The Project Gutenberg EBook of The International Monthly, Volume 5, No. 3,
March, 1852, by Various

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Title: The International Monthly, Volume 5, No. 3, March, 1852

Author: Various

Release Date: February 3, 2010 [EBook #31162]

Language: English

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[Pg 289]


Of Literature, Art, and Science.

Vol. V.—NEW-YORK, MARCH 1, 1852—No. III.

Transcriber's Note: Minor typos have been corrected and footnotes moved to the end of the article. Table of contents has been created for the HTML version.




For several weeks the attention of the curious has been more and more attracted to a remarkable ethnological exhibition at the Society Library. Two persons, scarcely larger than the fabled gentlemen of Lilliput, (though one is twelve or thirteen and the other eighteen years of age), of just and even elegant proportions, and physiognomies striking and peculiar, but not deficient in intellect or refinement, have been visited by throngs of idlers in quest of amusement, wonder-seekers, and the profoundest inquirers into human history. Until very recently, Mexico was properly described as Terra Incognita. The remains of nations are there shrouded in oblivion, and cities, in their time surpassing Tadmor and Thebes, untrodden except by the jaguar and the ocelot. A few persons, indeed, attracted by uncertain rumors of ancient grandeur in Palenque, have visited her temples and tombs—

There to track
Fallen states and empires o'er a land
Which was the mightiest in her high command,
And is the loveliest—

but no one has been found to read the hieroglyphics of Tolteca, to disclose the history of the dwellers in Anahuac, to make known the annals of the rise and fall of Tlascala, Otumba, Copan, or Papantla. In the great work of Lord Kingsborough are collected many important remains of Mexican and Aztec art and learning; Mr. Prescott has combined with a masterly hand the traditions of the country; and Mr. Stevens and Mr. Squier have done much in the last few years to render us familiar with the more accessible and probably most significant ruins which illustrate the civilization of the race subdued by the Spaniards; but still Central America is unexplored. In the second volume of the work of Mr. Stevens, he mentions that a Roman Catholic priest of Santa Cruz del Quiche told him marvellous stories of a "large city, with turrets white and glittering in the sun," beyond the Cordilleras, where a people still existed in the condition of the subjects of Montezuma. He proceeds:

"The interest awakened in us, was the most thrilling I ever experienced. One look at that city, was worth ten years of an every-day life. If he is right, a place is left where Indians and a city exist, as Cortez and Alvarado found them; there are living men who can solve the mystery that hangs over the ruined cities of America; who can, perhaps, go to Copan and read the inscription on its monuments. No subject more exciting and attractive presents itself to any mind, and the deep impression in my mind will never be effaced. Can it be true? Being now in [Pg 290]my sober senses, I do verily believe there is much ground to suppose that what the Padre told us is authentic. That the region referred to does not acknowledge the government of Gautamala, and has never been explored, and that no white man has ever pretended to have entered it; I am satisfied. From other sources we heard that a large ruined city was visible; and we were told of another person who had climbed to the top of the sierra, but on account of the dense clouds rising upon it, he had not been able to see any thing. At all events, the belief at the village of Chajul is general, and a curiosity is aroused that burns to be satisfied. We had a craving desire to reach the mysterious city. No man if so willing to peril his life, could undertake the enterprise, with any hope of success, without hovering for one or two years on the borders of the country, studying the language and character of the adjoining Indians, and making acquaintance with some of the natives. Five hundred men could probably march directly to the city, and the invasion would be more justifiable than any made by Spaniards; but the government is too much occupied with its own wars, and the knowledge could not be procured except at the price of blood. Two young men of good constitution, and who could afford to spend five years, might succeed. If the object of search prove a phantom, in the wild scenes of a new and unexplored country, there are other objects of interest; but, if real, besides the glorious excitement of such a novelty, they will have something to look back upon through life. As to the dangers, they are always magnified, and, in general, peril is discovered soon enough for escape. But, in all probability, if any discovery is made, it will be made by the Padres. As for ourselves, to attempt it alone, ignorant of the language, and with the mozos who were a constant annoyance to us, was out of the question. The most we thought of, was to climb to the top of the sierra, thence to look down upon the mysterious city; but we had difficulties enough in the road before us; it would add ten days to a journey already almost appalling in the perspective; for days the sierra might be covered with clouds; in attempting too much, we might lose all; Palenque was our great point, and we determined not to be diverted from the course we had marked out."—Vol. ii., p. 193-196.

Mr. Stevens appears to have had some confidence in the Padre's statement, and expresses a belief that the race of the aboriginal inhabitants of Central America is not extinct, but that, scattered perhaps and retired, like our own Indians, into wildernesses which have never been penetrated by white men—erecting buildings of "lime and stone," "with ornaments of sculpture, and plastered," "large courts," and "lofty towers, with high ranges of steps," and carving on tablets of stone mysterious hieroglyphs, there are still in secluded cities "unconquered, unvisited, and unsought aborigines." It is stated in a pamphlet before us, that such a city was discovered in 1849 by three adventurous travellers, and that one of them succeeded in bringing to New York two specimens of its diminutive and peculiar inhabitants—the persons now being exhibited in Broadway. Of the credibility of this account we express no opinion, but the "Aztec Children" have the phrenological and general appearance of the ancient Mexican sculptures, and may well be regarded for their probable origin, their physical structure, or their mere appearance, as among the "most wonderful specimens of humanity." We assent to the following paragraph by Mr. Horace Greeley, whose testimony agrees with the common impressions they have produced:

"I hate monstrosities, however remarkable, and am rather repelled than attracted by the idea of their truthfulness. Assuming that there is a propensity in human nature—an 'organ,' as the phrenologists would phrase it—that finds gratification in the inspection and scrutiny of Joice Heths, Woolly Horses, and six-legged Swine, I would rather have it gratified by fabricated and factitious than by natural and veritable productions, and would rather not share in the process from which that gratification is extracted. There is a superabundance of ugliness and deformity which one is obliged to see, without running after and nosing any out. It was, therefore, with some reluctance that I obeyed a polite invitation to visit the Aztec children, and ratify or dispute the commendations hitherto bestowed on them, in these columns and elsewhere. I did not expect to find ogres nor any thing hideous, but, among all similar exhibitions, remembering with pleasure only Tom Thumb, I could not hope to find gratification in the sight of two dwarf Indians. But I was disappointed. These children are simply abridgements or pocket editions of Humanity—bright-eyed, delicate-featured, olive-complexioned little elves, with dark, straight, glossy hair, well-proportioned heads, and animated, pleasing countenances. That their ages are honestly given, and that the boy weighs just about as many pounds as he is years old (twenty), while the girl is about half his age and three pounds lighter, I see no reason at all for doubting. That they are human beings, though of a low grade morally and intellectually, as well as diminutive physically, there can be no doubt; and they are not freaks of Nature, but specimens of a dwindled, minnikin race, who almost realize in bodily form our ideas of the 'brownies,' 'bogles,' and other fanciful creations of a more superstitious age. Their heads, unlike those of dwarfs, are small and not ill-looking, but with very low foreheads and a general conformation strongly confirmatory of certain fundamental assertions of Phrenology. Idiotic they are not; but their intellect and language are those of children of three or four years, to whom their gait also assimilates them; but they have none of childhood's reserve or shyness, are inquisitive and restless, and articulate with manifest efforts and difficulty. To children of three to six or eight years, their incessant pranks and gambols must be a source of intense and unfailing delight. The story that they were procured from an unknown, scarcely approachable Aboriginal City of Central America called Iximaya, situated high among the mountains and rarely visited by civilized man, may be true or false; but that they are natives of that part of the world, I cannot doubt. To the moralist, the student, the physiologist, they are subjects deserving of careful scrutiny and thoughtful observation; while to those whose highest motive is the gratification of curiosity, but especially to children, they must be objects of vivid interest."

[Pg 291]




Among the most magnificent of the palatial homes of England—indeed one of the most rich and splendid residences occupied in all the world by an uncrowned master—is Chatsworth, in Derbyshire, the most beautiful district in the British islands. With some abridgment we transfer to the International an account of a recent visit to Chatsworth, by Mrs. S. C. Hall, with the illustrations by Mr. Finhalt, from the January number of the London Art-Journal. Our agreeable authoress, after some general observations respecting the attractions of the neighborhood, proceeds:

"We are so little proud of the beauties of England, that the foreigner only hears of Derbyshire as the casket which contains the rich jewel of Chatsworth. The setting is worthy of the gem. It ranks foremost among proudly beautiful English mansions; and merits its familiar title of the Palace of the Peak. It was the object of our pilgrimage; and we recalled the history of the nobles of its House. The family of Cavendish is one of our oldest descents; it may be traced lineally from Robert de Gernon, who entered England with the Conqueror, and whose descendant, Roger Gernon, of Grimston, in Suffolk, marrying the daughter and sole heiress of Lord Cavendish in that county, in the reign of Edward II., gave the name of that estate as a surname to his children, which they ever after bore. The study of the law seems to have been for a long period the means of according position and celebrity to the family, Sir William Cavendish, in whose person all the estates conjoined, was Privy Councillor to Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Mary; he had been Gentleman-Usher to Wolsey; and after the fall of the great Cardinal, was retained in the service of Henry VIII. He accumulated much wealth, but chiefly by his third marriage, with Elizabeth, the wealthy widow of Robert Barley, at whose instigation he sold his estates in other parts of England, to purchase lands in Derbyshire, where her great property lay. Hardwick Hall was her paternal residence, but Sir William began to build another at Chatsworth, which he did not live to finish. Ultimately, Elizabeth became the wife of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury; she was one of the most remarkable women of her time, and the foundress of the two houses of Devonshire and Newcastle. Her second son, William, by the death of his elder brother in 1616, after being created Baron Cavendish, of Hardwick, was in 1618 created Earl of Devonshire. It was happily said of him, 'his learning operated on his conduct, but was seldom shown in his discourse.' His son, the third Earl, was a zealous loyalist; like his father, remarkable for his cultivated taste and learning, perfected under the superintendence of the famous Hobbes of Malmesbury. His eldest son, William, was the first Duke of Devonshire; the friend of Lord Russell, and one of the few who fearlessly testified to his honor on his memorable trial. Wearied of courts, he retired to Chatsworth, which at that time was a quadrangular building, with turrets in the Elizabethan taste; and then, 'as if his mind rose upon the depression of his fortune,' says Kennett, 'he first projected the now glorious pile of Chatsworth;' he pulled down the south side of 'that good old seat,' and rebuilt it on a plan 'so fair an august, that it looked like a model only of what might be done in after ages.' After seven years, he added the other sides, 'yet the building was his least charge, if regard be had to his gardens, water-works, statues, pictures, and other the finest pieces of Art and Nature that could be obtained abroad or at home.' He was highly honored with the favor and confidence of William III. and his successor Anne. Dying in 1707, his son William, who was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, spent the latter part of his life at Chatsworth, dying there in 1755. It is now the favorite country residence of his great grandson, the sixth Duke and ninth Earl of Devonshire.

"The Duke's tastes, as evinced at Chatsworth, are of the purest and happiest order;—and are to be found in the adornments of his rooms, the shelves of his library, the riches of his galleries of art, and the rare and beautiful exotic marvels of his gardens and conservatories. Charles Cotton, in his poem, the Wonders of the Peak, wrote, two centuries ago, of the then Earl of Devonshire—and[Pg 292] no language can apply with greater truth to the Duke who is now master of Chatsworth:

"But that which crowns all this, and does impart
A lustre far beyond the pow'r of Art,
Is the great Owner; He, whose noble mind
For such a Fortune only was design'd.
Whose bounties, as the Ocean's bosom wide,
Flow in a constant, unexhausted tide
Of Hospitality, and free access,
Liberal Condescension, cheerfulness,
Honor and Truth, as ev'ry of them strove
At once to captivate Respect and Love:
And with such order all perform'd, and grace,
As rivet wonder to the stately place."

"Although carriages are permitted to drive from the railway terminus at Rowsley, to the pretty and pleasant inn at Edenson, by a road which passes directly under the house, the stranger should receive his first impressions of Chatsworth from one of the surrounding heights. It is impossible to convey a just idea of its breadth and dignity; the platform upon which it stands is a fitting base for such a structure; the trees, that at intervals relieve and enliven the vast space, are of every rich variety, the terraces nearly twelve hundred feet in extent—'the emperor fountain' throwing its jet two hundred and seventy feet into the air, far overtopping the avenue of majestic trees, of which it forms the centre. The dancing fountain, the great cascade, even the smaller fountains (wonderful objects any where, except here, where there are so many more wonderful) sparkle through the foliage; while all is backed by magnificent hanging woods, and the high lands of Derbyshire, extending from the hills of Matlock to Stony Middleton. And the foreground of the picture is, in its way, equally beautiful; the expansive view, the meadows now broken into green hills and mimic valleys, the groups of fallow deer, and herds of cattle, reposing beneath the shade of wide-spreading chestnuts, or the stately beech—all is harmony to perfection; nothing is wanting to complete the fascination of the whole. The enlarged and cultivated minds which conceived these vast yet minute arrangements, did not consider minor details as unimportant; every tree, and brake, and bush; every ornament, every path, is exactly in its right place, and seems to have ever been there. Nothing, however great, or however small, has escaped consideration; there are no bewildering effects, such as are frequently seen in large domains, and which render it difficult to recall what at the time may have been much admired; all is arranged with the dignity of order; all, however graceful, is substantial; the ornaments sometimes elaborate, never descend into prettiness; the character[Pg 293] of the scenery has been borne in mind, and its beauty never outraged by extravagance. All is in harmony with the character which nature in her most generous mood gave to the hills and valleys; God has been gracious to the land, and man has followed in the pathway He has made.


"A month at Chatsworth would hardly suffice to count its beauties; but much may be done in a day, when eyes and ears are open, and the heart beats in sympathy with the beauties of Nature and of Art. It is, perhaps, best to visit the gardens of Chatsworth first; they are little more than half a mile to the north of the park; and there Sir Joseph Paxton is building his new dwelling, or rather adding considerably to the beauty and convenience of the old. In the Kitchen-Gardens, containing twelve acres, there are houses for every species of plant, but the grand attraction is the house which contains the Royal Lily (Victoria Regia), and other lilies and water-plants from various countries. It will be readily believed that the flower-gardens are among the most exquisitely[Pg 294] beautiful in Europe; they have been arranged by one of the master minds of the age, and bear evidence of matured knowledge, skill, and taste; the nicest judgment seems to have been exercised over even the smallest matter of detail, while the whole is as perfect a combination as can be conceived of grandeur and loveliness. The walks, lawns, and parterres are lavishly, but unobtrusively, decorated with vases and statues; terraces occur here and there, from which are to be obtained the best views of the adjacent country; 'Patrician trees' at intervals form umbrageous alleys; water is made contributory from a hundred mountain streams and rivulets, to form jets, cascades, and fountains, which, infinitely varied in their 'play,' ramble among lilies, or—it is scarcely an exaggeration to say—fling their spray into the clouds, and descend to refresh the topmost leaves of trees that were in their prime three centuries ago. The most striking and original of the walks is that which leads through mimic Alpine scenery to the great conservatory; here Art has been most triumphant; the rocks, which, have been all brought hither, are so skilfully combined, so richly clad in mosses, so luxuriantly covered with heather, so judiciously based with ferns and water-plants, that you move among or beside them in rare delight at the sudden change which transports you from trim parterres to the utmost wildness of natural beauty. From these again you pass into a garden, in the centre of which is the conservatory, always renowned, but now more than ever, as the prototype of the famous Palace of Glass, which, in this Annus Mirabilis, received under its roof six millions of the people of all nations, tongues, and creeds. In extent, the conservatory at Chatsworth is but a pigmy compared with that which glorifies Hyde Park: but it is filled with the rarest Exotics from all parts of the globe—from 'farthest Ind,' from China, from the Himalayas, from Mexico; here you see the rich banana, Eschol's grape hanging in ripe profusion beneath the shadow of immense paper-like leaves; the feathery cocoa-palm, with its head peering almost to the lofty arched roof; the far-famed silk cotton-tree, supplying a sheet of cream-colored blossoms, at a season when all outward vegetable gayety is on the wane: the singular milk-tree of the Caraccas—the fragrant cinnamon and cassia—with thousands of other rare and little-known species of both flowers and fruits. The Italian Garden—opposite the library windows, with its richly colored parterres, and its clustered foliage wreathed around the pillars which support the statues and busts scattered among them, and hanging from one to the other with a luxurious verdure which seems to belong to the south—is a relief to the eye sated with the splendors of the palatial edifice.


"The water-works, which were constructed under the direction of M. Grillet, a French artist, were begun in 1690, when a pipe for what was then called 'the great fountain' was laid down; the height of twenty feet to which it threw water being, at that time, considered sufficiently wonderful to justify the hyperbolical language of Cotton:

'—should it break or fall, I doubt we should
Begin to reckon from the second flood.'

It was afterward elevated to fifty feet, and then to ninety-four feet; but it is now celebrated as the most remarkable fountain in the world; it rises to the height of two hundred and sixty-seven feet, and has been named the Emperor Fountain, in honor of the visit of the Emperor of Russia to Chatsworth in 1844. Such is the velocity with which the water is ejected, that it is shown to escape at the rate of one hundred miles per minute; for the purpose of supplying it, a reservoir, or immense artificial lake, has been constructed on the hills, above Chatsworth, which is fed by the streams around and the springs on the moors drains being cut for this purpose, commencing at Humberly Brook, on the Chesterfield Road, two miles and a half from the reservoir, which covers eight acres; a pipe winds down the hill side, through which the water passes; and such is its waste, that a diminution of a foot may be perceived when the water-works have been played for three hours. Nothing can exceed the stupendous effect of this column, which may be seen for many miles around, shooting upwards to the sky in varied and graceful evolutions. From this upper lake the waterfalls are also supplied, which are constructed with so natural an effect on the hill side, behind the water-temple, which reminds the spectator of the glories of St. Cloud. From the dome of this temple bursts forth a gush of water[Pg 295] that covers its surface, pours through the urns at its sides, and springs up in fountains underneath, thence descending in a long series of step-like falls, until it sinks beneath the rocks at the base, and—after rising again to play as 'the dancing fountain' is conveyed by drains under the garden and park,—being emptied into the Derwent.[1] But we may not forget that our space is limited: to describe the gardens and conservatories of Chatsworth would occupy more pages than we can give to the whole theme; suffice it that the taste and liberality of the Duke of Devonshire, and the skill and judgment of Sir Joseph Paxton, have so combined Nature and Art in this delicious region, as to supply all the enjoyment that may be desired or is attainable, from trees, shrubs, and flowers seen under the happiest arrangement of countries, classes, and colors.


"The erection of the present house is narrated by Lysons, who says, the south front was begun to be rebuilt on the 12th of April, 1687, and the great hall and staircase covered in about the middle of April, 1690; the east front was begun in 1693, and finished in 1700; the south gallery was pulled down and rebuilt in 1703; in 1704, the north front was pulled down; the west front was finished in 1706; and the whole of the building not long afterwards completed, being about twenty years from the time of its commencement. The architect was Mr. William Talman, but in[Pg 296] May, 1692, the works were surveyed by Sir Christopher Wren.

"On entering—the Lower Hall or Western Lodge contains some very fine antique statuary, and fragments which deserve the especial attention of the connoisseur. Among them are several which were the treasured relics of Canova and Sir Henry Englefield, and others found in Herculaneum, and presented by the King of Naples to 'the beautiful' Duchess of Devonshire. A corridor leads thence to the Great Hall, which is decorated with paintings by the hand of a famous artist in his day—Verrio—celebrated by Pope for his proficiency in ceiling-painting. The effect of the hall is singularly good, with its grand stair and triple arches opening to the principal rooms. The sub-hall, behind, is embellished by a graceful fountain, with the story of Diana and Actæon, and the abundance of water at Chatsworth is sufficient for it to be constantly playing, producing an effect seldom attempted within doors. A long gallery leads to the various rooms inhabited by the Duke, the walls being decorated with a large number of fine pictures by the older masters of the Flemish and Italian schools. In the billiard-room are Landseer's famed picture of Bolton Abbey in the Olden Time, with charming specimens of Collins, and other British painters.


"The chapel is richly decorated with foliage in carved woodwork, which has been erroneously attributed to Grinling Gibbons. It was executed by Thomas Young, who was engaged as the principal carver in wood in 1689, and by a pupil of his, Samuel Watson, a native of Heanor, in Derbyshire, whose claim to the principal ornamental woodcarving at Chatsworth is set forth in verses on his tomb in Heanor Church.

"Over the Colonnade on the north side of the quadrangle, is a gallery nearly one hundred feet long in which have been hung a numerous and valuable collection of drawings by the old masters, arranged according to the schools of art of which they are examples. There is no school unrepresented, and as the eye wanders over the thickly-covered wall, it is arrested by sketches from the hands of Raffaelle, Da Vinci, Claude Poussin, Paul Veronese, Salvator Rosa, and the other great men who have made Art immortal. To describe these works would occupy a volume;[Pg 297] to study them a life; it is a glorious collection fitly displayed.


"The old state-rooms, which form the upper floors of the south front, occupy the same position as those which were appropriated to the unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots during her long residence here. There is, however, but little to see of her period; if we except some needlework at the back of a canopy representing hunting scenes, worked by the hand of the famous Countess of Shrewsbury, popularly known as 'Bess of Hardwick.'

"The gallery, ninety feet by twenty-two, originally constructed for dancing, has been fitted up by the present Duke as a library. Among the books which formed the original library at Chatsworth, are several which belonged to the celebrated Hobbes, who was many years a resident at the old hall. The library of Henry Cavendish, and the extensive and valuable collection at Devonshire House have aided to swell its stores. Thin quartos of the rarest order, unique volumes of old poetry, scarce and curious pamphlets by the early printers, first editions of Shakspeare, early pageants, and the rarest dramatic and other popular literature of the Elizabethan era, may be found in this well-ordered room—not to speak of its great treasure, the Liber Veritalus of Claude.


"The statue gallery, a noble room erected by the present Duke, contains a judiciously-selected series of sculptures. The gem of the collection is the famous seated statue of Madame Bonaparte, mother of Napoleon, by Canova. The same style characterizes that of Pauline Borghese, by Campbell. Other works of Canova are here—his statue of Hebe, and Endymion sleeping; a bust of Petrarch's[Pg 298] Laura, and the famous Lions, copied by Benaglia from the colossal originals on the monument of Clement XIV., at Rome. Thorwaldsen is abundantly represented by his Night and Morning, and his bas-reliefs of Priam Petitioning for the Body of Hector, and Briseis, taken from Achilles by the Heralds. Schadow's Filatrice, or Spinning Girl, and his classic bas-reliefs are worthy of all admiration. The English school of sculpture appears to advantage in Gibson's fine group, Mars and Cupid, and his bas-relief of Hero and Leander—Chantry's busts of George IV. and Canning—Westmacott's Cymbal Plaery—Wyatt's Musidora, and many others.

"Our visit to the mansion may conclude with a brief notice of one of its most interesting relics. Queen Mary's Bower is a sad memorial of the unhappy Queen's fourteen years' imprisonment here. It has been quaintly described as 'an island plat, on the top of a square tower, built in a large pool.' It is reached by a bridge, and in this lonely island-garden did Mary pass many days of a captivity, rendered doubly painful by the jealous bickerings of the Countess of Shrewsbury, who openly complained to Elizabeth of the Queen's intimacy with her husband; an unfounded aspersion, which Mary's urgent solicitations to Elizabeth obliged the Countess to retract, but which led to Mary's removal from the Earl's custody to that of Sir Amias Pawlet.


"To the Hunting-Tower on the hill above the house, the ascent is by a road winding gracefully among venerable trees, planted 'when Elizabeth was Queen,' and occasionally passing beside a fall of water, which dashes among rocks from the moors above. The tower stands on the edge of the steep and thickly-wooded hill; it is built on a platform of stone, reached by a few steps; it is one of the relics of old Chatsworth, and is a characteristic and curious feature of the scene. Such towers were frequently placed near lordly residences in the olden time, for the purpose 'of giving the ladies of those days an opportunity of enjoying the sport of hunting,' which, from the heights above, they saw in the vales beneath. The view from the tower is one of the finest in England. The house and grounds below, embosomed in foliage, peep through the umbrage far beneath your feet; the rapid Derwent courses along through the level valley. The wood opposite crowns the rising ground, above Edensor—the picturesque and beautiful village within whose humble church many members of the noble family are buried. The village itself may be considered as a model of taste; it resembles a group of Italian and Gothic villas, the utmost variety and the most picturesque styles of architecture being adopted for their construction, while the little flower-gardens before them are as carefully tended as those at Chatsworth itself. Upon the hills above are traces of Roman encampments, and from the summit you look down upon the beautiful[Pg 299] village of Bakewell, and far-famed Haddon Hall—the antique residence of the dukes of Rutland, an unspoiled relic of the sixteenth century. Looking toward the north, the eye traverses the fertile and beautiful valley of the Derwent, with the quiet little villages of Pilsley, Hassop, and Baslow, consisting of groups of cottages and quiet homesteads, speaking of pastoral life in its most favorable aspect. The eye, following the direction of the stream, is carried over the village of Calver, beyond which the rocks of Stony Middleton converge and shut in the prospect, with their gates of stone; amid distant trees, the village of Eyam, celebrated for its mournful story of the plague, and the heroism of its pastor, is embosomed. The ridge of rock stretches around the plain to the right, and upon the moors are traces of the early Britons in circles of stones and tumuli, with various other singular and deeply-interesting relics of 'the far off past.' Turning to the south, the prospect is bounded by the hills of Matlock; the villages of Darley-le-Dale, and Rowsley, reposing in mid-distance; the entire prospect comprising a series of picturesque mountains, fertile plains, wood, water, and rock, which cannot be surpassed in the world for variety and beauty. The noble domain in the foreground forming the grand centre of the whole:

"'This palace, with wild prospects girded round,
Where the scorn'd Peak rivals proud Italy.'

"It was evening when we ascended this charming hill, and stood beneath the shadow of its famous Hunting Tower. The sun had just set, leaving a landscape of immense extent sleeping beneath rose-colored clouds; the air was balmy and fragrant with the peculiar odor of the pine-trees which topped the summit of the promontory on which we stood. We were told of Taddington Hill—of Beeley Edge—of Brampton Moor—of Robin Hood's bar—of Froggat Edge—until our eyes ached from the desire to distinguish the one from the other. There was Tor this, and Dale that, and such a hall and such a hamlet; but the stillness by which we were surrounded had become so delicious that we longed to enjoy it in solitude.


"What pen can tell of the beams of light that played on the highlands, when, after the fading of that gorgeous sunset, the valley became steeped in a soft blue-gray color, so tender, and clear and pure, that it conveyed the idea of 'atmosphere' to perfection. Then, as the shadows, the soothing shadows of evening, increased around us, the woods seemed to melt into the mountains; the rivers veiled their course by their misty incense to the heavens—wreath after wreath of vapor creeping upwards; and as the distances faded into indistinctness, the bold headlands seemed to grow and prop the clouds; the heavens let down the pall of mystery and darkness with a tender, not terrific, power; earth and sky blended together, softly and gently; the coolness of the air refreshed us, and yet the stillness on that high point was so intense as to become almost painful. As we looked into the valley, lights sprung up in cottage dwellings; and then, softly on a wandering breeze, came at intervals the tolling of a deep bell from the venerable church at Edensor, a token that some one had been summoned to another home—perhaps in one of those pale stars that at first singly, but then in troops, were beaming on us from the pale blue sky.

"While slowly descending from our eyrie, amid the varied shadows of a most lustrous moonlight, our eyes fell upon the distant wood which surrounded Haddon Hall; its massive walls, its mouldering tapestries, its stately terrace, its quaint rooms and closets, its protected though decayed records of the olden time, its minstrel gallery—were again present to our minds; and it was a natural and most pleasing contrast—that of the deserted and half-ruined house, with the mansion happily inhabited,[Pg 300] filled with so many art-treasures, and presided over by one of the best gentlemen a monarch ever ennobled and a people ever loved."



[1] A quaint whim of the olden time is constructed near one of the walks; it is the model of a willow-tree in copper, which has all the appearance of a living one, situated on a raised mound of earth. From each branch, however, water suddenly bursts, and also small jets from the grassy borders around. It was considered a good jest some years ago to delude novices to examine this tree, and wet them thoroughly by suddenly turning on the water above and around them. This tree was originally made by a London plumber in 1693; but it has been recently repaired by a plumber in the neighborhood of Chesterfield, under the direction of Sir Joseph Paxton.


We have Louis Quinze chairs in our parlors, Louis Quinze carving and gilding about our mirrors, our ladies (in a double sense, of grace and utility), sweep past us in the streets or rustle in the ball-room in Louis Quinze brocades, with the boddice, if not the train, of pattern identical with that of Madame de Pompadour, as depicted in the excellent portrait before us in Mr. Redfield's elegant volumes, and we are, if scandal does not lie more than usual, making very practical acquaintance with Louis Quinze morals. It may be as well, therefore, to become more familiar with a period we find it so convenient to imitate. The great events of French history since 1789, their rapid sequence and ever varying character, have thrown into the shade the previous annals of the kingdom. Especially has this been the case with the period immediately preceding the days of terror. This period has been dispatched in a few sentences, in the opening chapters of works on the French Revolution—in some vague generalities on its profligacy and chaotic infamy. We have had glimpses, through the Œil de Bœuf, at groups of exquisite gentlemen and gay ladies; abbés who wrote every thing but sermons, and were free from the censure of not practising what they preached since they did not preach at all; generals who fought a campaign as deliberately and ceremoniously as they danced a minuet; statesmen whose diplomacy was more of the seraglio than the council; painters who improved on nature, applying the same tricks of art to the landscape as with powders to their curls; and simpering lips of the Marquise, and poets whose highest flights were a sonnet to Pompadour, or a pastoral to a sheep-tending Phillis. Our casual observations of all these people, however, have been vague and slight, for few have probably had patience to follow these worthies to their retirement, and look over their shoulders at the memoirs which every mother's son and daughter of the set, from the prime minister to the cook, found—it is impossible to tell how—time to scribble down for the edification of posterity. In the volumes of Arsene Houssaye before us, these gay but unsubstantial shadows take flesh and blood, and become the Men and Women—the living realities of the Eighteenth Century. We have here the most piquant adventures of the Memoirs and the choicest mots of the Anas, culled from the hundreds of volumes which weigh down the shelves of the French public libraries. Not only indeed have we the run of the petites soupers of Versailles, but we may wander at will in the coulisses of the Grand Opera, picking up the latest[Pg 301] gossip of Camargo or Sophie Arnold, enter the foyer of the classic Theatre Française, or adjourn to the Café Procope to hear the last joke of Piron, or the latest news from Fernay. And better than all these, we may mount, au cinquième, au sexième, to the lofty yet humble garret of the author or the artist, and there find, in an age of sickening heartlessness, refreshing scenes of household sincerity, patient endurance of hardship, showing that even that depraved age was not utterly devoid of the heroic and the pure. M. Houssaye is no rigid moralist, he employs no historic pillory, and often displays the painful flippancy of the modern French school on religious points, but he does honor to these better traits of humanity when he meets them. And we are not sure but that the morality of the work is the more impressive for the absence of the didactic. Here is little danger of our falling in love with vice, seductive as she appears in the annals of Louis XV., for we see the rotten canvas as well as the brilliant scene. We remember with the gaudy blossoms of 1740-60, the ashen fruit of 1789-'95. It is as hard to select extracts from M. Houssaye's volumes on account of the embarras des richesses, as it would be to choose a gem or two for our drawing-room from a gallery of Watteau and Greuze, or a row of Laucret's passets. Much as the reader, we doubt not, will enjoy those we have picked for him, he will still find equal or greater pleasure in those we have left untouched.

Here are the first steps in the ascent of Madame de Pompadour to that "bad eminence" she attained of virtual though virtueless Queen of France. The entire sketch is the best life of this celebrated woman with which we are acquainted:

"Madame de Pompadour was born in Paris, in 1720. She always said it was 1722. It is affirmed, that Poisson, her father, at least the husband of her mother, was a sutler in the army; some historians state that he was the butcher of the Hospital of the Invalides, and was condemned to be hung; according to Voltaire, she was the daughter of a farmer of Ferté-sous-Jouarre. What matters it, since he who was truly a father to her was the farmer-general, Lenormant de Tourneheim. This gentleman, thinking her worthy of his fortune, took her to his home, and brought her up, as if she had been his own daughter. He gave her the name of Jeanne-Antoinette. She bore till she was sixteen years of age this sweet name of Jeanne. From her infancy, she exhibited a passion for music and drawing. All the first masters of the day were summoned to the hotel of Lenormant de Tourneheim. Her masters did not disgust Jeanne with the fine arts of which she was so fond. Her talent was soon widely known. Fontenelle, Duclos, and Crébillon, who were received at the hotel as men of wit, went about every where, talking of her beauty, her grace, and talent.

"Madame de Pompadour was an example of a woman that was both handsome and pretty; the lines of her face possessed all the harmony and elevation of a creation of Raphael's; but instead of the elevated sentiment with which that great master animated his faces, there was the smiling expression of a Parisian woman. She possessed in the highest degree all that gives to the face brilliancy, charm, and sportive gayety. No lady at court had then so noble and coquettish a bearing, such delicate and attractive features, so elegant and graceful a figure. Her mother used always to say, 'A king alone is worthy of my daughter.' Jeanne had an early presentiment of a throne! at first, from the ambitious longings of her mother; afterward, because she believed that she was in love with the king. 'She confessed to me,' says Voltaire, in his memoirs, 'that she had a secret presentiment that the king would fall in love with her, and that she had a violent inclination for him.' There is a time in life when destiny reveals itself. All those who have succeeded in climbing the rugged mountain of human vanity relate that, from their earliest youth, dazzling visions revealed to them their future glory.

"Well, how was the throne of France to be reached, the very idea of which made her head turn? In the mean time, full of genius, always admired, and always listened to, she familiarized herself with the life of a beautiful queen; she saw at her feet all the worshippers of the fortune of her father; she gathered about her poets, artists, and philosophers, over whom she already threw a royal protection.

"The farmer-general had a nephew, Lenormant d'Etioles. He was an amiable young man, and had the character and manners of a gentleman; he was heir to the immense fortune of the farmer-general, at least, according to law. Jeanne, on her side, had some claim to a share of this fortune. It was a very simple way of making all agreed, by marrying the young people. Jeanne, as we have seen, was already in love with the king; she married D'Etioles without shifting her point in view: Versailles, Versailles, that was her only horizon. Her young husband became desperately enamored of her; but this passion of his, which amounted almost to madness, she never felt in the least. She received it with resignation, as a misfortune that could not last long.

"The hotel of the newly-married couple, Rue-Croix-des-Petits-Champs, was established on a lordly footing; the best company in Paris left the fashionable salons for that of Madame D'Etioles until that time, there had never been such a gorgeous display of luxury in France. The young bride hoped by this means to make something of a noise at court, and thus excite the curiosity of the king. Day after day passed away in feasts and brilliant entertainments. Celebrated actors, poets, artists, and foreigners, all made their rendezvous at this hotel, the mistress of which was its life and ornament; all the world went there, in one word, except the king."

The painters are among the pleasantest personages of Mr. Houssaye's book, as they generally are in whatever society or whatever time we find them, all the world over. Watteau is familiar to us all, if not from his works, at second-hand in engravings, or those dainty little china shepherdesses and shepherds which we have seen on our grandmothers' mantel-pieces, and which are again[Pg 302] emerging from the glass corner cupboard to the rosewood and mirrored étagère. The following passages descriptive of his early life, are full of animation:

"He was born in 1684, at the time the king of France was bombarding Luxembourg. His family was poor, as a matter of course. He was put to school just long enough not to learn any thing. He was never able to read and write without great difficulty, but it was not in that his strength lay. He learned early to discover genius in a picture, to copy with a happy touch the gay face of Nature. There had been painters in his family, among others, a great uncle, who had died at Antwerp, without leaving any property. The father of Watteau had little leaning toward painting; but he was one of those who let men and things here below take their course. Watteau, therefore, was permitted to take his. Now Watteau was born a painter. God had given him the fire of genius, if not genius. His first master was chance, the greatest of all masters after God. His father lived in the upper story of a house with its gable-end to the street. Watteau had his nose out of the window oftener than over a book; he loved to amuse himself with the varied spectacle of the street. Sometimes it was the fresh-looking Flemish peasant-girl, driving her donkey through the market-place, sometimes the little girls of the neighborhood, playing at shuttlecock during the fine evenings. Peasant-maid and little child were traced in original lines in the memory of the scholar; he already admired the indolent naïveté of the one, the prattling grace of the other. He had his eye also on some smiling female neighbor, such as are to be found every where; but the most attractive spectacle to him was that of some strolling troop of dancers or country-players. On fête-days sellers of elixirs, fortune-tellers, keepers of bears and rattlesnakes, halted under his window. They were sure of a spectator. Watteau suddenly fell into a profound revery at the sight of Gilles and Margot upon the stage; nothing could divert his attention from this amusement, not even the smile of his female neighbor: he smiled at the grotesque coquetries of Margot; he laughed till out of breath at the quips of Gilles. He was frequently seen seated in the window, his legs out, his head bent, holding on with difficulty, but not losing a word or a gesture. What would he not have given to have been the companion of Margot, to kiss the rusty spangles of her robe, to live with her the happy life of careless adventure? Alas! this happiness was not for him. Margot descended from the boards, Gilles became a man as before, the theatre was taken down, Watteau still on the watch; but by degrees he became sad; his friends were departing, departing without him, with their gauze dresses, their scarfs fringed with gold, their silver lace, their silk breeches, and their jokes.—"Those people are truly happy," said he, "they are going to wander gayly about the world, to play comedy wherever they may be, without cares and without tears!"—Watteau, with his twelve-year-old eyes, saw only the fair side of life. He did not guess, be it understood, that beneath every smile of Margot there was a stifled tear. Watteau seems to have always seen with the same eyes; his glance, diverted by the expression and the color, did not descend as far down as the soul. It was somewhat the fault of his times. What had he to do while painting queens of comedy, or dryads of the opera, with the heart, tears, or divine sentiment?

"After the strollers had departed, he sketched on the margins of the 'Lives of the Saints,' the profile of Gilles, a gaping clown, or some grotesque scene from the booth. As he often shut himself up in his room with this book, his father, having frequently surprised him in a dreamy and melancholy mood, imagined that he was becoming religious. He, however, soon discovered that Watteau's attachment to the folio was on account of the margin, and not of the text. He carried the book to a painter in the city. This painter, bad as he was, was struck with the original grace of certain of Watteau's figures, and solicited the honor of being his master. In the studio of this worthy man, Watteau did not unlearn all that he had acquired, although he painted for pedlers, male and female saints by the dozen. From this studio he passed to another, which was more profane and more to his taste. Mythology was the great book of the place. Instead of St. Peter, with his eternal keys, or the Magdalen, with her infinite tears, he found a dance of fauns and naiads, Venus, issuing from the waves, or from the net of Vulcan. Watteau bowed amorously before the gods and demigods of Olympus; he had found the gate to his Eden. He progressed daily, thanks to the profane gods, in the religion of art. He was already seen to grow pale under that love of beauty and of glory which swallows up all other loves. On his return from a journey to Antwerp, his friends were astonished at the enthusiasm with which he spoke of the wonders of art. He had beheld the masterpieces of Rubens and Vandyke, the ineffable grace of Murillo's Virgins, the ingenuously-grotesque pieces of Teniers and Van Ostade, the beautiful landscapes of Ruysdael. He returned with head bent and eyes fatigued, and his mind filled with lasting recollections.

"He was not twenty when he set out for Paris with his master. The opera, in its best days, enlisted the aid of all painters of gracefulness. At the opera, Watteau threw the lightning flashes of his pencil right and left: mountains, lakes, cascades, forests, nothing dismayed him, not even the Camargos, whom he had for models. He ended by taming himself down to this cage of gayly-singing and fluttering birds. A dancing-girl, who had not much to do, deigned to grant the little Flemish dauber, the favor of sitting for her portrait. Fleming as he was, Watteau made the progress of the portrait last longer than the scornfulness of Mademoiselle la Montagne. This was not all: the portrait was considered so graceful in the dancing-world, that sitters came to him every day, on the same terms.

"He left the opera with his master, as soon as the new decorations were finished. Besides Gillot, the great designer of fauns and naiads had returned there more flourishing than ever. The master returned to Valenciennes, Watteau remained at Paris, desiring to depend upon his fortune, good or bad. He passed from the opera into the studio of a painter of devotional subjects, who manufactured St. Nicholases for Paris and the provinces, to suit to the price. So Watteau manufactured[Pg 303] St. Nicholases, 'My pencil,' he said, 'did penance.' The opera always attracted him; there he could give free scope to all the extravagance of his fancy, to all the charming caprices of his pencil; but at the opera, his master and himself had given way to Gillot; and the latter was not disposed to give way to any body."

An allegro morceau from the life of Grétry:


"Other adventures also occurred, to convince Remacle that his fellow-travellers were worthy of him. Ever in dread of the before-mentioned officers, the old smuggler forced them to make a detour of some leagues, to see, as he said with a disinterested air, a superb monastery, where alms were bestowed once a week on all the poor of the country. On entering the great hall, in the midst of a noisy crowd, Grétry saw a fat monk, mounted on a platform, who was angrily superintending this Christian charity. He looked as if he would like rather to exterminate his fellow-creatures than aid them to live; he was just bullying a poor French vagabond who implored his aid. When he suddenly saw the noble face of Grétry he approached the young musician.—'It is curiosity which brings you here,' he remarked with vexation.—'It is true,' said Grétry, bowing; 'the beauty of your monastery, the sublimity of the scenery, and the desire of contemplating the asylum where the unfortunate traveller is received with so much humanity, have drawn us from our route. In beholding you, I have seen the angel of mercy. All the victims of sorrow should bless your edifying gentleness. Tell me, father, do you make as many happy every day as I have just witnessed?'

"The monk, irritated by this bantering, begged Grétry to return whence he came.—'Father,' retorted Grétry, 'have the evangelists taught you this mode of bestowing alms, giving with one hand and striking with the other?'—A low murmur was heard through the hall; the monk not knowing what to say, complained of the toothache; the cunning student lost no time, but running up to him with an air of touching compassion, 'I am a surgeon,' he said, as he forced him down on the bench. The monk tried to push him off, but he held on well. 'It is Heaven which has directed me to you, father.' Willing or not, the monk had to open his mouth. 'Courage, father, the great saints were all martyrs! the Saviour was crucified; and you may at least let me pull out a tooth.' The monk struggled: 'Never, never!' he exclaimed. The student turned with great coolness toward the bystanders, who were all laughing in their sleeves. 'My friends,' (he addressed crippled travellers, mountain-brigands, and poor people of every class,) 'my friends, for the love of God, who suffered, come and hold this good father: I do not want him to suffer any longer!'

"The beggars understood the joke; four of them separated from the group, and came to the surgeon's aid. The monk struggled furiously, but it was no use to kick and scream; he had to submit, Grétry was not the last to come to his friend's aid; the malicious student seized the first tooth he got hold of, and wrenched the head of the monk by a turn of his elbow, to the great joy of the beggars, who saw themselves revenged in a most opportune manner. 'Well, father, what do you think of it?' asked Grétry, after the operation; 'I am sure you do not now suffer at all!'—The monk shook with rage; the other monks attracted by his cries, soon arrived, but it was too late."

The following is among the most touching of narratives. It is exquisitely delivered:


"Grétry was therefore happy. Happy in his wife and children, in his old mother, who had come to sanctify his house, with her sweet and venerable face. Happy in fortune, happy in reputation. The years passed quickly away! He was one day very much astonished to learn that his daughter Jenny was fifteen. Alas! a year afterward the poor child was no longer in the family, neither was happiness. But for this sad history we must return to the past. Grétry, during his sojourn at Rome, in the spring-time of his life, was fond of seeking religious inspiration in the garden of an almost deserted convent. He observed one day, in the summer-house, an old monk of venerable form, who was separating seeds with a meditative air, and at the same time observing them with a microscope. The absent-minded musician approached him in silence. 'Do you like flowers?' the monk asked him. 'Very much,' 'At your age, however, we only cultivate the flowers of life; the culture of the flowers of earth is pleasing only to the man who has fulfilled his task. It is then almost like cultivating his recollection. The flowers recall the birth, the natal land, the garden of the family, and what more? You know better than I who have thrown to forgetfulness all worldly enjoyments!' 'I do not see, father,' replied Grétry, 'why you separate these seeds which seem to me to be all alike. 'Look through this microscope, and see this black speck on those which I place aside; but I wish to carry the horticultural lesson still further.' He took a flower-pot, made six holes in the earth, and planted three of the good seeds, and three of the spotted ones. 'Recollect that the bad ones are on the side of the crack, and when you come and take a walk, do not forget to watch the stalks as they grow.'

"Grétry found a melancholy charm in returning frequently to the garden of the convent. As he passed, he each time cast a glance on the old flower-pot. The six stems at first shot up, each equally verdant. The spotted seeds soon grew the longest, to his great surprise. He was about to accuse the old monk of having lost his wits; but what was afterwards his sorrow, when he saw his three plants gradually fading away in their spring-time! With each setting sun a leaf fell and dried up, while the leaves of the other stems thrived more and more with every breeze, every ray of the sun, every drop of dew. He went to dream every day before his dear plants, with exceeding sadness. He soon saw them wither away, even to the last leaf. On the same day the others were in flower.

"This accident of nature was a cruel horoscope. Thirty years afterward poor Grétry saw three other flowers alike fated, fade and fall under the wintry wind of death. He had forgotten the name of the flowers of the Roman convent, but in dying he still repeated the names of the others. They were his three daughters, Jenny, Lucile, and Antoinette. 'Ah!' exclaimed the poor musician, in relating the death of his three daughters, 'I[Pg 304] have violated the laws of nature to obtain genius. I have watered with my blood the most frivolous of my operas, I have nourished my old mother, I have seized on reputation by exhausting my heart and my soul; Nature has avenged herself on my children! My poor children, I foredoomed them to death!'

"Grétry's daughters all died at the age of sixteen. There is something strange in their life and in their death, which strikes the dreamer and the poet. This sport of destiny, this freak of death, this vengeance of Nature, appears here invested with all the charms of romance. You will see.

"Jenny had the pale, sweet countenance of a virgin. On seeing her, Greuze said one day, 'If I ever paint Purity, I shall paint Jenny.' 'Make haste!' murmured Grétry, already a prey to sad presentiments. 'Then she is going to be married?' said Greuze. Grétry did not answer. Soon, however, seeking to blind himself, he continued: 'She will be the staff of my old age; like Antigone, she will lead her father into the sun at the decline of life.'

"The next day Grétry came unexpectedly upon Jenny, looking more pale and depressed than ever. She was playing on the harpischord, but sweetly and slowly. As she was playing an air from Richard Cœur-de-Lion, in a melancholy strain, the poor father fancied that he was listening to the music of angels. One of her friends entered. 'Well, Jenny, you are going to-night to the ball?' 'Yes, yes, to the ball,' answered poor Jenny, looking toward heaven; and suddenly resuming, 'No, I shall not go, my dance is ended.' Grétry pressed his daughter to his heart, 'Jenny, are you suffering?' 'It is over!' said she.

"She bent her head and died instantly, without a struggle! Poor Grétry asked if she was asleep. She slept with the angels.

"Lucile was a contrast to Jenny; she was a beautiful girl, gay, enthusiastic, and frolicksome, with all the caprices of such a disposition. She was almost a portrait of her father, and possessed, besides, the same heart and the same mind. 'Who knows,' said poor Grétry, 'but that her gayety may save her.' She was unfortunately one of those precocious geniuses who devour their youth. At thirteen she had composed an opera which was played every where, Le Marriage d'Antonio. A journalist, a friend of Grétry, who one day found himself in Lucile's apartment, without her being aware of it, so much was she engrossed with her harp, has related the rage and madness which transported her during her contests with inspiration, that was often rebellious. 'She wept, she sang, she struck the harp with incredible energy. She either did not see me, or took no notice of me; for my own part, I wept with joy, in beholding this little girl transported with so glorious a zeal, and so noble an enthusiasm for music.'

"Lucile had learned to read music before she knew her alphabet. She had been so long lulled to sleep with Grétry's airs, that at the age when so many other young girls think only of hoops and dolls, she had found sufficient music in her soul for the whole of a charming opera. She was a prodigy. Had it not been for death, who came to seize her at sixteen like her sister, the greatest musician of the eighteenth century would, perhaps, have been a woman. But the twig, scarcely green, snapped at the moment when the poor bird commenced her song. Grétry had Lucile married at the solicitation of his friends. 'Marry her, marry her,' they incessantly repeated; 'if Love has the start of Death, Lucile is safe.' Lucile suffered herself to be married with the resignation of an angel, foreseeing that the marriage would not be of long duration. She suffered herself to be married to one of those artists of the worst order, who have neither the religion of art nor the fire of genius, and who have still less heart, for the heart is the home of genius. The poor Lucile saw at a glance the desert to which her family had exiled her. She consoled herself with a harp and a harpsichord; but her husband, who had been brought up like a slave, cruelly took delight, with a coward's vengeance, in making her feel all the chains of Hymen. She would have died, like Jenny, on her father's bosom, amidst her loving family, after having sung her farewell song; but thanks to this barbarous fellow, she died in his presence, that is to say, alone. At the hour of her death, 'Bring me my harp!' said she, raising herself a little. 'The doctor has forbidden it,' said this savage. She cast a bitter, yet a suppliant look upon him. 'But as I am dying!' said she. 'You will die very well without that.' She fell back on her pillow. 'My poor father,' murmured she, 'I wished to bid you adieu on my harp; but here I am not free except to die!' Lucile, it is the nurse who related the scene, suddenly extended her arms, called Jenny with a broken voice, and fell asleep like her for ever.

"Antoinette was sixteen. She was fair and smiling like the morn, but she was fated to die like the others. Grétry prayed and wept, as he saw her growing pale; but death was not stopped so easily. Cruel that he is, he stops his ears, there is no use to pray to him! Grétry, however, still hoped. 'God,' said he, 'will be touched by my thrice bitter tears.' He almost abandoned music, in order to have more time to consecrate to his dear Antoinette. He anticipated all her fancies, dresses, and ornaments, books and excursions,—in a word, she enjoyed to her heart's desire every pleasure the world could afford. At each new toy she smiled with that divine smile which seems formed for heaven. Grétry succeeded in deceiving himself; but she one day revealed to him all her ill-fortune in these words, which accidentally escaped from her: 'My godmother died on the scaffold: she was a godmother of bad augury, Jenny died at sixteen, Lucile died at sixteen, and I am now sixteen myself.' The godmother of Antoinette was the queen Maria Antoinette.

"Another day, Antoinette was meditating over a pink at the window. On seeing her with this flower in her hand, Grétry imagined that the poor girl was suffering herself to be carried away by a dream of love. It was the dream of death! He soon heard Antoinette murmur; 'I shall die this spring, this summer, this autumn, this winter!' She was at the last leaf. 'So much the worse,' she said; 'I should like the autumn better.' 'What do you say, my dear angel?' said Grétry, pressing her to his heart. 'Nothing, nothing! I was playing with death; why do you not let the children play?'

"Grétry thought that a southern journey would be a beneficial change; he took his daughter to Lyons, where she had friends. For a short time[Pg 305] she returned to her gay and careless manner. Grétry went to work again, and finished Guillaume Tell. He went every morning, in search of inspiration, to the chamber of his daughter, who said to him one day, on awaking: 'Your music has always the odor of a poem; this will have that of wild thyme.'

"Towards autumn, she again lost her natural gayety. Grétry took his wife aside—'You see your daughter,' said he to her. At this single word, an icy shudder seized both. They shed a torrent of tears. The same day they thought of returning to Paris. 'So we are to go back to Paris', said Antoinette; 'it is well. I shall rejoin there those whom I love.' She spoke of her sisters. After reaching Paris, the poor, fated girl concealed all the ravages of death with care; her heart was sad, but her lips were smiling. She wished to conceal the truth from her father to the end. One day, while she was weeping and hiding her tears, she said to him with an air of gayety: 'You know that I am going to the ball to-morrow, and I want to appear well-dressed there. I want a pearl necklace, and shall look for it when I wake up to-morrow morning.'

"She went to the ball. As she set out with her mother, Rouget Delisle, a musician more celebrated at that time than Grétry, said rapturously: 'Ah, Grétry, you are a happy man! What a charming girl! what sweetness and grace!' 'Yes,' said Grétry, in a whisper, 'she is beautiful and still more amiable; she is going to the ball, but in a few weeks we shall follow her together to the cemetery!' 'What a horrible idea! You are losing your senses!' 'Would I were not losing my heart! I had three daughters; she is the only left to me, but already I must weep for her!'

"A few days after this ball, she took to her bed, and fell into a sad but beautiful delirium. She had found her sisters again in this world; she walked with them hand in hand; she waltzed in the same saloon; she danced in the same quadrille; she took them to the play: all the while recounting to them her imaginary loves. What a picture for Grétry! 'She had,' he says in his Memoirs, some serene moments before death.—She took my hand, and that of her mother, and with a sweet smile, 'I see well,' she murmured, 'that we must bear our destiny; I do not fear death; but what is to become of you two?' She was propped up by her pillow while she spoke with us for the last time. She was laid back, then closed her beautiful eyes, and went to join her sisters!

"Grétry is very eloquent in his grief. There Is in this part of his Memoirs a cry which came from his heart, and wrings our own. 'Oh, my friends,' he exclaims, throwing down the pen, 'a tear, a tear upon the beloved tomb of my three lovely flowers, predestined to die, like those of the good Italian monk.'"


One of the most readable of living travellers is certainly our own Bayard Taylor, who is now somewhere in the interior of the African continent, and whose letters in the Tribune are every where perused with the greatest satisfaction. Worthy to be named along with him is the German, Frederick Gerstäcker, whose adventures form one of the most interesting features in that cyclopediac journal, the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung. It is now some two years since Gerstäcker set out upon his present explorations. The backwoods of the United States furnished a broad field for his love of a wild and changeful life, and gave full play to his passion for the study of human character in all its out of the way phases. His accounts of these regions were touched with the most vivid colors; not Cooper nor Irving has more truly reproduced the grand and savage features of American scenery, or the reckless generous daring of the rude backwoodsman, than Gerstäcker, writing, from some chance hut, his nocturnal landing place on the shore of some mighty river in Nebraska or Arkansas. Next we hear of him in South America, and then in California, passing a winter among the miners of the remotest districts, digging gold, hunting, trafficking, fighting in case of need like the rest, and every where sending home the most lively daguerreotypes of the country, the people, and his own adventures among them. Finally, having seen all that was in California, he takes passage for the Sandwich Islands, where he remains long enough to exhaust all the romance remaining, and to gather every sort of useful information. From there he set out upon an indefinite voyage on board of a whaler going to the Southern seas in search of oil. Chance, however, brings him up at Australia: and he at once sets about travelling through the settled portions of the Continent, taking the luck of the day every where with exhaustless good humour, and never getting low spirited, no matter how untoward the mishaps encountered. Less elegant and poetic than Taylor, he dashes ahead with a more perfect indifference to consequences, and a more utter reliance on coming out all right in the end. In his last letter, he gives an account of a voyage in a canoe from Albury, on the upper waters of Hume River, down to Melbourne, at its mouth. He had got out of funds, and was thus obliged to set out on this route contrary to the advice of the settlers at Albury, who represented to him that the danger of being killed and eaten by the natives along shore, who had never come in contact with whites, was inevitable, and that they would be sure to destroy him before he reached his destination. This was, however, only an additional inducement to the trip. While making preparations for it, he fell in with a young fellow-countryman in the settlement, who desired to make the same journey, and who was willing to encounter the risks of the river rather than pay the heavy expenses of the trip by land. They accordingly proceeded to dig a canoe out of a caoutchouc tree, furnished themselves with paddles, a frying-pan, blankets, some crackers, sugar, salt, tea, and powder, and embarked. The river was shallow, and full of windings and sandbanks, sunken caoutchouc trees had planted the[Pg 306] stream with frequent snags, and often heavy masses of fallen timber, still adhering to the earth at its roots, and thus preserving its vitality, and flourishing with all the luxuriance of a primitive tropical forest, covered the only part of the channel where the water was deep enough to admit of the passage of their canoe. Thus they toiled on day by day, often getting out into the water to help their vessel over shallows, or to pick up the ducks that Gerstäcker shot, which furnished the only meat for their daily meals. Cloudy or fair, cold or warm, rain or sunshine, found Gerstäcker still in the same flow of spirits, and the notes of his daily experiences show him bearing ill-luck almost as gaily as good. After they had gone some 400 miles, however, their journey by the river came to a sudden end by the oversetting of their canoe, and the loss of almost all their equipments. Gerstäcker saved his rifle and the ammunition that was upon his person; but the remaining powder was spoiled, and the provisions and part of the blankets and clothing were carried away by the current. The canoe sunk, but by holding upon the rope as they jumped out upon the overhanging trunks of trees, the voyagers succeeded in dragging it up again, and freeing it from water. Then one of them dived to the bottom, and managed to bring up the frying-pan and tea-canister. They also recovered part of their blankets, and then, with the frying-pan for their sole paddle, renewed their voyage till they found a good camping-place, where they built a roaring fire to dry themselves, and finally discovered that in the operations of the day each had utterly ruined his shoes, so that they were afterwards forced to go barefoot. In this way they continued for some days, paddling with their frying-pan, and going ashore to get a duck occasionally shot by Gerstäcker. This was often exceedingly painful, from the stubble of the grass along the banks, burnt over by fires accidentally set by the natives. Luckily, through the whole they did not come in contact with the savages at all. At last they reached a settlement, where they swapped their canoe for a couple pair of shoes, and started on foot for the rest of the way. Gerstäcker had for some time desired to get rid of his companion, who was wilful, and by no means a helper in their difficulties. They now came to Woolshed, a place 180 miles distant from Melbourne, whence there were two roads to their destination; the one was perfectly free from the savages, the other was dangerous. Here Gerstäcker separated from his companion, giving him the safe road, and, with his rifle on his arm and his knapsack slung upon his shoulders, struck off alone into the forest-path light-hearted as a boy, and sure, whatever might happen, of enjoying a fresher and healthier excitement in that journey through the woods of Australia than the dwellers in crowded cities enjoy in all their lives.


Paris, says the Independence Belge, the leading journal of Brussels, is now occupied not with politics so much as with ghost stories. At the theatres, the Vampyre and the Imagier de Harlaem, feed this appetite for supernatural horrors. Among other incidents of that kind, says the Independance, the following narrative was told to the company in the salon of an aristocratic Polish lady by the Comte de R——. He had promised to tell a recent adventure with an inhabitant of the other world, and when the clock struck midnight he began, while his auditors gathered around him in breathless attention. His story we translate for the International:—

At the beginning of last December, one of his friends, the Marquis de N., came to see him. "You know, Count," said the Marquis, "what an invincible repugnance I feel against returning to my chateau in Normandy, where I had last summer the misfortune to lose my wife. But I left there in a writing desk some important papers, which now happen to be indispensable in a matter of family business. Here is the key; do me the kindness to go and get the papers, for so delicate a mission I can only intrust to you." M. de R. agreed to the request of his friend, and set out the following day. He stopped at a station on the Rouen railroad, whence a drive of two hours brought him to his friend's house. He stopped before it, and a gardener came out and spoke with him through the latticed iron gate, which he did not open. The Count was surprised at this distrust, which even a card of admission from the proprietor of the chateau did not overcome. Finally, after a brief absence, which seemed to have been employed in seeking the advice of some one within, the gardener came back and opened the gate. When the Count entered the court-yard he saw that the blinds on the hundred windows of the chateau were all closed, with one exception, where the blind had fallen off and lay upon the ground. As he afterwards discovered, this window was exactly in the middle of the chamber where his commission was to be executed.

The Count's attention had been excited by his singular reception, and he carefully observed every thing. He noticed a small stove-pipe leading into a chimney. "Is the house inhabited?" he inquired. "No," replied the gardener, gruffly, as he opened a door upon a side stairway, which he mounted before the Count, opening at each story the little apertures for light in the queer old fashioned front of the chateau.

In the third story, the gardener stopped, and pointing to a door, said, "There." And without adding a word he turned about and went down stairs. The Count opened the door and found himself in a dark ante-chamber. The light from the stairway was sufficient, however, for him to distinguish a[Pg 307] second door, which he opened, and through which he went into the apartment lighted from the window whence the blind had fallen. The appearance of the room was cold, bare, and deserted. On the floor stood a vacant bird-cage. The writing-desk indicated to the Count by his friend, stood directly opposite the window. Without further delay, the Count went directly up to the desk and opened it.

As he turned the key, the lock creaked very loudly, but at the same moment he was aware of another and a different sound—that of a door opening. The Count turns, and in the centre of an obscure side-room, whose door was open, he sees a white figure, with its arms stretched toward him.

"Count!" exclaims a low but most expressive voice, "you come to rob me of Theodore's letters? Why?"

(Theodore is not the name of the proprietor of the chateau, at whose request the Count had come.)

"Madame!" exclaims M. de R., "who are you?"

"Do you not know me, much as I must be altered?"

"The Marchioness!" exclaims the Count, astounded and even terrified.

"Yes, it is me. We were friends once, and now you come to add terribly to my sufferings! Who sends you? My husband? What does he yet desire? In mercy leave me the letters!"

While she said this, the figure made signs to the Count to come nearer. He obeyed, forcing from his mind every suggestion that the apparition was supernatural, and finally convinced that the Marchioness stood before him living, under some strange mystery. He followed her into the second room.

She was dressed in a robe, or more properly, a shroud of a gray color. Her beautiful hair, which had for years been the envy of all other women, fell in disorder upon her shoulders. The vague light, which came in from the adjoining room, was just enough for the Count to remark the extraordinary thinness and deathly pallor of the Marchioness.

Hardly had he come near her, when she said to him, quickly, almost with vehemence:

"I suffer from incredible pains in my head. The cause is in my hair,—for eight months it has not been combed. Count, do me this service—comb it!"

After she had sat down, she reached a comb to M. de R., who involuntarily obeyed her. She did not speak again, and he did not dare to. As he confesses, he was greatly agitated. Without doubt he performed his office of waiting-maid badly, for from time to time the lady uttered a slight murmur of complaint.

Suddenly she rose, said "Merci!" and vanished in the gloom at the end of the chamber. The Count waited a few moments, vainly stretching his senses, but saw and heard nothing more. Then he resolved to return into the first room. When his eyes fell upon the writing-desk, he perceived that its contents were in the greatest confusion. However, he found the family papers that he had been sent for. After he had closed the desk again he waited a few moments; he called, but there was no answer. Finally he went down stairs, and as he said himself, with steps that did not linger.

There was no one in the court-yard. Before the iron gate was the coachman ready to start. M. de R. saw no reason for tarrying longer. On the returning way, as he was seeking to collect his thoughts upon the strange event in the chateau, he perceived that his clothes were covered with the Marchioness's hair.

He stopped at Rouen, and two days after returned to Paris. It was the third of December. He sought for the Marquis, but could not find him. It is now thought he must have fallen in the firing on the Boulevard Montmartre, where his club is situated.

Such is the narrative which M. de R. had promised to tell in the salon of the old Polish lady, where he was waited for till midnight. He came just as the company were about separating, and showed the hairs of the Marchioness. One of them lies on the table before me.


The some time expected new edition of The Speeches, Forensic Arguments, and Diplomatic Papers of Daniel Webster, has just appeared, in six large and beautifully printed volumes, from the press of Little & Brown, of Boston. The editorial supervision of the work was undertaken by Edward Everett, who has prefixed to the first volume a brief memoir of the illustrious statesman, orator, and author, from the beginning and the end of which we copy a few important paragraphs. Respecting the past and present collections of these great compositions, Mr. Everett says:

"The first collection of Mr. Webster's speeches in the Congress of the United States and on various public occasions, was published in Boston in one volume octavo, in 1830. This volume was more than once reprinted, and in 1835 a second volume was published, containing the speeches made up to that time, and not included in the first collection. Several impressions of these two volumes were called for by the public. In 1843 a third volume was prepared, containing a selection from the speeches of Mr. Webster from the year 1835 till his entrance into the cabinet of General Harrison. In the year 1848 appeared a fourth volume of diplomatic papers, containing a portion of Mr. Webster's official correspondence as Secretary of State. The great favor with which these volumes' have been received throughout the country, and the importance of the subjects discussed in the Senate of the United States after Mr. Webster's[Pg 308] return to that body in 1845, have led his friends to think that a valuable service would be rendered to the community by bringing together his speeches of a later date than those contained in the third volume of the former collection, and on political subjects arising since that time. Few periods of our history will be entitled to be remembered by events of greater moment, such as the admission of Texas to the Union, the settlement of the Oregon controversy, the Mexican war, the acquisition of California and other Mexican provinces, and the exciting questions which have grown out of the sudden extension of the territory of the United States. Rarely have public discussions been carried on with greater earnestness, with more important consequences visibly at stake, or with greater ability. The speeches made by Mr. Webster in the Senate, and on public occasions of various kinds, during the progress of these controversies, are more than sufficient to fill two new volumes. The opportunity of their collection has been taken by the enterprising publishers, in compliance with opinions often expressed by the most respectable individuals, and with a manifest public demand, to bring out a new edition of Mr. Webster's speeches in uniform style. Such is the object of the present publication. The first two volumes contain the speeches delivered by him on a great variety of public occasions, commencing with his discourse at Plymouth in December, 1820. Three succeeding volumes embrace the greater part of the speeches delivered in the Massachusetts Convention and in the two houses of Congress, beginning with the speech on the Bank of the United States in 1816. The sixth and last volume contains the legal arguments and addresses to the jury, the diplomatic papers, and letters addressed to various persons on important political questions.

"The collection does not embrace the entire series of Mr. Webster's writings. Such a series would have required a larger number of volumes than was deemed advisable with reference to the general circulation of the work. A few juvenile performances have accordingly been omitted, as not of sufficient importance or maturity to be included in the collection. Of the earlier speeches in Congress, some were either not reported at all, or in a manner too imperfect to be preserved without doing injustice to the author. No attempt has been made to collect from the cotemporaneous newspapers or Congressional registers, the short conversational speeches and remarks made by Mr. Webster, as by other members of Congress, in the progress of debate, and sometimes exercising greater influence on the result than the set speeches. Of the addresses to public meetings it has been found impossible to embrace more than a selection, without swelling the work to an unreasonable size. It is believed, however, that the contents of these volumes furnish a fair specimen of Mr. Webster's opinions and sentiments on all the subjects treated, and of his manner of discussing them. The responsibility of deciding what should be omitted and what included, has been left by Mr. Webster to the friends having the charge of the publication, and his own opinion on details of this kind has rarely been taken."

This incompleteness, we think, will be regretted by all the parties most deeply interested, as well as by the public generally. Mr. Webster does not often repeat himself, and no man who has said or written so much has said or written so little that is undeserving a place in literature or in history. The next paragraph introduces us to Mr. Webster's birthplace, and to his father:

"The interval between the peace of 1763 and the breaking out of the war of the Revolution, was one of excitement and anxiety throughout the Colonies. The great political questions of the day were not only discussed in the towns and cities, but in the villages and hamlets. Captain Webster took a deep interest in those discussions. Like so many of the officers and soldiers of the former war, he obeyed the first call to arms in the new struggle. He commanded a company chiefly composed of his own townspeople, friends, and kindred, who followed him through the greater portion of the war. He was at the battle of White Plains, and was at West Point when the treason of Arnold was discovered. He acted as a Major under Stark at Bennington, and contributed his share to the success of that eventful day. In the last year of the Revolutionary war on the 18th of January, 1782, Daniel Webster was born, in the home which his father had established on the outskirts of civilization. If the character and situation of the place, and the circumstances under which he passed the first year of his life, might seem adverse to the early cultivation of his extraordinary talent, it still cannot be doubted that they possessed influences favorable to elevation and strength of character. The hardships of an infant settlement and border life, the traditions of a long series of Indian wars, and of two mighty national contests, in which an honored parent had borne his part, the anecdotes of Fort William Henry, of Quebec, of Bennington, of West Point, of Wolfe, and Stark, and Washington, the great Iliad and Odyssey of American Independence,—this was the fireside entertainment of the long winter evenings of the secluded village home. Abroad, the uninviting landscape, the harsh and craggy outlines of the hills broken and relieved only by the funereal hemlock and the 'cloud-seeking' pine, the lowlands traversed in every direction by unbridged streams, the tall, charred trunks in the cornfields, that told how stern had been the struggle with the boundless woods, and, at the close of the year, the dismal scene which presents itself in high latitudes in a thinly settled region, when

'The snows descend; and, foul and fierce,
All winter drives along the darkened air'—

these are circumstances to leave an abiding impression on the mind of a thoughtful child, and induce an early maturity of character."

Of his early professional life, and of some of his contemporaries, Mr. Everett says:

"Immediately on his admission to the bar, Mr. Webster went to Amherst, in New Hampshire, where his father's court was in session; from that place he went home with his father. He had intended to establish himself at Portsmouth, which, as the largest town and the seat of the foreign commerce of the State, opened the widest field for practice. But filial duty kept him nearer home. His father was now infirm from the advance of years, and had no other son at home. Under these circumstances Mr. Webster opened an office at Boscawen not far from his father's residence, and commenced the practice of the law in this retired spot. Judge Webster lived but a[Pg 309] year after his son's entrance upon the practice of his profession; long enough, however, to hear his first argument in court, and to be gratified with the confident predictions of his future success.

"In May, 1807, Mr. Webster was admitted an attorney and counsellor of the Superior Court in New Hampshire, and in September of that year, relinquishing his office in Boscawen to his Brother Ezekiel, he removed to Portsmouth, in conformity with his original intention. Here he remained in the practice of his profession for nine successive years. They were years of assiduous labor, and of unremitted devotion to the study and practice of the law. He was associated with several persons of great eminence, citizens of New Hampshire or of Massachusetts, occasionally practising at the Portsmouth bar. Among the latter were Samuel Dexter and Joseph Storey; of the residents of New Hampshire, Jeremiah Mason was the most distinguished.

"During the greater part of Mr. Webster's practice of the law in New Hampshire, Jeremiah Smith was Chief Justice of the state, a learned and excellent judge, whose biography has been written by the Rev. John H. Morrison, and will well repay perusal. Judge Smith was an early and warm friend of Judge Webster, and this friendship descended to the son, and glowed in his breast with fervor till he went to his grave. Although dividing with Mr. Mason the best of the business of Portsmouth, and indeed of all the eastern portion of the State, Mr. Webster's practice was mostly on the circuit. He followed the Superior Court through the principal counties of the state, and was retained in nearly every important cause. It is mentioned by Mr. March, as a somewhat singular fact in his professional life, that, with the exception of the occasions on which he has been associated with the Attorney-General of the United States for the time being, he has hardly appeared ten times as junior counsel. Within the sphere in which he was placed, he may be said to have risen at once to the head of his profession; not, however, like Erskine and some other celebrated British lawyers, by one and the same bound, at once to fame and fortune. The American bar holds forth no such golden prizes, certainly not in the smaller states. Mr. Webster's practice in New Hampshire, though probably as good as that of any of his contemporaries, was never lucrative. Clients were not very rich, nor the concerns litigated such as would carry heavy fees. Although exclusively devoted to his profession, it afforded him no more than a bare livelihood. But the time for which he practised at the New Hampshire bar was probably not lost with reference to his future professional and political eminence. His own standard of legal attainment was high. He was associated with professional brethren fully competent to put his powers to their best proof, and to prevent him from settling down in early life into an easy routine of ordinary professional practice. It was no disadvantage under these circumstances (except in reference to immediate pecuniary benefit), to enjoy some portion of that leisure for general reading, which is almost wholly denied to the lawyer of commanding talents, who steps immediately into full practice in a large city."

The memoir, which extends through nine chapters, comprising a survey of the intellectual and political life of Mr. Webster, down to the last year, ends as follows:

"Such, in a brief and imperfect narrative, is the public life of Mr. Webster, extending over a period of forty years, marked by the occurrence of events of great importance. It has been the aim of the writer to prevent the pen of the biographer from being too much influenced by the partiality of the friend. Should he seem to the candid not wholly to have escaped that error, (which, however, he trusts will not be the case,) he ventures to hope that it will be forgiven to an intimacy which commenced in the youth of one of the parties and the boyhood of the other, and which has subsisted for nearly half a century. It will be admitted, he thinks, by every one, that this career, however inadequately delineated, has been one of singular eminence and brilliancy. Entering upon public life at the close of the first epoch in the political history of the United States under the present Constitution, Mr. Webster has stood below none of the distinguished men who have impressed their character on the second.

"There is a class of public questions in reference to which the opinions of most men are greatly influenced by prejudices founded in natural temperament, early associations, and real or supposed local interest. As far as such questions are concerned, it is too much to hope that, in times of high party excitement, full justice will be done to prominent statesmen by those of their contemporaries who differ from them. We greatly err, however, if candid men of all parties, and in all parts of the country, do not accord to Mr. Webster the praise of having formed to himself a large and generous view of the character of an American statesman, and of having adopted the loftiest standard of public conduct. They will agree that he has conceived, in all its importance, the position of the country as a member of the great family of nations, and as the leading republican government. In reference to domestic politics it will be as generally conceded, that, reposing less than most public men on a party basis, it has been the main object of his life to confirm and perpetuate the great work of the constitutional fathers of the last generation. By their wisdom and patriotic forethought we are blessed with a system in which the several states are brought into a union so admirably composed and balanced,—both complicated and kept distinct with such skill,—as to seem less a work of human prudence than of Providential interposition. Mr. Webster has at all times been fully aware of the evils of anarchy, discord, and civil war at home, and of utter national insignificance abroad, from which the formation of the Union saved us. He has been not less sensible to the obstacles to be overcome, the perils to be encountered, and the sufferings to be borne, before this wonderful framework of government could be established. And he has been persuaded that, if destroyed, it can never be reconstructed. With these views, his life has been consecrated to the maintenance in all their strength of the principles on which the Constitution rests, and to the support of the system created by it.

"The key to his whole political course is the belief that, when the Union is dissolved, the internal peace, the vigorous growth, and the prosperity of the states, and the welfare of their inhabitants, are blighted for ever, and that, while the Union endures,[Pg 310] all else of trial and calamity which can befall a nation may be remedied or borne. So believing, he has pursued a course which has earned for him an honored name among those who have discharged the duty of good citizens with the most distinguished ability, zeal, and benefit to the country. In the relations of civilized life, there is no higher service which man can render to man, than thus to preserve a wise constitution of government in healthful action. Nor does the most eloquent of the statesmen of antiquity content himself with pronouncing this the highest human merit. In that admirable treatise on the Republic, of which some precious chapters have been restored to us after having been lost for ages, he does not hesitate to affirm, that there is nothing in which human virtue approaches nearer the divine, than in establishing and preserving states."


Miss Mitford, in her pleasant Reminiscences of a Literary Life, gives the following sketch of this charming poetess:

"My first acquaintance with Elizabeth Barrett commenced about fifteen years ago. She was certainly one of the most interesting persons that I had ever seen. Every body who then saw her said the same; so that it is not merely the impression of my partiality or my enthusiasm. Of a slight, delicate figure, with a shower of dark curls falling on either side of a most expressive face, large, tender eyes, richly fringed by dark eyelashes, a smile like a sunbeam, and such a look of youthfulness that I had some difficulty in persuading a friend, in whose carriage we went together to Chiswick, that the translatress of the 'Prometheus' of Æschylus, the authoress of the 'Essay on Mind,' was old enough to be introduced into company, in technical language, 'was out.' Through the kindness of another invaluable friend, to whom I owe many obligations, but none so great as this, I saw much of her during my stay in town. We met so constantly and so familiarly that, in spite of the difference of age, intimacy ripened into friendship, and after my return into the country, we corresponded freely and frequently, her letters being just what letters ought to be—her own talk put upon paper.

"The next year was a painful one to herself and to all who loved her. She broke a blood-vessel upon the lungs, which did not heal. If there had been consumption in the family, that disease would have intervened. There were no seeds of the fatal English malady in her constitution, and she escaped. Still, however, the vessel did not heal, and after attending her for above a twelvemonth at her father's house in Wimpole street, Dr. Chambers, on the approach of winter, ordered her to a milder climate. Her eldest brother, a brother in heart and talent worthy of such a sister, together with other devoted relatives, accompanied her to Torquay, and there occurred the fatal event which saddened her bloom of youth, and gave a deeper hue of thought and feeling, especially of devotional feeling, to her poetry. I have so often been asked what could be the shadow that had passed over that young heart, that, now that time has softened the first agony, it seems to me right that the world should hear the story of an accident in which there much sorrow, but no blame.

"Nearly a twelvemonth had passed, and the invalid, still attended by her affectionate companions, had derived much benefit from the mild sea-breezes of Devonshire. One fine summer morning, her favorite brother, together with two other fine young men, his friends, embarked on board a small sailing-vessel for a trip of a few hours. Excellent sailors all, and familiar with the coast, they sent back the boatmen, and undertook themselves the management of the little craft. Danger was not dreamt of by any one; after the catastrophe, no one could divine the cause, but, in a few minutes after their embarkation, and in sight of their very windows, just as they were crossing the bar, the boat went down, and all who were in her perished. Even the bodies were never found. I was told by a party who were travelling that year in Devonshire and Cornwall, that it was most affecting to see on the corner houses of every village street, on every church door, and almost on every cliff for miles and miles along the coast, handbills, offering large rewards for linen cast ashore, marked with the initials of the beloved dead; for it so chanced that all the three were of the dearest and the best; one, I believe, an only son, the other the son of a widow.

"This tragedy nearly killed Elizabeth Barrett. She was utterly prostrated by the horror and the grief, and by a natural but a most unjust feeling that she had been, in some sort, the cause of this great misery. It was not until the following year that she could be removed, in an invalid carriage, and by journeys of twenty miles a day, to her afflicted family and her London home. The house that she occupied at Torquay had been chosen as one of the most sheltered in the place. It stood at the bottom of the cliffs, almost close to the sea; and she told me herself that during that whole winter the sound of the waves rang in her ears like the moans of one dying. Still she clung to literature and to Greek; in all probability she would have died without that wholesome diversion of her thoughts. Her medical attendant did not always understand this. To prevent the remonstrances of her friendly physician, Dr. Barry, she caused a small edition of Plato to be so bound as to resemble a novel. He did not know, skilful and kind though he were, that to her, such books were not an arduous and painful study, but a consolation and a delight. Returned to London, she began the life which she continued for so many years, confined to one large and commodious but darkened chamber, admitting only her own affectionate family and a few devoted friends (I, myself, have often joyfully travelled five-and-forty miles to see her, and returned the same evening without entering another house), reading almost every book worth reading in almost every language, and giving herself, heart and soul, to that poetry of which she seemed born to be the priestess. Gradually her health improved. About four years ago she married Mr. Browning, and immediately accompanied him to Pisa. They then settled at Florence; and this summer I have had the exquisite pleasure of seeing her once more in London with a lovely boy at her knee, almost as well as ever, and telling tales of Italian rambles, of losing herself in chestnut forests, and scrambling on mule-back up the sources of extinct volcanoes. May Heaven continue to her such health and such happiness!"

[Pg 311]


The last Westminster Review contains a pleasant scientific article under the title of "Shell Fish, their Ways and Works," in which the subject so much debated lately, whether the lower orders of animals are capable of reason, has some new and amusing illustrations. Generous and honestly disposed lovers of good dinners will be gratified with the notion that oysters receive as well as communicate a degree of happiness. The reviewer treats the subject in the following luminous manner:

"And then the oyster itself—the soul and body of the shell—is there no philosophy in him or her? For now we know that oysters are really he and she, and that Bishop Sprat, when he gravely proposed the study of oyster-beds as a pursuit worthy of the sages who, under the guidance of his co-Bishop, Wilkins, and Sir Christopher Wren, were laying the foundation stones of the Royal Society, was not so far wrong when he discriminated between lady and gentleman oysters. The worthy suggester, it is true, knew no better than to separate them according to the color of their beards; as great a fallacy, as if, in these days of Bloomerism, we should propose to distinguish between males and females by the fashion of their waistcoats or color of their pantaloons; or, before this last great innovation of dress, to, diagnose between a dignitary episcopal and an ancient dame by the comparative length of their respective aprons. In that soft and gelatinous body lies a whole world of vitality and quiet enjoyment. Somebody has styled fossiliferous rocks 'monuments of the felicity of past ages.' An undisturbed oyster-bed is a concentration of happiness in the present. Dormant though the several creatures there congregated seem, each individual is leading the beatified existence of an epicurean god. The world without—its cares and joys, its storms and calms, its passions, evil and good—all are indifferent to the unheeding oyster. Unobservant even of what passes in its immediate vicinity, its whole soul is concentrated in itself; yet not sluggishly and apathetically, for its body is throbbing with life and enjoyment. The mighty ocean is subservient to its pleasures. The rolling waves waft fresh and choice food within its reach, and the flow of the current feeds it without requiring an effort. Each atom of water that comes in contact with its delicate gills involves its imprisoned air to freshen and invigorate the creature's pellucid blood. Invisible to human eye, unless aided by the wonderful inventions of human science, countless millions of vibrating cilia are moving incessantly with synchronic beat on every fibre of each fringing leaflet. Well might old Leeuwenhoek exclaim, when he looked through his microscope at the beard of a shell-fish, 'The motion I saw in the small component parts of it was so incredibly great, that I could not be satisfied with the spectacle; and it is not in the mind of conceive all the motions which I beheld within the compass of a grain of sand.' And yet the Dutch naturalist, unaided by the finer instruments of our time, beheld but a dim and misty indication of the exquisite cilliary apparatus by which these motions are effected. How strange to reflect that all this elaborate and inimitable contrivance has been devised for the well-being of a despised shell-fish? Nor is it merely in the working members of the creature that we find its wonders comprised. There are portions of its frame which seem to serve no essential purpose in its economy: which might be omitted without disturbing the course of its daily duties, and yet so constant in their presence and position, that we cannot doubt their having had their places in the original plan according to which the organization of the mollusk was first put together. These are symbols of organs to be developed in creatures higher in the scale of being; antitypes, it may be, of limbs, and anticipations of undeveloped senses. These are the first draughts of parts to be made out in their details elsewhere; serving, however, an end by their presence, for they are badges of relationship and affinity between one creature and another. In them the oyster-eater and the oyster may find some common bond of sympathy and distant cousinhood.

"Had the disputatious and needle-witted schoolmen known of these most curious mysteries of vitality, how vainly subtle would have been their speculations concerning the solution of such enigmas?"




Oh smiling land of the sunset,
How my heart to thy beauty thrills—
Veiled dimly to-day with the shadow
Of the greenest of all thy hills!
Where daisies lean to the sunshine,
And the winds a plowing go,
And break into shining furrows
The mists in the vale below;
Where the willows hang out their tassels,
With the dews, all white and cold,
Strung over their wands so limber,
Like pearls upon chords of gold;
Where in milky hedges of hawthorn
The red-winged thrushes sing,
And the wild vine, bright and flaunting,
Twines many a scarlet ring;
Where, under the ripened billows
Of the silver-flowing rye,
We ran in and out with the zephyrs—
My sunny-haired brother and I.
Oh, when the green kirtle of May time,
Again o'er the hill-tops is blown,
I shall walk the wild paths of the forest,
And climb the steep headlands alone—
Pausing not where the slopes of the meadows
Are yellow with cowslip beds,
Nor where, by the wall of the garden,
The hollyhocks lift their bright heads.
In hollows that dimple the hill-sides,
Our feet till the sunset had been,
Where pinks with their spikes of red blossoms,
Hedged beds of blue violets in,
While to the warm lip of the sunbeam
The check of the blush rose inclined,
And the pansy's white bosom was flushed with
The murmurous love of the wind.
But when 'neath the heavy tresses
That swept o'er the dying day,
The star of the eve like a lover
Was hiding his blushes away,
As we came to a mournful river
That flowed to a lovely shore,
"Oh, sister," he said, "I am weary—
I cannot go back any more!"
And seeing that round about him
The wings of the angels shone—
I parted the locks from his forehead
And kissed him and left him alone.
But a shadow comes over my spirit
Whenever I think of the hours
I trusted his feet to the pathway
That winds through eternity's flowers.

[Pg 312]



The London Examiner, in reviewing Mr. McCulloch's new work on Wages, etc., seems to be displeased that the author should have expressed himself against the cultivation and use of tobacco, using the following language in its defence: "We quarrel," says the Examiner, "with Mr. McCulloch, for bestowing offensive epithets on tobacco, which he is pleased to call 'this filthy and offensive stimulant.' Why it should be more filthy to take a pinch of snuff or a whiff of tobacco smoke, than to swallow a quart of port wine, is not to us intelligible. Of all the stimulants that men have had recourse to, tea and coffee excepted, tobacco is the least pernicious. For the life of you, you cannot get drunk on it, however well disposed, and no man or woman has ever been charged with committing a crime under its influence—save only the factitious crime created by an irrational and excessive duty. For the best part of three centuries, all the nations of the earth have been using tobacco—saint, savage, and sage, being among the consumers."

The Examiner may quarrel with Mr. McCulloch for abusing the "weed," if it pleases, but it is a weak argument, if argument it can be called, to say that because taking a pinch of snuff, or a whiff of tobacco, is no worse than taking a quart of port wine, therefore the use of tobacco is good; or because tobacco is the least pernicious of all the stimulants, therefore it is not objectionable; or because one cannot get drunk on it, (which, by the way, is a great mistake,) or because for the best part of three centuries all the nations of the earth have been using tobacco—saint, savage and sage—therefore it is not a "filthy and offensive stimulant." The real object of the Examiner, however, in defending the cultivation and use of tobacco, will appear by reading a little further. "Of all people," says the reviewer, "we ourselves are the most moderate consumers; yet the 'filthy and offensive stimulant' puts four millions and a half a year into our exchequer. An old financier, like Mr. McCulloch, ought, on this account alone, to have treated the weed with more respect." Here then is the true reason why the London Examiner is disposed to quarrel with that author. Nor can it be a "filthy and offensive stimulant," because, forsooth, it puts four millions and a half a year into England's exchequer! Upon this mode of reasoning, what an inestimable blessing must opium be to the world, and especially to the Chinese! We have only to say, that if tobacco yields this immense revenue annually to England, any one who passes through Eastern Virginia and sees the poverty stricken appearance of the thousands of acres of exhausted useless land which present themselves in every direction, will be able to determine at whose expense this has been, in a great measure. If England has been enriched by the traffic in tobacco, its cultivation has been the ruin of Eastern Virginia, by far the larger portion of which now lies in open uncultivated sterile commons, bleaching in the sun.

Virginia, we are glad to know, is at last awaking to her true condition and interests; the rapid increase of population in the northern and western states, and the proportionate improvement in their arts, sciences and agricultural industry, have excited in the minds of our people, no inconsiderable attention. While it is true of Western Virginia, that if not advancing with a rapidity equalling that of many of the states, she is nevertheless improving, and with her almost inexhaustible mineral wealth, and productiveness of soil, must continue to improve, if the inhabitants persist in declining to cultivate tobacco. It is painfully true of Eastern Virginia—if we except the cities—that if not just at this time retrograding, the change from a retrograde to a stationary condition has been but recent, and some time must necessarily elapse before any marked evidence of an advance will be perceptible. There are even yet to be found, on the borders of James River and in other parts of Virginia, the wealthy, intelligent, and hospitable planter, living in style and entertaining with liberality scarcely unequal to that which distinguished Virginia in bygone days. Such are still to be encountered, though not often. The Virginia gentleman has been elbowed out. Like the Knickerbockers of New York—most of whom have shaken the ashes from their pipes, and gone off—the old Virginia gentleman has disappeared—but been displaced by a different enemy from that which disturbed the cogitations of the honest Dutchman. While Mein Herr, happy and contented, sat in the door of his simple dwelling, enjoying the pleasure of his pipe, he little thought, or if he thought, he little cared perhaps, that the weed which afforded so much comfort to his constitutionally comfortable frame, was drawing forth the substance and exhausting the soil of one of the richest, fairest and most attractive portions of the earth, and would in time cover its surface with a stunted sickly growth of pine, through which the wind might pour her low sad requiem for departed life. The honest Hollander and his good vrow have gone on their journey, exiled by the enterprising Yankee, or by the needy foreigner. The old Virginia gentleman has gone, or is going—finding that his "old fields" are rapidly increasing, and his crop of tobacco year by year diminishing—where no hopes to find a richer soil and a better market.

For some years past, most of the counties in Eastern Virginia have produced very little tobacco—some of them none at all. When we recall to mind that this section of Virginia was once by far the richest part of the state, and not to be surpassed by any soil in[Pg 313] the country—that it was celebrated for the large crops and excellent quality of its tobacco—we naturally look for the reasons of this change. Now, although our good friends down below, are very sensitive upon the subject, we have no hesitation in saying that the cause generally assigned is the true one, viz., that the soil is exhausted, worn out, and therefore cannot produce tobacco, or any thing else of consequence. And here let me encroach upon established rules and digress for a few moments, leaving tobacco, to give my reader a little advice to aid him should he ever visit the "Old Dominion." In the first place, if you stop at any point along the shore, and especially should you reach Hampton, never speak of "crabs." If you are fond of them, get them the best way you can; you will have no difficulty in finding them; have them cooked, and eat them; but don't ask for them—don't speak of them. The people of Virginia, like those of most other places, are sensitive on some points; and it would be no less impolite to speak of crabs in Hampton, than it would be to speak of "persimmons" in Fluvanna County.

In the second place, never speak of the ague and fever, especially if you visit on the rivers, unless it be to say, that the place from which you came is very subject to this complaint. If you take this position you are safe, for should you be attacked (cases have been known even in Virginia), why you have only to say you were so unfortunate as not to leave home quite soon enough to avoid the disease. Mind what I, an M.D. of the calomel and quinine school—no Homœopathist, but one of the regular troop—say upon this matter. No false charges, either direct or indirect, no inuendos by look, word, or deed, that you might possibly have taken the ague and fever after your arrival! It would be absurd, at least, in you to say so. Not that the people would lay violent hands upon you—and yet on sober second thoughts I am not so sure of this, if we are to judge from the toast given by a young gentleman who attended the Printers' anniversary celebration of the birth of Benjamin Franklin, at the City Hotel, Richmond, on the night of Saturday, 17th of January: "A ☞ to our friends, and a † for our enemies." This, perhaps, might have been simply to vary the entertainment of the evening. We ought not be hasty in drawing conclusions, for another young citizen, on the same occasion, gave the following: "The first families of Virginia—like stars seen in the ocean, they would not be there but for their bright originals in heaven." It is evident from this, although there is no roundabout tedious effort to prove the thing, that the "first families" of Virginia are not only as the stars of heaven in number—not only as thick as stars, but that like the stars they are absolutely in heaven, and, having carried their family dignity thither, are emitting their light to the benighted angels—occasional sparks sometimes dropping down from them to their numberless descendants, living here upon the shadows of their grandfathers. It may not be amiss, in order to save future digression, to say that the Smith in my name is on the paternal side. Should you come to Virginia, you will hear of the Smiths. You have already beard of Pocahontas. Well, the land on which her father lived was famous for its tobacco: it would now be dear at three dollars per acre. A short time since, while on a visit to and in conversation with one of the most distinguished men of Virginia, who owns and resides on a plantation on the James River, a few miles above Richmond—observing the neatness of every thing around, the superiority of his land and the largeness of his wheat and corn crops, I inquired about his tobacco. "I never cultivate tobacco," said he, "I detest it, for it has been the ruin of the state." This is the testimony of one of Virginia's most prominent and most enlightened sons, a graduate of William and Mary College, and the friend of Bishop Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and most of Virginia's other distinguished men, living in his day—one who, in age, has passed the threescore and ten allotted to mankind, and whose dignified yet gentle bearing tells that he is one of the survivors of a class now nearly extinct, "the Virginia gentleman of the old school."

Pass through almost any part of Eastern Virginia, and wherever you go will be found immense tracts of land, barren and useless, which were once rich and productive, but which have been exhausted in the cultivation of tobacco. And yet—notwithstanding this, and strange as it may appear—there are still to be found among the people of lower Virginia men who deny that the raising of this crop impoverishes the soil, and who on the contrary insist that the culture of tobacco enriches it. They are ready to acknowledge that the land has been exhausted, but contend that it is owing to the cultivation of corn, and not of tobacco. This, it need hardly be said, is maintained only by those who are engaged in raising tobacco. Facts however are stubborn things, and it may be well to present, just at this time, one or two in point.

Virginia, when first settled, possessed a soil far superior to that of any of the Eastern or Middle States. Little or no tobacco has ever been raised in those states, while corn has been one of the chief products. In Virginia, where tobacco has been the principal crop, the land has deteriorated, the rich soil has been exhausted, and become more sterile than were the bleak hills of New England when the Pilgrim reached her shores; while in New England, where corn has been produced in abundance, and but very little tobacco, the soil has been improved until it has become almost or quite as rich as that of Virginia was at[Pg 314] any time since its settlement. In this day the most unproductive of the New England states has soil superior to that of Eastern Virginia.

Another fact that cannot be denied is, that wherever tobacco has been raised for any length of time, the result has been invariably the same—without a single exception, the land has been exhausted, and abandoned as useless. A particular portion of a plantation, it is true, has been, and may be again for a time, kept very rich by concentrating upon it all the fertilizing substance produced; but this must of course be at the expense of all other parts of the plantation, and operate eventually to the disadvantage of the small part kept rich at the expense of the whole; for unless there be considerable attention paid to other parts of the land, besides those appropriated to the raising of tobacco, the manure will no longer be found on the plantation, and general exhaustion and sterility must follow.

From what has been said about tobacco the reader will imagine, perhaps, that I am an enemy to the noxious weed. Not altogether so; but the reason, if not precisely similar to that which calls forth the article in the London Examiner, springs from the same impulse: I love a good cigar, and have been in my day an inveterate smoker, but hope, and am now endeavoring, to overcome the useless and enervating habit, more especially since I have seen the poverty and desolation occasioned in Virginia from the cultivation of tobacco. Still I must confess, that even now, like an old war horse when he smells powder, am I, when I come in contact with the odoriferous exhalation of a good cigar. If he with delight snuffs in his expanded nostrils the fumes of saltpetre and charcoal, I, with no less pleasure, inhale the odor of a good Havana. If he chafes and prances to rush into the battle, in me rises an elate spirit, when, in the midst of a band of smokers, I see through the fog, slowly curling and ascending, a miniature gallery of "long nines" issuing from their port-holes, and hear the puffs, and see the smoke. At such a time it is not safe to offer me a cigar, for then I feel like him of the Examiner, that it is not well to be too hard upon an enemy. Snuff I detest, and always have detested, notwithstanding the fact that I once bought a gold snuff-box, upon the lid of which I had my family coat-of-arms engraved.

"Off again! Why don't you keep to the point?" doubtless exclaims the reader. The truth is, my position as an assailant of tobacco is somewhat peculiar, such as may be appreciated by one who, having had a friend to whom he is under obligation, has been led, upon meeting that friend, and finding him in discredit, to give him the "cold shoulder." It goes hard with my feeling, if not with my conscience, to speak against tobacco. Yet whatever virtue the weed itself may possess, it is now almost universally conceded, that the cultivation of tobacco will ruin a country. Let any one take a survey of lower Virginia, and he cannot help coming to the conclusion, that it not only impoverishes the land, but if followed up for a number of years, will be very apt to impoverish the children of those who engage in its cultivation. Tobacco, say its advocates, is a very profitable crop,—if by profit is meant a large return in money, without reference to any thing else—granted. Much money has been and will be made by cultivating it, and if the parent, as the money is received, would safely invest it for the benefit of himself and children, so that provision would be made for the time when he grows old and they advance, and the land becomes exhausted and useless, they will do very well. But few are sufficiently considerate to make this provision, since it is naturally supposed that a plantation which for a number of years has yielded a superabundance will not be likely to fail in the future. They cannot see that year after year, slowly but surely, the substance of their land is being taken away in the form of tobacco, and that in the end their plantations will be barren and useless. Estates comprising thousands of acres of good land yield annually large incomes, upon which their owners live, with their families, in great affluence. Surrounded by servants who stand ready to attend to every want, the children are reared from their infancy with scarcely a wish ungratified—thereby contracting most expensive habits, and becoming, through the mistaken kindness and indulgence of their parents, altogether unfitted for the hardships of life when adversity comes upon them. It is not, in fact, often the case that parents so situated remember that a change may take place by which they or their children may be thrown upon the world and compelled to rely upon their own exertions for a living. But experience shows that the cultivation of tobacco tends almost inevitably to this. As year after year passes on, section after section of productive land is taken up, and that which has become already exhausted is left to put forth stunted pines, and await the recuperative powers of nature. Thus men live on, with an increasing family and a large and rapidly increasing number of servants to support, until perhaps the head of the house is called away by death, and the estate, if free from incumbrance, is divided among the children. Another generation succeeds, and another division takes place—the soil all this time becoming poor and poorer, and the quantity of land at each subdivision becoming less for every member,—until a general exhaustion is perceived, the land is left a wilderness, and the family scattered over the country; the females, sensitive, well-educated, and spirited, unfitted for contact with the world, and the sons too often branded as spendthrifts because they cannot manage to live upon the land that supported their fathers and their grandfathers.

[Pg 315]



We cannot make up our mind to look on this member of the universal Yankee nation with quite as much distrust as is often evinced; with that distrust which lies most where he is least known. Scarce one-sixth of the lookers-on—as the liveried gentleman with a straight knee and stiff upper-lip keeps up the ninety to a minute down the sunny side of Greenwich-street—know aught of the animal, save that every day he struts up and down at about the same hour. Mothers have nothing to say for him, while fathers pass him with quite a look of contempt. Betty, perhaps, is the least timid, and is foolish enough to let spurs and cock-feathers tinge her dreams all night long, beside thinking of them a dozen times next day. If she is from the old country, she has seen them all her life, and has many friends "as went a soldiering." The little boys are more of the Betty order, and always show him the greatest admiration and respect: as may be seen, any day, in the miniature evolutions to the public squares, which always display enthusiasm, if not the accuracy of strategical art. If there is but one private, you will always be sure to find a captain and a drummer, and the army is complete.

Why the senior and more intellectual world and his wife are more wary of the Greenwich dragoon, is a question not easy of solution. Perhaps they have read in books that he is apt to commit sundry excesses, not approved of in the Scriptures, after the siege is over; or that, like Captain Dalgetty, he will sometimes fight for plunder; or that his profession tends to "solitude and calling it peace." In a measure these charges are certainly true; partly because poor human nature is frail, and partly that there are tricks in all trades; not, however, we think, to the extent that he should suffer excommunication without a hearing, and while his own or adopted flag waves tranquilly over the land. Give him credit when he deserves it, for it is his especial lot, when down, to have no friends. In stirring times, however, when death is within the walls and the enemy hard pressing at the gates, he has advocates and admirers without number; then he has virtues worthy of notice; and while his body receives the ball, his heart is praised for its devotion. Women have embroidered silken banners for him, to strengthen his courage in their defence, and put fine words thereon to serve him as a rallying cry. In our revolutionary days, when the old continental spirit was abroad, he was respected to a degree unknown perhaps at the present time. The mistress entertained him with a hearty will, and the respectable dame, who, when there was no flannel for making cartridges, dropped something in the street that would make a dozen or more, enjoyed the joke all her life, besides receiving a pension from Congress. That he really receives now so much distrust, it is either because we know nothing about him, or because the lightning age is so far advanced as to leave his humble merits out of sight in the rear. He is rarely noisy—never insults you—and passes well to the right in the street. He is often polite, too; and if he does not, like Jack, offer to carry a lady's muff, it is because his land-service has taught him the big thing is not as heavy as it looks. If a mob defies the law, he will stand the stones until one has knocked him out of the ranks. In short, he is a complete protector and servitor of laws, of mothers, daughters, wives, and property,—and, at the end of all, receiving his pittance with a "Good luck to those who live better and get more."

It is not our intention, be it known, to attempt doing away with any prejudice good society may entertain for one of its "sworn defenders;" for, as we have hinted, the soldier is not presumptuous, and never curses his unlucky stars. Our only object is, to give a brief pen-and-ink sketch of the man in his bonded condition; in fine, say so much, or so little, about him, that the uninitiated, sitting by the warm fire-side, and reading of the great cold in latitude 49°, or of the hot pursuit in the Camanche country, may know something of poor Tobin, who is made to suit every climate and every emergency.

It has often been a wonder with the curious, why enlistments take place in times of profound peace; and the probable causes that lead to such steps are, of course, much debated. We remember seeing, not long ago, in the newspapers, a brief table of such causes, purporting to come from an army surgeon who examined each recruit on the subject. It was funny, and so startling withal, that while some laughed or stood aghast, others hardly knew which to admire most, the doctor's eccentricity, or his fertile fancy. We know not if in the world's vast library there is any reliable exhibition of such causes. Sir Walter Scott's imaginary Clutterbuck, after some prefatory doubts, leaves the following as perhaps his principal reason: "This happy vacuity of all employment appeared to me so delicious, that it became the primary hint, which, according to the system of Helvetius, as the minister says, determined my infant talents towards the profession I was destined to illustrate." Such may be the idea of some at the present day, though Clutterbuck's declaration is by no means sacred authority. He confesses he was unmilitary enough to damn reveillé, and also, to a significant rebuke from his old colonel. "I am no friend to extravagance, Ensign Clutterbuck," said he, "but on the day when we are to pass before the sovereign of the kingdom, in the name of God, I would have at least shown him an inch of clean linen." The truth is, the causes are about as various as the trades they subscribe to, or, if one more than another be predominant, it is "the love of the thing." In the[Pg 316] old countries, the drum and fife mingled their music with the first pleasant scenes he ever saw; and, in the new world, the same enlivening sounds also awoke the spirit of childhood. Early associations had merely lain dormant for a season, but those connected with the bright musket and sabre were stronger than those of the spade and figure-maker's mould.

Having before us the roll of a company now in service, we will take from it such information as may be pertinent, premising that the record is so nearly like that of every other, that the little difference, as mathematicians say, may be disregarded without affecting the general result. Of the whole number (fifty), thirty-eight are between twenty and thirty years of age, ten between thirty and forty, and two between forty and forty-five. Five were born in England, three in Scotland, twenty-one in Ireland, five in Germany, thirteen in the United States, two in Prussia, and one in Italy. They subscribed, at the time of enlistment, the following trades: five farmers, one spinner, twelve laborers, one weaver, one tinsmith, one painter, two gardeners, three bakers, two shoemakers, two tailors, one carpenter, one printer, one cigar-maker, nine soldiers, four clerks, one turner, and one figure-maker (the Italian); and one pretends to be a lawyer, though, as he may be an imposter, we will have due regard for the sensitive feelings of our legal friends, and set him down as only a pettifogger. Sixteen cannot read or write, and of these, three are of the United States, and the remainder nearly all from Ireland. It is quite a treat in chirography to see the signatures of the residue of the fifty, as they stand in the column. They are not so imposing as John Hancock's on the Declaration, nor as small as a schoolmistress's copy; but assume all shapes and styles, from the "clerkly fist," to the genuine "crow-track," or Chinese characters on a tea-chest.

Be it as it may, after he swears to serve well and faithfully the United States against all her enemies and opposers whatsoever, he is sent to New-York harbor, if he is to do foot-work, or to Carlisle Barracks, if a horse is to do it for him; and in one of these places the transformation from civil to military life begins. In two hours after his arrival you would hardly know him. With hair cut close, and a complete revolution in his dress, he looks nothing like the "sovereign" of this mighty Republic you have just seen. He feels the change, too; and as he struts up and down, peacock-like, admiring himself, he realizes that hitherto, for many years perhaps, he has not had a new suit from tip to toe all for nothing. It has saved him weary days of toil, and the little personal liberty he has given in exchange is but dust in the balance. As soon as "the vapors melt into morn," the drum sounds the reveillé, and up he rises to receive instructions, which are repeated and repeated until he has them at his tongue's and fingers' ends. At all times, if well-behaved, he receives the necessary recreations and indulgences. To follow him closely throughout his tuition, would be to extend this article more than is intended, besides outraging the military knowledge of many by a recital of elementary instruction. Suffice it to say, after a certain period, he is sent to some post on the sea-board, or to active service on the frontier.

The term of enlistment varies in different countries. In England, formerly, it extended to twenty-one years; but the law has lately reduced it to ten. In our service it is for five years only, with the privilege of re-enlisting, if at the end of that time the applicant is still sound in body and mind. He then becomes an "old soldier;" a term which, for some reason or other, is used in civil life with no complimentary import. It has a better meaning in service, however, which is well exemplified in the French proverb, "Il n'est chasse que de vieux chiens" (old dogs are staunch hunters). The pay also varies, and it is a feather in the cap of our Government that we may say she is in this respect more liberal than any other. In France, Prussia, Germany, Austria, and Russia, a private, with all economy, cannot save more than six cents a-day; yet when we consider the vast number each is obliged to keep under arms, we cannot suppose them able to pay more. England, whose "public debt is a public blessing," also looms up largely in the battle array, and pays better than her neighbors. With her artillery-private (or gunner as he is more properly called), we will compare a private of the United States artillery, or infantry, since both are on a par in this respect. The former receives one shilling fourpence farthing, or thirty-three and one-half cents, per day, from which, deducting his rations and clothing, there will be left thirteen and one-half cents, or about four dollars per month. The latter receives seven dollars per month, beside his rations and clothing. In the British infantry regiments, the private has but one shilling per day, and the Queen graciously allows him one penny of "beer-money."

The artillery-company of England is perhaps the best organized and most efficient in the world; while ours is merely nominal, and a sore subject to the accomplished officers attached to it. It is called artillery, but infantry is more appropriate. At nearly all the forts, the siege pieces and implements of the artillerist are packed away in storehouses, without a particle of benefit to those for whom they are intended. In Mexico, on the march to Orizaba, it had the mortification to trudge along on foot, while midshipmen commanded sections of a light battery, marines were cannoneers, and sailors rode the horses, using, in their amphibious state, the oddest medley of sea-terms and military jargon that ever grated on professional ears.[Pg 317] It would have been equally proper to put an artillery captain in command of the frigate Cumberland then lying in the harbor of Vera Cruz, with no less a prospect of brilliant manœuvres in the hour of battle. The English company is really what it purports to be, and is one hundred and twenty strong, including eight corporals and four bombardiers; besides, it has eight serjeants, three buglers, one second and one first lieutenant, one second captain (brevet-captain in our service), and one first captain. The aggregate here is fifty-eight, not quite one-half of the British company.

It will be seen, from what has been said, that the Greenwich dragoon, or foot soldier, is, in five cases out of six, either a Dutchman, Irishman, or American; and an observer can easily perceive in each his national characteristic and temperament. Karl is dull and heavy, generally sober, always ready to lend his pipe, or sing a song. Pat is merry, loves a glass at any time, is handy with the spade, and uses his mother-wit in rounding off a capital story. Jonathan is all these, and something more. He astonishes his trans-atlantic comrades by the incomprehensible manner in which the knave will turn up when he deals the "pictures;" and the neat manner in which he mends the rent in his coat sleeve; is one short of funds, he will generously lend him a safe amount until "next pay day," provided, at that time, fifty per cent. be added thereto; and, if some doubt arises in the mean time, he disposes of his stock to some other speculator; so that Wall-street-like panics are not unfrequent—sometimes among the bulls, sometimes among the bears. If he chooses, he will do more work in less time, or less work in more time, than Karl or Patrick, and he often manages to make a cats-paw of them to scratch out his delinquencies. He knows well how to make use of the technicalities of the limited monarchy under which he is governed, and bewilders dull Karl by his manifold risks and little punishment.

It matters not whether our man is cooped up at Eastport, or bivouacked on the Rio-Grande—he is every where essentially the same. With scarce a thought beyond the morrow, he awaits it without impatience. In all places, and at all times, he has great respect for his officer; the gracefully touching his cap being no idle ceremony. At the close of a weary day's march, he will leave his own to put up his tent; build a fire near it, and do every favor he can, freely and willingly. Officers will recognize this fact, and attribute the secret to the strict non-familiarity between them.

He has three festivals during the year, when he sets a splendid table and enjoys himself—the two wintry holidays, and the anniversary of our national independence. There are songs and speeches in abundance, and the oratory is genuine. If he lingers long at the table—or under it—there is so much power in the "star spangled banner," or "Erin is my home," that he must become a martyr to their glorious enthusiasm. On one of these occasions, a little lady friend christened an aldermanic German by a patriotic name which since has taken the place of his own. "He was a man of an unbounded stomach," seemingly, with the French maxim ever uppermost in his mind: Quand la cornemuse est pleine on en chant mieux (when the belly is full, the music goes better). An escopette ball at Molino-del-Rey struck him on the head, and the ponderous mass rolling over and over on the ground, he was left for dead, but his time had not yet come. It was a heavy blow, and though alive, yet his reason, at times, is gone: predicting something novel in the history of man to happen on the 4th of April next. Another joyful day is the visit of the paymaster, which happens six times a year. His last supply is gone—hence his anxiety to replenish. He is very happy to see this financial individual—as much so as any body was with the arrival of the first California steamer with two millions in gold. His only drawback is, that his mortal enemy, the sutler, is then invariably ready to face him with a small bill for sundry articles, such as cheese, whiting, and "some drinks." He had no idea it was so large! Generally he pays to a fraction; sometimes, like broken banks, he compromises for a certain per centum; sometimes he repudiates in toto. He is often economical, spending nothing, and transmitting his savings to destitute relations at home or abroad. A thousand hearts were gladdened, and a thousand mouths fed, in the poor Emerald Isle during her starving days, by five pound drafts from "the bold soldier-boy" over the water. These substantial tokens from the home of his adoption have a secret but visible effect. The military roads he lays out are found and followed by the recipients of his bounty, and gardens flourish where but yesterday were seen the poles of his old camping ground; new states rise out the wilderness, where he planted the early seed, and watched the glittering things as they grew to the strength and beauty of their starry sisters.

He has no enmity or prejudice against any person, sect, or society—loving Broadbrim even more than could reasonably be expected. There is, however, a proverbial enmity between him and Jack the sailor, though it is generally of that Pickwickian nature, that—like Micawber's griefs—easily dissolves over a bowl of punch, and both become as jolly as Friar Tuck and Richard. He is not generally religious; but during divine service is as orderly as a deacon. Sometimes he pleads conscience against Protestant worship, but those interested may be assured that, in five cases out of six, it is only Pat's cunning: true piety can worship God under any form. He is generally a bachelor, and rarely goes beyond the walls for a wife: if Abigail comes[Pg 318] inside, he snaps her up as you would a hotcake on a frosty morning. If he dies prematurely, some comrade is ready to console the widow in her affliction; the courtship being a fine exemplification of—

"For you must know a widow's won
With brisk attempt and putting on:
With ent'ring manfully and urging—
Not slow approaches like a virgin."

Should she fail, however, she trips off to another post, where, "her case being duly represented at the mess," she generally manages to get reinstated in the army. It is for the good of the service that marriage is in some degree restricted, and the reasons therefor, none will fail to perceive.

The soldier's history and accounts are posted up regularly every two months at Washington—that great ledger of the United States—so that if he has been sentenced to a money stoppage, or broken a tumbler-screw, it is there accurately recorded. He is kept well supplied, where it is practicable, with the news of the day, contained in two dailies, one of which, generally, is from New-York, and the other from Washington. At nearly all the principal posts neat little chapels have been built, and chaplains provided, so that he can worship God, if he desires, morning and evening, and without expense.

The discipline governing him is severe; so much so that it is sometimes made ground of complaint. This severity is necessary for the creation and preservation of prompt obedience and clock-like regularity. Severe laws are necessary in every body—civil, religious, and military—and in no one, it is fair to say, are they more strictly enforced than in the army of the United States. The sad penalty of death is rarely, if ever, decreed, except in a regularly constituted war. A fearful instance of it occurred in the valley of Mexico during our late contest with that crumbling republic. Fifty deserters were condemned, but their execution temporarily delayed by the officer in charge, that they might see the stars and stripes run up over the falling castle of Chapultepec, and their last gaze on earth be fixed, as well on the faithful valor of their comrades, as on the flag they had shamelessly forsaken. As their bodies swung to and fro, well relieved against the sky, and the setting sun cast its lurid beams over countenances yet warm in death, many felt the extreme severity yet justice of military law, particularly in an enemy's country. In time of peace the punishment varies from a dishonorable discharge to little temporary deprivations and confinements, except for insubordination and desertion, when the law again permits of considerable severity. The stories about long confinements in dreary holes, starvation, &c., which we sometimes see in the "newspapers of little circulation," are about as true as the nursery tales in children's primers. Of the minor punishments, those which combine an appeal to his pride are the most dreaded, and often have a salutary effect. A mounted trooper would rather perform picket duty all night, in any weather, than once take a stationary gallop on the wooden "bob-tailed nag," facing the other way. The soldier's crimes—nearly all—are criminal only in that they offend against military laws; and if once in a while he has a hearing before Justice M., "you should not," as he contends, "expect all the cardinal virtues for seven dollars a month."

Wherever the pioneer has laid his axe, there you will find the soldier, a ready watch-dog between the settler and the savage; and it is a great misnomer for any one "in Congress assembled," to call him one of a "peace establishment," as three-fifths of his number are now on active service. In Florida—encamped in hammocks, or on the banks of some unhealthy stream—he is parleying with the Seminole; while in New Mexico, and over the vast frontier of Texas, he is engaged in deadly war with other tribes: the war seeming to be without a beginning, as well as without an end. In the back grounds of California, he escorts the treaty-making powers, while with his axe he lays out military roads, and measures them as he goes along. After a long march over the Rocky Mountains, or a sea-voyage of twenty thousand miles round the "stormy cape"—we find him, again, constructing block-houses along the Columbia river in Oregon; as much to protect him against the winter's cold, as to serve as means of future defence. The United States constitute a large patch of ground on the map of nations, with much work to do on her extensive frontier; and he is the pack-horse that tugs faithfully at the burden. Far away from the many comforts and conveniences that surround you—in prairie or wilderness—often without clothes, oftener without food—in sunshine and storm—winter and summer—in the midst of sickness and death—relentless foes on the hill-tops and in the valleys—he toils on, with no help from Congress to do what ought to be, but what cannot be done: certainly, cannot be done! for there are well known "treaty stipulations," and the lawmakers expect him, generally on foot, to pursue, overtake, and severely punish the well-mounted savage. Fatal error! every southerly wind brings with it a wail of the dying border man, and Mexico will yet, ere the present "long parliament" closes, present her wrongs before the proper source, the master—not the man. But we have digressed once or twice into extraneous topics: they germinated from the subject, and as they can do no harm, let them stand as written.

Do not suppose, then, because the Greenwich recruit is well-clothed, and somewhat proud withal, that his life is one of comparative ease. In virtue of all he does for you and your children's children, while plenty is on your right and on your left hand, rank him far above the hireling in[Pg 319] its corrupted sense. He does much for the mite given him in return, and never murmurs at the task. At early dawn he rises, slings his knapsack, fills his canteen from the brook, and, with a scant ration in his haversack, marches a long Texan summer's day, recounting to his comrade some adventure in the old country, or the last news from the white settlements. At night, he spreads his blanket on the ground, his knapsack serves as pillow, and with no covering but the stars, he awaits the coming day to renew the fruitless scout. Perhaps, as he faces the sky, he pictures in the clouds heavily rolling o'er the moon, a mimic battle, in which his company is in the thickest of the fight; perhaps he is dreaming of—what? It is hard to tell: it may be of Betty in return; it may be of a wee sister or dear old mother far away over the seas—whom, since many years he has not seen, and then, God help his sad and weary heart! the prospect is a dreary one indeed of ever beholding "sacred home" again. He has fought well for you in the days of the Knickerbockers and in the valley of Mexico, and the same brave spirit adorns the homely bosom still. If it is charge, he charges; stand, he stands; and should there at any time occur a suspicious retrograde movement, he'll punch you with his bayonet if you call it by any other name than that of masterly retreat. Congress, during its last session, provided a Military Asylum, so that when age or wounds have taken away his once hardy strength, he will have a peaceful refuge, until—

"Hark! the muffled drum sounds the last march of the brave,
The soldier retreats to his quarters—the grave—
Under Death, whom he owns his commander-in-chief—
And no more he'll turn out with the ready relief."

As we cannot charge Uncle Sam with any extravagant degree of nepotism, we will commend Tobin to a bit more of the spare regard of the people of the United States—the "smartest nation in all creation"—a fact which John Bull pretends to disregard, and, like a traveller lost in the woods, whistles every now and then, to keep his courage up. In these days, when his great captains glide into the affections of the people, and thence into the chair of state, it were well to remember the Italian proverb, Il sangue del soldato fa grande il capitano, which, being interpreted, means, "The blood of the soldier makes the glory of the general!"




He steals and imitates, with wiry note
The critics squeak, from Keats, and Tennyson,
Shelly, and Hunt, and Wordsworth, every one,
And many more whose works we know—by rote!
But how, good sirs, if God created him
Like unto these, though in their radiance dim?
Nothing in Nature's round is infinite;
The moulds of every kind are similar:
A flower is like a flower; a star a star;
And all the suns are lit with self-same light.
How can he help, since Nature points the way,
Following, if so he does, their noble school?
Or you, by birth and habit, knave and fool,
How can you help the trash you write—for pay?





A century ago, the deep shadows of the untrimmed wilderness overspread the broad valleys and wild hills of western New-York. The sound of the squatter's axe had not then aroused the echoes of those remote solitudes; nor the smoke of the frontiersman's cabin curled above the tall branching oaks and the solemn hemlocks of the primeval forest. The ploughshare had not then turned the fertile glebe, nor the cattle browsed upon the tender herbage of that region, now so populous and cultivated. The red stag there shook his branching antlers, and bounded fearlessly through the open glades of the wood, or led the dappled doe or fawn, at rosy dawn, or mellow eventide, to drink at the ice-cold water-course, or the pellucid surface of the lake. The shaggy bear prowled in the briery thicket, or fed on the acorns that autumn shook down from the oak; and the tawny panther ranged unmolested in the rocky fastnesses of the hills, or lay in the leafy covert for its prey. The Indian hunter was then lord of the land. The Mohawk and the Oneida held the region from the waters of the Hudson to the shores where Erie and Ontario rolled upon the beach; and the smoke of the wigwam ascended by many a quiet stream and wood. The hunter's rifle echoed among the hills, and his arrow whistled in the glade—the war-dance and battle-song resounded in every valley; and the sharp canoe, urged by the flashing paddle, skimmed every stream and lake.

Many years since, a small band of marksmen of the Mohawk tribe, having wandered far from their hunting-ground, were ambushed by a war-party of the Oneidas, and their chief, Owaka, was slain in the contest. Wauchee, or the Red-Feather, the only son of the old chief, and now the head of the nation of the Mohawks, had been deeply distressed at his father's loss, and had sworn that he would take the scalp of an Oneida, before the flowers of another spring should bloom over his father's grave.

In the leafy month of June, the young chief wandered afar from the lovely valley of his native river in pursuit of a small hunting-party of the Oneidas who were said to be prowling in the neighborhood. He had followed for many days the trail of the fugitives, and had often come upon their deserted camp-fires, but had not yet overtaken them. They were on their return to their village, which was situated on the shores of the Ontario, where the Niagara river, after its mighty plunge at the Falls, empties into its frothy abyss. On a pleasant evening of summer-time, he paused to encamp for the night in a place where a transparent streamlet poured its crystal tribute into the bosom of the Genessee.[Pg 320] A dense and lofty grove of pines advanced their ranks to the very edge of the stream, and afforded him a faithful shelter from the dews and breezes of night.

The hunter soon enkindled a roaring fire from the decayed and fallen branches of trees, and while his supper of venison broiled upon its embers, he flung himself upon the turf, wearied with his march. The Indian was a noble specimen of his race. His shapely limbs indicated the presence of extraordinary strength and activity. He was clad in a buckskin hunting-frock, handsomely ornamented with quills and feathers. His deer-skin leggins were fringed with the red-stained hair of some wild animal, and his neat moccasons were adorned in the extreme of savage fashion. On his head was placed a bunch of eagle-feathers, which fluttered gayly in the wind. A heavy rifle lay at his side, with its ornamented pouch and horn. In his belt were thrust the fatal knife and hatchet. A huge wolf-hound, the only companion of his expedition, stretched its limbs before the blaze, watching with hungry eyes the progress of the evening meal. But the night passed not away without adventure. A thick darkness had now fallen upon the woods, and the ruddy flames of the fire but partially illuminated the rough black shafts of the pines, whose plumed branches sighed mournfully overhead. Suddenly the hound sprang to his feet, with a fierce growl, at the same time glaring upward into the thick recesses of a towering pine-tree. For a moment the sharp eye of the hunter could discern no object of alarm; but he soon heard the branches creak, as with the movements of some wild creature. He presently heard a growl among the tree-tops, and discerned two flaming globes of fire, which he knew to be the eyeballs of some animal, illuminated by the flashes of his camp-fire. In an instant his rifle was poised at his shoulder, and its glittering sight brought in range with the shining objects of its alarm. For an instant the heavy tube was held motionless at its aim, and then the sharp crack of the weapon sounded on the air. Before the smoke of the discharge had dissolved in the breeze, a dark object tumbled headlong among the boughs, and at length plunged headlong in the midst of the flames, scattering the flashing sparks in all directions. With a furious yell the hound fastened upon the prey, and soon dragged forth from the flames the lifeless body of an immense panther, from one of whose perforated eyes the life-blood flowed in a copious stream. The Indian was greatly elated at his successful shot, and after removing with his knife one of its sharp claws as a trophy, and heaping fresh logs on the flames, he spread out his blanket and resigned himself to slumber.

The morning sun had not drank up the dew-drops that sparkled like gems on herb and foliage before the young hunter had again resumed his march. He followed with unerring precision the trail of the fugitives through thorny thicket and quaking morass, and ere the evening sun had dropped behind the hills, he came upon the encampment of his foe. The party had flung themselves upon the soft turf, beneath the drooping branches of a grove of cedars, and were enjoying their evening pipe, while a huge side of venison smoked upon the embers. The group consisted of tall and stalwart warriors, whose brawny limbs seemed well able to triumph in any act of savage barbarity they might be called upon to undertake. Some of them wore frocks of buckskin, and leggins of bright-colored cloth, ornamented with strings of wampum, tin trinkets and glass beads, that jingled with every motion of the wearer. Some wore feathers from the eagle's wing on their heads, as marks of rank. At the side of most of them rested an ornamented gun, while pouches and horns were suspended from the branches around. Each warrior was encircled with a belt of hide, in which glittered the usual implements of the chase and war. Some of the inferior ones carried only a stout ash bow, a sheaf of feathered arrows, and a weighty club of bone, adorned with quills and colored feathers.

The cunning Wauchee crept cautiously within a short distance of the camp, trusting that during the drowsy hours of the night he should be able to strike a blow; but to his chagrin he perceived that the party was on the alert, and that two wakeful sentinels constantly kept watch, while the others slept. On the following morning the party resumed their march, still followed by their pursuer, who hoped to cut off some straggler during the retreat; but no such victim fell in his way. In the course of a day or two the roar of waters, and the ascending mist of the cataract, warned them of their approach to the mighty falls of Niagara; and soon the Oneida party had encamped among the gloomy pines and hemlocks opposite the torrent.

Wauchee, though he had often heard among the dim traditions of his race, of the existence of an awful torrent of water, that poured for ever with a voice of thunder, among the remote woods of the wilderness, had never yet gazed on this stupendous spectacle, and now, as he listened to its earthquake voice with wonder, some such thoughts as the following may have agitated his mind:

'Tis pouring, 'tis pouring
With a wild eternal roar;
Like a sea, that's burst its barriers
Resounding evermore:
Like an ocean lash'd to fury,
And toiling to o'erwhelm
With its devastating billows
The earth's extended realm.
It falleth, still it falleth,
A deluge o'er the rocks;
It calleth, still it calleth,
With tones likes earthquake shocks:
For ever and for ever,
It sounds its mighty hymn;
Like a thousand anthems pealing
In some cathedral dim.
[Pg 321]
The dark pines shrink and tremble
As o'er the abyss they lean,
And falling are ingulf'd like reeds
With all their branches green;
And oaks from northern mountains,
O'erwhelm'd by some fierce blast,
Are rent like autumn flowerets,
In that vast caldron cast.
A thousand years ago the tribes
In wonder trod its side:
Those tribes have vanish'd, but the Fall
Still pours as full a tide;
A thousand more may pass away—
A future race of men
May view the awful cataract
Unchang'd dash down its glen.
How passing vain doth mortal pride
Beside this torrent seem!
An army doth not march to war
With half its sound and gleam;
While o'er it, like a banner,
The rainbow spreads its fold,
Colored with prismy glories
Of purple and of gold.
The wild deer of the forest
At the river stoop to drink,
But from the rush of waters
All panic-stricken shrink;
And the mountain eagles sailing
O'er the cataract's foaming brim
Alarmed, on soaring pinions,
Away, o'er Heaven's clouds skim.
O! who that views the wonders
Of Nature o'er the earth;
The high o'erhanging mountains
Where thunders have their birth:
And this eternal torrent,
Majestically grand—
Can doubt the Spirit's presence,
And a Creating Hand?

On the following day the Oneidas resumed their march, and at nightfall reached an American military post, then just established at the entrance of the Niagara river, on the shore of Lake Ontario, called the Fort Niagara. The Oneidas entered within the barriers of the little stockade fortress, and there established their camp, and were soon busily engaged in arranging a treaty with the commandant of the place. Wauchee followed closely after, like a bloodhound on the trail, and selected his camp in a little grove just without the gates of the fortress. He then boldly sauntered within the walls, and mingled with cool indifference among the groups of soldiery, and the armed warriors of his foe. But under the semblance of friendship, lurked the fire of a spirit burning with hatred; and he could scarce restrain himself from plunging among them, and immolating numbers on the spot. Still the wary prudence of the savage restrained his hand, and he continued for a day or two to mingle in peace among them. The crafty Oneidas soon suspected the designs of the stranger, and they conferred among themselves, as to the surest mode of guarding against the meditated blow of Wauchee. They well recognized by his paint and garb the Mohawk warrior, and they resolved to baffle his assault, and for ever prevent his return to the people of his tribe.

But the designs of a bold and resolute man are not easily fathomed or thwarted, and the rude walls of the frontier fortress were unable to shut out so brave and active a warrior as the Mohawk chief. He was trained to stratagem, and sworn to vengeance; and now that his wild blood boiled with fury, no ramparts of mere wood and stone could effectually interpose between the avenger and the destroyers of his sire.

During the silence and gloom of night he succeeded in scaling the palings of the walls, and secretly and successfully made his way into the very heart of the fortress. He was surrounded with numbers of armed men slumbering upon their weapons; and many a pacing sentinel was stationed upon the breast-works, to guard against an open or a secret foe: yet the soft step and the gliding figure of the Mohawk passed along in the darkness unheard and undetected. After moving about swiftly among the sleepers for some time, he at length came upon the prostrate group of the Oneidas. Trusting to the vigilance of the garrison, the savages were all buried in slumber, and were outspread along the grassy floor, enwrapped in their blankets. The wily Mohawk went in like a serpent among them, and having recognized their sleeping chief by the eagle plume upon his head, he drew his scalp-knife, and with one mortal blow drove the weapon to the very heart of the dreamer. He then in an instant severed the bleeding scalp from the head, and sprang away to make good his escape, but was followed as instantly by a dozen dark forms, which bounded after him like so many leaping panthers. Still the daring young brave would have successfully effected his escape but for an unfortunate accident. With one quick bound he overleaped the barriers of the fort, but in alighting heavily on the sod he severely sprained his ankle, which so disabled him, that he fell an easy prey into the hands of his pursuers. He was instantly firmly bound with cords, and dragged back, amidst savage jeers and menaces, into the fortress.

On the following day the luckless captive was led away by his enemies to their neighboring village, which was situated at Messessaga Point, near the fortress. The warriors sadly bore, on a litter of branches, the body of their slain chieftain, leading beside it their pinioned captive. As they approached to the little rude hamlet where they dwelt, a motley crowd of old men, women, and children, came forth to welcome their return; but when they beheld the ghastly body of their late chief, and the drooping looks of the warriors, their joyful cries were exchanged for wails of lamentation, and they tore their hair, and expressed the most violent emotions of grief. They wept over the bleeding corpse of the victim, while they derided and buffeted the helpless prisoner. But the stout-hearted Wauchee moved onwards with a firm and erect gait, disturbed neither by the blows nor the menaces that were directed against him. He only exclaimed, "You have slain my chief and father, and lo! I have also struck down the head of your nation. It is[Pg 322] well. Slay me—torture me, if you will. I can bear unmoved any torments you may inflict."

The captive, still bound securely with thongs of deer-hide, was thrust into a cabin; and two stout warriors were appointed to watch over him by day and night, and were charged to use the utmost vigilance in preventing his escape. A few dried bunches of fern were spread for his couch; and he was supplied with a wooden bowl of water and a handful of pounded corn to satisfy his appetite; and it was ordered that Monega, the most skilful mediciner of the tribe, should apply her most healing salves and balsams to his hurts, that he might the sooner be ready to run the gauntlet, and endure the torture of fire, which was the destiny awaiting him.

Monega was the daughter of a chief, and as it chanced, was as distinguished for the gentleness of her heart, as for her exceeding loveliness, and her great medical skill. No one could look upon her slight and well-rounded limbs, and upon her sweet countenance, without a feeling of admiration, if not of love; and no sooner did our Mohawk gaze upon her features, and listen to the soft tones of her voice, than he was completely fascinated with her charms. Nor did the Indian damsel gaze upon the noble captive with less favorable emotions. With a blushing cheek and trembling hand she produced from a number of gourds, the most potent herbs that constituted her remedies, and tenderly applied them to the wounded limbs of the Mohawk.

"How is the sweet daughter of the Oneida named?" inquired the young chief, as the damsel proceeded to bathe the bruised places with sweet-smelling medicines.

A blush suffused the modest cheek of Monega as she replied, "I am called among my people Monega, or the Wild-rose, and am the daughter of a chief."

"Monega," exclaimed he, "is fairer than any honeyed wild-rose that is kissed by the red lip of the morning, or than the pearly lily that droops by the brink of the running water. There is no maiden among the fair daughters of the Mohawk, so lovely in the eyes of Wauchee. Will not the Wild-rose return again the fondness that blooms in the breast of the strange warrior, though he lies like a wounded panther at the feet of his mistress?"

"The captive warrior," returned the maiden, "has a bold heart, and is more stately and noble than any of the young chiefs of her own people, yet Monega must not yield her heart to a chief of an enemy." And, so saying, she hastily gathered her herbs and unguents together, and withdrew beneath the suspended buffalo-hide that formed the door of the wigwam.

As the shades of evening began to settle on the deep woods that drooped around, the captive continued to listen intently for the returning step of the damsel; and presently the heavy drapery at the entrance was drawn aside, and the yellow flood of the setting sun streamed upon the figure of Monega. "The hours of the day," said the youth, "have been dark and weary to the heart of the captive, since the Wild-rose withdrew from the side of Wauchee, but now that she has returned, the light again shines in his heart, and his soul is filled with brightness and joy."

The maiden in silence produced her herbs and bandages, and after applying them to his hurts, thus replied to his words: "Wauchee is noble, and brave, but his days are now few and numbered. Let us speak with a low voice, for the two warriors are watchful at the door, and their jealous ears may catch the friendly word that may pass between us. Would the fettered chieftain desire to be freed from his bonds, and breathe once more the free breath of the woods, and again return to his distant people?"

"Gentle Monega!" cried he, "I pray thee, free these limbs from the hateful thongs that eat into the flesh, and so cramp his benumbed members, and Wauchee will fly like a deer to his own people, and also bear away with him the sweet Wild-rose of the Oneidas, to bloom afresh in the gardens of the Mohawks. Will Monega free the bondsman? and will she fly with him to be the bride of his heart, and the queen of the Mohawk people?

"Monega cannot refuse," said the maiden, after a little hesitation; "Monega cannot refuse to save the life of the brave and handsome young warrior; and if he asks it, neither can she refuse to depart with him, and cast her lot with his people."

"Monega speaks well," cried the captive, "and her words gladden my darkened spirit. Quick then, sever these bonds from my wrists and limbs, that I may stand forth once more a free man. I will then escape to the forest, and await you at the great fall of waters."

"I gladly free you from your thongs," said she, "and will not fail to join you where you appoint; but remember that two brave warriors guard with their weapons at the door, and that they will spare him not if he but offer to depart. Yet one of them, the young Thaygea, has vowed to me his love, and him will I entice away from his post of guard, and the captive must fain deal with the other as he may. Is Wauchee content to make the trial?"

"Sever these thongs, and free these crippled limbs, bright maiden, and I would not shrink from an armed host. Do you entice away one of my guards, and I will manage to escape from the other; and I shall then impatiently await your coming at the Falls."

The bold girl with a trembling hand cut away the gyves that held the prisoner, and then, departing, exchanged a few words with one of the young men who guarded the hut, and who instantly forsook his post to follow her footsteps. Wauchee hurriedly glanced around, to discover some article that might[Pg 323] serve as a weapon, and, snatching up a small billet of wood that lay on the hearth, sprang to the door, and with one furious blow felled the solitary sentinel to the earth, and then stretched swiftly away in flight. But numbers of warriors, aroused by the sound of the blow, were instantly after him in hot pursuit. The flying Wauchee was most remarkable for his fleetness of foot, and could easily have distanced his pursuers, but for his wounded ankle, which greatly impeded his motions; and in a short time, after a desperate struggle, he was overpowered, and roughly dragged back to the place of his captivity.

Again did the fair Monega, whose agency in his attempted flight had not been suspected, attend upon her wounded lover; but so vigilant were his guards, that an attempt at escape seemed now impossible.

In the lapse of a few days, the prisoner, under her skilful treatment, had entirely recovered from his injuries, and a day was appointed for his death. He was doomed to "run the gauntlet" of the tribe; that is, he was required to run between two lines of warriors and of women and children, armed with thongs of hide and small rods, which each one was to use upon his person as the fugitive passed them in full career. On a bright and cheerful morning the luckless prisoner was loosened from his bonds, and led forth to run his race; after which he was doomed to perish at the stake. But the brave youth stepped forth with an undaunted eye, and a firm tread, to the place of torment. He eyed with a fearless and contemptuous glance the fearful preparations made for punishment; the long lines of his enemies ready with their rods to strike at him; and the blackened pole of sacrifice surrounded with its pile of faggots.

He took his post at the head of the arranged lines, ready to plunge through the thicket of rods that were menacing him. For a moment before the start, he glanced his eye along the dark faces that scowled upon him, to discern the fair form of Monega, but he observed her not. At length the two men that held him loosened their grasp, and he was directed to use his utmost speed. And well did the most famous runner of the Mohawks maintain that day the fame that he had won in so many a hard-contested race. He sprang forth with the strength and activity of the wild stag, and scarcely a blow from the multitude alighted upon his shoulders. When he had passed unharmed through the whole line, he would have succeeded in making his escape altogether, had not several Oneidas, posted for that purpose, flung themselves upon him, and securely pinioned his limbs. Thus firmly bound, the Mohawk was led to the fatal stake, and secured with thongs to the upright posts, while large bundles of dried saplings were heaped around him by his persecutors. The whole party of the Oneidas then assembled around him in a circle, to enjoy his dying agonies. The brave youth now gave himself up for lost, and threw a hasty glance on the blue sky that bent its dome above him, and over the green woods that nestled with all their leaves in the summer breeze, as on lovely objects which his eyes were never more destined to look upon again.

The torch was lighted, and a grim chief was advancing to apply it to the pile, when the light step of Monega anticipated his approach. As she issued from the crowd, she implored the privilege of whispering a few words to him who was about to die. So highly was she held in the estimation of the tribe, that leave was readily granted her, and, thrusting aside the dry heap of the sacrifice, she stood beside the captive. She spoke not a word, however, but hastily passed a sharp knife over the thongs that secured him, and instantly freed his limbs in liberty.

"Now, fly, fly, I beseech thee," she whispered; "you are free—once more free! Fly with the speed of the wind."

"I will do my best endeavor," said he, hurriedly; "and if I escape, shall await you at the great Waterfall; and so, farewell." And, with one vigorous bound, he sprang through the ring of his foes, overthrowing some three or four of them to the earth. And bravely did he stretch away his sinewy limbs in the flight for life and liberty; and though fifty active runners followed in pursuit, yet soon did he outstrip them all, and effected his escape.

He was shortly rejoined at the foot of the great falls by his faithful Monega, who accompanied her lover in his flight, and became his bride, and the chief woman of the Mohawk nation.




Dear one, mine own! art gone
From young life's happy places,
To the dark grave and lone—
Death's cold and drear embraces!
Loosed are the silver strings
Of thy heart's ringing lyre—
Are broken thy wild wings,
Spirit of love and fire!
No, I feel hovering near,
Thy presence mild and tender,
My heart looks in thine eyes so dear,
And thrills at their soft splendor.
The dreams I dream are thine
When come my sweetest slumbers;
No melody is so divine
As memories of thy numbers.
Why art thou near my soul
Yet flying my fond vision?
Eluding yet love's sweet control,
Yet raining dreams elysian?
Oh angel, who before us
Art summoned home to heaven,
Still, still, oh linger o'er us,
Till we too are forgiven;
'Till we in holiest songs
Repeat each sweetest duty,
In that pure air where Heaven prolongs
Thy gentle life of beauty.

[Pg 324]



To the Editor of the International.

The very graphic and interesting pictures of American society with which my respected progenitor has recently favored the English public having been received with unusual favor, and the series having been suddenly terminated, to the great regret of the literary public, it becomes, I conceive, my duty to carry on the work so nobly begun, even though the superstructure be far inferior in beauty and solidity to the foundation. In pursuing these, my filial labors, I shall always keep in view the two pole stars which ever guided the senior Mr. Ashburner—first, that these letters are designed for English and not American readers, and second, that I am portraying a class, and not individuals. As I shall thus address myself to a foreign audience, it will of course be my duty to describe the frivolities of American manners—the faults of American ladies, the imbecilities of American gentlemen, the scurrilities of the American press, the weakness of American magazines, the degeneracy of American literature, the roguery of the American public, the want of taste of American engineers, the ignorance of American professors, and to discuss any questions of strictly local interest which may happen to present themselves. I shall studiously avoid stating that education or intelligence or usefulness are ever encountered here; and if occasionally some little sketch of domestic happiness or private worth should be given, you will attribute it to my own inadvertence, or set it down as a result of English education. As I shall be describing a class, and not individuals, it will of course be perfectly proper for me to narrate any little incidents of private life which I may have heard; and persons interested will (or at least ought to) bear in mind, if my letters are ever read by themselves or talked of by their acquaintances, that I am not alluding to them in the slightest degree, but merely to the class to which they belong. They therefore (it is to be hoped) will not arrogate to themselves any little passages of private histories they may happen to find in these pages; for, if they do, I shall assuredly hold them up to public ridicule, by saying, "as the shoe fits them they are welcome to wear it."

I doubt not that these humble efforts of mine will commend themselves to your favorable notice. They are (as you will perceive from this letter) an unpretending mite given to aid in elevating us in the eyes of the foreign literary world. "Pulchrum est bene facere reipublicae; etiam bene dicere haud absurdum est." Deeming it to be the duty of every American thus to give his aid to so patriotic a cause, I have the honor to be your most obedient servant,

Frank Manhattan, Jun.


The philosophy of Mr. Harry Benson (on the occasion when Mr. Harry Benson was last before the public), like the philosophy of many other eminent men, silenced his auditors if it did not convince them. Karl Benson growled out something about its being well enough to say so now, and seemed rather annoyed that Harry should have been more philosophical than he was himself; while Ashburner laughed good-naturedly, and said that that was very good philosophy, and he liked to hear it. The reader will remember that the occasion and philosophy to which we allude were, respectively, the dinner at Mr. Karl Benson's, and a conversation in which Mr. Harry Benson expressed it as his decided opinion that living in a country where one could eat woodcock and drink claret without having to pay very high taxes or do any hard work, was much better than some other things which he then and there suggested. But in the silence which often falls over a small dinner circle, and over a circle where there are good talkers and gay fellows to be found, Karl Benson thought that woodcock and claret, though essential to his comfortable existence, were not the only things he wanted; and Ashburner made up his mind, and more rapidly than was his custom, that the pleasures and comforts which Harry had so glowingly described were not sufficient to engross the mind of an intelligent man, even though parliamentary fame required the sacrifice of twelve hours per day amid red tape and blue books, and the management of a government carried with it responsibility and care. Some other things which Harry had dropped in his rattling dissertation about living in one of the two great abodes of freedom, had struck Ashburner's youthful mind, and, without well knowing why, he determined that neither of the brothers were right, and that he would look a little deeper into matters and things for himself before utterly condemning either politics or politicians, or public men or public measures, in the model republic.

When the silence we have just alluded to had continued a few moments, Karl suddenly rose from the table, and said, "Come, boys, since you are not drinking your wine, and since Harry has talked himself out, I move that we go over the river, as we agreed to before dinner." "Pshaw," said Harry, slowly rising, and following his brother and Ashburner, who led the way, "what an uneasy mortal you are, Karl! just as Ashburner had begun his wine, and we were about enjoying ourselves, you haul us off on your confounded expedition." "Never mind," rejoined Karl, quietly, "it's a pleasant evening, and I want to show Ashburner what a plain American country gentleman is: that's a thing you have not shown him yet; and then, there's a pretty girl to be seen, too—you forget that Ashburner isn't married." "What do you suppose Ashburner wants to see a country belle for?" said Harry; "you know he's been in society these two or three years." "I don't care whether he has or not," Karl replied, "we will show him as pretty a lass as any he has seen; and besides, I saw old Edwards this morning, and told him I was coming over, and, as I am not going alone, you fellows must go along. By the by, shall we have up the waggon, or walk down?" Both gentlemen voted in favor of walking, so the three took their hats, lit fresh cigars, and slowly sauntered towards the river. Karl turned back for a moment, to order the waggon to be at the dock by ten o'clock; and, after sending forward two of his men who were to act as boatmen, joined his friends.

The dinner hour of Karl Benson was the hour at which the leading members of New-York society, in the ordinary routine of life, sat down to their respective tables—that is, three o'clock. It is singular how this important period recedes from the meridian as people grow more refined in their own opinions, or more fashionable in those of their neighbors. The hard-working farmer or mechanic has his dinner at the matin hour of twelve; the country doctor or village lawyer[Pg 325] stands upon his dignity and dines at one; in country towns, of twenty or thirty thousand inhabitants, the "good society" feels obliged to dine at two; when you reach the great metropolis ("which is American penny-a-liner for" New-York), you find the dinner postponed to three; and some gentlemen, with English education and English habits, dine in New-York at five; while others, whose business keeps them at the bank, or court, or counting-house till three, have the witching time adjourned to four. These are, however, only exceptions to the rule, and as lawyers say, exceptio probat regulam; the legitimate, healthy, fashionable hour for dining—that in which the Knickerbockers, who know no banks or counting-houses, or dusty courts, save through checks, friends, and lawyers, dine, is three. Modern degeneracy or refinement, or both, it is whispered, have lately carried it to half-past, but on the day of which we write it was precisely three.

To return from this digression to our history—which, as the reader has doubtless observed, is not a vulgar description of fictitious persons and imaginary circumstances, but a veracious chronicle of facts, and much above the level of ordinary romances, inasmuch as truth is always stranger than fiction—the early dining hour of the aristocratic Benson (early in an English sense, of course we mean), enabled the three gentlemen to step out on the lawn just as the sun was sinking behind the Kaatskills. After a good dinner, most intellectual men become, or are apt to become, sentimental; and as Ashburner and the Bensons were to the best of their belief eminently intellectual, they of course became so, as in duty bound; for every one is under obligations to conform to the settled usages of good society. "What a charming picture," said Harry Benson; "I swear it is sublime!" "Yes," said Ashburner, poetically, "such a scene as that disgusts one with the noise and bustle and confounded nonsense of city life." "True," said Karl, who suddenly imagined himself for some reason a very wise and exemplary individual, a sort of martyr for principle; "you fellows have no idea of the happiness of a plain country gentleman, living without care or ceremony—having none of the restraints of society, none of your artificial wants—everything simple and unsophisticated. Why, if you knew what it was, you'd give up all thoughts of town, and be living in the country before another month is past."

This speech of Karl was all very fine, but unfortunately it was rather long, and before Ashburner and Harry Benson could promise the simple, unsophisticated, contented, happy country gentleman before them, that they would follow his wise example, they had time to remember, one, that about three hours before he had heard the same gentleman complain of the difficulty of getting servants, shops, &c., in the (American) country; and the other, that, "to tell the truth, the country was all very well about sundown, but was deuced dull and uncomfortable on rainy days." Ashburner, however, felt that the remarks of his host should not be thrown away, at least before his face; so he looked around for a subject, and politely began to talk of farming. On their right lay a newly-ploughed field, over which a workman was passing with measured stride, sowing some kind of grain on the fresh-turned soil, and close behind him, anxious to cover the seed before finishing his day's work, came another laborer with the harrow. Ashburner noticed this, and it struck him that it was just the topic he wanted; so, turning to Karl, he said, pointing to the workman, "You do not follow the classical rule of agriculture, Mr. Benson; you remember Plautus: "Nam semper occant, prius, quam sarriunt, rustici."

"Very good," said Karl, "but I did not remember it—where is it from?"

"From the Captives," replied Ashburner; "don't you remember the slave Tyndavas uses it, when old Hegio tells him he is a sower and harvester of crime?"

"Oh yes, I believe you are right; but to tell the truth, I'm not much of an admirer of Plautus."

"Indeed," replied Ashburner; "why I thought you would admire him extremely; for my part I like his bold unpolished comedies; if it was not heresy for an Englishman to say so, I should say the Maenuhm was equal to the Comedy of Errors; and Shakspeare certainly must have borrowed the idea of his play from Plautus—the resemblance between them is too close to be accidental."

Karl said "Yes," in that cool sort of tone by which people show they assent to admiration without participating in it, and added something of there being no language but Greek; at which Harry Benson laughed and asked him if he was still reviewing his Homer.

Though this was said in raillery, Ashburner remarked that Karl looked quite pleased, and seemed to take the allusion to Greek and Reviews as a special compliment. The fact was that Mr. Karl Benson had just been through a gentle controversy upon the question whether the Greek word καδεστηχνια should be rendered constituting or constituted,—which had redounded very much to the credit of himself or his antagonist—a point not yet decided, and which it is very much feared never will be.

The particulars of this important contest were these: Karl had been classical editor of one of the leading magazines of Gotham, known to the literary public of that literary metropolis as the Zuyderzee. The Zuyderzee when first organized, had not boasted a classical editor among its managers; and as it was devoted to what is vulgarly called "light literature," was supposed by the initiated portion of the public not to want one. Suddenly,[Pg 326] however, certain short pieces appeared in the Editor's table (which was printed in small type at the end of each number, and never read), containing severe criticisms on such classical scholars of the nineteenth century as ventured to publish works in the dead languages with notes attached, for the benefit of young England, or more particularly, young America. Though these criticisms were always after the Edinburgh Review model, and finished up in the severest style of the month, and though the Zuyderzee had a classical editor to do them (which we would here explain to be an editor devoted to the review of classical works and subjects, and nothing else), they were to the Zuyderzee a cheap and harmless luxury. Mr. Karl Benson being a gentleman of fortune, was not particular about compensation, but limited his desires to the very worthy object of seeing himself in print. At that time, too, Mr. Benson had not "been up" to works of fiction; or else had restrained his powers and devoted them to the inferior task of "portraying" individuals, and abusing other men's works. The editor of the Zuyderzee, though not particularly anxious for a classical sub (who, to tell the truth, was no more wanted than a Scandinavian critic for the Blunder and Bluster), had no objection to the gratuitous aid of Mr. Benson; and so it came that Karl was installed as classical editor of the Zuyderzee, with full power to annihilate the classics, and with no restraint set upon him except that he was to do it briefly.

While acting in this useful capacity, Karl had once had occasion to examine an edition of Agamemnon, published by an eminent Greek scholar. In the course of his review, he had pointed out no less than ninety errors, eighty of which had been of omission in not having the notes sufficiently full to be obscure; five in referring to editions with which Mr. Benson's private tutor had not been on reading terms, three of punctuation, and the remainder of a trivial nature. The classical editor had, however, smiled upon the professor, by saying that the work, though faulty, contained no very outrageous blunders, nothing for example like Relyat Siwel's "constituting," in place of constituted.

Had the sentence been passed upon the ordinary publishers of classical works (a humble race of men who are happy when they can publish books which will bring home neither pay nor abuse), it would probably have been thought extremely flattering to all the parties—a sort of beacon light, to gladden the hearts of the watchmen of Æschylus. As it was, Professor Weston bore his honors meekly, but Mr. or rather Professor Relyat Siwel, was unfortunately a fiery little man, who was thought by a large circle of admirers to be the first Greek scholar in the great Republic; who had expended years of severe toil on his favorite work, which he thought tended strongly to sustain the character of Christianity, by showing that Plato was not opposed to it; and who, moreover, had a cordial dislike to the Gotham school of classical critics, and had resolved to have a crack at Mr. Benson the first favorable opportunity.

Accordingly, in the next number of the Zuyderzee, appeared an "original article," sandwiched between the first part of "A Thrilling Romance of the Second Century," and a "Tale of the Flower Girl of the Fejee Islands," entitled "An Essay on the Greek Language, by Professor Relyat Siwel, LL.D."

In this interesting essay, Professor Relyat Siwel had attacked Mr. Karl Benson on a variety of subjects: first he had exposed him by showing that the initials "K. B.," at the foot of the editorial, did not mean "K. B.," but Karl Benson; and hence he ingeniously argued that Mr. Benson's signing himself "K. B.," when he was not "K. B.," was a fraud on the community. Having thus exposed the malice prepense of the unfortunate Benson, he intimated that the English participle in "ing" often had the meaning of the perfect; and hence that translating a Greek verb in the perfect by the participle aforesaid, was not such a very heinous offence after all. This bomb-shell was not, however, thrown into Mr. Benson's magazine without an immense amount of smoke and noise. He adopted the celebrated ironical Congressional style: "This eminent Greek scholar," "this pattern of classical criticism," "this prodigy of the English universities, who has had his own private tutor, must now be informed that the English participle in 'ing,'" &c., &c. Nor did the essay on the Greek language stop here. It savagely sneered at "K. B.'s" vanity at having been educated in an English university, and made the most cutting remarks on his criticisms in general. Such flowers of rhetoric as "literary scavenger," "purse-proud fop," "half-educated boy," &c., were thrown around as thickly as though the Flower Girl of the Fejee Islands herself had crossed the path of clerical criticism.

Great interest was excited by these little love passages in the different colleges in the country. The studious young citizens read the "criticism" and the "essay" with the most praiseworthy avidity. Karl had replied to the essay in a few majestic sentences in the Editor's Table, the effect of which was somewhat impaired by the real editor's saying in a note at the foot, that he wasn't going to have any more of this sort of thing in his magazine; and that as both parties had had their hearing, it must stop now. In his reply, Karl had offered to do something or other to the Greek language against Professor Relyat Siwel (President Blank being the judge), for a thousand dollars a side. Great was the enthusiasm produced by this offer. Several college periodicals announced it as a renovation of the art of criticism, and an innumerable quantity of young orators hinted it as the beacon blaze mentioned in Agamemnon,[Pg 327] shining on Clytemnestra's battlements, and bringing joy to Argos. Some discussion was also induced necessarily as to how the classic contest was to "come off." A great many young gentlemen insisted that it was in the nature of a "set-to," and, for that reason, that Professor Relyat Siwel, being the smallest man, should be allowed to "choose his corner." Many, however, thought that it was in the nature of a steeple chase, and that as the Professor was the lightest weight, he ought to go it "leaded." This vexed question was at length put at rest by an inquisitive Sophomore's reading the foot-note referred to, in which it was discovered that the fun was over. This blow was followed by another, viz., a rumor that Professor Relyat Siwel felt it his duty to decline, for the reason that it was by no means certain that Plato had ever put up a thousand dollars, or any other amount whatever.

Karl hailed this decision of the Professor as a "back out," and after reading his reply to the essay several times in manuscript, and innumerable times in print, he came to a conclusion that the controversy contained the two great desiderata of all controversies, those for which ignorant men study, lazy men work, ministers quarrel, quiet old gentlemen write newspaper articles, ladies set their caps, and nations go to war—namely triumph and defeat. As he had had the "last word," of course his last arguments were unanswered—he was triumphant, and Professor Relyat Siwel beaten.

This comforting reflection did not reach so far as the colleges and universities, and within their peaceful walls was heard a voice of anger and regret. The quiet portion of the undergraduates (who intended to be clergymen and physicians) mourned the loss of the anticipated contest as a defeat of the cause of learning—one which it would probably survive, but still one in which it had been floored. The unquiet portion (who intended to be lawyers or statesmen) heard the news with virtuous indignation; by them the senior editor, with even the Zuyderzee itself, was anathematized. In the literary societies, where embryo lawyers are always largely in the majority, for the reason that fifteen-sixteenths of the young men of the United States intend, in early life, to be Cokes and Littletons, there were passed, by acclamation, most severe resolutions, expressive of deep regret, that in the nineteenth century, in a free country, in the empire state, in a city devoted to literature, an editor—one conducting a magazine professing to be favorable to the development of the nation's resources—should take upon himself, in defiance of public opinion, of the wishes of his patrons, of the interests of humanity, to stifle free discussion and the fame of the Attic sages. These resolutions were generally prefaced by a preamble setting forth that whereas the editor of a magazine known, as The Zuyderzee, had done so and so, therefore it was resolved, &c. In some cases, the societies resolved that they would not pay their subscriptions for The Zuyderzee (resolutions which it is due to them to say they religiously stood by), and in others they sent copies of the resolutions to the senior editor, who, however, survived the several shocks.

We left Ashburner and his host talking about Plautus and agriculture. The conversation lasted until they reached the river, and took their seats in a plainly painted and rather ordinary kind of skiff. Ashburner noticed it, and also remarked that instead of the picturesque boat-house of an English gentleman, Karl used a small wharf at which sloops loaded and unloaded their cargoes. Ashburner said something of this to Karl, and Karl said something of ice in the spring, freshets in the fall, and low water in the summer; but Harry Benson, as usual, put in his oar, and explained the matter more fully, and no doubt more truly: "You see, Ashburner," said he, "the fact is, we are not a sporting people; our gentlemen rarely ride, and our ladies never walk. In England, every one knows, or pretends to know, something of field sports, or riding, or yachting, or something or other of that sort; and then, too, your English girl thinks nothing of walking three or four miles; but it is not so here. The reason is, partly, that our rich men are business men, and our poor ones always engaged, and partly because our climate is so different from yours. I think the climate is the most effective cause of the two; you see the year begins (here at the north, I mean) with deep snows; at the south they have rain and mud; then, when spring and mild weather come, they last but a very little while, and we have the melting red-hot sort of days that you've been through already. To be sure our Indian-summer is the finest weather for exercise in the world, but then it only lasts a little while, and after it come the fall rains. It can't be denied, though," pursued Harry, after pausing a moment, "that we might all exercise a great deal more than we do, if we really wanted to. In Virginia, they ride and shoot a great deal more than we do here. But our girls' heads are busy with polkas rather than walks, and then the weather makes a good excuse for them. It can't be denied, though, Ashburner, that your countrymen, after being here a short time, exercise as little as we do ourselves; yet it's hard to say which has the most to do with their degeneracy—example or weather."

"But," said Ashburner, "I should not think that hot or cold weather could prevent a gentleman from having a light and handsome boat."

"Yes, it does," rejoined Harry, "not directly, but indirectly. The weather, business, and amusements, turn attention into other channels, and consequently our country gentleman does not keep his light skiff[Pg 328] and picturesque boat-house, because there's nobody to row the one or admire the other. Now, here's Karl, who lives in the country, and continually talks about country air and country exercise, why, bless you! if I hadn't taught him to ride, he wouldn't exercise at all: he does not walk a mile a day; hasn't rowed across the river since he's lived here; wouldn't join in a cricket-match to save himself from apoplexy; in short, is as lazy a fellow as can possibly be found. Then our country girls are just the same. Once in a while they ride, but there are hundreds of them living in the country who have never been on horseback; and when they do know how, they ride rarely, because they've no one to ride with them,—a young lady's dashing off ten or twelve miles with only a servant after her would be thought highly improper. Then, the way we dress is perfectly ridiculous: nothing substantial—nothing useful; a girl's walking shoes are as thin as paper; an English nobleman wears heavier boots than one of our laborers. The truth is, we have a great deal too much of Paris refinement; we must get England to come over and uncivilize us. If we do live in a new country, we want to learn a few of the barbarous arts of riding, driving, walking, hunting, &c. It's a pity, too, that our young men, instead of being hale, hearty fellows, such as you have at the English universities, are generally a thin, hollow-chested, dyspeptic, consumptive-looking set—children at twenty, and old men at thirty."

Ashburner had noticed this before, and it had surprised him that in a land where, less than a century ago, the inhabitants were literally denizens of the wilderness, he should find fewer field sports and less attention paid to that class of amusements than in the oldest counties of England. As Harry said, the weather and business were probably chief causes of the evil, while the inundation of French fashions and ideas had helped to sustain it.

By the time Harry had concluded his lecture, and Karl had got in a general and particular remonstrance, the one on behalf of all country gentlemen, and the other on behalf of himself, they had nearly crossed the broad river, and the boat was rapidly gliding into a small bay surrounded by high wooded banks. The sun had gone down, and the stillness of a summer evening had settled upon the scene; the swallows skimmed along the smooth water, which the breeze no longer ruffled, and from the distant sloops that now seemed sleeping on the calm surface, Ashburner could plainly hear the voices of their crews. In a few moments the men stopped rowing, and in another moment the boat grated on the gravelly beach, and the party jumped out. Karl told the men when they would return, and then they began clambering up a narrow path which wound up the hill. Ashburner noticed a light skiff lying in the bay, painted and fitted up with more than ordinary taste, and with light oars that looked as though they were meant for a lady's hand. Soon the path brought the little party to the top of the hill, which opened on clear meadows, across which could be seen a plain white house, half hidden by the old trees that were grouped around it. The Bensons seemed well acquainted with every thing, for they led the way without hesitation, till they reached what seemed to be a carriage-way from the house to the public road, that could be seen not a great way off. Ashburner saw at a glance, as they approached the house, that there was a mingling of old things with new in a great deal that concerned it. While the edifice itself was old, and among old trees that told its age far better than the modern verandah which ran around it, or the white paint which covered it, the approach to it had been laid out with more modern taste. There could be seen the remnants of an old fence that had recently bounded a road, innocent of windings, and regardful only of distance. The trees along the carriage-way had not been set out long, and the clumps scattered here and there, with a good deal of taste, were but saplings, and more closely around the house were tall elms that had been growing many a long year, and told plainly of ancient times and ideas.

Karl Benson led the way to the front door, and, after answering Harry's inquiries as to dogs, by saying that no one else need be afraid, as they (the dogs) always bit him (Karl), he raised an antiquated brass knocker, and gave two or three taps, which seemed to echo through an immense number of empty rooms. "Take care," said Harry, "or you'll frighten Miss Mary into something or other." "There's no fear of that," replied Karl; "she's not so nervous as you." Harry was proceeding to rap back; but he was interrupted by hearing some one coming to the door, which was the next moment thrown open, and Ashburner saw a fine-looking, plainly-dressed old man, or thought he saw such an one, for it was too dark to distinguish clearly. "How are you, Judge?" said Karl, stepping forward, and shaking the old gentleman's hand. "Hullo, Benson! my fine fellow! is this you? Why, who have you got with you?" "This is my brother Harry," said Karl, "and this is my friend Mr. Ashburner. Mr. Ashburner, allow me to introduce you to my friend Judge Edwards." "How do you do, sir?" said the Judge, stepping forward, and shaking Ashburner by the hand; "very happy to make your acquaintance, sir."

Ashburner bowed his acknowledgments and intimated, according to custom, that he was very happy, and then, after slapping Harry on the back, and asking why he hadn't been over before, the Judge asked every body to walk in. They did so—the Judge leading the way—and calling to several individuals[Pg 329] of the female gender, as Miss Squires would say, for light. The call was a necessary one, for the day had been as hot and sultry as though it were August; and on a summer evening, in both town and country, it is a frequent custom to sit in the dark by the open windows, and enjoy the cool air which these times always bring. The excellence of the custom did not, however, prevent Ashburner from falling over a chair, or Harry from running against a centre table, with a crash that left the party in some doubt whether he or the table was upset. "Bless me," said the Judge, who noticed these mishaps, "they ought to have had lights here," and then he added, in explanation, "that in hot weather they liked to sit in the dark, as it seemed cooler and kept the musquitoes out; which excuse for a very proper, pleasant and sensible custom, is invariably given in the United States, in all houses, rich or poor, high or low, whenever a stranger happens to find the parlor unlighted." In a few moments, however, a girl made her appearance with the usual inquiry, "Did you call, sir?" "Yes, yes, Susan, bring some lights here as soon as you can!"

A pause ensued, which was broken by the Judge's remarking that it had been a very hot day, and Harry Benson's assenting, "Yes, very hot, really wonderful weather for the time of year." Ashburner tried to say something, but it is hard talking in the dark, to a gentleman you have never seen, especially when you are in his own house; so Ashburner gave it up after one or two attempts, and another pause ensued, fortunately broken by Susan's return with a couple of lighted candles, in old-fashioned silver candlesticks.

Ashburner now looked at the Judge with some interest, which was rather cooled down by observing that he was looking with an equal curiosity at himself. This scrutiny, though brief, seemed, however, satisfactory, for the Judge told Susan to tell Miss Mary that Mr. Benson and one or two other gentlemen were there.

Ashburner's glance showed him that the Judge was a large and intelligent-looking man apparently about fifty, and though dressed carelessly, bearing the marks of a gentleman. But Ashburner also saw that though the Judge was a gentleman, he was by no means a fashionable or even a polished one. He was simply one of those well-bred men in whom simplicity is more perceptible than refinement, while good sense and good feelings prevent any gross breaches of etiquette.

From looking at its owner, Ashburner turned to look at the room they were seated in. It was a parlor of medium size, with a low ceiling and plainly papered walls. On the latter hung several old-fashioned portraits, one of which was evidently the Judge's, another his wife's, and two more his parents'. Besides, there were one or two drawings, and their pleasing gracefulness and ease formed an agreeable contrast to the prim and starched old relics they hung beside. In the middle of the room was a centre table of the same old-fashioned cast as the pictures, but covered with those little articles of taste that none but a lady can select and arrange.

"Mr. Ashburner is an Englishman, Judge," said Karl, after some other remarks, "and I am showing him how simply we American farmers live."

"Is it possible?" said the Judge, looking intently at Ashburner; "well, now, I should never have thought so if you had not told me. He looks more like an American than a foreigner: it's very singular, quite unusual. Do you know," pursued the Judge, talking to Karl, but keeping his eyes intently fixed on Ashburner, "do you know that I can almost always tell a foreigner as soon I see him? Why it was only yesterday a couple of fellows came into the field where I was, and wanted work, and before they said a word, just as soon as I saw them I knew they were Englishmen, and told Mary so."

Ashburner colored a little at this implied comparison, and felt annoyed on seeing that Harry Benson was enjoying the joke. To turn the conversation, he said something about the Judge's having a pretty place, and inquired whether his judicial duties allowed him to be there a good deal of the time. At this inquiry all three gentlemen laughed, and his honor explained that once upon a time he had been appointed judge by the governor, and had acted as such for four or five years, but that for the last fifteen years he had merely enjoyed the title, and was but a plain country gentleman, as he had been all his life. Ashburner inquired if he had not been educated for the bar. "Oh, no," said the Judge, smiling, "that was not at all necessary for a judge of the Common Pleas, though for that matter, as Edmund Burke said in his speech on American affairs, 'in America every man's something of a lawyer.' You see, Mr. Ashburner, there used to be five of us. Some were farmers and some were lawyers, always one or the other, for the pay was not very high, and nobody but farmers and lawyers have time to work for nothing in this country. By the bye," said the Judge, "I never knew any one yet a judge of the Common Pleas, unless he was either a lawyer or a farmer: did you, Benson?" Karl answered in the negative, and the Judge continued: "If there were any cases before us that were of importance, the lawyers would carry them up to the Supreme Court. But I never could discover that it made much difference who were judges in the Common Pleas, for the judges who were lawyers would have their opinions reversed just about as often as we farmers. I suppose you English gentlemen would think it a great piece of nonsense, taking three or four men for judges who had never practised at the bar; but the truth is, that such men look closely at the real justice[Pg 330] of the matter, and pay very little attention to technicalities, while your second-rate lawyers if they are made judges in an inferior court, study nothing but technicalities, and misapply them half the time besides. Then you see we want cheap expeditious courts for the trial of small cases—whether the court is wrong or right is not so much matter—law is a lottery anyhow, and the fact is, the sooner a case is decided and out of the way, the better for both parties. I never knew myself of any man's making a fortune by going to law, though I have heard of such things. But I suppose, Mr. Ashburner, that you much prefer the old-fashioned English courts, with the judges in gowns and wigs, and every thing done in the most solemn manner. Now, to tell the truth, Mr. Ashburner, don't you think it great nonsense for us to have one or two plain business men like me, hoisted on to the bench to administer laws which Coke and Blackstone studied for a lifetime, and which in your own country no one is thought fit to administer them till he has spent years in practising, and has raised himself up by his own labors?"

Ashburner became interested in all this, and was struck with the intelligence of the speaker, who, notwithstanding his plainness and his remarks about foreigners, seemed still to have the tastes and delicate perceptions of the educated man. He asked several questions as to the American judiciary, and informed the Judge that the works of some of the American luminaries of the law occupied a high place in the estimation of English lawyers, were noticed in English reviews, and quoted in English courts. The young Englishman could see, as he said this, that the Judge's face lit up with an expression very different from that of either of the Bensons, and he felt pleased when he heard him say with some exultation, "Your countrymen are not such bad fellows after all, sir; I really believe they always do us justice, and there are no national confessions to be made."

Ashburner was proceeding to state that in England the old feeling of contempt had entirely disappeared, when the door opened, and a girl of about eighteen entered. She threw a quick but calm glance around the room, seemed a little confused at the number of gentlemen, and then, recognizing Karl, went up to him, and shaking hands, asked after his wife. "Mary," said the Judge, as soon as the inquiry was answered, "this is your old friend, Mr. Harry Benson, and this is Mr. Ashburner, an English gentleman; Mr. Ashburner, my daughter, sir."

The young lady shook hands with Harry, and bowed with more reserve to the stranger, who contrived to hand her his chair, and place himself quietly in the next one.

The first thought of Ashburner as he looked at his companion was, "How sweetly pretty she is!" the next, "She is certainly very different from any girl I have seen yet in this country;" and a few moments' conversation confirmed each opinion. She was in truth a very pretty girl, not strictly handsome, but of that bright and good-natured winning beauty that always indicates a warm, kind heart, and always insures its owner friends as well as admirers. She was below the average height, with a girlish, though pretty, rounded figure; her dark brown hair fell smoothly over a white, clear brow, and came down so as partially to hide a rosy cheek; her dress was simple, but the taste and neatness it displayed showed that its wearer was a person of refinement.

Ashburner opened the conversation by saying that he supposed Miss Edwards was a resident of the country, and inquiring how she liked it. She answered that she far preferred it to the city, and a little argument ensued, in the course of which she assured Ashburner that the country was always the pleasantest—one always had so many little things to be interested in, and so much more time for reading. "There was nothing," she said, "of the formality and coldness of city life, nor of its frivolities." It amused Ashburner to hear this philosophy from a girl of eighteen, one who was pretty enough to command more than her share of attention, and who was evidently not of those young ladies who, sincerely desiring to pursue the strict path of duty, make the great mistake of deriding gayety or pleasure whereever they may happen to find it. In the meanwhile the other gentlemen became engrossed in the probable profits of the railroad which was to adorn the other side of the river, and occasional allusions to the tariff, and chances of the various candidates for the presidency, in all of which the Bensons joined as warmly, and laid down their positions as dogmatically (their contempt for their country, its laws, and affairs, to the contrary notwithstanding), as though they had not been expressing, an hour or two before, the most entire ignorance and thorough disdain of and for railroads, politics, and politicians, and particularly the railroad just mentioned, and the politics and politicians of the United States. If Ashburner had listened to this, he would have learned that it is very often the custom among American gentlemen to sneer at and contemn political measures, among strangers (no matter whether foreigners or not), as though the elective franchise, and every thing connected with it, was an immoral sort of vulgarity that no gentleman was expected to know any thing about; a thing to be abandoned to the canaille and an interesting set of patriots known as the Hemispherical Club, who varied their patriotic duties by breaking their opponents' heads and their country's ballot-boxes, and who, moreover, were so modest that they never could be induced to exercise the glorious right of depositing their suffrages, until the candidates on their side had "planked up"[Pg 331] for the benefit of the Club; whilst among their friends and neighbors, these same gentlemen talk politics in the most furious and excited manner, each person insisting that he knows all about them, and that every body else will see he's right before the year's out. But unfortunately Ashburner had got so deeply engrossed with the lessons in philosophy he was receiving that he entirely forgot all about his friends. He had discovered that Miss Edwards had been among the "Upper Ten" of New-York, and knew many of the acquaintances he had made. She spoke of them with so much correctness that he was convinced of her excellent judgment in character, while the artlessness with which she spoke, and the almost amusing simplicity of some of her remarks, indicated that she had not studied human nature, as too many of us do, by experience. Ashburner, like most young men, thought himself a shrewd observer, particularly female character (which, by the bye, is what young men know least about), but the subject he was studying puzzled him; Miss Edwards evinced such a mixture of penetration and simplicity that he could not understand how both could exist together. This sort of character has baffled many wiser persons than Mr. Ashburner, who have investigated it with the same interest. The study of young ladies is dangerous at all times to a young man, and most particularly when he does it from philosophical motives; and if any caste of character is more dangerous than another, it is that which blends penetration and simplicity; the one interests while the other charms. Not knowing these truths, Mr. Ashburner had mentally resolved to enter upon this field of philosophical research. The simplicity, the humor, the acuteness of observation, the intelligence, and perhaps the pretty face of his companion, tended to interest him in an unusual manner. And she, too, seemed attracted by the young Englishman, whose education and intelligence rendered him an agreeable companion to any educated and intelligent person. It was pleasant for Ashburner to find a young lady who could talk about something else than the polka or the last party,—who, in short, had read his favorite authors, and could join in admiring them without affectation; and he felt quite annoyed when Karl Benson interrupted the tête-à-tête. As they all rose, the Judge approached Ashburner and said, "I shall be happy to see you again, Mr. Ashburner; if you stay at Mr. Benson's, and have nothing better to do, come over whenever you please; you must excuse my calling on you, for we old fellows are privileged, you know." Ashburner said he would be very happy to do so, and was "desirous of learning something more about American jurisprudence, if Judge Edwards would allow the trouble it would occasion him." The Judge of course said he would bestow all the information in his power, and added, that he had a high regard for England and Englishmen. "I like a great many of your customs," said the Judge, "much better than I do our own. Your girls have a physical education which preserves their health and freshness, while ours sit still and waste their time and ruin their health. Now here's Mary, who is a country girl, and yet hardly exercises from one week's end to another." The Judge said this in a reproving sort of way, but he looked down on his daughter with a smile as he said it; and she smiled back in the same way as she said, "Oh no, father, you forget that now I ride to the post-office every day." It was plain that such reproofs as this was all that Mary ever knew (and as Ashburner marked the affectionate look that passed between father and daughter, he thought all that she ever needed). "How pretty she looks (he thought to himself) standing there by her rough old father, looking up to him with that pleased, confiding look; how much prettier than a fashionable belle who is ashamed of her father because he is plain, and shows it whenever there is some one by, I think"—

"It is time we were over the river," said Karl, interrupting Mr. Ashburner in his contemplations.

"I think," said Mr. Ashburner to himself, as they were crossing the water on their way home, "I think I will call to-morrow and see if she really is as artless as she seems;" and a moment after to his companions, "I believe I will practice rowing a few hours a day for the next few days; physicians say it's a capital exercise."

"I think," said Karl, "you had better not. Exercise on horseback."

Said Harry, "Its precious little rowing you'll do."

"Yes," Ashburner rejoined, "I will, and to convince you, I mean to go alone."

We will say with one Virgil—

"Felix qui protuit rerum cognoscere causas."




Ah, bliss! I dreamed or thee last night!
Thee, whom my heart so deifies—
Again I met the thrilling light
Of thy serene and earnest eyes.
I dreamed of thee! Ah, gracious boon,
That gladdens thus my waking hours!
Above us bent Italia's noon,
Around us breathed the scent of flowers:
My hand lay gently clasped in thine.
No sound disturbed our joy's excess;
And soft thine eyes poured down on mine,
Their wildering rays of tenderness:
"My Leonora!" 'Twas thy same
Low voice that o'er my memory broke;
But even while thine accents came
I murmured "Tasso!" and awoke.
Ah, me! awoke! Yet all the day
Thy presence hath been round me still—
The airs that through my lattice play,
And toss the vines at their sweet will,
Repeat thy tones—and every where
I meet thine eyes still bent on me—
Ah, blessed dream! that gilds my care,
And brightens this reality.

[Pg 332]




Szeretlek, galambom.
Better far I love thee
Than a dove the barley;
Ever dreaming of thee,
Night and morning early.
Of no woman born,
Such fays spring from the Rose;
When on Whitsun morn,
Her dewy breasts unclose!
Kocsmárosné, gyuijts világot!
Hostess, quick! the light goes out,
Have you no pretty girl about?
But if no pretty girl there be
The light may soon so out, for me
Why should the candle burn and beam
Unless bright eyes reflect its gleam?
And if no pretty girl there be,
The light may soon go out for me!
And if you have a maiden fair,
Then be its light extinguished there!
For when its gleaming rays we miss,
'Tis easier far, a girl to kiss.
Duna, duna, szeles duna!
Gladly will they make me think,
They who of the Danube drink;
That in its tide the pickerel swims,
And maidens bathe their snowy limbs.
Great and Small-Comorn afar!
Oh how sweet three maidens are!
To the one I'll wedded be,
And the fairest of the three!
Széles a dunaviz.
The Danube's stream is broad,
The bridge is weak I know;
Take heed my own dear love,
Or else thou fall'st below!
I shall not fall below,
No fear my soul alarms;
But soon my love I'll fall,
Into thy burning arms!
Gólya, gólya, de messze mégy!
Far, far the Stork now flies!—ah me!
And far am I, true love from thee!
My captive chains me and I cannot move,
That he may win from me my love.
Deep in the grave my parents lie,
My land's a broad heath waste and dry;
Great suffering and sorrow still are mine,
Yet I can drown them all in wine!
Micsoda csárdaez? be csinos?
What inn is this which here I see?
Therein a pretty girl may be!
And if no lovely damsel,
Be in the tavern now;
Then let us hang its landlord,
Upon the nearest bough.
But see! a goat is grazing nigh,
A dark-brown maiden is standing by.
Then hey my jolly comrade!
There's milk I trow for both;
The maiden too will kiss us.
She shall, I'll take my oath!
Cserebogár, sárga cserebogár.
May-beetle—gay little bird—fly near!
I ask not if summer will soon by here,
And I ask not if long my life shall be;
I ask—if I'm loved by my Rosalie?
And I ask thee not by a song or sign,
If another summer may yet be mine;
One summer has worn me with many a smart,
Since Rosa—fair Rosa—has won my heart.
Thou flittest away from flower to flower,
And thy wifie flies after through forest and bower;
I seek in them too for my Rosalie,
But never find her—she loves not me!
Thou drinkest from flowers their honey dew,
And callest with joy to thy wifie true!
But joy afar from my soul hath flown,
No love with its pleasure my heart hath known.
Nincsen nekem semmi bajorn.
Naught in the wide-world troubles me,
Save this alone—my poverty;
A merry companion too am I,
Though my coat be ragged, my throat a-dry.
Bread I have none, but tatters enough,
And Fortune gives me many a cuff;
When I reckon together the money I've got,
There's never a farthing in all the lot.
So naught in the wide world troubles me,
Save this alone—my poverty;
And a merry companion too am I,
Though my coat be ragged, my throat a-dry.
A faluban muzikálnak.
Let the sergeant sing or drum—
Soldier I will ne'er become;
He whose heart a maiden charms,
Is a fool to carry arms.
Swords may dazzle with their beam,
But—the devil take the gleam!
By my true love's eyes so bright,
Sword gleams seem as dark as night.
Most élem gyöngyéletem.
I'm a hussar so free from care,
A cap of blood-red silk I wear;
And wreath with ribbons flut'ring free;
Which once my true love wove for me.
And for the garland which she wove
I gave a kiss to her my love.
Oh weave another!—for thy pain
I'll kiss a hundred times again!
Falu mogött van egy malom.
Behind our hamlet stands a mill
Where pain is ground, they say
And to that mill in haste will I
To grind my grief away!
Oh miller's maiden ask no more!
Disturb me not too soon,
Through all the morn I think with joy
Upon the afternoon!




Come, let us be merry!
The day's growing fair—
And drooping-eyed Patience
Looks up from despair.
Truth, like the glory
Of old times, in story,
Mellows the shadows that darken the land,
Wrongs, grim and hoary,
Crimes, black and gory,
Naked and scoffed in the market-place stand.
Come, let us be merry!
The sundown is near—
And Error is shivering
And shrinking with fear.
Power unmolested
For centuries, vested
In impotent sinew and imbecile brain,
Altars that rested
On mummeries ilested,
Tatters to ruin and not in the rain.
Come, let us be merry!
The sun shines at last—
The light fills the valleys—
The darkness has passed.
Names are neglected,
Blood is rejected,
Men bow no more to the accident Birth,
Mind, long dejected,
Her temple erected,
Waits from the Nations the homage of Worth.
Come, let us be merry!
All hearts that with scoff
And derision have waited
This day afar off;
Abuses are shaking
Old Errors are quaking,
That cramped the free life of our manhood so long,
Hail to the waking!
The daylight is breaking
For Truths that are mighty and men that are strong.

[Pg 333]




"With that brass alone," quoth Mother Rigby, "thou canst pay thy way all over the earth. Kiss me, pretty darling! I have done my best for thee."

Furthermore, that the adventurer might lack no possible advantage towards a fair start in life, this excellent old dame gave him a token, by which he was to introduce himself to a certain magistrate, member of the council, merchant, and elder of the church (the four capacities constituting but one man), who stood at the head of society in the neighboring metropolis. The token was neither more nor less than a single word, which Mother Rigby whispered to the scarecrow, and which the scarecrow was to whisper to the merchant.

"Gouty as the old fellow is, he'll run thy errands for thee, when once thou hast given him that word in his ear," said the old witch. "Mother Rigby knows the worshipful Justice Gookin, and the worshipful Justice knows Mother Rigby!"

Here the witch thrust her wrinkled face close to the puppet's, chuckling irrepressibly, and fidgeting all through her system, with delight at the idea which she meant to communicate.

"The worshipful Master Gookin," whispered she, "hath a comely maiden to his daughter! And hark ye, my pet! Thou hast a fair outside, and a pretty wit enough of thine own. Yea; a pretty wit enough! Thou wilt think better of it when thou hast seen more of other people's wits. Now, with thy outside and thy inside, thou art the very man to win a young girl's heart. Never doubt it! I tell thee it shall be so. Put but a bold face on the matter, sigh, smile, flourish thy hat, thrust forth thy leg like a dancing-master, put thy right hand to the left side of thy waistcoat, and pretty Polly Gookin is thine own!"

All this while, the new creature had been sucking in and exhaling the vapory fragrance of his pipe, and seemed now to continue this occupation as much for the enjoyment it afforded, as because it was an essential condition of his existence. It was wonderful to see how exceedingly like a human being it behaved. Its eyes (for it appeared to possess a pair) were bent on Mother Rigby, and at suitable junctures, it nodded or shook its head. Neither did it lack words proper for the occasion.—"Really! Indeed! Pray tell me! Is it possible! Upon my word! By no means! Oh! Ah! Hem!"—and other such weighty utterances as imply attention, inquiry, acquiescence, or dissent, on the part of the auditor. Even had you stood by, and seen the scarecrow made, you could scarcely have resisted the conviction that it perfectly understood the cunning counsels which the old witch poured into its counterfeit of an ear. The more earnestly it applied its lips to the pipe, the more distinctly was its human likeness stamped among visible realities; the more sagacious grew its expression; the more lifelike its gestures and movements; and the more intelligibly audible its voice. Its garments, too, glistened so much the brighter with an illusory magnificence. The very pipe, in which burned the spell of all this wonderwork, ceased to appear as a smoke-blackened earthen stump, and became a meerschaum, with painted bowl and amber mouthpiece.

It might be apprehended, however, that as the life of the illusion seemed identical with the vapor of the pipe, it would terminate simultaneously with the reduction of the tobacco to ashes. But the beldam foresaw the difficulty.

"Hold thou the pipe, my precious one," said she, "while I fill it for thee again."

It was sorrowful to behold how the fine gentleman began to fade back into a scarecrow, while Mother Rigby shook the ashes out of the pipe, and proceeded to replenish it from her tobacco-box.

"Dickon," cried she, in her high, sharp tone, "another coal for this pipe."

No sooner said, than the intensely red speck of fire was glowing within the pipe-bowl; and the scarecrow, without waiting for the witch's bidding, applied the tube to his lips, and drew in a few short, convulsive whiffs, which soon, however, became regular and equable.

"Now, mine own heart's darling," quoth Mother Rigby, "whatever may happen to thee, thou must stick to thy pipe. Thy life is in it; and that, at least, thou knowest well, if thou knowest naught besides. Stick to thy pipe, I say! Smoke, puff, blow thy cloud; and tell the people, if any question be made, that it is for thy health, and that so the physician orders thee to do. And, sweet one, when thou shalt find thy pipe getting low, go apart into some corner, and (first filling thyself with smoke) cry sharply,—'Dickon, a fresh pipe of tobacco!'—and—'Dickon, another coal for my pipe!'—and have it into thy pretty mouth as speedily as may be. Else, instead of a gallant gentleman, in a gold-laced coat, thou wilt be but a jumble of sticks and tattered clothes, and a bag of straw, and a withered pumpkin! Now depart, my treasure, and good luck go with thee!"

"Never fear, mother!" said the figure, in a stout voice, and sending forth a courageous whiff of smoke. "I will thrive if an honest man and a gentleman may!"

"Oh, thou wilt be the death of me!" cried the old witch, convulsed with laughter. "That was well said. If an honest man and a gentleman may! Thou playest thy part to perfection. Get along with thee for a smart fellow; and I will wager on thy head, as a[Pg 334] man of pith and substance, with a brain, and what they call a heart, and all else that a man should have, against any other thing on two legs. I hold myself a better witch than yesterday, for thy sake. Did not I make thee? And I defy any witch in New England to make such another! Here; take my staff along with thee!"

The staff, though it was but a plain oaken stick, immediately took the aspect of a gold-headed cane.

"That gold head has as much sense in it as thine own," said Mother Rigby, "and it will guide thee straight to worshipful Master Gookin's door. Get thee gone, my pretty pet, my darling, my precious one, my treasure; and if any ask thy name, it is Feathertop. For thou hast a feather in thy hat, and I have thrust a handful of feathers into the hollow of thy head, and thy wig, too, is of the fashion they call Feathertop,—so be Feathertop thy name!"

And, issuing from the cottage, Feathertop strode manfully towards town. Mother Rigby stood at the threshold, well pleased to see how the sunbeams glistened on him, as if all his magnificence were real, and how diligently and lovingly he smoked his pipe, and how handsomely he walked, in spite of a little stiffness of his legs. She watched him, until out of sight, and threw a witch-benediction after her darling, when a turn of the road snatched him from her view.

Betimes in the forenoon, when the principal street of the neighboring town was just at its acme of life and bustle, a stranger of very distinguished figure was seen on the side-walk. His port, as well as his garments, betokened nothing short of nobility. He wore a richly-embroidered plum-colored coat, a waistcoat of costly velvet, magnificently adorned with golden foliage, a pair of splendid scarlet breeches, and the finest and glossiest of white silk stockings. His head was covered with a peruque, so daintily powdered and adjusted that it would have been sacrilege to disorder it with a hat; which, therefore (and it was a gold-laced hat, set off with a snowy feather), he carried beneath his arm. On the breast of his coat glistened a star. He managed his gold-headed cane with an airy grace, peculiar to the fine gentleman of the period; and to give the highest possible finish to his equipment, he had lace ruffles at his wrist, of a most ethereal delicacy, sufficiently avouching how idle and aristocratic must be the hands which they half concealed.

It was a remarkable point in the accoutrement of this brilliant personage, that he held in his left hand a fantastic kind of a pipe, with an exquisitely painted bowl, and an amber mouthpiece. This he applied to his lips, as often as every five or six paces, and inhaled a deep whiff of smoke, which, after being retained a moment in his lungs, might be seen to eddy gracefully from his mouth and nostrils.

As may well be supposed, the street was all a-stir to find out the stranger's name.

"It is some great nobleman, beyond question," said one of the town's people. "Do you see the star at his breast?"

"Nay; it is too bright to be seen," said another. "Yes; he must needs be a nobleman, as you say. But, by what conveyance, think you, can his lordship have voyaged or travelled hither? There has been no vessel from the old country for a month past; and if he have arrived overland from the southward, pray where are his attendants and equipage?"

"He needs no equipage to set off his rank," remarked a third. "If he came among us in rags, nobility would shine through a hole in his elbow. I never saw such dignity of aspect. He has the old Norman blood in his veins, I warrant him."

"I rather take him to be a Dutchman, or one of your high Germans," said another citizen. "The men of those countries have always the pipe at their mouths."

"And so has a Turk," answered his companion. "But, in my judgment, this stranger hath been bred at the French court, and hath there learned politeness and grace of manner, which none understand so well as the nobility of France. That gait, now! A vulgar spectator might deem it stiff—he might call it a hitch and jerk—but, to my eye, it hath an unspeakable majesty, and must have been acquired by constant observation of the department of the Grand Monarque. The stranger's character and office are evident enough. He is a French Ambassador, come to treat with our rulers about the cession of Canada."

"More probably a Spaniard," said another, "and hence his yellow complexion. Or, most likely, he is from the Havana, or from some port on the Spanish Main, and comes to make investigation about the piracies which our Governor is thought to connive at. Those settlers in Peru and Mexico have skins as yellow as the gold which they dig out of their mines."

"Yellow, or not," cried a lady, "he is a beautiful man!—so tall, so slender!—such a fine, noble face, with so well-shaped a nose, and all that delicacy of expression about the mouth! And, bless me, how bright his star is! It positively shoots out flames!"

"So do your eyes, fair lady," said the stranger with a bow, and a flourish of his pipe; for he was just passing at the instant. "Upon my honor, they have quite dazzled me!"

"Was ever so original and exquisite a compliment?" murmured the lady, in an ecstasy of delight.

Amid the general admiration excited by the stranger's appearance, there were only two dissenting voices. One was that of an impertinent cur, which, after snuffing at the heels of the glistening figure, put its tail between its legs, and skulked into its master's[Pg 335] back-yard, vociferating an execrable howl. The other dissentient was a young child, who squalled at the fullest stretch of his lungs, and babbled some unintelligible nonsense about a pumpkin.

Feathertop, meanwhile, pursued his way along the street. Except for the few complimentary words to the lady, and, now and then, a slight inclination of the head, in requital of the profound reverences of the bystanders, he seemed wholly absorbed in his pipe. There needed no other proof of his rank and consequence, than the perfect equanimity with which he comported himself, while the curiosity and admiration of the town swelled almost into clamor around him. With a crowd gathering behind his footsteps, he finally reached the mansion-house of the worshipful Justice Gookin, entered the gate, ascended the steps of the front door, and knocked. In the interim, before his summons was answered, the stranger was observed to shake the ashes out of his pipe.

"What did he say, in that sharp voice?" inquired one of the spectators.

"Nay, I know not," answered his friend. "But the sun dazzles my eyes strangely. How dim and faded his lordship looks, all of a sudden! Bless my wits, what is the matter with me?"

"The wonder is," said the other, "that his pipe, which was out only an instant ago, should be all alight again, and with the reddest coal I ever saw. There is something mysterious about this stranger. What a whiff of smoke was that! Dim and faded, did you call him? Why, as he turns about, the star on his breast is all a blaze."

"It is, indeed," said his companion; "and it will go near to dazzle pretty Polly Gookin, whom I see peeping at it, out of the chamber window."

The door being now opened, Feathertop turned to the crowd, made a stately bend of his body, like a great man acknowledging the reverence of the meaner sort, and vanished into the house. There was a mysterious kind of a smile, if it might not better be called a grin or grimace, upon his visage; but of all the throng that beheld him, not an individual appears to have possessed insight enough to detect the illusive character of the stranger, except a little child and a cur-dog.

Our legend here loses somewhat of its continuity, and, passing over the preliminary explanation between Feathertop and the merchant, goes in quest of the pretty Polly Gookin. She was a damsel of a soft, round figure, with light hair and blue eyes, and a fair rosy face, which seemed neither very shrewd nor very simple. This young lady had caught a glimpse of the glistening stranger, while standing at the threshold, and had forthwith put on a laced cap, a string of beads, her finest kerchief, and her stiffest damask petticoat, in preparation for the interview. Hurrying from her chamber to the parlor, she had ever since been viewing herself in the large looking-glass, and practising pretty airs—now a smile, now a ceremonious dignity of aspect, and now a softer smile than the former—kissing her hand, likewise, tossing her head, and managing her fan; while, within the mirror, an unsubstantial little maid repeated every gesture, and did all the foolish things that Polly did, but without making her ashamed of them. In short, it was the fault of pretty Polly's ability, rather than her will, if she failed to be as complete an artifice as the illustrious Feathertop himself; and, when she thus tampered with her own simplicity, the witch's phantom might well hope to win her.

No sooner did Polly hear her father's gouty footsteps approaching the parlor door, accompanied with the stiff clatter of Feathertop's high-heeled shoes, than she seated herself bolt upright, and innocently began warbling a song.

"Polly! daughter Polly!" cried the old merchant. "Come hither, child."

Master Gookin's aspect, as he opened the door, was doubtful and troubled.

"This gentleman," continued he, presenting the stranger, "is the Chevalier Feathertop—nay, I beg his pardon, my Lord Feathertop,—who hath brought me a token of remembrance from an ancient friend of mine. Pay your duty to his lordship, child, and honor him as his quality deserves."

After these few words of introduction, the worshipful magistrate immediately quitted the room. But, even in that brief moment, had the fair Polly glanced aside at her father, instead of devoting herself wholly to the brilliant guest, she might have taken warning of some mischief nigh at hand. The old man was nervous, fidgety, and very pale. Purposing a smile of courtesy, he had deformed his face with a sort of galvanic grin, which, when Feathertop's back was turned, he exchanged for a scowl; at the same time shaking his fist, and stamping his gouty foot—an incivility which brought its retribution along with it. The truth appears to have been, that Mother Rigby's word of introduction, whatever it might be, had operated far more on the rich merchant's fears, than on his good-will. Moreover, being a man of wonderfully acute observation, he had noticed that the painted figures on the bowl of Feathertop's pipe were in motion. Looking more closely, he became convinced that these figures were a party of little demons, each duly provided with horns and a tail, and dancing hand in hand, with gestures of diabolical merriment, round the circumference of the pipe-bowl. As if to confirm his suspicions, while Master Gookin ushered his guest along a dusky passage, from his private room to the parlor, the star on Feathertop's breast had scintillated actual flames, and threw a flickering gleam upon the wall, the ceiling, and the floor.

With such sinister prognostics manifesting themselves on all hands, it is not to be marvelled[Pg 336] at that the merchant should have felt that he was committing his daughter to a very questionable acquaintance. He cursed, in his secret soul, the insinuating elegance of Feathertop's manners, as this brilliant personage bowed, smiled, put his hand on his heart, inhaled a long whiff from his pipe, and enriched the atmosphere with the smoky vapor of a fragrant and visible sigh. Gladly would poor Master Gookin have thrust his dangerous guest into the street. But there was a constraint and terror within him. This respectable old gentleman, we fear, at an earlier period of life, had given some pledge or other to the Evil Principle, and perhaps was now to redeem it by the sacrifice of his daughter.

It so happened that the parlor-door was partly of glass, shaded by a silken curtain, the folds of which hung a little awry. So strong was the merchant's interest in witnessing what was to ensue between the fair Polly and the gallant Feathertop, that after quitting the room, he could by no means refrain from peeping through the crevice of the curtain.

But there was nothing very miraculous to be seen; nothing—except the trifles previously noticed—to confirm the idea of a supernatural peril, environing the pretty Polly. The stranger, it is true, was evidently a thorough and practised man of the world, systematic and self-possessed, and therefore the sort of person to whom a parent ought not to confide a simple young girl, without due watchfulness for the result. The worthy magistrate, who had been conversant with all degrees and qualities of mankind, could not but perceive every motion and gesture of the distinguished Feathertop came in its proper place; nothing had been left rude or native in him; a well-digested conventionalism had incorporated itself thoroughly with his substance, and transformed him into a work of art. Perhaps it was this peculiarity that invested him with a species of ghastliness and awe. It is the effect of any thing completely and consummately artificial, in human shape, that the person impresses us as an unreality, and as having hardly pith enough to cast a shadow upon the floor. As regarded Feathertop, all this resulted in a wild, extravagant, and fantastical impression, as if his life and being were akin to the smoke that curled upward from his pipe.

But pretty Polly Gookin felt not thus. The pair were now promenading the room; Feathertop with his dainty stride, and no less dainty grimace; the girl with a native maidenly grace, just touched, not spoiled, by a slightly affected manner, which seemed caught from the perfect artifice of her companion. The longer the interview continued, the more charmed was pretty Polly, until, within the first quarter of an hour (as the old magistrate noted by his watch), she was evidently beginning to be in love. Nor need it have been witchcraft that subdued her in such a hurry; the poor child's heart, it may be, was so very fervent, that it melted her with its own warmth, as reflected from the hollow semblance of a lover. No matter what Feathertop said, his words found depth and reverberation in her ear; no matter what he did, his action was heroic to her eye. And, by this time, it is to be supposed, there was a blush on Polly's cheek, a tender smile about her mouth, and a liquid softness in her glance; while the star kept coruscating on Feathertop's breast, and the little demons careered, with more frantic merriment than ever, about the circumference of his pipe-bowl. Oh, pretty Polly Gookin, why should these imps rejoice so madly that a silly maiden's heart was about to be given to a shadow! Is it so unusual a misfortune?—so rare a triumph?

By and by, Feathertop paused, and throwing himself into an imposing attitude, seemed to summon the fair girl to survey his figure, and resist him longer, if she could. His star, his embroidery, his buckles, glowed, at that instant, with unutterable splendor; the picturesque hues of his attire took a richer depth of coloring; there was a gleam and polish over his whole presence, betokening the perfect witchery of well-ordered manners. The maiden raised her eyes, and suffered them to linger upon her companion with a bashful and admiring gaze. Then, as if desirous of judging what value her own simple comeliness might have, side by side with so much brilliancy, she cast a glance towards the full-length looking-glass, in front of which they happened to be standing. It was one of the truest plates in the world, and incapable of flattery. No sooner did the images, therein reflected, meet Polly's eye, than she shrieked, shrank from the stranger's side, gazed at him for a moment, in the wildest dismay, and sank insensible upon the floor. Feathertop, likewise, had looked towards the mirror, and there beheld, not the glittering mockery of his outside show, but a picture of the sordid patchwork of his real composition, stript of all witchcraft.

The wretched simulacrum! We almost pity him! He threw up his arms with an expression of despair, that went farther than any of his previous manifestations, towards vindicating his claims to be reckoned human. For perchance the only time, since this so often empty and deceptive life of mortals began its course, an illusion had seen and fully recognized itself.

Mother Rigby was seated by her kitchen hearth, in the twilight of this eventful day, and had just shaken the ashes out of a new pipe, when she heard a hurried tramp along the road. Yet it did not seem so much the tramp of human footsteps, as the clatter of sticks or the rattling of dry bones.

"Ha!" thought the old witch, "what step is that? Whose skeleton is out of its grave now, I wonder!"[Pg 337]

A figure burst headlong into the cottage-door. It was Feathertop! His pipe was still alight; the star still flamed upon his breast; the embroidery still glowed upon his garments; nor had he lost, in any degree or manner that could be estimated, the aspect that assimilated him with our mortal brotherhood. But yet, in some indescribable way (as is the case with all that has deluded us, when once found out), the poor reality was felt beneath the cunning artifice.

"What has gone wrong?" demanded the witch; "did yonder sniffling hypocrite thrust my darling from his door? The villain! I'll set twenty fiends to torment him, till he offer thee his daughter on his bended knees!"

"No, mother," said Feathertop, despondingly, "it was not that!"

"Did the girl scorn my precious one?" asked Mother Rigby, her fierce eyes glowing like two coals of Tophet; "I'll cover her face with pimples! Her nose shall be as red as the coal in thy pipe! Her front teeth shall drop out! In a week hence, she shall not be worth thy having!"

"Let her alone, mother!" answered poor Feathertop; "the girl was half won; and methinks a kiss from her sweet lips might have made me altogether human! But," he added, after a brief pause, and then a howl of self-contempt; "I've seen myself, mother! I've seen myself for the wretched, ragged, empty thing I am! I'll exist no longer!"

Snatching the pipe from his mouth, he flung it with all his might against the chimney, and, at the same instant, sank upon the floor, a medley of straw and tattered garments, with some sticks protruding from the heap, and a shrivelled pumpkin in the midst. The eyeholes were now lustreless; but the rudely-carved gap, that just before had been a mouth, still seemed to twist itself into a despairing grin, and was so far human.

"Poor fellow!" quoth Mother Rigby, with a rueful glance at the relics of her ill-fated contrivance; "my poor, dear, pretty Feathertop! There are thousands upon thousands of coxcombs and charlatans in the world, made up of just such a jumble of worn-out, forgotten, and good-for-nothing trash, as he was! Yet they live in fair repute, and never see themselves for what they are! And why should my poor puppet be the only one to know himself, and perish for it?"

While thus muttering, the witch had filled a fresh pipe of tobacco, and held the stem between her fingers, as doubtful whether to thrust it into her own mouth or Feathertop's.

"Poor Feathertop!" she continued, "I could easily give him another chance, and send him forth again to-morrow. But, no! his feelings are too tender; his sensibilities too deep. He seems to have too much heart to bustle for his own advantage, in such an empty and heartless world. Well, well! I'll make a scarecrow of him, after all. 'Tis an innocent and a useful vocation, and will suit my darling well; and if each of his human brethren had as fit a one, 'twould be the better for mankind; and as for this pipe of tobacco, I need it more than he!"

So saying. Mother Rigby put the stem between her lips. "Dickon!" cried she, in her high, sharp tone, "another coal for my pipe!"


[2] Concluded from page 186.

From Colburn's New Monthly Magazine


Very little doubt can be entertained that gambling is rapidly falling from its pristine eminence in the fashionable world: we seldom or never hear of thousands being now lost at a sitting; and those of the present generation can scarcely credit all that is said or written of the doings of their forefathers, or that whole estates were set on the hazard of a game of picquet, as a certain Irish writer voraciously informs us. Railway coupons have usurped the place of the cue and the dice-box, and the greedy passion finds an outlet in Capel Court. We do not for a moment mean to assert that gambling is dying away—the countless betting-lists in town and country furnish a melancholy proof of the widely-extended contagion—but still we do say that its very universality has brought it out of fashion, and that it is not regarded with that indulgence it formerly claimed, but is rather looked upon as the "dernier resort" of the hard-up man about town.

Such being the case, it may cause our readers some surprise, on referring to the heading of this paper, to find it termed a chapter on gambling. Let them not expect any piquant details of English folly, or a peep behind the scenes of Club life. We have no wish to lay bare the secrets of our own land; and, indeed, too much has already been written on the subject; be it our task to give an account of the doings in foreign countries, and for this purpose we must ask them to accompany us across the Channel.

After the villanous dens in the Palais Royal were rooted out, the proprietors, who found the business much too profitable to be tamely resigned, turned their gaze beyond the Rhine, where a fair field for their exertions in the pursuit of a livelihood presented itself. After many weary negotiations with the several governments, a company of banquiers, with M. Chabert at their head, simultaneously opened their establishments at Baden-Baden, Wisbaden, and Ems. It was a very hard contest between the Regents and the Frenchmen before the terms were finally settled, and they had to expend much money and many promises in getting a footing. But they eventually succeeded, and a few years saw their efforts richly rewarded. As they had a monopoly, they could do pretty much as they pleased, and made very stringent and profitable regulations relative to the "aprés" and other methods of gaining a pull. On the retirement of M. Chabert with an immense fortune,[Pg 338] the company was dissolved, and M. Benazet became ostensibly sole proprietor of the rooms at Baden-Baden. The terms to which he had to subscribe were sufficient to frighten any one less enterprising than the general of an army of croupiers: he was compelled to expend 150,000 florins in decorating the rooms and embellishing the walks round the town; and an annual sum of 50,000 florins was furthermore demanded, for permission to keep the establishment open for six months in the year. The company, which leased Wisbaden and Ems, was treated much in the same manner, but still they progressed most successfully, till they were frightened from their propriety by Monsieur le Blanc. This gentleman, after struggling against immense opposition on the part of the Frankfort merchants, who were naturally alarmed at the danger to which their "commis" and cash-boxes were exposed by the proximity of a gambling-table, obtained a concession from the Elector of Hessen to establish a bank at Homburg-an-der-Höhe, which he speedily promulgated to the world, with the additional attraction of being open all the year round, and only a "trente et un aprés" for the players to contend against. Some time after, Wilhelmsbad was opened as a rival to Homburg, with no "aprés" at all, and the above mentioned, with the addition of Aix-la-Chapelle and Cöthen, form the principal establishments where "strangers are taken in and done for" through Germany.

The games universally played are "rouge et noir" and "roulette," the former also denominated "trente et quarante," though both titles insufficiently explain the tendency of the game, especially as "noir" never has any part or parcel in the affair, all being regulated by "rouge" winning or losing. The appointments are simple in the extreme: a long table, covered with green cloth, divided into alternate squares marked with red and black "carreaux," and two divisions for betting on or against the "couleur," three packs of cards, half a dozen croupiers armed with rakes, and a quantity of rouleaus and smaller coin constituting the whole matériel. A croupier commences the pleasing game by dealing a quantity of cards till he arrives at any number above thirty (court-cards counting as ten), when he begins a second row, the first representing "noir," the other "rouge." The "couleur" is determined by the first card turned up. The two great pulls in favor of the bank are, first, the "aprés"—that is, when the two rows amount to the same number, and the croupier calls out, "Et trente trois," or any other number "aprés,"—the stakes are impounded, and can only be released by paying half the money down, or else by the same color winning; and secondly—the chief thing—the bank never loses its temper. As a martingale, or continual doubling of the stakes after losing, would infallibly cause a player to win in the end, there is a law in force that no stake can exceed three hundred louis-d'or without the permission of the banque: a permission it very rarely grants, except in extreme cases, as for instance, at Homburg, when the Belgians so nearly broke the bank; but then it was "conquer or die." The lowest amount allowed to be staked is a two florin piece. The expression, "V'la banque!" which we so frequently hear quoted, has its origin from this game. After a player has passed, that is, won, on the same color two or three times consecutively, the croupier, to prevent any possible dispute, asks whether he wishes to risk the whole of the money down; if he intends to do so he employs the above cabalistic formula.

Roulette is a very much more complicated affair; for this, a table is required with a basin in the centre, containing a spiral tube with an orifice at the top, through which the ball passes, and falls into one of the thirty-eight holes in the basin, which are respectively marked with figures, and alternately painted red and black. There are four projecting pieces of iron, one of which the croupier twirls, crying, "Faites votre jeu, messieurs;" when he says, "Le jeu est fait, rien n'va plus," no more money can be put down. In the middle of the table are the numbers, from one to thirty-six, going regularly downwards, in three rows, while at the head of them are the two "zeros"—rouge single and noir double. On either side of the numbers are three divisions; on one hand, marked "rouge, impair et passe," on the other, "noir, pair et manque." Besides these, there are three compartments at the end of the columns, for the purpose of backing the numbers contained in the column; and three others on each side of the numbers, in which to bet on the first, second, or third series of twelve. The odds are regulated in the following fashion. If a player back a single number, he receives thirty-five times the amount of his stake, in the event of its coming up; if he back three at once, he only gets eleven times; if six, only five times the amount. For either of the other compartments he receives, if he gain, the simple amount of his stake, with the exception of the divisions at the end of the columns, and the series of twelve, when he receives double if he win, as the odds are two to one against him. The banque has a most iniquitous advantage in the two zeros, which are calculated to recur once in nineteen times; if the single rouge turn up, they sack all the money, except that placed on the red; if double zero, they take all.

The amount of the stakes at roulette is limited to two hundred louis d'or on a color, and six on a single number; the lowest stake allowed is a florin. Though it may be supposed that a run at "trente et quarante" would be a much more likely occurrence than at roulette—and, indeed, we can remember at the former game the "noir" passing two-and-twenty times, though no one had the courage to take advantage of such an extraordinary[Pg 339] circumstance—yet it is a very frequent thing at roulette for the ball to have a predilection for a certain series of numbers—probably through the croupier twisting the machine with the same force each time—and on such occasions a good deal of money may be won by a careful observer. One young Englishman, who was perfectly ignorant of the game, we saw at Wisbaden place a five-franc piece on the last series of twelve, and he left his money down six times, winning double the amount of his stake every turn. He then discovered the money was his, by the croupier asking him if he wished to stand on the whole sum; but he never gave the banque another chance, for he picked it up, and quickly went off with it.

Every player at roulette seems to have a different system: some powder the numbers with florins or five-franc pieces, in the hope of one coming up out of them; others speculate merely on the rouge or noir. One Spaniard at Ems, we remember, made a very comfortable living at it by a method of playing he had invented. He placed three louis-d'or on the manque, which contains all the numbers to eighteen, and two louis on the last series of twelve; that is, from twenty-four to thirty-six. Thus he had only six numbers and two zeros against him. If manque gained, he won three louis and lost two; if a number in the last twelve came up, he won four and lost three; but a continuation of zeros would have ruined his calculation. Some, again, back the run, others play against it; a very favorite scheme, and one generally successful, being to bet against a color after it has passed three times; but then, again, there is no law on the subject, and a man may lose heavily in spite of the utmost caution. In short, the best plan by far would be, if play one must, to stick to "rouge et noir," which bears some semblance of fairness.

The habitués of the rooms are well known to the croupiers. At Baden-Baden we had for many years the old ex-Elector of Hesse, who made his money by selling his soldiers to England at so much a head, like cattle, during the American war, and who was easily to be recognized by the gold-headed and coroneted rake he always had in his hand. He was, indeed, a most profitable customer to Monsieur Benazet. But, alas! the superior attractions of Homburg led him away, and we never saw him again in Baden; the revolution of 1848 frightened, or angered, him to death. Wisbaden boasts of a banker from Amsterdam, who usually plays on credit—that is to say, he pockets his winnings, but, if he loses, borrows money of the banquier, squaring his account, which is generally a heavy one, at the end of the week: and an English baronet, who always brings a lozenge box with him, which, when he has filled, he retires with; and this he frequently contrives to accomplish, for he possesses his own luck and that of some one else in the bargain. Ems is the principal resort of Russians, who play fearfully high, and a good deal of private gambling is done there on the quiet; while Aix-la-Chapelle appears only destined as a trap for incautious travellers, many of whom, in consequence, never see the Rhine, and return to England with very misty ideas about Germany.

Aix-la-Chapelle will never be erased from our memory, on account of a most ludicrous scene which happened on our first visit to Germany. Being unacquainted with German at the time, and our French being of the sort which Chaucer calls "French of Bow," we had selected one of our party, who boasted of his knowledge of most foreign tongues, and installed himself as "Dolmetscher." His first experiment was in ordering supper, which he proceeded to do in something he was pleased to call German.

"Plait-il, M'nsieu?" said the waiter.

The order was repeated.

"Would you have the kindness to spik Angleesh?" remarked the garçon.

Though this raised some doubts in our minds as to our friend's capacity, yet one of our party, feeling indisposed, invoked his intercession for the sake of procuring some Seidlitz powders. However, in his indignation, he refused to have any thing to do with it. In this dilemma, the sick man called in the English-conversing waiter to his aid, who readily offered to help him, and soon returned with a bottle of Seidlitz water, which he persuaded our unwary friend to make trial of. Now this water happens to be the strongest of all the mineral springs in Germany, and the consequence was, the poor young man became very shortly alarmingly unwell. In his anxiety, he fancied himself poisoned, and summoned the waiter once more. On his reappearance, he compelled him to finish the whole of the bottle, which contained nearly a quart, to prove it was not of a dangerous nature; but, in point of fact, it proved to be so, by nearly killing the wretched garçon.

The company to be seen round the table consists usually of Russians and French, both male and female, with a sprinkling of Germans, who escape from their own police in order to satisfy their itching for play. Thus, for instance, we have Nassau and Darmstadt people at Baden-Baden, while the Badese and Suabese rush to Homburg and Wisbaden. There is a very salutary law in every land where gambling is permitted, that no inhabitant of that land be allowed to play at the public table, and if any one is caught red-handed, he is usually imprisoned, and his winnings, if any, confiscated. We can call to mind a laughable instance of this at Wisbaden. Two old peasants, who had probably come for a day's pleasure and to see the sights, managed to find their way into the Kursaal, and stood all entranced before the roulette-table. One of them, imagining it a[Pg 340] right royal way of making money, and much better fun than ploughing, lugged out his leathern purse, and began by staking a modest florin on the rouge. In the course of about half an hour he had contrived to win a very decent sum, and was walking away in great glee, when a gendarme, who had been watching him all the while, quietly collared him and dragged him off to the Polizei, where, as we afterwards learned, he was incarcerated for three weeks, and his "addlings" employed for the good of the state.

It may naturally be supposed that the presence of so much circulating medium in one place, and the prestige attaching to the banquier's coffers, which are currently supposed to contain a sum

More precious far
Than that accumulated store of wealth
And orient gems, which, for a day of need,
The sultan hides in his ancestral tombs,

would induce many depredators to make an attempt on them, but we generally find that cunning is much more in favor than any open attack. Thus, for instance, Monsieur le Blanc, who, we may add, has been more assailed than any other banquier, was nearly made the victim of a stratagem, which might have entailed serious results. A fellow contrived to get into the "Conversation Haus" by night, and blocked up all the low numbers in the roulette machine in such a manner that the ball, on falling in, must inevitably leap out again. On the next day he and his accomplices played, and netted a large sum by backing the high numbers. They carried on the game for two or three days, but were fortunately overheard by a detective while quarrelling about the division of their plunder, in the gardens behind the establishment. They were arrested, and the money recovered. A very dangerous design was also formed against him by one of his croupiers, who, being discontented with his lot, determined to make his fortune at one coup: and the plan he contrived was this. He procured a pack of pre-arranged cards, which he concealed in his hat, and when it came to his turn to deal, he intended to drop the bank cards into his chapeau and cleverly substitute the others; but this artfully-concocted scheme was disconcerted, by one of his confederates considering he might make a better and safer thing of it by telling Le Blanc beforehand. His most imminent peril, and the occasion when his very existence as a banquier was at stake, was the affair with the Belgian company, of which Thackeray has given us a detailed account in his "Kickleburys up the Rhine."

The "propriétaires," besides, suffer considerable losses by the dishonesty of the croupiers; for, although there is a person expressly employed to watch them, who sits in a high-backed chair behind the dealer, yet they are such practised escamoteurs, that they will secrete a piece of gold without his seeing it. One fellow was detected at Baden-Baden, who had carried on a system of plunder for a long time with security. He used to slip a louis-d'or into his snuff-box whenever it came to his turn to preside over the money department; he was found out by another employé asking him casually for a pinch of snuff, and seeing the money gleam in the gaslight. These croupiers are the most extraordinary race of men it is possible to conceive. They seem to unite the stoicism of the American Indian to the politeness of the Frenchman of the ancien régime. They are never seen to smile, and wear the same impassive countenance whether the banque is gaining or losing. In fact, what do they care as long as their salary is regularly paid? They seem to fear neither God nor man: for when a shock of the earthquake was felt at Wisbaden, in 1847, though all the company fled in terror, they remained grimly at their posts, preferring to go down to their patron saints with their rouleaux, as an evidence of their fidelity to their employer. Perhaps, though, they regarded the earthquake as a preconcerted scheme to rob the banque, the only danger they are apprehensive of. You may beat them, and yet they smite not again; for when a young Englishman, bearing an honorable name, vented his rage at losing by breaking a rake at Baden-Baden over the croupier's head, he merely turned round and beckoned to the attendant gendarme to remove him and the pieces, and then went on with his parrot-like "rouge gagne—couleur perd."

The most amusing thing to any philosophical frequenter of the rooms, is to see the sudden gyrations of fortune's wheel. One gentleman at Baden-Baden, a Russian, was so elated after an unparalleled run of good fortune, that he went out and ordered a glorious feed for himself and friends at the restauration; but during the interval, while dinner was preparing, he thought he would go back and win a little more. His good fortune, however, had deserted him, and he lost not only all his winnings, but every florin he was possessed of, so he was compelled to countermand the dinner. On the arrival of his remittances, determined not to be balked of his repast this time by want of funds, he paid for a spread for twelve beforehand; but his luck was very bad, and he actually went back to the restaurateur, and, after some negotiation, sold him back the dinner at half-price. The money he received was, of course, very speedily lost. Another, a student of Heidelberg, won at a sitting 970 florins, but disdaining to retire without a round thousand, he tempted fortune too long, and lost it all back, as well as his own money. The most absurd thing was, that not having any friends in Baden, he was driven to return "per pedes" to his university, a distance of more than one hundred miles. It is a very rare occurrence for the bank to be broken, though the newspapers state that such a thing happened three times at Baden-Baden during the present season,—a statement which we are inclined to[Pg 341] place in the same category with the wonderful showers of frogs and gigantic cabbages which happen so opportunely to fill any vacant corner. When, however, it really takes place, the rooms are only closed for an hour or two, and the play soon commences again.

The most painful incident is, the frequency of suicides during the season, any account of which Monsieur Benazet, for obvious reasons, prevents reaching the public. When any thing of the sort occurs, the place most commonly selected for the tragedy is a summer-house a little way out of the town, on the road to the Alt Schloss, whence the poor victim can take a last lingering look on the scene of his ruin. One young man, in our time, attempted to blow out his brains at the roulette-table, but was fortunately prevented, and a fortnight's detention in the House of Correction very much cooled his ardor for making a "dem'd disgusting body" of himself. Indeed, it has ever been a passion with your Frenchmen to cause a scene when dying: they would not give a "thank you" to cut their throats in private.

On the 31st of October, the day on which the rooms close for the season, an immense quantity of players throng to the Kursaal; for though they have withstood temptation for so long a time, they cannot possibly suffer the season to go past without making one trial. On the 1st of November, those birds of ill-omen, the croupiers, set out to hybernize in Paris, and the rooms are closed, not to be reopened till the 1st of May.

It has long been a question most difficult of decision whether, leaving morality entirely out of sight, the watering-places of Germany are benefited or injured by the continuance of gambling. We are inclined to the latter opinion; for, though it may be said that it brings a deal of money into circulation, yet your true gambler is a most unsocial and inhospitable fellow, and one of the worst visitors an hotel-keeper can have. Besides encouraging, as they do, all the riffraff of Europe to pay periodical visits to Germany, they thereby prevent many respectable persons from settling in that country; for any wife or mother who has the interests of her family at heart, would fly from a place where gambling is allowed, as from a pest-house. At the same time, a very lax tone prevails in these towns, and every finer feeling is blunted—in many cases irreparably—by constant association with hard-hearted, callous, and unscrupulous gamblers. That this was a view taken by the more enlightened of the Germans, is proved by the fact that the parliament of Frankfort decided on the abolition of all gambling-houses by a considerable majority, but unfortunately there was no time to carry such a salutary measure into effect. Had it been otherwise, the Regents in all probability would, through very shame, have hesitated in giving their assent to the re-establishment of such a crying evil.

From Fraser's Magazine.



An election in England is a very exciting affair; in America, from its frequency, it becomes a mere matter of every-day business. Almost every citizen has the opportunity of voting twice a year, and elections are continually going on in some part or other of the country, so that they form a standard topic of conversation, much as the weather does in England. No wonder, then, that they usually fail to awaken any great or general interest.

But to this rule there are important exceptions. A presidential[3] or a congressional campaign sometimes involves the fate of most important measures of policy, and creates a corresponding excitement. At such periods, the country is flooded with "extra" newspapers and political lecturers, the walls groan with placards, bar-room politicians talk themselves hoarse, and steamboat passengers amuse themselves with holding meetings and sham-balloting for the respective candidates. Still the enthusiasm of the parties generally spends itself in words; they seldom come into actual personal collision. Even in the West, there are not more rows on election days than at other times. But here again we have a notorious exception in the case of New-York. Many thousands of the "finest pisantry" have located themselves in that city, and they have not lost an iota of their belligerent propensities, affording a beautiful illustration of cœlum non animum, &c. Entirely under the influence of their priests, they are almost invariably to be found on the agrarian side, and are ready at any time to attack a whig (conservative) meeting, storm the polls, or engage in any other act of violence to which their wily leaders may prompt them.

In the spring of 1840, the Whigs of the State of New York (the city still inclined the other way) had been in power nearly two years, with a decided majority in both houses of the legislature, and a governor who "went the entire animal" with them. Washington Irving says that the best men of a party propose to themselves three ends: first, to get their opponents out; secondly, to get themselves in; thirdly, to do some good to the country; but the majority are satisfied with attaining the first two objects. Now the Whigs had accomplished these as thoroughly as they could have desired, and had made such use of their victory as to put it out of the power of any one to charge them with being worse than infidels. They, therefore, like good patriots, set about the third proposed point, and their first step was to take some measures for improving the election laws, so[Pg 342] far as concerned the city of New-York. That city had more than 300,000 inhabitants,[4] at least 26,000 voters, and no registry law whatever. The consequence may be easily imagined. If a man chose to take the responsibility of perjuring himself, he could always pass a false vote, and was frequently able to do it without that unpleasant necessity. To prove residence, it was only requisite to have slept the previous night in the ward where he voted; this gave rise to an extensive system of colonization just before the election. In short, it was evident that the ballot alone would not secure a fair vote, while the experience of Philadelphia showed that with a good system of registry it answered every required purpose. A registry law was accordingly reported and read the first time.

Great was the wrath of the Loco-Focos[5] when they found this measure on the tapis. The strength of the two parties in the city was very nearly balanced, the mercantile influence of the Whigs, and the papist influence of the Locos, being about a match for each other. Indeed, the same side seldom carried its candidates for mayor and aldermen more than two years successively. But the Locos had good reason to fear that a strict registry law would knock on the head nearly a thousand of their voters, without making corresponding havoc in the Whig ranks. They were therefore naturally anxious to prevent, if possible, the passage of this law; every effort was put forth to make it appear unpopular, by calling meetings, and getting up petitions against it.

Most of the Whigs cared nothing for this; but some men, whose good feeling outran their discretion, and who had the fatuity to suppose that Loco-Focos were capable of being influenced by reason, called a meeting (it was about a week previous to the charter election) "of citizens, without distinction of party," to express their approval of the registry law. Such calls, emanating professedly from neutrals, but really from partisans, are not uncommon; and the result of them usually is, that the speakers meet with no opposition, and the resolutions are carried unanimously; none of the other party, except perhaps, a reporter or two, attending. But on the present occasion, the opponents of the measure were determined that its friends should not have it all their own way; so some thirty or forty of the Locos attended, and did their best to impede the proceedings. First, they objected to the gentleman proposed for chairman; then they interrupted the speakers; and, finally, kicked up such a row as effectually to drown the voice of the secretary, who was trying to read the first resolution offered.

Now of all the offences against good manners that can be committed in America, disturbing the harmony of a public meeting is about the most flagrant. It may be supposed, then, that the conduct of these intruders excited no small indignation on the part of the majority. There were not enough constables present to eject them, so the "citizens, without distinction of party," took the law into their own hands; such Whigs as were nearest incontinently laid hands on the rioters, and "passed them out."

Reader, have you a clear idea of what this "passing out" is? I believe the operation is occasionally practised in England, at theatres and other places of public resort, when young gentlemen have got elevated, and won't behave themselves. But, lest you should not be familiar with it, I will endeavor to give you as much as I remember of a description by one of our authors,[6] of the style in which the thing is managed. The occasion represented is a public dinner, given to the Honorable Mr. So-and-So, by his admirers; and the victim, a too daring-dun, who has spoiled a fine period of the orator's—"If, fellow-citizens, I should be doomed to retirement, I shall at least carry with me the proud conviction that I have always acted as becomes an honest man,"—by impertinently suggesting that "his small account for groceries has been running four years."

"This was too much for the admirers of the honorable gentleman. 'Turn him out!' 'Throw him over!' 'Hustle him out!'

"Pass him down!!

"Now when it is remembered that the unhappy man had established himself at the very upper end of the room, in which five hundred of his fellow-creatures were packed like damaged goods, it will be easily imagined what a pleasant prospect he had before him.

"An assemblage of human beings has often been compared to a sea. Dreadful, indeed, poor Muzzy, was the ocean on which thou wert doomed to embark.

"Pass him down!

"The call was answered by the elevation of Mr. Muzzy six feet in the air. From this altitude he was let down into a vortex of strong-handed fellows, who whirled him about horribly, and then transmitted him to a more equable current, which pitched him forward at a steady rate towards the door. Sometimes he landed among a party of quiet elderly gentlemen over their wine, and the torrent seemed to be lulled; then again it would return upon him with renewed violence, and[Pg 343] bear him helplessly along. At last he was caught up by two mighty billows in the shape of a master butcher and baker, and impelled with fearful velocity through the narrow straits of the door. On recovering his senses sufficiently to take an observation, he found himself stranded keel uppermost, in the gutter, with his rigging considerably damaged, and his timbers somewhat shaken."

Such was the discipline to which the obstreperous Locos were subjected, and neither their general disposition, nor their particular temper of mind at the time, was such as to induce them to bear the infliction with Christian resignation. Accordingly, they repaired in a body to the head-quarters of their party (at Tammany Hall, about half a mile distant), and there reported the indignity they had suffered. The thing was not to be endured, and steps were instantly taken to exact a terrible retribution. The more belligerent of the Locos had formed themselves into various associations for purposes of offence, rejoicing in the classic names of "Spartans," "Ring-tailed Roarers," "Huge Paws," and "Butt-enders." Some two hundred of this last body chanced to be in attendance, all armed with bludgeons, and they instantly started off to make an assault upon the Masonic Hall, where the friends of the registry law were assembled. The surprise bid fair to be a complete one, and so doubtless it would have been, but for a circumstance, to explain which it will be necessary for us to go back to the morning of this eventful day.

Bill Travis, as his friends familiarly called him—or W. Thompson Travis, Esq., as his tradesmen used to address him on the back of their frequently-sent-in and occasionally-paid bills—was a senior at Columbia College; not precisely the first of his class in Latin and Greek, but decidedly the best waltzer and billiard-player in it, and the exquisite, par excellence, of his juvenile contemporaries. He never went down Broadway, even to go to College, without light French kids and a gold-headed cane; and his stock of enamelled chains, opal studs, diamond pins, and the like vanities, would nearly have fitted up a bride's corbeille. To see him fully got up—polished boots, palm-leaf waistcoat, gorgeous cravat, and all—mincing over the gutter, you would take him for a regular man-milliner, and say that the greatest exertion he was capable of, would be holding a trotter, and that only with the aid of a pair of pulleys. But scrutinize him more closely, and you would see that, for all his slim waist and delicate extremities, he had a good full natural chest of his own, and powerful limbs. Put him into action, and you would find that he could hit straight from the shoulder, and "split himself well," as the French phrase it, when he gave point, or went back in guard. He was, in fact, a crack boxer, fencer, and gymnast. Pugilism was the fashion with the young bloods of Gotham at that time, especially such of them as had any tendency to politics: and among these boys of nineteen, there were not a few who would have tackled a fancy man in his prime, and at no great odds either, their great agility making up for their want of downright strength. Travis's friend and senior by one year, George Purcell (who afterwards served with credit as a volunteer in the Mexican war, and ultimately became a judge in California), had on one occasion, when threatened with the vengeance of a stalwart Bowery boy, sought out the democratic champion in the very midst of his personal and political friends, and challenged him to single combat; which challenge being promptly accepted, he polished off the young butcher in good style and short order—the other b'hoys, with that love of fair play which honorably distinguishes the Anglo-Saxon race all over the world, remaining impartial spectators of the fight. Travis had never equalled this feat, but he had seen a good deal of low life and hard knocks on the sly, proper and fashionable as he always appeared in public by daylight.

Now, on the morning of this very day, as we were saying, Travis, while lounging up Broadway, suddenly encountered a youth of about his own age, but a very different style and type. He was short and thickset, swaggering, and almost sailor-like in his gait, and wore the usual dress of the American snob playing gentleman—that is to say, a black dress-coat and trousers, and a black satin vest. His ungloved right hand sustained a walking-stick, which might, on a pinch, have done duty as a bed-post; his left was buried in his trousers' pocket.

It was Travis's cousin, Lefferts Lloyd. Half Knickerbocker, half Welsh in his extraction, he descended directly from some of the oldest settlers of the island, and by rights, his should have been the fashionable, and the Travises (who were altogether novi homines) the unfashionable branch of the family. But fortune, or the taste of the Lloyds themselves, had willed it otherwise; with equal means, they resided in a region east of the Bowery, well nigh terra incognita to the set in which the Travises moved. Lefferts himself was very much one of the people; he eschewed all vanities of patent leather and kid gloves, preferred ten-pins to billiards, and running after a fire-engine to waltzing. The cousins, who had been at school together, were on very amicable terms with each other, but their tastes and pursuits not exactly coinciding, they seldom met except for a few minutes in the street, or a few days at a watering-place.

"By Jove! Lefferts, that's a delicate cane of yours," said Travis, glancing from the other's stupendous bludgeon to his own gold-headed Malacca, which, as he would have expressed it himself, had knocked a big hole in a fifty dollar bill. "Preparing for the meeting to-night, you see," answered Lloyd, with a significant waggle of the big stick, that[Pg 344] would have gladdened an Irishman's heart. Nothing more was said on the subject, and they separated, after a few trivial remarks; but Travis took good heed of the allusion, which he seemed not to notice at the time. On the look-out for mischief, he set himself to reconnoitre that evening in the vicinity of Tammany Hall, fearless of detection, for no one could have recognized the Broadway exquisite in his assumed garb. His upper garment was an old great coat razeed into a frock; his feet were cased in heavy fireman's boots, which, with their impermeable uppers and ponderous soles, were equally serviceable for keeping out snow-water and kicking niggers' shins; his head was protected by a stout leather cap, and in his hand he carried a hickory, not so ponderous as Lloyd's stick, but none the less capable of doing worthy execution in a row. Seeing the Butt-enders proceed up Broadway in a body, he at once suspected that the Masonic Hall was the object of their attack, and accordingly put on all his disposable quantity of steam, that their coming might not be unannounced. There was no time for ceremonious entry, or oratorical delivery, but bursting impetuously into the room, he informed his friends in straightforward terms that the enemy were at hand in great force. The Whigs were somewhat taken aback, most of them being unarmed; but it was not an occasion to stand upon trifles. Furor arma ministrat; the meeting was broken up into a committee of the whole, and the benches into their component timbers, the fragments of which were distributed among the company, while a long plank, under the particular supervision of Travis himself, was suspended over the banisters, so as to sweep the staircase.

Hardly were these preparations completed, when the hall below was flooded with the advancing Loco-Focos. Stealthily but swiftly they advanced, little dreaming of the reception that awaited them. The staircase was certainly a very defensible position; it was not wide, and made a sharp bend near the top, so that the assailants could not see the danger that threatened them. The foremost pressed eagerly up-stairs, and just as they arrived at this turn, their leader could no longer contain himself. "Now, boys," he exclaimed, with a flourish of his bludgeon, "we'll give the Whigs their gruel!"

"No you don't!"

And as Travis spoke, slam-bang came the big plank above mentioned, which shot out with startling suddenness, and worked with commendable dexterity, made a clean sweep of the whole first column. The leader and five or six more were hurled bodily into the air, and tumbled upon the heads of their followers, while fifteen or twenty others were pitched down the upper flight of ten steps. The mass on the main staircase below recoiled with the shock, and as those in the hall still pressed onward, a dense body was wedged together in woful confusion. "Tippecanoe and Tyler too!" shouted Travis, and the Whigs poured forth from the room, and mustered thickly at the head of the staircase, exulting in the disaster of their opponents, while the end of the plank, which had been reset for action, peered over the banisters, as if saying, "Come on, if you dare!"

The foremost enemies were evidently unwilling to encounter this formidable engine of defence, but the pressure from behind drove them forward. Their first leader was hors du combat, and they were now headed by a young man of tolerably respectable appearance, clearly not one of the regular Butt-enders. "Let go!" cried Travis, and the primitive ram was again shot forward, but not with equal success. Several of the Locos were knocked down, but others threw themselves desperately on the plank, and their general, by a dexterous movement, placed himself within it. Travis recognized his cousin Lloyd! It was a fine bit of romance, but there was no time to fabricate reflections corresponding, for even as he made the discovery, the amateur Spartan was springing up the stairs, and the man who had been most active in managing the plank went down before his hickory. The fallen Whig upset the board with him, and it lay upon the stairs, useless as a weapon, but still impeding the enemy's advance. At the same moment, a stalwart Irishman, who had climbed up the banisters, levelled his shillelah at Travis's head; but our friend anticipated the blow by giving Pat point in the breast with such strength and dexterity, that he tumbled helplessly into the mass beneath, causing much inconvenience and more panic. This done, Travis darted at his relative, who was knocking down the Whigs right and left, and had nearly gained a footing on the landing-place. Both were adepts in single-stick practice, and the contest bid fair to be of long duration; but they were not to have it all to themselves, for as other Loco-Focos gained the top of the stairs, the mêlée became general. It would require the pen of an Irving or a Fielding to do full justice to the scene. Black eyes, bloody noses, and broken heads were lavishly distributed in all directions; Irish yells and Tippecanoe war-cries swelled the uproar; while from the front windows of the room within some elderly gentlemen kept insanely crying "Watch!"

The Whigs had greatly the advantage over their opponents in point of position and numbers, but the assailants were more practised belligerents, and provided with better weapons. Moreover, many friends of the registry law had as yet taken no part in the affray, vainly hoping that the city authorities (at that time Loco-Focos) would interfere. Inch by inch the Butt-enders fought their way forward. The Whigs were visibly giving ground. A panic seized their ranks, and those who were still in the room began to look about[Pg 345] them for means of escape. There was a small back-window, with a shed five or six feet below it, whence the ground could be reached by a ladder. Out of this window dropped, and down this ladder rattled the president, vice-presidents, secretaries, and, in short, the most quiet and respectable men of the meeting. Their exit was as undignified as their entry had been pompous. At length the shed, being rather ancient, gave way under the weight of a very fat man, who was snugly deposited in a pigsty beneath, so that hope was cut off.

The Whigs now became desperate: they saw that they must fight in earnest, and advanced to a man. The Butt-enders were stopped in their advance. Both parties wavered. Travis perceived that the decisive blow was now to be struck. Closing up to Lloyd, he came down on him "with an awk stroke," as the old romancers say, that fairly broke down his guard, and beat him back upon three or four of his followers, who all went over together. The Whigs raised a shout, made a rush forward, and by sheer weight hurled the Butt-enders down the staircase. After them poured the victors, with Travis at their head. The Irish shillelahs were nothing before his hickory: he knocked down or disabled a man at every blow. Still the Locos made a vigorous attempt to rally in the lower entry, but at that moment a reinforcement arrived for the Whigs, which completed their defeat. A band of Unionists (a Whig association formed in opposition to the Butt-enders) had been parading the streets with music and banners, and they now arrived in time to fall furiously on the rear of their antagonists. The Loco-Focos, thus hemmed in between two fires, were gloriously pommelled for about five minutes. At length, with a desperate charge, they broke through the Unionists, and fled precipitately down Broadway, while the band accompanied their retreat with the complimentary air of the "Rogue's March."

The victors re-assembled in the big room, somewhat diminished in numbers (even after the accession of the Unionists) and dilapidated in attire. Travis, who had been foremost throughout the whole row, bore especial marks of it on his person. His coat was slit down the back, and minus several buttons in front; his cravat utterly missing, and his shirt, so much of it as was visible, might possibly have made patches for a rifle, but was of no particular value as an article of dress. But such little incidents only served to increase the general hilarity of triumph. The meeting was reconstructed, the resolutions passed, and they wound off with a Harrison song—in fact, with two or three. It was near midnight before the walls of the Masonic Hall ceased to echo to such strains as these:—

To turn out the administration
Is the very best thing we can do;
'Twill be for the good of the nation
To put in old Tippecanoe.
Chorus all.
Hurrah for old Tippecanoe—oo—oo!
Hurrah for old Tippecanoe!
'Twill be for the good of the nation
To put in old Tippecanoe!

Notwithstanding the very demonstrative character of the row, no lives were lost or bones broken. Even Lloyd, though sadly trodden on by both parties after his fall, sustained no serious injury, nor did the combat of the cousins give rise to any permanent difficulty between them. The registry law was passed some weeks after, to the great disgust of the Loco-Focos, eight or nine hundred of whose voters were thereby placed on the list of unavailables.


[3] It is a mistake to suppose that the presidential election is always attended with great excitement. Monroe literally walked over the course for his second term. Martin Van Buren's election passed off very quietly; and General Taylor's, being taken almost as a matter of course, was accompanied by no extraordinary demonstrations.

[4] Now more than 600,000.

[5] This sobriquet, at first applied to a small fraction of the New-York democrats, which fraction afterwards absorbed the whole party, had its origin in the following incident: A quarrel occurring at Tammany Hall (the head-quarters of the democracy), the majority moved an adjournment, and, to make sure of it, put out the lights. The recusants, in anticipation of some such step, had provided themselves with lucifer matches, and, by their aid, re-lit the lamps, and continued the meeting. Lucifers were then called loco-focos—why, no one knows; the name was probably invented by some imaginative popular manufacturer of the article; and the appellation of Loco-Foco party was proposed in derision, for this small band of seceders; who, however, in time, brought over the original majority to their views. Hence the Whigs continued to apply the contemptuous designation to the whole democratic or radical party.

[6] Cornelius Matthews, to whom this quotation from memory may possibly do injustice, but the work in which it occurs is now out of print.

From Bentley's Miscellany.


In the latter part of the year 1834, there resided in Tangier a Jew, Haim Hachuel, who employed himself, as well as his wife, Simla, in commercial pursuits. They had two children; the eldest, Ysajar, followed the trade of his father; the second was a daughter, Sol, who had just completed her seventeenth year, and whose rare and surpassing beauty was the admiration of all who saw her. Though Fortune lavished not her smiles on Haim Hachuel, he lacked not the means of living in comfort with his small family, by his own and Simla's unassisted efforts, the latter taking charge not only of the education of her daughter, but of the whole management of the domestic affairs, and even the common work of the house. The careful mother, however, provided that her daughter's employments should be limited as much as possible to household cares, so that the entire arrangement of them gradually devolved on the fair Sol as she grew up.

In the earlier years of the young Jewess's life, she submitted passively enough to the restraint imposed upon her by her mother, and was almost always to be found busied in the toils suited to her sex; but as she advanced towards womanhood, the tastes and passions natural to her age began to develope themselves, and the lovely Sol, becoming conscious of the many charms with which Nature had endowed her, chafed at the rigor of her seclusion. Her mother, hitherto her chief and only friend, now deemed it prudent to assume towards the young maiden a severity of demeanor, which so exasperated her, that, not finding within her home those innocent recreations suitable to her age, and which her heart so greatly desired, she was tempted to seek abroad for sympathy and participation in her griefs.

Near the dwelling of Hachuel lived a Moorish woman, by name Tâhra Mesmudi. With this person the young Jewess formed[Pg 346] an acquaintance, which soon grew into friendship. Her mother occasionally gave her permission to visit her; and on these occasions she would spend the time in relating domestic occurrences,—and at other times, eluding her mother's vigilant eye, she would slip out of the house to impart her sorrows to Tâhra, and receive her sympathy. Simla endeavored on more than one occasion to check the growing intimacy of the young girl with their Mahometan neighbor; but, little able to foresee its deplorable results, and secure in her daughter's confidence, she was unwilling to deprive her altogether of this slight indulgence. In this state, therefore, things remained for awhile, Sol taking a reluctant part in the labors allotted to her by her mother, and but rarely appearing in the streets, though when she did so, her surpassing charms gained her the homage of crowds of admirers, who thought themselves happy in obtaining even a passing sight of this prodigy of Nature's work, usually secluded from all eyes but those of the proud and happy authors of her existence. But, however the high spirit of the enchanting Sol rebelled against her fate, deeply and violently as she resented her bondage, no murmur ever escaped her lips, and her false neighbor was the only confidant of her sorrow; and already (so various are the disguises of seeming friendship) even now did Tâhra meditate a project destined to be the ruin of the fair Jewess.

Amongst the Arabs, the conversion of an infidel (by which name they designate all those who do not conform to their creed), is esteemed an action in the highest degree meritorious. This conquest to their faith, therefore, they make wherever an opportunity is open to them, by the most indiscriminate and unscrupulous means, according to the teaching of the Alcôran, which allows the lawfulness of all means, and the most unbounded license in their choice, for the attainment of a lawful object. Tâhra, the Moor, failed not, accordingly, in her intercourse with the youthful Sol, to extol, as it were incidentally, the excellence of her religion, the many advantages enjoined by its adherents, and the unbounded esteem awarded by the true believers to those who consented to embrace it. But the lovely and innocent-minded Jewess, quite unconscious of the malignant purpose of her neighbor, heeded none of her exhortations, but rather listened to them with a degree of compassion. Being herself certain of her faith, and feeling an enthusiastic interest in the law under which she was born, she regarded merely as an excess of religious sentiment, the zeal which prompted the Mahometan to persevere in these encomiums of her religious tenets.

The dawn gleamed forth one day amid a thousand clouds, which hung in thick masses below the sky, and covered it with an opaque and gloomy screen; the mournful twittering of the warbling birds bespoke anxiety and alarm; the hoarse rushing of the wind threatened destruction to the woods; the flowers of the fields began to droop; the sun withdrew his light from the world beneath, and all seemed to presage a day of grief and bitterness—save in the home where the fair Sol arose, like another Circe, from her couch, and sallied forth, seeming to temper by her enchanting presence the angry frowns of the elements without. In the house of Hachuel was a chamber, set apart for devotional purposes. Thither she directed her earliest steps, having previously (after the manner of the Hebrews) cleansed her hands from all impurity. On quitting this oratory, she occupied herself in the various works of the house; but, as noon drew on, her mother, with her wonted asperity, reproved her for not having already completed her household task. Sol replied with a degree of warmth which aroused the anger of her mother, who angrily reproached and even threatened her with chastisement; when, in a fatal moment, the young girl, fearing lest she should be scourged, ran with precipitation to the house of the neighbor Tâhra for refuge. Throwing herself into the arms of her from whom she expected some alleviation of her sorrow, the beautiful Sol again and again lamented the hardness of her fate, and wished for deliverance from the state of oppression in which she felt herself overwhelmed, betraying by her tears and profound agitation the excitement of her feelings and the disorder of her imagination; while the crafty Mahometan, perceiving the confusion into which her mind was thrown by the mingled feelings of resentment and grief to which she was giving way, listened with delight to her complaints, well knowing that the moment was now at hand when she might best execute her project.

"My daughter," said she, "thou art unhappy only because thou wilt be so. Thy mother enslaves thee, and thy passiveness meets only with hardships and abuse. Thy neighbors and acquaintance compassionate thee; all are scandalized at thy mother's treatment, and blame thee for not seeking a remedy for thy sorrows, when it is in thy power to do so. No moment more propitious than the present could offer itself to thee; I will be thy protector—I will be thy friend. To my care intrust thy salvation, and be comforted. Sweet Sol, dost thou not understand me?"

"I do not understand you, Tâhra," the sorrowful girl replied. "There can be no sufficient reason why I should withdraw myself from the control of my mother; yet, though it is true that she sometimes scolds me with reason, at other times her anger is kindled against me without any cause, or for the most trifling neglect. O! were she to treat me with more kindness, I should not be so unhappy!"

"Hope not, dear child," said the Mahometan,[Pg 347] "that thy mother will treat thee better at any future time than now. She will sacrifice thee, on the contrary, to her caprice and fanatism. Dost thou wish to be freed from her power this very day? Listen, then! Often hast thou heard of the excellence of our religion. Embrace the Moorish faith; cast off thy trammels, and be free!"

"Alas! Tâhra," replied the young maiden, "what a fearful, what a horrible proposition you make me! Never could I learn to be a true Mahometan. I listen to you, and hear you speak, as though I were in a dream. I long for repose; let me enjoy it for a while, I pray you."

Such was the conversation between the two friends. At its close, the youthful Jewess departed to seek the rest she so greatly needed, in a solitary apartment; and the Mahometan flew, with the speed of the wind, to execute her meditated project.

The Moorish Governor of Tangier, who exercises both civil and military power, was at this time Arbi Esid, a man of a stern and capricious character. To him Tâhra, the Moor, repaired, soliciting an audience. She told him that her home had afforded refuge to a young maiden of the Hebrews, who was fairer than the spring, and whom she had led by her arguments to the verge of Mahometanism; but that should she remain beneath her roof, her resolutions would certainly be frustrated by her mother, since the contiguity of their abodes rendered communication so easy, that it would be impossible to carry out the work of conversion, or to annul the maternal influence. This audacious dissembler failed not to enlarge on the difficulty and importance of her conquest, and the governor, without further demur, commanded a soldier[8] to bring the unhappy Jewess into his presence. The thunderbolt that rends the airy region, travels not with more fatal celerity than did the mandate of the Moorish governor.

Sol was yet listening to the announcement of Tâhra Mesmudi, when, at one and the same moment, entered Simla, demanding her lost daughter, and the soldier bearing the order of Arbi Esid. Words are unequal to depict the scene that ensued. The innocent Sol, ignorant as she was of the whole plot, in vain endeavored to ascertain the cause of this abrupt and alarming summons. Her mother, Simla, equally amazed, embraced her repeatedly, and sought by the most passionate efforts to detain her in her arms, from whence she was forced away by the soldier, impatient to fulfil his mission—and those hearts, never more destined to beat one against the other, were torn asunder and separated for ever. Tâhra alone, the fanatical and reckless Moor, understood this mystery, while she assumed the most profound ignorance, lest her participation in the act should be suspected; and in this moment of anguish, as in all ages of the world, force triumphed over right and justice. The soldier roughly disengaged the arms of the two unhappy Hebrews, which were entwined in each other, and held them apart by main strength: and the fair Sol pressed her coral lips on the wet cheek of her mother, Simla, and bade her a last farewell.

"Mother," she said, "calm your sorrow. I know not the views of the governor in thus summoning me before him, but conscience tells me I have no cause for fear. Trust, then, in my innocence, and think upon my love till I return to your arms, innocent and uninjured as I now leave them."

The impatient threats of the soldier allowed no more time for these filial protestations. The victim was carried off, and her mother, following with her eyes the retreating steps of her trembling daughter, wept unconsoled at the prospect of the bitter future.

When Arbi Esid was apprised of the arrival of the lovely prisoner, he ordered that she should be at once brought into his private hall of audience.[9] He was, on her entrance, so captivated by the sight of her, that feelings arose in his heart greatly at variance with the outward gravity of his demeanor.

"Enter," said he, "and divest yourself of all fear. I am he who, in the name of the Prophet, will protect your resolution, and promote your happiness. The great Allah has sent forth a ray from his transcendent light to win you to his religion, and to turn you from the errors of your own. This hour gives birth to your happiness."

The Hebrew maiden heard with amazement the words of the governor; and without removing her eyes from the ground, where they had remained fixed ever since her first entrance, she preserved the deepest silence.

"Answerest thou not, bewitching Sol?" continued Arbi Esid; "fair as the Houris of the Prophet's Paradise, canst thou refuse to embrace his faith? What then have I heard from thy friend and neighbor Tâhra."

"You have been deceived, sir," replied the Jewess; "never did I express such a wish; never did I yield to the entreaties and proposals of Tâhra Mesmundi. I was born a Hebrew, and a Hebrew I desire to die."

These words, uttered with inimitable sweetness and modesty, so far from raising the anger of the governor, rendered him only the more anxious to convert her. He commanded that Tâhra, the Moor, should be brought into his presence, that she might ratify her[Pg 348] deposition; and, before long, she arrived, perfidy and deceit depicted in her countenance. "Enter," said Arbi Esid, "and recapitulate, in the presence of the prisoner, the important deposition you urged upon me this morning."[10]

"Sir," replied the false witness, "this young Jewess, who took refuge in my house to escape the rigorous treatment of her mother, declared to me this morning her desire of embracing our religion; and it was by her consent I gave your excellency notice of this resolution, that you might extend your protection to her. This is what I affirmed, and this I now repeat. Does any one deny it?"

"Yes, my Tâhra!" exclaimed the lovely Sol, with vehemence. "I cannot accuse you of any treachery; yet the very words you bring against me show that you have misunderstood my meaning, and hence the mistake which has caused the imprudent step you have taken."

The affectionate words of Sol were contradicted by Tâhra, with a degree of asperity and roughness, that cruelly wounded the gentle heart of the enchanting Jewess.

"Hearest thou all this, stubborn girl?" said the governor to her. "By the deposition of this Moor, you are convicted of a crime that death itself could scarce atone for, were you even on the instant to retract, and embrace the truth."

The conference here closed. Tâhra departed, and the governor himself conducted the fair Sol to the apartments of his wife and daughter-in-law, on whom he urged his wish that she should be treated with the utmost kindness, and that no pains might be spared to win over her heart.

Here we must for a while leave the afflicted Sol, to contemplate the state in which her parents remained during her absence. Her hapless mother, as we have related, watched her with anxious eyes till she had entered the governor's palace with the Moorish soldier; and, utterly unable to form a conjecture as to the cause of her sudden abduction, she hastened full of grief and consternation to find her husband Haim, to whom she gave a scarcely coherent relation of all that had occurred.

The astonished Hebrew broke forth into vehement exclamations; in this confusion of doubt and suspicion, Simla became the first object of his anger, and the frenzied disorder of his gestures threatened her with the most fatal consequences; a deadly fear seized upon his faculties, and agitated him well-nigh to insanity, and he sought a clue to the terrible mystery in vain. Accompanied by Simla, he hastened to the dwelling of the artful Tâhra, and put to her a thousand questions, to some of which she evasively replied, while in answering others she assumed a threatening and reckless tone, which disclosed to Haim some portion of the truth. For an instant he remained silent, then, burning with the most violent rage, he grasped the hand of his wife, and rushed back to their desolate home in a state akin to that of the wounded prey of the hunter, seeking its forest lair. "You," exclaimed he, frantically, "you only are the cause of this misfortune! my daughter Sol, the daughter whose sight lightened my cares, and gave joy to my existence, God knows if ever again she will return to my arms; this Moor, this Tâhra Mesmudi, this treacherous and perverse infidel, has turned aside her heart, and she has thrown herself into the trammels of impiety; to gain a refuge from your rigor she has sought compassion in the tiger's breast."

"My daughter, my daughter!" cried the affrighted Simla, "let not mine eyes behold a ruin so great!" and she fell senseless into the arms of Haim Hachuel. Thus did these unhappy parents lament their loss, losing sight of their sorrow only in the vain hope of devising some plan for the salvation of their daughter.

The prisoner remained in the residence of the governor, surrounded by its female inhabitants, and the women of the highest rank residing in the place,—all vying with one another to dazzle the fair Jewess by showing her the riches and splendor of the edifice.

"Far more," they said to her, "far more than this array of wealth and grandeur shall one day be the portion of thy loveliness and virtue. A gallant Moor, rich, powerful, and ardent for thy love, shall join his hand with thine, and a thousand slaves shall bow down at thy behest. All the precious things of Asia and Arabia shall be brought to delight thine eyes, the rarest birds of distant regions shall warble in unison with the lays of thy fancy."

These and other persuasions clothed in the glowing language of their nation, did the Moorish women lavish on her for three days, during which time she remained in the palace. But the beautiful Jewess wept on, and thought only of her parents and brother.

"Never," said she, "will I exchange the humble toca of my brethren for the rich turban you offer: never will I abandon my God."

This decision Sol pronounced with such fervor and animation before the whole of the Moorish ladies, that, stung by her perseverance, they ran in anger to the Hall of Audience, and apprised the governor of her refusal.

Arbi Esid immediately ordered her to be led into his presence, and reproving her for her haughtiness and obstinacy, he pointed out the peril in which she was involving herself, and repeated his determination of subduing her resolution. But the young Hebrew rejected his allurements, depreciated his gifts, and defied his power, even to death.

[Pg 349]

"I will load thee with chains," said the governor; "thou shalt be torn by wild beasts, and see no more the light of day; thou shalt lie, perishing with hunger, and lamenting the rigor of my anger and indignation, for thou hast provoked the wrath of the Prophet and slighted his laws."

"I will submit tranquilly," replied Sol, "to the weight of your chains; I will allow my limbs to be torn asunder by wild beasts; I will renounce for ever the light of day; I will die of hunger; and when every torture you can command has been endured, I will scorn your anger and the wrath of the Prophet, since they are unable to conquer even a weak woman, and do but show your impotence in the sight of Heaven, whose strength you boast, to gain one proselyte to your creed."

"Atrocious blasphemy!" exclaimed the enraged governor; "thus dost thou profane the most sacred names, thus dost thou reject all consideration? I will bury thee in dark dungeons, where thou shalt drink the cup of bitterness. Take this Hebrew," continued the governor, "to prison; let her suffer in the most loathsome dungeon—let her there feel the effect of my displeasure." Then turning his back upon her, his eyes flashing with ire, he abandoned the victim, who was immediately conducted to the prison.

The Alcazaba is a castle situate on a little eminence at the extremity of the town, where prisoners are confined. Thither was the beautiful Jewess conducted, in the first instance, though the soldiers subsequently removed her to a place destined for the female prisoners only, where was a small cell, dirty and fetid, with one narrow window looking into the street. In this dungeon, where she was unable to stand erect, was the young Hebrew confined. During the three days that she had remained in the governor's palace, her parents had not failed to inform themselves of every thing that befell her—even to her removal to the Alcazaba, and subsequent confinement in this dungeon. It was night before Haim Hachuel and Simla his wife directed their anxious steps towards the prison. Haim's searching eye ran over the whole edifice at a glance, and soon discovered the beloved object of their attachment. There was the beautiful Sol, in truth, holding the iron bars that secured the small window, her snow-white hands shining amid the gloom, whiter than the pure linen on the dusky skin of the African. All around reigned the silence of the grave, save when at intervals it was interrupted by the sound of oppressed sighs, as of one who could scarce breathe.

"It is she!" said Simla, in great emotion: "let us draw near, and press her hands to our heart."

These last words reached the ears of the unhappy prisoner, and forgetful of the many watchful eyes and ears around her, she exclaimed in a sad and piercing voice: "Mother, O mother! come, and witness my repentance!"

Haim Hachuel and his wife flew instantly to the dismal grating of the dungeon. They grasped the hands of their unhappy daughter, and she also seizing those of her parents, bathed them with her tears, so that for a moment neither could utter a word.

"Dear daughter," said they at length to her, "what do you propose to do? Are you resolved to embrace the law of Mahomet?"

"Never, my parents!" she answered, "I regard these sufferings as chastenings from Heaven for my sins; when I meditate upon them, methinks I hear a voice within me, saying, 'Thou didst fail in the duty of an obedient child; behold now, and suffer the consequence of thy transgression.'"

Scarcely had Sol concluded, when the clashing of iron bolts apprised her parents that some one was approaching this abode of bitterness. Quickly, therefore, did they disengage their hands, and promising to return the following evening, plunged in the deepest grief they reluctantly quitted the place, lest they should be discovered, and deprived of what was now their only consolation. They were not mistaken; the person that opened the door of the cell proved to be the woman in charge of the prison, who came to acquaint the beautiful Sol of the governor's order, that she should be cut off from all intercourse with her friends, and treated with yet greater severity and harshness.

Unmoved, she listened to this cruel mandate of the tyrannical governor, and, raising her eyes to heaven, only uttered these words, "I revere, O Lord, thy heavenly decrees!" The Mahometan departed in some emotion, and the young Jewess, kneeling, addressed herself to loftier contemplations.

Haim Hachuel and his wife spent a night of most torturing suspense. On their return from the Mazmorra, they told every thing to their son, Ysajar; who, going immediately to the prison, with some difficulty gained over the jailer, a Moorish woman, by offering her gifts,—and at length succeeded in obtaining her good offices for his unfortunate sister, and permission to communicate with her through the narrow grating of her cell, under cover of the night. Having obtained this by a heavy golden bribe, he hastened to report what he had done to his parents. Scarcely less than the pain that agitated the prostrate Sol, in her loathsome dungeon, was the heart-rending emotion endured by her unhappy parents; all were anxious for the morning, and longed for dawn to dispel the gloom of this terrible night. Never did the glorious sun describe his orbit so slowly as on that weary day—never did human hearts so long for its termination—hours seemed like years—the day like an endless century; at length, for all things below must end, the day closed and the night set in, when the afflicted parents and brother a second time repaired to[Pg 350] receive the consolation of gazing on the pallid countenance of the imprisoned Sol.

Who shall describe these afflicting interviews? tears, sighs, broken words, every emotion of love and pity succeeded each other in quick succession; but the night vanished as rapidly as the day had wearily withdrawn, and the moment of separation arrived—the Mahometan prison-keeper admonishing them to depart. They did so, torn with emotions that none but those who have loved, none but those who have suffered, none but those who are parents, can comprehend, and this night, and the day that followed, were spent in grief and agony. Haim Hachuel sought by various means to discover the intentions of the governor, but learnt only that the mere recollection of the Hebrew captive sufficed to excite him to fury, and to call forth resolutions of the most barbarous character. The agonized father, well nigh heart-broken at such information, harassed his imagination to find a way to save his child.

The governor, Arbi Esid, forgot not for a moment the Jewish captive; for each day information was brought to him respecting the state of apparent dejection in which she was; and, at the expiration of the third day of her imprisonment, he sent to inquire whether she would now consent to embrace the Law of the Prophet? The bearer of this message was one of his secretaries, who, on entering the dungeon, was astonished at the beauty of the maiden he beheld. He put to her several inquiries respecting her condition, which were answered with amiability and modesty: but upon his telling her that he was secretary to the governor, Arbi Esid, and that he had come, in his name, to know whether she had yet decided to become a Mahometan, the prisoner's countenance and attitude suddenly changed, and assumed an expression of imposing dignity, as she addressed him in these terms: "Tell the governor, on my part, that if he be not already content with all I have suffered, let him invent new torments, which the Hebrew Sol will accept as Heaven's chastening for her sins; but become a Mahomedan—never!" So, turning away from him, she knelt, and addressed herself to prayer.

Pale as death, fearing the anger of the governor, and his self-love wounded at the failure of his embassy, the secretary left the dungeon, and returned with all speed to the palace. The governor, on becoming acquainted with the determination of the youthful Jewess, raved with the ferocity of a tiger, and commanded that she should be loaded with chains. And so greatly did the satellites of his despotism delight in the works of cruelty, that not much time elapsed ere the savage mandate was put into execution. The beautiful Sol was taken from her dungeon, and placed in a cold, humid, subterranean cell—without air, and darker than the night; on her white and chiselled throat was clasped a ring of iron, to which were linked four chains that bound her hands and feet; the weight of the heavy metal prevented her standing erect; the damp ground was her only couch, and the only rest for her tortured limbs. Sad, and full of anguish, was the solitude that now awaited this angel of virtue; but nothing could discourage, nothing could daunt her.

The young Hebrew occupied herself in thoughts full of courage, and reflections full of moral fortitude; whilst her parents, who had been duly apprised of her removal to the subterranean cell, spent their time in lamenting the sad change, and in seeking out persons whose influence might soften the obdurate heart of the governor. In this search did Haim Hachuel renew his diligence, every day that the unfortunate maiden continued to groan beneath her chains, till at length his paternal lamentations reached the compassionate ears of Don Jose Rico, vice-consul of Spain, at that time, in Tangier. The voice of complaining humanity never failed to touch the feeling heart of this good man; nor could he rest till his benevolent work was begun. He respectfully, therefore, petitioned the governor to mitigate the sufferings of the young Jewess, or even, if possible, to liberate her altogether; public sympathy being, as he represented, already excited in her behalf to a powerful degree. These representations he urged with so much force and effect, that, had the matter rested in the hands of Arbi Esid alone, he would have set her at liberty at once. However, he replied with considerable courtesy, that the whole circumstances of the affair had been referred to the emperor, of whose imperial commands he was in momentary expectation. This answer placed the matter in a less favorable light, in the eyes of Don Jose—obstructing, as it did, any means of bringing comfort to the helpless Sol, while she, still immured in the dungeon, looked forward to death as the only escape from her accumulating woes. Many days did not elapse, however, before the expected dispatches arrived from the emperor, bearing his orders that the captive Jewess should be conducted immediately to Fez.

This unexpected and unlooked-for result caused the utmost consternation among all acquainted with the circumstances. Both Moors and Hebrews evinced an almost equal desire to preserve the life of the beautiful Sol; but the fatal order admitted no delay, and there was no choice but to comply with it with the utmost promptitude. The governor, therefore, summoned Haim Hachuel, and after communicating to him the commands of the emperor, he informed him that his daughter must begin her journey to Fez on the following day, and required of him the necessary sum (amounting to forty dollars)[11] to[Pg 351] defray the expenses of the transit. This he demanded within two hours' time.

The Jew returned with several friends to his own home, and secretly arranged that one of them should follow his daughter at a distance, so as not to lose sight of her altogether. It was no easy matter to find one able and willing to undertake a mission of so much difficulty and danger, in defiance of the express commands of the governor; but at length a Jew, but little known in the town, was found to accept the charge, and having provided himself with money, he was sent on the way.

Whilst Haim and his son were busied in these preparations, the unhappy Simla lay on her bed in a state of utter prostration. When the tidings of her beloved Sol's intended departure reached her, she prepared to see her pass from a secure hiding-place, and thence to bid her farewell, as though she were to see her no more for ever. Not only, indeed, to the parents and brother of Sol were the hours of the night laden with tribulation and anguish, all their friends and neighbors shared their griefs. The unhappy victim alone, to whom the dreadful tidings were communicated at midnight, heard them with an unaltered countenance, though a deep sigh sufficiently proved her feelings in the terrible situation in which she was placed.

An hour before dawn was the time appointed for Sol's departure. At the moment fixed, a Moor, of a countenance most savage and repulsive, presented himself at the dungeon-gate, leading by their bridles two active mules. He was shortly followed by five soldiers, who were to form the escort, and when all were assembled, the muleteer, who was charged with the conduct of the affair, knocked at the door of the prison, and on its being opened, entered to bring the captive forth.

Meanwhile, her parents, her brother, and many of her friends, had concealed themselves at a certain distance, where they could remain undiscovered, to witness this sad scene, and compelled themselves to silence the groans and sighs by which their hearts were torn, so as to escape detection. The eyes of all were riveted on that spot where the victim was to emerge from the prison. Every thing was distinctly visible in the clear morning air; and in a little time the object of their hopes came forth, and at sight of her, Simla fell fainting into the arms of her husband and son. Sol came forth with a slow and tremulous step, supported by the horrible muleteer, the pallor of her countenance contrasting with the ebony blackness of her bright and speaking eyes, whose glances fell searchingly around. Her hair was gathered up beneath the humble white "toco," which formed the graceful covering of her head, and her dark blue dress accorded well with the interesting cast of her fair features, giving a grave and imposing character to her whole figure. Her delicate feet were bound with heavy fetters, which scarce permitted her to move; and her whole appearance was so pathetic and interesting, that it is scarcely possible for the pen to describe the scene. All passed in silence; and the echo of sighs was the only language of this fearful drama.

The muleteer threw some cords over his beast's trappings, the better to secure his victim. Meanwhile, the beautiful Jewess, turning—as though instinctively—towards the spot where her mourning parents stood, asked one of the soldiers who guarded her, to assist her to kneel. This being permitted, she folded her hands upon her breast, and looking up to heaven, exclaimed, in broken accents: "God of Abraham! Thou who knowest the innocence of my heart, receive the sacrifice which I have made in abandoning the spot where I was born. Console my parents and brother for my loss. Strengthen my spirit, and abandon not this, Thy unhappy creature, who always trusted in Thee—make her one day happy in the mansions of the just, with those blessed souls whom Thou electest for Thy greater glory and adoration."

After she had remained a few moments longer in silent devotion, the muleteer, being apprised that it was time to start, rudely tore her from her knees, and with a brutal and reckless violence, capable of revolting the hardest hearts, placed her on the saddle. Lashing her already fettered feet with a thick cord, he bound it also around her wrists, bruising her delicate flesh; and tying a rope in numerous coils round her body, he lashed it to the harness of the mule. The savage Moor having made all secure, tightened the lashings, and seemed to delight above measure in the excruciating torture he thus inflicted upon his patient victim. Not a word, not a complaint escaped her; nor did her grave and composed demeanor forsake her for an instant, though she regarded her tormentor with a look of suffering patience, unspeakably affecting. The soldiers, who had looked on in silence during this scene, now shouldered their arms; the muleteer mounting the baggage mule, and leading, by his right hand, that which carried the youthful prisoner, from which the soldiers never for an instant withdrew their eyes, soon set the animals in motion by the well-known touch of the spur, and the journey commenced—when, for the first time, a piercing cry escaped the lips of the fair Sol:—"Adieu! adieu!" exclaimed she; "adieu for ever, my native land!" And soon they entered on the road to Fez.

If the unconcerned spectators were moved even to tears on witnessing this scene, what were the feelings of the parents who were eye-witnesses of all that passed! Love, tenderness, and sorrow, every emotion that could agitate them, struggled for utterance within their breasts. Haim and Simla and the young Ysajar, fell on their knees, and sent up to Heaven their hearts' supplications;[Pg 352] they followed with their eyes the departing cavalcade, their gaze riveted like those of a spectre; no need was there now to enjoin them to keep silence, for their utterance was stifled on their lips; a red-hot iron seemed to weigh upon their breasts; they raised their eyes to the heavens, to that beautiful African sky, pure and transparent as an arch of azure crystal, and it seemed to them like a roof of lead, in which the bright sun appeared a rolling ball of blood-red hue; their hands, with a convulsive grasp, tore the hair from their heads, and rending their garments in despair, they fell senseless to the earth. Their relatives and friends conveyed them, still insensible, to their homes, and applied restoratives to recall animation. But, alas! to what a consciousness were they restored! to the keener and keener sense of that grief which must follow them to the latest hour of their existence!

The beautiful Sol, meanwhile, travelled on, in the manner already described, silently enduring the separation from her native soil. About three miles of the journey were completed, when there encountered them, as though by accident, a man, who joined himself to the travellers. This was the Jew already mentioned, who being almost a stranger to the Moors, had engaged himself to the friends of Sol not to lose sight of her during her journey. He entered into conversation with the soldiers, and feigning ignorance of the circumstances of the case, soon obtained from them an account both of their destination, and of the recent occurrences at Tangier.

The sagacious Hebrew, having thus gained the confidence of the escort, addressed a few words to the prisoner, giving her to understand that she ought to embrace the law of the Prophet, and become a Mahometan, as he himself had done. The beautiful Sol heard him with much tranquillity, but without giving any answer; but at a moment when the escort were off their guard, he succeeded in attracting her attention by signs, and in making known to her that he was there for her protection. The poor victim comprehended his meaning, and they were thus more than once enabled to communicate by stealth.

The journey to Fez occupied six days, the nights being spent at the different halting-places. All who saw the prisoner on the road, and were made acquainted with the particulars of her situation, earnestly exhorted, and even implored her to become a proselyte to their faith; she heard them with quiet diffidence, and replied modestly to all the arguments directed to her, that she would rather sacrifice her life than change her religion. So much courageous perseverance was the admiration of all who conversed with her, and her situation excited the greatest interest and sympathy wherever she passed.

The friendly Jew, who still associated himself with the escort, and protested that he was on his road to Fez for the purposes of commerce, obtained permission to speak with and exhort the prisoner, when, in the Hebrew tongue, of which the Moors were ignorant, he took occasion to tell the young Jewess the object of his commission; he communicated to her the prohibition of the Governor of Tangier to her parents to leave the city, and the trust reposed in him; for the better fulfilment of which he had assumed the language and disguise under which he appeared. Sol replied in the same manner, by requesting him to be the bearer of a message to her parents, assuring them that she had not for a single instant forgotten them, and that the thoughts of their sufferings were more cruel to her than any that she herself experienced.

I would not unnecessarily dwell upon this melancholy history by a minute description of the various trials and sufferings endured by the youthful Sol upon the road; they can but too readily be inferred from the previous recital. At length, however, the day arrived on which the travellers reached Fez, the residence of the Emperor of Morocco. One of the soldiers of the escort was sent forward to give notice of their approach to the Emperor, who issued immediate orders that his son should go out upon the road, attended by a splendid retinue, to meet the young captive. Accordingly about evening, the Imperial Prince, escorted by more than three hundred of his court, went out on horseback, displaying, as they went, their skill in the feats of horsemanship by which the Moors do honor to the person they are escorting, and meeting the young prisoner on the road, he conducted her to his palace.


[7] The following well-authenticated story, it is believed, has never yet appeared in English. It is almost a literal translation of a work published in Spanish a few years since, and now rarely to be met with.—El Martirio de la Joven Hachuel, or la Heroina Hebrea. Por D. E. M. Romero, 1837.

[8] The entire administration of justice in Tangier is intrusted to the military.

[9] In the usual mode of administering justice in Tangier, the governor sits, with his secretaries, in the portico of his house, surrounded by the soldiers (who act as police, and are charged with the execution of the governor's mandate), armed with swords, and carrying staves in their hands; while those who are to be tried kneel in the street in front of the place occupied by the governor, to await judgment. In the present case, however, an exception was made to the general form, the governor receiving the young Jewess in his inner hall of audience.

[10] In the barbarous legislation of the Moors, the evidence of one witness alone affords ground sufficient for passing sentence of death; and in cases relating to the Mahometan religion this is most frequently carried out.

[11] It is the Moorish custom, that all those who are convicted as guilty, or their families, should pay all costs of the lawsuit, and every other contingent expense. Thus, one condemned to suffer the penalty of one hundred bastinadoes, after he has received them, is compelled to pay the executioner the whole sum required for the work of inflicting them.

From Fraser's Magazine



Few persons in England are aware of the amount of information which has been obtained through the medium of priestly literature in France; not to speak of the early Jesuit travellers, whose wonderful adventures first familiarized their readers with China and South America, and more than one of whom has been cleared, Herodotus-like, of the charge of exaggeration by the testimony of subsequent writers; not to speak even of those Lettres édifiantes et curieuses, which the Parisian wits and philosophers of the eighteenth century did not disdain to read, and which were merely extracts from missionary correspondence; a patient reader might even in the present day gather from publications of the same kind—Les Annales de la Propagation de la Foi for example—many curious details respecting savage tribes and distant lands rarely visited by learned or[Pg 353] worldly travellers. Unfortunately, such books are, for the most part, written in a style at once so wearisome and so full of religious affectation, that only a particular class of readers can digest them. The volumes before us—though recalling by their origin, and certain peculiar views of the writer, the class of works we have described—are very superior both in form and matter. We doubt if any publications, at once so diverting and so instructive, has appeared in France for a very long while. There is a vein of good humored raillery and natural fun running throughout them, which, joined to a total absence of book-making, carries one pleasantly on: to these are added good faith and earnestness of purpose, that command respect. It is always a pleasant surprise, as Pascal truly said, to find a man where one expected to meet with an author; and M. Huc not only appears a very good man, but shows himself a very clever one. The countries he has visited are comparatively unknown, but are daily becoming more important to us. Recent events have brought China within the sphere of our interests, political and commercial; and her policy towards her Tartar dependencies, and the nominally independent state of Thibet, are beginning to excite attention in this part of the world. Those who have studied the subject, will be deeply interested by M. Huc's narrative; and the general reader must be amused by his graphic account of one of the most arduous journeys ever effected. A few words will explain under what circumstances it was undertaken.

At the beginning of the present century, the French missionary establishment at Pekin, which had been at one time so flourishing, was almost destroyed by successive persecutions, and the scattered members of the little church, which had been founded at the cost of so many perils, had taken refuge beyond the Great Wall, in the deserts of Mongolia. There they contrived to live on the patches of land which the Tartars allowed them to cultivate; and a few priests of the Lazarist order were appointed to keep up the faith of the dispersed flock. MM. Huc and Gabet were, in 1842, employed in visiting these Chinese Christians, settled in Mongolia; and the acquaintance formed during these visits with the wandering Tartar tribes inspired them with a great desire to convert them to Christianity. Indeed, throughout these volumes we trace an evident partiality to the Tartars as compared with the Chinese; and they furnish a fresh instance of the invariable absence of congeniality between Europeans of all nations and the natives of the Celestial Empire.

The missionaries were hard at work, studying the dialects of Tartary, when a circumstance occurred which gave their plans of proselytism a more definite shape. The Papal See, with that magnificent contempt for the realities of dominion which has ever distinguished it, and in virtue, we suppose, of that undefined tenth point of the law which is not involved in the word possession, appointed a Vicar Apostolic of Mongolia. The pope might, with equal impunity, have divided it into bishoprics—no meetings would have been hold to protest against the usurpation; and the mandarins of Pekin would certainly have proposed no law to prevent the Lamas of the western world from assuming what titles they pleased. But even in that case, the interests of the church would not have been much forwarded. The very extent and limits of the vicariate were, as yet, unknown; and MM. Huc and Gabet were, to their great satisfaction, appointed, in the year 1844, to ascertain these first essential points.

The undertaking was one of no common difficulty: the country they had to traverse was untrodden even by the feet of former missionaries, inhabited by wild, roving tribes, beggared by Chinese extortions, rendered barren by long misgovernment, and lastly, infested in many parts by bands of armed robbers. These latter are, it is true, far different, in manner at least, from what their name would lead most of our readers to expect, and exercise their uncourteous trade with the utmost urbanity:

They do not rudely clap a pistol to your head, and uncivilly demand your money, or your life; they present themselves humbly, and say: "Good elder brother, I am weary of walking; please to lend me thy horse?... I am without money; be so good as to lend me thy purse?... It is very cold to-day; wilt thou give me thy coat?" If the old elder brother is charitable enough to lend all this, he receives in return a "thank you, brother;" if not, the humble request is immediately supported by a few blows; if that does not suffice, the sabre is brought into play.

The preparations for the journey were admirably simple—a single attendant and a dog formed the escort; a tent, an iron kettle, a few cups, and sheep-skins, completed the baggage. There were, however, other precautions taken prior to departure, highly characteristic of the church to which our travellers belonged, and which may serve to explain the comparative success that, in the East, has generally attended the efforts of its missionaries.

Sir James Emerson Tennent, in his work on Ceylon, has given a curious account of the compliance of the Jesuit missionaries with the customs and external rites of the people they sought to convert, as opposed to the rigid discipline and unbending orthodoxy of their Dutch successors, who would not stoop, and who, perhaps, on that account, did not conquer. Our Lazarists, though not practising, in all its latitude, the Jesuit doctrine, were nevertheless determined that nothing in the outward man should repel the sympathy of those whom they sought to persuade. On the frontiers of Mongolia, the Chinese dress, which they had hitherto worn, was laid aside;[Pg 354] the long tress of hair, that had been cherished since they left France, was pitilessly sacrificed, to the infinite despair of their Chinese congregation; and they assumed the habit generally worn by the Lamas, or priests of Thibet. In the opinion of the Tartars, Lamas are alone privileged to speak on religious matters; and a layman, or "black man"[13] (to use their own expression), who should presume to converse on things spiritual, would excite laughter and contempt. It was, therefore, good policy to adopt a dress which insured the respect and attention of their hearers. The costume was one which would have been rather startling to a priest who, without transition should have exchanged for it the black soutaine of the Romish church. It consisted in a yellow robe, fastened on one side with five gilt buttons and confined at the waist by a long red sash, a red jacket with a violet collar, and a yellow cap with red tuft. Nor was this all. The same conciliatory spirit which had dictated the change of costume, presided over the whole conduct of the travellers; and we find them heroically declining the hot wine offered by their Chinese host of the frontier inn, saying, good humoredly, that good Lamas must abstain from wine and tobacco.

We dwell purposely on these details, because they show the spirit in which the journey was undertaken, and explain the confidence with which the travellers were received beneath the Mogul tents, and initiated into all the details of life in the wilderness. We find them associating without repugnance with the Tsao-Ta-Dze, or stinking Tartars (so called by the Chinese, who are themselves far from irreproachable on the score of cleanliness), purchasing second-hand clothes well besmeared with mutton fat, and enjoying their Tartar tea as though it had been the café au lait of their native land. This tea, by the bye, deserves a few words of notice. It differs materially from the tea of the Chinese; for whereas the latter use only the young and tender leaves of the plant, the Tartar tea is composed of the coarse leaves, and even some of the branches, which are pressed into moulds of about the size and thickness of a brick. When it is to be used, a piece of the brick is broken off, pulverized, and boiled, a handful of salt is then thrown in, and the liquid continues to boil until it is almost black; the mixture is then poured into a large vessel, and invariably offered to every guest on his arrival. The Russians also consume a large quantity of this article, and in the north of Tartary it serves as the only medium of exchange. A house, a camel, or a horse, is sold for so many teas—five teas being worth an ounce of silver.

Life in the desert is monotonous enough; and yet, though half of the first volume is devoted to the pilgrimage through the plains of Mongolia, the interest never flags. The little incidents of travel are told good-humoredly, and sometimes are most amusing. Let us take, for instance, the following account given by a Tartar hero of the war against the English. The narrator was a native of the Tchakar country, and had with his countrymen been called out to march against the "rebels of the south"—as the Tartars usually call us. The Tchakar (literally border-country) is, in fact, an immense camp, of which all the inhabitants are bound to military service, and are divided into different tribes, or "banners." The pastures of the Tchakar serve to feed the innumerable flocks of the Emperor of China, and the natives are almost exclusively employed in tending them. They are not allowed to cultivate the soil, or to sell any portion of it to their Chinese neighbors. As may be imagined, these shepherd-soldiers are only called upon on great occasions, but they are then supposed to be irresistible.

"So you were engaged in that famous war of the south! How could you shepherds have the courage of soldiers? Accustomed to a peaceful life, you are strangers to that rude trade, which consists in killing, or being killed." "Yes, we are shepherds, it is true; but we do not forget that we are soldiers also, and that the eight banners compose the body of reserve of the "Great Master" (the Emperor). You know the rules of the Empire. When the enemy appears, the militia of the Kitat (Chinese) is first sent; then the banners of the Solon district are brought forward; if the war is not ended, then a signal is made to the banners of Tchakar; and the very sound of their steps is always sufficient to reduce the rebels to order."... "Did you fight?—did you see the enemy?" inquired Samdadchiemba. "No, they dared not make their appearance. The Kitat kept on saying that we were marching to certain and needless death. What can you do, they said, against sea-monsters? They live in the water, like fishes; and when one least expects it, they rise to the surface, and throw their inflamed Si-Koua.[14] As soon as one makes ready to shoot one's arrows at them, they plunge back into the water like frogs! Thus, they sought to frighten us; but we, the soldiers of the eight banners, were not afraid. Before we set out, the chief Lamas had opened the book of celestial secrets, and had assured us that the affair would have a happy issue. The Emperor had given to each Tchouanda, a Lama learned in medicine, and initiated into the holy mysteries, who was to cure us of all the diseases of the climate, and protect us against the magic of the sea-monsters. What had we then to fear? The rebels having heard that the invincible militia of the Tchakar was approaching, trembled, and sued for peace. The "Holy Master," in his infinite mercy granted their prayer; and we were permitted to return to our pastures and the care of our flocks."

But such meetings were rare, and in general, a passing salutation in the metaphorical style of the East, was all that was exchanged[Pg 355] with fellow-travellers. It would seem, however, that a desert life has charms which we, poor slaves of civilization, can scarcely appreciate, but which never fail to captivate after a short experience. Would any of our readers have fancied, for instance, that a search after argols could be an exciting employment? Argol, let it be understood, is a rather pretty Tartar word for a very ugly thing, which can scarcely be gracefully described. It means, in fact, the dung of the innumerable animals that feed in the plains of Tartary, and which, in a dry state, is carefully collected by the natives, and is their only fuel. No argols, no breakfast; and in consequence, M. Huc tells us that the first care of M. Gabet and himself, in the morning, after devoting a short time to prayer, was to seek after argols—with what zest our readers shall see:

The occupation that followed these meditations, was certainly not of a mystical character; it was, however, a most necessary one, and not without its attractions. Each of us threw a bag over his shoulder, and set out in different directions in quest of argols. Those who have never led a roving life will scarcely believe that such an occupation can be productive of enjoyment; and yet, when one of us had the good fortune to discover, hidden among the grass, an argol remarkable for its size and siccity, he felt at his heart a thrill of pleasure, a sudden emotion, that gave a moment's happiness. The delight caused by the discovery of a fine argol may be compared to that of a sportsman finding the trace of his game—of a child contemplating the long sought for bird's nest—of an angler, who sees a fish quivering at the end of his line; or, if we may be allowed to liken great things to small, we would compare it to the enthusiasm of a Leverrier finding a planet at the tip of his pen.

We are not at liberty, unfortunately, to dwell as we would on these details of Tartar life, however humorously related, for we must reserve space for those descriptions of Buddhistic customs in which the chief interest of these volumes consists. It suffices to say that, during the eighteen months of incredible fatigue and privations, which elapsed before the travellers reached Lha-Ssa, their courage never flagged, nor did their good-humored and hopeful resignation ever forsake them. Every morning the tent was struck, and the encampment of the previous night, however well situated, abandoned without regret. Indeed, as long as the missionaries remained in the plains of Mongolia, surrounded by friendly tribes, they seem, to a certain degree, to have enjoyed this roving life. On one occasion, after an unusually protracted stay of two days, M. Huc writes:

We quitted this encampment without regret, as we had left the others, with this difference, that in the spot where we had spread our tent, there was a greater quantity of ashes than usual, and that the surrounding grass was more trodden down.

This is the true spirit for Tartar travelling, which it is not given to every one to possess in the same degree. In the choice of their attendant, too, the missionaries appear to have been fortunate. "On the countenance of Samdadchiemba," says M. Huc, "one could not trace the sly cunning of the Chinese, nor the good-natured frankness of the Tartar, nor the courageous energy of the native of Thibet, but there was a mixture of all three. He was a Dchiahour." His countenance appears to have been a faithful index to his character. Such as he was, Samdadchiemba is what would be termed, in a work of fiction, an excellent character. In this truthful narrative, he forms an admirable portrait. He was a convert of M. Gabet, and had imbibed a sort of hazy notion of Christianity, which was often curiously mingled with reminiscences of his early creed. Strange scruples would sometimes assail him; as on one occasion, when his "spiritual fathers" had, to their great satisfaction, succeeded in getting some fish:

We took the fishes, and went to the edge of the little lake that lay close to our tent. We were no sooner there, than we saw Samdadchiemba running towards us in great haste. He quickly untied the handkerchief that held the fish. "What are you going to do?" he inquired, anxiously. "We are going to scale and clean the fish." "Oh! take care, my spiritual fathers; wait a little—we must not commit sin." "Who is committing sin?" "Look at the fish—see, many are still moving; you must let them die quietly. Is it not a sin to kill any living thing?" "Go and bake your bread," we replied, "and leave us alone. Have you not got rid of your ideas of metempsychosis yet, eh? Do you still believe that men are turned into beasts, and beasts into men?" The features of our Dchiahour relaxed into a broad grin. "Ho-le! Ho-le!" said he, slapping his forehead; "what a blockhead I am—what was I thinking about? I had forgotten the doctrine,"... and he turned off quite abashed at having given his ridiculous warning. The fish was fried in mutton fat, and proved excellent.

We hope we shall not be accused of Buddhistic tendencies if we say that there appears to us something more amiable in the Dchiahour's misgivings than in the unpitying orthodoxy of his spiritual fathers. Be that as it may, the anecdote shows that the practices of a religion will often cling to a man long after its tenets appear to have been totally eradicated from his mind. We must add, however, that when the day of trial came, Samdadchiemba boldly confessed his faith as a Christian, and even stood a very fair chance of becoming a martyr, in spite of his backslidings, on the subject of metempsychosis. Well might the missionaries value their neophyte, for (with one doubtful exception) no new convert was added to their church during their long and perilous journey. Although hospitably, and even courteously received every where—under the humblest Mogul tent and in the wealthiest Lama-houses—though listened to with deference as men of prayer and piety by every class of Tartars, (perhaps of all nations the most inclined to religious feelings,) they made[Pg 356] no proselytes. After reading their own account of their efforts, one remains convinced of the difficulties which must stand in the way of conversions from Buddhism. Idolatry, as it is represented in story books for children, under its grossest form of fetichism, may be easily conquered, but the vast spirit of Pantheism is more difficult to grapple with. That Buddhism, as understood by the more enlightened Lamas, is Pantheism, there can be no doubt. All created beings emanate from, and return to, Buddha—the one eternal and universal soul—the principle and end of all things, and of whom all things are the partial and temporary manifestations. All animated beings are divided into classes, that have each of them in their power the means of sanctification, so as to obtain, after death, transmigration into a higher class, until, at last, they enjoy plenitude of being by absorption into the eternal soul of Buddha. This doctrine, simple enough when explained by the superior class of Buddhists, is overlaid with superstitions for the vulgar; and it is this double character of Buddhism, varying according to the mind of the believer, that, in our opinion, constitutes the great difficulty in the path of proselytism. Every Buddhist is provided for the defence of his faith with the very armor best fitted to protect him in his particular social and intellectual sphere. The enlightened Lamas of Thibet take refuge in the vastness and antiquity of their system, which we ought, perhaps, rather to term a philosophy than a religion. Their comprehensive creed can tolerate all others which appear but as subdivisions of itself—partial and limited views of the great universal law, of which it has been given to them alone to embrace the whole. They boast with reason that no precepts, not even those of the Gospel, are more noble; no practices more tolerant than those of Buddhism. Even the doctrine of equality among men, which has rendered Christianity so attractive to the oppressed of all other creeds, was preached by Buddhists centuries before our era. The belief in the progressive enlightenment of mankind, and the perfectibility of our nature, which are the very essence of Buddhism, has seduced many philosophical minds in all ages and in all countries, and will not easily be abandoned by the Lamas—the dispensers of knowledge, whose mission is that of teachers—for the levelling doctrine of original sin. On the other hand, in Mongolia and Tartary, among a more ignorant race, MM. Huc and Gabet had to cope with another sort of opposition. The lower orders of Buddhists know nothing of the abstract doctrine, but are hedged in by petty customs and daily observances, which are the most powerful defence for narrow minds. In vain did the missionaries endeavor to gain an insight into the creed of these simple tribes, who believed firmly they knew not exactly what. When questioned on this subject, they would refer the inquirer to the Lamas, who in their turn would avow their ignorance as compared to the "saints." All agreed in one point, that the doctrine came from the West, and that there alone it would be found pure and undefiled.

When we had expounded to them the truths of Christianity, they never argued with us, but merely answered with great coolness, "We have not all the prayers here. The Lamas of the West will explain all—will account for every thing; we believe in the traditions from the West." These expressions only served to corroborate a remark we had had occasion to make during our journey through Tartary; namely, that there is not a single Lama-house of any importance, of which the chief Lama does not come from Thibet. A Lama who has travelled to Lha-Ssa is sure on his return to obtain the confidence of every Tartar. He is considered as a superior being—a seer, before whose eyes the mysteries of lives past and to come have been unveiled in the very heart of the "eternal sanctuary" in the "land of spirits."[15]

It appears just possible to us, that this obscurity in speaking of things spiritual, which, after all, can at best be seen but as through a glass darkly, is not so peculiar to Buddhism as M. Huc and his companion suppose; and that the dogmas of any religion are more difficult of comprehension to minds who have not been prepared from infancy for their reception than is generally imagined. When we are told, for instance, by our author, that in a "few plain words" he exposed the doctrines of his church, we confess that we have our doubts as to any lucidity of expression being sufficient to convey to untrained hearers a clear idea of the doctrine of transubstantiation among others.

Be that as it may, westward our travellers determined to bend their steps, in search of knowledge at the fountain-head; resolved to visit Thibet, and to attack Buddhism in its very stronghold, Lha-Ssa. To this change in their original plan, we owe the most interesting portion of these travels. Although they made no secret of their intentions of proselytism, they were received in all the Lama-houses as fellow-laborers in the field of religious instruction, and as such became initiated into all the habits of Lamanist life. One cannot help reflecting how different would be the reception of Lamas, who should visit Rome, with the avowed purpose of converting the subjects of His Holiness to Buddhism. The details given by M. Huc on Lamanism in general are more complete than any we remember to have read, and are given with a natural piquancy rarely to be met with in writers on such grave subjects.

Tartary is, perhaps, of all the countries in the world, the most priest-ridden; the Lamas[Pg 357] forming, it is said, one-third of the entire population. In most families, with the exception of the eldest son, who remains "a black man," all the sons are Lamas. Their future destiny is decided from the very cradle, by the fact of their parents causing their heads to be shaved. As they are vowed to celibacy, it is probable that Chinese policy has favored the natural bias of the people towards a religious life, in order to arrest the progress of population. Certain it is, that while the government of Pekin suffers its own bonzes and priests to remain in the most abject condition, it has always honored and encouraged Lamaism in Tartary and Thibet. The remembrance of the exploits of their ancestors is not yet extinct beneath the tents of the Moguls, and legends of conquest and traditions of empire still serve to wile away the long leisure hours of their roving life. Notwithstanding two centuries of peace, and the enervating influence of Chinese misgovernment, if an appeal were made to Tartar fanaticism, hordes might yet pour down from the vast country, extending from the frontiers of Siberia to the farthest limits of Thibet, which would make the Celestial Emperor tremble on his throne in Pekin. The spread of Lamaism is the best safeguard against such a contingency, and the empty honors paid by the sceptic and worldly Chinese to the different Grand Lamas, have no other motive than a desire to appease the susceptibility of the Tartar tribes. The Lamas are divided into three classes: those that remain under the tent, and whose mode of life differs little from that of the other members of their family; the travelling Lamas—a migratory kind of animals—who, with staff in hand, and wallet at their backs, wander from place to place, trusting to Tartar hospitality for their maintenance; and lastly, the Lamas who live in communities, or convents, and devote themselves more especially to study and prayer. Most of the Lama-houses enjoy large revenues, the result of imperial foundations, or the liberality of native princes. These are distributed at certain periods among the Lamas, according to their rank in the hierarchy. Some religious communities, or aggregations of Lama-houses, such as that of Grand Kouren, number 30,000 Lamas, and its head, the Guison-Tomba, is powerful enough to give umbrage to the Chinese Emperor himself. But the chief of the humblest Lama-house may be an important personage, if he happen to be a Chaberon, that is to say, an incarnation of Buddha—one whose death is but a transformation. The Buddhists firmly believe in these transmigrations of their living Buddhas, and the ceremonies which attend the election—we ought to say the recognition—of these undying sovereigns, are curiously related by M. Huc.

When a Grand Lama takes his departure, that is to say when he dies, the event is no subject for mourning to the community. There is no giving way to tears or regrets, for every one is convinced that the Chaberon will soon reappear. His apparent death is only the beginning of a new existence—a link added to an endless and uninterrupted chain of successive lives—a mere palingenesia. So long as the saint remains in the chrysalis state, his disciples are in the greatest anxiety, for their great affair is to find out in what spot their master is to resume his life. If a rainbow appears in the clouds, it is considered as a token sent them by their former Grand Lama, to aid them in their researches. Every one then falls to praying, and while the community, thus bereaved of its Lama, redoubles its feasts and orisons, a chosen band sets out to consult the Tchurtchun, or soothsayer, versed in the knowledge of all things hidden from ordinary men. He is informed that on such a day of such a month, the rainbow of the Chaberon was seen in the heavens; that it appeared in a certain direction; was more or less luminous; was visible during a certain lapse of time, and then disappeared under such and such circumstances. When the Tchurtchun has obtained all the necessary information, he recites a few prayers, opens his book of divination, and finally pronounces his oracle, while the Tartars, who have come to consult him, listen to his words, kneeling, and rapt in profound devotion. Your Grand Lama, he says, is come to life again, in Thibet, at such a distance from your house; you will find him in such a family. When the poor creatures have heard the oracle, they return rejoicing, to announce the good tidings at the Lama-house.

It frequently occurs that the disciples of the defunct Lama have no need to take all this trouble to discover his new birthplace. He often condescends so far as to reveal, in person, the secret of his transformation. As soon as he has performed his metamorphosis in Thibet, he declares himself at his birthplace, at an age at which ordinary children cannot articulate a word. "I," he says, with a tone of authority, "am the Grand Lama, the living Buddha of such a temple; let me be conducted to the Lama-house, of which I am the immortal superior."...

The Tartars are always delighted at the discovery of their Grand Lama, by whatever means it may be effected. Preparations are joyfully made for the journey; the ministers and some members of the royal family join the caravan, which is to bring back the saint in triumph. High and low contribute to the expense, and are eager to share the dangers of the journey. These are not in general trifling; for the Lama is frequently inconsiderate enough towards his followers to transmigrate in a part of the country at once distant and difficult of access. If one expedition fails, or falls into the hands of robbers, another is sent, and there is no instance of these devotees faltering in their faith. When at last the Chaberon is discovered, it must not be supposed that he is accepted and proclaimed at once, without proper precautions being taken to ascertain his identity. A solemn sitting is held, at which the living Buddha is examined in public, with the most scrupulous attention. He is questioned as to the name of the Lama-house of which he pretends to be the chief, its distance and situation, and the number of its resident Lamas. He is moreover interrogated concerning the habits of the defunct[Pg 358] Grand Lama, and the principal particulars of his death. After all these questions, prayer-books, tea-pots, cups, utensils, and things of all kinds, are placed before him, and he is expected to designate those which belonged to him during his preceding life.

In general, the child, who is rarely more than five or six years old, comes out triumphant from all these trials; replies correctly to all the questions that are put to him; and makes, without hesitation, the inventory of his former furniture. "This," he says, "is the prayer-book I was in the habit of using; here is the painted cup in which I used to drink tea," and so on through the whole list.

The Tartars are, undoubtedly, often the dupes of those who are interested in making a Grand Lama of the brat. We think, however, that often the affair is conducted on both sides with perfect simplicity and good faith. From all we gathered from persons most worthy of belief, it appears certain that the wonders related of the Chaberons cannot be attributed to juggling or delusion. A purely human philosophy would, doubtless, reject such facts, or unhesitatingly lay them to the charge of Lamaist imposture. We—catholic missionaries—think that the great liar who deceived our first parents in Paradise, prosecutes on earth his system of falsehood. He who was potent enough to sustain Simon Magus in the air, may well speak in the present day by the mouth of a child, in order to confirm the belief of his worshippers.

As our duties are those of the critic, and not those of the inquisitor, we will not stop to inquire how far the slightly Manichean doctrine implied in the concluding remark of M. Huc is received as orthodox by the Gallican Church; but, as a general observation, we may say, that there seems no reason why, with such a method of accounting for miracles, any should be disbelieved; nor do we understand how, under this system, any miracles can be adduced as a proof of the truth of any religion. Surely, since the days of the Scribes and Pharisees, no enemy of Christianity ever attacked it more radically than by attributing the power of miracles to Beelzebub, the prince of the devils! M. Huc reminds us of a preacher whom we once heard, in an enlightened capital, explaining the miracle of speech in Balaam's ass, by reminding his congregation that parrots—nay, even bull-finches, have been made to speak, and therefore why not an ass? It never occurred to him, that in the impossibility of the thing the miracle consisted. There is a little of the same kind of oversight in the explanations of our missionaries. They are, however, too earnest and single-hearted in their credulity to be laughed at; and, on other occasions, when their powers of belief were still further tested, they displayed a courageous resolution which disarms ridicule, and is not the less admirable because shown on an absurd occasion. Among the inferior class of Lamas there are many who pretend to possess preternatural gifts, which are exorcised publicly on solemn occasions, and greatly increase the fame of the saint who exhibits them, and the revenues of the community of which he is a member. M. Huc and his companion being in the neighborhood of a large Lama-house, heard that one of these festivals was to be held, at which a Lama was to perform the unpleasant but wonderful feat of disembowelling himself for the gratification of the public, and after remaining in that state for a certain time, during which he would answer any questions respecting futurity, he would replace things in statu quo by means of a short prayer. According to their views of such matters, this could, of course, be easily effected by the agency of the Evil One, and they were confirmed in the idea by the wording of an invocation used on similar occasions, and which certainly appears to indicate some infernal bargain. Instead, therefore, of suspecting trickery, they only considered how they could best prove the superiority of prayer over incantations, and neutralize the power of the devil. They determined to be present at the ceremony, and, in the midst of the diabolical invocation, to stand forward, and in the name of the true God to arrest the charm. An unforeseen accident fortunately prevented their reaching the scene of action in time, or it is very possible that their journey might have terminated then and there in martyrdom, in spite of Buddhistic toleration. Faith and courage are, however, no subjects for sarcasm, wherever they may be exhibited, and it seems to us that there was a good deal of both in the above plan.

Our readers will see that these volumes are interesting, not only by the facts they contain, but also from the peculiar manner in which the writer judges them. Not the least amusing feature in the case is, that we find him continually noting as absurd Buddhistic abuses many customs which are common to his own Church. On the very outset of their journey, the missionaries took advantage of their stay at Tolon-Noor, a town famous for its foundries, to have a large crucifix cast. M. Huc mentions that the large statues of Buddha almost all come from thence, but these he calls idols, whereas the crucifix was an image. The pilgrimages, genuflexions, and vows of the Buddhist devotees surprise him, as though there were no steps at Rome worn bare by thousands of knees—no shrines in France visited by bare-footed pilgrims—no children dressed in white from their birth to please the Virgin Mary! In one description of a Lama seminary, he remarks that the canonical books of Buddhism being all written in the language of Thibet, the Lamas of Mongolia pass their lives in studying their religion in a foreign idiom, while they scarcely know their own language. Let us see what improvement the introduction of Catholicism would effect, in this state of things. We open a recent work[16] on French missions in Cochin-China[Pg 359] and Corea; and in a description of the Catholic seminary of Pulo-Ticoux, near Pinang, we read: "Both teachers and pupils speak only Latin in their class—not the barbarous Latin of our schools, but a pure, harmonious tongue, such as I never heard spoken before. With the exception of a few elementary notions of geography, modern history, and arithmetic, the children receive an exclusively religious education." There is one invention, however, in which Buddhism has no rival, and which throws the Roman Catholic idea of praying by proxy quite into shade. We never heard of a prayer-mill before. A piece of pasteboard, of a cylindrical form, is covered with prayers of the most approved sort; once set in motion, this machine will turn for a long while, and so long as it does turn, the prayers inscribed on it are placed to the credit of the person who first set it going. Sometimes these mills are set up in a stream, and pray everlastingly for their founders.

We must now hurry on to Lha-Ssa, foregoing many tempting pictures of Chinese life which occur by the way, for our travellers were obliged to pass on Chinese territory before reaching their destination. A Chinese landlord is a curious character, as curious often as the sign of his own inn; and whether he lodged at the "Hotel of Justice and Mercy," or at that of the "Three Perfections," or the "Five Felicities," or put up at the "Temperate Climate" inn, M. Huc finds matter for amusing description. On these occasions the great fear of the missionaries was, that they should be taken for English, seeing that these latter were not in favor just then:

At Tchoang-Long we lodged at the hotel of the "Three Social Relations," where we had the pleasantest landlord imaginable to deal with. He was a true Chinese: and, to give us a proof of his perspicacity, asked us point blank if we were not English—adding, to make the question clearer, that he meant by Ing-kie-li, the sea-devils (Yang-koueï-Dze,) who were making war at Canton. "No, we are not English, and we are neither sea nor land-devils, nor devils of any sort." A lounger who stood by luckily counteracted the bad effect of the interpellation. "Why," said he to the innkeeper, "don't you know how to look at men's faces? How can you fancy that these men can be Yang-koueï-Dze? Don't you know that their eyes are always blue, and their hair quite red?" "True," said the innkeeper, "I had not thought of that." "No, indeed," we added; "you cannot have reflected. Do you think that sea-monsters could live on land, and ride on horseback, as we do?" "True, true, the Ing-kie-li, it is said, never dare to leave the sea: as soon as they come ashore, they tremble, and die, like fish out of water." A great deal more was said of the manners and customs of the sea-monsters—the result of which was, that we could not possibly be of the same race.

In the beginning of 1846, after incredible trials and fatigues, M. Huc and his companion reached Lha-Ssa, the capital of Thibet—the Rome of Buddhism. The perils of the road were at an end; but dangers of another sort were to be expected. It was not to be supposed that the ostensible object of their journey—the propagation of a new religion—could fail to give umbrage to a purely ecclesiastical government, such as that of the Talé-Lama. For persecutions they were, therefore, prepared; but certainly did not expect it from the quarter in which it was destined to originate. Strange to say, the opposition they met with, and which finally achieved their expulsion from Thibet, was political, and not religious—the result of Chinese susceptibility, rather than of any religious hostility. At the period of their arrival at Lha-Ssa, the Chinese resident at the Court of Pekin was no less a personage than the famous Ki-Chan (or Keshen, as he is often called by the English)—the same who played so conspicuous a part as Imperial Commissary during the negotiations with England, in 1839. On that occasion, Ki-Chan showed, in one respect at least, greater discrimination than most of his countrymen, for he perceived at once the impossibility of holding out against European forces, and made the best terms he could. The necessity for concessions was not, however, so well understood at the court of Pekin. The unfortunate Commissary was accused of having allowed himself to be corrupted by English gold, and to have sold a portion of the Celestial territory to the sea-devils. He was, in consequence, declared "worthy of death," deprived of his titles, goods, and honors, and sent into exile in Tartary: his houses were razed to the ground, and his wives put up to auction! But Fortune and the emperors of China are capricious; and events in Thibet having, towards the year 1844, assumed an aspect which appeared to offer a favorable opportunity of extending Chinese influence in that quarter, the "Holy Master" bethought him of the talents of his discarded servant, Ki-Chan, and sent him to Lha-Ssa, with extraordinary powers. The events we allude to are narrated by M. Huc with clearness, and, we have reason to believe, with great accuracy; but we cannot make room for any account of them, and must content ourselves with a rapid sketch of the ruling powers at Lha-Ssa in 1846, so as to render the situation of our travellers intelligible.

The government of Thibet is a complete theocracy, and the authority of the Talé-Lama is unbounded, as that of a divinity deigning to reign on earth must naturally be over his worshippers. But as he often transmigrates into the body of a mere child, and that, moreover, his very divinity makes it derogatory in him to meddle with worldly affairs, he is supplied with a grosser colleague, who, under the name of Nomekhan, or spiritual emperor, transacts all the business of the state. He is nominated for life by the Talé-Lama, and in his turn chooses four kalons, or ministers, whose power, like that of[Pg 360] ministers elsewhere, is of uncertain duration. At the time we speak of, thanks to Chinese intrigue, both the Talé-Lama and the Nomekhan were minors; and the regency was intrusted to the first kalon, or minister, whose one-absorbing object was to endeavor to resist the daily interference and encroachments of Ki-Chan, and to emancipate Thibet from the oppressive friendship of the court of Pekin. No pope, protected by an army of occupation, was ever more hampered. But the Celestial Emperor had declared himself the "protector" of the Talé-Lama; and as such was he not bound to interfere on every occasion where his dignity or interests were concerned? The arrival of two Europeans at Lha-Ssa, was a circumstance well calculated to excite the suspicions of Ki-Chan, who, in the true spirit of Chinese policy, considered the total exclusion of Europeans as the only safeguard against foreign invasion. In consequence, the missionaries had to undergo more than one minute interrogatory, and a most searching domiciliary visit. The object of this latter seems especially to have been, to ascertain whether they possessed any maps. Although convicted of having in their possession several of these prohibited articles, they managed, by their guarded replies, and a little adroit flattery, to lull the suspicions of the Chinese envoy, and even to obtain the favor of the Regent. This latter, indeed, repeatedly assured them, with that self-deceit by which the oppressed often seek to delude themselves into a belief of their own independence, that they had nothing to fear as long as he supported them, for that it was he "who governed the country." For a little while things went on smoothly enough: the missionaries followed their religion openly, and even worked hard at making converts—not very successfully, it seems to us; but still, so long as they were allowed to sow, they might hope one day to reap. The Regent himself would frequently discourse with them on religious topics:

The Regent was fond of talking on religious matters, and they formed the principal subject of our conversations with him. In the beginning of our intercourse, he said to us the following remarkable words: "All your long journeys have been undertaken solely with a religious object.... You are right, for religion is the great business of life. I see that the French and the people of Thibet think alike in that respect. We are not like the Chinese, who take no account of the care of their souls. Nevertheless, your religion is not the same as ours.... It is of importance to know which is the true one. Let us examine both sincerely and attentively; if yours is the best, we will adopt it; how could we refuse to do so? If, on the other hand, ours is the best, I suppose that you will be rational enough to follow it."

Of course, the tolerant Regent thought that he was not promising much; and, as usual on such occasions, each party made sure of converting the other. Still, one sees so many people who defend what they are convinced is the truth with as little temper and good faith as though they were maintaining what they know to be a falsehood, that we must allow that he had some merit. The controversy then began; the Regent, with great courtesy, allowing the Christians, as his guests, to expound their doctrine first. But our controversialists soon found out what so many other disputants would do well to remember—viz., that in order to give or receive a clear definition, it is essential that both antagonists should be agreed as to the value of its terms. The argument was carried on in Chinese, and neither M. Huc nor M. Gabet were sufficiently conversant with the language to be able to convey metaphysical ideas by its means. The truth-seeking Regent, therefore, proposed that the theological conversations should be suspended until his adversaries should have learned the language of Thibet; and he himself furnished them with a master.

Ki-Chan, on his part, was equally curious, but on other matters:

During the short period of our prosperity at Lha-Ssa, we had some familiar intercourse with the Chinese ambassador, Ki-Chan. He sent for us two or three times, to talk politics, or to use the Chinese expression, to speak "idle words." He talked much of the English, and of Queen Victoria. "It seems," said he, "that she is a woman of great understanding; but her husband, in my opinion, plays a very foolish part. She does not let him meddle with any thing. She has had magnificent gardens laid out for him, with fruit-trees and all kinds of flowers; and there he is always shut up, and spends his life in walking about.... They say there are other countries in Europe where women govern—is it true? Are their husbands also shut up in gardens? Is that, too, the custom in France?" "No; in France the women are in the gardens, and the men direct public affairs." "That's right—any other plan produces disorder."...

Ki-Chan then inquired after Palmerston, and asked if he was still intrusted with foreign affairs?... "And Ilu,[17] what has become of him—do you know?" "He has been recalled; your fall caused his." "I am sorry for it. He had an excellent heart, but he knew not how to take a resolution. Has he been put to death, or exiled?" "Neither; in Europe we do not make such short work of these things as at Pekin." "True, true; your Mandarins are much better off than we are. Your government is much better than ours: our Emperor cannot know every thing, and yet he judges every thing, and no one may find fault with his acts. Our Emperor says to us, This is white.... We fall down and answer, Yes, this is white. He then shows us the same object, and says, This is black.... We fall down and answer, Yes, this is black." "But, after all, suppose you were to say that the same thing could not be black and white?" "The Emperor would, perhaps, say to any one courageous enough to do it, Thou art right; but at the same time he would have him strangled or beheaded."... He then[Pg 361] added, that for his own part he was convinced that the Chinese could never cope with Europeans, unless they altered their arms, and changed their old habits; but that he would take good care never to say so, seeing that the counsel, besides being useless, would probably cost him his life.

At other times, the whole court would assist at some exhibition of European wonders:

One day when we were speaking of observatories and astronomical instruments, the Regent asked us if we would allow him to examine the curious, strange-looking machine that we kept in a box. He meant the microscope.... One of us ran home, and returned with the wonderful instrument. While we were putting it together, we attempted to give, as well as we could, some notion of optics to our auditory; but as we perceived that the theory excited but little interest, we proceeded at once to experiments. We asked if any person in the company would favor us with a louse. The thing was far easier to obtain than a butterfly. A noble Lama, who was secretary to his Excellency the first Kalon, had only to slip his hand beneath his silk robe to produce a fully developed specimen. We seized it immediately with our tweezers; seeing which, the Lama objected to the experiment, alleging that we were going to cause the death of a living being. "Never fear," we said, "we have only got hold of him by his skin; and besides, he seems sufficiently sturdy to get over the trial." The Regent, whose creed, as we before said, was more spiritualized than that of the vulgar, told the Lama to hold his tongue, and let us alone. We therefore proceeded with the experiment, and fixed into the object-glass the little animal, who was struggling in our tweezers. We then requested the Regent to apply his eye to the glass at the top of the machine. "Tsong-Kaba!" said he; "the louse is as big as a rat."... Having viewed it for an instant, he hid his face in his hands, saying, that it was a horrible sight. He tried to prevent the others from looking, but his expostulations were unavailing. Every body in turn bent over the microscope, and started back with cries of horror. The Secretary-Lama perceiving that his little animal scarcely moved, put in a word in its behalf. We raised the tweezers and restored the louse to its owner. Alas! the unfortunate victim was lifeless. The Regent said, laughingly to his secretary, "I fear your louse is unwell; go and see if you can physic him, or he'll never recover."

All this pleasantness and good fellowship was not to last long, and little more than a month elapsed before the blow came. The suspicions of Ki-Chan had been lulled—not dispelled. It was contrary to the invariable policy of the Chinese to brook the presence of strangers, and especially of preachers of Christianity, at Lha-Ssa; and the very favor shown them by the native government was an additional motive for desiring their expulsion. One day, the two Frenchmen were summoned to the presence of Ki-Chan, who, with the usual forms of Chinese politeness, informed them that Thibet was too poor and miserable a country to suit them, and that they had best think of returning to France. In vain did they, after thanking him for his friendly interest, assure him with firmness, that, notwithstanding his advice, they intended to remain; in vain did the poor Regent promise his support, and affirm that he it was "who governed the country;" there was no combating the all-powerful influence of the Chinese ambassador. At last, finding all opposition fruitless, they determined to quit Lha-Ssa, but not before the good-natured Regent had fought hard in the cause of tolerance. We cannot refrain from quoting some of the arguments of this poor, benighted Buddhist, and commending them to the attention of some of the Lamas of the Western world:

The Regent could not be made to share the apprehensions which Ki-Chan sought to instil into his mind. He maintained that our presence at Lha-Ssa could in no manner endanger the safety of the state. "If," said he, "the doctrine that these men teach be false, the people of Thibet will not embrace it; if, on the contrary, it be true, what have we to fear? How can truth be hurtful to mankind? These two Lamas from the kingdom of France," he added, "have done no harm; their intentions towards us are most friendly. Can we, without reason, deprive them of that liberty and protection which we grant here to all men, and especially to men of prayer? Are we justified in rendering ourselves guilty of present and positive injustice, from the imaginary dread of evils to come?"

The two missionaries had made up their minds to leave Thibet; but they had fancied that the manner of doing so would be left to their option, and that they would be allowed to take the route towards British India. Great, therefore, was their surprise when they discovered that they were to be conducted, under escort, to the frontiers of China—a journey of nearly eight months' duration. Expostulation was useless; and with a heavy heart they were obliged to leave Lha-Ssa, in company of fifteen Chinese soldiers, under the command of the Mandarin Ly-Kouo-Ngan—alias, Ly, the Pacifier of kingdoms! His Excellency Ly was an admirable specimen of a Chinese skeptic, scoffing alike at Bonzes and Lamas; but having, like many other esprits forts, a pet superstition for his private use, and professing an ardent devotion to—the Great Bear! For the details of this homeward journey, we must, however, refer our readers to the book itself; we will merely say, that its dangers and fatigues were so great that the travellers must, more than once, have suspected the treacherous Ki-Chan of having plotted their destruction.

M. Huc, in the first moment of indignation, seems to have hoped that his government would have remonstrated, but we have not heard that such has been the case, and Thibet is likely to remain, for some time to come, forbidden ground to European settlers. We have already given our opinion respecting the probability of missionaries of any Christian sect succeeding in the main object of the undertaking in which our heroes (they deserve the name) failed; and M. Huc himself seems[Pg 362] to insinuate, towards the close of his work, that those who in future may seek to Christianize Thibet, would do well to try the potency of physical benefits. We have always thought, and experience has proved beyond dispute, that a certain degree of material civilization should precede, or at least accompany, the introduction of Christianity. The starving Singhalese of low caste, keenly alive to the comforts of rice and social equality, proclaims himself of the religion of the East India Company; the knowledge-loving Buddhist of Thibet may one day adopt the religion of railways, microscopes, and electric telegraphs; and it is just possible, as M. Huc observes, that the missionary who should introduce vaccination at Lha-Ssa, would at one stroke extirpate small-pox and Buddhism.


[12] Souvenirs d'un Voyage dans la Tartarie, le Thibet, et la Chine pendant les années 1844, 1845, et 1846. Par M. Huc, prêtre missionnaire de la Congrégation de St. Lazare. Paris.

[13] The Tartars call laymen hara-houmon (black men), most probably on account of the color of their hair, in contradistinction to the white shaved crowns of their Lamas.

[14] Si-koua means pumpkin of the West, and is the name given to the watermelon. The Chinese called the European bombs Si-koua-pao.

[15] H'Lassa (land of spirits), called by the Moguls Monhe-Dhot (eternal sanctuary). Although averse to any unnecessary change in the received orthography of proper names, we have adopted M. Huc's mode of spelling, in the case of the capital of Thibet, as there appear to be etymological reasons for it.

[16] Scènes de la Vie Apostolique, par le Dr. Yvan, published in La Politique Nouvelle.

[17] Ilu, the Chinese way of pronouncing the name of Elliott.

From Chamber's Edinburgh Journal.



The extraordinary motives under which people occasionally act, and the strange things they do under the influence of these motives, frequently so far transcend the bounds of probability, that we romance-writers, with the wholesome fear of the critics before our eyes, would not dare to venture on them. Only the other day we read in the newspapers that a Frenchman who had been guilty of embezzlement, and was afraid of being found out, went into a theatre in Lyons, and stabbed a young woman whom he had never seen before in his life, in order that he might die by the hands of the executioner, and so escape the inconvenience of rushing into the other world without having time to make his peace with Heaven. He desired death as a refuge from the anguish of mind he was suffering; but instead of killing himself be killed somebody else, because the law would allow him leisure for repentance before it inflicted the penalty of his crime.

It will be said the man was mad—I suppose he was; and so is every body whilst under the influence of an absorbing passion, whether the mania be love, jealousy, fanaticism, or revenge. The following tale will illustrate one phase of such a madness.

In the year 1789, there resided in Italy, not far from Aquila in the Abruzzo, a man called Gaspar Mendez. He appears to have been a Spaniard, if not actually by birth, at least by descent, and to have possessed a small estate, which he rendered valuable by pasturing cattle. Not far from where he resided there lived with her parents a remarkably handsome girl, of the name of Bianca Venoni, and on this fair damsel Mendez fixed his affections. As he was by many degrees the best match about the neighborhood, he never doubted that his addresses would be received with a warm welcome, and intoxicated with this security, he seems to have made his advances so abruptly, that the girl felt herself entitled to give him an equally abrupt refusal. To aggravate his mortification, he discovered that a young man, called Giuseppe Ripa, had been a secret witness to the rejection, which took place in an orchard; and as he walked away with rage in his heart, he heard echoing behind him the merry laugh of the two thoughtless young people. Proud and revengeful by nature, this affront seems to have rankled dreadfully in the mind of Gaspar; although, in accordance with that pride, he endeavored to conceal his feelings under a show of indifference. Those who knew the parties well, however, were not deceived; and when, after an interval, it was discovered that Giuseppe himself was the favored lover of Bianca, the enmity, though not more open, became more intense than ever.

In the mean time, Old Venoni, Bianca's father, had become aware of the fine match his daughter had missed, and was extremely angry about it; more particularly as he was poor, and would have been very much pleased to have a rich son-in-law. Nor was he disposed to relinquish the chance so easily. After first trying his influence on Bianca, upon whom he expended a great deal of persuasion and cajolery in vain, he went so far as to call upon Gaspar, apologizing for his daughter's ignorance and folly in refusing so desirable a proposal, and expressing a hope that Mendez would not relinquish the pursuit, but try his fortune again; when he hoped to have brought her to a better state of mind.

Gaspar received the old man with civility, but answered coldly, that any further advances on his own part were out of the question, unless he had reason to believe the young lady was inclined to retract her refusal; in which case he should be happy to wait upon her. With this response Venoni returned to make another attack upon his daughter, whom, however, fortified by her strong attachment to Ripa, he found quite immovable; and there for several months the affair seems to have rested, till the old man, urged by the embarrassment of his circumstances, renewed the persecution, coupling it with certain calumnies against Giuseppe, founded on the accidental loss of a sum of money which had been intrusted to him by a friend, who wanted it conveyed to a neighboring village, whither the young man had occasion to go. This loss, which seems to have arisen out of some youthful imprudence, appears to have occasioned Ripa a great deal of distress; and he not only did his utmost to repair it by giving up every thing he had, which was indeed very little, but he also engaged to pay regularly a portion of his weekly earnings, till the whole sum was replaced.

His behavior, in short, was so satisfactory, that the person to whom the money had belonged does not seem to have borne him any ill-will on the subject; but Venoni took advantage of the circumstance to fling aspersions on the young man's character, whilst it[Pg 363] strengthened his argument against the connection with his daughter; for how was Giuseppe to maintain a wife and family with this millstone of debt round his neck? Bianca, however, continued faithful to her lover, and for some time nothing happened to advance the suit of either party. In that interval a sister of Gasper's had married a man called Alessandro Malfi, who, being a friend of Giuseppe's, endeavored to bring about a reconciliation betwixt the rivals, or, rather, to produce a more cordial feeling, for there had never been a quarrel; and as far as Ripa was concerned, as he had no cause for jealousy, there was no reason why he should bear ill-will to the unsuccessful candidate. With Gaspar it was different: he hated Ripa; but as it hurt his pride that this enmity to one whom he considered so far beneath him should be known, he made no open demonstration of dislike, and when Malfi expressed a wish to invite his friend to supper, hoping that Mendez would not refuse to meet him, the Spaniard made no objection whatever. "Why not?" he said: "he knew of no reason why he should not meet Giuseppe Ripa, or any other person his brother-in-law chose to invite."

Accordingly the party was made; and on the night appointed Giuseppe, after a private interview in the orchard with his mistress, started for Malfi's house, which was situated about three miles off, in the same direction as Gaspar's, which, indeed, he had to pass; on which account he deterred his departure to a later hour than he otherwise would have done, wishing not to come in contact with his rival till they met under Malfi's roof. Mendez had a servant called Antonio Guerra, who worked on his farm, and who appears to have been much in his confidence, and just as Ripa passed the Spaniard's door, he met Guerra coming in an opposite direction, and asked him if Mendez had gone to the supper yet; to which Guerra answered that he supposed he had, but he did not know. Guerra then took a key out of his pocket, and unlocking the door, entered the house, whilst Ripa walked on.

In the mean while the little party had assembled in Malfi's parlor, all but the two principal personages, Gaspar and Giuseppe; and as time advanced without their appearing, some jests were passed amongst the men present, who wished they might not have fallen foul of each other on the way. At length, however, Ripa arrived, and the first question that was put to him was: "What had he done with his rival?" which he answered by inquiring if the Spaniard was not come. But although he endeavored to appear unconcerned, there was a tremor in his voice and a confusion of manner that excited general observation. He made violent efforts, however, to appear at his ease, but these efforts were too manifest to be successful; whilst the continued absence of Mendez became so unaccountable, that a cloud seems to have settled on the spirits of the company, which made the expected festivity pass very heavily off.

"Where could Mendez be? What could have detained him? It was to be hoped no harm had happened to him!" Such was the burden of the conversation till—when at about an hour before midnight the party broke up—Alessandro Malfi said, that to allay the anxiety of his wife, who was getting extremely alarmed about her brother, he would walk as far as Forni—which was the name of Gaspar's farm—to inquire what had become of him.

As Ripa's way lay in the same direction, they naturally started together; and after what appears to have been a very silent walk—for the spirits of Giuseppe were so depressed that the other found it impossible to draw him into conversation—they reached Forni, when, having rung the bell, they were presently answered by Antonio Guerra, who put his head out of an upper window to inquire who they were, and what they wanted.

"It is I, Alessandro Malfi. I want to know where your master is, and why he has not been to my house this evening as he promised?"

"I thought he was there," said Antonio; "he set off from here to go soon after seven o'clock."

"That is most extraordinary!" returned Malfi; "what in the world can have become of him?"

"It is very strange, certainly," answered the servant; "he has never come home; and when you rang I thought it was he returned from the party."

As there was no more to be learned, the two friends now parted; Malfi expressing considerable surprise and some uneasiness at the non-appearance of his brother-in-law: whilst of Giuseppe we hear nothing more till the following afternoon, when, whilst at work in his vineyard, he was accosted by two officers of justice from Aquila, and he found himself arrested, under an accusation of having waylaid Mendez in a mountain-pass on the preceding evening, and wounded him, with the design of taking his life.

The first words Ripa uttered on hearing this impeachment—words that, like all the rest of his behavior, told dreadfully against him—were: "Isn't he dead, then?"

"No thanks to you that he's not," replied the officer; "but he's alive, and likely to recover to give evidence against his assassin."

"Dio!" cried Giuseppe, "I wish I'd known he wasn't dead!"

"You confess, then, that you wounded him with the intent to kill?"

"No," answered Ripa; "I confess no such thing. As I was going through the pass last night I observed a man's hat lying a little off the road, and on lifting it, I saw it belonged[Pg 364] to Señor Mendez. Whilst I was wondering how it came there without the owner, and was looking about for him, I spied him lying behind a boulder. At first I thought he was asleep, but on looking again, I saw he didn't lie like a sleeping man, and I concluded he was dead. Had it been any one but he, I should have lifted him up; but it being very well known that we were no friends, I own I was afraid to do so. I thought it better not to meddle with him at all. However, if he is alive, as you say, perhaps he can tell himself who wounded him."

"To be sure he can," returned the officer; "he says it's you!"

"Perduto son' io!—Then I am lost!" exclaimed Ripa; who, on being brought before the authorities, persisted in the same story; adding, that so far from seeking Mendez, he had particularly wished to avoid him, and that that was the reason he had started so late; for he had been warned that the Spaniard was his enemy, and he apprehended that if they met alone some collision might ensue.

It appeared, however, that he had consumed much more time on the road than could be fairly accounted for; for two or three people had met him on the way before he reached Forni; and then Antonio Guerra could speak as to the exact hour of his passing. This discrepancy he attempted to explain by saying, that after seeing Mendez on the ground, dead—as he believed—he had been so agitated and alarmed that he did not like to present himself at Malfi's house, lest he should excite observation. He had also spent some time in deliberating whether or not he should mention what he had seen; and he had made up his mind to do so on his arrival, but was deterred by every body's asking him, when he entered the room, what he had done with Mendez—a question that seemed to imply a suspicion against himself.

This tale, of course, was not believed: indeed his whole demeanor on the night in question tended strongly to his condemnation; added to which, Malfi, who had been his friend, testified that not only had Ripa betrayed all the confusion of guilt during the walk from his house to Forni, but that having hold of his arm, he had distinctly felt him tremble as they passed the spot where Mendez was subsequently discovered.

With regard to Mendez himself, it appeared that when found he was in a state of insensibility, and he was still too weak to give evidence or enter into any particulars; but when, under proper remedies, he had recovered his senses, Faustina Malfi, his sister—to whose house he had been carried—asked him if Giuseppe Ripa was not the assassin; and he answered in the affirmative.

Giuseppe was thrown into prison to await his trial; and having public opinion, as well as that of the authorities against him, he was universally considered a dead man. The only person that adhered to him was Bianca, who visited him in the jail, and refused to believe him guilty. But if he was innocent, who was the criminal? It appeared afterwards that Ripa himself had his own suspicions on that subject, but as they were founded only on two slight indications, he felt it was useless to advance them.

In the mean time Gaspar Mendez was slowly recovering the injuries he had received, and was of course expected to give a more explanatory account of what had happened to him after he left Forni on his way to Alessandro Malfi's. That he had been robbed as well as wounded was already known—his brother and sister having found his pockets empty and his watch gone. The explanation he could give, however, proved to be very scanty. Indeed, he seemed to know very little about the matter, but he still adhered to his first assertion, that Ripa was the assassin. With regard to the money he had lost, there was necessarily less mystery, since it consisted of a sum that he was carrying to his sister, and was indeed her property, being the half share of some rents which he had received on that morning, the produce of two houses in the town of Aquila which had been bequeathed to them conjointly by their mother. The money was in a canvas bag, and the other half which belonged to himself he had left locked in his strong box at home, where, on searching for it, it was found. As Ripa was known to be poor, and very much straitened by his endeavors to make good the sum he had lost, that he should add robbery to assassination was not to be wondered at. On the contrary, it strengthened the conviction of his guilt, by supplying an additional motive for the crime.

The injuries having been severe, it was some time before Mendez recovered sufficiently to return home; and when he was well enough to move, instead of going to Forni, he discharged his servant Antonio Guerra, and went himself to Florence, where he remained several months.

All this time Giuseppe Ripa was in prison, condemned to die, but not executed; because after his trial and sentence, a letter had been received by the chief person in authority, warning him against shedding the blood of the innocent. "Señor Mendez is mistaken," the letter said; "he did not see the assassin, who attacked him from behind, and Giuseppe Ripa is not guilty."

This judge, whose name was Marino, appears to have been a just man, and to have felt some dissatisfaction with the evidence against Ripa; inasmuch as Mendez, who, when first questioned, had spoken confidently as to his identity, had since faltered when he came to give his evidence in public, and seemed unable to afford any positive testimony on the subject. The presumption against the prisoner, without the evidence of the Spaniard, was considered by the other judges[Pg 365] strong enough to convict him; but Marino had objected that since the attack was made by daylight—for it was in the summer, and the evenings were quite light—it seemed extraordinary that Mendez could give no more certain indications of his assailant. Added to this, although every means had been used to obtain a confession—such means as are permitted on the continent, but illegal in this country—Giuseppe persisted in his innocence. Moreover, as no money had been found about him, and Faustina Malfi was exceedingly desirous of recovering what had been lost, she exerted herself to obtain mercy to at least the extent, that hopes of a commutation of his sentence should be held out to the prisoner, provided he would reveal where he had concealed the bagful of silver he had taken from her brother. But in vain. Ripa was either guiltless or obstinate, for nothing could be extracted from him but repeated declarations of his innocence.

In the mean time Bianca had been undergoing a terrible persecution from her father on the subject of Mendez, who had returned from Florence, and taken up his abode as formerly at Forni. Her former lover was a condemned man, and altogether hors de combat; she might regret him as she would, and lament his fate to her heart's content, but he could never be her husband; and there was the Spaniard, rich and ready; whilst the increasing age and poverty of her parent rendered a good match of the greatest importance. In short, under the circumstances of the case, it was urged upon her on all hands, that she was bound both by her duty to her father and to evince her abhorrence of Ripa's crime—which otherwise it might be supposed she had instigated—to marry Mendez without delay.

Persuaded of Giuseppe's innocence, and half believing that the accusation was prompted by jealousy, it may be imagined how unwelcome these importunities were, and for a considerable time she resisted them; indeed she seems only to have been overcome at last by a ruse. A rumor being set afloat that the day was about to be appointed for Ripa's execution, a hint was thrown out that it lay in her power to save his life: she had only to become the wife of Mendez, and her lover's sentence should be commuted from death to banishment. This last argument prevailed, and poor Bianca, with a heavy heart, consented to become the mistress of Forni. The Malfis, however, do not seem to have been amongst those who desired the match; and it would appear that they even made some attempts to prevent its taking place, by circulating a report that she had been privy to the assault and robbery. Perhaps they hoped, if Gaspar remained unmarried, to inherit his property themselves; but however that may be, their opposition was of no avail, and an early period was fixed for the wedding.

The year had now come round to the summer season again, and it happened, by mere accident, that the day appointed for the marriage was the anniversary of that on which Mendez had been robbed and wounded. Nobody, however, appears to have thought of this coincidence, till Mendez himself, observing the day of the month, requested that the ceremony might be postponed till the day after: "Because," said he, "I have business which will take me to Aquila on the 7th, so the marriage had better take place on the 8th." And thus it was arranged.

This alteration was made about ten days before the appointed period, and nothing seems to have occurred in the interval worth recording, except that as the hour of sacrifice drew near, the unwillingness of the victim became more evident. We must conclude, however, that Mendez, whose object in marrying her appears to have been fully as much the soothing of his pride as the gratification of his love, was not influenced by her disinclination, for when he started for Aquila on the 7th, every preparation had been made for the wedding on the following day.

The object of his journey was to receive the rents before named, which became due at this period, and also to purchase a wedding-present for his bride. On this occasion Alessandro Malfi was to have accompanied him; but when Mendez stopped at his door to inquire if he was ready, Malfi came down stairs half dressed, saying that he had been up all night with his wife, who was ill, and that as she had now fallen asleep, he was going to lie down himself, and try to get a little rest. This occurred early in the morning; and Mendez rode on, saying that he should call as he came back in the evening, to inquire how his sister was. Upon this Malfi went to bed, where he remained some hours—indeed, till he received a message from his wife, begging him to go to her. When he entered the room, the first question she asked was whether Gaspar was gone to Aquila; and on being told that he was, she said she was very sorry for it, for that she had dreamed she saw a man with a mask lying in wait to rob him.

"I saw the man as distinctly as possible," she said, "but I could not see his face for the mask; and I saw the place, so that I'm sure if I were taken there I should recognize it."

Her husband told her not to mind her dreams, and that this one was doubtless suggested by the circumstance that had occurred the year before. "But," said he, "Ripa is safely locked up in jail now, and there's no danger."

Nevertheless, the dream appears to have made so deep an impression on the sick woman's fancy, that she never let her husband rest till he promised to go with his own farm-servant to meet her brother—a compliance which was at length won from him by her saying that she had seen the man crouching behind a low wall that surrounded a half-built[Pg 366] church; "and close by," she added, "there was a direction-post with something written on it, but I could not read what it was."

Now it happened that on the horse-road to Aquila, which Faustina herself had never travelled, there was exactly such a spot as that she described. Malfi knew it well. Struck by the circumstance, he desired to have his dinner immediately, and then, accompanied by his hind, he set off to meet Gaspar.

In the meanwhile the Spaniard had got his money and made his purchases in good time, not wishing to be late on the road, so that they had scarcely got a mile beyond the church when they met him; and in answer to his inquiries what had brought them there, Malfi related his wife's dream, adding that he might have spared himself the ride, for he had looked over the wall, and saw nobody there. "I told her it was nonsense," he said, "whilst we know your enemy's under such good keeping at Aquila; but she wouldn't be satisfied till I came."

Mendez, however, appeared exceedingly struck with the dream, inquired the particulars more in detail, and asked if they were sure there was nobody concealed in the place Faustina indicated. Malfi answered that he did not alight, but he looked over the wall and saw nobody. During the course of this conversation they had turned their horses' heads, and were riding back towards the church, Malfi talking about Ripa's affair, remarking on the impropriety of deferring his execution so long; Mendez more than usually silent and serious, and the servant riding beside them, when, as they approached the spot, they saw coming towards them on foot a man, whom they all three recognized as Antonio Guerra, the Spaniard's late servant. As this person was supposed to have gone to another part of the country after quitting Gaspar's service, Malfi expressed some surprise at seeing him; whilst Mendez turned very pale, making at the same time some exclamation that attracted the attention of his brother-in-law, who, however, drew up his horse to ask Guerra what had brought him back, and if he was out of a situation, adding that a neighbor of his, whom he named, was in want of a servant. Guerra, who looked poorly dressed, and by no means in such good case as formerly, answered that he should be very glad if Malfi would recommend him.

"You had better turn about, then, and come on with us," said Malfi, as he rode forward. During this conversation Mendez had sat by saying nothing; and if he was grave and silent before, he was still more so now, insomuch that his behavior drew the attention of his brother-in-law, who asked him if there was any thing wrong with him.

"Surely it's not Faustina's dream you are thinking of?" he said; adding, "that the meeting with Guerra had put it out of his head, or he would have examined the place more narrowly."

Mendez entered into no explanation; and as the servant, who was acquainted with Guerra, took him up behind him, they all arrived at their journey's end nearly together; Mendez, instead of proceeding homewards, turning off with the others to Malfi's house, where the first thing he did after his arrival was to visit his sister, whom he found better; whilst she, on the contrary, was struck with the pallor of his features and the agitation of his manner—a disorder which, like her husband, she attributed to the shock of her dream, acting upon a mind prepared by the affair of the preceding year to take alarm. In order to remove the impression, she laughed at the fright she had been in; but it was evident he could not share her merriment, and he quickly left her, saying he had a message to send to Rocca, which was the village where Bianca and her father resided, and that he must go below and write a note, which he did, giving it to Malfi's servant to take.

It appeared afterwards that this man, having other work in hand, gave the note to Guerra, who willingly undertook the commission, and who, to satisfy his own curiosity, broke the seal on the way, and possessed himself of its contents before he delivered it. These were, however, only a request that Bianca and her father would come over to Malfi's house that evening and bring the notary of the village with them, he (Mendez) being too tired to go to Rocca to sign the contract, as had been arranged.

It being between six and seven o'clock when this dispatch arrived, Bianca, who was very little inclined to sign the contract at all, objected to going; but her father insisting on her compliance, they set off in company with Guerra and the notary, who, according to appointment, was already in waiting. They had nearly three miles to go, and as Venoni had no horse, the notary gave Bianca a seat on his, and the old man rode double with Guerra.

When they arrived Mendez was standing at the door waiting for them, accompanied by Malfi, his servant, a priest, and two or three other persons of the neighborhood; some of whom advanced to assist Bianca and her father to alight, whilst the others surrounded Guerra as he set his foot on the ground, pinioning his arms and plunging their hands into his pockets, from whence they drew two small pistols and a black mask, such as was worn at the carnivals; besides these weapons, he carried a stiletto in his bosom.

Whilst the last comers were gaping with amazement at this unexpected scene, the new-made prisoner was led away to a place of security, and the company proceeded into the house, where the notary produced the contract and laid it on the table, inquiring at the same time what Guerra had done to be so treated.[Pg 367]

Then Mendez rose, and taking hold of the contract, he tore it in two, and flung it on the ground; at which sight Venoni started up with a cry, or rather a howl—an expression of rage and disappointment truly Italian, and of which no Englishman who has not heard it can have an idea.

"Peccato! I have sinned!" said the Spaniard, haughtily; "but I have made my confession to the padre; and why I have torn that paper my brother-in-law, Alessandro, will presently tell you!" He then offered his hand to Bianca, who, no less pleased than astonished to see the contract destroyed, willingly responded to this token of good-will by giving him hers, which he kissed, asking her pardon for any pain he had occasioned her; after which, bowing to the company, he quitted the room, mounted his horse, and rode off to Forni.

When the sound of the animal's feet had died away, and the parties concerned were sufficiently composed to listen to him, Malfi proceeded to make the communication he had been charged with; whereby it appeared that Ripa had been unjustly accused, and that Antonio Guerra was the real criminal. Mendez knew this very well, and would not have thought of accusing his rival had not his brother and sister, and indeed everybody else, assumed Ripa's guilt as an unquestionable fact. The temptation was too strong for him, and after he had once admitted it, pride would not allow him to retract. At the same time he declared that he would never have permitted the execution to take place, and that after the marriage with Bianca he intended to procure the innocent man's liberation, on the condition of his quitting that part of the country. Of course it was he who wrote the letter to Marino, and he had used the precaution of placing a sealed packet, containing a confession of the truth, in the hands of a notary at Aquila, with strict directions to deliver it to Ripa if the authorities should appear disposed to carry his sentence into execution.

He had nevertheless suffered considerable qualms of conscience about the whole affair; and the moment he saw Guerra on the road that night, he felt certain that he had come with the intention of waylaying him as before—the man being well aware that it was on that day he usually received his rents. He perceived that he should never be safe as long as this villain was free, and that he must either henceforth live in continual terror of assassination, or confront the mortification of a confession whilst the fellow was in his power.

With respect to Guerra himself, he made but feeble resistance when he was seized. He had, in the first instance, left Mendez for dead; and he would have immediately fled when he heard he was alive, had not the news been accompanied with the further information that the Spaniard had pointed out Ripa as his assailant. He was exceedingly surprised, for he could scarcely believe that he had not been recognized. Nevertheless, it was possible; and whether it were so or not, he did not doubt that what Mendez had once asserted he would adhere to. On receiving his dismissal, he had gone to some distance from the scene of his crime; but having, whilst the money lasted, acquired habits of idleness and dissipation that could not be maintained without a further supply, these necessities had provoked this last enterprise.

He had really been concealed behind the wall when Malfi and his servant passed; but concluding that they were going to meet Mendez, and that his scheme was defeated, he had thought it both useless and dangerous to remain, and was intending to make off in another direction, when their sudden return surprised him.

A few hours more saw Antonio Guerra in Guiseppe Ripa's cell; and whilst the first paid the penalty of his crimes, the latter was rewarded for his sufferings by the hand of Bianca, to whom the Spaniard gave a small marriage-portion before finally quitting the country, which he did immediately after Antonio's trial.

Ripa said he had always had a strong persuasion that Guerra was the real criminal from two circumstances: the first was the hurried manner in which he was walking on the evening he met him at the gate of Forni, and some strange expression of countenance which he had afterwards recalled. The second was his answering them from the window when he and Malfi went to inquire for Mendez. If he thought it was his master, as he said, why had he not come down at once to admit him?

It is remarkable that the enmity of the Spaniard was not directed against the man that had aimed at his life, but against him who had wounded his pride.

From the Eclectic Review


There was in John Robinson a rare union of many admirable and noble qualities; and the meekness of his wisdom was rewarded by his becoming, in no figurative or trivial sense, the father, intellectually, morally, spiritually, of a great nation. Like Moses, he was not permitted to enter the land of promise; yet, like Moses, his memory was sacred to thousands who had derived through him those principles, institutions, and manners, which fitted them in so large a measure for their novel position in a strange land. To this day the name of Robinson is a household word in New England; and, instead of dying out, is rising in reputation throughout[Pg 368] the United States generally, wherever pure and undefiled religion prevails, and wherever the enterprising citizens of the greatest republic the world ever saw, have leisure to trace the first beginnings of their nation's glory. The fact mentioned in the preface of this first collected edition of his works, that "a large body of subscribers" have been obtained "in Great Britain and in the United States," while it is no measure of the reverence with which the memory of Robinson is regarded, affords nevertheless good augury for the future. Another hopeful circumstance is the announcement of a new Life of Robinson, from the pen of the Editor of the "American Biographical Dictionary," Dr. Allen, of Northampton, Massachusetts. This rivalry, or rather co-operation of the two countries, in reviving the memory of the dead, is gratifying evidence that the seed which Robinson sowed so diligently was living seed, and reproductive in both hemispheres; and is, possibly, an indication at the same time—for the providence of God prepares the way for great events by raising up the means auxiliary to their accomplishment—that the time is drawing near, when, in the conflict of opinion, such principles as those which the pastor of the pilgrim fathers so nobly vindicated, both by his life and his writings, will be greatly in request.

We have no space to enter at length into the various incidents in the life of this truly great and good man—a life, which, notwithstanding the carefully compiled memoir prefixed to these volumes, and many briefer or larger notices in other publications, still remains to be written. A few particulars, however, will assist the reader in forming a proper opinion of the man and his times.

John Robinson was born, probably, in Lincolnshire, in 1575. At the early age of seventeen he entered upon his studies at Cambridge, matriculating and taking his degree as master of arts at Corpus Christi College, of which he became a fellow in 1598. He resigned his fellowship in 1604, on account of the new views he had embraced in relation to ecclesiastical matters. In one of his works he has given some details respecting his conversion to Separatism. It is regretted that such incidental references are so rare. At the same time, we are convinced that the future biographer may gather more from this source than has hitherto been done. But this by the way. In his reply to Bernard, in justification of his separation from the church of England, he informs us, that "a long time" before he left the church, he had read several of the treatises of the Brownists and Barrowists, and was convinced by them that the constitution and working of the church were unscriptural. He also mentions, as he says, to his "own shame," that the reverence he had for many of the pious clergy, was the only reason why he did not sooner follow out his own conviction of duty. Every one who knows how difficult a thing it is even now, when dissent presents so different an aspect from what it had in the days of Elizabeth and James, for a clergyman to relinquish his position in connection with an establishment in which he has been brought up, will readily appreciate the difficulties under which Robinson labored. It is true the Independents, both baptist and pædobaptist, are still in a minority; but how different the minority of this day from that of the early part of the seventeenth century! To be in a minority then was to feel it—at every turn—and in one's nearest and most cherished interests. It involved more than the loss of caste—reputation—respectability. It was to become an outcast and an outlaw, and to put one's self at the mercy of the bishop and his agents, in a day when even the "tender mercies" of bishops were cruelty itself. Robinson had the courage to join the minority of that day. He left Norwich, where he had officiated for a short period, resigned his fellowship at Cambridge, as we have already stated, and became an avowed separatist.

After stating that Robinson proceeded to Lincolnshire, where he found a considerable number of separatists, with Smyth and Clifton at their head, who had constituted themselves into a church, by solemn covenant with the Lord, "to walk in all his ways made known, or to be made known unto them, according to their best endeavors, whatever it should cost them,"—the Memoir proceeds:

"The location of this first [?] separatist church has long been an object of investigation and doubt. The difficulty appears to be solved by Joseph Hunter, Esq., in his valuable "Collections" concerning the first colonists of New England. The following is a summary of Mr. Hunter's proofs, identifying Scrooby, Notts, as the village, and Mr. Brewster's house as the manor, in which, when practicable, they worshipped. Governor Bradford, who was originally one of the church, and whose birthplace and residence were at Austerfield, in the vicinity, states distinctly, that Mr. Brewster's house was a "manor of the bishop's." This description of the house furnished the key to the difficulty. Scrooby is about one mile and a half south of Bawtry, in Yorkshire, and from which Austerfield is about the same distance northeast, and both not far distant from the adjacent county of Lincoln. Mr. Hunter says, "I can speak with confidence to the fact, that there is no other episcopal manor but this, which at all satisfies the condition of being near the borders of the three counties." The Brewsters were residents of Scrooby: the manor place which they occupied originally belonged to the Archbishops of York, and had been leased to Sir Samuel Sandys, son of Dr. Sandys, the archbishop, in 1586. The Brewster family were now tenants of Sir Samuel, and were occupants of the mansion of the Sandys. This fact serves both as an identification of the place, and as an explanation of the circumstance that the Sandys took great interest, at a subsequent period, in promoting the settlement of the pilgrims, under the direction of Mr. Brewster, on the shores of the Atlantic. Scrooby must henceforth be regarded[Pg 369] as the cradle of Massachusetts. Here the choice and noble spirits, at the head of whom were Brewster and Bradford, first learnt the lessons of truth and freedom. Here, under the faithful ministration of the pastors, they were nourished and strengthened to that vigorous and manly fortitude which braved all dangers; and here, too, they acquired that moral and spiritual courage which enabled them to sacrifice their homes, property, and friends, and expatriate themselves to distant lands, rather than abandon their principles and yield to attempted usurpations on the liberty of their consciences."

This information is interesting, and supplies a great hiatus in the history, not of Robinson merely, but of the exiles and pilgrims generally. Perhaps further research may lead to the discovery of papers relating to this obscure portion of English history, similar to those that have thrown so much light on the times of Cromwell, and William and Mary. The letters recently published by Lord Mahon and Mr. Manners Sutton, are probably specimens only of the literary treasures stored in the old manorial and other houses of England. We would have learned from the editor of these volumes whether any inquiries have been made at Scrooby and its neighborhood for confirming Mr. Hunter's conjectures. Be this as it may, it is pleasant to believe, and on such good evidence, that Robinson found a retreat in the home of his college-fellow and after-associate Brewster, there to mature his views, and lay the foundation of that religious life the fruits of which have have been so enduring.

But neither Scrooby, nor any other place, was secure from the inquisitorial interference of the high church functionaries. The spy and the informer were abroad. No place of meeting could long remain a secret—whether manorial halls, shopkeepers' storerooms, barns, hay-lofts, or the broad shadows of copse and forest. Go where they would, the conscientious worshippers were sooner or later detected, and dragged as culprits before bishop or magistrate. But the chief objects of vengeance at this period were the Separatists. The Nonconformists (for, contrary to the opinion sometimes expressed on this subject, there were Nonconformists, known by that name, long before there were Separatists and Independents) were at first dealt with in a comparatively gentle manner. They were censured, suspended, and, in some cases, imprisoned. Afterwards, as they multiplied and became more bold, greater severity was exercised towards them. But never were they regarded in the same light, or treated in the same spirit, as the Separatists. To object to the vestments and the ceremonies of the church, as the livery of Antichrist, was held to be extremely censurable and worthy of punishment; but to separate from the church altogether, and renounce all ecclesiastical allegiance, was an unpardonable offence. The Nonconformists generally agreed in this latter judgment, and frequently compounded for their own sins of omission by speaking and writing against their brethren of the separation. There are many proofs of this, as may be seen in Stillingfleet's elaborate treatise on The Unreasonableness of Separation published in 1681. The first part of that work is devoted to an "Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of the Controversie about Separation," and contains many references to persons, events, and writings that have been too much overlooked. As might be expected, there is much in Stillingfleet's account that requires correction. His prejudices against the Separatists were strong, and led him into several errors. But it is no very difficult task to winnow the chaff from the wheat, and the result will amply repay the labor. So far from having the sympathy of the Nonconformists or Puritans, the Separatists were pursued by them with greater virulence, in tracts, pamphlets, and larger publications, than by the bishops themselves. The circumstance is not inexplicable. It has had its parallel in every succeeding period, to the present day. The Nonconformists of modern times—the evangelical clergy of the church of England (for the old word described those who remained in the church, but did not conform in all respects to its prescribed ceremonies)—the men who put their own construction on the Prayer Book, and explain away the plain meaning of the baptismal and other offices,—have always been found the most bitter opponents of a conscientious and consistent dissent. There are tendencies in human nature, not of a very recondite order, on which the fact may easily be accounted for.

This fact, in relation to the actual position of the exiles and pilgrims, is too important to be overlooked. It is an additional justification of their conduct. If the Nonconformists had sympathized with them to any extent, on the ground of their agreement respecting evangelical doctrine, they might have been induced to remain at home, enduring the violence of the storm which beat upon their devoted heads, in the hope that it might abate in time through their influence. But when they found their bitterest foes were these very men, it seemed time for them to seek a home elsewhere.

The remainder of the story of Robinson's life must be briefly told. He passed to Amsterdam, with the third and last portion of the Scrooby Separatists, in 1608; Smyth and Clyfton having preceded him with the two other companies about two years before. Mr. Ashton narrated the event in the following words:—

"Mr. Robinson was now left with the remnant of the flock. Month after month rolled away, and no abatement of the fury of the dominant party was visible. His church, with himself, resolved on following their companions to the United Provinces, where toleration, if not perfect freedom,[Pg 370] was allowed to all natives and foreigners. Thrice was the attempt made at expatriation before they could succeed. They first resolved to sail from Boston. They formed a common fund and hired a vessel. To avoid suspicion they embarked at night, and at the moment when they expected the vessel to be loosed from her moorings, they were betrayed by the captain and seized by the officers of the town. They were plundered of their goods and money, arraigned before the magistrates, and committed to prison till the pleasure of the lords in council should be known. They were dismissed at the expiration of a month, seven of the leading persons being bound over to appear at the assizes. The following spring a second attempt was made. They hired a small Dutch vessel, and agreed to meet the captain at a given point on the banks of the Humber, near Grimsby, Lincolnshire. After a delay of some hours, a part of the company, chiefly men, were conveyed to the vessel in a boat. When the sailors were about to return for another portion of the passengers, the captain saw a great company of horse and foot, with bills and guns, in full pursuit of the fugitives on shore. He immediately hoisted sail, and departed with the men he had on board, leaving their wives and children, and the remainder of the pilgrim company, with Mr. Robinson, to the tender mercies of their pursuers. A few of the party escaped, the others were seized and hurried from one magistrate to another, till the officers, not knowing what to do with so large a company, and ashamed of their occupation in seizing helpless, homeless, and innocent persons, they suffered them to depart and go whither they pleased. Other attempts at expatriation were subsequently and successfully made. The persecuted Separatists at length reached the hospitable shores of Holland, and rejoined their families and friends in the land of strangers, thankful to their Almighty Father that they had escaped in safety, from the 'fury of the oppressor,' and the perils of the deep."

In 1609, Robinson with his people removed to Leyden, where he spent the remainder of his days, building up the church in the truth, laying broad and deep in the minds of the Pilgrim fathers the principles which fitted them to become the founders of America's future greatness, and writing those works which constitute his noblest memorial, and have yet a mission to fulfil in our own and succeeding ages.

The fame of Robinson rests principally on three things: first, his relation to the pilgrims; secondly, his personal and public character; and lastly, the force—we had almost said genius—displayed in his various publications. The peculiarity of Robinson's character may be described by one word, completeness—totus atque teres rotundus. The united testimony of admirers and opponents witnesses his integrity, purity, courtesy, prudence, and charity. But he possessed other qualities. He was chiefly distinguished by what we venture to call a very rare characteristic, in the sense in which we understand it,—an intense love of truth, which ever stimulated him to search after it as the chief part of his being's aim and end, and which never permitted him to swerve a hair's breath from it in practice. This made him a nonconformist, a separatist, an exile, an independent; a growing Christian, a profound theologian, an able controversialist; a student at Leyden University, although he had previously graduated and held a fellowship at Cambridge; a diligent attendant on the lectures of both Polyander and Episcopus, at the time when all Leyden was agitated by the rival theories of the two professors on the subject of Arminianism; and an avowed advocate of the principle, that though Christian men were confirmed in their own doctrinal and ecclesiastical principles, it was their duty to hear what their opponents had to say, even if it should lead them to the parish church.

This love of truth was both a principle and a passion. It grew with his growth, strengthened with his strength, and was the chief source of all his excellence. It made him learned in a learned age, and wise in the knowledge of human nature and the experience of the world, at a period when such wisdom was rare. It fitted him to be the counsellor of his fellow-exiles in the emergencies of their strange position, and the statesman-like adviser of the pilgrims when they went forth to clear the wilderness, and lay the foundations of civil life afresh in a new world. In a word, he may be said to have lived in the spirit of his own aphorism;—"He that knows not in his measure, what he ought to know, especially in the matters of God, is but a beast amongst men; he that knows what is simply needful and no more, is a man amongst men; but he who knows according to the help vouchsafed him of God, what may well be known, and so far as to direct himself and others aright, is as a God amongst men."

It is impossible to do justice to the writings of Robinson in a brief notice like the present: yet it is on these writings that we are disposed chiefly to rest his claims to future regard. They are not like those of Milton, "one perfect field of cloth of gold;" nor like those of Taylor, enlivened by figures and images that captivate the fancy and impress the heart; but they have what to some possesses an equal charm, in the full orbed light they cast on some of the most abstruse doctrines, and on some of the most controverted questions of revealed and practical religion. Excepting a few obsolete expressions here and there, the language is perfectly clear and comprehensible after more than two centuries; indeed, more clear and comprehensible to ordinary readers than that which pervades a large portion of the so-called elegant literature of the past and present age. It is the language of Shakspeare and Bacon, without the measure of the one, or the involution of the other—that language which has ever been the vernacular of the people of this[Pg 371] country, and to which our best writers are coming back—clear, terse, good old English.

Some may take exception to the form of these writings, because they are chiefly controversial; but no objection can be more futile. England is glorious through controversy, and nowhere has her mind put on more of might than on the battle-field of truth. Her greatest works are in this very form. What were left to us of the Hookers and Barrows, Taylors and Miltons, if their controversial writings were excepted? and, indeed, what would become of our Nonconformist literature itself, if this objection were allowed a practical weight. Whosoever would have knowledge respecting doctrines and principles still unsettled, in religion or in science, must seek it in such debate or be altogether disappointed. Nowhere will the nonconformists and dissenters find more of truth—and in some particulars of new truth—in relation to their own principles and duties, than in these volumes. Even the independents have still much to learn from this master in Israel. While on some points we hold Robinson to have been altogether wrong; on others—and these not trivial, but important points—we hold that he is nearly as much in advance of the present age as he was of his own, because he adheres more closely than even religious men are ordinarily wont to do, to the spirit and genius of those older Scriptures which have yet to liberate a world from all but invulnerable superstitions.

Besides the Memoir, the first of the volumes before us contains an account of the descendants of Robinson, from the pen of Dr. Allen, of Northampton, Massachusetts, from which it appears that they are "very numerous, scattered over New England and other States of the Union, and occupying respectable and useful stations in life." Then come "New Essays; or Observations, Divine and Moral, collected out of the Holy Scriptures, ancient and modern writers, both divine and human; as also out of the great volume of men's manners; tending to the furtherance of knowledge and virtue." We give the title in full, because it is the best and briefest description we can give of the work itself. The most cursory perusal is sufficient to show the erudition of the author, and a comparatively slight examination raises our estimation of his sagacity and wisdom. These essays, the last productions of his pen, are not unworthy of circulation with those of Lord Bacon, of which they frequently remind us by apt allusions, sententious definitions, clear-headed distinctions, and sharp antitheses, no less than by profound insight into the workings of human nature. We had marked passages for quotation, which our limits will not permit. One, however, we must cite, for the incidental light it throws on the character of Robinson as a speaker and preacher. We are not aware that any of his contemporaries have remarked upon the peculiarity thus disclosed; but it accords with the judgment otherwise formed of the man. In an essay entitled, "Of Speech and Silence," containing the pith and marrow of all Carlyle has written on the subject, without any of his exaggeration, we have:

"Both length and shortness of speech may be used commendably in their time; as mariners sometimes sail with larger spread, and sometimes with narrower-gathered sails. But as some are large in speech out of abundance of matter, and upon due consideration; so the most multiply words, either from weakness or vanity. Wise men suspect and examine their words ere they suffer them to pass from them, and to speak the more sparingly; but fools pour out theirs by talents, without fear or wit. Besides, wise men speak to purpose, and so have but something to say: the others speak every thing of every thing, and, therefore, take liberty to use long wanderings. Lastly, they think to make up that in number, or repetition of words, which is wanting in weight. But above all other motives, some better, some worse, too many love to hear themselves speak; and imagining vainly that they please others, because they please themselves, make long orations when a little were too much. Some excuse their tediousness, saying, that they cannot speak shorter; wherein they both say untruly, and shame themselves also; for it is all one as if they said that they have unbridled tongues, and inordinate passions setting them a-work. I have been many times drawn so dry, that I could not well speak any longer for want of matter: but I ever could speak as short as I would."

The remainder of this volume is occupied by "A Defence of the Doctrine propounded by the Synod at Dort", able, full of close reasoning and Scripture exposition, and worthy of careful perusal, whether the conclusions be admitted or not.

The second volume is occupied with Robinson's greatest controversial work, "A Justification of Separation from the Church of England," &c. It is elaborate and complete; and, besides vindicating the separatists of that day, pronounces on many questions on which dissenters have yet to make up their minds. In this work he classes himself with the Brownists; from which it may be inferred, that his advice to the pilgrims, to "shake off the name of Brownist," is not to be interpreted very largely, as has sometimes been the case. It is the name that he chiefly abjures. The following passage from the introduction to this performance will illustrate the manner in which Robinson vindicated his co-religionists from the misrepresentations of that age:

"The difference you lay down touching the proper subject of the power of Christ, is true in itself, and only yours wherein it is corruptly related, and especially in the particular concerning us, as, that where 'the Papists plant the ruling power of Christ in the Pope; the Protestants in the Bishops; the Puritans,' as you term the reformed churches and those of their mind 'in the Presbytery;' we whom you name 'Brownists,' put it in the 'body of the congregation, the multitude called the church:' odiously insinuating against us that we do exclude the elders in the case of government,[Pg 372] where, on the contrary, we profess the bishops or elders to be the only ordinary governors in the church, as in all other actions of the church's communion, so also in the censures. Only we may not acknowledge them for lords over God's heritage, (1 Pet. v. 3,) as you would make them, controlling all, but to be controlled by none; much less essential unto the church, as though it could not be without them; least of all the church itself, as you and others expound. (Matt. xviii.)"

The third volume contains four treatises and some shorter pieces, chiefly letters. The first treatise is the celebrated "Apology," originally published in Latin, in 1619, and afterwards translated into English by Robinson himself, although not published in the last form until 1625. It is to the use of the word "independently," in the first chapter, that some have attributed the origin of the name Independent, as the designation of the party of which Robinson was so eminent a member. It appears, however, that Jacob had used the same term, for the same purpose, as early as 1612; and the denominational title had become fixed before 1622, since Bishop Hall speaks of the "anarchical fashion of independent congregations" in one of his publications of that year. The principle of congregationalism, as opposed to nationalism and catholicism, is nowhere more fully established than in this admirable work.

The remaining treatises are on Religious Communion, Exercise of Prophecy, and the Lawfulness of Hearing Ministers of the Church of England. The first discriminates between personal and public fellowship, and lays down the position that the former is allowable between all Christians, recognizing one another as such, whatever their differences respecting minor points and church polity. The second is a scriptural exposition of the subject of lay-preaching, as it is now termed. The third is a defence of those who occasionally, and merely for the sake of hearing, attend upon the ministrations of the established clergy. An appendix to this volume contains an interesting account of the congregational church in Southwark, of which Henry Jacob was the first pastor; by the present pastor, the Rev. John Waddington; a sketch of the exiles and their churches in Holland, by the editor; and an index of subjects and authors.

We cannot conclude this notice without congratulating the editor and his numerous coadjutors, on the satisfactory manner in which these volumes have been prepared for publication, and on the success that has attended the undertaking.

[The life of John Robinson of Leyden is more strictly a portion of American than of English history, and its suitable exhibition demands the best abilities that can be summoned to such service in this country, where, hitherto, the popular declamation of Puritan celebrations, it must be confessed, has evinced but a superficial acquaintance with Puritan intelligence, doctrine, or character.]


[18] The works of John Robinson, Pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers; with a Memoir and Annotations. By Robert Ashton, Secretary of the Congregational Board, London. Three volumes. London; 1851.

From Chambers's Edinburgh Journal.


The newspapers have recently been chronicling, as a fact provocative of especial wonder, the enterprise of some speculative merchant of New-York, who has just been dispatching a cargo of one hundred cats to the republic of New Granada, in which it would appear the race, owing, as we may believe, to the frequently disturbed state of the country, has become almost extinct.

Your cat is a domestic animal, and naturally conservative in its tastes—averse, therefore, to uproar, and to all those given to change. Its propensities are to meditation and contemplative tranquillity, for which reason it has been held in reverence by nations of a similar staid and composed disposition, and has been the favorite companion and constant friend of grave philosophers and thoughtful students. By the ancient Egyptians cats were held in the highest esteem; and we learn from Diodorus Siculus, their "lives and safeties" were tendered more dearly than those of any other animal, whether biped or quadruped. "He who has voluntarily killed a consecrated animal," says this writer, "is punished with death; but if any one has even involuntarily killed a cat or an ibis, it is impossible for him to escape death: the mob drags him to it, treating him with every cruelty, and sometimes without waiting for judgment to be passed. This treatment inspires such terror, that, if any person happen to find one of these animals dead, he goes to a distance from it, and by his cries and groans indicates that he has found the animal dead. This superstition is so deeply rooted in the minds of the Egyptians, and the respect they bear these animals is so profound, that at the time when their king, Ptolemy, was not yet declared the friend of the Roman people—when they were paying all possible court to travellers from Italy, and their fears made them avoid every ground of accusation and every pretext for making war upon them—yet a Roman having killed a cat, the people rushed to his house, and neither the entreaties of the grandees, whom the king sent for the purpose, nor the terror of the Roman name, could protect this man from punishment, although the act was involuntary. I do not relate this anecdote," adds the historian, "on the authority of another, for I was an eye-witness of it during my stay in Egypt."[19]

During their lives, the consecrated cats were fed upon fish, kept for the purpose in tanks; and "when one of them happened to die," says the veracious writer just cited, "it was wrapped in linen, and after the bystanders[Pg 373] had beaten themselves on the breast, it was carried to the Tarichœa, where it was embalmed with cœdria and other substances which have the virtue of embalming bodies, after which it was interred in the sacred monument." It has puzzled not a little the learned archæologists, who have endeavored to discover a profound philosophy figured and symbolized in the singular mythology of the Egyptians, to explain how it is that in Thebes, where the sacred character of the cat was held in the highest reverence, and cherished with the greatest devotion, not only embalmed cats have been found, but also the bodies of rats and mice, which had been subjected to the same anti-putrescent process. If, however, Herodotus is to be credited, the Egyptians owed a deep debt of gratitude to the mice; for the venerable historian assures us, and on the unquestionable authority of the Egyptian priests, that when Sennacherib and his army lay at Pelusium, a mighty corps of field-mice entered the camp by night, and eating up the quivers, bowstrings, and buckler-leathers of the Assyrian troops, in this summary fashion liberated Egypt from the terror of the threatened invasion. Probably the existence of mice-mummies may be accounted for in this way, and if—resorting to no violent supposition—we presume in the good work which the tiny patriots so sagaciously accomplished that their cousins-german the rats were assistant, the whole matter receives a satisfactory explanation. The hypothesis, it is submitted, is not without plausible recommendations on its behalf. There is extant a fragment of a comedy, entitled "The Cities," written by the Rhodian poet Anaxandrides, in which the Egyptian worship of animals is amusingly enough quizzed. A translation will be found in Dr. Prichard's Analysis of Egyptian Mythology. The lines referring to cat-worship are as follows:

"You cry and wail whene'er ye spy a cat,
Starving or sick; I count it not a sin
To hang it up, and flay it for its skin;"

from which it appears this gay free-thinker was not only somewhat skeptical in his religious notions, but, moreover, a hard-hearted, good-for-nothing fellow—one who, had he lived in our time, would unquestionably have brought himself within the sweep of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Duke of Beaufort's Humanity Act.

We learn from Herodotus that in his days it was customary, whenever a cat died, for the whole household at once to go into mourning, and this although the lamented decease might have been the result of old age, or other causes purely natural. In the case of a cat's death, however, the eyebrows only were required to be shaved off; but when a dog, a beast of more distinguished reputation, departed this life, every inmate of the house was expected to shave his head and whole body all over. Both cats and dogs are watched and attended to with the greatest solicitude during illness. Indeed by the ancient Egyptians the cat was treated much in the same way as are dogs amongst us: we find them even accompanying their masters on their aquatic shooting-excursions; and, if the testimony of ancient monuments is to be relied on, often catching the game for them, although it may be permitted to doubt whether they ever actually took to the water for this purpose.

In modern Egypt the cat, although more docile and companionable than its European sister, has much degenerated; but still, on account of its usefulness in destroying scorpions and other reptiles, it is treated with some consideration—suffered to eat out of the same dish with the children, to join with them in their sports, and to be their constant companion and daily friend. A modern Egyptian would esteem it a heinous sin, indeed, to destroy or even maltreat a cat; and we are told by Sir Gardner Wilkinson, that benevolent individuals have bequeathed funds by which a certain number of these animals are daily fed at Cairo at the Cadi's court, and the bazaar of Khan Khaleel.

But a tender regard for the inferior animals is a prevailing characteristic of the Oriental races, and is inculcated as a duty by their various religions. At Fez there was, and perhaps is at this day, a wealthily-endowed hospital, the greater part of the funds of which was devoted to the support and medical treatment of invalid cranes and storks, and procuring them a decent sepulture whenever they chanced to die. The founders are said to have entertained the poetical notion that these birds are, in truth, human beings, natives of distant islands, who at certain periods assume a foreign shape, and after they have satisfied their curiosity with visiting other lands, return to their own, and resume their original form.

To return, however, not to our sheep, but our cats, we must remark that, in modern times, in spite of the kindness the cat habitually receives in Egypt, his morale is not in that country rated very high—the universal impression being that, although, like Snug the joiner's lion, he is by nature "a very gentle beast," still he is by no means "of a good conscience;" that he is, in short, a most ungrateful beast; and that when, in a future state, it is asked of him how he has been treated by man in this, he will obstinately deny all the benefits he has received at his hand, and give him such a character for cruelty and hardness of heart as is shocking to think of. The dog, however, it is understood, will conduct himself more discreetly, and readily acknowledge the good offices for which he is indebted to the family of mankind.

Singular anecdotes have been related of the intense repugnance persons have been[Pg 374] found to entertain to these, at worst, harmless animals. One shall be given in the very words of the Rev. Nicholas Wanley, who, in his authentic Wonders of the Little World, has recorded a number of other facts quite as marvellous, and sustained by testimony not one whit more exceptionable: "Mathiolus tells of a German, who coming in wintertime into an inn to sup with him and some other of his friends, the woman of the house being acquainted with his temper (lest he should depart at the sight of a young cat which she kept to breed up), had beforehand hid her kitling in a chest in the same room where we sat at supper. But though he had neither seen nor heard it, yet after some time that he had sucked in the air infected by the cat's breath, that quality of his temperament that had antipathy to that creature being provoked, he sweat, and, of a sudden, paleness came over his face, and to the wonder of us all that were present, he cried out that in some corner of the room there was a cat that lay hid." Not long after the battle of Wagram and the second occupation of Vienna by the French, an aide-de-camp of Napoleon, who at the time occupied, together with his suite, the Palace of Schönbrunn, was proceeding to bed at an unusually late hour, when, on passing the door of Napoleon's bedroom, he was surprised by a most singular noise, and repeated calls from the Emperor for assistance. Opening the door hastily, and rushing into the room, a singular spectacle presented itself—the great soldier of the age, half undressed, his countenance agitated, the beaded drops of perspiration standing on his brow, in his hand his victorious sword, with which he was making frequent and convulsive lunges at some invisible enemy through the tapestry that lined the walls. It was a cat that had secreted herself in this place; and Napoleon held cats not so much in abhorrence as in terror. "A feather," says the poet, "daunts the brave;" and a greater poet, through the mouth of his Shylock, remarks that "there are some that are mad if they behold a cat—a harmless, necessary cat." Count Bertram would seem to have shared in this unaccountable aversion. When "Monsieur Parolles, the gallant militarist, that had the whole theory of war in the knot of his scarf, and the practice in the shape of his dagger," was convicted of mendacity and cowardice, Bertram exclaimed, "I could endure any thing before this but a cat, and now he's a cat to me." The fores of censure could no further go.

If Napoleon, however, held cats, as has been averred, in positive fear, there have been others, and some of them illustrious captains, that have regarded them with other feelings. Marshall Turenne could amuse himself for hours in playing with his kittens; and the great general, Lord Heathfield, would often appear on the walls of Gibraltar, at the time of the famous siege, attended by his favorite cat. Cardinal Richelieu was also fond of cats; and when we have enumerated the names of Cowper and Dr. Johnson, of Thomas Gray and Isaac Newton, and, above all, of the tender-hearted and meditative Montaigne, the list is far from complete of those who have bestowed on the feline race some portion of their affections.

Butler, in his Hudibras, observes in an oft-quoted passage, that

"Montaigne, playing with his cat,
Complains she thought him but an ass."

And the annotator on this passage, in explanation, adds, that "Montaigne in his Essays supposes his cat thought him a fool for losing his time in playing with her;" but, under favor, this is a misinterpretation of the essayist's sentiments, and something like a libel on the capacity of both himself and cat. Montaigne's words are: "When I play with my cat, who knows whether I do not make her more sport than she makes me? We mutually divert each other with our play. If I have my hour to begin or refuse, so also has she hers." Nobody who has read the striking essay in which these words appear could a moment misconceive their author's meaning. He is vindicating natural theology from the objections of some of its opponents, and in the course of his argument he takes occasion to dwell on the wonderful instincts, and almost rational sagacity of the inferior animals. We must, however, lament that, although he does full justice to the "half-reasoning elephant," to the aptitude and fidelity of the dog, to the marvellous economical arrangements of the bees, and even to the imitative capacity of the magpie, he pays no higher tribute to the merits of the cat than that she is as capable of being amused as himself, and like himself, too, has her periods of gravity when recreative sports are distasteful. Her social qualities he does not allude to, though he, so eminently social himself, could scarcely have failed to appreciate them.

In this country, at this time, cats have superseded parlor favorites decidedly less agreeable in their appearance, and infinitely more mischievous in their habits. Writing in the seventeenth century, Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy, remarks that "Turkey gentlewomen, that are perpetual prisoners, still mewed up according to the custom of the place, have little else, beside their household business or to play with their children, to drive away time but to dally with their cats, which they have in delitiis, as many of our ladies and gentlewomen use monkeys and little dogs." It is not the least merit of the cat that it has banished from our sitting-rooms those frightful mimicries of humanity—the monkey tribe; and as to the little dogs Tray, Blanch, and Sweetheart, although we are not insensible to their many virtues and utilities, we care not to see them sleeping on our hearth-rugs, or reposing beside our work-tables.


[19] In the matter of fanaticism, the modern Egyptians, or rather the inhabitants of Alexandria, seem hardly to have degenerated from their ethnic "forbears" as we read in Mr. J. A. St. John's travels the account of a serious insurrection which broke out some years ago in that city, in consequence of certain Jews having taken up the butchers' trade, and having slain the meat with a knife having three instead of five nails in the handle!

[Pg 375]

From the Dublin University Magazine.



There was a wild storm out at sea—a storm by night—the winds and the waves had begun to lift up their voices just when the tumult of the world was hushed in the silent darkness, so that on the earth all was tranquillity, while the ocean raged in fury: it was as though that spirit of unrest which haunts the hearts of men, having been driven out of them by the charm of sleep, had taken refuge here among the boiling waters, and prepared to hold a frantic revel. The mad sea was a fitting field for such a guest, and the fierce sport they made together seemed designed for a mocking imitation of the stormy human passions, which convulsed the land by day.

There was a mimic war in heaven—the thunder, for artillery, and the shock of the electric clouds, like the meeting armies when fellow-mortals do battle for destruction; then the beautiful lightning was as the flashing hopes that gleam in at times on the darkness of the soul, and often blast it in the passing of their fatal brightness. The waves leapt, and rose, and sunk to rise no more, like men wrestling for happiness and finding a grave, and over as the tempest swept by the rain went with it, wildly weeping, as though its big, bursting drops were the frantic tears of an earthly despair.

In the midst of all this senseless strife, a ship went struggling helplessly. It was a piteous thing to see it, for it was so like a human being, straining every nerve to keep above whelming waves; strong as fate the billows bore it up towards the very heaven, then dashed it down, and trampled on it like a fallen enemy; but the stout old oak stood the shock, and as yet the good planks held together, though the danger was imminent, and not one on board expected to see the light of another day.

The scene on deck was very striking, for human nature was there stripped of all disguise and all self-deceit before the presence of death. Pride and ambition, ostentation and avarice—the fallacies of the world, the complacent lies of society, the hopes and griefs that were of earth alone—all unrealities, in short, had passed for these shivering, helpless beings, with the life that seemed receding from them—that hour of horror revealed them to themselves and to others: there would be no more smiling lips over blackest hearts; no more bold looks over craven spirits; those murderous waters, as they dashed them to and fro, wrung from them the very secrets of their souls.

There were some there who carried a fair name through the world, and won honor and praise for their virtuous living, that now shrieked out to the pitiless winds, the detail of crimes which had deformed their soul unseen. There were others who had seemed full of love to the beings who cherished them, and now stole the rope or the spar from their straining hands, that they might save themselves therewith whilst they left these to perish; but still, whatever shape the frenzy of that perishing crew might take, whether their cries were of remorse, or prayer, or impotent rage, but one desire and instinct seemed to animate them all—the desire into which every energy of their soul was gathered up and concentrated—for the mortal life that was being rent from their passionate grasp.

Life! life! it had been to many of them a torturer, full of anguish and disappointments—a hard taskmaster, driving them on from day to day with weary feet and heavy heart, as over arid deserts where no sweet waters were springing from the wells of human love, or friendship, to slake their thirst for sympathy; they had prayed for death, they had writhed in the power of this life, and sought to be rid of it, as a prisoner of his bonds,—and now, when the bubbling waves came sweeping over the deck to their very throat, there uprose in each heart such an intensity of love for it, that all other thoughts were swallowed up in this one burning wish. They cared not who perished round them, the dearest and the best; they cared not what torments it might bring them in the future, only let them not feel its warm breath departing from their lips, its throbbing from their heart.

Now, in the midst of all these beings hanging between life and death—maddened by their terror for the one, and their passion for the other—there were two who maintained a perfect serenity, and looked with quiet eye and smiling face, upon the boiling surge which threatened to ingulf them. The first of these was a young girl, who had been lashed to a mast, against which she leant quite motionless; she was one of those sweet spring flowers, whose bright and joyous aspect shows, that they have known only the sunshine of life's early day; no sorrow as yet had checked those bounding feet, that loved to spring so lightly over woodland paths, nor hushed the carol of that gladsome voice, which rivalled the summer bird in melody; cloudless and pure were her eyes as the sky at dawn—fresh the soul within her as the morning dew; the beauty of guilelessness, and of a heart at rest, shed a light around her which had an indescribable charm. It was a strange thing to see her there, looking out so serenely on the war of the elements; whilst others wept and raved, no sound was heard from her, and though strong men lay writhing at her feet in a paroxysm of terror, no thrill of fear shook her tender frame; calmly she stood, her white garments shining in the night, like the pure robes of some angel of peace; her sweet face shaded by the golden glory of her long flowing hair, her fair hands folded over her tranquil bosom, and a[Pg 376] faint smile lingering on her parted lips, like the soft light of a reflected moonbeam, on the still waters of a lucid lake.

There was one there who, even in that hour of tumult and distress, could not choose but look on her in her marvellous tranquillity; he, like herself, was calm—the only other in all that trembling crew who faced death with indifference. But it was sufficient to look upon his countenance to read the secret of his silent courage; strange it was, indeed, that she—so young, so fair, so like a snow-white lily—should be ready to fall without a sigh into the embrace of the deadly corruption; but it was no marvel that this man should be well content to feel on his strong, passionate heart, the iron grasp which alone would still its beating. A noble face was his, bearing the marked evidence of a powerful mind, a resolute spirit, and a generous heart; but it was so sorrowfully stern, so deeply shadowed with the gloom of some great darkness which lay upon his soul, that it was plain the bitterness of life alone had engendered this recklessness of death.

They had never met before, these two. She was so young, and he already well-nigh past his prime, for he had numbered some forty years; yet now the attraction of a common sentiment drew them towards one another as though they had been kindred spirits. He was gazing intently upon her, when she turned her bright, candid eyes towards him, and smiled. She seemed willing to answer the question his looks were asking, concerning the reason of her fearlessness in this great peril. There was a momentary lull in the storm, and he suddenly walked towards her. It was no time for the courtesies of the world, and he did not hesitate to address her. "How is it that you alone can meet this appalling danger in such perfect calm?" She answered him at once, as frankly as he spoke, with a confiding, childlike smile upon her lips. "Because life, so far as I have known it, has been so happy and so beautiful, that I believe death must be more beautiful and happy still."

"What a marvellous doctrine; where can you have learned such untenable philosophy?"

"I do not know what philosophy means. I have but said what I have been taught by one who was my master. Life, which is a mystery, came to me unasked, and I found it a most joyful thing; if death, a deeper mystery, come alike unsought, why should I doubt it will be a yet more precious gift? But look!" she continued eagerly, "is it not true that the storm is abating?—the sailors are working cheerfully. Surely there is hope. Oh! say that it is so; for, though I do not dread death, because I believe that its gloom conceals some glorious joy, I do fear such passage to it as this—the actual pain, the horror of drowning, the sinking, choked and struggling, into that dark sea. Tell me, shall we live?"

"Yes," he answered slowly, as he looked around the scene, where all gave token that the tempest's wrath was spent. "I think, indeed, that the danger is over; I think that we are saved. You may hear it in the exulting of these trembling wretches who, but a few minutes since, were crawling on the deck in abject supplication. Well, they have what they asked, and soon they will curse the hour when their request was granted."

She looked at him with an innocent surprise in her large, clear eyes. She seemed to think him a being of a different nature from herself. At last she spoke. "And now, since we two alone seemed well content to die, when all others raved and shrieked for life, will you tell me why it was that you were thus willing to be done of earth; for I can see it was not because you believe, as I do, beauty, and goodness, and love in all things, however dark and strange they seem as yet?"

"And did your master teach you," he said, with a bitter smile, "that there is beauty in suffering?"

"Yes! in suffering, in pain, and death; for he said that beneath their stern aspect there lay hidden treasures that were immortal, blessings crowning us with stingless joy; but if you fear suffering, why do you not fear to die: they say there is a pang in dying?"

"You answered my question, and I must answer yours; but it were better for you not to know that such things can be in this world. I did not fear, or rather I courted, the last struggle, because I have found the agony of life sharper than the agony of death can be." He turned away abruptly, as he spoke, and seemed desirous to close the interview; and truly it was a strange conversation which had taken place between those two, in the midst of that fierce, stormy night, with the waters gaping open-mouthed for both their lives. It could not have occurred at all under other circumstances. Two strangers could not thus have told out their secret thoughts, had they not been driven by uncontrollable impulse to a close companionship, because of the communion of feeling which seemed to inspire both in that tremendous hour; but now that it was past, that they must re-enter on the ordinary routine of life, the words they had not scrupled to say to one another appeared to them both as some strange, wild dream. When they met again, it was as though they never had departed from the ordinary customs of society. Yet this brief conversation was destined to have a weighty influence on the lives of both of them.

Their next meeting was in the morning, when all traces of the midnight storm had passed away—when, brighter and more beautiful than ever before, the earth, and the sky, and the daylight seemed to the eyes that had looked on death so near. The passengers were all collected on deck once more,[Pg 377] as they had been when the tempest was raging; but now it was that they might weep fears of delight as they felt the glow of the sunshine—that they might revel in the very throbbing of their pulses, which told how the warm life-blood was careering, unchecked, through their hearts.

Soon, however, the memory of their danger passed away, like a hateful dream, and they began, according to the nature of men, to occupy themselves, with a sort of unconscious interest, in the actual circumstances passing before them.

The ship in which they were embarked was bound, from the coast of Ireland to that of England. Her ultimate destination was a seaport town in Devon; but at present she had suddenly swerved from her course, and was making for the land just where a tract of richly-wooded country attracted the eye by the luxuriance of its vegetation, and the evident traces of that care and cultivation which are usually bestowed on the estate of a wealthy proprietor. The vessel hove-to within a short distance of the shore, and a boat was lowered. The captain informed any curious inquirers that it was for the accommodation of some of the passengers who were to disembark at the little fishing village now visible on the coast. He was still speaking, when the noble-looking man already mentioned came to take leave of him, and to thank him for his efforts in the storm of the previous night. He then passed with a quiet, stately step through the crowd of passengers, and went down into the boat which was to convey him to the shore. He did not fail, however, to look round anxiously for her, with whom he had become so strangely acquainted; and it was with evident regret that he quitted the ship without having seen her again. He had observed, during their short voyage, that she was under the protection of an elderly lady, who seemed, from a certain stiffness in her manners and appearance, to have occupied, at some time, the post of governess; but during the storm she had been so utterly prostrated by fear and bodily ailment, that she had abandoned all care of her charge. Even in the morning, when all danger was over, she appeared still too much stupefied to be of much service to the young girl; and both ladies were evidently fortunate in having a most efficient attendant in the old gray-haired man, whose primitive appearance and manner seemed to indicate that he was a country servant. The stranger was scarcely placed in the boat when, somewhat to his surprise and pleasure, he saw this old man carefully depositing the duenna of his young friend in a seat near him; and in another moment there was a light footfall on the ladder, a waving of white garments, and she was herself placed beside him, whilst the sailors, pushing off from the side of the vessel, made all speed towards the shore. Both turned round hastily, and their eyes met in a glance of recognition. "It would seem our destination is the same," said he, with a smile; "at least so far as the fishing village. After that, I cannot, indeed, hope it, for the path which leads to my abode is not one that many would seek to travel."

"Is your home near this?" she said eagerly. "I am so glad to hear it; for perhaps you can tell me something of this country, which is quite new to me."

"Most certainly I can," he answered. "I think I know every tree in the wood, and every flower in the valleys; my whole life, so to speak, has been passed in these localities."

"Then tell me, do you know Randolph Abbey?"

He started with a movement of the most uncontrollable agitation, and looked at her almost fiercely, as though he suspected the intention of her words; but her candid gaze disarmed him; he compressed his lips firmly, which had grown deadly white, and answered composedly: "I do know it well, most intimately; not only the Abbey, but its inhabitants; they have been my friends these many years."

"Then you must be mine also," she said gayly; "for I am myself a Randolph."

"I might have guessed it;" and he looked thoughtfully upon her.

"And you know them all—all the party I am going to meet?—for I was told I should find so many relations there."

"I think I am acquainted with every one who ever crossed the threshold of Randolph Abbey," he said with a faint smile; "from old Sir Michael himself down to the great wolfdog Philax, who guards the outer gate; and you are his niece, no doubt—the only child of his brother Edward."

"Yes, I am Lilias Randolph; did you know, then, that I was expected?"

"I have not been at the Abbey for some time," he answered, while an expression of deep pain passed across his face; "but I know that Sir Michael is collecting round him all his nearest heirs, that he may choose amongst them one to whom he shall leave the Abbey and estate, which he has the power of willing away to whom he pleases. I knew that he sent for you to complete the number."

"Very true, and that alone damps my pleasure in going to see my new relations, that this visit to my uncle is for such a purpose; however," she continued, laughing merrily, "with so many charming cousins as I believe I have to dispute the prize with me, I think I need not fear that it will fall to my share."

"Nevertheless, it were a fair possession," he said, turning round, and pointing to the beautiful shore they were rapidly approaching. "All those magnificent woods and green luxuriant fields, as far as your eye can reach, belong to Randolph Abbey."

She looked with some interest on the lands[Pg 378] which had been the heritage of her ancestors; but soon withdrawing her eyes to gaze fixedly at him, she said with some earnestness: "You seem to know so much more of my family than I do myself, I should be thankful if you would give me some information respecting those I am about to meet. I do not even know how many cousins I have there. I have heard that I had several uncles, all of whom died, except Sir Michael, but I have never seen any of their children."

"Sir Michael had four brothers, of whom your father was the youngest, and his favorite. They all died, each leaving a child. The heirs of the three eldest have already been summoned to the Abbey, and now you will complete the party."

"But will you not describe them to me, and my uncle and aunt?—they are quite strangers to me."

"Describe them! I! impossible;" and his features, which had relaxed from their habitual sternness while he spoke to her, suddenly assumed an expression of severity which almost terrified her; the color mounted to her fair face, as she felt that, perhaps, her request had been unwarrantable to a perfect stranger. He saw her embarrassment, and instantly the smile of singular sweetness, which at times rendered his countenance almost beautiful, dispersed the passing shadow.

"You must excuse my abruptness," he said; "I have been so little accustomed of late to the society of such as you are; but, indeed, it were better you should go unbiased to receive your first impression of your relations. Did you say you had never seen any of them?"

"None. I have lived all my life with my old dear grandfather in Ireland, far from any town in the old house, among the wild green hills, which was my poor mother's home. I never saw either of my parents, but I have heard so much of her I seem quite to know her; my heart and spirit know her; whereas of my father, and his family, I know literally nothing."

"The time is at hand, then," he said, pointing to the beach; "there stands Sir Michael's carriage to convey you to the Abbey." She turned her sweet countenance with a timid, anxious look to the shore, and he gazed at her evidently with deep interest; suddenly he addressed her: "You wished me to describe your cousins to you, and I could not; but now, when I think that you are going quite alone amongst them all, I feel strangely tempted to give you one caution: think what you will of the others, and be as friendly with them as your heart prompts you, but beware of——." A name seemed trembling on his lips; he plainly struggled to utter it, and then some thought checked him. "No," he said, speaking more to himself than to her, "it were an act of blind, human policy to seek to shield her by any earthly scheming from the approach of evil; let her go, powerful in her own innocence and purity of heart; what better safeguard can she have than that deep guilelessness?" He saw that she gazed at him in astonishment as he spoke—"You will scarce regret," he continued, smiling, "that our acquaintance is drawing to a close; I must seem to have dealt very strangely by you; and I have yet a request to make before we part, which will, I fear, yet astonish you still more. Will you promise me not to mention to any individual whatever at Randolph Abbey that you have met me? you do not know my name, but they would recognize me by your description, and I earnestly desire I should not be spoken of amongst them." The fair, candid eyes assumed an expression of gravity.

"Pray do not ask me this, for I cannot endure concealments."

"That I can well believe," he answered. "I would fancy your young mind clear and limpid as the purest waters; but trust me, that I do not make the request without a reason you would yourself approve of; you would not wish to give pain to any one I know."

"Indeed I would not."

"Then you will not speak of me at Randolph Abbey, for by so doing you would cause acute suffering—not to me, but to another."

"That is quite enough; I will promise you to be silent, unless some unforeseen circumstance should compel me to speak of what has passed between us."

"I thank you much," he said; "and now here we part. You will excuse my not accompanying you to the carriage, as you have your servants, and I do not wish to be seen by Sir Michael's people." The boat had reached the shore; he leaped out and assisted her to disembark; then, still holding her hand for a moment, he looked at her with the strange, sweet smile which so beautified his face, and said—"I need scarcely say, all good be with you, for I feel it must be so. There are many stern natures in this world, but none cruel enough, I am sure, to betray so trusting a heart, or cause such cloudless eyes to grow dim in tears; you never will deceive or injure any, and, therefore, will deceits and wrong fall harmless round you. Your own frank and unsuspecting goodness will be as invincible armor upon you, and fear not, therefore, when you find yourself in the midst of the toils which crafty human nature spreads over life; walk on in truth and guilelessness, according as your own generous impulse dictates, and I do not doubt that the pure and gentle spirit of the woman will come forth unscathed, where many a stronger has been scorched and withered; for you will soon learn that the dangerous paths of this world are over hidden fires and by treacherous pitfalls."

With these strange words he left her before she had time to answer him; it seemed to her that what he had said was not intended as a mere general remark, but that it applied[Pg 379] directly to herself, from some secret knowledge he possessed of her future prospects. She remained looking after him in astonishment, not unmixed with interest in one who seemed so strangely to have assumed the position of friend and counsellor towards her; the echo of his voice still ringing in her ears, so full of mournful sweetness, and the haunting melancholy of the eyes which had read her inmost soul, oppressed her with a feeling of sadness very new to her light heart. She saw him mount a horse which his servant held in readiness for him, and, in another instant, he had disappeared in the woods. With him, however, passed the cloud he had raised; a thousand new objects of interest were before her, and her eyes seemed to catch the very sunbeams as they passed, while her light feet bounded eagerly to the spot where Sir Michael's servants awaited her.


In a small room, darkened by the deepening shadows of the twilight, sat a withered old man—looking infinitely more like a necromancer of some centuries back than an English baronet of the present day. The species of cell in which he sat was placed in the loftiest turret of Randolph Abbey, as far separated as possible from the apartments inhabited by the family. It was entirely filled with a variety of scientific instruments, which seemed to be in constant requisition; the quaint, old latticed window was thrown wide open, and a telescope fixed at it, in the proper position for a contemplation of the heavenly bodies by night. At the other end of the room was fixed an apparatus for chemical experiments, and here Sir Michael was seated, poring over some liquid which he was subjecting to the influence of a spirit-lamp. He wore a black velvet cap, which contrasted forcibly with the fixed livid color of his face, and his person was enveloped in an ample dressing-gown of the same material, in which the shrivelled, meagre form seemed almost lost. It seemed incredible that a living frame should be so wasted and shrunken as his was—the skin had literally dried on his hands, till they were like those of a skeleton. There was nothing lifelike in his whole appearance, except the small, piercing eyes, which glittered with a startling brightness.

Who could have imagined, to look upon him, that within this withered body there glowed the most intense and ardent passions it can be given to a human being to feel on earth!

No young man, in the strength and energy of his prime, ever loved with so fierce a love, or hated with so bitter a hate, as did this worn, attenuated being; in truth, it was the fire, undiminished still, of the strong, passionate heart that throbbed in so frail a tenement, which had sapped the very springs of life within him, and dried up the blood in his veins.

Even now, the ceaseless activity with which he busied himself in his chemical experiments, the convulsive twitching of his mouth from excessive eagerness, was but the result of the one burning thought that consumed him, and from which he sought relief in physical action. He cared nothing at all for these things about which he occupied himself, but long practice, systematically undertaken, and his own great ability, had rendered him a wonderful adept in science; he had resolutely become so, because he knew that these subtle experiments, and the singular combinations they produced, must, to a certain degree, prove an aliment to the intolerable restlessness produced by the one strong passion that lay feeding at his heart, like a serpent coiled around it.

It was a glorious summer day, and outside the thick walls of the turret the sunlight was glancing, and the green trees waving in the wind; but he dared not go out to the free air and the smiling nature, for, if released from the occupation he had created for himself, because it demanded such incessant attention, the current of thought, undiverted from its natural course, would too surely ebb back upon his soul with its waters of exceeding bitterness; and therefore had many years of this old man's wretched life been spent as he was spending this present hour—bending over the glowing crucible, that he might avert the shock of the antagonistic properties which he had purposely combined, in order that his mind might be engaged in preventing the collision. None knew better than himself how profitless and miserable was this existence he had made, but except he fed, even with this food of ashes, the serpent thought that haunted him, it would have preyed on him to madness. Truly that dark fluid, beneath which his withered fingers were even now so busily turning the powerful flame, was an apt symbol of his own life—wasting away before the hidden fire which himself was goaded on to foster hour by hour.

Absorbed as he seemed to be in his strange employment, he nevertheless heard with great acuteness the approach of some person, who knocked softly at the door and then opened it. Sir Michael turned round eagerly; the new comer was a servant, who said quickly, "My lady wishes to speak to you, Sir," and disappeared at once, as though the locality was one in which he by no means desired to find himself.

But the old man had heard the message, and through all the red glow cast by the flaming lamp, his livid face grew ghastlier still with strong emotion. He leant back in his chair, breathing quick and hard, and with his hand pressed to his side; then rising hastily, he gathered the long black garment round him, and left the room, heedless of the boiling liquid, whose ingredients it had required days to combine, and which now, overflowing in the crucible, was lost entirely.[Pg 380] Through the vaulted passages of the noble old building the Lord of Randolph Abbey took his way, stealing along within the shadow of the wall, the shrivelled hands still clasped over his bosom, and trembling with agitation. One might have fancied him the spectre of some old miser, creeping back to visit the beloved gold which had turned, as it were, to molten lead, crushing him within his grave; but it was, indeed, hard to believe that this was the possessor of as noble an estate as ever came to a man from the dead hands of a long line of ancestors, and that wealth well nigh untold was at his command. He crossed the great hall, a magnificent room, lighted by an immense Gothic window at the one end, whilst the other was occupied by a large organ, whence he went through various passages, covered with the softest carpets and lined with silken hangings. It was plain that he was on the outskirts of a region where luxury was systematically studied. At length he reached a door, which was closed only by heavy curtains, and there paused for a moment.

A voice was heard within, a clear, full-toned voice, talking, as it would seem, in terms of endearment to some animal; and as it came murmuring on his ear, there stole a light into that old man's eyes, a light reflected from the bright, spring-time of life, when first he had heard those tones, and vowed to follow their sweet sound the wide world over, little dreaming they would lure him through a labyrinth of such varied agonies; his whole countenance was softened by the gleaming of that pure affection from his eyes, for it was the memory of the young fresh love that still held unalterable dominion over him. This was his misery, that it was as young as ever in his aged heart, strong and lusty beyond what the withered frame could bear; but no longer fresh and true, no longer guiltless, for it will be seen how this deep love had engendered a deeper hate.

With the beauty of that tenderness still lingering on his face, he drew back the curtain and passed into the room; and straight-way was he met by the glance of stinging, cold disdain that all these many years had, hour by hour, and day by day, tortured his love to madness, and lashed his very soul to fiercest irritability. A most beautiful woman was Lady Randolph, though now in the ripe autumn of her days; stately and magnificent in dress and appearance, with pride in every gesture and movement, and a haughty self-love filling that swelling breast, and curling the finely chiselled lips. She was surrounded by the utmost refinement of luxury, and lay extended on a chaise lounge, with a delicate little Italian greyhound nestling beside her, to whom she continued to talk in fondling accents, even when her husband stood before her. Yet there was no symptom of an indolent disposition in her appearance; there was, on the contrary, a flashing gleam in the proud eyes, which seemed to tell of fiery energy.

These met him, as we have said, with a glance of withering contempt, which caused the shrivelled frame to shake and quiver. Yet memory had been busy at his heart, when he heard her voice come softly through the curtain, as once through the green shade of the whispering woods, in his summer time of love and hope. There was a tremulous softness in his tone, a sad deprecating of her disdain, when he spoke to her. "You wished to see me, Catherine."

"Only that I might give you a piece of intelligence, no doubt most gratifying to you; another of your heirs has obeyed your summons; I am told that Lilias Randolph is arrived."

She spoke as if she could have wished that every word should cut to his very heart; it was plain that the fact thus announced had somehow touched a wound of rankling bitterness in her own. She went on, gazing fixedly at him with the most frigid coldness, "This Lilias is the daughter of your favorite brother, is she not? I presume she will be the fortunate individual on whom your choice will probably fall. Henceforward, then, it may be a pleasant subject of speculation for me, whether this girl, whom you have never so much as seen, will vouchsafe a crust of bread to your widow, and a garret to shelter her in the home she shared with you."

He writhed under these bitter words, and wrung his withered hands. He spoke with moaning voice, like that of a child in pain—"Catherine, Catherine, it is yourself who have forced me to it. You know how, living, all that I have is yours,—my whole wealth utterly at your command; dying, as soon I must, how thankful would I leave all I possess to you; yes, thankful should I be to think that from the very grave my love had still the power to benefit and bless you—if you would but give me the pledge I ask. You know how from this overwhelming affection which I have given you these long, interminable years, there has been born a hate deeper, deeper even than its parent love, for it constrains me rather to endure the bitterness of your reproaches, the agony of leaving you destitute on earth, than consent that even one inch of my property, one penny of my wealth, should pass from your hands to the offspring of the man I have abhorred."

"Yes! and to have so abhorred him, the best and noblest of his kind—and now to hate his helpless child—I tell you, you can have no heart of man within you, but the very nature of a tiger, cruel and crafty. A deadly hate it must be, truly, which can pursue a man into his very rest of death, and wound the poor corpse in the person of his son. Oh! how could you abhor him—you who have seen him in his living grace and goodness?"

"Because he loved you," almost shrieked[Pg 381] the old man; "and oh, Catherine, my wife, so long and vainly dear, because you loved him also."

"I did, and do," she exclaimed, weeping passionate tears; "oh! how I love him still, my first, my only choice, the husband of my youth, the father of my child. You thought I should forget him, did you, in the midst of all this luxury? I tell you I love his green and narrow grave, with the dead ashes it contains, ten thousandfold better than this palace home and the living husband within it." The withering scorn with which she uttered these last words seemed to madden him.

"What, you doat on his very grave," he said, stamping his foot, "and by the side of it you would have starved, a penniless widow, had I not taken you."

Her breast heaved with anger—"And should I not have been well content to starve, rather than eat that bitter bread which I bought with the title of your wife: but the child, his child and mine, would have perished, or lived in misery; and for his sake, for my lost husband's sake, I married you, that I might the better cherish the poor son he left me."

"Oh! why will you torture me? It is true, that, from the days of our first meeting, you have fostered within me the unconquerable hate which, for my agony and yours, has grown mightier than the mighty love I bear you. It is by this wanton lavishing upon him, and now upon his son, of the tenderness I sought with a life's idolatry to gain, which has curdled the very blood within my heart, and makes me feel that I would rather leave you to languish in the worst of poverty than furnish you the means of blessing him with all life's treasures, and dwelling with him in delight, when I can no longer claim your presence, by the wife's obedience, if not alas! alas! by the woman's love. No, though my resolution has made our life a miserable struggle, yet am I immovable in this—I never will go down into the dungeon of the grave, and know that over my impotent dust the son of my rival is revelling in all my wealth, dwelling in my home, making you happy, as you never were when at my side, because he has the likeness of his father in his face. Already is it torture to me to know he is within these walls; and often I have thought that, madly as I love you, it was a dear-bought pleasure to have you as my wife, when the condition on which you came to me was the presence of this hateful boy. Oh, Catherine, be advised, give him up—strange object of affection, truly!"—and he laughed bitterly—"not to starve—he is your son—I do not ask it; but to go and live upon a pittance somewhere out of my sight and thoughts. Then give me this easy pledge, that he never shall inherit Randolph Abbey, and I will have no other heir but you. With your own hands, if you will, you then may drive out all these children of my brothers; I care not what becomes of them; and here you shall be a very queen, possessor of the whole fair lands for ever."

He had given her time to quell her emotion in this earnest speech, and he shuddered as he met the look of impassible and contemptuous determination with which she answered him—"Why will you weary me with proposals which I have a hundred times rejected, and will reject again, as often as it shall please you to amuse yourself by making them. I require no more of these detailed assurances that you design to be, as you have ever been, my bitter enemy."

"Catherine, is it to be an enemy to worship you as I have done?"

"Yes! a remorseless enemy, and this selfish worship my sorest persecution. What other name were fitting for you, who, in your jealous hate, have struck blow after blow upon my miserable heart, in the persons of those most dear to me? Did you not, by your machinations, deprive my noble husband of the employment by which he lived, and then, rolling in riches as you were, did you ever stretch one finger to save him from the wasting poverty which brought him to the grave? Are you not his murderer?" and she grew fearfully excited. "Did you not hide all from me, till I discovered it long after I was your wretched wife, when, had I known it, you never should have so much as touched this hand of mine?"

"But, remember, remember; he had done me a deadly wrong—he stole you from me. What injury I ever did him was like to this?"

"It might have been an injury," she said, with a bitter smile, "had he stolen my love from you; but this you never had, Sir Michael Randolph—not even before I knew him. I loved luxury and greatness, as I do now, and I had agreed to marry the Lord of Randolph Abbey, as such, and nothing more. Then I met your gentle cousin Lyle, and the sweet power of affection overcame ambition. My first love was, if you will, your fair estate; but he was my second, and my last, for ever!"

"Do you not fear to speak such words to me?" he said, his face growing white with anger, "and to irritate me thus bitterly, when you know I have no power to control the fierceness of my passions? Do you not dread my vengeance?"

"No; for whilst you live you can never injure me; your own heart would resist your efforts so to do; and besides, the bonds that unite us would prevent it. You never can take from me the right to share your home, and find my chief pleasure in its luxury; nor can you, by the oath which I made you take as the condition of our marriage, in any way deprive my child of the shelter of this roof."

"It is true, I cannot; though I would give my right hand to do it!"

"That may be," said the scornful voice,[Pg 382] "but you cannot escape your vow any more than I can the marriage oath. And now, we have had enough of these odious scenes of mutual reproach. You have fully instructed me in your resolve, to punish a dead man for the love I bear his ashes, by depriving myself and my son, after your death, of the estate I have shared with you. I am fully aware of your intentions, and I congratulate you on the pleasant task you have prepared for yourself, of choosing an heir amongst half-a-dozen needy relations; and, now, if you have any doubt as to my plans, I will tell you them, once for all, and let there be an end to this childish struggling between us. I married you in order to procure a home for my son, and for myself the luxury in which my nature delights; both of these you are bound to give us in your lifetime, and you are decided to dispossess us of them hereafter. If, then, your belief that you have an incurable malady be true, we have not long to enjoy these benefits, for which I sacrificed that which is dearest to a woman's heart—the faithfulness of her worship to one alone; and, therefore, since the price I paid for them has proved so tremendous, I will, at least, make the most of them while they are left to me. My son shall not stir one hour from this house; I will not descend one step from my place, as mistress of the Abbey and all your wealth; and, if we survive you, as you predict, I will promise you not to curse your memory, because I should lose my self-respect in so doing, since, be you what you may, I have given you the title of my husband." And the haughty woman turned from him as she spoke, sweeping her gorgeous robes after her with so dignified a movement, so stately a curve of the proud neck, that his anger was almost quelled in admiration of her queen-like beauty. Lady Randolph had reached the door, when she paused and looked back, "We have forgotten Lilias Randolph: is it your pleasure to receive her here in my presence?"

"Yes, send for her at once," he answered, eagerly seizing a pretext to keep her in his sight; for, despite her bitter words—despite the age which sent the blood so sluggishly through his veins—he ever felt, when she left the room, that going forth of strength from the soul with the departing of one beloved, which is the penalty of a deep affection. She rung a little silver hand-bell, and desired that the new-comer should be conducted to this room; and then she sat down immovably to await her, without glancing at her husband. She was, to all appearance, calm; but the heaving chest showed how the proud heart was still beating fast, whilst he shook in every limb, like an aged tree, over which a storm had passed. He gazed intently upon her, as in her presence he ever did, and at last, seeming irritated at her silence, he said, in a voice tremulous with passion—"Remember, Lady Randolph, that however bitterly you hate me, I will have none of it reflected back upon my niece. Lilias Randolph must find here a home, and a happy one. I will have it so: and no unkind treatment of yours must render it otherwise."

"I do not wonder you should fear that I may have learned in this house the exercise of petty tyranny, and the punishing of the innocent for the crimes of others; but we do not easily learn that which is against our nature, and I think experience may tell you that your lessons have failed. Is there one of the Randolphs now located in this house who can complain of me, in any way whatsoever?"

He was glad that the sound of approaching footsteps prevented the necessity of an answer. Both turned to the door to greet Lilias Randolph.

She came in like a very sunbeam, all light and peace, dispersing, as it were, by her presence, the storm of angry passions that had been raging there. Both of them were disposed to meet her with preconceived animosity, but they were at once disarmed by the serene purity of her aspect. The large candid eyes, with their timid glance, half shy, half free, so like a young fawn; the sweet face, glowing beneath the soft hair, with a faint blush of diffidence; the whole atmosphere of innocence, and hope, and loving kindness towards all men, which seemed to be around her, had power to stir long silent depths in both those seared and angry hearts; the bitter strife, whose cause and results had become magnified to their distorted vision, to an importance which nothing on this fleeting earth could really merit, almost melted away before her presence, who seemed prepared to walk through life in such joyousness and singleness of heart, with eyes that could see nothing but beauty, and a mind that could perceive only goodness. Lady Randolph came forward, and took her hand with a degree of politeness which Sir Michael knew to be a most unwonted act of condescension, but which to the sunny-hearted Lilias seemed to be a very cold, repulsive welcome. She looked up with her clear eyes to the proud, handsome face that bent over her and wondered if it was of this stately lady that she was to beware, for the half-uttered words of the stranger had impressed her strangely, and the one thought, that there was to be for her a hidden enemy within these walls, had appeared to haunt her very footsteps ever since she entered Randolph Abbey. Sir Michael approached, and Lady Randolph at once let fall the little hand that fluttered in her own. Lilias timidly advanced towards her uncle; involuntarily he put his arm round her, and stroked down the soft brown hair: "Poor Edward," he murmured, "how wonderfully you resemble him."

"Then you will love me for his sake, will you not?" and she looked coaxingly up to him.[Pg 383]

"Dear child, would that you could be like what he was, to me, the only creature who ever loved me."

"And now I will be another; only let me try to take his place." She put her arms round his neck and nestled close to him, till the old man felt, as it were, the warmth of a new life creep into his breast from the beating of the pure young heart beside him. He pressed her fondly to him; it was so long since any one had seemed to consider him as a being for whom it was possible to feel the least affection, that her gentle words were strangely soothing to him. Suddenly she started in his arms, for the door was closed with great violence; it was Lady Randolph, who had left the room, and she wondered at the strange gleam of pleasure which lit up the livid face of her uncle. Unconsciously she shrunk from him as from something evil; but little indeed could that innocent mind conceive of the feeling which made him exalt in having thus drawn forth an indication of jealous anger from the wife who so long had crushed him with her cold contempt. Lilias remained with her uncle, and told him the brief history of her untroubled life; all things connected with her seemed gentle, pure, and happy, even where images of death forced their way amongst them. He listened as to some melodious poem, whilst she told him of her mother, the sweet Irish girl, who had lured his brother Edward, in early youth, from all the grandeur of Randolph Abbey, to come and dwell with her among the Connaught hills; and how, as Lilias had heard from her old nurse, they had been the fairest couple ever seen, living for one another only, and thinking earth a paradise, because they walked upon it hand in hand.

"And then, dear uncle," continued Lilias, "it seemed as though they feared that time or change should make them less beloved one to another; or since that could never be, that any evil should rise up to separate them even for one day; and so they went and lay down side by side in the green churchyard, where none could seek them out, to trouble the silent love they knew would live beyond the grave. My father died the first, and my mother laid her head upon his heart, when it ceased to beat, and never lifted it again; and so they buried them just as they were, and she lies there still, most sweetly sleeping. She said, just before she expired, that his heart had been her resting-place in life, and should be so in death; and so it was, and is even yet, a blessed rest.—Is it not, dear uncle?"

He almost crushed her hand in his, and said, "Tell me no more of them, Lilias, I cannot bear it;" he was thinking how the proud feet of his disdainful wife would spurn the turf from his unhappy grave.

Lilias thought it pained him to hear of the brother's death whom he had so loved, and therefore gently changing the subject, she began to tell him of her own happy childhood and youth—how she had lived with her good old grandfather, the pastor of a country village, roaming the hills all day a free and joyous child, and in the evening sitting by his side, gaining from him all needful learning, and many tender counsels to smooth her path in life: and how the one bright lesson he had ever taught her was to have deep faith in the love and goodness pervading all things inwardly, even as beauty clothes the world outwardly; to believe that however dark, and bitter, and mysterious might seem the destinies of man, yet all has a merciful purpose, and shall have a joyous ending, if only we will have patience, and hope, and loving-kindness one towards another; and how she was to fear nothing on this earth, not pain, nor sorrow, nor death, for that all these were tender messengers working their work of mercy; and how she never was to suspect evil or to look for it in others, but ever to seek only that which was good and pure in them, for that there is not in the world a soul, however stained, but has some fair spot lingering from the brightness with which it was clothed when it came forth—a new-created spirit, bright as a star. So she spoke, telling her gentle, happy ideas in a sweet murmuring voice, and Sir Michael felt, with every word she uttered, that from this wise and beautiful teaching she had come out the sweetest, purest, most loving of human beings, ever ready to cast back all thought or shadow of evil, and seek only that which is lovely and of good report—the germ of which is every where to be found, even in the blackest heart that ever weighed down the breast of man; and so, bending over her, Sir Michael kissed the spotless forehead, and internally resolved that she, and none other, should be his heiress, the possessor of Randolph Abbey: but he said nothing, for when he had summoned the children of his four brothers to come and reside with him, that he might make choice of an heir, he had announced to them that they were to have a probation of six months, during which time he designed to judge of their merits, without making any announcement of his decision, till the period had expired.


Through the dark old hall, from which the lingering twilight was excluded, came Lilias Randolph towards the room where she was to meet the assembled family, and make acquaintance with her competitors. It was a fairer sight than these grim walls had witnessed for many a day, to see her wandering down, with her sunny hair and snowy garments, among the suits of armor and warlike relics of ancient times which lay around on all sides: there was a grace in all her movements, a softness and purity in her aspect, which made her ever seem like a moving[Pg 384] light, and now, in that shadowy expanse, her glancing form was almost the flitting of moon-beams along the wall. She paused one moment at the door, and though her thoughts were busy with the recollection that amongst those she was about to meet there was to be found, she knew not where, a dangerous foe, yet did not her heart beat one stroke the faster beneath the gentle hands so calmly crossed upon her breast. She felt that she had injured none, she knew that never would she desire aught but the well-being of all around her, and therefore she feared nothing that man could do, for she was well convinced that there are limits set to the unprovoked wrong.

In another moment she stood within the room—a lofty saloon, magnificently furnished, and of great size; there were two fireplaces, but the whole group were collected round one, for although the summer was just bursting over the earth, the evenings were still chilly.

She distinguished at first only Sir Michael and Lady Randolph—the former crouching down in a huge arm-chair, the latter standing so as to display her majestic height, with an arm laden with jewels leaning on the mantelpiece. She saw the young girl come in; but the other persons present were turned from the door, and none heard the light footfall on the thick carpet till the childlike form, all fair and white, stood close to her aunt, contrasting strangely with the haughty lady in her dark velvet robes.

Lilias looked up; so strange is the power of a few brief human words, that, as she gazed from face to face, it was with the question in her heart, "Which of you is to be my enemy?" Before her stood two young men, both strikingly handsome, but most unlike: one, who appeared to be the eldest, was a noble specimen of joyous, hardy youth—a fine open countenance, from which the dark had been dashed away as with a free hand, a gay smile, a bold, clear eye, a mellow voice—these were all indications of what he truly was—a frank, generous-hearted man, with great nobility of sentiment and a rare sincerity. The other were less easily described, and seemed of a very different stamp; slighter of make, and with a fairer face, he seemed the very embodiment of meekness and gentleness, and his large, almond-shaped blue eyes were seldom raised when he spoke; and yet there was a refined intelligence beaming in every line of his countenance: the soft silken hair and delicate hands might have graced a woman, and Lilias inwardly decided, as she looked on him, that he must be a gentle spirit, easily broken; little fitted to battle with the rough world. He, at least, could never be one of whom any should beware, nor yet could the beaming countenance of that bolder man hide aught but a noble heart; where then was her future enemy? it must be the third of her unknown cousins. Lady Randolph now named these to her: Walter was the elder, son to Sir Michael's soldier brother, who died heroically on the field of battle; Gabriel, the child of one who had disgraced his family by a concealed marriage with a woman of low rank. She stated these circumstances as calmly as though the offspring of this person had not been standing before her: he listened to the contemptuous allusion to his mother without a word or movement; but Lilias saw the slight hands tremble violently and the chest heave. Was it with anger or shame?

"This is not all," said Sir Michael, who had watched the scene; he turned to Lady Randolph—"Will she come?"

His wife made no answer, but walked towards a small door which seemed to open into some inner apartment: she opened it, pronounced the name of "Aletheia," and returned to her place. There was a pause. Lilias had heard no sound of steps, but suddenly Walter and Gabriel moved aside, she looked up, and Sir Michael himself placing a hand within hers, said—"This is your cousin Aletheia; her father, my third brother, died only last year." The hand she held sent a chill through Lilias's whole frame, for it was cold as marble, and when she fixed her eyes on the face that bent over her, a feeling of awe and distress, for which she could not account, seemed to take possession of her.

It was not a beautiful countenance, far from it, yet most remarkable; the features were fixed and still as a statue, rigid, with a calm so passionless, that one might have thought the very soul had fled from that form, the more so as the whole of the marble face was overspread with the most extraordinary paleness. There was not a tinge of color in the cheek, scarce even on the lips, and the dead white of the forehead contrasted quite unnaturally with the line of hair, which was of a soft brown, and gathered simply round the head; it was as though some intense and awful thought lay so heavy at her heart that it had curdled the very blood within it, and drawn it away from the veins that it might be traced distinctly under the pure skin. It was singular that the immovable stillness of that face whispered no thought of soothing rest, for it was a stillness as of death—a death to natural joys and feelings; and mournfully from under their heavy lids, the eyes looked out with a deep, earnest gaze, which seemed to ignore all existing sights and things, and to be fixed on vacancy alone. Aletheia wore a dress of some dark material, clasped round the throat, and falling in heavy folds from the braid which confined it at the waist; she stood motionless, holding the little warm hand Sir Michael had placed in hers, without seeming almost to perceive the girlish form that stood before her. There could not have been a greater contrast than between that pale statue and the bright, glowing Lilias, the play of whose features, ever smiling or blushing,[Pg 385] was fitful as waters sparkling beneath the sunbeam.

"Do you not welcome your cousin, Aletheia," said Sir Michael, with a frown. She started fearfully, as if she had been roused by a blow, from the state in which she was absorbed. She looked down at Lilias, who felt as if the deeply mournful eyes sent a chill to her very soul. Then the mouth relaxed to an expression of indescribable sweetness, which gave, for one second, a touching beauty to the rigid face; a few words, gentle, but without the slightest warmth, passed from her pale lips. Then they closed as if in deep weariness. She let fall the hand of Lilias, and glided back to a seat within the shadow of the wall, where she remained, leaning her head on the cushions, as though in a death-like swoon. Lilias looked inquiringly at her aunt, almost fearing her new-found cousin might be ill. But Lady Randolph merely answered, "It is always so;" and no further notice was taken of her.

They went to dinner shortly after, and Lilias thought there could not be a more complete picture of comfort and happiness than the luxurious room, with its blazing fire, and warm crimson hangings, and the large family party met round the table, where every imaginable luxury was collected. Little did her guilelessness conceive of the deep drama working beneath that fair outward show. Her very ignorance of the world and its ways, prevented her feeling any embarrassment amongst those who, she concluded, must be her friends, because they were her relations, and she talked gayly and happily with Walter, who was seated next to her, and who seemed to think he had found in her a more congenial spirit than any other within the walls of Randolph Abbey. All the rest of the party, excepting one, joined in the conversation: Lady Randolph, with a few coldly sarcastic remarks, stripped every subject she touched upon of all poetry or softness of coloring; she seemed to be one whom life had handled so roughly that it could no longer wear any disguise for her, and at once, in all things, she ever grasped the bitterness of truth, and wished to hold its unpalatable draught to the shrinking lips of others. Sir Michael listened with interest to every word which Lilias uttered, and encouraged her to talk of her Irish life; whilst Gabriel, with the sweetest of voices, displayed so much talent and brilliancy in every word he said, that he might well have excited the envy of his competitors, but for the extraordinary humility which he manifested in every look and gesture. There was one only who did not speak, and to that one Lilias's attention was irresistibly drawn. She could not refrain from gazing, almost in awe, on Aletheia, with her deadly pale face and her fixed, mournful eyes, who had not uttered a word, nor appeared conscious of any thing that was passing around her; and her appearance, as she sat amongst them, was as though she was for ever hearing a voice they could not hear, and seeing a face they could not see. Lilias had yet to learn that "things are not what they seem" in this strange world, and that mostly we may expect to find the hidden matter below the surface directly opposite to that which appears above. She therefore simply concluded that this deep insensibility resulted from coldness of heart and deadness of feeling, and gradually the conviction deepened in her mind, that Aletheia Randolph was the name which had trembled on the lips of her unknown friend, when he warned her to beware of some one of her new relatives. It seemed to her most likely that one so dead and cold should be wholly indifferent to the feelings of others, and disposed only to work out her own ends as best she might; and thus, by a few unfortunate words, the seeds of mistrust were sown in that innocent heart against one most unoffending, and a deep gulf was fixed between those two, who might have found in each other's friendship a staff and support whereon to lean, when for either of them the winds blew too roughly from the storms of life.

Once only that evening did Lilias hear the sound of Aletheia's voice, and then the words she uttered seemed so unnatural, so incomprehensible, to that light heart in its passionless ignorance, that they did but tend to increase the germ of dislike, and even fear, that was, as we have said, already planted there against this singular person. It was after they had returned to the drawing-room that some mention was made of the storm of the preceding evening, to which Lilias had been exposed. Walter was questioning her as to its details, with all the ardor of a bold nature, to whom danger is intoxicating. "But, I suppose," he continued, smiling, "you were like all women, too much terrified to think of any thing but your own safety?"

"No," said Lilias, lifting up her large eyes to his with a peculiar look of brightness, which reminded him of the dawning of morning, "the appearance of the tempest was so glorious that its beauty filled the mind, and left no room for fear. I wish you could have seen it. It was as though some fierce spirit were imprisoned behind the deep black veil that hung over the western heavens, to whom freedom and power were granted for a little season; for suddenly one vivid, tremendous flash of lightning seemed to cleave asunder that dark wall, and then the wild, liberated storm came thundering forth, shrieking and raging through the sky, and tearing up the breast of the sea with its cruel footsteps. It was the grandest sight I ever saw."

"I think there must have been another yet more interesting displayed on board the vessel itself," said the sweet, low voice of Gabriel. "I should have loved rather to watch the storms and struggles of the human soul in such an hour of peril as you describe."[Pg 386]

"Ah! that was very fearful," said Lilias, shuddering. "I cannot bear to think of it. That danger showed me such things in the nature of man as I never dreamt of. I think if the whirlwind had utterly laid bare the depths of the sea, as it seemed striving to do, it could not have displayed more monstrous and hideous sights than when its powers stripped those souls around me of all disguise."

"Pray give us some details," said Gabriel, earnestly. He seemed to long for an anatomy of human nature in agony, as an epicure would for a feast.

Lilias was of too complying a disposition to refuse, though she evidently disliked the task. "One instance may be a sufficient example of what I mean," she said. "There was a man and his wife, whom, previous to the storm, I had observed as seeming so entirely devoted to one another; he guarded her so carefully from the cold winds of evening, and appeared to live only in her answering affection. Now, when the moment of greatest peril came—when the ship was reeling over, till the great mountains of waves threatened to sweep every living soul from the deck, and the only safety was in being bound with ropes to the masts—I saw this man, who had fixed himself to one with a cord that was not very strong, and who held his wife clasped in his arms, that the waters might not carry her away. At last there came one gigantic billow, whose power it seemed impossible to withstand; then I saw this man withdraw the support of his arm from the poor creature, who seemed anxious only to die with him, and use both his hands to clasp the pole which sustained him. She gave a piteous cry, more for his cruelty, I feel sure, than her own great peril; but with the impulse of self-preservation, she suddenly grasped the frail cord which bound him. Then he, uttering an impious curse, lifted up his hand—I can scarcely bear to tell it." And Lilias shivered, and grew pale.

"Go on," said Walter, breathlessly.

"He lifted up his hand, and struck her with a hard, fierce blow, which sent her reeling away to death in the boiling sea; for death it would have been, had not a sailor caught her dress and upheld her till the wave was passed."

"How horrible!" exclaimed Walter.

"Oh, miserable to be thus rescued! Happy—thrice happy had she died," said a deep-toned, mournful voice behind her.

Lilias started uncontrollably, and looked round. The words had been spoken very low, and as if unconsciously, like a soul holding converse with some other soul, rather than a human being communicating with those of her own kind; yet she felt that they came from Aletheia, who had been sitting for the last hour like an immovable statue, in a high-backed oaken chair, where the shadow of the heavy curtain fell upon her. She had remained there pale and still as marble, her head laid back in the attitude that seemed habitual to her; the white cheek seeming yet whiter contrasted with the crimson velvet against which it lay; and the hand folded as in dumb, passive resignation on her breast. But now, as she uttered these strange words, a sudden glow passed over her face, like the setting sun beaming out upon snow; the eyes, so seldom raised, filled with a liquid light, the chest heaved, the lips grew tremulous.

"What! Aletheia," exclaimed Walter, "happy, did you say—happy to die by that cruel blow?"

"Most happy—oh! most blessed to die by a blow so sweet from the hand she loved."

Her voice died into a broken whisper; a few large tears trembled in her mournful eyes, but they did not fall; the unwonted color faded from her face, and in another moment she was as statue-like as ever, and with the same impenetrable look, which made Lilias feel as if she never should have either the wish or the courage to address her. Her astonishment and utter horror at Aletheia's strange remark were, however, speedily forgotten in the stronger emotion caused her by an incident which occurred immediately after. Sir Michael had not been in the room since dinner-time, and now he suddenly entered. He came forward with a rapid step towards Lady Randolph, and even she seemed to quail beneath the steady gaze of his angry eye. He stood before her for a moment, as if the rage that swelled his bosom were too great for utterance; and his face became of the color of iron white with heat.

"Lady Randolph, he has again presumed to cross my path; I have met him, I have seen him, I stumbled against him, as he came with his noiseless step, like a viper; I should have fallen if his arm had not upheld me. How has he dared—how have you dared to molest me thus?"

"It was not intentional, I am sure," said Lady Randolph, evidently annoyed; "certainly he did not expect to meet you there; you know how careful he is."

"But am I to be exposed to the possibility of such a meeting? Was it not a distinct stipulation that he should avoid even the risk of encountering me? Lady Randolph, is it or is it not a part of the agreement by which I permit him to dwell in this house, that I am never to be tormented with the sight of him?"

"It is, it is," she answered impatiently; "and for that reason I am vexed this should have occurred. I admit that you are justified in your complaint, since such was our contract, however cruel this condition; but I will take care that it does not happen again; and at all events, Sir Michael, it seems to me that this is a most unfit discussion to be heard by your nephews and nieces."

"There I differ from you," he said, with a bitter smile, for he loved to humble the proud[Pg 387] woman who had trampled on his heart these many years; "as they have various motives for seeking to please me, it is as well they should know my peculiar tastes; let me tell you then," he said, turning towards them, "that there is one man in the world whom I hate as I would hate the vilest reptile, and that man is under this roof; whoever wishes my favor, therefore, will avoid him as they would a pestilence."

"Let us go," said Lady Randolph, hastily rising, "it is quite late; come Lilias, you look pale with fatigue; I will show you the way to your room, in case you lose yourself in the long passages."

This produced an immediate dispersion of the party; Aletheia glided away whilst her aunt was speaking, and Gabriel followed her with his eyes till the door closed on the dark figure; then he came with many expressions of kindly interest to hope that Lilias would rest well, whilst Walter warmly shook hands with her, and seemed, in his simple "good-night," very fervently spoken, to express far more than his cousin had done. But it was not fatigue that had chased for a moment the color from the sweet face of Lilias: it the blighting breath of that deadly thing, the hate of a human heart. Never before had this innocent child come in contact with such a passion. Of love, she knew enough; its fragrant atmosphere had been around her from her cradle, it had come to her night by night in the fond kiss of her grandfather, and well nigh hour by hour in the endearing words and caressing arms of her kind old nurse, who cherished her as such sweet blossoms of life's early spring are ever cherished by those who have attained its winter: but of hate she knew nothing; it was the first time that this accursed thing had crept into her presence, which steals about this world, poisoning the well-springs of friendship and affection, that rise to refresh us out of the desert sands, of this our pilgrimage, and turning their sweet waters into blood.

The first touch of this vile passion sickened the young heart of Lilias, and filled it with the most intense compassion for him, unknown as he was, who had become the victim of such a fierce aversion. How she wondered who he was, and what he had done, to be so detested; and it seemed to her gentle nature that no man, not the worst criminal, could, with justice, be so dealt with by a fellow-creature; but a kind of instinct told her that the hate was causeless, and therefore did it seem to wound her, as if herself had been injured. She followed Lady Randolph through the long galleries, and she whose step had been so fearless on the dangerous mountains, now shrank from the shadows on the wall; for it seemed to her as if this house, and every heart within it, were full of dark, strange, spectres; bad thoughts haunting these souls like ghosts; evil passions lurking beneath fair outward appearances; and words full of meaning which she could not fathom floating on her ear.

But for the deep peace of her own innocence, the clear cool waters of perfect truth in which her own soul lay steeped, so fresh and pure, Lilias would have trembled to remain an inhabitant of this place, where she felt instinctively there was so much that was mysterious and dark. But she resolved to hold firm her own sweet faith and practice, that there was mercy in all events and good in every heart, and that she had nought to do but to love all mankind with an active, charitable love; and so she trusted to be as safe and happy here as in her Irish home, where simplicity of life was the natural result of simplicity of heart.

From Dickens's Household Words.


Eclipses have been ascribed sometimes to the hunger of a great dragon, who eats the sun, and leaves us in the dark until the blazing orb has been mended. Numerous instances are ready to the memory of any one of us, in illustration of the tendency existing among men to ascribe to supernatural, fantastic causes, events wonderful only by their rarity. All that we daily see differs from these things no more than inasmuch as it is at the same time marvellous and common. We know very well that the moon, seen once by all, would be regarded as an awful spectre: open only to the occasional vision of a few men, no doubt she would be scouted by a large party as a creation of their fancy altogether.

The list of facts that have been scouted in this way, corresponds pretty exactly to the list of human discoveries, down to the recent improvements in street lighting and steam locomotion. The knowledge of the best of us is but a little light which shines in a great deal of darkness. We are all of us more ignorant than wise. The proportion of knowledge yet lying beyond the confines of our explorations, is as a continent against a cabbage garden. Yet many thousands are contented to believe, that in this little bit of garden lies our all, and to laugh at every report made to the world by people who have ventured just to peep over the paling. It is urged against inquiries into matters yet mysterious—mysterious as all things look under the light of the first dawn of knowledge—why should we pry into them, until we know that we shall be benefited by the information we desire? All information is a benefit. All knowledge is good. Is it for man to say, "What is the use of seeing?"

We are in the present day upon the trace of a great many important facts relating to the imponderable agencies employed in nature. Light, heat, and electricity are no longer the simple matters, or effects of matter, that they have aforetime seemed to be. New wonders point to more beyond. In magnetism,[Pg 388] the researches of Faraday, and others, are beginning to open, in our own day, the Book of Nature, at a page of the very first importance to the naturalist; but the contents of which until this time have been wholly unsuspected. Behind a cloudy mass of fraud and folly, while the clouds shift, we perceive a few dim stars, to guide us towards the discovery of wondrous truths. There are such truths which will hereafter illustrate the connection, in many ways still mysteries, between the body of man and the surrounding world. Wonderful things have yet to be revealed, on subjects of a delicate and subtle texture. It behooves us in the present day, therefore, to learn how we may keep our tempers free from prejudice, and not discredit statements simply because they are new and strange, nor, on the other hand, accept them hastily without sufficient proof.

On questionable points, which are decided by research and weight of evidence, it would be well if it were widely understood that it is by no means requisite for every man to form an Aye or Nay opinion. Let those who have no leisure for a fair inquiry play a neutral part. There are hundreds of subjects which we have never examined, nor ever could or can examine, upon which we are all, nevertheless, expressing every day stubborn opinions. We all have to acquire some measure of the philosophic mind, and be content to retain a large army of thoughts, equipped each thought with its crooked bayonet, a note of interrogation. In reasoning, also, when we do reason, we have to remember fairly that "not proven" does not always mean untrue. And in accepting matters of testimony, we must rigidly preserve in view the fact, that, except upon gross subjects of sense, very few of us are qualified by training as observers. In drawing delicate conclusions from the complex and most dimly comprehended operations of the human frame observed in men and women, the sources of fallacy are very numerous. To detect and acknowledge these, to get rid of them experimentally, is very difficult, even to the most candid and enlightened mind.

I have no faith in ghosts, according to the old sense of the word, and I could grope with comfort through any amount of dark old rooms, or midnight aisles, or over churchyards, between sunset and cock-crow. I can face a spectre. Being at one time troubled with illusions, I have myself crushed a hobgoblin by sitting on its lap. Nevertheless, I do believe that the great mass of "ghost stories," of which the world is full, has not been built entirely upon the inventions of the ignorant and superstitious. In plain words, while I, of course, throw aside a million of idle fictions, or exaggerated facts, I do believe in ghosts—or, rather, spectres—only I do not believe them to be supernatural.

That, in certain states of the body, many of us in our waking hours picture as vividly as we habitually do in dreams, and seem to see or hear in fair reality that which is in our minds, is an old fact, and requires no confirmation. An ignorant or superstitious man fallen into this state, may find good reason to tell ghost stories to his neighbors. Disease, and the debility preceding death, make people on their death-beds very liable to plays of this kind on their failing faculties; and one solemnity or cause of dread, thus being added to another, seems to give the strength of reason to a superstitious feeling.

Concerning my own experience, which comes under the class of natural ghost-seeing above mentioned, I may mention in good faith, that, if such phantoms were worth recalling, I could fill up an hour with the narration of those spectral sights and sounds which were most prominent among the illusions of my childhood. Sights and sounds were equally distinct and lifelike. I have run up-stairs obedient to a spectral call. Every successive night for a fortnight, my childish breath was stilled by the proceedings of a spectral rat, audible, never visible. It nightly, at the same hour, burst open a cupboard door, scampered across the floor, and shook the chair by my bedside. Wide awake and alone in the broad daylight, I have heard the voices of two nobodies gravely conversing, after the absurd dream fashion, in my room. Then as for spectral sights:—During the cholera of 1832, I, then a boy, walking in Holborn, saw in the sky the veritable flaming sword which I had learnt by heart out of a picture in an old folio of "Paradise Lost." And round the fiery sword there was a regular oval of blue sky to be seen through parted clouds. It was a fact not unimportant, that this phantom sword did not move with my eye, but remained for some time, apparently, only in one part of the heavens. I looked aside and lost it. When I looked back, there was the image still. These are hallucinations which arise from a disordered condition of the nervous system; they are the seeing or the hearing of what is not, and they are not by any means uncommon. Out of these there must, undoubtedly, arise a large number of well-attested stories of ghosts, seen by one person only. Such ghosts ought to excite no more terror than a twinge of rheumatism, or a nervous headache.

There can be no doubt, however, that, in our minds or bodies, there are powers latent, or nearly latent, in the ordinary healthy man, which, in some peculiar constitutions, or under the influence of certain agents, or certain classes of disease, become active, and develope themselves in an extraordinary way. It is not very uncommon to find people who have acquired intuitive perception of each others' current thoughts, beyond what can be ascribed to community of interests, or comprehension of character.

Zschokke, the German writer and teacher, is a peculiarly honorable and unimpeachable witness. What he affirms, as of his own[Pg 389] knowledge, we have no right to disbelieve. Many of us have read the marvellous account given by him, of his sudden discovery that he possessed the power in regard to a few people—by no means in regard to all—of knowing, when he came near to them, not only their present thoughts, but much of what was in their memories. The details will be found in his Autobiography, which, being translated, has become a common book among us. When, for the first time, while conversing with some person, he acquired a sense of power over the secrets of that person's past life, he gave, of course, but little heed to his sensation. Afterwards, as from time to time the sense recurred, he tested the accuracy of his impressions, and was alarmed to find that, at certain times, and in regard to certain persons, the mysterious knowledge was undoubtedly acquired. Once when a young man at the table with him was dismissing very flippantly all manner of unexplained phenomena as the gross food of ignorance and credulity, Zschokke requested to know what he would say if he, a stranger, by aid of an unexplained power, should be able to tell him secrets out of his past life. Zschokke was defied to do that; but he did it. Among other things he described a certain upper room, in which there was a certain strong box, and from which certain moneys, the property of his master, had been abstracted by that young man; who, overwhelmed with astonishment, confessed the theft.

Many glimmerings of intuition, which at certain times occur in the experience of all of us, and seem to be something more than shrewd or lucky guesses, may be referred to the same power which we find, in the case just quoted, more perfectly developed. Nothing supernatural, but a natural gift, imperceptible to us in its familiar, moderate, and healthy exercise, brought first under our notice when some deranged adjustment of the mind has suffered it to grow into excess—to be, if we may call it so, a mental tumor.

We may now come to a new class of mysteries—which are receiving for the first time, in our own day, a rational solution.

The blind poet, Pfeffel, had engaged, as amanuensis, a young Protestant clergyman, named Billing. When the blind poet walked abroad, Billing also acted as his guide. One day, as they were walking in the garden, which was situated at a distance from the town, Pfeffel observed a trembling of his guide's arm whenever they passed over a certain spot. He asked the cause of this, and extracted from his companion the unwilling confession, that over that spot he was attacked by certain uncontrollable sensations, which he always felt where human bodies had been buried. At night, he added, over such spots he saw uncanny things. "This is great folly," Pfeffel thought, "and I will cure him of it." The poet went, therefore, that very night, into the garden. When they approached the place of dread, Billing perceived a feeble light, which hovered over it. When they came nearer, he saw the delicate appearance of a fiery, ghost-like form. He described it as the figure of a female, with one arm across her body, and the other hanging down, hovering upright and motionless over the spot, her feet being a few hand-breadths above the soil. The young man would not approach the vision, but the poet beat about it with his stick, walked through it, and seemed to the eyes of Billing like a man who beats about a light flame, which always returns to its old shape. For months, experiments were continued, company was brought to the spot, the spectre remained visible always in the dark, but to the young man only, who adhered firmly to his statement, and to his conviction that a body lay beneath. Pfeffel at last had the place dug up, and, at a considerable depth, covered with lime, there was a skeleton discovered. The bones and the lime were dispersed, the hole was filled up, Billing was again brought to the spot by night, but never again saw the spectre.

This ghost story, being well attested, created a great sensation. In the curious book by Baron Reichenbach, translated by Dr. Gregory, it is quoted as an example of a large class of ghost stories which admit of explanation upon principles developed by his own experiments.

The experiments of Baron Reichenbach do not, indeed, establish a new science, though it is quite certain that they go far to point out a new line of investigation, which promises to yield valuable results. So much of them as concerns our subject, may be very briefly stated. It would appear that certain persons with disordered nervous systems, liable to catalepsy, or to such affections, and also some healthy persons who are of a peculiar nervous temperament, are more sensitive to magnetism than their neighbors. They are peculiarly acted upon by the magnet, and are, moreover, very much under the influence of the great magnetic currents of the earth. Such people sleep tranquilly when they are reposing with their bodies in the earth's magnetic line, and are restless, in some cases seriously affected, if they lie across that line, on beds with the head and foot turned east and west, matters of complete indifference to the healthy animal. These "sensitives" are not only affected by the magnet, but they are able to detect, by their sharpened sense, what we may reasonably suppose to exist, a faint magnetic light: they see it streaming from the poles of a magnet shown to them in a room absolutely dark; and if the sensibility be great, and the darkness perfect, they see it streaming also from the points of fingers, and bathing in a faint halo the whole magnet or the whole hand. Furthermore, it would appear that[Pg 390] the affection by the magnet of these sensitives does not depend upon that quality by which iron filings are attracted; that, perfectly independent of the attractive force, there streams from magnets, from the poles of crystals, from the sun and moon, another influence, to which the discoverer assigns the name of Odyle. The manifestation of Odyle is accompanied by a light too faint for healthy vision, but perceptible at night by "sensitives." Odyle is generated, among other things, by heat and by chemical action. It is generated, therefore, in the decomposition of the human body. I may now quote from Reichenbach, who, having given a scientific explanation, upon his own principles, of the phenomena perceived by Billing, thus continues:—

"The desire to inflict a mortal wound on the monster, Superstition, which, from a similar origin, a few centuries ago, inflicted on European society so vast an amount of misery, and by whose influence, not hundreds, but thousands of innocent persons died in tortures, on the rack and at the stake;—this desire made me wish to make the experiment, if possible, of bringing a highly sensitive person, by night, to a churchyard. I thought it possible that they might see, over graves where mouldering bodies lay, something like that which Billing had seen. Mademoiselle Reichel had the courage, unusual in her sex, to agree to my request. She allowed me, on two very dark nights, to take her from the Castle of Reisenberg, where she was residing with my family, to the cemetery of the neighboring village of Grünzing.

"The result justified my expectation in the fullest measure. She saw, very soon, a light, and perceived, on one of the grave mounds, along its whole extent, a delicate, fiery, as it were a breathing flame. The same thing was seen on another grave, in a less degree. But she met neither witches nor ghosts. She described the flame as playing over the graves in the form of a luminous vapor, from one to two spans in height.

"Some time afterwards I took her to two great cemeteries, near Vienna, where several interments occur daily, and the grave mounds lie all about in thousands. Here she saw numerous graves, which exhibited the lights above described. Wherever she looked, she saw masses of fire lying about; but it was chiefly seen over all new graves, while there was no appearance of it over very old ones. She described it less as a clear flame than as a dense, vaporous mass of fire, holding a middle place between mist and flame. On many graves this light was about four feet high, so that when she stood on the grave it reached to her neck. When she thrust her hand into it, it was as if putting it into a dense, fiery cloud. She betrayed not the slightest uneasiness, as she was, from her childhood, accustomed to such emanations, and had seen, in my experiments, similar lights produced by natural means, and made to assume endless varieties of form. I am convinced that all who are, to a certain degree, sensitive, will see the same phenomena in cemeteries, and very abundantly in the crowded cemeteries of large cities; and that my observations may be easily repeated and confirmed." These experiments were tried in 1844. A postscript was added in 1847. Reichenbach had taken five other sensitive persons, in the dark, to cemeteries. Of these, two were sickly, three quite healthy. All of them confirmed the statements of Mademoiselle Reichel, and saw the lights over all new graves, more or less distinctly; "so that," says the philosopher, "the fact can no longer admit of the slightest doubt, and may be every where controlled.

"Thousands of ghost stories," he continues, "will now receive a natural explanation, and will thus cease to be marvellous. We shall even see that it was not so erroneous or absurd as has been supposed, when our old women asserted, as every one knows they did, that not every one was privileged to see the spirits of the departed wandering over their graves. In fact, it was at all times only the sensitive who could see the imponderable emanations from the chemical change going on in corpses, luminous in the dark. And thus I have, I trust, succeeded in tearing down one of the densest veils of darkened ignorance and human error."

So far speaks Reichenbach; and for myself, reverting to the few comments with which we set out, I would suggest, that Reichenbach's book, though it is very likely to push things too far—to fancy the tree by looking at the seed—is yet not such a book as men of sense are justified in scouting. The repetition of his experiments is very easy if they be correct. There are plenty of "sensitives" to be found in our London hospitals and streets and lanes. Unluckily, however, though we live in an age which produces, every day, new marvels, the old spirit of bigotry, which used to make inquiry dangerous in science and religion, still prevails in the minds of too many scientific men. To be incredulous of what is new and strange, until it has been rigidly examined and proved true, is one essential element of a mind seeking enlightenment. But, to test and try new things is equally essential. Because of doubting, to refuse inquiry, is because of hunger to refuse our food. For my own part, I put these matters into the livery of that large body of thoughts already mentioned, which walk about the human mind, armed each with a note of interrogation. This only I see, that, in addition to the well-known explanations of phenomena, which produce some among the many stories of ghosts and of mysterious forebodings, new explanations are at hand, which will reduce into a natural and credible position many other tales by which we have till recently been puzzled.

[Pg 391]

From Chambers's Edinburgh Journal.


One winter evening, some years ago, I sat with a small circle of friends round the fire, in the house of a Polish gentleman, whom his acquaintance agreed in calling Mr. Charles, as the most pronounceable of his names. He had fought in all his country's battles of the unsuccessful revolution of 1831; and being one of the many who sought life and liberty in the British dominions, on the failure of that last national effort, he had, with the spirit worthy of an exiled patriot, made the best of his unchosen fortunes, and worked his way up, through a thousand difficulties and privations, to a respectable standing in the mercantile profession. At the period mentioned, Mr. Charles had become almost naturalized in one of our great commercial towns, was a member of a British church, and the head of a British household; but when the conversation happened to turn on sporting matters round his own fireside, he related in perfect seriousness the following wild and legend-like story of his early life in Poland:—

The year before the rising, I went from my native place in Samogitia (Szamaït), to spend Christmas at the house of my uncle, situated in the wooded country of Upper Lithuania. He was a nobleman who boasted his descent from one of the oldest houses in Poland, and still held the estate which his ancestors had defended for themselves through many a Tartar invasion—as much land as a hunting-train could course over in a summer's day. But ample as his domain appeared, my uncle was by no means rich upon it. The greater portion had been forest-land for ages; elsewhere it was occupied by poor peasants and their fields; and in the centre he lived, after the fashion of his forefathers, in a huge timber house with antiquated fortifications, where he exercised liberal hospitality, especially at Christmas times. My uncle was a widower, but he had three sons—Armand, Henrique, and Constantine—brave, handsome young men, who kept close intimacy and right merry companionship with their nearest neighbors, a family named Lorenski. Their property bordered on my uncle's land, and there was not a family of their station within leagues; but independently of that circumstance, the household must have had attractions for my cousins, for it consisted of the young Count Emerich, his sister Constanza, and two orphan cousins, Marcella and Eustachia, who had been brought up with them from childhood.

The count's parents had died in his early youth, leaving him not only his own guardian, but that of his sister and cousins; and the young people had grown up safely and happily together in that forest-land. The cousins were like most of our Polish girls in the provinces, dark-eyed and comely, gay and fearless, and ready alike for the dance or the chase; but Count Emerich and his sister had the praise of the whole province for their noble carriage, their wise and virtuous lives, and the great affection that was between them. Both had strange courage, and were said to fear neither ghost nor goblin—which, I must remark, was not a common case in Lithuania. Constanza was the oldest by two years, and by far the most discreet and calm of temper, by which it was believed she rather ruled the household, though her brother had a high and fiery spirit. But they were never known to disagree, and, though still young, neither seemed to think of marrying. Fortunately, it was not so with all their neighbors. My stay at my uncle's house had not been long when I found out that Armand was as good as engaged to Marcella, and Henrique to Eustachia, while Constantine, the youngest and handsomest of the three brothers, paid vain though deferential court to Constanza.

The rising was not then publicly talked of, though known to be in full preparation throughout the country. All the young and brave hearts among us were pledged to it, and my cousins did not hesitate to tell me in confidence that Count Emerich and his sister were its chief promoters in that district. They had a devoted assistant in Father Cassimer. He had been their mother's confessor, and lived in the house for five-and-thirty years, saying mass regularly in the parish church, a pine-built edifice on the edge of the forest. Father Cassimer's hair was like snow, but he was still erect, strong, and active. He said the church could not spare him, and he would live to a hundred. In some respects, the man did deserve a century, being a good Pole and a worthy priest, notwithstanding one weakness which beset him, for Father Cassimer took special delight in hunting. It was said that once, when robed for mass, a wild boar chanced to stray past; whereon the good priest mounted his horse, which was usually fastened to the church-door, and started after the game in full canonicals. That was in his youth; but Father Cassimer never denied the tale, and the peasants who remembered it had no less confidence in his prayers, for they knew he loved his country, and looked after the sick and poor. The priest was my cousin's instructor in wood-craft, and the boon-companion of my uncle; but scarcely had I got well acquainted with him and the Lorenskis, when two Christmas visitors arrived at their house.

They were a brother and sister, Russian nobles, known as Count Theodore and Countess Juana. Their native place was St. Petersburg, but they had spent years in travelling over Europe; and though nobody knew the extent of their estates, it was supposed to be great, for they spared no expense, and always kept the best society. Latterly they had been somehow attracted to Poland, and became so popular among our country nobles,[Pg 392] that they were invited from house to house, making new friends wherever they went, for Russians though they were, they wished well to our country, and, among their intimates, spoke of liberty and justice with singular eloquence. Considering this, their popularity was no wonder. A handsomer or more accomplished pair I never saw. Both were tall, fair, and graceful, with hair of a light golden shade—the sister's descending almost to her feet when unbraided, and the brother's clustering in rich curls about the brow. They knew the dances of all nations, could play any thing that was ever invented, whether game or instrument, and talked in every tongue of Europe, from Romaic to Swedish. Both could ride like Arabs. Count Theodore was a splendid shot, his sister was matchless in singing, and neither was ever tired of fun or frolic. They seemed of the Lorenskis' years, but had seen more of the world; and though scarcely so dignified, most people preferred the frank familiarity and lively converse of the travelled Russians.

The Lorenskis themselves could not but applaud that general preference. They and the travellers had become fast friends almost on their first acquaintance, which took place in the previous winter; and Count Theodore and his sister had performed a long wintry journey from St. Petersburg to celebrate the Christmas time with them. Peasants and servants rejoiced at their coming, for they were known to be liberal. The old priest said it had never been his luck to see any thing decent out of Russia before, and my uncle's entire household were delighted, with the exception of Constantine. By and by, I guessed the cause of his half-concealed displeasure. The brother of each pair took wonderfully to the sister of the other. Count Theodore talked of buying an estate in Lithuania; and the young cousins predicted, that though Emerich and Constanza might be near neighbors, they would not live all their days free and single. After the Russians' arrival, there was nothing but sport among us. We had dances and concerts, plays, and all manner of games; but the deep snow of our Polish winter had not hardened to the usual strong ice, over marsh, river, and forest land. It continued falling day after day, shutting all our amusements within doors, and preventing, to our general regret, the wonted wolf-hunt, always kept up in Lithuania from the middle of December till Christmas-eve.

It was a custom, time immemorial, in the province, and followed as much for the amusement it afforded the young people, as for the destruction of the deadly prowler. The mode of conducting it was this: Every two or three families who chanced to be intimate, when the ice was sufficiently strong and smooth for sledge-travelling, sent forth a party of young hunters, with their sisters and sweethearts, in a sledge covered at the one end, which was also well cushioned and gayly painted; the ladies in their best winter dresses took possession of it, while the hunters occupied the exposed part, with guns, shot-pouches, and hunting-knives, in complete readiness. Beside the driver, who was generally an old experienced hand, there was placed a young hog, or a leg of pork, occasionally roasted to make the odor more inviting, and packed up with cords and straw in a pretty tight parcel, which was fastened to the sledge by a long rope twisted to almost iron hardness. Away they drove at full speed, and when fairly in the forest, the pork was thrown down, and allowed to drag after the sledge, the smell of it bringing wolves from every quarter, while the hunters fired at them as they advanced. I have seen a score of skins collected in this manner, not to speak of the fun, the excitement, and the opportunities for exhibiting one's markmanship and courage where one would most wish to have seen them.

The peasants said it was never lucky when Christmas came without a wolf-hunt; but that year it was like to be so; for, as I have said, the snow kept falling at intervals, with days of fog and thaw between, till the night before the vigil. In my youth, the Lithuanians kept Christmas, after the fashion of old northern times. It began with great devotion, and ended in greater feasting. The eve was considered particularly sacred: many traditional ceremonies and strange beliefs hung about it, and the more pious held that no one should engage in any profane occupation, or think of going to sleep after sunset. When it came, our disappointment concerning the wolf-hunt lay heavy on many a mind as well as mine; but a strong frost had set in before daybreak, and at the early nightfall a finer prospect for sledging could not be desired—over the broad plain, and far between the forest pines, the ice stretched away as smooth and bright as a mirror. The moon was full, and the stars were out by thousands: you could have read large print by the cold, clear light, as my cousins and I stood at my uncle's door, fervently wishing it had been any other evening. Suddenly, our ears caught the sound of bells and laughing voices, and in a few minutes up drove the Lorenski sledge in its gayest trappings, with Constanza, the Russian countess, and the young cousins, all looking blithe and rosy in the frosty air, while Emerich and Theodore sat in true hunter's trim, and Father Cassimer himself in charge of the reins, with the well-covered pork beside him. They had two noble horses of the best Tartar blood, unequalled in the province, as we knew, for speed and strength; and Emerich's cheerful voice first saluted us with: "Ho! friends, it is seven hours yet till midnight: won't you come with us?—it is a shame to let Christmas in without a wolf-skin!"

That was enough for us: we flew in for our equipments. My uncle was not at first willing[Pg 393] that we should go; but the merry company now at his door, the unequivocal countenance which Father Cassimer gave to the proceeding, and the high spirits of the young Russians, who were, as usual, wild for the sport, made him think that, after all, there was no harm in the young people taking an hour or two in the woods before mass, which on Christmas-eve begins always at midnight. Our hunting-gear was donned in a trice; and with my uncle's most trusty man, Metski, to assist in driving, away we went at full speed to the forest.

Father Cassimer was an experienced general in expeditions of the kind; he knew the turns of the woods where the wolves scented best; and when we had got fairly among the tall oaks, down went his pork. For some time it dragged on without a single wolf appearing, though the odor came strong and savory through cords and straw.

"If I were a wolf myself, I would come for that," said old Metski. The priest quickened his speed, vowing he would not say mass without a skin that night; and we got deeper into the wilderness of oak and pine. Like most of our Lithuanian forests, it had no underwood. There was ample space for our sledge among the great trees, and the moonlight fell in a flood of brightness upon their huge white trunks, and through the frost-covered branches. We could see the long icicles gleaming like pendants of diamond for miles through the wide woods, but never a wolf. The priest began to look disappointed; Metski sympathized with him, for he relished a hunt almost as well as his reverence; but all the rest, with the help of the Russians, amused themselves with making game. I have said they were in great spirits, particularly Count Theodore; indeed he was generally the gayer of the pair—his sister being evidently the more prudent—and in this respect they resembled the Lorenskis. Many a jest, however, on the non-appearance of the wolves went round our sledge, of which I remember nothing now, except that we all laughed till the old wood rang.

"Be quiet, good children," said the priest, turning in his seat of command: "you make noise enough to frighten all the wolves in creation."

"They won't come to-night, father; they are preparing for mass," cried Count Theodore. "Juana, if the old Finn were here now, wouldn't he be useful?"

"Perhaps he might," said the countess, with a forced laugh; but she cast a look of strange warning and reproof on her brother.

"What Finn?" said the priest, catching the count's words.

"Oh, he is talking of an old nursery-tale we had in St. Petersburg," hastily interposed the lady, though I thought her face had no memory of the nursery in it.

"About the Finns I'll warrant," said Father Cassimer. "They are a strange people. My brother the merchant told me that he knew one of them at Abo who said he had a charm for the wolves; but somebody informed against him for smuggling, and the Russian government sent him to the lead mines in Siberia. By Saint Sigismund, there's the first of them!"

As the priest spoke, a large wolf appeared, and half the guns in the sledge were raised. "Not yet, not yet," said our experienced commander, artfully turning away as another and another came in sight. "There are more coming," and he gradually slackened our pace; but far off through the moonlit woods and the frozen night we could hear a strange murmur, which grew and swelled on all sides to a chorus of mingled howlings, and the wolves came on by troops.

"Fire now, friends!" cried Father Cassimer. "We are like to have skins enough for Christmas;" and bang went all our barrels. I saw five fall: but, contrary to expectation, the wolves did not retire—they stood for an instant snarling at us. The distant howlings continued and came nearer; and then from every glade and alley, down the frozen stream, and through the wide openings of the forest, came by scores and hundreds such a multitude of wolves as we could not have believed to exist in all Lithuania.

"Hand me my gun, and take the reins, Metski," cried Father Cassimer. "Drive for your life!" he added in an under tone; but every one in the sledge heard him. Heaven knows how many we killed; but it seemed of no use. Our pork was swallowed, straw and all. The creatures were pressing upon us on every side, as if trying to surround the sledge; and it was fearful to see the leaps that some gray old fellows among them would take at Metski and the horses. Our driver did his part like a man, making a thousand winds and turns through the woods; but still the wolves pursued us. Fortunately, the firing kept them off, and, thanks to our noble horses, they were never able to get ahead of us; but as far as we could see behind us in the moonlight, came the howling packs, as if rising from the ground of the forest. We had seen nothing like it, and all did their best in firing, especially Count Theodore; but his shots had little effect, for his hand shook, and I know not if any but myself saw the looks of terrified intelligence which he exchanged with his sister. Still, she and the Lady Constanza kept up their courage, though the young cousins were as white as snow, and our ammunition was fast decreasing.

"Yonder is a light," said Constanza at last, as the poor horses became unmanageable, from fright and weariness. "It is from the cottage of old Wenzel, the woodman."

"If we could reach that," said Father Cassimer, "and leave the horses to their fate: it is our only chance."[Pg 394]

No one contradicted the priest's arrangement, for his last words were felt to be true—though a pang passed over Constanza's face at the thought of leaving our brave and faithful horses to the wolves; but louder rose the howls behind us, as Metski urged on with all his might, and far above all went the shout of Father Cassimer (he had the best lungs in that province): "Ho Wenzel! open the door to us for God's sake!"

We heard the old man reply, sent one well-aimed volley among the wolves, and as they recoiled, man and woman leaped from the sledge—for our Polish girls are active—and rushed into the cottage, when old Wenzel instantly double-barred the door. It was woful to hear the cry of pain and terror from our poor horses as we deserted them; the next instant the wolves were upon them. We saw them from the window, as thick as ever flies stuck on sugar. How we fired upon them, and with what good-will old Wenzel helped us, praying all the time to every saint in the calendar, you may imagine! But still their numbers were increasing; and as a pause came in the fearful din, we plainly heard through the still air the boom of our own great bell, ringing for the midnight mass. At that sound, Father Cassimer's countenance fell for the first time. He knew the bellman was a poor half-witted fellow, who would not be sensible of his absence; and then he turned to have another shot at the wolves.

Shots were by this time getting scarce among us. There was not a man that had a charge left but old Wenzel, who had supplied us as long as he could; but at length, loading his own gun with his last charge, he laid it quietly in the corner, saying one didn't know what use might be for it, and he never liked an empty gun.

Wenzel was the son of a small innkeeper at Grodno, but after his father's decease, which occurred when he was a child, his mother had married a Russian trader, who, when she died, carried the boy to Moscow. There Wenzel bade fair to be brought up a Russian; but when a stepmother came home, which took place while he was still a youth, he had returned to his native country, built himself a hut in the woods of Lithuania, and lived a lonely hunter till the time of my story, when he was still a robust, though gray-haired man. Some said his Muscovite parents had not been to his liking; some that he had found cause to shoot a master to whom they apprenticed him at Moscow; but be that as it might, Wenzel hated the Russians with all his heart, and never scrupled to say that the gun which had served him so long would serve the country too if it ever came to a rising. So much for Wenzel's story, by way of explaining what followed; but as I stood beside him that night at the hut's single crevice of a window, I could have given Poland itself for ammunition enough to do service on the wolves. They had now left nothing but the bones of our horses, which they dragged round and round the cottage, with a din of howlings that almost drowned our voices within. Then they seized on the bodies of their own slain companions, which were devoured to the very skins; and still the gathering was going on. We could see them coming in troops through the open glades of the forest, as if aware that some human prey was in reserve. The hut was strongly built of great pine-logs, but it was fearful to bear them tearing at the door and scratching up the foundations. The bravest among us got terrified at these sounds. Metski loudly avowed his belief that the wolves were sent upon us as a punishment for hunting on Christmas-eve, and fell instantly to his prayers. Wenzel flung a blazing brand among them from the window, but they did not seem to care for fire; and three of them were so near leaping in, that he drove to the log-shutter and gave up that method of defence. None of the party appeared so far overcome with terror as Count Theodore: his spirit and prudence both seemed to forsake him. When the wolves began to scratch, he threw himself almost on his face in the corner, and kept moaning and praying in Russian, of which none of us understood a syllable but old Wenzel. Emerich and I would have spoken to him, but the woodman stopped us with a strange sign. Count Theodore had taken the relic of some saint from a pocket-book which he carried in his breast, and was, in Russian fashion as I think, confessing his sins over it; while his sister sat silent and motionless by the fire, with livid face and clasped hands. It was burning low, but I saw the woodman's face darken. He stepped to the corner and took down his gun, as I believed, to take the last shot at the wolves; but Count Theodore was in his way. He levelled it for an instant at the prostrate man, and before I could speak or interpose, the report, followed by a faint shrill shriek from the Russian, rang through the hut. We rushed to him, but the Count was dead. A bullet had gone right through the heart.

"My gun has shot the count, and the wolves will leave us now," said Wenzel coolly. "I heard him say in his prayers that a Finn, now in the Siberian mines, had vowed to send them on him and his company wherever he went."

As the woodman spoke, he handed to Count Emerich, with a hoarse whisper, a bloody pocket-book, taken from the dead body, and turning to Juana, said something loud and threatening to her in the Russian tongue; at which the lady only bowed her head, seeming of all in the hut to be the least surprised or concerned at the death of her brother. As for us, the complicated horrors of the night had left us stunned and stupefied till the rapid diminution of the wolfish din, the sounds of shots and voices, and the glare[Pg 395] of flambeaux lighting up the forest, brought most of us to the window. The wolves were scouring away in all directions, there was a grayness in the eastern sky, for Christmas-day was breaking; and from all sides the count and my uncle's tenantry, with skates and sledges, guns and torches, were pouring to the rescue as we shouted to them from the cottage.

They had searched for us almost since midnight, tearing that something terrible had detained Father Cassimer and his company from mass. There were wonderfully few wolves shot in the retreat, and we all went home to Count Emerich's house, but not in triumph, for with us went the body of the Russian, of which old Wenzel was one of the bearers. The unanimous determination we expressed to bring him to justice as a murderer, was silenced when Emerich showed us in confidence a letter from the Russian minister, and a paper with all our names in a list of the disaffected in Upper Lithuania, which he had found in Theodore's pocket-book. After that, we all affirmed that Wenzel's gun had gone off by accident; and on the same good Christmas-day, Count Emerich, with a body of his retainers, escorted the Lady Juana to a convent at the other end of the province, the superior of which was his aunt. There she became a true Catholic, professed, and, as I was told, turned to a great saint. There is a wooden cross with his name, and a Latin inscription on it, marking Count Theodore's grave, by our old church on the edge of the forest.

No one ever inquired after him, and the company of that terrible night are far scattered. My uncle and his sons all died for the poor country. The young cousins are married to German doctors in Berlin. Constanza and her brother are still single, for aught I know, but they have been exiles in America these fifteen years. Father Cassimer went with them, after being colonel of a regiment which saw hard service on the banks of the Vistula; and it may be that he is still saying mass or hunting occasionally in the Far West.

The last time I saw Wenzel and Metski was in the trenches at Minsk, where they had a tough debate regarding our adventure in the forest: the woodman insisting it was the Finn's spell that brought the wolves in such unheard-of numbers, and the peasant maintaining that it was a judgment on our desecration of Christmas-eve. For my own part, I think the long storm, and a great scarcity of food had something to do with it, for tales of the kind were never wanting in our province. The wolf-gathering, however, saved us a journey to Siberia: thanks to old Wenzel. And sometimes yet, when any strange noise breaks in upon my sleep even here in England, I dream of being in his wild hut in the forest and listening to the wolfish voices at the door.





With a slow step and an abstracted air, Harley L'Estrange bent his way towards Egerton's house, after his eventful interview with Helen. He had just entered one of the streets leading into Grosvenor Square, when a young man, walking quickly from the opposite direction, came full against him, and drawing back with a brief apology, recognized him, and exclaimed, "What! you in England, Lord L'Estrange! Accept my congratulations on your return. But you seem scarcely to remember me."

"I beg your pardon, Mr. Leslie. I remember you now, by your smile; but you are of an age in which it is permitted me to say that you look older than when I saw you last."

"And yet, Lord L'Estrange, it seems to me that you look younger."

Indeed this reply was so far true that there appeared less difference of years than before between Leslie and L'Estrange; for the wrinkles in the schemer's mind were visible in his visage, while Harley's dreamy worship of Truth and Beauty seemed to have preserved to the votary the enduring youth of the divinities.

Harley received the compliment with a supreme indifference, which might have been suitable to a Stoic, but which seemed scarcely natural to a gentleman who had just proposed to a lady many years younger than himself.

Leslie renewed—"Perhaps you are on your way to Mr. Egerton's. If so, you will not find him at home; he is at his office."

"Thank you. Then to his office I must re-direct my steps."

"I am going to him myself," said Randal hesitatingly.

L'Estrange had no prepossessions in favor of Leslie, from the little he had seen of that young gentleman; but Randal's remark was an appeal to his habitual urbanity, and he replied with well-bred readiness, "Let us be companions so far."

Randal accepted the arm proffered to him; and Lord L'Estrange, as is usual with one long absent from his native land, bore part as a questioner in the dialogue that ensued.

"Egerton is always the same man, I suppose—too busy for illness, and too firm for sorrow?"

"If he ever feel either he will never stoop to complain. But indeed, my dear lord, I should like much to know what you think of his health."

"How? You alarm me!"

"Nay, I did not mean to do that; and pray, do not let him know that I went so far. But I have fancied that he looks a little worn, and suffering."

"Poor Audley!" said L'Estrange, in a tone[Pg 396] of deep affection. "I will sound him, and, be assured, without naming you; for I know well how little he likes to be supposed capable of human infirmity. I am obliged to you for your hint—obliged to you for your interest in one so dear to me."

And Harley's voice was more cordial to Randal than it had ever been before. He then begged to inquire what Randal thought of the rumors that had reached himself as to the probable defeat of the government, and how far Audley's spirits were affected by such risks. But Randal here, seeing that Harley could communicate nothing, was reserved and guarded.

"Loss of office could not, I think, affect a man like Audley," observed Lord L'Estrange. "He would be as great in opposition, perhaps greater; and as to emoluments"——

"The emoluments are good," interposed Randal, with a half sigh.

"Good enough, I suppose, to pay him back about a tenth of what his place costs our magnificent friend. No, I will say one thing for English statesmen, no man amongst them ever yet was the richer for place."

"And Mr. Egerton's private fortune must be large, I take for granted," said Randal carelessly.

"It ought to be, if he has time to look to it."

Here they passed by the hotel in which lodged the Count di Peschiera.

Randal stopped. "Will you excuse me for an instant? As we are passing this hotel, I will just leave my card here." So saying, he gave his card to a waiter lounging by the door. "For the Count di Peschiera," said he aloud.

L'Estrange started; and as Randal again took his arm, said—

"So that Italian lodges here? and you know him?"

"I know him but slightly, as one knows any foreigner who makes a sensation."

"He makes a sensation?"

"Naturally; for he is handsome, witty, and said to be very rich—that is, as long as he receives the revenues of his exiled kinsman."

"I see you are well informed, Mr. Leslie. And what is supposed to bring hither the Count di Peschiera?"

"I did hear something, which I did not quite understand, about a bet of his that he would marry his kinsman's daughter; and so, I conclude, secure to himself all the inheritance; and that he is therefore here to discover the kinsman and win the heiress. But probably you know the rights of the story, and can tell me what credit to give to such gossip."

"I know this at least, that if he did lay such a wager, I would advise you to take any odds against him that his backers may give," said L'Estrange, dryly; and while his lip quivered with anger, his eye gleamed with arch ironical humor.

"You think, then, that this poor kinsman will not need such an alliance in order to regain his estates?"

"Yes; for I never yet knew a rogue whom I would not bet against, when he backed his own luck as a rogue against Justice and Providence."

Randal winced, and felt as if an arrow had grazed his heart; but he soon recovered.

"And indeed there is another vague rumor that the young lady in question is married already—to some Englishman."

This time it was Harley who winced. "Good Heavens! that cannot be true—that would undo all! An Englishman just at this moment! But some Englishman of correspondent rank, I trust, or at least one known for opinions opposed to what an Austrian would call revolutionary doctrines?"

"I know nothing. But it was supposed, merely a private gentleman of good family. Would not that suffice? Can the Austrian Count dictate a marriage to the daughter as a condition of grace to the father?"

"No, not that!" said Harley, greatly disturbed. "But put yourself in the position of any minister to one of the greatest European monarchies. Suppose a political insurgent, formidable for station and wealth, had been proscribed, much interest made on his behalf, a powerful party striving against it, and just when the minister is disposed to relent, he hears that the heiress to this wealth and this station is married to the native of a country in which sentiments friendly to the very opinions for which the insurgent was proscribed are popularly entertained, and thus that the fortune to be restored may be so employed as to disturb the national security—the existing order of things; this, too, at the very time when a popular revolution has just occurred in France,[21] and its effects are felt most in the very land of the exile;—suppose all this, and then say if any thing could be more untoward for the hopes of the banished man, or furnish his adversaries with stronger arguments against the restoration of his fortune? But pshaw! this must be a chimera! If true, I should have known of it."

"I quite agree with your lordship—there can be no truth in such a rumor. Some Englishman hearing, perhaps, of the probable pardon of the exile, may have counted on an heiress, and spread the report in order to keep off other candidates. By your account, if successful in his suit, he might fail to find an heiress in the bride?"

"No doubt of that. Whatever might be arranged, I can't conceive that he would be allowed to get at the fortune, though it might be held in suspense for his children. But indeed it so rarely happens that an Italian girl[Pg 397] of high name marries a foreigner, that we must dismiss this notion with a smile at the long face of the hypothetical fortune-hunter. Heaven help him, if he exist!"

"Amen," echoed Randal, devoutly.

"I hear that Peschiara's sister is returned to England. Do you know her too?"

"A little."

"My dear Mr. Leslie, pardon me if I take a liberty not warranted by our acquaintance. Against the lady I say nothing. Indeed, I have heard some things which appear to entitle her to compassion and respect. But as to Peschiera, all who prize honor suspect him to be a knave—I know him to be one. Now, I think that the longer we preserve that abhorrence for knavery which is the generous instinct of youth, why, the fairer will be our manhood, and the more reverend our age. You agree with me?" And Harley suddenly turning, his eyes fell like a flood of light upon Randal's pale and secret countenance.

"To be sure," murmured the schemer.

Harley surveying him, mechanically recoiled, and withdrew his arm.

Fortunately for Randal, who somehow or other felt himself slipped into a false position, he scarce knew how or why, he was here seized by the arm; and a clear, open, manly voice cried, "My dear fellow, how are you? I see you are engaged now; but look into my rooms when you can, in the course of the day."

And, with a bow of excuse for his interruption, to Lord L'Estrange, the speaker was then turning away, when Harley said:

"No, don't let me take you from your friend, Mr. Leslie. And you need not be in a hurry to see Egerton; for I shall claim the privilege of older friendship for the first interview."

"It is Mr. Egerton's nephew, Frank Hazeldean."

"Pray, call him back, and present me to him. He has a face that would have gone far to reconcile Timon to Athens."

Randal obeyed; and after a few kindly words to Frank, Harley insisted on leaving the two young men together, and walked on to Downing-street with a brisker step.


"That Lord L'Estrange seems a very good fellow."

"So-so; an effeminate humorist; says the most absurd things, and fancies them wise. Never mind him. You wanted to speak to me, Frank?"

"Yes; I am so obliged to you for introducing me to Levy. I must tell you how handsomely he has behaved."

"Stop; allow me to remind you that I did not introduce you to Levy; you had met him before at Borrowell's, if I recollect right, and he dined with us at the Clarendon—that is all I had to do with bringing you together. Indeed, I rather cautioned you against him than not. Pray, don't think I introduced you to a man who, however pleasant, and perhaps honest, is still a money-lender. Your father would be justly angry with me if I had done so."

"Oh, pooh! you are prejudiced against poor Levy. But just hear: I was sitting very ruefully, thinking over those cursed bills, and how the deuce I should renew them, when Levy walked into my rooms; and after telling me of his long friendship for my uncle Egerton, and his admiration for yourself, and (give me your hand, Randal) saying how touched he felt by your kind sympathy in my troubles, he opened his pocket-book, and showed me the bills safe and sound in his own possession."


"He had bought them up. 'It must be so disagreeable to me,' he said, 'to have them flying about the London money-market, and these Jews would be sure sooner or later to apply to my father. And now,' added Levy, 'I am in no immediate hurry for the money, and we must put the interest upon fairer terms.' In short, nothing could be more liberal than his tone. And he says, 'he is thinking on a way to relieve me altogether, and will call about it in a few days, when his plan is matured.' After all, I must owe this to you, Randal. I dare swear you put it into his head."

"O no, indeed! On the contrary, I still say, 'Be cautious in all your dealings with Levy.' I don't know, I am sure, what he means to propose. Have you heard from the Hall lately?"

"Yes—to-day. Only think—the Riccaboccas have disappeared. My mother writes me word of it—a very odd letter. She seems to suspect that I know where they are, and reproaches me for 'mystery'—quite enigmatical. But there is one sentence in her letter—see, here it is in the postscript—which seems to refer to Beatrice: 'I don't ask you to tell me your secrets, Frank, but Randal will no doubt have assured you that my first consideration will be for your own happiness, in any matter in which your heart is really engaged.'"

"Yes," said Randal, slowly; "no doubt, this refers to Beatrice; but, as I told you, your mother will not interfere one way or the other,—such interference would weaken her influence with the Squire. Besides, as she said, she can't wish you to marry a foreigner; though once married, she would——But how do you stand now with the Marchesa? Has she consented to accept you?"

"Not quite: indeed, I have not actually proposed. Her manner, though much softened, has not so far emboldened me; and, besides, before a positive declaration, I certainly must go down to the Hall, and speak at least to my mother."

"You must judge for yourself, but don't do[Pg 398] any thing rash: talk first to me. Here we are at my office. Good bye; and—and pray believe that, in whatever you do with Levy, I have no hand in it."


Towards the evening, Randal was riding fast on the road to Norwood. The arrival of Harley, and the conversation that had passed between that nobleman and Randal, made the latter anxious to ascertain how far Riccabocca was likely to learn L'Estrange's return to England, and to meet with him. For he felt that, should the latter come to know that Riccabocca, in his movements, had gone by Randal's advice, Harley would find that Randal had spoken to him disingenuously; and, on the other hand, Riccabocca, placed under the friendly protection of Lord L'Estrange, would no longer need Randal Leslie to defend him from the machinations of Peschiera. To a reader happily unaccustomed to dive into the deep and mazy recesses of a schemer's mind, it might seem that Randal's interest, in retaining a hold over the exile's confidence, would terminate with the assurances that had reached him, from more than one quarter, that Violante might cease to be an heiress if she married himself. "But, perhaps," suggests some candid and youthful conjecturer—"perhaps Randal Leslie is in love with this fair creature?" Randal in love!—no! He was too absorbed by harder passions for that blissful folly. Nor, if he could have fallen in love, was Violante the one to attract that sullen, secret heart; her instinctive nobleness, the very stateliness of her beauty, womanlike though it was, awed him. Men of that kind may love some soft slave—they cannot lift their eyes to a queen. They may look down—they cannot look up. But, on the one hand, Randal, could not resign altogether the chance of securing a fortune that would realize his most dazzling dreams, upon the mere assurance, however probable, which had so dismayed him; and, on the other hand, should he be compelled to relinquish all idea of such alliance, though he did not contemplate the base perfidy of actually assisting Peschiera's avowed designs, still, if Frank's marriage with Beatrice should absolutely depend upon her brother's obtaining the knowledge of Violante's retreat, and that marriage should be as conducive to his interests as he thought he could make it, why,—he did not then push his deductions farther, even to himself—they seemed too black; but he sighed heavily, and that sigh foreboded how weak would be honor and virtue against avarice and ambition. Therefore, on all accounts, Riccabocca was one of those cards in a sequence, which so calculating a player would not throw out of his hand: it might serve for repique at the worst—it might score well in the game. Intimacy with the Italian was still part and parcel in that knowledge which was the synonym of power.

While the young man was thus meditating, on his road to Norwood, Riccabocca and his Jemima were close conferring in their drawing-room. And if you could have there seen them, reader, you would have been seized with equal surprise and curiosity; for some extraordinary communication had certainly passed between them. Riccabocca was evidently much agitated, and with emotions not familiar to him. The tears stood in his eyes at the same time that a smile, the reverse of cynical or sardonic, curved his lips; while his wife was leaning her head on his shoulder, her hand clasped in his, and, by the expression of her face, you might guess that he had paid her some very gratifying compliments, of a nature more genuine and sincere than those which characterized his habitual hollow and dissimulating gallantry. But just at this moment Giacomo entered, and Jemima, with her native English modesty, withdrew in haste from Riccabocca's sheltering side.

"Padrone," said Giacomo, who, whatever his astonishment at the connubial position he had disturbed, was much too discreet to betray it—"Padrone, I see the young Englishman riding towards the house, and I hope, when he arrives, you will not forget the alarming information I gave you this morning."

"Ah—ah!" said Riccabocca, his face falling.

"If the Signorina were but married!"

"My very thought—my constant thought!" exclaimed Riccabocca. "And you really believe the young Englishman loves her?"

"Why else should he come, Excellency?" asked Giacomo, with great naiveté.

"Very true; why, indeed?" said Riccabocca. "Jemima, I cannot endure the terrors I suffer on that poor child's account. I will open myself frankly to Randal Leslie. And now, too, that which might have been a serious consideration, in case I return to Italy, will no longer stand in our way, Jemima."

Jemima smiled faintly, and whispered something to Riccabocca, to which he replied—

"Nonsense, anima mia. I know it will be—have not a doubt of it. I tell you it is as nine to four, according to the nicest calculations. I will speak at once to Randal. He is too young—too timid to speak himself."

"Certainly," interposed Giacomo; "how could he dare to speak, let him love ever so well?"

Jemima shook her head.

"O, never fear," said Riccabocca, observing this gesture; "I will give him the trial. If he entertain but mercenary views, I shall soon detect them. I know human nature pretty well, I think, my love; and, Giacomo—just give me my Machiavel;—that's right. Now, leave me, my dear; I must reflect and prepare myself."

When Randal entered the house, Giacomo, with a smile of peculiar suavity, ushered him into the drawing-room. He found Riccabocca alone, and seated before the fireplace,[Pg 399] leaning his face on his hand, with the great folio of Machiavel lying open upon the table.

The Italian received him as courteously as usual; but there was in his manner a certain serious and thoughtful dignity, which was perhaps the more imposing, because but rarely assumed. After a few preliminary observations, Randal remarked that Frank Hazeldean had informed him of the curiosity which the disappearance of the Riccaboccas had excited at the Hall, and inquired carelessly if the Doctor had left instructions as to the forwarding of any letters that might be directed to him at the Casino.

"Letters," said Riccabocca, simply—"I never receive any; or, at least, so rarely, that it was not worth while to take an event so little to be expected into consideration. No; if any letters do reach the Casina, there they will wait."

"Then I can see no possibility of indiscretion; no chance of a clue to your address."

"Nor I either."

Satisfied so far, and knowing that it was not in Riccabocca's habits to read the newspapers, by which he might otherwise have learnt of L'Estrange's arrival in London, Randal then proceeded to inquire, with much seeming interest, into the health of Violante—hoped it did not suffer by confinement, &c. Riccabocca eyed him gravely while he spoke, and then suddenly rising, that air of dignity to which I have before referred, became yet more striking.

"My young friend," said he, "hear me attentively, and answer me frankly. I know human nature"—Here a slight smile of proud complacency passed the sage's lips, and his eye glanced towards his Machiavel.

"I know human nature, at least I have studied it," he renewed more earnestly, and with less evident self-conceit, "and I believe that when a perfect stranger to me exhibits an interest in my affairs, which occasions him no small trouble—an interest (continued the wise man, laying his hand upon Randal's shoulder) which scarcely a son could exceed, he must be under the influence of some strong personal motive."

"Oh, sir!" cried Randal, turning a shade more pale, and with a faltering tone. Riccabocca surveyed him with the tenderness of a superior being, and pursued his deductive theories.

"In your case, what is that motive? Not political; for I conclude you share the opinions of your government, and those opinions have not favored mine. Not that of pecuniary or ambitious calculations; for how can such calculations enlist you on behalf of a ruined exile? What remains? Why, the motive which at your age is ever the most natural, and the strongest. I don't blame you. Machiavel himself allows that such a motive has swayed the wisest minds, and overturned the most solid states. In a word, young man, you are in love, and with my daughter Violante."

Randal was so startled by this direct and unexpected charge upon his own masked batteries, that he did not even attempt his defence. His head drooped on his breast, and he remained speechless.

"I do not doubt," resumed the penetrating judge of human nature, "that you would have been withheld by the laudable and generous scruples which characterize your happy age, from voluntarily disclosing to me the state of your heart. You might suppose that, proud of the position I once held, or sanguine in the hope of regaining my inheritance, I might be over-ambitious in my matrimonial views for Violante; or that you, anticipating my restoration to honors and fortune, might seem actuated by the last motives which influence love and youth; and, therefore, my dear young friend, I have departed from the ordinary custom in England, and adopted a very common one in my own country. With us, a suitor seldom presents himself till he is assured of the consent of a father. I have only to say this—If I am right, and you love my daughter, my first object in life is to see her safe and secure; and, in a word—you understand me."

Now, mightily may it comfort and console us ordinary mortals, who advance no pretence to superior wisdom and ability, to see the huge mistakes made by both these very sagacious personages—Dr. Riccabocca, valuing himself on his profound acquaintance with character, and Randal Leslie, accustomed to grope into every hole and corner of thought and action, wherefrom to extract that knowledge which is power! For whereas the sage, judging not only by his own heart in youth, but by the general influence of the master passion on the young, had ascribed to Randal sentiments wholly foreign to that able diplomatist's nature, so no sooner had Riccabocca brought his speech to a close, than Randal, judging also by his own heart, and by the general laws which influence men of the mature age and boasted worldly wisdom of the pupil of Machiavel, instantly decided that Riccabocca presumed upon his youth and inexperience, and meant most nefariously to take him in.

"The poor youth!" thought Riccabocca, "how unprepared he is for the happiness I give him!"

"The cunning old Jesuit!" thought Randal; "he has certainly learned, since we met last, that he has no chance of regaining his patrimony, and so he wants to impose on me the hand of a girl without a shilling. What other motive can he possibly have? Had his daughter the remotest probability of becoming the greatest heiress in Italy, would he dream of bestowing her on me in this off-hand way? The thing stands to reason."

Actuated by his resentment at the trap thus laid for him, Randal was about to disclaim altogether the disinterested and absurd affection laid to his charge, when it occurred[Pg 400] to him that, by so doing, he might mortally offend the Italian—since the cunning never forgive those who refuse to be duped by them—and it might still be conducive to his interest to preserve intimate and familiar terms with Riccabocca; therefore, subduing his first impulse, he exclaimed,

"O too generous man! pardon me if I have so long been unable to express my amaze, my gratitude; but I cannot—no, I cannot, while your prospects remain thus uncertain, avail myself of your—of your inconsiderate magnanimity. Your rare conduct can only redouble my own scruples, if you, as I firmly hope and believe, are restored to your great possessions,—you would naturally look so much higher than me. Should those hopes fail, then, indeed, it may be different; yet even then, what position, what fortune, have I to offer to your daughter worthy of her?"

"You are well born: all gentlemen are equals," said Riccabocca, with a sort of easy nobleness. "You have youth, information, talent—sources of certain wealth in this happy country—powerful connections; and, in fine, if you are satisfied with marrying for love, I shall be contented;—if not, speak openly. As to the restoration to my possessions, I can scarcely think that probable while my enemy lives. And even in that case, since I saw you last, something has occurred (added Riccabocca with a strange smile, which seemed to Randal singularly sinister and malignant) that may remove all difficulties.—Meanwhile, do not think me so extravagantly magnanimous—do not underrate the satisfaction I must feel at knowing Violante safe from the designs of Peschiera—safe, and for ever, under a husband's roof. I will tell you an Italian proverb—it contains a truth full of wisdom and terror:—

"'Hai cinquanta Amici?—non basta.—Hai un Nemico?—è troppo.'"[22]

"Something has occurred!" echoed Randal, not heeding the conclusion of this speech, and scarcely hearing the proverb which the sage delivered in his most emphatic and tragic tone. "Something has occurred! My dear friend, be plainer. What has occurred?" Riccabocca remained silent. "Something that induces you to bestow your daughter on me?"

Riccabocca nodded, and emitted a low chuckle.

"The very laugh of a fiend," muttered Randal. "Something that makes her not worth bestowing. He betrays himself. Cunning people always do."

"Pardon me," said the Italian at last, "if I don't answer your question; you will know later; but, at present, this is a family secret. And now I must turn to another and more alarming cause for my frankness to you." Here Riccabocca's face changed, and assumed an expression of mingled rage and fear. "You must know," he added, sinking his voice, "that Giacomo has seen a strange person loitering about the house, and looking up at the windows; and he has no doubt—nor have I—that this is some spy or emissary of Peschiera's."

"Impossible; how could he discover you?"

"I know not; but no one else has any interest in doing so. The man kept at a distance, and Giacomo could not see his face."

"It may be but a mere idler. Is this all?"

"No; the old woman who serves us said that she was asked at a shop 'if we were not Italians?'"

"And she answered?"

"'No;' but owned that 'we had a foreign servant, Giacomo.'"

"I will see to this. Rely on it that if Peschiera has discovered you, I will learn it. Nay, I will hasten from you in order to commence inquiry."

"I cannot detain you. May I think that we have now an interest in common?"

"O, indeed yes; but—but—your daughter! how can I dream that one so beautiful, so peerless, will confirm the hope you have extended to me?"

"The daughter of an Italian is brought up to consider that it is a father's right to dispose of her hand."

"But the heart?"

"Cospetto!" said the Italian, true to his infamous notions as to the sex, "the heart of a girl is like a convent—the holier the cloister, the more charitable the door."

Randal had scarcely left the house, before Mrs. Riccabocca, who was affectionately anxious in all that concerned Violante, rejoined her husband.

"I like the young man very well," said the sage—"very well indeed. I find him just what I expected from my general knowledge of human nature; for as love ordinarily goes with youth, so modesty usually accompanies talent. He is young, ergo he is in love; he has talent, ergo he is modest—modest and ingenuous."

"And you think not in any way swayed by interest in his affections?"

"Quite the contrary; and to prove him the more, I have not said a word as to the worldly advantages which, in any case, would accrue to him from an alliance with my daughter. In any case; for if I regain my country, her fortune is assured; and if not, I trust (said the poor exile, lifting his brow with stately and becoming pride) that I am too well aware of my child's dignity as well as my own, to ask any one to marry her to his own worldly injury."

"Eh! I don't quite understand you, Alphonso. To be sure, your dear life is insured for her marriage portion; but—"

"Pazzie—stuff!" said Riccabocca petulantly; "her marriage portion would be as nothing to a young man of Randal's birth and[Pg 401] prospects. I think not of that. But listen; I have never consented to profit by Harley L'Estrange's friendship for me; my scruples would not extend to my son-in-law. This noble friend has not only high rank, but considerable influence—influence with the government—influence with Randal's patron—who, between ourselves, does not seem to push the young man as he might do; I judge by what Randal says. I should write, therefore, before any thing was settled, to L'Estrange, and I should say to him simply, 'I never asked you to save me from penury, but I do ask you to save a daughter of my house from humiliation. I can give to her no dowry; can her husband owe to my friend that advance in an honorable career—that opening to energy and talent—which is more than a dowry to generous ambition?'"

"Oh, it is in vain you would disguise your rank," cried Jemima with enthusiasm, "it speaks in all you utter, when your passions are moved."

The Italian did not seem flattered by this eulogy. "Pish," said he, "there you are! rank again!"

But Jemima was right. There was something about her husband that was grandiose and princely, whenever he escaped from his accursed Machiavel, and gave fair play to his heart.

And he spent the next hour or so in thinking over all that he could do for Randal, and devising for his intended son-in-law the agreeable surprises, which Randal was at that very time racking his yet cleverer brains to disappoint.

These plans conned sufficiently, Riccabocca shut up his Machiavel, and hunted out of his scanty collection of books Buffon on Man, and various other psychological volumes, in which he soon became deeply absorbed. Why were these works the object of the sage's study? Perhaps he will let us know soon, for it is clearly a secret known to his wife; and though she has hitherto kept one secret, that is precisely the reason why Riccabocca would not wish long to overburthen her discretion with another.


Randal reached home in time to dress for a late dinner at Baron Levy's.

The Baron's style of living was of that character especially affected both by the most acknowledged exquisites of that day, and, it must be owned, also, by the most egregious parvenus. For it is noticeable that it is your parvenu who always comes nearest in fashion (so far as externals are concerned) to your genuine exquisite. It is your parvenu who is most particular as to the cut of his coat, and the precision of his equipage, and the minutiæ of his ménage. Those between the parvenu and the exquisite, who know their own consequence, and have something solid to rest upon, are slow in following all the caprices of fashion, and obtuse in observation as to those niceties which neither give them another ancestor, nor add another thousand to the account at their banker's;—as to the last, rather indeed the contrary! There was a decided elegance about the Baron's house and his dinner. If he had been one of the lawful kings of the dandies, you would have cried, "What perfect taste!"—but such is human nature, that the dandies who dined with him said to each other, "He pretend to imitate D——! vulgar dog!" There was little affectation of your more showy opulence. The furniture in the rooms was apparently simple, but, in truth, costly, from its luxurious comfort—the ornaments and china scattered about the commodes were of curious rarity and great value; and the pictures on the walls were gems. At dinner, no plate was admitted on the table. The Russian fashion, then uncommon, now more prevalent, was adopted—fruits and flowers in old Sevre dishes of priceless vertu, and in sparkling glass, of Bohemian fabric. No livery servant was permitted to wait; behind each guest stood a gentleman dressed so like the guest himself, in fine linen and simple black, that guest and lacquey seemed stereotypes from one plate.

The viands were exquisite; the wine came from the cellars of deceased archbishops and ambassadors. The company was select; the party did not exceed eight. Four were the eldest sons of peers (from a baron to a duke); one was a professed wit, never to be got without a month's notice, and, where a parvenu was host, a certainty of green pease and peaches—out of season; the sixth, to Randal's astonishment, was Mr. Richard Avenel; himself and the Baron made up the complement.

The eldest sons recognized each other with a meaning smile; the most juvenile of them, indeed, (it was his first year in London,) had the grace to blush and look sheepish. The others were more hardened; but they all united in regarding with surprise both Randal and Dick Avenel. The former was known most of them personally; and to all, by repute, as a grave, clever, promising young man, rather prudent than lavish, and never suspected to have got into a scrape. What the deuce did he do there? Mr. Avenel puzzled them yet more. A middle-aged man, said to be in business, whom they had observed "about town" (for he had a noticeable face and figure)—that is, seen riding in the park, or lounging in the pit at the opera, but never set eyes on at a recognized club, or in the coteries of their 'set';—a man whose wife gave horrid third-rate parties, that took up half a column in the Morning Post with a list of "The Company Present,"—in which a sprinkling of dowagers out of fashion, and a foreign title or two, made the darkness of the obscurer names doubly dark. Why this man should be asked to meet them, by Baron Levy, too—a decided tuft-hunter and would-be[Pg 402] exclusive—called all their faculties into exercise. The wit, who, being the son of a small tradesman, but in the very best society, gave himself far greater airs than the young lords, impertinently solved the mystery. "Depend on it," whispered he to Spendquick—"depend on it the man is the X. Y. of the Times, who offers to lend any sums of money from £10 to half-a-million. He's the man who has all your bills; Levy is only his jackall."

"'Pon my soul," said Spendquick, rather alarmed, "if that's the case, one may as well be civil to him."

"You, certainly," said the wit. "But I never yet found an X. Y. who would advance me the L. s.; and, therefore, I shall not be more respectful to X. Y. than to any other unknown quantity."

By degrees, as the wine circulated, the party grew gay and sociable. Levy was really an entertaining fellow; had all the gossip of the town at his fingers' ends; and possessed, moreover, that pleasant art of saying ill-natured things of the absent, which those present always enjoy. By degrees, too, Mr. Richard Avenel came out; and as the whisper had circulated round the table that he was X. Y., he was listened to with a profound respect, which greatly elevated his spirits. Nay, when the wit tried once to show him up or mystify him, Dick answered with a bluff spirit, that, though very coarse, was found so humorous by Lord Spendquick and other gentlemen similarly situated in the money-market, that they turned the laugh against the wit, and silenced him for the rest of the night—a circumstance which made the party go off much more pleasantly. After dinner, the conversation, quite that of single men, easy and débonnair, glanced from the turf, and the ballet, and the last scandal, towards politics; for the times were such that politics were discussed everywhere, and three of the young lords were county members.

Randal said little, but, as was his wont, listened attentively; and he was aghast to find how general was the belief that the government was doomed. Out of regard to him, and with that delicacy of breeding which belongs to a certain society, nothing personal to Egerton was said, except by Avenel, who, however, on blurting out some rude expressions respecting that minister, was instantly checked by the Baron.

"Spare my friend, and Mr. Leslie's near connection," said he, with a polite but grave smile.

"Oh," said Avenel, "public men, whom we pay, are public property—aren't they, my lord?" appealing to Spendquick.

"Certainly," said Spendquick, with great spirit—"public property, or why should we pay them? There must be a very strong motive to induce us to do that! I hate paying people. In fact," he subjoined in an aside, "I never do!"

"However," resumed Mr. Avenel, graciously, "I don't want to hurt your feelings, Mr. Leslie. As to the feelings of our host, the Baron, I calculate that they have got tolerably tough by the exercise they have gone through."

"Nevertheless," said the Baron, joining in the laugh which any lively saying by the supposed X. Y. was sure to excite—"nevertheless, 'love me, love my dog,' love me, love my Egerton."

Randal started, for his quick ear and subtle intelligence caught something sinister and hostile in the tone with which Levy uttered this equivocal comparison, and his eye darted towards the Baron. But the Baron had bent down his face, and was regaling himself upon an olive.

By and by the party rose from table. The four young noblemen had their engagements elsewhere, and proposed to separate without re-entering the drawing-room. As, in Goethe's theory, monads which have affinities with each other are irresistibly drawn together, so these gay children of pleasure had, by a common impulse, on rising from table, moved each to each, and formed a group round the fireplace. Randal stood a little apart, musing; the wit examined the pictures through his eye-glass; and Mr. Avenel drew the Baron towards the sideboard, and there held him in whispered conference. This colloquy did not escape the young gentlemen round the fireplace: they glanced towards each other.

"Settling the percentage on renewal," said one, sotto voce.

"X. Y. does not seem such a very bad fellow," said another.

"He looks rich, and talks rich," said a third.

"A decided, independent way of expressing his sentiments; those moneyed men generally have."

"Good heavens!" ejaculated Spendquick, who had been keeping his eye anxiously fixed on the pair, "do look; X. Y. is actually taking out his pocket-book; he is coming this way. Depend on it, he has got our bills—mine is due to-morrow."

"And mine too," said another, edging off. "Why, it is a perfect guetapens."

Meanwhile, breaking away from the Baron, who appeared anxious to detain him, and, failing in that attempt, turned aside, as if not to see Dick's movements—a circumstance which did not escape the notice of the group, and confirmed all their suspicions, Mr. Avenel, with a serious, thoughtful air, and a slow step, approached the group. Nor did the great Roman general more nervously "flutter the dove-cotes in Corioli," than did the advance of the supposed X. Y. agitate the bosoms of Lord Spendquick and his sympathizing friends. Pocket-book in hand, and apparently feeling for something formidable within its mystic recesses, step by step came Dick Avenel towards the fireplace. The group stood still, fascinated by horror.[Pg 403]

"Hum," said Mr. Avenel, clearing his throat.

"I don't like that hum, at all," muttered Spendquick.

"Proud to have made your acquaintance, gentlemen," said Dick, bowing.

The gentlemen, thus addressed, bowed low in return.

"My friend the Baron thought this not exactly the time to"—Dick stopped a moment; you might have knocked down those four young gentlemen, though four finer specimens of humanity no aristocracy in Europe could produce—you might have knocked them down with a feather! "But," renewed Avenel, not finishing his sentence, "I have made it a rule in life never to lose securing a good opportunity; in short, to make the most of the present moment. And," added he with a smile which froze the blood in Lord Spendquick's veins, "the rule has made me a very warm man! Therefore, gentlemen, allow me to present you each with one of these"—every hand retreated behind the back of its well-born owner—when, to the inexpressible relief of all, Dick concluded with—"a little soirée dansante," and extended four cards of invitation.

"Most happy!" exclaimed Spendquick. "I don't dance in general; but to oblige X—— I mean to have a better acquaintance, sir, with you—I would dance on the tight-rope."

There was a good-humored, pleasant laugh at Lord Spendquick's enthusiasm, and a general shaking of hands and pocketing of the invitation cards.

"You don't look like a dancing man," said Avenel, turning to the wit, who was plump and somewhat gouty—as wits who dine out five days in the week generally are; "but we shall have supper at one o'clock."

Infinitely offended and disgusted, the wit replied dryly, "that every hour of his time was engaged for the rest of the season," and, with a stiff salutation to the Baron, took his departure. The rest, in good spirits, hurried away to their respective cabriolets, and Leslie was following them into the hall, when the Baron, catching bold of him, said, "Stay, I want to talk to you."


The Baron turned into his drawing-room, and Leslie followed.

"Pleasant young men, those," said Levy, with a slight sneer, as he threw himself into an easy-chair and stirred the fire. "And not at all proud; but, to be sure, they are—under great obligations to me. Yes; they owe me a great deal. Apropos, I have had a long talk with Frank Hazeldean—fine young man—remarkable capacities for business. I can arrange his affairs for him. I find, on reference to the Will Office, that you were quite right, the Casino property is entailed on Frank. He will have the fee simple. He can dispose of the reversion entirely. So that there will be no difficulty in our arrangements."

"But I told you also that Frank had scruples about borrowing on the event of his father's death."

"Ay—you did so. Filial affection! I never take that into account in matters of business. Such little scruples, though they are highly honorable to human nature, soon vanish before the prospect of the King's Bench. And, too, as you so judiciously remarked, our clever young friend is in love with Madame di Negra."

"Did he tell you that?"

"No; but Madame di Negra did!"

"I know most people in good society, who now and then require a friend in the management of their affairs. And having made sure of the fact you stated, as to Hazeldean's contingent property (excuse my prudence). I have accommodated Madame di Negra, and bought up her debts."

"You have—you surprise me!"

"The surprise will vanish on reflection. But you are very new to the world yet, my dear Leslie. By the way, I have had an interview with Peschiera—"

"About his sister's debts?"

"Partly. A man of the nicest honor is Peschiera."

Aware of Levy's habit of praising people for the qualities in which, according to the judgment of less penetrating mortals, they were most deficient, Randal only smiled at this eulogy, and waited for Levy to resume. But the Baron sate silent and thoughtful for a minute or two, and then wholly changed the subject.

"I think your father has some property in ——shire, and you probably can give me a little information as to certain estates of a Mr. Thornhill—estates which, on examination of the title-deeds, I find once, indeed, belonged to your family." The Baron glanced at a very elegant memorandum-book—"The manors of Rood and Dulmonsberry, with sundry farms thereon. Mr. Thornhill wants to sell them as soon as his son is of age—an old client of mine, Thornhill. He has applied to me on the matter. Do you think it an improvable property?"

Randal listened with a livid cheek and a throbbing heart. We have seen that, if there was one ambitious scheme in his calculation which, though not absolutely generous and heroic, still might win its way to a certain sympathy in the undebased human mind, it was the hope to restore the fallen fortunes of his ancient house, and repossess himself of the long alienated lands that surrounded the dismal wastes of the mouldering hall. And now to hear that those lands were getting into the inexorable gripe of Levy—tears of bitterness stood in his eyes.

"Thornhill," continued Levy, who watched the young man's countenance—"Thornhill tells me that that part of his property—the[Pg 404] old Leslie lands—produces £2000 a-year, and that the rental could be raised. He would take £50,000 for it—£20,000 down, and suffer the remaining £30,000 to lie on mortgage at four per cent. It seems a very good purchase. What do you say?"

"Don't ask me," said Randal, stung into rare honesty; "for I had hoped I might live to repossess myself of that property."

"Ah! indeed. It would be a very great addition to your consequence in the world—not from the mere size of the estate, but from its hereditary associations. And if you have any idea of the purchase—believe me, I'll not stand in your way."

"How can I have any idea of it?"

"But I thought you said you had."

"I understood that these lands could not be sold till Mr. Thornhill's son came of age, and joined in getting rid of the entail."

"Yes, so Thornhill himself supposed, till, on examining the title-deeds, I found he was under a mistake. These lands are not comprised in the settlement made by old Jasper Thornhill, which ties up the rest of the property. The title will be perfect. Thornhill wants to settle the matter at once—losses on the turf, you understand; an immediate purchaser would get still better terms. A Sir John Spratt would give the money; but the addition of these lands would make the Spratt property of more consequence in the county than the Thornhill. So my client would rather take a few thousands less from a man who don't set up to be his rival. Balance of power in counties as well as nations."

Randal was silent.

"Well," said Levy, with great kindness of manner, "I see I pain you; and though I am what my very pleasant guests will call a parvenu, I comprehend your natural feelings as a gentleman of ancient birth. Parvenu! Ah! is it not strange, Leslie, that no wealth, no fashion, no fame can wipe out that blot? They call me a parvenu, and borrow my money. They call our friend, the wit, a parvenu, and submit to all his insolence—if they condescend to regard his birth at all—provided they can but get him to dinner. They call the best debater in the Parliament of England a parvenu, and will entreat him, some day or other, to be prime minister, and ask him for stars and garters. A droll world, and no wonder the parvenus want to upset it!"

Randal had hitherto supposed that this notorious tuft-hunter—this dandy capitalist—this money-lender, whose whole fortune had been wrung from the wants and follies of an aristocracy, was naturally a firm supporter of things as they are—how could things be better for men like Baron Levy? But the usurer's burst of democratic spleen did not surprise his precocious and acute faculty of observation. He had before remarked, that it is the persons who fawn most upon an aristocracy, and profit the most by the fawning, who are ever at heart its bitterest disparagers. Why is this? Because one full half of democratic opinion is made up of envy; and we can only envy what is brought before our eyes, and what, while very near to us, is still unattainable. No man envies an archangel.

"But," said Levy, throwing himself back in his chair, "a new order of things is commencing; we shall see. Leslie, it is lucky for you that you did not enter Parliament under the government; it would be your political ruin for life."

"You think, then, that the ministry really cannot last?"

"Of course, I do; and what is more, I think that a ministry of the same principles cannot be restored. You are a young man of talent and spirit; your birth is nothing compared to the rank of the reigning party; it would tell, to a certain degree, in a democratic one. I say, you should be more civil to Avenel; he could return you to Parliament at the next election."

"The next election! In six years! We have just had a general election."

"There will be another before this year, or half of it, or perhaps a quarter of it, is out."

"What makes you think so?"

"Leslie, let there be confidence between us; we can help each other. Shall we be friends?"

"With all my heart. But, though you may help me, how can I help you?"

"You have helped me already to Frank Hazeldean and the Casino estate. All clever men can help me. Come, then, we are friends; and what I say is secret. You ask me why I think there will be a general election so soon? I will answer you frankly. Of all the public men I ever met with, there is no one who has so clear a vision of things immediately before him as Audley Egerton."

"He has that character. Not far-seeing, but clear-sighted to a certain limit."

"Exactly so. No one better, therefore, knows public opinion, and its immediate ebb and flow."


"Egerton, then, counts on a general election within three months; and I have lent him the money for it."

"Lent him the money! Egerton borrow money of you—the rich Audley Egerton!"

"Rich!" repeated Levy in a tone impossible to describe, and accompanying the word with that movement of the middle finger and thumb, commonly called a "snap," which indicates profound contempt.

He said no more. Randal sat stupified. At length the latter muttered, "But if Egerton is really not rich—if he lose office, and without the hope of return to it——"

"If so, he is ruined!" said Levy coldly; "and, therefore, from regard to you, and feeling interest in your future fate, I say—Rest no hopes of fortune or career upon Audley Egerton. Keep your place for the present, but be prepared at the next election to[Pg 405] stand upon popular principles. Avenel shall return you to parliament; and the rest is with luck and energy. And now, I'll not detain you longer," said Levy, rising and ringing the bell. The servant entered.

"Is my carriage here?"

"Yes, Baron."

"Can I set you down any where?"

"No, thank you; I prefer walking."

"Adieu, then. And mind you remember the soirée dansante at Mrs. Avenel's." Randal mechanically shook the hand extended to him, and went down the stairs.

The fresh frosty air roused his intellectual faculties, which Levy's ominous words had almost paralyzed.

And the first thing the clever schemer said to himself was this:—

"But what can be the man's motive in what he said to me?"

The next was:—

"Egerton ruined? What am I, then?"

And the third was:—

"And that fair remnant of the old Leslie property! £20,000 down—how to get the sum? Why should Levy have spoken, to me of this?"

And lastly, the soliloquy rounded back:—

"The man's motives! His motives?"

Meanwhile, the baron, threw himself into his chariot—the most comfortable, easy chariot, you can possibly conceive—single man's chariot—perfect taste—no married man ever has such a chariot; and in a few minutes he was at ——'s hotel, and in the presence of Giulio Franzini, Count di Peschiera.

"Mon cher," said the baron in very good French, and in a tone of the most familiar equality with the descendant of the princes and heroes of grand mediæval Italy—"Mon cher, give me one of your excellent cigars. I think I have put all matters in train."

"You have found out—"

"No; not so fast yet," said the baron, lighting the cigar extended to him. "But you said that you should be perfectly contented if it only cost you £20,000 to marry off your sister (to whom that sum is legally due), and to marry yourself to the heiress."

"I did indeed."

"Then I have no doubt I shall manage both objects for that sum, if Randal Leslie really knows where the young lady is, and can assist you. Most promising, able man is Randal Leslie, but innocent as a babe just born."

"Ha, ha! Innocent? Que diable!"

"Innocent as this cigar, mon cher—strong, certainly, but smoked very easily. Soyez tranquille!"


Who has not seen—who not admired, that noble picture by Daniel Maclise, which refreshes the immortal name of my ancestor Caxton! For myself, while with national pride I heard the admiring murmurs of the foreigners who grouped around it (nothing, indeed, of which our nation may be more proud had they seen in the Crystal Palace)—heard, with no less a pride in the generous nature of fellow artists, the warm applause of living and deathless masters, sanctioning the enthusiasm of the popular crowd;—what struck me more than the precision of drawing, for which the artist has been always renowned, and the just though gorgeous affluence of color which he has more recently acquired, was the profound depth of conception, out of which this great work had so elaborately arisen. That monk, with his scowl towards the printer and his back on the Bible, over which his form casts a shadow—the whole transition between the mediæval Christianity of cell and cloister, and the modern Christianity that rejoices in the daylight, is depicted there, in the shadow that obscures the Book—in the scowl that is fixed upon the Book-diffuser;—that sombre musing face of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, with the beauty of Napoleon, darkened to the expression of a Fiend, looking far and anxiously into futurity, as if foreseeing there what antagonism was about to be created to the schemes of secret crime and unrelenting force;—the chivalrous head of the accomplished Rivers, seen but in profile, under his helmet, as if the age when Chivalry must defend its noble attributes, in steel, was already half passed away: and, not least grand of all, the rude thews and sinews of the artisan forced into service on the type, and the ray of intellect, fierce, and menacing revolutions yet to be, struggling through his rugged features, and across his low knitted brow;—all this, which showed how deeply the idea of the discovery in its good and its evil its saving light and its perilous storms, had sunk into the artist's soul, charmed me as effecting the exact union between sentiment and execution, which is the true and rare consummation of the Ideal in Art. But observe, while in these personages of the group are depicted the deeper and graver agencies implicated in the bright but terrible invention—observe how little the light epicures of the hour heed the scowl of the monk, or the restless gesture of Richard, or the troubled gleam in the eyes of the artisan—King Edward, handsome Poco curante, delighted, in the surprise of a child, with a new toy; and Clarence, with his curious yet careless glance—all the while Caxton himself, calm, serene, untroubled, intent solely upon the manifestation of his discovery, and no doubt supremely indifferent whether the first proofs of it shall be dedicated to a Rivers or an Edward, a Richard or a Henry, Plantagenet or Tudor—'tis all the same to that comely, gentle-looking man. So is it ever with your Abstract Science!—not a jot cares its passionless logic for the woe or weal of a generation or two. The stream, once emerged from its source, passes on into the Great Intellectual Sea, smiling over the wretch[Pg 406] that it drowns, or under the keel of this ship which it serves as a slave.

Now, when about to commence the present chapter on the Varieties of Life, this masterpiece of thoughtful art forced itself on my recollection, and illustrated what I designed to say. In the surface of every age, it is often that which but amuses, for the moment, the ordinary children of pleasant existence, the Edwards and the Clarences (be they kings and dukes, or simplest of simple subjects), which afterwards towers out as the great serious epoch of the time. When we look back upon human records, how the eye settles upon Writers as the main landmarks of the past! We talk of the age of Augustus, of Elizabeth, of Louis XIV., of Anne, as the notable eras of the world. Why? Because it is their writers who have made them so. Intervals between one age of authors and another lie unnoticed, as the flats and common lands of uncultured history. And yet, strange to say, when these authors are living amongst us, they occupy a very small portion of our thoughts, and fill up but desultory interstices in the bitumen and tufo wherefrom we build up the Babylon of our lives! So it is, and perhaps so it should be, whether it pleases the conceit of penmen or not. Life is meant to be active; and books, though they give the action to future generations, administer but to the holiday of the present.

And so, with this long preface, I turn suddenly from the Randals and the Egertons, and the Levys, Avenels, and Peschieras—from the plots and passions of practical life, and drop the reader suddenly into one of those obscure retreats wherein Thought weaves, from unnoticed moments, a new link to the chain that unites the ages.

Within a small room, the single window of which opened on a fanciful and fairy-like garden, that has been before described, sat a young man alone. He had been writing: the ink was not dry on his manuscript, but his thoughts had been suddenly interrupted from his work, and his eyes now lifted from the letter which had occasioned that interruption, sparkled with delight. "He will come," exclaimed the young man; "come here—to the home which I owe to him. I have not been unworthy of his friendship. And she"—his breast heaved, but the joy faded from his face. "Oh strange, strange, that I feel sad at the thought to see her again. See her—ah, no!—my own comforting Helen—my own Child-angel! Her I can never see again! The grown woman—that is not my Helen. And yet—and yet (he resumed, after a pause), if ever she read the pages, in which thought flowed and trembled under her distant starry light—if ever she see how her image has rested with me, and feel that, while others believe that I invent, I have but remembered—will she not, for a moment, be my own Helen again! Again, in heart and in fancy, stand by my side on the desolate bridge—hand in hand—orphans both, as we stood in the days so sorrowful, yet, as I recall them, so sweet—Helen in England, it is a dream!"

He rose, half consciously, and went to the window. The fountain played merrily before his eyes, and the birds in the aviary carolled loud to his ear. "And in this house," he murmured, "I saw her last! And there, where the fountain now throws its stream on high—there her benefactor and mine told me that I was to lose her, and that I might win—fame. Alas!"

At this time a woman, whose dress was somewhat above her mien and air, which, though not without a certain air of respectability, were very homely, entered the room; and, seeing the young man standing thus thoughtful by the window, paused. She was used to his habits; and since his success in life, had learned to respect them. So she did not disturb his reverie, but began softly to arrange the room—dusting, with the corner of her apron, the various articles of furniture, putting a stray chair or two in its right place, but not touching a single paper. Virtuous woman, and rare as virtuous!

The young man turned at last, with a deep, yet not altogether painful sigh—

"My dear mother, good day to you. Ah, you do well to make the room look its best. Happy news! I expect a visitor!"

"Dear me, Leonard, will he want? lunch—or what?"

"Nay, I think not, mother. It is he to whom we owe all—'Hœc otia fecit.' Pardon my Latin; it is Lord L'Estrange."

The face of Mrs. Fairfield (the reader has long since divined the name) changed instantly, and betrayed a nervous twitch of all the muscles, which gave her a family likeness to old Mrs. Avenel.

"Do not be alarmed, mother. He is the kindest—"

"Don't talk so; I can't bear it!" cried Mrs. Fairfield.

"No wonder you are affected by the recollection of all his benefits. But when once you have seen him, you will find yourself ever after at your ease. And so, pray, smile and look as good as you are; for I am proud of your open honest look when you are pleased, mother. And he must see your heart in your face as I do."

With this, Leonard put his arm round the widow's neck and kissed her. She clung to him fondly for a moment, and he felt her tremble from head to foot. Then she broke from his embrace, and hurried out of the room. Leonard thought perhaps she had gone to improve her dress, or to carry her housewife energies to the decoration of the other rooms; for "the house" was Mrs. Fairfield's hobby and passion; and now that she worked no more, save for her amusement, it was her main occupation. The hours she contrived to spend daily in bustling[Pg 407] about those little rooms, and leaving every thing therein to all appearance precisely the same, were among the marvels in life which the genius of Leonard had never comprehended. But she was always so delighted when Mr. Norreys or some rare visitor came, and said (Mr. Norreys never failed to do so,) "How neatly all is kept here. What could Leonard do without you, Mrs. Fairfield?"

And to Norrey's infinite amusement, Mrs. Fairfield always returned the same answer. "'Deed, sir, and thank you kindly, but 'tis my belief that the drawin'-room would be awful dusty."

Once more left alone, Leonard's mind returned to the state of reverie, and his face assumed the expression that had now become to it habitual. Thus seen, he was changed much since we last beheld him. His cheek was more pale and thin, his lips more firmly compressed, his eye more fixed and abstract. You could detect, if I may borrow a touching French expression, that "sorrow had passed by there." But the melancholy on his countenance was ineffably sweet and serene, and on his ample forehead there was that power, so rarely seen in early youth—the power that has conquered, and betrays its conquests but in calm. The period of doubt, of struggle, of defiance, was gone for ever; genius and soul were reconciled to human life. It was a face most loveable; so gentle and peaceful in its character. No want of fire; on the contrary, the fire was so clear and so steadfast, that it conveyed but the impression of light. The candor of boyhood, the simplicity of the villager were still there—refined by intelligence, but intelligence that seemed to have traversed through knowledge—not with the footstep, but the wing—unsullied by the mire—tending towards the star—seeking through the various grades of being but the lovelier forms of truth and goodness; at home as should be the Art that consummates the Beautiful—

"In den heitern Regionen
Wo die reinen Formen wohnen."[23]

From this reverie Leonard did not seek to rouse himself, till the bell at the garden gate rang loud and shrill; and then starting up and hurrying into the hall, his hand was grasped in Harley's.


A full and happy hour passed away in Harley's questions and Leonard's answers; the dialogue that naturally ensued between the two, on the first interview after an absence of years so eventful to the younger man.

The history of Leonard during this interval was almost solely internal, the struggle of intellect with its own difficulties, the wanderings of imagination through its own adventurous worlds.

The first aim of Norreys, in preparing the mind of his pupil for its vocation, had been to establish the equilibrium of its powers, to calm into harmony the elements rudely shaken by the trials and passions of the old hard outer life.

The theory of Norreys was briefly this: The education of a superior human being is but the development of ideas in one for the benefit of others. To this end, attention should be directed—1st, To the value of the ideas collected; 2dly, To their discipline; 3dly, To their expression. For the first, acquirement is necessary; for the second, discipline; for the third, art. The first comprehends knowledge, purely intellectual, whether derived from observation, memory, reflection, books or men, Aristotle or Fleet Street. The second demands training, not only intellectual, but moral; the purifying and exaltation of motives; the formation of habits; in which method is but a part of a divine and harmonious symmetry—a union of intellect and conscience. Ideas of value, stored by the first process; marshalled into force, and placed under guidance, by the second; it is the result of the third, to place them before the world in the most attractive or commanding form. This may be done by actions no less than words; but the adaptation of means to end, the passage of ideas from the brain of one man into the lives and souls of all, no less in action than in books, requires study. Action has its art as well as literature. Here Norreys had but to deal with the calling of the scholar, the formation of the writer, and so to guide the perceptions towards those varieties in the sublime and beautiful, the just combination of which is at once CREATION. Man himself is but a combination of elements. He who combines in nature, creates in art.

Such, very succinctly and inadequately expressed, was the system upon which Norreys proceeded to regulate and perfect the great native powers of his pupil; and though the reader may perhaps say that no system laid down by another can either form genius or dictate to its results, yet probably nine-tenths at least of those in whom we recognize the luminaries of our race, have passed unconsciously to themselves (for self-education is rarely conscious of its phases), through each of these processes. And no one who pauses to reflect will deny, that according to this theory, illustrated by a man of vast experience, profound knowledge, and exquisite taste, the struggles of genius would be infinitely lessened; its vision cleared and strengthened, and the distance between effort and success notably abridged.

Norreys, however, was far too deep a reasoner to fall into the error of modern teachers, who suppose that education can dispense with labor. No mind becomes muscular without rude and early exercise. Labor should be strenuous, but in right directions. All that[Pg 408] we can do for it is to save the waste of time in blundering into needless toils.

The master had thus first employed his neophyte in arranging and compiling materials for a great critical work in which Norreys himself was engaged. In this stage of scholastic preparation, Leonard was necessarily led to the acquisition of languages, for which he had great aptitude—the foundations of a large and comprehensive erudition were solidly constructed. He traced by the ploughshare the walls of the destined city. Habits of accuracy and of generalization became formed insensibly; and that precious faculty which seizes, amidst accumulated materials, those that serve the object for which they are explored,—(that faculty which quadruples all force, by concentrating it on one point)—once roused into action, gave purpose to every toil and quickness to each perception. But Norreys did not confine his pupil solely to the mute world of a library; he introduced him to some of the first minds in arts, science, and letters—and active life. "These," said he, "are the living ideas of the present, out of which books for the future will be written: study them; and here, as in the volumes of the past, diligently amass and deliberately compile."

By degrees Norreys led on that young ardent mind from the selection of ideas to their æsthetic analysis—from compilation to criticism; but criticism severe, close, and logical—a reason for each word of praise or of blame. Led in this stage of his career to examine into the laws of beauty, a new light broke upon his mind; from amidst the masses of marble he had piled around him, rose the vision of the statue.

And so, suddenly one day Norreys said to him, "I need a compiler no longer—maintain yourself, by your own creations." And Leonard wrote, and a work flowered up from the seed deep buried, and the soil well cleared to the rays of the sun and the healthful influence of expanded air.

That first work did not penetrate to a very wide circle of readers, not from any perceptible fault of its own—there is luck in these things; the first anonymous work of an original genius is rarely at once eminently successful. But the more experienced recognized the promise of the book. Publishers who have an instinct in the discovery of available talent, which often forestalls the appreciation of the public, volunteered liberal offers. "Be fully successful this time," said Norreys; "think not of models nor of style. Strike at once at the common human heart—throw away the corks—swim out boldly. One word more—never write a page till you have walked from your room to Temple Bar, and, mingling with men, and reading the human face, learn why great poets have mostly passed their lives in cities."

Thus Leonard wrote again, and woke one morning to find himself famous. So far as the chances of all professions dependent on health will permit, present independence, and, with foresight and economy, the prospects of future confidence were secured.

"And, indeed," said Leonard, concluding a longer but a simpler narrative than is here told—"indeed, there is some chance that I may obtain at once a sum that will leave me free for the rest of my life to select my own subjects and write without care for remuneration. This is what I call the true (and, perhaps, alas! the rare) independence of him who devotes himself to letters. Norreys, having seen my boyish plan for the improvement of certain machinery in the steam-engine, insisted on my giving much time to mechanics. The study that once pleased me so greatly, now seemed dull; but I went into it with a good heart; and the result is, that I have improved so far on my original idea, that my scheme has met the approbation of one of our most scientific engineers; and I am assured that the patent for it will be purchased of me upon terms which I am ashamed to name to you, so disproportioned do they seem to the value of so simple a discovery. Meanwhile, I am already rich enough to have realized the two dreams of my heart—to make a home in the cottage where I had last seen you and Helen—I mean Miss Digby; and to invite to that home her who had sheltered my infancy."

"Your mother, where is she? Let me see her."

Leonard ran out to call the widow, but to his surprise and vexation, learned that she had quitted the house before L'Estrange arrived.

He came back perplexed how to explain what seemed ungracious and ungrateful, and spoke with hesitating lip and flushed cheek of the widow's natural timidity and sense of her own homely station. "And so overpowered is she," added Leonard, "by the recollection of all that we owe to you, that she never hears your name without agitation or tears, and trembled like a leaf at the thought of seeing you."

"Ha!" said Harley, with visible emotion, "Is it so?" and he bent down, shading his face with his hand. "And," he renewed, after a pause, but not looking up—"and you ascribe this fear of seeing me, this agitation at my name, solely to an exaggerated sense of—of the circumstances attending my acquaintance with yourself?"

"And, perhaps, to a sort of shame that the mother of one you have made her proud of is a peasant."

"That is all," said Harley, earnestly, now looking up and fixing eyes in which stood tears, upon Leonard's ingenuous brow.

"Oh, my dear lord, what else can it be? Do not judge her harshly."

L'Estrange rose abruptly, pressed Leonard's hand, muttered something not audible, and then drawing his young friend's arm in his,[Pg 409] led him into the garden, and turned the conversation back to its former topics.

Leonard's heart yearned to ask after Helen, and yet something withheld him from doing so, till, seeing Harley did not volunteer to speak of her, he could not resist his impulse. "And Helen—Miss Digby—is she much changed?"

"Changed, no—yes; very much."

"Very much!" Leonard sighed.

"I shall see her again?"

"Certainly," said Harley, in a tone of surprise. "How can you doubt it? And I reserve to you the pleasure of saying that you are renowned. You blush; well, I will say that for you. But you shall give her your books."

"She has not yet read them, then?—not the last? The first was not worthy of her attention," said Leonard, disappointed.

"She has only just arrived in England; and, though your books reached me in Germany, she was not then with me. When I have settled some business that will take me from town, I shall present you to her and my mother." There was a certain embarrassment in Harley's voice as he spoke; and, turning round abruptly, he exclaimed, "But you have shown poetry even here. I could not have conceived that so much beauty could be drawn from what appeared to me the most commonplace of all suburban gardens. Why, surely where that charming fountain now plays stood the rude bench in which I read your verses."

"It is true; I wished to unite all together my happiest associations. I think I told you, my lord, in one of my letters, that I had owed a very happy, yet very struggling time in my boyhood to the singular kindness and generous instructions of a foreigner whom I served. This fountain is copied from one that I made in his garden, and by the margin of which many a summer day I have sat and dreamt of fame and knowledge."

"True, you told me of that; and your foreigner will be pleased to hear of your success, and no less so of your graceful recollections. By the way, you did not mention his name."


"Riccabocca! My own dear and noble friend!—is it possible? One of my reasons for returning to England is connected with him. You shall go down with me and see him. I meant to start this evening."

"My dear lord," said Leonard, "I think that you may spare yourself so long a journey. I have reason to suspect that Signor Riccabocca is my nearest neighbor. Two days ago I was in the garden, when suddenly lifting my eyes to yon hillock I perceived the form of a man seated amongst the bushwood; and, though I could not see his features, there was something in the very outline of his figure and his peculiar position, that irresistibly reminded me of Riccabocca. I hastened out of the garden and ascended the hill, but he was gone. My suspicions were so strong that I caused inquiry to be made at the different shops scattered about, and learned that a family, consisting of a gentleman, his wife, and daughter, had lately come to live in a house that you must have passed in your way hither, standing a little back from the road, surrounded by high walls; and though they were said to be English, yet from the description given to me of the gentleman's person by one who had noticed it, by the fact of a foreign servant in their employ, and by the very name 'Richmouth,' assigned to the new comers, I can scarcely doubt that it is the family you seek."

"And you have not called to ascertain?"

"Pardon me, but the family so evidently shunning observation (no one but the master himself ever seen without the walls), the adoption of another name, too—lead me to infer that Signor Riccabocca has some strong motive for concealment; and now, with my improved knowledge of life, I cannot, recalling all the past, but suppose that Riccabocca was not what he appeared. Hence, I have hesitated on formally obtruding myself upon his secrets, whatever they may be, and have rather watched for some chance occasion to meet him in his walks."

"You did right, my dear Leonard; but my reasons for seeing my old friend forbid all scruples of delicacy, and I will go at once to his house."

"You will tell me, my lord, if I am right."

"I hope to be allowed to do so. Pray, stay at home till I return. And now, ere I go, one question more: You indulge conjectures as to Riccabocca, because he has changed his name—why have you dropped your own?"

"I wished to have no name," said Leonard, coloring, deeply, "but that which I could make myself."

"Proud poet, this I can comprehend. But from what reason did you assume the strange and fantastic name of Oran?"

The flush on Leonard's face became deeper.

"My lord," said he, in a low voice, "it is a childish fancy of mine; it is an anagram."


"At a time when my cravings after knowledge were likely much to mislead, and perhaps undo me, I chanced on some poems that suddenly affected my whole mind, and led me up into purer air; and I was told that these poems were written in youth, by one who had beauty and genius—one who was in her grave—a relation of my own, and her familiar name was Nora—"

"Ah!" again ejaculated Lord L'Estrange, and his arm pressed heavily upon Leonard's.

"So, somehow or other," continued the young author, falteringly, "I wished that if ever I won to a poet's fame, it might be, to my own heart, at least, associated with this name of Nora—with her whom death had robbed of the fame that she might otherwise have won—with her who—"[Pg 410]

He paused, greatly agitated.

Harley was no less so. But as if by a sudden impulse, the soldier bent down his manly head, and kissed the poet's brow; then he hastened to the gate, flung himself on his horse, and rode away.


Lord L'Estrange did not proceed at once to Riccabocca's house. He was under the influence of a remembrance too deep and too strong to yield easily to the lukewarm claim of friendship. He rode fast and far; and impossible it would be to define the feelings that passed through a mind so acutely sensitive, and so rootedly tenacious of all affections. When he once more, recalling his duty to the Italian, retraced his road to Norwood, the slow pace of his horse was significant of his own exhausted spirits; a deep dejection had succeeded to feverish excitement. "Vain task," he murmured, "to wean myself from the dead! Yet I am now betrothed to another; and she, with all her virtues, is not the one to—" He stopped short in generous self-rebuke. "Too late to think of that! Now, all that should remain to me is to insure the happiness of the life to which I have pledged my own. But—" He sighed as he so murmured. On reaching the vicinity of Riccabocca's house, he put up his horse at a little inn, and proceeded on foot across the heath-land towards the dull square building, which Leonard's description had sufficed to indicate as the exile's new home. It was long before any one answered his summons at the gate. Not till he had thrice rung did he hear a heavy step on the gravel walk within; then the wicket within the gate was partially drawn aside, a dark eye gleamed out, and a voice in imperfect English asked who was there.

"Lord L'Estrange; and if I am right as to the person I seek, that name will at once admit me."

The door flew open as did that of the mystic cavern at the sound of "Open Sesame;" and Giacomo, almost weeping with joyous emotion, exclaimed in Italian, "The good Lord! Holy San Giacomo! thou hast heard me at last! We are safe now." And dropping the blunderbuss with which he had taken the precaution to arm himself, he lifted Harley's hand to his lips, in the affectionate greeting familiar to his countrymen.

"And the Padrone?" asked Harley, as he entered the jealous precincts.

"Oh, he is just gone out; but he will not be long. You will wait for him?"

"Certainly. What lady is that I see at the far end of the garden?"

"Bless her, it is our Signorina. I will run and tell her that you are come."

"That I am come; but she cannot know me even by name."

"Ah, Excellency, can you think so? Many and many a time has she talked to me of you, and I have heard her pray to the holy Madonna to bless you, and in a voice so sweet—"

"Stay, I will present myself to her. Go into the house, and we will wait without for the Padrone. Nay, I need the air, my friend." Harley, as he said this, broke from Giacomo, and approached Violante.

The poor child, in her solitary walk in the obscurer parts of the dull garden, had escaped the eye of Giacomo when he had gone forth to answer the bell; and she, unconscious of the fears of which she was the object, had felt something of youthful curiosity at the summons at the gate, and the sight of a stranger in close and friendly conference with the unsocial Giacomo.

As Harley now neared her with that singular grace of movement which belonged to him, a thrill shot through her heart—she knew not why. She did not recognize his likeness to the sketch taken by her father, from his recollections of Harley's early youth. She did not guess who he was; and yet she felt herself color, and, naturally fearless though she was, turned away with a vague alarm.

"Pardon my want of ceremony, Signorina," said Harley, in Italian; "but I am so old a friend of your father's that I cannot feel as a stranger to yourself."

Then Violante lifted to him her dark eyes, so intelligent and so innocent—eyes full of surprise, but not displeased surprise. And Harley himself stood amazed, and almost abashed, by the rich and marvellous beauty that beamed upon him. "My father's friend," she said hesitatingly, "and I never to have seen you!"

"Ah, Signorina," said Harley (and something of his native humor, half arch, half sad, played round his lip,) "you are mistaken there; you have seen me before, and you received me much more kindly then—"

"Signor!" said Violante, more and more surprised, and with a yet richer color on her cheeks.

Harley, who had now recovered from the first effect of her beauty, and who regarded her as men of his years and character are apt to regard ladies in their teens, as more child than woman, suffered himself to be amused by her perplexity; for it was in his nature, that the graver and more mournful he felt at heart, the more he sought to give play and whim to his spirits.

"Indeed Signorina," said he demurely, "you insisted then on placing one of those fair hands in mine; the other (forgive me the fidelity of my recollections) was affectionately thrown around my neck."

"Signor!" again exclaimed Violante; but this time there was anger in her voice as well as surprise, and nothing could be more charming than her look of pride and resentment.

Harley smiled again, but with so much kindly sweetness, that the anger vanished at[Pg 411] once, or rather Violante felt angry with herself that she was no longer angry with him. But she had looked so beautiful in her anger, that Harley wished, perhaps, to see her angry again. So, composing his lips from their propitiatory smile he resumed, gravely—

"Your flatterers will tell you, Signorina, that you are much improved since then, but I liked you better as you were; not but what I hope to return some day what you then so generously pressed upon me."

"Pressed upon you!—I? Signor, you are under some strange mistake."

"Alas! no; but the female heart is so capricious and fickle! You pressed it upon me, I assure you. I own that I was not loth to accept it."

"Pressed it? Pressed what?"

"Your kiss, my child," said Harley; and then added with a serious tenderness, "And I again say that I hope to return it some day—when I see you, by the side of father and of husband, in your native land—the fairest bride on whom the skies of Italy ever smiled! And now, pardon a hermit and a soldier for his rude jests, and give your hand, in token of that pardon, to—Harley L'Estrange."

Violante, who at the first words of this address had recoiled, with a vague belief that the stranger was out of his mind, sprang forward as it closed, and in all the vivid enthusiasm of her nature, pressed the hand held out to her, with both her own. "Harley L'Estrange—the preserver of my father's life!" she cried, and her eyes were fixed on his with such evident gratitude and reverence, that Harley felt at once confused and delighted. She did not think at that instant of the hero of her dreams—she thought but of him who had saved her father. But, as his eyes sank before her own, and his head, uncovered, bowed over the hand he held, she recognized the likeness to the features on which she had so often gazed. The first bloom of youth was gone, but enough of youth still remained to soften the lapse of years, and to leave to manhood the attractions which charm the eye. Instinctively she withdrew her hands from his clasp, and, in her turn looked down.

In this pause of embarrassment to both, Riccabocca let himself into the garden by his own latch-key, and, startled to see a man by the side of Violante, sprang forward with an abrupt and angry cry. Harley heard and turned.

As if restored to courage and self-possession by the sense of her father's presence, Violante again took the hand of the visitor. "Father," she said simply, "it is he—he is come at last." And then, retiring a few steps, she contemplated them both; and her face was radiant with happiness—as if something, long silently missed and looked for, was as silently found, and life had no more a want, nor the heart a void.


[20] Continued from page 253.

[21] As there have been so many revolutions in France, it may be convenient to suggest that, according to the dates of this story, Harley, no doubt, alludes to that revolution which exiled Charles X. and placed Louis Philippe on the throne.

[22] Have you fifty friends?—it is not enough. Have you one enemy?—it is too much.


At home—"In the serene regions
Where dwell the pure forms."




Once in a far country, for which you might search all the geographies of the world in vain, there lived a poor woman who had a little daughter named Agnes. That she was poor, and had a child, was by no means wonderful; for poor people are common in all parts of the earth; and so for the matter of that, are children too; for which the good God cannot be enough thanked.

But this poor woman and child were not altogether like the thousands who surrounded them, as I shall show you in the course of my little story. For the mother was exceeding goodly, and the child was exceeding fair; and goodly too, so far as a child could be. Not that children cannot be as good, aye, and better than most grown people; but in that country they were very bad and ignorant.

It is true that there were schools and academies there, and great colleges time-honored and world-renowned; but somehow or other the people were no better, but on the contrary rather worse for all these blessings. Whether they neglected good, or good neglected them, is not for us to inquire now; but certain it is that the greater part of them grew up in ignorance and vice. Now they need not have grown up in vice unless they had preferred it to virtue; though they could hardly have escaped a life of ignorance. There were many priests there to teach them the folly of sin in this world, and its eternal punishment in the next. They were very energetic in picturing the misery of sinners; but in spite of all they could say, and do, they preached to thin and careless congregations: in consequence of which many of their salaries were unpaid from one year's end to another.

Most of the men spent their Sabbaths in bull-baiting and dog-fighting; most of the women in gadding from house to house with budgets of scandal; while the children ran off to the woods to snare birds and gather berries, and oftentimes to fight out a match made up the day before. Black eyes were by no means uncommon, with plenty more in perspective when those were healed.

This was the life of the mass of people, though I am happy to say there were many exceptions, in men, women, and children, who went to the chapel, as all good Christians should; and lived up to the precepts of the Good Book, as all good Christians do; among whom was the mother and child that I began to tell you about.

And not only did the good woman go to church on the Sabbath, and on all the appointed holidays and feasts, but she endeavored to make her life a perpetual sabbath unto the Lord. But the child, because she was of a tender age, could not always accompany her, nor understand why she must always clasp her hands, and kneel down in the[Pg 412] pew, when the vicar did the same in his little pulpit. But she was a good child for all that, as the story will show, and loved her mother with an exceeding love.

When she was about three years of age, her mother died. Her death, however, was by no means unexpected. The only wonder was that she had lived so long, she was so thin and sickly. Her husband had been dead a little over a year. He left her nothing but his child and poverty; a common legacy among the poorer sort of people in that country. After his death she toiled late and early to maintain herself and babe. Many a dawn she rose before the sun, and the sun rose there very early. Many a night she saw the moon set, and it sets very late at certain seasons of the year; but her labors were never done. The labors of the poor never are until death comes. When death came to her, she rested from her work, and her work followed her.

It was a fine day in spring when they buried her. The fresh green earth was full of dew, the soft blue sky without a cloud. It was a day to make one certain of immortality. Few and unconcerned were those who bore her to the grave; they would rather have gone to a merry-making; mere neighbors and nothing more: the dead woman left no friends, or relatives; only her child.

When they reached the churchyard, they found the old sexton beside the grave, leaning on his spade, ready to fill it again at the shortest notice. The vicar put on his bands, and read the funeral service. "Dust to dust, ashes to ashes, but the spirit to God who gave it." The coffin was lowered into its narrow house and the earth thrown upon it, while the minister of Christ exhorted the people around.

Little Agnes being left to herself by those who had charge of her, strayed down the winding paths, and was soon hidden among the grave-stones, which were very thick; for the dead of ages were buried in that little churchyard. At first she wondered why she had been brought there; but the sky was so blue above her, and the earth so beautiful around, that she soon forgot it. The shadow of Death, which falls heavily on the hearts of men, passes like a light mist over the soul of a child.

Large butterflies with crimson and golden wings were flying to and fro in the air, and the wild bee pursued its honey-making in the buttercups. She sat down in the long grass, and began to weave the blue violets, as she had seen the basket-maker weave his rushes. Not a month before, a little girl of her own age was laid with many tears in the mound at her feet; but the dew hung there as brightly as in the deep meadows, and the sunshine filled the place, like the smile of God. Nature mourns not like man for the dead whom she has gathered to her bosom in peace.

By and by little Agnes began to grow drowsy, and in spite of all she could do to keep awake, she found her eyes closing and her head nodding on her breast; so she repeated the prayer that her good mother had taught her to say before going to bed, and committed herself to the care of her Heavenly Father, and in a moment was fast asleep, and walking in a dream with the Angels.

In the mean time the good vicar, having finished his exhortation, and the people having departed, began to wonder at her absence, and searched for her down the path which he remembered to have seen her take. Looking right and left among the grave-stones, and calling "Agnes," with a sweet, low voice, he came to the spot where she had fallen asleep. She was sleeping still, and beside her stood a little lamb, innocent and beautiful. Its fleece was whiter than the driven snow, and glistened in the sunlight like gold. There was a golden collar around its neck, with an inscription in an unknown tongue; and its eyes were exceeding tender and beautiful. There were no folds in that country, and how it could have come there was a mystery which the vicar could not explain; nor could the child when she awoke. She only remembered to have seen it in her dream, following a Shepherd in the pastures of Paradise.

As the vicar stood lost in amazement, it drew near him, and looked up in his face with its tender and beautiful eyes, and then at the child, and then in his face again, as much as to say—Here is a poor motherless one; she has no friends in the wide world; who will take care of her, if you do not? Indeed, he fancied that it did say so; and that a voice softer than silence whispered to him, "Feed my Lambs." His heart was touched with pity, and he lifted her up in his arms and bore her to the vicarage.

It was not long before the news spread through the neighboring towns, and many of their dwellers came to see the White Lamb and the young child, who grew daily more beautiful and good. The pious seemed to grow better the moment they beheld the loving pair; and the wicked, who had sat for years under the droppings of the sanctuary, or mocked at the goodness of Heaven afar off, grew thoughtful and penitent, and were soon numbered among the people of God.

The lamb and child were seldom separated. Little Agnes was very unhappy when parted from it, and it seemed equally unhappy in its turn when parted from her. Sometimes they used to sit for hours together; she poring over the vicar's antique missal, which by this time she had learned to read, and the lamb at her feet, looking up in her face with its tender and beautiful eyes. Sometimes in the warm summer days they went off together to the woods and lanes;[Pg 413] sometimes, to the meadows where the daises grew in tufted grass; and little Agnes was wont to braid them in a wreath around her brow. She said one day on returning that she would soon wear a wreath of stars. As regularly as the Sabbath came, they went to the chapel together, side by side. The sexton made a path for them, as they walked up the broad aisle which was now crowded with earnest and devout listeners. Their accustomed place was on the cushioned seat that ran around the altar. When the choir sang their anthems, the voice of the child was heard above the deep bass singers, and the full-toned organ; yet it was softer and sweeter than the voice of a dove. When the vicar read the morning and evening service, her responses fell on the hearts of all like dew; and a halo seemed to encircle her as she listened to the words of life.

The people began to consider it a miracle. Cock-fighting and bull-baiting fell into disrepute; drinking and gaming, to which the greater part of them had been bred from childhood, lost caste as amusements, and other vices declined in proportion. It was evident that a great change was going on in the hearts and habits of all. Profane oaths and light jests, which even the gentry condescended to indulge in (as they did in other things better left to their inferiors), were banished from all society, even that of travelling tinkers, time out of mind a coarse set of fellows. Feuds handed down from father to son were dropped at once, and old enemies met with kind greetings, and parted friends. Every body seemed to prosper, and nobody was the worse for it. Beggars began to lay aside their tatters, and wear good substantial garments. There was no longer any need to beg, for work was plentiful. Cottage windows, once stuffed with old hats, rejoiced in the possession of new panes of glass; and new cottages were being builded every where, and every body declared it was the work of the White Lamb.

Spring melted into summer, and summer was now on the verge of autumn. The fields were full of harvesters, reaping and binding up yellow sheaves, and barns were open all day, and boys might be seen within, storing up fruit for the winter. Every day added some new grace to the child; but those who were experienced in such matters, mostly mothers who had lost children, said she was dying. Her bloom was too unearthly, her eye too spiritual to last. She was no longer able to run to the woods and fields: a walk to the little summer house at the end of the vicar's garden, only a stone's throw from the door, was sufficient to make her very weary. Nor could she visit the chapel unless carried thither, which was a source of great grief to all the villagers.

Day by day she grew more lovely and feeble; and the lamb grew more fond of her: they could not for a moment separate them. It clung to her days as she sat in her little chair leaning on pillows; and nights it crept to her feet as she lay upon her couch dreaming of the angels. Its white fleece seemed to grow more white, and its eyes more tender and beautiful. And it often looked at the fading child, and at the far blue sky, shining through the lattice, and its glance seemed to say—Heaven is waiting for this little slip of earth, and it must soon go.

Autumn came at last, and the child was dying. It was morning, and she lay on her couch, with half the village around her. Her eyes were fixed upon the sky, and her arms were entwined about the lamb, who lay with its head in her bosom. The vicar knelt down, and prayed. He could not bear to lose the light of his household, though he knew that the angels were waiting for her on the threshold of heaven. When he arose she slept. Ages have passed since then, and she still sleeps; and will sleep till the heavens and the earth shall have passed away. The next day was the Sabbath, and they bore her to the little churchyard where her mother was buried. Their graves were dug side by side. All the children and maidens, dressed in white, followed her bier; and half the mothers in the village wept as if she had been their own child; and the Lamb, looking whiter than ever, walked in their midst. But when the services were over and the coffin lowered into the grave, it looked once at the far blue sky, and then turned away, and walked down the path which little Agnes had taken at her mother's funeral. No one dared to stop it; but all watched it with breathless attention until it disappeared among the grave-stones. Some of the boldest, and the vicar among the rest, followed to where it seemed to disappear, but could find no further traces. Nobody was ever able to account for it, but every body believed it to have been a miracle, manifested for their salvation, notwithstanding a wise philosopher who wrote a large folio to prove that it never existed at all. Its memory is still preserved with veneration in that country, and from that day to this, the people have continued godly and pious.

—And so ends the story of the White Lamb.

M. Romieu, an ultramontane writer, quoted with much parade by the Tablet, says of France:—"The most exact picture of our epoch is drawn in the phrase, 'that not a woman is brought to bed in France who does not give birth to a Socialist.'" On this the Nation remarks:—"In what a dissolute condition la jeune France, with all its bibs and tuckers, must certainly be! Only imagine Madame de Montalembert brought to bed of twin Phalansteriens! The lady of M. Jules Gondou, redacteur de l'Univers, of a horrid little Fourierist! The nursery of M. de Falloux in red pinafores, squalling out Soc.-de-moc. canticles! Never before such danger in swaddling clothes!"

[Pg 414]

Authors and Books.

A curious work, which will not be devoid of interest to the historian or belles-lettres antiquary, has recently been published at Leipzig, under the title of Die Alexandersage bei den Orientalern (or the Legend of Alexander as it exists in the East), by Dr. Frederick Spiegel. With the exception of King Arthur, no personage plays a more extended rôle in the romantic European legends of the middle ages, than Alexander; but our readers may not be generally aware that the feats of this great conqueror are still perpetuated under a thousand strange forms even on the remote East, generally under the name of Iskander. "No historic material has ever been more widely extended than this history of Alexander, and there are even yet races in the interior of Central Asia who declare themselves directly descended from him;"—precisely, no doubt, as certain very respectable families extant at the present day in Hungary and Italy prove themselves lineal descendants of Julius Cæsar, Æneas, and even Noah. "In the earliest times, even in the very scene of his exploits, Alexander became a hero of legend-like and exaggerated histories, a collection of which, bearing the name of Pseudo-Callisthenes, as editor, is yet preserved; and from this came the innumerable Alexanderine romances of the middle ages, which at length totally obscured the true accounts of the conqueror. In the East, also, and particularly in Persia, he has been made the subject of many great epic poems. The relation existing between all these legends, which have sprung up at such different times, and under such extremely varied circumstances, is an interesting problem for the literary historian, and the book we have mentioned is valuable, since in it every thing relating to the Persian portion thereof, is given in full." From the index, an admirable analysis of its contents, and a somewhat extended abridgment, which we have perused, we may assert that few works more curiously interesting have for a long time been published.

Of great interest to antiquaries and positive utility to artists, is the Trachten des Christlichen Mittelalters (or Dresses of the Christian Middle Age), by J. Von Hofner. As they are all taken from contemporary works of art, they may be relied on for correctness. The part last published consists of the second division, embracing guises of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Among others, the reader may find Armour of the sixteenth century, the Dress of a lady of rank in the middle of the same century, a French dress of the fifteenth century, and a tournament helmet of the same period. Such books serve better than any reading to impress on the minds of the young correct ideas of past manners and times.

We observe a German version of The Popular Nomenclature of American Plants, under the title of Die Volksnamen der Amerikan. Pflanzen, by Berthold Seemann, published at Hanover, by Rümpler. Of this book a German reviewer remarks, that "the knowledge of the popular local names in systematic botany has hitherto been neglected in such an unaccountable manner, that the appearance of the above-cited work has awakened a joyful surprise among all who are capable of appreciating its value. This well-deserving traveller, whose name at present is in every mouth, has in a great measure by his own exertions, and partly from the works and indications of Aublet, Bridges, Cruickshanks, De Candolle, Gardner, Gilles, Hooker, Humboldt and Bonpland, Lindley, la Llave and Lergarga, Martius, Miers, Pursch, Ruaz and Pavon, Torrey and Gray, Cervantes and Bustamente, carefully and scientifically collected above two thousand of the names with which the different races of the American Continent designate the most important of their plants. Moreover, he has fully succeeded in conforming these names, almost without exception, to the systematic scientific terminology by which they are known, or at least has given their family. With this work a path has been opened which will prove servicable not only to the botanist but also to the philologist, and which we trust will in future be trodden frequently by the author and other travellers."

Of the interesting historical compositions lately published, we may cite by Fr. Gerlach Die Geschichte der Römer (or History of the Romans), and Die Geschichtschreiber der Deutschen Vorzeit (or The Historians of the early German Times), the fifth volume of which has just appeared, containing the Chronicle of Herimann, according to the edition of the Monumenta Germaniæ. We have also, with a colossal title which we in part omit, three volumes of the Fontes Rerum Austriacarum (or Austrian Sources of History), published by the historical commission of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Vienna. This is spoken of as a really wonderful collection of curious documents. The sources of Austrian history have been at all times sadly neglected, and this work may in a great measure supply the deficiency. In the same department we have also the second volume of Mignet's History of Mary Stuart, from an English version of which we have already quoted somewhat largely in this magazine.

To the historian and geographer Count Karl Frederic Von Hugel's account of Karbul-Becken and the Mountains between the Hindu Kosch and the Sutlej, will be found fresh and interesting.[Pg 415]

The third continuation of the third year of the Historisches Taschenbuch (or Historical Pocket-book), of Frederick von Raumer published by Brochkaus of Leipzig, has just made its appearance. The most interesting article which it contains is entitled, "The Sikhs and their Kingdom," by Karl Friederich Neumann. "Such an account by so well-informed a writer," says a German review, "is of no little interest." As every eminent European scholar, who has distinguished himself by manifesting an interest in American affairs, deserves to be particularly known in this country, we translate for the International a short account of Professor Neumann, which we partially extract from a MS. sketch written by himself in the summer of 1847. Carl Friederich Neumann, Professor of Oriental Languages and History at the University of Munich, and one of the most learned sinologists of modern times, was resident in China during the years 1829 and 1830. In Canton, he became possessor of a large library of Chinese books, from which he has since drawn the materials for works distinguished by their originality, erudition, and untiring industry. Previous to this visit to China, and to better qualify himself for it, he had, after finishing his studies at the Universities of Heidelberg and Göttingen, remained for a long time at Venice, Paris, and London, occupied exclusively in the studies of Oriental languages and history. After his return from China, he was appointed in 1838 Professor of the Chinese and Armenian tongues at the University of Munich. Professor Neumann has ever been remarkably unprejudiced with regard to America, and we were first induced to seek his acquaintance on hearing his frequent praises of our country, while attending these lectures. He is the author of a number of works in the Latin, French, German, and English languages, all of which he writes with facility. He also ranks high as a mathematician and student of natural philosophy. His most curious work is contained in a small pamphlet, entitled The Chinese in California and Mexico in the Fifth Century, proving from ancient Chinese chronicles, whose accounts are substantiated by our subsequent knowledge of natural phenomena therein described, that those countries were, in the fifth century, visited by Buddhist priests at the time mentioned.

A late number of the Europa contains a notice of the London Art Journal. We have not time to read the article, but suggest that the least which a Leipzig reviewer should say of this periodical, is, that it contains infinitely more news relative to the present condition of art in Germany, than the Kunst Blatt, or Munich Art Journal itself. There is hardly any magazine of which we make more use in the International, than the London Art Journal.

One of the most practical handbooks of a higher order for the use of the learned, in Roman Antiquities, is that by W. Beeker, ex-Professor at Leipzig—the third part of which has just made its appearance. The parts already published contain the first part of the State Government of ancient Italy; the Provinces ('of which we have here for the first time a complete statistical account'); and the State Constitution. The publisher promises that in the coming volumes there will be given the departments of Finance and War, Jurisprudence, Religion and Private Antiquities. In connection with this we may cite the Legis Rubriæ pars superstes, a beautifully lithographed fac-simile of this classic curiosity, and also by Dr. Adam Zinzow De Pelasgicis Romanorum Sacris, which is a treatise on those oldest of the Roman local legends which the author considers as Pelasgic.

In our forgetfulness of such "opium reading" we are oft apt to imagine the days of mysticism and the supernaturalism gone by. Germany, however, occasionally reminds us that the world is ever prone to return to the spectre-haunted paths trodden by its forefathers. One of the latest recallers of this description, is a second and very considerably enlarged edition of Dr. Joseph Ennemoser's Historio-Physiological Inquiries into the Origin and Existence of the Human Soul. Of a somewhat similar school, we have the second volume of the collected works of Franz Von Baader, and separate from these, by Dr. Franz Hoffmann, Franz Baader in his relations to Spinoza, Leibnitz, Kant, Jacobi, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel and Herbart. Six groschens worth of stout and vivid abuse of the atheist Feuerbach has also been published by Bläsing of Erlangen.

We have already called attention to the tenth edition of Brockhaus's Conversations-Lexikon, now publishing serially at Leipzig. The twenty-first part is before us, and we again take occasion to commend the work to our readers. We know no other encyclopædia which compares with it in universal excellence and utility, and this edition is a great improvement upon its predecessors. In the biography of living personages of distinction it is especially rich; in this respect alone it deserves to be found in the libraries even of those who own the earlier editions. The biographies of American statesmen and scholars are given with detail and correctness.

A work which may be of some interest to the belles-lettres antiquarian, has just been published by Schmidt, of Halle: The Sources of Popular Songs in German Literature. Such a performance is more necessary for the songs of Germany than for those of any other nation, since no where else is there so much which really requires explanation to the moderns.[Pg 416]

A most agreeable book is Schiller and his Paternal House, lately published at Stuttgart, by Herr Saupe. The great poet is here depicted in the midst of his father's family, all of whom loved him dearly, and respected as much as they loved.

A Hamburg journal says a good and sharp word about the mania of the Germans for hunting up the literary remains of Goethe and Schiller. The volumes of memoirs, correspondence, diaries, and other relics of these great men, would make a library far exceeding in quantity all the volumes they published themselves. Nothing so much proves the absence of great and significant persons in the literature of the present day as this almost convulsive clinging to the immortal deceased, and the endless endeavor to talk and write about them, and publish every thing that can be twisted into a connection with their history or writings. Presently we shall hear of the republication of the school-books they studied, with all the thumb-marks and pot-hooks then scribbled by the future great men. This is said on occasion of Döring's Schiller and Goethe, which the writer thinks might as well have been unwritten.

The number of books on military subjects published in Germany, must astonish the American not accustomed to see at every corner a gendarme, or behold his bayonet protruding occasionally from behind the scene-paintings of a theatre, where he is posted to preserve order. In two numbers of a weekly review, we find notices of no less than fourteen books on strictly military matters. For readers who take an interest in such subjects, we translate the titles of few: The Battles of Frederic the Great; The Armies of the Present Day and their Future Destiny; Military Fireworks in the Royal Prussian Army; The Organization and Formation of the Bavarian Army and the Military Budget; and A Short Abridgment of Naval Artillery. With these works we may also cite De Gustav Simon's new essay On Gunshot Wounds, which is said to contain valuable contributions to this branch of surgery.

The thirtieth volume of The Library of Collected German Literature, contains Der Wälsche Gast (or the Italian Guest), by Thomasin Von Zirelaria: an old German poem of the Middle Ages, now published the first time, with philologic and historical remarks by Dr. Heinrich Ruckert; and by K. A. Hahn we have Die Echten Lieder von den Niebelungen (or The True Songs of the Niebelungen), according to Leckmann's criticisms.

A biography of the late eminent philologist, Karl Lachmann, written by his pupil, Martin Hertz, has recently been published by W. Herz of Leipsic. With the Life itself are given several important posthumous literary relics of the great scholar.

The History of German Literature now publishing at Leipsic by Dr. Henry Kurz, seems to be one of the most perfect and admirable works of the kind ever undertaken. It will contain in all 1600 octavo pages with portraits, fac-similes, monuments, residences of authors, and every sort of pictorial illustration that can increase the value and interest of the work. Copious extracts will be given from the writers spoken of, and from the whole range of German literature. Two parts have already been published; the first goes back to the earliest times and comes down to the middle of the twelfth century, and the second to the middle of the fourteenth. Though printed in elegant style, and adorned with so many fine wood cuts, the parts are sold at about twenty-two cents: twenty-five parts complete the work.

J. E. Horn has published, by Wigand of Leipsic, two volumes on Ludwig Kossuth—the first volume treating of Kossuth as agitator, and the second of Kossuth as minister. "We have in the author a most determined admirer of the Hungarian chief; one whose respect for the hero is not however expressed in enthusiastic encomiums; but he attempts by a clear and sensible analysis of his deeds, of the circumstances upon which they depended, and the consequences to which they have led, to excite in the reader a corresponding conviction."

The reader who likes to take history in an entertaining form is recommended to Behse's History of the Austrian Court, Nobility, and Diplomacy, of which two volumes are just published in Germany. They can make no just claim to philosophical thoroughness, but are full of readable anecdotes and interesting glimpses of character.

Among recent curious translations of Oriental literature published in Germany, we observe the Quarante Questions Addressées par les doct Juifs au Prophéte Mahomet (or The Forty Questions addressed by the learned Jews to the prophet Mahomet.) The work is accompanied with a Turkish text and glossary, for the use of Orientalists.

The second volume of the second edition of Böckh's celebrated Die Staatshaushaltung der Athener (or Political Economy of the Athenians), has just been published by G. Reimer, of Berlin. So thoroughly has this edition and particularly this volume been revised, and so materially increased, that it may be regarded as almost a new work.

Among artistic philosophic works, we see mention of one entitled Aesthetic Inquiries into the Modern Drama, by Henman Hettner. With its merits we are not acquainted, but the subject, if properly treated, might serve for an extremely interesting and useful work.[Pg 417]

Almost every writer on Egyptian theology, from Jablonsky to Bunsen, has endeavored to identify, among the manifold gods of their Pantheon, the eight older deities mentioned by Herodotus, in the 145th chapter of the Euterpe. In a note to his Chronologie der Aegypter, Lepsius announced the discovery, that this series originally consisted only of seven, and was subsequently enlarged to eight. In a quarto volume, first issued at Berlin, Uber den ersten Aegyptischen Götterkries und seine geschichtlich-mythologische Entetchung. (On the First Series of Egyptian Gods, and its Historico-Mythological Origin,) a dissertation read before the Royal Academy of Berlin, he supplies the monumental and other evidence of this discovery, and gives the names of these deities majoram gentium.

Smirdin, a publisher of St. Petersburg, who some time since commenced the issue of a uniform edition of the more prominent authors of Russia, of which he has already published thirty volumes, has now begun a new edition of Karamsin's History of the Russian Empire. It will be completed in ten volumes; the first is already published. This is regarded as the best history of Russia extant, though it notoriously misstates many facts in order to flatter the imperial house and sustain its absolute authority. It has previously passed through five editions, and it is estimated that twenty-four thousand copies of it are in Russian public libraries and the hands of private persons.

The traditional literature of Germany, already very rich, has received an important addition in the Sagenbuch der Bairischen Lande (Book of Traditions of the Bavarian Provinces), of which the first volume has just been published at Munich. These sagas are collected by the editor, Mr. A. Schöppner, from the mouth of the people, from out-of-the-way old chronicles, and from the ballads of the poets. They are full of natural humor and poetic beauty.

S. Didung has lately written The Fundamental Laws of Art, and the German Art-Language, with Poems dedicated to the German Spirit. This singular mixture of subjects under one title seems peculiar to Germany, where authors occasionally have recourse to curious expedients in book-making.

Prof. Wilhelm Zahn has printed the fourth part of the third continuation of The most Beautiful Ornaments and most Remarkable Pictures from Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiæ, with several Sketches and Views, and a new German edition of Hagmann's Sketches, got up in excellent style.

Miss Bremer's records of her visit to the United States will appear as Homes of the New World.

One Herr Frost, who flourishes as Director of the Institution for the Blind at Prague, has published a novel under the title of the Wandering Jew. It is intended to counteract the bad influence of Eugene Sue's romance of that name. The hero is a great believer in Sue's socialist theories, and attempts to instruct a rural community in them, but is repelled and put to shame by their sturdy good sense.

By the learned and celebrated jurist Mittermaier, of Heidelberg, we have The English, Scottish, and North-American systems of Punishment, in connection with their Political, Moral, and Social Circumstances, and the particulars of Practical Law. The work is represented by a reviewer as fully indicating, by the singular copiousness of its contents, "its author's wonderful and greatly celebrated industry in collecting (sammelfleiss)."

Mittermaier, the eminent German jurist, has just published at Erlangen an elaborate work upon The English, Scotch, and American Criminal Practice, in its relations with the political, moral, and social situation of those countries. The work goes into the minute details of the subject. It is calculated to exercise a profound influence upon criminal practice in Germany.

Mr. Hermann Weiss is about to publish in Germany A History of the Costumes of all Ages and Nations.

A very valuable and interesting chapter of French literary history, is M. de Bligniere's Essay on Amyot and on the French Translators of the Sixteenth Century, lately published at Paris in an octavo volume. Amyot was the first to render Heliodorus, Plutarch, and Lenginus into French, and his excellence consists in a naive sincerity, which, while it seeks only the true version of his author, lends to it unconsciously the most pleasing impression of the translator himself.

A new French translation of the works of Silvio Pellico has appeared at Paris, from the pen of M. Lezaud. It includes the Memoirs of the celebrated Italian, and his Discourses upon Duties. The translation is praised by no less a critic than Saint Marc Girardin.

A French translation of the Rig-Veda, that is, of the most ancient of all the Vedas, is just finished at Paris, where the fourth and last volume appeared about the middle of January. The translator is M. Langlois of the Institute.

In the year 1851 there were published in France 7,350 works in different languages; the average yearly product of the previous ten years was only 6,456; of musical works in 1851, there were 485.[Pg 418]

There is now appearing serially at Paris a History of the Bastille, from its foundation in 1374, to its destruction in 1789. It is to contain a full narrative of its mysteries, its prisoners, its governors, its archives, the tortures and punishments inflicted upon prisoners, with revelations of the whole internal management of this great prison, and also a great variety of adventures, dramatic, tragical and scandalous. The dish is to be completed and spiced with some rich glimpses of the mysteries of the French police during the period referred to. The authors of this publication are Messrs. Arnould, Albioze, and Magnet. The last named has sometimes been employed to help Alexander Dumas as a playwright. These writers also announce that when they have got through with the Bastille, they shall attack the Castle of Vincennes, and give the history of the same from its foundation to the present day. They propose first to consider it as a royal palace, under which head they will narrate a variety of orgies and debauchery; next as a fortress, when they will narrate sieges and battles; and finally as a state prison, when they will give the history of the leading prisoners there confined, with an account of the dungeons, the torture chambers, &c., and kindred particulars. This work will be illustrated with steel engravings.

Count Montalembert is engaged upon a work whose materials has been fifteen years in collecting. It is to be entitled Historie de la Renaissance du Paganism, depuis Philip-le-Bel jusq'à Robespierre (History of the Revival of Paganism, from Philip the Handsome to Robespierre.) Mr. Montalembert, who is universally known as an ultra Catholic, holds that the noblest era in history was that part of the middle ages, when the Catholic faith was at the climax of its influence and splendor. What distinguishes modern times is paganism, and the essence of paganism is modern education and science. Classical education is especially a bad thing. One great hope of this age lies in the reëstablishment of the jesuits and the religious education they will confer.

Several eminent scholars are in the list of candidates for the Greek Professorship of Edinburgh, but the struggle is considered to be between Dr. William Smith, whose classical dictionaries have gained him a high reputation, Mr. Price, for many years a successful teacher at Rugby, Professor M'Dowell, of Queen's College, Belfast, and Professor Blackie, of Aberdeen. The election occurs March 2d.

Dr. J. V. C. Smith has just published (Gould & Lincoln, Boston) A Pilgrimage to Palestine, Embracing a Journal of Explorations in Syria, Turkey, and the Kingdom of Greece.

In illustration of the advancement of learning in Turkey, the London Literary Gazette mentions, that when the department of the Ministry of Public Instruction was created four or five years ago in Constantinople, it became apparent that there existed a desideratum of Moslem civilization necessary to be supplied as soon as possible—a Turkish Vocabulary and a Turkish Grammar, compiled according to the development of modern philology. The Grammar has now been published, compiled by Fuad Effendi, mustesher of the Grand Vizier, assisted by Ahmed Djesvid Effendi, another member of the Council of Instruction. Translations will be made into several languages, the French edition being now in preparation by two gentlemen belonging to the Foreign Office of the Sublime Porte, who have obtained a privilege of ten years for its sale.

Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton has just brought out a complete collection of his Poems, except only, we believe, the once pretty famous book of The Siamese Twins. His My Novel, or Varieties of English Life, is nearly finished, and he will give to the world a new three volume novel in the course of the spring. He is also bringing out, with final revisions, notes, &c., all his prose writings, in a neat and cheap edition. In the new preface to Alice, or the Mysteries, he says: "So far as an author may presume to judge of his own writings, no narrative fiction by the same hand (with the exception of the poem of King Arthur) deserves to be classed before this work in such merit as may be thought to belong to harmony between a premeditated conception, and the various incidents and agencies employed in the development of plot."

Lady Bulwer Lytton has written two extraordinary letters to the Morning Post, of a review in that paper, of her School for Husbands, hinting at what might have been said about some of the minor faults, had the book been written by any body else, and going out of her way, to remind us that her husband is a plagiarist. Repeating one of Mr. Joseph Miller's anecdotes of a larceny of brooms, ready made, she says. "And so it is with the great Bombastes of the Press—Sir E. Bulwer Lytton. Truly, therefore, may he exclaim:—

"——Non ulla laborum:
O Virgo nova ni facies inopinaque surgit,
Omnia percipi atque animo mecum ante peregi."

And well may a sapient, moral, and impartial press uphold so great an empiric."

Lord Cockburn, one of the Scottish judges, is preparing a Memoir of Lord Jeffrey, with selections from his correspondence. "The ability, judgment, and taste of Henry Cockburn, as well as political sympathy and personal friendship," the Athenæum says, "give him every fitness for being the biographer of Francis Jeffrey."[Pg 419]

The last number of the London Quarterly Review presents a new candidate for the honor of the authorship of Junius, in the person of the second Lord Lyttleton—best known in his lifetime for profligacy, and since, for the curious circumstances attending his death, which are well related in Sir Walter Scott's Demonology and Witchcraft. The reviewer proves Lord Lyttleton capable of writing the letters; that he had motives to write them; that his conduct on other occasions is consistent with Junius's anxiety to preserve his incognito; and that there are curious coincidences between his character and conduct, and many characteristic passages in the letters. This directs research to a new quarter; but though a good prima facie case of suspicion is made out, that is all. Positive evidence is wanted. A writer in the London Athenæum, who long ago demolished the claims of Sir Philip Francis to be considered Junius (Lord Mahon's judgment to the contrary notwithstanding), and who has since pretty satisfactorily disposed of the dozen or more other prominent claimants, has, we think, conclusively answered the Quarterly's claim in behalf of Lord Lyttleton. We should like to know who the critic of the Athenæum supposes to be the Great Unknown. In one of the volumes of the Grenville Papers, just published in London, the author says:

"With respect to the letters addressed to Mr. Grenville by the author of 'Junius,' which will be printed in the concluding volumes of this correspondence, it will be sufficient to say for the present, that there is not a particle of truth in all the absurd tales that have been invented, as to their preservation or discovery. In the proper place I shall have an opportunity of explaining that there was no mystery attaching to them, beyond the anonymous nature of the author's communication."

This is rather unfavorable, as far as it goes, to the hypothesis of Lyttelton's having been the author. It throws us back upon Sir David Brewster's claim in behalf of Mr. Maclean. Upon that theory, probably, the archives of London House could throw some light. It may be mentioned, with reference to this subject that the Grenville Papers go far to substantiate Lord Shelburne's title to the designation of Malagrida.

We find in the Athenæum an account of a curious case, having considerable interest for the lovers of old Italian literature, which has just been decided by the Sacred Council in Rome.

"About seventeen years ago the Count Alberti, then a sub-lieutenant in the Roman army, announced to the world, that he had in his possession, many of the unpublished papers of Torquato Tasso, written with the poet's own hand; and also a large collection of documents, throwing new light on certain passages of his career,—particularly on those, which up to that time, had been considered the most mysterious and disputable—his first connection with Alphonse d'Este, the proud Duke of Ferrara, and the real causes of his imprisonment and liberation. Of course, the world was somewhat skeptical as to the truth of this announcement; and Alberti either could not or would not satisfy the doubts of the unbelieving by a plain statement of how, when, and by what means these precious papers came into his possession. Four years later, however, Candido Mazzaroni, a bookseller of Ancona, purchased a portion of them for publication,—and they were given to the world under the title of Interesting Documents on the Entrance of Torquato Tasso into the service of Alphonse d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, and on the Presents he received at that memorable Period. In the following year—that is, in 1839—Count Alberti sold the remainder of his manuscripts to Signor Giusta, a bookseller of Lucca, who published them under the title of The real Causes of the Imprisonment and Liberation of Torquato Tasso proved by History and authentic Documents. Now came the unpleasant part of the affair to the noble owner of the mysterious manuscripts. No sooner was this second book announced in the papers, than Signor Mazzaroni brought an action against the count for having sold him forged documents and autographs. On this charge Alberti was arrested, and in due time a commission was named by the tribunal to examine the documents in question. In consequence of the slowness which characterizes all judicial proceedings beyond the Alps, it was not until September, 1844, that this commission gave its opinion, declaring the said documents to be forgeries. Alberti was accordingly condemned to seven years' imprisonment. He appealed against the sentence, and demanded that the whole case might be re-examined from the beginning. Thereupon, a second commission was named, with larger powers; and before this body the count laid the proofs of authenticity which he possessed. He proved to their satisfaction that the manuscripts in question had been left by the Abbé Maranetonio to Prince Ottavio Falconieri, from whose library they had come to him. The Court admitted his evidence, quashed the former sentence, and ordered the prisoner to be set at liberty. The cream, however, of the affair is, that the second Commission took nearly seven years to arrive at this conclusion,—so that the Count's imprisonment had about expired by efflux of time when the Sacra Consulta declared it to be unmerited."

Mr. Bancroft is about publishing a history of the American Revolution in three volumes. It is announced by Bentley in London, and will be brought out here by Little & Brown, of Boston, the publishers of his History of the United States. The present book is altogether distinct from that history, upon which the author is still busily engaged. During the years of his foreign residence, Mr. Bancroft has been storing the richest materials for his great work; and the public, which in the broad perception and brilliant style of the first volumes of his History recognized the master, awaits with eagerness the conclusion. After the long silence of Mr. Bancroft, the present volumes will be doubly welcome. The first volume, which will appear before the others, treats of the causes of the Revolution.[Pg 420]

The Hon. John G. Palfrey, L.L.D., has just published (by Crosby and Nichols, of Boston) the third and fourth volumes of his very able work on the Jewish Scriptures and Antiquities. It is about ten years, we believe, since the first and second volumes appeared. Without finding fault with Dr. Palfrey's politics, we are glad to chronicle his return to the pursuits of scholarship.

Mr. George W. Curtis has in press another volume of Eastern travel, in which the public will welcome the sequel to his very successful Nile Notes of a Howadji, one of the most brilliant books the last year added to English literature. We understand, from those who have been favored with a sight of the manuscript, that the Howwadji in Syria will be somewhat graver in its tone than its predecessor, as befits a book which records the impressions of Palestine and the Arabian desert, but, that it will breathe the same Oriental atmosphere, and abound in the same graceful humor and flowing imagination which lent so great a charm to that work. No traveller so truly reproduces the soul and sentiment of these ancient and mysterious countries of the Orient as Mr. Curtis, and this makes him as much preferable, for our reading, to the collectors of dry statistics and the jotters down of petty daily adventures, as the artist who paints a lovely person in the full glow of beauty is to a tedious gossip who describes the color of her gloves or the material of her bonnet. The one gives you a living reality; the other mere accidents and circumstances.

The poems of Winthrop Mackworth Praed are in press, by Redfield. Miss Mitford, in her Recollections of a Literary Life, just published in London, says of these writings: "That they are the most finished and graceful verses of society that can be found in our language, it is impossible to doubt. At present they are so scarce that the volume from which I transcribe the greater part of the following extracts is an American collection, procured with considerable difficulty and delay from the United States." The collection referred to was made by the editor of the International, for the same love Miss Mitford feels for its delightful contents, and was published many years ago by Langley, a bookseller in the Astor House. It is the only volume by Praed ever printed, and it has been long out of the market. Mr. Redfield's new edition will be much more complete.

Mr. R. H. Stoddard, the poet, is preparing a volume of fairy tales for children. Poets were always the friends of fairies; they it is who bring them within the sphere of human sympathies. That Mr. Stoddard is the very Laureate of Titania, to sing her summer revels, the rare delicacy of perception and graceful music of the volume of poems published by him in the autumn, is the certificate.

Rev. H. N. Hudson continues his admirable edition of Shakspeare. Early drawn to the study of the poet, and pursuing that study against every disadvantage, until he had embodied, in a series of lectures, his views of Shakspeare and impressions of his plays, we well remember the excitement which greeted his public reading of them in Boston, before the literary aristocracy of the Athens of Massachusetts. A shimmering brilliancy played along his analysis, rather of fancy than of imagination,—almost rather of conceit than thought; but they approved him a most competent critic, and this edition shows his admirable editorial qualities.

The History of Classical Literature, by R. W. Browne, which has lately been much praised by London critics, has been republished by Blanchard & Lea, of Philadelphia. The volume commences with Homer and closes with Aristotle; and the plan pursued is to give a biography of each author, an account of the period in which he flourished, and then a criticism on the character of his works. All the chapters are written with a careful remembrance that the general, and not the strictly scholarly, reader, is being addressed; and hence a comprehensive historical air most desirable in a book assuming to be a history rather than an analysis of a literature. The Iliad is examined as a poem, but also as affording evidences of the manners, customs, and civilization of the east at the time at which the poem was composed. The philosophers are enumerated; but their philosophy is examined more with reference to its indications as to society than for its bearings on the schools. Demosthenes is dealt with as the orator than as the politician. The story of Socrates is told, not for the individual, but for the universal model. In every respect, the work is ably executed.

A survey of the literature of the Southern States is in preparation by John R. Thompson, editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. It will make an ample volume in octavo, comprising biographical and critical notices of the chief writers of that part of the Union, with liberal extracts from their characteristic productions. Mr. Thompson is a fine scholar, and has taste, and a thorough acquaintance with the intellectual resources of the South, and his work will be interesting and valuable, in many ways, though we suspect that it will fail of the accomplished editor's intent to show a general unfairness toward southern writing by northern cities. We have nothing to offer here as to the causes, but we hold it to be a maintainable fact that the south has not contributed her part to the intellectual riches of the country. We may, perhaps, discuss the subject fully on the appearance of Mr. Thompson's volume, with which, we are sure, the south will have abundant reason to be satisfied.

[Pg 421]

Historical Review of the Month.

American diplomacy is pushing on into the Orient. A treaty has been negotiated with Persia, by Mr. Marsh, our ambassador at Constantinople, which guarantees to our commerce all the advantages enjoyed by the most favored nations. The overtures for this treaty came from the Shah himself, through his envoy at Constantinople, and were promptly met by Mr. Marsh, acting under the instructions of Secretary Clayton. It now remains to be seen whether our trade with the Persian kingdom will grow to much under the favorable influence of the new compact. Up to the present day Persia does not figure very largely in the annual returns of the treasury department.

The idea of renewing the search for Sir John Franklin, by American vessels, has been set on foot again by a letter of Commodore Wilkes, who advises the dispatching of ships to Wellington Channel, and explorations from there by sledges, especially in a westerly direction. Mr. Henry Grinnell has also addressed a memorial to Congress, supported by the petition of a large number of citizens of New-York, asking that the Government will again fit out and man his two vessels, the Advance and Rescue, which he offers for the purpose, and send them out, accompanied by a store ship and a propeller. The Maryland Institute, and a large number of the citizens of Baltimore, have also addressed a similar petition to Congress. It is certain that, what with the efforts of our own countrymen and those of the British government, the subject will not be abandoned till something positive has been ascertained with regard to the fate of Franklin and his companions.

Congress has continued in session, but has accomplished little or no useful legislation within the month. The time has been mainly occupied with debates on foreign intervention, on giving the job of printing the census to the publishers of the Union newspaper, and on the abolition of the law giving the delegate from Oregon only $2500 mileage. The census printing question occasioned a rencontre between Senator Borland, of Arkansas, and Mr. Kennedy, the Superintendent of the Census, in which Senator Borland got into a passion and knocked Mr. Kennedy down, breaking his nose, at the same time that he vehemently expressed a desire, to the bystanders who interfered to prevent further violence, to get at Mr. Kennedy in order that he might "cut the d——d rascal's throat." Mr. Stanly, of North Carolina, and Mr. Giddings, of Ohio, have had a passage of personalities in the House, which has been quite universally condemned by the press and public.

Kossuth has continued his career of triumph in the west, and besides the ovations of the people, has received a large amount of the material aid, which he especially seeks. Wherever he goes, he receives contributions of money and offerings of arms. A good deal of attention has been excited by a letter from Mr. Bartholomew Szemere, one of Kossuth's former friends, and even a minister in the Hungarian revolutionary cabinet, charging him with cowardice, weakness, and a fatally irresolute and vacillating policy in the administration of affairs. Szemere also denies that Kossuth has any just right to call himself the Governor of Hungary, or even the leader of the Hungarian people. On the other hand, Mr. Vukovitch, who was also a minister in the same cabinet, who is now in Paris, has published a letter on Kossuth's side. To Szemere's letter Mr. Pulszky has replied from Cincinnati, repelling the charge of cowardice against Kossuth, and showing that Szemere himself had fled from Hungary some months before the termination of the war, and when there was still reason to hope that it might be brought to a favorable issue; and Count Bethlen, another of Kossuth's suite, also states that Szemere is a man of exceeding vanity, an intriguer against every body that is above him, and that no man is more unpopular in Hungary than he. Therefore, it is argued, his opinion is valueless, and he is utterly in the wrong when he says that Kossuth is no longer beloved and accepted by the Hungarians as their chosen leader.

The revolutionary disturbances in Northern Mexico have been renewed, the government having unwisely returned to the old tariff of import duties, which was the pretext for the first outbreak. Accordingly, Caravajal has got his men together again and has resumed operations, of course with considerable assistance from the Texan side of the line. Mexico is generally in great trouble, not only from insurrections in this and other parts of the republic, but from the fact that the entire political organization is in a state of decay approaching dissolution. The revenue is insufficient for the ordinary wants of the government, which is unable to pay its civil officers or the army with the exception of the troops in the field, to whom something has had to be paid, though not all they have been entitled to. The deficit for the last year, exceeds a million of dollars, exclusive of the interest on the debt. Congress met on the first of January, when President Arista addressed the two Houses in a speech, exposing the dangers of their situation, and calling on them to come up to the sublime task of saving the country from the destruction which menaces it.

From South America we have the details of the progress of the revolution which begun in Chili in the last autumn, and is not yet finished. It commenced with a revolt of the provinces of Coquimbo and Concepcion, against Gen. Montt, the President, elected by a large majority in the other ten provinces of the republic. The election took place in June last, and the insurrection broke out on the 6th and 8th of September, under the leading of Gen. Cruz. The government forces were commanded by Gen. Bulnes, the retiring President, who put his antagonists to route in a battle at Longomilla. The contest was a most furious and bloody one; the armies on the two sides were nearly equal, eight thousand men being engaged in all. Two thousand, or one quarter of the whole, were left dead upon the field. After his defeat, Cruz signed an agreement recognizing Montt as the legitimate President, and promising to disband all his forces, and make no farther attempt to disturb the peace of the country, on condition that his offence and that of his associates should be pardoned. It was thought that this event would insure the tranquillity of the country for many years; and Bulnes was received at Valparaiso with great rejoicing on his return from the campaign.[Pg 422] But the agreement of the insurgents was not kept. On the 30th of December they rose again, and got possession of the city of Copiapo, and prepared from there to resume their march against the capital. Should Bulnes again defeat them, as is probable, he will be sure to show them no mercy.

From the Rio de la Plata we have intelligence which seems to leave no doubt that Rosas, the tyrant of Buenos Ayres, is on the verge of destruction. Urquiza, the general who has just freed the republic of Uruguay from the presence of Rosas's satraps, and restored to the important city of Montevideo the enjoyment of its liberty and the advantages belonging to its commercial position, has now completed his preparations, and is about to march against the dictator himself. Besides the troops of Entre Rios, his own State, he has under his command the forces of Corrientes, and is aided by the Brazilian fleet and army, and some 2,000 men from Uruguay. The entire force about to move against Rosas cannot be less than 30,000 troops, including some of the best soldiers in South America, and a full complement of artillery. Rosas, on his part, by extraordinary efforts, has got together some 20,000 men, many of whom are raw recruits, and none of whom retain that faith in the invincibility of their leader which has been an important element in his previous successes. The supple legislature of Buenos Ayres has, in these circumstances, outdone itself, and has not only made him absolute and irresponsible dictator during the war, but for three years after the victory. That victory, however, we opine he will never see. As Urquiza approaches, the army of the dictator will diminish. Large bodies of his soldiers will go over to the enemy; and he will either be shot or allowed to escape to England, to live there upon the revenues of his enormous and ill-got fortune.

In England all the world has been agog for the approaching opening of Parliament, which was to take place on the 3d of February. The highest expectations of entertainment were cherished from the set-to then expected to take place between Lord John Russell and Lord Palmerston, the dismissed Foreign Secretary. It will be piquant to see these former allies converted into antagonists, and cutting and slashing at each other with all the greater effect from the intimate knowledge of each as to the concerns of the other. As a ready and efficient public debater Lord Palmerston is the superior of the two.

All possibility of trouble between the United States and England on account of the brig Express firing into the steamer Prometheus at San Juan de Niacaragua, has been prevented by a manly apology made by the new British Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lord Granville. The act is as creditable to his lordship, as it is grateful to all who would not have the friendly relations between the two countries disturbed.

It is authoritatively stated that the new reform bill, which will be brought forward shortly after the opening of Parliament, will not so much extend the suffrage as vary the present apportionment of representatives. The boroughs, which are notoriously small, are to be enlarged by copious annexations, but there will be no new boroughs, nor will the large towns, such as Manchester and Liverpool, get any more representatives than they have now. If this be the nature of the bill, it cannot give satisfaction to either the Radicals or the Tories, nor extricate the Cabinet from its present difficulties. The cabinet has been further weakened by the resignation of Lord de Broughton—better known as Sir John Cam Hobhouse—as President of the Board of Control for the affairs of India, and of Lord Normanby as Minister at Paris. It is surmised that Lord Normanby retires to take his chance for coming into power again as a member of a new cabinet, with his friend, Lord Palmerston, at its head—not an improbable thing, by the way. He is succeeded at Paris by Lord Cowley. The troubles at the Cape of Good Hope still continue, with no advantage gained on the British side. The Caffres seem even harder to beat than was our own Florida Indians. The Government is loudly blamed for not acting more promptly in despatching forces to that colony; and the opinion is expressed that the Duke of Wellington, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, has, by great age, lost the energy of his powers and character. In his younger days, it is said, he would either have had the required reinforcements at once sent forward, or would have resigned his office. The Government and its agents have also been blamed for not more promptly despatching vessels to search for the passengers who got off in boats from the steamer Amazon, destroyed by fire off Scilly. It is possible that by timely action many lives might have been saved.

The danger of a French invasion is much dwelt upon by the British press, and there have been rumors of a great increase in the army with a view to such a contingency. These rumors do not seem to be well founded, nor can we believe the danger very imminent. Certain parties regard the whole as rather a fetch of the Ministry, to strengthen them at the opening of Parliament, by removing attention from home matters, and by uniting the nation in a common burst of patriotism. If this be so, the trick is a poor one, for if there was real danger of a war, the present ministry would not be likely to be trusted with carrying it on.

Is France, the march of despotism continues, with rapidity, and apparent safety. On the 15th of January Louis Napoleon published his new "constitution," of which the chief provisions are, that the President reserves to himself to designate, by a sealed will, the citizen to be recommended to the nation as his successor in the event of his death. He commands the land and sea forces; he alone can propose new laws; he can at any time declare the state of siege. His Ministers responsible to none but him, and each for his respective duties only; they may be "the honored auxiliaries of his thought," but they are not allowed to be "a daily obstacle to the special influence of the chief." The Council of State, whose members the President is to nominate and dismiss at his pleasure, is to put into shape the laws he intends to propose to the mock Legislature. The Senate, nominated for life by the President, and to any of whose members he may grant a salary of 30,000 francs, "may propose modifications of the Constitution:" its deliberations are secret. The Legislature is to consist of a deputy for every 35,000 electors, elected by universal suffrage, for six years. The President convokes, adjourns, prorogues, and dissolves this body at his pleasure; he nominates its President and Vice-President; the official minute of its proceedings, drawn up[Pg 423] by the Bureau, is all that is allowed to be published; it cannot initiate any law; amendments on laws submitted to it by the President cannot even be discussed until they have received the sanction of the Council of State. All these bodies are mere instruments of the despotic will and selfish egotism of M. Bonaparte.

The same week witnessed other measures of very important character also. The principal of these are, the suppression and reorganization of the National Guard, and the banishment of those public men who were either considered likely to thwart the success of the President's schemes, or on account of their Socialist and extreme democratic doctrines, were regarded as dangerous to the well-being of the State. Of the expelled representatives, M. Thiers has gone to England: General Changarnier and Lamoricière, it is thought, will fix their abode in Belgium; and Emile de Girardin, in the United States.

The most important movement in administration, yet taken by the President, is in a decree that the members of the Orleans family, their husbands and consorts, and descendants, cannot possess any property (movable or immovable), in France. They are bound to sell them within the year, and in default they will be sold by the domain. Another decree cancels the donation of his private property, made by Louis Philippe on the 7th August to his children, and enacts that their properties, of about two hundred millions of francs, shall be employed as follows: Ten millions to societies of secours mutuels. Ten millions to the improvement of the lodgings for the working classes. Ten millions to the establishment of a fund for granting loans on mortgage in the departments. Five millions to a benefit fund for the poorer clergy. All the officers, sub-officers, and soldiers on active service will receive, according to their rank in the Legion of Honor, as follows: The Legionary, 250 francs; the Officers, 500 francs; Commanders, 1000 francs; Grand Officers, 2000 francs; Grand Crosses, 3000 francs. De Morny, Fould, and others of the Ministers, having refused to concur in this confiscation of the Orleans property, resigned, and the Ministry, which had been re-modelled and re-organized (a new "Ministry of State" and a "Ministry of Police" having been created), now consists of the following members, viz.: MM. Abbatucci, Justice; de Persigny, Interior, Agriculture, and Commerce; Bineau, Finances; de Saint Arnaud, War; Ducos, Marine; Turgot, Foreign Affairs; Fortoul, Public Instruction and Worship; De Maupas, Police; Casabianca, State; Lefebre Duruflé, Public Works. The confiscation decree called forth spirited protests from Montalembert and Dupin, the eminent lawyer and President of the late Legislative Assembly. The former, together with Merode, Mortemart, Moustier, Giraud, André Mathieu, Baudet, Desrobert, and Hallez Chapared, refused to countenance a Government which could be guilty of such a measure, and accordingly tendered their resignations as members of the Consultative Commission. Dupin, also, resigned his post of Procureur-General of the Court of Cassation, which high office he has filled for twenty-two years.

The enormous property of the House of Orleans was divided into two main portions: the hereditary domains, consisting of the estates settled in 1692 by Louis XIV., upon his brother, the revenues arising from which amounted latterly to nearly $500,000 a year; and what may be called the acquired property, consisting of possessions gradually purchased in a long course of years out of the accumulated savings of a wealthy, and, on the whole, prudent, succession of princes. It is this last species of property alone which has been made the subject of absolute confiscation. The decree reduces the Orleans princes to absolute poverty. The Comte de Paris and the Duke de Chartres are at the present moment utterly destitute of resources. The only property now remaining to the family, is that derived from Madame Adelaide, the only sister of Louis Philippe. This, not having belonged to Louis Philippe in 1830, does not fall within the operation of the decree of confiscation which affects the rest, and it is now all that remains to the family in France.

Louis Napoleon, it is intimated, will shortly make another step towards monarchy, by forming a matrimonial alliance with a Swedish princess, and by restoring titles in France. At present, there seems to be no check to his advancement—a large majority of the people are evidently on his side—the army is with him—Russia, Austria, Prussia, Spain, and nearly all the other monarchies have resolved to support him—and it is probable that he will shortly assume the title and state of Emperor, as well as the Imperial authority.

In Austria, the constitution of 1848 has at last been formally and finally rescinded by an Imperial rescript. The reign of secret tribunals is restored; the proceedings of the law courts are no longer to be public. Along with the constitution of the revolutionary epoch, some few privileges and securities previously enjoyed by the subjects of the house of Hapsburg have also been swept away. The powers of the municipalities have, wherever they existed, been curtailed, and in some instances abolished entirely. It is not the status quo ante that has been restored in the Austrian dominions; the condition of the people has been rendered more servile.

A very important movement has been going on in Germany. We refer to the attempt of Austria to combine her dominions with the Prussian Zollverein, by means of a treaty of commercial reciprocity for five years, with complete union afterward. A conference of delegates from all the important states, except Prussia, was sitting at Vienna during the month of January, but the results have not definitely transpired. Such a union would be beneficial to the people of the states involved, by favoring industry and giving new activity to trade, as well as by dispensing with a large proportion of the armies they are now obliged to support.

The railway between St. Petersburg and Moscow is now in regular use. The first train, on the 13th of last month, took from Moscow to the capital 792 passengers. The line was eight years in constructing. The line from St. Petersburgh to Warsaw has been commenced, under the direction of General Gersfeldt, who assisted General Klenmichel in the former line.

Through the representations of Lord Palmerston to the Turkish Government, all difficulties have been removed with regard to the Egyptian railway, the works of which are to proceed without delay. Mr. Stephenson has surveyed the line. The two branches of the Nile are to be crossed by a pontoon bridge. The Pasha has given orders for 18,000 laborers to be put upon the works.

[Pg 424]

The Fine Arts

Kaulbach has just finished the cartoon of his Homer. This is the second in the series of great frescoes with which he is to adorn the new Museum at Berlin. The first, the Dispersion, at Babel, and the third, the Destruction of Jerusalem, are completed upon the walls, and have already been described in these pages. The Homer possesses the same richness of artistic combinations, and the same daring sweep of thought and imagination, which undeniably place Kaulbach at the head of the artists of this age. He represents in Homer the culture and the religion of Greece; the idea he depicts is, that Homer gave Greece her gods, and the peculiar tendency of her intellectual development. The poet is, of course, the central figure in the picture. The Ionic bard sits upon the prow of a ship that is just approaching the Grecian shore. His right arm is raised in the excitement of poetic inspiration; a lyre rests upon his left. Behind him, partly veiled, lost in profound revery, sits a female form, in whose lofty, intellectual features we recognise the impersonation of the traditional source of all early poetry; it is the impersonation of the Saga or Myth. She recalls those sybils who came from Asia to Greece to proclaim the oracles of the gods. In her hand the helm is still resting, in token that her guidance has brought Homer to Greece. A group of unclad nymphs, mingled with swans, swim around the vessel; one of them rises wholly from the water to listen to the strains of the singer. This is Thetis; she knows that he is chanting the praise of her son Achilles, and has left her crystal abode with the Nereids to follow him. At the left of the picture, on the land, stand groups of grave, manly forms, the representatives of Greece, assembled to receive the poet and his teachings. There are three of these groups, connected by subordinate figures. In front is a lofty figure, crowned with laurel, a beaker in his hand, and a charming cup-bearer at his side; this is the poet Alcaeus. Behind him stands Mnesicles, the architect of the Propylæ, with a plan of that work in his hand; next him is Solon, the lawgiver. On the other side stand Herodotus, Pindar, Sophocles, Æschylus, and Pythagoras, their features all marked with attention and interest; while a priest of a more ancient faith looks on in gloomy displeasure at the new singer and the impression he produces; and Bakis, the old soothsayer, hides his Golden Proverbs beneath the rocks. A second group, more toward the centre of the picture, is composed of country people, shepherds, huntsmen, and cultivators, with here and there a warrior, hearkening eagerly to the bard; among them a faun, with pointed ears and mocking mein, listens to the unaccustomed tones. On an elevation at the left, this division of the picture is completed by a group which represents the atelier of a sculptor—the master, with two youths and a maiden about him, is at work on a statue of Achilles—but the songs of Homer call his attention to other and grander subjects of his art. These are the Olympian gods themselves, who sit, some of them aloft in the clouds, over a sacrificial altar, around which warriors are dancing a martial dance, while others are moving along a rainbow to enter temples just dedicated to them—Eros leading with the Graces, and Apollo, with the Muses, following. A temple, in process of erection, and distant mountains, occupy the background. It will be noticed that the artist has omitted many very important elements of Greek history and culture from this composition. It contains no hint of Thermopylæ or Marathon, nor any allusion to Plato or Pericles. No doubt the learned artist has designedly avoided making his work too exact and didactic, but it certainly would seem that these were too prominent in themselves not to be wholly overlooked. It will also be observed that there is no action and no dramatic effect in the whole; but those who have seen the cartoon lack words to describe the noble beauty of the figures. Nearly all are men, but such majesty and harmony of form and feature, of outline and movement, well befit an age and people that produced the very ideal of manly beauty. The nymphs in the foreground are also said to be unspeakably lovely, and endowed with the most intimate charm of maidenly innocence. Of course it is impossible to appreciate the full effect of the picture, until it is executed in colors; but in that respect Kaulbach is certain of a perfection in nowise behind the other departments of his work.

A picture by the Belgian artist, Gallait, has produced a great excitement at Vienna, where it formed the most prominent feature in the January exhibition of the Art Union. The subject is the Last Moments of Egmont. The Count is represented in prison, standing upon a bench to look out of the grated window upon the place where his own execution is about to happen. On the bench beside him sits a priest, who seeks to recall him from earthly contemplations.

The Emperor of Austria has ordered a monument of Metastasio to be erected in Vienna,—where the poet passed the greatest part of his life, and composed all his works. Metastasio, it will be remembered, was attached to the court of Austria in quality of Imperial poet. The monument is to be executed by Lucciardi, a young German.[Pg 425]

The Bulletin of the New-England Art Union contains an etching of Allston's Witch of Endor, in anticipation of the large engraving of it, which is to be distributed among the subscribers. This is expected to be of a much higher order than any thing that has yet appeared from any Art Union in the world.

The American Art Union is to have its drawing at the end of the present month, having received a sufficient number of subscriptions, at length, to make this step seem advisable in the opinion of its directors.

The Philadelphia Art Union is taking vigorous steps to retrieve its recent losses by fire.

Scientific Discoveries and Proceedings of Learned Societies.

Our countryman, Mr. E. E. Squier, is now in London, where he has just brought out an edition of his work on Nicaragua, and he recently addressed the Royal Society of Literature on the Mexican Hieroglyphics, as exhibited in the publication of Lord Kingsborough. The MSS. engraved in this splendid work are chiefly rituals—a few only being historical. Of the events referred to, some occurred 600 years B. C., and one reference appears to be to an eclipse that happened 900 years B. C. The dualistic principle runs through the Mexican Pantheon; it consists, i. e., of male and female divinities, representing the active and passive principles in nature. We find also in this mythology a trinity, corresponding to Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva—the productive, preserving, and destroying powers—in the Indian. Inferior deities represent attributes; each name denoting an attribute; hence, the gods of the Mexicans were far from being so numerous as they appear to be. The supreme divinity had about fifty names: several of which agree in signification with those applied in the Old Testament to Jehovah. He is represented wearing a mask, to intimate that he cannot be looked upon. For each character or attribute there was a different mask, frequently representing animals; particular animals being dedicated to particular deities. The different deities were likewise symbolized by different colors—the water-god by blue—the god of fire by red—the inferior divinities by a dark tint, &c. Peculiar symbols likewise appear as crests, or head ornaments. The lecturer stated that the Mexican records unquestionably refer to an Eastern origin of the nation.

Respecting experiments in Photography, the London Literary Gazette says "the preparation of albumenized glass plates promised much, and in some hands, as in those of Ross and Thomson of Edinburgh, and Langhenheim of Philadelphia,—the best results have been obtained. Essentially, their processes consist respectively of separating the fluid portion of the white of egg, and adding thereto a weak solution of the iodide of potassium. This is floated over a clean glass plate, so as to cover it with a very thin film, and carefully dried. When this is completed, the prepared surface is dipped into a solution of nitrate of silver, and thus an iodide of silver is formed on the surface. This iodide of silver being washed, as in the calotype process, with gallo-nitrate of silver, is very sensitive to the solar radiations, and being placed in the camera-obscura, is speedily impressed with a dormant image, which is developed by the deoxidizing action of gallic acid." A good steam gauge has long been a desideratum. All kinds of portable gauges are, either not to be depended upon, or subject to frequent repairs; so much so, that by law every steam-engine used in France is provided with a gauge on the barometer principle, that is 10 feet, 15 feet, 20 feet high for a steam pressure of 60 pounds, 90 pounds or 120 pounds to the square inch. Mr. Bourdon, chief engineer at the Creusot works, where the engines of the frigate Mogador, were built, has devised a gauge, which has obtained for him a medal at the London Fair, and is highly spoken of. It is based upon the fact, that a thin metal tube, coiled up and subjected to internal pressure, will tend to uncoil itself in proportion to the amount of the pressure. The tube used is first flattened preparatory to the coiling up, so as to render this operation more easy. One of the extremities communicates with the boiler, the other is pointed and turned up so as to serve as an index on a circular scale. The apparatus is fixed in a case, in the shape of a hair medallion, and closed with a glass. Experiment must show if the effects of temperature be insignificant compared with those of pressure, and if the internal working of metallic atoms will not in time make this gauge give wrong indications.—If the instrument can bear the test of practical use, it will soon supersede every other already known. The inventor has already been rewarded by a council medal at the London Exhibition, and the cross of the Legion of Honor in France. In the last named country, the Government has made provision to try it on all the railways.

Experiments have been made on the Paris and Lyons Railway for the application of electromagnetism to locomotives. The report goes on to say that the apparatus prepared for the purpose was applied to an exceedingly large locomotive, and succeeded perfectly, first on a level, and then on an ascent of thirteen millièmes, the steepest in fact of the line. It was feared that difficulties would arise from the smoothness of the wheels on the rails,—but no inconvenience was perceptible from that circumstance.

Lord Brougham has been passing a few weeks in Paris, and the papers dwell upon the marvellous preservation of his powers, which seem to baffle the attacks of time. Galignani says he "read at the Academy of Sciences, before a most crowded auditory, a paper on the optical and mathematical inquiries which have occupied his time during his late residence at Cannes. His lordship accompanied the reading of this memoir with numerous demonstrations on the board, and for upwards of an hour captivated the attention[Pg 426] of his hearers. MM. Arago, Biot, Ténard, and other eminent scientific men were present, and appeared deeply interested in the explanations of their learned confrére. His lordship spoke the whole time with great animation, and his numerous friends present were delighted to perceive that he was in such excellent health."

Mr. Isaac Lea, of Philadelphia, since his retirement from the house of Lea & Blanchard, is devoting himself more assiduously than before, to those scientific pursuits in which he has attained to such well-deserved eminence. The London Athenæum has the following notice of his most recent publication:—

"Observations on the Genus Unio, &c. Vol. IV: by Isaac Lea. It is pleasant, amidst all the material activity of the United States, to find ourselves ever and anon called on to bear testimony to the love of nature, truth, and beauty which there developes itself. In Mr. Lea's book we have descriptions and drawings of shells, originally published in the 'Transactions of the American Philosophical Society,' which would have done honor to any of the scientific societies of Europe. Such works can be of interest only to the professed conchologist; but in his hands they become treasuries of facts by which he works out the great laws of morphology regulating the animal forms that he more particularly studies. The shells described in this volume are for the most part American, and from fresh water; and indicate how large a field for natural history inquiry the vast continent of America still presents."

Mr. George Catlin, the well-known American traveller, has brought forward in London a plan for a Museum of Mankind, "to contain and perpetuate the familiar looks, the manufactures, history, and records of all the vanishing races of man." A report on the subject was read by him at one of the scientific societies; and on the 9th of January he delivered an address on the subject at his American-Indian Collection. He opened by a general review of his past labors in the study of the native tribes of America, illustrated by a reference to some of the numerous records he has collected, and by the appearance of various natives themselves in full costume. He then proceeded to enforce the comprehensive scheme which now occupies him. After pointing out the urgent necessity of at once engaging in the formation of a museum of the kind proposed by him, if it is to be gathered together at all—for the in-roads of civilization are rapidly extirpating the native races of the world—he went on to develope his plan in its practical details. He proposes, as the first step, the purchase and fitting-up of a steamer "as a floating museum," in which the seaport towns of all countries should be visited; considering that this mode of exhibition would possess great advantages through "the facility of its visiting the chief cities of the world, stopping no longer in any than a lucrative excitement could be kept up;" and in the great immediate saving of time, as well as in other respects. Mr. Catlin's present collection would form the basis of such a museum. Mr. Catlin defines the word "mankind," for his purpose, as meaning no more than the expiring members of the great human family—the Red Indian, the native Australian, the Greenlander, the Peruvian,—and so forth. Measures, no doubt, might be taken for obtaining and preserving such memorials as exist of these and similar races; and it is a reflection on the governments of England and of the United States that they have hitherto remained so indifferent in the matter,—that being severally custodians of certain interesting and rapidly obliterating pages of the book of human history, they should suffer the final extinction of the record to take place before their eyes without any attempt to preserve its lessons for futurity.

Majendie, Louis and Londe—appointed by the French Academy of Medicine to examine a work by Dr. James Gillkrest, entitled, Is Yellow Fever contagious or not? have made a report in which they speak highly of the industry and skill displayed by Dr. Gillkrest, and adopt the conclusion at which he arrives with regard to the non-contagiousness of this disease. "The author," say they, establishes by numerous well-selected and incontrovertible proofs that yellow fever is not contagious under any circumstances,—not even in the case of crowding in this disease, whether of the dead or of the living; that the removal of the individuals from the influence of the local causes which produce this affection is the fittest means of preventing its extension; and, lastly, that the cordons called "sanitary and quarantine measures, far from arresting yellow fever, on the contrary favor its extension by combining the population within the influence of the local causes which give it birth." It may be hoped that with valuable testimony like this before them, governments will lose no time in abandoning oppressive quarantine regulations, at least as far as yellow fever is concerned.

From Holland, we hear that the dissolution of the Royal Institute of the Netherlands, which was ordered by royal decree to take place on the 1st of this month, has caused great dissatisfaction in the literary and scientific circles, and has called forth a rather indignant remonstrance from the Dutch Literary Association. The Institute held its last meeting on the 15th December; and it drew up a series of resolutions, expressing, in dignified terms, its sense of the injustice done it, and declaring that its dissolution will be "a heavy blow and a great discouragement" to Dutch science. The want of funds is the pretext put forth by the government for breaking up the learned body.

The Society of Antiquaries of Copenhagen is about to publish an Archæological Atlas of the North, accompanied by explanatory matter in French and Danish. It will be a valuable addition to the memoirs, papers, and documents, already published by the Society. This scientific association is one of the most important in Northern Europe, and its members include many of the most distinguished savans of Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. It possesses an excellent library, which contains, amongst other things of great value, about 2000 Icelandic manuscripts, very ancient, and written in the old Scandinavian tongue.

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Recent Deaths.

Augustus Sidney Doane was born, of a highly respectable family, in Boston, on the second day of April, 1808. He was educated at Harvard College, from which he received the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Medicine, in 1828, a few months before attaining his majority. He soon after went to Europe, where he passed two years in travel, and in attendance upon medical and surgical lectures, in Paris; and returning, in 1830, was married to Miss Gordon, the daughter of an eminent merchant of Boston, and settled in the city of New-York, where he continued to reside until his death, at Staten Island, on the morning of the 27th of January. Although at all times an earnest student and successful practitioner in his profession, Dr. Doane, for several years after his settlement in New-York, devoted considerable attention to political, historical and general, literature, and from the first, he was an industrious writer on medicine and surgery. When the cholera first broke out in this country, in 1832, he was the earliest to address the profession in a scientific and practical discussion of its character, and the ability, untiring industry, bravery and benevolence which he exhibited during that melancholy season, established his popularity with the people, and secured for him a degree of respect from his class which they have seldom bestowed on one so young. Among his earliest contributions to medical literature, was his edition of Dr. Good's Study of Medicine, in which he embodied, not only very important discussions and notes of fact by himself, but the best views of the medical writers of the United States on the various subjects treated in that celebrated performance. He inscribed his edition of the Study of Medicine to the common friend of the author and himself, the learned and excellent Dr. John W. Francis. He also translated Maygrier's great work on Midwifery, and several standard authorities on Anatomy and Surgery; among which are Dupuytren's Surgery, Lugol's Researches on Scrofulous Diseases, Bayle's Descriptive Anatomy, Blandin's Topographical Anatomy, Meckel's Anatomy, Scoutetten on Cholera, Ricord on Syphilis, and Chaussier on the Arteries. His editorial contributions to Surgery Illustrated, and many occasional papers in the medical journals also increased his fame and usefulness. It was, perhaps, his chief distinction as an author, that, being familiar with the languages of France, Germany and Italy, and personally acquainted with the living lights of medical science in those countries, and with the practice which obtained in the chief foreign hospitals, he was among the first, as he was the most diligent and successful, in translating the chief works of the European physicians into our language, and adapting them to our habits and necessities. In 1839, he was appointed Professor of Physiology in the University of New-York, but he soon resigned, with his colleagues. In 1840, he received from Governor Seward, the place of Health Officer and Physician in Chief to the Marine Hospital, and, with Dr. Turner, Health Commissioner, and Dr. McNevin, Resident Physician, constituted the Board of Commissioners of Health, which then exercised all the functions of the present Commissioners of Emigration. Fearless and energetic in the discharge of his official duties, (which he always attended to in person, and not, as the custom of some is, by deputies), he protected the city from unnecessary fear, as well as from disease, and presented bills of mortality scarcely paralleled in the hospitals of the country—averaging but seven per cent. The Commissioners in general superintendence of the Quarantine, in reports to the Legislature, awarded to him the highest praise for his administration, and when, in consequence of a change in the political character of the government, he was superseded, in 1843, both the Irish and German Emigrant Societies tendered him expressions of gratitude for his unwearying zeal and humanity in behalf of the class most dependent upon his services. In 1848, he was appointed one of the consulting physicians of the Bellevue Hospital, but declined the office, in consequence of holding the agreeable and profitable post of physician to the Astor House. During the prevalence of the cholera in New-York in 1849, he was one of the ward cholera physicians, and devoted himself with his customary earnestness, to practise among the poor of his district. In 1850, he was again appointed Health Officer by Governor Fish, and he discharged his duties until he followed Drs. Treat, Ledyard, Baily, De Witt, and others, in the sacrifice of his life to them. He was seized with the ship-fever on the 14th of January, while inspecting the packet Great Western, which arrived from Liverpool early on the morning of that day, with nearly seven hundred immigrants, of whom a large proportion were sick. He spent several hours in examination and the supervision of removals to the hospital, during which several deaths occurred, and was soon after, with Mr. Lewis B. Butler, the humane and efficient steward, who had been honorably associated with him in both terms of his administration as Health Officer, attacked with the fever in its most malignant form. Dr. Doane died on the 27th of January, and Mr. Butler on the 6th of February. These deaths were public as well as private calamities. Dr. Doane must be ranked among the most generous, wise, and active citizens—the most warm-hearted and respectable men—as well as among the most eminent physicians, of our time, in New-York. On the 15th of February, an eloquent discourse upon his life and character was delivered by his friend, the Rev. E. H. Chapin, in his church in Murray-street, of which Dr. Doane was a member.

Since the above notice of Dr. Doane was written, we have received from one of the most eminent physicians of the United States the following estimate of his character and abilities:

"The character of Dr. Doane commends itself to our consideration for many striking traits. His whole life, from his boyhood, was marked by a devotion to the acquisition of knowledge. His attainments enabled him to enter Harvard University at an early age, and he was recognized in that admirable school as a young man of splendid abilities and thorough scholarship. His medical theses there were exhibitions of knowledge such as is but rarely possessed by the students, whose aim is[Pg 428] chiefly for the doctorate. He received the highest medical honors of his Alma Mater, with the warmest approbation of the professors. By that rigid economy of time which through life distinguished him in all his pursuits, he found leisure, amidst multiplied cares and responsibilities, to become an excellent satirist and Grecian, and to this he added a knowledge of the French, German, and Italian languages. From his literary labors we might infer that his chief excellence was in the promptitude and ability which he evinced in the preparation of so many works of writers abroad, in translations for the American public. But this view of the case would hardly do justice to the stature of his mind, and his talents for original observation. Struggling with many difficulties and urged by the necessities of a family, it became his imperative duty to give his best efforts to those occasions which might prove most available for his wants; and hence we find him more busily employed in the promulgation of the doctrines and opinions of others, than in recording the results of his immediate practical wisdom. His most labored effort is unquestionably his translation from the German of the large work by Professor Meckel, on Human Anatomy. In his admirable edition of Good's Study of Medicine, we notice more of the immediate observer, and the man of extensive medical and physiological reading. This great treatise by the learned Good found in Dr. Doane a worthy editor. His edition is enlarged by numerous notes by the cis-atlantic scholar, and as they embrace the theoretical and practical views of the physicians and writers of the United States, it has always held a conspicuous place among books referred to for the doctrines, in theory and in practice, of a large number of the best original observers our country has occasion to boast of. This contribution to the science of healing has met with an extensive sale with the profession, and like other efforts of Dr. Doane in the departments of physical science, been productive of great benefit to the noble calling of which he was so conspicuous a member."

R. A. Davenport, an English writer, whose histories of America and India, and some of whose poems, were formerly well known, died in Camberwell, on the 21st of January, at the age of seventy-five. The attention of a police officer was attracted by moans issuing from Brunswick-cottage, Park-street, the residence of the deceased. He broke into the front parlor, and found Mr. Davenport lying in the passage, nearly dead, with a bottle that had contained laudanum in his hand. A surgeon was sent for, but a few minutes after his arrival, he expired. Several bottles containing laudanum were found in his bedroom, of which he was in the habit of taking large quantities while writing. The house presented an extraordinary appearance; the rooms were literally crammed with books, manuscripts, pictures, ancient coins, and antiques of various descriptions. Mr. Davenport has resided in it more than eleven years, during which time it had never been cleansed, and the books, beds, and furniture were rapidly decaying, every thing being covered with dust. The windows were all broken, the whole place presenting a most dilapidated appearance. Verdict was "That the deceased died from inadvertently taking an overdose of opium."

The eminent Italian poet, Giovanni Berchet, died near the first of January. Born, says the Athenæum, at Milan, in 1788, he imbibed at an early age that hatred of the rule of Austria which a few years afterwards inspired his muse. It was when the well-known political events of 1821 forced him to leave his country, that his active mind, fervently devoted to the principles of rational liberty, burst forth in those powerful and touching strains which are to this day deeply graven on the heart of every Italian patriot, and which, during the sanguinary contest of 1848, beguiled the weary march of the troops, and animated the combatants in the conflict. He was the first who had the courage to forsake the old beaten track of insipid sonnet-making. His poems stand alone, unrivalled in the novelty of their language and conception, and in the noble spirit which pervades every line. Few Italians can repeat his Clarina, his Matilde, or the Hermit of Mont Cenis, without feeling strong emotion. But by far the best of his productions, which unfortunately are not numerous, are the Fantasie. The language and versification are beautiful and varied, and we strongly recommend all Italian students to leave, with all due respect, Tasso and Petrarch for a while, and read a page of Giovanni Berchet. This distinguished patriot-poet was for some time member of the Sardinian parliament, and his loss is deeply mourned in all Italy.

The death of the younger of the celebrated Misses Berry, is mentioned in the London Times. She died, after a short illness, at the advanced age of nearly eighty-eight, in the unimpaired vigor of all her faculties. Her varied talents and incomparable amiability threw light and life around the graver and loftier powers of her sister, and their union, unbroken for an hour through the greatest portion of a century, made them the charm of the most brilliant circles in Europe. Her sister, in her eighty-ninth year, equally unfaded in her great intellectual gifts, still lingers for a while on the scene.

The Paris papers report the death, in that city, in his eighty-fifth year, of M. Louis Bertin Parant, a painter on ivory and porcelain of great eminence. As early as the days of the First Consulship he was distinguished by Napoleon; and his works on ivory executed by sovereign order during the Empire found their way as Imperial gifts into the collections of various princes of Europe. The Journal des Débats refers particularly to his Table representing the great generals of antiquity, as having been presented by Louis the Eighteenth to the Prince Regent of England, and as being now in the possession of Queen Victoria.

The Paris Journal des Débats reports the death, in his fifty-fifth year, of M. Benjamin Laroche, a translator into French of some of the works of Shakspeare and of Byron, and an original poet of some traditional reputation—having been popularly known in early life for attempts which gave false promise of greatness.

Eugene Levesque, author of two volumes on the United States, and of a large work on the State of Russia died in Paris, Jan. 4, aged 81.[Pg 429]

Mr. Thomas Williams, a well-known and much respected man of letters, for several years the consul of the government of Venezuela, for New-York, died suddenly, of disease of the heart, in this city, on the night of the second of February. We had known Mr. Williams a great many years, and shared in the general regard inspired by his amiability, and the quiet bravery of his life, of which many illustrations are known to his more intimate acquaintances. He was an Englishman, of good family, born in London in 1790, and educated we believe at one of the great universities. We have heard him say, that in early life he was as thin almost as Calvin Edson, but for the last fifteen or twenty years he was the most obese and plethoric-looking person in New-York—a sort of Lewis, or Lambert, of astonishing breadth and rotundity. We must not enter into details respecting his domestic life, but it may be mentioned that he was a party to a clandestine marriage, that his wife was an invalid for very many years, and that he toiled with his pen incessantly to promote her happiness. He was best known as a translator, and gave to the press a vast number of the novels of Dumas and other Frenchmen. He slept little, and it was his habit to sit by his table, in his chamber, from eight o'clock in the evening until nearly morning, plying his pen with neatness and rapidity, and with an unusual command of good English, though his style was sometimes defective in finish, and he never acquired much skill in punctuation. His original compositions, chiefly in magazines and newspapers, were very numerous, and on a vast variety of subjects, indicating a rarely equalled mastery of curious intelligence.

Colonel Wolfgang Baron Keményi belonged to the ancient family of Johan of Keményi, in former times sovereign of Transylvania. He was born in 1789, in Torda (Transylvania), and received his first education at the University of Nagy-Enyor. At seventeen he entered the Austrian army. He commenced his military career in the times of Napoleon, and took an active part in the French campaign from 1813 to 1815. After the termination of the war, he still continued, during a few years, in the same regiment, when, tired of the idle life in garrison, he left the army in 1824 as captain. From that moment he retired to his estates at Torda, where soon after he married the daughter of an Austrian general, and led, in this retirement until 1834, the quiet life of an agriculturist. The complexion of the times did not permit him to spend his whole time in solitude, and being a patriot, he soon entered the political field, became a zealous visitor of congress and the diets, and one of the most decided adversaries of Austria. He next became a member of the Transylvanian Diet, and through his participation in the discussions and struggles of that time, the storms of 1848 did not find him unprepared to brave them. He was one of those, who the first declared openly in favor of the unions question; at Torda, surrounded by Wallachian fanatics, he unfolded the banner of union. When it became Keményi's conviction that the crisis could not be removed in a peaceable way, he drew again his sword, and his heroic exploits during the memorable winter campaign under Bem, in Transylvania, contributed highly to the glory of the Hungarian arms. Having been appointed, by the Archduke Stephen, of Austria, Major of the Transylvanian National Guard, he distinguished himself eminently in the victorious battles at Szibo, Besstritz, and others; and afterwards he was nominated Lieutenant-Colonel in the Active Army, and at the same time charged by Bem with the command of a portion of his division. His most heroic deed was the battle of Ploki. Bem, at the head of a very small but audacious band, arrived victorious before Herrmannstadt, capital of the province; but there, surrounded and pressed by an overpowering number of enemies, he commissioned Keményi to march to the frontier, and take up a reinforcement. He immediately undertook that march, pierced the lines of the enemy, drew on the reinforcements, and a few days after, delivered that memorable battle in which, with 2,000 men and seven guns, he beat the whole Austrian force, consisting of 15,000 men and thirty cannons, out of the field. By this victory he not only averted the destruction of Transylvania, which a day before still appeared inevitable, but he also gave to Bem opportunity to establish that grand line of offensive operations which, in less than a month, swept Transylvania clear of the enemy. For the valor displayed in this decisive action, he was made Colonel, and received the order of valor, second class, having been decorated some time before with the same order of the third class. He took also a glorious part in all the important battles of the summer campaign. He was one of those superior officers of the Transylvanian army to whom Bem was mostly attached, and, possessing his entire confidence, were steadfast till the last moment. On the termination of the war, although proscribed, he lived for some time at his native place; but, searched for every where, he at last was obliged to fly to England. After Kossuth's arrival in London he became president of the administration of the Hungarian emigration. When he took the management, it was already in bad circumstances, but on the departure of Kossuth he had to overcome greater difficulties, because his solicitude extended itself not only to the emigrants residing in England, but to those who languished in France and Belgium. Notwithstanding the loss of his estates by sequestration, he still possessed some pecuniary means, and assisted, as far as he could, his distressed countrymen; and during the short time of his administration, he was always acting, with paternal care, for the good of his unhappy companions. Baron Keményi died suddenly in London, on Monday, the 5th of January, while listening to the reading of a letter respecting the management of his committee, addressed to the Daily News, by Mr. Toulmin Smith. He was sixty-three years of age.

Hebert Rodwell, for many years known in musical and literary circles as a composer and author died in London early in January. He possessed considerable taste and feeling, and produced ballads and concerted pieces of much sweetness. As a dramatic author, his efforts were principally confined to performances of a light and humorous cast, including burlesques and the openings of pantomimes. He produced two serial works of fiction, each of which had a fair success—Old London Bridge and The Memoirs of an Umbrella, Some scenes from the latter were dramatized, and had a run at the Adelphi.[Pg 430]

General Sir Frederick Philipse Robinson, G.C.B., Colonel of the thirty-ninth Regiment, died at Brighton on the 1st instant, in his eighty-eighth year. He was the oldest soldier in the British army, having been within a month of seventy-five years in the service. He was a native of New-York, and a son of the well known royalist, Colonel Beverly Robinson, whose name is associated with that of Andre in the treason of Benedict Arnold, by a daughter of Frederick Philipse. He entered the British army as an ensign, in February, 1777, and for five years he was in the first American war, and was present in the principal battles fought during that period. Subsequently, in 1794, he went to the West Indies, and shared in the capture of Martinique, St. Lucia, and Guadaloupe; he was also at the storming of Fleur d'Epée and the Heights of Palmiste. In 1812 Philipse Robinson joined the army in the Peninsula. At the battle of Vittoria he commanded the brigade which carried the village of Gamazza Mayo, without firing one shot. He also was present at the first and second assaults on San Sebastian, and was severely wounded at the second attack. He took part in the passage of the Bidassoa, the grand reconnaissance before Bayonne, the battle of the Nive (being there again severely wounded), in the blockade of Bayonne, and in the repulse of the sortie from that place, when he succeeded to the command of the fifth division of the army. In June, 1814, Major-General Robinson went to North America in command of a brigade, and he led the forces intended for the attack on Plattsburg, but received orders to retire, after having forced the passage of the Saranac. After the end of hostilities, he came from Canada to this city to embark for England, and on his way stopped at the old family mansion where he was born—two or three miles above West Point—and as he walked through the house (now owned by Mr. Richard D. Arden), he is said to have "wept like a child." Soon after the conclusion of the war he was appointed commander-in-chief and provisional governor of the Upper Provinces, which appointment he held until June, 1816. He had received the gold medal with two clasps for Vittoria, San Sebastian, and the Nive.

The Rev. John Taylor Jones, D.D., of the Baptist Mission in Siam, died in Bangkok, on the 13th of September, 1851, after an illness of about one week. He was one of the best scholars and most uniformly successful translators in the missionary service of the American churches. He had been in Siam nearly twenty years, and, with the exception of the book of Genesis, had rendered the entire Bible into the Siamese language. He was well known and much respected by the best classes of the people of that country, and the king of Siam (who fluently speaks and writes English) marked his sense of the public bereavement by a letter of condolence to his widow.

The English West Indian steam-ship Amazon, left Southampton for a first voyage on Friday the 2d of January, and at a quarter before one o'clock on Sunday morning was discovered to be on fire; the flames had soon complete mastery of the vessel, and so swift was its destruction that many perished in their berths by suffocation, and many of those who, half naked, made their way to the deck, were burnt in ascending the ladders, and several passengers are described as having rushed up with their clothes in flames. In twenty minutes all was over but the last cruel agony. So rapid was the ravage, that it seems to have been more like an explosion than the ordinary progress of fire. The alarm and despair were almost simultaneous. The number of persons destroyed in this most pitiable and frightful catastrophe was 115, and among them was the accomplished author, Mr. Eliot Warburton. His career in literature had been unusually brief. It is only a few years since The Crescent and the Cross attracted general applause; Hochelaga, or, The Conquest of Canada, followed soon after; and last year gave us his Memoirs of Horace Walpole, and the story of Darien, or, The Merchant Prince. Mr. Warburton had been deputed by the Atlantic and Pacific Junction Company, to come to a friendly understanding with the tribes of Indians who inhabit the Isthmus of Darien. It was also the intention of Mr. Warburton to make himself perfectly acquainted with every part of these districts, and with whatever referred to their topography, climate, and resources, and he undoubtedly would have given the results of his visit in an interesting and valuable work on the subject, if he had lived.

Frederic Ricci, the composer, lately died in the prime of life and talent. He was stricken by apoplexy in the post-carriage between Warsaw and St. Petersburg. Ricci was the author of many operas, more successful in Italy than elsewhere, but whose names are well known to the musical public every where. The Prigioni d'Edimburgo is the most famous of his operas, among which Rolla, Estella, and Griselda are not unknown. His Corrado d'Altamura failed in Paris in 1844. He had recently produced at Venice I due Ritratti, an opera of which he composed both words and music, and last May was summoned to Russia, under the especial patronage of Field Marshal Paskewitch, and saw before him the promise of that brilliant career which the great wealth and cultivation of the Russian aristocracy secure to a few fortunate artists of every kind. On the 2d December he wrote to the distinguished tenor, Moriani, that, for the first time, fortune smiled upon him. He quotes from his own opera of Rolla, of which the tenor part was written for Moriani—"A nameless stone shall cover my grave"—smiles at the thought; says that it will be his own fault if it is so, and within a few weeks reaches the scene of his anticipated triumphs, a corpse.

Baron D'Ohson, a distinguished oriental scholar of Sweden, died at Stockholm early in January, at the age of seventy-two. He was of Armenian origin, and was born at Constantinople, November 26, 1779. His father, Ignace Muradgi, the author of a work on Turkish history, was first dragoman of the Swedish embassy in that city. He was educated at Paris, and among the manuscripts of the National Library, gathered the material for two works published in French, which gained him an enviable reputation. One was The Peoples of the Caucasus, by Abdul-Cassim, the traveller; the other The History of Mongolia, from Dschingis Khan to Timour; the second appeared at the Hague in 1835. M. D'Ohson served his country as ambassador for considerable periods at Vienna, Berlin, Paris, and London.[Pg 431]

Mrs. Harlowe, at the advanced age of eighty-seven, expired at her lodgings at Gravesend, near London, on New-Year's-day. She was a very popular actress in her time, principally attached to Drury-Lane Theatre. Many years since she retired from the stage, and had since received a pension from the Drury-Lane Fund, to which she was one of the original subscribers. Her annuity for the first ten years amounted to £140 per annum, but since was reduced to £112, the claimants on the fund having considerably increased. Mrs. Harlowe was the last of the old school of actresses.

Mr. Acheson Maxwell died in London, near the beginning of January, at the advanced age of ninety-one. He was a very early friend of the late Earl of Macartney, under whom he held various confidential employments at Madras, in the memorable embassy to China, and at the Cape of Good Hope. He also accompanied him in 1795, on a confidential mission to Louis XVIII., then residing at Verona. He afterward held for several years a place in the office of the auditor of public accounts, but in his last days he was in the enjoyment of a pension.

Ladies' Fashions for March.

There are apt to be few novelties in this part of the season. The modes for the winter, with no important variations, generally prevail until the beginning of the spring. Whatever changes occur are likely to be found in details, or in articles of comparatively slight importance. In our next we shall probably be able to present the designs adopted by the fashionable worlds of Paris and London for the approaching warmer months.

In the above group we have a white double-breasted waistcoat, high chemisette of lace, and collar of English embroidery; cap of silk stuff, forming a calotte, trimmed with lace of Alençon point; and ribbon for the wrist. At the top of the first trimming is fastened a slight silk fringe under several bunches of silk or velvet ribbon. For indoors, and for dress parties, the lace lappets are replaced by ribbon like the bunches. A little ribbon ornament is used round the gloves, fastened by a gold chain; and the ribbon is confined to the wrist by a small elastic cord.

In head-dresses, feathers form the most elegant and fashionable coiffure for full evening dress. They should be mounted on a spring or wire, which passes over the upper part of the head, leaving the feathers to droop on each side. White ostrich feathers mounted in this style are frequently tipped with gold or silver. An elegant fancy head-dress, is composed of feathers, blonde, and gold. On one side, a small tuft of white marabouts, intermingled with bunches of grapes in gold; on the other, instead of feathers, puffs of gold blonde, intermingled with grapes—the back part of the coiffure of a small point or half handkerchief of gold blonde, edged with gold fringe or passementerie. Time was, when a milliner would have made three separate head-dresses of materials composing the one here described; the feathers, the grapes, and the gold blonde would each have been separately employed, and it would have been deemed impossible to venture on their combination. But such is the change in taste, that this head-dress is admitted to be one of the most becoming productions of the season. A wreath, in the style called the guirlande pompadour, is composed of roses of several shades of pink, fastened on one side by a bow of azure-blue ribbon, lamé with silver—a bouquet of the same ribbon to fasten up the jupe of the dress, of white moire antique, trimmed with blonde. A head-dress, in the style called the coiffure Italleone, is of bows of cerulean blue velvet mingled with strings of pearls: on each side, ends of blue velvet edged with aiguillettes of pearls. Pearls and beads of other kinds, especially those of gold, silver, or coral, are very generally employed in ornamenting head-dresses. They are twisted with bows of ribbon or velvet, and are arranged in loops at each side. Loops of coral beads or of artificial Christmas berries, combined with bouquets of scarlet geranium, have a pretty effect. Flowers are, as they always have been, and are likely to continue to be, the favorite coiffures for ball costume. For young ladies, no other ornaments are admissible.[Pg 432]

In the first of the above figures we have an Opera Dress of white organdi; the skirt extremely long and full, and with five flounces, each edged with two rows of narrow lace set on a little full; Sortie de Bal of white cashmere wadded throughout, and lined with satin, couleur de rose, the form loose, with extremely wide sleeves, and trimmed with velvet the same color as the lining. When the hood is not drawn over the head, the tasselled ends hang over it very gracefully, as in the costume given, tying, and preserving the throat from cold in passing to or from the carriage. In the other figure is presented a walking dress of silver gray silk with a darker large plaid—skirt very full, and five flounces. Among Ball Dresses the Paris Modes describes a robe of white tulle, with three flounces, over a slip of white glacé—the flounces each edged with a row of blonde of about a nail in width, and attached to the skirt on one side by white roses, forming a sort of wreath at the upper part, one end of which is attached to the waist, and descends to the first or uppermost flounce, the roses being of graduated sizes, enlarging from the waist downward. A bouquet of white roses is attached to the second flounce. The corsage has a shawl berthe opening in a point in front of the bosom. The berthe is formed of three falls of tulle, each edged with a row of narrow blonde. The opening formed by the berthe in front of the corsage is filled up by horizontal rows of blonde. The sleeves, which are extremely short, are covered by falls of tulle, edged with rows of blonde. The wreath on the head corresponds with the bouquets. It is very light, with a bouquet on one side, where it is fixed, and is then twisted round the plait, so as almost entirely to cover the back part of the head-dress. On the arms, bracelets of gold and hair. Hand-bouquet of white and red roses.

Jewelry appears to be more in vogue than in recent years. Pins are extremely fashionable, and are made in the Italian style, with large heads, and pendent ornaments attached by small gold chains. Jewels, mounted for bandeaux or necklaces, are made to detach into separate portions, which may be worn as bracelets, pins for the hair, &c. In Paris a book has appeared on the laws of taste applicable in the wearing of jewelry—a sort of Ethics of Taste in Stones, or Institutes of Ornament. It should by all means be translated.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The International Monthly, Volume 5,
No. 3, March, 1852, by Various


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