The Project Gutenberg EBook of The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II by Various

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Title: The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II

Author: Various

Release Date: December 13, 2006 [Ebook #20102]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


[pg 145]


Of Literature, Art, and Science.

Vol. V.
No. II.


[pg 146]


On the preceding page is a portrait, and under the head of Recent Deaths, in another part of this magazine, is a sketch of the history of Nicholas Jean-de-Dieu Soult, the last of the great Marshals created by the Emperor Napoleon. He was unquestionably possessed of extraordinary abilities, fitting him for eminence in many and diverse capacities, but it cannot be said that he was of the first rank of illustrious generals, as the world has been led to suppose, chiefly by the masterly but partial delineations of his career in the Peninsula by General Napier. He had a genius for war which qualified him for every position in connection with it but that of leader in the field. The subtle and irreversible decisions of Napoleon followed his astonishingly quick apprehensions of facts, as suddenly as the thunderbolt follows lightning; but Soult, profoundly familiar with all the arts of war, and surpassing any of the great commanders with whom he was associated except only his chief, in the wisdom of his judgments, was yet so slow in his intellectual operations, so destitute of the enthusiasm, passion, and fire, which in high circumstance give an almost miraculous activity to the minds of the first order of men, that he could never have entitled himself to all the precedences he has received in history. Napoleon understood him, and in a few pregnant words addressed to O'Meara, gave that measure of his character which will be adopted as the final opinion of the world. "He is," said Napoleon, "an excellent minister at war, or major-general of an army, one who knows much better how to manage an army than to command in chief."

The course of Soult as a citizen, a legislator, and a minister, was not one upon which his best biographers will linger with much satisfaction. The glory he had achieved as one of the lieutenants of Napoleon, in that turbulent and grand career which has no parallel for interest or importance in human history, was his only claim to distinction in politics. His master had an ambition as fair in its proportions as it was vast in its extent, and brought to every purpose the same forces of character and preternatural energy of intelligence; but Soult had no love for civil duties, but little capacity for them, and he accepted place as a gratification of vanity or a means of success in mercenary aims. We see in all his private and political life "the soilure of his revolutionary origin,"—proofs that he loved money and power far more than he loved honor, and himself far more than his country or mankind.

The last of the imperial marshals, the last of that gigantic race who filled the world with a red glory like the gloom which will precede the judgment, closed his stormy life peacefully in the place where he was born, and thence was borne to the Invalides, to "sleep well" with his old companions."


We have in the last Art Journal another of the pleasant gossipping Pilgrimages to English Shrines, by Mrs. S. C. Hall, and the following abridgement of it will please all who have perused the previous papers of the series. In Chertsey and its neighborhood are memorials of some of the noblest men of England.

Illustration: ABRAHAM COWLEY.


The county of Surrey is rich to overflowing in memories, both of persons and events, and the little quaint and quiet town of Chertsey could tell of the gorgeous and gloomy past as much as many of its ancient neighbors within a day's drive of the city. Had its old abbey stones but tongues, how they could discourse of years when a visit to Chertsey was an undertaking; though now the distance is but half an hour.

Nowhere within twenty miles of London does the Thames appear more queenly, or sweep with greater grace through its fertile dominions, than it does at Chertsey. It is, indeed, delightful to stand on the bridge in the glowing sunset of a summer evening, and turning from the refreshing green of the Shepperton Range, look into the deep clear blue of the flowing river, while the murmur of the waters rushing through Laleham Lock give a sort of spirit music to the scene. On the right, as you leave Chertsey, the river bends gracefully towards the double bridge of Walton, and to the left, it undulates smoothly along, having passed Runnymede and Staines, while the almost conical hill of St. Anne's attracts attention by its abrupt and singular form when viewed from the vale of the Thames.

About a mile, on the Walton side, from our favorite bridge (Old Camden tells us so), is the spot where Cæsar crossed the Thames. Were the peasantry as imaginative as their brethren of Killarney, what legends would have grown out of this tradition; how often would the "noblest Roman of them all" have been seen by the pale moonlight leading his steed over the waters of the rapid river—how many would have heard Cassivelaunus himself during[pg 147] the stillness of some particular Midsummer night working at the rude defence which can still be traced beneath the blue waters of the Thames. What hosts of pale and ghastly spectres would have risen from those tranquil banks, and from the deepest hollows of the rushing current, and—like the Huns, who almost live on the inspired canvas of Kaulbach,—fought their last earthly battle, again and again, in the spirit world, amid the stars! But ours is no region of romance; even remnants of history, which go beyond the commonest capacity, are rejected as dreams, or put aside as legends. But history has enough to tell to interest us all; and we may be satisfied with the abundant enjoyment we have in delicious rambles through the lanes and up the hills, along the fair river's banks, and among the many traditional ruins of ancient and beautiful Surrey.

Never was desolation more complete than in the ruin of the Mitred Abbey of Chertsey; hardly one stone remains above another to tell where this stately edifice—since the far-away year 664—grew and flourished, lording it with imperial sway over, not only the surrounding villages, but extending its paternal wings into Middlesex and even as far as London. The abbey was of the Benedictine order, and founded, almost as soon as the Saxons were converted from Paganism; but it was finished and chiefly endowed by Frithwald, Earl of Surrey. The endowment prospered rarely; the establishment increased in the reputation of wealth and sanctity; that it was "thickly populated" is certain, for when the abbey was sacked and burnt by the Danes, in the ninth century, the abbot, and ninety monks, were barbarously murdered by the invaders.

Standing upon the site of their now obliterated cloisters and towers, their aisles and dormitories, cells and confessionals, seeing nothing but the dank, damp grass, and the tracings of the fish-ponds—stagnant pools in our day—it is almost impossible to realize the onslaught of these wild barbarians panting for plunder, the earnest defence of men who fought (the monks of old could wield either sword or crosier) for life or death, the terrible destruction, the treasures and relics, and painted glass, and monuments, the plunder of the secret almerys, the intoxicated triumph of those rude northern hordes let loose in our fair and lovely island; what scenes of savagery, where now the jackdaw builds, and the blackbird whistles, and the wild water-rat plays with her brood amongst the tangled weeds!

The fierce sea-kings being driven back to their frozen land, King Edgar, willing to serve God after the fashion of his times, refounded the Abbey of Chertsey, dedicating it to St. Peter, and vying with Pope Alexander in augmenting its privileges and its wealth.

Some of the abbots took great interest in home improvements, planting woods, conducting streams, enlarging ponds—building, now a mill, now a dove-cot, according to the wants of the abbey or their own fancies. Henry I. granted them permission to keep dogs, that, according to the old chronicle, they might take "hare, fox, and cats." King John, in the first year of his reign, gave them ample confirmation of all their privileges, which, it would seem, they had somewhat abused, for we find that the sovereign seized their manors of Egham and "Torp" (Thorp) on account of a servant of the abbot's having killed "Hagh de Torp." Oh, rare "old times!" The abbot was mulcted in a heavy fine. Then, while Bartholomew de Winchester was abbot, from 1272 until 1307, during the reign of our first Edward, complaints were made to Pope Gregory X. that the possessions of the abbey were alienated to civilians and laymen, whereupon the pope issued a bull ordering such grants to be revoked.

It is worthy of note, that the Chertsey monastery sheltered, for a time, the remains of the pious, but unfortunate, Henry VI.

"Poor key-cold figure of a Holy King,
Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster."

And the reader of Shakespeare will recall the scene in which Richard meets the Lady Anne on her way to Chertsey with her husband's body. This poor king's remains had a claim to be well received by the monks of Chertsey Abbey, for he had granted to the abbot the privilege of holding a fair on St. Anne's-hill, then called Mount Eldebury, on the feast of St. Anne's (the 26th of July): the fair has changed its time and quarters as well as its patron, and is held in the town on the 6th of August, and called Black Cherry Fair. Manning, in his history of Surrey, says, that the tolls of this fair were taken by the abbot, and are now taken by the owner of the site of the Abbey House; thus the memory of King Henry VI. is commemorated in the town of Chertsey to this day, by the sale of black cherries in the harvest month of August!

Illustration: "THE NUN'S WELL."

Centuries passed over those magnificent abbeys, whose ruins in many places add so much beauty to our fertile landscapes; they grew and grew, and added acre to acre, and stone to stone, and knowledge to knowledge; but most they cherished the knowledge which blazed like a lamp under a bushel, and kept all but themselves in darkness; they preached no freedom in Christ to the Christian world, they abolished no serfdom, they taught no liberty, they enslaved even those who in their turn enslaved their "born thralls," and saw no evil in it. Oh, rare old times! Better it is for us that the site of Chertsey Abbey should be scarcely traceable now-a-days than that it should be as it was, with its proud pageants and pent-up learning!—Yet we have neither sympathy no respect for that foul king, who, to serve his own carnal purposes, overthrew the very faith which had hallowed his throne. But he did not attack and storm the Abbey of Chertsey, as he did other religious houses. He came to them, this Eighth[pg 148] Harry, with a fair show of kindness, saying that "to the honor of God, and for the health of his soul, he proposed and most nobly intended to refound the late Monastery, Priory, or Abbey of Bisham in Berks, and to incorporate and establish the Abbot and Convent of Chertsey, as Abbot and Convent of Bisham, and to endow them with all the Manors late belonging to Bisham." How the then Abbot John Cordrey, and his brethren, must have shivered at the conditions; how they must have grieved at quitting their cherished home, their stews and fish-ponds, their rich meadows of Thorpe, overlooked by the woods of Eldebury hill, their nursing ground where their calves and young lambs were stowed in luxurious safety in the pleasant farm of Simple Marsh at Addlestone!

But their star was setting, and they were forced to "give, sell, grant and confirm, to the king their house and all manors belonging to them."

The total destruction of the Abbey must have amazed the whole country. An earthquake could hardly have obliterated it more entirely. Aubrey, writing in the year 1673, says "of this great Abbey, scarce any thing of the old building remains, except the out walls about it. Out of this ruin, is built a 'fair house,' which is now in possession of Sir Nicholas Carew, master of the Buckhounds." Dr. Stukeley alludes to this house, in a letter written in 1752; he speaks of the inveterate destruction, and of "the gardener" carrying him through a "court" where he saw the remains of the church of the Abbey. He says the "east end reached up to an artificial mount along the garden wall; that mount and all the terraces of the pleasure garden, to the back front of the house, are entirely made up of the sacred rudera or rubbish of continual devastations. Bones of abbots, monks, and great personages, who were buried in large numbers in the church and cloisters which lay on the south side of the church, were spread thick all over the garden, so that one may pick up whole handsfull of them every where amongst the garden stuff." Brayley mentions in his pleasant History of Surrey, that this artificial mount was levelled in 1810, and its materials employed to fill up a pond. Many human skulls and bones were found intermixed with the chalk and mortar of which it had been formed. Fragments of old tiles were also frequently found, and are still sometimes turned up. No trace even of the "Abbey house" is left; it was purchased in 1809 by a stock-broker, who in the following year sold the materials—and so ends the great monastic history of Chertsey. Where are now its spiritualities in Surrey?—its temporalities in Berkshire and Hampshire?—its revenues of Stanwell, and rents of assize?—its spiritualities in Cardiganshire? Alas! they have left no sign, except on the yellow parchment—of rare value to the antiquary.

Those who desire, like ourselves, to investigate what tradition has sanctified, will do well to turn down a lane beyond Chertsey Church, which leads directly to the Abbey[pg 149] bridge, and there, amid tangled hedge rows and orchards, stands the fragment of an arch, partly built up, and so to say, disfigured by brick-work, and an old wall, both evidently portions of the Abbey. In the wall are a great number of what the people call "black stones," a geological formation, making them seem fused by fire. Layers of tiles were also inserted in this wall, and where the cement has dropped away they can be distinctly traced; there is also an ivy, very aged indeed; it is so knotted and thick that it seems to grow through the stones, the soil has so evidently encroached on the wall that it is most probably rooted at the foundation. The pleasant market garden of Mr. Roake covers the actual ground on which the Abbey stood. The workmen frequently turn up broken tiles and human bones, and there is no doubt that by digging deeper much would be discovered that might elucidate the history of the past. At the farther end of the market garden a vault has been discovered which is of considerable length and breadth; but the water rises so high in it (except after a long continuance of dry weather has sealed the land springs) that it is impossible to get to the end without wading. An enormous quantity of richly-colored and decorated encaustic tiles have been found here; some are preserved in our local museum. But the most interesting remains in this place are the "stews," or fish-ponds, which run parallel to each other like the bars of a gridiron; these ponds do not communicate one with the other, nor has the water any outlet: a little care and attention might make them valuable for their old purposes; but they are deplorably neglected. Occasionally you see the fin of some huge fish, whose slow movement partakes of the character of the stagnant water he has inhabited for years;—who can tall how many?

Illustration: "THE GOLDEN GROVE."

"The Abbey River," as it is still called, travels slowly along its way, fertilizing the meadows and imparting life and freshness to the placid scene. The denizens of Chertsey have planted orchards, and in a few instances gardens on its banks. One, the garden of Mr. Herring, is a model of neatness, almost concealed by its roses and carefully tended shrubs. We wandered from orchard to orchard, amid the trees and over the uneven ground; all was so still and lonely that it required the suggestions of an active imagination to believe it had ever been the scene of contention by flood and field. From the Abbey Bridge the richness of the meadow scenery is exceedingly refreshing, the grass is deep and verdant, as it cannot fail to be, lying so low, and fertilized by perpetual moisture.

During their wide-spreading magnificence, the abbots of Chertsey erected a picturesque chapel on the lovely hill of St. Anne: this was done somewhat about the year 1334. Orleton, Bishop of Winchester, granted an indulgence of forty days to such persons as should repair to, and contribute to the fabric and its ornaments.

There is nowhere a more delightful road, than that which leads from the "Golden Grove," rendered picturesque by its old tree, the plantations of Monksgrove on one side, and those of the once residence of Charles James Fox on the other. The road is perfectly embowered, and so close is the foliage that you have no idea of the beautiful view which awaits you, until leaving the statesman's house to the left, you pass through a sort of wicket gate on the right, and follow a foot-path to where two magnificent trees crown the hill; it is wisest to wait until passing along the level ridge you arrive at the "view point," and there, spread around you in such a panorama as England only can show, and show against the world for its extreme richness. On the left is Cooper's Hill, which Denham, that high-priest of "Local poetry," long ago made famous; in the bend just where it meets the plain, you see the towers of Windsor Castle; there is Harrow Hill, the sun[pg 150] shining brightly on its tall church; a deep pall hovers over London, but you can see the dome of St. Paul's looming through the mist; nay, we have heard of those who have told the hour of the day upon its broad-faced clock, with the assistance of a good glass. How beautifully the Thames winds! Ay! there is the grand stand at Epsom, and there Twickenham, delicious, soft, balmy Twickenham; and Richmond Hill—a very queen of beauty!


Yonder, beyond the valley, are Foxes Hills crowned with lofty pines—and that is the church at Staines, and as you turn, there again is Cooper's Hill; Laleham seems spread as a tribute at your feet, and there is no end to the villages and mansions—the parks, and cottages like snow-drops in a parterre, and church spires more than we can number; while close behind us are the stones piled thickly one on the other—the only relics of the holy Chapel of St. Anne.

How grandly the promontory of St. George's Hill stands out—sheltering Weybridge, and forming a beautiful back-ground to Byfleet and the banks of the Way; not forgetting its ruins—a Roman encampment of two thousand years age, and its modern ornaments of rare trees, of which a generous nobleman has made common property, to be enjoyed daily by all who choose. At the foot of this richly planted hill, is the beautiful park of Oatlands—on the eve of becoming an assemblage of villa-grounds. How pleasant to feel that we can account, by our own knowledge of that glowing mount, for all the shades formed by the hills and hollows, and different growths of trees in the depths or heights of "the encampment," which forms the delight of many a toilsome antiquary. Beyond are the more distant eminences of the North Downs, and a tract of country extending into Kent. But we have not yet explored the beauties of this our own hill of Chertsey; truly, to do so, would take a day as long as that of its own black cherry fair.

A path to the left, among the fern and heather, leads to a well, famed for its healing properties—it is called the Nun's Well; even now, the peasants believe that its waters are a cure for diseases of the eye; the path is steep and dangerous, and it is far pleasanter to walk round the brow of the hill and overlook the dense wood which conceals the well, fringing the meadows of Thorpe, than to seek its tangled hiding-place in the dell. The monks of old would be sorely perplexed if they could arise, to account for the long line of smoke which marks the passage of the different trains along their railroads. But we turn from them to enjoy a ramble round the brow of St. Anne's Hill; the coppice which clothes the descent into the valley, is so thick, that though it is intersected by many paths, you might lose yourself half-a-dozen times within an hour; if it be evening, the nightingales in the thickets of Monksgrove have commenced their chorus, and the town of Chertsey, down below, is seen to its full extent, its church tower toned into beauty by the rich light of the setting sun, while through the trees and holly thickets you obtain glimpses of the Guildford and Leatherhead hills, so softly blue, that they meet and mingle with the sky.

Illustration: GATE OF FOX'S HOUSE.

Those who feel no interest in monkish chronicles, may reverence St. Anne's Hill,[pg 151] because of its having been the favorite residence of Charles James Fox, the contemporary of Pitt and Burke and Sheridan and Grattan, at a period when men felt strongly and spoke eloquently. The site of the house on the south-eastern site of the hill is extremely beautiful, and it is much regretted in the neighborhood that it finds so little favor in the heart of its present noble proprietor. The grounds are laid out with much taste; there is a noble cedar planted by Mrs. Fox when only the size of a wand. The statesman's widow survived her husband more than thirty-six years, but never outlived her friends or her faculties. There is a temple dedicated to Friendship, which was erected to perpetuate the coming of age of one of the late Lords Holland; on a pedestal ornamented by a vase, are inscribed some verses by General Fitzpatrick; another placed by Mrs. Fox to mark a[pg 152] favorite spot where Mr. Fox loved to muse, is enriched by a quotation from the "Flower and the Leaf," concluded by two graceful stanzas:

"Cheerful in this sequestered bower,
From all the storms of life removed;
Here Fox enjoyed his evening hour,
In converse with the friends he loved.
And here these lines he oft would quote,
Pleased from his favorite poet's lay;
When challenged by the warbler's note,
That breathed a song from every spray."

At the bottom of the garden is a grotto, which must have once possessed many attractions, and above it there is a pretty little quaint chamber that was used as a tea-room, when, according to the custom of the time, the English drank tea by daylight; it is adorned by painted glass windows; there are portraits of the Prince of Wales and Mr. Fox, when both were looking their best, and the balcony in front commands a delicious view of the surrounding country.

The peasantry are still loud in their praise of "Madam Fox;" and some remember with gratitude the education they received at her school, and love to tell how the old lady was drawn there at "feast times," to see how they all looked in their new dresses. She certainly retained her sympathy with the young, and put away the feelings and habits of old age with a determined hand, for it is said, when she was eighty she took lessons on the harp. The present generation remember personally nothing of the great statesman; he has become history to us, and we must look to history, garbled as it always is, and always will be, by the opinions and feelings of its writers, to determine the position of Charles James Fox in the annals of his country. Those who were admitted to his society have written with enthusiasm of his social qualities, and bestow equal praise on his brilliant talents, his affability of manner, and the generosity of his disposition. He was the third son of Henry Fox, afterwards Lord Holland, and his mother was the eldest daughter of Charles, second Duke of Richmond, and consequently great-granddaughter to Charles II.; the material descent is one of blotted royalty, of which a man like Fox could not have been proud. His academic course was unmarked by any of those honors of which Oxford men are so ambitious, and yet, like his great rival, William Pitt, he became a statesman before he was of age.

Illustration: FOX'S ARBOR.

At St. Anne's Hill he enjoyed as many intervals of repose and tranquillity as could fall to a statesman's lot; in the time of wars and tumults, how he must have luxuriated in its delicious quiet, surrounded by friends who dearly loved him; and swayed only for good by the wife who (although it is known that her early intimacy with him was such as prevented her general recognition in society) according to the evidence of all who knew her, was the minister only to his better thoughts and nobler ambitions, and who weaned him from nearly all the follies and vices which stained his youth and earlier manhood. Various causes led to his death, before age had added infirmities to disease. He died at Chiswick House, and his last words, addressed to Mrs. Fox were, "I die happy." It is said he wished to be buried at Chertsey, but his remains were interred in Westminister Abbey.

The brilliant Sheridan pronounced so elegant an eulogium on his character, that it is pleasant to think of it in those shades where, as we have said, he so often sought and found repose: "When Mr. Fox ceased to live, the cause of private honor and friendship lost its highest glory, public liberty its most undaunted champion, and general humanity its most active and ardent assertor. In him was united the most amiable disposition with the most firm and resolute spirit; the mildest manners, with the most exalted mind. With regard to that great man it might, indeed, be well said, that in him the bravest heart and most exalted mind sat upon the seat of gentleness."

[pg 153]
Illustration: COWLEY'S SEAT.

There is, at all events, an imaginary pleasure in turning from the wearing out turmoil of a statesman's life, to what the world believes the tranquil dreams of a poet's existence. But there are few things the worldling so little understands as literary industry, or so little sympathizes with as literary care. We have no inclination to over-rate either its toils or its pleasures, and perhaps no life is more abundantly supplied with both. Its toils must be evident to any who have noted the increasing literary labor which is necessary to produce the ordinary sources of comforts; but its high and holy enjoyments are not so apparent; they are so different from those of almost all others as not to be easily explained or understood; but above all other gifts, the marvellous gift of poesy is a distinction conferred by the Almighty, and should be acknowledged and treasured as such. We know little of a poet's studies except by their imperishable produce, and it is a common but ill-founded prejudice to imagine regularity or diligence incompatible with high genius. Genius is neither above law, nor opposed to it; but as many have a poetic taste and temperament without the inspiration, the world is apt to mistake the eccentricity of the pretender for the outward and visible sign of genius. Whether or not the poet of the Porch-house of Chertsey had the actual poetic fire we do not venture to determine. Abraham Cowley takes a prominent position, amongst the poets of our land, and the eventful[pg 154] times in which he lived, and his participation in their tumults give him additional interest in all the relations of his anxious and not over-happy life. It is recorded of him that he became a poet in consequence of reading the Faery Queene, which chance threw in his way while yet a child. In allusion to this, Dr. Johnson gave his well-known definition of genius: "A mind of large general powers, accidentally determined to some particular direction." We had almost dared to say this is rather the definition of a philosopher than of one who comprehended the spirituality of a marvellous gift. Abraham Cowley—the posthumous son of a London grocer—owed much to his mother. She, by her exertions, procured him a classical education at Westminster School. She lived to see him loved, honored, and great, and what was better still, and more uncommon, grateful. At the age of fifteen he published a volume called "Poetic Blossoms," which he afterwards described as "commendable extravagancies in a boy." He obtained a scholarship in Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1686, and there took his degree; but was ejected by the Parliament, and thence removed to Oxford. Shortly after, he followed the Queen Henrietta to Paris, as Secretary to the Earl of St. Albans, and was employed in the court of the exiles in the most confidential capacity. In 1656 he returned to England, and was immediately arrested as a suspected spy. He submitted quietly—the royalists thought too quietly—to the dominion of the Protector, but his whole life proved that he was no traitor. At the Restoration, that great national disappointment, his claims upon the ungrateful monarch were met by a taunt and a false insinuation—he was told that his pardon was his reward! Wood said, "he lost the place by certain enemies of the Muses;" certain "friends of the Muses," however, procured for him the lease of the Porch-house and farm at Chertsey, held under the Queen, and the great desire of his life—solitude—was obtained.


The place still seems a meet dwelling for a poet, and is, perhaps, even more attractive to strangers than St. Anne's hill. The porch, which caused his residence to be called "The Porch-house," was taken down during the last century by the father of its present proprietor, the Rev. John Crosby Clarke, and the house is now known as "Cowley House."1 It is situated near the bridge which crosses a narrow and rapid stream, in a lonely part of Guildford Street; a latticed window which overhangs the road is the window of the room in which the poet expired; on the outside wall Mr. Clarke has recorded his reason for removing the porch. "The porch of this house, which projected ten feet into the highway, was taken down in the year 1786, for the safety and accommodation of the public."

"Here the last accents flowed from Cowley's tongue."

The appearance of the house from Guildford[pg 155] Street, is no index to its size or conveniences.2 You enter by a side gate, and the new front of the dwelling is that of a comfortable and gentlemanly home; the old part it is said was built in the reign of James the First, and what remains is sufficiently quaint to bear out the legend; the old and new are much mingled, and the modern part consists of one or two bed-rooms, a large dining-room, and a drawing-room, commanding a delicious garden view, the meanderings of the stream, and a long tract of luxuriant meadows, terminated by the high and richly timbered ground of St. Anne's Hill. A portion of the old stairway is preserved, the wood is not as has been stated oak, but sweet chestnut. One of the rooms is panelled with oak, and Cowley's study is a small closet-like chamber, the window looking towards St. Anne's Hill. It is never difficult to imagine a poet in a small chamber, particularly when his mind may imbibe inspiration from so rich and lovely a landscape. Beside the group of trees, beneath whose shadow the poet frequently sat, there is a horse chestnut of such exceeding size and beauty, that it is worthy a pilgrimage, and no lover of nature could look upon it without mingled feelings of reverence and affection.

Here then amid such tranquil scenes, and such placid beauty, the "melancholy Cowley," passed the later days of big anxious existence; here we may fancy him receiving Evelyn and Denham, the poets and men of letters of his troubled day, who found the disappointments of courtly life more than their philosophy could endure. Here his friendly biographer, Doctor Spratt, cheered his lonely hours.

Cowley was one of those fortunate bards who obtain fame and honor during life. His learning was deep, his reading extensive, his acquaintance with mankind large. "To him," says Denham in his famous elegy,

"To him no author was unknown,
Yet what he wrote was all his own."

His biographer adds, "There was nothing affected or singular in his habit, or person, or gesture; he understood the forms of good breeding enough to practise them without burdening himself or others." This indeed is the perfection of good breeding and good sense.

Having obtained, as we have said, the Porch-house at Chertsey, his mind dwelt with pleasure—a philosophic pleasure—upon[pg 156] the hereafter, which he hoped for in this life of tranquillity, and the silent labor he so dearly loved; but he was destined to prove the reality of his own poesy:

"Oh life, thou Nothing's younger brother,
So like that one might take one for the other."

The career of Abraham Cowley was never sullied by vice,3 he was loyal without being servile, and at once modest, independent and sincere. His character is eloquently drawn by Doctor Spratt. "He governed his passions with great moderation, his virtues were never troublesome or uneasy to any, whatever he disliked in others he only corrected by the silent reproof of a better practice."

He died at Chertsey on the 28th of July, 1667, and was interred in Westminster Abbey. A throng of nobles followed him to his grave, and the worthless king who had deserted him is reported to have said, that Mr. Cowley had not left a better man behind him in England.

It is said the body of Cowley was removed from Chertsey by water, thus making the Thames he loved so well, the highway to his grave; there is something highly poetic in this idea of a funeral, so still and solemn, with the oars dropping noiselessly in the blue water. Pope in allusion to it, says:

"What tears the river shed,
When the sad pomp along his banks was led;"

which rather inclines us to the belief, that in this, as in many other instances, the poetic reading is not the true one,

"The muses oft in lands of vision play:"

but the fact that he died at Chertsey, as much respected as a man, as he was admired as a poet, is certain, and his house is often visited by strangers, who are permitted to see his favorite haunts by the kindness of its proprietor, who honors the spot so hallowed by memories of "the melancholy Cowley:"—he who considered and described "business" as:

"The contradiction to his fate."

But we must postpone our farther rambles for the present.

Illustration: TREES ON ST ANNE'S HILL.

Chertsey loses half its romantic interest by the intrusion of the progressive agents of our time—our noisy time, of which the spirit willingly brooks no souvenirs of monastic repose. The old quaint quiet town has now its railroad, and the shades of its heroes have departed.

[pg 157]


We have at different times, by reviews or translations, endeavored to give our readers some idea of what people think of us, in continental Europe. But there are two sides to every thing—or there is an universal dualism, as Emerson declares—which is perfectly true as to the method which might be adopted in the execution of this self-imposed task. One class of readers understand by the word people the beau monde, and would have us invariably follow the school of the Countesses Hahn-Hahn or Ladies Blessington or Milords Fitz-Flummery, contented if we have but a fair name in society. Another and more reasonable class would be satisfied to know the opinion of the literati, or perhaps the poets, particularly when they do fit homage to our "grand old woods," and to Niagara. Others regard with most respect a plain literal account of our branches of industry—our railroads, factories, and canals. They would have the country judged purely from a mechanical or practical point of view—contenting themselves as to other matters with the reflection. "Oh, sensible people care very little about any thing else. If they know what we produce, and what our resources are, they'll understand and respect us sufficiently."

Now the opinion of each of these classes has its weight, and though not of the greatest ultimate importance, is always to be respected. If we were questioned as to the views of which of them we yielded full regard, we should candidly say, "to none." It is the general, universal opinion, of a nation at large that we deem authoritative, and none other. It is that popular opinion so readily yet often so falsely formed (at times from trifles of almost incredible levity), and which when once fairly developed, is well-nigh ineradicable. In a word, it is to the views of the people.

We propose, as opportunity shall offer, to make our readers familiar with the writings of all these different classes of travellers—and in the present article, we shall make a few extracts from a work interesting, as having probably contributed more than any other to a general knowledge of the United States in Germany. It is the book which has had the greatest currency among all classes, but particularly with the lower order of readers and emigrants.

Before proceeding, however, to the work itself, it may be as well to answer a question which has perhaps been suggested to the minds of a certain class of readers. Of what great use, after all, is this nervous regard as to the opinion of the world? Is not our character established—are not our characteristics known, to the uttermost corners of the earth? To which question we may answer, Not quite. In avoiding that ridiculous sensitiveness which prompts so many Americans to feel personally insulted by the weak remarks of every wandering ignoramus, we would by no means fall into the opposite error of attaching no importance whatever to the good opinion or the degree of consciousness as to our existence entertained by the world at large.

Should any feel disposed to smile at such an expression, as "the consciousness of our existence," we will take the liberty of citing a few curious instances, for the authenticity of which we assume the entire responsibility—instances which may perhaps astonish a few even of the better informed. There are in many districts (not altogether provincial) of Italy and France great numbers, who would not even in America be classed as ignorant in regard to other matters, who have not the remotest idea as to the nature or geography of our country. An instance has come to our knowledge of an intelligent Hungarian who, by intercourse with the world, had acquired a fluency in five languages, and who inquired of an American gentleman if his country were not situated somewhere in England. The late Mr. Cooper, when placing his daughters at a celebrated seminary on the continent, found a great curiosity had been created by the rumor that they were coming, some supposing they were black, some that they were copper-colored, and all unprepared to see American girls looking for all the world like the young German ladies. We have heard of a similar instance in which an English gentleman—a Cambridge graduate—inquired of an American what was the current language of the United States. Lastly, we may cite the case of an English author, well known to our own public, and favorably mentioned not long since in these pages, who was under the impression that owing to the great emigration from Germany, the English language must with us, in a very few years, yield to that of the Vaterland. Now our commercial and industrial relations are seriously hindered by this absurd ignorance of America, which in a word prevails to such an extent, that we have known an American, who—probably from having been over-questioned and speered at in New England—had imbibed such a wholesome hatred of inquisitiveness, that he wished the French government would hang up, for the benefit of all concerned, the following list of questions, with satisfactory answers annexed, in all the cafés of the politest nation in Europe:

Whether America is an island or a continent?
What is the color of its inhabitants?
What language do they speak?
Have they a religion and what is it?
What is the state of their morals and cookery?
Have they a correct state of feeling as regards the opera?

The reader is not to infer that this is the general state of knowledge regarding our country. But it is worth nothing as a curious illustration of the vast number of individuals who derive their ideas, not from what is going on at the present day, or from available sources of information, but from the[pg 158] antiquated views of a by-gone generation. And we trust it will not be deemed inappropriate that we here speak a word of the want of opportunities of acquiring very general information under which the ordinary readers of continental Europe suffer. With all their libraries, all their immense arrays of magazines and journals, we find among them an apathy in regard to the world without (to the Fan-Qui), which appears incredible until we reflect on the deadening influences of the censorship, which views with distrust all information in regard to the Land of Liberty. We are not aware, throughout the whole of continental Europe, of a single publication so thoroughly cosmopolite in its character, so general in the scope of its information, or which is so universally disseminated among all classes of readers, as The International; and we trust we do not go too far when we assert, that it is to an extended sale of periodical publications somewhat approaching it in the concentration and dissemination of news from the world at large, that our countrymen owe that superior intelligence and citizen-of-the-world character which distinguish them from the insular Briton, self-important Frenchman, or abstracted German.

The work from which we propose to make some extracts, is Traugott Bromme's Hand und Reisebuch für Auswanderer nach den Vereinigten Staaten (or Traugott Bromme's Journey and Handbook for Emigrants to the United States). As we have already stated, no work on America is at the present day more familiarly known to that class of readers to whom it is addressed. Certain remarks on the present condition of German emigration with which it is prefaced, may not be devoid of interest to our readers, though not constituting a part of such observations as we have more particularly referred to:

"There is, it appears, implanted in every man an impulse to advance and better his condition—an impulse caused by poverty, dependent circumstances, or pressure from every side, vexing at times even the highest in rank, and which is the cause why thousands leave their fatherland, to seek afar a now home, and hundreds of thousands cast around them disturbed and anxious glances, restrained only by hard poverty, which imprisons them at home. Such is very generally the case at present in our own country, where—despite the political concessions of March in the year 1848, of the published original privileges of the German people, and of the promising prospect of a free and united Germany, with a concluding general empire—emigration appears to be by no means on the decrease." "These emigrants of the present day consist not as formerly of poor people of the lower orders, who turn their backs on the German fatherland, or liberal declaimers, dreaming of an ideal of freedom which could scarcely be realized in Utopia, but of sober excellent families of the middle class, who, free from all delusive fancies, do not expect to find in the western world wealth and honorable offices, but desire only to inhabit a land, wherein they may dwell quietly and happily with their children." "What the German wants is room—a new broad field for his abilities—and this America extends to him in unbounded space. No one at the present day hopes to obtain hills of gold without labor, but every one knows that the far more estimable treasure of perfect independence, or to speak more correctly, of perfect self-dependence, with the prospect of a future free from care, may in America be obtained at the cost of a few years of earnest, honest industry. And what, to the man oppressed in his fatherland by all the cares incident upon the obtaining a bare subsistence, is two or three or even four years of hard work, when compared to a whole life of poverty and misery?"

After accurately sketching the extreme misery and poverty oppressing the inhabitants of many districts of Germany, of late years sadly increased by the falling off in manufactures since the political disturbances, our author proceeds to set forth the advantages offered by America:

"That most emigrants should rather look to America, than Poland, Russia, Servia, or Siebenburgen, is natural enough, since all of these countries together cannot offer so many attractions as America. Where on earth is there such a vast array of unoccupied lands, offered at such a moderate price—land so cheap that in many districts twenty or thirty and even more acres, covered with wood, are given at a price for which a single acre of similar land is sold in Germany?"

The richness of the soil, the excellence of the climate, and the demand for labor, are then described; to which, as the greatest inducement, he adds the fact that in America the fullest "liberty of labor and mechanical calling or trade," is allowed. Also, that the taxes are so light that an industrious man is able not only to live, but even to lay up something for his old age, or his children, or to employ in the extension of his business.

"For as there exists in America no standing army, its inhabitants may retain their children, as the best possible assistants in labor, and train, govern, and discipline them as can only properly done under the eye of a parent. Furthermore, in that country every one is permitted to enjoy the fullest civil and religious liberty. These are the advantages to be expected from an emigration to America, and he who anticipates more will find himself bitterly deceived. But a man who can be content with this, and can live actively, moderately, and frugally, will here, better than in any other land in the world, ultimately attain to happiness and fortune. In times like ours, when every branch of industry is crowded, when tender parents think with grief and trouble on the future prospects of their children, there are for the emigrant no other resources save those held out by a full and bountiful nature, and no means of livelihood which may be so certainly depended upon as those afforded by agriculture. Here it is that industry throws open the widest field, and affords the fullest opportunity of doing good."

In the following extract, our author proceeds to set forth the national character of the American:

"The national character of the American has been greatly misunderstood; few travellers seem,[pg 159] in fact, to have understood it, since they mention it as something as new and unfounded as the country itself, and yet it is so well confirmed—so well established in every elevated and noble characteristic of the human race, that it may confidently be placed in comparison with that of the most celebrated nations of antiquity. Springing originally from England, they have the pride and manly confidence of the Briton, for through their ancestry they claim an equal share of all which gives dignity to those inheriting glory and a great name. Their forefathers were those brave religious pilgrims who were transferred by British laws (or rather by old German) and British genius to the shores of the new world—to there give to those laws and genius an immortality. Building still further on this new land, they opened the temple of the Lord to all his followers, and received with open arms all the unfortunate or oppressed exiles of Europe. For the first time in reality in this world they flung wide the flag of truth and freedom—fought under its folds an unequal fight against the mightiest power in the world—and overcame it. And when a second time they armed themselves to combat with England, they again came forth unconquered from the contest. Reason enough this for the national pride of the American, for nothing could more naturally cause a certain degree of self-content than to belong to a nation whose brilliant deeds in war as in politics, in commerce as in manufactures, have astonished the world. A second and not less characteristic trait of the American is seen in a certain earnestness, which appears to strangers to indicate a want of sociable feeling—and yet perhaps in no country is true noble sociability as developed in domestic life, so much at home, as in America.

"Accustomed from his cradle to reflect on himself and his circumstances, the American from the first instant of his entry into active life is ever on the watch to improve their condition. Is he rich, and consequently more directly interested in the common wealth, then every new law, every change in the personal direction of the government, awakes in him a new care for the future, while on the other hand, if poor, then every change in the state may perhaps afford him a new opportunity of bettering his condition. Therefore he is ever wide awake—ever looking out for the future, not as a mere spectator, but as one playing a part and occupied in maintaining the present state of affairs, or in improving them. The entire mass of the population is continually in a state of political agitation, and, urged by hope of their aid or fear of their power, we see every one continually seeking for expressions of public opinion. No man is so rich or powerful that he need not fear them—none so wretched and poor but that he may venture to entertain the hope of being through them aided and relieved. Public opinion is in America the mightiest organ of justice—shielding no one, from the president to the simplest citizen, and proceeds, mowing, casting down, or grinding to powder all things which oppose it and deserve its condemnation.

"This condition of perpetual agitation gives the American an appearance of ceaseless restlessness, but it is in reality the true ground of peace and content. The American has no time to be discontented, and this is the most praiseworthy point of their constitution and popular life. The republican has necessarily as many severe and arduous duties to fulfil as the inhabitants of any monarchy—but their fulfilment is gratifying and consoling—for it is allied to the consciousness of power. The American has no desire for the quiet temper of the European, and least of all for the silent happiness of the German, which last, alas! appears since the dissipation of the intoxication of the Revolution of March, 1848, to consist, as far as the great mass of the population is concerned, merely in the egotistic repose of self-sufficiency, weakness, and ignorance. The American finds repose only in his house, in his family circle, and among his children; all without the walls of that home is an incessant working and striving, in politics as in trade—by the streets and canals, as in the woods of the West. Different as the elements are from which the inhabitants of the United States are formed, and different as the circumstances may be under which they live, there still prevails among them a certain unity of character, an equanimity of feeling, which it would be difficult to parallel, resulting perhaps from the very heterogeneousness and mixture of elements itself, since no one element allows to another pre-eminence. They have all something in common in their appearance, which gives them the air almost of relations—something in their gait and manners which declares them to be other than English, Germans, or French. Through the entire land, through every class, there is disseminated a certain refinement of manner, an appreciation of decency and nobility of character, which springs from a consciousness of their own rights and respect for mankind. Even emigrants, in America, soon learn to cast aside their rough prejudices as regards caste, for the proud affability of the aristocratic, the vanity of the small citizen, the want of confidence and ease in the mechanic, the slavish servitude and snappish insolence of liveried servants, find in America no place. Man is there esteemed only as man—only ability gains honor—and where that is, and there alone, can true nobility be found. No one there inquires who a man is, or who were his parents, but 'What can he do, what are his capabilities, and what can he produce?' Rank and caste are in America unknown. Every man feels his freedom and independence, and expresses himself accordingly. Even the servant is a free man, who has, it is true, hired his service, but not his entire existence. The American is polite, but over-refined, unmeaning compliments form no part of his manners, nor does he expect them from others. No man vexes or troubles himself for another, in consequence of which we find in American society very little stiffness and reserve, yet we find in every respect that the very highest regard is there paid to propriety and decency—particularly as regards the female sex, since in no country, not even in England, do ladies enjoy such respect and regard as in the United States. Ever depending upon, and confiding in himself, the American is in his manners free, open, and unreserved. The mass of the people is possessed of intelligence and spirit, though not so scientifically educated as in Europe, and a higher degree of intelligence penetrates even the lower class, who consequently form a marked and singular contrast with those of like rank in Europe. It is not from being versed in the higher branches of abstract learning and[pg 160] science, but from the great amount of that direct practical knowledge which exerts the greatest influence in making life happy, that the Americans are distinguished from other nations, and for the acquisition of which they have made better provision and preparation than any other people. As yet too deeply occupied with the Needful and Important, they are compelled to leave the development of the higher branches to the care and noble generosity of individuals. But a glance at the sums which are annually devoted to the establishment and maintenance of schools and universities, will suffice to evidence the liberality with which the proper education of the people is cared for in the United States. Knowledge is indeed esteemed, but only according to its use and applicability to the wants of life; so that a practical tanner is there worth more than a learned pedant. Wealth, or rather wealth allied to ability and universality of talent, is there more highly esteemed than learning, while hospitality, patriotism, and toleration, allowing every one to think and feel as he likes, are universal characteristics. So that in the United States nothing is wanting to the attainment of a true civil and social freedom, even though the means thereto are not invariably correctly understood or admitted (as is indeed the case by us), and though—since men are every where subject to the same weaknesses—they measure happiness rather by the standard of their own intelligence and virtues, than by fortune and nature, which latter, impartially considered, is the basis of the physical happiness of the American. That, however, which constitutes his moral happiness is this; that in his country, domestic life enjoys the true supremacy, and to this, public life and the state are subordinate. It is true that the American statesmen have fallen into the same error as the European—id est, to believe that without them the people could never prosper, and still live in the belief that home-happiness hangs on them, their theories and arts of governing; but the most superficial glance teaches that if wise laws are able to effect more for the happiness of man than they can bring about, still no one should there attempt to draw happiness from such a source when popular and private life have combined to bestow it. But should the happiness of the Americans ever be derived from this side, it will be more sensible to assume that the foundation thereof will be the release from that which in the recent culture has passed for the deepest political wisdom. The true secret of all the good fortune of America lies in the favorable condition of external things. 'It is not with them as in Europe, where the poor can only better their condition or become rich by making the rich poor, for therein lies the source of an infinite strife which hath been combated for centuries, with the axioms of religion and morals. But in America, men when striving to better their condition, instead of becoming enemies and turning their arms against each other, strive with Nature, and wring from her boundless stores that wealth which she so bountifully affords!'"

We have made these quotations less on account of any merit which they possess, than to give our readers an idea of the general opinion prevailing in Germany in regard to our country; and to confirm an assertion made in a recent number of the International, that in no country in Europe are we so impartially and favorably judged. There is one particular, however, in which we find this book worthy of especial praise. The author highly commends the flourishing state of religion in the United States, declaring that we are in this respect superior to the Germans, and that on the Sabbath the churches are filled to a degree unknown in Europe. It is from our deep-rooted attachment to domestic life, and our observance of religion, that he correctly deduces our true happiness, as separated from the natural advantages of the country. It is greatly to be desired that the majority of his countrymen resident in America, would allow themselves to be impressed in a similar manner as to the advantages of piety and Sabbath-keeping. There is in the United States a vast number of German newspapers—conducted we should imagine for the greater part by unprincipled and worthless adventurers of the red republican, socialist stamp, who, despite the protection which they here enjoy, incessantly and spitefully abuse every institution to which they are really indebted for their asylum among us, and most of all our observation of the Sabbath, in a style which entitles them to something severer than mere contempt. But Herr Bromme is right. Respect for morality and religion, a due regard for the Sabbath, and a dependence on the home-circle for pleasure and recreation, are the surest safeguard of peace, happiness, and prosperity.


In a recent number of the Russian Archives for Scientific Information, is an account of a visit made by a Russian lady of distinction, in company with her husband and sons, to a temple of the Indian sect of Gebers, or Fire Worshippers, near Baku, a city of Georgia, lying on the Caspian Sea. We translate this interesting narrative for the International, as follows:

In order the better to enjoy the spectacle of the fire, we chose the evening for our excursion thither; but a thick fog came on, which made the road difficult and dangerous. When we finally reached the place it was pitch dark; the flames were rising in beautiful purity to the peaceful sky of night, and the entire castle, within which was the temple, seemed to be surrounded by a circle of watch-fires. These were lighted by Persians from the neighborhood, who were busy burning lime and baking bread, dark forms like those which worked on the tower of Babel, and burnt lime for it. They were now brought here by the ease and cheapness of carrying on their occupations. All that is necessary is to make a hole in the ground, touch a burning coal to it, and an inexhaustible flame rises forth like a spring. Behind this range of little flames and fires, rose, in the pale light, the dirty white walls of the[pg 161] castle, in the centre of which there flashed from the summit of two lofty pillars great masses of the purest, clearest, and keenest flame, which were now bent down horizontally and wreathed like serpents by the force of the wind, and now rose perpendicularly to the sky, whose dome they lighted up like two vast altar tapers. We drove around the edifice, and stopped on one side where there were no flames rising from the earth. A fine rain was falling, but we remained without while our guide went in to announce us. He came back immediately with a swarthy Hindoo. The sight of this man impressed me strangely, and I forgot that he belonged to a remote colony of a few individuals, and asked myself if we had been suddenly transported to India, or if India had been brought up to the Caspian.

We went into the court-yard, in which stands the temple, with its two fire-pillars. About half way up hang a couple of large bells, which the Hindoo sounded by way of preparing us for what we were to see. There was something fearful in the loud clangor, and my boys crowded close beside me. Except our party, no one was to be seen except the swart Geber, in his white turban and long brown robe, with just enough of a pair of light blue trowsers visible to bring into distinctness his naked black feet. His features were noble, and his beard long and black. He looked like a conjurer, like the lord of an enchanted castle, summoning his spirits. The hissing fire, as if obeying him, flashed up more brightly at the crash of the bells; now it was clear as day around us, and now it was twilight as the wind lowered the flame. My husband and sons and the guide who had brought us to the place, were all dressed in oriental costume, and I alone seemed to belong to Europe. A shudder of home-sickness came over me, and at every moment I expected to see something monstrous, to behold all the cruelties of a heathenish and barbarous worship.

The interpreter now summoned us to follow the Geber. We were told that the castle was built by a rich Indian nabob, who was a fire worshipper, and who, with his followers, long inhabited it. Now, only three Hindoos remain from that period of splendor. But nature remains eternally the same, and whether worshipped or not, the flames still shine and awe the superstitious, and so great is the fame of the place that many pilgrims come yearly from distant India to pray, and to have prayers said for them, here in the visible presence of the primeval light.

At last we came to the cell of the priest, and on his invitation entered it. We passed through a low door, and down a few steps, and found ourselves in a small, semicircular, low, but very white room, with a floor of mason-work, and a small altar in the centre. Around the wall were seats, also of mason-work. In the altar there was an opening as large as a gun-barrel, from which rose a slender flame that lighted the room very clearly. There were other little openings on the sides of the altar. The Hindoo took a wisp of straw, lighted it, and touched these openings, from which the most beautiful flames at once issued. The children, who had never seen gas lights, or at least did not remember them, regarded all this as the most perfect witchery. On a second altar, which, like the first, was about the height of a common table, lay or stood the idols and treasures of our priest. Small steps led up to it, which were used to hold muscles, stones, shells, and other instruments employed in the sacred rites. The idols were of metal, and ugly and monstrous, like Chinese images. Beside these figures, we were astonished to see crosses of various forms and sizes. We asked the Geber about them, and he answered with oriental emphasis: "There is one God, and no one has seen him; therefore every one adores him after his own way, and represents him after his own way." The reply was diplomatic enough, and we could not ascertain how the crosses had come there.

On the altar and its steps lay a great number of singularly beautiful Indian stones, which the boys wanted very much, but which, in spite of our large offers, we could not obtain. They were mementoes from the distant fatherland, and possibly they served as sacred ornaments for the little cell. There were also several censers, lamps, and little silver plates and salvers. The air was stifling from the fumes of gas, and the heat was like that of a vapor bath. The priest took from the altar some pieces of red and white candied sugar, held them, praying, before his idols, sprinkled them with holy water, and handed them to us on a silver plate.

A second Hindoo now came in, a tall old man, whose name, as he told us, was Amintaas. He invited us into his cell, which was larger and differently arranged. In the centre was a large kettle, set in mason-work, with water in it, and a gas flame burning under it; the altar was in another apartment beyond, and separated from the first by a low wall or fence, with a passage through. Another apartment, similarly divided off, was spread with carpets for sleeping. After we had seen the stones, shells, and idols, which were richer and more numerous than in the former cell, the Hindoos asked us if they should pray for us. We agreed, and the ceremony began. A large muscle shell was washed in the kettle, the plates were set in order at the foot of the altar, a censer began to smoke, the silver plate with candied sugar was set over a lamp Between two bells, whose handles were the most monstrous figures of idols. These bells Amintaas took and began to ring vehemently. The other Hindoos stood behind him and beat two big cymbals, accompanying this noise with the most inhuman and frightful howling that a man's lungs ever produced.[pg 162] Still, there was method and a regular cadence in it. Finally, they made a pause, bowed before the images, murmuring softly, after which they arranged the plates anew, and sprinkled the sugar with holy water. My husband whispered in my ear a line from the conjuration in "Faust," and the whole of that scene rushed vividly into my memory.

Meanwhile the lungs of the old Amintaas had recovered their power, for he now seized a conch shell, held it in both hands, and with incredible strength blew long wild notes, with scarce any thing like a tune. I grew dizzy in listening to this clamor, and at once understood what is meant by the heathen making a "vain noise," This cannibalistic music was kept up for a long time, and seemed to form the climax of the sacred rites. The finale was a combination of wild shouting, banging of the cymbals, ringing and murmuring. At last the concert was over, and we breathed freely. Amintaas handed us the candied sugar, and my husband laid down two ducats in its place. They were received with warm expressions of gratitude, and laid upon the altar. We went out into the open air, but the scene had changed. The lonely castle was crowded with Persians who had come from their lime-burning to see the Europeans. Persian women were sitting around by sundry little ovens of masonry, where, by the help of gas flames, they baked their Tsheuks, thin cakes of unleavened bread. Followed by the crowd, we were led a couple of hundred steps from the castle to a spring that was covered over; the cover was taken off, and a bundle of burning straw thrown in, when, crackling and hissing, sprung up a splendid pillar of fire, vanishing in sparks like stars. This beautiful spectacle lasted but for a moment, and a quarter of an hour was necessary to collect gas enough to repeat the experiment.

We returned to Baku in the rain, more dead than alive. It was the eve of Easter. The next morning, as I was sitting on the sofa with the children, there came in a tall, meagre Hindoo, with gray hair; he was dressed in a white robe, and brought me white and red sugar on a silver plate. He was the chief priest from the temple of the Gebers, and had come to Baku to see the Easter festivities. We took a few grains of his sugar, and I laid a silver rouble on the plate. While he was making his bows for this, my husband came in and told him, partly in Tartar, partly in Russian, and partly in pantomime, that we had been to his temple the night before, and had prayers said there. He asked at once, with eagerness, how much we had given, and when he learned the sum, asked for a certificate to that effect, as, without it, the others would give him no part of the money. We sent him away without granting his request, for the two screamers of the night previous had earned all we gave them. We learned afterwards that the gifts of visitors occasioned quarrels, and often blows, in the romantic fire-castle. This disgusted me, and yet it is not the fault of these poor fellows. They must necessarily become covetous, since they profane their most sacred ceremonies as a means of living. They have neither fields nor gardens, and the only thing like vegetation that I saw was some lone boxes in the court yard, filled with shrubs and plants, remains, no doubt, from the time of the Indian nabob, who sought in vain to establish cultivation in a soil impregnated with inflammable gas. However, I learned to my sorrow that grass at least grows there, for, in going through it to the spring, my feet became perfectly wet.

The air of the locality does not seem to be unwholesome for man. At least, the Geber priests, who had lived there for years, were perfect lions for health and vigor.


In the third volume of his History of the Romans under the Empire, just published in London, Mr. Merivale gives some elaborate pieces of character writing, one of which has for its subject Cicero. It is not good for a man to think harshly of Cicero, and however easy it may seem to be to condemn manifest faults in his character, it is by no means easy to be fair in the estimate we make. Mr. Merivale sums up a character which has too often been roughly put down as that of a great writer and a little man, as follows:

"Many writers, it has been remarked, have related the death of Cicero, but Plutarch alone has painted it. In the narrative here laid before him the reader has the substance of this picturesque account, together with some touches introduced from collateral sources. In this, as in many other massages of his Lives, the Greek biographer has evidently aimed at creating an effect, and though he seems to have been mainly guided by the genuine narrative of Tiro, Cicero's beloved freedman, we may suspect him of having embellished it to furnish a striking termination to one of his favorite sketches. Nevertheless the narrative is mainly confirmed by a fragment of Livy's history, which has fortunately been preserved. The Roman author vies with the Greek in throwing dignity and interest over the great statesman's end. But in reviewing the uneven tenor of his career, Livy concludes with the stern comment, "He bore none of his calamities as a man should, except his death." These are grave words. In the mouth of one who had cast his scrutinizing glance over the characters and exploits of all the heroes of the great republic, and had learnt by the training of his life-long studies to discriminate moral qualities and estimate desert, they constitute the most important judgment on the conduct of Cicero that antiquity has bequeathed to us. Few indeed among the Romans ever betrayed a want of resolution in the face of impending death. But it was in the endurance of calamity rather than the defiance of danger that the courage of Cicero was deficient. The orator, whose genius lay in the arts of peace and persuasion, exhibited on more than one occasion a martial spirit worthy of other habits and a ruder training. In the contest with[pg 163] Catilina he displayed all the moral confidence of a veteran general: in the struggle with Antonius he threw himself without reserve into a position where there was no alternative but to conquer or to perish. In the earlier conflict he had still his fame to acquire, his proud ascendency to establish; and the love of praise and glory inspired him with the audacity which makes and justifies its own success. But in the later, he courted danger for the sake of retaining the fame he so dearly prized. He had once saved his country, and he could not endure that it should be said he had ever deserted it. He loved his country; but it wan for his own honor, which he could preserve, rather than for his country's freedom, which he despaired of, that he returned to his post when escape was still possible. He might have remained silent, but he opened the floodgates of his eloquence. When indeed he had once launched himself on the torrent he lost all self-command; he could neither retrace nor moderate his career; he saw the rocks before him, but he dashed himself headlong against them. But another grave authority has given us the judgment of antiquity, that Cicero's defect was the want of steadfastness. His courage had no dignity because it lacked consistency. All men and all parties agreed that he could not be relied upon to lead, to co-operate, or to follow. In all the great enterprises of his party, he was left behind, except that which the nobles undertook against Catilina, in which they rather thrust him before them than engaged with him on terms of mutual support. When we read the vehement claims which Cicero put forth to the honor of association, however tardy, with the glories and dangers of Cæsar's assassins, we should deem the conspirators guilty of a monstrous oversight in having neglected to enlist him in their design, were we not assured that he was not to be trusted as a confederate either for good or for evil.

"Of all the characters of antiquity Cicero is undoubtedly that with which we are most intimately acquainted; for he alone has left to us the record of his thoughts and actions for more than half his public career in a voluminous mass of familiar as well as political correspondence. No public character probably could pass unscathed through the fiery ordeal to which he has thus subjected himself. Cicero, it must be avowed, is convicted from his own mouth of vanity, inconstancy, sordidness, jealousy, malice, selfishness, and timidity. But on the other hand no character, public or private, could thus bare its workings to our view without laying a stronger claim to our sympathy, and extorting from us more kindly consideration than we can give to the mere shell of the human being with which ordinary history brings us in contact. Cicero gains more than he loses by the confessions he pours into our ear. We read in his letters what we should vainly search for in the meagre pages of Sallust and Appian, in the captious criticism of Dion, and even in the pleasant anecdotes of his friendly biographer Plutarch, his amiableness, his refined urbanity, his admiration for excellence, his thirst for fame, his love of truth, equity, and reason. Much indeed of the patriotism, the honesty, the moral courage he exhibited, was really no other than the refined ambition of attaining the respect of his contemporaries and bequeathing a name to posterity. He might not act from a sense of duty, like Cato, but his motives, personal and selfish as they in some sense were, coincided with what a more enlightened conscience would have felt to be duty. Thus his proconsulate is perhaps the purest and most honorable passage in his life. His strict and rare probity amidst the temptations of office arrests our attention and extorts our praise: yet assuredly Cicero had no nice sense of honor, and was controlled by no delicacy of sentiment, where public opinion was silent, or a transaction strictly private. His courting his ward Publilia for her dower, his caressing Dolabella for the sake of getting his debt paid, his soliciting the historian Lucceius to color and exaggerate the merits of his consulship, display a grievous want of magnanimity and of a predominant sense of right. Fortunately his instinct taught him to see in the constitution of the republic the fairest field for the display of his peculiar talents; the orator and the pleader could not fail to love the arena on which the greatest triumph of his genius had been or were yet, as he hoped, to be acquired. And Cicero indeed was not less ambitious than Cæesar or Pompeius, Antonius or Octavius. To the pursuit of fame he sacrificed many interests and friendships. He was not less jealous of a rival in his chosen career than any of the leaders of party and candidates for popular favor. He could not endure competition for the throne of eloquence and the sceptre of persuasion. It was on this account perhaps that he sought his associates among the young, from whose rivalry he had nothing to fear, rather than from his own contemporaries, the candidates for the same prize of public admiration which he aimed at securing for himself. From his pages there flows an incessant stream of abuse of all the great masters of political power in his time; of Cæsar and Pompeius; of Crassus and Antonius, not to mention his coarse vituperation of Piso and Gabinius, and his uneasy sneers at the impracticable Cato. We may note the different tone which his disparagement assumes towards these men respectively. He speaks of Cæsar with awe, of Pompeius with mortification, with dislike of Crassus, with bitter malice of Antonius. Cæsar, even when he most deeply reprobates him, he personally loves; the cold distrust of Pompeius vexes his self-esteem; between him and Crassus there subsists a natural antipathy of temperament: but Antonius, the hate of his old age, becomes to him the incarnation of all the evil his long and bitter experience of mankind have discovered in the human heart. While we suspect Cicero of injustice towards the great men of his day, we are bound also to specify the gross dishonesty with which he magnifies his own merits where they are trivial, and embellishes them where they are really important. The perpetual recurrence to the topic of his own political deserts must have wearied the most patient of friends, and more than balanced the display of sordidness and time-serving which Atticus doubtless reflected back in his share of the correspondence between them.

"But while Cicero stands justly charged with many grave infirmities of temper and defects of principle, while we remark with a sigh the vanity, the inconstancy, and the ingratitude he so often manifested, while we lament his ignoble subserviencies and his ferocious resentments, the high standard by which we claim to judge him is in itself the fullest acknowledgment of his transcendent[pg 164] merits. For undoubtedly had he not placed himself on a higher moral level than the statesmen and sages of his day, we should pass over many of his weaknesses in silence, and allow his pretensions to our esteem to pass almost unchallenged. But we demand a nearer approach to the perfection of human wisdom and virtue in one who sought to approve himself the greatest of their teachers. Nor need we scruple to admit that the judgment of the ancients on Cicero was for the most part unfavorable. The moralists of antiquity required in their heroes virtues with which we can more readily dispense: and they too had less sympathy with many qualities which a purer religion and a wider experience have taught us to love and admire. Nor were they capable, from their position, of estimating the slow and silent effects upon human happiness of the lessons which Cicero enforced. After all the severe judgments we are compelled to pass on his conduct, we must acknowledge that there remains a residue of what is amiable in his character and noble in his teaching beyond all ancient example. Cicero lived and died in faith. He has made converts to the belief in virtue, and had disciples in the wisdom of love. There have been dark periods in the history of man, when the feeble ray of religious instruction paled before the torch of his generous philanthropy. The praise which the great critic pronounced upon his excellence in oratory may be justly extended to the qualities of his heart, and even in our enlightened days it may be held no mean advance in virtue to venerate the master of Roman philosophy."


Incomparably the best history of our struggle for independence that has been written by a foreigner is that of which we have the larger portion in the just-published fifth and sixth volumes of Lord Mahon's History of England from the Peace of Utrecht, comprising the period from 1763 to 1780—from the commencement of the popular discontents until the virtual conclusion of the war.

The character of Lord Mahon as a historian has long been established. When Sismondi, in 1842, had brought his History of France down to the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, he lamented that he could no longer be guided by Lord Mahon, and expressed a hope that his "brilliant labors" would be continued. The portion of his work on which the illustrious Frenchman thus set the seal of his approval has been reprinted in this country by the Appletons, in two large volumes (embracing the first four of the original impression), carefully and judiciously edited by Professor Henry Reed, of Philadelphia. It well indicates the right of its author to a place with the best British writers in this department. History was never before written so brilliantly or profoundly as in the last half century. Germany in this period has boasted her Schiller, Niebuhr, Von Hammer, Heeren, Ranke, and two Mullers; France her Sismondi, Barrante, Thierrys, Michelet, Mignet, Guizot, and Thiers; England her Mitford, Arnold, Thirlwall, Grote, Napier, Hallam, Mackintosh, Macaulay, Palgrave, and Mahon; and we have ourselves the noble names of Bancroft, Prescott, and Irving, to send to the next ages. Of the English authors we have mentioned, we regard Lord Mahon as in many respects the first; Hallam is a laborious and wise critic; Thirlwall and Grote, in their province, have greatly increased the fame of British scholarship; and Macaulay, brilliant and picturesque beyond any of his contemporaries, has an unprecedented popularity, which will last until the worthlessness of his opinions and the viciousness of his style are more justly appreciated than they are likely to be by the mobs of novel readers who in this generation have preferred him to James and Ainsworth. Lord Mahon is the most legitimate successor of the greatest historian of his country, David Hume.

Although the chief subject of these new volumes is the American war, the general political history of England, from the decline of the fortunes of Bute through the administration of Grenville, Rockingham, Chatham, the Duke of Grafton, and Lord North, is illustrated and commented on as largely as the special purpose of the author permitted; and we have many striking passages respecting Wilkes and his various persecutions, the Letters of Junius and their authorship, and the common intellectual and material progress of the British empire. The spirit in which he regards our Revolution is illustrated by the following paragraph, on the rejection, by the House of Peers, of the conciliatory Bill by which Lord Chatham hoped, in 1775, to prevent the threatened separation of the colonies:

"It may be proper, or at least pardonable, here to pause for an inquiry, what probable issue might have attended an opposite decision in the British Parliament? If the ministers had been defeated on this Bill, if, in consequence, they had resigned, and it had in other hands been carried through, would the Americans have accepted the measure cheerfully and readily—would it for a long time to come have closed the breach, and cemented the union with the Mother Country? From all the facts and testimonies then or since made public, I answer without hesitation that it would. The sword was then slumbering in its scabbard. On both sides there were injuries to redress, but not as yet bloodshed to avenge. It was only a quarrel. It was not as yet a war. Even the boldest leaders of that war in after years, whether in council or the field, were still, in January, 1775, the firm friends of colonial subordination. Washington himself (and he at least was no dissembler—from him, at least, there never came any promise or assurance that did not deserve the most implicit credit) had only a few months before presided at a meeting of Fairfax County, in Virginia. That meeting, while claiming relief of grievances, had also at his instance adopted the following Resolve:—'That it is our greatest wish and inclination, as well as interest, to continue our connection with, and dependence upon, the British Government.'[pg 165] But further still, although the first Congress was praised by Chatham for its moderate counsels, and although the calmer voice of history has ratified the praise, we learn that these moderate counsels did not lag behind, but rather exceeded and outran the prevailing sentiment in many of the colonies. To this fact we find an unimpeachable testimony in the letters of President Reed, who, writing to a friend in strict confidence, laments that 'The proceedings of Congress have been pitched on too high a key for some of those middle provinces.' With such feelings, how gladly, how gratefully would they have welcomed the hand of reconciliation stretched out by the Parliament of England! It may be true, indeed, that such feelings as these did not prevail in all, or nearly all, the colonies. It may be true, especially, that no amount of good government, of forbearance, or of kindness, would have won back Massachusetts. But herein lay, as I think, the especial force and efficacy of Lord Chatham's scheme, that it did not refer the questions of parliamentary supremacy and colonial taxation to the decision of any one province; but, as the Americans themselves desired, to the decision of a Congress composed from all the provinces, so that disaffection, however firmly rooted here and there, would of course be overpowered by a loyal and large majority. Nor do I believe that the proposal of a new grant to the Crown, and the consequent necessity of increased taxation to the people, would have interposed any serious obstacle. The load of taxation on the colonies was at this period light indeed: according to a calculation made by Lord North in that very year, each inhabitant of England paid in taxes, upon an average, not less than twenty-five shillings annually; but each inhabitant of British America no more than sixpence. The experience of the closely-following Revolutionary war proves how easily and readily, when their feelings were involved, the Americans could raise far greater supplies. And surely had Lord Chatham's scheme prevailed, their feelings would have been involved. They would have been pleased and proud to show that their previous refusal to pay taxes sprang from principle, and not from inability or disaffection; and that, when once their views of principle had been complied with, they could contribute with no sparing hand to the exigencies of their countrymen, and to the service of their king."

The opinion of Lord Mahon that, even after Burgoyne's surrender, and the treaty of alliance between France and America, the colonies might have been preserved, had Lord Chatham lived and returned to office, we think entirely erroneous. Our separation from England, though there had been no stamp act or tea tax, was inevitable.

Lord Mahon is exceedingly fond of personal portraiture, in which he is sometimes very successful. One of his most carefully-elaborated performances in this way has for its subject Washington, and in the dozen pages he devotes to the analysis of the character of the great chief he has displayed his best abilities, though, we confess, without suggesting any thing very novel. He dislikes Franklin, and loses no opportunity of imputing to him personal dishonesty. We think the influence of Mr. William B. Reed's Life of President Reed is traceable in almost every allusion made by Lord Mahon to our philosopher. Without further observation upon the qualities of the work, we avail ourselves of the possession of an early copy of it to present our readers with some of the most striking passages pencilled in a hasty reading.


During many years did Washington continue to enjoy the pleasures and fulfil the duties of an independent country gentleman. Field-sports divided his time with the cultivation and improvement of his land, and the sales of his tobacco; he showed kindness to his dependents, and hospitality to his friends; and having been elected one of the House of Burgesses in Virginia, he was, whenever that House met, exact in his attendance. To that well-regulated mind nothing within the course of its ordinary and appointed avocations seemed unworthy of its care. His ledgers and day-books were kept by himself: he took note of all the houses where he partook of hospitality, so that not even the smallest courtesies might pass by unremembered; and until his press of business in the Revolutionary War he was wont every evening to set down the variations of the weather during the preceding day. It was also his habit through life, whenever he wished to possess himself perfectly of the contents of any paper, to transcribe it in his own hand, and apparently with deliberation, so that no point might escape his notice. Many copies of this kind were after his death found among his manuscripts.

We may observe, however, that in the mind of Washington punctuality and precision did not, as we often find them, turn in any degree to selfishness. On the contrary, he was rather careless of small points where only his own comfort was concerned. Thus he could seldom be persuaded to take any remedy, or desist from any business, whenever he caught a cold, but used to say, "let it go as it came!"

Nor yet was his constant regularity of habits attended by undue formality of manner. In one of his most private letters there appears given incidentally, and as it were by chance, a golden rule upon that subject:—"As to the gentlemen you mention I cannot charge myself with incivility, or what in my opinion is tantamount, ceremonious civility.

In figure Washington was thin and tall (above six feet high), in countenance grave, unimpassioned, and benign. An inborn worth, an unaffected dignity, beamed forth in every look as in every word and deed. His first appearance and address might not convey the idea of superior talents; such at least was the remark of his accomplished countryman, Mr. Gallatin; but no man, whether friend or enemy, ever viewed without respect the noble simplicity of his demeanor, the utter absence in him of every artifice and every affectation.

It has been justly remarked that of General Washington there are fewer anecdotes to tell than perhaps of any other great man on record. So equally framed were the features of his mind, so harmonious all its proportions, that no one quality rose salient above the rest. There were none of those chequered ques, none of those warring emotions, in which Biography delights. There was no[pg 166] contrast of lights and shades, no flickering of the flame; it was a mild light that seldom dazzled, but that ever cheered and warmed. His contemporaries or his close observers, as Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Gallatin, assert that he had naturally strong passions, but had attained complete mastery over them. In self-control indeed he has never been surpassed. If sometimes on rare occasions, and on strong provocation, there was wrung from him a burst of anger, it was almost instantly quelled by the dominion of his will. He decided surely, though he deliberated slowly; nor could any urgency or peril move him from his serene composure, his calm and clear-headed good sense. Integrity and truth were also ever present in his mind. Not a single instance, as I believe, can be found in his whole career when he was impelled by any but an upright motive, or endeavored to attain an object by any but worthy means. Such are some of the high qualities which have justly earned for General Washington the admiration even of the country he opposed, and not merely the admiration but the gratitude and affection of his own. Such was the pure and upright spirit to which, when its toils were over and its earthly course had been run, was offered the unanimous homage of the assembled Congress, all clad in deep mourning for their common loss, as to "the man first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his fellow-citizens." At this day in the United States the reverence for his character is, as it should be, deep and universal, and not confined, as with nearly all our English statesmen, to one party, one province, or one creed. Such reverence for Washington is felt even by those who wander furthest from the paths in which he trod. A President when recommending measures of aggression and invasion can still refer to him whose rule was ever to arm only in self-defence as to "the greatest and best of men!" States which exult in their bankruptcy as a proof of their superior shrewdness, and have devised "Repudiation" as a newer and more graceful term for it, yet look up to their great General—the very soul of good faith and honor—with their reverence unimpaired!"


The colony of Virginia was the place, and the the year 1736 the time, of birth to Patrick Henry. His parents were in easy circumstances, but burthened with a numerous family; they resided at a country scat to which the ambitious name of Mount Brilliant had been given. In childhood Patrick Henry gave little promise of distinction. His person is represented as having been coarse, his manners extremely awkward, his dress slovenly, and his aversion to study invincible. No persuasion could bring him either to read or to work. At sixteen his father gave him means to open a small shop, which failed, however, in less than one year. Then he tried a small farm, and married; then again he entered upon the life of a tradesman, but in a few years more was a bankrupt. It was at this period that he became acquainted with Mr. Jefferson, afterwards President of the United States. "Mr. Henry," says Jefferson, "had a little before broken up his store (shop), or rather it had broken him up, but his misfortunes were not to be traced either in his countenance or conduct. His manners had something of coarseness in them; his passion was music, dancing, and pleasantry. He excelled in the last, and it attached every one to him."

As a last resource, Patrick Henry now determined to make a trial of the law. It cannot be said that his preparatory studies were unduly arduous, since, as his biographer informs us, they were all comprised in the period of six weeks. Under such unpromising circumstances, and in the year 1763, he obtained a brief in the long-contested cause then raging in Virginia between the clergy on the one side, and the legislature on the other, as regarding the stipends which the former claimed. On this occasion Henry, to the astonishment of all who knew him, poured forth a strain of such impassioned eloquence as not only carried the cause, contrary to all previous expectation, but placed him ever afterwards at the head of his profession in the colony. To this very day, says Mr. Wirt, writing in 1818, the impression remains, and the old people of that district think that no higher compliment can be paid to any public speaker than to say of him in their homely phrase, "He is almost equal to Patrick when he plead (pleaded) against the parsons!"

The natural eloquence which on this occasion flashed forth from the coarse and unlettered Henry, as the spark-of fire from the flint, continued to distinguished him both as a Member of the House of Burgesses at Williamsburg, and afterwards as a member of Congress. He took from the first a bold and active part against the pretensions of the mother country; indeed Mr. Jefferson goes so far as to declare that "Mr. Henry certainly gave the earliest impulse to the ball of revolution." His most celebrated burst of oratory, or rather turn of phrase, was in this very year 1765, when descanting in the House of Burgesses on the tyranny of the Stamp Act. "Cæsar—" he cried, in a voice of thunder and with an eye of fire—"Cæsar had his Brutus—Charles the First had his Cromwell—and George the Third"—"Treason!" here exclaimed the Speaker, "Treason! Treason!" re-echoed from every part of the House. Henry did not for an instant falter, but fixing his eye firmly on the Speaker, he concluded his sentence thus "—may profit by their example. If this be treason make the most of it!"

Indolence and aversion to reading seemed almost as natural to Henry's mind as powers of debate. To the last he never overcame them. Thus, at his death, in 1799, his books were found to be extremely few, and these too consisting chiefly of odd volumes. But his gift of speech was (for his hearers) sufficiently supported by his fiery energy, his practical shrewdness, and his ever keen glance into the feelings and characters of other. Nor were these his only claims to his country's favor. He retained the manners and custom of the common people, with what his friendly biographer terms "religious caution.—He dressed as plainly as the plainest of them," continues Mr. Wirt, "ate only their homely fare, and drank their simple beverage, mixed with them on a footing of the most entire and perfect equality, and conversed with them even in their own vicious and depraved pronunciation." By such means he soon acquired and long retained a large measure of popularity, and he applied himself with zeal and success before any audience, and on every occasion which arose, to increase and perpetuate the estrangement between the North American Colonies and England.

[pg 167]


Dr. Benjamin Franklin is one of those men who have made the task of succeeding biographers more difficult by having been in part their own. He was born at Boston in 1706, the youngest of ten sons. "My father," he says, "intended to devote me, as the tithe of his sons, to the service of the Church;" but on further reflection, the charges of a college education were thought too burthensome, and young Benjamin became a journeyman printer. From a very early age he showed a passionate fondness for reading, and much ingenuity in argument, but, as he acknowledges, had at first contracted a disputatious and wrangling turn of conversation. "I have since observed," he says, "that persons of good sense seldom fall into it, except lawyers, University-men, and generally men of all sorts who have been bred at Edinburgh."

Young Franklin was at first bound apprentice to one of his elder brothers, a printer at Boston; but some differences arising between them, he proceeded to Philadelphia, where he soon obtained employment, and ere long set up for himself. His success in life was secured by his great frugality, industry, and shrewdness. In his own words: "I spent no time in taverns, games, or frolics of any kind; reading was the only amusement I allowed myself." His knowledge and shrewdness,—great zeal in urging any improvements, and great ingenuity in promoting them,—speedily raised him high in the estimation of his fellow-townsmen, and enabled him to take a forward part in all the affairs of his province. In England, and indeed all Europe, he became celebrated by his experiments and discoveries in electricity. These may deserve the greater credit when we recollect both their practical utility and their unassisted progress,—how much the pointed rods which he introduced have tended to avert the dangers of lightning, and how far removed was Franklin at the time from all scientific society, libraries, or patronage.

It has also been stated by no less an authority in science than Sir Humphrey Davy, that "the style and manner of Dr. Franklin's publication on Electricity are almost as worthy of admiration as the doctrine it contains." The same remark may indeed be applied to all his writings. All of them are justly celebrated for their clear, plain, and lively style, free from every appearance of art, but, in fact, carefully pointed and nicely poised. In public speaking, on the other hand, he was much less eminent. His last American biographer observes of him, that he never even pretended to the accomplishments of an orator or debater. He seldom spoke in a deliberative assembly, except for some special object, and then only for a few minutes at a time.

As a slight instance of Franklin's humor and shrewdness in all affairs of common life I may quote the following: "Question. I am about courting a girl I have had but little acquaintance with. How shall I come to a knowledge of her faults? Answer. Commend her among her female acquaintance!"

Whether in science and study, or in politics and action, the great aim of Franklin's mind was ever practical utility. Here again we may quote Sir Humphrey Davy as saying of Franklin that he sought rather to make philosophy a useful inmate and servant in the common habitations of man, than to preserve her merely as an object of admiration in temples and palaces. Thus, also, in affairs he had a keen eye to his own interest, but likewise a benevolent concern for the public good. Nor was he ever indifferent to cases of individual grievance or hardship. In the pursuit of his objects, public or private, he was, beyond most other men, calm, sagacious, and wary; neither above business nor yet below it; never turned aside from it by flights of fancy nor yet by bursts of passion.

Among the good qualities which we may with just cause ascribe to Franklin we cannot number any firm reliance on the truths of Revelation. Only five weeks before his death we find him express a cold approbation of the "system of morals" bequeathed to us by "Jesus of Nazareth." In his Memoirs he declares that he always believed in the existence of a Deity and a future state of rewards and punishments, but he adds that although he continued to adhere to his first—the Presbyterian—sect, some of its dogmas appeared to him unintelligible, and others doubtful. "I early absented myself from the public assemblies of the sect; and I seldom attended any public worship; Sunday being my studying day."

Such being Franklin's own practice, and such his own description of it as to public worship, it seems worthy of note that it was he who in the American Convention brought forward a motion for daily prayers. "I have lived, Sir," said he, "a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?" But in spite of this most earnest appeal the motion was rejected, since, as we are told, "the Convention, except three or four persons, thought prayers unnecessary."

The accomplished American biographer, by whom this last incident is recorded, expresses in the same passage deep regret that Dr. Franklin did not bestow more attention than he seems to have done on the evidences of Christianity. And indeed there are several indications that he was less well acquainted with points of Christian faith and discipline than with almost any other subject. One of these indications, and surely a most strange one, occurs in the Private Diary which he kept at Passy during part of 1784. It appears that two young American gentlemen had come over to London with the view of entering Holy Orders, but that the Archbishop of Canterbury refused them Ordination unless they would take the Oath of Allegiance. In this dilemma Franklin actually applied to the Pope's Nuncio at Paris to ascertain whether a Roman Catholic Bishop in America might not perform the ceremony for them as Protestants, and he transcribes as remarkable the natural reply: "The Nuncio says the thing is impossible unless the gentlemen become Roman Catholics."

The religious scepticism or indifference of Franklin, which his present biographers justly lament, was, however, in his own day, a recommendation and a merit with the French philosophists. On the other hand, his hostility to England endeared him to the French politicians. On both these grounds, as well as from his high scientific attainments, he found himself during his residence of several years at Paris in no common measure courted, flattered, and caressed. A fine verse, one[pg 168] of the noblest which modern Latinity can boast, describes him as having plucked the lightning from Heaven and the sceptre from tyrants.

Descending from such lofty flights to the regions of sober reality, we may observe that Franklin in his later years, and especially in France, adopted to a great extent the Quaker garb. He laid aside the huge wig which he used to wear in England, and allowed his long white hair to flow down nearly to his shoulders. His clothes were of the plainest cut and of the dunnest color. The Parisians of that period, ever swayed by external impressions, were greatly struck with, and in their writings frequently refer to, his venerable aspect, and they compared him by turns to all the sages of antiquity. It is also probable that his Quaker-like attire may have tended to invest him in their estimation with the other attributes which they assigned to the ideal Quaker character, as simplicity, guilelessness, inviolable truth.


It so chanced that in the summer of 1776, La Fayette, still in his teens, and serving as a subaltern with the French army, was stationed with his regiment at Metz. It happened also that in the course of a foreign tour their Royal Highnesses of Gloucester passed a few days in that town. The principal officers entertained the Duke at dinner, when the conversation turned to the last news from Philadelphia and the new Declaration of Independence. Being at that period offended with his Court, from its neglect of the Duchess, the Duke indulged in Opposition topics, and, in some degree at least, took the part of the Americans. The details were new to La Fayette. He listened with eagerness, and prolonged the conversation by asking questions of the Royal guest. The cause of the colonies that had risen against England seemed to him just and noble, even on the showing of one of the English princes; and before he left the table, the thought came into his head that he would go to America, and offer the Americans his services. He determined to return to Paris, and make further inquiries. His inquiries being mainly addressed to Silas Deane and other zealous friends of the insurgents, could not fail to confirm him in his first impressions. He became fired with an ardent zeal for Republican principles and the American cause. That zeal continued ever afterwards—for well nigh sixty years—the polar star of his course. That zeal, favored as it was by fortune, adapted to the times that came upon him, and urged forward by great personal vanity, laid the foundations of his fame far more, as I conceive, than any strength of mind or talents of his own. Few men have ever been so conspicuous from afar with so little, when closely viewed, of real weight or dimension. As a general, it can scarcely be pretended that his exploits were either many or considerable. As an orator, we look in vain for any high powers of debate. As a statesman, we find only an undistinguishing eagerness to apply the Transatlantic examples and to act the part of Washington, without duly estimating either the immense superiority of Washington's character above his own, or the manifold points of difference between America and Europe.

It was said by Napoleon at St. Helena, that "La Fayette was a man of no ability, either in civil or military life; his understanding was confined to narrow bounds; his character was full of dissimulation, and swayed by vague ideas of liberty, which, in him, were undefined and ill-digested." No doubt there is some exaggeration in these words. No doubt the late Emperor, at that period, was stirred by personal resentment at the hostile conduct of the General in 1815; yet it will perhaps be found more easy by any admirer of La Fayette to impugn the good faith of the draughtsman than the general accuracy of the portrait.

The fortune of La Fayette was ample, his yearly income being little short of two hundred thousand livres; and his connexions, as we have seen, were among the first at Court. Under such circumstances, Silas Deane felt the vast importance of securing him. An agreement was concluded between them, by the intervention of one Mr. Carmichael (for as yet La Fayette spoke no English, and Deane little French), according to the terms of which the Marquis de La Fayette was to join the American service, and to receive from Congress the rank of Major-General—no slight temptation to a stripling of nineteen! La Fayette was to be accompanied, or rather attended, by the Baron de Kalb and eleven other officers of lower rank, seeking service in America. He sent, in secret, an agent to Bordeaux, there to purchase and prepare a vessel for their voyage. Meanwhile he made an excursion of three weeks to London, where his kinsman, the Marquis de Noailles, was ambassador. He was presented to the King, and graciously received. He saw at the opera General Clinton, who had come home on a winter leave of absence, and who was next to meet him on a field of battle in America. But, mindful of his own hostile designs, he deemed it proper to forbear from prying into the military forces of the kingdom, and declined an invitation to visit the naval armament at Portsmouth.

On his return to France, La Fayette bade farewell to his young wife, leaving her four months gone with child, and set out for Bordeaux. Thus far all had prospered according to his wishes. But at Bordeaux he found that his preparations had been discovered and complained of by Lord Stormont, and that a lettre de cachet for his arrest was already issued. Nevertheless, he did not relinquish his design. He crossed the Spanish frontier in the disguise of a courier, found his vessel at Pasages, and there embarked with his companions. Towards the middle of June he landed on the coast of Carolina; and after a few days' rest, pursued his route to Philadelphia. His reception by the Congress was not at first a warm one; but La Fayette declared that he would accept no pay, and was willing to serve as a volunteer; and under these circumstances, the Assembly fulfilled the terms of the secret agreement, and bestowed on him the rank of Major-General.

At Philadelphia La Fayette saw the American troops for the first time, and, according to his own account, was struck with their grotesque appearance—with green boughs fastened to their hats—coarse hunting-shirts instead of uniforms—and muskets, many wanting bayonets, and all of unequal make and size. But he soon learnt to think more favorably of these raw levies, when, notwithstanding all their disadvantages, he observed their conduct in the field. With regard to their commander, his early impressions never changed. It was also at Philadelphia, and at a dinner-table,[pg 169] comprising several members of the Congress, that La Fayette was introduced to Washington. The boy-general found himself warmly welcomed by the chief whom he had long admired. "When you come to the army," said Washington, "I shall be pleased if you will make my quarters your home, and consider yourself as one of my family." The invitation thus frankly tendered was no less frankly accepted. Thus did a cordial intimacy arise between them, Washington at all times treating La Fayette with fatherly kindness, and La Fayette looking up to Washington with filial regard.

La Fayette had already begun to speak a little English, and by degrees acquired more. But to the last the difficulties of the language were a main obstacle, not only to himself, but to every other foreigner who served with, or under, the United States. Thus there are still preserved some of the ill-spelled and scarcely intelligible notes of Count Pulasky, during the short time that he served as general of cavalry. Still worse was the case of Baron Steuben, a veteran of the school of Frederick the Second, who joined the Americans a few months later than La Fayette, and who greatly aided them in the establishment of discipline. The Baron, it appears, could not teach and drill, nor even swear and curse, but by means of an interpreter! He was, therefore, most fortunate in securing as his aid-de-camp Captain Walker of New-York—most fortunate, if, as his American biographer assures us, "there was not, perhaps, another officer in the army, unless Hamilton be excepted, who could speak French and English so as to be well understood in both."

La Fayette did not always confine himself to the bounds of his own profession; sometimes, and, perhaps, not greatly to his credit, he stepped beyond them. Here is one case recorded with much satisfaction by himself. He states, that soon after his arrival in America, and while attending on Sunday the service of the Church of England, he was displeased with the clergyman, because in his sermon he had said nothing at all of politics. "I charged him to his face," says La Fayette, "with preaching only about Heaven!... But next Sunday," continues the keen young officer, "I heard him again, when his loud invectives against 'the execrable House of Hanover,' showed that he was ready and willing to take my good advice."


His abilities were ill fitted for the profession of a clergyman, which indeed he at last renounced, but they highly qualified him for his favorite occupation as a demagogue. Between him and Wilkes there now arose a violent animosity and a keen altercation carried on in newspapers. Descending to the lowest and most selfish details, they were not ashamed thus publicly to wrangle respecting a Welsh pony and a hamper of claret! Even before the close of 1770 might be discerned the growing discord and weakness of Wilkes and his city friends. At a meeting which they convened to consider their course of action, some proposed a new Remonstrance to the King, while others urged an impeachment of Lord North in the House of Commons. "What is the use of a new Remonstrance?" cried Wilkes. "It would only serve to make another paper kite for His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales!"—"What is the use of an impeachment?" cried Sawbridge. "Lord North is quite sure of the Bishops and the Scotch Peers in the Upper House, and could not fail to be acquitted!" But although these ardent patriots might differ a little as to the means, they were bent on one and the same end; and the Remonstrance which was at last agreed upon, appears to have been framed by their united wisdom. As thus drawn up it teemed with silly vagaries fit only to please the lowest order of intellects. Thus it prayed that His Majesty would for ever remove from his presence and councils all his Ministers and Secretaries of State, especially Lord Mansfield (who by the way was not one of them), and that His Majesty would not again admit any Scotchman into the administration!


He was born in 1727, the son of a rich distiller. Early in life he set up a brewery for himself, but soon relinquished the wearisome business. Early in life also he improved his fortune by his marriage with the daughter and heiress of the celebrated Dr. Mead, the author of the "Treatise on Poisons." But this lady, being of maturer age than himself, and of slight personal attractions, was speedily slighted, and he left her with as much disgust as he had his brewery. In 1757 he was elected Member of Parliament for Aylesbury, but never obtained any success as an orator, his speeches being, though flippant, yet feeble. In truth he had no great ability of any kind, but dauntless courage and high animal spirits. Nor should we deny him another much rarer praise,—a vein of good humor and kindliness, which did not forsake him through all his long career, amidst the riot of debauchery or the rancor of faction. So agreeable and insinuating was his conversation, that more than one fair dame as she listened found herself forget his sinister squint and his ill-favored countenance. He used to say of himself in a laughing strain, that though he was the ugliest man in England, he wanted nothing to make him even with the handsomest but half an hour at starting! Politics indeed seemed at first wholly alien from Wilkes's sphere; gayety and gallantry were his peculiar objects. For some time he reigned the oracle of green-rooms and the delight of taverns. In conjunction with other kindred spirits, as Paul Whitehead and Sir Francis Dashwood, amounting in all to twelve, he rented Medmenham Abbey, near Marlow. It is a secluded and beautiful spot on the banks of the Thames, with hanging woods that slope down to the crystal stream, a grove of venerable elms, and meadows of the softest green. In days of old it had been a convent of Cistercian monks, but the new brotherhood took the title of Franciscans in compliment to Sir Francis Dashwood, whom they called their Father Abbot. On the portal, now again in ruins, and once more resigned to its former solitude and silence, I could still a few years since read the inscription placed there by Wilkes and his friends: fay çe que voudras. Other French and Latin inscriptions, now with good reason effaced, then appeared in other parts of the grounds, some of them remarkable for wit, but all for either profaneness or obscenity, and many the more highly applauded as combining both. In this retreat the new Franciscans used often to meet for summer pastimes, and varied the round of their debauchery by a mock celebration of the principal Roman Catholic rites.

[pg 170]


It appears that Wilkes had, several years before, and in some of his looser hours, composed a parody of Pope's "Essay on Man." In this undertaking, which, according to his own account, cost him a great deal of pains and time, he was, it is said, assisted by Thomas Potter, second son of the late Archbishop of Canterbury, who had been Secretary of Frederick Prince of Wales, and had since shown ability and gained office in the House of Commons, but was (as well became one of Wilkes's friends) of lax morals in his private life. The result of their joint authorship, however, has little wit or talent to make any amends for the blasphemy and lewdness with which it abounds. As the original had been inscribed by Pope to Lord Bolingbroke, so was the parody by Wilkes to Lord Sandwich; thus it began, "Awake my Sandwich!" instead of "Awake my St. John!" Thus also, in ridicule of Warburton's well-known commentary, some burlesque notes were appended in the name of the Right Reverend the Bishop of Gloucester.

This worthless poem had remained in manuscript, and lain in Wilkes's desk, until in the previous spring he had occasion to set up a press at his own house, and was tempted to print fourteen copies only as presents to his boon companions. Of one of these copies the Government obtained possession, through a subordinate agent, and by not very creditable means, and Lord Sandwich holding it forth in his hand with the air of injured innocence, denounced it as not only scandalous and impious, but also as a breach of Privilege against the Bishop as a Peer of Parliament. He likewise complained of another profane parody, written by the same hand, and printed on the same occasion; this last was entitled, "The veni creator paraphrased." The most offensive passages of both were now by Lord Sandwich's order read aloud to the House, until Lord Lyttleton with a groan entreated that they might hear no more!

In the discussion which ensured, Bishop Warburton, forgetting that such ribaldries could not really tarnish his character, showed a heat which little became it. He exclaimed that the blackest fiends in Hell would disdain to keep company with Wilkes,—and then asked pardon of Satan for comparing them together! Both the Earl and Bishop in their passion would have readily over-leaped the common forms of justice. The former, after producing evidence at the Bar as to the authorship of Wilkes, wished the House to take measures for his prosecution, without the least delay. But the Peers, although readily agreeing to vote the two parodies blasphemous and breaches of Privilege, resolved, on the motion of Lord Mansfield, to adjourn all further questions until the day after the next, so as to give Wilkes the opportunity, if he desired it, of alleging any matter in denial or defence.


With all his faults and shortcomings there was that in Thurlow which overawed and daunted his contemporaries, and of which the impression is not wholly lost even on posterity. It was a saying of Mr. Fox, that no man ever yet was so wise as Thurlow looked. His countenance was fraught with sense; his aspect stately and commanding; his brow broad, massy, and armed with terrors like that of the Olympian Jove, to which indeed it was often compared. His voice loud, sonorous, and as rolling thunder in the distance, augmented the effect of his fierce and terrible invective. Few indeed were they who did not quail before his frown; fewer still who would abide his onset in debate. Perhaps no modern English statesman, in the House of Lords at least, was ever so much dreaded. In parliament, as at the bar, his speeches were home thrusts, conveying the strongest arguments or keenest reproofs in the plainest and clearest words. His enemies might accuse his style of being coarse, and sometimes even ungrammatical, but they could never deny its energy or its effect. In private life Thurlow was remarkable for his thorough knowledge of the Greek and Latin writers; and no less for his skill in argument and brilliant powers of conversation. While yet at the bar, Dr. Johnson said of him to Boswell: "I honor Thurlow, sir; Thurlow is a fine fellow; he fairly puts his mind to yours." And after he became Chancellor, the same high authority added: "I would prepare myself for no man in England but Lord Thurlow. When I am to meet him, I should wish to know a day before." Unless with ladies, his manner was always uncouth, and his voice a constant growl. But beneath that rugged rind there appears to have lurked much warmth of affection and kindliness of heart. Many acts of generous aid and unsolicited bounty are recorded of him. Men of learning and merit seldom needed any other recommendation to his favor. Thus, on reading Horsley's "Letters to Dr. Priestly," he at once obtained for the author a stall at Gloucester, saying—what I earnestly wish all other Chancellors had borne in mind—"that those who supported the Church should be supported by it." Nevertheless his temper, even when in some measure sobered down by age, was always liable to violent and unreasonable starts of passion. It is related by a gentleman who dined with him at Brighton only a few months before his death—for I must ever hold that great characters are best portrayed by little circumstances—that a plateful of peaches being brought in, the ex-Chancellor, incensed at their ill appearance, ordered the window to be opened, and not only the peaches but the whole desert to be thrown out!


In pamphlets, however, and political essays—and even speeches, when revised and sent forth singly, may be comprehended in that class,—the personal disadvantages of Burke could no longer apply; and as regards that class of writings, it may be doubted whether he has ever, in any age, or in any country, been excelled. The philosophy and deep thought of his reflections—the vigor and variety of his style—his rich flow of either panegyric or invective—his fine touches of irony—the glowing abundance and beauty of his metaphors—all these might separately claim applause; how much more, then, when all blended into one glorious whole! To give examples of these merits would be to transcribe half his works. Yet still if one single and short instance from his maxims be allowed me, I will observe that the generous ardor and activity of mind called forth by competition has formed a theme of philosophic comment from a very early age. It is touched both by Cicero and Quintilian; it has not been neglected either by Bacon or Montaigne. Yet still, as[pg 171] handled by Burke, this trite topic beams forth, not only with the hues of eloquence, but even with the bloom of novelty. He invites us to "an amicable conflict with difficulty. Difficulty is a severe instructor set over us by the supreme ordinance of a parental guardian and legislator, who knows us better than we know ourselves, as he loves us better too. He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper!" If amidst so much of eloquence and feeling as Burke's writings display we are desired to seek for faults, we shall find them, not in the want, but only in the exuberance and overflow of beauties. The palate becomes cloyed by so much richness, the eye dazzled by so much glare. His metaphors, fraught with fancy though they be, are often bold; they seem both too numerous and strained too far; they sometimes cease to please, and occasionally border even on the ludicrous and low. Of this defect, as of his excellences, a single instance shall suffice me. In the "Letter to a Noble Lord," in 1796, Burk compares the Duke of Bedford to a lamb already marked for slaughter by the Marats and Robespierres of France, but still unconscious of his doom, "pleased to the last," and who "licks the hand just raised to shed his blood." Thus far the simile is conducted with admirable force and humor. But not satisfied with his success, Burke goes further; he insists on leading us into the shambles, and makes the revolutionary butchers inquire as to their ducal victim, "how he cuts up? how he tallows in the caul or on the kidneys?" Apart from the beauty of the style, the value, as I conceive, of Burke's writings, is subject to one not unimportant deduction. For most lofty and far-sighted views in politics they will never be consulted in vain. On the other hand, let no man expect to find in them just or accurate, or even consistent, delineations of contemporary character. Where eternal principles are at stake, Burke was inaccessible to favor or to fear. Where only persons are concerned, he was often misled by resentments or by partialities, and allowed his fancy full play. The rich stores of Burke's memory and the rare powers of his mind were not reserved solely for his speeches or his writings; they appeared to no less advantage in his familiar conversation. Even the most trivial topics could elicit, even the most ignorant hearers could discern, his genius. "Sir," said Dr. Johnson, "if Burke were to go into a stable to see his horse dressed, the hostler would say, We have had an extraordinary man here!" On other occasions, also, the author of "Rasselas" extols him as "never unwilling to begin conversation, never at a loss to carry it on, never in haste to leave it off." His attempts at wit, indeed, were not always successful, and he might be accused of an inordinate affection for quibbles and puns. His favorite niece, and latterly his guest, was sometimes provoked into a—"Really, uncle, that is very poor." But upon the whole it may be asserted, that in social converse Burke was equalled by none of his contemporaries and his countrymen, except only Dr. Johnson himself and perhaps Lord Thurlow.

We have no more room for further extracts; those we have made illustrate the temper and the style of the work, and will commend it to the favorable consideration of American readers. Among subjects treated most elaborately is that of the authorship of Junius; but Lord Mahon has no new facts for the vindication of his judgment, that Sir Philip Francis was unquestionably the writer of the famous letters under that name.

There is an appendix to each volume; and in the appendix of one, and in the notes of both, are some curious illustrations of the worthlessness of Mr. Sparks's editions of the writings of Washington and Franklin. We first called attention to this subject some five years ago, and after the changes, &c. of Mr. Sparks had been pointed out in The International, a series of carefully prepared criticisms appeared in the Evening Post, in which the discrepancies between the original letters of Washington were exhibited to a degree that at once and for ever destroyed the good reputation of Mr. Sparks in this department. He chose not to take any notice of the disclosures to which we refer, but it may be that Lord Mahon's criticism will secure his attention, and an attempt, at least, for his vindication. Besides his comparisons of MS. and printed letters in the appendix, Lord Mahon has several allusions to the subject, of which we quote specimens:

"Some samples of the manner in which that gentleman (Mr. Sparks) has thought himself at liberty to tamper with the original MSS., will be found," &c.

"Mr. Sparks has printed no part of the correspondence precisely as Washington wrote it, but has greatly altered, and as he thinks, corrected and embellished it. Such a liberty with the writings of such a man might be justifiable, nay, even in some respects necessary, if Washington and his principal contemporaries had been still alive; but the date of this publication, the year (1838), leaves, as I conceive, no adequate vindication for tampering with the truth of history."

"Washington, however, in his public letter to Congress (unless Mr. Jared Sparks has improved this passage), says," &c.

"I know not whether my readers will concur with me in liking Washington's own and though home-spun, excellent cloth, much better than the 'Cobweb schemes and gauze coverings' which have, it seems, been manufactured in its place."

A complete errata to Mr. Sparks's editions of Washington, Franklin, and Gouverneur Morris, would occupy several volumes; and we do not remember one instance in which his alterations were justifiable, or in which they were really an improvement in point of style. The reprobation with which Mr. Sparks has been visited by the learned and judicious of his own country and England will be a warning to future laborers in the same field. The works edited by Mr. Sparks are no longer, we believe, regarded by historical students as of the slightest value as authorities, and no faithfulness or excellence which may be displayed in future works from his hand will retrieve his lost reputation.

These volumes will be reprinted immediately by the Appletons.

[pg 172]


It were well if writers on the origin of typography would obey the injunction of Sir Thomas Browne, who thought it not inexpedient for those who seek to enlighten mankind on any particular subject, first to acquire some knowledge thereof themselves, so that the labor of readers should not so generally be profitless. In an article by Bishop McIlvaine, and another in Frazer's Magazine, by an anonymous contributor, the exercise of necromancy is imputed to Fust, the inventor or supposed inventor of printing. Nine of every ten persons who write any thing on the subject fall into the same error; they have something always to say of Fust and the devil; curious anecdotes to rehearse of the multiplication of copies of the Scriptures in Paris and elsewhere; spells and incantations by the inventor of the "black" art to describe, &c. But this is all induced by ignorance of the facts. John Fust, the putative inventor of printing, was a shrewd silversmith, and we suspect a knavish one, for without having any thing to do with the invention of the "art preservative of arts," he managed to rob another of the credit and profit of it. He was, however, never in Paris; he was never in his lifetime accused of the exercise of magical arts; he simply endeavored to make as much money as he could in Germany by underselling the copyists in the book market. All stories in which necromancy is attributed to him or to any other printer; all accounts of the opposition of the priests to typography as an infernal invention; in fine, the whole popular idea of Faust and the devil, is a modern contrivance, and originated in this manner: Some bookmaker, about the year 1580, undertook to write a history of printing; he had an indistinct recollection of Professor Faustus of the University of Wittenberg, and in his book blended as many of his adventures as he could remember with the memoirs of John Fust the printer; and from that day a succession of ignorant chroniclers have considered two men, of totally different characters, living at different times, as one individual.

Faust, the necromancer, was born in the duchy of Weimer in 1491, twenty-five years after the printer is understood to have died. He is mentioned by Melancthon, Wierus, and many other cotemporary writers, and was probably in his time not less distinguished as a magician than Agrippa or Albertus Magnus. It is related of him by Godwin, that he was in his youth adopted by an uncle, dwelling in the city of Wittenberg, who had no children. Here he was sent to college, and was soon distinguished by the greatness of his talents, and the rapid progress he made in every species of learning that was put before him. He was destined by his relative to the profession of theology. But he is said ungraciously to have set at naught his uncle's pious intentions. He went through his examinations with applause, and carried off all the first prizes among sixteen competitors; he therefore obtained the degree of doctor in divinity; but his success only made him proud and headstrong. He disdained his theological eminence, and sighed for distinction as a man of the world. He took his degree as a doctor of medicine, and aspired to celebrity as a practitioner of physic. About the same time he fell in with certain cotemporaries, of tastes similar to his own, and associated with them in the study of Chaldean, Greek, and Arabic science, of strange incantations and supernatural influences, in short, of all the arts of a sorcerer.

Having made such progress as he could by dint of study and intense application, he at length resolved to prosecute his purposes still further by actually raising the devil. He happened one evening to walk in a thick, dark wood, within a short distance from Wittenberg, when it occurred to him that that was a fit place for executing his design. He stopped at a solitary spot where four roads met, and made use of his wand to mark out a large circle, and then two small ones within the larger. In one of these he fixed himself, appropriating the other for the use of his expected visitor. He went over the precise range of charms and incantations, omitting nothing. It was now dark night, between the ninth and tenth hours. The devil manifested himself by the usual signs of his appearance. "Wherefore am I called?" said he, "and what is it that you demand?" "I require," rejoined Faustus, "that you should sedulously attend unto me, answer my inquiries, and fulfil my behests."

Immediately upon Faustus pronouncing these words, there followed a tumult overhead, as if heaven and earth were coming together. The trees in their topmost branches bended to their very roots. It seemed as if the whole forest were peopled with devils, making a crash like a thousand wagons, hurrying to the right and left, before and behind, in every possible direction, with thunder and lightning, and the continual discharge of great cannon. Hell appeared to have emptied itself to have furnished the din. There succeeded the most charming music from all sorts of instruments, and sounds of hilarity and dancing. Next came a report as of a tournament, and the clashing of innumerable lances. This lasted so long, that Faustus was many times about to rush out of the circle in which he had inclosed himself, and to abandon his preparations. His courage and resolution, however, got the better; and he remained immovable. He pursued his incantations without intermission. Then came to the very edge of the circle a griffin first, and next a dragon, which in the midst of his enchantments grinned at him horribly with his teeth, but finally fell down at his feet, and extended his length to many a rood. Faustus persisted. Then succeeded a sort of fireworks, a pillar[pg 173] of fire, and a man on fire at the top, who leaped down; and there immediately appeared a number of globes here and there red-hot, while the man on fire went and came to every part of the circle for a quarter of an hour. At length the devil came forward in the shape of a gray monk, and asked Faustus what he wanted. Faustus adjourned their further conference, and appointed the devil to comes to him at his lodging.

He in the mean time busied himself in the necessary preparations. He entered his study at the appointed time, and found the devil waiting for him. Faustus told him that he had prepared certain articles, to which it was necessary that the demon should fully accord,—that he should attend him at all times, when required, for all the days of his life; that he should bring him every thing he wanted; that he should come to him in any shape that Faustus required, or be invisible, and Faustus should be invisible too whenever he desired it; that he should deny him nothing, and answer him with perfect veracity to every thing he demanded. To some of these requisitions the spirit could not consent, without authority from his master, the chief of devils. At length all these concessions were adjusted. The devil on his part also prescribed his conditions. That Faustus should abjure the Christian religion and all reverence for the supreme God; that he should enjoy the entire command of his attendant demon for a certain term of years; and that at the end of that period the devil should dispose of him, body and soul, at his pleasure [the term was fixed for twenty-four years]; that he should at all times steadfastly refuse to listen to any one who should desire to convert him, or convince him of the error of his ways, and lead him to repentance; that Faustus should draw up a writing containing these particulars, and sign it with his blood; that he should deliver this writing to the devil, and keep a duplicate of it himself, that so there might be no misunderstanding. It was further appointed by Faustus, that the devil should usually attend him in the habit of a cordelier, with a pleasing countenance and an insinuating demeanor. Faustus also asked the devil his name, who answered that he was usually called Mephistophiles.

Numerous adventures of Faustus are related in the German histories. It is said that the emperor Charles V. was at Inspruck, at a time when Faustus also resided there. His courtiers informed the emperor that Faustus was in the town, and Charles expressed a desire to see him. He was introduced. Charles asked him whether he could really perform such wondrous feats as were reported of him. Faustus modestly replied, inviting the emperor to make trial of his skill. "Then," said Charles, "of all the eminent personages I have ever read of, Alexander the Great is the man who most excites my curiosity, and whom it would most gratify my wishes to see in the very form in which he lived." Faustus rejoined that it was out of his power truly to raise the dead, but that he had spirits at his command who had often seen that great conqueror, and that Faustus would willingly place him before the emperor as he required. He conditioned that Charles should not speak to him, nor attempt to touch him. The emperor promised compliance. After a few ceremonies, therefore, Faustus opened a door, and brought in Alexander exactly in the form in which he had lived, with the same garments, and every circumstance corresponding. Alexander made his obeisance to the emperor, and walked several times round him. The queen of Alexander was then introduced in the same manner. Charles just then recollected he had read that Alexander had a wart on the nape of his neck; and with proper precautions Faustus allowed the emperor to examine the apparition by this test. Alexander then vanished.

As Faustus was approaching the last year of his term, he seemed resolved to pamper his appetite with every species of luxury. He carefully accumulated all the materials of voluptuousness and magnificence. He was particularly anxious in the selection of women who should serve for his pleasures. He had one Englishwoman, one Hungarian, one French, two of Germany, and two from different parts of Italy, all of them eminent for the perfections which characterized their different countries.

At length he arrived at the end of the term for which he had contracted with the devil. For two or three years before it expired his character gradually altered. He became subject to fits of despondency, was no longer susceptible of mirth and amusement, and reflected with bitter agony on the close in which the whole must terminate. He assembled his friends together at a grand entertainment, and when it was over, addressed them, telling them that this was the last day of his life, reminding them of the wonders with which he had frequently astonished them, and informing them of the condition upon which he had held this power. They, one and all, expressed the deepest sorrow at the intelligence. They had had the idea of something unlawful in his proceedings; but their notions had been very far from coming up to the truth. They regretted exceedingly that he had not been unreserved in his communications at an earlier period. They would have had recourse in his behalf, to the means of religion, and have applied to pious men, desiring them to employ their power to intercede with Heaven in his favor. Prayer and penitence might have done much for him; and the mercy of Heaven was unbounded. They advised him to still call upon God, and endeavor to secure an interest in the merits of the Saviour.

Faustus assured them that it was all in vain, and that his tragical fate was inevitable.[pg 174] He led them to their sleeping apartment, and recommended to them to pass the night as they could, but by no means, whatever they might happen to hear, to come out of it; as their interference could in no way be beneficial to him, and might be attended with the most serious injury to themselves. They lay still, therefore, as he had enjoined them; but not one of them could close his eyes. Between twelve and one in the night they heard first a furious storm of wind round all sides of the house, as if it would have torn away the walls from their foundations. This no sooner somewhat abated, than a noise was heard of discordant and violent hissing, as if the house was full of all sorts of venomous reptiles, but which plainly proceeded from Faustus's chamber. Next they heard the doctor's room-door vehemently burst open, and cries for help uttered with dreadful agony, but in a half-suppressed voice, which presently grew fainter and fainter. Then every thing became still, as if the everlasting motion of the world was suspended.

When at length it became broad day, the students went in a body to the doctor's apartment. But he was nowhere to be seen. Only the walls were found smeared with his blood, and marks as if his brains had been dashed out. His body was finally discovered at some distance from the house, his limbs dismembered, and marks of great violence about the features of his face. The students gathered up the mutilated parts of his body, and afforded them private burial at the temple of Mars, in the village where he died.





Without, the winds of Winter blow;
Without, the Winter sifts its snow:
Within, the hearths are warm and bright,
And all the chambers full of light,
And we again are gathered here,
To greet the advent of the year.
Pile on the wood, and stir the fires,
And in our souls the sweet desires;
And let us frame a mingled rhyme,
To suit the singers and the time;
With different stops, and keys of art,
In quaint old measures, got by heart.


By the rolling waves I roam,
And look along the sea,
And dream of the day and the gleaming sail,
That bore my love from me.
His bark now sails the Indian seas,
Far down the summer zone:
But his thoughts, like swallows, fly to me
By the Northern waves alone.
Nor will he delay, when winds are fair,
To waft him back to me;
But haste, my love! or my grave will be made
By the sad and moaning sea!


Before me now the village stands,
Its cottages embowered in bloom;
Behind me lies the burying ground,
Its sepulchres in cypress gloom.
The bells before me ring aloud,
A pæan for the live and bold;
The bells behind are tolling low,
A requiem for the dead and cold.
The crowd before me tramp away,
And shout until the winds are stirred;
The crowd behind no longer move,
And never breathe a single word.
Before me many moan, and weep:
Behind, there is not one who grieves;
For blight but wastes the standing wheat.
It cannot touch the garnered sheaves!


The gray old Earth goes on
At its ancient pace,
Lifting its thunder voice
In the choir of Space;
And the Years, as they go,
Are singing slow,
Solemn dirges, full of woe!
Tears are shed, and hearts are broken,
And many bitter words are spoken,
And many left unsaid;
And many are with the living,
That were better—better dead!
Tyrants sit upon their thrones,
And will not hear the people's moans,
Nor hear their clanking chains;
Or if they do, they add thereto,
And mock, not ease, their pains;
But little liberty remains—
There is but little room for thee,
In this wide world, O Liberty!
But where thou hast once set thy foot,
Thou wilt remain, though oft unseen;
And grow like thought, and move like wind,
Upon the troubled sea of Mind,
No longer now serene.
Thy life and strength thou dost retain,
Despite the cell, the rack, the pain,
And all the battles won—in vain!
And even now thou seest the hour
That lays in dust the tyrant's power,
When man shall once again be free,
And Earth renewed, and young like thee,
O Liberty! O Liberty!


I often wish that I could know
The life in store for me,
The measure of the joy and woe
Of my futurity.
I do not fear to meet the worst
The gathering years can give;
My life has been a life accurst
From youth, and yet I live;
The Future may be overcast,
But never darker than the Past!
My mind will grow, as years depart
With all the wingéd hours;
And all my buried seeds of Art
Will bloom again in flowers;
But buried hopes no more will bloom,
As in the days of old;
My youth is lying in its tomb,
My heart is dead and cold!
And certain sad, but nameless cares
Have flecked my locks with silver hairs!
No bitter feeling clouds my grief,
No angry thoughts of thee;
For thou art now a faded leaf
Upon a fading tree.
From day to day I sea thee sink,
From deep to deep in shame;
I sigh, but dare not bid thee think
Upon thine ancient fame—
For oh! the thought of what thou art
Must be a hell within thy heart!
My life is full of care and pain—
My heart of old desires;
But living embers yet remain
Below its dying fires;
Nor do I fear what all the years
May have in store for me,
For I have washed away with tears
The blots of Memory:
But thou—despite the love on high—
What is there left thee but to die!

[pg 175]




The hurrying pedestrian in Wall-street, or in some of its bisecting avenues of commercial bustle, if he have time to glance over his shoulder, is sure to observe a freshly-painted piece of tin (its brief rhetoric revelling in the pride and pomp of gold leaf alphabetically shaped), denominated by lawyers "a shingle"—setting forth that some sanguine gentleman has then and there established himself as an Attorney and Counsellor at Law.

The sign is by the front door, shining with self-conceit at the passers by; and its owner is up some weary stairway, yawning over "twice told tales" of legal lore, copying precedents for the sake of practice, or keeping hope alive upon the back benches of the court-rooms in listening to the eloquence of his seniors while he is waiting for clients.

Heaven help many a young attorney in this "babel" of money-getting. The race should be prayed for in churches: and it should meet with a consideration as nearly divine as mortals can call up from crowded heart-chambers.

Well: the sign keeps nailed up: and by and by the sun blisters it, and dries out the pomp of the gilded letters, and perhaps the owner yawns over his one case, or sitting upon a front bench in the court-room while case number thirty is being heard, waits for case nine hundred and thirty, against which on the calendar that is reposing by the side of the complaisant clerk in the corner, his name is placed as counsel—shining there like a pebble on a wide and extended beach.

The Physiology of the Medical Student from facetious pens was reached to us over the Atlantic by friendly booksellers some years ago; and we should have had by this time "the Physiology of the young Attorney." He is a good subject for dissection; there's plenty of venous humor in his composition; and oh! a deal of nerve!

Talk of exploring expeditions to the Arctic regions as offering specimens of courage and prowess; or of scientific excursions into the wilds of Africa to the same purport! These instances are trivial compared to the courage and prowess yearly displayed by hundreds of attorneys who plunge into the ocean of litigation in order to swim towards the distant buoys which the sun of prosperity always cheers with enlivening beams.

Don't waste sympathy in this connection for the young Sawbones. His thirst for action can be slaked at pauper fountains. For him the emigrant's chamber, the cabin of the arriving ship, the dispensary, the asylums, the hospitals, and the poor-houses, are always open; and if his "soul be in arms," there are (Heaven knows) "frays" in this city numerous enough for any ambitious surgical eagerness.

But for the aspiring attorney where are the avenues open for gratuitous action? Do merchants nail up promissory notes upon awning posts for attorneys to seize and put in suit? What "old nobs" of Wall-street are willing to put themselves "in chancery" to oblige Hopper Tape, Esq., your humble attendant upon the Where are the courts possessing suits without counsel?

We may be told of unfortunate wretches who murder in drunken fits to whom counsel are assigned. But what are ten crusts of bread per annum among a thousand hungry dogs?

Thou must face the truth, young college boy, who now and then dost stroll into court-rooms, or who dost lounge away an hour in a friend's law office admiring his books and piles of papers—thinking the while of the time when thou wilt have graduated and obtained permission to hang up thy pomp-gilded "shingle:" thou must face the truth! The counsel who so attracts thy admiration, in thy court-room lounging, has fought weary years with myriad obstacles; there are the ashes of many nights and days of toil and struggle sprinkled upon his hair; he has fought his way (from where thou sittest a listener to where he stands a speaker), as if through an Indian gauntlet file. There were a hundred mouths waiting for the first crumbs which came to his impatient legal digestion; and a hundred envious heads and hearts to worry him if possible into a dyspepsia over those crumbs. He has began with an office in a fifth story, and climbed down towards the street. He commenced to hive his honey near the roof! While out of his office he climbed a professional ladder, the holding on to which tasked all his powers of physical, mental, and pecuniary endurance. Face the truth!

Reach me yonder diary and legal register. Two thousand practising lawyers in the city of New-York! Out of these one hundred are "notables;" fifty are "distinguished;" twenty-five are eminent.

A large body of them are "conveyancers" growing thin in person and thinner in mind over deeds and titles; a larger body "attorneys"—getters up and supervisors of suits—providers of ammunition for "distinguished counsel" to discharge with loud reports (the said counsel brilliant by the flash: the attorney obscured in the smoke); many, very many, chained to "larcenies" at the Sessions, "landlord dispossessions" at the Marine Court, suits on butcher's bills at Ward Courts, or "malicious prosecutions" in the Common Pleas.

Yet there are hundreds of coral reefs and pearls for persevering divers in this ocean of litigation. Three thousand pending cases every month are three thousand nutshells[pg 176] where the meat is often fresh and oily, even with the weary keeping on the calendar for months and years. There are some counsel who pocket fees and costs to the tune of twenty thousand a year. We know many a Quirk, Gammon and Snap, who realize an undoubted "ten thousand a year," with no Tittlebat Titmouse for a standing annoyance. And we can taper off on the finger many who do not realize five hundred a year, and work like negro slaves at that: they are continually rough hewing, but no divinity shapes their ends.

Five years of "starvation," and five more years of toil and trouble, constitute the depth of a lawyer's slough of despond in New-York; to say nothing of the giants' castles to storm upon the way, or the fights with the Apolyons of Envy. Obviously so!

A man now-a-days will let a young Sawbones advise ice for his child's croup, or even experiment with his own much-abused liver, when he would not intrust a young attorney with the suing a note where ten witnesses saw the note signed and the "consideration money" paid over. And if the public really knew how much danger their pockets were in when the "buttons" were under the control of inexperienced lawyers, the number of "starvers" would be doubled. What "eminent" lawyer is there who does not look back to the "practice" of his youth, in perfect terror to witness the mistakes he made, as the helmsman, who has scudded through the breakers to the open sea, glances back at the dangers he escaped?

The young lawyers of a year back are, however, five years—perhaps ten—in advance of the lawyers of this year's growth. The latter have greater rivalry in the hordes of practitioners from the interior whom the "new code" have driven from their trespass quare clausum fregit into the city. Many of them, too, were men of mark in their ports of departure, bold and confident in their new haven!

One field, however, in the legal township of this city, offers room upon its face for tillers—the field of advocacy! It is ploughed by some twenty or thirty, and harrowed by some fifty or sixty. There are a dozen whom the ghosts of Nisi Prius flock to hear upon great occasions. And these will long hold the monopoly.


Because the advocate and barrister must have had vast experience at Nisi Prius (or the court where matters of fact are investigated by judge and jury); have acquired a practised tact; have had opportunities of testing their own calibre to know if they are fitted for emergencies—as the gunsmith tests his barrels before he "stocks" them. And the young lawyer has small opportunity afforded him to acquire this tact—to permit this testing. If he can play "devil" for a few years to some barrister of extended practice, or scent "occasions" like a blood-hound on the trail of the valuable fugitive from justice, then he is a happy man, and is in the fair way of soon becoming a monopolist himself.

Any juryman of two years' standing will corroborate our statement as to the openness of the field of legal advocacy. How often has he seen cause after cause "set down," "reserved," or "put off," because counsel are engaged elsewhere? How often has he heard the same advocate in four or five causes in the same week, in the same court, changing positions like the queen of an active chess-board; profiting his fame and pocket by means of only a hurried glance at the elaborate brief which his junior has "got up" for him?

Some one has said that the barrister works hard, lives well, and dies poor. Regarding the first two conditions of his life there is little doubt upon the question of truth; the dying in poverty may be problematical. Yet in a recent print, professing to furnish a list of wealthy tax-payers, the list contained four lawyers, and only one was a barrister. The instance proves little, for a lawyer may be very rich and yet pay no taxes. The assessors may fight shy of his bell-pull as they go their rounds, because of his penchant to find flaws in their actions and bring them official discredit in an apparently laborious task, but in reality a sinecure of an employment.

We have often asked ourselves if barristers have stomachs. Bowels of compassion they have not, that is certain; but have they stomachs? Say nine times in a year they dine at the same hour of the day; and then spoon their soup with the blood all drawn from the digestive apparatus to feed the brain. Yet they eat like aldermen and drink like German princes....

This much of idle reverie, as, with pen in hand, we laid down the two bulky and elaborately-published volumes whose title we have taken as text; this much of glance at the condition of the young and old advocate of to-day, before we digest our reflections upon the advocate and jurist of the past.

It was our privilege in our legal novitiate (this is but a phrase; for a lawyer is always in his novitiate) to have been, at the Cambridge Law School, a pupil of Mr. Justice Story; and thus to have drank at the very fountain head of constitutional law—that branch of our national jurisprudence which can least fluctuate. Judges of a day and not of a generation, or crazy legislators with spasmodic wisdom, may alter, and overturn, and mystify by simplification, the laws and usages of every-day life; but it is scarcely to be apprehended that the current of our constitutional law will ever be diverted from original channels. There is danger rather of its being dammed into stagnation.

While fully aware of his faults and foibles as a man, and his idiosyncracies as a judge and a legal writer, we have never wavered in loyalty to his judicial majesty, or found a[pg 177] flaw in the regard we paid to his memory. And no book was more welcome to Zimmerman in his solitude than these volumes regarding the illustrious judge, prepared by his son, were welcome to our Christmas-holiday leisure.

Joseph Story was the eldest of eleven children, and lived to be indeed the "Joseph" of mark and renown to his father and brothers. He was born in Marblehead, September 18th, 1779. His father was a physician, and served during a portion of the Revolution as army surgeon. He died when the future judge was twenty-six years of age: yet what the son then was is best told by one sentence from the father's will—after making his wife sole executrix, he recommends her to his son Joseph, adding, "and although this perhaps is needless, I do it to mark my special confidence in his affections, skill, and abilities." From the father, our lawyer thus panegyrized received friendly geniality and broad understanding; from the mother, indomitable will, vigor and enthusiasm.

Habit of observation and desire of knowledge were the prominent attributes of his childish character; nevertheless he was ardent in all the sports of boyhood. To the last he maintained a regard for his honor, which induced him while yet a lad, and under promise not to divulge the name of a schoolmate offender, to receive a severe flogging rather than to yield up his knowledge upon the subject. At the age of sixteen, in the midst of a Freshman term at Harvard College, he thought of matriculation; but upon inquiry learned that he must not only be examined upon the works of ordinary preparatory reading, but that it was necessary for him to expect a call upon the volumes which his class had dispatched during the past half year. At first he was daunted, but remembering there yet remained six weeks of vacation, he addressed himself to the necessary labor—the severity of which is best evidenced by the fact that in the short time above mentioned he read Sallust, the odes of Horace, two books of Livy, three books of the Anabasis, two books of the Iliad, and certain English treatises. This sounds like the railroad instruction now much in vogue; but its effects were permanent in value upon his mind. Few readers of his works will accuse him of a want of proficiency in Latin! But the often reading—the saepe legendo was ever his habit: for he remembered the couplet:

Gutta cavat lapidem non vi sed saepe cadendo
Sic homo fit doctus non vi sed saepe legendo.

He passed muster with the college tutors in January, 1795. Among his classmates were the (afterwards Reverends) Dr. Tuckerman and Wm. E. Channing—to the genius and character of the latter of whom he always bore the most enthusiastic and hearty testimony. Indeed he contested with Channing for the highest honor. Channing won it, but always gave the honor himself to Story; while the latter always declared that the former won the just meed of his genius and scholarship.

Their graduation was in the summer of 1798: and immediately upon quitting college Mr. Story commenced the study of the law with Mr. Samuel Sewall, afterwards Chief Justice in the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. Fourteen hours a day was over his quantum of study. Although sometimes disheartened, he never surrendered his determination to master the elements and details of his new profession.

Studying law in those days was a far different thing from its reading now. Then it was multum: now it is multa. No copious indexes and multifarious treatises were counted by thousands: no digests (directories to the streets, the avenues, the fountains and the temples of the science), abounded by scores. Libraries were carried about in wheelbarrows and not in processions of vans, when the inexorable moving day came around. Learned judges were not then compelled to hold courts in remote villages (resorting hereby to a coup de loi), in order to escape the cacoethes loquendi of case lawyers and presuming juniors. Legal lore was builded up like the massive stone and hard grained mortar of the edifices of that olden time—slowly, carefully, but lastingly; not as are builded now the brick and stuccoed mansions of the snob and parvenu. Not that abounding treatises and familiarizing digests forbid the idea of the perfect lawyer now-a-days: only that to-day the law student in the midst of a large library stands more in need (when thinking of the otium which accompanies certain dignity), to utter the ejaculation, "lead us not into temptation"—the temptation of possessing that knowledge which teaches where to seek for information, and not the kind which is information of itself.

In 1801 Mr. Story came to the Salem bar while at the age of twenty-two. After being three years at practice he married his first wife, who died within two years afterward, plunging him into the deepest grief. During his courtship he dabbled (as almost every young lawyer does until he finds that clients are severe critics) in poetry, and wrote a didactic poem of two parts in heroic verse, entitled "The Power of Solitude." Adopting the criticism of the biographers—its prominent defects were exaggeration of feeling, confusion of imagery, want of simplicity of expression, stilted and artificial style. But though dull as a poem, it shows facility and talent for versification, breathes a warm aspiration for virtue and truth, and is creditable to the scholarship of its author.

After the loss of his wife he sought relief from painful thoughts in the laborious duties of a large and increasing business. His position at the bar was prominent, and he was engaged in nearly all the cases of importance.[pg 178] His manner to the jury was earnest and spirited; he managed his causes with tact (that great acquirement of the successful lawyer: being, as a distinguished barrister now dead and gone said to Dr. Hosack, the same sheet anchor to the advocate which mercury or bark is to the physician), was ready in attack or defence, and possessed great eloquence of expression. As an advocate he showed a sagacity of perception which no intricacy of detail could blind, no suddenness of attack confuse, and which afterwards so distinguished him as a Judge. He was thrown among the leading lawyers; and undaunted as all young lawyers should be (although preserving their modesty of deportment and learning), he measured swords with the most accomplished. Although sometimes vanquished, he always received honors from even the victors.

It is a prevailing opinion with the junior members of the legal profession, that their seniors delight in snubbing them; that they are fond of being discourteous, and arrogant; that they are envious of some and insulting to others. But it is rare indeed that the seniors err on other ground in this respect than magnanimity. The industrious youngster, the self-reliant youngster, the firm but respectful youngster, the versed in elementary principles among youngsters, are always received with open arms. Law begets law. If the junior commences a suit a senior may answer it: and the reverse. The parson and the doctor are in perpetual interference with the neighbors and brethren of their particular calling. But lawyers, like bees in the beehive, must of necessity assist and succor each other, or there will be less honey laid away when the summer is past and the harvest ended.

Early in his professional career he became an ardent politician. He was a Jeffersonian Democrat, and at the bar of his residence stood almost alone in his partisan position. As such a party man he went into the State Legislature, and became an acknowledged leader. He possessed that great quality for a leader, the faculty of extempore speaking, joined with the ability to condense and elucidate the topics he took in hand. But he never submitted the convictions of his judgment to party dictation; and soon after his entering the arena of legislative warfare, he bravely stemmed party tide in advocating an increase of salaries for the State judges. The latter were all federalists, and it was not to be wondered that the republicans of that day, who wore in their noses the rings of party, should shrug their shoulders at the prospect of benefiting political opponents. But by his firm conduct, and by his confident assertion and able arguments in favor of the measure, it was carried. And to Joseph Story, more than any other man, Massachusetts is indebted for the opportunity of employing ablest judicial officers, without making their families beggars.

It is the disgrace of our country that its judicial officers are the most poorly paid of all professions and pursuits. And in every section of the Union, that distinguished lawyer who accepts a seat upon the bench, must hold the glories of his honor at a very high price, to surrender his ordinary professional emoluments for the wretched pittance which the various States dole out for days of public toil and nights of private study. We desire to look no further than this Empire State for examples. This Empire State, with its magnificent resources and proudly developing energies, should be the last to unite in adjudging its judicial officers to the labors of galley slaves, and to then pay them by the year less than a ballet-dancer receives by the month in all its principal cities. Two thousand five hundred dollars per year is the astounding sum which this same Empire State pays to its highest judicial officers. If we reverse the saying of Walpole, and read "every price has its man," we may not wonder if Dogberries and grandmothers are occasionally found upon the bench, dispensing their honest but destructive platitudes, and their Malaprop constructions of commercial law, to juries of astounded merchants.

From the arena of State politics, Mr. Story next changed his position to the temple of national discussions at Washington. His career in Congress was, however, limited to one session, and to a vacancy-seat occasioned by a death. He declined re-election; for in the words of his autobiographical account of this portion of his career, he had lost all relish for political controversy, and had found that an entire obedience to party projects required such constant sacrifices of opinion and feeling, that he preferred to devote himself with singleness of heart to the study of the law, which was at all times the object of his admiration and almost exclusive devotion. Public sentiment, however, forced him again into the State councils at home, where more liberty of professional engagement was permitted. He was in political life but a brief period again, before, in his thirty-second year, President Madison pressed his acceptance of a vacant Associate Justiceship in the Supreme Court of the United States, which had been declined by Levi Lincoln and by John Quincy Adams, then in Russia. Although the acceptance involved the surrender of heavy professional emolument, the high honor, the permanence of the tenure, and the opportunity of gratifying his juridical studies that he so much loved, joined in compelling his acquiescence.

"The atrocious crime of being a young man," which had compelled a hatred of William Pitt the younger, in a former day, was now brought up against him by many whose party subserviency fairly blushed before his manly integrity, and by others who envied him his success. But one year at the Circuit silenced all complaint. And in his thirty-third[pg 179] year he was acknowledged to be the able jurist whom, at his death in his sixty-sixth year of age, a whole nation mourned.

Dismissing for the present all consideration of his judicial life, and all estimate of his ability upon the bench, and passing over nearly twenty years of his life, we meet him in the possession of his fourth great honor in life—but an honor which was ever the first prized by him in all his after career—the appointment of Law Professor in Cambrige Law School.

Mr. Nathan Dane, whose Abridgement of American law in many volumes had obtained for him the gratitude of the profession at large, and the more substantial testimonial of pecuniary profit, had determined, about the fiftieth year of Judge Story's life, to repay the law some of the profits which its votaries had bestowed upon him, by donating ten thousand dollars for the establishment of a new professorship. He annexed to his donation, however, the condition that Judge Story should be the incumbent. To the great delight of the donor, and of the College Fellows, the Judge assented, and was inaugurated as Dane Professor of Law, with a special view to Lectures upon the Law of Nations, Commercial and Maritime Law, Federal Law and Equity—a station which he filled to the day of his lamented death.

This brief survey of his life presents him then in several public aspects; as a student, as an advocate, as a statesman, as a judge, and as an expounder of the great principles of law, which he worshipped with an idolatry of love.

To speak of his political career would not belong to the scope of our article. And to sit in judgment upon his judicial career would be our presumption. Older and abler pens must render their tributes to the extent and varied richness of his legal lore, which, taking root in principles, branched into the minutiæ of detail, under every sun and in every clime where law is recognized as a rule of human action. His judicial fame can never be increased or diminished by individual estimate. The law of patents, of admiralty and prizes, the jurisprudence of equity, and above all, his luminous explorations of what were once constitutional labyrinths, are monuments as indestructible as the Pyramids. If every trace of their original oneness be lost, they will yet live in the hours of future judicial days, in professional acts, and in the guiding policy of a remote posterity. His library of treatises are legal classics; and the worst defects which flippant carpers and canvassers of their claims to merit have discovered in their pages, have been their richness of detail and polish of learning! And no one can deny that as a judge he was the very example which 'Hobbes' in his 'Leviathan,' carried in mind when he thus wrote—"the things that make a good judge or good interpreter of the laws, are first—a right understanding of that principal law of nature called Equity, which depending not on the reading of other men's writings, but on the goodness of a man's own natural reason and meditation, is presumed to be in those most who have had most leisure and the most inclination to meditate thereon; second—contempt of unnecessary riches and preferments; third—to be able in judgment to divest himself of all fear, anger, hatred, love and compassion; fourthly and lastly—patience to hear, diligent attention in hearing, and memory to retain, digest, and apply what he hath heard."

Not the least amiable phase of the life of Judge Story, was the attention which he gave to letters and literary pursuits. He was no mere lawyer: no stringer of professional centos. He never hid his heart with the veil of dignity; nor smothered his fresh impulses (preserved intact from worldly rust since boyhood) with the weight of his judicial and professional labors. While he believed that the law was a jealous mistress, he knew that this mistress was too stable and sensible to decree that a gentle dalliance or seasonable flirtation with her maids of honor—Poetry, or the Arts, or Literature, or Love—was an unloyal act. He could turn from Grotius to Dickens, from Vattel to Thackeray. He could digest the points of the elaborate arguments of eminent counsel, and then turn aside to a gentle tonic from the administrating hand of Smollett or Walter Scott. Method was his master-key to all the combinations in the locks of labor.

Twice married he never ceased to eulogize the bliss of domesticity. Surrounded by loving eyes, the currents of his freshened affection flowed deeper and clearer every year. How he treasured home and home joys may be collected in the following lines from his poem on solitude (before referred to), written in his twenty-second year.

"Grandeur may dazzle with its transient glare
The herd of folly, and the tribe of care,
Who sport and flutter through their listless days,
Like motes that bask in Summer's noontide blaze,
With anxious steps round vacant splendor while,
Live on a look, and banquet on a smile;
But the firm race whose high endowments claim
The laurel-wreath that decks the brow of fame;
Who warmed by sympathy's electric glow,
In rapture tremble, and dissolve in woe,
Blest in retirement, scorn the frowns of fate,
And feel a transport power can ne'er create."

Touching the poem from which these lines are taken, we remember being shown the only copy of the published book which was known to exist, by the family of the Judge. The Assistant Librarian (who was born for his station in all that regards enthusiastic love of his duties), of the Harvard College library, showed us, with great triumph, a small sheep-bound volume, entitled "Solitude and other Poems, by Joseph Story," printed sometime in the commencement of this century: saying, "the Judge has burned all the copies he can pick up, and this is only to be read here." This poem was a sore subject to the author. He viewed it as not[pg 180] only a blot upon his dignity, but an annoyance to his professional fame. Numerous critics have laughed at it; but apart from the shorter poems, the main theme showed much aptitude of poetic imagery, invention, and harmony of expression. Glance at the following lines, which contain much of the genuine spark:

"Till nature's self the Vandal torch should raise,
And the vast alcove of creation blaze."

Or this—

"Blaze the vast domes inwrought with fretted gold,
The sumptuous pavements veins or pearl unfold,
Arch piled on arch with columned pride ascend,
Grove linked to grove their mingling shadows blend."

Or this—

"Let narrow prudence boast its grovelling art
To chill the generous sympathies of heart,
Teach to subdue each thought sublimely wild,
And crush, like Herod, fancy's new-born child."

It is highly probable that the learned Justice, knowing his taste for the poetical and fanciful, and his aptitude at the harmony of language, often erred in his judicial writings and treatises, by avoiding beauty of expression, in fear lest the dignity of his subject should be injured by too much association with the creatures of fancy. We have known most accomplished lawyers err through this same caution. Our biographer himself (Mr. William W. Story) has certainly done himself great injustice as a writer in his work on "Contracts," when, in the pages before us, he presents us with so much delicacy of fancy and rhetorical finish. Blackstone in his "Commentaries," Jones in his "Bailment" treatise, Stephens in his essay upon "Pleading," time-honored Fearne in his "Contingent Remainders," have shown how grateful and how suitable it is for the legal readers to find brilliancy of rhetoric adorning the most profound learning.

But certainly Judge Story possessed to a remarkable degree the faculty of condensation in his poetical works. His rhyme was not reason run mad; but reason in modest holiday attire. Where are lines at once so compact and so searching in their wisdom as the following, penned in 1832, as matters of advice to a young law student:

"Whene'er you speak, remember every cause
Stands not on eloquence, but stands on laws—
Pregnant in matter, in expression brief,
Let every sentence stand in bold relief;
On trifling points nor time nor talents waste,
A sad offence to learning and to taste;
Nor deal with pompous phrase; nor e'er suppose
Poetic flights belong to reasoning prose,
Loose declamation may deceive the crowd,
And seem more striking as it grows more loud;
But sober sense rejects it with disdain,
As nought but empty noise, and weak as vain.
The froth of words, the school-boy's vain parade
Of books and cases—all his stock in trade—
The pert conceits, the cunning tricks and play
Of low attorneys, strung in long array,
The unseemly jest, the petulent reply,
That chatters on, and cares not how, or why,
Studious, avoid—unworthy themes to scan,
They sink the speaker and disgrace the man.
Like the false lights, by flying shadows cast,
Scarce seen when present, and forgot when past.
Begin with dignity: expound with grace
Each ground of reasoning in its time and place;
Let order reign throughout—each topic touch,
Nor urge its power too little, or too much.
Give each strong thought its most attractive view,
In diction clear, and yet severely true,
And as the arguments in splendor grow,
Let each reflect its light on all below.
When to the close arrive make no delays
By petty flourishes, or verbal plays,
But sum the whole in one deep solemn strain,
Like a strong current hastening to the main."

If Mr. Story had never been elevated to the bench it is not likely his name would ever have become national property. Although plunged into politics in his earlier life, he was not fitted for the life. His devotion to the law, and his dread of becoming that slave to party usages which all public men must necessarily more or less fashion of themselves, would have retained him in his native state, and made his usefulness sectional. To the politicians of the school of General Jackson, and to the administration of that President, he was particularly distasteful. His tenacious conservatism drew forth from the "old hero," on one occasion, the remark, that "he was the most dangerous man in the country." Lord Eldon, with his doubts and pertinacious toryism was not more unpopular among the reformers in England than was Judge Story—the last of the old regime of federal judges—with the bank radicals of 1832.

When Chief Justice Marshall died he felt almost broken-hearted. A new race of constitutional expounders had arisen around him. Brother justices, with modern constructions, and more liberal notions of national law, were by his side. In many decisions he was now a sole dissenter. His pride was invaded; his self-love tortured; his adoration of certain legal constructions which he had deemed immutable in their nature, was desecrated. And, for many years previous to his decease, he had contemplated resigning from the federal judiciary, and living alone for his darling law school.

This school was his adopted child. He had taken it in a feeble and helpless infancy. He had given it strength and increased vitality. He brought it up to a vigorous and useful maturity. It was loved by only a handful of students when he gave his name and talents to aid its life: but when he died, a hundred and fifty pupils were its warm suitors, and hundreds of lawyers over the whole union cherished its prosperity as a link in their own chains of happiness.

And, although he thought not of it, his labors in the law school secure for his memory in the present generation a more brilliant existence than his array of judicial decisions, and his thousands of written pages, can ever bestow. In some pine forest settlement of Maine, or in some rude court-house in California, there are lawyers who bring before them every day his genial smiles and his impressive lectures, looked upon and heard by them in former times at Cambridge. Over all the Union, in almost every village, town, and city, are his pupils. Each one of them may sometimes reflect with rapture upon their days of college life, or remember with[pg 181] pride their first professional success: but not one of these considerations of reminiscence is so grateful to his mind as the thought of his novitiate with Justice Story. Depend upon it he treasures up those Cambridge text-books, those Cambridge note-books whose leaves daguerreotype the learning of the eminent deceased, those catalogues of students where his name is proudly found, as the most valuable portions of his library. He will never part with them: but they will descend to his children.

It was our privilege and pleasure also to know Mr. Justice Story at Cambridge; to have spent days of pleasure in the hours of his society; to have rendered to his teachings the tribute of delighted attention and grateful recollection. We, too, have been fascinated with that conversation, whose variety of exuberance and sometimes egotism, were its greatest ornaments. In the sunshine of his intellect our mind has sunned itself, and been warmed into zealous and proselyting admiration. To his gray-haired teachings we have paid personal reverence, and we unaffectedly hope to have caught from his society and intercourse a spark of that professional enthusiasm which is the only true guiding-star of the plodding lawyer.

The December blasts are hoarsely sobbing to-night through Mount Auburn, the garden of his mortal repose—the hallowed spot which his eloquence consecrated in its origin, and which his religious love in his lifetime sacredly cherished. The snows of winter and the autumn-woven carpet of fallen leaves are heaped upon his honored grave, the sodded paths to which, in the glowing spring-time and fragrant summer, are pressed most frequent with the tread of faithful mourners. Years have passed since that honored grave was first closed upon him. Longer years have flown since we were under his teachings. But we seem to view him the same as of yore. Again the class is assembled in the hushed lecture-room as his familiar tread is heard at the door; or as the burst of applause, where there is no sycophantic flattery known or felt, greets his entrance to his seat. Again we see him adjusting his genial spectacles, and looking around upon the upturned faces with parental pride. Again we hear his mellowed, although often impetuous accents, expounding familiar principles of law, and descending to the consideration of "first things" with as much pride and carefulness as the artist treats his Rubens or Titian, which for years and years has hung before him in all lights and shades and in every combination of position.

Again, we occupy a modest corner of the library while he is holding his moot court; infusing into the dignity of his manner a marked suavity of disposition which never forsook him; or he is perpetrating some appropriate legal joke to his audience, who never played upon his ease or good nature.

Again, we have stolen into the self-same library while he is holding an equity term of his circuit, to listen to the words of judicial wisdom which came from his utterance, exuberant as pearls of fancy from the mouth of an inspired poet.

Again, we see him at the summer twilight, seated by the trellised portico of his hospitable and happy homestead, surrounded by family or friends, enjoying the amenities of life with unaffected pleasure, and sometimes awakening the garden echoes with his cheerful ringing laugh; or we see him in the same hour of the day driving under the venerable elms of the numerous commons, gazing and bowing around with all the pleasure which the king of the fairy book marked upon his face when the love of his subjects, among whom he passed, came forth with the evening breeze to bless and greet him.

And then we pass into "reverie," and live a few minutes of "dream-life," recalling to mind the maxims and sayings which were uttered in our presence; and the many bright exemplars placed before his pupils, and the kindly greetings which were showered all about—for he was no distinguisher of persons so long as honor of feeling and uprightness of motive abounded in his presence.

He is gone! Yet in these pages of biography before us he will always live. From infancy to the ripened greatness of old age, his life is preserved to posterity by the hand of his faithful and grateful son, whose duty has been most ably and interestingly performed. The very minutiæ of his life are presented with fidelity and modesty of reference. Some may carp at this; to these let us say with the French proverbialist, Rien n'est indifférent dans la vie d'un grand homme; le genie se revéle dans ses moindres actions. The straws of every day life mark the direction of the breezes of individual action.

To the hearts of his pupils we would send this epitaph, and ask them if aught less tributary could be said of one who was and is to them a father.

Here sleeps the mortality of Joseph Story, who lived his days so well that he won in a short lifetime an immortality of fame. His career as a Man reflected lustre upon the lustre of an honored father's manhood, and added to the virtues which his mother bequeathed him. As a Politician, he rendered obeisance only to his conscience. As a Lawyer, he never disgraced his profession by a thought, and even honored it by his slightest acts. The colleague of Marshall, the two now shine together as twin stars in the often contemplated firmament of Judicial Renown. Not selfish of his Learning, it is scattered to the uttermost parts of the earth, and is treasured wherever it has fallen. The learning which he borrowed from continental Europe he repaid with magnificent interest. In Westminster Hall his name is associated with Nottingham, Hale, Mansfield, and Stowell. Counting[pg 182] as dross the wealth of professional eminence, he became from the love of it an expounder of law to its tyros. He has spread for thousands of adopted children a banquet of the treasures of legal lore, and next to reverencing his paternal love they cherish with profound gratitude the memory of his slightest instructions. While the Union of his birthplace exists, her citizens will regard with unfeigned admiration his constitutional teachings.




Christopher Columbus was born at Genoa in 1437. In 1851 the Genoese are finishing his monument.

I am Columbus: will ye let me in?
Or Doria in his palace by the sea.
Proud Andrea Doria named il Principe,
In your Republic named il Principe,
By Charles the Fifth, the Emperor of Spain,
Monopolizes he your meed of fame
Before the awful Judgment seat of Time.
Well, and Pisani, the Venetian, he,
Venice as Doria was Genoa,—
Why, wide-mouthed Europe clanged their stunning praise,
And history with their names adorns herself,
Dazzing the eyes of pious pilgrims, who
Press flowers from Doria's garden, dreaming float
Upon Pisani's silent waters, and
Proceed, much meditating human fate.
And they had pleasures, palaces. They stood,
And sat, and went, all men admiring,
Men of a day, in its brief life they lived,
In its swift dying died. Men of a day,
Brave, generous, and noble—not enough.
Voluptuous Venice, Genoa superb,
Far fascinating meteors that flashed,
Then fell forgotten. Do I carp? Not I.
Ye love your own, I mine, mine me, amen!
O pious pilgrims and ye Genoese,
Proceed, much meditating human fate,
And meditate this well.
A wanderer driven
By every adverse gust of evil times.
Wrecked upon barren reefs of blandest smiles,
Wan victim of a solitary thought
Too masculine to die unrealized.
Tortured with tortuous diplomacy,
Beseeching monarchs still in vain besought,
Not to give kingdoms but to take a world,
Unloved of Fortune, best beloved of Hope,—
When Doria was a lisping boy at school,—
This wanderer puts forth one summer morn,
Among the other fishers of the sea,
And with a world returns.
Nay! nay! no words.
Your hemisphere was only half enough,
And Christopher Columbus globed his fame.
And now ye build my statue, Genoese,
After three silent centuries have died,
When the old fourth is failing, ye do well
With lagging stones to pile the pedestal,
And shape my sculptured seeming. Not with wrath,
Nor scorn. Good God and less with gratitude,
Be those worn features wreathed. I love ye not,
Ye are no friends of mine. I did not ask
A block of marble for my memory,
But gold to carve my hope. It was not much—
Nay, had it been your all, was it not well
To wreck your fortune on a hope sublime?
And, Merchants! The brave chance; a small outlay,
And income inconceivable! You chose.
My stately Spain was wiser. So much gold,
A little fleet,—some sailors—leaders known—
If not investment, speculation safe,
The honor of the enterprise, and chance—
Always the siren chance—Spain risked and won,
And Genoa lost a world.
Sir Advocate!
I understand your meaning; it were hard
Fame drafts upon the Future should be paid
Ere present recognition! 'Twere unjust
That hope unhazarded in act, were crowned
With the same coronal that crowns success.
The starving mariner upon your shore—
The riddle of the West unsolved—stood not
In the same light to set his worthiness,
As when an unimagined Future streamed
All over him in glory. Yet he stood
In that light lonely, as in the old dark,
Lonely, but looking to that light for life.
Spring-pinioned Hope impetuously flew,
And saw, through the deep Future shedding balm,
His fame a tree in flower.
If that were all?
If in his vision of America
He saw but Christopher made famous? Look!
Not for himself; but for that martyr, Thought,
Which struggles fainting in a foolish world,
To ope a gate to wisdom, his heart swelled
When his fixed eye beheld his soul's belief
Fulfilled in Western twilight. Thou my land!
Shalt thunder to the ages evermore
That dreams and hopes are holy. Thou shalt still
The croaking voice of souls that shake at dawn,
Loving the dimness of their own decay,—
The lone desire, entreaty and despair,
The wasting weariness that breeds disgust,
All woes but Doubt that, wasp-like, stings Hope back,
There are ye justified. And never Time
Goldening this page can slip its moral too:
And never Thought, loving this sweet success,
But still shall love its own wild dreams the more.
And still shall brighter gild all skiey peaks
Of noble daring, with this perfect day.
Regard your leisure with my monument,
My Genoese, for centuries to be
Will yet retain Its reason as to day.
There, where my hope was builded, stands my Fame,
The youngest children of the youngest race.
The wide worlds heritors, arch-heirs of Time,
Pronounce my name with reverence, and call
Your sometime outcast, Father. Be it so.
Andrea's palace claims repairs perhaps,
The sculptured letters must be cut anew,
That on the crumbling girdle of his house
Proclaim him Principe. That be your task,
And pare your miserable marble, me.




"Dickon," cried Mother Rigby, "a coal for my pipe!"

The pipe was in the old dame's mouth, when she said these words. She had thrust it there after filling it with tobacco, but without stooping to light it at the hearth; where, indeed, there was no appearance of a fire having been kindled, that morning. Forthwith, however, as soon as the order was given, there was an intense red glow out of the bowl of the pipe, and a whiff of smoke from Mother Rigby's lips. Whence the coal came, and how brought thither by an invisible hand, I have never been able to discover.

"Good!" quoth Mother Rigby, with a nod of her head. "Thank ye, Dickon! And now for making this scarecrow. Be within call, Dickon, in case I need you again!"

The good woman had risen thus early (for as yet it was scarcely sunrise), in order to set about making a scarecrow, which she intended to put in the middle of her corn patch. It was now the latter week of May, and the crows and blackbirds had already discovered the little, green, rolled-up leaf of the Indian corn, just peeping out of the soil. She was determined, therefore, to contrive as lifelike a scarecrow as ever was seen, and to finish it immediately, from top to toe, so that it should begin its sentinel's duty that very morning. Now, mother Rigby (as every body must have heard) was one of the most cunning and potent witches in New England, and might, with very little trouble, have made a scarecrow[pg 183] ugly enough to frighten the minister himself. But, on this occasion, as she had awakened in an uncommonly pleasant humor, and was further dulcified by her pipe of tobacco, she resolved to produce something fine, beautiful, and splendid, rather than hideous and horrible.

"I don't want to set up a hobgoblin in my own corn-patch, and almost at my own doorstep," said Mother Rigby to herself, puffing out a whiff of smoke; "I could do it if I pleased; but I'm tired of doing marvellous things, and so I'll keep within the bounds of everyday business, just for variety's sake. Besides, there is no use in scaring the little children, for a mile roundabout, though 'tis true I'm a witch!"

It was settled, therefore, in her own mind, that the scarecrow should represent a fine gentleman of the period, so far as the materials at hand would allow. Perhaps it may be as well to enumerate the chief of the articles that went to the composition of this figure.

The most important item of all, probably, although it made so little show, was a certain broomstick, on which Mother Rigby had taken many an airy gallop at midnight, and which now served the scarecrow by way of a spinal column, or, as the unlearned phrase it, a backbone. One of its arms was a disabled flail which used to be wielded by Goodman Rigby, before his spouse worried him out of this troublesome world; the other, if I mistake not, was composed of the pudding-stick and a broken rung of a chair, tied loosely together at the elbow. As for its legs, the right was a hoe-handle, and the left an undistinguished and miscellaneous stick from the wood pile. Its lungs, stomach, and other affairs of that kind, were nothing better than a meal bag, stuffed with straw. Thus, we have made out the skeleton and entire corporcity of the scarecrow, with the exception of its head; and this was admirably supplied by a somewhat withered and shrivelled pumpkin, in which Mother Rigby cut two holes for the eyes and a slit for the mouth, leaving a bluish-colored knob in the middle, to pass for a nose. It was really quite a respectable face.

"I've seen worse ones on human shoulders, at any rate," said Mother Rigby. "And many a fine gentleman has a pumpkin head, as well as my scarecrow!"

But the clothes, in this case, were to be the making of the man. So the good old woman took down from a peg an ancient plum-colored coat, of London make, and with relics of embroidery on its seams, cuffs, pocket-flabs, and button-holes, but lamentably worn and faded, patched at the elbows, tattered at the skirts, and threadbare all over. On the left breast was a round hole, whence either a star of nobility had been rent away, or else the hot heart of some former wearer had scorched it through and through. The neighbors said, that this rich garment belonged to the Black Man's wardrobe, and that he kept it at Mother Rigby's cottage for the convenience of slipping it on whenever he wished to make a grand appearance at the governor's table. To match the coat, there was a velvet waistcoat of very ample size, and formerly embroidered with foliage, that had been as brightly golden as the maple-leaves in October, but which had now quite vanished out of the substance of the velvet. Next came a pair of scarlet breeches, once worn by the French governor of Louisbourg, and the knees of which had touched the lower step of the throne of Louis le Grand. The Frenchman had given these small-clothes to an Indian powwow, who parted with them to the old witch for a gill of strong waters, at one of their dances in the forest. Furthermore, Mother Rigby produced a pair of silk stockings, and put them on the figure's legs, where they showed as unsubstantial as a dream, with the wooden reality of the two sticks making itself miserably apparent through the holes. Lastly, she put her dead husband's wig on the bare scalp of the pumpkin, and surmounted the whole with a dusty three-cornered hat, in which was stuck the longest tail feather of a rooster.

Then the old dame stood the figure up in a corner of her cottage, and chuckled to behold its yellow semblance of a visage, with its nobby little nose thrust into the air. It had a strangely self-satisfied aspect, and seemed to say, "Come look at me!"

"And you are well worth looking at—that's a fact!" quoth Mother Rigby, in admiration at her own handiwork: "I've made many a puppet, since I've been a witch; but methinks this is the finest of them all. 'Tis almost too good for a scarecrow. And, by the by, I'll just fill a fresh pipe of tobacco, and then take him out to the corn-patch."

While filling her pipe, the old woman continued to gaze with almost motherly affection at the figure in the corner. To say the truth, whether it were chance, or skill, or downright witchcraft, there was something wonderfully human in this ridiculous shape, bedizened with its tattered finery; and as for the countenance, it appeared to shrivel its yellow surface into a grin—a funny kind of expression, betwixt scorn and merriment, as if it understood itself to be a jest at mankind. The more Mother Rigby looked, the better she was pleased.

"Dickon," cried she sharply, "another coal for my pipe!"

Hardly had she spoken than, just as before, there was a red-glowing coal on the top of the tobacco. She drew in a long whiff, and puffed it forth again into the bar of morning sunshine, which struggled through the one dusty pane of her cottage window. Mother Rigby always liked to flavor her pipe with a coal of fire from the particular chimney corner whence this had been brought. But where that chimney corner might be, or who brought the coal from it—further than that[pg 184] the invisible messenger seemed to respond to the name of Dickon—I cannot tell.

"That puppet, yonder," thought Mother Rigby, still with her eyes fixed on the scarecrow, "is too good a piece of work to stand all summer in a corn-patch, frightening away the crows and blackbirds. He's capable of better things. Why, I've danced with a worse one, when partners happened to be scarce, at our witch-meetings in the forest! What if I should let him take his chance among the other men of straw and empty fellows, who go bustling about the world?"

The old witch took three or four more whiffs of her pipe, and smiled.

"He'll meet plenty of his brethren at every street-corner!" continued she. "Well; I didn't mean to dabble in witchcraft to-day, further than the lighting of my pipe; but a witch I am, and a witch I'm likely to be, and there's no use trying to shirk it. I'll make a man of my scarecrow, were it only for the joke's sake!"

While muttering these words, Mother Rigby took the pipe from her own mouth, and thrust it into the crevice which represented the same feature in the pumpkin-visage of the scarecrow.

"Puff, darling, puff!" said she. "Puff away, my fine fellow! your life depends on it!"

This was a strange exhortation, undoubtedly, to be addressed to a mere thing of sticks, straw, and old clothes, with nothing better than a shrivelled pumpkin for a head; as we know to have been the scarecrow's case. Nevertheless, as we must carefully hold in remembrance, Mother Rigby was a witch of singular power and dexterity; and, keeping this fact duly before our minds, we shall see nothing beyond credibility in the remarkable incidents of our story. Indeed, the great difficulty will be at once got over, if we can only bring ourselves to believe, that, as soon as the old dame bade him puff, there came a whiff of smoke from the scarecrow's mouth. It was the very feeblest of whiffs, to be sure; but it was followed by another and another, each more decided than the preceding one.

"Puff away, my pet! puff away, my pretty one!" Mother Rigby kept repeating, with her pleasantest smile. "It is the breath of life to ye; and that you may take my word for!"

Beyond all question the pipe was bewitched. There must have been a spell either in the tobacco or in the fiercely glowing coal that so mysteriously burned on top of it, or in the pungent aromatic smoke which exhaled from the kindled weed. The figure, after a few doubtful attempts, at length blew forth a volley of smoke, extending all the way from the obscure corner into the bar of sunshine. There it eddied and melted away among the motes of dust. It seemed a convulsive effort; for the two or three next whiffs were fainter, although the coal still glowed, and threw a gleam over the scarecrow's visage. The old witch clapt her skinny hands together, and smiled encouragingly upon her handiwork. She saw that the charm worked well. The shrivelled, yellow face, which heretofore had been no face at all, had already a thin, fantastic haze, as it were, of human likeness, shifting to and fro across it; sometimes vanishing entirely, but growing more perceptible than ever with the next whiff from the pipe. The whole figure, in like manner, assumed a show of life, such as we impart to ill-defined shapes among the clouds, and half-deceive ourselves with the pastime of our own fancy.

If we must needs pry closely into the matter, it may be doubted whether there was any real change, after all, in the sordid, worn-out, worthless, and ill-jointed substance of the scarecrow; but merely a spectral illusion, and a cunning effect of light and shade, so colored and contrived as to delude the eyes of most men. The miracles of witchcraft seem always to have had a very shallow subtlety; and, at least, if the above explanation do not hit the truth of the process, I can suggest no better.

"Well puffed, my pretty lad!" still cried old Mother Rigby. "Come, another good, stout whiff, and let it be with might and main! Puff for thy life, I tell thee! Puff out of the very bottom of thy heart; if any heart thou hast, or any bottom to it! Well done, again! Thou didst suck in that mouthfull as if for the pure love of it."

And then the witch beckoned to the scarecrow, throwing so much magnetic potency into her gesture, that it seemed as if it must inevitably be obeyed, like the mystic call of the loadstone, when it summons the iron.

"Why lurkest thou in the corner, lazy one?" said she. "Step forth! Thou hast the world before thee?"

Upon my word, if the legend were not one which I heard on my grandmother's knee, and which had established its place among things credible before my childish judgment could analyze its probability, I question whether I should have the face to tell it now!

In obedience to Mother Rigby's word, and extending its arm as if to reach her out-stretched hand, the figure made a step forward—a kind of hitch and jerk, however, rather than a step—then tottered, and almost lost its balance. What could the witch expect? It was nothing, after all, but a scarecrow, stuck upon two sticks. But the strong-willed old beldam scowled, and beckoned, and flung the energy of her purpose so forcibly at this poor combination of rotten wood, and musty straw, and ragged garments, that it was compelled to show itself a man, in spite of the reality of things. So it stepped into the bar of sunshine. There it stood—poor devil of a contrivance that it was!—with only the thinnest vesture of human similitude about it, through which was evident the stiff, ricketty, incongruous, faded, tattered, good-for-nothing[pg 185] patchwork of its substance, ready to sink in a heap upon the floor, as conscious of its own unworthiness to be erect. Shall I confess the truth? At its present point of vivification, the scarecrow reminds me of some of the lukewarm and abortive characters, composed of heterogeneous materials, used for the thousandth time, and never worth using, with which romance-writers (and myself, no doubt, among the rest), have so over-peopled the world of fiction.

But the fierce old hag began to get angry, and show a glimpse of her diabolic nature (like a snake's head, peeping with a hiss out of her bosom,) at this pusillanimous behavior of the thing, which she had taken the trouble to put together.

"Puff away, wretch!" cried she, wrathfully. "Puff, puff, puff, thou thing of straw and emptiness!—thou rag or two!—thou meal-bag!—thou pumpkin-head!—thou nothing!—where shall I find a name vile enough to call thee by! Puff, I say, and suck in thy fantastic life along with the smoke; else I snatch the pipe from thy mouth, and hurl thee where that red coal came from!"

Thus threatened, the unhappy scarecrow had nothing for it, but to puff away for dear life. As need was, therefore, it applied itself lustily to the pipe, and sent forth such abundant volleys of tobacco-smoke, that the small cottage-kitchen became all vaporous. The one sunbeam struggled mistily through, and could but imperfectly define the image of the cracked and dusty window-pane on the opposite wall. Mother Rigby, meanwhile, with one brown arm akimbo, and the other stretched towards the figure, loomed grimly amid the obscurity, with such port and expression as when she was wont to heave a ponderous nightmare on her victims, and stand at the bedside to enjoy their agony. In fear and trembling did this poor scarecrow puff. But its efforts, it must be acknowledged, served an excellent purpose; for, with each successive whiff, the figure lost more and more of its dizzy and perplexing tenuity, and seemed to take denser substance. Its very garments, moreover, partook of the magical change, and shone with the gloss of novelty, and glistened with the skilfully embroidered gold that had long ago been rent away. And, half-revealed among the smoke, a yellow visage bent its lustreless eyes on Mother Rigby.

At last, the old witch clenched her fist, and shook it at the figure. Not that she was positively angry, but merely acting on the principle—perhaps untrue, or not the only truth, though as high a one as Mother Rigby could be expected to attain—that feeble and torpid natures, being incapable of better inspiration, must be stirred up by fear. But here was the crisis. Should she fail in what she now sought to effect, it was her ruthless purpose to scatter the miserable simulacre into its original elements.

"Thou hast a man's aspect," said she, sternly. "Have also the echo and mockery of a voice! I bid thee speak!"

The scarecrow gasped, struggled, and at length emitted a murmur, which was so incorporated with its smoky breath that you could scarcely tell whether it were indeed a voice, or only a whiff of tobacco. Some narrators of this legend, hold the opinion, that Mother Rigby's conjurations, and the fierceness of her will, had compelled a familiar spirit into the figure, and that the voice was his.

"Mother," mumbled the poor stifled voice, "be not so awful with me! I would fain speak; but being without wits, what can I say?"

"Thou canst speak, darling, canst thou?" cried Mother Rigby, relaxing her grim countenance into a smile. "And what shalt thou say, quoth-a! Say, indeed! Art thou of the brotherhood of the empty skull, and demandest of me what thou shalt say? Thou shalt say a thousand things, and saying them a thousand times over, thou shalt still have said nothing! Be not afraid, I tell thee! When thou comest into the world (whither I purpose sending thee, forthwith), thou shalt not lack the wherewithal to talk. Talk! Why, thou shalt babble like a mill-stream, if thou wilt. Thou hast brains enough for that, I trow!"

"At your service, mother," responded the figure.

"And that was well said, my pretty one!" answered Mother Rigby. "Then thou spakest like thyself, and meant nothing. Thou shalt have a hundred such set phrases, and five hundred to the boot of them. And now, darling, I have taken so much pains with thee, and thou art so beautiful, that, by my troth, I love thee better than any witch's puppet in the world; and I've made them of all sorts—clay, wax, straw, sticks, night-fog, morning-mist, sea-foam, and chimney-smoke! But thou art the very best. So give heed to what I say!"

"Yes, kind mother," said the figure, "with all my heart!"

"With all thy heart!" cried the old witch, setting her hands to her sides, and laughing loudly. "Thou hast such a pretty way of speaking! With all thy heart! And thou didst put thy hand to the left side of thy waistcoat, as if thou really hadst one!"

So now, in high good humor with this fantastic contrivance of hers, Mother Rigby told the scarecrow that it must go and play its part in the great world, where not one man in a hundred, she affirmed, was gifted with more real substance than itself. And, that he might hold up his head with the best of them, she endowed him, on the spot, with an unreckonable amount of wealth. It consisted partly of a gold mine in Eldorado, and of ten thousand shares in a broken bubble, and of half a million acres of vineyard at the North[pg 186] Pole, and of a castle in the air and a chateau in Spain, together with all the rents and income therefrom accruing. She further made over to him the cargo of a certain ship, laden with salt of Cadiz, which she herself, by her necromantic arts, had caused to founder, ten years before, in the deepest part of mid-ocean. If the salt were not dissolved, and could be brought to market, it would fetch a pretty penny among the fishermen. That he might not lack ready money, she gave him a copper farthing, of Birmingham manufacture, being all the coin she had about her, and likewise a great deal of brass, which she applied to his forehead, thus making it yellower than ever.




"Art thou happy, little child,
On this clear bright summer's day,
In the garden sporting wild,
Art thou happy? tell me, pray!"
"If I had that pretty thing,
That has flown to yonder tree,
I would laugh, and dance, and sing—
Oh! how happy I should be!"
Then I caught the butterfly,
Placed it in his hands securely,
Now, methought, his pretty eye
Never more will look demurely!
"Art thou happy, now?" said I,
Tears were sparkling in his eye;
Lo! the butterfly was dead—
In his hands its life had sped!
"Art thou happy, maiden fair,
On this long, bright summer's day,
Culling flowerets so rare,
Art thou happy? tell me, pray!"
"If my Henry were but here,
To enjoy the scene with me;
He whose love is so sincere,
Oh! how happy I should be!"
Soon I heard her lover's feet,
Sounding on the gravel lightly,
To his loving words so sweet,
Tender glances answered brightly!
"Art thou happy, now?" I said,
Down she hung her lovely head,
Henry leaves for foreign skies—
Tears were in the maiden's eyes!
"Art thou happy, mother mild,
On this bright, bright summer's day,
Gazing on thy cherub child,
Art thou happy? tell me, pray!"
"If my baby-boy were well,"
Thus the mother spake to me,
"Gratitude my heart would swell—
Oh! how happy I should be!"
Then the cordial I supplied,
Soon the babe restored completely;
Cherub-faced and angel-eyed,
On his mother smiled he sweetly!
"Art thou happy, now?" I said;
"Would his father were not dead!"
Thus she answered me with sighs,
Scalding tear-drops in her eyes!
"Art thou happy, aged man,
On this glorious summer's day,
With a cheek all pale and wan,
Art thou happy? tell me, pray!"
"If I were but safe above,"
Spake the old man unto me,
"To enjoy my Saviour's love,
Oh! how happy I should be!"
Then the angel Death came down,
And he welcomed him with gladness,
On his brow so pale and wan,
Not a trace was seen of sadness:
"Art thou happy, now?" I said;
"Yes!" he answered with his head;
Tears of joy were in his eyes,
Dew-drops from the upper skies!


Archbishop Hughes, in a late speech attempted an exposition of the relations between the Roman Catholic Church and Liberty, with special reference to the position assumed by him and other prelates, that the Roman Catholics are, not less than Protestants, upholders of freedom in opinion and in discussion. The interesting brochure of his Grace will be better appreciated by our readers, perhaps, if we mention a few recent facts illustrative of the subject, as it affects "authors and books." The French Roman Catholic Bishop of Lucan has a pastoral in the Univers condemning Walter Scott's works, without exception. He does the same by Chateaubriand, and the Arabian Nights, and Don Quixote—the first as Protestant, the second as insufficiently Catholic, the third as no Christian, the fourth as of no religion at all. One unhappy writer of school-books is condemned because he cites Guizot and Thierry; another because he blames the massacres of Saint Bartholomew, and thinks they were caused by "religious fanaticism." But first of all, and more than all, the bishop condemns "that irreligious" Parisian journal, La Presse. "The number of its subscribers is deplorable; but they are becoming and shall become less; no priest must subscribe to it. No priest must be seen with it. No priest must 'ordinarily' read it." This is all very proper, according to antecedents, but we should not like it if Bishop Hughes deprived us of the Tribune, the Herald, or the Journal of Commerce, all of which are as bad, in the same way, as the Presse. Another example of the prohibition of books, we add from the cyclic letter just issued by Cardinal Lambruschini, condemning Professor Nuytz's works on ecclesiastical law:

"And further, although we derive great consolation from the promise of Jesus Christ, that the gates of hell shall never prevail against the Church, our soul cannot but feel excruciating pain, upon considering how daring outrages against divine and sacred things daily flow from the unbridled licentiousness, the perverse effrontery and impiety of the press. Now in this pestilence of corrupt books which invades us on all sides, the work entitled Institutes of Ecclesiastical Law, by John Nepomue Nuytz, Professor in the Royal University of Turin, as also the work entitled Essays on Ecclesiastical Law, by the same author, claim a conspicuous place, inasmuch as the doctrines contained in the said nefarious works are so widely disseminated from one of the chairs of that university, that uncatholic theses selected from them are proposed as fit subjects for discussion to candidates aspiring to the doctor's degree. For in the above mentioned works and essays, such errors are taught under the semblance of asserting the rights of the priesthood and of the secular power, that instead of sound doctrines, thoroughly poisoned cups are offered to youth. For the said author hath not blushed to reproduce under a new form, in his impious propositions and comments, all those[pg 187] doctrines which have been condemned by John II., Benedict XIV., Pius VI., and Gregory XVL., as well as by the decrees of the fourth Council of Lateran, and those of Florence and Trent. He openly asserts for example, that the Church has no right to enforce her authority by might, and that has no temporal power whatever, whether direct or indirect."

One of the latest miracles is described is the Paris Univers, as follows—in the most perfect good faith:—

"There is much talk at Rome of an extraordinary cure which has taken a place in the very palace of the Vatican. The following is the manner in which this prodigious fact is described,—which will, without doubt, become the subject of a judicial inquiry: 'A young girl of about twenty years of age, whose family is employed in the domestic side of the palace, had contracted a bad fever, owing to the loss of her father a little time before, as well as to the influence of the season, which has multiplied at Rome diseases of this kind, and by which a great number of victims have fallen within the last few months. Notwithstanding the enlightened efforts of the doctor of the Pontifical 'family,' and of her parents, the young invalid was soon at the last extremity. The vice-curé of the palace (which, as is known, is a foundation), a member of the Augustin order (Monseigneur the Sacristan of the same order is the titular curé), had administered to her the sacrament of extreme unction, and had recited the prayer recommending her soul. Her last sigh was hourly expected. For the sake of enabling our readers to understand the prodigy about to be related, it is necessary to state that during the course of the malady the vice-curé had several times engaged the pious patient to invoke the aid of a venerable servant of God, of the Augustin order, whose beatification is about to be declared, and he had even mixed in the potions given to such girl some little fragments of the clothes of the venerable man. On the other hand, according to the usage of religious families, they had carried into the chamber of the dying person the Santo-Bambino del'Ara Cœli, demanding of these last resources of the faithful a cure no longer in the reach of human science to bestow. Let us return to the bed of the dying girl, whom we find in a profound sleep, from which she shall soon awaken to relate with smiles on her lips how she had seen the infant Jesus, having at his side a venerable servant of God, clad in the habit of the order of St. Augustin. She adds that she feels herself cured, but very weak, and she asks for a cup of broth to give her strength. The broth is given, to her, although the request is regarded as coming from one in the last agitation of dying; but the sick girl, who had felt the action of grace, and who knew well that she was cured, rises, throws off all the blisters, of which not a trace was left on her body, and on the following day repaired to the church of Ara Cœli, at more than half a league distant, to thank the Santo Bambino and the servant of God, who had restored her to life and health. You may easily comprehend the sensation that a fact of this kind must have produced upon a population so full of faith, especially on the eve of the ceremony of the 21st, which will put solemnly upon the altar, in placing him among the blest, the venerable Father Clavier, of the Society of Jesus, and at the close of the expiatory triduo which has been celebrated at Saint Andre della Valle in reparation of a sacrilegious outrage committed against the Madonna du Vicolo dell' Abate Luigi.'"

Of course the girl never was ill at all.

Miraculous agencies, it appears, have been applied to by the highest powers at Rome, with the purpose which actuates the old ladies who study Zadkiel. A young peasant girl living at Sezza, near the Neapolitan frontier, has been for some time in a kind of ecstatic, or, as non-believers in miracles would call it, magnetic state, and in that part of the province of Marittima and Campagna, is already known under the denomination of St. Catherine. Her fame seems to have originated in a miracle which she worked some time ago on the person of an old woman, who came to her in great distress because her daughter had died in childbed, leaving the grandmother of the infant without pecuniary means for its support. "St. Catherine" is said to have directed the old woman to suckle the baby herself, assuring her that, before she reached home, she would find herself in a condition to do so—a direction which the venerable applicant strictly obeyed, and found her hopes realized! Other supernatural answers were subsequently given by the saint to various applications of the neighboring peasantry, and stolen fowls and stray cattle were recovered by her indications. But the concourse of people at last grew so great that that the ecclesiastical authorities interfered in behalf of the sybil, whom they placed in safety and repose within the walls of a convent, prohibiting, at the same time, any one from coming to consult her without the express permission of the bishop:—

"From the accounts of dispassionate spectators," writes the correspondent of the Daily News, "I am led to infer that there is really something extraordinary in the mental or physical organization of this young girl, as she alternates between a dormant state, resembling magnetic sleep, and a strong degree of hysterical or nervous excitability; but whatever may be the real cause of the second sight or preternatural knowledge which she has, according to public rumor, so frequently displayed, it is certain that many persons of this city, including ecclesiastics of high rank, have profited by the opportunity of getting a peep into the future, and knowing betimes what they have to prepare for. Cardinals Lambruschini and Franzoni and the Duke Don Marino Torlonia are amongst the number of distinguished individuals who have applied to this modern oracle. The advocate Zaccaleoni, Monseigneur Appoloni, and many prelates have followed their example; indeed, the surprising replies and alarming prognostics of the Pythoness so far roused the fears and curiosity of the Pope himself, that he caused her to be sent for from the convent at Sezza, and brought to Rome, a few days ago, in the carriage of a respectable and religious couple, who went there for that express purpose. An interview took place between Pio Nono and the prophetess, immediately after which she was sent back to her retirement. The result of the interview has not[pg 188] transpired, but the girl's revelations were probably similar to those with which she has already excited the terrors of her exalted applicants; namely, predictions of imminent and sanguinary disturbances, in which, though not of long duration, many persons will fall victims to popular fury."

The Bolognese paper, Vero Amico, which is thoroughly devoted to the ecclesiastical cause, occasionally devotes some of its columns to war in favor of miracles, especially as wrought by images. The following is its account of a recent miraculous change of the weather at the intercession of the Virgin:—

"The inhabitants of Tossignano not long ago obtained a new demonstration of love and favor from the prodigious image of the most Holy Mary, from that extremely ancient image which, saved from iconoclastic fury, always engaged the devout worship of their ancestors; and which their not degenerate descendants keep as a noble and precious heirloom of their hereditary religion, finding in it all comfort and support against public and private calamities. The late incessant and unseasonable rains having hindered the gathering in of autumn fruits, and impeded cultivation for the coming year, the active pastor, the very revered arch-priest Agnoli, in order to avert so heavy a calamity, called the inhabitants of Tossignano together, and with eloquent and touching words brought them before the most prodigious image, so that, by the intercession of the Virgin, God might restore serene weather. For this purpose, on the 7th of October, the flock and their beloved pastor met to depose their humble supplications at the foot of the altar, sacred to their distinguished benefactress; at the first prayer, whilst the pastor was offering the propitiatory wafer, a ray of sun gladdened the sacred temple, like a rainbow of peace smiling on the assembled faithful, and in a few hours all appearance of clouds vanished from the sky! The Tossignanesi rightly attributing this to the peculiar favor of their protectress, and full of gratitude to her, resolved to sanctify the 12th inst. by solemn acts of thanksgiving."

These poor absurdities, so suggestive of pity and contempt, may he compared with the tricks of Rochester knockers and travelling mountebanks generally in this country, and no "authority of the church" can raise them, in the minds of sensible men, to a higher respectability.


Our excellent friend James T. Fields, now in Europe, sends us from his note book the following fine apostrophe to Jenny Lind:


Look on her! there she stands, the world's prime wonder
The great queen of song! Ye rapt musicians,
Touch your golden wires, for now ye prelude strains
To mortal ears unwonted. Hark! she sings.
Yon pearly gates their magic waves unloose,
And all the liberal air rains melody
Around. O night! O time! delay, delay,—
Pause here, entranced! Ye evening winds, come near,
But whisper not,—and you ye flowers, fresh culled
From odorous nooks, where silvery rivulets run,
Breath silent incense still.
Hail, matchless queen!
Thou, like the high white Alps, canst hear, unspoiled,
The world's artillery (thundering praises) pass.
And keep serene and safe thy spotless fame!




White and silent shines the moonlight,
And the earth, in slumber deep,
Smiles, as of the silver splendor
Conscious in her sleep!
How the moonbeams dance and glimmer—
Hunted by the summer breeze—
On the bosom of the river,
Through the branches of the trees!
May this night of quiet beauty
Be the symbol and the sign,
Of the holy love that wraps us
In its light divine!
So shalt thou still reign forever,
While the glow of life abides,
As thou now dost, dearest—empress
Of my heart's deep tides!




Gone is the golden October
Down the swift current of time,
Month by the poets called sober,
Just for the sake of the rhyme.
Tints of vermilion and yellow
Margined the forest and stream;
Poets then told us 'twas mellow,
How inconsistent they seem!
Now, while the mountain in shadow
Dappled and hazy appears,
While the late corn in the meadow,
Culprit-like, loses its ears—
Get some choice spirits together,
Bring out the dogs and the guns,
Follow the birds o'er the heather,
Where the 'cold rivulet' runs.
Look for them under the cover,
Just as the pole-star at sea
Always is sought by the rover,
Near where the pointers may be.
Yet if your field-tramping brothers
Should not be fellows of mark,
Leave the young partridge for others,
Only make sure of a lark.
Thus shall the charms of the season
Gently throw round you their spell,
Thus enjoy nature in reason,
If in the country you dwell.
But if condemned as a denizen
In a great town to reside,
Take down a volume of Tennyson,
Make him do service as guide;
Borne upon poesy's pinion,
Rise the heights that he gains,
Range over Fancy's dominion,
Walk hypothetical plains.
Soon shall the wintry December
Darken above us the sky—
Winds their old custom remember
All, in a spree, to get high;
And, as they wail through the copses,
Dirge-like and solemn to hear,
Nature's own grand Thanatopsis
Sadly shall strike on the ear.
But all impressions so murky
Instantly banish like care,
Turn to the ham and the turkey
Christmas shall shortly prepare.
None than yourself can be richer,
Seated at night by the hearth,
With an old friend and a pitcher
Lending a share of the mirth.
Then to the needy be given
Aid from your generous boards,
And to a bountiful Heaven
Thanks for the wealth it affords.

[pg 189]


From Colburn's New Monthly Magazine.


There was much bustle and commotion in the Castle of Visinara. Servitors ran hither and thither, the tire-maidens stood in groups to gossip with each other, messengers were dispatched in various directions, and skilful leeches and experienced nurses were brought in. Then came a long silence. Voices were hushed, and footsteps muffled; the apartments of the countess were darkened, and nought was heard save the issued whisper, or the stealthy tread of the sick chamber. The Lady Adelaide was ill. Hours elapsed—hours of intolerable suspense to the Lord of Visinara; and then were heard deep, heartfelt congratulations; but they were spoken in a whisper, for the lady was still in danger, and had suffered almost unto death. There was born an heir to Visinara. And as Giovanni, Count of Visinara, bent over his child, and embraced his young wife, he felt repaid for all he had suffered in voluntarily severing himself from Gina Montani; and from that time he forgot her, or something very like it. And for this he could not be condemned, for it was in the line of honor and of duty. Yet it was another proof, if one were wanting, of the fickle nature of man's love. It has been well compared to words written on the sands. Many weeks elapsed ere the Lady Adelaide was convalescent; and some more before she ventured to join in the gayeties and festal meetings of the land. A two days' fête, given at the Capella Palace, was the signal for her reappearance in the world. It was to be of great magnificence, rumor ran, and the Lady Adelaide consented to attend it early on the morning of the second day. She placed herself in front of the large mirror in her dressing-chamber while she was prepared for the visit, the same mirror before which she had sat on the evening of her wedding-day. The Signora Lucrezia and Gina were alone present. The former was arranging her rich tresses, whilst Gina handed the signora what things she required—combs, and the like. Whilst thus engaged, the count entered, dressed.

"Giovanni," exclaimed Adelaide, "Lucrezia thinks that I should wear something in my hair—a wreath, or my diamond coronet; but I feel tired already, and wish the dressing was over. Need I be teased with ornaments?"

"My sweet wife, wear what you best like. You need no superficial adorning."

"You hear, Lucrezia: make haste and finish my hair. Do not put it in curls to-day; braids are less trouble, and sooner done. You may put aside the diamond casket, Gina. Oh, there's my darling!" continued the countess, hearing the baby pass the door with its nurse. "Call him in." The count himself advanced, opened the door, and took his infant. "The precious, precious child!" exclaimed Adelaide, bending over the infant, which he placed on her knees. "Giovanni," she added, looking up eagerly to her husband's face, "do you think there ever was so lovely a babe sent on earth?"

He smiled at her earnestness—men are never so rapturously blind in the worship of their first-born as women. But he stooped down, and fondly pressed his lips upon her forehead, while he played with the little hand of the infant; and she yielded to the temptation of suffering her face to rest close to his.

"But it grows late," resumed the young mother, "and I suppose we ought to be going. Take the baby to its nurse, Lucrezia," she continued, kissing it fifty times as she resigned it.

The count had drawn behind the Lady Adelaide, where stood Gina. As his eyes happened to fall upon her, he was struck by the pallid sorrow which sat in her countenance. Ill-fated Gina! and he had been so absorbed these last few weeks in his new happiness! A rush of pity, mingled perhaps with self-reproach, flew to his heart. What compensation could he offer her? In that moment he remembered her last words at the interview in his wife's embroidery-room, and gave her a look. It was not to be mistaken. Love—love, pure and tender—gleamed from his eyes, and she answered him with a smile which told of her thanks, and that he was perfectly understood. Had any one been looking on, they could scarcely fail to become aware of their existing passion, and that there was a secret understanding between them.

And one was looking on. The Lady Adelaide's back was towards them, but in the large glass before her she had distinctly seen the reflection of all that took place. Her countenance became white as death, and her anger was terrible. "You may retire for the present," she said, in a calm, subdued tone, to the startled Gina, upon whose mind flashed somewhat of the truth; "and tell the Signora Lucrezia not to return until I call for her."

To describe the scene that ensued would be difficult. The shock to the young wife's feelings had been very great. That her husband was faithless to her, not only in deed but in heart, she doubted not. It was in vain he endeavored to explain all; she listened to him not. She thought he was uttering falsehoods, which but increased his treachery. Gina had once spoken of her fierce jealousy, but what was hers compared with the Lady Adelaide's? In the midst of her explosions of passion, Lucrezia, who had either not received, or misunderstood, her lady's message by Gina, entered. The maiden stood aghast, till, admonished by a haughty wave of the hand from the count, she hastened from the room. Later in the day, the Lord of Visinara quitted the castle, to pay the promised visit. His wife refused to go. "Mercy! mercy!" she exclaimed, in anguish, as she sat alone in her apartments, "to be thus requited by Giovanni—whom I so loved, my husband! my own husband![pg 190] Is it possible that a man can be guilty of treachery so deep? Would that I had died ere I had known his faithlessness, or ever seen him! Shame—shame upon it! to introduce his paramour into my very presence; an attendant on my person! Holy Virgin, that I should be so degraded! Sure a wife, young and beautiful, was never treated as I have been. Lowered in the eyes of my own servants; insulted by him who ought to have guarded me from insult; laughed at—ridiculed by her! Oh! terrible! terrible!"

As she spoke the last words, she rose, and unlocking the bright green cabinet, that of malachite marble already spoken of, took from thence a small bag of silver gilt. Touching the secret spring of this, she drew forth a letter, opened, and read it:

"'To the Lady Adelaide, Countess of Visinara.

"'You fancy yourself the beloved of Giovanni. Count of Visinara; but retire not to your rest this night, lady, in any such vain imagining. The heart of the count has long been given to another; and, you know, by your love for him, that such passion can never change its object. Had he met you in earlier life, it might have been otherwise. He marries you, for your lineage is a high one; and she, in the world's eye and in that of his own haughty race, was no fit mate for him."

"Ay," she shuddered, "it is explained now. So, Gina Montani was this beloved one. I am his by sufferance—she, by love. Holy Mother, have mercy on my brain! I know they love—I see it all too plainly. And I could believe his deceitful explanation, and trust him. I told him I believed it on our wedding night. He did not know why he went to her house; habit, he supposed, or, want of occupation. Oh, shame on his false words! Shame on my own credulity!"

None of us forget the stanzas in Collins's Ode to the Passions:

"Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fixed,
Sad proof of thy distressful state:
Of differing themes the veering song was mixed,
And now it courted love—now, raving, calling on hate."

And calling, indeed, upon hate, as she strode her chamber in a frenzy near akin to madness, was the lady Adelaide, when her attendant, Lucrezia, entered.

"My dear lady," she exclaimed, bursting into tears, as any crocodile might do—"my dear, dear young lady, I cannot know that you are thus suffering, and keep away from your presence. Pardon me for intruding upon you against orders."

The Lady Adelaide smoothed her brow, and the lines of her face resumed their haughtiness, as she imperiously ordered Lucrezia to quit the room. The heart most awake to the miseries of life wears to the world the coldest surface; and it was not in the Lady Adelaide's nature to betray aught of her emotions to any living being, save, perhaps, her husband.

"Nay, my lady, suffer me to remain yet a a moment: at least, while I disclose what I know of that viper."

The Lady Adelaide started; but she suppressed all excitement, and Lucrezia began her tale—an exaggerated account of the interview she had been a witness to between the Lord of Visinara and Gina Montani. The countess listened to its conclusion, and a low moan escaped her.

"What think you now, madam, she deserves?"

"To die!" burst from the pale lips of the unhappy lady.

"To die," acquiesced Lucrezia, calmly. "No other punishment would meet her guilt; and no other, that I am aware of, could be devised to prevent it for the future."

"Oh! tempt me not," cried the lady, wringing her hands. "I spoke hastily."

"Give but the orders, madam," resumed Lucrezia, "and they shall be put in practice."

"How can I?" demanded the Lady Adelaide, once more pacing the room in her anguish; "how could I ever rest afterwards, with the guilt of murder upon my soul?"

"It will be no guilt, lady."


"I have made it my business to inquire much about this girl—to ascertain her history. I thought it my duty, and very soon I should have laid the whole matter before you."


"You may destroy her, madam, as you would destroy that little bird there in its golden cage, without sin and without compunction."

"Oh, Lucrezia, Lucrezia! once more I say unto thee, tempt me not. Wicked and artful as she is, she is still one of God's creatures."

"Scarcely, my lady," answered Lucrezia, with a gesture which spoke of deep scorn for the culprit. "I have cause to believe—good cause," she repeated, lowering her voice, and looking round, as if she feared the very walls might hear the fearful words she was about to utter, "that she is one of those lost creatures who are enemies to the Universal Faith, a descendant of the Saxons, and an apostate; as too many of that race have become."

"What say you?" gasped the Lady Adelaide.

"That we have been harboring a heretic, madam," continued Lucrezia, her passion rising; "a spy, it may be, upon our holy ceremonies. No wonder that evil has fallen upon this house."

"Go to the cell of Father Anselmo," shivered the Lady Adelaide, her teeth chattering with horror, "and pray his holiness to step hither: this fearful doubt shall at once be set at rest."


Gina Montani, her head aching with suspense and anxiety, was shut up alone in her chamber when she received a summons to the apartments of her mistress. Obeying at once, she found the confessor, Father Anselmo, sitting there, by the side of the countess. The monk cast his eyes steadfastly upon Gina,[pg 191] as if examining her features. "Never, my daughter, never!" he said, at length, turning to the countess. "I can take upon myself to assert that this damsel of thine has never once appeared before me to be shriven."

"Examine her," was the reply of the lady.

"Daughter," said the priest, turning to Gina, "for so I would fain call thee, until assured that thou canst have no claim to the title, what faith is it that thou professest."

Gina raised her hand to her burning temples. She saw that all was discovered. But when she removed it, the perplexity in her face had cleared away, and her resolution was taken. "The truth, the truth," she murmured; "for good, or for ill, I will tell it now."

"Hearest thou not?" inquired the priest, somewhat more sternly. "Art thou a child of the True Faith?"

"I am not a Roman Catholic," she answered, timidly, "if you call that faith the true one."

The Lady Adelaide and the priest crossed themselves simultaneously, whilst Gina grasped the arm of the chair against which she was standing. She was endeavoring to steel her heart to bravery; but in those days, and in that country, such a scene was a terrible ordeal.

"Dost thou not worship the One True God," continued the priest, "and acknowledge his Holiness, our Father at Rome, to be His sole representative here?"

"I worship the One True God," replied Gina, solemnly, joining her hands in a reverent attitude; "but for the Pope at Rome, I know him not."

The Lady Adelaide shrieked with aversion and terror, and the pale face of the monk became glowing with the crimson of indignation. "Knowest thou not," he said, "that to the Pope it is given to mediate between earth and heaven?"

"I know," faltered Gina, shrinking at the monk's looks and tone, yet still courageous for the truth, "that there is One Mediator between God and man."

"And he—?"

"Our Saviour."

"Miserable heretic!" scowled the monk, "hast thou yet to learn that of all the living souls this world contains, not one can enter the fold of Heaven without the sanction of our Holy Father, the Pope?"

"I shall never learn it," whispered Gina, "and to me such doctrines savor of blasphemy. Therefore, I beseech you, dilate not on them."

"Lost, miserable wretch!" cried the priest, lifting his hands in dismay. "Need I tell thee, that in the next world there is a place of torture kept for such as thee—a gulf of burning flames, never to be extinguished.

"We are told there is such a place," she answered, struggling with her tears, for the interview was becoming too painful. "May the infinite love and mercy of God keep both you and me from it!"

"Thou art hopeless—hopeless!" ejaculated the monk, sternly. "Yet, another question ere I send thee forth. Where hast thou imbibed these deadly doctrines?"

"My mother wedded with an Italian," answered Gina, "but she was born on the free soil of England, and reared in its Reformed Faith."

"A benighted land—an accursed land!" screamed the priest, vehemently; "the time will come when it shall be deluged from one end to the other with its apostates' blood."

"It is an enlightened land—a free, blessed land!" retorted Gina, in agitation; "and God's mercy will rest upon it, and keep it powerful amongst nations, so long as its sons remain true to their Reformed Faith."

"Insanity has fallen upon them," raved the monk, endeavoring to drown the bold words of Gina,—"nothing but insanity. But," he added, dropping his voice, "let them beware. Quem Deus vult perdere, prius dementat."

Gina understood not the tongue; but the Lady Adelaide did, and crossed herself.

"And this mother of thine," sneered the monk, turning again to Gina, "where may she be?"

"She is dead," gasped Gina, bursting into tears.

"Good!" assented the monk; "then she is meeting with her deserts."

"God grant she may be!" aspirated the maiden, "for she died in the faith of Christ."

"And who have been thy worthy instructors since?" proceeded the priest.

"I have had but one guide since," answered Gina.

"Disclose the name."

"My Bible."

The monk uttered what seemed very like a scream of passion, and the Lady Adelaide, as she heard the words, half rose from her chair.

"Be calm, my daughter," interrupted the monk, waving his hand towards the countess; "I will guard thee from the harm caused by contact with this heretical being. Desire her, I pray thee, to fetch this Book hither, that I may glance at it."

"Go," cried the Lady Adelaide, imperiously, to Gina; "bring this Bible instantly!"

Gina obeyed, and the sacred volume was placed in the hands of the monk. The Lady Adelaide shrank from touching it.

"Ha!" cried the monk, perceiving it to be printed in the English tongue, "dost thou speak this language, then?"

"It is familiar to me as my own," replied Gina.

"I will summon thy attendants for a light, my daughter," he remarked to the Lady Adelaide. And when one was brought, the priest advanced to a part of the room where the marble floor was uncovered by tapestry, and tearing the leaves from the Book, he set[pg 192] light to them, till all, both the Old and New Testament, were consumed, and the ashes scattered on the ground. "It is the most dangerous instructor that can be placed in the hands of the people," he observed, complacently watching the black mass smouldering there. And Gina Montani pressed her hands upon her chest, which was throbbing with agitation, but she did not dare to utter a word of remonstrance.

"Oh, father, father!" cried the Lady Adelaide, sinking at his feet, after Gina had been conducted to her chamber, and giving vent involuntarily to sobs of agony, "she has dared to come between me and my husband—he has known her long, it seems. If she should have tainted him with this black heresy?"

The monk turned as white as the lady's dress at the suggestion. It was enough to make him. That that docile and faithful servant of the Church, the powerful Chief of Visinara, who was ever ready, at only half a hint, to endow it with valuable offerings and presents—entire robes of point lace for the Virgin Mary, and flounces and tuckers for all the female saints in the calendar, not to speak of his donations in hard cash, and his frequent offerings of paintings, most of them representing the popes working miracles, particularly that very pious one, Alexander VI.—that he should have had dissent instilled into him, perhaps even been made familiar with the principles of this upstart creed! Had his reverence swooned outright, it would have only been what might be expected.

"It will not be a crime to remove her, father," faltered the Lady Adelaide.

"Crime!" cried the ruffled priest; "canst thou connect the word—in that sense—with so degraded a being?"

"To remove her in any way," persisted the lady, in a whisper. "Yet the world might call it murder."

"No punishment in this world is adequate to her sin," answered the monk. "And she must not be suffered to remain in it."

"Thou wilt then grant me absolution beforehand, holy father," implored the Lady Adelaide.

"And what canst thou do, my child?" resumed the monk, smiling upon the countess. "Thou hast not been used to such work, and wouldst prove a sad novice at it."

"Too true," she uttered; "my heart is trembling now. Indeed, I could think but of one way—the moat. And though the order seems easy enough to give, I fear I should, when the moment came, shrink from issuing it."

"And who hast thou in this castle that will do thy bidding in secret and in silence? It were better that this deed were not known: and thou canst not stop tongues, my daughter."

"There are many bound to my interests, who would, I believe, lay down their lives for me," deliberated the Lady Adelaide; "yet, alas! the tongue is an unruly member, and is apt to give utterance in unguarded moments to words against the will."

"Thou hast reason, my child. I but put the question to try thee. I will undertake this business for thee. That evil one's sin has been committed against the Church, and it is fitting that the Church should inflict the punishment."

"Thou wilt cause her to be flung into the moat?" shuddered the Lady Adelaide.

"The moat!" echoed the priest. "Thinkest thou, my daughter, that the Church is wont to carry out her dealings by ordinary means? Signal as this woman's sin has been, signal must be her expiation."

"Can it be expiated?"

"Never, either in this world or the next. And every moment of delay that we voluntarily make in hurling her to her doom, must draw down wrath on our own heads from the saints on high."

The Lady Adelaide meekly bowed her head, as if to deprecate any wrath that might just then be falling.

"Thy lady in waiting, Lucrezia, is true, I have reason to believe," continued the monk.

"I believe her to be true," answered the Lady Adelaide.

"We may want her co-operation," he concluded, "for I opine that thou, my daughter, wilt not deign to aid in this; neither do I think thou art fitted for it."


The castle was wrapped in silence, it being past the hour at which the household retired to repose. Gina Montani was in her nightdress, though as yet she had not touched her hair, which remained in long curls, as she had worn it in the day. Suspense and agitation caused her to linger, and she sat at her dressing-table in a musing attitude, her head resting on her hand, wondering what would be the ending to all that the day had brought forth. She had dismissed her attendant some time before. With a deep sigh she rose to continue her preparations for rest, when the door softly opened, and the Signora Lucrezia appeared.

"You need not prepare yourself for bed," she observed, in a low, distinct whisper; "another sort of bed is preparing for you."

"What do you mean?" demanded the startled girl.

"That you are this night to die."

Gina shrieked.

"I may tell you," interrupted the lady, "that screams and resistance will be wholly useless. Your doom is irrevocable, therefore it may save you trouble to be silent."

"You are speaking falsely to me. I have done nothing to deserve death."

"Equivocation will be alike unavailing," repeated Lucrezia. "And if you ask what you have done—you have dared to step with your ill-placed passion between my lord and the Lady Adelaide: you have brought discredit[pg 193] upon the long-upheld religion of this house."

"I have disturbed no one's faith," returned Gina. "I wish to disturb none. It is true that I love Giovanni, Count di Visinara, but I loved him long ere he saw the Lady Adelaide."

"What!" cried the signora, her cheeks inflamed, and her brow darkening, "do you dare to avow your shame to my face?"

"It is no shame," answered Gina, sadly; there is nothing of guilt in such a love as mine."

"Follow me," repeated Lucrezia. "You have no time to waste in lamentations."

"By whose orders do I die?" demanded the indignant girl. "Not by his; and no one else has a right to condemn me."

Lucrezia expected this, and was prepared. Alas, that the Lord of Visinara should that day have left his signet ring behind him!

"Do you know this ring!" demanded Lucrezia, holding out the jewel.

"Too well. It is the Count of Visinara's."

"You may then know who has condemned you."

"Oh, Giovanni!" wailed Gina, as she sank prostrate on the floor in her anguish, "this from you!" All idea of resistance vanished with the thought that it was him she so loved who doomed her to destruction. "I thought he was still at the Capella Palace," she inquired, looking up at Lucrezia, a doubt possibly finding its way to her heart. "When did he return?"

"I came not to waste the moments in idle words," returned Lucrezia, as she prepared to utter the falsehood; "it is sufficient for you to know that he has returned, and has given the orders that you seem inclined to resist."

"Implore him to come to me for one moment, for a last farewell."

"I may not ask it. He is with the Lady Adelaide."

"First, my happiness, then, my life, sacrificed to appease the Lady Adelaide! Oh, Giovanni! false, but dear Giovanni—"

"I have no orders to call those who will use violence," interrupted the signora, "but I must do so if you delay to follow me."

"I am about to dress myself," returned Gina.

"The dress you have on will serve as well as another—and better, for a night-gown bears some resemblance to a shroud."

"One moment for prayer," was the next imploring petition.

"Prayer for you!" broke contemptuously from the signora.

"A single moment for prayer," reiterated the victim. "If I am, indeed, about to meet my Maker, I stand awfully in need of it; for I have of late worshipped but one, but it has not been Him."

"Prayer for you, a heretic!" repeated Lucrezia; "you may as well offer it up to blocks of wood or stone. The creed you profess forfeits all inheritance for you in heaven."

Yet still Gina repeated it—"A few moments for prayer, in mercy!"

"Then pray away where you are going," returned Lucrezia, impatiently. "You will have time enough, and to spare—minutes, and hours, and days, perhaps."

The signora evidently took a savage pleasure in urging on the death of Gina Montani. What could be the reason? Women in general are not so frightfully cruel. The motive was, that she herself loved the count. As Bianca had said, when watching the bridal cavalcade, could any be brought into daily contact with one so attractive and not learn to love him? so it had proved with Lucrezia. Being the favorite attendant of her mistress, she was much with her, and consequently daily and frequently in the company of Giovanni. He had many a gay word and passing jest for her, for he was by nature a gallant, free-spoken man; and this had its effect. Whilst he never glanced a thought towards her but as one necessary to wait upon his wife, he became to her heart dangerously dear; and excessively jealous had she been of Gina ever since she had heard the conversation in the embroidery-room. Pushing the unfortunate girl on before her, Lucrezia silently passed from Gina's bed-chamber to the secret passages, plenty of which might be found in the castle. She bore a lantern in her hand, which emitted a dim, uncertain light. At length they came to a passage, a little beyond the chapel, far removed from the habited apartments; and in the middle of this were two male forms, busily occupied at work of some description. A lantern, similar to the one Lucrezia carried, was hanging high up against the opposite wall; another stood on the ground. Gina stopped and shivered, but Lucrezia touched her arm, and she walked on. They were nearing the men, who were habited as monks, and their faces shielded beneath their cowls, when the signora halted and pressed her hand upon her brow, as if in thought. Presently she turned to Gina. A second lie was in her mouth; but how was the ill-fated young lady to know it? "He sent you a message," she whispered. "It is his last request to you. Will you receive it?" The unhappy victim looked up eagerly.

"He requests, then, by his love for you—by the remembrance of the happy moments you once spent together, that you neither resist nor scream."

Her heart was too full to speak; but she bowed her head in acquiescence. Lucrezia moved to go on. "How is my life to be taken? By the dagger? By blows?"

"By neither—by nothing. Not a hair of your head will be touched."

"Ah! I might have guessed. It is by poison."

"It will be taken by nothing, I tell you. Why do you not listen to me?"

[pg 194]

"You speak in riddles," said Gina, faintly. "But I will bear my fate, whatever it may be."

"And in silence? He asks it by your mutual love."

"All, all, for his sake," she answered. "Tell him, as I have loved, so will I obey him to the last."

Lucrezia walked on, and Gina followed. She saw and understood the manner of her death, but, faithful to the imagined wish of her lover, she uttered neither remonstrance nor cry. The clock was upon the stroke of one, when smothered groans of fear and anguish told that her punishment had begun; but no louder sound broke the midnight silence, or carried the appalling deed to the inhabitants of the castle. An hour passed before all was completed: they were long in doing their deed of vengeance; and, when it was over, Gina Montani had been removed from the world forever.

"Madame, she is gone!" was the salutation of Lucrezia, her teeth chattering, and her face the hue of a corpse, when she entered the chamber of her mistress.

The Lady Adelaide had not retired to rest. She was pacing her apartment in unutterable misery. The social conditions of life, its forms and objects, were to her as nothing since her terrible awaking to reality.

Morning had dawned before the return of the Lord of Visinara. He was fatigued both in body and mind, and, throwing himself upon a couch, slept for some hours. And he probably would have rested longer, had not an unusual disturbance and commotion in his household aroused him. They were telling a strange tale: one that, for the moment, drove the life-blood away from his heart. It was, that the wicked dealings of Gina Montani with Satan had been brought to light on the previous day. The holy Father Anselmo had taxed her with her guilt, and she had openly confessed all without reserve; and that the Evil One had appeared in the night, and had run away with her—a just reward.

In those times, a reputed visit of the devil in propria persona would have been likely to obtain more credence than it could in these: but it would probably be going too far to say that the Lord of Visinara participated in the belief of his horror-stricken household. Certain it is, he caused minute inquiries to be made, although at the express disapprobation of the spiritual directors of the neighboring monastery, some of whom were attached to the services of his chapel, and pointed out to him the grievous sin it was thus to be solicitous about the fate of an avowed heretic. But he could learn nothing. The maid who waited on her testified that she assisted Gina to undress on the previous night. In proof of which, the garments she had taken off were found in the chamber. The remainder of her clothes were in their places undisturbed; the only article missing being a nightdress, which the attendant in question said she saw her put on; and her bed had not been slept in. Giovanni spoke to his wife, but she observed a haughty silence, and it was useless to question her. He had the moat dragged, and the neighborhood for miles round scoured, but no tidings could be obtained. Yet, strange to say, in passing on that first morning through the remote corridors, he fancied he heard her voice pronounce his name in a tone of imploring agony. He searched in every nook and corner, but found nothing, and soon thought no more of it, except to marvel how his imagination could so have deceived him.

After a time, peace was restored between the count and the Lady Adelaide; but all bliss for her, all mutual confidence, had ceased for ever.


It was midnight. In the nursery at the castle sat the head nurse, and on her lap was the dying heir of Visinara, now eight or ten months old. Until nine days previous, he had been a healthy child, but, from that time, a wasting fever had attacked him, and now he was ill unto death. The Lady Adelaide, her eyes blinded with tears, knelt beside him, gazing on his colorless face. The count himself was gently rubbing his little hands to try and excite some warmth in them.

"Do you not think he looks a little, a very little better?" demanded the lady, anxiously.

The nurse hesitated. She did not think so, but she was unwilling to say what she thought.

"His hands—are they any warmer, Giovanni?"

The count shook his head, and the nurse spoke. "There will be hope, madam, if this last medicine should take effect."

The Lady Adelaide pressed her lips upon the infant's forehead, and burst into tears.

"You will be ill, Adelaide," said her husband. "This incessant watching is bad for you. Let me persuade you to take rest."

She motioned in the negative.

"Indeed, madam, but you ought to do so," interrupted Lucrezia, who was present: "these many nights you have passed without sleep; and your health so delicate!"

"Lie down—lie down, my love," interposed her husband, "if only for a short time."

Again she refused; but at length they induced her to comply, her husband promising to watch over the child, and to let her know if there should be the slightest change in him. He passed his arms round his wife to lead her from the chamber, for she was painfully weak; but they had scarcely gone ten steps from the door, when a prolonged, shrill scream, as of one in unutterable terror, reached their ears. They rushed back again. The nurse sat, still supporting the child, but with her eyes dilating and fixed on one corner of the room, and her face rigid with horror. It was she who had screamed.

[pg 195]

"My child! my child!" groaned the Lady Adelaide.

"Nurse, what in the name of the Holy Virgin is the matter?" exclaimed the count, perceiving no alteration in the infant. "You look as if you had seen a spectre!"

"I have seen one," shuddered the nurse.

"What have you been dreaming of?" he returned, angrily.

"As true as that we are all assembled here, my lord," continued the nurse, solemnly, "I saw the spirit of Gina Montani!"

A change came over the Lord of Visinara's countenance, but he spoke not; whilst the Lady Adelaide clung to her husband in fear, and Lucrezia darted into the midst of the group, and laid hold of the nurse's chair.

"What absurdity!" uttered the count, recovering himself. "How could such an idea enter your head?"

"Were it the last word I had to speak, my lord," continued the woman, "and to my dying day, I will maintain what I assert. I saw but now the ghost of Gina Montani. It was in a night-dress, and stood there, far away, where the lamp casts its shade."

"Nonsense!" said the count abstractedly. "Pray did you see anything?" he continued, banteringly, to Lucrezia, and to another attendant who was in the room. They answered that they had not: but Lucrezia was white, and shook convulsively. A wild, frantic sob, burst from the Lady Adelaide. The child was dead!


Many months again slipped by, with little to distinguish them save the decreasing strength of the Lady Adelaide. She had been wasting slowly since the shock given her heart at discovering her husband's love for Gina Montani. She loved him passionately, and she knew her love was unrequited; for affections once bestowed, as his had been, can never be recalled and given to another. The illness of the mind had its effect upon the body; she became worse and worse, and, after the birth of a second child, it was evident that she was sinking rapidly. She lay upon the stately bed in her magnificent chamber, about which were scattered many articles consecrated to her girlhood, or to her happy bridal, and, as such, precious. Seated by the bedside was her husband; one hand clasping hers, in the other he held a cambric handkerchief, with which he occasionally wiped her languid brow. "Bear with me a little longer," my husband—but a short time."

"Bear with you, Adelaide!" he repeated; "would to the Blessed Virgin you might be spared to me!"

"It is impossible," she sighed, pressing his hand upon her wasted bosom.

"Adelaide"—he hesitated; after awhile—"I would ask you a question—a question which, if you can, I entreat that you will answer."

She looked at him inquiringly, and he resumed, in a low voice: "What became of Gina Montani?"

Even amidst the pallid hue of death, a flush appeared in her cheeks at the words. She gasped once or twice with agitation before she could speak. "Bring not up that subject now; the only one that came between us to disturb our peace—the one to which I am indebted for my death. I am lying dying before you, Giovanni, and you can think but of her."

"My love, why will you so misunderstand me?"

"These thoughts excite me dreadfully," she continued. "Let us banish them, if you would have peace visit me in dying."

"May your death be far away yet," he sighed.

"Ah! I trust so—a little longer—a few days with you and my dear child!" And the count clasped his hands together as he silently echoed her prayer.

"Will you reach me my small casket?" she continued; "I put a few trinkets in it, yesterday, to leave as tokens of remembrance. I must show you how I wish them bestowed."

He rose from his seat, and looked about the room; but he could not find the jewelcase. "The small one, Giovanni," she said; "not my diamond casket. I thought it was in the mosaic cabinet. Or, perhaps, they may have taken it into my dressing-room."

He went into the adjoining apartment, and had found the missing casket, when a shriek of horror from the lips of the Lady Adelaide smote his ear. He was in an instant at her bedside, supporting her in his arms; the attendants also came running in. "My dearest Adelaide, what is it that excites you thus?" But his inquiries were in vain. She lay in his arms, sobbing convulsively, and clinging to him as if in terror. Broken words came from her at length: "I looked up—when you were away—and saw—there, in that darkened recess—her. I did—I did, Giovanni!"

"Whom?" he said becoming very pale.

"Her—Gina Montani. She was in white—a long dress it seemed. Oh! Giovanni, leave me not again."

"I will never leave you, Adelaide. But this—it must have been a fancy—an illusion of the imagination. We had just been speaking of her."

"You remember," she sobbed, "the night our child died—nurse saw the same spectre. It may—"

The lady's voice failed her, and her husband started, for a rapid change was taking place in her countenance.

"I am dying, Giovanni," she said, clinging to him, and trembling with nervous terror. "Oh, support me! A doctor—a priest—Father Anselmo—where are they? He gave me absolution, he said. Then why does the remembrance of the deed come back again now? They would not have done it without[pg 196] my sanction. Giovanni, my husband—protect and love our child—desert him never. Giovanni, I say, can they indeed forgive—or does it rest above? If so, oh! why did I have her killed? Giovanni, who is it—Father Anselmo?—God?—who is to forgive me? It was murder! Giovanni, where are you? My sight is going—Giovanni—" Her voice died away, and the count bowed his head in his anguish, whilst the attendants pressed forwards to look at her countenance. The Lady Adelaide had passed to another world!


It was years after the death of Lady Adelaide, that workmen were making some alterations in the Castle of Visinara, preparatory to the second marriage of its lord, who was about to espouse the lovely Elena di Capella. They were taking down the walls of a secret passage, or corridor, leading out of the chapel to the neighboring monastery. Standing, looking on, was the count, still, to all appearance, youthful, though he was, in reality, some years past thirty, but his features were of a cast that do not quickly take the signs of age. By his side stood a fair boy of seven years old—his heir—open-hearted, engaging, with a smiling countenance, on which might be traced his father's features, whilst he had inherited his mother's soft blue eyes and her sunny hair.

"What a while you are!" exclaimed the child, looking on, with impatience, to see the walls come down. "You should hit harder."

"The walls are very thick, Alberto," observed his father. "All these niches, which have been blocked up, and in the olden time contained statues, have to come down also."

"They are taking down a niche now, are they not, papa?"

"Not yet. They are removing the wall which has been built before it. It appears fresher, too, than the rest; of more recent date."

"It seems extraordinarily fresh, my lord," observed one of the workmen. "The materials are old, but it has certainly been rebuilt within a few years—within ten, I should say."

"Not it," laughed the count. "These corridors have not been touched during my lifetime."

"This portion of them has, my lord, you may rely upon it."

As he spoke, the remainder came down with a tremendous crash, leaving the niches exposed, There was no statue there—but the corpse of the unfortunate Gina Montani, standing upright in her night-dress, was revealed to their sight—nearly as fresh as if she had died but yesterday, having been excluded from the air. The features, it is true, were scarcely to be recognized, but the hair—the long brown curls falling on her neck—was the same as ever. This was her horrible death then—to be walled up alive! The count grew sick and faint as he gazed. Before he had time to collect his startled thoughts, the child pulled at and clung to his arm. "Take me away. What is that dreadful thing? You look white and cold too, not as you always do. Oh, what is it? Dear papa, take me from here!"

The workmen were affrighted—perhaps more so, though less shocked, than the count. But one of them, partially recovering himself, touched the corpse with an implement he had been using, and it came down a heap of dust. The Lord of Visinara turned, and with steps that tottered under him, bore his child back to the castle.


You may hear in Italy unto this day, various versions of this tradition. One will tell you that the Lord of Visinara offered moneys and treasures, to the half of his possessions, to the monks, if they would lay the troubled spirit of Gina Montani, but that, although they tried hard, they could not do it. According to another version, the friars would not try, for that no heretic's soul may be prayed for in the Roman Church. But, however the monks may have settled it amongst themselves, all versions of the history agree in one particular, that the ghost was not laid; that it never would be, and never could be, but still wanders on the earth. And you were wise to profess faith in it too, if you go amongst the Italians, unless you would be looked on as an unbeliever, not a degree better than the poor Protestant maiden Montani.

Several descendants of Giovanni and Adelaide of Visinara, are still scattered about Italy, though greatly reduced in station. And the accredited belief is, that whenever death is going to remove one of these, the spirit of the ill-fated Gina appears and shows itself to them in the moments of their last and most terrible agonies.


From Sharpe's Magazine

We are in the habit of laughing incredulously at stories of visions and supernatural apparitions, yet some are so well authenticated, that if we refuse to believe them, we should, in consistency, reject all historical evidence. The fact I am about to relate is guaranteed by a declaration signed by four credible witnesses; I will only add, that the prediction contained in this declaration was well known, and generally spoken of, long before the occurrence of the events which have apparently fulfilled it.

Charles XI., father of the celebrated Charles XII., was one of the most despotic, but, at the same time, wisest monarchs, who ever reigned in Sweden. He curtailed the enormous privileges of the nobility, abolished the power of the Senate, made laws on his own authority; in a word, he changed the constitution of the country, hitherto an oligarchy, and forced the States to invest him with absolute power. He was a man of enlightened[pg 197] and strong mind, firmly attached to the Lutheran religion; his disposition was cold, unfeeling, and phlegmatic, utterly destitute of imagination. He had just lost his queen, Ulrica Eleonora, and he appeared to feel her death more than could have been expected from a man of his character. He became even more gloomy and silent than before, and his incessant application to business proved his anxiety to banish painful reflections.

Towards the close of an autumn evening, he was sitting in his dressing-gown and slippers, before a large fire, in his private apartment. His chamberlain, Count Brahe, and his physician, Baumgarten, were with him. The evening wore away, and his majesty did not dismiss them as usual; with his head down and his eyes fixed on the fire, he maintained a profound silence, weary of his guests, and fearing, half unconsciously, to remain alone. The count and his companion tried various subjects of conversation, but could interest him in nothing. At length Brahe, who supposed that sorrow for the queen was the cause of his depression, said with a deep sigh, and pointing to her portrait, which hung in the room,

"What a likeness that is! How truly it gives the expression, at once so gentle and so dignified!"

"Nonsense!" said the king, angrily, "the portrait is far too flattering; the queen was decidedly plain."

Then, vexed at his unkind words, he rose and walked up and down the room, to hide an emotion at which he blushed. After a few minutes he stopped before the window looking into the court; the night was black, and the moon in her first quarter.

The palace where the kings of Sweden now reside was not completed, and Charles XI. who commenced it, inhabited the old palace, situated on the Ritzholm, facing Lake Modu. It is a large building in the form of a horseshoe: the king's private apartments were in one of the extremities; opposite was the great hall where the States assembled to receive communications from the crown. The windows of that hall suddenly appeared illuminated. The king was startled, but at first supposed that a servant with a light was passing through; but then, that hall was never opened except on state occasions, and the light was too brilliant to be caused by a single lamp. It then occurred to him that it must be a conflagration; but there was no smoke, and the glass was not broken; it had rather the appearance of an illumination. Brahe's attention being called to it, he proposed sending one of the pages to ascertain the cause of the light, but the king stopped him, saying, he would go himself to the hall. He left the room, followed by the count and doctor, with lighted torches. Baumgarten called the man who had charge of the keys, and ordered him, in the king's name, to open the doors of the great hall. Great was his surprise at this unexpected command. He dressed himself quickly, and came to the king with his bunch of keys. He opened the first door of a gallery which served as an antechamber to the hall. The king entered, and what was his amazement at finding the walls hung with black.

"What is the meaning of this?" asked he.

The man replied, that he did not know what to make of it, adding, "When the gallery was last opened, there was certainly no hanging over the oak panelling."

The king walked on to the door of the hall.

"Go no further, for heaven's sake," exclaimed the man; "surely there is sorcery going on inside. At this hour, since the queen's death, they say she walks up and down here. May God protect us!"

"Stop, sire," cried the count and Baumgarten together, "don't you hear that noise? Who knows to what dangers you are exposing yourself! At all events, allow me to summon the guards."

"I will go in," said the king, firmly; "open the door at once."

The man's hand trembled so that he could not turn the key.

"A fine thing to see an old soldier frightened," said the king, shrugging his shoulders; "come, Count, will you open the door?"

"Sire," replied Brahe, "let your majesty command me to march to the mouth of a Danish or German cannon, and I will obey unhesitatingly, but I cannot defy hell itself."

"Well," said the king, in a tone of contempt, "I can do it myself."

He took the key, opened the massive oak door, and entered the hall, pronouncing the words, "With the help of God." His three attendants, whose curiosity overcame their fears, or who, perhaps, were ashamed to desert their sovereign, followed him. The hall was lighted by an innumerable number of torches. A black hanging had replaced the old tapestry. The benches round the hall were occupied by a multitude, all dressed in black; their faces were so dazzlingly bright that the four spectators of this scene were unable to distinguish one amongst them. On an elevated throne, from which the king was accustomed to address the assembly, sat a bloody corpse, as if wounded in several parts, and covered with the ensigns of royalty; on his right stood a child, a crown on his head, and a sceptre in his hand; at his left an old man leant on the throne; he was dressed in the mantle formerly worn by the administrators of Sweden, before it became a kingdom under Gustavus Vasa. Before the throne were seated several grave, austere looking personages, in long black robes. Between the throne and the benches of the assembly was a block covered with black crape; an axe lay beside it. No one in the vast assembly appeared conscious of the presence of Charles and his companions. On their entrance they heard nothing but a confused[pg 198] murmur, in which they could distinguish no words. Then the most venerable of the judges in the black robes, he who seemed to be their president, rose, and struck his hand five times on a folio volume which lay open before him. Immediately there was a profound silence, and some young men, richly dressed, their hands tied behind their backs, entered the hall by a door opposite to that which Charles had opened. He who walked first, and who appeared the most important of the prisoners, stopped in the middle of the hall, before the block, which he looked at with supreme contempt. At the same time the corpse on the throne trembled convulsively, and a crimson stream flowed from his wounds. The young man knelt down, laid his head on the block, the axe glittered in the air for a moment, descended on the block, the head railed over the marble pavement, and reached the feet of the king, and stained his slipper with blood. Until this moment surprise had kept Charles silent, but this horrible spectacle roused him, and advancing two or three steps towards the throne, he boldly addressed the figure on its left in the well-known formulary, "If thou art of God, speak; if of the other, leave us in peace."

The phantom answered slowly and solemnly, "King Charles, this blood will not flow in thy time, but five reigns after." Here the voice became less distinct, "Woe, woe, woe to the blood of Vasa!" The forms of all the assembly now became less clear, and seemed but colored shades: soon they entirely disappeared; the lights were extinguished; still they heard a melodious noise, which one of the witnesses compared to the murmuring of the wind among the trees, another to the sound a harp string gives in breaking. All agreed as to the duration of the apparition, which they said lasted ten minutes. The hangings, the head, the waves of blood, all had disappeared with the phantoms, but Charles's slipper still retained a crimson stain, which alone would have served to remind him of the scenes of this night, if indeed they had not been too well engraven on his memory.

When the king returned to his apartment, he wrote an account of what he had seen, and he and his companions signed it. In spite of all the precautions taken to keep these circumstances private, they were well known, even during the lifetime of Charles, and no one hitherto has thought fit to raise doubts as to their authenticity.


From the Dublin University Magazine.

It seems strange that so obvious a case as that of Barlaam and the monks of Mount Athos has not been brought into the mesmerical collection of pièces justificatives. The first compiler of the authorities on which it rests is Ughelli. The story is told in modern language by Mosheim, by Fleury, and by Gibbon at the years 1341-51. In taking the version of it by the last (Decline and Fall, c. 63,) we shall run least risk of being imposed on by over-credulity.

"The Fakirs of India and the monks of the Oriental Church," says the complacent philosopher of Lausanne, "were alike persuaded that in total abstraction of the mind and body, the purer spirit may ascend to the enjoyment and vision of the Deity. The opinions and practices of the monasteries of Mount Athos will be best represented in the words of an abbot who flourished in the eleventh century. 'When thou art alone in thy cell,' says the ascetic teacher, 'shut thy door and seat thyself in a corner: raise thy mind above all things vain and transitory; recline thy beard and chin on thy breast; turn thine eyes and thy thoughts towards the middle of thy belly, the region of the naval; and search the place of the heart, the seat of the soul. At first all will be dark and comfortless; but if you persevere day and night you will feel an ineffable joy; and no sooner has the soul discovered the place of the heart, than it is involved in a mystic and etherial light.' This light, the production of a distempered fancy, the creature of an empty stomach and an empty brain, was adored by the Quietists as the pure and perfect essence of God himself; and as long as the folly was confined to Mount Athos, the simple solitaries were not inquisitive how the divine essence could be a material substance, or how an immaterial substance could be perceived by the eyes of the body. But in the reign of the younger Andronicus these monasteries were visited by Barlaam, a Calabrian monk, who was equally skilled in philosophy and theology. The indiscretion of an ascetic revealed to the curious traveller the secrets of mental prayer, and Barlaam embraced the opportunity of ridiculing the Quietists who placed the soul in the naval; of accusing the monks of Mount Athos of heresy and blasphemy. His attack compelled the more learned to renounce or dissemble the simple devotion of their brethren; and Gregory Palamas introduced a scholastic distinction between the essence and operation of God."

Gregory illustrated his argument by a reference to the celestial light manifested in the transfiguration of our Lord on Mount Thabor. On this distinction issue was taken by the disputatious Calabrian, and the result was the convocation of a synod at Constantinople, whose decree "established as an article of faith the uncreated light of Mount Thabor; and, after so many insults, the reason of mankind was slightly wounded by the addition of a single absurdity."

Of the truth of facts so long and openly discussed, there can be no question. The monks of Mount Athos did indeed put themselves into a state which may with safety be called one of mental lucidity, by fixing their eyes intently on a point. Mr. Robertson, who[pg 199] used to induce the mesmeric sleep by causing his votaries to fix their eyes on a wafer, had better precedent than he supposed for his practice; and Miss Martineau, who, in her artificial trances, saw all objects illuminated has been unconsciously repeating a monastic method of worship. The contemptuous indifference of Gibbon for once arises from defect of information; and when in a note he observes that Mosheim "unfolds the causes with the judgment of a philosopher," while Fleury "transcribes and translates with the prejudices of a Catholic priest," himself gives a luculent example of the errors of philosophy, and of the often unsuspected approach of prejudice to truth. Mosheim's observation, notwithstanding the damaging approval of Gibbon, is not without its value. "There is no reason," he says, "for any to be surprised at this account, or to question its correctness. For among the precepts and rules of all those in the East who teach men how to withdraw the mind from the body, and to unite it with God, or inculcate what the Latins call a contemplative and mystic life, whether they are Christians, or Mohammedans, or Pagans, there is this precept, viz., that the eyes must be fixed every day for some hours upon some particular object, and that whoever does this will be rapt into a kind of ecstasy. See what Engelbert Kempfer states concerning the monks and mystics of Japan; and the account of those of India by Francis Bernier." Strange that Mosheim, observing the uniformity both of the process and of its results in so many different parts of the world, should not have suspected that there was something more in this species of lucidity than the merely casual effects of a distempered imagination. By fixing the gaze even of the lower animals on an immovable point, they fall into a condition equally unnatural, and which, if they had language to express their visions, would probably be found equally clairvoyant.

A favorite subject of mediæval art is the life of the Christian ascetic in the Desert. In these representations a human skull may generally be seen placed before the eyes of the devotee. Such an object would fix the gaze and induce the ecstasy as well as any other. The charm of this species of contemplation must have been intense, since in search of its exaltations and illuminations the very convents were deserted; and during the fourth and fifth centuries the deserts of Idumea, of Egypt, and of Pontus, swarmed with anchorites, who seemed to live only for the sake of escaping from life, and in their fasts and mortifications rivalled, if they did not for a time even surpass, the Fakirs of the East. To such an extent was this religious enthusiasm carried, that in Egypt the number of the monks was thought to equal that of the rest of the male population. Strange consideration, if it be the fact, that a few passes of a mesmeric operator should produce the same effects which these multitudes procured through toils so painful and sacrifices to themselves and to society so costly.

The Egyptian method of inducing clairvoyance in boys, by causing them to gaze on a pool of ink in the palm of the hand, has already been identified with the practice of Dr. Dee, whose blank spherical mirror is now said to be in the possession and use of a distinguished modern mesmeriser. Divination by the crystal is a well-known mediæval practice; and from the accounts of it which Delrio and others have handed down it appears to have resembled, in some remarkable particulars, the method now in use among the soothsayers of Cairo. It does not appear to make any difference whether the polished object be black or white, a mirror, a solid ball, or a transparent globe containing water: the same extraordinary series of appearances is alleged to follow an earnest inspection of it. Before proceeding to Delrio's singular corroboration of this use of the crystal, it will be well to state what is known of divination by the phial and by the mirror. Divination by the phial is technically known as gasteromancy. "In this kind of divination," says Peucer, "the response is given by pictures, not by sounds. They procured glass vessels of a globular shape, filled with fair water, and set round them lighted tapers; and after invoking the demon with a muttered incantation, and proposing the question, they brought forward a pure boy-child, or a pregnant woman, who, gazing intently on the glass, and searching it with their eyes, called for, and demanded, a solution of the question proposed. The devil then answered these inquiries by certain images, which, by a kind of refraction, shone from the water on the polished and mirror-like surface of the phial."

Catoptromancy, or divination by the mirror, is as old as the time of the Roman Emperors. In one of the passages relating to this method of inducing what is called clairvoyance, we have an illustration of the early acquaintance of mankind with some of the forms of mesmerism. The passage is found in Spartian's life of Ditius Julian, the rich Roman who purchased the Empire when it was put up to auction by the Prætorian guards. "Julian was also addicted to the madness of consulting magicians, through whom he hoped either to appease the indignation of the people, or to control the violence of the soldiery. For they immolated certain victims (human?) not agreeable to the course of Roman sacrifice; and they performed certain profane incantations; and those things, too, which are done at the mirror, in which boys with their eyes blindfolded are said, by means of incantations, to see objects with the top of the head, Julian had recourse to. And the boy is said to have seen (in the mirror) both the approach of Severus and the death of Julian."

The passage may be variously rendered, according to different readings and punctuations, either as "boys, who can see with their[pg 200] eyes blindfolded, by reason of incantations made over the top of the head;" or, "boys, who, having their eyes blindfolded, can see with the top of the head, by reason of incantations;" or, "boys, who, having their eyes blindfolded, can see with the top of the head, it being operated on by way of incantation." This seeing, or seeming to see, with the top of the head, is one alleged variety of the modes of modern clairvoyance. It seems difficult to imagine that the boy Horner, whose case is related by Mr. Topham, in a letter to Dr. Elliotson, dated May 31, 1847, could have heard any thing of these pagan practices. Mr. Topham, a barrister and man of credit, states: "After five or six weeks' mesmerism, he began spontaneously to exhibit instances of clairvoyance. The first occasion was on the 11th of September. It was in the dusk of the evening, so that the room where he was mesmerised was nearly dark. My previous mode of mesmerising him had been by pointing at his eyes, but on this occasion I began by making passes over the top of his head, and continued them after he was in the sleep. In the course of five or six minutes after the sleep was induced, he suddenly exclaimed that he could see into the room above us (the drawing-room). I said, 'Your eyes are closed; how can you see?' And he replied, 'I don't see with my eyes; I see from the top of my head. All the top of my head seems open.' He then described, &c. I found every thing as he had described, &c." Mr. Topham, it need scarcely be added, does not appear to have been at all aware of the passage in Spartian, which, indeed, has not been cited or referred to in any published work for nearly two hundred years back.

A like use of the suspended ring, indicating the early acquaintance of practitioners in these arts with one of the alleged evidences of the so-called odylic force, is thus described by Peucer among various modes of hydromancy: "A bowl was filled with water, and a ring suspended from the finger was librated in the water; and so, according as the question was propounded, a declaration or confirmation of its truth, or otherwise, was obtained. If what was proposed was true, the ring, of its own accord, without any impulse, struck the sides of the goblet a certain number of times. They say that Numa Pompilius used to practise this method, and that he evoked the gods, and consulted them in water, in this way."

Crystallomancy is the art of divining by figures, which appear on the surface of a crystal ball, in like manner as on the phial filled with water. Concerning this practice, Delrio has the following remarkable passage, citing his contemporary, Spengler: "A man well versed in the Greek and Latin fathers, and happy, if he had not presumed, with unclean hands, to dabble in the mysteries of our faith (Spenger), has published in Germany a learned commentary on the nature of demons, which he has prefixed to Plutarch's Essay, De Defectu Oraculorum. From this (says Delrio) I extract, in his own words, the following narrative. There are some (he says) who, being consulted on matters unknown, distinctly see every thing that is inquired after in crystals; and a little further on proceeds to state, that he once had an acquaintance, a man of one of the best families of Nuremberg, and that this acquaintance of his came to him on one occasion, bringing with him a crystal gem, of a round form, wrapped up in a piece of silk, which he told him he had received from a stranger, who encountering him several years before in the market-place, had asked his hospitality, and whom he had brought home with him and lodged for the space of three days; and that when the stranger was departing, he had left him the crystal as a present, in token of his obligation, and had taught him the use of it; thus, that if there was any thing he particularly wished to be informed of, he should take out this crystal and desire a pure male child to look into it and say what he should see there; and that it would come to pass that whatever he desired to be informed of, would be indicated by appearances seen by the boy. And he affirmed that he never was deceived in any instance, and that he learned matters of a wonderful kind from the representations of those boys, although no one else, by the closest inspection, could see any thing except the clear and shining gem. At a certain time, however, when his wife was pregnant of a male child, appearances were visible to her also in the crystal. First of all, there used to appear the form of a man clad in the ordinary habit of the times, and then would open the representation of whatever was inquired after; and when all was explained, the same figure of the man would depart and disappear; but in his departure would often appear to perambulate the town and enter the churches. But the report of these appearances having spread in all directions, they began to be threatened by the populace. It also appeared, that certain men of learning had read in the crystal some statements respecting doubts entertained by them in their studies; and moved by these and other reasons, Spengler stated that the owner of the crystal came to him, representing that he thought the time was come when he ought to cease making such a use of it; for that he was now persuaded he had sinned in no light degree in doing so, and had for a long time suffered grievous pangs of a disturbed conscience on that account, and had come to the determination of having nothing further to do with experiments of that kind, and had accordingly brought the crystal to him to do with it whatever he pleased. Then Spengler, highly approving his resolution, states that he took the crystal, and having pounded it into minute fragments, threw them, together with[pg 201] the silk wrapper, into a draw-well." So far Delrio.

Another variety of this process is found in the Onuchomanteia, or nail-divinition, also spoken of by Delrio. "In this species," says he, "male children, before they have lost their purity, smear their nails with oil and lamp-black, and then, holding up the nail against the sun, repeating some charm, see in it what they desire. This mischief," he goes on to say, "has gone even farther in our own time. I myself knew one Quevedo, a veteran Spanish soldier, but more distinguished in war and arms than in piety, who, being in Brussels at the time when the Duke of Medina Cæli set sail from Gallicia for Belgium, clearly showed in more than one of his nails the fleet leaving the port of Corunna, and soon after dreadfully tossed by a tempest. Thus this man, who could also cure the wounds of others by his words alone, rendered his own spiritual state incurable by any one."

The like use of the crystal ball and spherical phial, containing water, suggests a version of the epigrams of Claudian—"De crystallo in quo aqua inclusa"—which has not been afforded by any of the commentators. Globules of water are sometimes found inclosed in crystals, as well as in amber. On one of those singular gems Claudian has composed a series of epigrams, which ascribe properties to the stone, and make allusion to uses of it hardly reconcileable with the idea of its being a merely puerile curiosity. The earlier epigrams of the series are neat and playful, but insignificant:—

"The icy gem its aqueous birth attests,
Part turned to stone, while part in fluid rests;
Winter's numbed hand achieved the cunning feat,
The perfecter for being incomplete.
"Nymphs who your sister nymphs in glassy thrall
Hold here imprisoned in the crystal ball;
Waters that were and are, declare the cause
That your bright forms at once congeals and thaws.
"Scorn not the crystal ball, a worth it owns,
Greater than graven Erythrean stones;
Rude though it seems, a formless mass of ice,
'Tis justly counted 'mongst our gems of price."

And so on through several others, until he comes to that one which seems to indicate something beyond a merely figurative use of the word "nymphs;" though, after all, it is possible that the word was originally written with an l, instead of n, which would make all the difference between "nymphs" and "waters":—

"While the soft boy the slippery crystal turns,
To touch the waters in their icy urns,
Safe in its depths translucent he beholds
The nymphs, unconscious of the winter colds:
And the dry ball exploring with his lip,
Seems, while he fails, the illusive lymph to sip."

The Latin is subjoined:—

"Dum crystalla puer contingere lubrica gaudet
Et gelidum tenero pollice versat onus,
Videt perspicuo deprensas in marmore nymphas,
Dura quibus solis parcere novit hyems:
Et siccum religens labiis sitientibus orbem,
Irrita quæsitis oscula figit aquis."

Not the least remarkable of the qualities here ascribed to the crystal ball is its energy in imparting the sensation of cold. Dom Chifflet, who, in 1665, published his learned treatise at Antwerp on the objects then recently discovered in the supposed tomb of King Childeric, at Tournay, says of the crystal ball which was found amongst them, "You would say it was petrified ice; so cold it was, that my palm and fingers, after handling it, were quite torpid." And cites Anslem Boetius, in his book on stones and gems, as saying, "the crystal is of so cold and dry a nature, that placed beneath the tongue of a feverish person, it allays the thirst; and held in the hands even of those violently fevered, it refreshes and cools them, especially if it be of considerable size, and of a spherical figure;" and another writer on the same subject, Andreas Cisalpinus, who states of the marble called ophite, that "they make of it little globes, for the handling of such as are in burning fever, the coldness of the stone expelling the disease." So far Dom Chifflet. It seems almost as if we were reading Reichenbach. "He (Reichenbach) found that crystals are capable of producing all the phenomena resulting from the action of a magnet on cataleptic patients. Thus, for instance, a large piece of rock crystal, placed in the hand of a nervous patient, affects the fingers so as to make them grasp the crystal involuntarily, and shut the fist. Reichenbach found that more than half of all the persons he tried were sensible of its action." Chifflet probably was a man of a nervous temperament. Those who desire to see the crystal ball in question, may inspect it, where it is still preserved, with other objects found in the tomb, at the Gallerie de Medailles, in Paris. Two similar balls may be seen here in the collection of the Royal Irish Academy.

The use of water in communicating an ecstacy similar to the mesmeric lucidity, is largely dwelt on by the mystical writers known as the Neo-Platonists. Psellus describes a mode of divinition among the Assyrians by a basin, which smacks strongly of the mesmeric practice. "The water, which is poured into the basin, seems, as to its substance, to differ in nothing from other water; but it possesses a certain virtue, infused into it by incantations, whereby it is rendered more apt for the reception of the demon." The effect of the waters of some sacred places on those accustomed to their influence, was also such as is claimed for the mesmerized waters of our present practitioners. Jamblichus gives this account of the Colophonian oracle:—"There was a subterranean place at Colophon, near Ephesus, in which was a fountain. The priest on stated nights sacrificed, then drank the water, and afterwards prophesied, being rendered invisible to the spectators. It might seem," he says, "to some that the Divine Spirit passed into the priest through the water. But this is not so; for the divine influence is not transmitted thus according to the laws of distance and division,[pg 202] through these things which participate in it, but comprehends them from without, and inwardly illuminates and fills them with lucidity, and fills the water also with a certain virtue conducive to the prophetic faculty, that is, a clarifying virtue; so that when the priest drinks, it purifies the luminous spirit which is implanted in him, and accommodates it to God, and by that purifying and accommodating process, enables him to apprehend the deity. But there is another kind of presence of the god, besides the virtue infused into the wafer, which illumines all around, above, and within us, and which no man wants, if he can only attain to the necessary state of congruity. And so of a sudden it falls on the prophet, and makes use of him as an instrument; and he in the meantime has no command of himself, and knows not what he says, nor where he is, and with difficulty comes to himself again, after the response given. Moreover, before drinking the water, he abstains for a day and night from food, and partakes of certain mysteries inaccessible to the vulgar; from which it is to be collected that there are two methods by which man may be prepared for the reception of the divine influence: one by the drinking of purgatorial water, endowed by the Deity with a clarifying virtue; the other, by sobriety, solitude, the separation of the mind from the body, and the intent contemplation of the Deity."

One might here suppose he read of the rites of St. Patrick's Purgatory. The water of the lake there is usually called wine, and it may be that on minds and bodies "which have attained to the needful congruity," it has operated as wonderful effects as the Colophonian fount itself. The proceedings of the priestess at Brancidæ, who also, from amongst other sources, derived the afflatus, or Waren, from a fountain, are to the same purpose. "The prophetic priestess at Brancidæ either sits on an axis [exposing herself to the influence, as the Pythoness on her Tripod], or holds a wand in her hand, given by some god, or dips the hem of her garment, in water, or inhales a certain vapor of water, and by these methods is filled with the divine illumination, receives the god, and prophesies. But, that the prophetic faculty comes from no corporeal or animal source, and from no local or material instrumentality, but solely and extrinsically from the presence of the incoming deity, appears from this, that the priestess, before she gives her oracle, performs many ceremonious rites, observes strict purity, bathes, abstains for three days from food, dwells apart, and so, by little and little, begins to be illuminated and enraptured." What the exact meaning of sitting on an axis may be, it is difficult to divine; but those who allege that a patient may be thrown into the mesmeric trance by holding a magnetized branch—and those also who have read of all the phenomena of exorcism being as fully elicited by a satchel of feathers as by a bag of reliques—will readily apply the wand "presented by some deity," and placed in the hand of the priestess at the moment when she should receive the final cataleptic impulse. If there be truth in the alleged modern cases of clairvoyance, we need not be surprised at the singular coincidences which have sustained the credit of Colophon and Delphi.

Not to dwell on other methods of inducing the afflatus, such as by characters and amulets, by music, by dancing, and by movements of the body, I shall now proceed with the effects alleged to have been produced on the afflati. Jamlichus must still be our principal authority. Lucidity and prevision have already been sufficiently indicated, and have doubtless been readily recognized: the other symptoms will be found not less remarkable and equally familiar:—"Man has a double life—one annexed to the body, the other separate from every thing bodily.... In sleep we have the capacity of being wholly loosed from the chains that confine our spirit, and can make use of the life which is not dependent on generation. When the soul is thus separate from the body in sleep, then that (latter) kind of life which usually remains separable and separate by itself, immediately awakes within us, and acts according to its proper nature,... and in that state has a presaging knowledge of the future." Then, omitting a distinction between sleeping and waking inspiration, and coming to the latter, in which, also, the offlati have a presaging power, he proceeds:—"Yet those (latter) are so far awake that they can use their senses, yet are not capable of reasoning,... for they neither (properly speaking) sleep when they seem to do so, nor awake when they seem awake; for they do not of themselves foresee, nor are they moved by any human instrumentality; neither know they their own condition; nor do they exert any prerogative or motion of their own; but all this is done under the power and by the energy of the deity. For that they who are so affected do not live an ordinary animal life is plain, because many of them, on contact with fire, are not burnt, the divine inward afflatus repelling the heat; or, if they be burnt, they do not feel it; neither do they feel prickings, or scratchings, or other tortures. Further, that their actions are not (merely) human, is apparent from this, that they make their way through pathless tracks, and pass harmless through the fire, and pass over rivers in a wonderful manner, which the priestess herself also does in the Cataballa. By this it is plain that the life they live is not human, nor animal, nor dependent on the use of senses, but divine, as if the soul were taking its rest, and the deity were there instead of the soul. Various sorts there are of those so divinely inspired, as well by reason of the varying divinity of the inspiring gods as of the modes of inspiration. These modes are[pg 203] of this sort—either the deity occupies us, or we join ourselves to the deity, &c.... According to these diversities, there are different signs, effects, and works of the inspired; thus, some will be moved in their whole bodies, others in particular members; others, again, will be motionless. Also they will perform dances and chants, some well, some ill. The bodies, again, of some will seem to dilate in height, of others in compass; and others, again, will seem to walk in air."

Taking these various manifestations in order, and beginning with the alleged power of resisting the action of fire, the reader will not need to be reminded of many seemingly well-authenticated cases of escape from the fire-ordeal. It has been usual to ascribe the preservation of those who have walked bare-footed over heated ploughshares to the use of astringent lotions: and where opportunity existed for preparation of that kind, their escape may perhaps be so explained. But in most instances the accused was in the custody of the accusers, and not likely to have access to such phylacteries. The exemption from the effects of fire was not confined to those cases of exaltation attendant on the enthusiasm of conscious virtue. Bosroger (La Piéte Affligée, Rouen, 1752) states of one of the possessed sisters of St. Elizabeth at Louviers, in 1642: "One morning Sister Saint-Esprit was rapt as in an ecstasy. The bishop commanded the devil to leave her. Immediately she experienced dreadful contortions, and an access of rage, and, on a sudden, says the exorcist, her demon left her like a flash of lightning, and threw the young woman into the fire, which was a considerable one, casting her with her face and one hand direct between the two andirons; and when they ran to drag her away, they found that neither her face nor her hand were in anywise burnt."

It would be idle to multiply instances of this sort from the monkish writers. The preservation of the three youths in the Chaldæan furnace was one of the miracles most adapted to the servile yet audacious imitations of the Thaumaturgists. It is only when their statements correspond in unsuspected particulars with the phenomena of experience—as, for example, in the case of Barlaam and the monks of Mount Athos—that they can be adduced without offending the judgment of rational inquirers. But the action of burning is an operation of mechanical and chemical forces; and how any amount of spiritual or electrical effusion could prevent the expansion of the fluids in the tissues and the disruption of the skin, seems hard to imagine. Something more must, one should think, have been needed; and if the mesmeric and Pagan oracular ecstasies be identical, this testimony of Jamblichus would lead us to suppose that that something was supplied by the mind. However this may be, we shall be better able to judge after the investigation of some other of the alleged concomitants of Pagan inspiration.

The insensibility to prickings and pinchings is perhaps the commonest test of the cataleptic condition; and, as will doubtless suggest itself to every reader, was, until modern times, a popular test of witchcraft. That the unhappy wretches who were put to death in such numbers during the middle ages for this offence were actually in an unnatural and detestable state of mind and body, cannot be doubted. They really were insensible to punctures; for if they had winced when pricked with pins and needles by their triers, it would have been deemed a proof of their innocence. A person feigning the mesmeric sleep, and whose interest it is to feign, may endure such prickings with seeming insensibility; but it was not the interest of the ancient witch to affect an insensibility, which would be taken as one of the surest proofs of guilt. A perverse desire to be believed guilty is the only motive that can be suggested as likely to lead to such conduct; and those who have studied human nature most profoundly will be disposed to give great credit to that suggestion. The same nature which in the fourth century ran into the epidemic frenzy of anchoritism, and impelled the Circumcellionist multitudes to extort the boon of martyrdom from reluctant tribunals, may be admitted capable even of the madness of a voluntary aspiration to the stake and pyre of the witch. Certain it is that many of the convicts boasted of their interviews with the Devil, and seemed to be, if they were not, possessed with the conviction of having actually partaken of the orgies imputed to them. Had they really been there in imagination? Was it that the popular mind had realized to itself an epidemic idea, and that the effect of the contagion was to put its victims en rapport with the distempered picture present to the minds of the multitude? In a moral epidemic the crowd, possessed with one idea, are the operators: it is the Panic possession of the ancients, which was not confined to general terrors, but applied to general delusions of every kind. The multitude itself radiates its own madness; witness the Crusaders, the Flagellants, the Dancing Fanatics of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; perhaps even we might add the Mathewites of our own day.

The next symptom of possession was the power of passing through trackless places, the disposition to run to wilds and mountains, like that rage of the votary of Bacchus:

"Quo me Bacche, rapis tui
Plenum? Quæ in nemora aut quos agor in specus
Velox mente nova?"

The Bacchic ecstasy was not merely drunkenness, but an epidemic madness induced by long-continued dancing and gesticulating to the sound of cymbals and other noisy instruments, in all respects identical with the methods of inducing the Hindoo Waren. The dancing mania also of the fifteenth century,[pg 204] described by Hecker in his Epidemics of the Middle Ages, was induced in the same manner, and its effects were the same,—possession, illumination, and insensibility to external influences. That the Bacchic and Corybantic frenzies were, in all respects, identical with the middle age dancing manias, and with the possession of those who still exhibit the influences of Waren in Hindoostan, can hardly be doubted. "As for the Bacchanalian motions and friskings of the Corybantes," says Plutarch in his Essay on Love, "there is a way to allay these extravagant transports, by changing the measure from the Trochaic to the Spondaic, and the tone from the Phrygian to the Doric:" just as with the dancers of St. Vitus, and those bit by the Tarantula. Hecker states, "The swarms of St. John's dancers were accompanied by minstrels playing those noisy instruments which roused their morbid feelings; moreover, by means of intoxicating music, a kind of demoniacal festival for the rude multitude was established, which had the effect of spreading this unhappy malady wider and wider. Soft harmony was, however, employed to calm the excitement of those affected, and it is mentioned as a character of the tunes played with this view to the St. Vitus's dancers, that they contained transitions from a quick to a slow measure, and passed gradually from a high to a low key." After the termination of the frenzy the conduct of the dancers, as well indeed as of all the victims of this species of possession, whether Taratati, convulsionnaires, or revivalists, tallied precisely with that of the Bacchic women. Plutarch, in his thirteenth example of the Virtues of Woman, has this graphic picture of the condition of a band of Bacchante after one of their orgies. "When the tyrants of Phocea had taken Delphos, and the Thebans undertook that war against them which was called the Holy War, certain women devoted to Bacchus (which they called Thyades) fell frantic, and went a gadding by night, and, mistaking their way, came to Amphissa, and being very much tired, and not as yet in their right wits, they flung themselves down in the market-place and fell asleep, as they lay scattered up and down here and there. But the wives of the Amphisseans, fearing because the city was engaged to aid in the Phocean war, and abundance of the tyrants' soldiers were present in the city, the Thyades should have any indignity put upon them, ran forth all of them into the market-place, and stood silently round about them; neither would offer them any disturbance while they slept, but when they were awake they attended their service particularly, and brought them refreshments; and, in fine, by persuasion, obtained leave of their husbands that they might accompany them in safety to their own borders."

In the same way, throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, might groups of both sexes be seen lying, exhausted from their agitations, in the streets of Aix-la-chapelle, Cologne, Strasburg, Naples, and elsewhere; and even in our own century sights not dissimilar have been witnessed at revival assemblages in Wales and Scotland, and at camp-meetings in North America. The rending of Pentheus on Mount Citheron by his own mother and sisters, who, while under the influence of the Bacchic afflatus, imagined they saw in his form the appearance of a wild beast, might be adduced as an example at once of the furious character of the frenzy, and of the liability of the afflated to optical illusions. Has what we read of fairy-gifts and glamour any foundation in this alleged power of the biologist to make his patient imagine different forms for the same object? But we are still among the mountain tops, and must descend to the remaining symptoms enumerated by Jamblichus.

"They pass over rivers in a wonderful manner, which the priestess herself also does in the Cataballa." We here again encounter the indicia, of that possession which went by the name of witchcraft in the middle ages. A witch, really possessed, could not sink in the water, any more than she could feel the insertion of a needle. The vulgar belief is, that the suspected witch was cast into a pond, where, if she floated, she was burned, and if she sank she was drowned. The latter alternative was not so; if she betrayed no preternatural buoyancy, the trial was so far in her favor, and she was taken up.

Nor was water the only test, in some parts of Germany the triers, less philosophically, employed scales; and had fixed weights (from 14 to 15 lbs.), which, if the accused did not counterpoise, they concluded them to be possessed. But it will be asked, how can there be degrees of philosophy in practices equally insane, and which have been condemned by the common consent of enlightened nations for near three hundred years? Insanity there certainly was, and on a prodigious scale, in these ages; but the judges and executioners were not so insane as the multitudes who either believed themselves possessed by others, or believed that they themselves exercised the power of possessing. To us, living in an age of comparative rest from spiritual excitement, it seems almost incredible that thousands of persons, in all ranks and conditions of life, should simultaneously become possessed with the belief that they were in direct communication with the devil: should cease to attend to their duties and callings, passing their time in hysterical trances and cataleptic fits, during which they seemed to themselves to be borne through the air to witch orgies and assemblies for devil-worship, in deserts and mountains; and that while one portion of society gave themselves up to these hallucinations, another class should, with an equal abandonment of every duty of life, have betaken themselves to mope and pine, going into convulsions, and[pg 205] wasting to skeletons, under the idea of having been bewitched; yet nothing is more certain than that it was such a frenzy as this the heads of the Church and the temporal Government had to contend against in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. There were no mad-houses; if there had been, even to the extent we now possess them, they would not have sufficed to hold a tenth part of the numbers whose contact and example would have been fatal to the peace, perhaps even to the existence, of society. If such frenzies were, unhappily, to burst out among mankind at present, civilized nations might transport their energumeni to distant possessions; but the middle-age magistrates had no facilities of that kind: they should deal with the terrible plague by the only means at their disposal; and these were, either to let the madness wear itself out, or to repress it by the rope and faggot. If they had adopted the former course, the epidemic would probably have passed through the usual stages of popular distempers; would have had its access, its crisis, and decline; and when the scourge had passed, the public would have awakened to a full sense of the madness of which they had been the victims; but in that process there was the danger of society going to pieces—of the visionary frenzy of the possessed being taken up by fanatics as the foundation of a new and abominable religion, and of the hostility of the ignorant and uneducated class, among whom chiefly the possession prevailed, being directed against the restraints of government and the principle of property. Having adopted the other course, they pushed it to cruel and inexcusable lengths; punished many innocent persons, and suffered many of the really possessed to go free. For they whose madness was most to be apprehended, as most contagious, were not the wretches who fancied they possessed the power of bewitching others; but the convulsionnaires, who deemed themselves bewitched, and were their accusers. Certainly if the same epidemic should ever again break out among a European population, or even among a British population, the arm of the magistrate would be again required to suppress it, and we would be better able to judge of the conduct of those whom it has been the fashion of modern historians to represent as altogether ignorant and brutal executioners. So long as possession is only the result of manual passes, or of fixing the gaze on indifferent objects; so long as the effects are regarded as physical or psychological phenomena, due to a physical cause, and the pretensions of the practitioner are not rested on any peculiar religious sanction, there is no danger of mesmerism degenerating into a dangerous epidemic; but we might have seen a very different state of affairs if the magnetizers and biologists had referred their powers to any species of supernatural agency; and possibly would have found ourselves long since under the necessity of reviving those penal proceedings which we have so generally been taught to abhor, as among the most revolting remnants of mediæval superstition.5 Even as it is, these[pg 206] powers of the biologist, if in truth they exist, are capable of fearful abuse. Let us take, for example, one of the oldest methods of exercising influence, for good or evil, on an absent person:—

"As fire this figure hardens, made of clay,
And this of wax with fire consumes away;
Such let the soul of cruel Daphnis be,
Hard to the rest of women, soft to me."

If the waxen or clay image be but a concentrator of the good or evil will of the operator towards the distant object, and the witchcraft of the love-sick magician in Virgil, or of the evil-disposed wizard of the middle ages, be in truth no more than an exertion of biological power, it behoves society to take care how individuals should be suffered to acquire mesmerical relations with others, over whom they may exercise malignant as well as healing influences. If the pretensions of the biologists be established, biology must soon be put under medical supervision. But to return to the phenomena of possession.

The propriety of trying alleged witches by water, has been impugned and defended with abundance of scholastic learning; and, singular to say, its opponents have been chiefly found among the Roman Catholic writers, and its advocates among the Reformers. Delrio, by far the most learned of all the writers on demonology, vigorously assails Rickius, the only notable Roman Catholic advocate of the practice. The arguments on both sides being based entirely on scholastic definitions and distinctions respecting the nature of demons, and the baptismal and other spiritual virtues of water, are of little relevance in the present method of discussing physical phenomena. Both parties assume that the persons of witches exhibit a preternatural levity—Delrio admitting that something less than fourteen or fifteen pounds was the actual weight which popular belief throughout Germany ascribed to persons in that possessed state, no matter how large or fat they might seem to the eye; and Rickius gives an example of a woman, executed by drowning in 1594, whom the executioner could hardly keep under with repeated thrusts of his pole, so high did she bound upwards from the surface, and "so boil up," as it were, out of the depths of the water. The levity of possessed persons in water might be accounted for by a phenomenon attendant on those preternatural conditions of the body which follow excitements of an analogous kind. The victims of the flogging and dancing manias in the middle ages, and subjects of the fanatical fervors of camp-meetings and revivals, alike experienced a windy intestinal distension, consequent on the departure of their mental frenzy. To control this disagreeable symptom, the candidates for both species of afflatus used to come to their meetings provided with napkins and rollers with which to bind their middles, and prevent the supervening inflation. Persons so puffed up would certainly float with all the buoyancy ascribed to the German witches, if cast into water; but they would still preserve their proper corporeal gravity if placed in a scale. Unless, then, we suppose Delrio to have been the dupe of some singular and unaccountable delusion on this point, the typanitic affections of the convulsionnaires will not account for the anti-gravitating phenomena ascribed to medieval witchcraft. There are some reasons, however, for the belief that these appearances may not have been wholly imaginary; for if any reliance can be placed on the concurrent traditions of all religions, Pagan as well as Christian, supported by wide-spread popular belief, the high mental exaltation induced by religious abstraction, and also by other vehement affections of the mind, is actually attended with a diminished specific gravity. Of alleged ecclesiastical miracles of this kind it is better to say nothing. The Roman Catholic and the Hindoo devotees equally claim for their adepts in religious contemplation an exemption from (among other earthly liabilities) the hindrance of weight. In the rapture of prayer, the ascetic and the saint alike rise in the air, and spurn the law of gravitation with the other incidents of matter. Suspected evidences of this kind are, however, of no weight in philosophical inquiry. It will be safer to leave the Etstaticas and the Fakirs[pg 207] to their respective believers, and to take a story of the people, into which religious considerations do not so directly enter. The native Irish, then, have a remarkable tradition, as old, at least, as the seventh or eighth century, that phrenetic madmen lose the corporeal quality of weight. A picturesque and romantic example of this belief is found in the story of the fate of Suibhne, son of Colman, King of Dalnaraidhe, as related in the bardic accounts of the battle of Moyra. Suibhne, a valiant warrior, has offered an insult to Saint Ere, Bishop of Slane; the affront is avenged by a curse, the usual retaliation of aggrieved ecclesiastics in those days. The curse falls on Sweeny in the most grievous form of visitation that could afflict a warrior:—a fit of cowardice seizes him in the very onset of the battle, and drives him frantic with terror. "Giddiness came over him at the sight of the horrors, grimness, and rapidity of the Gaels; at the fierce looks, brilliance, and ardor of the foreigners; at the rebounding furious shouts of the embattled tribes on both sides, rushing against and coming into collision with one another. Huge, flickering, horrible, aërial phantoms, rose up (around him), so that from the uproar of the battle, the frantic pranks of the demons, the clashing of arms, and the sound of the heavy blows reverberating on the points of heroic spears, and keen edges of swords, and warlike borders of broad shields, the hero Suibhne was filled and intoxicated with horror, panic, and imbecility; his feet trembled as if incessantly shaken by the force of a stream; the inlets of his hearing were expanded and quickened by the horrors of lunacy; his speech became faltering from the giddiness of imbecility; his very soul fluttered with hallucinations, and with many and various phantasms. He might be compared to a salmon in a weir, or to a bird after being caught in the strait prison of a crib," &c. "When he was seized with this frantic fit, he made a supple, very light leap, and where he alighted he was on the boss of the shield of the warrior next him; and he made a second leap, and perched on the crest of the helmet of the same hero, who, nevertheless, did not feel him. Then he made a third active, very light leap, and perched on the top of the sacred tree which grew on the smooth surface of the plain in which the inferior people and the debilitated of the men of Erin were seated, looking on at the battle. These shouted at him when they saw him, to press him back into the battle again; and he in consequence made three furious leaps to shun the battle, but through the giddiness and imbecility of his hallucination, he went back into the same field of conflict; but it was not on the earth he walked, but alighted on the shoulders of men and the tops of their helmets," &c.

In this state, Suibhne flits off the field of battle like a bird, or a waif of the forest, without weight, and betakes himself to the wilds, where he "herds with the deer, runs races with the showers, and flees with the birds," as a wild denizen of the wilderness; but with his ecstacy of terror, he receives the gift of prophecy. Dr. O'Donovan, in a note on this curious passage, observes, "it was the ancient belief in Ireland, and still is in the wilder mountainous districts, that lunatics are as light as feathers, and can climb steeps and precipices like the somnambulists."—See Buile Suibhne, a bardic romance on the madness of this unfortunate warrior. This latter romance is occupied with Suibhne's adventures as a mad prophet, Omadh, in Irish. Query did the Bacchus Omadios of the Greeks derive his name from a similar source? It would be a singular coincidence that would make a Greek god an omadran. Keats, with a fine intuition, has depicted those mores afflatorum, in the satyrs who do the benevolent biddings of Pan:

"Thou, to whom every faun and satyr flies,
For willing service; whether, to surprise
The squatted hare, while, in half-sleeping fit,
Or upward ragged precipices flit
To save poor lambkins from the eagle's maw;
Or by mysterious enticement draw
Bewildered shepherds to their paths again."

Compare with this picture of the Irish lunatic among the boughs of the tree on the field of Moira, the following extracts from Bosroger's account of the possession of the nuns of Louviers, in a.d. 1642. One of the sisters, surnamed De Jesus, conceived herself to be possessed by a demon whom she called Arracon. "On the occasion of a procession of the host by Monseigneur the Bishop of Evreux, Arracon exhibited another example of his quality, causing sister De Jesus to pour forth a torrent of blasphemies and furious expressions all the time of the procession. When she was brought into the choir, and held fast by an exorcist, for fear of her offering some insult, the holy sacrament was borne past her. Arracon immediately caused her to be shot forward through the air to a considerable distance, so as to strike the gilt sun in which the adorable eucharist was placed, out of the hands of the lord bishop; and the exorcist making an effort to detain her, the demon lifted her up in the air over an accoudoir, or leaning place, of three feet in height, intending to lift her, as he declared, into the vault, but the exorcist holding fast, all he could do was to cast the nun and exorcist back to the floor together," &c. Putiphar, the possessor of Sister Saint Sacrement, "made her with wonderful impetuosity run up a mulberry tree, of which the stem was easy enough of ascent; but when she got up the stem, he forced her onward till she approached the extremities of the slenderest branches, and caused her to make almost the entire circuit of the mulberry tree, in such sort that a man who saw her from a distance cried out that she flew like a bird. Then the demon permitted her to see her peril; she grew pale, and cried out with alarm. They ran in haste to bring a ladder, but Putiphar mocked[pg 208] them, crying, 'As I made this chienne get up without a ladder, so she shall go down,' and caused her descend the same slender branches to the stem, and thence to the ground."

Pere de la Menarday, in his Examen Critique de l'Histoire des Diables de London, gives a letter from a missionary priest in Cochin China, describing a case of demonopathy, in the course of which, if we could believe the narrator, the patient seemed for a time to have conquered all the ordinary tendencies of gravitation. The missionary, M. Delacourt, writing from Paris, 25th November, 1738, begins by protesting his unwillingness to expose himself to the repulses of public incredulity; but for his friends' sake consents to give the particulars. "Voici donc le fait dans ses principales circonstances tel que je l'ai vu de mes propres yeux." In the month of May, 1733, a young native communicant, named Dodo, residing at the town of Cheta, in the province of Cham, and kingdom of Cochin China, being reproached by his conscience for the suppression of some facts in his confession, fell into violent convulsions on attempting to take the host in his mouth. He was brought to the missionary, foaming, leaping, and blaspheming in the manner usual among victims of his malady. After many exorcisms, both by the missionary and by two other ecclesiastics, which only increased his sufferings, he was at length, by gentler entreaties, brought to make a confession. The missionary then renewed his exorcisms, which he continued for a month with little success. "At last," says he, "I determined to make a last effort, and to imitate the example of Monseigneur the Bishop of Tilopolis on a like occasion, namely, in my exorcism to command the demon in Latin to transport him to the ceiling of the church, feet up and head down. On the instant his body became rigid, and as though he were impotent of all his members, he was dragged from the middle of the church to a column, and there, his feet joined fast together, his back closely applied to the pillar, without aiding himself with his hands, he was transported in the twinkling of an eye to the ceiling, just like a weight run up by a cord, without any visible agency. While he hung there, with his feet glued to the ceiling, and his head down, I made the demon, for I had determined to confound and humiliate him, confess the falsehood of the Pagan religion. I made him confess that he was a deceiver, and at the same time admit the holiness of Christianity. I kept him for better than half an hour in the air, and not possessing enough of constancy to hold him there any longer, so frightened was I myself at what I saw, I at length commanded him to lay the patient at my feet without harming him. Immediately he cast him down before me with no more hurt to him than if he had been a bundle of foul linen." It is by no means improbable that Pere Delacourt himself had become infected with the madness of the monomaniac whom he was engaged in exorcising, before his eyes conceived that extraordinary image of the patient ascending by invisible agency to the ceiling of the church. But his letter bears evident marks of having been written under a sincere belief of the reality of all that he describes, and he refers to several living witnesses of the scene.

Reverting to this subject of optical illusion, already glanced at, we find still another resemblance between the mysticism of the ancients and moderns. The priestess rendering herself invisible to the bystanders, appears to transcend all the rest of Jamblichus's wonders. Strange to say, even this pretension of the Colophonian prophetess is not without something analogous among the alleged phenomena of mesmerism. "I requested a young lady," says Dr. Elliotson, "whom I had long mesmerised, with the never-tiring devotion of a parent, and in whom I produced a variety of phenomena, to promise to be unable on waking to see her maid, who always sat in the room at work during my visit, till I left the room, and then at once to discern her. On waking, she said she did not see the maid, but said she saw the chair on which the maid sat. Presently, however, she saw the maid, was agitated, had an hysteric fit, and passed into the sleep-waking state. I now inquired how she came to see her maid, as I had not left the room, and told her she must not (see the maid), when I awoke her again. I then awoke her again; she could not see the maid, was astonished at the maid's absence, and at first supposed she was in an adjoining room; but presently rang the bell twice, though the woman was standing before her, I moved just out of the room, leaving the door open, and she saw the maid instantly, and was astonished, and laughed." In the Colophonian oracle, they were the spectators, not the prophetess, who had need thus to be put under the influence of the mesmeric glamour. Can it be that, in certain diseased states of the optic nerve, it really is subject to the illusion of seeing objects rise in air, as well as go round in horizontal motion? They who saw these sights in the adyta of temples, in caves and sacred groves, in initiations and oracular consultations, were all prepared by fasting, watching, and prayer, for the reception of biological influence, and possibly may have seemed to themselves to see what others desired they should believe themselves to have actually seen. Was Lord Shrewsbury under this influence at Caldaro?

But the reader will begin to suspect that his credulity is about to be solicited for the aërial flights of witches on their sweeping brooms. This apprehension may be dismissed. Witchcraft, or, to call it by its proper pathological name, demonopathy, was a true delusion, true so far as the belief of the monomaniacs themselves was concerned, but resting[pg 209] wholly in their own distempered imagination.

From a learned and philosophic review of the great work of Calmeil, De la Folie, in the Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medicine, we extract the following resumé of the symptoms of this dreadful epidemic malady: "The leading phenomenon was the belief of the sufferers that Satan had obtained full mastery over them; that he was the object of their most fervent worship, a certain portion of their life being spent in the actual company of himself and his legion of darkness, when every crime that a diseased imagination could suggest was committed by them. Both sexes attended at the Devil's Sabbaths, as they were termed, where the sorcerers met, danced, and enjoyed every wild pleasure. To these meetings they travelled through the air, though, by the power of Satan, their bodies seemed to remain at home. They killed children, poisoned cattle, produced storms and plagues, and held converse with Succubi and Incubi, and other fallen spirits. At the Sabbath all agreed, that from every country the sorcerers arrived transported by demons. Women perched on sticks, or riding on goats, naked, with dishevelled hair, arrived in thousands; they passed like meteors, and their descent was more rapid than that of the eagle or hawk, when striking his prey. Over this meeting Satan presided; indecent dances and licentious songs went on, and an altar was raised, where Satan, with his head downward, his feet turned up, and his back to the altar, celebrated his blasphemous mass."

Each individual sufferer believed herself or himself to have seen these sights, to have gone through these origies, and to have been transported to them through the air. If there had been but a few confessions, and these exacted by torture, it might be thought that the fancies of the examiners supplied the phenomena, to which the sufferers merely gave an enforced and worthless assent. But the confessions were as often voluntary as forced, and were indeed rather triumphant bravadoes than confessions of anything that the sufferers themselves deemed shameful. It was a true belief in the minds of the parties affected. The question has already been asked, were they en rapport with the rest of the diseased multitude, in whose minds the common delusion existed? The question presupposes a mental sympathy and participation, by one mind, of images existing in another, which is one of the alleged manifestations of clairvoyance. But there is another mode of accounting for these and similar phenomena, which as yet obtains the approval of physicians, more than any suggestions of clairvoyant communications. It is, that there are certain states of the body in which the patient truly believes himself to see particular objects, to do particular acts, and to possess special powers, which to the rest of the world have no existence, but in respect of the patient himself are realities as visible, tangible, and perceptible, as the actual existences which surround him. For example, it is a fact which admits of no dispute, that a certain quantity of alcohol taken into the human stomach will cause the drinker to fall into delirium tremens; and that in that state the patient will, with his waking eyes, see objects of a particular kind; in nine cases out of ten, the forms of rats and mice running over his bed, and about his person. There is no public delusion here, no popular mind possessed with a fixed idea of these appearances, to which the individual delusions might be referred; yet the swallower of the alcohol in Dublin, and the swallower of the alcohol in Calcutta, will both see exactly the same sorts of appearances, and will both express precisely the same horror and disgust at their supposed tormentors. Is it the case, then, that, as the forms of rats and mice come into the minds of men in one kind of mental sickness, the forms of men and women riding on goats and broomsticks through the air, and the other apparatus of the witch-sabbaths, may have been but the manifestations of another disordered state of the mental organism, a symptom merely and concomitant of an epidemical disease? It is easy enough to understand how symptoms so simple as the appearance of what are usually called "blue devils" should be constant in their attendance on a particular state of cerebral disorder; but when the hallucination becomes so complex as in the fantasies of witchcraft, it is difficult to suppose that that long train of appearances and imaginary transactions should follow on a merely pathological derangement of the brain. Between the two alternatives of referring these hallucinations to such a cause, on the one hand, or to a mesmeric sympathy, as above suggested, between the individual and the crowd of the possessed, on the other, it is hard to choose; but, perhaps, the latter will appear to offer the less amount of difficulty. In the present state of knowledge, however, it would be rash to say that a particular state of diseased cerebral action might not be attended with a perfect set of supposed phenomena as complex and constant in the minds of the sufferers, as those which existed among the victims of demonomania.

An example less difficult of reconcilement with the theory of cerebral disorder than that of the witchcraft of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and yet more complex than that of the fantasies of delirium tremens, may be found in the case of lycanthropism, or that form of mania in which men have fancied themselves transformed into wolves. This disease also is contagious; and on many occasions has exhibited itself in all the terrors of a maniacal epidemic. As early as the time of Herodotus the belief was rife among the Græco-Scythian colonies that a people called the Neuri were subject to this species of metamorphosis; and Giraldus Cambrensis, in[pg 210] the twelfth century, found the same superstition in full force in Ireland. It again broke forth in Livonia, its ancient seat, with all the symptoms of a periodical annual epidemic, in the sixteenth century. Peucer gives the following account of what these maniacs themselves believed to happen to them. "Immediately after Christmas day, in each year, a club-footed boy appears, who goes round the country, and summons all those slaves of Satan, of whom there are great numbers, to assemble and follow him. If they hesitate or refuse, a tall man appears, armed with a whip of flexible iron wires, and compels them with blows of his scourge to come forth and proceed. He whips them so severely, that oft-times the stripes left by the iron thongs remain impressed on their bodies and torment them cruelly. As soon as they go out and follow in the train, they seem to lose their human form, and to put on the appearance of wolves. Several thousands thus assemble. The leader walks before with his iron scourge; the crowd of those who, in their delusion, imagine that they have become wolves, follow after. Wherever they meet with cattle they rush upon them and rend them; they carry off such portions as they can, and do much destruction; but to touch or injure mankind is not permitted to them. When they come to rivers, the leader with a stroke of his whip divides the waters, which stand apart, leaving a dry channel by which they cross. After twelve days the band disperses, and every man resumes his own form, the vulpine mask dropping off him. The way in which the change takes place is this, as they allege: those who undergo the change, which occupies but a moment, drop suddenly down as if struck with a fit, and so lie senseless and like dead persons; but they do not in fact go away or change their places at all; nor while lying in that seemingly lifeless state do they exhibit any vulpine appearance whatever, but they go out of themselves (and leave themselves) like dead bodies; and save that they are convulsed, and roll about somewhat, they exhibit no sign or evidence of life. Hence the opinion has arisen that their spirits only are taken forth of their bodies, and put for a time into the phantasms of vulpine forms; and then, after doing the bidding of the devil in that way, are remitted back to their proper bodies, which thereupon are restored to animation; and the were-wolves themselves confirm this belief by acknowledging that in truth the human form is not withdrawn from their bodies, nor the vulpine appearance substituted for it; but that it is their spirits only which are impelled to leave their human bodily prisons, and enter into the bodies of wolves, in which they dwell and are carried about for the prescribed space of time. Some of those who have stated that they came long distances after escaping from the chains of their wolfish imprisonment, being questioned how they got out of that confinement, and why they returned, and how they could cross such wide and deep rivers, gave answer that the imprisoning forms no longer confined them, that they felt coerced to come out of them, and passed over the rivers by aërial flight."

The same features marked the outbreak of lycanthropy in the years 1598-1600, among the Vaudois. The possessed fell into catalepsy, and lay senseless during the time they imagined themselves in their bestial transformation. The disease was almost uniformly complicated with demonopathy, or the possession of witchcraft.

There seems no reason to doubt that lycanthropism was a disease as constant in its character and as well defined in its symptoms as delirium tremens, or any of the ordinary forms of mania. The evidences of its existence are, however, considerably stronger than those of witchcraft; for where on the one hand no credible witness ever saw a witch either at the sabbath, or on her way to it, or on her return from it, there are not wanting distinct proofs on oath, corroborated by admitted facts in judicial proceedings, of persons afflicted with lycanthropy traversing the woods on all-fours, and being found bloody from the recent slaughter both of beasts and human victims; and in one of these cases, that of Jacques Roulet, tried before the Parliament of Paris in 1598, the body of a newly slain child, half mangled, and with all the marks of having been gnawed by canine teeth, was found close to the place where the maniac was arrested. It is worthy of remark that both lycanthropists and witches ascribed the power of disembodying themselves to the use of ointments. Antiquity furnishes no parallel to the horrors of these malignant and homicidal manias. Their analogues may be found in the fabled styes of Circe, or in the frenzied raptures of the Sybilline and Delphic priestesses; but the extent, the variety, and the hideousness of the disease in modern times, infinitely surpass all that was ever dreamt of in Pagan credulity. The points of resemblance, however, are not yet exhausted.

"A chief sign of the divine afflatus," says Jamblichus, citing Porphyry, "is, that he who induces the numen into himself, sees the spirit descending, and its quantity and quality. Also, he who receives the numen sees before the reception a certain likeness of a fire; sometimes, also, this is beheld by the bystanders, both at the advent and the departure of the god. By which sign, they who are skilful in these matters discern, with perfect accuracy, what is the power of the numen, and what its order, and what are the things concerning which it can give true responses, and what it is competent to do.... Thus it is that the excellence of this divine fire, and appearance, as it were, of ineffable light, comes down upon, and fills, and dominates over the possessed person, and he is wholly involved in it, so that he cannot do[pg 211] any act of himself.... But after this comes ecstacy, or disembodiment."

Thomas Bartholin (brother of Gaspar) has anticipated the inquiries of Sir Henry Marsh, and of Reichenbach himself, on the subject of light from the human body. In a treatise, full of singular learning, "De luce Animalium," he has adduced a multitude of examples of the evolution of light from the living as well as the dead body, and in the cases of secular and pagan, as well as of ecclesiastical and Christian, persons; and this, without having recourse to any testimony of the Hagiologists. The Aureolæ of the Christian saints may not, after all, have been the merely fanciful additions of superstitious artists.

The convulsive distortions of the Pythoness were but a feeble type of the phenomena of demonopathy, or the supposed possession of the middle ages. It was chiefly in convents, among the crowd of young girls and women, that these dreadful disorders were used to break out; but the visitation was not confined to convents, nor to the profession of any particular creed. Wherever religious excitation prevailed among the young and susceptible, especially when they happened to be brought together in considerable numbers, there the pest was attracted, as a fever or other malady would be attracted by a foul atmosphere. No patient in the magnetic coma ever exhibited such prodigies of endurance as thousands of the involuntary victims of these contagious manias. Who in any modern seance has beheld a patient supported only on the protuberance of the stomach, with the head and limbs everted, and the arms raised in the air, and so remaining curved into the appearance of a fish on a stall, tied by the tail and gills, motionless for hours at a time? Or what rigidity of muscle in magnetic catalepsy has ever equalled that of a convulsionnaire, who would weary the strongest man, inflicting blows of a club, to the number of several thousands a day, on her stomach, while sustaining herself in an arc solely by the support of the head and the heels? Madame de Sazilli, who was exorcised in presence of the Duke of Orleans, at London, in 1631, "became, at the command of Pere Elisce, supple as a plate of lead. The exorcist plaited her limbs in various ways, before and behind, to this side and to that, in such sort that her head would sometimes almost touch the ground, her demon (say her malady) retaining her in each position immovably until she was put into the next. Next came the demon Sabulon, who rolled her through the chapel with horrible convulsions. Five or six times he carried her left foot up higher than her shoulder; all the while her eyes were fixed, wide open, without winking; after that he threw out her limbs till she touched the ground, with her legs extended straight on either side, and while in that posture, the exorcist compelled her to join her hands, and with the trunk of the body in an erect posture, to adore the holy sacrament." We seem to read the proceedings of an electro-biologist, rather than of a pastor of the church: but the parallel is not yet at an end. "The same nun," says Calmeil, "towards the close of her exorcism, executed a command which the Duke imparted secretly to her exorcist." Then follows this remarkable admission of the learned and cautious physiologist:—"On hundreds of occasions one might believe, in effect, that the Energumenes read the thoughts of the ecclesiastics who were charged with the combating of their demons. It is certain that these young women were endowed, during their excesses of hysteria or nervous exaltation, with a penetration of mind altogether unique." The children of the fanatics of the Cevennes, while in their supposed prophetic ecstacies, spoke the purest dialect of French, and expressed themselves with singular propriety. The same facility of speaking in a fluent and exalted style while in the divinatory ecstacy, was remarked of old in the case of the Pythian priestess. "Though it cannot be divined," says Plutarch, in his "Inquiry," "why the Pythian priestess ceases to deliver her oracles in verse; but that her parentage was virtuous and honest, and that she always lived a sober and chaste life, yet her education was among poor, laboring people, so that she was advanced to the oracular sect rude and unpolished, void of all the advantages of art or experience. For, as it is the opinion of Xenophon, that a virgin, ready to be espoused, ought to be carried to the bridegroom's house before she has either seen or heard the least communication, so the Pythian priestess ought to converse with Apollo illiterate and ignorant almost of every thing, still approaching his presence with a truly virgin soul."

We might here, without any stretch of imagination, suppose we are reading a commentary on the birth and character of Joan of Arc, or of any of the prophetesses of the Swiss Anabaptists. But to return to the possessions recorded by Calmeil.

The biological relations alleged by the mesmerists appear in still stronger development in the case of the nuns of Auxonne in 1662. The Bishop of Chalons reports, speaking of the possessed, "that all the aforesaid young women, being in number eighteen, as well seculars as regulars, and without a single exception, appeared to him to have obtained the gift of tongues, inasmuch as they accurately replied to the matters in Latin, which were addressed to them by their exorcists, and which were not borrowed from the ritual, still less arranged by any preconcert; they frequently explained themselves in Latin—sometimes in entire periods, sometimes in broken sentences;" "that all or almost all of them were proved to have introvision (cognizance de l'interieur) and knowledge of whatever thought might be secretly addressed to them, as appeared particularly in the[pg 212] case of the internal commands which were often addressed to them by the exorcists, and which in general they obeyed implicitly, although without any external signification of the command, either verbal or by way of sign; as the said Lord Bishop experienced in many instances, among others, in that of Denise Parisot, whom the exorcist having commanded, in the depths of his own mind, to come to him for the purpose of being exorcised, she came incontinently, though dwelling in a remote part of the town; telling the Lord Bishop that she had received his commands and was come accordingly; and this she did on several occasions; likewise in the person of Sister Jamin, a novice, who, on recovering from her fit, told him the internal commandment which he had given to her demon during the exorcism; also in the case of the Sister Borthon, to whom having issued a mental commandment in one of her paroxysms to come and prostrate herself before the Holy Sacrament, with her face to the ground and her arms stretched forward, she executed his command at the very instant that he willed it, with a promptitude and precipitation altogether wonderful."

Sister Denise Parisot, one of those who exhibited these singularities, also displayed a farther and very remarkable manifestation of what would now be called biological influence. "Being commanded by his Lordship to make the pulse of her right arm entirely cease beating while that of the left continued, and then to transfer the pulsation so as to beat in the right arm while it should stop in the left, she executed his orders with the utmost precision in the presence of the physician (Morel), who admitted and deposed to the fact, and of several ecclesiastics. Sister de la Purification did the same thing two or three times, causing her pulse to beat or to stop at the command of the exorcist."

Instead of exorcist we may, without much apprehension of offending either the reason or the belief of any candid person, read "Mesmerist." The passes seem similar, the phenomena identical. Again, in the case of the girls of the parish of Landes, near Bayeux, in 1732, the orders given by the exorcists in Latin appeared to be well understood by the patients. "In general," says Calmeil, quoting the contemporaneous account of their possession, "during the ecstatic access, the sense of touch was not excited even by the application of fire; nevertheless the exorcists affirm that their patients yielded immediate attention to the thoughts which they (the exorcists) refrained from expressing, and that they described with exactness the interior of distant houses which they had never before seen."

This long and varied survey of different forms of physical and mental malady brings us to a point where we may, with some confidence, take our stand on inductive conclusions. It seems evident, then, that all the phenomena of animal magnetism have been from an early period known to mankind under the various forms of divinatory ecstasy, demonopathy or witchmania, theomania, or fanatical religious excitation, spontaneous catalepsy, and somnambulism. That, in addition to the ordinary manifestations of insensibility to pain, rigidity, and what is called clairvoyance, the patients affected with the more intense conditions of the malady have at all times exhibited a marvellous command of languages; a seeming participation in the thoughts, sensations, and impulses of others; a power of resisting, for some short time at least, the action of fire; and, perhaps, a capacity of evolving some hitherto unknown energy counteractive of the force of gravitation. That the condition of mind and body in question can be induced by means addressed to each and all of the senses, as well as involuntarily by way of sympathy or contagion. That the fixing of the eyes on a particular point, as a wafer, or the umbilicus, or on a polished ball or mirror, is one of the most general and efficacious means of artificially inducing the condition of clairvoyance. That it may also, on those prepared for its reception by strong mental excitement, be induced by tumultuous music, as by the sound of drums and cymbals, by odors, and, perhaps, by unguents; and that the same condition also frequently supervenes on long-continued and intense emotion, as well as on those hysterical and convulsive movements of the body which sometimes attend on excessive religious excitation. That, induced by the latter means, clairvoyance has a tendency to become contagious, and has often afflicted whole communities with the most dangerous and deplorable epidemic hallucinations, as in the fancied witch-sabbaths of the domonomaniacs, and prowling excursions of lycanthropes and vampyres; but that, although in these demotic frenzies, the prevailing ideas and images presented to the minds of the sufferers are merely illusory, they possess the capacity of being put in such a relation with ideas and images derived from actual existence in the mind of others, as to perceive and appropriate them. Beyond this it would be difficult to advance our speculation with any degree of certainty; but if speculation may be at all indulged in such a question, it might, perhaps, be allowed to a sanguine speculator to surmise that, possibly, the mind in that state may be put en rapport with not only the ideas and emotions of another particular mind, but with the whole of the external world, and with all its minds. Another step would carry us to that participation in the whole scheme of nature, pretended to by divinators and seers; but it must be owned that, in the present state of the evidences, there is no solid ground on which to rest the foot of conjecture in taking either the one step or the other.

In the mean time, many practitioners are[pg 213] playing with an agency, the dangerous character of which they little suspect. In ancient exorcisms, it sometimes happened that the exorcist himself became the involuntary recipient of the contagious frenzy of the patient. If such an event happened now, it would not be more wonderful than when it befel the Pere Surin, at Loudon, in 1635, as he has himself described his disaster in his letter to the Jesuit Attichi: "For three months and a half I have never been without a devil in full exercise within me. While I was engaged in the performance of my ministry, the devil passed out of the body of the possessed, and coming into mine, assaulted me and cast me down, shook me, and traversed me to and fro, for several hours. I cannot tell you what passed within me during that time, and how that spirit united itself with mine, leaving no liberty either of sensation or of thought, but acting in me like another self, or as if I possessed two souls; these two souls making, as it were, a battle ground of my body. When I sought, at the instigation of the one, to make the sign of the cross on my mouth, the other suddenly would turn round my hand and seize the fingers with my teeth, making me bite myself with rage. When I sought to speak, the word would be taken out of my mouth; at mass I would be stopped short; at table I could not carry the food to my mouth; at confession I forgot my sins; in fine, I felt the devil go and come within me as if he used me for his daily dwelling-house."

Or, if instead of passing into a single operator, as in the case of Surin, the diseased contagion should suddenly expand itself among a crowd of bystanders, there would be nothing to wonder at, although enough to deplore, in such a catastrophe. It would be no more than has already happened in all the epidemics of lycanthropy and witchmania, of the dancers of St. Vitas, of the Jumpers, Quakers, and Revivalists, of the Mewers, Barkers, and Convulsionnaires. The absence of religious pretensions among the operators seems as yet to be the chief guarantee against such results. If instead of being made rigid and lucid by the manipulations of a professor, the patients should find themselves cast into that state by contact with the tomb of a preacher, or with the reliques of a saint, society would soon be revisited with all the evils of pseudo-miracles and supposed demoniacal possessions. The comparatively innocent frenzy of the followers of Father Mathew, was the nearest approach to a social disturbance of that kind that our country has been visited by since the barking epidemic of the fourteenth century. "In the county of Leicester, a person travelling along the road," says Camden, "found a pair of gloves, fit for his hands, as he thought; but when he put them on, he lost his speech immediately, and could do nothing but bark like a dog; nay, from that moment, the men and women, old and young, throughout the whole country, barked like dogs, and the children like whelps. This plague continued, with some eighteen days, with others a month, and with some for two years; and, like a contagious distemper, at last infected the neighboring counties, and set them a barking too."

If mesmerism did no more than demonstrate, as it has done, that all the supposed evidences of modern inspiration, as well as of modern demoniacal possession and ghost-craft, are but the manifestations of a physical disorder, capable of being induced by ordinary agencies, it would have done a great service to the cause of social and religious stability. In addition to this, it has furnished surgery with a new narcotic, perhaps with a new anti-spasmodic. It is not impossible that here, at length, a means may have been found for combating the horrors of hydrophobia. Its higher pretensions of clairvoyance and provision, if not proved, are at least not yet satisfactorily disproved. Its admitted usefulness may, perhaps, counterbalance its perils; but in every exercise of it, whether curative or speculative, it is never to be forgotten, that the phenomena are those of disease, and that the production of disease, save for the counteraction of other maladies more hurtful, is in itself an evil.

S. F.


From Sharp's Magazine.

By F. Lawrence.

The best epitaphs, according to our notion, are generally the shortest and the plainest. In no description of composition is elaborate and ornate phraseology so much out of place. Where a world-wide reputation has been achieved, the name alone, with the addition perhaps of a date, is often calculated to produce a more impressive effect than an ostentatious inscription. It has been observed that the simple words—

Catherine the Great to Peter the First,

inscribed on the monument erected by the Empress Catherine to the memory of her husband, arrogant as they are, contain the essence of the sublime. And, in like manner, among the most impressive memorials in Westminster Abbey are the words, "O rare Ben Jonson," chiselled beneath the great play-wright's bust, and the name of J. Dryden, with the date of his birth and death, and the simple statement, that the tomb was erected, in 1720, by John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham. We doubt whether the effect of the latter would have been improved by the addition of the couplet written for it by Pope, admirable as it is:

This Sheffield raised: the sacred dust below
Was Dryden once—the rest who does not know?

Among the best epitaphs in the Poet's Corner, we are inclined to number that on Spenser, which combines in an eminent degree dignity and simplicity, and possesses a character which at once attracts attention. The[pg 214] monument on which it appears had been originally erected by Anne, Countess of Dorset, and having fallen into decay, was restored, in 1768, precisely in its old form:

Heare lyes (expecting the second
Comminge of our Savior Christ
Jesus) the body of Edmond Spencer,
The Prince of Poets in his tyme,
Other witnesse than the works
Which he left behinde him.
He was borne in London in the yeare 1553,
And died in the year 1598.

The epitaph of Michael Drayton, another of the Elizabethan poets, said by some to be the composition of Ben Jonson, and by others to be by Quarles, has also a species of quaint beauty and solemnity which raises it above the ordinary level. It was originally in gilt letters:

Michael Draiton, Esq.

A memorable poet of this age,
Exchanged his laurell for a crowne of glorye,
Ao. 1631.

Doe, pious Marble! let thy readers knowe
What they and what their children owe
To Draiton's name, whose sacred dust
We recommend unto thy trust:
Protect his memory, and preserve his storye,
Remaine a lastinge monument of his glorye;
And when thy ruines shall disclaime
To be the treas'rer of his name,
His name that cannot fade shall be
An everlasting monument to thee.

We cannot say that the Latin compositions of this sort in Westminster Abbey are much to our taste. One however, we cannot pass over—that to the memory of Goldsmith, by Dr. Johnson—a scholar-like production, dictated by affection, and full of grace and tenderness. In the delineation of the personal and literary character of his friend, we recognize all the grander traits of the honest giant's loving heart and powerful pen. Nothing can be in better taste than his commendation of Goldsmith's genius:

Affectuum potens et lenis Dominator;
Ingenio sublimis—vividus, versatilis,
Oratione grandis, nitidus, venustus—

Of the English epitaphs, one of the most remarkable for elegance and simplicity is that on Purcell, the composer, reputed, on the authority of Malone, to be by Dryden, It certainly is not unworthy of his pen:

Here lyes
Henry Purcell, Esq.
Who left this life,
And is gone to that blessed place
Where only his Harmony
Can be exceeded.
Obiit 21 die Novembris
Anno Ætatis suæ 37
Annoque Domini 1695.

Among more modern inscriptions, those on the great engineers, Watt and Telford, are particularly worthy of notice. The former is from the pen of Lord Brougham:

Not to perpetuate a name,
Which must endure while the peaceful arts flourish,
But to show
That mankind have learned to know those
Who best deserve their gratitude,
The King,
His ministers, and many of the nobles
And commoners of the realm
Raised this monument to
James Watt,
Who, directing the force of an original genius,
Early exercised in philosophic research,
To the improvement of the Steam Engine,
Enlarged the resources of his country,
Increased the power of man,
And rose to eminent place
Among the most illustrious followers of science,
And the real benefactors of the world.

The inscription on Telford's monument is equally chaste and beautiful. It presents this noble summary of his life and character:

The orphan son of a shepherd, self-educated,
He raised himself,
By his extraordinary talents and integrity,
From the humble condition of an operative mason,
And became one of the
Most eminent Civil Engineers of the age.
This marble has been erected near the spot
Where his remains are deposited,
By the friends who revered his virtues,
But his noblest monuments are to be found amongst
The great public works of his country.

Every visitor will reverently pause before the magnificent cenotaph of the great Earl of Chatham, which, though somewhat too confused and elaborate in its decorations, is not unworthy of the greatest of English ministers. Having achieved a higher reputation as a statesman and orator than any other public man which his country had produced, and having fallen, as it were, in her service, the national gratitude was displayed in an unprecedented manner by honors paid his memory. His body lay in state three days in the painted chamber in the House of Lords—his public funeral exceeded in splendor the obsequies of princes—his debts were paid by the nation—and finally, the stately tomb to which we have drawn attention, was placed over his remains. The inscription whilst exceedingly plain and simple, is impressive and appropriate:

Erected by the King and Parliament
As a testimonial to
The Virtues and Ability
William Pitt, Earl of Chatham,
During whose administration, in the reigns of
George II. and George III.
Divine Providence
Exalted Great Britain
To a height of Prosperity and Glory
Unknown in any former age.

Of poetical epitaphs in the Abbey some of the most important are by Pope. Like everything else from his pen, they are carefully written, but viewed as monumental inscriptions, not distinguished for any striking excellence. Among the best of them is that on the Honourable James Craggs, a secretary of state, rather discreditably mixed up with the South Sea Bubble:—

Statesman, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere,
In action faithful, yet in honour clear!
Who broke no promise, served no private end,
Who gained no title, and who lost no friend;
Ennobled by Himself, by all approved,
Praised, wept, and honored by the Muse he loved.

The one on Gay is interesting as a tribute of friendship, and as a faithful portrait of that pleasing and amiable poet, the simplicity of whose character is admirably delineated in the first couplet:—

Of manners gentle, and affections mild,
In wit a man, simplicity a child.

Altogether it is a beautiful and appropriate[pg 215] composition, and we cannot but regret that the monument on which it appears should be disfigured by the doggerel, said to have been written by Gay himself, and inscribed on the ledge just above Pope's epitaph;

Life is a jest, and all things show it;
I thought so once, but now I know it.

That of Nicholas Rowe, the dramatist (also by Pope), has been admired for the pathos of the concluding lines, the beauty of which, however, it is a matter of notoriety, was considerably marred by a prosaic circumstance, which proves the danger of assuming facts even in poetical compositions. The monument is commemorative of the poet and of his only daughter, the wife of Henry Fane. His widow survived him, and her inconsolable affliction was beautifully depicted:-

To these so mourned in death, so loved in life,
The childless parent and the widowed wife,
With tears inscribes this monumental stone,
That holds their ashes, and expects her own.

Almost, however, before "the monumental stone" was finished, the disconsolate widow dried her eyes, and married a gallant colonel of dragoons, without considering that she was spoiling the beauty of her husband's epitaph.

Among the most flagrant instances of false taste, we must specify that on the tomb of David Garrick. The tomb itself has been described as "a theatrical conceit, of which the design exhibits neither taste nor invention." The epitaph was the production of Pratt, author of Harvest Home and other lucubrations which have long since been consigned to the tomb of the Capulets; and both epitaph and monument are thus spoken of by Charles Lamb in the Essays of Elia. Alluding principally to the eccentric attitude of the actor's effigy, he observes, "Though I would not go so far, with some good Catholics abroad, as to shut players altogether out of consecrated ground, yet I own I was not a little scandalized at the introduction of theatrical airs and gestures into a place set apart to remind us of the saddest realities. Going nearer, I found inscribed under this burlesque figure a farrago of false thought and nonsense." The farrago in question is in verse, and represents Shakspeare and Garrick as "twin stars," who as long as time shall last are to "irradiate earth with a beam divine."

There are but few epitaphs in St. Paul's Cathedral—the other great resting-place of illustrious dead—worthy of remark or reproduction. The best in the whole edifice, and one of the most perfect compositions of its kind, is the well-known inscription commemorative of its renowned architect, Sir Christopher Wren:

Subditus conditur hujus Ecelesiæ at Urbis
Conditor, Christopherus Wren, qui vixit
Annos ultra nonaginta, non sibi, sed
Bono publico. Lector, si monumentum requiris,

We need not point out the beauties of this celebrated epitaph:—its terseness of phraseology (to which no translation could do justice)—its suggestiveness, grandeur and dignity. Another Latin inscription in St. Paul's is also deserving notice, both on account of its merit, and the individual it commemorates—that on Dr. Samuel Johnson, written by the famous Dr. Parr. Of English inscriptions in this Cathedral, the most striking is that on the monument of John Howard. It concludes with the well-known sentence: "He trod an open and unfrequented path,to immortality, in the ardent and unremitting exercise of Christian charity. May this tribute to his fame excite an emulation of his truly glorious achievements."

It is no very easy matter to produce a good epitaph. Great practice in composition is required—great power of condensation—and the exercise of judgment and discrimination. In efforts at epitaph-writing, few English poets have appeared to advantage. One or two perfect specimens, indeed, we possess, but the success of a single writer must be set against the failure of a great many. Of our good epitaphs, the very best, in our opinion, is that on the Countess Dowager of Pembroke, the sister of Sir Philip Sidney, by Ben Jonson. Although it has been often quoted, we cannot exclude it from this paper:

Underneath this sable hearse
Lies the subject of all verse,
Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother:
Death, ere thou hast slain another,
Fair, and wise, and good as she,
Time shall throw his dart at thee.

Another of Jonson's epitaphs, although more rugged in versification, is also deserving of quotation;

Underneath this stone doth lie
As much virtue as could die;
Which, when alive, did vigor give
To as much beauty as could live.
If she had a single fault,
Leave it buried in this vault.

Not a few of Pope's epitaphs, as we have before hinted, appear tame, insipid, and characterized by a false taste. We except the well-known couplet for the monument of Sir Isaac Newton, in which there are dignity of language and boldness of conception:

Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night;—
God said, "Let Newton be!" and all was light.

David Garrick is the author of some very good and characteristic epitaphs. The best, is that on Claudius Philips, the musician, who lived and died in great poverty. It was some time ascribed to Dr. Johnson, but is now known to be the production of Garrick:

Philips, whose touch harmonious could remove
The pangs of guilty power and hapless love,
Rest here, distress'd by poverty no more,
Here find that calm thou gav'st so oft before;
Sleep undisturbed within this peaceful shrine,
Till angels wake thee with a note like thine.

Another of Garnet's epitaphs, is that on Mr. Havard, the comedian, who died in 1778. It is described by the author as a tribute "to the memory of a character he long knew and respected." Whatever its merits as a composition, the professional metaphor introduced is sadly out of place:

[pg 216]
"An honest man's the noblest work of God."
Havard, from sorrow rest beneath this stone;
An honest man—beloved as soon as known;
Howe'er defective in the mimic art,
In real life he justly played his part!
The noblest character he acted well,
And heaven applauded when the curtain fell.

The one on William Hogarth, in Chiswick Churchyard, by Garrick, is in better taste:

Farewell, great painter of mankind,
Who reach'd the noblest point of art;
Whose pictur'd morals charm the mind,
And through the eye correct the heart!
If genius fire thee, reader, stay;
If nature touch thee, drop a tear:-
If neither move thee, turn away,
For Hogarth's honor'd dust lies here.

Some distinguished men have amused themselves, while living, by inditing epitaphs for themselves. Franklin, and the great lawyer and orientalist, Sir William Jones, have left characteristic performances of this kind in prose, and from Matthew Prior we have a mock-serious one in verse. The latter has been often quoted, but it will bear repetition:

Nobles and heralds, by your leave,
Here lie the bones of Matthew Prior:
The son of Adam and of Eve,
Can Bourbon or Nassau go higher?

In the same spirit, but superior in tone and quality, is the following, the authorship of which is unknown, "on a poor but honest man:"

Stop, reader, here, and deign to look
On one without a name,
Ne'er enter'd in the ample book
Of fortune or of fame.
Studious of peace, he hated strife;
Meek virtues fill'd his breast;
His coat of arms, "a spotless life,"
"An honest heart" his crest.
Quarter'd therewith was innocence,
And thus his motto ran:
"A conscience void of all offence,
Before both God and man."
In the great day of wrath, through pride
Now scorns his pedigree,
Thousands shall wish they'd been allied
To this great family.

The thought in Prior's is ludicrously expressed in the following, from a monument erected in 1703, in the New Church burying-ground, Dundee, to the memory of J. R.

Here lies a Man,
Com'd of Adam and Eve;
If any will climb higher,
I give him leave.

Amongst poetical epitaphs, of the more elaborate class, we must notice two by Mason; one to the memory of his mother, in Bristol Cathedral, and the other on a young lady named Drummond, in the church of Brodsworth, Yorkshire. We have space for only the latter.

Here sleeps what once was beauty, once was grace;
Grace, that with tenderness and sense combined
To form that harmony of soul and face,
Where brainy shines the mirror of the mind.
Such was the maid that, in the morn of youth,
In virgin innocence, in nature's pride,
Blest with each art that owes its charms to truth,
Sank in her father's fond embrace, and died.
He weeps; O venerate the holy tear!
Faith lends her aid to ease affliction's load;
The parent mourns his child upon the bier,
The Christian yields an angel to his God.

Of whimsical and satirical epitaphs—some actually inscribed on tombstones, and others intended for pasquinades—a large collection might be made. We have little taste for these anomalous compositions, nor do we consider it creditable to the national character, that so many English churchyards can be pointed out where they occur. But there are those who will make even the tomb a subject of pleasant humors. The epitaph for the tomb of Sir John Vanbrugh, distinguished as a dramatist and architect, and reflecting on his achievements in the latter capacity, is as follows:

Lie heavy on him, Earth, for he
Laid many a heavy load on thee.

The original of the following is among the epigrams of Boileau:—

Here lies my wife; there let her lie;
She is at rest—and so am I.

We do not suppose that this was ever engraved on a tombstone, either in French or English; but the following lines are said to have been copied from a slab in an English church:—

Here lies the body of Sarah Sexton,
Who as a wife did never vex one;
We can't say that for her at the next stone.

The next specimen is also known to have appeared on a tomb in Essex:—

Here lies the man Richard,
And Mary his wife;
Their surname was Pritchard;
They lived without strife;
And the reason was plain;
They abounded in riches,
They no care had nor pain,
And the wife wore the breeches.

We will not multiply examples of these compositions. Lines of the description we have quoted have often found their way into print, and we have selected one or two of the least offensive as examples of eccentricity.


An Adventure With Robbers.

From Chamber's Edinburgh Journal.

The world, since it was a world at all, has ever been fond of singing the praises of the good old times. It would seem a general rule, that so soon as we get beyond a certain age, whatever that may be, we acquire a high opinion of the past, and grumble at every thing new under the sun. One cause of this may be, that distance lends enchantment to the view, and that the history of the past, like a landscape travelled over, loses in review all the rugged and wearisome annoyances that rendered it scarcely bearable in the journey. But it is hardly worth while to speculate upon the causes of an absurdity which a little candid retrospection will do more to dissipate than whole folios of philosophy. We can easily understand a man who sighs that he was not born a thousand years hence instead of twenty or thirty years ago, but that any one should encourage a regret that his lot in life was not cast a few centuries back, seems inexplicable on any rational grounds. The utter folly of praising the[pg 217] good old times may be illustrated by a reference to the wretched condition of most European cities; but we shall confine ourselves to the single case of Paris, now one of the most beautiful capitals in the world.

In the thirteenth century the streets of Paris were not paved; they were muddy and filthy to a very horrible degree, and swine constantly loitered about and fed in them. At night there were no public lights, and assassinations and robberies were far from infrequent. At the beginning of the fourteenth century public lighting was begun on a limited scale; and at best only a few tallow candles were put up in prominent situations. The improvement, accordingly, did little good, and the numerous bands of thieves had it still pretty much their own way. Severity of punishment seldom compensates the want of precautionary measures. It was the general custom at this period to cut off the ears of a condemned thief after the term of his imprisonment had elapsed. Thia was done that offenders might be readily recognized should they dare again to enter the city, banishment from which was a part of the sentence of such as were destined to be cropped. But they often found it easier to fabricate false ears than to gain a livelihood away from the arena of their exploits; and this measure, severe and cruel as it was, was found inefficient to rid the capital of their presence.

Among the various adventures with thieves, detailed by an author contemporaneous with Louis XIII., the following affords a rich example of the organization of the domestic brigands of the time, and of the wretched security which the capital afforded to its inhabitants.

A celebrated advocate named Polidamor had by his reputation for riches aroused the covetousness of some chiefs of a band of brigands, who flattered themselves that could they catch him they would obtain possession of an important sum. They placed upon his track three bold fellows, who, after many fruitless endeavors, encountered him one evening accompanied only by a single lackey. Seizing fast hold of himself and attendant, they rifled him in a twinkling; and as he had accidentally left his purse at home, they took his rich cloak of Spanish cloth and silk, which was quite new, and of great value. Polidamor, who at first resisted, found himself compelled to yield to force, but asked as a favor to be allowed to redeem his mantle. This was agreed to at the price of thirty pistoles; and the rogues appointed a rendezvous the next day, at six in the evening, on the same spot, for the purpose of effecting the exchange. They recommended him to come alone, assuring him that his life would be endangered should he appear accompanied with an escort. Polidamor repaired to the place at the appointed hour, and after a few moments of expectation he saw a carriage approaching in which were seated four persons in the garb of gentlemen. They descended from the vehicle, and one of them, advancing towards the advocate, asked him in a low voice if he were not in search of a cloak of Spanish cloth and silk. The victim replied in the affirmative, and declared himself prepared to redeem it at the sum at which it had been taxed. The thieves having assured themselves that he was alone, seized him, and made him get into the carriage; and one of them presenting a pistol to his breast, bade him hold his tongue under pain of instant death, while another blindfolded him. As the advocate trembled with fear, they assured him that no harm was intended, and bade the coachman drive on.

After a rapid flight, which was yet long enough to inspire the prisoner with deadly terror, the carriage stopped in front of a large mansion, the gate of which opened to receive them, and closed again as soon as they had passed the threshold. The robbers alighted with their captive, from whose eyes they now removed the bandage. He was led into an immense saloon, where were a number of tables, upon which the choicest viands were profusely spread, and seated at which was a company of gentlemanly-looking personages, who chatted familiarly together, without the slightest demonstration of confusion or alarm. His guardians again enjoined him to lay aside all fear, informed him that he was in good society, and that they had brought him there solely that they might enjoy the pleasure of his company at supper. In the mean while water was served to the guests, that they might wash their hands before sitting at table. Every man took his place, and a seat was assigned to Polidamor at the upper and privileged end of the board. Astonished, or rather stupefied at the strange circumstances of his adventure, he would willingly have abstained from taking any part in the repast; but he was compelled to make a show of eating, in order to dissemble his mistrust and agitation. When the supper was ended and the tables were removed, one of the gentlemen who had assisted in his capture accosted him with polite expressions of regret at his want of appetite. During the interchange of courtesies which ensued, one of the bandits took a lute, another a viol, and the party began to amuse themselves with music. The advocate was then invited to walk into a neighboring room, where he perceived a considerable number of mantles ranged in order. He was desired to select his own, and to count out the thirty pistoles agreed upon, together with one for coach-hire, and one more for his share of the reckoning at supper. Polidamor, who had been apprehensive that the drama of which his mantle had been the occasion might have a very different dénouement, was but too well pleased to be quit at such a cost, and he took leave of the assembly with unfeigned expressions[pg 218] of gratitude. The carriage was called, and before entering it he was again blindfolded; his former conductors returned with him to the spot where he had been seized, where, removing the bandage from his eyes, they allowed him to alight, presenting him at the same moment with a ticket sealed with green wax, and having these words inscribed in large letters, "Freed by the Great Band." This ticket was a passport securing his mantle, purse, and person against all further assaults. Hastening to regain his residence with all speed, he was assailed at a narrow turning by three other rascals, who demanded his purse or his life. The advocate drew his ticket from his pocket, though he had no great faith in it as a preservative, and presented it to the thieves. One of them, provided with a dark lantern, read it, returned it, and recommended him to make haste home, where he at last arrived in safety.

Early in the seventeenth century the Parisian rogues availed themselves of the regulations against the use of snuff to pillage the snuff-takers. As the sale of this article was forbidden by law to any but grocers and apothecaries, and as even they could only retail it to persons provided with the certificate of a medical man, the annoyance of such restrictions was loudly complained of. The rogues, ever ready to profit by circumstances, opened houses for gaming—at that period almost a universal vice—where "snuff at discretion" was a tempting bait to those long accustomed to a gratification all the more agreeable because it was forbidden. Here the snuff-takers were diligently plied with wine, and then cheated of their money; or, if too temperate or suspicious to drink to excess, they were unceremoniously plundered in a sham quarrel. To such a length was this practice carried, that an ordinance was at length issued in 1629, strictly forbidding all snuff-takers from assembling in public places or elsewhere, "pour satisfaire leur goût!"

The thieves of the good old times were not only more numerous in proportion to the population than they are at present, but were also distinguished by greater audacity and cruelty. They had recourse to the most diabolical ingenuity to subdue the resistance and to prevent the outcries of their victims. Under the rule of Henry IV. a band of brigands arose, who, in the garb, and with the manners of gentlemen, introduced themselves into the best houses under the pretext of private business, and when alone with the master, demanded his money at the dagger's point. Some of them made use of a gag—a contrivance designated at the period the poire d'angoisse. This instrument was of a spherical shape, and pierced all over with small holes; it was forced into the mouth of the person intended to be robbed, and upon touching a spring sharp points protruded from every hole, at once inflicting the most horrible anguish, and preventing the sufferer from uttering a single cry. It could not be withdrawn but by the use of the proper key, which contracted the spring. This device was adopted universally by one savage band, and occasioned immense misery not only in Paris but throughout France.

An Italian thief, an enterprising and ingenious rogue, adopted a singular expedient for robbing women at their devotions in church. He placed himself on his knees by the side of his intended prey, holding in a pair of artificial hands a book of devotion, to which he made a show of the most devout attention, while with his natural hands he cut the watch or purse-string of his unsuspecting neighbor. This stratagem, favored by the fashion, then general, of wearing mantles, met with great success, and of course soon produced a host of clumsy imitators, and excited the vigilance of the police, who at length made so many seizures of solemn-faced devotees provided with wooden kid-gloved hands, that it fell into complete discredit, and was at last abandoned by the profession.

Cunning as were the rogues of a past age, they were liable to capture like their modern successors. A gentleman having resorted to Paris on business, was hustled one day in the precincts of the palace, and robbed of his well-filled purse. Furious at the loss of a considerable sum, he swore to be avenged. He procured a clever mechanic, who, under his directions, contrived a kind of hand-trap for the pocket, managed in such a manner as to preclude the possibility of an attempt at purse-stealing without detection. Having fixed the instrument in its place, impatient for the revenge he had promised himself, he sallied forth to promenade the public walks, mingled with every group, and stopped from time to time gazing about him with the air of a greenhorn. Several days passed before any thing resulted from his plan; but one morning, while he was gaping at the portraits of the kings of France in one of the public galleries, he finds himself surrounded and pushed about, precisely as in the former instance; he feels a hand insinuating itself gently into the open snare, and hears immediately the click of the instrument, which assures him that the delinquent is safely caught. Taking no notice, he walks on as if nothing had happened, and resumes his promenade, drawing after him the thief, whom pain and shame prevented from making the least effort to disengage his hand. Occasionally the gentleman would turn round, and rebuke his unwilling follower for his importunity, and thus drew the eyes of the whole crowd upon his awkward position. At last, pretending to observe for the first time the stranger's hand in his pocket, he flies into a violent passion, accuses him of being a cut-purse, and demands the sum he had previously lost, without which he declares the villain shall be hanged. It would seem that compounding a felony was nothing in those days; for it is[pg 219] upon record that the thief, though caught in the act, was permitted to send a messenger to his comrades, who advanced the money, and therewith purchased his liberty.

The people were forbidden to employ particular materials in the fabrication of their clothing, to ride in a coach, to decorate their apartments as they chose, to purchase certain articles of furniture, and even to give a dinner party when and in what style they chose. Under the Valois régime strict limits were assigned to the expenses of the table, determining the number of courses of which a banquet should consist, and that of the dishes of which each course was to be composed. Any guest who should fail to denounce an infraction of the law of which he had been a witness, was liable to a fine of forty livres; and officers of justice, who might be present, were strictly enjoined to quit the tables of their hosts, and institute immediate proceedings against them. The rigor of these regulations extended, even to the kitchen, and the police had the power of entry at all hours, to enforce compliance with the statutes.

But it was during the prevalence of an epidemic that it was least agreeable to live in France in the good old times. No sooner did a contagious malady, or one that was supposed to be so, make its appearance, than the inhabitants of Paris were all forbidden to remove from one residence to another, although their term of tenancy had expired, until the judge of police had received satisfactory evidence that the house they desired to leave had not been affected by the contagion. When a house was infected, a bundle of straw fastened to one of the windows warned the public to avoid all intercourse with the inmates. At a later period two wooden crosses were substituted for the straw, one of which was attached to the front door, and the other to one of the windows in an upper story. In 1596 the provost of Paris having learned that the tenants of some houses infected by an epidemic which was then making great ravages, had removed these badges, issued an ordinance commanding that those who transgressed in a similar manner again should suffer the loss of the right hand—a threat which was found perfectly efficient.

By an ordinance of 1533, persons recovering from a contagious malady, together with their domestics, and all the members of their families, were forbidden to appear in the streets for a given period without a white wand in their hands, to warn the public of the danger of contact. Three years after the authorities were yet more severe against the convalescents, who were ordered to remain shut up at home for forty days after their cure; and even when the quarantine had expired, they were not allowed to appear in the streets until they had presented to a magistrate a certificate from the commissary of their district, attested by a declaration of six householders, that the forty days had elapsed. In the preceding century (in 1498) an ordinance still more extraordinary had been issued. It was at the coronation of Louis XII. when a great number of the nobles came to Paris to take part in the ceremony. The provost, desiring to guard them from the danger of infection, published an order that all persons of both sexes, suffering under certain specified maladies, should quit the capital in twenty-four hours, under the penalty of being thrown into the river!


From Household Words.

A strange story was once told me by a Levantine lady of my acquaintance, which I shall endeavor to relate—as far as I am able with the necessary abridgments—in her own words. The circumstances under which she told it were peculiar. The family had just been disturbed by the visit of a ghost—a real ghost, visible, if not palpable. She was not what may be called superstitious; and though following with more or less assiduity the practices of her religion, was afflicted now and then with a fit of perfect materialism. I was surprised, therefore, to hear her relate, with every appearance of profound faith, the following incidents:—

There is an old house in Beyrout, which, for many successive years, was inhabited by a Christian family. It is of great extent, and was of yore fitted for the dwelling of a prince. The family had, indeed, in early-times been very rich; and almost fabulous accounts are current of the wealth of its founder, Fadlallah Dahân. He was a merchant; the owner of ships, the fitter-out of caravans. The regions of the East and of the West had been visited by him; and, after undergoing as many dangers and adventures as Sinbad, he had returned to spend the latter days of his life in his native city. He built, accordingly, a magnificent dwelling, the courts of which he adorned with marble fountains, and the chambers with silk divans; and he was envied on account of his prosperity.

But, in the restlessness of his early years, he had omitted to marry, and now found himself near the close of his career without an heir to inherit his wealth and to perpetuate his name. This reflection often disturbed him; yet he was unwilling to take a wife because he was old. Every now and then, it is true, he saw men older than he, with fewer teeth and whiter beards, taking to their bosoms maidens that bloomed like peaches just beginning to ripen against a wall; and his friends, who knew he would give a magnificent marriage-feast, urged him to do likewise. Once he looked with pleasure on a young person of not too tender years, whose parents purposely presented her to him; but having asked her in a whisper whether she would like to marry a withered old gentleman[pg 220] like himself, she frankly confessed a preference for his handsome young clerk, Harma, who earned a hundred piastres a month. Fadlallah laughed philosophically, and took care that the young couple should be married under happy auspices.

One day he was proceeding along the street gravely and slowly—surrounded by a number of merchants proud to walk by his side, and followed by two or three young men, who pressed near in order to be thought of the company, and thus establish their credit—when an old woman espying him, began to cry out, "Yeh! yeh! this is the man who has no wife and no child—this is the man who is going to die and leave his fortune to be robbed by his servants or confiscated by the governor! And yet, he has a sagacious nose"—(the Orientals have observed that there is wisdom in a nose)—"and a beard as long as my back! Yeh! yeh! what a wonderful sight to see!"

Fadlallah Dahân stopped, and retorted, smiling: "Yeh! yeh! this is the woman that blames an old man for not marrying a young wife. Yeh! yeh! what a wonderful sight to see!"

Then the woman replied, "O my lord, every pig's tail curls not in the same direction, nor does every maiden admire the passing quality of youth. If thou wilt, I will bestow on thee a wife, who will love thee as thou lovest thyself, and serve thee as the angels serve Allah. She is more beautiful than any of the daughters of Beyrout, and her name is Selima, a name of good augury."

The friends of Fadlallah laughed, as did the young men who followed in their wake, and urged him to go and see this peerless beauty, if it were only for a joke. Accordingly, he told the woman to lead the way. But she said he must mount his mule, for they had to go some distance into the country. He mounted, and, with a single servant, went forth from the gates—the woman preceding—and rode until he reached a village in the mountains. Here, in a poor little house, he found Selima; clothed in the very commonest style, engaged in making divan cushions. She was a marvellously beautiful girl, and the heart of the merchant at once began to yearn towards her; yet he endeavored to restrain himself, and said, "This beautiful thing is not for me." But the woman cried out, "Selima, wilt thou consent to love this old man?" The girl gazed in his face awhile, and then, folding her hands across her bosom, said, "Yes; for there is goodness in his countenance." Fadlallah wept with joy; and, returning to the city, announced his approaching marriage to his friends. According to custom, they expressed civil surprise to his face; but, when his back was turned, they whispered that he was an old fool, and had been the dupe of a she-adventurer.

The marriage took place with ceremonies of royal magnificence; and Selima, who passed unmoved from extreme poverty to abundant riches, seemed to merit the position of the greatest lady in Beyrout. Never was woman more prudent than she. No one ever knew her previous history, nor that of her mother. Some said that a life of misery, perhaps of shame, was before them, when this unexpected marriage took place. Selima's gratitude to Fadlallah was unbounded; and out of gratitude grew love. The merchant daily offered up thanks for the bright diamond which had come to shine in his house.

In due time a child was born; a boy lively as his mother; and they named him Halil. With what joy he was received, what festivities announced the glad intelligence to the town, may easily be imagined. Selima and Fadlallah resolved to devote themselves to his education, and determined that he should be the most accomplished youth of Bar-er-Shâm. But a long succession of children followed, each more beautiful than the former—some boys, some girls; and every new comer was received with additional delight and still grander ceremonies; so that the people began to say, "Is this a race of sovereigns?"

Now, Halil grew up to the age of twelve—still a charming lad; but the parents always fully occupied by the last arrival, had not carried out their project of education. He was as wild and untamed as a colt, and spent more of his time in the street than in the company of his mother; who, by degrees, began to look upon him with a kind of calm friendship due to strangers. Fadlallah, as he took his accustomed walk with his merchant friends, used from time to time to encounter a ragged boy fighting in the streets with the sons of the Jew butcher; but his eyes beginning to grow dim, he often passed without recognizing him. One day, however, Halil, breathless and bleeding, ran up and took refuge beneath the skirts of his mantle from a crowd of savage urchins. Fadlallah was amazed, and said, "O, my son—for I think thou art my son—what evil hath befallen thee, and wherefore do I see thee in this state?" The boy, whose voice was choked by sobs, looked up into his face, and said, "Father, I am the son of the richest merchant of Beyrout, and behold, there is no one so little cared for as I."

Fadlallah's conscience smote him, and he wiped the boy's bleeding face with the corner of his silk caftan, and blessed him; and, taking him by the hand, led him away. The merchants smiled benignly one to the other, and, pointing with their thumbs, said, "We have seen the model youth!"

Whilst they laughed and sneered, Fadlallah, humbled yet resolved, returned to his house, leading the ragged Halil, and entered his wife's chamber. Selima was playing with her seventh child, and teaching it to lisp the word "Baba"—about the amount of education which she had found time to bestow on[pg 221] each of her offspring. When she saw the plight of her eldest son she frowned, and was about to scold him; but Fadlallah interposed, and said, "Wife, speak no harsh words. We have not done our duty by this boy. May God forgive us; but we have looked on these children that have bloomed from thee, more as playthings than as deposits for which we are responsible. Halil has become a wild out-of-doors lad, doubting with some reason of our love. It is too late to bring him back to the destiny we had dreamt of; but he must not be left to grow up thus uncared for. I have a brother established in Bassora; to him will I send the lad to learn the arts of commerce, and to exercise himself in adventure, as his father did before him. Bestow thy blessing upon him, Selima (here the good old man's voice trembled), and may God in his mercy forgive both thee and me for the neglect which has made this parting necessary. I shall know that I am forgiven, if, before I go down into the tomb, my son return a wise and sober man; not unmindful that we gave him life, and forgetting that, until now, we have given him little else."

Selima laid her seventh child in its cradle of carved wood, and drew Halil to her bosom; and Fadlallah knew that she loved him still, because she kissed his face, regardless of the blood and dirt that stained it. She then washed him and dressed him, and gave him a purse of gold, and handed him over to his father; who had resolved to send him off by the caravan that started that very afternoon. Halil, surprised and made happy by unwonted caresses, was yet delighted at the idea of beginning an adventurous life; and went away, manfully stifling his sobs, and endeavoring to assume the grave deportment of a merchant. Selima shed a few tears, and then, attracted by a crow and a chuckle from the cradle, began to tickle the infant's soft double chin, and went on with her interrupted lesson, "Baba, Baba!"

Halil started on his journey, and having passed through the Valley of Robbers, the Valley of Lions, and the Valley of Devils—this is the way in which Orientals localize the supposed dangers of travelling—arrived at the good city of Bassora; where his uncle received him well, and promised to send him, as supercargo on board the first vessel he dispatched to the Indian seas. What time was spent by the caravan upon the road, the narrative does not state. Travelling is slow work in the East; but almost immediately on his arrival in Bassora, Halil was engaged in a love adventure. If travelling is slow, the approaches of manhood are rapid. The youth's curiosity was excited by the extraordinary care taken to conceal his cousin Miriam from his sight; and having introduced himself into her garden, beheld, and, struck by her wonderful beauty, loved her. With an Oriental fondness he confessed the truth to his uncle, who listened with anger and dismay, and told him that Miriam was betrothed to the Sultan. Halil perceived the danger of indulging his passion, and promised to suppress it; but whilst he played a prudent part, Miriam's curiosity was also excited, and she too beheld and loved her cousin. Bolts and bars cannot keep two such affections asunder. They met and plighted their troth and were married secretly, and were happy. But inevitable discovery came. Miriam was thrown into a dungeon; and the unhappy Halil, loaded with chains, was put on board a vessel, not as supercargo, but as prisoner, with orders that he should be left in some distant country.

Meanwhile a dreadful pestilence fell upon Beyrout, and among the first sufferers was an eighth little one that had just learned to say "Baba!" Selima was almost too astonished to be grieved. It seemed to her impossible that death should come into her house, and meddle with the fruits of so much suffering and love. When they came to take away the little form which she had so often fondled, her indignation burst forth, and she smote the first old woman who stretched out her rough unsympathetic hand. But a shriek from her waiting-woman announced that another victim was singled out; and the frantic mother rushed like a tigress to defend the young that yet remained to her. But the enemy was invisible; and (so the story goes) all her little ones drooped one by one and died; so that on the seventh day Selima sat in her nursery gazing about with stony eyes, and counting her losses upon her fingers—Iskender, Selima, Wardy, Fadlallah, Hanna, Hennenah, Gereges—seven in all. Then she remembered Halil, and her neglect of him; and, lifting up her voice, she wept aloud; and, as the tears rushed fast and hot down her cheeks, her heart yearned for her absent boy, and she would have parted with worlds to have fallen upon his breast—would have given up her life in return for one word of pardon and of love.

Fadlallah came in to her; and he was now very old and feeble. His back was bent, and his transparent hand trembled as it clutched a cane. A white beard surrounded a still whiter face; and as he came near his wife, he held out his hand towards her with an uncertain gesture, as if the room had been dark. This world appeared to him but dimly. "Selima," said he, "the Giver hath taken. We, too, must go in our turn. Weep, my love, but weep with moderation, for those little ones that have gone to sing in the golden cages of Paradise. There is a heavier sorrow in my heart. Since my first-born, Halil, departed for Bassora, I have only written once to learn intelligence of him. He was then well, and had been received with favor by his uncle. We have never done our duty by that boy." His wife replied, "Do not reproach me; for I reproach myself more bitterly than thou canst do.[pg 222] Write, then, to thy brother to obtain tidings of the beloved one. I will make of this chamber a weeping chamber. It has resounded with merriment enough. All my children learned to laugh and to talk here. I will hang it with black, and erect a tomb in the midst; and every day I will come and spend two hours, and weep for those who are gone and for him who is absent." Fadlallah approved her design; and they made a weeping chamber, and lamented together every day therein. But their letters to Bassora remained unanswered; and they began to believe that fate had chosen a solitary tomb for Halil.

One day a woman, dressed in the garb of the poor, came to the house of Fadlallah with a boy about twelve years old. When the merchant saw them he was struck with amazement, for he beheld in the boy the likeness of his son Halil; and he called aloud to Selima, who, when she came, shrieked with amazement. The woman told her story, and it appeared that she was Miriam. Having spent some months in prison, she had escaped and taken refuge in a forest in the house of her nurse. Here she had given birth to a son, whom she had called by his father's name. When her strength returned, she had set out as a beggar to travel over the world in search of her lost husband. Marvellous were the adventures she underwent, God protecting her throughout, until she came to the land of Persia, where she found Halil working as a slave in the garden of the Governor of Fars. After a few stolen interviews, she had again resumed her wanderings to seek for Fadlallah, that he might redeem his son with wealth; but had passed several years upon the road.

Fortune, however, now smiled upon this unhappy family, and in spite of his age, Fadlallah set out for Fars. Heaven made the desert easy, and the road short for him. On a fine calm evening he entered the gardens of the governor, and found his son gaily singing as he trimmed an orange tree. After a vain attempt to preserve an incognito, the good old man lifted up his hands, and shouting, "Halil, my first-born!" fell upon the breast of the astonished slave. Sweet was the interview in the orange grove, sweet the murmured conversation between the strong young man and the trembling patriarch, until the perfumed dew of evening fell upon their heads. Halil's liberty was easily obtained, and father and son returned in safety to Beyrout. Then the Weeping Chamber was closed, and the door walled up; and Fadlallah and Selima lived happily until age gently did its work at their appointed times: and Halil and Miriam inherited the house and the wealth that had been gathered for them.

The supernatural part of the story remains to be told. The Weeping Chamber was never again opened; but every time that a death was about to occur in the family, a shower of heavy tear-drops was heard to fall upon its marble floor, and low wailings came through the walled doorway. Years, centuries passed away, and the mystery repeated itself with unvarying uniformity. The family fell into poverty, and only occupied a portion of the house, but invariably before one of its members sickened unto death, a shower of heavy drops, as from a thunder-cloud, pattered on the pavement of the Weeping Chamber, and was heard distinctly at night through the whole house. At length the family quitted the country in search of better fortunes elsewhere, and the house remained for a long time uninhabited.

The lady who narrated the story went to live in the house, and passed some years without being disturbed; but one night she was lying awake, and distinctly heard the warning shower dripping heavily in the Weeping Chamber. Next day the news came of her mother's death, and she hastened to remove to another dwelling. The house has since been utterly abandoned to rats, mice, beetles, and an occasional ghost seen sometimes streaming along the rain-pierced terraces. No one has ever attempted to violate the solitude of the sanctuary where Selima wept for the seven little ones taken to the grave, and for the absent one whom she had treated with unmotherly neglect.



It was one of those clear, bright days, peculiar to a Spanish summer, when the deep blue skies seem to reflect their warmth in radiance over the earth; a slumberous influence hung over the tranquil streets of Madrid, and although it was still early in the morning, the fervid rays of the sun gave a certain indication of the meridian power he was about to display in a few hours.

Such was the day appropriated for the splendid and soul-stirring celebration of a bull-fight; and accordingly, the inhabitants soon began, by an unusual bustle, to evince the absorbing interest they are accustomed to take in this favorite amusement. Before the hour of nine, the beautiful street of Alcala was thronged with a promiscuous multitude, eager to witness the first exhibition of the morning; the Spanish bull-fight being in fact composed of two acts, if I may so term them, the morning and the evening encounters.

On such days, a general cessation of labor takes place throughout the city, and the whole population is occupied with speculations on the approaching festival. On the morning in question, the inhabitants of Madrid, the lower classes in particular, attired in their holiday finery, began at an early hour to issue from their narrow and obscure dormitories, and, with tolerably cleanly appearance and much importance of demeanor, to take up a position in that famous Puerta del sol which, on less momentous occasions,[pg 223] seems destined only as a lounge for all the ennuyés, news-hunters, and petit-maitres of Madrid. The Manolos, too, began to congregate in great numbers, casting around those terrible glances of recklessness and conscious courage, which, in the estimation of foreigners, are the certain prognostics of as many concealed daggers.

I soon made up my mind to add one to the vast concourse now on the alert to witness this grand and terrific spectacle, although, for many reasons, I prudently resolved to postpone my share of the entertainment until the evening.

It is at this hour that the higher classes prefer visiting the arena: a number of the more desperate amateurs, however, regardless of the influence of a meridian sun, do not hesitate to present themselves at the morning exhibitions.

At about four in the afternoon, the Calle de Alcala was, if possible, more crowded than it had been in the morning. This majestic street, which commands a full view of the superb triumphal arch which bears its name, now presented a most striking and animated scene: various groups, fancifully contrasted in dress and deportment, were all hurrying towards the same spot. Here you might see the gorgeous equipage of the haughty grandee, sweeping by in all the imposing consciousness of pomp and greatness, while carriages of more humble pretensions were rattling as briskly, if not as proudly, along the gay and lively street. The Calesines, too, were seen in great numbers hurrying to the scene of anticipated pleasure, and diversifying, by the singularity of their appearance, and the ringing of small bells, the stately cortege of more splendid equipages.

Next, an army of majos attracted attention by their fanciful dresses, and the easy swagger with which they accompanied their morenas, who were not the less conspicuous for their graceful though somewhat confident demeanor. They were all, of course, attired in their peculiar costume, bedizened with ribbons, and the short saya reaching only to the middle of the calf, and showing the most polished ancle and the prettiest foot in the world. These gay and lively individuals were picturesquely contrasted with crowds of monks and friars, of all orders and colors—

White, black, and gray, with all their trumpery—

here and there intermingled with military idlers, in the uniforms of their several regiments.

Here you might see the rosy and jolly abbate, ambling along upon a mule, having an appearance scarcely less clerical than himself, jostling the less fortunate friar on the back of the humbler donkey, and the sturdy mendicant, as he strode along on foot, supported only by his staff. The streets, and every avenue leading to the Plaza de los Toros, were lined with noisy vendors of delicious fruits, who made a grateful display upon their stalls of the Seville orange and the cooling water-melon; whilst a number of Valencians carried about large vasijas, or trays of lemonade, and other refreshments, for the accommodation of the thirsty pedestrians, who had no time to squander upon a visit to the neveras, or ice-houses. The effect of this animated picture was farther heightened by the cries of the venders, the harmony of some neighboring barber's guitar, the continual jingling of the mules' bells, and the clicking of castanets.

Amidst this stunning, yet not unpleasing variety of sounds, we at length reached the Plaza de los Toros, and it was with some difficulty we obtained places in the stage seats. A vast concourse of persons of all classes were already assembled, and I observed with a smile the effect which the novelty of the scene had produced upon an English friend, whom I had, with great difficulty, prevailed upon to accompany me; having, as he declared, but little taste for such brutal and demoralizing exhibitions. He seemed quite excited, and made some passing observation relative to the Roman Circus, to which the present exhibition bore no unapt resemblance. I directed his attention to many of his countrymen, as well as other foreigners, who, after having been quite as clamorous as himself against the sport, had terminated their philosophical philippics by becoming constant visitors both at the morning and afternoon encounters. We arrived at the scene of action just in time to witness El despejo, or the clearing of the arena; a ceremony which is effected by a band of soldiers, who enter the place and drive every loiterer away, to the sound of drums and fifes. In a few minutes, not a single person was to be seen in the circus; and, consequently, the body of spectators, thus driven back upon the crowd, gave rise to various energetic expostulations, hearty curses, and not a few random cuffs. The only inconvenience, however, of these frequent melées, was the loss of a few ribbons and a quantity of hair, of which the manolus most assiduously set about easing themselves. This operation is a source of considerable amusement to those who stand aloof from the field of strife. We had been happy in securing good places, and had nothing to complain of but the immediate vicinity of an amateur, or aficionado, who kept his tongue in continual motion, and favored his neighbors with a tremendous display of erudition on the tauromachia.

Whilst the immense multitude were beguiling their impatience in a thousand ways, and among others by bandying jests—eating oranges—smoking—whistling—love-making and quarrelling—the champions of the fète, namely, the picadores, the espadas, and the chulos, were very piously engaged in prayer in a chapel contiguous to the circus, it being customary for combatants to solicit the protection of the holy Virgin against the tremendous[pg 224] animal they are about to encounter before they venture to provoke its ferocity.

While they proceed in their laudable occupation, we will return to the circus, which now presented a most striking spectacle. The corregidor and the corporation of the town had already taken their seats near the splendid box fitted up for the use of the king, directly opposite to the entrance from which the bull was expected to rush into the arena. Above this entrance was a platform, occupied by a band of musicians, who continued at intervals to mingle their animating strains with the clamor of the noisy multitude. An officer of the town now entered the arena, mounted on a fine charger. He was dressed in complete sables, and carried in his hand the staff of office. Attended by alguazils, he advanced,—saluted the box where the king was not,—and then proceeded to the master of the ceremonies, from whom he received the keys of the cells, where the terrible animals who were to take so conspicuous parts in the evening spectacle were confined.

At this critical juncture, a breathless silence pervaded the spectators, who by their eager looks evinced the absorbing interest they took in the soul-stirring spectacle. Anon, a band of martial instruments struck up;—a general buzz arose on every side, and, amidst the overwhelming din that prevailed throughout the circus, the picadores and the rest of their party made their entrance into the arena. First came the picadores, with their horses blindfold, wearing enormous boots to protect them from the blows of the bull; next paced on the espadas, or matadores, on foot, attired in rich silk dresses, each wearing a robe of a different color, together with ribbons or some other distinctive mark of favor from his mistress. The procession closed with a numerous troop of chulos, or banderilleros, a set of young men lightly and fancifully apparelled, whose business is to distract the attention of the bull from a fallen cavalier, and to harass the animal with the banderillas. In this splendid troop we perceived some traces of the ancient spirit of chivalry, although, strange to say, the favorite sport of the fine cavaliers of the land is now confined to the lowest orders. It is only from the slaughter-house that the bull-fighters now, for the most part, proceed.

The procession moved on, at a slow and stately pace, amidst strains of music and the vociferations of the lower classes, many of whom soon recognized in the heroes of the fète, some near relation, some dear friend, or at least, well-known acquaintance, whom they were desirous of encouraging by their shouts. The champions having made their respective obeisances to the royal box and to the corregidor, retired to the places set apart for them in the arena.

The picadores, according to the order of precedence, ranged themselves in the circus, close to the baranda, or wooden barrier, which, though elevated to the height of five feet, is sometimes scarcely sufficient to prevent the most furious amongst the bulls from breaking over it. Suddenly the music ceased—the silence was intense—the signal is given—the doors were flung open—and, with one tremendous burst, forth sprang the bull into the middle of the circus! It was a fearful animal; not large, but of that peculiar color and breed which are accounted the most ferocious.

Dark is his hide on either side, but the blood within doth boil,
And the dun hide glows as if on fire, as he paws to the turmoil,
His eyes are jet, and they are set in crystal rings of snow;
But now they stare with one red glare of brass upon the foe.
Upon the forehead of the bull the horns stand close and near,
From out the broad and wrinkled skull like daggers they appear;
His neck is massy, like the trunk of some old knotted tree,
Whereon the monster's shagged mane like billows curled ye see.
His legs are short, his hams are thick, his hoofs are black as night,
Like a strong flail he holds his tail in the fierceness of his might;
Like something molten out of iron, or hewn forth from the rock,
Harpado of Xarama stands, to bide the Alcayde's shock.6

The appearance of the bull was hailed by loud acclamations from the multitude; whilst hats, handkerchiefs, and scarfs fluttered in the air, in every direction.

The noble animal appeared at first as though he were undecided how to act, or on whom to wreak his fierce vengeance. He turned on every side, and scanned the appalling number and firmness of his tormentors; gradually he became more and more excited, till, exasperated by the clamors of the impatient multitude, he tore the ground with his hoofs, tossed his head in proud indignation, and then stared intently before him, as if to awe the circus with the lightnings of his angry eye. Again he lowered his head, and blew the dust in clouds with the burning breath of his distended nostrils, and lashed his sides with his tail, as if to work himself up to the proper pitch of frenzy; at length, with a sudden bound, he rushed furiously against the first picador. The cavalier received the charge with perfect coolness and intrepidity, and having succeeded in planting his pica in the higher part of the animal's neck, the theatre rung with acclamations at the strength and dexterity with which he kept his tremendous opponent for some moments fixed to the spot. Smarting with pain, the bull then retired for a short time; but his rage prevailing over his fears, he again rushed forward, and was received by a second picador. Less fortunate, however, than his companion, he was unable to withstand the overwhelming shock; and, after a fruitless effort to stem the animal's fury with his pica, it at length broke, and the bull, with one tremendous thrust on the horse's breast, overthrew its rider. Fortunately for the fallen picador, he was protected by the bulk of his horse;[pg 225] and the bull, as it often happens, sated his fierceness on the helpless animal, whose blood spouted round the arena, from a wound evidently mortal. The excitement of the spectators now became intense; when the bull, having fully disabled his enemy, advanced toward the third cavalier. The champion, however, had penetration enough to perceive that the bull was of a dangerous kind, and evinced no particular solicitude to come to closer quarters with him. He kept, therefore, retreating, under pretext of gaining an advantageous position; but the people, who guessed his real motive, unanimously protested against such dilatory proceedings. Men and women, old and young, began to assail the luckless, or rather, prudent picador, with a violent storm of abuse.

During the whole of this noisy altercation, our erudite neighbor, the aficionado, had been very scientifically descanting on the various points of the combat, to our no small annoyance; for he could not rest a moment in his seat, and was continually intercepting our view. The picador, provoked by the bitter sarcasms lavished upon him by the more vulgar part of the spectators, now advanced with an air of determination a little farther into the arena; but the sagacious bull kept retreating as his enemy advanced, in order to render escape more difficult, and his vengeance certain. At length he rushed on the cavalier with such fury and overwhelming force, that both picador and horse rolled on the ground: unluckily, the man not being very dexterous, could seek no protection from the horse, but lay exposed to the fury of his powerful antagonist.

Cries of horror and alarm for the safety of the unfortunate picador were now heard on every side, and strange to say, those very persons, who had but just driven him to encounter the danger, were now the most clamorous in shouting for protection for him. The chulos lost no time in applying their art to extricate their companion, by harassing the animal on all sides, who was thus compelled to abandon his prey in order to meet his new tormentors. Thus the fallen cavalier was rescued from his jeopardy, whilst his poor horse, dreadfully gored, ran wildly about the arena. The bull, as if satisfied with these feats, now stood tranquilly looking on the spectators, who filled the air with vivas in praise of his prowess.

The trumpet again sounded the signal for the second part of the combat, and forthwith the chulos advanced nimbly with their banderillas, each striving to fix his weapon in the neck of the animal, as in their hazardous course he passed under their extended arms. The smart of the banderillas tended to goad the bull to greater fury, and tormented on every side he bellowed out in agony, and bounded from place to place, turning first to one, and then to another of his aggressors.

Thus, after he had vented his rage, foaming at the mouth and flashing fire from his eyes, the moment arrived when it was deemed expedient to put an end to his protracted sufferings, and at a given signal the chulos retired and made place for the prima-espada.

This was Candido, who though arrived at an advanced age, still retained much of the strength and agility of his youth, which, combined with the experience he had acquired in the game, rendered him a very formidable opponent. He advanced with a stately pace, bearing in one hand a piece of scarlet cloth to entice the animal, and in the other his sword. Having arrived in front of the seat of the presiding authorities, he made a graceful salute, and then performed the same ceremony before his friends, who hailed him with many hearty vivas; whilst a deadly silence was observed on the part of the admirers of his rival Leoncito. Candido proceeded slowly, and warily towards the bull, endeavoring to entice him by waving the red cloth. The animal, however, would not suddenly rush against his foe; but calmly watched for the moment when he might find him less upon his guard.

Candido, with all the skill of a practised matador, appeared to guess the sinister intentions of the bull, and followed his every movement with an active eye—nay, he seemed to penetrate into the inmost feelings of the animal.—Irritated by the defiance, the bull sprang upon his foe; but was baffled in his vengeance, for he pierced only the floating piece of cloth; the matador very adroitly turning aside, and plunging his sword into his flank as he passed. The wound however was not mortal, and the combat was renewed. The bull, somewhat intimidated, did not again charge his adversary; but preferred awaiting his approach;—after some appropriate evolutions, Candido at last boldly advanced towards him, and with a successful thrust pierced him to the heart. Nothing had been wanting to complete the success of Candido but the solitary triumph of retaining his sword in his hand after the death-blow was inflicted, this being considered the ne plus ultra of the art. The bull had no sooner fallen to the ground than a set of most beautiful mules, splendidly caparisoned, and ornamented with a profusion of ribbons and small flags, were brought into the circus to convey from it the lifeless carcass. This operation was performed amid the stormy sounds of martial music, and the shouts of the multitude; the tremendous animal was dragged from the field, leaving in its progress a long crimson track upon the scattered sand.

The signal now sounded for a second fight; the doors were once more thrown open, and a huge bull rushed forward, and without a moment's loss ran furiously at the nearest picador. He was, however, soon sobered, and smarting with the pain of the first wound he received, prudently retreated, in no hurry to taste a like favor from the second cavalier.[pg 226] In vain did the picadores provoke him by advancing into the arena, he invariably declined the re-offered combat. The spectators, impatient at this delay, grew expressively clamorous, some crying shame! shame! and others vaca! vaca! (poor cow! poor cow!)—but all these energetic remonstrances were lost upon the pacific animal.

With much difficulty, and after a pretty long interval, the three wounds of the pica (according to rule) were at length inflicted; and the chulos came forward to perform their part. It was here that the same difficulty arose, for alas! it could not be expected that the poor bull, who had shown no relish whatever for the pica, should evince any taste for the banderillas. Consequently a great confusion arose, and a simultaneous call for banderillas de fuego, was heard on every side. This it was expected would prove a stimulus to the too tranquil temperament of the animal.

Accordingly the furs was planted upon his neck; but scarcely had the fireworks began to crack and whiz around his head, than stunned no doubt by the noise as well as the pain, he actually turned and fled. The chulos ran after him, and thus continued nolens volens to thrust their spears into his unresisting carcass, until it was thought expedient to desist in order to give him the coup de grace. Leoncito the second espada then came forward, and was hailed with joyful acclamations by his partisans, especially the manolas, for he was a young, light-made, dapper man. It proved however an exceedingly difficult task to kill the bull according to the rules of art, owing to the animal's unequivocal disinclination for the combat. Leoncito was a brave, daring man; but hardly so well skilled as Candido. He rushed boldly against the bull, and strove to inflict upon him a mortal wound. He missed, however, his aim at the right place, and the animal began to pour forth its blood in a stream. This is considered an enormous fault in the art—and it met with a becoming storm of groans and hisses. The bull, agonized by his wounds, ran wildly about. Leoncito gave him another blow—when he sat down, and quietly looked around him, as the wounds were not immediately mortal. This reposing attitude gave immense annoyance both to the combatants and the spectators. Of course it was out of all question to inflict on so gentle and resigned an enemy another estocada—and yet the public could not afford to wait the bull's leisure to die, as it was necessary to continue the sport. To expedite, therefore, the animal's last moments, and the progress of public business, the eachetero, a butcher, came forward and performed his function of inflicting the death-blow on occasions when, owing to the perversity of the bull or the clumsiness of the matador, his final assistance becomes requisite. Grasping firmly a short sharp dagger, he by a steady and well directed blow put a period to the agonies of the animal—applauses and abuse were then liberally bestowed upon Leoncito; after which the fight was suffered to proceed, and the third bull sprang into the arena. We will not, however, follow the perils and chances of this encounter. It may e sufficient to mention, that the sport went on much upon the same principle as before. The usual number of horses were killed, good spanking falls were endured by the combatants, and the same tumult and confusion prevailed throughout the circus. The combat had now lasted three hours, and the shadows of evening were gradually descending over the scene. Yet the spectators appeared by no means satisfied; some even grew clamorous, and required that a fourth bull should be brought forward. Amongst these unreasonable requisitionists, the aficionado particularly distinguished himself. He was (unhappily for his neighbors) blessed with most stentorian lungs, of which he made a liberal use, upon the most trifling occasion,—no other bull, however, was produced, and accordingly the spectators began slowly and discontentedly to disperse.

The fight being ended, the picadores and the rest of the troop withdrew to the little chapel, to return thanks for their escape. However, the veracity expected from an historian compels me to say, that their evening prayers were by no means of the same length as those which had preceded the encounter of the morning. At the entrance of the chapel we perceived many a dark-complexioned manola—many a terrible looking, fierce-whiskered, cigar-smoking majo—awaiting the egress of their friends; who, as soon as their devotions were concluded, stalked out with a martial and haughty air to receive the congratulations of their comrades. Meantime, the vast concourse of people so lately assembled together, had gradually dispersed through the various avenues of the Prado, affording the beholder a most striking and enlivening picture. The Prado itself, that beautiful promenade, which has attracted the attention of all who have visited Spain, now presented a most brilliant spectacle: it was crowded with carriages, as well as with pedestrians, all pressing to enjoy the coolness of the evening in that delightful spot. Having strolled a few times up and down this fashionable promenade, we retired to the Neverria de Solos, contiguous to the Prado, to take our refresco. To this place, as to many others of the like nature, the more elegant class of society retire early in the evening to eat ices, and drink lemonade and other refreshing beverages. From hence each person retires to his own tertulia for the evening, and thus ends a day wholly consecrated to pleasure.

Bull fights are now daily decreasing, both in number and splendor of appearance, from what they were in former times. Either the Spaniards are losing their relish for such spectacles, or the scarcity of good picadores[pg 227] and espades detracts from the interest which attaches to them. Not long since, the matadores were favorites with the public, and were regarded with considerable interest even by their superiors. Many singular and gallant adventures are related of them and ladies of rank. It was a common custom, no great while ago, to throw purses of gold to the combatants, upon the achievement of some skilful feat. But unhappily the secret of long purses is lost, and there is but little chance of a stranger seeing any money thrown away in Spain at the present time.

The most renowned of the Matadores were Romero and Pepe-Hillo, the author of a treatise entitled Tauromachia. The first retired from the arena full of honors and considerable wealth. But being desirous of obtaining for his son a canonship, he was commanded, in order to obtain that favor from the queen, Maria Louisa, to re-appear in the arena, on some grand festival.

Romero joyfully obeyed; but his age and feebleness were inadequate to cope with the fearful bull, and he would certainly have been killed, had not his friends forcibly withdrawn him from the arena.

The will, however, was taken for the deed, and his son was accordingly made a canon. With regard to Pepe-Hillo, like a gallant general, he met his death in the field of his exploits. On a certain occasion, contrary to the opinion of his friends, who knew him to be suffering from a wound in the hand, he appeared in the arena. Unhappily he had to encounter a tremendous animal. The bull hurled him on high twice; and when the unfortunate man fell on the ground he was frightfully gored, and shortly afterwards expired, amidst the most excruciating torments.



There be of British arms and deeds,
Who sing in noble strain,
Of Poictiers' field, and Agincourt,
And Cressy's bloody plain.
High tales of merry England,
Full often have been told,
For never wanted bard to sing
The actions of the bold.
But now I tune another string,
To try my minstrel power,
My story's of a gallant knight,
A lady, and a flower.
The noble sun that shines on all,
The little or the great,
As bright on cottage doorway small,
As on the castle gate,
Came pouring over fair Guienne
From the far eastern sea;
And glistened on the broad Garonne,
And slept on Blancford lea.
The morn was up, the morn was bright,
In southern summer's rays,
And Nature caroll'd in the light,
And sung her Maker's praise.
Fair Blancford, thou art always fair,
With many a shady dell,
And bland variety and change,
Of forest and of fell.
But Blancford on that morn was gay,
With many a pennon bright,
And glittering arms and panoply
Shone in the morning light.
For good Prince Edward, England's pride,
Now lay in Blancford's towers,
And weary sickness had consumed,
The hero's winter hours.
But now that brighter hopes had come,
With summer's brighter ray,
He called his gallant knights around,
To spend a festal day.
With tournament and revelry,
To pass away the hours,
And win fair Mary from her sire,
The Lord of Blancford's towers.
But why fair Mary's brow was sad
None in the castle knew,
Nor why she watched one garden bed,
Where none but wild pinks grew.
Some said that seven nights before
A page had sped away,
To where Lord Clifford with his power,
On Touraine's frontier lay.
To Blancford no Lord Clifford came,
And many a tale was told,
For well 'twas known that he had sought,
Fair Mary's love of old.
And some there said Lord Clifford's love
Had cooled at Mary's pride,
And some there said that other vows
His heart inconstant tied.
Foul slander, ready still to soil,
All that is bright and fair,
With more than Time's destructiveness,
Who never learned to spare.
The morn was bright, but posts had come,
Bringing no tidings fair,
For knit was Edward's royal brow,
And full of thoughtful care.
The lists were set, the parted sun
Shone equal on the plain,
And many a knight there manfully
Strove fresh applause to gain.
Sir Henry Talbot, and Sir Guy
Of Brackenbury, he
Who slew the giant Iron-arm,
On Cressy's famous lea,
Were counted best, and claimed the Prince
To give the sign that they
Might run the tilt, and one receive
The honors of the day.
"Speed, knights, perhaps those arms that shine
In peace," prince Edward said,
"Before a se'nnight pass, may well,
In Gallic blood be died.
"For here we learn that hostile bands,
Have gathered in Touraine,
And Clifford, with his little troop,
Are prisoners or slain.
"For with five hundred spears, how bold
Soe'er his courage show,
He never could withstand the shock,
Of such a host of foe."
Fair Mary spoke not, but the blood
Fled truant from her cheek,
And left it pale, as when day leaves
Some mountain's snowy peak.
But then there camp the cry of horse,
The east lea pricking o'er,
And to the lists a weary page
A tattered pennon bore.
Fast came a knight with blood-stained arms,
And dusty panoply,
And beaver down, and armed lance,
In chivalric array.
No crest, no arms, no gay device,
Upon his shield he wore,
But a small knot beside his plume,
Of plain wild pinks he bore.
For love, for love and chivalry,
Lord Clifford rides the plain,
And foul he lies who dares to say,
His honor e'er know stain.
And Mary's cheek 'gan blushing bright,
And Mary's heart beat high,
And Mary's breath that fear oppressed
Came in a long glad sigh.
Straight to the Prince the knight he rode,
"I claim these lists," he cried,
"Though late into the field I come,
My suit be not denied;
[pg 228]
"For we have fought beside the Loire,
And stained our arms in blood;
Not ever lost one step of ground,
So long as rebels stood.
"Hemmed in, I one time never thought
To die in British land,
Or see my noble prince again,
Or kiss his royal hand.
"But well fought every gallant squire,
And well fought every knight;
And rebels have been taught to feel
The force of British might.
"And now in humble terms they sue,
To know thy high command,
And here stand I these lists to claim,
For a fair lady's hand.
"For Mary's love, and chivalry,
I dare the world to fight,
And foul and bitterly he lies,
Who dares deny my right"
"No, no, brave Clifford," Edward said,
"No lists to-day for thee,
Thy gallant deeds beside the Loire,
Well prove thy chivalry.
"Sir Guy, Sir Henry, and the rest,
Have well acquit their arms,
But Edward's thanks are Clifford's due,
As well as Mary's charms."
"My lord, you are her sire," he said,
"Give kind consent and free,
And who denies our Clifford's right,
Shall ride a tilt with me."
Gay spake the prince, gay laughed the throng,
And Mary said not nay,
And bright with smile, and dance, and song,
Went down the festal day.
And when Lord Clifford to the board
Led down his Mary fair,
A knot of pinks was in his cap,
A knot was in her hair.
For it had been their sign of love,
And loved by them was still,
Till death came quietly on their heads,
And bowed them to his will.
And now, though years have passed away,
And all that years have seen,
And Clifford's deeds and Mary's charms,
Are as they ne'er had been,
Some wind, as if in memory
Has borne the seeds on high,
To deck the ruin's crumbling wall,
And catch the passing eye.
It tells a tale to those who hear;
For beauty, strength, and power,
Are but the idols of a day,
More short-lived than a flower.
Joy on, joy on, then, while ye may,
Nor waste the moments dear;
Nor give yourself a cause to sigh,
Nor teach to shed a tear.


From Chamber's Edinburgh Journal.

I went once to the south of France for my health; and being recommended to choose the neighborhood of Avignon, took my place, I scarcely know why, in the diligence all the way from Paris. By this proceeding I missed the steam-voyage down the Rhone, but fell in with some very pleasant people, about whom I am going to speak. I travelled in the intérieur, and from Lyon had no one for companion but a fussy little lady, of a certain age, who had a large basket, a parrot in a cage, a little lapdog, a bandbox, a huge blue umbrella, which she could never succeed in stowing any where, and a moth-eaten muff. In my valetudinarian state I was not pleased with this inroad—especially as the little lady had a thin, pinched-up face, and obstinately looked out of the window, while she popped about the intérieur as if she had just taken lodgings and was putting them in order, throwing me every now and then some gracious apology in a not unpleasant voice. "Mince as you please, madam," thought I; "you are a bore." I am sorry to add that I was very unaccommodating, gave no assistance in the stowing away of the umbrella, and when Fanfreluche came and placed his silken paws upon my knees, pushed him away very rudely. The little old maid—it was evident this was her quality—apologized for her dog as she had done for herself, and went on arranging her furniture—an operation not completed before we got to St. Saphorin.

For some hours a perfect silence was preserved, although my companion several times gave a short dry cough, as if about to make an observation. At length, the digestion of a hurried dinner being probably completed, I felt all of a sudden quite bland and sociable, and began to be mightily ashamed of myself. "Decidedly," thought I, "I must give this poor woman the benefit of my conversation." So I spoke, very likely with that self-satisfied air assumed sometimes by men accustomed to be well received. To my great vexation the old maid had by this time taken offence, and answered in a very stiff and reserved manner. Now the whole absurdity of my conduct was evident to me, and I determined to make amends. Being naturally of a diplomatic turn, I kept quiet for awhile, and then began to make advances to Fanfreluche. The poor animal bore no malice, and I won his heart by stroking his long ears. Then I gave a piece of sugar to the parrot; and having thus effected a practicable breach, took the citadel by storm by pointing out a more commodious way of arranging the great blue umbrella.

We were capital friends thenceforward; and I soon knew the history of Mlle. Nathalie Bernard by heart. A mightily uninteresting history it was to all but herself; so I shall not repeat it: suffice to say, that she had lived long on her little income, as she called it, at Lyon, and was now on her way to Avignon, where a very important object called her. This was no other than to save her niece Marie from a distasteful marriage, which her parents, very good people, but dazzled by the wealth of the unamiable suitor, wished to bring about.

"And have you," said I, "any reasonable hope of succeeding in your mission?"

"Parbleu!" replied the old maid, "I have composed a little speech on ill-assorted unions, which I am sure will melt the hearts of my sister and my brother-in-law; and if that does not succeed—why, I will make love to the futur myself, and whisper in his ear that a comfortable little income available at once, and a willing old maid, are better than a cross-grained damsel with expectations only.[pg 229] You see I am resolved to make any sacrifice to effect my object."

I laughed at the old maid's disinterestedness, which was perhaps greater than at first appeared. At least she assured me that she had refused several respectable offers, simply because she liked the independence of a single life; and that if she had remained single to that age, it was a sign that marriage had nothing attractive for her in itself. We discussed the point learnedly as the diligence rolled; and what with the original turn of my companion's mind, the sportive disposition of Fanfreluche, and the occasional disjointed soliloquies of Coco, the parrot, our time passed very pleasantly. When night came Mlle. Nathalie ensconced herself in the corner behind her parcels and animals, and endeavored to sleep; but the jolting of the diligence, and her own lively imagination, wakened her every five minutes; and I had each time to give her a solemn assurance, on my word of honor as a gentleman, that there was no particular danger of our being upset into the Rhone.

We were ascending a steep hill next day; both had got out to walk. I have omitted to note that it was autumn. Trees and fields were touched by the golden fingers of the season. The prospect was wide, but I forget the precise locality. On the opposite side of the Rhone, which rolled its rapid current in a deepening valley to our right, rose a range of hills, covered with fields that sloped wonderfully, and sometimes gave place to precipices or wood-lined declivities. Here and there the ruins of some old castle—reminiscences of feudal times—rose amid lofty crags, and traced their jagged outline against the deep blue sky of Provence. Nathalie became almost sentimental as she gazed around on this beautiful scene.

We had climbed about half of the hill: the diligence was a little way behind: the five horses were stamping and striking fire from the pavement as they struggled up with the ponderous vehicle: the other passengers had lingered in the rear with the conductor, who had pointed out a little auberge among some trees. We here saw a man preceding us upon the road carrying a little bundle at the end of a stick over his shoulder: he seemed to advance painfully. Our attention was attracted—I scarcely knew why. He paused a moment—then went on with an uncertain step—paused again, staggered forward, and fell on his face just as we came up. Mlle. Nathalie, with a presence of mind that surprised me, had her smelling-bottle out in an instant, and was soon engaged in restoring the unfortunate traveller to consciousness. I assisted as well as I was able, and trust that my good-will may atone for my awkardness. Nathalie did every thing; and, just as the diligence reached us, was gazing with delight on the languid opening of a pair of as fine eyes as I have ever seen, and supporting in her lap a head covered with beautiful curls. Even at that moment, as I afterwards remembered, she looked upon the young man as a thing over which she had acquired a right of property. "He is going our way," said she: "let us lift him into the diligence."

"A beggarly Parisian; yo, yo!" quoth the postilion as he passed, clacking his long whip.

"Who will answer for his fare?" inquired the conductor.

"I will," replied Nathalie, taking the words out of my mouth.

In a few minutes the young man, who looked bewildered and could not speak, was safely stowed among Nathalie's other parcels; and the crest of the hill being gained, we began rolling rapidly down a steep descent. The little old maid, though in a perfect ecstasy of delight—the incident evidently appeared to her quite an adventure—behaved with remarkable prudence. While I was puzzling my head to guess by what disease this poor young man had been attacked, she was getting ready the remedies that appeared to her the most appropriate, in the shape of some excellent cakes and a bottle of good wine, which she fished out of her huge basket. Her protégé, made tame by hunger, allowed himself to be treated like a child. First she gave him a very small sip of Burgundy, then a diminutive fragment of cake; and then another sip and another piece of cake—insisting on his eating very slowly. Being perfectly useless, I looked quietly on, and smiled to see the suhmissiveness with which this fine, handsome fellow allowed himself to be fed by the fussy old maid, and how he kept his eyes fixed upon her with an expression of wondering admiration.

Before we arrived at Avignon we knew the history of the young man. He was an artist, who had spent several years studying in Paris, without friends, without resources, except a miserable pittance which his mother, a poor peasant woman living in a village not far from Aix, had managed to send him. At first he had been upheld by hope; and although he knew that his mother not only denied herself necessaries, but borrowed money to support him, he was consoled by the idea that the time would come when, by the efforts of his genius, he would be able to repay every thing with the accumulated interest which affection alone would calculate. But his expenses necessarily increased, and no receipts came to meet them. He was compelled to apply to his mother for further assistance. The answer was one word—"impossible." Then he endeavored calmly to examine his position, came to the conclusion that for several years more he must be a burden to his mother if he obstinately pursued his career, and that she must be utterly ruined to insure his success. So he gave up his art, sold every thing he had to pay part of his debts, and set out on foot to return to big village and become a peasant, as his father[pg 230] had been before him. The little money he had taken with him was gone by the time he reached Lyon. He had passed through that city without stopping, and for more than two days, almost for two nights, had incessantly pursued his journey, without rest and without food, until he had reached the spot where, exhausted with fatigue and hunger, he had fallen, perhaps to perish had we not been there to assist him.

Nathalie listened with eager attention to this narrative, told with a frankness which our sympathy excited. Now and then she gave a convulsive start, or checked a hysterical sob, and at last fairly burst into tears. I was interested as well as she, but retained more calmness to observe how moral beauty almost vainly straggled to appear through the insignificant features of this admirable woman. Her little eyes, reddened with weeping; her pinched-up nose, blooming at the point; her thin lips, probably accustomed to sarcasm; her cheeks, with a leaded citron hue; her hair that forked up in unmanageable curls—all combined to obscure the exquisite expression of respect and sympathy, perhaps already of love, sparkling from her kindled soul, that could just be made out by an attentive eye. At length, however, she became for a moment perfectly beautiful, as, when the young painter had finished his story, with an expression that showed how bitterly he regretted his abandoned art, she took both his hands in hers, and exclaimed: "No, mon enfant, you shall not be thus disappointed. Your genius"—she already took it for granted he had genius—"shall have an opportunity for development. Your mother cannot do what is necessary—she has played her part. I will be a—second mother to you, in return f«r the little affection you can bestow on me without ingratitude to her to whom you owe your life."

"My life has to be paid for twice," said he, kissing her hand. Nathalie could not help looking round proudly to me. It was so flattering to receive the gallant attentions of so handsome a young man, that I think she tried to forget how she had bought them.

In the exuberance of her hospitality, the little old maid invited both Claude Richer and myself to spend some time in the large farmhouse of her brother-in-law. I declined, with a promise to be a frequent visitor; but Claude, who was rather commanded than asked, could do nothing but accept. I left them at the diligence office, and saw them walk away, the little Nathalie affecting to support her feeble companion. For the honor of human nature let me add, that the conductor said nothing about the fare. "It would have been indelicate," he said to me, "to remind Mlle. Nathalie of her promise in the young man's presence. I know her well; and she will pay me at a future time. At any rate I must show that there is a heart under this waistcoat." So saying, the conductor thumped his breast with simple admiration of his own humanity, and went away, after recommending me to the Café de Paris—indeed and excellent house.

I shall say nothing of a variety of little incidents that occurred to me at Avignon, nor about my studies on the history of the popes who resided there. I must reserve myself entirely for the development of Nathalie's romance, which I could not follow step by step, but the chief features of which I was enabled to catch during a series of visits I paid to the farmhouse. Nathalie herself was very communicative to me at first, and scarcely deigned to conceal her sentiments. By degrees, however, as the catastrophe approached, she became more and more reserved; and I had to learn from others, or to guess the part she played.

The farmhouse was situated on the other side of the river, in a small plain, fertile and well wooded. Old Cossu, the owner, was a fine jolly fellow, but evidently a little sharp in money matters. I was surprised at first that he received the visit of Claude favorably; but when it came out that a good part of his capital belonged to Nathalie, every circumstance of deference to her was explained. Mère Cossu was not a very remarkable personage; unless it be remarkable that she entertained the most profound veneration for her husband, quoted his commonest sayings as witticisms, and was ready to laugh herself into convulsions if he sneezed louder than usual. Marie was a charming little person; perhaps a little too demure in her manners, considering her wicked black eyes. She was soon very friendly with Claude and me, but seemed to prefer passing her time in whispered conversations with Nathalie. I was let into the secret that their conversation turned principally on the means of getting rid of the husband-elect—a great lubberly fellow, who lived some leagues off, and whose red face shone over the garden-gate, in company with a huge nosegay, regularly every Sunday morning. In spite of the complying temper of old Cossu in other respects when Nathalie gave her advice, he seemed obstinately bent on choosing his own son-in-law. Parents are oftener correct than romancers will allow, in their negative opinions on this delicate subject, but I cannot say as much for them when they undertake to be affirmative.

I soon observed that Nathalie was not so entirely devoted to the accomplishment of the object for which she had undertaken her journey as she had promised; and, above all, that she spoke no more of the disinterested sacrifice of herself as a substitute for Marie. I maliciously alluded to this subject in one of our private confabulations, and Nathalie, instead of being offended, frankly answered that she could not make big Paul Boneau happy and assist Claude in his studies at the same time. "I have now," she said, "an[pg 231] occupation for the rest of my life—namely, to develop this genius, of which France will one day be proud; and I shall devote myself to it unremittingly."

"Come, Nathalie," replied I, taking her arm in mine as we crossed the poplar-meadow, "have you no hope of a reward?"

"I understand," quoth she frankly; "and I will not play at cross-purposes with you. If this young man really loves his art, and his art alone, as he pretends, could he do better than reward me—as you call it—for my assistance? The word has a cruel signification, but you did not mean it unkindly."

I looked at her wan, sallow countenance, that had begun for some days to wear an expression of painful anxiety. At that moment I saw over a hedge—but she could not—Claude and Marie walking in a neighboring field, and pausing now and then to bend their heads very close together in admiration of some very common flower. "Poor old maid," thought I, "you will have no reward save the consciousness of your own pure intentions."

The minute development of this drama without dramatic scenes would perhaps be more instructive than any elaborate analysis of human passions in general; but it would require a volume, and I can only here give a mere summary. Nathalie, in whom alone I felt particularly interested, soon found that, she had deceived herself as to the nature of her sentiments for Claude—that instead of regarding him with almost maternal solicitude, she loved him with an intensity that is the peculiar characteristic of passions awakened late in life, when the common consolation is inadmissible—"after all, I may find better." This was her last, her only chance of a happiness, which she had declared to me she had never dreamed of, but which in reality she had only declined because it did not present itself to her under all the conditions required by her refined and sensitive mind. Claude, who was an excellent fellow, but incapable of comprehending her or sacrificing himself, never swerved from grateful deference to her; but I could observe, that as the state of her feelings became more apparent, he took greater care to mark the character of his sentiments for her, and to insist with some affectation on the depth of his filial affection. Nathalie's eyes were often red with tears—a fact which Claude did not choose perhaps to notice, for fear of an explanation. Marie, on the contrary, became more blooming every day, while her eloquent eyes were still more assiduously bent upon the ground. It was evident to me that she and Claude understood one another perfectly well.

At length the same thing became evident to Nathalie. How the revelation was made to her I do not know; but sudden it must have been, for I met her one day in the poplar-field, walking hurriedly along with an extraordinary expression of despair in her countenance. I know not why, but the thought at once occurred to me that the Rhone ran rapid and deep not far off, and I threw myself across her path. She started like a guilty thing, but did not resist when I took her hand and led her back slowly towards the farmhouse. We had nearly reached it in silence when she suddenly stopped, and bursting into tears turned away into a by-lane where was a little bench under an elm. Here she sat down and sobbed for a long time, while I stood by. At length she raised her head and asked me: "Do morality and religion require self-sacrifice even to the end—even to making half a life a desert, even to heart-breaking, even unto death?"

"It scarcely belongs to a selfish mortal to counsel such virtue," I replied; "but it is because it is exercised here and there, now and then, once in a hundred years, that man can claim some affinity with the divine nature."

A smile of ineffable sweetness played about the poor old girl's lips. She wiped her eyes, and began talking of the changing aspect of the season, and how the trees day by day more rapidly shed their leaves, and how the Rhone had swelled within its ample bed, and of various topics apparently unconnected with her frame of mind, but all indicating that she felt the winter was coming—a long and dreary winter for her. At this moment Fanfreluche, which had missed her, came down the lane, barking with fierce joy; and she took the poor little beast in her arms, and exhaled the last bitter feeling that tormented her in these words: "Thou at least lovest me—because I have fed thee!" In her humility she seemed now to believe that her only claim to love was her charity; and that even this claim was not recognized except by a dog!

I was not admitted to the secret of the family conclave that took place, but learned simply that Nathalie pleaded with feverish energy the love that had grown up between Marie and Claude as an insuperable bar to the proposed marriage between Paul Boneau and her niece. Matters were arranged by means of large sacrifices on the part of the heroic maid. Paul's face ceased to beam over the garden-gate on a Sunday morning; and by degrees the news got abroad that Marie was betrothed to the young artist. One day a decent old woman in sabots came to the farmhouse: it was Claude's mother, who had walked from Aix to see him. It was arranged that Claude should pursue his studies a year longer, and then marry. Whether any explanation took place I do not know; but I observed that the young man sometimes looked with the same expression of wondering admiration I had observed in the diligence at the little Nathalie—more citron-hued than ever. At length she unhooked the cage of Coco, the parrot, took Faufreluche under one arm and her blue umbrella under[pg 232] the other, and went away in company with the whole family, myself included, every one carrying a parcel or a basket to the diligence office. What a party that was! Every one was in tears except Nathalie. She bore up manfully, if I may use the word; laughed, and actually joked; but just as I handed Coco in, her factitious courage yielded, and she burst into an agony of grief. With officious zeal I kept at the window until the diligence gave a lurch and started; and then turning round I looked at Claude and Marie, who were already mingling their eyes in selfish forgetfulness of their benefactress, and said solemnly: "There goes the best woman ever created for this unworthy earth." The artist, who, for an ordinary man, did not lack sentiment, took my hand and said: "Sir, I will quarrel with any man who says less of that angel than you have done."

The marriage was brought about in less time than had been agreed upon. Nathalie of course did not come; but she sent some presents and a pleasant letter of congratulation, in which she called herself "an inveterate old maid." About a year afterwards I passed through Lyon and saw her. She was still very yellow, and more than ever attentive to Fanfreluche and Coco. I even thought she devoted herself too much to the service of these two troublesome pets, to say nothing of a huge cat which she had added to her menagerie, as a kind of hieroglyphic of her condition. "How fare the married couple?" cried she, tossing up her cork-screw curls. "Still cooing and billing?"

"Mademoiselle," said I, "they are getting on pretty well. Claude, finding the historic pencil not lucrative, has taken to portrait-painting; and being no longer an enthusiastic artist, talks even of adopting the more expeditious method of the Daguerreotype. In the meantime, half the tradesmen of Avignon, to say nothing of Aix, have bespoken caricatures of themselves by his hand. Marie makes a tolerable wife, but has a terrible will of her own, and is feared as well as loved."

Nathalie tried to laugh; but the memory of her old illusions coming over her, she leaned down towards the cat she was nursing, and sparkling tears fell upon its glossy fur.


From advance sheets of a capital book entitled "Men and Women of the XIXth Century, by Argene Houssaye," in press by Redfield.

Mademoiselle de Camargo almost came into the world dancing. It is related that Gritry, when he was scarcely four years of age, had an idea of musical tunes. Mademoiselle de Camargo danced at a much earlier age. She was still in arms when the combined airs of a violin and a hautboy caught her ear. She jumped about full of life, and during the whole time that the music was playing, she danced, there is no other word for it, keeping time with great delight. It must be stated that she was of Spanish origin. She was born at Brussels, the 15th of April, 1710, of a noble family, that had supplied several cardinals to the sacred college, and is of considerable distinction in Spanish history, both ecclesiastical and national. Her name was Marianne. Her mother had danced, but with the ladies of the court, for her own pleasure, and not for that of others. Her father, Ferdinand de Cupis de Camargo, was a frank Spanish noble, that is to say he was poor; he lived at Brussels, upon the crumbs of the table of the Prince de Ligne, without counting the debts he made. His family, which was quite numerous, was brought up by the grace of God; the father frequented the tavern, trusting to the truth that there is a God that rules over children!

Marianne was so pretty that the Princess de Ligne used to call her her fairy daughter. Light as a bird, she used to spring into the elms, and jump from branch to branch. No fawn in its morning gayety had more capricious and easy movements; no deer wounded by the huntsman ever sprang with more force and grace. When she was ten years old, the Princess de Ligne thought that this pretty wonder belonged of right to Paris, the city of wonders, Paris, where the opera was then displaying its thousand and thousand enchantments. It was decided that Mademoiselle de Camargo should be a dancing-girl at the opera. Her father objected strenuously: "Dancing-girl! the daughter of a gentleman, a grandee of Spain!"—"Goddess of dance, if you please," said the Princess of Ligne, in order to quiet him. He resigned himself to taking a journey to Paris in the prince's carriage. He arrived in the style of a lord at the house of Mademoiselle Prévost, whom the poets of the day celebrated under the name of Terpsichore. She consented to give lessons to Marianne de Camargo. Three months after his departure, M. de Camargo returned to Brussels, with the air of a conqueror. Mademoiselle de Prévost had predicted that his daughter would be his glory and his fortune.

After having danced at a fête given by the Prince de Ligne, Marianne de Camargo made her first appearance at the Brussels theatre, where she reigned for three years as first danseuse. Her true theatre was not there; in spite of her triumph at Brussels, her imagination always carried her to Paris; notwithstanding when she quitted Brussels she went to Rouen. Finally, after a long residence in that city, she was permitted to make her first appearance at the opera. It was on the 5th of May, 1726, for the famous day of her debût has not been forgotten, that she appeared with all the brilliancy of sixteen upon the first stage in the world. Mademoiselle Prévost, already jealous, from a presentiment perhaps, had advised her to make her first appearance in the Characters of the Dance, a step almost impossible, which the most celebrated dancers hardly had dared to attemp,[pg 233] at the height even of their reputation. Mademoiselle de Camargo, who danced like a fairy, surpassed all her predecessors; her triumph was so brilliant that on the next day all the fashions took their name after her: hair à la Camargo, dresses à la Camargo, sleeves à la Camargo. All the ladies of the court imitated her grace; there were not a few that would have liked to have copied her face!

I have not told all yet: Mademoiselle de Camargo was made by love and for love. She was beautiful and pretty at the same time. There could be nothing so sweet and impassioned as her dark eyes, nothing so enchanting as her sweet smile! Lancret, Pater, J. B. Vanloo, all the painters that were then celebrated, tried to portray her charming face.

On the second night of Mademoiselle de Camargo's appearance on the stage, there were twenty duels and quarrels without end at the door of the opera; every one wanted to get in. Mademoiselle Prévost, alarmed at such a triumph, intrigued with such success that Mademoiselle de Camargo was soon forced to fall back to the position of a mere figurante. She and her admirers had reason to be indignant. She was obliged to resign herself to dancing unobserved with the company. But she was not long in avenging herself with effect. One day, while she was dancing with a group of demons, Demoulins, called the devil, did not make his appearance to dance his solo, when the musicians had struck up, expecting his entrance. A sudden inspiration seizes Mademoiselle de Camargo; she leaves the other figurantes, she springs forward to the middle of the stage, and improvises Demoulins's pas de seul, but with more effect and capricious variety. Applause re-echoed throughout the theatre. Mademoiselle de Prévost swore that she would ruin her youthful rival; but it was too late. Terpsichore was dethroned. Mademoiselle de Camargo was crowned on that day queen of the opera, absolute queen, whose power was unlimited! She was the first who dared to make the discovery that her petticoats were too long. Here I will let Grimm have his say: "This useful invention, which puts the amateur in the way of forming an intelligent judgment of the legs of a dancing-girl, was thought at that time to be the cause of a dangerous schism. The Jansenists of the pit exclaimed heresy, scandal; and were opposed to the shortened petticoats. The Molinists, on the contrary, held that this innovation was in character with the spirit of the primitive church, which was opposed to the sight of pirouettes and pigeon-wings, embarrassed by the length of a petticoat. The Sorbonne of the opera had for a long time great trouble in establishing the wholesome doctrine on this point of discipline, which so much divided the faithful."

Monsieur Ferdinand de Camargo grew old with a severe anxiety about the virtue and the salary of his daughter: he only preserved the salary. Intoxicated with her triumph, Mademoiselle de Camargo listened too willingly to all the lords of the court that frequented the company of the actresses behind the scenes; it would have been necessary for the king to appoint an historiographer, in order to record all the passions of this danseuse. There was a time when all the world was in love with her. Every one swore by Camargo; every one sang of Camargo; every one dreamed about Camargo. The madrigals of Voltaire and of the gallant poets of that gallant era are not forgotten.

However, the glory of Mademoiselle de Camargo was extinguished by degrees. Like fashion that had patronized her, she passed away by degrees, never to return. When she insisted upon retiring, although she was only forty years of age, no one thought of preventing her: she was hardly regretted. There was no inquiry made as to whither she had gone; she was only spoken of at rare intervals, and then she was only alluded to as a memory of the past. She had become something of a devotee, and very charitable. She knew by name all the poor in her neighborhood. She occasionally was visited by some of the notabilities of a past day, forgotten like herself.

In the Amusements of the Heart and Mind, a collection designed, as is well known, to form the mind and the heart, Mademoiselle de Camargo is charged with having had a thousand and more lovers! Without giving the lie to this accusation, can I not prove it false by relating, in all its simplicity, a fact which proves a profound passion on her part? A pretty woman may dance at the opera, smile upon numberless admirers, live carelessly from day to day, in the noisy excitement of the world; still, there will be some blessed hours, when the heart, though often laid waste, will flourish again all of a sudden. Love is like the sky, which looks blue, even when reflected in the stream formed by the storm. It is thus that love is occasionally found pure in a troubled heart. But, moreover, this serious passion of Mademoiselle de Camargo was experienced by her in all the freshness of her youth.

One morning, Grimm, Pont-de-Veyle, Duclos, Helvetius, presented themselves in a gay mood, at the humble residence of the celebrated dancer. She was then living in an old house in the Rue Saint-Thomas-du-Louvre. An aged serving-woman opened the door.—"We wish to see Mademoiselle de Camargo," said Helvetius, who had great difficulty in keeping his countenance. The old woman led them into a parlor that was furnished with peculiar and grotesque-looking furniture. The wainscoting was covered with pastels representing Mademoiselle de Camargo in all her grace, and in her different characters. But the parlor was not adorned by her portraits only; there was a Christ on[pg 234] the Mount of Olives, a Magdalen at the Tomb, a Veiled Virgin, a Venus, the Three Graces, some Cupids, half concealed beneath some rosaries and sacred relics, and Madonnas, covered with trophies from the opera!

The goddess of the place did not keep them a long time waiting; a door opened, half-a-dozen dogs of every variety of breed sprang into the parlor: it must be said, to the praise of Mademoiselle de Camargo, that these were not lap-dogs. She appeared behind them, carrying in her arms (looking like a fur muff) an Angora cat of fine growth. As she had not followed the fashion for ten years or more, she appeared to have come from the other world.—"You see, gentlemen," pointing to her dogs, "all the court I have at present, but in truth those courtiers there are well worth all others. Here, Marquis! down, Duke! lie down, Chevalier! Do not be offended, gentlemen, that I receive you in such company; but how was I to know?..."—Grimm first spoke.—"You will excuse, mademoiselle, this unannounced visit when you know the important object of it."—"I am as curious as if I were only twenty years old," said Mademoiselle de Camargo; "but, alas! when I was twenty, it was the heart that was curious; but now, in the winter of life, I am no longer troubled on that score."—"The heart never grows old," said Helvetius, bowing.—"That is a heresy, sir: those only dare to advance such maxims who have never been in love. It is love that never grows old, for it dies in childhood. But the heart—"—"You see, madame, that your heart is still young; what you have just said proves that you are still full of fire and inspiration."—"Yes, yes," said Mademoiselle de Camargo, "you are perhaps right; but when the hair is gray and the wrinkles are deep, the heart is a lost treasure; a coin that is no longer current."—While saying this, she lifted up Marquis by his two paws, and kissed him on the head: Marquis was a fine setter-dog, with a beautiful spotted skin.—"They, at least, will love me to the last. But it seems to me we are talking nonsense; have we nothing better to talk about? Come, gentlemen, I am all attention!"

The visitors looked at each other with some embarrassment; they seemed to be asking of each other who was to speak first. Pont-de-Veyle collected his thoughts, and spoke as follows: "Mademoiselle, we have been breakfasting together; we had a gay time of it, like men of spirit. Instead of bringing before us, as the Egyptians in olden times, mummies, in order to remind us that time is the most precious of all things, we called up all those gay phantoms which enchanted our youth: need I say that you were not the least charming of them? who did not love you? who did not desire to live with you one hour, even at the expense of a wound? Happiness never costs too much—" Mademoiselle Camargo interrupted the speaker: "O gentlemen, do not, I beg, blind me with the memory of the past; do not awaken a buried passion! Let me die in peace! See, the tears are in my eyes!"—The visitors, affected, looked with a certain degree of emotion at the poor old lady who had loved so much. "It is strange," said Helvetius to his neighbor, "we came here to laugh, but we are travelling quite another road; however, I must say, nothing could be more ludicrous than such a caricature, if it were not of a woman." "Proceed, sir," said Mademoiselle de Camargo to Pont-de-Veyle. "To tell you the truth, madame, the worst fellow in the company, or rather he who had drank the most, declared that he was, of all your lovers, the one you most loved. 'The mere talk of a man who has had too much wine,' said one of us. But our impertinent emptied his glass, and backed his statement. The discussion became very lively. We talked, we drank, and we talked. When the last bottle was empty, and the dispute was likely to end in a duel, and we talked without knowing, probably, what we said, the most sober of the company proposed to go and ask you yourself which of your lovers you loved the most. Is it the Count de Melun? is it the Duke de Richelieu? is it the Marquis de Croismare? the Baron de Viomesnil? the Viscount de Jumilhac? is it Monsieur de Beaumont, or Monsieur d'Aubigny? is it a poet? is it a soldier? is it an abbé?" "Pshaw! pshaw!" said Mademoiselle de Camargo, smiling; "you had better refer to the Court Calendar!" "What we want to know is not the names of those who have loved you, but, I repeat, the name of him whom you loved the most." "You are fools," said Mademoiselle de Camargo, with an air of sadness and a voice that showed emotion; "I will not answer you. Let us leave our extinct passions in their tombs, in peace. Why unbury all those charming follies which have had their day?" "Come," says Grimm to Duclos, "do not let us grow sentimental; that would be too absurd. Mademoiselle de Camargo," said he, playing with the dogs at the same time, "which was the epoch of short petticoats? for that is one of the points of our philosophical dispute."

The aged danseuse did not answer. Taking Pont-de-Veyle by the hand, all of a sudden, she said in rising: "Monsieur, follow me." He obeyed with some surprise. She conducted him to her bedchamber; it was like a basket of odds and ends; it looked like a linendraper's shop in confusion; it was all disorder; it was quite evident that the dogs were at home there. Mademoiselle de Camargo went to a little rosewood chest of drawers, covered with specimens of Saxony porcelain, more or less chipped and broken. She opened a little ebony box, exposing its contents to the eyes of Pont-de-Veyle. "Do you see?" said she, with a sigh. Pont-de-Veyle saw a torn letter, the dry bouquet of[pg 235] half a century, the kind of flowers of which it was composed could hardly be recognized. "Well?" asked Pont-de-Veyle. "Well, do you understand?" "Not at all." "Look at that portrait." She pointed with her finger to a wretched portrait in oils, covered with dust and spider's web. "I begin to understand." "Yes," said she, "that is his portrait. As for myself, I never look at it. The one here," striking her breast, "is more like. A portrait is a good thing for those who have no time for memory."

Pont-de-Veyle looked in turn with much interest at the letter, the faded bouquet, and the wretched portrait. "Have you ever met this person?" "Never." "Let us return, then." "No; I beg let me hear the story." "Is it not enough to have seen his portrait? You can now settle your dispute with a word, since you know whether he whom I loved the most resembles your friend who had taken so much wine." "He does not resemble him the least in the world." "Well, that is all: I forgive your visit. Farewell! When you breakfast with your friends, you can take up my defence somewhat. You can tell those libertines without pity, that I have saved myself by my heart, if we can be saved that way.... Yes, yes; it is my plank of safety, in the wreck!"

Saying these words, Mademoiselle de Camargo approached the door of the saloon. Pont-de-Veyle followed her, carrying the ebony-box. "Gentlemen," said he, to his merry friends, "our drunken toper was a coxcomb; I have seen the portrait of the best beloved of the goddess of this mansion; now, you must join your prayers to mine, to prevail upon Mademoiselle de Camargo to relate to us the romance of her heart; I only know the preface, which is melancholy and interesting; I have seen a letter, a bouquet, and a portrait." "I will not tell you a word," muttered she; "women are charged with not being able to keep a secret; there is, however, more than one that they never tell. A love-secret is a rose which embalms our hearts; if it is told, the rose loses its perfume. I who address you," said Mademoiselle de Camargo, in brightening up, "I have only kept my love in all its freshness by keeping it all to myself. There were only La Carton and that old rogue Fontenelle who ever got hold of my secret. Fontenelle was in the habit of dining frequently with me; one day, finding me in tears, he was so surprised, he who never wept himself, from philosophy, doubtless, that he tormented me for more than an hour for a solution of the enigma. He was almost like a woman; he drew from me, by his cat-like worrying, the history of my love. Would you believe it? I hoped to touch his heart, but it was like speaking to the deaf. After having listened to the end without saying a word, he muttered with his little weak voice, 'It is pretty!' La Carton, however, wept with me. It is worth being a poet and a philosopher in order not to understand such histories."

Mademoiselle de Camargo was silent; a deep silence followed, and every look was upon her. "Speak, speak! we are all attention," said Helvetius, "we are more worthy of hearing your story than the old philosopher, who loved no one but himself." "After all," she replied, carried away by the delight of her remembrance, "it will be spending a happy hour; I speak of myself, and as for happy or unhappy hours, not many more are to pass during my life, for I feel that I am passing away. But I do not know how to begin; a fire flashes before my eyes; I cannot see, I am so overcome. To begin: I was twenty.... But I shall never have the courage to read my history aloud before so many people." "Fancy, Mademoiselle de Camargo," said Helvetius, "that you are reading a romance." "Well, then," said she, "I will begin without ceremony."

"I was twenty years old. You are all aware, for the adventure caused a great deal of scandal, you all know how the Count de Melun carried me off one morning along with my sister Sophy. This little mad-cap, who had a great deal of imagination, having discovered me reading a letter of the count's, in which he spoke of his design, she swore upon her thirteen years that he must carry her off too. I was far from conceding any such claim. It was always taken for granted that children know nothing; but at the opera, and in love, there are no children. The Count de Melun, by means of a bribe, had gained over the chambermaid. I was very culpable; I knew all, and had not informed my father. But my father wearied me somewhat; he preached in the desert; that is to say he preached to me about virtue. He was always talking to me about our noble descent, of our cousin, who was a cardinal, of our uncle, who was a grand inquisitor of the Inquisition. Vanity of vanities! all was vanity with him, while with me all was love. I did not trouble myself about being of an illustrious family; I was handsome, I was worshipped, and, what was still better, I was young.

"In the middle of the night I heard my door open; it was the Count de Melun. I was not asleep, I was expecting him. It is not every woman who would like it that is run away with. I was going to be run away with.

"Love is not only charming in itself, it is so also from its romance. A passion without adventure is like a mistress without caprice. I was seated upon my bed. 'Is it you, Jacqueline?' I said, affecting fright. 'It is I,' said the count, falling upon his knees. 'You, sir! Your letter was not a joke then?' 'My horses are at hand; there is no time to lose; leave this sad prison: my hotel, my fortune, my heart, all are at your service.' At that moment a light appeared at the door. 'My father!' I cried, with affright, as I concealed[pg 236] myself behind the bed curtains. 'All is lost,' muttered the count. It was Sophy. I recognized her light step. She approached with the light in her hand, and in silence, toward the count. 'My sister,' said she, with some degree of excitement, but without losing her presence of mind, 'here I am, all ready.' I did not understand; I looked at her with surprise; she was all dressed, from head to foot. 'What are you saying? You are mad.' 'Not by any means; I want to be run away with, like yourself.' The Count de Melun could not help laughing. 'Mademoiselle,' he said to her, 'you forget your dolls and toys. 'Sir,' replied she, with dignity, 'I am thirteen years old. It was not yesterday that I made my début at the opera; I take a part on the stage in the ravishment of Psyche.' 'Good,' says the count, 'we will carry you off too.' 'It is as well,' whispered the count in my ear; 'this is the only way of getting rid of her.'

"I was very much put out by this contretemps, which gave a new complication to our adventure. My father might forgive my being carried off, but Sophy! I tried to dissuade her from her mad enterprise. I offered her my ornaments; she would not listen to reason. She declared, that if she was not carried off with me she would inform against us, and thus prevent the adventure. 'Do not oppose her.' said the count; 'with such a tendency she will be sure to be carried off sooner or later.'—'Well, let us depart together,' The chambermaid, who had approached with the stealthy, quiet step of a cat, told us to hurry, for she was afraid that the noise of the horses, that were pawing the ground near by, would awaken Monsieur de Camargo. We were off; the carriage drove us to the count's hotel, rue de la Culture-Saint-Gervais. Sophy laughed and sung. In the morning I wrote to the manager of the opera, that by the advice of my physician it was impossible for me to appear for three weeks. To tell you the truth, gentlemen, in a week's time I went myself to inform the manager that I would dance that evening. This, you perceive, is not very flattering to the Count de Melun; but there are so few men in this world who are sufficiently interesting for a week together. I loved the count, doubtless, but I wanted to breathe a little without him. I desired the excitement of the theatre. I opened my window, constantly, as if I would fly out of it.

"As soon as I appeared at the opera my father followed my track, and discovered the retreat of his daughters. One evening behind the scenes, he went straight to the count and insulted him. The count answered him, with great deference, that he would avoid the chance of taking the life of a gallant gentleman who had given birth to such a daughter as I was. My father did his best to prove and establish his sixteen quarterings, the count was not willing to fight him. It was about that time that my father presented his famous petition to the Cardinal de Fleury: 'Your petitioner would state to the Lord Cardinal, that the Count de Melun, having carried off his two daughters in the night, between the 10th and 11th of the month of May, 1728, holds them imprisoned in his hotel, rue de la Culture-Saint-Gervais. Your petitioner having to do with a person of rank, is obliged to have recourse to his majesty's ministers; he hopes, through the goodness of the king, justice will be done him, and that the Count de Melun will be commanded to espouse the elder daughter of your petitioner, and endow the younger.'

"A father could not have done better. The Cardinal de Fleury amused himself a good deal with the petition, and recommended me, one day that we were supping together, for full penance, to make over to my father my salary at the opera. But I find I am not getting on with my story. But what would you have? The beginning is always where we dwell with the greatest pleasure. I had been living in the count's hotel a year; Sophy had returned to my father's house, where she did not remain long; but it is not her history that I am relating. One morning a cousin of the count arrived at the hotel in a great bustle; he was about spending a season in Paris, in all the wildness of youth. He took us by surprise at breakfast; he took his seat at table, without ceremony, on the invitation of the count.

"In the beginning he did not strike my fancy; I thought him somewhat of a braggadocio. He cultivated his mustachios with, great care (the finest mustachios in the world), and spoke quite often enough of his prowess in battle. Some visitor interrupting us, the count went into his library, and left us together, tête-à-tête. Monsieur de Marteille's voice, until then proud and haughty in its tone, softened a little. He had at first looked at me with the eye of a soldier; he now looked at me with the eye of a pupil.—'Excuse, madame,' said he, with some emotion, 'my rude soldier-like bearing; I know nothing of fine manners; I have never passed through the school of gallantry. Do not be offended at any thing I may say.'—'Why, sir,' said I, smiling, 'you do not say any thing at all.'—'Ah, if I knew how to speak! but, in truth, I would feel more at home before a whole army than I do before your beautiful eyes. The count is very happy in having such a beautiful enemy to contend with.'—While speaking thus, he looked at me with a supplicating tenderness which contrasted singularly with his look of the hero. I do not know what my eyes answered him. The count then came in, and the conversation took another turn.

"Monsieur de Marteille accepted the earnest invitation of his cousin to stay at his hotel. He went out; I did not see him again till evening. He did not know who I was; the[pg 237] count called me Marianne, and, unintentionally, perhaps, he had not spoken a word to his cousin about the opera, or my grace and skill as a dancer. At supper, Monsieur de Marteille had no longer the same frank gayety of the morning; a slight uneasiness passed like a cloud over his brow; more than once I caught his melancholy glance.—'Cheer up your cousin,' I said to the count.—'I know what he wants,' answered Monsieur de Melun; 'I will take him to-morrow to the opera. You will see that in that God-forsaken place he will find his good-humor again.'—I felt jealous, without asking myself why.

"Next day the Triumph of Bacchus was played. I appeared as Ariadne, all covered with vine-leaves and flowers. I never danced so badly. I had recognized Monsieur de Marteille among the gentlemen of the court. He looked at me with a serious air. I had hoped to have had an opportunity to speak with him before the end of the ballet, but he had already gone. I was offended at his abrupt departure.—'How!' said I to myself, 'he sees me dance, and this is the way he makes me his compliments.'—Next morning, he breakfasted with us; he did not say a word about the evening; finally, not being able to resist my impatience, 'Well, Monsieur de Marteille,' said I to him, somewhat harshly, 'you left early last night; it was hardly polite of you.'—'Ah! when you were to dance no more!' said he, with a sigh. This was the first time that I was ever spoken to thus. Fearing that he had said too much, and in order to divert Monsieur de Melun, who observed him with a look of surprise, he began to speak of a little singer of no great moment, who had a voice of some freshness.

"In the afternoon, the count detained at home for some reason or other, begged his cousin to accompany me in a ride to the woods. He was to join us on horseback. The idea of this ride made my heart beat violently. It was the first time that I had listened with pleasure to the beatings of my heart.

"We started on a fine summer's day. Every thing was like a holyday: the sky, the houses, the trees, the horses, and the people. A veil had fallen from my eyes. For some minutes we remained in the deepest silence; not knowing what to do, I amused myself by making a diamond that I wore glisten in the rays of the sun that entered the carriage. Monsieur de Marteille caught hold of my hand. We both said not a word the whole time. I tried to disengage my hand; he held it the harder. I blushed; he turned pale. A jolt of the carriage occurred very opportunely to relieve us from our embarrassment; the jolt had lifted me from my seat; it made me fall upon his bosom.—'Monsieur,' said I, starting. 'Ah, madame, if you knew how I love you!'—He said this with a tenderness beyond expression; it was love itself that spoke! I had no longer the strength to get angry. He took my hand again and devoured it with kisses. He did not say another word; I tried to speak, but did not know what to say myself. From time to time our looks met each other; it was then that we were eloquent. Such eternal pledges, such promises of happiness!

"Notwithstanding, we arrived at the woods. All of a sudden, as if seized with a new idea, he put his head out of the window, and said something to the coachman. I understood, by the answer of La Violette, the coachman, that he was not willing to obey; but Monsieur de Marteille having alluded to a caning and fifty pistoles, the coachman made no further objections. I did not understand very well what he was about. After an hour's rapid travelling, as I was looking with some anxiety as to where we were, he tried to divert me by telling me some episodes of his life. Although I did not listen very intelligently to what he said, I heard enough to find out that I was the first woman he had ever loved. They all say so, but he told the truth, for he spoke with his eyes and his heart. I soon found out that we were no longer on our right road; but observe how far the feebleness of a woman in love will go: I hadn't the courage to ask him why he had changed our route. We crossed the Seine in a boat, between Sèvres and St. Cloud; we regained the woods, and after an hour's ride through them, we reached an iron park-gate, at the extremity of the village of Velaisy.

"Monsieur de Marteille had counted without his host. He expected not to have found a soul in his brother's chateau, but, since the evening before, his brother had returned from a journey to the coast of France. Seeing that the chateau was inhabited, Monsieur de Marteille begged me to wait a little in the carriage. As soon as he had gone, the coachman came to the door.—'Well, madame, we breathe at last! my opinion is that we should make our escape. Depend upon the word of La Violette, we shall be in less than two hours at the hotel.'—'La Violette,' said I, 'open the door.'—I ran a great risk. La Violette obeyed.—'Now,' said I to him, when I had alighted upon the ground, 'you may go!'—He looked at me with the eye of an old philosopher, mounted his box, and snapped his whip; but he had hardly started, when he thought it better to return.—'I will not return without madame, for if I return alone, I shall be sure of a good heating, and of being discharged.'—'Indeed, La Violette! as you please.' At that moment I saw the count returning.—'It is all for the best,' he cried out, in the distance; 'my brother has only two days to spend in Paris: he has stopped here to give his orders; he wishes, at all hazards, to see Camargo dance! I told him that she was to appear this evening. He will leave in a moment. You must wait in the park till he is gone. I will return to him, for I must take my leave of him, and wish him a pleasant journey.

[pg 238]

"An hour afterward we were installed in the chateau. La Violette remained, at our order, with his carriage and horses. In the evening there was great excitement at the opera. It was solemnly announced to the public that Mademoiselle de Camargo had been carried off! The Count de Melun surprised at not finding us in the woods, had gone to the theatre. He was hissed; he swore revenge. He sought every where; he found neither his horses, nor his carriage, nor his mistress. For three months the opera was in mourning! Thirty bailiffs were on my track; but we made so little noise in our little chateau, hid away in the woods, that we were never discovered."

Mademoiselle de Camargo became pale; she was silent, and looked at her listeners as if she would say by her looks that had been lighted up at that celestial flame which had passed over her life: "Oh, how we loved each other during those three months!"

She continued as follows: "That season has filled a greater space in my life than all the rest of my days. When I think of the past, it is there where my thoughts travel at once. How relate to you the particulars of our happiness? When destiny protects us, happiness is composed of a thousand charming nothings that the hearts of others cannot understand. During those three months I was entirely happy; I wished to live for ever in this charming retreat for him that I loved a thousand times more than myself. I wished to abandon the opera, that opera that the Count de Melun could not make me forget for a week!

"Monsieur de Marteille possessed all the attraction of a real passion; he loved me with a charming simplicity; he put in play, without designing it, all the seductions of love. What tender words! what impassioned looks! what enticing conversation! Each day was a holyday, each hour a rapture. I had no time to think of the morrow.

"Our days were spent in walks, in the shade of the woods, in the thousand windings of the park. In the evening I played the harpsichord, and I sang. It often occurred that I danced, danced for him. In the middle of a dance that would have excited a furor at the opera, I fell at his feet, completely overcome; he raised me up, pressed me to his heart and forgave me for having danced. I always hear his beautiful voice, which was like music, but such music as I dream of, and not such as Rameau has composed... But now I am speaking without knowing what I say."

Mademoiselle de Camargo turned toward Pont-de-Veyle. "Monsieur," said she, "open that box or rather hand it to me." She took the box, opened it, and took the bouquet from it. "But above all, gentlemen, I must explain to you why I have preserved this bouquet." While saying this she attempted to smell the vanished odor of the bouquet.

"One morning," she resumed, "Monsieur de Marteille awoke me early—'Farewell!' he said, pale and trembling.—'What are you saying?' cried I with affright.—'Alas,' replied he, embracing me, I did not wish to tell you before, but for a fortnight I have had orders to leave. Hostilities are to be resumed in the Low Countries; I have no longer a single hour either for you or for me; I have over forty leagues to travel to-day.'—'Oh, my God, what will become of me?' said I weeping. 'I will follow you.'—'But, my dear Marianne, I shall return.'—'You will return in an age! Go, cruel one, I shall be dead when you return.'

"An hour was spent in taking leave and in tears; he was obliged to go; he went.

"I returned to weep in that retreat, that was so delightful the evening before. Two days after his departure, he wrote me a very tender letter, in which he told me that on the next day, he would have the consolation of engaging in battle. 'I hope,' added he, 'that the campaign will not be a long one; some days of hard fighting, and then I return to your feet.' What more shall I tell you? He wrote me once again."

Mademoiselle de Camargo unfolded slowly the torn letter. "Here is the second letter:—

Oct 17.

"'No, I shall not return, my dear, I am going to die, but without fear, without reproach. Oh! if you were here, Marianne! What madness! in a hospital where, all of us, all, be we what we may, are disfigured with wounds, and dying! What an idea to dash ahead in the fight, when I only thought of seeing you again. As soon as I was wounded, I asked the surgeon if I should live long enough to reach Paris: "You have but an hour," he answered me pitilessly... They brought me here with the others. In a word, we should learn to resign ourselves to what comes from Heaven. I die content with having loved you; console yourself; return to the opera. I am not jealous of those who shall succeed me, for will they love you as I have done? Farewell, Marianne, death approaches, and death never waits; I thank it for having left me sufficient time to bid you farewell. Now, it will be I who will wait for you.

"'Farewell, farewell, I press you to my heart, which ceases to beat.'"

After having wiped her eyes, Mademoiselle de Camargo continued as follows: "Shall I describe to you all my sorrows, all my tears, all my anguish! Alas! as he had said, I returned to the opera. I did not forget Monsieur de Marteille, in the tempest of my folly. Others have loved me. I have loved no one but Monsieur de Marteille; his memory has beamed upon my life like a blessing from heaven. When I reappeared at the opera, I was seen attending mass; I was laughed at for my devotion. They did not understand, philosophers as they were, that I prayed to[pg 239] God, in consequence of those words of Monsieur de Martielle: 'Now it will be I who will wait for you.'

"When I left the chateau, I plucked a bouquet in the park, thinking that I was plucking the flowers that had bloomed for him; I brought away this bouquet, along with the portrait that you see there. I had vowed, in leaving our dear retreat, to go every year, at the same season, to gather a bouquet in the park. Will you believe it? I never went there again!"

Mademoiselle de Camargo thus finished her history. "Well, my dear philosopher," said Helvetius to Duclos, in descending the steps, "you have just read a book that is somewhat curious."—"A bad book," answered Duclos, "but such books are always interesting."

In April, 1770, the news spread that Mademoiselle de Camargo had just died a good catholic. "This created a great surprise," says a journal of the day, "in the republic of letters, for she was supposed to have been dead twenty years." Her last admirer and her last friend, to whom she had bequeathed her dogs and her cats, had caused her body to be interred with a magnificence unexampled at the opera. "All the world," says Grimm, "admired that white pall, the symbol of chastity, that all unmarried persons are entitled to in their funeral ceremony."





Now that I am fairly in the heart of my story, these preliminary chapters must shrink into comparatively small dimensions, and not encroach upon the space required by the various personages whose acquaintance I have picked up here and there, and who are now all crowding upon me like poor relations to whom one has unadvisedly given a general invitation, and who descend upon one simultaneously about Christmas time. Where they are to be stowed, and what is to become of them all, heaven knows; in the meanwhile, the reader will have already observed that the Caxton family themselves are turned out of their own rooms, sent a-packing, in order to make way for the new comers.

And now that I refer to that respected family, I shall take occasion (dropping all metaphor) to intimate a doubt, whether, should these papers be collected and republished, I shall not wholly recast the Initial Chapters in which the Caxtons have been permitted to reappear. They assure me, themselves, that they feel a bashful apprehension lest they may be accused of having thrust irrelevant noses into affairs which by no means belong to them—an impertinence which, being a peculiarly shy race, they have carefully shunned in the previous course of their innocent and segregated existence. Indeed, there is some cause for that alarm, seeing that not long since, in a journal professing to be critical, this My Novel, or Varieties in English Life, was misnomed and insulted as "a Continuation of The Caxtons," with which biographical work it has no more to do (save in the aforesaid introductions to previous Books in the present diversified and compendious narrative) than I with Hecuba, or Hecuba with me. Reserving the doubt herein suggested for maturer deliberation, I proceed with my new Initial Chapter. And I shall stint the matter therein contained to a brief comment upon Public Life.

Were you ever in public life, my dear reader? I don't mean by that question, to ask whether you were ever Lord Chancellor, Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, or even a member of the House of Commons. An author hopes to find readers far beyond that very egregious but very limited segment of the Great Circle. Were you ever a busy man in your vestry, active in a municipal corporation, one of a committee for furthering the interests of an enlightened candidate for your native burgh, town, or shire?—in a word, did you ever resign your private comforts as men in order to share the public troubles of mankind? If ever you have so far departed from the Lucretian philosophy, just look back—was it life at all that you lived?—were you an individual distinct existence—a passenger in the railway?—or were you merely an indistinct portion of that common flame which heated the boiler and generated the steam that set off the monster train?—very hot, very active, very useful, no doubt; but all your identity fused in flame, and all your forces vanishing in gas.

And you think the people in the railway carriages care for you?—do you think that the gentleman in the worsted wrapper is saying to his neighbor with the striped rug on his comfortable knees, "How grateful we ought to be for that fiery particle which is crackling and hissing under the boiler! It helps us on the fraction of an inch from Vauxhall to Putney?" Not a bit of it. Ten to one but he is saying—"Not sixteen miles an hour! What the deuce is the matter with the stoker?"

Look at our friend Audley Egerton. You have just had a glimpse of the real being that struggles under the huge copper;—you have heard the hollow sound of the rich man's coffers under the tap of Baron Levy's friendly knuckle—heard the strong man's heart give out its dull warning sound to the scientific ear of Dr. F vanishes the separate existence, lost again in the flame that heats the boiler, and the smoke that curls into air from the grimy furnace.

Look to it, O Public Man, whoever thou art, and whatsoever thy degree—see if thou canst not compound matters, so as to keep a little nook apart for thy private life; that is,[pg 240] for thyself! Let the great Popkins Question not absorb wholly the individual soul of thee, as Smith or Johnson. Don't so entirely consume thyself under that insatiable boiler, that when thy poor little monad rushes out from the sooty furnace, and arrives at the stars, thou mayest find no vocation for thee there, and feel as if thou hadst nothing to do amidst the still splendors of the Infinite. I don't deny to thee the uses of "Public Life;" I grant that it is much to have helped to carry that great Popkins Question; but Private Life, my friend, is the life of thy Private soul; and there may be matters concerned with that which, on consideration, thou mayest allow, cannot be wholly mixed up with the great Popkins Question—and were not finally settled when thou didst exclaim—"I have not lived in vain—the Popkins Question is carried at last!" O immortal soul, for one quarter of an hour per diem—de-Popkinise thine immortality!


It had not been without much persuasion on the part of Jackeymo, that Riccabocca had consented to settle himself in the house which Randal had recommended to him. Not that the exile conceived any suspicion of the young man beyond that which he might have shared with Jackeymo, viz., that Randal's interest in the father was increased by a very natural and excusable admiration of the daughter. But the Italian had the pride common to misfortune,—he did not like to be indebted to others, and he shrank from the pity of those to whom it was known that he had held a higher station in his own land. These scruples gave way to the strength of his affection for his daughter and his dread of his foe. Good men, however able and brave, who have suffered from the wicked, are apt to form exaggerated notions of the power that has prevailed against them. Jackeymo had conceived a superstitious terror of Peschiera, and Riccabocca, though by no means addicted to superstition, still had a certain creep of the flesh whenever he thought of his foe.

But Riccabocca—than whom no man was more physically brave, and no man, in some respects, more morally timid—feared the Count less as a foe than as a gallant. He remembered his kinsman's surpassing beauty—the power he had obtained over women. He knew him versed in every art that corrupts, and void of all the conscience that deters. And Riccabocca had unhappily nursed himself into so poor an estimate of the female character, that even the pure and lofty nature of Violante did not seem to him a sufficient safeguard against the craft and determination of a practised and remorseless intriguer. But of all the precautions he could take, none appeared more likely to conduce to safety, than his establishing a friendly communication with one who professed to be able to get at all the Count's plans and movements, and who could apprise Riccabocca at once should his retreat be discovered. "Forewarned is forearmed," said he to himself, in one of the proverbs common to all nations. However, as with his usual sagacity he came to reflect upon the alarming intelligence conveyed to him by Randal, viz., that the Count sought his daughter's hand, he divined that there was some strong personal interest under such ambition; and what could be that interest save the probability of Riccabocca's ultimate admission to the Imperial grace, and the Count's desire to assure himself of the heritage to an estate that he might be permitted to retain no more? Riccabocca was not indeed aware of the condition (not according to usual customs in Austria) on which the Count held the forfeited domains. He knew not that they had been granted merely on pleasure; but he was too well aware of Peschiera's nature to suppose that he would woo a bride without a dower, or be moved by remorse in any overture of reconciliation. He felt assured, too—and this increased all his fears—that Peschiera would never venture to seek an interview himself; all the Count's designs on Violante would be dark, secret, and clandestine. He was perplexed and tormented by the doubt, whether or not to express openly to Violante his apprehensions of the nature of the danger to be apprehended. He had told her vaguely that it was for her sake that he desired secrecy and concealment. But that might mean any thing: what danger to himself would not menace her? Yet to say more was so contrary to a man of his Italian notions and Machiavellian maxims! To say to a young girl, "There is a man come over to England on purpose to woo and win you. For heaven's sake take care of him; he is diabolically handsome; he never fails where he sets his heart." "Cospetto!" cried the doctor aloud, as these admonitions shaped themselves to speech in the camera-obscura of his brain; "such a warning would have undone a Cornelia while she was yet an innocent spinster." No, he resolved to say nothing to Violante of the Count's intention, only to keep guard, and make himself and Jackeymo all eyes and all ears.

The house Randal had selected pleased Riccabocca at first glance. It stood alone, upon a little eminence; its upper windows commanded the high road. It had been a school, and was surrounded by high walls, which contained a garden and lawn sufficiently large for exercise. The garden doors were thick, fortified by strong bolts, and had a little wicket lattice, shut and opened at pleasure, from which Jackeymo could inspect all visitors before he permitted them to enter.

An old female servant from the neighborhood was cautiously hired; Riccabocca renounced his Italian name, and abjured his origin. He spoke English sufficiently well to think he could pass as an Englishman. He[pg 241] called himself Mr. Richmouth (a liberal translation of Riccabocca). He bought a blunderbuss, two pair of pistols, and a huge house-dog. Thus provided for, he allowed Jackeymo to write a line to Randal and communicate his arrival.

Randal lost no time in calling. With his usual adaptability and his powers of dissimulation, he contrived easily to please Mrs. Riccabocca, and to increase the good opinion the exile was disposed to form of him. He engaged Violante in conversation on Italy and its poets. He promised to buy her books. He began, though more distantly than he could have desired—for her sweet stateliness awed him in spite of himself—the preliminaries of courtship. He established himself at once as a familiar guest, riding down daily in the dusk of evening, after the toils of office, and retiring at night. In four or five days he thought he had made great progress with all. Riccabocca watched him narrowly, and grew absorbed in thought after every visit. At length one night, when he and Mrs. Riccabocca were alone in the drawing-room, Violante having retired to rest, he thus spoke as he filled his pipe:—

"Happy is the man who has no children! Thrice happy he who has no girls."

"My dear Alphonso!" said the wife, looking up from the wristband to which she was attaching a neat mother-o'-pearl button. She said no more; it was the sharpest rebuke she was in the custom of administering to her husband's cynical and odious observations. Riccabocca lighted his pipe with a thread paper, gave three great puffs, and resumed:

"One blunderbuss, four pistols, and a house-dog called Pompey, who would have made mince-meat of Julius Cæsar!"

"He certainly eats a great deal, does Pompey!" said Mrs. Riccabocca, simply. "But if he relieves your mind!"

"He does not relieve it in the least, ma'am," groaned Riccabocca; "and that is the point I was coming to. This is a most harassing life, and a most undignified life. And I who have only asked from Heaven dignity and repose! But, if Violante were once married, I should want neither blunderbuss, pistol, nor Pompey. And it is that which would relieve my mind, cara mia;—Pompey only relieves my larder!"

Now Riccabocca had been more communicative to Jemima than he had been to Violante. Having once trusted her with one secret, he had every motive to trust her with another; and he had accordingly spoken out his fears of the Count di Peschiera. Therefore she answered, laying down the work, and taking her husband's hand tenderly—

"Indeed, my love, since you dread so much (though I own that I must think unreasonably) this wicked, dangerous man, it would be the happiest thing in the world to see dear Violante well married; because, you see, if she is married to one person, she cannot be married to another; and all fear of this Count, as you say, would be at an end."

"You cannot express yourself better. It is a great comfort to unbosom one's self to a wife, after all!" quoth Riccabocca.

"But," said the wife, after a grateful kiss—"but where and how can we find a husband suitable to the rank of your daughter?"

"There—there—there," cried Riccabocca, pushing back his chair to the farther end of the room—"that comes of unbosoming one's self! Out flies one's secret; it is opening the lid of Pandora's box; one is betrayed, ruined, undone!"

"Why, there's not a soul that can hear us!" said Mrs. Riccabocca, soothingly.

"That's chance, ma'am! If you once contract the habit of blabbing out a secret when nobody's by, how on earth can you resist it when you have the pleasurable excitement of telling it to all the world? Vanity, vanity—woman's vanity! Woman never could withstand rank—never!" The Doctor went on railing for a quarter of an hour, and was very reluctantly appeased by Mrs. Riccabocca's repeated and tearful assurances that she would never even whisper to herself that her husband had ever held any other rank than that of Doctor.—Riccabocca, with a dubious shake of the head, renewed—

"I have done with all pomp and pretension. Besides, the young man is a born gentleman; he seems in good circumstances; he has energy and latent ambition; he is akin to L'Estrange's intimate friend; he seems attached to Violante. I don't think it probable that we could do better. Nay, if Peschiera fears that I shall be restored to my country, and I learn the wherefore, and the ground to take, through this young man—why, gratitude is the first virtue of the noble!"

"You speak, then, of Mr. Leslie?"

"To be sure—of whom else?"

Mrs. Riccabocca leaned her cheek on her hand thoughtfully. "Now you have told me that, I will observe him with different eyes."

"Anima mia, I don't see how the difference of your eyes will alter the object they look upon!" grumbled Riccabocca, shaking the ashes out of his pipe.

"The object alters when we see it in a different point of view!" replied Jemima, modestly. "This thread does very well when I look at it in order to sew on a button, but I should say it would never do to tie up Pompey in his kennel."

"Reasoning by illustration, upon my soul!" ejaculated Riccabocca, amazed.

"And," continued Jemima, "when I am to regard one who is to constitute the happiness of that dear child, and for life, can I regard him as I would the pleasant guest of an evening? Ah, trust me, Alphonso—I don't pretend to be wise like you—but, when a woman considers what a man is likely to prove to woman—his sincerity—his honor—his[pg 242] heart—oh, trust me, she is wiser than the wisest man!"

Riccabocca continued to gaze on Jemima with unaffected admiration and surprise. And, certainly, to use his phrase, since he had unbosomed himself to his better half—since he had confided in her, consulted with her, her sense had seemed to quicken—her whole mind to expand.

"My dear," said the sage, "I vow and declare that Machiavelli was a fool to you. And I have been as dull as the chair I sit upon, to deny myself so many years the comfort and counsel of such a—but corpo di Baccho! forget all about rank; and so now to bed."

"One must not holloa till one's out of the wood," muttered the ungrateful, suspicious villain, as he lighted the chamber candle.


Riccabocca could not confine himself to the precincts within the walls to which he condemned Violante. Resuming his spectacles, and wrapped in his cloak, he occasionally sallied forth upon a kind of outwatch or reconnoitring expedition—restricting himself, however, to the immediate neighborhood, and never going quite out of sight of his house. His favorite walk was to the summit of a hillock overgrown with stunted bushwood. Here he would seat himself musingly, often till the hoofs of Randal's horse rang on the winding road, as the sun set, over fading herbage, red and vaporous, in autumnal skies. Just below the hillock, and not two hundred yards from his own house, was the only other habitation in view—a charming, thoroughly English cottage, though somewhat imitated from the Swiss—with gable ends, thatched roof, and pretty projecting casements, opening through creepers and climbing roses. From his height he commanded the gardens of this cottage, and his eye of artist was pleased, from the first sight, with the beauty which some exquisite taste had given to the ground. Even in that cheerless season of the year, the garden wore a summer smile; the evergreens were so bright and various, and the few flowers, still left, so hardy and so healthful. Facing the south, a colonnade, or covered gallery, of rustic woodwork had been formed, and creeping plants, lately set, were already beginning to clothe its columns. Opposite to this colonnade there was a fountain which reminded Riccabocca of his own at the deserted Casino. It was indeed singularly like it: the same circular shape, the same girdle of flowers around it. But the jet from it varied every day—fantastic and multiform, like the sports of a Naïad—sometimes shooting up like a tree, sometimes shaped as a convolvulus, sometimes tossing from its silver spray a flower of vermilion, or a fruit of gold—as if at play with its toy like a happy child. And near the fountain was a large aviary, large enough to inclose a tree. The Italian could just catch a gleam of rich color from the wings of the birds, as they glanced to and fro within the network, and could hear their songs, contrasting the silence of the free populace of air, whom the coming winter had already stilled.

Riccabocca's eye, so alive to all aspects of beauty, luxuriated in the view of this garden. Its pleasantness had a charm that stole him from his anxious fear and melancholy memories.

He never saw but two forms within the demesnes, and he could not distinguish their features. One was a woman, who seemed to him of staid manner and homely appearance: she was seen but rarely. The other a man, often pacing to and fro the colonnade, with frequent pauses before the playful fountain, or the birds that sang louder as he approached. This latter form would then disappear within a room, the glass door of which was at the extreme end of the colonnade; and if the door were left open, Riccabocca could catch a glimpse of the figure bending over a table covered with books.

Always, however, before the sun set, the man would step forth more briskly, and occupy himself with the garden, often working at it with good heart, as if at a task of delight; and then, too, the woman would come out, and stand by as if talking to her companion. Riccabocca's curiosity grew aroused. He bade Jemima inquire of the old maid-servant who lived at the cottage, and heard that its owner was a Mr. Oran—a quiet gentleman, and fond of his book.

While Riccabocca thus amused himself, Randal had not been prevented, either by his official cares or his schemes on Violante's heart and fortune, from furthering the project that was to unite Frank Hazeldean and Beatrice di Negra. Indeed, as to the first, a ray of hope was sufficient to fire the ardent and unsuspecting lover. And Randal's artful misrepresentation of Mrs. Hazeldean's conversation with him, removed all fear of parental displeasure from a mind always too disposed to give itself up to the temptation of the moment. Beatrice, though her feelings for Frank were not those of love, became more and more influenced by Randal's arguments and representations, the more especially as her brother grew morose, and even menacing, as days slipt on, and she could give no clue to the retreat of those whom he sought for. Her debts, too, were really urgent. As Randal's profound knowledge of human infirmity had shrewdly conjectured, the scruples of honor and pride, that had made her declare she would not bring to a husband her own incumbrances, began to yield to the pressure of necessity. She listened already, with but faint objections, when Randal urged her not to wait for the uncertain discovery that was to secure her dowry, but by a private marriage with Frank escape at once into freedom and security. While,[pg 243] though he had first held out to young Hazeldean the inducement of Beatrice's dowry as reason of self-justification in the eyes of the Squire, it was still easier to drop that inducement, which had always rather damped than fired the high spirit and generous heart of the poor Guardsman. And Randal could conscientiously say, that when he had asked the Squire if he expected fortune with Frank's bride, the Squire had replied, "I don't care." Thus encouraged by his friend and his own heart, and the softening manner of a woman who might have charmed many a colder, and fooled many a wiser man, Frank rapidly yielded to the snares held out for his perdition. And though as yet he honestly shrank from proposing to Beatrice or himself a marriage without the consent, and even the knowledge, of his parents, yet Randal was quite content to leave a nature, however good, so thoroughly impulsive and undisciplined, to the influences of the first strong passion it had ever known. Meanwhile, it was easy to dissuade Frank from even giving a hint to the folks at home. "For," said the wily and able traitor, "though we may be sure of Mrs. Hazeldean's consent, and her power over your father, when the step is once taken, yet we cannot count for certain on the Squire—he is so choleric and hasty. He might hurry to town—see Madame di Negra, blurt out some compassionate, rude expressions which would wake her resentment, and cause her instant rejection. And it might be too late if he repented afterwards—as he would be sure to do."

Meanwhile Randal Leslie gave a dinner at the Clarendon Hotel (an extravagance most contrary to his habits), and invited Frank, Mr. Borrowell, and Baron Levy.

But this house-spider, which glided with so much ease after its flies, through webs so numerous and mazy, had yet to amuse Madame di Negra with assurances that the fugitives sought for would sooner or later be discovered. Though Randal baffled and eluded her suspicion that he was already acquainted with the exiles, ("the persons he had thought of were," he said, "quite different from her description;" and he even presented to her an old singing-master, and a sallow-faced daughter, as the Italians who had caused his mistake), it was necessary for Beatrice to prove the sincerity of the aid she had promised to her brother, and to introduce Randal to the Count. It was no less desirable to Randal to know, and even win the confidence of this man—his rival.

The two met at Madame di Negra's house. There is something very strange, and almost mesmerical, in the rapport between two evil natures. Bring two honest men together, and it is ten to one if they recognize each other as honest; differences in temper, manner, even politics, may make each misjudge the other. But bring together two men, unprincipled and perverted—men who, if born in a cellar, would have been food for the hulks or gallows—and they recognize each other by instant sympathy. The eyes of Franzini, Count of Peschiera, and Randal Leslie no sooner met, than a gleam of intelligence shot from both. They talked on indifferent subjects—weather, gossip, politics—what not. They bowed and they smiled; but, all the while, each was watching, plumbing the other's heart; each measuring his strength with his companion; each inly saying, "This is a very remarkable rascal; am I a match for him?" It was at dinner they met; and, following the English fashion, Madame di Negra left them alone with their wine.

Then, for the first time, Count di Peschiera cautiously and adroitly made a covered push towards the object of the meeting.

"You have never been abroad, my dear sir? You must contrive to visit me at Vienna. I grant the splendor of your London world; but, honestly speaking, it wants the freedom of ours—a freedom which unites gayety with polish. For as your society is mixed, there are pretension and effort with those who have no right to be in it, and artificial condescension and chilling arrogance with those who have to keep their inferiors at a certain distance. With us, all being of fixed rank and acknowledged birth, familiarity is at once established." "Hence," added the Count, with his French lively smile—"hence there is no place like Vienna for a young man—no place like Vienna for bonnes fortunes."

"Those make the paradise of the idle," replied Randal, "but the purgatory of the busy. I confess frankly to you, my dear Count, that I have as little of the leisure which becomes the aspirer to bonnes fortunes as I have the personal graces which obtain them without an effort;" and he inclined his head as in compliment.

"So," thought the Count, "woman is not his weak side. What is?"

"Morbleu! my dear Mr. Leslie—had I thought as you do some years since, I had saved myself from many a trouble. After all, Ambition is the best mistress to woo; for with her there is always the hope, and never the possession."

"Ambition, Count," replied Randal, still guarding himself in dry sententiousness, "is the luxury of the rich, and the necessity of the poor."

"Aha," thought the Count, "it comes, as I anticipated from the first—comes to the bribe." He passed the wine to Randal, filling his own glass, and draining it carelessly: "Sur mon âme, mon cher," said the Count, "luxury is ever pleasanter than necessity; and I am resolved at least to give ambition a trial—je vais me réfugier dans le sein du bonheur domestique—a married life and a settled home. Peste! If it were not for ambition, one would die of ennui. Apropos, my dear sir, I have to thank you for promising[pg 244] my sister your aid in finding a near and dear kinsman of mine, who has taken refuge in your country, and hides himself even from me."

"I should be most happy to assist in your search. As yet, however, I have only to regret that all my good wishes are fruitless. I should have thought, however, that a man of such rank had been easily found, even through the medium of your own ambassador."

"Our own ambassador is no very warm friend of mine; and the rank would be no clue, for it is clear that my kinsman has never assumed it since he quitted his country."

"He quitted it, I understand, not exactly from choice," said Randal, smiling. "Pardon my freedom and curiosity, but will you explain to me a little more than I learn from English rumor (which never accurately reports upon foreign matters still more notorious), how a person who had so much to lose, and so little to win, by revolution, could put himself into the same crazy boat with a crew of hare-brained adventurers and visionary professors?

"Professors!" repeated the Count; "I think you have hit on the very answer to your question; not but what men of high birth were as mad as the canaille. I am the more willing to gratify your curiosity, since it will perhaps serve to guide your kind search in my favor. You must know, then, that my kinsman was not born the heir to the rank he obtained. He was but a distant relation to the head of the house which he afterwards represented. Brought up in an Italian university, he was distinguished for his learning and his eccentricities. There, too, I suppose, brooding over old wives' tales about freedom, and so forth, he contracted his carbonaro, chimerical notions for the independence of Italy. Suddenly, by three deaths, he was elevated, while yet young, to a station and honors which might have satisfied any man in his senses. Que diable! what could the independence of Italy do for him! He and I were cousins; we had played together as boys; but our lives had been separated till his succession to rank brought us necessarily together. We became exceedingly intimate. And you may judge how I loved him," said the Count, averting his eyes slightly from Randal's quiet, watchful gaze, "when I add, that I forgave him for enjoying a heritage that, but for him, had been mine."

"Ah, you were next heir?"

"And it is a hard trial to be very near a great fortune, and yet just miss it."

"True," cried Randal, almost impetuously. The Count now raised his eyes, and again the two men looked into each other's souls.

"Harder still, perhaps," resumed the Count, after a short pause—"harder still might it have been to some men to forgive the rival as well as the heir."

"Rival! How?"

"A lady, who had been destined by her parents to myself, though we had never, I own, been formally betrothed, became the wife of my kinsman."

"Did he know of your pretensions?"

"I do him the justice to say he did not. He saw and fell in love with the young lady I speak of. Her parents were dazzled. Her father sent for me. He apologized—he explained; he set before me, mildly enough, certain youthful imprudences or errors of my own, as an excuse for his change of mind; and he asked me not only to resign all hope of his daughter, but to conceal from her new suitor that I had ever ventured to hope."

"And you consented?"

"I consented."

"That was generous. You must indeed have been much attached to your kinsman. As a lover I cannot comprehend it; perhaps, my dear Count, you may enable me to understand it better—as a man of the world."

"Well," said the Count, with his most roué air, "I suppose we are both men of the world?"

"Both! certainly," replied Randal, just in the tone which Peachum might have used in courting the confidence of Lockit.

"As a man of the world, then, I own," said the Count, playing with the rings on his fingers, "that if I could not marry the lady myself (and that seemed to me clear), it was very natural that I should wish to see her married to my wealthy kinsman."

"Very natural; it might bring your wealthy kinsman and yourself still closer together."

"This is really a very clever fellow!" thought the Count, but he made no direct reply.

"Enfin, to cut short a long story, my cousin afterwards got entangled in attempts, the failure of which is historically known. His projects were detected—himself denounced. He fled, and the Emperor, in sequestrating his estates, was pleased, with rare and singular clemency, to permit me, as his nearest kinsman, to enjoy the revenues of half those estates during the royal pleasure; nor was the other half formally confiscated. It was no doubt his Majesty's desire not to extinguish a great Italian name; and if my cousin and his child died in exile, why, of that name, I, a loyal subject of Austria—I, Franzini, Count di Peschiera, would become the representative. Such, in a similar case, has been sometimes the Russian policy towards Polish insurgents."

"I comprehend perfectly; and I can also conceive that you, in profiting so largely, though so justly, by the fall of your kinsman, may have been exposed to much unpopularity—even to painful suspicion."

"Entre nous, mon cher, I care not a stiver for popularity; and as to suspicion, who is he that can escape from the calumny of the[pg 245] envious? But, unquestionably, it would be most desirable to unite the divided members of our house; and this union I can now effect, by the consent of the Emperor to my marriage with my kinsman's daughter. You see, therefore, why I have so great an interest in this research?"

"By the marriage articles you could no doubt secure the retention of the half you hold; and if you survive your kinsman, you would enjoy the whole. A most desirable marriage; and, if made, I suppose that would suffice to obtain your cousin's amnesty and grace?"

"You say it."

"But even without such marriage, since the Emperor's clemency has been extended to so many of the proscribed, it is perhaps probable that your cousin might be restored?"

"It once seemed to me possible," said the Count, reluctantly; "but since I have been in England, I think not. The recent revolution in France, the democratic spirit rising in Europe, tend to throw back the cause of a proscribed rebel. England swarms with revolutionists; my cousin's residence in this country is in itself suspicious. The suspicion is increased by his strange seclusion. There are many Italians here who would aver that they had met with him, and that he was still engaged in revolutionary projects."


"Ma foi—it comes to the same thing; les absens ont toujours tort. I speak to a man of the world. No; without some such guarantee for his faith, as his daughter's marriage with myself would give, his recall is improbable. By the heaven above us, it shall be impossible!" The Count rose as he said this—rose as if the mask of simulation had fairly fallen from the visage of crime—rose tall and towering, a very image of masculine power and strength, beside the slight bended form and sickly face of the intellectual schemer. Randal was startled; but, rising also, he said carelessly—

"What if this guarantee can no longer be given?—what if, in despair of return, and in resignation to his altered fortunes, your cousin has already married his daughter to some English suitor?"

"Ah, that would indeed be, next to my own marriage with her, the most fortunate thing that could happen to myself."

"How? I don't understand!"

"Why, if my cousin has so abjured his birthright, and forsworn his rank—if this heritage, which is so dangerous from its grandeur, pass, in case of his pardon, to some obscure Englishman—a foreigner—a native of a country that has no ties with ours—a country that is the very refuge of levellers and Carbonari—mort dema vie—do you think that such would not annihilate all chance of my cousin's restoration, and be an excuse even to the eyes of Italy for formally conferring the sequestered estates on an Italian? No; unless, indeed, the girl were to marry an Englishman of such name and birth and connection as would in themselves be a guarantee, (and how in poverty is this likely?) I should go back to Vienna with a light heart, if I could say, 'My kinswoman is an Englishman's wife—shall her children be the heirs to a house so renowned for its lineage, and so formidable for its wealth?' Parbleu! if my cousin were but an adventurer, or merely a professor, he had been pardoned long ago. The great enjoy the honor not to be pardoned easily."

Randal fell into deep but brief thought. The Count observed him, not face to face, but by the reflection of an opposite mirror. "This man knows something; this man is deliberating; this man can help me," thought the Count.

But Randal said nothing to confirm these hypotheses. Recovering from his abstraction, he expressed courteously his satisfaction at the Count's prospects, either way. "And since, after all," he added, "you mean so well to your cousin, it occurs to me that you might discover him by a very simple English process."


"Advertise that, if he will come to some place appointed, he will hear of something to his advantage."

The Count shook his head. "He would suspect me, and not come."

"But he was intimate with you. He joined an insurrection;—you were more prudent. You did not injure him, though you may have benefited yourself. Why should he shun you?"

"The conspirators forgive none who do not conspire; besides, to speak frankly, he thought I injured him."

"Could you not conciliate him through his wife—whom—you resigned to him?"

"She is dead—died before he left the country."

"Oh, that is unlucky! Still I think an advertisement might do good. Allow me to reflect on that subject. Shall we now join Madame la Marquise?"

On re-entering the drawing-room, the gentlemen found Beatrice in full dress, seated by the fire, and reading so intently that she did not remark them enter.

"What so interests you, ma sœur?-the last novel by Balzac, no doubt?"

Beatrice started, and, looking up, showed eyes that were full of tears. "Oh, no! no picture of miserable, vicious Parisian life. This is beautiful; there is soul here."

Randal took up the book which the Marchesa laid down; it was the same that had charmed the circle at Hazeldean—charmed the innocent and fresh-hearted—charmed now the wearied and tempted votaress of the world.

"Hum," murmured Randal; "the Parson, was right. This is power—a sort of a power."

[pg 246]

"How I should like to know the author! Who can he be—can you guess?"

"Not I. Some old pedant in spectacles."

"I think not—I am sure not. Here beats a heart I have ever sighed to find, and never found."

"Oh, naïve enfant!" cried the Count; "comme son imagination s'égare en rêves enchantés. And to think that, while you talk like an Arcadian, you are dressed like a princess."

"Ah, I forgot—the Austrian ambassador's. I shall not go to-night. This book unfits me for the artificial world."

"Just as you will, my sister. I shall go. I dislike the man, and he me; but ceremonies before men!"

"You are going to the Austrian Embassy?" said Randal. "I too shall be there. We shall meet." And he took his leave.

"I like your young friend prodigiously," said the Count, yawning. "I am sure that he knows of the lost birds, and will stand to them like a pointer, if I can but make it his interest to do so. We shall see."


Randal arrived at the ambassador's before the Count, and contrived to mix with the young noblemen attached to the embassy, and to whom he was known. Standing among these was a young Austrian, on his travels, of very high birth, and with an air of noble grace that suited the ideal of the old German chivalry. Randal was presented to him, and, after some talk on general topics, observed, "By the way, Prince, there is now in London a countryman of yours, with whom you are doubtless familiarly acquainted—the Count di Peschiera."

"He is no countryman of mine. He is an Italian. I know him but by sight and by name," said the Prince, stiffly.

"He is of very ancient birth, I believe."

"Unquestionably. His ancestors were gentlemen."

"And very rich."

"Indeed! I have understood the contrary. He enjoys, it is true, a large revenue."

A young attaché, less discreet than the Prince, here observed, "Oh, Peschiera!—Poor fellow, he is too fond of play to be rich."

"And there is some chance that the kinsman whose revenue he holds, may obtain his pardon, and re-enter into possession of his fortunes—so I hear, at least," said Randal, artfully.

"I shall be glad if it be true," said the Prince with decision; "and I speak the common sentiment at Vienna. That kinsman had a noble spirit, and was, I believe, equally duped and betrayed. Pardon me, sir; but we Austrians are not so bad as we are painted. Have you ever met in England the kinsman you speak of?"

"Never, though he is supposed to reside here; and the Count tells me that he has a daughter."

"The Count—ha! I heard something of a scheme—a wager of that—that Count's—a daughter. Poor girl! I hope she will escape his pursuit; for, no doubt, he pursues her."

"Possibly she may already have married an Englishman."

"I trust not," said the Prince, seriously; "that might at present be a serious obstacle to her father's return."

"You think so?"

"There can be no doubt of it," interposed the attaché with a grand and positive air; "unless, indeed, the Englishman were of a rank equal to her own."

Here there was a slight, well-bred murmur and buzz at the doors; for the Count di Peschiera himself was announced; and as he entered, his presence was so striking, and his beauty so dazzling, that whatever there might be to the prejudice of his character, it seemed instantly effaced or forgotten in that irresistible admiration which it is the prerogative of personal attributes alone to create.

The Prince, with a slight curve of his lip at the groups that collected round the Count, turned to Randal and said, "Can you tell me if a distinguished countryman of yours is in England—Lord L'Estrange?"

"No, Prince—he is not. You know him?"


"He is acquainted with the Count's kinsman; and perhaps from him you have learned to think so highly of that kinsman?"

The Prince bowed, and answered as he moved away, "When a man of high honor vouches for another, he commands the belief of all."

"Certainly," soliloquized Randal, "I must not be precipitate. I was very nearly falling into a terrible trap. If I were to marry the girl, and only, by so doing, settle away her inheritance on Peschiera!—How hard it is to be sufficiently cautious in this world!"

While thus meditating, a member of Parliament tapped him on the shoulder.

"Melancholy, Leslie! I lay a wager I guess your thoughts."

"Guess," answered Randal.

"You were thinking of the place you are so soon to lose."

"Soon to lose!"

"Why, if ministers go out, you could hardly keep it, I suppose."

This ominous and horrid member of Parliament, Squire Hazeldean's favorite county member, Sir John, was one of those legislators especially odious to officials—an independent "large-acred" member, who would no more take office himself than he would cut down the oaks in his park, and who had no bowels of human feeling for those who had opposite tastes and less magnificent means.

"Hem!" said Randal, rather surlily. "In the first place, Sir John, ministers are not going out."

[pg 247]

"Oh yes, they will go. You know I vote with them generally, and would willingly keep them in; but they are men of honor and spirit; and if they can't carry their measures, they must resign; otherwise, by Jove, I would turn round and vote them out myself!"

"I have no doubt you would, Sir John; you are quite capable of it; that rests with you and your constituents. But even if ministers did go out, I am but a poor subaltern in a public office. I am no minister—why should I go out too?"

"Why? Hang it, Leslie, you are laughing at me. A young fellow like you could never be mean enough to stay in, under the very men who drove out your friend Egerton!"

"It is not usual for those in the public offices to retire with every change of Government."

"Certainly not; but always those who are the relations of a retiring minister—always those who have been regarded as politicians, and who mean to enter Parliament, as of course you will do at the next election. But you know that as well as I do—you who are so decided a politician—the writer of that admirable pamphlet! I should not like to tell my friend Hazeldean, who has a sincere interest in you, that you ever doubted on a question of honor as plain as your A, B, C."

"Indeed, Sir John," said Randal, recovering his suavity, while he inly breathed a dire anathema on his county member, "I am so new to these things, that what you say never struck me before. No doubt you must be right; at all events, I cannot have a better guide and adviser than Mr. Egerton himself."

"No, certainly—perfect gentleman, Egerton! I wish we could make it up with him and Hazeldean."

Randal, (sighing)—"Ah, I wish we could!"

Sir John.—"And some chance of it now; for the time is coming when all true men of the old school must stick together."

Randal.—"Wisely, and admirably said, my dear Sir John. But, pardon me, I must pay my respects to the ambassador."

Randal escaped, and, passing on, saw the ambassador himself in the next room, conferring in a corner with Audley Egerton. The ambassador seemed very grave—Egerton calm and impenetrable, as usual. Presently the Count passed by, and the ambassador bowed to him very stiffly. As Randal, some time later, was searching for his cloak below, Audley Egerton unexpectedly joined him. "Ah, Leslie," said the minister, with more kindness than usual, "if you don't think the night air too cold for you, let us walk home together. I have sent away the carriage."

This condescension in his patron was so singular that it quite startled Randal, and gave him a presentiment of some evil. When they were in the street, Egerton, after a pause, began—"My dear Mr. Leslie, it was my hope and belief that I had provided for you at least a competence; and that I might open to you, later, a career yet more brilliant. Hush! I don't doubt your gratitude; let me proceed. There is a possible chance, after certain decisions that the Government have come to, that we may be beaten in the House of Commons, and of course resign. I tell you this beforehand, for I wish you to have time to consider what, in that case, would be your best course. My power of serving you would then probably be over. It would, no doubt (seeing our close connection, and my views with regard to your future being so well known)—be expected that you should give up the place you hold, and follow my fortunes for good or ill. But as I have no personal enemies with the opposite party—and as I have sufficient position in the world to uphold and sanction your choice, whatever it may be, if you think it more prudent to retain your place, tell me so openly, and I think I can contrive that you may do it without loss of character and credit. In that case confine your ambition merely to rising gradually in your office, without mixing in politics. If, on the other hand, you should prefer to take your chance of my return to office, and so resign your own; and, furthermore, should commit yourself to a policy that may then be not only in opposition, but unpopular; I will do my best to introduce you into parliamentary life. I cannot say that I advise the latter."

Randal felt as a man feels after a severe fall—he was literally stunned. At length he faltered out—"Can you think, sir, that I should ever desert your fortunes—your party—your cause?"

"My dear Leslie," replied the minister, "you are too young to have committed yourself to any men or to any party, except, indeed, in that unlucky pamphlet. This must not be an affair of sentiment, but of sense and reflection. Let us say no more on the point now; but, by considering the pros and cons, you can better judge what to do, should the time for option suddenly arrive."

"But I hope that time may not come."

"I hope so too, and most sincerely," said the minister, with deliberate and genuine emphasis.

"What could be so bad for the country?" ejaculated Randal. "It does not seem to me possible in the nature of things, that you and your party should ever go out."

"And when we are once out, there will be plenty of wiseacres to say it is out of the nature of things that we should ever come in again. Here we are at the door."


Randal passed a sleepless night; but, indeed, he was one of those persons who neither need, nor are accustomed to much sleep. However, towards morning, when dreams are said to be prophetic, he fell into a most delightful slumber—a slumber peopled by[pg 248] visions fitted to lure on, through labyrinths of law, predestined chancellors, or wreck upon the rocks of glory the inebriate souls of youthful ensigns—dreams from which Rood Hall emerged crowned with the towers of Belvoir or Raby, and looking over subject lands and manors wrested from the nefarious usurpation of Thornhills and Hazeldeans—dreams in which Audley Egerton's gold and power—rooms in Downing Street, and saloons in Grosvenor Square—had passed away to the smiling dreamer, as the empire of Chaldæa passed to Darius the Median. Why visions so belying the gloomy and anxious thoughts that preceded them should visit the pillow of Randal Leslie, surpasses my philosophy to conjecture. He yielded, however, passively to their spell, and was startled to hear the clock strike eleven as he descended the stairs to breakfast. He was vexed at the lateness of the hour, for he had meant to have taken advantage of the unwonted softness of Egerton, and drawn therefrom some promises or proffers to cheer the prospects which the minister had so chillingly expanded before him the preceding night. And it was only at breakfast that he usually found the opportunity of private conference with his busy patron. But Audley Egerton would be sure to have sallied forth—and so he had—only Randal was surprised to hear that he had gone out in his carriage, instead of on foot, as was his habit. Randal soon despatched his solitary meal, and with a new and sudden affection for his office, thitherward bent his way. As he passed through Piccadilly, he heard behind a voice that had lately become familiar to him, and turning round, saw Baron Levy walking side by side, though not arm-in-arm, with a gentleman almost as smart as himself, but with a jauntier step and a brisker air—a step that, like Diomed's, as described by Shakspeare—

"Rises on the toe—that spirit of his
In aspiration lifts him from the earth."

Indeed, one may judge of the spirits and disposition of a man by his ordinary gait and mien in walking. He who habitually pursues abstract thought, looks down on the ground. He who is accustomed to sudden impulses, or is trying to seize upon some necessary recollection, looks up with a kind of jerk. He who is a steady, cautious, merely practical man, walks on deliberately, his eyes straight before him; and even in his most musing moods observes things around sufficiently to avoid a porter's knot or a butcher's tray.—But the man with strong ganglions—of pushing lively temperament, who, though practical, is yet speculative—the man who is emulous and active, and ever trying to rise in life—sanguine, alert, bold—walks with a spring—looks rather above the heads of his fellow-passengers—but with a quick, easy turn of his own, which is lightly set on his shoulders; his mouth is a little open—his eye is bright, rather restless, but penetrative—his port has something of defiance—his form is erect, but without stiffness. Such was the appearance of the Baron's companion. And as Randal turned round at Levy's voice, the Baron said to his companion, "A young man in the first circles—you should book him for your fair lady's parties. How d'ye do, Mr. Leslie? Let me introduce you to Mr. Richard Avenel." Then, as he hooked his arm into Randal's, he whispered, "Man of first-rate talent—monstrously rich—has two or three parliamentary seats in his pocket—wife gives parties—her foible."

"Proud to make your acquaintance, sir," said Mr. Avenel, lifting his hat. "Fine day."

"Rather cold, too," said Leslie, who, like all thin persons with weak digestion, was chilly by temperament; besides, he had enough on his mind to chill his body.

"So much the healthier,—braces the nerves," said Mr. Avenel; "but you young fellows relax the system by hot rooms and late hours. Fond of dancing, of course, sir?" Then, without waiting for Randal's negative, Mr. Richard continued rapidly, "Mrs. Avenel has a soirée dansante on Thursday—shall be very happy to see you in Eaton Square. Stop, I have a card;" and he drew out a dozen large invitation cards, from which he selected one and presented it to Randal.—The Baron pressed that young gentleman's arm, and Randal replied courteously that it would give him great pleasure to be introduced to Mrs. Avenel. Then, as he was not desirous to be seen under the wing of Baron Levy, like a pigeon under that of a hawk, he gently extricated himself, and, pleading great haste, walked quickly on towards his office.

"That young man will make a figure some day," said the Baron. "I don't know any one of his age with so few prejudices. He is a connection by marriage to Audley Egerton, who"—

"Audley Egerton!" exclaimed Mr. Avenel; "d ungrateful fellow?"

"Why, what do you know of him?"

"He owed his first seat in Parliament to the votes of two near relations of mine, and when I called upon him some time ago, in his office, he absolutely ordered me out of the room. Hang his impertinence; if ever I can pay him off, I guess I shan't fail for want of good will!"

"Ordered you out of the room? That's not like Egerton, who is civil, if formal—at least, to most men. You must have offended him in his weak point."

"A man whom the public pays so handsomely should have no weak point. What is Egerton's?"

"Oh, he values himself on being a thorough gentleman—a man of the nicest honor," said Levy with a sneer. "You must have ruffled his plumes there. How was it?"

"I forget now," answered Mr. Avenel, who was far too well versed in the London[pg 249] scale of human dignities since his marriage, not to look back with a blush at his desire of knighthood. "No use bothering our heads now about the plumes of an arrogant popinjay. To return to the subject we were discussing. You must be sure to let me have this money next week."

"Rely upon it."

"And you'll not let my bills get into the market; keep them under lock and key."

"So we agreed."

"It is but a temporary difficulty—royal mourning, such nonsense—panic in trade, lest these precious ministers go out. I shall soon float over the troubled waters."

"By the help of a paper boat," said the Baron, laughing; and the two gentlemen shook hands and parted.


Meanwhile Audley Egerton's carriage had deposited him at the door of Lord Lansmere's house, at Knightsbridge. He asked for the Countess, and was shown into the drawing-room, which was deserted. Egerton was paler than usual; and, as the door opened, he wiped the unwonted moisture from his forehead, and there was a quiver in his firm lip. The Countess, too, on entering, showed an emotion almost equally unusual to her self-control. She pressed Audley's hand in silence, and seating herself by his side, seemed to collect her thoughts. At length she said: "It is rarely indeed that we meet, Mr. Egerton, in spite of your intimacy with Lansmere and Harley. I go so little into your world, and you will not voluntarily come to me."

"Madam," replied Egerton, "I might evade your kind reproach by stating that my hours are not at my disposal; but I answer you with plain truth—it must be painful to both of us to meet."

The Countess colored and sighed, but did not dispute the assertion. Audley resumed. "And therefore, I presume, that on sending for me, you have something of moment to communicate."

"It relates to Harley," said the Countess, as if in apology; "and I would take your advice."

"To Harley! speak on, I beseech you."

"My son has probably told you that he has educated and reared a young girl, with the intention to make her Lady L'Estrange, and hereafter Countess of Lansmere."

"Harley has no secrets from me," said Egerton, mournfully.

"This young lady has arrived in England—is here—in this house."

"And Harley too?"

"No, she came over with Lady N her daughters. Harley was to follow shortly, and I expect him daily. Here is his letter. Observe, he has never yet communicated his intentions to this young person, now intrusted to my care—never spoken to her as the lover."

Egerton took the letter and read it rapidly, though with attention.

"True," said he, as he returned the letter: "and before he does so, he wishes you to see Miss Digby and to judge of her yourself—wishes to know if you will approve and sanction his choice."

"It is on this that I would consult you—a girl without rank;—the father, it is true, a gentleman, though almost equivocally one,—but the mother, I know not what. And Harley for whom I hoped an alliance with the first houses in England!" The Countess pressed her hands convulsively together.

Egerton.—"He is no more a boy. His talents have been wasted—his life a wanderer's. He presents to you a chance of re-settling his mind, of re-arousing his native powers, of a home besides your own. Lady Lansmere, you cannot hesitate!"

Lady Lansmere.—"I do, I do! After all that I have hoped, after all that I did to prevent"—

Egerton (interrupting her).—"You owe him now an atonement: that is in your power—it is not in mine."

The Countess again pressed Audley's hand, and the tears gushed from her eyes. "It shall be so. I consent—I consent. I will silence, I will crush back this proud heart. Alas! it wellnigh broke his own! I am glad you speak thus. I like to think he owes my consent to you. In that there is atonement for both—both."

"You are too generous, madam," said Egerton, evidently moved, though still, as ever, striving to repress emotion. "And may I see the young lady? This conference pains me; you see even my strong nerves quiver; and at this time I have much to go through—need of all my strength and firmness."

"I hear, indeed, that the government will probably retire. But it is with honor: it will be soon called back by the voice of the nation."

"Let me see the future wife of Harley L'Estrange," said Egerton, without heed of this consolatory exclamation.

The Countess rose and left the room. In a few minutes she returned with Helen Digby. Helen was wondrously improved from the pale, delicate child, with the soft smile and intelligent eyes, who had sat by the side of Leonard in his garret. She was about the middle height, still slight but beautifully formed; that exquisite roundness of proportion, which conveys so well the idea of woman, in its undulating pliant grace—formed to embellish life, and soften away its rude angles—formed to embellish, not to protect. Her face might not have satisfied the critical eye of an artist—it was not without defects in regularity; but its expression was eminently gentle and prepossessing; and there were few who would not have exclaimed, "What a lovely countenance!" The mildness of her brow was touched with melancholy—her[pg 250] childhood had left its traces on her youth. Her step was slow, and her manner shy, subdued, and timid. Audley gazed on her with earnestness as she approached him; and then coming forward, took her hand and kissed it. "I am your guardian's constant friend," said he; and he drew her gently to a seat beside him, in the recess of a window. With a quick glance of his eye towards the Countess, he seemed to imply the wish to converse with Helen somewhat apart. So the Countess interpreted the glance; and though she remained in the room, she seated herself at a distance, and bent over a book.

It was touching to see how the austere man of business lent himself to draw forth the mind of this quiet, shrinking girl; and if you had listened, you would have comprehended how he came to possess such social influence, and how well, some time or other in the course of his life, he had learned to adapt himself to women. He spoke first of Harley L'Estrange—spoke with tact and delicacy. Helen at first answered by monosyllables, and then, by degrees, with grateful and open affection. Audley's brow grew shaded. He then spoke of Italy; and though no man had less of the poet in his nature, yet, with the dexterity of one long versed in the world, and who has been accustomed to extract evidences from characters most opposed to his own, he suggested such topics as might serve to arouse poetry in others. Helen's replies betrayed a cultivated taste, and a charming womanly mind; but they betrayed also one accustomed to take its colorings from another's—to appreciate, admire, revere the Lofty and the Beautiful, but humbly and meekly. There was no vivid enthusiasm, no remark of striking originality, no flash of the self-kindling, creative faculty. Lastly, Egerton turned to England—to the critical nature of the times—to the claims which the country possessed upon all who had the ability to serve and guide its troubled destinies. He enlarged warmly on Harley's natural talents, and rejoiced that he had returned to England, perhaps to commence some great career. Helen looked surprised, but her face caught no correspondent glow from Audley's eloquence. He rose, and an expression of disappointment passed over his grave, handsome features, and as quickly vanished.

"Adieu! my dear Miss Digby; I fear I have wearied you, especially with my politics. Adieu, Lady Lansmere; no doubt I shall see Harley as soon as he returns."

Then he hastened from the room, gained his carriage, and ordered the coachman to drive to Downing-street. He drew down the blinds, and leant back. A certain languor became visible in his face, and once or twice he mechanically put his hand to his heart.

"She is good, amiable, docile—will make an excellent wife, no doubt," said he, murmuringly. "But does she love Harley as he has dreamed of love? No! Has she the power and energy to arouse his faculties, and restore to the world the Harley of old? No! Meant by heaven to be the shadow of another's sun—not herself the sun—this child is not the one who can atone for the Past and illume the Future."


That evening Harley L'Estrange arrived at his father's house. The few years that had passed since we saw him last, had made no perceptible change in his appearance. He still preserved his elastic youthfulness of form, and singular variety and play of countenance. He seemed unaffectedly rejoiced to greet his parents, and had something of the gayety and the tenderness of a boy returned from school. His manner to Helen bespoke the chivalry that pervaded all the complexities and curves of his character. It was affectionate but respectful. Hers to him, subdued—but innocently sweet and gently cordial. Harley was the chief talker. The aspect of the times was so critical, that he could not avoid questions on politics; and, indeed, he showed an interest in them which he had never evinced before. Lord Lansmere was delighted.

"Why, Harley, you love your country, after all?"

"The moment she seems in danger—yes!" replied the Patrician; and the Sybarite seemed to rise into the Athenian.

Then he asked with eagerness about his old friend Audley; and, his curiosity satisfied there, he inquired the last literary news. He had heard much of a book lately published. He named the one ascribed by Parson Dale to Professor Moss; none of his listeners had read it. Harley pished at this, and accused them all of indolence and stupidity in his own quaint, metaphorical style. Then he said—"And town gossip?"

"We never hear it," said Lady Lansmere.

"There is a new plough much talked of at Boodle's," said Lord Lansmere.

"God speed it. But is there not a new man much talked of at White's?"

"I don't belong to White's."

"Nevertheless, you may have heard of him—a foreigner, a Count di Peschiera."

"Yes," said Lord Lansmere; "he was pointed out to me in the Park—a handsome man for a foreigner; wears his hair properly cut; looks gentlemanlike and English."

"Ah, ah! He is here then!" And Harley rubbed his hands.

"Which road did you take? Did you pass the Simplon?"

"No; I came straight from Vienna."

Then, relating with lively vein his adventures by the way, he continued to delight Lord Lansmere by his gayety till the time came to retire to rest. As soon as Harley was in his own room, his mother joined him.

"Well," said he, "I need not ask if you like Miss Digby? Who would not?"

[pg 251]

"Harley, my own son," said the mother, bursting into tears, "be happy your own way; only be happy; that is all I ask."

Harley, much affected, replied gratefully and soothingly to this fond injunction. And then gradually leading his mother on to converse of Helen, asked abruptly—"And of the chance of our happiness—her happiness well as mine—what is your opinion? Speak frankly."

"Of her happiness, there can be no doubt," replied the mother proudly. "Of yours, how can you ask me? Have you not decided on that yourself?"

"But still it cheers and encourages one in any experiment, however well considered, to hear the approval of another. Helen has certainly a most gentle temper."

"I should conjecture so. But her mind—"

"Is very well stored."

"She speaks so little—"

"Yes. I wonder why? She's surely a woman!"

"Pshaw," said the Countess, smiling in spite of herself. "But tell me more of the process of your experiment. You took her as a child, and resolved to train her according to your own ideal. Was that easy?"

"It seemed so. I desired to instil habits of truth—she was already by nature truthful as the day; a taste for nature and all things natural—that seemed inborn: perceptions of Art as the interpreter of Nature—those were more difficult to teach. I think they may come. You have heard her play and sing?"


"She will surprise you. She has less talent for drawing; still, all that teaching could do has been done—in a word, she is accomplished. Temper, heart, mind—these are all excellent." Harley stopped, and suppressed a sigh. "Certainly, I ought to be very happy," said he; and he began to wind up his watch.

"Of course she must love you?" said the Countess, after a pause. "How could she fail?"

"Love me! My dear mother, that is the very question I shall have to ask."

"Ask! Love is discovered by a glance; it has no need of asking."

"I have never discovered it, then, I assure you. The fact is, that before her childhood was passed, I removed her, as you may suppose, from my roof. She resided with an Italian family, near my usual abode. I visited her often, directed her studies, watched her improvement—"

"And fell in love with her?"

"Fall is such a very violent word. No; I don't remember to have had a fall. It was all a smooth inclined plane from the first step, until at last I said to myself, 'Harley L'Estrange, thy time has come. The bud has blossomed into flower. Take it to thy breast.' And myself replied to myself meekly, 'So be it.' Then I found that Lady N daughters, was coming to England. I asked her Ladyship to take my ward to your house. I wrote to you, and prayed your assent; and, that granted, I knew you would obtain my father's. I am here—you give me the approval I sought for. I will speak to Helen to-morrow. Perhaps, after all, she may reject me."

"Strange, strange—you speak thus coldly, thus lightly; you so capable of ardent love!"

"Mother," said Harley, earnestly, "be satisfied! I am! Love, as of old, I feel, alas! too well, can visit me never more. But gentle companionship, tender friendship, the relief and the sunlight of woman's smile—hereafter the voices of children—music that, striking on the hearts of both parents, wakens the most lasting and the purest of all sympathies: these are my hope. Is the hope so mean, my fond mother?"

Again the Countess wept, and her tears were not dried when she left the room.


Oh! Helen, fair Helen—type of the quiet, serene, unnoticed, deep-felt excellence of woman! Woman, less as the ideal that a poet conjures from the air, than as the companion of a poet on the earth! Woman who, with her clear sunny vision of things actual, and the exquisite fibre of her delicate sense, supplies the deficiencies of him whose foot stumbles on the soil, because his eye is too intent upon the stars! Woman, the provident, the comforting angel—whose pinions are folded round the heart, guarding there a divine spring unmarred by the winter of the world! Helen, soft Helen, is it indeed in thee that the wild and brilliant "lord of wantonness and ease" is to find the regeneration of his life—the rebaptism of his soul? Of what avail thy meek prudent household virtues to one whom Fortune screens from rough trial?—whose sorrows lie remote from thy ken?—whose spirit, erratic and perturbed, now rising, now falling, needs a vision more subtle than thine to pursue, and a strength that can sustain the reason, when it droops, on the wings of enthusiasm and passion?

And thou thyself, O nature, shrinking and humble, that needest to be courted forth from the shelter, and developed under the calm and genial atmosphere of holy, happy love—can such affection as Harley L'Estrange may proffer suffice to thee? Will not the blossoms, yet folded in the petal, wither away beneath the shade that may protect them from the storm, and yet shut them from the sun? Thou who, where thou givest love, seekest, though meekly, for love in return; —to be the soul's sweet necessity, the life's household partner to him who receives all thy faith and devotion—canst thou influence the sources of joy and of sorrow in the heart that does not heave at thy name? Hast thou the charm and the force of the moon, that the tides of that wayward sea[pg 252] shall ebb and flow at thy will? Yet who shall say—who conjecture how near two hearts may become, when no guilt lies between them, and time brings the ties all its own? Rarest of all things on earth is the union in which both, by their contrasts, make harmonious their blending; each supplying the defects of the helpmate, and completing, by fusion, one strong human soul! Happiness enough, where even Peace does but seldom preside, when each can bring to the altar, if not, the flame, still the incense. Where man's thoughts are all noble and generous, woman's feelings all gentle and pure, love may follow, if it does not precede;—and if not,—if the roses be missed from the garland, one may sigh for the rose, but one is safe from the thorn.

The morning was mild, yet somewhat overcast by tho mists which announce coming winter in London, and Helen walked musingly beneath the trees that surrounded the garden of Lord Lansmere's house. Many leaves were yet left on the boughs; but they were sere and withered. And the birds chirped at times; but their note was mournful and complaining. All within this house, until Harley's arrival, had been strange and saddening to Helen's timid and subdued spirits. Lady Lansmere had received her kindly, but with a certain restraint; and the loftiness of manner, common to the Countess with all but Harley, had awed and chilled the diffident orphan. Lady Lansmere's very interest in Harley's choice—her attempts to draw Helen out of her reserve—her watchful eyes whenever Helen shyly spoke, or shyly moved, frightened the poor child, and made her unjust to herself.

The very servants, though staid, grave, and respectful, as suited a dignified, old-fashioned household, painfully contrasted the bright welcoming smiles and free talk of Italian domestics. Her recollections of the happy warm Continental manner, which so sets the bashful at their ease, made the stately and cold precision of all around her doubly awful and dispiriting. Lord Lansmere himself, who did not as yet know the views of Harley, and little dreamed that he was to anticipate a daughter-in-law in the ward whom he understood Harley, in a freak of generous romance had adopted, was familiar and courteous, as became a host. But he looked upon Helen as a mere child, and naturally left her to the Countess. The dim sense of her equivocal position—of her comparative humbleness of birth and fortunes, oppressed and pained her; and even her gratitude to Harley was made burthensome by a sentiment of helplessness. The grateful long to requite. And what could she ever do for him?

Thus musing, she wandered alone through the curving walks; and this sort of mock country landscape—London loud, and even visible, beyond the high gloomy walls, and no escape from the windows of the square formal house—seemed a type of the prison bounds of Rank to one whose soul yearns for simple loving Nature.

Helen's reverie was interrupted by Nero's joyous bark. He had caught sight of her, and came bounding up, and thrust his large head into her hand. As she stooped to caress the dog, happy at his honest greeting, and tears that had been long gathering to the lids fell silently on his face, (for I know nothing that more moves us to tears than the hearty kindness of a dog, when something in human beings has pained or chilled us,) she heard behind the musical voice of Harley. Hastily she dried or repressed her tears, as her guardian came up, and drew her arm within his own.

"I had so little of your conversation last evening, my dear ward, that I may well monopolize you now, even to the privation of Nero. And so you are once more in your native land?"

Helen sighed softly.

"May I not hope that you return under fairer auspices than those which your childhood knew?"

Helen turned her eyes with ingenuous thankfulness to her guardian, and the memory of all she owed to him rushed upon her heart. Harley renewed, and with earnest though melancholy sweetness—"Helen, your eyes thank me; but hear me before your words do. I deserve no thanks. I am about to make to you a strange confession of egotism and selfishness."

"You!—oh, impossible!"

"Judge yourself, and then decide which of us shall have cause to be grateful. Helen, when I was scarcely your age—a boy in years, but more, methinks, a man at heart, with man's strong energies and sublime aspirings, than I have ever since been—I loved, and deeply—" He paused a moment in evident struggle. Helen listened in mute surprise, but his emotion awakened her own; her tender woman's heart yearned to console. Unconsciously her arm rested on his less lightly. "Deeply, and for sorrow. It is a long tale, that may be told hereafter. The worldly would call my love a madness. I did not reason on it then—I cannot reason on it now. Enough; death smote suddenly, terribly, and to me mysteriously, her whom I loved. The love lived on. Fortunately, perhaps, for me, I had quick distraction, not to grief, but to its inert indulgence. I was a soldier; I joined our armies. Men called me brave. Flattery! I was a coward before the thought of life. I sought death: like sleep, it does not come at our call. Peace ensued. As when the winds fall the sails droop—so when excitement ceased, all seemed to me flat and objectless. Heavy, heavy was my heart. Perhaps grief had been less obstinate, but that I feared I had cause for self-reproach. Since then I have been a wanderer—a self-made exile. My boyhood[pg 253] had been ambitious—all ambition ceased. Flames, when they reach the core of the heart, spread, and leave all in ashes. Let me be brief: I did not mean thus weakly to complain—I to whom heaven has given so many blessings! I felt, as it were, separated from the common objects and joys of men. I grew startled to see how, year by year, wayward humors possessed me. I resolved again to attach myself to some living heart—it was my sole chance to rekindle my own. But the one I had loved remained as my type of woman, and she was different from all I saw. Therefore I said to myself, 'I will rear from childhood some young fresh life, to grow up into my ideal.' As this thought began to haunt me, I chanced to discover you. Struck with the romance of your early life, touched by your courage, charmed by your affectionate nature, I said to myself, 'Here is what I seek.' Helen, in assuming the guardianship of your life, in all the culture which I have sought to bestow on your docile childhood, I repeat, that I have been but the egotist. And now, when you have reached that age, when it becomes me to speak, and you to listen—now, when you are under the sacred roof of my own mother—now I ask you, can you accept this heart, such as wasted years, and griefs too fondly nursed, have left it? Can you be, at least, my comforter? Can you aid me to regard life as a duty, and recover those aspirations which once soared from the paltry and miserable confines of our frivolous daily being? Helen, here I ask you, can you be all this, and under the name of—Wife?"

It would be in vain to describe the rapid, varying, indefinable emotions that passed through the inexperienced heart of the youthful listener as Harley thus spoke. He so moved all the springs of amaze, compassion, tender respect, sympathy, childlike gratitude, that when he paused and gently took her hand, she remained bewildered, speechless, overpowered. Harley smiled as he gazed upon her blushing, downcast, expressive face. He conjectured at once that the idea of such proposals had never crossed her mind; that she had never contemplated him in the character of a wooer; never even sounded her heart as to the nature of such feelings as his image had aroused.

"My Helen," he resumed, with a calm pathos of voice, "there is some disparity of years between us, and perhaps I may not hope henceforth for that love which youth gives to the young. Permit me simply to ask, what you will frankly answer—Can you have seen in our quiet life abroad, or under the roof of our Italian friends, any one you prefer to me?"

"No, indeed, no!" murmured Helen. "How could I!—who is like you?" Then, with a sudden effort—for her innate truthfulness took alarm, and her very affection for Harley, childlike and reverent, made her tremble lest she should deceive him—she drew a little aside, and spoke thus: "Oh, my dear guardian, noblest of all human beings, at least in my eyes, forgive, forgive me if I seem ungrateful, hesitating; but I cannot, cannot think of myself as worthy of you. I never so lifted my eyes. Your rank, your position—"

"Why should they be eternally my curse? Forget them and go on."

"It is not only they," said Helen, almost sobbing, "though they are much; but I your type, your ideal!—I!—impossible! Oh, how can I ever be any thing even of use, of aid, of comfort to one like you!"

"You can, Helen—you can," cried Harley, charmed by such ingenuous modesty. "May I not keep this hand?"

And Helen left her hand in Harley's, and turned away her face, fairly weeping. A stately step passed under the wintry trees.

"My mother," said Harley L'Estrange, looking up, "I present to you my future wife."



When the great defender of the Constitution delivered the oration at Bunker Hill, he pointed to the just completed monument and exclaimed, "There stands the Orator of the Day." In humble imitation of that significant act, I also, in attempting to illustrate the interests and the meaning of this occasion, would point you, gentlemen, to the fact of your presence here to-night—to the union at one banquet of printers, editors, publishers, authors, and professional men—as the best evidence of the importance and attractiveness of the occasion. The art of printing, among other inestimable blessings, has fused together the most productive elements of society; it has established a vital relation between intellect and mechanics, between labor and thought. I see before me in this assembly those who have achieved enduring literary fame, and those who are the present guides of public opinion. I see them side by side with the men who have just put their thoughts and sentiments into a bodily form and disseminated them on the wings of the press. The association is not only appropriate, but it is honorable to his memory who united in his life the humblest manual toil and the loftiest flights of genius; who both set up types and drew the lightning from heaven, and combined in his own person the practical printer and the scientific philosopher.

By your courtesy, gentlemen, I have been invited to say a few words appropriate to the New York-Typographical Society. It is with unfeigned reluctance that I assume the task. In this presence I behold so many better qualified for the undertaking than myself, that I am apprehensive I shall be able neither[pg 254] to do justice to my theme nor satisfy the expectations which you in your clemency have anticipated. True it is, that in my early life I was connected with your fraternity by more immediate ties than at present exist. Circumstances have modified my career, but I should prove recreant to the best feelings of my heart, turn ingrate to the pleasantest associations of memory, and forget the most efficient causes which have favored my journey thus far to mellow years, were I unmindful of the gratifications I enjoyed while a fellow laborer in your noble pursuits. The press is the representative of the intellectual man on earth; it is the expositor of his cogitative powers; the promulgator of his most recondite labors; the strong arm of his support in the defence and maintenance of his inherent rights as a member of the social compact; the vindicator of his claims to the exalted station of one stamped in the express image of God; it is the charter of freedom to ameliorated man in the glorious strife of social organization, in the pursuits of life, liberty, and happiness. Hence I have ever cherished the deepest regard for those who have appropriated their time and talents to this vast engine of civilization. I have ever looked upon the vocation as holding the integrity of our highest privileges on earth; freedom of inquiry, freedom of utterance, and the vast behests of civil communion, with the kindred of every nation, and the tongues of every speech.

When I was a boy of ten years of age, I became acquainted with the biography of Franklin. I had purchased at auction a Glasgow edition of his Life and Essays. I had read Robinson Crusoe, George Barnwell, The House That Jack Built, Æsop's Fables, the duodecimo edition of Morse's Geography, and other common publications of the times. No work that I have perused, from that juvenile period of my existence up to the present day, has ever yielded the peculiar gratification which Franklin's memoirs gave me, and my admiration and reverence for our illustrious sage have through all subsequent inquiry into his actions and services, increased in intensity, in proportion as I have contemplated his wondrous character and his unparalleled achievements. I think I owe something to my mother for this happy appreciation of our Franklin. She was by birth a Philadelphian, and for years, during her residence in Arch street, was favored with opportunities of again and again beholding Dr. Franklin pass her door, in company with Dr. Rush and Thomas Paine. "There," the children of the neighborhood would cry out, "goes Poor Richard, Common Sense, and the Doctor." It is recorded that Franklin furnished many thoughts in the famous pamphlet of Common Sense, while Paine wrote it, and Rush gave the title. There is something in the hereditary transmission of the moral and of the physical qualities; yet I have thought that the benevolent schemes of Rush, the intrepid patriotism of Paine, and the honest maxims of Franklin—the topics of daily converse in that day—had some influence in strengthening the principles which my mother inculcated in her children.

You have told me, gentlemen, that you would be gratified with some reminiscences touching New-York—social, literary, personal—of men and books—all having a bearing, more or less immediate, either on the progress of human development, or the character of our metropolitan city. I know not how to satisfy either you or myself. To do justice to the subject would require a different opportunity from the one here enjoyed, and leisure such as I cannot now command.

The locality upon which we are assembled to-night has its associations. We meet this evening on the memorable spot in our city's early topography denominated the Bayard Farm—a property once in the possession of the affluent Bayards, of him who was companion in his strife with Governor Leisler, and whose death for high treason was the issue of that protracted contest. That he fell a martyr to freedom, our friend Charles F. Hoffman has ably demonstrated. Within a few doors of this place, on Broadway, very many years after, but within my recollection, lived that arch negotiator in public counsels, Talleyrand, the famous ambassador of France to the United States. He published a small tractate on America, once much read, and it was he who affirmed that the greatest sight he had ever beheld in this country, was the illustrious Hamilton, with his pile of books under his arms, proceeding to the court-room in the old City Hall, in order to obtain a livelihood, by expounding the law, and vindicating the rights of his clients.

Here too is the spot where, some short while after, the antics of the Osage tribe of Indians were displayed for the admiration of the belles and beaux of New-York, and on that occasion my old colleague, Dr. Mitchill, gave translations into English of their songs and war-whoop sounds, for the increased gratification of the literary public of that day, when Indian literature stood not so high as in these times of Congressional appropriation, and of Henry Schoolcraft, the faithful and patriotic expositor of the red-man's excellences. I think I am safe in saying, also, that near these grounds occurred the execution of Young, a play-actor, convicted of murder—a remarkable event in New-York annals, owing to peculiar circumstances which marked his imprisonment in our old jail, now converted into the Hall of Records. There were, about the period to which I now refer, other occurrences of singular influence in those days.

Crowther and Levi Weeks were both confined in this debased prison because of high crimes, and many were incarcerated for debt. There was, nevertheless, an atmosphere of some intellect immolated within its cells; and[pg 255] for the first, and I believe the only time in this country, a newspaper was issued for some months' duration from its walls, entitled The Prisoner of Hope. The Wilberforce impulse of that crisis had much to do with the movement; and no abolition paper of even later dates plead more earnestly in behalf of enslaved humanity, by graphic illustrations and literary talent, than did The Prisoner of Hope. At that day, many newspapers had their specific motto, and that of The Prisoner of Hope was in these words:

Soft, smiling Hope—thou anchor of the mind;
The only comfort that the wretched find;
All look to thee when sorrow wrings the heart,
To heal, by future prospect, present smart.

Naturalists tell us that this eligible site was once characterized by the graceful foliage of the pride of the American forests, the lofty plane-tree, the platanus occidentalis. It must further increase our interest in the spot, to be assured that through its shades strolled our Franklin, in company with that lover of rural scenery, the botanist Kalm—an occurrence not unlike the interesting one of the excursions of Linnæus with Hans Sloane, in the Royal Gardens, near London. Here, too, the wild pigeon was taken in great abundance; while in the Common (now Park) those primitive inhabitants of the city, the Beekman family, with the old doctor at their head, shot deer and other game in their field sports. But enough at present of the locality where this anniversary is held.

The history of the American periodical press, if given with any thing like fidelity and minuteness, would occupy several hours; it is a noble specimen of our triumphs as a free people, and of our determination so to remain; it has demonstrated the progress of knowledge, and the intrepidity of New-Yorkers, as much as any one series of facts or occurrences we could summon for illustration. Everybody within this hall is aware that William Bradford was the first in time of the newspaper publishers of New-York. His gazette made its earliest appearance in October, 1725, four years after James, the brother of Benjamin Franklin, began the New England Courant—this being seventeen years after the commencement of the Boston News Letter, the first regular newspaper commenced in North America. I advert to this circumstance because we possess the completed file of that earliest of the journals of our land now in existence. The copy in the library of the Massachusetts Historical Society was presented that institution by the famous antiquary, Dr. Eliot; that in our own Historical Society is the file which was preserved by Professor McKean, of Harvard University, who bequeathed it to the Rev. T. Alden, from whom I purchased it and deposited it where it now remains.

From Franklin's representations, Bradford was a sorry individual, of low cunning, and sinister; yet I must not deal harshly with him. His, I believe, was the first printing press set up in New-York: he published the laws, and other state papers, and he was the grandfather of Bradford, afterwards Attorney-General of the United States; and as from his loins proceeded Thomas Bradford, the adventurous and patriotic publisher of Rees's Cyclopædia—the most enterprising of the craft, and our greatest patron of engravers—I desire to hold him in grateful memory. Our second newspaper was the New-York Weekly Journal, commenced about three years after Bradford's. John Peter Zenger, its proprietor, was a German by birth, a palatine, and something of a scholar; a man of enlarged liberality, patriotic, and an advocate of popular rights. He attacked the measures of the provincial Governor and Council, was subjected to a prosecution by the officers of the crown, and was brought to trial in 1735, when Andrew Hamilton, the Recorder of Philadelphia, came to this city and successfully defended him. I have before stated that the late illustrious Governor Morris considered the decision of that case in behalf of the press as the dawn of that liberty which subsequently revolutionized America. To the ladies now present, the lovers of sweet sounds, it may not be uninteresting to know that the first piano forte (harpsichord) imported into America, arrived in this city for the musical gratification of the family of the noble Zenger.

But I can say at this time little concerning newspapers. Our worthy associate in good works, Edwin Williams, has lately issued a memoir of much value on the subject, to which I must refer you. I regret that his catalogue of early journals is somewhat defective. As he justly observes, our Historical Society is wonderfully rich in these interesting documents. Our most precious treasures in that way are, unquestionably, the Rivington Royal Gazette, the old New-York Daily Advertiser, containing debates on the State Constitution, the American Citizen and Republican Watch Tower, the New-York Evening Post, and the Commercial Advertiser, through a long series, the New-York American, the Independent Reflector, containing the patriotic Essays on Toleration, by William Livingston, of New Jersey, and the Time-Piece of New-York, replete with invective against the Washington Administration—whose editor, Philip Freneau, verbally assured me that its most vituperative features were from suggestions of Jefferson, during the crisis in our public affairs provoked by Citizen Genet. But I must hasten to other topics.

Among the most conspicuous editors and publishers of gazettes whom I have personally known was Noah Webster, now so famous for his Dictionary. At the time I knew him, some forty years ago, he was in person somewhat above the ordinary height, slender, with gray eyes, and a keen aspect; remarkable for neatness in dress, and characterized by an erect walk, a broad hat, and a long cue, much after[pg 256] the manner of Albert Gallatin, as depicted in the engraving in Callender's Prospect Before Us. If with philologists he is deemed a man of merit, it may with equal justice be said that he is to be recognized by medical men as an author of importance, for his History of Pestilence.

Next I may note William Coleman, usually called in earlier days, by his antagonist Cheetham, Field-Marshal Coleman. Mr. Bryant, the able editor of the Post, in his biography of the first fifty years of that prominent gazette, has well described him. He was a sensitive man, of great tenacity of opinion, which he cherished by intercourse with many of the leading patriots and politicians who were among us some thirty years ago. He almost leaned on the arm of the inflexible Timothy Pickering, and had, in his younger days, held communion with Hamilton, John Wells and Rufus King. I shall never forget how the death of the immortal Hamilton subdued his feeling. When Gouverneur Morris delivered his felicitous eulogy from the portals of old Trinity Church, over the dead body of the noble martyr, with grief in every countenance, and anguish in every heart, Coleman's acuteness of feeling paralyzed every movement of his frame, and drowned every faculty of his mind. While on this topic, the decease of Hamilton, I may state an anecdote, the import of which can be readily understood. It was not long prior to the time of his death that the new and authentic edition of The Federalist was published by George F. Hopkins. Hopkins told me of the delicacy with which Hamilton listened to his proposition to print a new edition of these papers. "They are demanded by the spirit of the times and the desire of the people," said Hopkins. "Do you really think, Mr. Hopkins, that those fugitive essays will be read, if reprinted?" asked Hamilton; "well, give me a few days to consider," said he. "Will this not be a good opportunity, Gen. Hamilton," rejoined Hopkins, "to revise them, and, if so, to make, perhaps, alterations, if necessary, in some parts?" "No, sir, if reprinted, they must stand exactly as at first, not a word of alteration. A comma may be inserted or left out, but the work must undergo no change whatever."

A few days had elapsed when, on the next interview, General Hamilton agreed to the reprint, with the express condition that he himself must inspect the revised proofs. Not a word was ever altered. "You think something of the papers?" says Hamilton to the printer. "Mr. Hopkins, let them be issued. Heretofore, sir, I have given the people common milk; hereafter, shortly, sir, I shall give them strong meat." What the Union lost by that fatal duel, the Deity only knows.

Coleman was a writer of grammatical excellence, though occasionally sadly at fault in force of diction. Under the influence of some perverse conceits, he would labor for months to establish a theoretical doctrine, or to elucidate a useless proposition. It was hardly in the power of mortals ever to alter his opinions when once formed. That yellow fever was as contagious as small-pox; that skull-cap (the scutellaria) was a specific for hydrophobia; that Napoleon wanted the requisites of a military chieftain, were among the crotchets of his brain. The everlasting tractates which he put forth on these and other subjects, would in the present day of editorial prowess scarcely be tolerated in a chronicle depending on public patronage. Coleman had read extensively on medical topics, and was the principal writer of that able and elaborate Criticism of Miller's Report on the Yellow Fever in New-York, addressed to Governor Lewis, and printed in the second volume of the American Medical and Philosophical Register.

Coleman would underrate the best public services, if rendered by a political opponent. Chancellor Livingston found no quarters with him for his instrumentality in the Louisiana purchase. He would ride a hobby to death. During the many years in which I read the Post, I can summon to recollection no contributions on any subject, made to that paper, that ever awakened one half the attention which was enlisted by the felicitous productions of our poet Halleck, and the lamented Dr. Drake, under the names of Croaker, and Croaker & Co.

For numerous years I have well known Charles Holt, once editor of the Bee, during John Adams's administration, and afterwards of the New-York Columbian, during Dewitt Clinton's gubernatorial career. I am unable to tell you whether he is still among the living. I would estimate his age, if so, as approaching ninety years. He was a lump of benevolence, and a strenuous advocate of the great internal improvement policy of New-York. He comes forcibly to my mind this evening, because in 1798 he wrote a history of the yellow fever in New London, and every now and then I find him quoted in medical books as Dr. Holt, just as his predecessor, who wrote on the yellow fever in Philadelphia, of 1793, stands in bold relief as Dr. Matthew Carey.

Nathaniel Carter is vividly impressed on my recollection; he had very considerable literary taste; was many years editor of the New-York Statesman; and after his visit to Europe, published his Letters on his tour, in two large volumes. His merit was only equalled by his modesty. He was strongly devoted to Dewitt Clinton and the Erie Canal; with becoming tenacity he cherished much regard for his eastern brethren, and was the first I think who introduced his personal friend, our constitutional expositor, Daniel Webster, to the Bread and Cheese Lunch, founded by J. Fenimore Cooper, at which sometimes met, in familiar discussions, such minds as those of Chief Justice Jones, Peter A. Jay, Henry Storrs, Professor Renwick, John Anthon,[pg 257] Charles King, John Duer, and others of like intellectual calibre. Carter was of a feeble frame, struggling with pulmonary annoyance, from which he died early. He was little initiated in the trickery of political controversy. His heart was filled with the kindliest feelings of which nature is susceptible.

My acquaintance with the late Colonel Stone, so long connected with the Commercial Advertiser, commenced while he was the efficient editor of the Albany Daily Advertiser. His devotion to the best interests of the state and country; his extensive knowledge of American history; his patriotic feeling evinced on all occasions in behalf of our injured Aborigines; his biographies of Red Jacket and Brandt; his great political consistency during so many years—all commend him to our kindest and most grateful recollections. That he was cut off at a comparatively early age, was the result of his severe and unremitting literary toils. With a touching patience, he endured an agonizing illness, nor did he cease his useful labors till exhausted nature forbade further efforts.

About the time of the death of Colonel Stone, New-York lost a valuable promoter of its substantial interests by the demise of John Pintard. His career is still fresh in the memories of those who cherish the actions of the benevolent and humane. He was a native of this city (born in 1759), where he passed the greater part of his life, and died in 1844, in his eighty-sixth year. He was connected with the newspaper press in the earlier times of the Daily Advertiser. Pintard was well acquainted with nearly all the distinguished public characters at the period of the adoption of our constitution. Possessed of sound attainments by his Princeton College education, the ardor of his patriotism displayed itself by his uniting with a body of his college companions, in a military movement, in the revolutionary contest. He afterwards returned for a while to his alma mater, with the approbation of President Witherspoon. He was next appointed a sub-commissioner for American prisoners in New-York, and had frequent intercourse with the notorious Cunningham, the keeper of the Provost; visited the Sugar House, occupied by the unfortunate prisoners of war, in Crown street (now Liberty street); the Dutch Church in Nassau street, the Scotch Church in Little Queen street (now Cedar street), and also the Friends' Meeting House in Queen street (now Pearl street), near Cherry street, all tilled with the wretched victims of tyranny. He interceded in their behalf with the German General Heister, and with Henry Clinton, the British commander. He became acquainted with Knyphausen, William Smith the historian of New-York, Lord Howe, and others, and he has described, as an eye-witness, the scenes occurring at Washington's inauguration, in 1789. He was an advocate of the Federal policy of that day, and was a member of our State Legislature when it held its sessions in this city. Time forbids my detailing the objects to which he directed his attention during a long career of usefulness. Several of our important municipal regulations still in force were suggested by him. He was an earnest champion and successful advocate for the incorporation of the Bank of New-York. He was one of the founders of the Tammany Society, in those days made up of gentlemen of all political parties, and the express object of which was to preserve the history and habits of our red brethren. He urged the plan of a Registry of Mortality in this city, and was appointed the first City Inspector. The New-York Historical Society must look upon him as its chief founder. Some of its most precious treasures are fruits of his munificence. He was among the most strenuous, with Bishop Hobart, in establishing and increasing the library of the Protestant Episcopal Seminary, and was not deficient of contributions towards it. He was active with Elias Boudinot in projecting the American Bible Society. The first Bank of Savings mainly originated with him. He revived the Chamber of Commerce after its long repose. He convened the first assemblage of our citizens at the Park; for the purpose of obtaining a public expression of opinion in favor of the Canal policy for connecting the Erie and the Hudson, and this at a period when the spirit of party strife had widely scattered doubts and ridicule on the contemplated movement. In the war of 1812, when paper money in small bills largely became our currency, Mr. Pintard was the person who caused those well-known mottoes, "Mind your own business," "Never despair," "Economy is wealth," and others of a like import, chiefly drawn from Franklin, to surround the designations of the value of the money. He had, I believe, done a like service in our revolutionary times. He carried the measure of having the British names of our streets changed to the modern ones they are now known by. I have noticed these few circumstances concerning him, because I wish it to be impressed on your memories that the editors and proprietors of public journals are often zealous in good measures not necessarily connected with their immediate vocation. Pintard enjoyed an intimacy with booksellers and authors. He and Freneau, a native also of this city, and his contemporary, had often been in close communion, as patriots of the revolution. This essential difference, however, obtained between them. Pintard was a federalist; Freneau an antifederalist. Old Rivington had often a hard time with them. The sordid tory could neither endure the conservative republican principles of Pintard, nor the relentless bitterness of the sarcasm of Freneau. I shall only add that he was a student of many books, and an observer of men in every walk of life. He was of grave thought, yet often facetious in conversation.[pg 258] During forty years of medical practice, I have rarely fell in with one richer in table-talk, or better supplied with topics in life and letters. In his death, he manifested the strength of his religious faith, and resigned his spirit with a benignant composure. But I am forbidden to enlarge on the many excellences and services of the public-spirited John Pintard.

Were we to dwell upon the excellence of a gazette according to its merits, I should have much to say of the Morning Chronicle, a paper established in this city in the year 1802. The leading editor was Dr. Peter Irving, a gentleman of refined address, scholastic attainments, and elegant erudition. It exhibited great power in its editorial capacity, and was the vehicle of much literary matter from the abundance and ability of its correspondence. If I do not greatly err, in this paper Washington Irving first appeared as an author, by his series of dramatic criticisms, over the signature of Jonathan Oldstyle. The only poetic writer of whose effusions I now retain any recollection was Miss Smith, the sister of the late Thomas E. Smith. Her pieces were known by the signature of Clara; and in bringing together the effusions of the early female poets, Dr. Griswold, in his praiseworthy zeal in behalf of American literature, might well have increased in value his interesting collection by specimens of the productions of Miss Smith.

The omission, in these reminiscences, of some notice of John Lang, would be so quickly discovered, that I am necessarily compelled to dwell for a moment on the character and services of one who, for a long succession of years, filled a notable place in our newspaper annals. Lang was of Scotch descent, but the place of his birth, I believe, was New-York. For some forty or more years, Lang's Gazette was recognized as the leading mercantile advertiser, and the patronage which it received from the business world was such as doubtless secured ample returns to its proprietor. The distinction of the paper was unquestionably its attention to the shipping interests of this commercial emporium. As a journal of either political or miscellaneous matter it was sadly deficient. Lang adhered to his "arrivals" as the prominent object of consideration, and the mightiest changes of revolutions, in actions or opinions, found but a stinted record in his widely-diffused journal. Rarely, indeed, did our acknowledged politicians or essayists seek its columns for the promulgation of their ideas, and its editorial displays were generally tormentingly feeble. Nevertheless, it was in this gazette, then under the control of Lang and McLean, that General Hamilton first gave to the public his numbers of The Federalist. There is often to be found in one daily issue of the Post, the Courier and Enquirer, the Journal of Commerce, the Herald, the Tribune, or the Times of these days, more thought, nice disquisition, and real knowledge which awakens the contemplation of the statesman and politician, than the New-York Gazette contained during a twelvemonth; and yet it flourished. The traits of Lang's character were unwavering devotion to his pursuits; no one could excel him in the kindness of his demeanor; unconscious of the penury of his intellectual powers, he at times, unwittingly became the pliant agent of designing individuals, and from the blunders into which he was led, his baptismal name, John, seemed easily converted into that of Solomon, by which specification much of his correspondence was maintained. He bore the pleasantry with grateful composure.

With a characteristic anecdote I must dismiss the name of Lang. The discussions of a point in chronology, which occurred on the commencement of the present century, awakened some attention with mathematicians and astronomers abroad, and among many with us. The learned and pious Dr. Kunze, after much investigation, addressed a communication on the vexed question to Mr. Lang. He had adverted to the Gregorian style in his letter, and had mentioned Pope Gregory. The faithful Gazette printed the article Tom Gregory: the venerable Doctor hastened to his friend, and remonstrated on the injury he had done him, and requested the erratum to specify, instead of Tom Gregory, Pope Gregory XIII. Again an alteration was made, and the Gazette requested its readers, for Tom Gregory to read Pope Tom Gregory XIII. Only one more attempt at correction was made, when the compositor had its typography so changed that it read Tom Gregory, the Pope. The learned divine, with a heavy heart, in a final interview with the erudite editor, begged him to make no further improvements, as he dreaded the loss of all the reputation his years of devotion to the subject had secured to him. This Dr. Kunze was long a prominent minister of the German Lutheran Church of this city. He was the preceptor in Philadelphia of Henry Stuber, author of the continuation of the life of our Socrates, Dr. Franklin: a work executed with much ability. He was a physician, and a most delectable character. Many years ago, I was so fortunate as to procure some materials for a biography of him, and Dr. Sparks has courteously given them a place in his invaluable edition of Dr. Franklin's works. Justice to the departed Lang demands that I should add that he was a gentleman of the old school, of great moral excellence, and as a husband and a father most exemplary; deeply devoted to the interests of this city, and evincing a philanthropic spirit on every becoming occasion. He died at an advanced age; but his career was shortened by the great fire, in this city, in 1835. That vast destruction in his beloved New-York was an oppressive weight upon his heart.

Major Noah has so recently departed from[pg 259] among us, and the expectation that his active life will soon find a biographer is so general, that it seems unnecessary on the present occasion to speak at any length concerning him. I knew him well some thirty-five years. In religion a Jew, he was tolerant of all creeds, with equal amenity; his natural parts were of a remarkable order; few excelled him in industry, none in temperance and sobriety. He wrote for many journals, and established several. By his Travels in Africa he became known as an author. His work on the Abolition of Imprisonment for Debt was widely read. He was lively in converse, and a most social companion. His literary compositions, though not always pure in style, often showed a nice sense of the ludicrous and a love of humor. He abounded in anecdote. Mr. Matthews, from his personal knowledge, has not overdrawn the character of Noah. He possessed the organ of benevolence on a large scale. It is to be regretted that by his political vacillations his talents finally lost all influence in public councils and affairs.

We are susceptible of the pleasures and the pains of memory. A retrospect will confirm this declaration on many occasions. It is so in our contemplations of a newspaper; and in no instance have I been more sensible of this than when considering the origin, the career, and the termination of the New-York American. Its prominent projector was Johnson Verplanck, a native of this city, of a conspicuous family, whose mental qualities were of a robust order, and whose classical attainments entitled him to distinction. With the countenance and assistance of enlightened associates, he soon acquired for the American a reputation for eminent talents, great independence in opinion, and the most perfect freedom in scrutinizing public acts, and in literary and artistic criticism. Mr. Verplanck was one of the writers of the Buck Tail Bards, a satirical poem, of Hudibrastic flavor. He died in 1829. The American fell then into other hands, and for a long succession of years was editorially sustained by one who had often previously enriched its columns with his lucubrations. I allude to Charles King, now President of Columbia College. It was soon demonstrated to the satisfaction of its patrons, that, although under a new government, and its supplies derived from another source, its nutrition was not less wholesome and productive. For many years it claimed the admiration of the conservators of constitutional right and of critical taste. It was conducted with a manly boldness. Its tone gave dignity to political disquisition, though its manner was sometimes dreaded by objects of its animadversion: if its censures were occasionally severe, its approbation was the more highly appreciated: it was a record of historical value; nor can I comprehend why, in this age of universal reading in journalism, its career was closed. Its many volumes must hereafter be ranked with the once famous National Gazette of Robert Walsh, and the National Intelligencer of Gales & Seaton. Its distinguished editor, satisfied that for so long a period he had performed his part in the promotion of sound principles, with singleness of purpose, in behalf of the city, the state and the nation, may have sought that relief from mental care which is often secured by change of occupation. When I cast a thought over the hours I have spent in reading the American, I feel as Whitfield has expressed himself on a different occasion, "I am glad, but I am sorry;" glad that I have had so long the pleasure of being informed by its perusal; sorry that the opportunity no longer exists.

In closing this short list of editors, I feel justified in deviating for a moment in my chronology by a word or two on the character and death of one whom I have ever considered the ablest writer we have had in our public journals. He has been already incidentally mentioned. I allude to James Cheetham. He succeeded as editor of Greenleaf's paper, calling it the American Citizen. Cheetham was an English radical; had left Manchester for this country, and was by trade a hatter. His personal appearance was impressive; tall, athletic, with a martial bearing in his walk, a forehead of great breadth and dimensions, and penetrating gray eyes, he seemed authoritative wherever he might be. He arrived in this country at a period of perplexing excitement in the times of Adams's administration and Jefferson's entrance into the presidency. He found many to countenance his radicalism, as Tennis Wortman, James Dennison, Charles Christian and others—men whom we might call liberals, both in religion and in politics. Accidental circumstances made me well acquainted with him, so early as the summer of 1803. He was then universally known as the champion of Jefferson, of Governor George Clinton, and of De Witt Clinton. He was a most unflinching partisan writer, and with earnestness asserted the advantages arising from the possession of Louisiana, countenanced Blind Palmer, the lecturer on Deism, and congratulated the public on the return to America of Thomas Paine. He ever remained an active advocate of old George Clinton, but his friendship was suddenly turned into hatred of Paine, and his life of that once prominent but wretched individual demonstrates the rancor of his temper. The murderous death of Hamilton, I think, had a strong influence on him. No sooner had he breathed his last than Cheetham extolled him as the greatest of patriots. Many speak of Cheetham as at times holding the pen of Junius—a judgment sustained by some of his political assaults and essays. He possessed a magnificent library, was a great reader, and studied Burke and Shakspeare more than any other authors. I know nothing against his moral character. His death, however, was most remarkable: he had removed with his family to a country residence,[pg 260] some three miles from the city, in the summer of 1809. A few days afterwards he exposed himself to malaria, by walking without a hat, through the fields, under a burning September sun. He was struck with a complication of ills—fever, congestion of the brain, and great cerebral distress. The malignancy of his case soon foretold to his physician, Dr. Hosack, the uncertainty of his recovery. Being at that time a student of medicine, I was requested to watch him; on the second day of his sickness, his fever raging higher, he betrayed a disturbed intellect. On the night of the third day raving mania set in. Incoherently he called his family around him, and addressed his sons as to their peculiar avocations for life, giving advice to one ever to be temperate in all things, and to another urging the importance of knowledge. After midnight he became much worse, and was ungovernable. With herculean strength he now raised himself from his pillow; with eyes of meteoric fierceness, he grasped his bed covering, and in a most vehement but rapid articulation, exclaimed to his sons, "Boys! study Bolingbroke for style, and Locke for sentiment." He spoke no more. In a moment life had departed. His funeral was a solemn mourning of his political friends.

Paine has been referred too. I have often seen him at the different places of his residence in this city, now in Partition-street, now in Broome-street, &c. His localities were not always the most agreeable. In Partition-street, near the market, a portion of his tenement was occupied for the display of wild beasts. Paine generally sat, taking an airing, at the lower front windows, the gazed-at of all passers by. Jarvis, the painter, was often his visitor, and was fortunate enough to secure that inimitable plaster cast of his head and features, which at his request, I deposited with the New-York Historical Society. While at that work, Jarvis exclaimed, "I shall secure him to a nicety, if I am so fortunate as to get plaster enough for his carbuncled nose." Jarvis thought this bust of Paine his most successful undertaking as a sculptor.

I shall trespass some moments by giving a few reminiscences concerning booksellers and publishers. There are many of this professional order, whose character and influence might justly demand a detailed account. Spence himself would find among them anecdotes worthy consideration in the world of letters. I must, however, write within circumscribed limits. The first in my immediate recollection is Everet Duyckinck. He was a middle-aged man, when I, a boy, was occasionally at his store, an ample and old-fashioned building, at the corner of Pearl-street and Old Slip. He was grave in his demeanor, and somewhat taciturn; of great simplicity in dress; accommodating and courteous. He must have been rich in literary recollections. He for a long while occupied his excellent stand for business, and was quite extensively engaged as a publisher and seller. He was a sort of Mr. Newbury, so precious to juvenile memories in the olden times. He largely dealt with that order of books, for elementary instruction, which were popular abroad, just about the close of our revolutionary war and at the adoption of our Constitution—Old Dyche, and his pupil Dilworth, and Perry, and Sheridan. As education and literature advanced, he brought forward, by reprints, Johnson and Chesterfield, and Vicissimus Knox, and a host of others. His store was the nucleus of the Connecticut teachers and intellectual products, and Barlow and Webster, and Morse and Riggs, found in him a patron of their works in poetry and their school books. Bunyan, Young, Watts, Doddridge and Baxter, must have been issued by his enterprise in innumerable thousands throughout the old thirteen States; and the English Primer, now improved into the American Primer, with its captivating emendations, as

The royal oak, it was the tree
That saved his Royal Majesty;

changed to the more simple couplet—

Oak's not as good
As hickory wood;

and the lines—

Whales in the sea
God's voice obey;

now modified without loss of its poetic fire—

By Washington,
Great deeds were done—

led captivity captive, and had an unlimited circulation, for the better diffusion of knowledge and patriotism throughout the land. As our city grew apace, and both instructors and their functions enlarged, he engaged in the Latin classics. Having a little Latin about me, it became my duty to set up at the printing office of Lewis Nicholls, Duyckinck's reprint of De Bello Gallico. The edition was edited by a Mr. Rudd. He was the first editor I ever saw; I looked on him with school-boy admiration when I took him the proofs. What alterations or improvements he made in the text of Oudendorp, I never ascertained. This, however, must have been among the beginnings of that American practice, still prevailing among us, of having in reprints of even the most important works from abroad, for better circulation, the name of some one as editor, inserted on the title-page. Mr. Duyckinck was gifted with great business talents, and estimated as a man of punctuality and of rigid integrity in fiscal matters. He was the first who had the entire Bible, in duodecimo, preserved—set up in forms—the better to supply, at all times, his patrons. This was before stereotype plates were adopted. He gave to the Harpers the first job of printing they executed—whether Tom Thumb or Wesley's Primitive Physic, I do not know. The acorn has become the pride of the forest—the Cliff-street tree, whose roots and branches now ramify all the land. Duyckinck faithfully carried out the proverbs of Franklin,[pg 261] and the sayings of Noah Webster's Prompter. He was by birth and action a genuine Knickerbocker.

There was, about forty years ago, an individual somewhat remarkable in several respects, whose bookstore was in Maiden Lane—William Barlas. He was by birth a Scotchman, and was brought up to the ministry; but from causes which I never learned, he relinquished that vocation in his native land, and assumed that of a bookseller in this city. He was reputed to be a ripe scholar. He dealt almost exclusively in the classics, and for numerous years imported the editions—in usum Delphini, for the students in our schools and colleges. Hardly a graduate among us, of the olden time, can have forgotten him—Irving, Verplanck, John Anthon, and Paulding, can doubtless tell much of him. When, on a large scale, was commenced in Philadelphia, reprints of the Latin and Greek writers, poor Mr. Barlas's functions were nearly annihilated. I mention him here from his relation to the advancement of learning in my juvenile days. His opinion on the various editions was deemed conclusive; and he controlled the judgment as well as the pocket of the purchaser. He was long in epistolary correspondence with "the friend of Cowper," as some call him—old John Newton of London; and I have often wondered that no enterprise has yet brought forward, in a new edition of the writings of Newton, their correspondence. It is not for me to dwell on the contrast, so striking, between the present period and that to which I have just adverted, when even professors of Colleges were controlled in their opinions of books by the dicta of a bookseller. Such was the fact some forty or fifty years ago. What would be the reply of our Professor Anthon, of Columbia College, to a bookseller who assumed such authority? of him whose love and devotion to the philosophy of the classics has led him already in so many works to spread before the cogitative scholars, of both worlds, the deepest researches of antiquarian disquisition and philological lore, evincing that America is not tardy in a just appreciation of the excellencies of those treasures which enriched a Bentley, a Horseley, a Porson, and a Parr.

Those of our literary connoisseurs who cast a retrospective glance over days long past, may awaken into memory that delicately constructed and pensive-looking man, of Pearl-street, recognized by the name of Charles Smith. I believe he was a New-Yorker. Pulmonary suffering was his physical infirmity—his relief, tobacco, the fumes of which aver surrounded him like a halo. He abounded in the gloom and glory of the American Revolution, and published, with portraits, numerous diagrams of the campaigns of the war in the Military Repository, a work of great fidelity, in which it is thought he was aided by Baron Steuben and General Gates. As a bibliopolist, little need be said of him. But the curious in knowledge will not overlook him as the first who popularly made known to the English reader the names of Kotzebue and Schiller. Several of the novels and plays of these German authors were done into English by him; and, with William Dunlap, both as a translator and as a theatrical manager, The Stranger and other plays were presented to the cultivators of the drama in New-York long before their appearance in London, or the publication of Thompson's German Theatre. It is a circumstance worthy of notice, that the Rev. Mr. Will, then of this city, added to the stock of our literary treasures, by other translations into the English, such as the Constant Lovers, &c., of Kotzebue, before, I believe, any recognized English version appeared abroad. But I must leave this subject for the fuller investigation of the learned Dr. Schmidt professor of German, in Columbia College.

David Longworth's name is a good deal blended with the progress of American literature during years gone by. He was by birth a New Jerseyman; and the publication of his City Directory, for some thirty or more years, gave him sufficient notoriety; while his Shaksperean Gallery introduced him to many of the cultivators of the fine arts, at a period, when Trumbull and Jarvis were our prominent painters. Longworth had been brought up as a printer, at a daily press, but he seems early to have got a taste for copper-plate engraving, accurate printing, and elegant binding. With determined energy he issued an edition of Telemachus, which, for beauty of typography and paper, was looked upon, by the lovers of choice books, as a rich specimen of our art. His Belles-Lettres Repository no less evinced his taste in the elegantiæ literarum. He was, nevertheless, a man of many strange notions. It is well known that about the commencement of the eighteenth century, in our English books, printed in the mother country, the substantive words were almost always begun with a capital; the like practice obtained in many newspapers; but Longworth, not content with the partial change which time had brought about, of sinking these prominent and advantageous upper case type, waged a war of extermination against almost every capital in the case, and this curious deformity is found in many of his publications, as british america, and london docks. Even in poetry, of the first word, he tolerated only small letters at the beginning of the lines. His practice, however, found no imitators, though 'tis said that it first began in Paris. His bookstore, at a central situation by the Park, with works of taste classically displayed, afforded an admirable lounge for the litterateurs of that day. Here, when Hodgkinson, and Hallam, and Cooper, and Cooke were at the zenith of their histrionic career in the Park Theatre, adjacent, might be seen a group of poets and prose writers, who, in their generation, added to the original off-spring[pg 262] of the American press—Brockden Brown, Dunlap, Verplanck, Paulding Fessenden, Richard Alsop, Peter Irving, and the now universally famed Washington Irving.

I must note a circumstance of some import on the state of letters among us about those times. Longworth had secured from abroad a copy of the first edition, in quarto, of Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel, and determined to reprint it; yet, not satisfied with his own judgment, he convened a meeting of his literary friends to settle the matter. The committee, after solemn deliberation, suggested his venturing to reproduce only the introductions to the cantos, as an experiment, in order to ascertain the public taste. Would I speak in terms too strong if I affirmed that since that committee sat, millions of copies of the numerous volumes of Sir Walter Scott have been bought by the reading world in America. My circle of literary acquaintance was a good deal enlarged by the coteries I now and then found at Longworth's, as he was not backward in seizing opportunities of issuing new works, when from their nature they might excite the appetite of the curious. No publication of his so effectually secured this end, as the Salmagundi, in 1807, sent forth in bi-weekly numbers by young Irving and his friend Paulding. When we are apprised that some few of our middle-aged citizens, who sustained the stroke of that literary scimetar so long ago, still survive among us, I think we may argue from strong data for the salubrity of our climate. At Longworth's, I first saw the youngest dramatic genius of the time, Howard Payne, then about fourteen years old, and who, a short while after, appeared as young Norval on the boards of the theatre. He was editor of the Thespian Mirror.

Originally of Ireland, Hugh Gaine, upon his emigration to this country during our colonial dependence, set up in this city in 1753 his Royal Gazette, the New-York Mercury. His fame as well as his patriotism is embalmed in the irony of Freneau. It is only as a bookseller that I knew him, in Hanover Square. He was then at a very advanced age. His savings rendered him in due time independent in pecuniary matters. We may safely infer that he was not surpassed in industry, and that he was ever awake to the main chance, when we are assured that at the commencement of his journal, he collected his own news, set up his types, worked off his papers, folded his sheets, and personally distributed them to his subscribers. Franklin had done pretty nearly the same things before. Gaine, who in his after-life was an object of a good deal of curiosity to the citizens of the republic, enjoyed the consideration due to an honest man, and many kindly feelings.

Many as were his merits, and great as was his enterprise, Isaac Collins was most widely known, the latter part of his long career, by his editions of the works on grammar, and other school books, by the prolific Lindley Murray. As in the case of Franklin, his earliest effort of magnitude was the printing Sewell's History of the Quakers. The neatness and accuracy of his printing were familiarly remarked among readers; and these excellencies he displayed in his quarto Bible, the first of that form which was printed in this country in 1790. Collins was a native of Delaware. He projected a weekly paper, the New Jersey Gazette, which he published at Burlington during the Revolution, and, some time after, upon strenuous Whig principles. He had authority, like Franklin, for the emission of paper money for the State Government. He removed to this city in 1796, and a few years after this time I knew him. As his career was, many portions of it, like Franklin's, I had the greater admiration of him. He died in 1817. That he enjoyed the acquaintance of Franklin, of Rittenhouse and Rush, of Livingston of New Jersey, and others of the truest patriots in the great struggles of the country, may be inferred from his profession, his public station, his integrity, and his general character. In the society of Friends he was prominent, and, like Thomas Eddy and Robert Bowne, he was occupied with hospitals, and ever zealous in good works. He did vast service to the city as a printer, and as such he is here introduced.

The oldest inhabitants of our city may well recollect the bookstore of the Swords, Thomas and James. Some sixty years ago they began operations in Pearl-street. They commenced when New-York was little more than a village in population, and when literary projects were almost unknown. They deserve ample notice as most efficient pioneers, in their day, as printers and booksellers, and through a long career they held a high rank; they were assiduous and economical almost to a fault: their integrity was never doubted; their word was as good as their bond. They printed good works in more acceptations of the phrase than one. They did a great service to our scientific enterprise, in issuing the Medical Repository, the earliest journal of that kind, in the country. A literary periodical, of many years duration, was also printed by them, called the New-York Magazine. It was remarkable for the contributions of a society, self-named the Drone. Brockden Brown, William Dunlap, Anthony Bleucker, Josiah Ogden Hoffman, and James Kent (afterwards the great Chancellor), were among the writers. William Johnson, the well-known Reporter, who died recently, was the last survivor of this club. Their store for a number of years was a rendezvous for professional men of different callings—divines, physicians, lawyers, with a sprinkling of the professed authors of those times, as Clifton, Low, Davis, &c. Its theological feature was its strongest; and the interest of episcopacy were here descanted on with the unction of godliness, by such men as Seabury of Connecticut,[pg 263] and Moore of New-York, with good old Dr. Bowden, and Dr. Hawks, my friends Drs. Berrian and McVicker of Columbia College, and the energetic Bishop Hobart, the busiest and most stirring man I ever knew. The Messrs. Swords were largely occupied in printing works on divinity, and were confessed the printers of sound orthodoxy long before "the novelties which disturb our peace" had invoked polemical controversy.

I should do injustice to my feelings were I in this rapid sketch to overlook the late James Eastburn, the founder of the first reading-room on a becoming scale, in this country, and the publisher of the American edition of the Edinburgh and London Quarterly Reviews. He was a gentleman deserving of much estimation, of bland manners, and enthusiastic in his calling. He was curious in antiquarian literature and a great importer of the older authors. Many are the libraries enriched by his perseverance. Consumption wasted his generous frame, and he died at a comparatively early age, to the deep regret of the scholar and the philanthropist.

I should like, before I close this portion of these reminiscences, to awaken recollections of one or two other estimable individuals with whom I was long acquainted—George F. Hopkins and Jonathan Seymour. Hopkins merits a biography; he justly boasted that his edition of Robertson's Charles V. was the most accurately printed work of the time. He was fastidious almost to a fault in typographical neatness. He printed only works of positive merit. His enterprise led him, now fifty years ago, to urge the craft to render themselves independent of imported types, by establishing type-foundries in the country. There were few indeed among us who knew practically much about the founts of Caslon, the Coryphæus of letter-founders. The Scotch hard-faced letter was then extensively in use. Hopkins induced the immigration to this country of the famous Binney and Ronaldson, whose great skill in the art was soon recognized, and from that era up to the present day competent judges affirm that our Bruce, White, Conner, and others, have accomplished all that is requisite in the type-founding business. Of Jonathan Seymour, it is enough to say, that at one period of his life he was more largely engaged than any of his rivals in printing from manuscripts—so well known and appreciated was his devotion to his calling, and the accuracy of its results. In his death, the art lost one who had given it elevation, and society a man possessed of the qualities of industry, temperance, honesty, and Christian philanthropy in the fullest measure.

Within a few days has departed from among us, at the age of eighty years, a supporter of the press who long contributed to the diffusion of wholesome knowledge. I allude to Thomas Kirk. I shall terminate these notices by a striking occurrence, which involved him in great loss. He had determined, about the year 1801, to give the Christian community an octavo edition, in large type, of the Book of Common Prayer, the first of that size from an American press. To secure the utmost accuracy, he engaged, for a pecuniary consideration, the Rev. John Ireland, of Brooklyn, to revise the proofs. When the sheets were worked off, it was ascertained that the copy was an exact reprint, save in one particular. The critical acumen of Ireland had discovered, in the Apostles' Creed, a "tautological error," in the words, "from thence he shall come." The word "from" was superfluous, ungrammatical, and inelegant, according to Ireland, and, accordingly, it was not in Kirk's edition. Upon the sale of a few copies the omission was remarked; the fact became known to the bishop of the church; the book was pronounced defective, and the ecclesiastical authorities prohibited its circulation. The whole edition fell a dead weight upon the hands of the well-meaning publisher. I had this anecdote from Mr. Kirk himself, years ago, and he repeated it to me not long prior to his death, in last November.

This allusion to Kirk brings to my mind the notorious John Williams, better known as Anthony Pasquin, under which name he was doomed to everlasting infamy by Gifford, in his satire of the Baviad and Mæviad, in judgments afterwards confirmed in a celebrated trial for libel in which the famous Erskine delivered one of his best forensic speeches. Williams was the associate in London of a small but ambitious set of mutual admirers in literature, of whom Mr. Merry and his future wife were the "Della Crusca" and "Rosa Matilda," and all three of these worthies came to New-York about the year 1798. I have an impression that Kirk came at the same time. The character of Williams was infamous, and a large share of his infamy consisted in his ministering to, if not creating, the passion for personal scandal, and setting the example of black-mail collections, in newspapers. In the report of the great case of Williams vs. Faulder, it is said of his paper, called The World, that "In this were given the earliest specimens of those unqualified and audacious attacks on all private character which the town first smiled at for their quaintness, then tolerated for their absurdity—and will have to lament to the last hour of British liberty." After he came to this country he associated himself with the enemies of Hamilton, and published a satire called The Hamiltoniad, edited a magazine entitled The Columbian, and was a pioneer in that species of journalism which still subsists here upon the most scandalous invasions of private life and reputation. He was doubly detestable, in that he was the corruptor and worst specimen of the editorial calling in Europe and in America. I remember frequently seeing Williams, in the latter part of his life, in his shabby pepper-and-salt[pg 264] dress, in the obscure parts of the city. I believe he died during the first prevalence of the cholera in Brooklyn. Fancy may depict his expression as illustrating Otway's lines, "as if all hell were in his eyes, and he in hell." It must not be supposed that I in any degree associate the fame of the worthy Kirk with that of this literary vagabond.

To a suggestion that I might refer to the late William Cobbett, as associated with the periodical press of this country, I may say that I see in it no impropriety. Unquestionably a minute record would include his Porcupine Gazette and his Weekly Register; the one an offspring of his juvenile life, the other of his ripened years. I had some personal acquaintance with him at the time of his last residence in New-York. Hazlitt has, in his attractive manner, described him to the life. He was deemed the best talker of his day, and his forcible pen has given us indubitable proofs of his powers in literary composition. It was not unusual with him to make a visit to the printing office at an early morning hour, take his seat at the desk, and after some half dozen lines were written, to throw off MSS. with a rapidity that engaged eleven compositors at once in setting up. Thus a whole sheet of the Register might be completed ere he desisted from his undertaking. I think that in quickness he surpassed even the lamented William Leggett, of the Evening Post. The circumstance is certainly interesting in a psychological point of view; and yet may not be deemed more curious than the fact that Priestley made his reply to Lind, quite a voluminous pamphlet, in twenty-four hours, or that Hodgkinson, the actor, was able to peruse crosswise, the entire five columns of a newspaper, and within two hours recite it thus by memory. I visited Cobbett, when his residence was within a couple of miles of this city, in company with a few professional gentlemen. It was in October, and a delightful day. He heard our approach, and came to the door without our knocking. "Walk in, gentlemen—am I to consider this as a visit to me?—walk in and be seated on these benches, for I have no chairs—you may be fatigued—will you have a bowl of milk? I live upon milk and Indian corn—I never drink spirit or wine, and yet I am a tolerable example of English health." And, indeed, he was a most ample specimen of the genuine John Bull. His nearly oval face, and florid countenance, with strong gray piercing eyes and head thickly covered with white hair, closely trimmed; his huge frame, of some two hundred and seventy pounds weight, corresponding abdominal development, and well-proportioned limbs, all demonstrated, with anatomical accuracy, the truth of his observation. His superior intellect seemed roused in all its functions. The United States, England, the reform measures, the union of church and state, and its absurdity, were only a few of the subjects of his caustic remark. "I have just performed a duty, gentlemen, which has been too long delayed; you have neglected the remains of Thomas Paine; I have done myself the honor to disinter his bones; I have removed them from New Rochelle; I have dug them up; they are now on their way to England; when I return, I shall cause them to speak the Common Sense of the great man; I shall gather together the people of Liverpool and Manchester in one assembly with those of London, and those bones will effect the reformation of England in Church and State." After some two or three hours we took our leave, with unlimited admiration of his brave utterance and his colloquial talents.

With such a hastily written and imperfect sketch of the newspaper periodical press, of printers, editors, booksellers, and authors, I must close this portion of my present reminiscences. I have depended on a memory somewhat tenacious as my authority, in most instances, having no leisure at command for reference. A volume might be written of pertinent details. Nevertheless, enough has been said to illustrate, in part, the advancement of one species of knowledge in this metropolis. Did we institute a comparative view of the past and present condition of the press, we might be better enabled to announce the existing condition of our city as a Literary Emporium, That it is in accordance with the spirit of the age, seems demonstrable. Abroad, in England, in 1701, when the stamp duty was levied upon every number of a periodical paper consisting of a sheet, the whole quantity of printed paper was estimated at twenty thousand reams annually. Nearly at this period (1704), when the Boston News Letter made its appearance in the American colonies, some two or three hundred copies weekly may have been its circulation. What is the quantity of paper demanded by the present British periodical press, I am unable to state. In this month of January, 1852, it is calculated that there are about three thousand different newspapers and other periodicals printed in this country, the entire issues of which approach the yearly aggregate of four hundred and twenty-three millions of numbers.

When Franklin was a printer it was a hard task to work off over a thousand sheets on both sides in a day, by the hand press. Since his time we have had the Clymer, the Napier, the Ramage, the Adams, and now Hoe's Lightning press. By this last-named achievement in the arts, so honorable to a son of New-York, and so stupendous in its results to the world at large, twenty thousand papers may be printed in one hour.

If we advert to the instructive fact, of the enormous circulation of many of the journals of New-York, as the Herald, the Sun, the Tribune, the Times, the Express, the Mirror, and others issued daily; if we calculate the copies of the Observer, the Home Journal, the Christian Advocate, and others[pg 265] of the weekly press; the circulation of the monthly and other periodicals; if we look at the Methodist Book Concern, the Tract Society, the American Bible Society, the publications of the Appletons, of Putnam, and of the enterprising booksellers of this city generally, what bounds can we set to the offspring of the typographic art? The Herald and the Tribune in their distinct circulation, consume an aggregate of fifty thousand reams per year. The Harpers, who have thrown John Baskerville, and other eminent typographers of Europe in the shade by the magnitude of their operations, use one hundred reams of paper daily, at six dollars per ream, and make about ten volumes a minute or six thousand a day. On a former occasion I stated to you the agency which Franklin had in bringing forward stereotype plates, as projected by Dr. Colden, in this city, in 1779, and the fact that the art was communicated to Didot in Paris, by Franklin himself. I well remember the anxious John Watts, when he showed me his first undertaking in this branch of labor in New-York, just forty years ago. It was a copy of the Larger Catechism, the one I now hold in my hand. Notwithstanding the doubts of many, he felt confident of its ultimate success, yet suffered by hope deferred. What is now the state of the business in the matter of stereotyping? The Harpers alone—a single firm—have within their vaults plates for more than two thousand volumes.

Need I dwell on the improved appliances in the great art, which enrich the present day, or on the influences now at work on the intellectual man? Justly has it been stated, that the press of a single office in this city issues more matter than the industry of the world, with all its scribes and illuminators, in an entire year, previous the time of Faust. Let us, then, reverence the press, as our Franklin did. Let us cherish its freedom, as the triumph of our fathers, if we love the name of patriot. Let us teach our children to acknowledge it the palladium of our altars and our firesides. Let us recognize it as the Great Instructor, knocking at every door, and rendering every hovel, as well as every palace, a school-house.

Nor is it solely on the score of quantity, that we are to contemplate the measures now in force for the disciplining of intellect, and the rearing the moral edifice of the nation. I have already remarked on the superior ability of the press of our days in comparison with that of the period through which some of us have lived. The same energy which has swelled its dimensions, has increased the excellence of its material. Libraries so abound, knowledge is so diffused, that individuals qualified by scholastic powers, can be called in requisition for the duties of every department a successful journal demands. There is moreover a happier recognition of intellectual merit; reward is higher and more certain; and there exists throughout the community a noble estimation of productive intellect. Instead of a scattered recruit here and there in the ranks of literature, we have armies at command, of well-disciplined men; and the belief is not altogether idle that, in due season, of these armies there will be legions. Lovesick tales and Della Cruscan poetry, have yielded to stately essays on the business of life, in philosophy and in criticism, while the native muse has often stronger claims to our homage than the verses Dr. Johnson has embalmed, and that have made the fame of ancient bards. We no longer gaze at the author as a drone in the hive of industry.

Our youth are taught that a true man may be found among the luxurious and refined as well in the humble avocations of life. Ambitious of a national literature, we honor those who have laid its foundations, in the persons of an Irving, a Prescott, and a Bancroft, a Longfellow, and a Hawthorne. We gratefully remember our historical obligations to Sparks. We feel the dignity of the scholar when we summon to our aid the classical Everett. Mourning with no feigned sorrow the demise of that true son of our soil, the lamented Cooper, we rejoice that a Bryant and a Halleck, a Verplanck and a Paulding, are still left with us. Warm in our feelings, and made happier by the relations of intercourse, we extend the cordial hand to Tuckerman, our classical essayist and poet; to Willis, for his felicitous comments on passing events; to Griswold, for his admirable works in criticism and biography; to Dr. Mayo, for his Kaloolah; to Stoddard, for his exquisite poems; to the generous Bethune, the orator and bard; to Morris, for his Melodies; to Kimball, for his St. Leger Papers; to Clark, for his Knickerbocker; to Melville, for Typee; to Ik. Marvell, for his Reveries; to Ripley, for his fine reviews; to Bigelow, for his book on Jamaica; to Bayard Taylor, for his Views A-Foot; to Greeley, for his Crystal Palace labors; and to Duyckinck, the son of our old friend, the bookseller, for his Literary World. In the name of the Republic, we give our heartiest thanks to our intimate friend, the learned Dr. Cogswell, as we look at the spacious walls of the Astor Library.

The very great length to which I have unconsciously extended these reminiscences, forbids me from dwelling, as my heart and your wishes dictate, upon the most glorious name in American Printing, the immortal Franklin's. His character and deeds, however, are familiar to you all; and the language of eulogy is needless in regard to one whose fame increases with time, and whose transcendent merits, the constant development of that element he brought under human dominion render daily more evident and memorable. It is related, gentlemen, that when the statues of the Roman Emperors were carried in a triumphal procession, one was omitted, and the name of that one was shouted with more zeal than all the others inspired.[pg 266] So I know it to be with us to-night. The memory of Franklin is too ripe in our hearts to require words; it is a spell that sheds eternal glory on the typographical art; it is the best encouragement of youthful energy; it is revealed in every telegraphic despatch; it hallows the name of our country to the civilized world.

Noctes Amicæ.

Of tipsy drollery, a correspondent of the Evening Post (Mr. Bryant himself, we have no doubt), writes: "It is esteemed a mark of a vulgar mind, to divert one's self at the expense of a drunken man; yet we allow ourselves to be amused with representations of drunkenness on the stage and in comic narratives. Nobody is ashamed to laugh at Cassio in the play of Othello, when he has put an enemy into his mouth to steal away his brains. The personation which the elder Wallack used to give us some years ago, of Dick Dashall, very drunk, but very gentlemanly, was one of the most irresistibly comic things ever known. I have a mind to give you a translation of a German ballad on a tipsy man, which has been set to music, and is often sung in Germany; it is rather droll in the original, and perhaps it has not lost all of its humor in being overset, as they call it, into English. Here it is:"


Out of the tavern I've just stepped to-night
Street! you are caught in a very bad plight.
Right hand and left hand are both out of place;
Street, you are drunk, 'tis a very clear case.
Moon, 'tis a very queer figure you cut;
One eye is staring while t'other is shut.
Tipsy, I see; and you're greatly to blame;
Old as you are 'tis a terrible shame.
Then the street lamps, what a scandalous sight!
None of them soberly standing upright.
Rocking and staggering; why, on my word,
Each of the lamps is drunk as a lord.
All is confusion; now isn't it odd?
I am the only thing sober abroad.
Sure it were rash with this crew to remain,
Better go into the tavern again.

This is parodied or stolen by the clever author of the Bon Gaultier Ballads, in one of his best pieces.

The famous Quaker Anthony Benezet, was accustomed to feed the rats in the area before his house in Philadelphia. An old friend who found him so engaged, expressed some surprise that he so kindly treated such pernicious vermin, saying, "They should rather be killed and out of the way." "Nay," said good Anthony, "I will not treat them so; thou wouldst make them thieves by maltreating and starving them, but I make them honest by feeding them, for being so fed, they never prey upon any goods of mine." This singular fact is very characteristic. When feeding rats, the benevolent philosopher used to stand in the area, and they would gather round his feet like chickens. One of the family once hung a collar about one of them, which was seen for years after, feeding in the group.

Des Cartes fought at the siege of Rochelle, and after a variety of adventures, established himself in Holland, where he composed most of his works. These abound in singular theories and curious speculations, and their spirit of independence aroused the same spirit wherever they were read. Scholars and theologians vied with each other in battling the new opinions. The followers of Aristotle and the followers of Locke arrayed themselves against him. His novelties even drew the attention of women from their fashions. "The ladies of quality here, of late," says a writer from Paris, in 1642, "addict themselves to the study of philosophy, as the men; the ladies esteeming their education defective, if they cannot confute Aristotle and his disciples. The pen has almost supplanted the exercise of the needle; and ladies' closets, formerly the shops of female baubles, toys, and vanities, are now turned to libraries and sanctuaries of learned works. There is a new star risen in the French horizon, whose influence excites the nobler females to this pursuit of human science. It is the renowned Monsieur Des Cartes, whose lustre far outshines the aged winking tapers of Peripatetic Philosophy, and has eclipsed the stagyrite, with all the ancient lights of Greece and Rome. 'Tis this matchless soul has drawn so many of the fairer sex to the schools. And they are more proud of the title—Cartesian—and of the capacity to defend his principles, than of their noble birth and blood."

We find in The Courts of Europe at the Close of the last Century, by Henry Swinburne, the following illustration of American manners:

"An English officer, Colonel A in a stage to New-York, and was extremely annoyed by a free and enlightened citizen's perpetually spitting across him, out of the window. He bore it patiently for some time, till at last he ventured to remonstrate, when the other said, 'Why, colonel, I estimate you're a-poking fun at me—that I do. Now, I'm not a-going to chaw my own bilge-water, not for no man. Besides, you need not look so thundering ugly. Why, I've practised all my life, and could squirt through the eye of a needle without touching the steel, let alone such a great saliva-box as that there window.' Colonel A at last his anger got up, and he spat bang in his companion's face, exclaiming, 'I beg you a thousand pardons, squire, but I've not practised as much as you have. No doubt, by the time we reach New-York, I shall be as great a dabster as you are.' The other rubbed his eye, and remained bouche close."

[pg 267]

In support of the hydropathic practice, and in illustration of the effect of cold, we cite an anecdote Mignet tells of the celebrated French physician Broussais:

"Seized with a violent fever at Nimèguen, Broussais was attended by two of his friends, who each prescribed opposite remedies. Embarrassed by such contradictory opinions, he resolved to follow neither. Believing himself to be seriously in danger, he jumped out of bed in the midst of this raging fever, and almost naked sat down to his escrutoire to arrange his papers. It was in the month of January; the streets were covered with snow. While thus settling his affairs the fever abated, a sensation of freshness and comfort diffused itself throughout his frame. Amazed at this result, Broussais, like a bold theorist as he was, converted his casual forgetfulness into an experience. He boldly threw open the window, and for some time inspired the cold winter air that blew in upon him. Finding himself greatly benefited, he concluded that cool drink would be as refreshing to his stomach as cold air had been to his body. He deluged his stomach with cold lemonade, and in less than forty-eight hours he was well again!"

The following amusing anecdote is told in a work recently published in London of Tom Cooke, the actor and musician:

"At a trial in the Court of King's Bench, June, 1833, betwixt certain publishing tweedledums and tweedledees, as to the alleged piracy of an arrangement of the 'Old English Gentleman,'—an old English air, by the bye—Cooke was subpœnaed as a witness. On his cross-examination by Sir James Scarlet, afterwards Lord Abinger, for the opposite side, that learned counsel rather flippantly questioned him thus: 'Now, sir, you say that the two melodies are the same, but different; now what do you mean by that, sir?' To this Tom promptly answered, 'I said that the notes in the two copies were alike, but with a different accent, the one being in common time, the other in sixth-eight time; and, consequently, the position of the accented notes was different.' Sir James—'What is musical accent?' Cooke—'My terms are a guinea a lesson, sir.' (A loud laugh.) Sir James (rather ruffled)—'Never mind your terms here. I ask you what is musical accent. Can you see it?' Cooke—'No.' Sir James—'Can you feel it?' Cooke—'A musician can.' (Great laughter.) Sir James (very angry)—'Now, pray sir, don't beat about the bush, but explain to his lordship and the jury, who are supposed to know nothing about music, the meaning of what you call accent.' Cooke—'Accent in music, is a certain stress laid upon a particular note, in the same manner as you would lay a stress upon any given word for the purpose of being better understood. Thus, if I were to say, 'You are an ass—it rests on ass; but if I were to say, 'You are an ass—it rests on you, Sir James.' Reiterated shouts of laughter by the whole court, in which the bench itself joined, followed this repartee. Silence having been at length obtained, the Judge, with much seeming gravity, accosted the chop-fallen counsel thus: Lord Denman—'Are you satisfied, Sir James?' Sir James (deep red as he naturally was, to use poor Jack Reeve's own words, had become scarlet in more than name), in a great huff, said, 'The witness may go down!'"

A Portuguese paper gives some statistics which could only be obtained under the spy and secret police system. There are said to be in Portugal 872,634 married couples, of which the present condition is very nearly as follows:—"Women who have left their husbands for their lovers, 1,262. Husbands who have left their wives for other women, 2,361. Couples who have agreed to live separately, 33,120. Couples who live in open warfare, under the same roof, 13,263. Couples who cordially hate each other, but dissemble their aversion under the appearance of love, 162,320. Couples who live in a state of tranquil indifference, 510,132. Couples who are thought by their acquaintances to be happy, but are not themselves convinced of their own felicity, 1,102. Couples that are happy as compared with those that are confessedly unhappy, 131. Couples indisputably happy in each other, 0. Total, 872,634."

The first duel in New England, was fought with sword and dagger, between two servants. Neither of them was killed, but both were wounded. For this disgraceful offence, they were formally tried before the whole company (the first settlers), and sentenced to have their "heads and feet tied together, and so to be twenty-four hours, without meat or drink." Their bravery all exploded in a little while, and they plead piteously to be released, which was finally done by the Governor on their promising better behavior. "Such was the origin," says Dr. Morse, "and such, I may almost venture to say, was the termination of the odious practice of duelling in New England, for there have been very few fought there since."

We are told by Ariosto of a warrior who was so happily gifted that when his arms, his legs, or even his head, happened to be chopped off in battle, he could jump down from his horse and replace the dissevered member. Many modern humbugs are of this description; they are real polipi; chop them into a thousand pieces, and each piece will start up as brisk and as lively as ever. Metaphysical humbugs are the most difficult kind to deal with. Contending with them is like wrestling with spectres; there is not substance enough to catch hold of.

Lately, at a sitting of the Norwegian legislature at Christiana, a petition was presented from the world-known fiddler, Ole Bull, in which he solicited the creation of a national theatre in that town, to receive a subvention from the government, and to which a dramatic school was to be attached. The Assembly voted that the petition should be taken into consideration, and appointed a committee to draw up a report on it. M. Bull has already founded, at his own cost, a theatre in his native town, Bergen. M. Bull visits this country now in search only of pleasure.

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Authors and Books

Gutzkow's Ritter vom Geiste (Knights of the Spirit) is at last finished, the ninth volume having made its appearance. It has faults of detail, and there are deficiencies in spots, but as a whole it is praised as eminently successful, and truly a new work. The idea in some respects recalls the Wilhelm Meister of Goethe, and the Nathan the Wise of Lessing, but the execution has more force and a larger and more imperious movement than either. The Knights of the Spirit are a body of men who are combined in an order to which they give that name, and this book is their history and that of the order. At the same time there is nothing mystical, supernatural, or merely fantastic about it, though its spirit is humanitary and even socialistic. The scene is in modern times, but though the names of the heroes are German, and the circumstances in which they are placed German, the author has succeeded in producing a truly cosmopolitan romance. The nine volumes are sold in Germany for about $8 00.

Henry Taylor, the author of Philip Van Artevelde, is the subject of an article in the Grenzboten. The writer takes him, as the acknowledged first living dramatic poet of England, to be the best illustration of the nature and characteristics of the English drama. This drama is said to be more remarkable for sharply-outlined and detailed characters, than for the invention of exciting and consistent action. The characters in all their peculiarities are first created, and situations are made and arranged for them afterward. The evil of this is, that the whole thus becomes fragmentary, and the particulars outweigh and obscure the general spirit and intention of the piece. Even Shakspeare, with his gigantic genius, was not free from this defect. His Merry Wives of Windsor, for instance, is rich in comic situations and figures, but they are arbitrarily put together, and every scene has the character of an episode; the action does not go forward in a true and consistent course. Now-a-days the evil is worse, because it is the fashion to substitute reflection for natural feeling. Taylor is like those portrait painters who paint the features so carefully as to destroy the general character of the face. His men and women are not alive and genuine. Still their language is grave and noble, their thoughts comprehensive, often striking, and their emotions, though artificial, are elaborated with great insight and knowledge of the world. Compared with the wretched creations of the French romanticists, they are worthy of all praise. The critic then proceeds to analyze Isaac Comnenus, Philip Van Atevelde, and Fair Edwin, setting forth with great fairness the excellencies and faults of each.

A new contribution to an obscure but most interesting part of European history is Deutschland in der Revolutions periode von 1522-26, (Germany, in the Revolutionary Period from 1522 to 26,) by Joseph Edmund Jörg. The author has had access to a great mass of original and hitherto unused materials, especially diplomatic correspondence and other documents in the Bavarian archives. His view of the subject is very different from that taken by Zimmermann, in his Peasants' War, or by any other writer. He mocks at the idea that this revolution grew out of the evils and oppressions suffered by the people, and finds its most powerful impulse in the passion for innovation that sprung up along with the revival of classical studies in the middle ages.

The antique fashion of presenting poetic works to the public, is revived in Germany with great success. Professor Griepenkerl of Brunswick, whose tragedy of Robespierre made a great sensation a year or more since, is now reading his new play of the Girondists to large audiences in the principal cities. He has already been heard at Brunswick, Leipzig, Dresden, and Bremen, and proposes to visit other places on the same errand. The play, which is a tragedy of course, is much admired, though it is not thought to be adapted to the stage. The Girondists were not men of action, but orators and thinkers. The final scene in the play is the famous banquet before they were taken to execution. Charlotte Corday is among the characters; the women are said not to be drawn as truly and powerfully as the men.

Carlyle's Life of Stirling is criticised in the Grenzboten, which calls Carlyle the strangest of all philosophers. This book is said, however, to be, on the whole, clearer and more intelligible than most of his former productions. Still, like most works of the new romantic school in England, of which Carlyle is the chief, it aims rather to give expression to the ideas and abilities of the author, than to do justice to its subject. But it is in Warren's Lily and the Bee, that the school appears in full bloom. This is said to consist mostly of exclamation points, and is written in a sort of lapidary style, that deals in riddles, pathos without object, sentimentality with irony, world-pain, and allusions to all the kingdoms of heaven and earth, without any explanation as to what relation these allusions bear to each other, and with a Titanic pessimism as its predominating tone, which first rouses itself up to take all by storm, and finishes by being soothed into happy intoxication by the odors of a lily. This is better treatment than The Lily and the Bee gets at home.

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In the second volume of Shakspeare as Protestant, Politician, Psychologist and Poet, by Dr. Ed. Vehse—spoken of as being "even more uninteresting than the first," we find the two following extraordinary ideas. Firstly, that Shakspeare followed a theory of physical temperaments in his characters—that Hamlet was a representative of the melancholy or nervous, Othello of the choleric, Romeo of the sanguine, and Falstaff of the phlegmatic. Secondly, that in Falstaff, Shakspeare parodied—himself! Or to give his own words, "We may suppose that Shakspeare's physical constitution inclined to corpulence, and inspired in him the disposition to the life of a bon vivant. His intimacy with the Earl of Southampton may have favored this disposition, since they led for a long time a dissipated tavern-life, and were rivals in love matters!" The work is principally made up of extracts from Shakspeare's plays, to every which extract we find appended "How admirable,"—"Excellent," and similar aids to those who are not familiar with the English bard.

We commend to the attention of philologists Das Gothische Runenalphabet, (or The Gothic Runic Alphabet,) recently published by Hertz of Berlin. "Before Wulfila, the Goths had an alphabet of twenty-five letters, formed according to the same principles, and bearing nearly the same names as the Runes of the Anglo-Saxons and Northmen, and probably arranged in the same order of succession. Wulfila adopted the Grecian alphabet, which through his modification was received by the Goths to the old twenty-five letters." This is the theory propounded in the work, which is not wanting, as we learn, in instructive information. In connection with this we may notice a book which has been deemed worthy of a modern English republication in elegant style, the often referred to Scriptural Poems of Cædmon, in Anglo-Saxon, an edition of which, by R. W. Bouterwek, with an Anglo-Saxon Glossary, has recently been published by Bædeher of Elberfeldt.

The Preussische Zeitung states that M. Hanke, a learned Bohemian, is publishing, in Prague, a fac-simile of the Gospels on which the Kings of France have always been sworn at their coronation at Rheims. The manuscript volume is in the Slavonian language, and has been preserved at Rheims ever since the twelfth century, but it has only been lately discovered in what language it was written.

The eleventh volume of the Monumenta Germaniæ Historica inde ab anno Christi 500 usque ad annum 1500 auspiciis societ, aperiendis fontibus serum German medii ævi edid, G. H. Pertz, has just made its appearance. This work is regarded as a stupendous effort of erudition and historical acumen, even in Germany.

Dr. Hagberg, a professor at the University of Upsal, has just published at Stockholm a version of the complete works of Shakspeare, the first ever made in the Swedish language. It is in twelve thick octavo volumes. The Shaksperian Society of London having received a presentation copy of this translation, has returned a vote of thanks to Dr. Hagberg, accompanied by forty volumes of the Society's publications, all relating to the great dramatist and the state of dramatic art in his time.

Dunlop's History of Fiction has been translated into German by Professor Liebrecht of Liege, and enlarged so as to be much more complete than the original. The version bears the title of Geschichte der Prosadichtung oder, Geschichte der Romane, Novellen und Mährchen (History of Prose Poetry, or History of Romances, Novels and Traditional Tales). It gives a complete account of the most prominent fictions from the Greek romances down to the present day, and is quite as valuable for those who like to take their novels condensed, as for those who make a historical study of literature.

Holtei, the German poet, has published a four-volume novel, called Die Vagabunden (The Vagabonds). It is a curious and successful book. It treats of the various classes that get their living by amusing others, not merely of theatrical and musical artists, but of circus-riders, ventriloquists, jugglers, rope-dancers, puppet-showmen, &c. Indeed, actors and musicians are only introduced casually, while the lower classes, if we may so call them, of wandering artists, make up the book; and they make it up not in the form of caricatures or exaggerations, but as genuine living characters, with the faults and virtues that really belong to men of their respective professions The story is a good one, and is varied with all sorts of strange adventures.

In poetry we observe the attractive title of The Æolian Harp of the World's Poetry, a collection of poems of all countries and ages, "dedicated to German ladies and maidens," by Ferd. Schmidt. Also by the same collector, a Household Treasury of the most beautiful Ballads, Romances, and Poetic Legends of all Times and Nations; by Bruno Lindner, Four Tales, and from the Countess Agnes Schwerin, a new edition of What I heard from the bird. Were we confident that the Countess were intimately familiar with English poetry, we should feel half inclined to accuse her of having taken this title from

"High diddle ding, I heard a bird sing."

G. Puslitz has "thrown forth," as Bacchus threw the wreath of Ariadne, a "garland of Stories," entitled What the Forest Tells. Whether, like the wreath alluded to, it will reach the stars, we must leave our readers or his to decide.

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In Science, we observe the publication of a piece of eccentric nonsense such as emanates at the present day only from a weak brother in Germany, or occasionally from a would-be original in New England. The work to which we refer is the Natur und Geist (or Nature and Spirit) of Dr. Johann Riohers. In the second volume he attempts to utterly overwhelm, confound, and destroy Newton's Theory of Attraction, by such an argument as the following. "Let any man jump from a height, in descending he feels no attraction to the Earth. How hasty and absurd therefore is it to attribute the movement in question to such an attraction."

A new collection of German Domestic Legends (Haus Mährchen) has been published at Leipzig, by J.W. Wolf, a distinguished German philologist. His Legends closely resemble those collected by Grimm, and, like them, are curious and instructive. He obtained them, one from a Gipsey, others from peasants in the mountain districts, and others from some companies of Hessian soldiers. He remarks that many such ancient legends are yet floating about among the German people, and that they ought to be collected before they are lost.

Zend Avesta, or On the things of Heaven and the World beyond the Grave, is the title of a new book in three volumes just published at Leipzig, in German, of course, by Gustav Theodor Fechnor. The author attempts to prove the possibility, if not the certainty, of a future life of the individual after death. His demonstrations are drawn from the analogies of the natural world. He exhibits a wide acquaintance with nature and with literature, but is not thought to have made any positive additions to psychological science.

Those who are conversant with the curiosities of the Middle Ages, and have read the entertaining history of "Ye Nigromancer Virgilius," in which the Mantuan bard lives no longer in the magic of song, but that of literal sorcery, will peruse with pleasure the Virgil's Fortleben im Mittelalter, or The Life of Virgil continued in the Middle Ages, by G. Rappert. Of all the wild romantic legends which the romantic time brought forth, none surpass in singularity and interest this singular narration.

Temperance Tales are produced in Germany as well as elsewhere. Jeremias Gotthelf is the best author who there cultivates this style of composition. His Dürsli, the Brandy drinker, has just passed through a fourth edition, and How five Maidens miserably perished in Brandy, to a second. Gotthelf has the talent of combining great dramatic interest and artistic freshness of narration, with a moral purpose. Hence the popularity of these little books.

Niehl's Bûrgerliche Gesellschaft (Civil Society) is greatly praised by critics, as the most valuable work lately published in Germany, or indeed in Europe, upon the State of Society and the causes operating to change it. Especially good are its pictures of the different classes in Germany, such as the nobility, the peasantry, the industrious middle class, and the proletaries. These pictures are said to have the minuteness and fidelity of daguerreotypes. The chapter on the "proletaries of intellectual labor," gives any thing but a flattering account of the literary classes on the continent. Those classes are held up as in a great measure perverted, empty, and dangerous. Niehl divides Society in Germany into four great classes, namely: the peasantry, the aristocracy, the bourgeoisie or middle class, and the proletariat, or mere laborers for wages. The last he regards as the decaying and corrupting class, a sort of scum in hot effervesence. This is, however, one of the classes that produce social movement; the other is the middle class; the conservative or stationary classes are the peasantry and aristocracy. The learned professions he reckons among the middle class. He makes no distinction between the proletaries who live by the soil, and those who live by working in connection with manufactures and mechanical trades.

Another contribution to Goethean literature is the Correspondence between the great Poet and his intimate friend Knebel, which has just appeared in Germany in two volumes. The letters extend from 1774 to 1832, and contain the free expression of Goethe's opinions on a great variety of important subjects, as well as many interesting particulars in his personal history, hitherto unknown.

Mr. Wetzstein, Prussian Consul at Damascus, has returned to Europe, bringing a valuable collection of Arabic, Turkish and Persian manuscripts, which he expects to sell to the Royal Library at Berlin. Of especial value is a history of Persia during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, which casts light on several portions of Persian history that have hitherto been obscure.

Longfellow's Evangeline has been translated into German and published at Hamburg. The name of the translator is not given. The critics find that the poem has a very marked resemblance to Goethe's Herman and Dorothea.

Dr. Mayo's Berber has been translated into the German by Mr. L. Dubois, and published at Leipzig.

A new and splendid edition of the Pilgrim's Progress has been published at Leipzig, in German. It is curious to see the good old book discussed by the critics as if it were a new production.

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German Historical Literature has lately been enriched by numerous valuable works. Among these we notice Wenck's Fränkische Reich (Frankish Empire), which treats that subject, from A.D. 843 to 861, with instructive thoroughness and philosophical insight; two essays by Ficker, the one on Reinhald von Dassel, the Chancellor of Ferdinand I., and the other on the attempt of Henry VI. to render the German empire hereditary; Arnthen's History of Carinthia; Rink's Tirol; Palazky's History of Bohemia; Minutoli's History of the Elector Frederic I.; Riedel's Ten years of the History of the Ancestors of the Royal House of Prussia; the History of Schleswig Holstein, by George Waitz; Ruckert's Annals of German History; G. Philip's Outlines of the History of the German Empire and German Law; Gengler's History of German Law; the Coins of the German Emperors and Kings in the Middle Ages, a large work by Cappe; the Celts and Ancient Helvetians, by J. B. Brozi; and the Campaigns of the Bavarians from 1643 to 1645, by J. Hellmann; Mayr's Mann von Rinn (Man of Rinn) deserves special mention. The man of Rinn is Joseph Speckbacher, the hero of the war of 1809 in the Tyrol. His deeds, and those of his countrymen, are here narrated in a style as attractive as the facts are authentic.

In all the States of the German Confederation there are 2,651 booksellers, 400 of whom deal only in their own publications, 2,200 sell books, but do not publish, and 451 keep general assortments of books, and publish also. At Berlin there are 129 booksellers, at Leipzic, 145, at Vienna, 52, at Stuttgard, 50, and at Frankfort, 36. A hundred years ago there were only 31 at Leipzic and 6 at Berlin, and at two fairs held at Leipzic in 1750, only 350 German booksellers' establishments were represented. No one is allowed in Germany to become a bookseller without a license from the government, and in Prussia the applicant has to pass a special examination.

Those desirous of acquiring languages by wholesale, may try a recent work by Captain J. Nepomuk Szöllözy, with which the scholar can learn, according to the Ollendorffian system, French, German, English, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Hungarian, Wallachian and Turkish. Phrases and vocabularies of all the languages are appended.

A second edition of Adolf Stahr's Preussische Revolution, has appeared in Germany, revised by the author and dedicated to Macaulay. No recent book in Germany has been more successful than this.

Max Schlesinger's Wanderings through London are announced at Berlin; the first volume is already published. One of the chapters treats of "Linkoln's-In-Fields."

We learn from the last number of the Journal Asiatique, that M. Wöpcke, a mathematician who devotes himself to Arabic studies, has discovered in some Arabic manuscripts two works purporting to be by Euclid, which have not been preserved in the Greek original, nor are any where referred to as his by ancient mathematical writers. One is a treatise on the lever, and the other on the division of planimetric figures. The authenticity of the two is thought to be perfectly established by collateral evidence.

The Hungarian author. Baron Eötvös, has just published a work called Ueber den Einfluss der Neuen Ideen auf den Staat (On the influence of new ideas upon the State). He argues that the students of social and political science should confine themselves strictly to the method received in the natural sciences, and employed there with such success; first establish what are the genuine experimental phenomena, and then by induction settle the law which produces and governs them.

We expect a treat from Moritz Wagner's Reise nach Persien und dem Lande der Kurden (Journey to Persia and Kurdistan) the first volume of which is advertised in our last files of German papers. Wagner is one of the best of travellers, and we shall look for the book itself with some impatience. The second volume is announced as to appear in three weeks after the first.

The second part of the third volume of Humboldt's Kosmos, has just appeared at Stuttgart. It treats of the heavenly nebulae, suns, planets, comets, aurora borealis, zodiacal light, meteors, and meteoric stones. This completes the uranological part of the description of the physical universe. Humboldt has already begun his fourth volume, and expects to finish it before June next.

Kossuth is speculated on by a German bookseller, who advertises a work giving a complete account of his sayings and doings since the capitulation at Vilagos, including his flight to Turkey and his residence there, the negotiations for his release, his journey from Kutahia to England, and his tarry there up to sailing for America, with a portrait.

The Rev. Henry T. Cheever's Life in the Sandwich Islands (noticed by us lately in the International), is reprinted in London, by Bentley, and translated in German for a publisher at Berlin.

Silvio Pellico, so famous for his works, his imprisonments and sufferings, is passing the winter in Paris.

The complete works of Clemens Brentano, have been brought out at Frankfort, in seven volumes.

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Two books of travels in Scandinavia have just appeared in Germany. One is the Bilder aus dem Norden (Pictures of the North), by Professor Oscar Schmidt of Jena; and the other Hägringar, or a Journey through Sweden, Lapland, Norway, and Denmark, in 1850, by a young author. Professor Schmidt amply repays the reader, which is more than can always be said of the author of Hägringar. Both works are, however, especially worthy the attention of those who wish to study the natural history and ethnography of the countries in question.

Madame Von Weber, widow of the composer, who has for some years resided at Vienna, has applied to the Emperor of Austria for permission to dispose of the three original MSS. scores of her husband's operas, Der Freischütz, Eutryanthe, and Oberon. These were in the Royal Library at Vienna; and she purposes offering them to the three sovereigns of Saxony, Prussia, and England,—in which respective countries they were originally produced. The Emperor has caused the MSS. to be delivered to her.

Professor Nuytz, whose work on canon law was recently condemned by the Holy See, has resumed his lectures at Turin. The lecture-room was crowded, and the learned professor was received with loud applause. He adverted to the hostility of the clergy, and to the Papal censures of his work, which censures he declared to be in direct opposition to the rights of the civil power. He expressed his thanks to the ministry for having refused to deprive him of his chair.

A valuable contribution to Italian history is Die Carafa von Maddaloni, Neapel unter Spanische Herrschaft (Naples under Spanish Domination), just published in Germany, by Alfred von Reumont, a member of the Prussian Legation at Florence, who, more than almost any other man, has made a study of the history of that part of Italy, and who in this work has had access to a great mass of new documents. He writes as a monarchist, but his facts may be relied on. The work is in two volumes.

Every body remembers the noise made in New-York some fifteen years since by the revelations of Maria Monk. We notice a translation of her famous disclosures advertised, with all sorts of trumpet blowing, in our German papers.

An edition of the complete works of Kepler is preparing in Germany, under the supervision of Prof. Frisch, of Stuttgart. The manuscripts of the great astronomer, preserved at St. Petersburg, have been examined for the purpose, with rich results. It is also proposed to erect a monument to Kepler at Stuttgart.

Sixteen German books were prohibited in Russia in August last; among them were Fontaine's Poems, Görre's Christian Mysticism, Kutz's Manual of Sacred History, Schmidt's Death of Lord Byron, Kinkel's Truth without Poetry, and Strauss's Life Questions. Of eleven other works, a few pages from each were prohibited; among these was the German version of Lieutenant Lynch's United States Expedition to the Jordan and the Dead Sea. These works are allowed to enter Russia after having the objectionable pages cut out.

The science of landscape gardening is enriched by a new work of value just published at Leipzig, by Rudolph Liebeck, the director of the public garden in that city. It is called Die bildenden Garten Kunst in seinen Modernen Formen (The Modern Constructive Art of Gardening). It has twenty colored plates.

Cotta, of Stuttgart, is preparing to publish a splendid illustrated edition of Goethe's Faust. The designs are to be by an artist well known in Germany, Engelbert Seibertz. The work is to be published in numbers.

The historical remains and letters of George Spalatin have been published at Weimar. They are a valuable addition to the history of the Reformation.

It is remarkable that the only oriental nation whose literature has much resemblance to ours, and has a direct practical value for us, is the Chinese. For instance, the works of this people upon agriculture abound in practical information, which may be made immediately useful in Europe and America. We noticed, some time since, the treatise on the raising and care of silk worms, translated and published at Paris, by M. Stanislas Julien, which was so warmly welcomed in France as a timely addition to what was there known upon the subject. It seems that this work was but a small portion of an extensive Cyclopedia of Agriculture in use in China, where the science of tilling the soil has in many respects been developed to an astonishing degree of perfection. This cyclopedia, M. Hervey, a French scholar, whose knowledge of the Eastern languages is accompanied by an equally profound love of farming, has undertaken to translate entire. This is a difficult and tedious enterprise, especially on account of the mass of botanical and technical expressions which occur in the work, and of which the dictionaries furnish no explanation. Meanwhile M. Hervey has published some of the results of his studies in a work called Investigations on Agriculture and Gardening among the Chinese. He mentions several varieties of fruits, vegetables, and trees, which might advantageously be introduced into France and Algiers; he also analyzes the Cyclopedia, and shows what are the difficulties in translating it.

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A remarkable contribution to our knowledge of China, is M. Biot's recent translation of the book called Tscheu-li. It seems that in the twelfth century before Christ, the second dynasty that had ruled the country, that of Thang, fell by its own vices, and the empire passed into the hands of Wu-wang, the head of the princely family of Tscheu-li. Wu-wang was a great soldier and statesman; he confided to his brother Tscheu-Kong, a man evidently of extraordinary political genius, the moral and administrative reformation of the empire. He first laid the foundation of a reform in moral ideas by an addition to the Y-King or sacred book, which the Chinese revere and incessantly study, but which still remains an unintelligible mystery for Europeans. Of his administrative reforms a complete record is preserved in the Tscheu-li, and nothing could be easier to understand.

When the Tscheus thus came into power, they found in existence a powerful feudal aristocracy, from which they themselves proceeded, and which they must tolerate. Accordingly, they recognized within the imperial dominions sixty-three federal jurisdictions, which were hereditary, but whose rulers were obliged to administer according to the laws and methods of the empire. Having made this concession, they abolished all other hereditary offices, and established instead, a vast system of centralization, such as the world has never seen equalled elsewhere. The administration, according to the Tscheu-li, is divided among six ministries, which were also divided into sections, and the executive functions descend regularly and systematically to the lowest official, and include the entire movement of society. The emperor and the feudal princes are restrained by formalities and usage, as well as by the expression of disapprobation; and the officials of every grade by their hierarchical dependency, and by a system of incessant oversight; and finally, the people by proscription, and the education, industrial, as well as mental and moral, which the State dispenses to them. The sole idea in which this astonishing system rests, is that of the State, whose office is to care for all that can contribute to the public good, and which regulates the action of every individual with a view to this end. In his organization, Tscheu-Kong excelled every thing that the most centralized governments of Europe have devised.

The Tscheu family remained in power for five centuries, and was finally broken down by the feudal element they had preserved. But so deep was the impress of Tscheu-Kong upon the nation, that after centuries of revolutions and civil war, it returned to his institutions and principles, and it is by them and in a great degree in their exact forms, that China is now governed.

In form the Tscheu-li is like an imperial almanac of our own times. It is, however, much more complete, because Tscheu-Kong gives in it a mass of detailed instructions, in order to make the officials aware of their duties and the precise limits of their authority. Thus the work affords a quite exact picture of the social condition of China at that time. There is no other monument of antiquity with which it can be compared, except the Manus, the Indian book of law. The difference is, that in China the intellectual activity was altogether political, and the public organization altogether imperial and political; while in India the mental activity was metaphysical, and the public organization altogether municipal.

The translation of the Tscheu was not published till after M. Biot's decease; it was brought out by his father, with the assistance of M. Stanislas Julien.

The library of the famous Cardinal Mezzofanti is about to be sold, and the catalogue is already printed—in Italian, of course. It is one of the most extensive and valuable collection of works in various languages ever made, and it is to be hoped that it may not be disposed of at the sale, but pass all together into some public library—that of some university would be most appropriate. To indicate the contents of the catalogue, we give the titles of the different parts: Books in Albanian or Epirotic, Arabic, Armenian, American (Indian dialects of Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, United States), Bohemian, Chaldaic, Chinese (Cochin-Chinese, Trin-Chinese, Japanese), Danish (Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Laplandic), Hebrew (Antique, Rabbinic, Samaritan), Egyptian, or Coptic-Egyptian and Coptic, Arabic, Etrusean, Phœnician, Flemish, French (Breton-French, Lorraine-French, Provençal), Gothic and Visi-Gothic, and Greek and Greek-Latin, Modern Greek, Georgian or Iberian, Cretian or Rhetian, Illyrian, Indo-oriental (Angolese, Burmese or Avian, Hindostanee, Malabar, Malayan, Sanscrit), English (Arctic, Breton or Celtic, Scotch-Celtic, Scotch, Irish, Welch), Italian (Fineban dialect, Maltese, Milanese, Sardinian, Sicilian), Kurdistanee or Kurdic, Latin, Maronite and Syriac Maronite, Oceanic (Australian), Dutch, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (various dialects), Slavonian (Carniolan, Serbian, Ruthenian, Slavo-Wallachian), Syriac, Spanish (Catalan, Biscayan), Russian, Turkish, Hungarian, Gipsey.

The French historian Michelet, deprived of his professorship in the College of France, is devoting himself more than ever to literature. His last work, of which an authorized translation has just appeared in London, is The Martyrs of Russia.

Michel Nicolas, one of the ablest among the French theologico-ethical writers, has published a translation of the Considerations on the Nature and Historical Developments of Christian Philosophy, by Dr. Ritter, of the University of Gottingen.

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M. Schonenberger, a music-publisher at Paris, has purchased from the heirs of Paganini the copyright of his works, and is now publishing them, under the editorial supervision of M. Achille Paganini, the son of the great violinist. The edition will comprise every thing that he left behind in writing. Hector Berlioz speaks with enthusiasm in the Journal des Debats of the two grand concertos which have just appeared, one of them containing the marvellous rondo of the campanella. Berlioz speaks in high praise of Paganini's genius as a composer. A volume would be required, he says, to indicate the new effects, the ingenious methods, the grand and noble forms which he discovered, and even the orchestral combinations, which before him were not suspected. In spite of the rapid progress which, thanks to Paganini, the violin is making at the present day in respect of mechanical execution, his compositions are yet beyond the skill of most violinists, and in reading them it is hardly possible to conceive how their author was able to execute them. Unfortunately he was not able to transmit to his successors the vital spark which animated and rendered human those astonishing prodigies of mechanism.

M. Philarete Chasles, one of the literary critics of the Journal des Debats, has published, at Paris, a book called Etudes sur la Litterateur et les Mæurs des Anglo-Americanis, which abounds in those curious blunders that some French authors seem to be destined to when they write upon topics connected with foreign countries. For instance, he makes the pilgrims of Plymouth to have been the founders of Philadelphia, New-York, and Boston. Buffalo he sets down opposite to Montreal, speaks of the puritans of Pennsylvania as near neighbors of Nova Scotia, and extends Arkansas to the Rocky Mountains. At New-York his regret is that a railroad has destroyed the beauty of Hoboken, and at New Orleans he laments that marriages between whites and Creoles are interdicted. Of Cooper, Irving, Bryant, Audubon, and Longfellow, he speaks in terms of just praise, but Willis is not mentioned. Bancroft and Hildreth are mentioned as historians, Prescott is spoken of briefly in connection with his Ferdinand and Isabella, while his other works are not alluded to. To Herman Melville, M. Chasles devotes fifty pages, while Mr. Ticknor has not even the honor of a mention. The author of this work is very far from doing justice either to American literature or to himself.

Five of the nine intended volumes of Lafuente's General History of Spain from the remotest times to the present day, have appeared in Paris.

In Paris a new edition is announced of the best French versions of Fenimore Cooper's works—six or eight illustrated volumes.

M. Guizot is about to publish a new volume at Paris, with the title of Shakspeare et son Temps (Shakspeare and his Times). It is to be composed of his Life of Shakspeare, and the articles that he has written at various times upon different plays. The only novelty in it is a notice on Hamlet which was prepared expressly for this publication. He regards both Macbeth and Othello as better dramas than Hamlet, but thinks the last contains more brilliant examples of Shakspeare's sublimest beauties and grossest faults. "Nowhere," says Guizot, "has he unveiled with more originality, depth and dramatic effect, the inmost state of a great soul: but nowhere has he more abandoned himself to the caprices, terrible or burlesque, of his imagination, and to that abundant intemperance of a mind pressed to get out its ideas without choosing among them, and bent on rendering them striking by a strong, ingenious, and unexpected mode of expression, without any regard to their truth and natural form." The French critic also thinks that on the stage the effect of Hamlet is irresistible.

A Capital work on Paris has just been published at Berlin, from the pen of Friedrich Szarvady, a Hungarian, who has resided for several years in Paris. The titles of the chapters are:—Paris in Paris; Strangers in Paris; Parisian Women; Street Eloquence; the Temple of Jerusalem (the Bourse); Salons and Conversation; Dancing, Song, and Flowers; the Ball at the Grand Opera; Artist Life; the Press; the Feuilleton; History on a Public Square; Lamartine, Cavaignac, Thiers; Louis Bonaparte. Szarvady observes sharply, and writes with as much grace and esprit as a Frenchman. Nothing can be more taking than his pages. They deserve a translation from the German into English.

Villergas, the Spanish historian, who in one of his recent works drew a parallel between Espartero and Narvaez which excited great attention at Madrid and in other parts of Spain, has just been condemned by the court which has charge of the offences of the press, to a fine of twenty thousand reals, or twenty-five hundred dollars, for the sin against public order and private character contained in that parallel.

An interesting and valuable series of articles reviewing historically the systems of land tenure which have prevailed in different countries, is appearing in the Journal des Débats from the pen of M. Henry Trianon. The systems of India and China have already been examined.

The termagant wife of Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton has just published The School for Husbands, a novel founded on the life and times of Moliere. Probably her own husband is shot at in all the chapters.

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The books on modern French history would already fill an Alexandrian library, and every month produces new ones. M. Leonard Gallois, a well-known historical writer, announces a History of the Revolution of February, 1848, in five large octavos, with forty-one portraits. M. Barante's History of the Convention will consist of six octavos, of which three are published, and the last is accompanied by it biographical sketch of each of the seven hundred and fifty members. The period embraced in this work is from 1792 to 1795, inclusive. There is a new History of the City of Lyons, in three octavos, by the city librarian.

The Letters and unpublished Essays of Count Joseph de Maistre have been brought out at Paris, in two volumes octavo. The letters show the celebrated author in a new and pleasing light; a tone of genial unreserve prevails in many of them, which those who have become familiar with his brilliant, dogmatic, and paradoxical intellect, in his more elaborate writings, would hardly suppose him capable of. No writer, of this century at least, has more powerfully set forth the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church than he.

The Political Situation of Cuba, a volume published in Paris, by Don Antonio Saco, is commended in the Revue des Deux Mondes. Don Antonio was one of the most distinguished intelligences and liberals of the precious island: he argues against independence, or annexation to the American Union: he suggests various arrangements by which Spain could safely establish political freedom in Cuba, and he thinks administrative and judicial reforms to counteract the worst ills of her present situation, might be accomplished.

A New edition of Sharon Turner's History of the Anglo-Saxons has just appeared in London, with important additions and revision. The first edition of Turner's History was published in London more than fifty years ago. At the time when the first volume appeared, the subject of Anglo-Saxon antiquities had been nearly forgotten by the British public, although the most venerated laws, customs, and institutions of the nation originated before the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon manuscripts lay unexamined in archives, and the important information they contained had never been made a part of general history. Mr. Turner undertook a careful and patient investigation of all the documents belonging to the period preserved in the kingdom, and the result of his labors was the work in question, which at once gave rise to an almost universal passion for the records and remains of the Anglo-Saxon people, and called forth general applause from the best minds of England. A good edition of his History was published several years ago by Carey and Hart of Philadelphia, but it is now, we believe, out of print.

The Rev. John Howard Hinton, author of a well-known History of the United States, has published, in London, a volume under the title of The Test of Experience, in which he has presented a masterly argument for the voluntary principle in matters of religion. The "test of experience" is in this, as in all other things, the best of tests, and the religious institutions of the United States can well bear its application. One of the most noticeable results of the non-interference of the State is pointed out in the following passage:

"To travellers in the United States, no fact has been more immediately or more powerfully striking than the total absence of religious rivalry. Amidst such a multitude of sects, an inhabitant of the old world naturally, and almost instinctively looks for one that sets up exclusive pretensions and possesses an actual predominance. But he finds nothing of the kind. Neither presbyterianism, or prelacy, nor any other form of ecclesiasticism, makes the slightest effort to lift its head above its fellow. And with the resignation of exclusive pretensions, the entire ecclesiastical strife has ceased, and the din of angry war has been hushed; and here, at length, the voluntary principle is able to exhibit itself in its true colors, as a lover of peace and the author of concord. It is busied no longer with the arguing of disputed claims, but throws its whole energy into free and combined operations for the extension of Christianity. The general religious energy embodies itself in a thousand forms; but while there is before the church a vast field to which the activities of all are scarcely equal, there is, also, 'a fair field and no favor,'—a field in which all have the same advantages, and in which each is sure to find rewards proportionate to its wisdom and its zeal. This inestimable benefit of religious peace is clearly due to the voluntary principle."

Junius, since the publication of his Letters, never figured more conspicuously than during the last month. The Paris Revue des Deux Mondes has a very long article on the great secret by M. Charles Remusat, a member of the Institute, well known in historical criticism. He arrays skilfully the facts and reasonings which British inquirers have adduced in favor of Sir Philip Francis, and the other most probable author, Lord George Sackville. He seems to incline to the latter, but does not decide. He pronounces that, on the whole, Junius was not "a great publicist." His powers and influence are investigated and explained by M. de Remusat with acuteness and comprehensive survey. Lord Mahon, in his new volumes, says, "From the proofs adduced by others, and on a clear conviction of my own, I affirm that the author of Junius was no other than Sir Philip Francis." We think not. The London Athenæum, last year, we thought, settled this point. It is understood that the editor of the Grenville Papers, now on the eve of publication, in London, is in favor of Lord Temple as a claimant for the authorship of Junius. The January number of the Quarterly Review contains an article on the subject.

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The Natural History of the Human Species, by Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Hamilton Smith, is the title of a duodecimo volume from the press of Gould & Lincoln of Boston. An American editor (Dr. Kneeland) has added an introductory survey of recent literature on the subject. The whole performance is feeble. The author and his editor endeavor to make out something like the infidel theory of Professor Agassiz, which, a year or two ago, attracted sufficient attention to induce an investigation and an intelligent judgment, in several quarters, as to the real claims of that person to the distinctions in science which his advertising managers claim for him. We have not space now for any critical investigation of the work, and therefore merely warn that portion of our readers who feel any interest in ethnological studies, of its utter worthlessness.

An Englishman, Mr. Francis Bonynge, recently from the East Indies, has come to this country at the instance of our minister in London, for the purpose of bringing before us the subject of introducing some twenty of the most valuable agricultural staples of the East, among which are the tea, coffee, and indigo plants, into the United States. He gives his reasons for believing that tea and indigo would become articles of export from this country to an amount greater than the whole of our present exports. He says that tea, for which we now pay from sixty-five to one hundred cents per lb. may be produced for from two to five cents, free from the noxious adulterations of the tea we import. He has published a small volume under the title of The Future Wealth of America, in which his opinions are fully explained and illustrated.

The first volume of a work on Christian Iconography, by M. Didron, of Paris, opens to the curious reader a new source of intellectual enjoyment, both in the department of ancient religious art, and in the archæology of the early paintings of the Catholic Church. The rich, profuse, and quaint plates of the original work are used in a translation ably made by E.J. Millington, published in London by Bohn, and in New-York by Bangs.

Sir Francis Bond Head, so well known in this country as one of the former governors of Canada, and as an author of remarkable versatility and cleverness, has published an agreeable but superficial book on Paris—the Paris of January, 1852—under the quaint title of A Bundle of French Sticks; and Mr. Putnam has reprinted it in his new library.

A remarkable book published in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1847, by J. D. Nourse, under the title of Remarks on the Past, and its Legacies to American Society, has just been reprinted in London, with an introduction by D. T. Coulton.

The following works, all of which have promising titles, will soon be published by J. S. Redfield: Men of the Times in 1852, comprising biographical sketches of all the celebrated men of the present day; Characters in the Gospels, by Rev. E. H. Chapin; Tales and Traditions of Hungary, by Theresa Pulzky; The Comedy of Love, and the History of the Eighteenth Century, by Arsene Houssaye; Aytoun's Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers; The Cavaliers of England, and The Knights of the Olden Time, or the Chivalry of England, France and Spain, by Henry W. Herbert; Lectures and Miscellanies, by Henry James; and Isa: a Pilgrimage, by Caroline Chesebro.

The Westminster Review says of Alice Carey, whose Clovernook we noticed favorably in the last International, that "no American woman can be compared to her for genius;" the Paris Débats refers to her as a poet of the rank of Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett Browning in England; the literary critic of The Tribune (the learned and accomplished Ripley whose judgment in such a matter is beyond appeal) prefers her Clovernook to Miss Mitford's Our Village, or Professor Wilson's Lights and Shadows of Scottish Life.

Mr. Daniel S. Curtiss has availed himself well of large opportunities for personal observation, in his volume just published under the title of Western Portraiture, and Emigrant's Guide, a description of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa, with remarks on Minnesota and other territories. It is the most judicious and valuable book of the kind we have seen.

Herr Freund, the Philologist, is in London, engaged in constructing a German-English and English-German dictionary upon his new system; and Professor Smith, the learned editor of the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, announces a dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, the articles to be written by the principal contributors to his previous works.

The Christmas Books of the present season in England have not been very remarkable. Mr. Dickens, in an extra number of his Household Words, printed What Christmas is to Everybody; and we have from Wilkie Collins, A New Christmas Story; by the author of "The Ogilvies," Alice Learmont, a Fairy Tale of Love; by the author of "The Maiden Aunt," a pleasant little book entitled The Use of Sunshine.

Under the title of Excerpta de P. Ovidii Nastonis, Blanchard & Lea of Philadelphia have published a series of selections from a poet whose works, for obvious reasons, are not read entire in the schools. The extracts present some of the most beautiful parts of this graceful and versatile poet.

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The American Art Unions have not been successful in the last year, unless an exception may be made in regard to that of New England, at Boston. The American, at New-York, deferred indefinitely its annual distribution of pictures, on account of the small number of its subscriptions; and the Pennsylvanian, at Philadelphia, by a recent fire in that city has lost its admirably-engraved plates of Huntington's pictures from the Pilgrim's Progress, the last of which was just completed and placed in the hands of the printer. It will make no distribution.

A Sicilian artist, residing at Naples, has amused himself, and probably pleased his sovereign, by composing a life-sized group, representing Religion supporting King Ferdinand, and guarded by an angel, who places his foot on an evil spirit. On the other side of this group is a child bearing the scales of justice. "How much," writes a correspondent of the Athenæum, "the artist is to get for this plaster blasphemy, I know not; but a more impudent caricature (at the present moment) it would be difficult to imagine." Another artist has, however, beaten the Sicilian sculptor quite out. A small bronze group represents Religion triumphing over Impiety and Anarchy. Impiety is represented by a female figure, under whose arm are two books inscribed Voltaire and Luther! Anarchy has taken off her mask, and let fall two scrolls, on which are written Communismo and Constituto.

Professor Zahn, who has been engaged during a period of more than twenty years in examining the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, has exhibited at Berlin a collection of casts unique in their kind. These are 8,000 in number; and comprise all the remarkable sculptures of the above places, besides those found at Stabiæ, and those of the vast collection of the Museo Borbonico and other museums of the Two Sicilies. The casts from the Museo Borbonico are the first ever made,—the King of Naples having accorded the privilege of taking these copies to M. Zahn alone, in royal recompense for the Professor's great work on Pompeii and Herculaneum.

A book which all students of art should possess, is Dr. Kugler's Geschichte der Kunst (History of Art), with the Illustrations (Bilderatlos) which accompany it, and which are now being published at Stuttgart. The ancient and modern schools of Art—Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture—are here represented in outlines of their most celebrated and characteristic works. Eleven numbers of these Illustrations have appeared, and the whole work will be completed in the course of the coming year.

In our musical world there have been several noticable facts in the last month. The opera company, perhaps from the utter incapacity of its director, has been divided, and the best portion of it has been singing at Niblo's Theatre. Jenny Lind's farewell series of concerts was prevented by intelligence of the death of the great singer's mother, in Sweden. Catherine Hayes has been successful in several concerts at Tripler Hall, and Mrs. Bostwick, whom the best critics of the city regard as superior to any singer who has appeared among us, except Jenny Lind, has given a second series of her subscription concerts, which were extremely well attended.

A correspondent of the Athenæum, writing from Egypt, urges that a few young artists should be sent out with orders to copy all the hieroglyphics on the most important temples, as well as the numerous tablets and fragments which are daily brought to light. "A work pursued with such materials—all theories and arbitrary classification being excluded—would ever remain as a lasting monument, and would reflect great credit on the Government which should order its execution." Less than one-half of the money required for the removal of the Obelisk would amply cover all expenses.

A correspondent of Kuhne's Europa writes from Dresden that a number of humorous drawings, sketched by the pencil of Schiller, and accompanied by descriptions in his own hand, have been found in the possession of a Swabian family, with whom the great poet became acquainted during his residence at Loschwitz.

In Berlin, M. von Prinz, a pupil of Kiss, the sculptor, is erecting a group which he calls The Lion-killer in imitation of the Amazon. Kiss himself is engaged on a set of groups from a fox-hunt, Rauch has almost completed a bust of Humboldt, and statues of General Gneisenau and of Hope.

A colossal statue of the Emperor Napoleon, thirty feet high, is to be placed on the top of the Triumphal Arch, at the end of the Champs Elysées, in Paris.

Kaulbach has undertaken to draw a set of sketches for an illustrated edition of Shakspeare, which will shortly be published by Nicolai, At Berlin.

Mr. Greenough, is now in New-York, awaiting the arrival of his splendid group for the Capitol, from Italy. He will soon be engaged on his statue of his friend the late Mr. Cooper, to be erected in this city.

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Historical Review of the Month

The extraordinary abilities of Kossuth as orator, hid attractive personal qualities, and grandeur of his propositions, continue to occupy the generous regard of the people of the United States, but the impression which obtained at one time that the national government would in any manner or degree enter into his plans for confining a future contest for the liberty of Hungary exclusively to the two parties most immediately interested, appears to have been very generally given up. This country will continue to encourage and aid oppressed peoples by showing how wisely and efficiently its servants can attend to her own affairs. At the same time it is not to be doubted that citizens in their private capacity may and will do much for the illustrious exile who pleads among us for the means of opposing the oppressors of his nation. Kossuth has been entertained at public banquets since he left New-York by the authorities of Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Annapolis, and Harrisburg; he has been received by the President of the United States, the two houses of Congress, and the legislatures of Maryland and Pennsylvania; and on the 7th of January he dined with the representatives, senators, and other persons connected with the government, at Washington, and Daniel Webster, Lewis Cass, William H. Seward, and Stephen A. Douglass, made speeches on the occasion expressive of their personal respect and sympathy, and their anxiety as individuals to see Hungary independent. Mr. Cass indeed went so far as entirely to endorse the doctrine of Kossuth respecting intervention to insure non-intervention. Kossuth is now in the state of Ohio, and he probably will remain in this country long enough—since the French revolution has at least deferred any great and united movement of the European democracy—to visit all the principal cities of the valley of the Mississippi.

But little important business has yet been accomplished in Congress, though numerous bills have been introduced, as is usual in the early weeks of the session. On the morning of the 24th of December, a portion of the capitol, occupied by the national library, was destroyed by fire, with nearly sixty thousand printed volumes, and many MSS., maps, medals, portraits, sculptures, and other works of art.

The legislature of several of the states are now in session. Those of Ohio, Michigan, Mississippi, Wisconsin and California, met on the 5th of January; those of New-York, Pennsylvania and Delaware, on the 7th; those of Maryland and Massachusetts, on the 7th; that of Indiana, on the 8th; those of Virginia and Illinois, on the 12th; that of New Jersey, on the 13th; that of Maine, on the 14th, and that of Louisiana, on the 19th. No great national questions have been prominently before the state legislatures, except that of our foreign relations, with special reference to Hungary, upon which the assemblies in the several states appear to be less conservative than Congress. The most important subject of local administration, is that of the suppression of the sales of intoxicating liquors. The law of Maine, enacted last year, will probably be sustained in that state; in Massachusetts a petition with more than one hundred thousand signatures, has been offered in the legislature for such a law, and similar efforts are being made in New-York and other States.

In Mexico there is a continuance of the imbecility of the government and the agitations of factions. Rumors, constantly varying, in regard to the conduct and prospects of Caravajal, leave us in doubt whether any thing of real importance will grow out of his attempts at revolution in the northern provinces. The administration appears to have acted with decision, but probably with impotence so far as the final result is concerned, in regard to the Tehuantepee railroad contract.

South America presents the usual series of disturbances, with some facts which indicate a prospect of repose; but all such prospects in the Spanish states of this continent are apt to be deceptive. The birthday of Bolivar was celebrated at Caracas on the 28th of October with great public festivities. Treaties between Brazil and Uruguay were formed for alliance, military aid, commerce and navigation, and the mutual surrender of criminals, on the 12th of October. We learn from Buenos Ayres that, through November, Rosas was making great preparations to meet Urquiza. He had established a corps of observation in the direction of Entre Rios to look out for an invasion. A considerable emigration was taking place from Buenos Ayres to Montevideo, mostly of previous residents of the latter city.

In Great Britain the most important recent event is the retirement of Lord Palmerston from the cabinet, in which he held the place of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. This occurred on the 22d of December. The causes of Lord Palmerston's retirement are a subject of much unsatisfactory speculation, and the fact is generally regretted by the friends of political liberty in Europe. His successor is Lord Granville, a nobleman of manly and liberal character, heretofore connected with the government. It is apprehended that the popular feeling may induce the recall of Lord Palmerston to be the head of a new Ministry. Great Britain has now no envoy resident in the United States, but it is not improbable that Sir Henry Bulwer will return to this country for the final settlement of affairs connected with Central America. It is understood officially that the attack of a British man-of-war on the United States steamer Prometheus, at Greytown, was entirely unauthorized.

The Admiralty have determined not to send another expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, by way of Behring's Straits. The Plover is to be communicated with each year by a man-of-war—the Amphitrite is the next. The proposed overland expedition of Lieut. Pym has been abandoned.

The English war at the Cape of Good Hope continues with little change, though a few important successes by the English are reported. The war appears to be condemned by a large and respectable portion of the journals and the people at home. In its character and details it continues to resemble our own contest with the Indians in Florida.

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The month of December, 1851, witnessed, in France, the successful accomplishment of a coup d'état not less daring than any that marked the earlier annals of that country. It is asserted that the personal security of the President was menaced with imminent danger, when, on the evening of the 1st of December, he came to the resolution to strike the first blow. The measures he immediately took were, to issue an appeal to the people denouncing the conduct of the Assembly, and declaring it dissolved; a proclamation to the army, telling them that "to-day, at this solemn moment, I wish the voice of the army to be heard;" and a decree "in the name of the French people," of which the articles were—"1. The National Assembly is dissolved; 2. Universal Suffrage is re-established—the law of the 31st May is abrogated; 3. The French people is convoked in its elective colleges from the 14th of December to the 21st of December following; 4. The state of siege is decreed through the first military division; 5. The Council of State is dissolved; 6. The Minister of the Interior is charged with the execution of the present decree." The appeal to the people contained these further propositions; "Persuaded that the instability of power, that the preponderance of a single Assembly, are the permanent causes of trouble and discord. I submit to your suffrages the fundamental basis of a constitution which the Assemblies will develop hereafter—1. A responsible chief named for ten years; 2. The Ministers dependent on the executive alone; 3. A Council of State formed of the most distinguished men, preparing the law, and maintaining the discussion before the legislative corps; 4. A legislative corps, discussing and voting the laws, named by universal suffrage, without the scrutin de liste which falsifies the election; 6. A second Assembly formed of all the illustrious persons of the nation—a preponderating power, guardian of the fundamental pact and of public liberty." At an early hour, on the 2d, these manifestoes were found covering the walls of Paris, and at the same time the principal thoroughfares were filled with troops of the line.

The President had taken precautions that the National Guard should not be called out. The Generals Changarnier, Cavaignac, Bedeau, Lamoricière, Leflo, Colonel Charras, MM. Bazé, Thiers. Brun, the Commissary of Police of the Assembly, and others of the leading heads of parties, were arrested before they had risen for the day. Many members of the Assembly gathered at the house of M. Daru, one of their Vice-Presidents and, having him at their head, proceeded to their ordinary place of meeting, but found access effectually barred by the Chasseurs de Vincennes, a corpse recently returned from Algeria. These men forcibly withstood the entrance of the members, some of whom were slightly wounded. Returning with M. Daru, they were invited by General Lauriston to the Marie of the 10th arrondissement, where they formed a sitting, presided over by two of their Vice-Presidents, M. Vitel and M. Benuist d'Azy (M. Daru having meanwhile been arrested), and proceeded to frame a decree to the following effect: "Louis Napoleon Bonaparte is deprived of his functions as President of the Republic, and the citizens are commanded to refuse him obedience; the executive power passes in full right to the National Assembly; the judges of the High Court of Justice are required to meet immediately, on pain of dismissal, to proceed to judgment against the President and his accomplices. It is enjoined on all functionaries and depositaries of authority that they obey the requisition made in the name of the Assembly, under penalty of forfeiture and the punishment prescribed for high treason." While this decree was being signed, another was unanimously passed, naming General Oudinot commander of the forces, and M. Tamisier chief of the staff. These decrees had scarcely been signed by all present, when a company of soldiers entered, and required them to disperse. The Assembly refused to do so, when, after some parley, two commissaries de police were brought, the presidents were arrested, and the whole body of members present, 230 in number, were marched across the city to the barracks of the Quai d'Orsay. The next day they were distributed to the prisons of Mount Valerien, Mazas, and Vincennes; and the generals Cavaignac, Lamoricière, Bedeau, and Changarnier, were sent to Ham. During the day the population viewed the soldiers in the streets merely as a spectacle, and no violent excitement occurred. At ten o'clock on Wednesday morning some members of the Mountain appeared in the Rue d'Antoine, and raised the cry Aux armes! The party they collected immediately began to erect a barricade at the corner of the Rue St. Marguerite. Troops were quickly at the spot, when the barricade was carried, and the representative Baudin was killed. Some other barricades were raised in the afternoon, but as quickly destroyed. General Magnan, the Commander-in-chief of the army of Paris, seeing the day was passed in insignificant skirmishes, now determined to withdraw his small posts, to allow the discontented to gather to a head. On the morning of the 4th it was reported that the insurrection had its focus in the Quartiers St. Antoine, St. Denis, and St. Martin, and that several barricades were in progress. The General deferred his attack until two o'clock, when the various brigades of troops acted in concert. The barricades were attacked in the first instance by artillery, and then carried at the point of the bayonet. There were none which offered very serious resistance, and the whole contest was over about five o'clock. In the evening, however, fresh barricades were raised in the Rues Montmartre and Montorgueil, and others in the Rues Pagevin and des Fosses Montmartre, which were successfully attacked in the night by the officers in command of those quarters. On the 5th the last remains of street-fighting were effectually quelled. The loss to the military in these operations was twenty-five men killed, of whom one was Lieut-Col. Loubeau, of the line, and 184 wounded, of whom seventeen were officers. The number of insurgents killed is unknown, but they are estimated it from two to three thousand, including, unfortunately, many indifferent persons, who were accidentally passing along the boulevards when the soldiery suddenly opened their sweeping fire. The insurgents taken with arms in their hands were carried to the Champ de Mars, and there shot by judgment of court martial. Most of the political prisoners arrested were discharged after a few days, some of the more formidable only being longer detained.

By a decree of the President dated the 2d December, the French people were convoked in their[pg 280] respective districts for the 14th of the month to accept or reject the following plébiscite: "The French people wills the maintenance of the authority of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, and delegates to him the powers necessary to frame a Constitution on the bases proposed in his proclamation of the 2d December." On that day the voting consequently commenced by universal suffrage; and the President has been re-elected for ten years by a majority greatly exceeding that of his contest with Cavaignac. In Paris, of 394,049 registered voters 197,091 have voted in the affirmative; 95,511, in the negative; and 96,819 abstained from voting. The majority for Louis Napoleon being 191,500. In the provinces he has had a majority of eight to one. The inauguration of the usurper took place in the church of Notre Dame on the 3d of January, and the new order of things has been recognized by all the courts of Europe.

On the 25th of November a French squadron appeared before Salee, to claim satisfaction for an act of piracy committed by the inhabitants of that town. The Caid asked for six days to take the orders of the Emperor of Morocco; and the Caid of Rabat sent a similar evasive reply. The next day the French bombarded the place for seven hours, the fire being returned by both forts of Rabat and Salee. The Admiral, however, confined his chastisement to the latter, which he thoroughly performed, and fired the town in several places. The French fleet arrived at Tangier on the morning of the 29th, when the Consul-General for Morocco and several officers of the squadron landed, and had an interview with the Bashaw of the province, which ended in a satisfactory arrangement, to the great relief of the people of Tangier, who were in consternation at the prospect of sharing the fate of their neighbors.

From Austria we learn the partial amelioration in private business of the financial difficulties. The Emperor published, on the 1st of January, decrees, that whereas the provisions of the constitution were cancelled by the imperial edict of August 20, 1851, the last principles of political right conceded by the constitution are now disavowed. There now exists no political right in the empire. The Austrian government continues to watch with the keenest anxiety the proceedings of the exiled Italians and Hungarians, and by very stringent arrangements in regard to the press, and the interdiction of most foreign journals, keeps the "dangerous classes" in ignorance of the sympathy with which they are regarded from abroad.

The Queen of Spain, by a spontaneous act of her royal clemency, granted a pardon to all such prisoners, made in the last expedition against the Isle of Cuba, as are citizens of the United States, whether they be already in Spain, undergoing the punishments they have incurred, or whether they be still in Cuba. The queen on the 20th of December gave birth to a princess, who is heir to the throne.

From China there are reports that the Emperor has been compelled to resign in favor of the revolutionary general, whose triumphant march through many revolted provinces has, from time to time, been noticed in the last half year. The statement, however, does not appear to be credited by some of the best informed London journals.

The Queen of Madagascar is bent on exterminating Christianity in her dominions, and has long mercilessly persecuted those who prefer the "new religion." In the last outburst of this protracted persecution, four persons were burnt alive; fourteen precipitated from a high rock and crushed to death; a hundred and seventeen persons condemned to work in chains as long as they live; twenty persons cruelly flogged with rods, besides 1,748 other persons mulcted in heavy penalties, reduced into slavery, and compelled to buy themselves back, or deprived of their wives and families. Persons of rank have been degraded, and sent as forced laborers to carry stone for twelve months together to build houses; and, in an endless variety of other ways have the maddened passions of one wicked woman been permitted now for years past to plunge a great country in ruin.

There has been a serious Mussulman riot at Bombay, occasioned by the Parsee editor of an illustrated newspaper, in each number of which is given a life and portrait of some remarkable historical character, having published—in the series (next to one of Benjamin Franklin)—a life and portrait of Mahomet. Both are said to have been unexceptionable according to European ideas, but the whole Mussulman population (145,000 in number) considered their faith insulted and outraged by the publication, holding it sacrilege and idolatry to imagine and print any likeness whatever of so sacred a personage.

The Wahabees, who inhabit the interior and highland portion of Arabia, have pillaged the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, destroying the mosques, sacking the cities, and carrying off numbers of women and children into the desert. It is supposed to be in revenge for the punishment inflicted on them thirty years ago, when they had conquered the same cities.

The Turkish government has introduced the culture of cotton in the vicinity of Damascus, with seed procured from the United States. It is successful.

Scientific Discoveries and Proceedings of Learned Societies.

In London, among the scientific questions of a practical kind much discussed, is that of a patent process for contracting the fibres of calico, and of obtaining on calico thus prepared colors of much brilliancy. It is regarded by chemists as likely to lead to valuable results. In the British Association, it was described as the discovery that a solution of cold but caustic soda acts peculiarly on cotton fibre, immediately causing it to contract; and although the soda can be readily washed out, yet the fibre has undergone a change. Thus, taking a coarse cotton fabric, and acting upon it by the proper solution of caustic soda, this could be made much finer in appearance; and if the finest calico made in England—known as one hundred and eighty picks to the web—be thus acted on, it immediately appears as fine as two hundred and sixty picks. Stockings of open weaving assume a much finer texture by the condensation process; but the effect of the alteration is most strikingly[pg 281] shown by colors: the tint of pink cotton velvet becomes deepened to an intense degree; and printed calicoes, especially with colors hitherto applied with little satisfaction—such as lilac—come out with strength and brilliancy, besides producing fabrics finer than could be possibly woven by hand. The strength, too, is increased by this process; for a string of calico which breaks with a weight of thirteen ounces when not soaked, will bear twenty ounces when half condensed by the caustic soda.

At a recent meeting of the Paris Academy of Sciences, M. Yvart read an important practical Memoir on the production of Wool, in the Merino race. He teaches that the only means of obtaining fine wool—taking into account the weight of the sheep's body,—is the employment of races of small size. When the skin is very delicate, it secretes less of wool than when it is otherwise;—the fineness of the wool is proportioned to that of the skin. Those countries in which the winter is long or cold, or where the sheep remains in the fold the greater part of the year, and does not lie on ploughed lands, are especially suited to the production of the finest and most elastic wools, those chiefly sought after for manufacture of cloth.

Experiments on the application of electro-magnetism as a motive power, have been made with some striking results in Paris, as well as in this country. M. Dumont, in a paper on the subject submitted to the Female Academy, states, "that if in the production of great power the electro-magnetic force is inferior to that of steam, it becomes equal to it, and perhaps superior in the production of small power, which may be subdivided, varied, and introduced into employments or trades requiring but little capital, and where the absolute value of the mechanical power is less essential than the facility of producing instantaneously and at pleasure the power itself. In this point of view electro-magnetic power comes to complete, not to supersede, that of steam."

In the papers of the celebrated Lalande, recently presented to the Paris Academy of Sciences, by M. Arago, there is a note to the effect that so far back as the 25th of October, 1800, he and Burckhardt were of opinion, from calculations, that there must be a planet beyond Uranus, and they occupied themselves for some time in trying to discover its precise position. This is a very curious fact for astronomers.

Recent Deaths.

Joel R. Poinsett, LL.D., long distinguished in society and in affairs, died at his residence in Statesburg, South Carolina, on the 12th of December. The first American ancestor of Mr. Poinsett came to this country from Soubisi, near Rochelle, in France, soon after the revocation of the edict of Nantz. His father was a physician, and served in the Revolution under Count Pulaski. He himself was born at Charleston on the second of March, 1779, and, after having passed some time at the school of the Rev. Timothy Dwight (afterward President of Yale College), at Greenfield, Connecticut, he was sent, at the close of the Revolution, to England, to complete his studies, and for the advantages of foreign travel. Returning in 1800, when he was twenty-one years of age, he commenced the study of law in the office of Mr. Desaussure, afterwards Chancellor of South Carolina, Before his admission to the bar, he again embarked for Europe, extending his travels to Switzerland, Bavaria, Austria, and the northern countries of the continent. At St. Petersburg he became acquainted with the Emperor Alexander, soon after his accession, and was received by him with marked partiality, and often questioned respecting the peculiar institutions of this country. On one occasion, after he had been expatiating at large on the advantages of America, the Czar exclaimed, "Were I not an emperor, I would be a republican." Declining the offer of a place in the service of the Emperor, he commenced a tour into the East, travelling through Persia and Armenia, and, returning to Europe, resided for some time in its principal capitals. On the breaking out of difficulties between the United States and Great Britain, in 1808, he returned to his own country, and applied to Mr. Madison for a commission in the army. Owing to some objections by the Secretary of War, he did not obtain the commission, but was sent by the President to South America, to ascertain the result of the revolutions which had recently occurred in that quarter. While in Chili, he heard of the declaration of war between England and America. Embarking in the frigate Essex, to return to this country, with a view to enter the army, he was made a prisoner on the surrender of that vessel to the British by Commodore Porter. The British Commander refused to allow his return home with the rest of the prisoners, regarding him as a dangerous enemy of England, and he therefore determined to cross the continent to the Atlantic. He passed the Andes in the month of April, when they were covered with snow, and, after great difficulties, reached Buenos Ayres. He succeeded, in a Portuguese vessel, in reaching Madeira, where, on his arrival, he learned that a treaty of peace had been concluded. Soon after he reached South Carolina, he was elected to the Legislature of that State, in which he devoted himself chiefly to the establishment of a system of internal improvements. In 1821 he was elected to Congress, from the Charleston District, and was twice re-elected to that body. In 1822, he was sent to Mexico, by President Monroe, to obtain information with regard to the government under Iturbide. He performed this mission with signal success. Foreseeing the speedy downfall of the imperial administration, he gave his advice against all connection with it, on the part of this country. He had scarcely returned home, when Iturbide abdicated the throne. Soon after the election of Mr. Adams, which he had strongly opposed, Mr. Poinsett was again appointed Minister to Mexico, whore he remained until the summer of 1829. His important services in this period are amply detailed in a memoir of his political life, in the first volume of the Democratic Review, and were warmly approved in the first annual message of President Jackson. On returning to the United States, he devoted himself to the pursuits of private[pg 282] life, in South Carolina. When the States Rights controversy broke out, he again engaged in political affairs, and became a prominent advocate of the principles of the Union party, as opposed to Nullification. In 1836, he was nominated by his friends as a candidate for the State Senate, and was elected with but little opposition. On the formation of Mr. Van Buren's cabinet, Mr. Poinsett accepted the office of Secretary of War. On the election of Gen. Harrison he retired to his home in South Carolina, where he devoted himself to those literary pursuits which formed the pleasure of his life; and thence he issued, only two years ago, those stirring appeals against secession, which were among the most powerful influences for the preservation of the endangered peace of the Union at that period. Mr. Poinsett received the degree of Doctor of Laws from Columbia College in this city, and he was a member of many learned societies in this country, and in Europe. Besides his Notes on Mexico, written soon after his last return from that country, he published several addresses, was a large contributor to the Southern Quarterly Review and other periodicals, and furnished some important papers to the Paris Geographical Society, and other learned associations abroad and at home.

Moses Stuart, D.D., of the Theological Seminary at Andover, died at his residence in that town on the 4th of January, in the seventy-second year of his age. He was born in Wilton, Conn., March 16, 1780; was graduated at Yale College in 1799; and was a tutor in that institution from 1802 to 1804. After having studied the profession of the law, he turned his attention to theology, and in 1806 was ordained pastor of the Central Congregational church in New Haven. He was called to the Professorship of Sacred Literature in Andover Theological Seminary in 1810, and continued for nearly forty years to discharge its important duties. Professor Stuart was a man of great natural abilities, honorable principles, and a strong will; for a long period he occupied the first place among cultivators of sacred learning in this country; and though younger men, with larger opportunities, have recently attained to greater eminence, no one in the same field has ever exercised a more important and advantageous influence. His first considerable work was a Hebrew Grammar, published in 1823. It scarcely deserves comparison with the more celebrated performance of Gesenius, of which Professor Stuart himself gave to the public a translation, more than twenty years after the publication of his own work; but for some time after its original appearance it was the best Hebrew Grammar in the English language. In 1825 he was associated with Professor Robinson in the production of a Greek Grammar of the New Testament; in 1827 he published his Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews; in 1829 his Hebrew Chrestomathy, and in 1830 his Course of Hebrew Study. His Commentary on the Hebrews, was received as an accession to the body of permanent theological literature. It was spoken of in England as "the most valuable philological aid" that had been published "for the critical study of that important, and in many respects difficult book;" and the late Dr. Pye Smith, one of the first biblical, theological, and classical scholars in Great Britain, stated, that he felt it to be his duty to describe it as "the most important present to the cause of sound biblical interpretation that had ever been made in the English language." In Germany also it secured for Professor Stuart the highest consideration; and it continues in all countries to be regarded as one of the noblest examples of philological theology and exegetical criticism. In 1832 Professor Stuart published another great work of a similar character: his Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. It was distinguished for a profoundness of research, for an intensity and minuteness of philological labor, and a singleness of purpose to arrive at the meaning of the apostle, without regard to any preconceived or partisan opinions, which obtained for it a regard as an authority equal to that awarded to its predecessor. In 1845 he published a Commentary on the Apocalypse; a profoundly learned and critical work, in which the interpretation of this difficult book varies much from that which has been most generally received. In the same year he also gave to the church a Critical History and Defence of the Old Testament Canon. His devotion to biblical criticism continued to the close of his life, and we believe, his last use of the pen was in the correction of the concluding sheets of a volume of Commentaries.

In his later years Professor Stuart entered into political controversies, and was particularly distinguished for his defence of the policy of Mr. Webster, in a pamphlet entitled Conscience and the Constitution. He also ventured very injudiciously into the field of classical criticism, in an edition of Cicero, which was sharply reviewed by Professor Kingsley of Yale College; and he lost reputation in his more legitimate sphere by a controversy with Professor Conant, of Madison University, growing out of his translation of the Hebrew Grammar of Gesenius. It is not to be denied that in measuring his strength against that of these accomplished scholars, he was signally unfortunate.

In his personal character he was simple, sincere, enthusiastic, brave, and religious. He was well entitled to the great respect in which he was held by the church. He had been ordained for high services, and he had accomplished them. Every duty of which he was capable was finished, and he could have added nothing to his good reputation if his years had been prolonged.

William Grimshaw, born in Ireland in 1781, but nearly all his life a resident of this country, where he was for many years well known as a writer, died near Philadelphia on the 8th of January. Besides editing and rewriting a considerable portion of Baine's History of the Wars growing out of the French Revolution, he was the author of Histories of Great Britain, France, and several other countries, which for a long time were very generally used as text-books in schools, and he also wrote The American Chesterfield, The Ladies' Lexicon, and numerous smaller volumes, which were creditable to his abilities. His reading was extensive, and his knowledge of events during his lifetime, particularly in British affairs, was minute and accurate. His mind lost none of its vigor with the approach of age, and in his fine countenance, and imposing figure, there were no appearances of decay. His love of reading continued to the last, and within a year he frequently employed his pen on such subjects as he took an especial interest in.

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Nicholas Gran de Dieu Soult, Marshal General of France, Duke of Dalmatia, &c., died on the 26th of December, at his chateau of Soult Berg, near the place where he was born. We have given in another part of this magazine an estimate of his character. The Paris Pays furnishes us a brief abstract of his history. He was born at St. Amand (Tarn), March 29, 1769. His father, who was a notary, seeing that he had no taste for his own profession, allowed him to enter the army. The future Marshal of France entered the Royal Regiment of Infantry in 1785, where he was soon remarked by his aptitude for the functions of instructor. He was made non-commissioned officer in 1790, and then passed rapidly through the intermediate grades, until he reached that of Adjutant-General of the Staff, when General Lefebvre attached him to his own service with the grade of Chief of Brigade. In that quality he went through the campaigns of 1794 and 1795 with the army of the Moselle, and owed to his talents, as well as to his republican principles, a rapid promotion. Successively raised to the rank of General of Brigade, and then to that of General of Division, he took part in all the campaigns of Germany until 1799, when he followed Massena into Switzerland, and thence to Genoa, where he was wounded and taken prisoner. Set at liberty after the battle of Marengo, and raised to the command of Piedmont, he returned to France at the peace of Amiens, and was named one of the four Colonels of the Guard of the Consuls. When the Empire was proclaimed, in 1804, he was nominated Marshal of France, and during the campaign which terminated in Austerlitz, held the command of the fourth corps of the grand army. After the conquest of Prussia and the battle of Eylau, Marshal Soult solicited and obtained the command of the second corps of the army of Spain, with which he overran Galicia and the Austrians, and passed into Portugal, where he fought the memorable battle of Oporto. Forced to abandon that city, when delivered up by treason to the English, he effected into Galicia a bold and perilous retreat, which did the greatest honor to his energy and presence of mind. Being named Commander-in-Chief of the army of Spain, he marched to the succor of Madrid, menaced by the Anglo-Spanish army, and his movement was crowned with full success. He continued in this command until March, 1813, when he was appointed in Saxony to the command-in-chief of the Imperial Guard. The disasters of Vittoria decided Napoleon to again confer on Marshal Soult the command of the French troops in Spain. The point then was to defend the menaced frontier of France. Forced to fall back on Toulouse, he there terminated by a brilliant engagement, due to most able strategic arrangements, the fatal campaign of 1814. On the announcement of the event at Paris he signed a suspension of arms, and adhered to the reëstablishment of Louis XVIII., who presented him with the Cross of St. Louis, and called him to the command of the 13th military division, and then to the Ministry of War (Dec. 3, 1814). On March 8th, learning the landing from Elba, he published the order of the day which is so well known, and in which Napoleon is treated more than severely. On March 11th he resigned his portfolio as Minister of War, and declared for the Emperor, who, passing over the famous proclamation, raised him to the dignity of Peer of France and Major General of the Army. After Waterloo, where he fought most energetically, the Marshal took refuge at Malzieu (Lozere) with General Brun de Villeret, his former aid-de-camp. Being set down on the list of the proscribed, he withdrew to Dusseldorf on the banks of the Rhine, until 1819, when a Royal ordinance allowed him to return to France. He then went to live with his family at St. Amand, his native place, and on his reiterated representations his marshal's baton, which had been withdrawn from him, was restored. Charles X. treated Marshal Soult with favor, creating him knight of his orders, and afterward making him Peer of France. After the revolution of July, 1830, the declaration of the Chamber of Deputies of August 9th excluded him from that rank, but he was restored to it four days later by a special nomination of Louis Philippe, who soon after appointed him Minister of War. We shall not follow Marshal Soult through the acts of his administrative career. He always showed himself devoted to the constitutive principles of the Government of July. He was twice named President of the Council of King Louis Philippe, who elevated him to the dignity of Marshal General, of which Turenne had been the last possessor. Since the revolution of February, Marshal Soult has lived on his estate, in the midst of his family, and almost forgotten in our present political agitations.

Karl Friederich Rungenhagen, late Royal Director of Music at Berlin, was born in that city on September 27, 1778. His father was a merchant. In 1801 he became member of the Singing Academy, and studied under Zetter. In 1814 he wrote the songs for a melo-drama, which was not successful. In 1815 he became director of the Singing Academy, with Zetter; most of his religious music was composed after this time. In 1825 he was appointed to the post of Royal Music Director, and in 1833, after Zetter's death, he became sole conductor of the Singing Academy. His influence has been considerable upon the culture of music in Germany. Carl Maria Von Weber was his friend, and Lortzing was one of his pupils. He died at Berlin on the 22d of last December.

The journals of Moscow announce the death of the Armenian Archbishop, Michael Sallantian, the most distinguished writer of Armenia at the present day. He was born at Constantinople in 1782, and educated at the Armenian monastery at Venice. He died at the age of sixty-nine at Moscow, where he had been professor of theology and literature for sixteen years before his elevation to the Archbishopric.

Dr. Graefe, one of the most eminent veterans of European philology, died suddenly at St Petersburg on November 30th. He was born at Chemnitz, in Saxony, in July, 1780, but went to Russia in 1810, to assume the professorship of Greek at the Academy of St. Petersburg.

The Russian General, Kiel, has died in Paris. He was employed by the Emperor Nicholas in directing works of art in the Russian empire.

Herr Meinhold, author of the Amber Witch, died in Germany in December.

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J. W. M. Turner, the greatest of English artists, and the hero of Mr. Ruskin's brilliant book entitled The Modern Painters, died in London on the 20th of December, at the age of 77. He had always a reluctance to have his portrait taken, but the engraving accompanying this article—from a sketch made without his knowledge—is said, by the Illustrated London News to be remarkably like him. It is understood that by his will he has left a million dollars (£200,000) for the purpose of founding an institution for the relief of of decayed artists, and has given it also the chief part of his pictures, to adorn the building which is to be occupied by it. The Times says, "although it would be out of place to revive the discussions occasioned by the peculiarities of Mr. Turner's style in his later years, he has left behind him sufficient proofs of the variety and fertility of his genius to establish an undoubted claim to a prominent rank among the painters of England. His life had been extended to the verge of human existence; for although he was fond of throwing a mystery over his precise age, we believe that he was born in Maiden-lane, Covent-garden, in the year 1775, and was, consequently, in his 76th or 77th year. Of humble origin (he was the son of a barber), he enjoyed the advantages of an accurate rather than a liberal education. His first studies, some of which are still in existence, were in architectural design; and few of those who have been astonished or enchanted by the profusion and caprice of form and color in his mature pictures, would have guessed the minute and scientific precision with which he had cultivated the arts of linear drawing and perspective. His early manhood was spent partly on the coast, where he imbibed his inexhaustible attachment for marine scenery and his acquaintance with the wild and varied aspect of the ocean. Somewhat later he repaired to Oxford, where he contributed for several years the drawing to the University Almanac. But his genius was rapidly breaking through all obstacles, and even the repugnance of public opinion; for before he had completed his 30th year he was on the high road to fame. As early as 1790 he exhibited his first work, a water-colored drawing of the entrance to Lambeth, at the exhibition of the Academy, and in 1793 his first oil painting. In November, 1799, he was elected an associate, and in February, 1802, he attained the rank of a Royal Academician. We shall not here attempt to trace the vast series of his paintings from his earlier productions, such as the "Wreck," in Lord Yarborough's collection, the "Italian Landscape," in the same gallery, the pendant to Lord Ellesmere's "Vanderwelde," or Mr. Munro's "Venus and Adonis," in the Titianesque manner, to the more obscure, original, and, as some think, unapproachable productions of his later years, such as the "Rome," the "Venice," the "Golden Bough," the "Téméraire," and the "Tusculum." But while these great works proceeded rapidly from his palette, his powers of design were no less actively engaged in the exquisite water-colored drawings that have formed the basis of the modern school of "illustration." The "Liber studiorum" had been commenced in 1807, in imitation of Claude's "Liber veritatis," and was etched, if we are not mistaken, by Turner's own hand. The title-page was engraved and altered half-a-dozen times, from his singular and even nervous attention to the most trifling details. But this volume was only the precursor of an immense series of drawings and sketches, embracing the topography of this country in the "River Scenery" and the "Southern Coast"—the scenery of the Alps, of Italy, and great part of Europe—and the ideal creations of our greatest poets, from Milton to Scott and Rogers, all imbued with the brilliancy of a genius which seemed to address itself more peculiarly to the world at large when it adopted the popular form of engraving. These drawings are now widely diffused in England, and form the basis of several important collections, such as those of Petworth, of Mr. Windus, Mr. Fawkes, and Mr. Munro. So great is the value of them that 120 guineas have not unfrequently been paid for a small sketch in water-colors; and a sketch-book, containing chalk-drawings of one of Turner's river tours on the continent, has lately fetched the enormous sum of 600 guineas. The prices of his more finished oil paintings have ranged in the last few years from 700 to 1,200 or 1,400 guineas. All his works may now be said to have acquired triple or quadruple the value originally paid for them. Mr. Turner undoubtedly realized a very large fortune, and great curiosity will be felt to ascertain the posthumous use he has made of it. His personal habits were peculiar, and even penurious, but in all that related to his art he was generous to munificence; and we are not without hope that his last intentions were for the benefit of the nation, and the preservation of his own fame. He was never married, he was not known to have any relations, and his wants were limited to the strictest simplicity. The only ornaments of his house in Queen Anne-street were the pictures by his own hand, which he had constantly refused to part with at any price, among which the "Rise and Fall of Carthage" and the "Crossing the Brook," rank among the choicest specimens of his finest manner.

"Mr. Turner seldom took much part in society, and only displayed in the closest intimacy the shrewdness of his observation and the playfulness of his wit. Every where he kept back much of what was in him, and while the keenest intelligence, mingled with a strong tinge of satire, animated his brisk countenance, it seemed to amuse him to be but half understood. His nearest social ties were those formed in the Royal Academy, of which he was by far the oldest member, and to whose interests he was most warmly attached. He filled at one time the chair of Professor of Perspective, but without conspicuous success, and that science has since been taught in the Academy by means better suited to promote it than a course of lectures. In the composition and execution of his works, Mr. Turner was jealously sensitive of all interference or supervision. He loved to deal in the secrets and mysteries of his art, and many of his peculiar effects are produced by means which it would not be easy to discover or to imitate.

"We hope that the Society of Arts or the British Gallery will take an early opportunity of commemorating the genius of this great artist, and of reminding the public of the prodigious range of his pencil, by forming a general exhibition of his principal works, if, indeed, they are not permanently gathered in a nobler repository. Such an[pg 285] exhibition will serve far better than any observations of ours to demonstrate that it is not by those deviations from established rules which arrest the most superficial criticism that Mr. Turner's fame or merit are to be estimated. For nearly sixty years Mr. Turner contributed largely to the arts of this country. He lived long enough to see his greatest productions rise to uncontested supremacy, however imperfectly they were understood when they first appeared in the earlier years of this century; and, though in his later works and in advanced age, force and precision of execution have not accompanied his vivacity of conception, public opinion has gradually and steadily advanced to a more just appreciation of his power. He is the Shelley of English painting—the poet and the painter both alike veiling their own creations in the dazzling splendor of the imagery with which they are surrounded, mastering every mode of expression, combining scientific labor with an air of negligent profusion, and producing in the end works in which color and language are but the vestments of poetry. Of such minds it may be said in the words of Alastor:

"Nature's most secret steps
He, like her shadow, has pursued, where'er
The red volcano overcanopies
Its fields of snow and pinnacles of ice
With burning smoke; or where the starry domes
Of diamond and of gold expand above
Numberless and immeasurable halls,
Frequent with crystal column and clear shrines
Of pearl, and thrones radiant with chrysolite.
Nor had that scene of ampler majesty
Than gems or gold—the varying roof of heaven
And the green earth—lost in his heart its claims
To love and wonder...."
Illustration: THE LATE J. W. M. TURNER
[pg 286]

Basil Montagu, an eminent philosophical and legal writer, was the illegitimate son of the well-known statesman, John fourth Earl of Sandwich, many years First Lord of the Admiralty, by the unfortunate Miss Margaret Reay, who was assassinated, in 1779, by her affianced lover, the Rev. Mr. Hackman. The tragic affair, which excited immense interest at the time, and which gave rise to various romantic stories, is to be found in most series of judicial investigations, and especially in a collection of celebrated trials recently published. It appears that Margaret Reay was the daughter of a stay-maker in Covent-garden, and served her apprenticeship to a mantuamaker. Having attracted the attention of Lord Sandwich, he treated her from that period until her assassination, with the greatest tenderness and affection. He introduced to her a young ensign of the 68th Regiment, then in command of a recruiting party at Huntingdon, in the neighborhood of the mansion of the Montagues. Mr. Hackman from the first moment was desperately in love with her, and his passion increased with the daily opportunities afforded by invitations he received to Lord Sandwich's table. With the object of continuing his attentions, and the hope of ultimately engaging her affections, he quitted the army, and, taking orders, obtained the living of Wiverton, in Norfolk. That Miss Reay had given him some encouragement, is proved by the tenor of their correspondence; but prudential motives induced her afterwards to refuse the offer of his hand, and to intimate a necessity for discontinuing his visits. Stung by this unexpected termination of his long-cherished expectations, Hackman's mind became unsettled; on the 7th of April, 1779, he was occupied all the morning in reading Blair's Sermons; but in the evening, as he was walking towards the Admiralty, he saw Miss Reay pass in her coach, accompanied by Signora Galli. He followed, and discovered that she alighted at Covent-garden Theatre, where she went to witness Love in a Village. He returned to his lodgings, armed himself with a brace of pistols, went back to the theatre, and when the performance was over, as Miss Reay was stepping into her coach, he took a pistol in each hand, one of which he discharged at her, and killed her on the spot, and the other at himself, but it did not take effect. He then beat his head with the butt of the pistol, to destroy himself, but was, after a struggle, secured and carried before Sir John Fielding, who committed him to Bridewell, and he was shortly after tried at the Old Bailey, before the celebrated Justice Blackstone, found guilty, and hanged at Tyburn on the 19th of the month.

Basil Montagu was born in 1770, and received his education at the Charter House. He was called to the English bar by the Society of Gray's Inn, the 19th of May, 1798, and soon obtained considerable practice as a conveyancer. It was, however, by his legal authorship and reporting that he became particularly distinguished in the profession. His various works and reports on the subject, principally of the Law of Bankruptcy, were of high estimation and lasting utility. In 1801, he produced his Summary of the Law of Set Off, with an Appendix of Cases, argued and determined in the Courts of Law and Equity, in one volume, octavo; in 1804-5, in four volumes, A Digest of the Bankrupt Laws, with a Collection of the Statutes and of the Cases, which reached three editions, and brought him into immediate notice and considerable practice; and, some time afterward, he printed a pamphlet on Bankrupts' Certificates. His fame in this branch of forensic learning procured him the appointment of a Commissioner of Bankruptcy. Mr. Montagu wrote also on philosophical subjects. Among his productions of this tendency were Thoughts of Divines and Philosophers; Selections from Taylor, Hooker, Bishop Hall, and Bacon. He edited an edition of Lord Bacon's works, in seventeen volumes. Another bent which his mind took, placed him by the side of Romilly and Mackintosh in the cause of Humanity. He had in his nature an abhorrence of depriving any living thing of life, and with regard to his own diet he totally abstained from animal food. This led him to bestow his active attention towards putting a stop to capital punishment. In 1809 he published Opinions of Different Authors on the Punishment of Death. The work was so well received, that he added a a second and third volume to it. In 1811, when the important question occupied Parliament, he edited The Debates on a Bill for Abolishing the Punishment of Death for Stealing in a Dwelling House. In 1815 he reprinted a tract originally published in 1801, called Hanging not Punishment enough for Murderers. Mr. Basil Montagu, who had some years ago been made a Queen's counsel, died at Boulogne on the 27th of November, in the eighty-second year of his age.

Rear-Admiral Henry Gage Morris, entered the navy at the early age of twelve, and served as midshipman throughout the French and American wars. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, April 2, 1793. He was engaged at the capture of the French frigate Sybille, in 1783, and at the attack on Martinique, in 1793. He was promoted to post rank August 12, 1812, and was made rear-admiral in 1847. He died at Beverley, 24th ult. aged eighty-two. Admiral Morris was younger brother of the late Captain Amherst Morris, being second son of Colonel Roger Morris, a member of the Governor's Council at New-York, by Mary, daughter of Frederick Phillipse, of this city. This family of Morris is one of great antiquity, deriving its descent from Elystan Glodrydd, a famed chieftain of Wales in the eleventh century.