well weighed, always from conviction, and always for the better. He has been compared, and seemingly in no spirit of hostility or derision, with a Castlereagh, a Perceval, an Addington. a Canning. Only one of these is worthy of notice, namely Canning, whose brilliancy made his shallowness less visible, and whose graces, of style and elocution threw a vail over his unsoundness and lubricity. Sir Robert Peel was no satirist or epigrammatist: he was only a statesman in public life: only a virtuous and friendly man in private. Par negotiis, nee supra. Walpole alone possessed his talents for business. But neither Peel nor his family was enriched from the spoils of his country; Walpole spent in building and pictures more than double the value of his hereditary estate, and left the quadruple to his descendants.

Dissimilar from Walpole, and from commoner and coarser men who occupied the same office, Peel forbade that a name which he had made illustrious should be degraded and stigmatized by any title of nobility. For he knew that all those titles had their origin and nomenclature from military services, and belong to military men, like their epaulets and spurs and chargers. They sound well enough against the sword and helmet, but strangely in law-courts and cathedrals: but, reformer as he [pg 274] was, he could not reform all this; he could only keep clear of it in his own person.

I now come to the main object of my letter.

Subscriptions are advertised for the purpose of raising monuments to Sir Robert Peel; and a motion has been made in Parliament for one in Westminster Abbey at the public expense, Whatever may be the precedents, surely the house of God should contain no object but such as may remind us of His presence and our duty to Him. Long ago I proposed that ranges of statues and busts should commemorate the great worthies of our country. All the lower part of our National Gallery might be laid open for this purpose. Even the best monuments in Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's are deformities to the edifice. Let us not continue this disgrace. Deficient as we are in architects, we have many good statuaries, and we might well employ them on the statues of illustrious commanders, and the busts of illustrious statesmen and writers. Meanwhile our cities, and especially the commercial, would, I am convinced, act more wisely, and more satisfactorily to the relict of the deceased, if, instead of statues, they erected schools and almshouses, with an inscription to his memory.

We glory in about sixty whose busts and statues may occupy what are now the "deep solitudes and awful cells" in our national gallery. Our literary men of eminence are happily more numerous than the political or the warlike, or both together. There is only one class of them which might be advantageously excluded, namely, the theological; and my reasons are these. First, their great talents were chiefly employed on controversy; secondly, and consequently, their images would excite dogmatical discord. Every sect of the Anglican Church, and every class of dissenters, complaining of undue preferences. Painture and sculpture lived in the midst of corruption, lived throughout it, and seemed indeed to draw vitality from it, as flowers the most delicate from noxious air; but they collapsed at the searching breath of free inquiry, and could not abide persecution. The torch of Philosophy never kindled the suffocating fagot, under whose smoke Theology was mistaken for Religion. Theology had, until now, been speculative and quiescent: she abandoned to Philosophy these humbler qualities: instead of allaying and dissipating, as Philosophy had always done, she excited and she directed animosities. Oriental in her parentage, and keeping up her wide connections in that country, she acquired there all the artifices most necessary to the furtherance of her designs: among the rest was ventriloquism, which she quite perfected, making her words seem to sound from above and from below and from every side around. Ultimately, when men had fallen on their faces at this miracle, she assumed the supreme power. Kings were her lackeys, and nations the dust under her palfrey's hoof. By her sentence Truth was gagged, scourged, branded, cast down on the earth in manacles; and Fortitude, who had stood at Truth's side, was fastened with nails and pulleys to the stake. I would not revive by any images, in the abode of the graceful and the gentle Arts, these sorrowful reminiscences. The vicissitudes of the world appear to be bringing round again the spectral Past. Let us place great men between it and ourselves: they all are tutelar: not the warrior and the statesman only; not only the philosopher; but also the historian who follows them step by step, and the poet who secures us from peril and dejection by his counter-charm. Philosophers in most places are unwelcome: but there is no better reason why Shaftesbury and Hobbes should be excluded from our gallery, than why Epicurus should have been from Cicero's or Zeno from Lucullus's. Of our sovereigns, I think Alfred, Cromwell, and William III alone are eligible; and they, because they opposed successfully the subverters of the laws. Three viceroys of Ireland will deservedly be placed in the same receptacle; Sir John Perrot, Lord Chesterfield, and (in due time) the last Lord-Deputy. One Speaker, one only, of the Parliament; he without whom no Parliament would be now existing; he who declared to Henry IV. that until all public grievances were removed, no subsidy should be granted. The name of this Speaker may be found in Rapin; English historians talk about facts, forgetting men.

Admirals and generals are numerous and conspicuous. Drake, Blake, Rodney, Jervis, Nelson, Collingwood; the subduer of Algiers beaten down for the French to occupy: and the defender of Acre, the first who defeated, discomfited, routed, broke, and threw into shameful flight, Bonaparte. Our generals are Marlborough, Peterborough, Wellington, and that successor to his fame in India, who established the empire that was falling from us, who achieved in a few days two arduous victories, who never failed in any enterprise, who accomplished the most difficult with the smallest expenditure of blood, who corrected the disorders of the military, who gave the soldier an example of temperance, the civilian of simplicity and frugality, and whose sole (but exceedingly great) reward, was the approbation of our greatest man.

With these come the statesmen of the Commonwealth, the students of Bacon, the readers of Philip Sidney, the companions of Algernon, the precursors of Locke and Newton. Opposite to them are Chaucer, Spenser, Shakspeare, Milton; lower in dignity, Dryden, Pope, Gray, Goldsmith, Cowper, Scott, Burns, Shelley, Southey, Byron, Wordsworth; the author of Hohenlinden and the Battle of the Baltic; and the glorious woman who equaled these, two animated works in her Ivan and Casabianca. Historians have but recently risen up among us: and long be it before, by command of Parliament, the chisel grates on the brow of a Napier, a Grote, and Macaulay!


[pg 275]

[From the Spectator.]


THE Government of British India have not neglected to countenance the study of the indigenous and other systems of law which they found established on acquiring possession of the country. Warren Hastings was the first to recognize the value of such knowledge; and to his encouragement, if not to his incitement, we are indebted for the compilation of Hindoo law translated by Halbed, Jones, Colebrooke, Macnaghten, Hamilton, and a pretty numerous body of accomplished men, of whom Mr. Baillie is the most recently enrolled laborer in the vineyard, have carried on the good work. More comprehensive and accurate views of Hindoo law have gradually been developed, and the more advanced and more influential system of Mahometan jurisprudence has also shared in the attention of European students. There is, however, still much to be done in this field of inquiry; as a few remarks on the nature of the present publication, and the source whence its materials are derived, will show.

The law of Mahometan jurists is for India pretty much what the Roman law is for Scotland and the Continental nations of Europe. Savigny has shown how, throughout all the territories formerly included within the limits of the Roman Empire, a large amount of Roman legal doctrines and forms of procedure continued to be operative after the Empire's subversion. The revival of the study of the Roman law, as embodied in the compilations of Justinian, by the doctors of the school of Bologna, augmented and systematized these remnants of Roman jurisprudence, and extended their application to countries which (like great part of Germany) had never been subjected to the sway of Rome. In like manner, throughout that part of India which was permanently subdued and organized by the Mogul dynasty, and also those parts in which minor Islamitic states were established, the organization of the courts of justice, and the legal opinions of the individuals who officiated in them, necessarily introduced a large amount of Mahometan jurisprudence. This element of the law of India was augmented and systematized by the writings of private jurists, and by compilations undertaken by command of princes. As with the Roman jurisprudence in Europe, so with Mahometan jurisprudence in India, only so much of its doctrines and forms could at any time be considered to possess legal force as had been reenacted by the local sovereigns, or introduced by judges in the form of decisions. A systematic knowledge of the whole body of Mahometan law was important to the Indian lawyer, as enabling him more thoroughly to understand the system, and its various isolated doctrines; but the whole body of that law was at no time binding in India. Since the establishment of British sway, only so much of the Mahometan law as has kept its ground in the practice of the courts, or has been reenacted by the "regulations" or "ordinances" of the Anglo-Indian Government, is law; the rest is only valuable as the "antiquities of the law," which help to trace the origin of what survives, and thereby throw light upon what in it is obscure or doubtful.

Among the most valuable, if not indeed the most valuable of the compilations from which we may obtain a knowledge of Mahometan jurisprudence, is the "Futawa Alumgeeree," mentioned in Mr. Baillie's title-page. Its value is not confined to the purposes of those who would make themselves acquainted with Mahometan jurisprudence in the peculiar form it assumed in India. It is highly esteemed throughout Islam, and is quoted even by the doctors of Mecca as the Futawa-i-hind, or the Indian responsa prudentum. It was compiled by the orders of the Emperor Aurungzebe. It is a digest of the "Futawa" of the most celebrated jurists of the Hanifeh (or, as Mr. Baillie spells it, Hunefeeah) sect or school. Mr. Baillie informs us in his preface, that "futawa is the plural form of futwa, a term in common use in Mahometan countries to signify an exposition of law by a public officer called the mooftee, or a case submitted to him by the kazee or judge." The "futwa," therefore, seems to correspond not so much with our English "decisions" or "precedents" as with the "responsa prudentum," that fertile source of doctrines in the Roman law. The "Futawa Alumgeeree" consequently resembles the Pandects of Justinian in being a systematical arrangement of selections from juridical authorities—compiled by Imperial authority; but differs from it in this, that the selections are made exclusively from the "responsa prudentum," and a few legal treatises, whereas Justinian's digest combined with those excerpts from judicial decisions, prætorian edicts, &c. With this distinction, we may regard the "Futawa Alumgeeree" as the Pandects or Digest of Mahometan Law. As in the Roman work of that name, to each extract is appended the name of the original work from which it is taken; and the whole of them are so arranged as to form a complete digest of Mahometan law.

A work of this kind is invaluable to the student who would make himself master of Mahometan jurisprudence as a system. But great care must be taken not to misapprehend the exact nature of the knowledge to be obtained from it. The "Futawa Alumgeeree" is a systematic exposition of the principles of Mahometan law; it assuredly does not enable us to ascertain what doctrines of that law are [pg 276] now of legal force in India, or even what doctrines have at any time had force in India. It does not appear to have been Aurungzebe's intention to promulgate it as a code, but to present it to lawyers as a complete text-book. Even if he did by ordinance attribute to it the power of law, such ordinance was only effectual at any time in the provinces of the Mogul Empire; and since the disruption of that empire, it has been superseded and modified by laws and the practice of law-courts in the various independent states erected on its ruins.

Again the general scholar must be on his guard against the delusion that he will find in this digest materials illustrative of the social condition of India under the Mogul dynasty. The juridical works excerpted in it are almost all foreign to Hindostan; the special cases illustrative of abstract doctrines are taken from other countries, and many of them from ages antecedent to the invasion of India by the Moguls.

Though Persian was the court language of the Mogul dynasty, there is scarcely any Persian element in Aurungzebe's legal compilation. The Shiite views of jurisprudence, as of theology, prevailed in Persia; the "Futawa Alumgeeree" is strictly Sunnite. It is not difficult to account for this.—The Mahometan conquerors of India were mainly of Turkish or Tartar race; they came from Turan, a region which from time immemorial has stood in antagonistic relations to Iran or Persia. This may account for the fact that the races of Turan which have embraced Mahometanism have uniformly adhered to the Sunnite sect—the sect most hostile to the Persian Shias—not only when they settled in the countries where the Sunnite sect originated, but when they remained in their native regions. The views of the Sunnites were first promulgated and have prevailed most extensively in those regions of Islam which were once part of the Roman empire, which nominally at least was Christian; those of the Shiites, in the countries where, under the Sassanides and Arsacidæ, the doctrines of Zoroaster predominated. The Euphrates forms pretty nearly the line of demarkation between them.

The Caliphs dominated over both countries and over both sects. Under their orthodox protection the Sunnite doctrines were able to strike root in Balkh and Samarkand—the ancient Turan, and therefore hostile to Iran and Persia. When Islam was reorganized after the anarchy which ensued upon the overthrow of the Caliphs, Persia became the appanage of the Sophis or Shiite dynasty; the regions to the West of the Euphrates—the ci-devant Roman Empire—acknowledged the rule of the Turkish dynasties, which were Sunnite. On the Oxus and further East—the old Turan—the Sunnite sect was sufficiently strong to defy the efforts of the Shiite sovereigns of Persia to eradicate it. The doctors of Samarkand and Bokhara continued (and continue) as orthodox Sunnites as those of Kufah, Mecca, and Stamboul.

Accordingly, we find the authorities excerpted in the "Futawa Alumgeeree" consist almost exclusively of two classes; they are either the immediate disciples of Hanifa at Kufah and Bagdad, or the jurists of Samarkand and Bokhara. The law-cases they expounded are such as had originated, or might have originated, in those countries—in Babylonia or Turan. And they are for the most part taken from a state of society, and illustrative of social relations, which prevailed in these countries at a period long antecedent to that of Aurunzebe. To attempt to illustrate the civil and social condition of India, under that Emperor by their aid, would be as preposterous as to attempt to illustrate the civil and social condition of those parts of Germany where the Roman law still possesses authority from cases recorded in the Pandects of Justinian.

The real use and value of the "Futawa Alumgeeree" may be briefly explained. In every country in Europe where the Roman law is still recognized as more or less authoritative—and indeed in every country where the common law has borrowed more or less from the Roman—an acquaintance with the system of Roman jurisprudence as it is embodied in the law-books of Justinian has its value for the scientific lawyer. In like manner a knowledge of Mahometan jurisprudence as embodied in the "Futawa Alumgeeree" cannot fail to be instructive for the lawyers of all the countries of Islam, and the lawyers of India, where so much of the existing practical law has been derived from that source. To the general scholar who wishes to master the civil history of Arabia and Babylonia, in which the Sunnite sect, and more particularly the Hanifite subdivision of it, originated, or to familiarize himself with the moral theories which regulate the judgments and actions of the modern Turks, Turcomans, Arabians, and Egyptians, the digest of Aurungzeebee is also a valuable repertory of facts and illustrations.

For this reason we incline to be of opinion that Mr. Baillie is mistaken in thinking that a selection from the two books of the "Futawa Alumgeeree," which embrace the subject of "sale" can have much utility for Indian practitioners. It does not follow, because a legal doctrine is declared sound in this work, that it is or ever has been practically applicable in India. As an authoritative declaration of legal doctrines, the book is as likely to mislead as to guide aright. On the other hand, as an exposition of the general principles of Mahometan law, even with regard to sale, it is necessarily imperfect. The work from which it is taken is a collection of legal opinions, which had in their day the force of judicial decisions—of something equivalent to the "responsa prudentum" of Roman jurisprudence. Each is expounded on its own merits; and all the special doctrines involved [pg 277] in it are laid down. Hence it comes, that much that is calculated to throw light on the principles of the law of sale must be sought under other heads; and that much included in the chapters ostensibly treating of sale refers to other topics. As part of an entire digest of the law compiled on the same principle as that of Justinian, the two books relating to sale are sufficient; but for an isolated treatise on "sale," they contain at once too much and too little.

Nevertheless, we welcome Mr. Baillie's publication as a valuable addition to juridical and even to general literature. The translation, though not by any means free from defects, is the best specimen of a really good Mahometan law-book that has yet been published. The defects to which we allude are twofold. In the first place, though Mr. Baillie mentions that in the original the name of the treatise from which it is taken is appended to every excerpt, he has not in his translation given those references. His work is not therefore what the original is, a Chrestomathia of the best Arabian jurists—a succedaneum for their complete works—an illustration of Arabic legal literature. Again, he is often loose and vacillating in the use of the English words he has selected as corresponding to the technical phraseology of the Arabian jurists, and sometimes infelicitous in the selection of his English terms. It has occurred to us that he would have succeeded better in rendering the exact meaning of his originals, had he availed himself more of technical phrases of the Roman law which are familiar to all European jurists. Is does not occur to us that he would by doing so have been in danger of Romanizing the Mahometan to an extent that might mislead. Mill, in his History of British India, has noticed how closely the classification of the Mahometan approaches to that of the Roman jurists. An attentive perusal of Mr. Baillie's volume has convinced us that the analogy in the substance is quite as strong as in the arrangements. This fact seems susceptible of being accounted for on historical grounds. Mahometanism is in fact a sect or heresy of Christianity. The views and sentiments, the aggregate of which make up the body of Christian opinion, are not all of Jewish or Christian origin. They are the moral creed of societies whose opinions and civilization have been derived in part from other sources. The philosophy of Greece and the law of Rome have contributed in nearly equal proportions to the theosophy of the Hebrews. The jurisprudence of all Christian nations is mainly referable to Rome for its origin, and the same is the case with at least the Sunnite Mahometans. The nations of Islam took only their religious creed from their Prophet; the jurists of Kufah retained and expounded the civil law which prevailed among them before his time. That law was the law of the Greek Empire, developed in the same way as that of the Western Empire under the judicial and legislative auspices of Roman Prætors and Pro-Consuls, aided by Roman jurists. Theophilus, one of the jurists employed by Justinian for his compilations, lectured in Greek on the Institutions; and the substance of his lectures still survives under the name of the Paraphrase of Theophilus. The Greek edicts and novels of Justinian's successors are mainly Roman law. Throughout the Byzantine Empire (within which Kufah and the region where Bagdad now stands were included) Roman law was paramount, and Roman jurists were numerous. The arrangement, the subdivisions, and the substance of Mahometan jurisprudence, show that it has been principally derived from this source. Some of its doctrines are doubtless aboriginal engrafted on the law of the Empire; and it has been modified in some respects to reconcile it to the religious dictates of Islam, just as the law of Pagan Rome was modified after Christianity became the religion of the Empire. But still Mahometan jurisprudence retains undeniably the lineaments of its parentage.

This consideration places in a strong light the importance of the study of Mahometan law. The increasing intimacy of our relations with independent Mahometan states makes it of the utmost consequence that we should entertain correct views of their opinions and institutions; and no better key to the knowledge of both can be found than in the historical study of their law. Again, we are called upon to legislate and supply judges for British India, a large proportion of the inhabitants of which are Mahometans. Even the Hindoos of the former Mogul Empire have adopted many legal forms and doctrines from their conquerors. A minute and accurate acquaintance with Mahometan jurisprudence is an indispensable preliminary to judicious legislation for British India. For these reasons, it could be wished that Mr. Baillie, or some other equally accomplished laborer in that field, would set himself to do for the "Futawa Alumgeeree" what Heineccius and other modern civilians have done for the law-books of Justinian—present the European public with an elegant and exact abstract of its contents.

The following, from Southey's "Gridiron," now first published in his Memoirs, ought to be set to music for the Beef-Steak Club:—

"Now the perfect Steak prepare!

Now the appointed rites begin!

Cut it from the pinguid rump.

Not too thick and not too thin;

Somewhat to the thick inclining,

Yet the thick and thin between,

That the gods, when they are dining,

May comment the golden mean.

Ne'er till now have they been blest

With a beef-steak daily drest:

Ne'er till this auspicious morn

When the Gridiron was born."

The most ignorant of the world's fools are those called "knowing ones," a phrase satirical with the very glee of irony.

[pg 278]




(Concluded from page 192.)

Several weeks passed away. Edward spared no pains to discover some trace of the lady in question, but all in vain. No one in the neighborhood knew the family; and he had already determined, as soon as the spring began, to ask for leave of absence, and to travel through the country where Ferdinand had formed his unfortunate attachment, when a circumstance occurred which coincided strangely with his wishes. His commanding-officer gave him a commission to purchase some horses, which, to his great consolation, led him exactly into that part of the country where Ferdinand had been quartered. It was a market-town of some importance. He was to remain there some time, which suited his plans exactly; and he made use of every leisure hour to cultivate the acquaintance of the officers, to inquire into Ferdinand's connections and acquaintance, to trace the mysterious name if possible, and thus fulfill a sacred duty. For to him it appeared a sacred duty to execute the commission of his departed friend—to get possession of the ring, and to be the means, as he hoped, of giving rest to the troubled spirit of Ferdinand.

Already, on the evening of the second day, he was sitting in the coffee-room with burghers of the place and officers of different regiments.

A newly-arrived cornet was inquiring whether the neighborhood were a pleasant one, of an infantry officer, one of Hallberg's corps. "For," said he, "I come from charming quarters."

"There is not much to boast of," replied the captain. "There is no good fellowship, no harmony among the people."

"I will tell you why that is," cried an animated lieutenant; "that is because there is no house as a point of reunion, where one is sure to find and make acquaintances, and to be amused, and where each individual ascertains his own merits by the effect they produce on society at large."

"Yes, we have had nothing of that kind since the Varniers left us," said the captain.

"Varniers!" cried Edward, with an eagerness he could ill conceal. "The name sounds foreign."

"They were not Germans—they were emigrants from the Netherlands, who had left their country on account of political troubles," replied the captain.

"Ah, that was a charming house," cried the lieutenant, "cultivation, refinement, a sufficient competency, the whole style of establishment free from ostentation, yet most comfortable; and Emily—Emily was the soul of the whole house."

"Emily Varnier!" echoed Edward, while his heart beat fast and loud.

"Yes, yes! that was the name of the prettiest, most graceful, most amiable girl in the world," said the lieutenant.

"You seem bewitched by the fair Emily," observed the cornet.

"I think you would have been too, had you known her," rejoined the lieutenant; "she was the jewel of the whole society. Since she went away there is no bearing their stupid balls and assemblies."

"But you must not forget," the captain resumed once more, "when you attribute everything to the charms of the fair girl, that not only she but the whole family has disappeared, and we have lost that house which formed, as you say, so charming a point of reunion in our neighborhood."

"Yes, yes; exactly so," said an old gentleman, a civilian, who had been silent hitherto; "the Varniers' house is a great loss in the country, where such losses are not so easily replaced as in a large town. First, the father died, then came the cousin and carried the daughter away."

"And did this cousin marry the young lady?" inquired Edward, in a tone tremulous with agitation.

"Certainly," answered the old gentleman; "it was a very great match for her; he bought land to the value of half a million about here."

"And he was an agreeable, handsome man, we must all allow," remarked the captain.

"But she would never have married him," exclaimed the lieutenant, "if poor Hallberg had not died."

Edward was breathless, but he did not speak a word.

"She would have been compelled to do so in any case," said the old man; "the father had destined them for each other from infancy, and people say he made his daughter take a vow as he lay on his death-bed."

"That sounds terrible," said Edward; "and does not speak much for the good feeling of the cousin."

"She could not have fulfilled her father's wish," interposed the lieutenant; "her heart was bound up in Hallberg, and Hallberg's in her. Few people, perhaps, know this, for the lovers were prudent and discreet; I, however, knew it all."

"And why was she not allowed to follow the inclination of her heart?" asked Edward.

"Because her father had promised her," replied the captain: "you used just now the word terrible; it is a fitting expression, according to my version of the matter. It appears that one of the branches of the house of Varnier had committed an act of injustice toward another, and Emily's father considered it a point of conscience to make reparation. Only through the marriage of his daughter with a member of the ill-used branch could that act be obliterated and made up for, and, therefore, he pressed the matter sorely."

"Yes, and the headlong passion which Emily inspired her cousin with abetted his designs."

[pg 279]

"Then her cousin loved Emily?" inquired Edward.

"Oh, to desperation," was the reply. "He was a rival to her shadow, who followed her not more closely than he did. He was jealous of the rose that she placed on her bosom."

"Then poor Emily is not likely to have a calm life with such a man," said Edward.

"Come," interposed the old gentleman, with en authoritative tone, "I think you, gentlemen, go a little too far. I know D'Effernay; he is an honest, talented man, very rich, indeed, and generous; he anticipates his wife in every wish. She has the most brilliant house in the neighborhood, and lives like a princess."

"And trembles," insisted the lieutenant, "when she hears her husband's footstep. What good can riches be to her? She would have been happier with Hallberg."

"I do not know," rejoined the captain, "why you always looked upon that attachment as something so decided. It never appeared so to me; and you yourself say that D'Effernay is very jealous, which I believe him to be, for he is a man of strong passions; and this very circumstance causes me to doubt the rest of your story. Jealousy has sharp eyes, and D'Effernay would have discovered a rival in Hallberg, and not proved himself the friend he always was to our poor comrade."

"That does not follow at all," replied the lieutenant, "it only proves that the lovers were very cautious. So far, however, I agree with you. I believe that if D'Effernay had suspected anything of the kind he would have murdered Hallberg."

A shudder passed through Edward's veins.

"Murdered!" he repeated, in a hollow voice; "do you not judge too harshly of this man when you hint the possibility of such a thing?"

"That does he, indeed," said the old man; "these gentlemen are all angry with D'Effernay, because he has carried off the prettiest girl in the country. But I am told he does not intend remaining where he now lives. He wishes to sell his estates."

"Really," inquired the captain, "and where is he going?"

"I have no idea," replied the other; "but he is selling everything off. One manor is already disposed of, and there have been people already in negotiation for the place where he resides."

The conversation now turned on the value of D'Effernay's property, and of land in general, &c.

Edward had gained materials enough for reflection; he rose soon, took leave of the company, and gave himself up, in the solitude of his own room, to the torrent of thought and feeling which that night's conversation had let loose. So, then, it was true; Emily Varnier was no fabulous being! Hallberg had loved her, his love had been returned, but a cruel destiny had separated them. How wonderfully did all he had heard explain the dream at the Castle, and how completely did that supply what had remained doubtful, or had been omitted in the officers' narrative. Emily Varnier, doubtless, possessed that ring, to gain possession of which now seemed his bounden duty. He resolved not to delay its fulfillment a moment, however difficult it might prove, and he only reflected on the best manner in which he should perform the task allotted to him. The sale of the property appeared to him a favorable opening. The fame of his father's wealth made it probable that the son might wish to be purchaser of a fine estate, like the one in question. He spoke openly of such a project, made inquiries of the old gentleman, and the captain, who seemed to him to know most about the matter; and as his duties permitted a trip for a week or so, he started immediately, and arrived on the second day at the place of his destination. He stopped in the public house in the village to inquire if the estate lay near, and whether visitors were allowed to see the house and grounds. Mine host, who doubtless had had his directions, sent a messenger immediately to the Castle, who returned before long, accompanied by a chasseur, in a splendid livery, who invited the stranger to the Castle in the name of M. D'Effernay.

This was exactly what Edward wished, and expected. Escorted by the chasseur he soon arrived at the Castle, and was shown up a spacious staircase into a modern, almost, one might say, a magnificently-furnished room, where the master of the house received him. It was evening, toward the end of winter, the shades of twilight had already fallen, and Edward found himself suddenly in a room quite illuminated with wax candles. D'Effernay stood in the middle of the saloon, a tall, thin young man. A proud bearing seemed to bespeak a consciousness of his own merit, or at least of his position. His features were finely formed, but the traces of strong passion, or of internal discontent, had lined them prematurely.

In figure he was very slender, and the deep-sunken eye, the gloomy frown which was fixed between his brows, and the thin lips, had no very prepossessing expression, and yet there was something imposing in the whole appearance of the man.

Edward thanked him civilly for his invitation, spoke of his idea of being a purchaser as a motive for his visit, and gave his own, and his father's name. D'Effernay seemed pleased with all he said. He had known Edward's family in the metropolis; he regretted that the late hour would render it impossible for them to visit the property to-day, and concluded by pressing the lieutenant to pass the night at the Castle. On the morrow they would proceed to business, and now he would have the pleasure of presenting his wife to the visitor. Edward's heart beat violently—at length then he would see her! Had he loved [pg 280] her himself he could not have gone to meet her with more agitation. D'Effernay led his guest through many rooms, which were all as well furnished, and as brilliantly lighted as the first he had entered. At length he opened the door of a small boudoir, where there was no light, save that which the faint, gray twilight imparted through the windows.

The simple arrangement of this little room, with dark green walls, only relieved by some engravings and coats of arms, formed a pleasing contrast to Edward's eyes, after the glaring splendor of the other apartments. From behind a piano-forte, at which she had been seated in a recess, rose a tall, slender female form, in a white dress of extreme simplicity.

"My love," said D'Effernay, "I bring you a welcome guest, Lieutenant Wensleben, who is willing to purchase the estate."

Emily courtesied; the friendly twilight concealed the shudder that passed over her whole frame, as she heard the familiar name which aroused so many recollections.

She bade the stranger welcome, in a low, sweet voice, whose tremulous accents were not unobserved by Edward; and while the husband made some further observation, he had leisure to remark, as well as the fading light would allow, the fair outline of her oval face, the modest grace of her movements, her pretty, nymph-like figure—in fact, all those charms which seemed familiar to him through the impassioned descriptions of his friend.

"But what can this fancy be, to sit in the dark?" asked D'Effernay, in no mild tone; "you know that is a thing I cannot bear." and with these words, and without waiting his wife's answer, he rang the bell over her sofa, and ordered lights.

While these were placed on the table the company sat down by the fire, and conversation commenced. By the full light Edward could perceive all Emily's real beauty—her pale, but lovely face, the sad expression of her large blue eyes, so often concealed by their dark lashes, and then raised, with a look full of feeling, a sad, pensive, intellectual expression; and he admired the simplicity of her dress, and of every object that surrounded her: all appeared to him to bespeak a superior mind.

They had not sat long, before D'Effernay was called away. One of his people had something important, something urgent to communicate to him, which admitted of no delay. A look of fierce anger almost distorted his features; in an instant his thin lips moved rapidly, and Edward thought he muttered some curses between his teeth. He left the room, but in so doing, he cast a glance of mistrust and ill-temper on the handsome stranger with whom he was compelled to leave his wife alone. Edward observed it all. All that he had seen to-day, all that he had heard from his comrades of the man's passionate and suspicious disposition, convinced him that his stay here would not be long, and that perhaps a second opportunity of speaking alone with Emily might not offer itself.

He determined, therefore, to profit by the present moment; and no sooner had D'Effernay left the room, than he began to tell Emily she was not so complete a stranger to him as it might seem; that long before he had had the pleasure of seeing her—even before he had heard her name—she was known to him, so to speak, in spirit.

Madame D'Effernay was moved. She was silent for a time, and gazed fixedly on the ground; then she looked up; the mist of unshed tears dimmed her blue eyes, and her bosom heaved with the sigh she could not suppress.

"To me also the name of Wensleben is familiar. There is a link between our souls. Your friend has often spoken of you to me."

But she could say no more; tears checked her speech.

Edward's eyes were glistening also, and the two companions were silent; at length he began once more:

"My dear lady," he said, "my time is short, and I have a solemn message to deliver to you. Will you allow me to do so now?"

"To me?" she asked, in a tone of astonishment.

"From my departed friend," answered Edward, emphatically.

"From Ferdinand?—and that now—after—" she shrunk back, as if in terror.

"Now that he is no longer with us, do you mean? I found the message in his papers, which have been intrusted to me only lately, since I have been in the neighborhood. Among them was a token which I was to restore to you." He produced the ring. Emily seized it wildly, and trembled as she looked upon it.

"It is indeed my ring," she said at length, "the same which I gave him when we plighted our troth in secret. You are acquainted with everything, I perceive; I shall therefore risk nothing if I speak openly."

She wept, and pressed the ring to her lips.

"I see that my friend's memory is dear to you," continued Edward. You will forgive the prayer I am about to make to you: my visit to you concerns his ring."

"How—what is it you wish?" cried Emily; terrified.

"It was his wish," replied Edward. "He evinced an earnest desire to have this pledge of an unfortunate and unfulfilled engagement restored."

"How is that possible? You did not speak with him before his death; and this happened so suddenly after, that, to give you the commission—"

"There was no time for it! that is true," answered Edward, with an inward shudder, although outwardly he was calm. "Perhaps this wish was awakened immediately before his death. I found it, as I told you, expressed in those papers."

[pg 281]

"Incomprehensible!" she exclaimed. "Only a short time before his death, we cherished—deceitful, indeed, they proved, but, oh, what blessed hopes! we reckoned on casualties, on what might possibly occur to assist as. Neither of us could endure to dwell on the idea of separation; and yet—yet since—Oh, my God," she cried, overcome by sorrow, and she hid her face between her hands.

Edward was lost in confused thought. For a time both again were silent: at length Emily started up—

"Forgive me, M. de Wensleben. What you have related to me, what you have asked of me, has produced so much excitement, so much agitation, that it is necessary that I should be alone for a few moments, to recover my composure."

"I am gone," cried Edward, springing from his chair.

"No! no!" she replied, "you are my guest; remain here. I have a household duty which calls me away." She laid a stress on these words.

She leant forward, and with a sad, sweet smile, she gave her hand to the friend of her lost Ferdinand, pressing his gently, and disappeared through the inner door.

Edward stood stunned, bewildered; then he paced the room with hasty steps, threw himself on the sofa, and took up one of the books that lay on the table, rather to have something in his hand, than to read. It proved to be Young's "Night Thoughts." He looked through it, and was attracted by many passages, which seemed, in his present frame of mind, fraught with peculiar meaning; yet his thoughts wandered constantly from the page to his dead friend. The candles, unheeded both by Emily and him, burned on with long wicks, giving little light in the silent room, over which the red glare from the hearth shed a lurid glow. Hurried footsteps sounded in the anteroom; the door was thrown open.

Edward looked up, and saw D'Effernay staring at him, and round the room, in an angry, restless manner.

Edward could not but think there was something almost unearthly in those dark looks and that towering form.

"Where is my wife?" was D'Effernay's first question.

"She is gone to fulfill some household duty," replied the other.

"And leaves you here alone in this miserable darkness! Most extraordinary!—indeed, most unaccountable!" and as he spoke he approached the table and snuffed the candles, with a movement of impatience.

"She left me here with old friends," said Edward, with a forced smile. "I have been reading."

"What, in the dark?" inquired D'Effernay, with a look of mistrust. "It was so dark when I came in, that you could not possibly have distinguished a letter."

"I read for some time, and then I fell into a train of thought, which is usually the result of reading Young's 'Night Thoughts.'"

"Young! I cannot bear that author. He is so gloomy."

"But you are fortunately so happy, that the lamentations of the lonely mourner can find no echo in your breast."

"You think so!" said D'Effernay, in a churlish tone, and he pressed his lips together tightly, as Emily came into the room: he went to meet her.

"You have been a long time away," was his observation, as he looked into her eyes, where the trace of tears might easily be detected. "I found our guest alone."

"M. de Wensleben was good enough to excuse me," she replied; "and then I thought you would be back immediately."

They sat down to the table; coffee was brought, and the past appeared to be forgotten.

The conversation at first was broken by constant pauses. Edward saw that Emily did all she could to play the hostess agreeably, and to pacify her husband's ill-humor.

In this attempt the young man assisted her, and at last they were successful. D'Effernay became more cheerful; the conversation more animated; and Edward found that his host could be a very agreeable member of society when he pleased, combining a good deal of information with great natural powers. The evening passed away more pleasantly than it promised at one time; and after an excellent and well-served supper, the young officer was shown into a comfortable room, fitted up with every modern luxury; and weary in mind and body, he soon fell asleep. He dreamed of all that had occupied his waking thoughts-of his friend, and his friend's history.

But in that species of confusion which often characterizes dreams, he fancied that he was Ferdinand, or at least, his own individuality seemed mixed up with that of Hallberg. He felt that he was ill. He lay in an unknown room, and by his bedside stood a small table, covered with glasses and phials, containing medicines, as is usual in a sick room.

The door opened, and D'Effernay came in, in his dressing-gown, as if he had just left his bed: and now in Edward's mind dreams and realities were mingled together, and he thought that D'Effernay came, perhaps, to speak with him on the occurrences of the preceding day. But no! he approached the table on which the medicines stood, looked at the watch, took up one of the phials and a cup, measured the draught, drop by drop, then he turned and looked round him stealthily, and then he drew from his breast a pale blue, coiling serpent, which he threw into the cup, and held it to the patient's lips, who drank, and instantly felt a numbness creep over his frame which ended in death. Edward fancied that he was dead; he saw the coffin brought, but the terror lest he [pg 282] should be buried alive, made him start up with a sudden effort, and he opened his eyes.

The dream had passed away; he sat in his bed safe and well; but it was long ere he could in any degree recover his composure, or get rid of the impression which the frightful apparition had made on him. They brought his breakfast, with a message from the master of the house to inquire whether he would like to visit the park, farms, &c. He dressed quickly, and descended to the court, where he found his host in a riding dress, by the side of two fine horses, already saddled. D'Effernay greeted the young man courteously; but Edward felt an inward repugnance as he looked on that gloomy though handsome countenance, now lighted up by the beams of the morning sun, yet recalling vividly the dark visions of the night. D'Effernay was full of attentions to his new friend. They started on their ride, in spite of some threatening clouds, and began the inspection of meadows, shrubberies, farms, &c. After a couple of hours, which were consumed in this manner, it began to rain a few drops, and at last burst out into a heavy shower. It was soon impossible even to ride through the woods for the torrents that were pouring down, and so they returned to the castle.

Edward retired to his room to change his dress, and to write some letters, he said, but more particularly to avoid Emily, in order not to excite her husband's jealousy. As the bell rang for dinner he saw her again, and found to his surprise that the captain, whom he had first seen in the coffee-room, and who had given him so much information, was one of the party. He was much pleased, for they had taken a mutual fancy to each other. The captain was not at quarters the day Edward had left them, but as soon as he heard where his friend had gone, he put horses to his carriage and followed him, for he said he also should like to see these famous estates. D'Effernay seemed in high good humor to-day, Emily far more silent than yesterday, and taking little part in the conversation of the men, which turned on political economy. After coffee she found an opportunity to give Edward (unobserved) a little packet. The look with which she did so, told plainly what it contained, and the young man hurried to his room as soon as he fancied he could do so without remark or comment. The continued rain precluded all idea of leaving the house any more that day. He unfolded the packet; there were a couple of sheets, written closely in a woman's fair hand, and something wrapped carefully in a paper, which he knew to be the ring. It was the fellow to that which he had given the day before to Emily, only Ferdinand's name was engraved inside instead of hers. Such were the contents of the papers:—

"Secrecy would be misplaced with the friend of the dead. Therefore, will I speak to you of things which I have never uttered to a human being until now. Jules D'Effernay is nearly related to me. We knew each other in the Netherlands, where our estates joined. The boy loved me already with a love that amounted to passion; this love was my father's greatest joy, for there was an old and crying injustice which the ancestors of D'Effernay had suffered from ours, that could alone, he thought, be made up by the marriage of the only children of the two branches. So we were destined for each other almost from our cradles; and I was content it should be so, for Jules's handsome face and decided preference for me were agreeable to me, although I felt no great affection for him. We were separated: Jules traveled in France, England, and America, and made money as a merchant, which profession he had taken up suddenly. My father, who had a place under government, left his country in consequence of political troubles, and came into this part of the world where some distant relations of my mother's lived. He liked the neighborhood; he bought land; we lived very happily; I was quite contented in Jules's absence; I had no yearning of the heart toward him, yet I thought kindly of him, and troubled myself little about my future. Then—then I learned to know your friend. Oh, then! I felt, when I looked upon him, when I listened to him, when we conversed together, I felt, I acknowledged that there might be happiness on earth, of which I had hitherto never dreamed. Then I loved for the first time, ardently, passionately, and was beloved in return. Acquainted with the family engagements, he did not dare openly to proclaim his love, and I knew I ought not to foster the feeling; but, alas! how seldom does passion listen to the voice of reason and of duty. Your friend and I met in secret; in secret we plighted our troth, and exchanged those rings, and hoped and believed that by showing a bold front to our destiny we should subdue it to our will. The commencement was sinful, it has met with a dire retribution, Jules's letters announced his speedy return. He had sold everything in his own country, had given up all his mercantile affairs, through which he had greatly increased an already considerable fortune, and now he was about to join us, or rather me, without whom he could not live. This appeared to me like the demand for payment of a heavy debt. This debt I owed to Jules, who loved me with all his heart, who was in possession of my father's promised word and mine also. Yet I could not give up your friend. In a state of distraction I told him all; we meditated flight. Yes, I was so far guilty, and I make the confession in hopes that some portion of my errors may be expiated by repentance. My father, who had long been in a declining state, suddenly grew worse, and this delayed and hindered the fulfillment of our designs. Jules arrived. During the five years he had been away he was much changed in appearance, and that advantageously. I was struck [pg 283] when I first saw him, but it was also easy to detect in those handsome features and manly bearing, a spirit of restlessness and violence which had already shown itself in him as a boy, and which passing years, with their bitter experience and strong passions, had greatly developed. The hope that we had cherished of D'Effernay's possible indifference to me, of the change which time might have wrought in his attachment, now seemed idle and absurd. His love was indeed impassioned. He embraced me in a manner that made me shrink from him, and altogether his deportment toward me was a strange contrast to the gentle, tender, refined affection of our dear friend. I trembled whenever Jules entered the room, and all that I had prepared to say to him, all the plans which I had revolved in my mind respecting him, vanished in an instant before the power of his presence, and the almost imperative manner in which he claimed my hand. My father's illness increased; he was now in a very precarious state, hopeless indeed. Jules rivaled me in filial attentions to him, that I can never cease to thank him for; but this illness made my situation more and more critical, and it accelerated the fulfillment of the contract. I was now to renew my promise to him by the death-bed of my father. Alas, alas! I fell senseless to the ground when this announcement was made to me. Jules began to suspect. Already my cold, embarrassed manner toward him since his return had struck him as strange. He began to suspect, I repeat, and the effect that this suspicion had on him, it would be impossible to describe to you. Even now, after so long a time, now that I am accustomed to his ways, and more reconciled to my fate by the side of a noble, though somewhat impetuous man, it makes me tremble to think of those paroxysms, which the idea that I did not love him called forth. They were fearful; he nearly sank under them. During two days his life was in danger. At last the storm passed, my father died; Jules watched over me with the tenderness of a brother, the solicitude of a parent; for that indeed I shall ever be grateful. His suspicion once awakened, he gazed round with penetrating looks to discover the cause of my altered feelings. But your friend never came to our house; we met in an unfrequented spot, and my father's illness had interrupted these interviews. Altogether I cannot tell if Jules discovered anything. A fearful circumstance rendered all our precautions useless, and cut the knot of our secret connection, to loose which voluntarily I felt I had no power. A wedding feast, at a neighboring castle, assembled all the nobility and gentry, and officers quartered near, together; my deep mourning was an excuse for my absence. Jules, though he usually was happiest by my side, could not resist the invitation, and your friend resolved to go, although he was unwell; he feared to raise suspicion by remaining away, when I was left at home. With great difficulty he contrived the first day to make one at a splendid hunt, the second day he could not leave his bed. A physician, who was in the house, pronounced his complaint to be violent fever, and Jules, whose room joined that of the sick man, offered him every little service and kindness which compassion and good feeling prompted; and I cannot but praise him all the more for it, as who can tell, perhaps, his suspicion might have taken the right direction? On the morning of the second day—but let me glance quickly at that terrible time, the memory of which can never pass from my mind—a fit of apoplexy most unexpectedly, but gently, ended the noblest life, and separated us forever! Now you know all. I inclose the ring. I cannot write more. Farewell!"

The conclusion of the letter made a deep impression on Edward. His dream rose up before his remembrance, the slight indisposition, the sudden death, the fearful nursetender, all arranged themselves in order before his mind, and an awful whole rose out of all these reflections, a terrible suspicion which he tried to throw off. But he could not do so, and when he met the captain and D'Effernay in the evening, and the latter challenged his visitors to a game of billiards, Edward glanced from time to time at his host in a scrutinizing manner, and could not but feel that the restless discontent which was visible in his countenance, and the unsteady glare of his eyes, which shunned the fixed look of others, only fitted too well into the shape of the dark thoughts which were crossing his own mind. Late in the evening, after supper, they played whist in Emily's boudoir. On the morrow, if the weather permitted, they were to conclude their inspection of the surrounding property, and the next day they were to visit the iron foundries, which, although distant from the Castle several miles, formed a very important item in the rent-roll of the estates. The company separated for the night. Edward fell asleep; and the same dream, with the same circumstances, recurred, only with the full consciousness that the sick man was Ferdinand. Edward felt overpowered, a species of horror took possession of his mind, as he found himself now in regular communication with the beings of the invisible world.

The weather favored D'Effernay's projects. The whole day was passed in the open air. Emily only appeared at meals, and in the evening when they played at cards. Both she and Edward avoided, as if by mutual consent, every word, every look that could awaken the slightest suspicion or jealous feeling in D'Effernay's mind. She thanked him in her heart for this forbearance, but her thoughts were in another world; she took little heed of what passed around her. Her husband was in an excellent temper; he played the part of host to perfection; and when the two officers were established comfortably by the fire, in the captain's room, smoking together, they could not but do justice to his courteous manners.

[pg 284]

"He appears to be a man of general information," remarked Edward.

"He has traveled a great deal, and read a great deal, as I told you when we first met: he is a remarkable man, but one of uncontrolled passions, and desperately jealous."

"Yet he appears very attentive to his wife."

"Undoubtedly he is wildly in love with her; yet he makes her unhappy, and himself too."

"He certainly does not appear happy, there is so much restlessness."

"He can never bear to remain in one place for any length of time together. He is now going to sell the property he only bought last year. There is an instability about him; everything palls on him."

"That is the complaint of many who are rich and well to do in the world."

"Yes; only not in the same degree. I assure you it has often struck me that man must have a bad conscience."

"What an idea!" rejoined Edward, with a forced laugh, for the captain's remark struck him forcibly. "He seems a man of honor."

"Oh, one may be a man of honor, as it is called, and yet have something quite bad enough to reproach yourself with. But I know nothing about it, and would not breathe such a thing except to you. His wife, too, looks so pale and so oppressed."

"But, perhaps, that is her natural complexion and expression."

"Oh, no! no! the year before D'Effernay came from Paris, she was as fresh as a rose. Many people declare that your poor friend loved her. The affair was wrapped in mystery, and I never believed the report, for Hallberg was a steady man, and the whole country knew that Emily had been engaged a long time."

"Hallberg never mentioned the name in his letters," answered Edward, with less candor than usual.

"I thought not. Besides D'Effernay was very much attached to him, and mourned his death."


"I assure you the morning that Hallberg was found dead in his bed so unexpectedly, D'Effernay was like one beside himself."

"Very extraordinary. But as we are on the subject, tell me, I pray you, all the circumstances of my poor Ferdinand's illness, and awful sudden death."

"I can tell you all about it, as well as any one, for I was one of the guests at that melancholy wedding. Your friend, and I, and many others were invited. Hallberg had some idea of not going; he was unwell, with violent headache and giddiness. But we persuaded him, and he consented to go with us. The first day he felt tolerably well. We hunted in the open field; we were all on horseback, the day hot. Hallberg felt worse. The second day he had a great deal of fever; he could not stay up. The physician (for fortunately there was one in the company) ordered rest, cooling medicine, neither of which seemed to do him good. The rest of the men dispersed, to amuse themselves in various ways. Only D'Effernay remained at home; he was never very fond of large societies, and we voted that he was discontented and out of humor because his betrothed bride was not with him. His room was next to the sick man's, to whom he gave all possible care and attention, for poor Hallberg, besides being ill, was in despair at giving so much trouble in a strange house. D'Effernay tried to calm him on this point; he nursed him, amused him with conversation, mixed his medicines, and, in fact, showed more kindness and tenderness, than any of us would have given him credit for. Before I went to bed I visited Hallberg, and found him much better, and more cheerful; the doctor had promised that he should leave his bed next day. So I left him and retired with the rest of the world, rather late, and very tired, to rest. The next morning I was awoke by the fatal tidings. I did not wait to dress, I ran to his room, it was full of people."

"And how, how was the death first discovered?" inquired Edward, in breathless eagerness.

"The servant, who came in to attend on him, thought he was asleep, for he lay in his usual position, his head upon his hand. He went away and waited for some time; but hours passed, and he thought he ought to wake his master to give him his medicine. Then the awful discovery was made. He must have died peacefully, for his countenance was so calm, his limbs undisturbed. A fit of apoplexy had terminated his life, but in the most tranquil manner."

"Incomprehensible," said Edward, with a deep sigh. "Did they take no measures to restore animation?"

"Certainly; all that could be done was done, bleeding, fomentation, friction; the physician superintended, but there was no hope, it was all too late. He must have been dead some hours, for he was already cold and stiff. If there had been a spark of life in him he would have been saved. It was all over; I had lost my good lieutenant, and the regiment one of its finest officers."

He was silent, and appeared lost in thought. Edward, for his part, felt overwhelmed by terrible suspicions and sad memories. After a long pause he recovered himself: "and where was D'Effernay?" he inquired.

"D'Effernay," answered the Captain, rather surprised at the question; "oh! he was not in the Castle when we made the dreadful discovery: he had gone out for an early walk, and when he came back late, not before noon, he learned the truth, and was like one out of his senses. It seemed so awful to him, because he had been so much, the very day before, with poor Hallberg."

"Aye," answered Edward, whose suspicions were being more and more confirmed every moment. "And did he see the corpse, did he go into the chamber of death?"

"No," replied the captain; "he assured us [pg 285] it was out of his power to do so; he could not bear the sight; and I believe it. People with such uncontrolled feelings as this D'Effernay, are incapable of performing those duties which others think it necessary and incumbent on them to fulfill."

"And where was Hallberg buried?"

"Not far from the castle where the mournful event took place. To-morrow, if we go to the iron foundry, we shall be near the spot."

"I am glad of it," cried Edward eagerly, while a host of projects rose up in his mind. "But now, captain, I will not trespass any longer on your kindness. It is late, and we must be up betimes to-morrow. How far have we to go?"

"Not less than four leagues certainly. D'Effernay has arranged that we shall drive there, and see it all at our leisure: then we shall return in the evening. Good night, Wensleben."

They separated: Edward hurried to his room; his heart overflowed. Sorrow on the one hand, horror and even hatred on the other, agitated him by turns. It was long before he could sleep. For the third time the vision haunted him; but now it was clearer than before; now he saw plainly the features of him who lay in bed, and of him who stood beside the bed—they were those of Hallberg and of D'Effernay.

This third apparition, the exact counterpart of the two former (only more vivid), all that he had gathered from conversations on the subject, and the contents of Emily's letter, left scarcely the shadow of a doubt remaining as to how his friend had left the world.

D'Effernay's jealous and passionate nature seemed to allow of the possibility of such a crime, and it could scarcely be wondered at, if Edward regarded him with a feeling akin to hatred. Indeed the desire of visiting Hallberg's grave, in order to place the ring in the coffin, could alone reconcile Wensleben to the idea of remaining any longer beneath the roof of a man whom he now considered the murderer of his friend. His mind was a prey to conflicting doubts; detestation for the culprit, and grief for the victim, pointed out one line of conduct, while the difficulty of proving D'Effernay's guilt, and still more, pity and consideration for Emily, determined him at length to let the matter rest, and to leave the murderer, if such he really were, to the retribution which his own conscience and the justice of God would award him. He would seek his friend's grave, and then he would separate from D'Effernay, and never see him more. In the midst of these reflections the servant came to tell him that the carriage was ready. A shudder passed over his frame as D'Effernay greeted him; but he commanded himself, and they started on their expedition.

Edward spoke but little, and that only when it was necessary, and the conversation was kept up by his two companions; he had made every inquiry, before he set out, respecting the place of his friend's interment, the exact situation of the tomb, the name of the village, and its distance from the main road. On their way home, he requested that D'Effernay would give orders to the coachman to make a round of a mile or two as far as the village of ——, with whose rector he was particularly desirous to speak. A momentary cloud gathered on D'Effernay's brow, yet it seemed no more than his usual expression of vexation at any delay or hindrance; and he was so anxious to propitiate his rich visitor, who appeared likely to take the estate off his hands, that he complied with all possible courtesy. The coachman was directed to turn down a by-road, and a very bad one it was. The captain stood up in the carriage and pointed out the village to him, at some distance off; it lay in a deep ravine at the foot of the mountains.

They arrived in the course of time, and inquired for the clergyman's house, which, as well as the church, was situated on rising ground. The three companions alighted from the carriage, which they left at the bottom of the hill, and walked up together in the direction of the rectory. Edward knocked at the door and was admitted, while the two others sat on a bench outside. He had promised to return speedily, but to D'Effernay's restless spirit, one-quarter of an hour appeared interminable.

He turned to the captain and said, in a tone of impatience, "M. de Wensleben must have a great deal of business with the rector: we have been here an immense time, and he does not seem inclined to make his appearance.

"Oh, I dare say he will come soon. The matter cannot detain him long."

"What on earth can he have to do here?"

"Perhaps you would call it a mere fancy—the enthusiasm of youth."

"It has a name, I suppose?"

"Certainly, but—"

"Is it sufficiently important, think you, to make us run the risk of being benighted on such roads as these?"

"Why, it is quite early in the day."

"But we have more than two leagues to go. Why will you not speak?—there cannot any great mystery."

"Well, perhaps not a mystery, exactly, but just one of those subjects on which we are usually reserved with others."

"So! so!" rejoined D'Effernay, with a little sneer. "Some love affair; some girl or another who pursues him, that he wants to get rid of."

"Nothing of the kind, I can assure you," replied the captain drily. "It could scarcely be more innocent. He wishes, in fact, to visit his friend's grave."

The listener's expression was one of scorn and anger. "It is worth the trouble certainly," he exclaimed, with a mocking laugh. "A charming sentimental pilgrimage, truly; and pray who is this beloved friend, over whose resting-place he must shed a tear and [pg 286] plant a forget-me-not? He told me he had never been in the neighborhood before."

"No more he had; neither did he know where poor Hallberg was buried until I told him."

"Hallberg!" echoed the other in a tone that startled the captain, and caused him to turn and look fixedly in the speaker's face. It was deadly pale, and the captain observed the effort which D'Effernay made to recover his composure.

"Hallberg!" he repeated again, in a calmer tone, "and was Wensleben a friend of his?"

"His bosom friend from childhood. They were brought up together at the academy. Hallberg left it a year earlier than his friend."

"Indeed!" said D'Effernay, scowling as he spoke, and working himself up into a passion. "And this lieutenant came here on this account, then, and the purchase of the estates was a mere excuse."

"I beg your pardon," observed the captain, in a decided tone of voice; "I have already told you that it was I who informed him of the place where his friend lies buried."

"That may be, but it was owing to his friendship, to the wish to learn something further of his fate, that we are indebted for the visit of this romantic knight-errant."

"That does not appear likely," replied the captain, who thought it better to avert, if possible, the rising storm of his companion's fury. "Why should he seek for news of Hallberg here, when he comes from the place where he was quartered for a long time, and where all his comrades now are."

"Well, I don't know," cried D'Effernay, whose passion was increasing every moment. "Perhaps you have heard what was once gossiped about the neighborhood, that Hallberg was an admirer of my wife before she married."

"Oh yes, I have heard that report, but never believed it. Hallberg was a prudent, steady man, and every one knew that Mademoiselle Varnier's hand had been promised for some time."

"Yes! yes! but you do not know to what lengths passion and avarice may lead: for Emily was rich. We must not forget that, when we discuss the matter; an elopement with the rich heiress would have been a fine thing for a poor, beggarly lieutenant."

"Shame! shame! M. D'Effernay. How can you slander the character of that upright young man? If Hallberg were so unhappy as to love Mademoiselle Varnier—"

"That he did! you may believe me so far, I had reason to know it, and I did know it."

"We had better change the conversation altogether, as it has taken so unpleasant a turn, Hallberg is dead; his errors, be they what they may, lie buried with him. His name stands high with all who knew him Even you, M. D'Effernay—you were his friend."

"I his friend? I hated him!—I loathed him!" D'Effernay could not proceed; he foamed at the mouth with rage.

"Compose yourself!" said the Captain, rising as he spoke; "you look and speak like a madman."

A madman! Who says I am mad? Now I see it all—the connection of the whole—the shameful conspiracy."

"Your conduct is perfectly incomprehensible to me," answered the captain, with perfect coolness. "Did you not attend Hallberg in his last illness, and give him his medicines with your own hand?"

"I!" stammered D'Effernay. "No! no! no!" he cried, while the captain's growing suspicions increased every moment, on account of the perturbation which his companion displayed. "I never gave his medicines; whoever says that is a liar."

"I say it!" exclaimed the officer, in a loud tone, for his patience was exhausted. "I say it, because I know that it was so, and I will maintain that fact against any one at any time. If you choose to contradict the evidence of my senses, it is you who are a liar!"

"Ha! you shall give me satisfaction for this insult. Depend upon it, I am not one to be trifled with, as you shall find. You shall retract your words."

"Never! I am ready to defend every word I have uttered here on this spot, at this moment, if you please. You have your pistols in the carriage, you know."

D'Effernay cast a look of hatred on the speaker, and then dashing down the little hill, to the surprise of the servants, he dragged the pistols from the sword-case, and was by the captain's side in a moment. But the loud voices of the disputants had attracted Edward to the spot, and there he stood on D'Effernay's return; and by his side a venerable old man, who carried a large bunch of keys in his hand.

"In heaven's name, what has happened?" cried Wensleben.

"What are you about to do?" interposed the rector, in a tone of authority, though his countenance was expressive of horror. "Are you going to commit murder on this sacred spot, close to the precincts of the church?"

"Murder! who speaks of murder?" cried D'Effernay. "Who can prove it?" and as he spoke, the captain turned a fierce, penetrating look upon him, beneath which he quailed.

"But, I repeat the question," Edward began once more, "what does all this mean? I left you a short time ago in friendly conversation. I come back and find you both armed—both violently agitated—and M. D'Effernay, at least, speaking incoherently. What do you mean by 'proving it?'—to what do you allude?" At this moment, before any answer could be made, a man came out of the house with a pick-axe and shovel on his shoulder, and advancing toward the [pg 287] rector, said respectfully, "I am quite ready, sir, if you have the key of the churchyard."

It was now the captain's turn to look anxious: "What are you going to do, you surely don't intend—?" but as he spoke, the rector interrupted him.

"This gentleman is very desirous to see the place where his friend lies buried."

"But these preparations, what do they mean?"

"I will tell you," said Edward, in a voice and tone that betrayed the deepest emotion, "I have a holy duty to perform. I must cause the coffin to be opened."

"How, what!" screamed D'Effernay, once again. "Never—I will never permit such a thing."

"But, sir," the old man spoke, in a tone of calm decision, contrasting wonderfully with the violence of him whom he addressed, "you have no possible right to interfere. If this gentleman wishes it, and I accede to the proposition, no one can prevent us from doing as we would."

"I tell you I will not suffer it," continued D'Effernay, with the same frightful agitation. "Stir at your peril," he cried, turning sharply round upon the grave-digger, and holding a pistol to his head; but the captain pulled his arm away, to the relief of the frightened peasant.

"M. D'Effernay," he said, "your conduct for the last half-hour has been most unaccountable—most unreasonable."

"Come, come," interposed Edward, "Let us say no more on the subject; but let us be going," he addressed the rector; "we will not detain these gentlemen much longer."

He made a step toward the churchyard, but D'Effernay clutched his arm, and, with an impious oath, "you shall not stir," he said; "that grave shall not be opened."

Edward shook him off, with a look of silent hatred, for now indeed all his doubts were confirmed.

D'Effernay saw that Wensleben was resolved, and a deadly pallor spread itself over his features, and a shudder passed visibly over his frame.

"You are going!" he cried, with every gesture and appearance of insanity. "Go, then;" ... and he pointed the muzzle of the pistol to his mouth, and before any one could prevent him, he drew the trigger, and fell back a corpse. The spectators were motionless with surprise and horror; the captain was the first to recover himself in some degree. He bent over the body with the faint hope of detecting some sign of life. The old man turned pale and dizzy with a sense of terror, and he looked as if he would have swooned, had not Edward led him gently into his house, while the two others busied themselves with vain attempts to restore life.

The spirit of D'Effernay had gone to its last account!

It was, indeed, an awful moment. Death in its worst shape was before them, and a terrible duty still remained to be performed.

Edward's cheek was blanched; his eye had a fixed look, yet he moved and spoke with a species of mechanical action, which had something almost ghastly in it. Causing the body to be removed into the house, he bade the captain summon the servants of the deceased, and then motioning with his hand to the awe-struck sexton, he proceeded with him to the churchyard. A few clods of earth alone were removed ere the captain stood by his friend's side.

Here we must pause. Perhaps it were better altogether to emulate the silence that was maintained then and afterward by the two comrades. But the sexton could not be bribed to entire secrecy, and it was a story he loved to tell, with details we gladly omit, of how Wensleben solemnly performed his task—of how no doubt could any longer exist as to the cause of Hallberg's death. Those who love the horrible must draw on their own imaginations to supply what we resolutely withhold.

Edward, we believe, never alluded to D'Effernay's death, and all the awful circumstances attending it, but twice—once, when, with every necessary detail, he and the captain gave their evidence to the legal authorities; and once, with as few details as possible, when he had an interview with the widow of the murderer, the beloved of the victim. The particulars of this interview he never divulged, for he considered Emily's grief too sacred to be exposed to the prying eyes of the curious and the unfeeling. She left the neighborhood immediately, leaving her worldly affairs in Wensleben's hands, who soon disposed of the property for her. She returned to her native country, with the resolution of spending the greater part of her wealth in relieving the distresses of others, wisely seeking, in the exercise of piety and benevolence, the only possible alleviation of her own deep and many-sided griefs. For Edward, he was soon pronounced to have recovered entirely from the shock of these terrible events. Of a courageous and energetic disposition, he pursued the duties of his profession with a firm step, and hid his mighty sorrow deep in the recesses of his heart. To the superficial observer, tears, groans, and lamentations are the only proofs of sorrow: and when they subside, the sorrow is said to have passed away also. Thus the captive, immured within the walls of his prison-house, is as one dead to the outward world, though the gaoler be a daily witness to the vitality of affliction.

Paris has been again emptied of its citizens to see M. Poitevin make his second ascent on horseback from the Champ de Mars. To show that he was not fastened to his saddle, the idiot, when some hundred yards up in the air, stood upright on his horse, and saluted the multitude below with both his hands.

[pg 288]


We copy the following interesting paragraph from a work just issued in London on "The Social Condition and Education of the People of England and Europe," by Joseph Kay, of Cambridge University.

"As I have already said, the moral, intellectual and physical condition of the peasants and operatives of Prussia, Saxony and other parts of Germany, of Holland, and of the Protestant cantons of Switzerland, and the social condition of the peasants in the greater part of France, is very much higher and happier, and very much more satisfactory, than that of the peasants and operatives of England; the condition of the poor in the North German, Swiss and Dutch towns, is as remarkable a contrast to that of the poor of the English towns as can well be imagined; and that the condition of the poorer classes of Germany, Switzerland, Holland and France is rapidly improving. The great superiority of the preparation for life which a poor man receives in those countries I have mentioned, to that which a peasant or operative receives in England, and the difference of the social position of a poor man in those countries to that of a peasant or operative in England, seem sufficient to explain the difference which exists between the moral and social condition of the poor of our own country and of the other countries I have named. In Germany, Holland, and Switzerland, a child begins its life in the society of parents who have been educated and brought up for years in the company of learned and gentlemanly professors, and in the society and under the direction of a father who has been exercised in military arts, and who has acquired the bearing, the clean and orderly habits, and the taste for respectable attire, which characterize the soldier. The children of these countries spend the first six years of their lives in homes which are well regulated. They are during this time accustomed to orderly habits, to neat and clean clothes, and to ideas of the value of instruction, of the respect due to the teachers, and of the excellence of the schools, by parents who have, by their training in early life, acquired such tastes and ideas themselves. Each child at the age of six begins to attend a school, which is perfectly clean, well ventilated, directed by an able and well-educated gentleman, and superintended by the religious ministers and by the inspectors of the Government. Until the completion of its fourteenth year, each child continues regular daily attendance at one of these schools, daily strengthening its habits of cleanliness and order, learning the rudiments of useful knowledge, receiving the principles of religion and morality, and gaining confirmed health and physical energy by the exercise and drill of the school playground. No children are left idle in the streets of the towns; no children are allowed to grovel in the gutters; no children are allowed to make their appearance at the schools dirty, or in ragged clothes; and the local authorities are obliged to clothe all whose parents cannot afford to clothe them. The children of the poor of Germany, Holland and Switzerland acquire stronger habits of cleanliness, neatness and industry at the primary schools, than the children of the small shopkeeping classes of England do at the private schools of England; and they leave the primary schools of these countries much better instructed than those who leave our middle class private schools. After having learnt reading, writing, arithmetic, singing, geography, history and the Scriptures, the children leave the schools, carrying with them into life habits of cleanliness, neatness, order and industry, and awakened intellect, capable of collecting truths and reasoning upon them."

[From the Dublin University Magazine.]


Do you ask how I'd amuse me

When the long bright summer comes,

And welcome leisure woos me

To shun life's crowded homes;

To shun the sultry city,

Whose dense, oppressive air

Might make one weep with pity

For those who must be there.

I'll tell you then—I would not

To foreign countries roam,

As though my fancy could not

Find occupance at home;

Nor to home-haunts of fashion

Would I, least of all, repair,

For guilt, and pride, and passion,

Have summer-quarters there.

Far, far from watering-places

Of note and name I'd keep,

For there would vapid faces

Still throng me in my sleep;

Then contact with the foolish,

The arrogant, the vain,

The meaningless—the mulish,

Would sicken heart and brain.

No—I'd seek some shore of ocean

Where nothing comes to mar

The ever-fresh commotion

Of sea and land at war;

Save the gentle evening only

As it steals along the deep,

So spirit-like and lonely,

To still the waves to sleep.

There long hours I'd spend in viewing

The elemental strife,

My soul the while subduing

With the littleness of life;

Of life, with all its paltry plans,

Its conflicts and its cares—

The feebleness of all that's man's—

The might that's God's and theirs!

And when eve came I'd listen

To the stilling of that war,

Till o'er my head should glisten

The first pure silver star;

Then, wandering homeward slowly,

I'd learn my heart the tune

Which the dreaming billows lowly,

Were murmuring to the moon!


True genius is perpetual youth, health, serenity, and strength. The eye is bright with a fine fire that is undimmed by time, and the mind, not sharing the body's decline from the prime of middle age, continues on with illimitable accession of spiritual power.

Our convictions should be based on conceptions got from insight of principles, and not upon opinions spawned of authority and expediency. Every man shall influence me, no man can decide for me.

[pg 289]

[From the Spirit of the Times]




The death of Sargeant S. Prentiss has called forth an universal feeling of sorrow; the consciousness that "a great man has fallen" is depicted upon the faces of the multitude.

The eloquent offerings to his virtues and to his genius that everywhere follow the news of his demise, are but slight tokens of that sorrow that fills the heart of all who knew the gifted Prentiss. Having known him long, and having had frequent occasions to witness exhibitions of his great mental powers, I cannot refrain from paying an imperfect tribute to his memory.

I first met Mr. Prentiss when he was in the full maturity of his power, but I have the pleasure of knowing hundreds who were well acquainted with his early history and early triumphs. Volumes of interest might be written upon the life of Mr. Prentiss. And then his high sense of honor, his brave spirit, his nobleness of soul, his intense but commendable pride, his classical attainments, and his deep knowledge of the law, can scarcely be illustrated, so universal and superior were his accomplishments and acquirements.

In his early career, I consider Mr. Prentiss both fortunate and unfortunate. I have often imagined the shrinking but proud boy, living unnoticed and unknown among the wealthiest citizens of the south. Buried in the obscurity of his humble school, he looked out upon the busy world, and measured the mighty capacities of his own soul with those whom society had placed above him. I think I see him brooding over his position, and longing to be free, as the suffocating man longs for the boundless air of heaven. His hour of triumph came, and surpassed, perhaps, his own aspirations. From the schoolroom he entered that of the court—a chance offered—a position gained—the law his theme, he at once not only equaled, but soared even beyond the aim of the most favored of his compeers.

The era was one of extravagance. The virgin soil of Mississippi was pouring into the laps of her generous sons untold abundance. There were thousands of her citizens, full of health and talent, who adorned excesses of living by the tasteful procurements of wealth, and the highest accomplishments of mind. Into this world Prentiss entered, heralded by naught save his own genius. The heirs of princely fortunes, the descendants of heroes, men of power and place, of family pride, of national associations, were not more proud, more gallant, than was Prentiss, for "he was reckoned among the noblest Romans of them all."

Each step in his new fortune seemed only to elicit new qualities for admiration. At the forum he dazzled—the jury and the judge were confounded—the crowd carried him to the stump, and the multitude listened as to one inspired. Fair ladies vied with each other in waving tiny hands in token of admiration—the stolid judges of the Supreme Court wondered at the mind of the apparent boy—even the walls of Congress echoed forth pæans to his praise. His course was as rapid and brilliant as that of the meteor that suddenly springs athwart the heavens, but he was human and accomplished his task, herculean as he was, at the price of an injured constitution.

In personal appearance Prentiss was eminently handsome, and yet eminently manly. Although of medium height, there was that in the carriage of his head that was astonishingly impressive. I shall never forget him on one occasion, "in '44," when he rose at a public meeting to reply to an antagonist worthy of his steel. His whole soul was roused, his high smooth forehead fairly coruscated. He remained silent for some seconds, and only looked. The bald eagle never glanced so fiercely from his eyry. It seemed as if his deep blue eye would distend until it swallowed up the thousands of his audience. For an instant the effect was painful; he saw it and smiled, when a cheer burst from the admiring multitude that fairly shook the earth.

His voice was clear and sweet, and could be heard at an immense distance, and yet, to be all like Demosthenes, he had a perceptible impediment in his speech. As a reader he had no superior. His narration was clear and unadorned, proper sentences were subduedly humorous, but the impressive parts were delivered with an effect that reminded me of the elder Kean.

His imagination was unsurpassed, and the rich stores of his mind supplied him with never-ending material, quoted and original. The slightest allusion to anything gave him the key to all its peculiarities if he had occasion to allude to the diamond, its bed in the Golconda, its discovery by some poor native, its being associated with commerce, its polish by the lapidary, its adorning the neck of beauty, its rays brilliant and serene, its birth, its life, its history, all flashed upon him. So with every idea in the vast storehouse of his mind. He seemed to know all things, in mass and in particulars, never confused, never at a loss—the hearer listened, wondered, and dreamed. Thoughts of moment came forth as demanded, but ten thousand other thoughts rare and beautiful, continued to bubble up, after all effort ceased.

No man had a more delicate or subtle wit than Prentiss, or a more Falstaffian humor when it suited his purpose. Who will ever forget the spending of a social dinner hour with him, when his health was high and his mind at ease? Who so lovely?—who so refined? What delight was exhibited by sweet ladies who listened to his words! Who could so eloquently discourse of roses and buds, of [pg 290] lilies and pearls, of eyes and graces, of robes and angels, and yet never offend the most sensitive of the sex, or call other than the blush of pleasure and joy to the cheek? Who could, on the "public day," ascend so gracefully from the associations of tariffs, and banks, and cotton, and sugar, to greet the fair ladies that honored him with their presence? How he would lean toward them, as he dwelt upon "the blessed of all God's handiwork," compared their bright eyes to "day-stars" that lit up the dark recesses of his own clouded imagination; and how he would revel, like another Puck, among the rays and beams of smiles called forth by his own happy compliments—and how he would change from all this, and in an instant seemingly arm himself with the thunderbolts of Jove, which he would dash with appalling sound among his antagonists, or at principles he opposed, and yet with such a charm, with such a manner, that these very daughters of the sunny South who had listened to his syren-song so admiringly, would now stare, and wonder, and pallor, and yet listen, even as one gazes over the precipice, and is fascinated at the very nearness to destruction.

Prentiss had originally a constitution of iron; his frame was so perfect in its organization, that, in spite of the most extraordinary negligence of health, his muscles had all the compactness, glossiness, and distinctiveness of one who had specially trained by diet and exercise. It was this constitution that enabled him to accomplish so much in so short a time. He could almost wholly discard sleep for weeks, with apparent impunity; he could eat or starve; do anything that would kill ordinary men, yet never feel a twinge of pain. I saw him once amidst a tremendous political excitement; he had been talking, arguing, dining, visiting, and traveling, without rest for three whole days. His companions would steal away at times for sleep, but Prentiss was like an ever-busy spirit, here, and there, and everywhere. The morning of the fourth day came, and he was to appear before an audience familiar with his fame, but one that had never heard him speak; an audience critical in the last degree, he desired to succeed, for more was depending than he had ever before had cause to stake upon such an occasion. Many felt a fear that he would be unprepared. I mingled in the expecting crowd: I saw ladies who had never honored the stump with their presence struggling for seats, counselors, statesmen, and professional men, the elite of a great city, were gathered together. An hour before I had seen Prentiss, still apparently ignorant of his engagement.

The time of trial came, and the remarkable man presented himself, the very picture of buoyant health, of unbroken rest. All this had been done by the unyielding resolve of his will—his triumph was complete; high-wrought expectations were more than realized, prejudice was demolished, professional jealousy silenced, and he descended from the rostrum, freely accorded his proper place among the orators and statesmen of the "Southern Metropolis."

Mr. Clay visited the South in the fall of '44, and, as he was then candidate for the Presidency, he attracted in New Orleans, if possible, more than usual notice. His hotel was the St. Charles; toward noon he reached that magnificent palace. The streets presented a vast ocean of heads, and every building commanding a view was literally covered with human beings. The great "Statesman of the West" presented himself to the multitude between the tall columns of the finest portico in the world. The scene was beyond description, and of vast interest. As the crowd swayed to and fro, a universal shout was raised for Mr. Clay to speak; he uttered a sentence or two, waved his hand in adieu, and escaped amidst the prevailing confusion. Prentiss meanwhile was at a side window, evidently unconscious of being himself noticed, gazing upon what was passing with all the delight of the humblest spectator. Suddenly his name was announced. He attempted to withdraw from public gaze, but his friends pushed him forward. Again his name was shouted, hats and caps were thrown in the air, and he was finally compelled to show himself on the portico. With remarkable delicacy, he chose a less prominent place than that previously occupied by Mr. Clay, although perfectly visible. He thanked his friends for their kindness by repeated bows, and by such smiles as he alone could give. "A speech! A speech!" thundered a thousand voices. Prentiss lifted his hand; in an instant everything was still—then pointing to the group that surrounded Mr. Clay, he said, "Fellow-citizens, when the eagle is soaring in the sky, the owls and the bats retire to their holes." And long before the shout that followed this remark had ceased, Prentiss had disappeared amid the multitude.

But the most extraordinary exhibition of Prentiss' powers of mind and endurance of body, was shown while he was running for Congress. He had the whole State to canvass, and the magnitude of the work was just what he desired. From what I have learned from anecdotes, that canvass must have presented some scenes combining the highest mental and physical exertion that was ever witnessed in the world. Prentiss was in perfect health, and in the first blush of success, and it cannot be doubted but that his best efforts of oratory were then made, and now live recorded only in the fading memories of his hearers. An incident illustrative of the time is remembered, that may hear repeating.

The whole state of Mississippi was alive with excitement; for the moment, she felt that her sovereign dignity had been trifled with, and that her reputation demanded the return of Prentiss to Congress. Crowds followed him from place to place, making a gala time of weeks together. Among the [pg 291] shrewd worldlings who take advantage of such times "to coin money," was the proprietor of a traveling menagerie, and he soon found out that the multitude followed Prentiss. Getting the list of that remarkable man's "appointments," he filled up his own, and it was soon noticed as a remarkable coincidence, that the orator always "arrived along with the other 'lions.'" The reason of this meeting was discovered, and the "boys" decided that Prentiss should "next time" speak from the top of the lion's cage. Never was the menagerie more crowded. At the proper time, the candidate gratified his constituents, and mounted his singular rostrum. I was told by a person, who professed to be an eye witness, that the whole affair presented a singular mixture of the terrible and the comical. Prentiss was, as usual, eloquent, and, as if ignorant of the novel circumstances with which he was surrounded, went deeply into the matter in hand, his election. For a while the audience and the animals were quiet, the former listening, the latter eyeing the speaker with grave intensity. The first burst of applause electrified the menagerie; the elephant threw his trunk into the air and echoed back the noise, while the tigers and bears significantly growled. On went Prentiss, and as each peculiar animal vented his rage or approbation, he most ingeniously wrought in its habits, as a facsimile of some man or passion. In the meanwhile, the stately king of beasts, who had been quietly treading the mazes of his prison, became alarmed at the footsteps over his head, and placing his mouth upon the floor of his cage, made everything shake by his terrible roar. This, joined with the already excited feelings of the audience, caused the ladies to shriek, and a fearful commotion for a moment followed. Prentiss, equal to every occasion, changed his tone and manner; he commenced a playful strain, and introduced the fox, the jackal, and hyena, and capped the climax by likening some well known political opponent to a grave baboon that presided over the "cage with monkeys"; the resemblance was instantly recognized, and bursts of laughter followed, that literally set many into convulsions. The baboon, all unconscious of the attention he was attracting, suddenly assumed a grimace, and then a serious face, when Prentiss exclaimed—"I see, my fine fellow, that your feelings are hurt by my unjust comparison, and I humbly beg your pardon." The effect of all this may be vaguely imagined, but it cannot be described.

Of Prentiss' power before a jury too much cannot be said. Innumerable illustrations might be gathered up, showing that he far surpassed any living advocate. "The trial of the Wilkinsons" might be cited, although it was far from being one of his best efforts. Two young men, only sons, and deeply attached as friends, quarreled, and in the mad excitement of the moment, one of them was killed. Upon the trial, the testimony of the mother of the deceased was so direct, that it seemed to render "the clearing of the prisoner" hopeless. Prentiss spoke to the witness in the blandest manner and most courtly style. The mother, arrayed in weeds, and bowed down with sorrow, turned toward Prentiss, and answered his inquiries with all the dignity of a perfectly accomplished lady—she calmly uttered the truth, and every word she spoke rendered the defense apparently more hopeless.

"Would you punish that young man with death?" said Prentiss, pointing to the prisoner.

The questioned looked, and answered—"He has made me childless, let the law take its course."

"And would wringing his mother's heart and hurrying her gray hairs with sorrow into the grave, by rendering her childless, assuage your grief?"

All present were dissolved in tears—even convulsive sobbing was heard in the courtroom.

"No!" said the witness, with all the gushing tenderness of a mother—"No! I would not add a sorrow to her heart, nor that of her son!"

Admissions in the evidence followed, and hopes were uttered for the prisoner's acquittal, that changed the whole character of the testimony. What was a few moments before so dark, grew light, and without the slightest act that might be construed into an unfair advantage, in the hands of Prentiss, the witness pleaded for the accused.

Soon after Mr. Prentiss settled in New Orleans, a meeting was held to raise funds for the erection of a suitable monument to Franklin. On that occasion, the lamented Wilde and the accomplished McCaleb delivered ornate and chaste addresses upon the value of art, and the policy of enriching New Orleans with its exhibition. At the close of the meeting, as the audience rose to depart, some one discovered Prentiss, and calling his name, it was echoed from all sides—he tried to escape, but was literally carried on the stand.

As a rich specimen of off-hand eloquence, I think the address he delivered on that occasion was unequaled. Unlike any other speech, he had the arts to deal with, and of course the associations were of surpassing splendor. I knew that he was ignorant of the technicalities of art, and had paid but little attention to their study, and my surprise was unbounded to see him, thus unexpectedly called upon, instantly arrange in his mind ideas, and expressing facts and illustrations that would have done honor to Burke, when dwelling upon the sublime and beautiful. Had he been bred to the easel, or confined to the sculptor's room, he could not have been more familiar with the details of the studio—he painted with all the brilliancy of Titian, and with the correctness of Raphael, while his images in marble combined the softness of Praxiteles, and the nervous energy of [pg 292] Michael Angelo. All this with Prentiss was intuition—I believe that the whole was the spontaneous thought of the moment, the crude outlines that floated through his mind being filled up by the intuitive teachings of his surpassing genius. His conclusion was gorgeous—he passed Napoleon to the summit of the Alps—his hearers saw him and his steel clad warriors threading the snows of Mount St. Bernard, and having gained the dizzy height, Prentiss represented "the man of destiny" looking down upon the sunny plains of Italy, and then with a mighty swoop, descending from the clouds and making the grasp of Empire secondary to that of Art.

I had the melancholy pleasure of hearing his last, and, it would seem to me, his greatest speech. Toward the close of the last Presidential campaign, I found him in the interior of the State, endeavoring to recruit his declining health. He had been obliged to avoid all public speaking, and had gone far into the country to get away from excitement. But there was a "gathering" near by his temporary home, and he consented to be present. It was late in the evening when he ascended the "stand," which was supported by the trunks of two magnificent forest trees, through which the setting sun poured with picturesque effect. The ravages of ill health were apparent upon his face, and his high massive forehead was paler, and seemingly more transparent than usual. His audience, some three or four hundred, was composed in a large degree of his old and early friends. He seemed to feel deeply, and as there was nothing to oppose, he assumed the style of the mild and beautiful—he casually alluded to the days of his early coming among his Southern friends—of hours of pleasure he had massed, and of the hopes of the future. In a few moments the bustle and confusion natural to a fatiguing day of political wrangling ceased—one straggler after another suspended his noisy demonstration, and gathered near the speaker. Soon a mass of silent but heart-heaving humanity was crowded compactly before him. Had Prentiss, on that occasion, held the very heart-strings of his auditors in his hand, he could not have had them more in his power. For an hour he continued, rising from one important subject to another, until the breath was fairly suspended in the excitement. An uninterested spectator would have supposed that he had used sorcery in thus transfixing his auditors. While all others forgot, he noticed the day was drawing to a close, he turned and looked toward the setting sun, and apostrophized its fading glory—then in his most touching voice and manner, concluded as follows:—

"Friends—That glorious orb reminds me that the day is spent, and that I too must close. Ere we part, let me hope that it may be our good fortune to end our days in the same splendor, and that when the evening of life comes, we may sink to rest with the clouds that close in on our departure, gold-tipped with the glorious effulgence of a well-spent life!"

In conclusion, I would ask, will some historian, who can sympathize with the noble dead, gather up the now fleeting memorials that still live in memory, and combine them together, that future generations may know something of the mighty mind of Prentiss.

The remains of the orator must ever be imperfect—the tone of voice—the flashing eye—the occasion, and the mighty shout of the multitude, cannot be impressed; but still Prentiss has left enough in his brilliant career, if treasured up, to show posterity that he was every inch a man. Let his fragmentary printed speeches—let the reminiscences of his friends that treat of his power as an orator, be brought together, and unsatisfactory as they may be, there will be found left intrinsic value enough to accomplish the object. There will be in the fluted column, though shattered and defaced, an Ionian beauty that will tell unerringly of the magnificent temple that it once adorned.

BATON ROUGE, July 9, 1850.

[From Household Words.]


The Wilkinsons were having a small party,—it consisted of themselves and Uncle Bagges—at which the younger members of the family, home for the holidays, had been just admitted to assist after dinner. Uncle Bagges was a gentleman from whom his affectionate relatives cherished expectations of a testamentary nature. Hence the greatest attention was paid by them to the wishes of Mr. Bagges, as well as to every observation which he might be pleased to make.

"Eh! what? you sir," said Mr. Bagges, facetiously addressing himself to his eldest nephew, Harry,—"Eh! what? I am glad to hear, sir, that you are doing well at school. Now—eh? now, are you clever enough to tell where was Moses when he put the candle out?"

"That depends, uncle," said the young gentleman, "on whether he had lighted the candle to see with at night, or by daylight, to seal a letter."

"Eh! Very good, now! 'Pon my word, very good," exclaimed Uncle Bagges. "You must be Lord Chancellor, sir—Lord Chancellor, one of these days."

"And now, uncle," asked Harry, who was a favorite with his uncle, "can you tell me what you do when you put a candle out?"

"Clap an extinguisher on it, you young rogue, to be sure."

"Oh! but I mean, you cut off its supply of oxygen," said Master Harry.

"Cut off its ox's—eh? what? I shall cut off your nose, you young dog, one of these fine days."

"He means something he heard at the Royal Institution," observed Mrs. Wilkinson. "He reads a great deal about chemistry, and he attended Professor Faraday's lectures there [pg 293] on the chemical history of a candle, and has been full of it ever since."

"Now, you sir," said Uncle Bagges, "come you here to me, and tell me what you have to say about this chemical, eh?—or comical: which?—this comical chemical history of a candle."

"He'll bore you, Bagges," said Mr. Wilkinson. "Harry, don't be troublesome to your uncle."

"Troublesome! Oh, not at all. He amuses me. I like to hear him. So let him teach his old uncle the comicality and chemicality of a farthing rushlight."

"A wax candle will be nicer and cleaner, uncle, and answer the same purpose. There's one on the mantel-shelf. Let me light it.

"Take care you don't burn your fingers, Or set anything on fire," said Mrs. Wilkinson.

"Now, uncle," commenced Harry, having drawn his chair to the side of Mr. Bagges, "we have got our candle burning. What do you see?"

"Let me put on my spectacles," answered the uncle.

"Look down on the top of the candle around the wick. See, it is a little cup full of melted wax. The heat of the flame has melted the wax just round the wick. The cold air keeps the outside of it hard, so as to make the rim of it. The melted wax in the little cup goes up through the wick to be burnt, just as oil does in the wick of a lamp. What do you think makes it go up, uncle?"

"Why—why, the flame draws it up, doesn't it?"

"Not exactly, uncle. It goes up through little tiny passages in the cotton wick, because very, very small channels, or pipes, or pores, have the power in themselves of sucking up liquids. What they do it by is called cap—something."

"Capillary attraction, Harry," suggested Mr. Wilkinson.

"Yes, that's it; just as a sponge sucks up water, or a bit of lump-sugar the little drop of tea or coffee left in the bottom of a cup. But I mustn't say much more about this, or else you will tell me I am doing something very much like teaching my grandmother to—you know what."

"Your grandmother, eh, young sharp-shins?"

"No—I mean my uncle. Now, I'll blow the candle out, like Moses; not to be in the dark, though, but to see into what it is. Look at the smoke rising from the wick. I'll hold a bit of lighted paper in the smoke, so as not to touch the wick. But see, for all that, the candle lights again. So this shows that the melted wax sucked up through the wick is turned into vapor; and the vapor burns. The heat of the burning vapor keeps on melting more wax, and that is sucked up too within the flame, and turned into vapor, and burnt, and so on till the was is all used up, and the candle is gone. So the flame, uncle, you see, is the last of the candle, and the candle seems to go through the flame into nothing—although it doesn't, but goes into several things, and isn't it curious, as Professor Faraday said, that the candle should look so splendid and glorious in going away?"

"How well he remembers, doesn't he?" observed Mrs. Wilkinson.

"I dare say," proceeded Harry, "that the flame of the candle looks flat to you; but if we were to put a lamp glass over it, so as to shelter it from the draught, you would see it is round,—round sideways and running up to a peak. It is drawn up by the hot air; you know that hot air always rises, and that is the way smoke is taken up the chimney. What should you think was in the middle of the flame?"

"I should say fire," replied Uncle Bagges.

"Oh, no! The flame is hollow. The bright flame we see is something no thicker than a thin peel, or skin; and it doesn't touch the wick. Inside of it is the vapor I told you of just now. If you put one end of a bent pipe into the middle of the flame, and let the other end of the pipe dip into a bottle, the vapor or gas from the candle will mix with the air there; and if you set fire to the mixture of gas from the candle and air in the bottle, it would go off with a bang."

"I wish you'd do that, Harry," said Master Tom, the younger brother of the juvenile lecturer.

"I want the proper things," answered Harry. "Well, uncle, the flame of the candle is a little shining case, with gas in the inside of it, and air on the outside, so that the case of flame is between the air and the gas. The gas keeps going into the flame to burn, and when the candle burns properly, none of it ever passes out through the flame; and none of the air ever gets in through the flame to the gas. The greatest heat of the candle is in this skin, or peel, or case of flame."

"Case of flame!" repeated Mr. Bagges. "Live and learn. I should have thought a candle-flame was as thick as my poor old noddle."

"I can show you the contrary," said Harry. "I take this piece of white paper, look, and hold it a second or two down upon the candle-flame, keeping the flame very steady. Now I'll rub off the black of the smoke, and—there—you find that the paper is scorched in the shape of a ring; but inside the ring it is only dirtied, and not singed at all."

"Seeing is believing," remarked the uncle.

"But," proceeded Harry, "there is more in the candle-flame than the gas that comes out of the candle. You know a candle won't burn without air. There must be always air around the gas, and touching it like, to make it burn. If a candle hasn't got enough air, it goes out, or burns badly, so that some of the vapor inside of the flame comes out through it in the form of smoke, and this is the reason of a candle smoking. So now you know why a great clumsy dip smokes more than a neat wax candle; it is because the [pg 294] thick wick of the dip makes too much fuel in proportion to the air that can get to it."

"Dear me! Well, I suppose there is a reason for everything," exclaimed the young philosopher's mamma.

"What should you say now," continued Harry, "if I told you that the smoke that comes out of a candle is the very thing that makes a candle light? Yes; a candle shines by consuming its own smoke. The smoke of a candle is a cloud of small dust, and the little grains of the dust are bits of charcoal, or carbon, as chemists call it. They are made in the flame, and burnt in the flame, and, while burning, make the flame bright. They are burnt the moment they are made; but the flame goes on making more of them as fast as it burns them: and that is how it keeps bright. The place they are made in, is in the ease of flame itself, where the strong heat is. The great heat separates them from the gas which conies from the melted wax, and, as soon as they touch the air on the outside of the thin case of flame, they burn."

"Can you tell how it is that the little bits of carbon came the brightness of the flame?" asked Mr. Wilkinson.

"Because they are pieces of solid matter," answered Harry. "To make a flame shine, there must always be some solid—or at least liquid-matter in it."

"Very good." said Mr. Bagges,—"solid stuff necessary to brightness."

"Some gases and other things," resumed Harry, "that burn with a flame you can hardly see, burn splendidly when something solid is put into them. Oxygen and hydrogen—tell me if I use too hard words, uncle—oxygen and hydrogen gases, if mixed together and blown through a pipe, burn with plenty of heat but with very little light. But if their flame is blown upon a piece of quick-lime, it gets so bright as to be quite dazzling, Make the smoke of oil of turpentine pass through the same flame, and it gives the flame a beautiful brightness directly."

"I wonder," observed Uncle Bagges, "what has made you such a bright youth."

"Taking after uncle, perhaps," retorted his nephew. "Don't put my candle and me out. Well, carbon, or charcoal is what causes the brightness of all lamps, and candles, and other common lights; so, of course, there is carbon in what they are all made of."

"So carbon is smoke, eh? and light is owing to your carbon. Giving light out of smoke, eh? as they say in the classics," observed Mr. Bagges.

"But what becomes of the candle," pursued Harry, "as it burns away? where does it go?"

"Nowhere," said his mamma, "I should think. It burns to nothing."

"Oh, dear, no!" said Harry, "everything—everybody goes somewhere."

"Eh!—rather an important consideration, that," Mr. Bagges moralized.

"You can see it goes into smoke, which makes soot, for one thing," pursued Harry. "There are other things it goes into, not to be seen by only looking, but you can get to see them by taking the right means,—just put your hand over the candle, uncle."

"Thank you, young gentleman, I had rather be excused."

"Not close enough down to burn you, uncle; higher up. There—you feel a stream of hot air; so something seems to rise from the candle. Suppose you were to put a very long slender gas-burner over the flame, and let the flame burn just within the end of it, as if it were a chimney,—some of the hot steam would go up and come out at the top, but a sort of dew would be left behind in the glass chimney, if the chimney was cold enough when you put it on. There are ways of collecting this sort of dew, and when it is collected it turns out to be really water. I am not joking, uncle. Water is one of the things which the candle turns into in burning,—water coming out of fire. A jet of oil gives above a pint of water in burning. In some lighthouses they burn, Professor Faraday says, up to two gallons of oil in a night, and if the windows are cold the steam from the oil clouds the inside of the windows, and, in frosty weather, freezes into ice."

"Water out of a candle, eh?" exclaimed Mr. Bagges. "As hard to get, I should have thought, as blood out of a post. Where does it come from?"

"Part from the wax, and part from the air, and yet not a drop of it comes either from the air or the wax. What do you make of that, uncle?"

"Eh? Oh! I'm no hand at riddles. Give it up."

"No riddle at all, uncle. The part that comes from the wax isn't water, and the part that comes from the air isn't water, but when put together they become water. Water is a mixture of two things then. This can be shown. Put some iron wire or turnings into a gun barrel open at both ends. Heat the middle of the barrel red-hot in a little furnace. Keep the heat up, and send the steam of boiling water through the red-hot gun barrel. What will come out at the other end of the barrel won't be steam; it will be gas, which doesn't turn to water again when it gets cold, and which burns if you put a light to it. Take the turnings out of the gun-barrel, and you will find them changed to rust, and heavier than when they were put in. Part of the water is the gas that comes out of the barrel, the other part is what mixes with the iron turnings, and changes them to rust, and makes them heavier. You can fill a Wadder with the gas that comes out of the gun-barrel, or you can pass bubbles of it up into a jar of water turned upside down in a trough, and, as I said, you can make this part of the water burn."

"Eh?" cried Mr. Bagges. "Upon my word! One of these day, we shall have you setting the Thames on fire."

[pg 295]

"Nothing more easy," said Harry, "than to burn part of the Thames, or of any other water; I mean the gas that I have just told you about, which is called hydrogen. In burning, hydrogen produces water again, like the flame of a candle. Indeed, hydrogen is that part of the water formed by a candle burning, that comes from the wax. All things that have hydrogen in them produce water in burning, and the more there is in them the more they produce. When pure hydrogen burns, nothing comes from it but water, no smoke or soot at all. If you were to burn one ounce of it, the water you would get would be just nine ounces. There are many ways of making hydrogen besides out of steam by the hot gun-barrel. I could show it you in a moment by pouring a little sulphuric acid mixed with water into a bottle upon a few zinc or steel filings, and putting a cork in the bottle with a little pipe through it, and setting fire to the gas that would come from the mouth of the pipe. We should find the flame very hot, but having scarcely any brightness. I should like you to see the curious qualities of hydrogen, particularly how light it is, so as to carry things up in the air; and I wish I had a small balloon to fill with it, and make go up to the ceiling, or a bag-pipe full of it to blow soap-bubbles with, and show how much faster they rise than common ones, blown with the breath."

"So do I," interposed Master Tom.

"And so," resumed Harry, "hydrogen, you know, uncle, is part of water, and just one-ninth part."

"As hydrogen is to water, so is a tailor to an ordinary individual, eh?" Mr. Bagges remarked.

"Well, now then, uncle, if hydrogen is the tailor's part of the water, what are the other eight parts? The iron turnings used to make hydrogen in the gun-barrel, and rusted, take just those eight parts from the water in the shape of steam, and are so much the heavier. Burn iron turnings in the air, and they make the same rust, and gain just the same in weight. So the other eight parts must be found in the air for one thing, and in the rusted iron turnings for another, and they must also be in the water; and now the question is, how to get at them?"

"Out of the water? Fish for them, I should say," suggested Mr. Bagges.

"Why, so we can," said Harry. "Only, instead of hooks and lines, we must use wires—two wires, one from one end, the other from the other, of a galvanic battery. Put the points of these wires into water, a little distance apart, and they instantly take the water to pieces. If they are of copper, or a metal that will rust easily, one of them begins to rust, and air-bubbles come up from the other. These bubbles are hydrogen. The other part of the water mixes with the end of the wire and makes rust. But if the wires are of gold, or a metal that does not rust easily, air-bubbles rise from the ends of both wires. Collect the bubbles from both wires in a tube, and fire them, and they turn to water again; and this water is exactly the same weight as the quantity that has been changed into the two gases. Now then, uncle, what should you think water was composed of?"

"Eh? well—I suppose of those very identical two gases, young gentleman."

"Right, uncle. Recollect that the gas from one of the wires was hydrogen, the one-ninth of water. What should you guess the gas from the other wire to be?"

"Stop—eh?—wait a bit—eh?—oh! why, the other eight-ninths, to be sure."

"Good again, uncle. Now this gas that is eight-ninths of water is the gas called oxygen that I mentioned just now. This is a very curious gas. It won't burn in air at all itself, like gas from a lamp, but it has a wonderful power of making things burn that are lighted and put into it. If you fill a jar with it—"

"How do you manage that?" Mr. Bagges inquired.

"You fill the jar with water," answered Harry, "and you stand it upside down in a vessel full of water too. Then you let bubbles of the gas up into the jar, and they turn out the water and take its place. Put a stopper in the neck of the jar, or hold a glass plate against the mouth of it, and you can take it out of the water and so have bottled oxygen. A lighted candle put into a jar of oxygen blazes up directly, and is consumed before you can say Jack Robinson. Charcoal burns away in it as fast, with beautiful bright sparks—phosphorus with a light that dazzles you to look at—and a piece of iron or steel just made red-hot at the end first, is burnt in oxygen quicker than a stick would be in common air. The experiment of burning things in oxygen beats any fire-works."

"Oh, how jolly!" exclaimed Tom.

"Now we see, uncle," Harry continued, "that water is hydrogen and oxygen united together, that water is got wherever hydrogen is burnt in common air, that a candle won't burn without air, and that when a candle burns there is hydrogen in it burning, and forming water. Now, then, where does the hydrogen of the candle get the oxygen from, to turn into water with it?"

"From the air, eh?"

"Just so. I can't stop to tell you of the other things which there is oxygen in, and the many beautiful and amusing ways of getting it. But as there is oxygen in the air, and as oxygen makes things burn at such a rate, perhaps you wonder why air does not make things burn as fast as oxygen. The reason is, that there is something else in the air that mixes with the oxygen and weakens it."

"Makes a sort of gaseous grog of it, eh?" said Mr. Bagges. "But how is that proved?"

"Why, there is a gas, called nitrous gas, which, if you mix it with oxygen, takes all the oxygen into itself, and the mixture of the [pg 296] nitrous gas and oxygen, if you put water with it, goes into the water. Mix nitrous gas and air together in a jar over water, and the nitrous gas takes away the oxygen, and then the water sucks up the mixed oxygen and nitrous gas, and that part of the air which weakens the oxygen is left behind. Burning phosphorus in confined air will also take all the oxygen from it, and there are other ways of doing the same thing. The portion of the air left behind is called nitrogen. You wouldn't know it from common air by the look; it has no color, taste, nor smell, and it won't burn. But things won't burn in it, either; and anything on fire put into it goes out directly. It isn't fit to breathe, and a mouse, or any animal, shut up in it, dies. It isn't poisonous, though; creatures only die in it for want of oxygen. We breathe it with oxygen, and then it does no harm, but good: for if we breathed pure oxygen, we should breathe away so violently, that we should soon breathe our life out. In the same way, if the air were nothing but oxygen, a candle would not last above a minute.

"What a tallow-chandler's bill we should have!" remarked Mrs. Wilkinson.

"'If a house were on fire in oxygen,' as Professor Faraday said, 'every iron bar, or rafter, or pillar, every nail and iron tool, and the fire-place itself; all the zinc and copper roofs, and leaden coverings, and gutters, and pipes, would consume and burn, increasing the combustion.'"

"That would be, indeed, burning 'like a house on fire,'" observed Mr. Bagges.

"'Think,'" said Harry, continuing his quotation, "'of the Houses of Parliament, or a steam-engine manufactory. Think of an iron proof-chest no proof against oxygen. Think of a locomotive and its train,—every engine, every carriage, and even every rail would be set on fire and burnt up.' So now, uncle, I think you see what the use of nitrogen is, and especially how it prevents a candle from burning out too fast."

"Eh?" said Mr. Bagges. "Well, I will say I do think we are under considerable obligations to nitrogen."

"I have explained to you, uncle," pursued Harry, "how a candle, in burning, turns into water. But it turns into something else. besides that. There is a stream of hot air going up from it that won't condense into dew; some of that is the nitrogen of the air which the candle has taken all the oxygen from. But there is more in it than nitrogen. Hold a long glass tube over a candle, so that the stream of hot air from it may go up through the tube. Hold a jar over the end of the tube to collect some of the stream of hot air. Put some lime-water, which looks quite clear, into the jar; stop the jar, and shake it up. The lime-water, which was quite clear before, turns milky. Then there is something made by the burning of the candle that changes the color of the lime-water. That is a gas, too, and you can collect it, and examine it. It is to be got from several things, and is a part of all chalk, marble, and the shells of eggs or of shell-fish. The easiest way to make it is by pouring muriatic or sulphuric acid on chalk or marble. The marble or chalk begins to hiss or bubble, and you can collect the bubbles in the same way that you can oxygen. The gas made by the candle in burning, and which also is got out of the chalk and marble, is called carbonic acid. It puts out a light in a moment; it kills any animal that breathes it, and it is really poisonous to breathe, because it destroys life even when mixed with a pretty large quantity of common air. The bubbles made by beer when it ferments, are carbonic acid, so is the air that fizzes out of soda-water, and it is good to swallow though it is deadly to breathe. It is got from chalk by burning the chalk as well as by putting acid to it, and burning the carbonic acid out of chalk makes the chalk lime. This is why people are killed sometimes by getting in the way of the wind that blows from lime-kilns."

"Of which it is advisable carefully to keep to the windward." Mr. Wilkinson observed.

"The most curious thing about carbonic acid gas," proceeded Harry, "is its weight. Although it is only a sort of air, it is so heavy that you can pour it from one vessel into another. You may dip a cup of it and pour it down upon a candle, and it will put the candle out, which would astonish an ignorant person; because carbonic acid gas is as invisible as the air, and the candle seems to be put out by nothing. A soap-bubble or common air floats on it like wood on water. Its weight is what makes it collect in brewers' vats; and also in wells, where it is produced naturally; and owing to its collecting in such places it causes the deaths we so often hear about of those who go down into them without proper care. It is found in many springs of water, more or less; and a great deal of it comes out of the earth in some places. Carbonic acid gas is what stupefies the dogs in the Grotto del Cane. Well, but how is carbonic acid gas made by the candle?"

"I hope with your candle you'll throw some light upon the subject," said Uncle Bagges.

"I hope so," answered Harry. "Recollect it is the burning of the smoke, or soot, or carbon of the candle, that makes the candle-flame bright. Also that the candle won't burn without air. Likewise that it will not burn in nitrogen, or air that has been deprived of oxygen. So the carbon of the candle mingles with oxygen, in burning, to make carbonic acid gas; just as the hydrogen does to form water. Carbonic acid gas, then, is carbon or charcoal dissolved in oxygen. Here is black soot getting invisible and changing into air; and this seems strange, uncle, doesn't it?"

"Ahem! Strange, if true," answered Mr. Bagges. "Eh? Well! I suppose it's all right."

"Quite so, uncle. Burn carbon or charcoal either in the air or in oxygen, and it is sure always to make carbonic acid, and nothing [pg 297] else, if it is dry. No dew or mist gathers in a cold glass jar if you burn dry charcoal in it. The charcoal goes entirely into carbonic acid gas, and leaves nothing behind but ashes, which are only earthy stuff that was in the charcoal, but not part of the charcoal itself. And now, shall I tell you something about carbon?"

"With all my heart," assented Mr. Bagges.

"I said that there was carbon or charcoal in all common lights, so there is in every common kind of fuel. If you heat coal or wood away from the air, some gas comes away, and leaves behind coke from coal, and charcoal from wood; both carbon, though not pure. Heat carbon as much as you will in a close vessel, and it does not change in the least; but let the air get to it, and then it burns and flies off in carbonic acid gas. This makes carbon so convenient for fuel. But it is ornamental as well as useful, uncle. The diamond is nothing else than carbon."

"The diamond, eh! You mean the black diamond."

"No: the diamond, really and truly. The diamond is only carbon in the shape of a crystal."

"Eh? and can't some of your clever chemists crystalize a little bit of carbon, and make a Koh-i-noor?"

"Ah, uncle, perhaps we shall, some day. In the mean time I suppose we must be content with making carbon so brilliant as it is in the flame of a candle. Well; now you see that a candle-flame is vapor burning, and the vapor, in burning, turns into water and carbonic acid gas. The oxygen of both the carbonic acid gas and the water comes from the air, and the hydrogen and carbon together are the vapor. They are distilled out of the melted was by the heat. But, you know, carbon alone can't be distilled by any heat. It can be distilled, though, when it is joined with hydrogen, as it is in the wax, and then the mixed hydrogen and carbon rise in gas of the same kind as the gas in the streets, and that also is distilled by heat from coal. So a candle is a little gas manufactory in itself, that burns the gas as fast as it makes it."

"Haven't you pretty nearly come to your candle's end'!" said Mr. Wilkinson.

"Nearly. I only want to tell uncle, that the burning of a candle is almost exactly like our breathing. Breathing is consuming oxygen, only not so fast as burning. In breathing we throw out water in vapor and carbonic acid from our lungs, and take oxygen in. Oxygen is as necessary to support the life of the body, as it is to keep up the flame of a candle."

"So," said Mr. Bagges, "man is a candle, eh? and Shakspeare knew that, I suppose, (as he did most things,) when he wrote

'Out, out, brief candle!'

"Well, well; we old ones are moulds, and you young squires are dips and rushlights, eh? Any more to tell us about the candle?"

"I could tell you a great deal more about oxygen, and hydrogen, and carbon, and water, and breathing, that Professor Faraday said, if I had time; but you should go and hear him yourself, uncle."

"Eh? well! I think I will. Some of us seniors may learn something from a juvenile lecture, at any rate, if given by a Faraday. And now, my boy. I will tell you what," added Mr. Bagges, "I am very glad to find you so fond of study and science; and you deserve to be encouraged: and so I'll give you a what-d'ye-call-it'?—a Galvanic Battery, on your next birth-day; and so much for your teaching your old uncle the chemistry of a candle."

[From a Review of Griswold's Prose Writers of America, in the Southern Literary Messenger.]



Mr. Webster is properly selected as the representative of the best sense, and highest wisdom, and most consummate dignity, of the politics and oratory of the present times, because his great intelligence has continued to be so finely sensitive to all the influences that stir the action and speculation of the country.

With elements of reason, definite, absolute, and emphatic; with principles settled, strenuous, deep and unchangeable as his being; his wisdom is yet exquisitely practical: with subtlest sagacity it apprehends every change in the circumstances in which it is to act, and can accommodate its action without loss of vigor, or alteration of its general purpose. Its theories always "lean and hearken" to the actual. By a sympathy of the mind, almost transcendental in its delicacy, its speculations are attracted into a parallelism with the logic of life and nature. In most men, that intellectual susceptibility by which they are capable of being reacted upon by the outer world, and having their principles and views expanded, modified or quickened, does not outlast the first period of life; from that time they remain fixed and rigid in their policy, temper and characteristics; if a new phase of society is developed, it must find its exponent in other men. But in Webster this fresh suggestive sensibility of the judgment has been carried on into the matured and determined wisdom of manhood. His perceptions, feelings, reasonings, tone, are always up to the level of the hour, or in advance of it; sometimes far, very far in advance, as in the views thrown out in his speech at Baltimore, on an international commercial system, in which he showed that he then foresaw both the fate of the tariff and the fallacy of free-trade. No man has ever been able to say, or now can say, that he is before Webster. The youngest men in the nation look to him, not as representing the past, but as leading in the future.

This practicalness and readiness of adaptation are instinctive, not voluntary and designed. They are united with the most decided preference for certain opinions and the most earnest averseness to others. Nothing [pg 298] can be less like Talleyrand's system of waiting for events. He has never, in view of a change which he saw to be inevitable, held himself in reserve and uncommitted. What Webster is at any time, that he is strenuously, entirely, openly. He has first opposed, with every energy of his mind and temper, that which, when it has actually come, he is ready to accept, and make the best of. He never surrenders in advance a position which knows will be carried; he takes his place, and delivers battle; he fights as one who is fighting the last battle of his country's hopes; he fires the last shot. When the smoke and tumult are cleared off, where is Webster! Look around for the nearest rallying point which the view presents; there he stands, with his hand upon his heart, in grim composure; calm, dignified, resolute; neither disheartened nor surprised by defeat. "Leaving the things that are behind," is now the trumpet-sound by which he rallies his friends to a new confidence, and stimulates them to fresh efforts. It is obvious that Webster, when contending with all his force for or against some particular measure, has not been contemplating the probability of being compelled to oppose or defend a different policy, and, so, choosing his words warily, in reference to future possibilities of a personal kind: yet when the time has come that he has been obliged to fight with his face in another direction, it has always been found that no one principle had been asserted, no one sentiment displayed, incompatible with his new positions. This union of consistency with practicability has arisen naturally from the extent and comprehensiveness of his views, from the breadth and generality with which the analytical power of his understanding has always led him to state his principles and define his position. From the particular scheme or special maxim which his party was insisting upon, his mind rose to a higher and more general formula of truth.

Owing to the same superior penetration and reach of thought, the gloom of successive repulses has never been able to paralyze the power which it has saddened. The constitution has been so often invaded and trampled upon, that to a common eye it might well seem to have lost all the resentments of vitality. But Webster has distinguished between the constitution and its administration. He has seen that the constitution, though in bondage, is not killed; that the channels of its life-giving wisdom are stuffed up with rubbish, but not obliterated. He has been determined that if the rulers of the country will deny the truth, they shall not debauch it; if they depart from the constitution, they shall not deprave it. He has been resolved, that when this tyranny of corruption shall be overpast, and the constitution draws again its own free breath of virtue, truth and wisdom, it shall be found perfect of limb and feature, prepared to rise like a giant refreshed by sleep.

Mr. Griswold, we suppose, is quite right in suggesting that the only name in modern times to which reference can with any fitness be made for purposes of analogy or comparison with Webster is that of Burke. In many respects there is a correspondence between their characters; in some others they differ widely. As a prophet of the truth of political morals, as a revealer of those essential elements in the constitution of life, upon which, or of which, society is constructed and government evolved, Burke had no peer. In that department he rises into the distance and grandeur of inspiration; nil mortote sonans. Nor do we doubt that the Providence of God had raised him up for the purposes of public safety and guidance, any more than we doubt the mission of Jeremiah or Elisha, or any other of the school of the Lord's prophets. But leaving Burke unapproached in this region of the nature and philosophy of government, and looking at him, in his general career, as a man of intellect and action, we might indicate an analogy of this kind, that the character, temper and reason of Burke seem to be almost an image of the English constitution, and Webster's of the American. To get the key to Burke's somewhat irregular and startling career, it is necessary, to study the idea of the old whig constitution of the English monarchy: viewing his course from that point of view, we comprehend his almost countenancing and encouraging rebellion in the case of the American colonies; his intense hostility to Warren Hastings' imperial system; his unchastised earnestness in opposition to French maxims in the decline of his life. The constitution of the United States, that most wonderful of the emanations of providential wisdom, seems to be not only the home of Webster's affections and seat of his proudest hopes, but the very type of his understanding and fountain of his intellectual strength:

——"hic illius arma;——

Hic currus."

The genius of Burke, like the one, was inexhaustible in resources, so composite and so averse from theory as to appear incongruous, but justified in the result; not formal, not always entirely perspicuous. Webster's mind, like the other, is eminently logical, reduced into principles, orderly, distinct, reconciling abstraction with convenience, various in manifestation, yet pervaded by an unity of character.

Mr. Webster has not merely illustrated a great range of mental powers and accomplishments, but has filled, in the eye of the nation, on a great scale, and to the farthest reach of their exigency, a diversity of intellectual characters; while the manner in which Burke's wisdom displayed itself was usually the same. We cannot suppose that Burke could have been a great lawyer. Webster possesses a consummate legal judgment and prodigious powers of legal logic, and is felt to be the highest authority on a great question of law in this country. The [pg 299] demonstrative faculty; the capacity to analyze and open any proposition so as to identify its separate elements with the very consciousness of the reader's or hearer's mind; this, which is the lawyer's peculiar power, had not been particularly developed in Burke, but exists in Webster in greater expansion and force than in any one since Doctor Johnson, who, it always appeared to us, had he been educated for the bar, would have made the greatest lawyer that ever led the decisions of Westminster-Hall. We should hardly be justified in saying that Burke would have made a great First Lord of the Treasury. Mr. Webster, as Secretary of State, proved himself to be a practical statesman of the highest; finest, promptest sagacity and foresight that this or any nation ever witnessed. Who now doubts the surpassing wisdom, who now but reverences the exalted patriotism, of the advice and the example which he gave, but gave in vain, to the Whig party at the beginning of Mr. Tyler's administration? His official correspondence would be lowered by a comparison with any state papers since the secretaryship of John Marshall. Does the public generally know what has become of that portentous difficulty about the Right of Search, upon which England and America, five years ago, were on the point of being "lento collisæ duello." Mr. Webster settled it by mere force of mind: he dissipated the Question, by seeing through it, and by compelling others to see a fallacy in its terms which before had imposed upon the understanding of two nations. In the essential and universal philosophy of politics, Webster is second only to Burke. After Burke, there is no statesman whose writings might be read with greater advantage by foreign nations, or would have been studied with so much respect by antiquity, as Webster's.

In a merely literary point of view, this perhaps may be said of Mr. Webster, that he is the only powerful and fervid orator, since the glorious days of Greece, whose style is so disciplined that any of his great public harangues might be used as models of composition. His language is beautifully pure, and his combinations of it exhibit more knowledge of the genius, spirit, and classic vigor of the English tongue, than it has entered the mind of any professor of rhetoric to apprehend. As the most impetuous sweeps of passion in him are pervaded and informed and guided by intellect, so the most earnest struggles of intellect seem to be calmed and made gentle in their vehemence, by a more essential rationality of taste. That imperious mind, which seems fit to defy the universe, is ever subordinate, by a kind of fascination, to the perfect law of grace. In the highest of his intellectual flights—and who can follow the winged rush of that eagle mind?—in the widest of his mental ranges-and who shall measure their extent?—he is ever moving within the severest line of beauty. No one would think of saying that Mr. Webster's speeches are thrown off with ease, and cost him but little effort; they are clearly the result of the intensest stress of mental energy; yet the manner is never discomposed; the decency and propriety of the display never interfered with; he is always greater than his genius; you see "the depth out not the tumult" of the mind. Whether, with extended arm, he strangles the "reluctantes dracones" of democracy, or with every faculty called home, concentrates the light and heat of his being in developing into principles those great sentiments and great instincts which are his inspiration; in all, the orator stands forth with the majesty and chastened grace of Pericles himself. In the fiercest of encounters with the deadliest of foes, the mind, which is enraged, is never perturbed; the style, which leaps like the fire of heaven, is never disordered. As in Guido's picture of St. Michael piercing the dragon, while the gnarled muscles of the arms and hands attest the utmost strain of the strength, the countenance remains placid, serene, and undisturbed. In this great quality of mental dignity, Mr. Webster's speeches have become more and more eminent. The glow and luster which set his earlier speeches a-blaze with splendor, is in his later discourses rarely let forth; but they have gained more, in the increase of dignity, than they have parted with in the diminution of brilliancy. We regard his speech before the shop-keepers, calling themselves merchants, of Philadelphia, as one of the most weighty and admirable of the intellectual efforts of his life. The range of profound and piercing wisdom; the exquisite and faultless taste; but above all, the august and indefectible dignity, that are illustrated from the beginning to the end of that great display of matured and finished strength, leave us in mingled wonder and reverence. There is one sentence there which seems to us almost to reach the intellectual sublime; and while it stirs within us the depths of sympathy and admiration, we could heartily wish that the young men of America would inhale the almost supra-mortal spirit which it breathes: "I would not with any idolatrous admiration regard the Constitution of the United States, nor any other work of man; but this side of idolatry, I hold it in profound respect. I believe that no human working on such a subject, no human ability exerted for such an end, has ever produced so much happiness, or holds out now to so many millions of people the prospect, through such a succession of ages and ages, of so much happiness, as the Constitution of the United States. We who are here for one generation, for a single life, and yet in our several stations and relations in society intrusted in some degree with its protection and support, what duty does it devolve, what duty does it not devolve, upon us!" In the name of distant ages, and a remote posterity, we hail the author of this and similar orations, as Webster the Olympian.

[pg 300]

But we leave a subject which we have incidentally touched, sincerely disclaiming any attempt to estimate the character or define the greatness of Webster. In reference to him we feel, as Cicero said to Cæsar, "Nil vulgare te dignum videri possit."

[From the Athenæum.]


The vicissitudes of the war in the Caucasus of late have been surprising enough to awaken the interest of Western Europe, even amidst her own nearer anxieties. Last year it was said that the conquest of Achulgo, the stronghold of the redoubtable Schamyl, had effectually broken the power of that daring leader. In direct contradiction to such reports, later accounts from Daghestan tell of the reappearance of the notable partisan amidst the lines of the Russians, and of a defeat of the latter, the most severe, if the details of the event be true, that they have yet suffered in the Caucasus. In any case, these exciting changes of fortune would be in favor of a book professing to describe this interesting region, and to add to our knowledge of its brave inhabitants. The main interest of Herr Bodenstedt's work will now be enhanced by its undertaking to give a more precise account than had previously appeared of the priest-warrior of Daghestan. and of the new sect as the prophet of which he succeeded in arraying the independent mountain clans against their common enemy with a kind of combination unknown in earlier periods of the struggle.

The author has evidently lived for some time in the region which he describes, or in the bordering districts along the Caspian, both in Georgia and in North Daghestan, His acquaintance with Asiatic and Russian languages and customs appears to have been gained both by study and from intercourse with the natives of the south-eastern frontier. He is not ignorant of Oriental writings that refer to his subject; and his Russian statistics prove an access to official authorities which are not to be found in print. These, however obtained, can scarcely have been imparted to him as one of those writers whom the Court of St. Petersburg hires to promote its views through the press of Western Europe. His sympathies are declared against Russian usurpation; and the tendency of his essay is to prove how little real progress it has yet made in subduing the Caucasus, the enormous waste of money and life with which its fluctuating successes have been bought, and the fallacy of expecting a better result hereafter.

What it has cost in life on the Russian side to attack-hitherto with no lasting effect—the handful of Caucasian mountaineers, may be guessed from a single note, dated 1847: "The present Russian force in the Caucasus"—including of course, the armed Cossacks of the Kuban and Terek—"amounts to two hundred thousand." Taking into account the numbers yearly cut off by disease, more fatal even than the mountain war, every step of which must be won by the most reckless waste of life,—the "Russian Officer" may perhaps truly affirm that the annual expenditure of life by Russia, in her warfare with Schamyl, has for many years past exceeded the whole number of the population at any one time directly under the rule of that chieftain.

We have said that the most instructive part of Herr Bodenstedt's essay is his sketch of that politico-religious scheme which made Schamyl formidable to the Russians. This system, it is to be observed, arose and has since been fully developed only in the Eastern Caucasus, where of late the main stress of the war has been. The western tribes (our "Circassians") who took the lead at an earlier stage of the contest, were not then, nor have they since been, inspired by the fanatic zeal which united the tribes of Daghestan. They fought from a mere love of independence, each little republic by itself; and their efforts, however heroic, being without concert, gradually declined before the vast force of the invader. In the region looking westward from the Georgian frontier on the Euxine, on the one side of the Caucasian range, and along the lower Kuban on the other, the Russian posts are now seldom threatened but by small predatory bands; the natives, retired to their mountain villages, have for some time made but few more formidable incursions. The war is transferred to the region spreading eastward from the Elbrus to the Caspian; where the strife for free existence is animated not less by the hatred of Russian slavery than by a fresh outbreak of Mohammedan zeal against infidel invasion,—a revival, in fact, of that war-like fanaticism which made the Moslem name terrible from the eighth to the sixteenth century.

It dates from the years 1823-4; at which period a "new doctrine" began to be preached, secretly at first, to the select Uléma, afterward to greater numbers, in word and writing, by one Mullah Mohammed, a famous teacher and a judge (or kadi) of Jarach, in the Kurin district of Daghestan. He professed to have learnt it from Hadis-Ismail, an Alim of Kurdomir, highly famed for wisdom and sanctity. It laid bare the degradation into which his countrymen had sunk by irreligion and by the jealousy of sect; their danger, in consequence, from enemies of the true faith; and urged the necessity of reform in creed and practice, in order to regain the invincible character promised by the Prophet to believers. The theoretical part of the reformed doctrine seems to be a kind of Sufism,—the general character of which mode of Islam, long prevalent in the adjacent kingdom of Persia, has been described [pg 301] by our own orientalists. Disputed questions as to its origin, whether in Brahmin philosophy or in the reveries of Moslem mystics, cannot be discussed here; it must suffice to indicate those points which appear to connect it with the hieratic policy that has given a new aspect to the war in the Caucasus.

Proceeding nominally on the basis of the Koran, it inculcates or expounds a kind of spiritual transcendentalism; in which the adept is raised above the necessity of formal laws, which are only requisite for those who are not capable of rising to a full intelligence of the supreme power. To gain this height, by devout contemplation, must be the personal work and endeavor of each individual. The revelation of divine truth, once attained, supersedes specific moral injunctions; ceremonies and systems, even, of religion, become indifferent to the mind illuminated by the sacred idea. A higher degree is the perfect conception or ecstatic vision of the Deity;—the highest-reserved only for the prophetic few—a real immediate union with his essence. Here, it will be seen, are four steps or stages, each of which has its sacred manual or appropriate system of teaching. In the hieratic system, of which Schamyl is the head, the divisions seem to correspond pretty nearly with this arrangement, as follows:—

The first includes the mass of the armed people; whose zeal it promotes by strict religious and moral injunctions enjoining purity of life, exact regard to the ritual of the Koran, teaching pilgrimages, fasting, ablutions; the duty of implacable war against the Infidel, the sin of enduring his tyranny.

The second is composed of those, who, in virtue of striving upward to a higher Divine intelligence, are elevated above ceremonial religion. Of these the Murids (seekers or strugglers,) are formed: a body of religious warriors attached to the Imam, whose courage in battle, raised to a kind of frenzy, despises numbers and laughs at death. To accept quarter, or to fly from the Infidel, is forbidden to this class.

The third includes the more perfect acolytes, who are presumed to have risen to the ecstatic view of the Deity. These are the elect, whom the Imam makes Naibs or vice-regents,—invested with nearly absolute power in his absence.

The fourth, or highest, implying entire union with the Divine essence, is held by Schamyl alone. In virtue of this elevation and spiritual endowment, the Imam, as an immediate organ of the Supreme Will, is himself the source of all law to his followers, unerring, impeccable; to question or disobey his behests is a sin against religion, as well as a political crime. It may be seen what advantage this system must have given to Schamyl in his conflict with the Russians. The doctrine of the indifference of sects and forms enabled him to unite the divided followers of Omar and of Ali, in a region where both abound, and where the schism had formerly been one of the most effectual instruments of the enemy. The belief in a Divine mission and spiritual powers sustains his adherents in all reverses; while it invites to defection from the Russian side those of the Mohammedan tribes who have submitted to the invader. Among these, however, Schamyl, like his predecessors in the same priestly office, by no means confides the progress of his sect to spiritual influences only. The work of conversion, where exhortation fails, is carried on remorselessly by fire and sword; and the Imam is as terrible to those of his countrymen whom fear or interest retains in alliance with Russia, as to the soldiers of the Czar. With a character in which extreme daring is allied with coolness, cunning, and military genius, with a good fortune which has hitherto preserved his life in many circumstances where escape seemed impossible,—it may be seen that the belief in his supernatural gifts and privileges, once created, must always tend to increase in intensity and effect among the imaginative and credulous Mohammedans of the Caucasus; and that this apt combination of the warrior with the politician and prophet accounts for his success in combining against the Russians a force of the once discordant tribes of Daghestan, possessing more of the character of a national resistance than had been ever known before in the Caucasus,—and compelling the invaders to purchase every one of their few, trifling, and dubious advances by the terrible sacrifice of life already noticed.

In this formidable movement the highlander's natural freedom is fanned into a blaze by a religious zeal like that which once led the armies of Islam over one half of Asia and Europe. Although it reached its highest energy and a more consummate development under Schamyl, it was begun by his predecessors. Of the Mullah Mohammed, who first preached the duty of casting off the yoke of the Giaour, and the necessity of a religious reform and union of rival sects, as a means to that end, we have already spoken. This founder of the new system, an aged man, untrained in arms, never himself drew the sword in the cause; but was active in diffusing its principles and preparing a warlike rising by exhortations and letters circulated through all Daghestan. Suspected of these designs, he was seized, in 1826, by the orders of Jermoloff; and although be escaped,—by the connivance, it is said, of the native prince employed to capture him,—he afterward lived, in a kind of concealment, for some years. The post of Imam was thereupon assumed by a priest who was able to fight for the new doctrine as well as to preach it. The first armed outbreak took place under Kasi-Mullah, about the year 1829; from which time, until his death in a battle at Himry, in 1831, he waged a terrible, and, although often defeated, a virtually [pg 302] successful warfare, against the Russians, while he prosecuted the work of conversion among the tribes of Islam who delayed to acknowledge his mission, and to join in his enmity to the Russians, by the extremities of bloodshed and rapine. His death, after an heroic resistance, was hailed as a triumph by the Russians. They counted on the extinction of the new sect in the defeat of its leader, whose dead body they carried about the country to prove the imposture of his pretensions. This piece of barbarism produced an effect the reverse of what they expected. The venerable face of the Imam, the attitude in which he had expired, with one hand pointed as if to heaven, was more impressive to those who crowded round the body than his fearless enthusiasm had been,—and thousands who till then had held aloof, now joined his followers in venerating him as a prophet. Of this first warrior-priest of Daghestan, Schamyl was the favorite disciple and the most trusted soldier. Kasi-Mullah was not killed until Schamyl had already fallen as it seemed, under several deadly wounds:—his reappearance after this bloody scene was but the first of many similar escapes, the report of which sounds like a fable. He did not, however, at once succeed to the dignity of Imam: the office was usurped for more than a year by Hamsad Beg (Bey), whose rapacious and savage treatment of some of the princely families of Daghestan nearly caused a fatal reaction against the new sect, and the destruction of its main support, the Murids. Hamsad Beg performed no action of consequence against the Russians; but expended his rage upon the natives allied with them, or reluctant to obey his mandates. He was assassinated in 1834, by some kinsmen of a princely house whose territories he had usurped after a massacre of its princes. In the affray which took place on this occasion, there perished with him many of the fanatic Murids, who had become odious as instruments of the cruelties of their Imam. On his death, Schamyl was raised to the dignity,—but it was some time before the mischief done by his predecessor was so far repaired as to allow him to act with energy as the prophet of the new doctrine. One of the ill effects of Hamsad Beg's iniquities had been the defection to the Russians of n notable partisan—Hadjii Murad—for many years a fatal thorn in the side of the independent party.6 This and other difficulties, among which was the unpopularity of the Murids under Hamsad Beg, were removed by new alliances and precautions, while all that eloquence and skill could perform was applied to restore the credit of the religious system, before Schamyl could hazard a direct attack of the Russian enemy, who meanwhile had taken advantage of the delay and disunion to gain ground in many parts of Daghestan. From the year 1839, however, the tide rapidly turned; and the result, from that date until the period at which the account closes (1845)—when Woronzow was appointed to command in the Caucasus, with nearly unlimited powers,—has been, that the Russians, in spite of tremendous sacrifices, were constantly losing ground and influence, while Schamyl gained both in equal proportion. The details of the campaigns during this interval are highly interesting; and we regret that conditions of space forbid us to translate some of the exciting episodes recorded by Herr Bodenstedt. We may, however, extract the following account of the Caucasian hero,—whose portrait, we believe, has never before been so fully exhibited to European readers;—

"Schamyl is of middle stature; he has light hair, gray eyes, shaded by bushy and well-arched eyebrows,—a nose finely moulded, and a small mouth. His features are distinguished from those of his race by a peculiar fairness of complexion and delicacy of skin: the elegant form of his hands and feet is not less remarkable. The apparent stiffness of his arms, when he walks, is a sign of his stern and impenetrable character. His address is thoroughly noble and dignified. Of himself he is completely master; and he exerts a tacit supremacy over all who approach him. An immovable stony calmness, which never forsakes him, even in moments of the utmost danger, broods over his countenance. He passes a sentence of death with the same composure with which he distributes "the sabre of honor" to his bravest Murids, after a bloody encounter. With traitors or criminals whom he has resolved to destroy, he will converse without betraying the least sign of anger or vengeance. He regards himself as a mere instrument in the hands of a higher Being; and holds, according to the Sufi doctrine, that all his thoughts and determinations are immediate inspirations from God. The flow of his speech is as animating and irresistible as his outward appearance is awful and commanding. "He shoots flames from his eyes, and scatters flowers from his lips,"—said Bersek Bey, who sheltered him for some days after the fall of Achulgo,—when Schamyl dwelt for some time among the princes of the Djighetes and Ubiches, for the purpose of inciting the tribes on the Black Sea to rise against the Russians. Schamyl is now (circa 1847?) fifty years old, but still full of vigor and strength: it is however said, that he has for some years past suffered from an obstinate disease of the eyes, which is constantly growing worse. He fills the intervals of leisure which his public charges allow him, in reading the Koran, fasting, and prayer. Of late years he has but seldom, and then only on critical occasions, taken a personal share in warlike encounters. In spite of his almost supernatural activity, Schamyl is excessively [pg 303] severe and temperate in his habits. A few hours of sleep are enough for him: at times he will watch for the whole night, without Showing the least trace of fatigue on the following day. He eats little, and water is his only beverage. According to Mohammedan custom, he keeps several wives—[this contradicts Wagner, who affirms that Schamyl always confined himself to one]; in 1844 he had three, of which his favorite, Dur Heremen, (Pearl of the Harem) as she was called, was an Armenian, of exquisite beauty."

Will Russian arms prevail in the end? The following is Herr Bodenstedt's answer; after noticing the arrival of Woronzow, and the expectations raised by his talents, by the immense resources at his command, as well as by such events as the storm of Schamyl's stronghold of Cargo:—

"He who believes that the issue of this contest hangs on the destruction of stone fortresses, on the devastation of tracts of forest, has not yet conceived the essential nature of the war in the Caucasus. This is not merely a war of men against men—it is a strife between the mountain and the steppe. The population of the Caucasus may be changed; the air of liberty wafted from its heights will ever remain the same. Invigorated by this atmosphere, even Russian hirelings would grow into men eager for freedom: and among their descendants a new race of heroes would arise, to point their weapons against that servile constitution, to extend which their fathers had once fought, as blind, unquestioning slaves."

To this answer of Herr Bodenstedt's we will add nothing of our own. We are weary with waiting for the events of history such as we would have them.


An incident which occurred soon after the accession of the present Sultan, shows that, in some respects, at least, he is not indisposed to follow up the strong traditions of his race. At the beginning of his reign, the Ulema was resolved, if possible, to prevent the new Sultan from carrying on those reforms which had ever been so distasteful to the Turks, grating at once against their religious associations and their pride of race, and which recent events had certainly proved not to be productive of those good results anticipated by Sultan Mamoud. To attain this object, the Muftis adopted the expedient of working on the religious fears of the youthful prince. One day as he was praying, according to his custom, at his father's tomb, he heard a voice from beneath reiterating, in a stifled tone, the words, "I burn." The next time that he prayed there the same words assailed his ears. "I burn" was repeated again and again, and no word beside. He applied to the chief of the Imams to know what this prodigy might mean; and was informed in reply, that his father, though a great man, had also been, unfortunately, a great reformer, and that as such it was too much to be feared that he had a terrible penance to undergo in the other world. The Sultan sent for his brother-in-law to pray at the same place, and afterward several others of his household; and on each occasion the same portentous words were heard. One day he announced his intention of going in state to his father's tomb, and was attended thither by a splendid retinue, including the chief doctors of the Mahometan law. Again, during his devotions, were heard the words, "I burn," and all except the Sultan trembled. Rising from his prayer-carpet, he called in his guards, and commanded them to dig up the pavement and remove the tomb. It was in vain that the Muftis interposed, reprobating so great a profanation, and uttering warnings as to its consequences. The Sultan persisted, the foundations of the tomb were laid bare, and in a cavity skillfully left among them was found—not a burning Sultan, but a Dervise. The young monarch regarded him for a time fixedly and in silence, and then said, without any further remark or the slightest expression of anger, "You burn?—We must cool you in the Bosphorus." In a few minutes more the dervise was in a bag, and the bag immediately after was in the Bosphorus.—De Vere's Sketches.

[From Household Words.]


The rippling water, with its drowsy tone,—

The tall elms, tow 'ring in their stately pride,—

And—sorrow's type—the willow sad and lone,

Kissing in graceful woe the murmuring tide;—

The grey church-tower,—and dimly seen beyond,

The faint hills gilded by the parting sun,—

All were the same, and seem'd with greeting fond

To welcome me as they of old had done.

And for a while I stood as in a trance,

On that loved spot, forgetting toil and pain;—

Buoyant my limbs, and keen and bright my glance,

For that brief space I was a boy again!

Again with giddy mates I careless play'd,

Or plied the quiv'ring oar, on conquest bent:—

Again, beneath the tall elms' silent shade,

I woo'd the fair, and won the sweet consent.

But brief, alas! the spell,—for suddenly

Peal'd from the tower the old familiar chimes,

And with their clear, heart-thrilling melody,

Awaked the spectral forms of darker times

And I remember'd all that years had wrought—

How bow'd my care-worn frame, how dimm'd my eye,

How poor the gauds by Youth so keenly sought,

How quench'd and dull Youth's aspirations high!

And in half mournful, half upbraiding host,

Duties neglected—high resolves unkept—

And many a heart by death or falsehood lost,

In lightning current o'er my bosom swept.

Then bow'd the stubborn knees, as backward sped

The self-accusing thoughts in dread array,

And, slowly, from their long-congealed bed,

Forced the remorseful tears their silent way.

Bitter yet healing drops in mercy sent,

Like soft dews tailing on a thirsty plain,—

And ere those chimes their last faint notes had spent,

Strengthen'd and calm'd, I stood erect again.

Strengthen'd, the tasks allotted to fulfill;—

Calm'd the thick-coming sorrows to endure;

Fearful of nought but of my own frail will,—

In His Almighty strength and aid secure.

For a sweet voice had whisper'd hope to me,—

Had through my darkness shed a kindly ray;—

It said: "The past is fix'd immutably,

Yet is there comfort in the coming day!"

[pg 304]


At every stride I gained upon the giraffes, and, after a short burst at a swingeing gallop, I was in the middle of them, and turned the finest cow out of the herd. On finding herself driven from her comrades and hotly pursued, she increased her pace, and cantered along with tremendous strides, clearing an amazing extent of ground at every bound; while her neck and breast, coming in contact with the dead old branches of the trees, were continually strewing them in my path. In a few minutes I was riding within five yards of her stern, and, firing at a gallop, I sent a bullet into her back. Increasing my pace, I next rode alongside, and, placing the muzzle of my rifle within a few feet of her, I fired my second shot behind the shoulder; the ball, however, seemed to have little effect. I then placed myself directly in front, when she came to a walk. Dismounting, I hastily loaded both barrels, putting in double charges of powder. Before this was accomplished, she was off at a canter. In a short time I brought her to a stand in the dry bed of a watercourse, where I fired at fifteen yards, aiming where I thought the heart lay, upon which she again made off. Having loaded, I followed, and had very nearly lost her; she had turned abruptly to the left, and was far out of sight among the trees. Once more I brought her to a stand, and dismounted from my horse. There we stood together alone in the wild wood. I gazed in wonder at her extreme beauty, while her soft dark eye, with its silky fringe, looked down imploringly at me, and I really felt a pang of sorrow in this moment of triumph for the blood I was shedding. Pointing my rifle toward the skies, I sent a bullet through her neck. On receiving it she reared high on her hind legs and fell back with a heavy crash, making the earth shake around her. A thick stream of dark blood spouted out from the wound, her colossal limbs quivered for a moment, and she expired.—Cummings' Adventures.


Several journals have spoken of the entry into the Hotel des Invalides of a soldier, stated to be 126 years of age. This is not quite correct. The following are some precise details respecting this extraordinary man, who arrived at the Hotel on the 21st inst.:—Jean Kolombeski, born at Astrona (Poland), on the 1st of March, 1730, entered the service of France, as a volunteer in the Bourbon regiment of infantry, in 1774, at the age of forty-four. He was made corporal in 1790, at the age of sixty. He made all the campaigns of the Revolution and of the Empire, in different regiments of infantry, and was incorporated, in 1808, in the 3d regiment of the Vistula. He was wounded in 1814, and entered the hospital at Poitiers, which he soon afterward left to be placed en subsistence in the 2d regiment of light infantry. On the 11th of October of the same year he was admitted into the 1st company of sous-officiers sedentaires, and, in 1846, into the 5th company of Veteran Sub-Officers. The last three of these companies having just been suppressed by the Minister of War, Kolombeski was placed en subsistence in the 61st regiment of the line, received a retiring pension by decree of May 17, 1850, and the Minister authorized his admission into the Invalides. Kolombeski is, therefore, more than 120 years of age; he reckons seventy-five and a half years of service, and twenty-nine campaigns. He enjoys good health, is strong and well made, and does not appear to be more than seventy or eighty. He performed every duty with big comrades of the 5th company of Veterans, When King Louis Philippe visited Dreus, Kolombeski was presented to him, who, taking the decoration from his breast, presented it to the veteran soldier. This is the most astonishing instance of longevity that has, perhaps, been ever known in the army. The Marshal Governor of the Invalides ordered that Kolombeski should be brought to him on his arrival; but, as the old soldier was fatigued, he was taken to the infirmary, and the Governor, informed of it, went to his bedside with General Petit, the commandant of the hotel, and addressed the veteran in the kindest manner. The Governor has issued an order that, for the future, all centenarian soldiers admitted into the hospital shall mess with the officers, in order to show his respect for their age, and for the long services they have rendered to the state.—Galignani's Messenger.


The "Life of the Rev. Dr. Hugh Heugh" has a description of an interview which a deputation of Scotch dissenters had some years ago with Lord Brougham. The Scotsman adds, from its private knowledge, some odd incidents of the affair.

His lordship, on coming out of the court to meet the deputation, immediately on being informed of their object, burst out in a volley of exclamations to the effect that, but for dissent, there would be "No vital religion—no vital religion, gentlemen, no vital religion." While pouring forth this in a most solemn tone, he was all the while shaking violently the locked doors of a lobby full of committee rooms, into one of which he wished to find entrance, and calling for an absent official not only in passionate tones, but in phraseology which the reverend deputation, at first unwilling to trust their own ears, were at last forced to believe was nothing better than profane swearing. At last, he suddenly drew himself up to the wall opposite a locked door, and with a tremendous kick, smashed the lock, and entered (exclaiming, first in a vehement and then in a solemn tone, but without pause) "—that fellow! where the —— does he always go to! No vital religion, gentlemen, no vital religion—no, no, no."

Footnote 1: (return)

Trésor de Numismatique et de Glyptique; ou, Recueil Général de Médailles, Monnaies, Pierres Gravées, Sceaux, Bas-reliefs, Ornements, &c. Paris, 1850.

Footnote 2: (return)

"Lachrymis oculos effusa nitentes."

Footnote 3: (return)

The Prelude, or Growth of a Poet's Mind; an Autobiographical Poem. By William Wordsworth. London, Moxon. [New York, Appletons.]

Footnote 4: (return)

The Moohummadan Law of Sale, according to the Hunefeea Code: from the Futawa Alumgeeree, a Digest of the whole Law, prepared by command of the Emperor Aurungzebe Alumgeer. Selected and translated from the original Arabic, with an Introduction and explanatory Notes, by Neil B.E. Baillie, Author of "The Moohummadan Law of inheritance." Published by Smith and Elder.

Footnote 5: (return)

The people of the Caucasus, and their Struggle for Liberty with the Russians—(Die Volker des Caucasus, &c.) By Friedrich Bodenstedt. Second Edition. Frankfurt am Main, Lizius; London, Nutt.

Footnote 6: (return)

It is worth noting—as a characteristic of Russian misrule and of its consequences—that this chieftain, after having been a devoted soldier of the Emperor for seven years, was goaded by the ill treatment of his officers into abjuring the service; make the offer of his sword to Schamyl, against whom he had fought with the utmost animosity; was heartily welcomed by that prudent leader, and became one of his principal lieutenants.